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Projectors and screens.
#283455 12/22/09 09:10 PM
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I know nothing about projectors so I'm looking for some advice.

For those of you who have them what projectors/screens are you guys using?

What do I need to know about screens? What are the pros and cons of White vs Gray?

The HT room I am beginning to plan is 13'x15' The. The distance of the projector to the screen will be 12' I would like to have a 100" screen. Can anyone recommend a decent projector for around $2k? Thanks in advance.


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Re: Projectors and screens.
Listener #283458 12/22/09 09:26 PM
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A good starting place is Projector Central. You will be able to research all the best projectors in your price range. You should be able to find an awesome projector for $2000 or even less. When I bought my projector three years ago, the two big names in that range were Panasonic and Sanyo. They were always going head-to-head, making for some interesting comparison reviews. Seemed like Panasonic came out with a new model every six months. I haven't checked the product lines out in detail lately, but I'd start by looking at the latest offerings from those two companies.

When you get ready to purchase, there are many sites that have good deals. I bought a Panasonic AE900 from Visual Apex and was very happy. Here's a link to the Panasonic PT-AE4000U, my projector's great-great-great-grandchild, which lists for $2499 and is $1999 at Visual Apex. I'm sure you could comparison shop for a lower price on the web, but, of course, make sure you're buying from an authorized, reputable seller.

I use a Da-Lite screen, but I've heard good things about Carada as well.

Good luck, and keep us posted on your progress! This will be fun stuff!


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Re: Projectors and screens.
medic8r #283462 12/22/09 09:34 PM
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Here is a link to a projector/screen thread I started a while back.

Re: Projectors and screens.
CatBrat #283498 12/23/09 02:06 AM
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If your slightly handy, you can build a screen for $150 or less that will give you the same performance as expensive manufactured screens. I purchased my screen material from Dazian, they sell to the cinema's around the country, built a wood frame, stretched the material around it and fastened with velcro. Total cost for my 130" 2.35 screen, about $110.


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Re: Projectors and screens.
SirQuack #283502 12/23/09 03:00 AM
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Sounds like a pretty hefty savings to me. What would a middle to high quality 130 inch screen normal run, a grand or two?


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Re: Projectors and screens.
Micah #283512 12/23/09 05:10 AM
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and if $150 is too rich, you can pick up a nice sheet of Formica for about $30 that works remarkably well... I did that a couple of years ago as a prototype, to get a feeling for what size of "real" screen I should buy, and the Formica has been working great ever since ;\)

You really need to choose the screen and projector together... if you have a "bright" projector you can go with a grey screen and get better contrast, especially if there is some ambient light in the HT, but if you have a relatively "dim" projector then you probably want to stay with a white screen. Put differently, if you can't fully control the ambient light then you should look at either (a) bright projector + grey screen, or (b) any projector + high gain screen accepting the narrower viewing angle. Just guessing from your original post that the room will be a dedicated HT that you can make as dark as you like, if so that gives you more options.

In theory the high gain screens (eg VUTEC SilverStar, Da-lite HiPower) are best in rooms where you can't completely control the ambient light, but I have to admit that the most impressive images I have seen so far came from high gain screens in a dark room (duh!, I guess ;)).

If I ever get around to buying a screen I would be tempted to try a high gain screen even if it's just for the punchy image, although you lose viewing angle with both. The SilverStar seemed to have a pretty good horizontal viewing angle, although I never quite figured out how that worked (high gain + wide viewing angle aren't supposed to go together, so presumably VUTEC has figured out how to combine a wide horizontal viewing angle with a narrow vertical, or sth like that).

Last edited by bridgman; 12/23/09 05:15 AM.

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Re: Projectors and screens.
SirQuack #283518 12/23/09 06:52 AM
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 Originally Posted By: sirquack
If your slightly handy, you can build a screen for $150 or less that will give you the same performance as expensive manufactured screens. I purchased my screen material from Dazian, they sell to the cinema's around the country, built a wood frame, stretched the material around it and fastened with velcro. Total cost for my 130" 2.35 screen, about $110.


Great. If I can save some dough to throw at other equipment that's good news.


w22s, w150, qs8s, ep500 HT
PeachTree 65se, PeachTree D5 and SVS SB1000 - Stereo
Re: Projectors and screens.
bridgman #283519 12/23/09 06:54 AM
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Thanks for the info.


w22s, w150, qs8s, ep500 HT
PeachTree 65se, PeachTree D5 and SVS SB1000 - Stereo
Re: Projectors and screens.
bridgman #283523 12/23/09 10:36 AM
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 Originally Posted By: bridgman
I never quite figured out how that worked (high gain + wide viewing angle aren't supposed to go together, so presumably VUTEC has figured out how to combine a wide horizontal viewing angle with a narrow vertical, or sth like that).


Did it need to be plugged in and did it sound like a chainsaw when it was? If so, there might have been more going on......


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Re: Projectors and screens.
MarkSJohnson #283526 12/23/09 01:02 PM
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If you have a Menards or other Home Improvement store in your area, there is a product from Parkland Plastics. It comes in a 4ft x 8ft x 5/16" thick piece. Lots of people over on AVS use this as a screen and the company is now thinking about making custom sizes that can be ordered. With this size you get a 2:1 ratio screen, which is fine you just have to use your zoom for 16:9 and 2.35 material. Or, you could cut it down a bit for 16:9 to match the projectors native ratio.

The sheets run about $30 or less per sheet. Hang it on the wall, and your done, instant screen. Or you could get fancy and make a black felt/velvet boarder around it...


M80s VP180 4xM22ow 4xM3ic EP600 2xEP350
AnthemAVM60 Outlaw7700 EmoA500 Epson5040UB SonyUBPX800


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