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3 posts

Wannabe Geek


# 143083 2-Apr-2014 20:09
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We've bought a house that has an extra room and as my husband has always wanted a cinema room, I thought why not. Trouble is there's so many options out there, I'm confused as to what to get. 

We have a budget for $1500 - $2000 for a projector. I know I need a 1080 and the more lumens the better but other than that, don't know.

I found this screen:
http://www.rapalloav.co.nz/projector-screens-1/106-inch-nova-16-9-manual-pull-down-screen.html

and I haven't even started on audio.

Please could you point me in the right direction - particularly for the projector. The room will have black out curtains but we will mainly be using it at night to watch films. It is about 6x6ish (from memory). I'm not adverse to importing but would prefer NZ found.

Thanks in advance

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Uber Geek


  # 1017525 2-Apr-2014 20:46
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Lumens aren't the be-all-end-all, they are an indication of how bright a projector can be... but if you think about it, a projector that is bright, often leads to an image that is washed out, with poor black levels. So, yeah... welcome to projection.
Re: Projectors, look at name brands you can get parts for like Epson and Panasonic. Panasonic's backup for their range is superb around many projection fans, so I'd start there with the PT-AR100.
Of course, before you go to far, make sure you nail down the size of the screen, how far away the projector will sit from the screen (then where you will mount it, on a shelf, from the ceiling).



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  # 1017551 2-Apr-2014 22:13
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I'd start with a budget.




Involuntary autocorrect in operation on mobile device. Apologies in advance.


 
 
 
 


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  # 1017560 2-Apr-2014 22:44
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Yeah do the maths twice, nothing worse than finding out the projector you bought needs a room twice as long to create the size image you want, or throws it at the wrong angle. Something which I never thought about was  the noise the unit produces. We bought a new Epson to replace a cheap Dell and wow this new projector is noisy!



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Master Geek


  # 1017568 2-Apr-2014 23:02
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Hi Sophiehemm,

It is a good place to start by asking questions. I love projection, for me it has the best end result for the money to achieve it. I know of some, who just have a projector and place it on a coffee table, throw the image onto a white neutral wall and love just that. Many start out with this simple setup as it is the most cost effective big screen. Actually starting out with a simple setup is the best way with projection as there is a lot of “stuff” with home theatres that you are better learning slowly and progressively.

If budget is limited, consider a second hand projector (do your homework on the model though), bulbs are expensive so check used and total hours left on a bulb, budget a replacement bulb if negotiating a price.

Projection is considered 2 piece, projector and screen, however in total it is actually 5 pieces, Projector, Screen, Video delivery, Audio(5.1/7.1) and the Room.

To start make some simple floor plans of your room layout with elevations, where the windows and doors are located and where power is located.

Then study what others do.

Google utube for cinema builds, DIY and professional. AVSforums (US), AVForums (UK), Hometheatreshack are a few of many of the forums which support threads on DIY cinemas. The important part is that all walks of life and expenditures are followed in these threads, some cinemas are really over the top and some are modest but still achieve great results.

Although to do it justice, consider the complete 5 pieces of the cinema. Ask yourself questions like; is this room multipurpose or dedicated cinema? How much re work do I need to do on the room to prepare it? This can be running power wiring, audio and video and fixing ambient light issues.

Ambient light is the ultimate Achilles heel of projection; in a dedicated cinema many go to extreme lengths to eliminate the window light. Although you noted viewing movies in the evenings, we have daylight saving which means day light can be about to 9~10pm. One little crack of light and you will lose a large portion of the visual image.

All this can be solved with planning and searching on the web on home cinema or home theatre setup and design. Lots and lots of info, almost too much.

Cinema actually has some science behind it, with regards idealised experience. The true block buster cinemas you go to are designed with most of this knowledge. Unfortunately a lot of home users break some of the simple basics and ruin what would be a great result and then never really use it because of poor performance.

Some terms to search,

Viewing distance, also known as viewing angle (About 30 degrees viewing angle is ideal)
Screen ratio, 16:9 also known as 1.78:1 (16/9=1.78), the sizes are typically quoted in diagonal and inches. But be aware there are 4:3, (old TV ratio) and other common ratios 2.35:1 and 2.4:1 (known by some as 21:9). There are many more, but 16:9 is the mainstream screen ratio.
The viewing angle and screen size are linked to your seating position. The projector has optimum positioning and size to throw the image. Important note, the size of the screen affects the projectors lumens power. The bigger the screen the duller the image, the smaller the screen the brighter the image.

