outlet location for front projector

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by jack w, Jan 2, 2004.

  1. jack w

    jack w Agent

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    I am in the construction phase and need some advice.
    considering i dont know what projector i am going to buy i dont know what distance i should install an outlet in the ceiling.
    My room is 18x11x7 and i am most likely going with an lcd front projector.
    Is ceiling mounting one of these projectors the optimal way or is shelf , tripod , or table the better way to go.
     
  2. MikeWh

    MikeWh Second Unit

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    Jack, welcome to the #1 gotcha (IMHO) in front projection planning. Personally, I think you need to do some research on the various projectors and analyze their comparable throw distances for the screen size you are planning. If you haven't found it already, you need to spend some time at projectorcentral, especially with their throw calculator for each projector you may be interested in. If you can't decide on just one pj, maybe you'll be able to find a good spot, where several top choices will all go. Then you can put your box there.

    Here is an example of some of the planning that I have done:
    http://home.earthlink.net/~sushinut/pjthrows.gif

    You may not go as far as I have, but I have several design challenges that have made my selection much more difficult than I had originally anticipated (the biggest problem is that I have sloped ceilings, as my HT is in my walk-up attic).

    re: mounting--
    I've seen that the vast majority of folks here opt for ceiling mounting, especially if they have dedicated theaters. The major advantage is that it gets the pj out of the way-- freeing up usually valuable floor space.... especially at the prime seating location directly in the center of the screen. Of course, it is perfectly feasible doing it other ways, but for dedicated installations it seems to be preferred.

    PS-- another gotcha with PJ mounting is the "offset" measurement. It's the amount of distance required from the top edge of the picture to the center of the pj's lens (for ceiling mounting). It'll prescribe the specific height above the floor that the pj will sit. As you can see in my pic, this can sometimes be problematic.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. MikeWh

    MikeWh Second Unit

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    Also, I should have mentioned that you need to figure out what your viewing distance and screen size are going to be, if you want to locate the pj behind the seating (some people prefer this because of noise, light spill, and general aesthetics). Here's a link for a popular viewing distance calculator:
    http://www.myhometheater.homestead.c...alculator.html

    There is significant debate over preferred horizontal viewing angle.... for a single row of seats, many people seem to like a 30-35° HFOV; or 40-45°, if you particularly like an immersive experience. For multiple rows, you'll have to develop a trade-off. You can search all over here for various opinions on this.

    My advice is to tape a big piece of paper to the wall (using your tentative screen size), and then move a chair all over the place, checking out the respective viewing angles/distances. For me, this is the starting point for determining pj location. Your mileage may vary. [​IMG]
     
  4. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    jack,

    MikeWh gives some very good suggestions. When I was faced with the exact same problem back in 1999 (I hadn't decided on a projector as the HT was being built) I decided to provide two access points in my ceiling - one "close" (for CRT type FPs) and one "far" (for LCD, DPL and other digital type FPs). Granted, I had a rough idea of my options at the time (a rebuilt CRT or a still unreleased SONY VW10HT LCD unit) so I was able to approximate locations.

    Ceiling mounting is the cleanest way to go and presents the fewest logitical problems when navigating the room. Also, your "access point" should include both power and wire channels (I used tubing) for all the signal and electrical needs. This alleviates the problem of installing the wrong wires or allowing for future wiring upgrades (like DVI cabling). These access points are located somewhat behind the projector so you have some degree of flexibility for the location of your final FP mount. And the unused access point (in my case the front one) can be covered with plates the same color as the ceiling so they are not really visible.

    Now, five years later, I'm on my second FP (see my website for details) and even though its a DLP unit it was extremely easy to install in place of the LCD. Same throw distance, etc. All I did was to switch brackets and use the same wires.

    If you must limit yourself to one access point I would tend to go with the "far" one since, although you will get a lot of arguments on this, I consider the day of the CRT as king of the HT numbered and I probably won't ever use the front outlets. However, I don't want to start a CRT vs. Digital discussion here (not the point of this thread) so let's let it be. Besides, it is relatively inexpensive to add a few extra wires and tubes before the ceiling is finished so if you have any doubts at all then do as I did. You never know what the next generation of FPs might bring in the way of focal lengths, etc.

    Good luck.
     
  5. jack w

    jack w Agent

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    Robert,
    Your home theater is amazing and im sure you spent big bucks on that projector,and every thing else for that matter.
    What are your room dimensions?
    I cut my hand with a chop saw in the middle of construction which put me out of commission for a while, so i may have to hire someone now.
    I will say that my compulsive obsession is getting stronger to finish this project , and also bringing up the amount of money i wanted to spend.
     
  6. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    jack,

    My room dimensions are

    15' wide x 22' long x 7.5' high.

    Hope your hand is better soon. I used a contractor for all the construction to protect me from myself.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Bobby C

    Bobby C Stunt Coordinator

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    Jack,
    I'm in the middle of construction - sorry to hear of your hand. I'll be extra attentive in the coming weeks....
     

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