to project or not - new member puzzled

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by jack gilbert, Jan 4, 2002.

  1. jack gilbert

    jack gilbert Auditioning

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    I found this site through today’s Wall Street Journal article. I’m a new Forum member in need of very basic advice. I have a room I want to make into a home theater. I will use it to watch dvds and play my home made digital videos that I edit on a mac computer. The audience will be two or three people most of the time.

    Sound matters very little to me – I suppose I’ll use my old pair of Advent large stereo speakers. Surround sound doesn’t seem important. It’s picture quality that I care about, although I’m not a fanatic – up to now, I’ve never had anything larger than a 19-inch TV – without digital cable. I don’t even have a dvd player yet – I’m a real primitive by the standards of this place, I guess.

    What I do have is an empty, carpeted, rectangular room with ten-foot ceilings. It measures twelve feet wide and fifteen feet deep. So the maximum screen size/viewing area is ten feet high by twelve feet wide. In addition, the back of the room is open. There is no wall. It opens into another room. So a video projector can be placed as far as thirty feet away from the screen.

    My threshold decision is what type of viewing hardware to get: a 36-inch Wega, an even bigger HDTV, a 60-inch rear projection TV, or a video projector.

    The latter fascinates me, but I know very little about it. I will sacrifice the supposedly near-perfect picture quality of a Wega for the impact of filling up an entire wall with the projected image of a projector – as long as that image is reasonably sharp.

    That’s calls for a subjective judgment, but I don’t know anybody with a video projector in their home, so I’m at a loss as to how to make such a decision. I’ve read about projectors, know the replacement bulbs are expensive, and that the cost will be in the range of the above-mentioned alternatives – $3K or more including a movie screen. All of that is OK with me.

    The few vendors I have talked to seem to contradict each other, and seem to have their own agenda: some hate projectors and push Wegas, etc. etc.

    I’m in no special hurry. I probably won’t make a decision for months, so I’m glad I found this site early on.

    Come to think of it, I’m not even sure I’m in the correct section here. Should I be in one of the other subsections of this site?

    I confuse easily but nevertheless eagerly await your advice.
     
  2. Huey

    Huey Agent

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    Turn down the volume. Seriously, large fonts means you're yelling at us.
    First place to start is www.projectorcentral.com for educational articles, reviews, and digital projector specs.
    Second place to start is http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forum...?s=&forumid=24 .
    Third place to go is back here or AVS forum for specific questions about a particular PJ.
    Lastly try to get prices direct on internet and try to get local guys to match. If they don't it's OK to mailorder as long as you're sure you like that model and order from a reputable dealer (like projectorpeople, studio experience, medical video systems, dell, CDW, PCMall, etc.).
    I guess I could point you to a used CRT but I think it may be too complicated for a newbie.
     
  3. jack gilbert

    jack gilbert Auditioning

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    Thank you very much. I went into edit and tried to modify the large print but can't figure out how.
     
  4. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    Another place to check out is right here. There are plenty of people that have set up a HT on a budget that frequent this group. Projector People and AVS Forum are great but they can get a little overwhelming on the technical side.

    One area of the the forum that is good to go to for beginning in HT is in the DIY and Advanced area as well as the Building a Home Theater area. For projector information this area is a good place to ask questions about the type of projector to get.

    You have now entered the realm of seeing your HT being built and your wallet staying empty.

    Parker
     
  5. Kevin Coleman

    Kevin Coleman Second Unit

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    Welcome to the forum Jack.
    First off if you go to a front projector you don't need to sacrifice video quality (unless you buy an LCD projector) [​IMG]
    Just about any CRT FPTV if properly set up will beat a WEGA image hands down. If you go FPTV you will definitely need to have a completely light controlled room.
    I reccomend doing alot of reading in all of the forums about the different types of FPTV's. Also you didn't mention an exact budget.
    As far as bulb life CRT's don't have bulbs they have tubes. They will last up to 10,000 hours if treated resonably well. You can find good used CRT projectors with low hours (3000 or less) for under 3000 dollars.
    Here is a picture of my CRT FPTV in action on an 80" wide screen. It is definitely not top of the line but it looks damn good for the 2000 dollars I have invested in it.
    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/attac...&postid=728785
    Kevin C. [​IMG]
     
  6. jack gilbert

    jack gilbert Auditioning

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    Thanks for the useful info, Huey, Kevin and Parker. I will indeed post a request for info on the Advanced/DIV and Building HT sectors of this site.

    Kevin's observation about crt projectors being as good or better than Wegas is exactly the type of opinion I was looking for. And the photo he attached was good - bloody, but good.

    Part of me wants to fill up the 12-foot wide wall, so I'm glad to hear I won't be sacrificing substantial picture quality if I get a projector.

    My budget is flexible - I read elsewhere that I can get a good projector for around $2500 new. I thought they talked of changing the projection bulb every 500 hours or so, but I will have to bone up on this at one of Huey's suggested sites, I guess.

    Again, I very much appreciate the pointers.
     
  7. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    Jack:

    Another member to ask is Robert Fowkes. The picture of his HT was featured in the article that you read in WSJ. He is a moderator here and I am sure he would be happy to answer any type of questions that you may have. He is an owner of an LCD type of projector (Sony 10HT) and is very happy with it.

    You can also look at our members area under Theaters and read up on members that have a HT including pictures of what they have in thier systems to give you some ideas.

    Parker
     
  8. Stacy Huff

    Stacy Huff Second Unit

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    Is there a link anywhere about the Wall Street Journal article?
     
  9. jack gilbert

    jack gilbert Auditioning

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    Regarding your question about a link to the Wall Street Journal article on home theaters, to my knowledge there is no link available, except for subscribers to the WSJ. That paper is one of the few major US newspapers not providing its content free online.
    You can hunt around at
    http://www.opinionjournal.com/
    which is free, but I couldn't find the article there.
    The article appeared in Friday's "Weekend" section, a third section of every Friday's WSJ. Subscribers can access any article online, but the rest of us cannot - at least I couldn't find it on the WSJ site. Too bad. It's a very good piece.
    jack gilbert
     
  10. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    First use some imagination. Imagine that your home theater is complete. Would it have a big screen covering most of a wall (rolling up out of sight is your choice)? You could even get some brown kraft paper or some Christmas wrapping paper (white side facing you) and make a mockup of a screen to see what size you want.
    For two or three people a 27 inch direct view TV is enough if you sit close, but no need for me to put words in your mouth as to what you want to see.
    Then the choice of whether to project or not is quite easy. 36 inches and under, go direct view. 36 to 72 inches, use rear projection. Over 72 inches, go front projection. (The largest RPTV's are quire heavy so some folks consider front projection over 60". RPTV under 36" is more grainy. Direct view over 36" is hard to find and also very heavy, 40" is tops.)
    You can use anything for sound, even a boom box, while deciding what receiver and speakers to buy.
    More:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm
     
  11. Jon_Mx

    Jon_Mx Agent

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