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What to put in new home theater? HELP! (1 Viewer)

flwrpwr

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Nov 18, 2008
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Lane
Good morning!

I am nearing completion of my home theater and I could really use some help. Let me start by saying I have been working on this project for a year (actually longer because I had to save up for it) and I am dizzy and no longer want to do my homework... I am really coming to the forums to take a major short cut in deciding what to do for my display equipment without having to take the time to do all the research myself... I know I know... LAZY! :eek: I am CHEAP too, but I will get to that later...;)

I really have no clue what to do for my display... LCD or Plasma or Projector and Screen... Problem is that the project ran a bit over budget, so now I got to try and cut a small corner on the cost of the display equipment while maintaining a large screen size and great quality. Luckily for me, the market is down, everyone is having sales, and things like Black Friday and Year End Sales are right aroudn the corner.

So I am asking you, the users and experts to help me to decide what display system to go with. :D

Here is the information that I think is needed to figure out a display solution.

Theater:
  • 12 feet wide and 14 feet deep
  • 1 curved row of 4 recliners approximately 13 feet from screen
  • 2 bean bags for the kids at approximately 10 feet from the screen
  • Wired for HDMI and Component in the ceiling at the back of room for a possible Projector location
  • Wired for HDMI and Component in the front for a possible Flat Screen, so either solution is already wired up and will work.
  • No riser or stadium seating... the room is flat.
  • Projector location is 8 feet off of floor directly over seating, so equipment sound may cause issues.
  • The room has controllable lighting and no ambiant light or windows of any type.
  • Fiber Optic Starlight ceiling

Usage:
  • 2 to 3 hours a day Satelite TV
  • 2 to 3 DVDs weekly
  • Football Games
  • Motorcycle Races
  • Video Gaming


Requirements:
  • HD... boy do I want crisp colors and sharp edges
  • Large screen
  • Does NOT need to be sound permeable
  • Does NOT need to roll up or hide away
  • Must be wall mountable due to space requirements

Definite Future additions:
  • Blu-Ray
  • X-Box 360 (come on Santa!)
  • Wii (come on Mrs. Claus!)

Possible, but not required future additions:
  • Viewing pics on SD Memory Card
  • Computer hookup
  • Home Security Camera monitoring... like watching for the Pizza man at the front door while watching a game
  • Video Conferencing

For some reason, and I am not sure why, I am partial to a Plasma or LCD flat panel. I am a bit worried about the look of having a projector, but that could wear off. I am also a bit worried about the sound of the projector fan. But the size also concerns me and I do not want to have what appears to be a small screen at 13 feet away. With the video gaming and the kids, burn in is a concern, but so is the cost of bulb replacement when looking at the amount of usage this thing is going to get.

So hopefully I have provided enough information for you to help me to decide (basically tell me) if I should go with a Plasma, LCD, or Projector and Screen... and which brand, model, cost, and business to purchase it from.

Oh yeah, one more thing... budget: The bottom line is I am just like everyone else and I want everything with all the options for nothing. The fact is that I have already run over my initial budget for build out which is no surprise because I likely under estimated it because I am cheap :laugh: I do not know if it is possible, but I would LOVE to stay under 2 grand, but I could exceed the budget if it is a "GOT TO HAVE IT" situation that is a great deal.

Can this be done? Can you help me? Can you tell me what to buy and where and how much it will cost me?
 

Lee Gallagher

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Mar 13, 2006
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Lee
Just by the seating distances you mentioned, a projection system is your best option. Say with a 120" screen.

IMHO, the display system is the most important element of the home theater. Too bad it was prioritized so low...
Under $2,000? The only possible solution at that price would be a 73" Mits. DLP. Even then, the screen size will be too small.
 

flwrpwr

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Lane
Are DLPs wall mountable? How thick are they?

Actually, the display was not prioritized low, nor do I want it to be. I just have a moderate budget and I am cheap :P Have you seen my investment account statements lately? :eek:

Seriously though, I offered up the 2 grand mark to see if it could be done, and it was a bit toungue and cheek. I could break the 2 grand mark, but I am on a moderate budget, and I guess that was my point. I want to get something that will work well and be affordable, unfortunately I am not bail out recipient ;)

Let's say I went with a 120' screen. Do you have a suggestion on a particular screen and projector? What would be the cost?
 

flwrpwr

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Lane
Went back and started looking at the projectors and screens a bit more.

Prices are wildly different between units and a lot of the jargon is lost on me.

How much do I need to spend on a projector and screen combo to get good blacks, crisp picutes, and be able to game with it with a screen size of around 102"... also, what aspect ratio is best?

LOST AND CONFUSED BY THE OPTIONS OUT THERE!!!
 

schalkt

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Tim
I'd go with a projector as well. A nice plasma would also be a good option, but since you can control the light I think you'll be happier with a projector.

