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Projector/Screen Advise (1 Viewer)


Apr 13, 2003
Hi all,

I'm new to the world of Home Theatre, so bear with me!

My husband and I are looking at creating a home theater in our home - we have two rooms we're looking at using...

one is 15x9.5x9 (Length,Width, Ceiling Height)
the other is 20x14x9 (LWH)

we've seen some information about the size of the room being a factor in the setup of the surround sound and getting the best quality surround going... so we're thinking the 15x9.5x9 room would work best since it's more
"theater" like/looking... would that be a correct assumption on my part?

also - we were looking at projection TV's - like the Mitsubishi diamond.. but then we noticed that the projector's are coming down in price to where they're almost matching the projection TV's - so we're thinking of getting one of those and a manual/ceiling mounted screen to really turn the room into a "theater"...

i've noticed that the major projectors out there are 16:9 aspect ratio with 2200 lumens - but for the size rooms we have, i'm not sure we would need 2200 lumens of light for the room - I've looked thru the primer info provided and haven't found any information on lumens - can anyone interject and explain what would be the major different between a lower lumen vs upper and what might be the best output for our size rooms?

any advice on best projector for our size rooms? we're looking at spending no more than 5 grand on the screen and projector (figure we can get a manual screen for $150)... but we also want to budget correctly to get the best optimal system for the best economical price - so the $$ can vary depending on opinions received! :)

we've already accumulated a bose 6-series speaker system and have a sony receiver with a sony 300+ CD/DVD disc changer - so for now, i think we have the surround sound covered (altho i really don't know how to set it up for optimal performance except from what i've already printed from the primer - thanks for that add'l info!!)...

any help would be very much appreciated! This forum has really been an eye opener for me - i never knew so much information was needed to correctly set up a system - but man - when it's done, we're gonna turn on that popcorn machine and enjoy ourselves! haha

thanks much!!

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Mar 19, 2003
I'm also a newbie to home theater but I'll share my experience. I purchased an NEC HT 1000 DLP projector. It has 1000 Lumens in the regular mode and 800 Lumens in the economy mode. I use it in my living room, projecting on to a white textured wall above the fireplace at about 14 feet from prime seating area to the "screen" (front wall). The picture on HDTV and DVD is jaw droppingly superb. I never use the full 1000 lumens. Everyone I've had over to see it wants a DLP projector! I paid about $4200 for mine (list was $5400), but DLP Front projectors are now available for less than $2000 (Infocus X-1). I am very happy with my new home theater set up. I have a 6.1 Onkyo Home Theater in a Box sound system and I couldn't be happier with my living room home theater. The only thing that will perhaps lead me to buy a screen and ceiling mount the projector (right now it sits on a coffee table when I use it and is stored off to the side by the DVD and Receiver when not in use) is to do more daytime viewing. I can't control ambient light too well during the day, but at night, its perfect.
Good luck with your set up.

Neil Joseph

Senior HTF Member
Jan 16, 1998
Real Name
Neil Joseph
Did you read through this post in the FAQ Primer? Front Projection - How do I select one for my needs?

If you have adequate light control in your room then the brightness of the projector (lumens) becomes less of a factor. A projector with lots of brightness will be advantageous in a room with ambient light or for watching those sporting events with light in the room. Take a read through my article first though.

Ryan FB

Second Unit
Oct 4, 2002
At the risk of jumping into a complex issue...

The most valuable thing to figure out is the footlamberts (no I'm not making that word up :D) of your potential setup. Where ANSI Lumens is a measurement of the projector's light output, footlamberts (fL) is a measurement of screen-reflected light per surface area. Accepted fL levels are somewhere between 9 and 20 or so. Too few fL, and the picture is dim and washed out, too many and it's overly bright (i.e. if you take a 1000 lumen projector, and have it throw a ~1 sq. ft. image on a 1.0 gain surface, your eyes will not be happy). You can calculate approximate fL by taking the lumens, dividing by the surface area of the screen in square feet, and multiplying by screen gain. So, you can calculate your ideal screen size (based on throw, and room size such that your seating distance is appropriate, usually you want to be seated a distance of around 1.5 times the diagonal size of the screen), then figure out if you can get acceptable fL with the lumens of a projector and a reasonable gain screen.

P.S.: If you want an absolutely amazing tool for calculating the proper seating postitions for your room, check out RonAuger's excellent Excel spreadsheet over on this thread at avsforum (which also happens to have some other simple calculations for screen size).

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