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Newly addicted . . . need advice!!!

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Paul Fa, Sep 26, 2004.

  1. Paul Fa

    Paul Fa Stunt Coordinator

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    My name is Paul and I'm an addict.

    After spending the last couple of years learning about amps, AVR's, and now most recently speaker systems, I'm now being sucked into the newest void (for me) of video for my home system.

    1st, rather than be a bore, what articles, FAQ's etc do you recommend I check out? I think I can safely rule out all info on Plasma, LCD and other high dollar super thin displays at this time. I believe for now perhaps a rear-projection based system would be best bang/buck.

    I will start things off with the following data on my room and a couple of questions.

    Large living room (NOTE: NOT A DEDICATED HT!! ALL IDEAS MUST NOT TAKE OVER THE ROOM - HIGH WAF!) - 24x22 room with high open-beam ceilings, 2 large openings into other rooms, many windows (2 upper triangular windows w/ no coverings, all others with plantation shutters). Current listening position is aprox 13' from front wall and 10' from back wall.

    Q's:

    1 - Obvious lack of complete light control has me considering using a portable screen for playing movies at night - I was impressed with the set-up I saw at the HTForum meet here in Universal City, CA., Friday night in the SVS room (anyone know what the components were?). With such a system there is complete WAF and I can still watch my regular TV during the day. What do you think? Which systems would you recommend?

    2 - Cabling and projection distance issues. If all of my other components are on the front wall and I will need the appropriate video cables to go from there to the rear wall for the projector (aprox 60') what are my issues? What about projecting an image from 23' away from front (display) wall and sitting only aprox 10' from screen (portable screen set up in front of existing TV and gear)? Will image be too large? Will viewers be too close? Do you control the projector by using the AVR's remote or do you have to point a remote at the projector behind you?

    3 - For those that have fixed screens or electric wall-mounted retractable screens - what inventive ways have you come up with to make that space seem less dominated by the screen when not in use?? Hang a picture in that area/over the screen when not in use and remove before viewing? If I went with one of these options I guess I could move my TV permanently to the side for viewing during the day when projection option wouldn't be best, but then there would be this large rectangle on the middle of the wall - which would be less than satisfactory for WAF or even my own opinion of not having this screen dominate the room when not in use. I know this forum is filled with inventive people - so what have you done to keep your living room HT still seem like a living room??

    Thanks for your input - I am really getting caught up in creating a good HT system in this room and GREATLY appreciate your input and advice!!

    Thanks,
    Paul
     
  2. Paul Fa

    Paul Fa Stunt Coordinator

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    Anybody? I would kinda hope that encouraging newbies interested in learning to jump in would help the hobby?

    I think I can spend about $3000 on either a screen+front projection system or a rear projection unit. What should I expect as the +/-'s of each in a room like mine with the budget I have? The InFocus 5000 seems like a nice unit, but is at the very top of my budget w/o a screen and may have the cabling/ambient light and/or other limitations for my room that I haven't even thought of - so maybe a rear unit in this price range?? This is where real world experience is more important to me than some sales spiel - can anyone give me some ideas?
     
  3. Mort Corey

    Mort Corey Supporting Actor

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    With out a doubt, rear projection will give you the most bang for the buck....BUT.....in many/most cases those giant boxes do not meet anything close to WAF (YWMV [​IMG] ) Front projection, without a good way to control ambiant light, really tends to relegate viewing to evening hours. WAF might be a little higher there if you're creative in hiding the equipment. Running cables for a front projection system in a large room with vaulted ceilings sounds like quite a challange in the WAF department.

    I had many of the same challanges, though in a slightly smaller room. As my room is also a family/gathering room, it ended up that a plasma display was the best choice. Sorry, I know that wasn't on you short list, but it gives the best PQ with poor light control, over wide viewing angles, and takes up the least space. Highest WAF of any of the technologies available in my circumstances (and wife)

    Mort
     
  4. Paul Fa

    Paul Fa Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Mort,
    Thanks for your reply. I plan on placing the pj on a bookshelf on the back wall and routing the cables up the back wall into the attic, around the side wall and then over and down the front wall - so as long as I can use long enuf cables to accomplish this I will have ok WAF - ditto for pj size itself since it would be on a shelf faitly well hidden. I am beginning to think I may have to reconsider a RP unit due to the light control issue. Good luck with your project. Can some others also weigh in with some info to help?
     
  5. Dave Milne

    Dave Milne Supporting Actor

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    Paul,

    I solved this problem by building a dedicated theater [​IMG]

    But seriously, I still had WAF issues since the room is used as a playroom for the kids, and a home office.

    I second the vote for front projection. I have a motorized screen built into a soffit. When the PJ is off, it's completely out of sight. Very high WAF.

    I have a CRT PJ, which gives spectacular images, but only in a fully darkened room. It's also a pretty large box hanging from the ceiling, but I was able to get it past the WAF test. "But honey, the color matches the ceiling; it will blend in and you'll never notice..."

    23' is pretty far for a digital PJ (and out of the question for CRT), but many of today's digital machines can probably do this. Check throw distance recommendations for the screen size you're looking at. At 10' viewing distance, I'd stick with a screen in the 100" diagonal range (say 48x85). The front row of seats in my theater is about 10' from the screen and I have a 106" screen (52x92)... but a fully line-doubled CRT image stays very sharp even up close.

    Running cables in walls and attics is pretty standard stuff for AV installations. 60' is a lot of cable, but shouldn't pose any particular installation problems, if you use quality cable. It's always nice to do all of this before the sheetrock goes up... but many, well most, people end up doing the retrofit thing.

    Good luck
     

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