For model suggestions, I'd just check out ProjectorPeople.com. I have a Sanyo PLV-Z5 (720p) that I've been really pleased with, and you can find a similar model for under a grand. If you want 1080p, that can be found for around 1600, so that would fit your budget as well. When I did my research, I think any of the Epson's, Panasonic's, or Sanyo's got pretty good reviews.

As for screen size, 120" is plenty big. I have room dimensions similar to yours, and I'm at around 100" - 120" is going to take up most of the wall. Which is fine, but if you're looking at budget I think you'd be happy with 92" - but that's up to you (bigger is always better
htf_images_smilies_smile.gif
). I don't have a recommendation on brand - I built my screen - but ProjectorPeople have some good ones there you can check out.
 

Lee Gallagher

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Lee
Stewart or Da-Lite for a screen.
There are many options for projection. Take a look at Samsung, Optoma, BenQ, Panasonic, Epson...
 

flwrpwr

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Lane
I also understand that Severtson screens are really good.

Not sure if I need grey or white...

Anyway, am I crazy, but it seems that I can be aroun d the 2K mark with projector and screen... am I looking at too cheap of a projector?
 

schalkt

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Tim
If you can control the light, you'll be fine with a white screen. From my understanding, grey handles ambient light better than white. Since you said you can control that, white should suit you fine.

I wouldn't worry about the value of a sub-$2000 projector - as long as you don't need the top-of-the-line features, just stick with a good brand and I think you'll be pleased with the quality of the projector.
 

Martino

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I am also putting together a "cheap" theater - but due to size I can only fit a 100" screen in my system...but here is my research.

120" Fixed Wall Screen - sale - $359.00

Elite SilverFrame 120" (16:9) Fixed Wall Screen

For the 120" screen - you can get it in CineGrey for the same price if you want better blacks.


You mentioned you wanted around a 100" screen - those are on sale for $272.00

http://www.projectorzone.com/elite-s...ame-100h1.html

The same screen material but a different frame -from the same company and site - but in black - is going for $579.00...


The 100" model does not come in CineGrey...

Panasonic PT-AX200U Projector - sale - $999.00 - has a game mode

Panasonic PT-AX200U Projector

Total -with 120" screen - $1358.00 - with 100" screen - $1271.00 - both well under your $2000.00 budget - even after throwing in shipping costs...

These screens have a silver frame on them - but a black edge that actually touches the screen. I was thinking about just painting the silver black before I assemble them...I'll have to see what it looks like in silver...
 

hodedofome

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Aaron Smith
What Martino said, if you are trying to stay under $2k. A 1080p projector is probably going to run you over $2k with the 120" screen.
 

flwrpwr

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Ok, so I am now married to the front projection idea, but I am slightly suceptible to the Rainbox Effect with DLP players. I have also added 500 dollars to my budget, and I think I will attempt to make my own screen... so... that leaves a pretty good budget for a projector.

Is there a DLP with no rainbow? Is there a decent LCD in my price range? How in the heck do they project black onto a white screen?
 

Lee Gallagher

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Be careful not to underestimate the importance of a good projection screen. It will be counter-productive to purchase am expensive, good performing projector and have your screen degrade the image.
3-chip DLP's do not exhibit the "rainbow effect".
 

Arjcm72

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Chris
The new sanyo z3000 or the sanyo z2000 would fit well. The z2000 is on clearance with a big rebate. You could get a screen as well for under 2 grand.
Both projectors are highly rated.
 

flwrpwr

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Lane
Well my final solution: RUN UP THE CREDIT CARDS!!!
htf_images_smilies_rock.gif


Seriously, the more I thought about it, the more I convinced myself to go for broke and just put in all the stuff that I was thinking of upgrading to at a later date. Here is what I have ordered:

Projector:
JVC DLARS1X - $4,500

Screen:
Draper 92 ONYX VEL TEX FRAME 253287 (Matte White) - $759

Seating:
4 Berkline 13175 in black with power in curved configuration - $2385

Equipment:
Sony BDP - S350 Blu-Ray Player - $249
Various other devices that I am ordering from a friend that installs home theaters and media rooms for a living including a line conditioner and 5.1 reciever

Speakers:
Polk Audio

At any rate, all the gear, mounts, etc. ended up being just under 10K :eek:

So much for a shoe string budget :laugh:

Thanks for the help guys, I am sure to be more satisfied with what I have purchased than if I had stayed on a low budget... or at least that is what I keep telling myself.:D
 

SherardP

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Mar 28, 2006
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I have the same JVC and youre in for a wonderful treat. For screen you could have saved a few bucks buying directly from Carada, sorry I got to you a little late. Anyway nice setup in the works. Enjoy
 

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