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Hello all,

Over the last several days I have been looking at projector / screen / room setup information until I was blue in the face.

I am in a split level raised ranch and had originally planned to purchase a higher end HDTV to go on the first floor. After much consideration I have elected to go with a Panasonic 58" LED (TCL58E60) which I found on sale for a very good price and use the extra money to work in a projector setup.

The room is on the lower level that is 26'x15'8"x7'9" painted in a light beige. There is also a ledge (1' deep) that goes around the edge. I am planning to put the HDTV on that ledge and use a screen that can drop down right in front of it. Realistically I'd like to keep the seating area about 12-13' away from where the screen would be.

The room does get some ambient light light which is unavoidable due to the stairs in the entryway of the house, but the windows will be able to be blacked out. Primarily I'd like to be using this at night time anyways as an alternative to the TV for watching movies and occasionally sports / video gaming, although once in a while I may try to darken the room as much as possible for day-time use.

I am trying to keep this on approximately a $1,500 - $2,000 budget (including screen & projector). I'd like to simply ceiling mount the projector, set it up, and leave it be until it needs to be looked at.

Given the ceiling height, 7'9" and the approximate distance 12-13' (could stretch a little more if needed) does anyone have recommendations on hardware and screen size? Of course I would like a screen sized in the neighborhood of 120" or so, but if that is unreasonable I would want to know that is well.

I am sorry if this was incredibly long winded but I have seen so many posts where people don't put enough pertinent info. Thank you all!
 

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Check out this site, its a good tool to use to figure out screen size.
http://www.projectorcentral.com/projection-calculator-pro.cfm

And check out this site and projector it's very bright which will help for day time viewing.
http://www.projectorreviews.com/epson/home-cinema-3020/index.php

As for as a roll down screen goes:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B000Q87LM6

It's a pretty good screen that doesn't cost that much and you could possibly upgrade to a nicer screen later on down the road if you desire to do so.
 

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First, thanks again for the feedback!

Check out this site, its a good tool to use to figure out screen size. (link here)
I see that gives me the ranges of how far back my projector should be but what I am not so sure about is the actual seating in relation to the screen. Is 13' or so a good distance to be seated away from a 120" (or 125" as suggested) screen?

That roll down screen looks like a great price for what it is.

And check out this site and projector it's very bright which will help for day time viewing.
(Link to Epson 3020)
Two of the projectors that I had really been looking at were the Epson HC3020 and the BenQ W1080ST. The one thing I did find appealing about the BenQ was the short throw lens but all in all it looks like the Epson may be the way to go. Is there a general consensus between the two?
 

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As for seating distance goes u have to take the screen size and divide it by .84 and that will give you the distance u should be seated from the screen.

Example:
A 120" screen
120/.84=142.857....
Which equals to 11.904 another words 12' would be your optimal seating distance.

As for as the projector goes I'd look at some reviews of the two and make a decision by the things u are looking for in a projector. It's basically a personal preference as to which sounds best to u to buy, but as said it's good to read the reviews and see what the complaints and high points are between the to.
 

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As for seating distance goes u have to take the screen size and divide it by .84 and that will give you the distance u should be seated from the screen.

Example:
A 120" screen
120/.84=142.857....
Which equals to 11.904 another words 12' would be your optimal seating distance.

As for as the projector goes I'd look at some reviews of the two and make a decision by the things u are looking for in a projector. It's basically a personal preference as to which sounds best to u to buy, but as said it's good to read the reviews and see what the complaints and high points are between the to.
Keep in mind too that people have different preferred places to sit. As an example, when you go to a movie theater, do you like to sit toward the back? If that is the case, you may prefer to have your seating back a bit further.

To determine where to put your seats, I would personally wait until you have the projector. Once you have it, set it up on a ladder and shoot a movie to your blank wall. Take a chair in that is easy to move, and move it around to get a feel for what you prefer.

Also, keep in mind that most room modes will happen in the 40-60% range of your room length. So with your room being 26', you would realistically want to avoid the 10.5' to 15' area for seating or be prepared to deal with room modes. With your room length, I would consider doing two rows of seating putting the first row at around 10' and the second row on a riser at about 16'.
 

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Keep in mind too that people have different preferred places to sit. As an example, when you go to a movie theater, do you like to sit toward the back? If that is the case, you may prefer to have your seating back a bit further.

To determine where to put your seats, I would personally wait until you have the projector. Once you have it, set it up on a ladder and shoot a movie to your blank wall. Take a chair in that is easy to move, and move it around to get a feel for what you prefer.

Also, keep in mind that most room modes will happen in the 40-60% range of your room length. So with your room being 26', you would realistically want to avoid the 10.5' to 15' area for seating or be prepared to deal with room modes. With your room length, I would consider doing two rows of seating putting the first row at around 10' and the second row on a riser at about 16'.
Lol, you made all that sound to easy. You made a bunch if great points, I'm reading and wondering why I didn't come up with that?
 

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If you wanted to keep it under 2grand I've seen the Epson 3020 in action and it threw a really nice picture. You could certainly pick up a 3020 and screen from sellers such as Visual Apex for under 2grand.

I personally have a JVC RS-45 and love it after almost two years worth of use. If you wanted to spring a little more to jump up to a JVC RS-46 I could send you a pm where you could get one for $2400 plus shipping. IMO its worth the extra little bit of money to jump up to the RS-46.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I was giving the full dimensions of the room but I wont be using that entire 26' for the projector. 14-15' is realistically about as far back as I will be putting it.

Do you find it better to be seated in front of or behind the projector? That is where the short throw lens of the BenQ could shine I would think although it does seem the Epson is capable of throwing an image size I would be happy with from 14·15'.

As to the other projector, thanks that is beyond what I am ready to invest right now.
 

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I personally have my first row of seats right at 11' from a 112" screen the projector is mounted 13' from the screen, so basically just behind the first rows head. For me its never been an issue having it at the distance.

Two reasons why I didn't go with a DLP projector, first after a movie or two I start to get a bit of a headache from DLP's and second I really prefer the vertical and horizontal lens shifts.

I would really suggest taking a look at the 3020 from Epson http://www.projectorreviews.com/epson/home-cinema-3020/index.php

or maybe if you're not ready to make any kind of large investment into a projector the newly released Epson 2030 would be worth taking a look at.
http://www.projectorcentral.com/epson_home_cinema_2030_projector_review.htm
 

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Lol, you made all that sound to easy. You made a bunch if great points, I'm reading and wondering why I didn't come up with that?
Well, I fretted about mine for months so I had a bit of time to come up with ideas to help me decide. ;)

I was giving the full dimensions of the room but I wont be using that entire 26' for the projector. 14-15' is realistically about as far back as I will be putting it.

Do you find it better to be seated in front of or behind the projector? That is where the short throw lens of the BenQ could shine I would think although it does seem the Epson is capable of throwing an image size I would be happy with from 14·15'.

As to the other projector, thanks that is beyond what I am ready to invest right now.
I would definitely not go at 26' - I honestly do not know of a projector that would be able to throw enough lumens to work from that distance. I have my projector mounted in my soffit at about 16.5' from the screen - is it right over the heads of the second row. However, most projectors run pretty quiet so you really do not hear them at all. IIRC, the specs for most projectors have a noise level spec rated in db - take a look at the specs for the projectors you are considering and you should see them.

With a 26' room, have you thought at all about doing a front baffle wall with an AT screen? It is a great way to make the front wall look really clean as well as hide all your speakers from little hands. :)
 
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