Newbie Needs Projector and Screen Size Suggestion

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Ethan Banks, Aug 18, 2003.

  1. Ethan Banks

    Ethan Banks Auditioning

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    I am looking for a projector that will be used for strictly DVD use. I will not watch regular TV programs of any sort with this.

    I am hoping to be in the $3000-$3500 with a screen, and my understanding is that a screen will be in the $1000-$1200 range. Am I correct in my understanding that a Stewart Firehawk is the best screen to use with the cheaper projectors like what I am looking for?

    It seems like the ones I have seen talked about a lot are the Panasonic L300U, The Sony VPL-HS10, and the Sharp DT-200.

    FYI My seating will be roughly 13~14ft from the screen, and that will also be the max available mounting distance between the screen and projector. I am shopping for some sort of black out drapes that my fiance will approve also, so the room will have minimal ambient light.

    Any information you guys could help me with would be great.

    Thanks

    -Ethan
     
  2. ChadLB

    ChadLB Screenwriter

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    You probably don't want the Sharp DT-200 that is 4:3 Native while the Panny 300 is 16:9 Native and I have no idea on what the sony is.
    Screenwise: Stewart, Da lite, and others will all work depending on your setup and light control.
     
  3. Robert James Clark

    Robert James Clark Second Unit

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    The Sony is 16:9 also.
    Using a 4:3 projector with a 16:9 screen works fine, you just position the 16:9 portion within the screen. The unused pixels above and below are not noticable.

    You should check out Projector Central's recommendations on projectors. Keep in mind that the Epson TW100 appears to have been discontinued (my loss as my order was cancelled [​IMG] )

    I will also speak heresy and state that I'm a huge fan of the HighPower screen. I just love the punch and brightness it gives any projector (it is a great match for a CRT).
    Black levels are compromised however. But it's very cheap and is almost wave-free.
     
  4. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Personally, I would opt for the best 16x9 projector I could afford then make my own 16x9 screen using the materials of my choice to save the $1500 or so on a Firehawk. The Stewart is a fantastic screen mind you but with that budget you are basically looking at spending as much for the screen as the projector.

    Do you have any ideas on what screensize you would want? If not, then a 13-14ft seating distance would be nice with a 100" 16x9 setup. I assume that the room is also 14' deep from the front to the back wall? If so then this determine which projectors you can and cannot (should not) use to achieve the desired results.
     
  5. Ethan Banks

    Ethan Banks Auditioning

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    Yep, the room is 14ft deep. I want the largest screen size I can do without tiring my eyes from having to scan the screen from having too large a screen and not being able to sit far enough away. From what I have been reading this seems to be something under 110" from the distance I will be sitting... Is this correct?

    So you can just purchase screen material? I was unaware of this. What kind of material would you recommend using, and where would you find it?

    Thanks again guys.

    -Ethan
     
  6. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    You will be sitting at around 13ft from the screen then (making allowances for the back of the sofa etc. What I find comfortable yet nicely large is the 1.5 width rule that would yield a 104" wide screen or a 120" diagonal, no larger.

    Keep in mind though that the larger the projected image, the dimmer the output and the more pixelated the structure can look, especially fairly close to the screen. Depending on the projector you choose, I would recommend 100-110".
     
  7. Robert James Clark

    Robert James Clark Second Unit

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    Inexpensive DIY materials include the Parkland Plastics board from Home Depot/Lowes, or so-called "blackout material" from you local fabrics store and stretched over your own frame.

    Many also paint the materials to get just the gain/black levels they want.
    All of the above are very inexpensive which can allow you more money on the projector.

    How much work do you feel comfortable doing? Do you want more of a turnkey situation?
     
  8. Robert James Clark

    Robert James Clark Second Unit

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  9. Ethan Banks

    Ethan Banks Auditioning

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    I am comfortable doing basically any work that would be required to build a screen... If it falls out of my relm of capability I have some good friends who are more than happy to help on projects like that, and have more abilities and tools than I[​IMG]

    So the concensus is that I should build my own screen for
     
  10. Robert James Clark

    Robert James Clark Second Unit

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    If I had @ around $3000, I'd try to demo the NEC HT1000.

    Haven't seen it but there sure are a lot of happy users!

    I, for one had settled on the Epson TW100h for $2300 but after I placed my order last week I was told there weren't any more [​IMG] .
    Now I have purchased both the Infocus X1 and the Sanyo Z1 (combined for less than the Epson!) and will keep the winner until the new crop of projectors come out this fall.

    As for screens, you'll spend a lot less than $200.
    Ask some of the members here for advice who've had experiences building their own like RonP.

    Good luck!
     
  11. Craig Robertson

    Craig Robertson Supporting Actor

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    for screen size vs seating distance, check out the viewing distance calculator here.
     
  12. Ethan Banks

    Ethan Banks Auditioning

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    I will dig around and check members pages on info to build the screen.

    I noticed you mentioned waiting till fall for the new projectors coming out.. Anything in particular worth waiting for, because I am not in a huge hurry if waiting a couple months could get me a lot more for my $$$.

    Thanks

    Ethan
     
  13. Robert James Clark

    Robert James Clark Second Unit

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    Nothing but rumors at this point.
    September brings CEDIA and there will be the major announcements.
    The nice thing is that last years models could drop even more as new models come out.
    I couldn't go that long without a projector, however as my CRT died...
     
  14. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    I would expect the current crop of HD2's to frop in price with the new announcements. I spent cdn$150 for my screen and mind you, I did lots and lots of research and paint tests, mixing etc before I found my paint material.
     
  15. Ethan Banks

    Ethan Banks Auditioning

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    Perhaps I will just go ahead and start killing time by making my screen (My screen size should be based MAINLY on seating distance, and not which projector I go with correct.. Assuming I will for sure go with one that is native 16:9?).

    I am also planning on building a large piece of furniture to accomodate my other TV for watching regular TV, my electronics, and my DVDs so that will take some time and money as well.

    Hopefully this would take me a month or two (probably like 3 days on the screen, and a lot of time on the entertainment center) and by then new projectors would be coming out, and current ones would be dropping in price.

    -Ethan
     

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