New (Moderately Budgeted) Home Theater....

jeremyburns007

jeremyburns007

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Aug 18, 2004
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Ok, I am also building a new house. My basement is going to be completely built around my "Theater Room" (what my wife calls it). It is going to be 21' x 29' with a 8-8.5' drop ceiling (no way to avoid that with the way the house is built, although I think it will make running cables easier). So I have a few questions (any help, tips, or advice would be greatly appreciated):

1. Projector - I definitely want 1080p. Is the Sony worth the extra money? Am I just as well off with a $2k-$3k projector? If so, what?

2. Screen - I've read that permanent screens are very expensive. Has anyone used the screen paint? Or is the DaLite High Contrast Matte White screen the way to go?

3. Room - There will be a bar in the back of the room (and probably a ping-pong table), so should my surround speakers be in the back corners of the room, or at some distance in the middle of the room (say 15'-20' from the screen). I thought about putting another set of "front" speakers in the very back of the room for ballgames and music (which could be turned off for movie viewing or if no one was back there).

Sorry, lots of questions, and I'm sure I will have more. TIA.
 
charper1

charper1

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1. I would research these units as well; BenQ W5000, Panasonic PT-AE2000U, Sanyo PLV-Z2000, Optoma HD80

2. Permanent mounted screens are NOT a great value. They are expensive and if your room needs change you are going to pay to move it and likely have post-wall issues. Look in the the Da-Lite Model C or model B Deluxe in HC matte white or whatever your needs are; you can also get these with a built-in screen tensioner.

3. Correct; mount the speakers based on the listening/viewing stage, NOT the entire room. Run a set of Zone 2 (or B) stereo channels into the game room.
 
jeremyburns007

jeremyburns007

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Aug 18, 2004
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Thanks man. I think we are breaking ground on the house this week, so I'll have lots of questions as we go.
 
jayn_j

jayn_j

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Thanks man. I think we are breaking ground on the house this week, so I'll have lots of questions as we go.

Be sure to read Rocky's thread, as we have covered a lot of the basics in there.

You might want to look on eBay for screen kits. There are folks there who will sell raw screen material, both solid and perforated. You would need to design your own tensioners, but there are articles for that on the net as well.

Projector type is a religious issue, and you will get a lot of opinions with a lot of emotion.

Most good surround processors/receivers have settings to adjust delay on rear speakers. Again, you will find a lot of opinions on limited vs full range, dipole vs direct firing, wall vs ceiling mount, behind or on the sides, etc. You need to listen carefully and do what is right for you. Personally, I preferred matching to my fronts, and using wall mounted conventional speakers behind me, but YMMV.

A second set of speakers is fairly easy, but you may find that the switching gets in the way. Using the theater speakers may be just as effective, especially for BG music. Wire it up and then use it for a bit before committing.
 
D

diogen

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Apr 16, 2007
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2. Screen - I've read that permanent screens are very expensive. Has anyone used the screen paint? Or is the DaLite High Contrast Matte White screen the way to go?
I'm a big fan of DIY screens.
Spend a weekend or so in that section of the AVS forum.
I believe every projector owner should start with a painted wall to get the sense what a screen is all about. It will cost you under $100...
If it doesn't meet your requirements - look for commercial ones. At least you will know what you are looking for...

Diogen.
 
J

JimMcC

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 4, 2004
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Your first decision needs to be LCD, LCos or DLP, then go from there. I'm also a big fan of DIY screens. I painted a sheet of 1/2" MDF for my screen(because my wall had too many flaws).
 
rockymtnhigh

rockymtnhigh

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Apr 14, 2006
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Have fun with this! I know I was thrilled to walk into the theater room when I closed on my house last weekend.

And, my wife tells me that the proper term for the room is the "man cave." Fine with me. ;) :D
 
charper1

charper1

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I really don't think the FIRST thing a person should do is choose a projection type Jim. They should decide on a realistic budget; them inside that budget see what works for their needs and not hamstring themselves by a particular type.
 
J

JimMcC

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Apr 4, 2004
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Whether he decides his budget first or second doesn't matter. But he does need to see DLP, LCD and LCos(if budget allows LCos) to determine which type he prefers. Most people do prefer one type over another.
 
charper1

charper1

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True that, BUT if he has a budget first it may likely rule out items he already knows he can't or doesn't want to pay for thus saving much time and heartache of the thought of over-spending.

"if budget allows LCos" - you proved my point, this statement equals verifying a budget FIRST!
 
jeremyburns007

jeremyburns007

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Aug 18, 2004
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Does anyone have a drop ceiling in their home theater? That was not what I wanted, but I am told there is no way around it (or it would at least be cost-prohibitive). Does anyone think this will cause a problem?
 
D

diogen

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Apr 16, 2007
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Does anyone have a drop ceiling in their home theater? That was not what I wanted, but I am told there is no way around it (or it would at least be cost-prohibitive). Does anyone think this will cause a problem?
I have.
I don't think it is a problem.

Diogen.
 
jayn_j

jayn_j

Press On Regardless
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Sep 29, 2003
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True that, BUT if he has a budget first it may likely rule out items he already knows he can't or doesn't want to pay for thus saving much time and heartache of the thought of over-spending.

"if budget allows LCos" - you proved my point, this statement equals verifying a budget FIRST!

One thing I keep seeing over and over again is someone posting about choices within a budget, and then making final choices that exceed that budget by some amount. I can't think of many cases where the person bought within the original budget.

A budget is something that forces you to think a bit, but it probably shouldn't be too rigid.
 
Gregg Loewen

Gregg Loewen

Founder, PVA: Professional Video Alliance
Corporate Pub Member / Supporter
Dec 13, 2003
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hmmmm....my professional opinion...

first consideration, design goals
2nd, budget
way down the list would be the actual PJ, as by the time the project is completed there could easily be a newer / better / cheaper model on the market. As long as you have preselected the throw distance that you want, you would be fine.
 
mike123abc

mike123abc

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Sep 25, 2003
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Does anyone have a drop ceiling in their home theater? That was not what I wanted, but I am told there is no way around it (or it would at least be cost-prohibitive). Does anyone think this will cause a problem?

Look at movie theaters, probably find drop ceilings in there. Just be careful about the tiles you select. You will want heavy ones that will not vibrate, and a pattern on them that will help cut sound reflection.
 
8

8bitbytes

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 8, 2003
3,239
0
NoVA
1. I would research these units as well; BenQ W5000, Panasonic PT-AE2000U, Sanyo PLV-Z2000, Optoma HD80

2. Permanent mounted screens are NOT a great value. They are expensive and if your room needs change you are going to pay to move it and likely have post-wall issues. Look in the the Da-Lite Model C or model B Deluxe in HC matte white or whatever your needs are; you can also get these with a built-in screen tensioner.

3. Correct; mount the speakers based on the listening/viewing stage, NOT the entire room. Run a set of Zone 2 (or B) stereo channels into the game room.


The BenQ W5000 sounds really good from what I read over at projectorreviews.com. The sub $3K 1080p PJs are looking better all the time.
 

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