Important note: if really stretched on budget, you can use painted walls as a screen. Try not to use whites in paint charts with obvious tints. The straight whites such as Dulux Vivid white, Resene white and one known as Resene black white are the best(I’ve measured these with my equipment) , but very harsh as a complete painted wall, but if you paint just the screen area and add a 50mm black paint border it is more visually acceptable. The wall needs to be in good condition and prepped well. This would cost in the $100~300 for a cheap painted screen solution and will compete very well against a cheap pull down or fixed screen up to the $500~1000 mark.

Don’t want to over whelm you too much info, plenty of homework there already.

Regards




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Wannabe Geek


  # 1017994 3-Apr-2014 16:45
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Thanks for all your advice. Certainly a lot to mull over.  The room will be a designated cinema room so I want to get it right without going overboard. I am probably looking at about $400 for the screen (see above), $1500 - $2000 for a projector and $1000 for speakers. I was looking at a 120" screen but know thing a slightly smaller one may be more suitable. 


 I have been looking at the panasonic projectors and found these. 

http://www.trademe.co.nz/electronics-photography/projectors-screens/projectors/auction-713186113.htm

http://www.trademe.co.nz/electronics-photography/projectors-screens/projectors/auction-712759918.htm

The projector would be hung from the ceiling and using a projection calculator both seem to fit.

I suppose my question is, what do you think f these projectors and are there any better deals out there at the moment?

Thanks for all your help.

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  # 1018026 3-Apr-2014 17:54
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joker97: I'd start with a budget.

+1 to Masterpiece for general advice smile
I have a horrible feeling that you are trying to do this on an unrealistically low budget.
You get what you pay for.
What is your total budget?
Without that, nobody can give you meaningful advice.




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  # 1018054 3-Apr-2014 19:35
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$1000 on speakers... are you including a home theatre receiver (amplifier) in this figure?

 
 
 
 


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  # 1018074 3-Apr-2014 20:11
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Total budget = projector + screen + speakers + amps + cost of alterations/installation + hi-fi furniture + cables

Have a look at:

http://www.rapalloav.co.nz/
http://www.avworld.co.nz/
http://www.listeningpost.co.nz/

[I have no links with any of these]




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Master Geek


  # 1018120 3-Apr-2014 21:15
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The Panasonic projectors are solid units, models 1000,2000,3000 were progressive steps in performance, the 4000 model was a good jump and likewise the current 8000 is a substantial jump in performance.

I use a AE4000, on a second bulb and still going strong.

My pick of the listed for sale would be the AE3000, interestingly the 3000's sold for a $1000 odd more than the AE4000 units, so would expect the 4000 on sale for roughly the same as a 3000.
Just a thought.

Putting the AE3000 through it's paces, this calculator is a good guide for setup.
You should aim for 12~15fl or metric 40~50nits, a quick play you should aim for a 100" screen and mount the PJ about 4m from it. By mounting the PJ back at 5.5m you lower the PJ output down towards 10~12fl, with a new bulb. Keep in mind the bulb will be half the light level at it's rated hours(2000~3000)

http://www.projectorcentral.com/Panasonic-PT-AE3000-projection-calculator-pro.htm

regards




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  # 1018423 4-Apr-2014 12:03
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Dunnersfella: $1000 on speakers... are you including a home theatre receiver (amplifier) in this figure?


I was in a similar position when looking for almost all equipment for our HT 1 1/2 years ago, and wanting to do it on the cheap (well, certainly on the affordable end - and with a real focus on value for money, given it was just one part of the overall build costs of the sleepout/HT).

Given the similarities in situtations, my suggestions would be:

* Read through other posts on GZ or on the audioenz forums - many people have asked similar questions in the past.

* As others have said, work out your total budget for all components, and make sure you account for all things you need to buy (right down to interconnects and speaker cable). They all add up - this will give you a sense as to whether it's best to hold off and save a bit more so it can be done to a better standard (it could well be that your currentl total budget will simply result in such compromises that you're never happy with it).

