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I just recieved my projector, set it up temporarily projecting on a sheet of Do-Able and showed it to my wife. She was so amazed by the experience, that instead of setting this up in our Family room, she is now allowing me to build a dedicated home theater in our basement.

Here is what I have to work with.

Equipment:
Epson PowerLite 9300i projector.
Full specs http://www.projectorcentral.com/Epson-PowerLite_9300i.htm
1400x1050 native resolution
1100:1 Contrast Ratio
2500 ANSI Lumens
7000 Hour lamp life
Klipsch LaScala speakers (Original Design. I bought these new in 1989)
Onkyo reciever (older technology with Pro Logic surround only)
Infinity bookshelf and center channel speaker
Sony 400 disk DVD changer

Room:
About 17'x21'.
North wall will have the projector screen on it. Door and HVAC plenum on left side of wall leaving about 13' of clear wall space for screen and the LaScalla speakers.
South wall has a 5' wide 4' tall window. This will have dark shades installed.
West wall has an 8' archway going into the game room which has two 5'x4' windows. I will need to come up with a way to block the light coming through the archway.
East wall has a door that will go into a bedroom and bathroom. No light issues here.
Ceiling height - 7'-10"
Seating distance: One row of seats about 10'-12' from the screen with Love Sacks on the floor in front.

This area is essentially a clean slate with exposed studs, concrete floor, and exposed ceiling trusses. What my wife wants is a comfortable room with the couch, love sacks, soft carpet. I.E. a comfortable place for the family on movie nights. What I want is a theater experience with great sound and video.

I am open for sugestions. The items I am set on keeping are the projector and LaScalla speakers. Everything else I am open to upgrades, replacements, new aquisition etc.

Projector:
I know the projector is a 4:3 aspect ratio. I looked at 720p and other 16:9 projectors but the original theater location was to be in the family room above the garage with high ambient light conditions, I was concerned with the lower lumen output. I previewed several "Home Theater" projectors but was put off by how quickly the image washed out when the lights were turned on, the screen door effect of the LCD projectors and the artifacts of the DLP projectors I viewed. Plus the majority of our movie collection are 4:3 disks, so I am not worried about the aspect ratio. What sold me on the Epson 9300i projector was its native 1400x1050 resolution, higher light output, optical quality of the lens, and the 7000 hour lamp life - That and the fact that Epson has them on clearance for $600 plus $250 for the lens instead of the original MSRP of $15,449 without lens. (However I bought mine on eBay for less with only 300 hours on the bulb). So far we have watched two movies on this projector. Even with sun light shining through the basement windows in the next room, and a bare 40w CFL bulb in the ceiling 10' from the screen, this projector produced a very bright image 8' wide with only minimal washout of the blacks. At this screen size, I have to get within a few feet before I can see the screen door effect of the LCDs. My wifes comment was that it was better than going to the MegaPlex.

Main Screen:
For the screen, I am considering a DIY solution with either screen material purchased online or painting the screen on the wall. Right now, I am leaning towards a black widow painted screen, but I need some recomendations here. On the screen wall, I am considering putting curtains to the side of the screen plus building a pull up curtain along the bottom of the screen so the aspect ratio can be adjusted to match the projected image whether that be 4:3 or 2.35:1. The limitations for the screen size is that the screen must be 4:3 ratio and at that ratio must fit between the LaScalla speakers which will be placed in front of the screen wall in the corners. This leaves about 9-1/2 to 10' of clear space between the speakers where the bottom of the screen can drop below the top of the 3' tall speakers. According to the calculator at projector central, with a 9.5' screen width, this projector puts out 18fl, and 26fl with an 8' wide screen in "Theater" mode, and in "Living Room" mode, an 8' wide image appears just as bright as my 37" LCD TV upstairs. I am asking for recomendations for the screen size, DIY screen method, paint etc. to match this viewing environment and projector. (Thanks in Advance)

Portable Screen:
I also need to build a second portable screen to take camping and to star parties for presentations and outdoor movies. We are thinking of mounting the screen to the side of our travel trailer for this purpose, and making a custom mount that can be released from the ceiling then mounted to a bogen tripod for outdoor use. From what I have seen with this projector, I believe that with a 60 - 80" projected size, having a grey screen under the trailers canopy, a decently bright image can be produced even during the day (208 fl in Dynamic or "Family Room" mode). Then at night, the tripod could be moved back for the big screen experience.

Audio:
For the audio system, I am looking for sugestions. I have been happy with the Onkyo we have, but would like a better surround experience. In the family room above the garage, I had prewired for 7.1 surround speakers and designed the fireplace surround to have a built in cabinet to house the LaScalla speakers. But now that I can build a dedicated theater in the basement, I no longer have to go with hidden speakers, so I feel that this opens up the possibilities. I cannot go to the extreme high end here as I will have to stay within a reasonable budget. I do not need a ton of power with the Klipsch speakers, nor do I need a lot of HDMI ports since I do not own a single piece of equipment with an HDMI output yet, nor does the projector have an HDMI input. It would need to have a few Y-Pb-Pr inputs though, and if it could take an HDMI input and output to the Y-Pb-Pr or VGA for the projector, that would be great. (I do not know at this point if that is even possible). I do not plan on hiding the AV equipment, and have always stacked the equipment on top of one of the LaScalla speakers.

I will try and take some pictures of the room and projected image of this wonderful projector. I just looked back and realized that this is a long post. Sorry about that. I am just very excited about building a dedicated home theater. - Z
 

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West wall has an 8' archway going into the game room which has two 5'x4' windows. I will need to come up with a way to block the light coming through the archway.
East wall has a door that will go into a bedroom and bathroom. No light issues here.
Ceiling height - 7'-10"
Seating distance: One row of seats about 10'-12' from the screen with Love Sacks on the floor in front.

This area is essentially a clean slate with exposed studs, concrete floor, and exposed ceiling trusses. What my wife wants is a comfortable room with the couch, love sacks, soft carpet. I.E. a comfortable place for the family on movie nights. What I want is a theater experience with great sound and video.
So the west wall (with archway) is open framing? No sheetrock right? I would suggest erecting a second frame wall about 2 1/2" away from that wall to create a pocket wall. In between you mount a sliding door track.

I did that to separate my LR from the DR. My archway is 8'-8" x 7'-0" and the wall is 17'-6" long. I used barn door track and built 4'-5" wide doors using ball bearing rollers. I installed 1/2" soundboard and 1/2" drywall to both outsides. As I only had about 7 1/2" from the end of the right side wall and the front door jamb I framed the 2x4s flat. So with the 2x plus SB and SR each wall is 2 1/2" wide, plus the 2 1/2" between. Its not a dedicated room but the SB cuts the sound transmission by 80%. But if you have normal framed walls then add batt insulation.

Here is pics of that wall.

 
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