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Thread: Home Projectors and Soundsystems

  1. #1
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland

    Home Projectors and Soundsystems

    Hey folks, do any of you know your way around home projectors?

    My sister's boyfriend got his hands on a couple old projector screens from a school and gave me one, now I'm thinking about how I would set this whole thing up.



    The screen is 185 cm/6 feet wide. My dream-setup would be something like this:



    If I could station the projector in the couch-table it would cut down on wire-clutter and I could put my PS4 down there as well, which would be very convenient when switching discs. If I gotta mount the thing from the ceiling it would entail a whole lot more wires, and the ceiling lamp might get in the way.

    Questions/Thoughts:
    • Just how dark does it have to be for these things to work well? Are they usable in the summer at all? For this reason I'm considering keeping the TV and having the screen hanging in front of it so I can roll it up/down at need.
    • Distance. 180cm if I keep the TV, 220cm without. I know this might be an issue. I see there's something called Short Throw Projectors which allow for shorter distances, but they seem to have very low resolutions. I do want something with a 1920x1080 resolution.
    • Angle/height difference between projector and screen. Seems to vary between projectors how much height difference they allow.
    • Recommendations for good projectors? Looking for something in the €700-range.
    • And I guess I'll need a soundsystem as well. Been thinking about one of those for a long time, but just ended up sticking with the TV. Not a huge audiophile or anything.


    There's probably something else important I'm overlooking as well. Help me out here, people! I don't know what I'm doing.

  2. #2
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: Cologne
    Nice place. Also Slow Train Coming on vinyl. We should hang out.

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Qantas
    Quote Originally Posted by henke View Post

    Questions/Thoughts:
    • Just how dark does it have to be for these things to work well? Are they usable in the summer at all? For this reason I'm considering keeping the TV and having the screen hanging in front of it so I can roll it up/down at need.
    It won't match your TV in bright conditions, that's for sure. Whether it's good enough depends on the projector, screen, amount of ambient light, and above all what your expectations are. Personally, I wouldn't be satisfied with a projector except for night viewing in relatively low light, but YMMV.

    • Distance. 180cm if I keep the TV, 220cm without. I know this might be an issue. I see there's something called Short Throw Projectors which allow for shorter distances, but they seem to have very low resolutions. I do want something with a 1920x1080 resolution.
    Is the distance you mentioned (180/220cm) a maximum distance, or a fixed distance? A short throw projector will want to be closer than that. And a non-short throw projector might not fill your screen at that distance.

    • Angle/height difference between projector and screen. Seems to vary between projectors how much height difference they allow.
    Short throw projectors are a lot more flexible in this regard. The specs or user manual will usually give you positioning guidelines/limits.

    • Recommendations for good projectors? Looking for something in the 700-range.
    No personal experience with it, but the BenQ HT2150ST short throw is 1080p and seems well regarded by gamers and sells for close to your budget.
    According to its specs, to fill a 185cm wide screen, it needs to be placed between 1.2 and 1.4m from the screen.

    • And I guess I'll need a soundsystem as well. Been thinking about one of those for a long time, but just ended up sticking with the TV. Not a huge audiophile or anything.
    Are you OK with 2-channel stereo or do you want surround? What are the room dimensions and rough budget?

  4. #4
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Great points heywood!

    Brightness: I don't need it to be perfect or anything, but if I can still play games on a bright summer day and tell what's happening on screen that's good enough. Guess I might have to get some blackout-curtains as well.
    Distance: 220cm is pretty much the max, but minimum of course depends on where I hang the screen. 140 might just work, with the BenQ you suggested.
    Sound: I was initally thinking 5.1, but now that you mention it. Maybe 2 channel will do. Like I said I'm not super-picky with this stuff. Don't mind spending a few hundred on the soundsystem. If I could get the whole home theatre system set up under 1000 euros I'd be very happy. The room is 4.6 x 4.2 meters, so I certainly have space for a surround system, if I decide to go that route.

    I'll look more into this BenQ you suggested.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kolya View Post
    Nice place. Also Slow Train Coming on vinyl. We should hang out.
    Hah, thanks. That's actually my favourite Dylan album. Doesn't have his best songs, but it's very consistent throughout.

  5. #5
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    The only problem I've ever had with going surround sound is wire management. Unless you're planning on fishing the walls, the exposed wires will end up making everything look sloppy and slapped together.

    Personally, I'd go with a big soundbar. They're neat, space efficient, and sound great.

  6. #6
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Soundbars are... okay if you're prioritising less clutter. There's nothing really like a good multi-channel setup with a decently powered receiver and discrete sub+speakers, but since henke isn't prioritising sound quality, I think that'd fit in his budget. I guess a soundbar + subwoofer makes for a good compromise. Going the classic build-a-home-theatre route involves getting a good receiver first, and that would cost a fair chunk of change by itself.

  7. #7
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    For me, it's the difference between a home theater, and a good entertainment setup. I have a couple of friends who go all out with their media rooms, running cables in the wall, and putting their speakers in recessed slots in the ceilings of their vaulted rooms for true 360 degree surround sound centered on their $3000 70" TV. The end result is impressive, no doubt. It's a nice thing to experience. But I don't think it necessarily makes movies any better than what I get at my house, where I prioritize efficiency over spectacle.

    Having a subwoofer the size of a hot water heater deliver a bass hit at 24hz so smooth it could coax the fillings to slide right out of your teeth without complaint is a fun experience, but it doesn't make me jealous compared to my merely good little subwoofer that can still deliver a solid, if not quite so spectacular dooooooo.

  8. #8
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    I guess you could categorise me as somewhere in the middle: I care about the sound in all my media, from games to movies to music, but I don't care enough about efficiency to go all out and run cable trunking and bury speakers in the ceilings (which is a sonically terrible idea anyway).

    I've got a decent set of floorstanders+surrounds and a subwoofer that's tight and fun yet can pound enough bumpity to make the neighbours want to kick my door down, and I wouldn't trade them for anything less at this point. Of course, when I've got company over, wires are always going to be an eyesore, but that's something to deal with when I can be arsed about it (or someone makes me).

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Location: Canuckistan GWN
    Is that a glass bead screen?

    One problem you might have is using a COLOR screen in Europe where COLOUR screens are the standard. Make sure you colour correct the projector to compensate.

  10. #10
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    Click image for larger version. 

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  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Qantas
    Henke - You can definitely find a 5.1 bundle with speakers and a low end AVR for a few hundred Euro. I'm not sure I can help with suggestions as I haven't really listened to the offerings.

    I personally care more about music than home theater, so my preference is to stick with 2-channel stereo unless you have a large budget. I have a 7.2 system in my living room because my wife is a big movie watcher, but I'd rather listen to the stereo system I set up in a basement room. If I were in your shoes, I'd buy a pair of Elac Debut B6 speakers (USD $280) and add a used stereo receiver for a couple hundred. But that's just me. For movies and gaming, 5.1 will be more immersive.

  12. #12
    Administrator
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: above the clouds
    These cheap Creative PC speakers do well enough for me. I have got a better Yamaha sub that I use for music, but it's no good having fancy speakers without acoustic treatment in your room. I still want to try using foam and fibreglass bass traps when I can get the time to pull the supplies together - this has just reminded me...

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