* Look to buy some/most of your components second-hand - you can get great value for money this way. Also, it means the upgrade path is easier, given you won't lose much when you sell it on.

* Keep a look out for some of the specials that places like JB Hifi and Paul Money sometimes do on components - I picked up our Onkyo receiver at about 40% off down to about $550 while it wouldn't be my choice if I was wealthy, I'm a realist - this brand is sometimes sold at great prices by JB, and I couldn't have possibly got that bang for buck any other way (especially for the features).

* Some will recommend starting with a more basic audio system, to which you can add later - even if it's a stereo amp with two speakers, if selected correctly you may be able to use that same amp to power your fronts once you buy a receiver (given using external amplification is a good way of improving the sound of cheaper receivers). This way you could start with a receiver/2-channel amp and fronts, and add surrounds and sub later as budget permits. Alternatively, if you want the whole surround experience from day one, be prepared to compromise on quality at least initially, and upgrade as the budget allows.



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Wannabe Geek


  # 1018458 4-Apr-2014 12:34
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Unfortunately our budget is there for a reason. We have about $3500 for the projector, screen, speakers, amp and wiring. We are in no way techies and just want to be able to enjoy our weekend movie experience at home in a way that's a little more special than watching the TV. We are not expecting 5* quality - we can't afford it and are realistic about this. We just want the best we can afford. I will have a look at the sites you have recommended.


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  # 1018476 4-Apr-2014 12:49
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Masterpiece: The Panasonic projectors are solid units, models 1000,2000,3000 were progressive steps in performance, the 4000 model was a good jump and likewise the current 8000 is a substantial jump in performance.

I use a AE4000, on a second bulb and still going strong.

My pick of the listed for sale would be the AE3000, interestingly the 3000's sold for a $1000 odd more than the AE4000 units, so would expect the 4000 on sale for roughly the same as a 3000.
Just a thought.

Putting the AE3000 through it's paces, this calculator is a good guide for setup.
You should aim for 12~15fl or metric 40~50nits, a quick play you should aim for a 100" screen and mount the PJ about 4m from it. By mounting the PJ back at 5.5m you lower the PJ output down towards 10~12fl, with a new bulb. Keep in mind the bulb will be half the light level at it's rated hours(2000~3000)

http://www.projectorcentral.com/Panasonic-PT-AE3000-projection-calculator-pro.htm

regards


I just got a PT-AE8000, stunning. Upgraded from a 720p PT-AX200




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  # 1018480 4-Apr-2014 12:52
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sophiehemm: Unfortunately our budget is there for a reason. We have about $3500 for the projector, screen, speakers, amp and wiring


It's totally understandable that you want to stick to your budget, and it's possible you can do it but not without working what compromises you're happy with, eg considering my suggestions of second-hand components and/or doing it slowly through adding or upgrading parts over time will make it much more likely you end up with something you're happy with. I'd be worried if you ended up going down the route of a HTIB (home theatre in a box) to manage the sound aspect, solely to stay in budget, when there are other ways to skin the proverbial cat.

$1000 for 5.1 speakers, for example, will get you something new like the Kef eggs sold by JB Hifi (which we have for our second TV), whereas second-hand you may get a full set of the Wharfedale Diamonds, say the 9 series (some of the better-value sets at the affordable end). In terms of sound quality, there's no comparison; the Kefs are fine for the price, but they're not great for a decent HT.


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  # 1018481 4-Apr-2014 12:56
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sophiehemm: Unfortunately our budget is there for a reason. We have about $3500 for the projector, screen, speakers, amp and wiring. We are in no way techies and just want to be able to enjoy our weekend movie experience at home in a way that's a little more special than watching the TV. We are not expecting 5* quality - we can't afford it and are realistic about this. We just want the best we can afford. I will have a look at the sites you have recommended.



Realistically you are going to have to cut a lot of corners with that budget. A 1080p projector will take most if not all of your budget. 

Drop to 720p and you might be able to do something half decent with a home theatre in a box sound system and project on to a wall.

with that in mind I do happen to have a 720p Panasonic that I'm selling for $550 with a fairly new bulb in it :-)

But seriously, in order to get a decent experience I think you would need closer to $6000+ my set-up is prob midrange and is worth about $12000+




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  # 1018519 4-Apr-2014 13:59
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i recommend seeking professional advice from a home theatre installer.

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