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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
All,

As I was wrapping up my list of components for my new home theater (to be built as part of a 1900 sq ft basement finish), a fellow HT enthusiast asked why I was getting the Panasonic 65" ST60 over a projector. My honest answer is,"I don't know. I never really considered a projection TV". This is where I need the HT squadron's help. Which is better? If projection is better, what are the best models that fall in the $3000 range? Screen considerations? Or are the screens all the same for the most part? If it matters, I will be using my home theater for three things: movies (80%), gaming (15%), music (5%). From the standpoint of room configuration (attached), I have a home theater room of 21 x 20. In addition, it is important to note that the billiards room opens to the HT. This room is 19 x 17.

Thanks to everyone for their responses.





With much appreciation,

MLGamer
 

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If I had a dedicated room I would get a projector size matters. That said I am trapped in a living room and recently picked up a Samsung F-8500. I would recommend if you go plasma to give it a look as well.
 

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I think that light control will be important if you use a projector.

However, you can get a great projector and over 100" worth of screen for well under 3k.

This one was recently recommended in a different thread as a "good performing, well priced" unit:
Epson 3010e

With a 120 inch, 16:9, fixed frame screen:
Elite ER120WH1 Screen

I think if you can control environmental variables (like light), then a projection is probably the way to go. A bit more money and you could even get a pull-down screen that is out of the way when not in use. Get an "Acoustically Transparent" (AT) Screen and you can hide your front speakers behind it.

There are some intriguing, and exciting, options when you look around.

And they are very competitively priced with the HDTV's which probably contain "smart features" that you already have in other source devices. If you have a smart AVR, or a smart blu-ray, then you can definitely get away with a "dumb" projection screen and ceiling mounted projector. :D

Why pay for all the other features in a full HDTV when you might just want something to show you the picture produced by other devices? (cable box, blu-ray, internet, media server, etc).
 

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I went with both for my den (non-dedicated HT). We use the TV for general watching and have the Elite drop down screen and Panasonic PT-AE8000U projector for watching movies. It has worked out really great. The Panasonic is bright enough that even with ambient light, the picture is still good.
 

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Several years back I purchased a Panasonic AE2000 projector and installed a DaLite 16:9 High Power drop-down screen (90+ inch diagonal). I can't say how happy I've been with that combination. I do agree that a projector will require controlled lighting for the best picture, but then you'll get a picture that rivals what you see at a commercial theater. With my combination, the picture is very bright, with great color and sharpness. I've since added a second AE2000 so I can do passive 3D (some of the latest projectors will be capable of active 3D if you're interested in that).

Plasma has its place also, and it's kind of like asking what vehicle to buy when you're going to use it for highway and mountain trail use. One size doesn't exactly fit all. Plasma TVs (and I'm definitely partial to Panasonic there, too) will present a great picture but you're limited to smaller size image than a projector allows, although you can use a plasma with considerably more ambient lighting than a projector setup would tolerate. You'll probably be paying more for a projector system when everything is considered, but the cost for a good large screen plasma and a projector with screen (sound system not considered) will be in the same ballpark (you will be able to get a larger image with the projector).

One other advantage of a projector, is that it's easier to take with you if you decide to go to a condo or somewhere that you might want a large screen display. You can project on a wall (preferably white or neutral color), though a screen will make a big difference in picture quality.

Your setup looks great, by the way!
 
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