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Screens & Projectors - Spend or Save?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by ando1brett, May 8, 2019.

  1. ando1brett

    ando1brett Auditioning

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    Brett Anderson
    I'm working on a basement entertainment room that includes a 135" screen.

    One option being pushed by my consultant is the Screen Innovations 5 Motorized Slate 1.2 ALR ($6k) with the Sony projector VPL-VW295ES ($5k). I'm guessing that will look amazing, but my wallet will hurt a little.

    Another option would be something like Elite Screens Starling Tab-Tension 2 Series ($2k) and Optoma UHD51A projector ($1.6k), or something similar to each of these less expensive devices.

    Room has some ambient light. I will have remote blinds to use when needed, but want the screen to look good all the time.

    All in, that's a lot more money in my pocket, but will I be disappointed in the image?
    Will I notice a huge difference in picture quality by spending the extra money?
    Will the image still look really good with the cheaper option?

    Appreciate any thoughts you have. Cheers!
     
  2. ArnoldLayne

    ArnoldLayne Stunt Coordinator
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    A comprise on the projector would be the ever-popular Epson Home Cinema- I've upgraded 3 times and now have the 5040UB model. The latest is the new 5050.
    Can't comment on a motorized screen without knowing your use and desires. "Some ambient light" is a bit fuzzy also but in my blackout theater I have an inexpensive fixed frame in which I swapped out the stock screen with SeymourAV Center Stage XD acoustically transparent material. The 4050 puts out plenty of light in high output modes for daytime, curtains partially open viewing; but mostly I black block out the light completely. cheers https://www.blu-ray.com/community/gallery.php?member=ArnoldLayne56&folderid=9031
     
  3. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I have an acoustically transparent Screen Innovations screen and like it. But why the motorized screen? Is that necessary? If not, it will cheaper even for an SI product to have a fixed screen.

    I think Elite Screens is a popular brand, particularly given their prices. It I don’t know enough offhand how they compare quality wise. Might be as good as SI, I just can’t say.

    As for projector, the $5000 Sony will outperform the budget-minded, pixel-shifting, colorwheel spinning, $1600 Optoma. This is is where you have to decide what your budget and goals are. With the Sony, you’re entering upper/mid quality. With the Optoma you’re going for a budget theater with commensurate quality trade offs. Both are fine goals. Just make sure your budget aligns with your goals.
     
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  4. lisa734

    lisa734 Auditioning

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    I can a little about Optoma UHD51A projector

    In the beginning, the Optoma UHD51A was being touted as an added $200 premium version of the UHD50 with the addition of Alexa assistant/voice control added. Given that the HD50 turned out to be missing some key and expected features, such as true frame packed 3D decoding, it was then revealed that the UHD51A had that feature and more. The UHD51A also adds other features like frame interpolation and a built-in Android based media player. Given that the brains that run the two projectors are different, it is also possible that they could even have a slight difference in other features, and possibly even less of a delayed response time.

    Oh yeah, then there's Alexa. This is the whole reason that they offered a different model in the first place (I'm sure that this is what the "A" at the end must stand for), but I suspect most of those on this forum don't really care a lot about the feature... even though now it seems like a cool little bonus feature to a pretty promising $1700 projector. It should be noted that there is no mic built in, and you need an Echo, Dot, or similar device.
     
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  5. Message #5 of 8 Dec 13, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2019
    John Dirk

    John Dirk Cinematographer
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    I've been using an Elite Screens Aeon 135 inch screen for a couple of years now and have no complaints. It looks amazing with proper content. Even when I turn the lights up I'm not disappointed.


    "Consultant" is just another word for "salesman." No disrespect to the profession. They exist because they are necessary but, if you want it all done for you then there will be a premium and you shouldn't even need to be on a forum such as this one as you've already paid your consultants to do the heavy lifting. If I were paying someone to design my room it would be them online seeking answers, not me. Or am I missing something? Not uncommon... :)
     
  6. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    ^ you’re missing the part of checking the consultant isn’t making bad recommendations:)
     
  7. John Dirk

    John Dirk Cinematographer
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    If you can do this aren't you your own consultant? :)
     
  8. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    No one is perfect, even consultants. I always try to doublecheck anyone I’ve hired.
     

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