The right display for my room...

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Bobby C, Dec 30, 2003.

  1. Bobby C

    Bobby C Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow, where to start? After years of audio tweaking, I'm now just starting in on the video side of things. I'm at a loss as to where to start, let me start with my basics...

    I'm building a HT room in my basement (completion date is still a month or so out), it will be dedicated. I feel comfortable w/ the audio, processor & amp side of things, the display is a complete unknown. When all is done, my room (little to no light issues) will be approx. 12 x 15, with a small hallway in the rear. My viewing habits will be TV viewing and DVDs (maybe half & half). I want HDTV and will probably go for a satellite system. My seating will most likely be 12-14' from the display. My budget is a bit fluid at this point, I'd guess I'd like to keep in the $1,500 to $2,000 range, but may be willing to go up to $3K.

    Where I'm lost is the technology at this price point. I'm a bit familiar with portable projectors, if the technology is right, I wouldn't mind mounting one in the ceiling. I'm not ruling out any technology, although plasma seems to be a bit lower on my list at this point.

    Can someone offer some overall points as to the relative features/benefits to front vs. rear CRT projectors vs. digital projectors vs. CRT (keeping in mind my room setup and budget)? I'm not ready to buy now, I just in the research phase. And I'm always interested in good deals, whether it be used or rebuilts.

    Thanks!
    Bob
     
  2. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    So I am assuming by the light statment that you will be able to get your room pretty damn dark, if not pitch black, which should be PLENTY dark for any front-projection setup. The only thing you didn't mention was the ceiling, which I am assuming to be a relatively standard height. I have a very low ceiling, so mounting a very large CRT is a sacrifice of guests heads (not a problem as long as they keep the blood off the carpet [​IMG] ). A very tall ceiling, or a cathedral ceiling will require some building of a mount, which would be easier with a light digital as opposed to a big CRT. Also, to mount a CRT you'll need access to the joists. Digitals can be pretty lightweight, so they would be much easier to mount.

    At your budget, you can easily acquire a high-end 8in EM focused CRT, something like a Barco 808, EH Marquee 8500, A Sony (unfamiliar with good models in this range), or perhaps a NEC, but they are not newbie-friendly, from a reputable source, in very good, to mint condition.

    And the folks here have lots of good digital projector recommendations.

    If you go with a CRT as mentioned, you'll want to drive it with some sort of video processor, an HTPC would be a budget way to go, if you have some computer skills. Feeding one of these with standard def just isn't enough.

    As I always mention, aside from researching here, at the digital projector forums at AVS, and projectorspecs, also consult the CRT forum at AVS, there is a great beginner's FAQ written by Curt Palme, who is one of the few big techs/resellers of CRTs.

    Obviously, as you can tell I am very much biased towards CRT for anyone for something a little more 'project-oriented' then you can get stunningly good picture quality that obliterates new digitals at this price. Arguably it is still the best, though having seen some of the newer DLPs that cost 15-20K, I would be very comfortable with the picture they throw. But keep in mind that *those* are the digitals that you can compare these CRTs to. IMO, unless you aren't picky about PQ, and don't want to deal with something a tad bit more complicated than just plug-n-play, then this is a great bargain way to go.

    I would, though recommend strongly that you buy from a reputable seller, as there are lots of ways these projectors have been abused, can be essentially worthless if you have a non-working unit. Buying from a tech assures that it is working, and in the condition as stated, and you can also get fast help should anything ever fail, it would be a very easy fix.
     
  3. Bobby C

    Bobby C Stunt Coordinator

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    Chris - thanks for the response. This was great - it got me started so I can do more research. Frankly I didn't understand the technology behind CRTs & digital projectors, I done some searching on this forum and it's becoming clearer.

    As for my ceiling height, it is a factor in that it is about 7' high. I'm going to lose some more headroom when I install drywall on top of RC. That being said, I could easily mount the projector (if I go that route) in a place where there is no foot traffic. Or I could build a shelf for it on the rear wall.

    Is there a chart or something that shows the effective distance from a projector to a screen to help determine screen size?

    I've done some more searching here - I see you are very passionate about CRTs. Keep carrying the torch!

    Bob
     
  4. John S

    John S Producer

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    No chart, but what I did / do, and suggest to people, is to get the size, that fills the same field of view as when your at a comercial theater about 3/4ths that way back from the comercial theater screen. At your most used seating area, of course.
     
  5. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Neil Joseph
    After you decide on a specific projector then there are specific throw charts to help you determine screen size ranges from specific mounting locations of your projector from the front wall. Take a read through this for starters... Front Projection - How do I select one for my needs?
     
  6. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    DAMMIT!

    Stupid email opened a link in this window so I lost my post.

    bah! [​IMG]

    Anyway, lol I was saying that most projectors have a throw distance of 1.3-1.5ish, which means that the distance to the screen is about 1.3-1.5 times the screen width.

    Here's a basement setup with low ceiling that is very similar to what my setup will be, including the same projector.

    http://gallery.avsforum.com/showgall...at=500&thumb=1

    That's a 7.5 ceiling, 6.5under the ducting.

    Maybe that helps!
     
  7. Bobby C

    Bobby C Stunt Coordinator

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    Nice link Neil, very informative. My ceilings will be a little lower than shown in the gallery, probably more like 6'8" or so. Is there an issue with too low of a ceiling? At what point does it become too low (ignoring the factor of hitting your head on the projector)?
     

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