For those of you who have them what projectors/screens are you guys using?
As Zimm mentioned I got a Panasonic AE4000 projecting onto a 134” diagonal Carada Brilliant White 1.78:1 screen. Projector is 19’ back and my seating is 14’-15’ back from the screen. I’m using 3 tower speakers L/C/R and because the screen is above them have complete flexibility in placement to get the best soundstage possible. Because my seating is far enough back 8’-10’ I don’t hear the speakers coming from below the screen.
Any projector well reviewed at Projector Central or Projector Reviews will be more than bright enough for your light controlled room and screen size. Which one is best for you comes down to what if any features you want or issues you don’t want. Similarly what style and type of screen will also depend on your uses.
I went with a 1.78:1 (16x9) screen because most of the material I watch is 1.78:1 or 1.33:1 (Xbox games, anime, and 16x9 HD shows) and the width of 2.35 screen I could fit would have severely limited those screen sizes. By going with a 1.78:1 screen I not only get the largest 2.35 screen I could fit but also the largest 1.78:1 and 1.33:1 at the same time so it was a no brainer. So far dark bars aren’t an issue for 2.35 movies because I can turn a dial to shift the image down so the only bar is up on top and not even noticeable compared to all the light bouncing around the room from the screen. That may change when I get black curtains up but then all I have to do is make some DIY masking for the top of the screen.
I also got a screen with a slight positive gain because of the screen size and distance from the projector two issues I don’t think you need to worry about. I considered and ditched the AT idea because it would have eaten up to much of my room to put the speakers behind it. AT would also have compromised my speaker positioning in relation to the walls and seating. And though I haven’t tried one I read to much about possible audio quality and especially picture quality issues that I didn’t want to risk that either.
My projector choices came down to a Panasonic and Epson:
I went with the AE4000 because I play a lot of video games and watch shows with lots of dark scenes and wanted better shadow detail over black levels. Also the Epson’s were not yet shipping at the time and last years models had issues with noise from the dynamic iris. Also the AE4000 is suppose to do a little better with frame interpolation which I find a fantastic feature on the AE4000. Mode2 eliminates almost all motion judder and also blurring during panning w/o introducing problems.
One thing to note is that while the Panasonic is cheaper out of the box bulb replacement costs could make it more expensive than the Epson in the long run.
Best thing you can do is read the various reviews and identify the projectors that have the features/performance you want.