1st Home Cinema Setup

Stormbandit

Novice Member
Hi all,

Looking to setup our 1st home cinema, was looking at the Epson EH-TW9400 and a Aeon Edge Free 16:9, CineWhite 299cm x 168cm fixed screen. But to be honest I don't really know where to start.

Looking to spend up-to £2800 on the projector and £1000 on the screen, will be used mainly for watching movies (1080p and 4K blu-ray), would like to also stream from plex server to
Roku Streaming Stick+, and also stream netflix and amazon prime video via Roku Stick+. With sound being handled by a Dolby Atmos sound bar.

Any advice would be gratefully received.
 

Darko

Well-known Member
First piece of advice would be to demo projectors , few have seen the 9400 running so that would be a good start you may prefer a JVC or a Optoma and when it comes to screens you may not need to spend 1000, I’ve watch movies on expensive screens and screens made from spandex and if I’m honest I preferred the spandex that was home made.

Spend more on your projector it’s the most important part

Cheers Darko
 

dhts

Active Member
You need to let us know about your room. The 9400 is/will be the best projector for the money assuming you can control the light in the room, i.e. No daylight, no other lights and preferably non-white walls. If you can't control light to this degree you can probably get away with a cheaper projector.

One thing which can help if you have light in the room is a special screen material which can mitigate the issue (but does bring other issues such as viewing angle). As Darko says many on this forum build their own screens using spandex.

Depending upon what you want to watch consider a scope (2.35:1) screen rather than the 16:9 one you're looking it, i.e. If you watch mainly movies rather than say sports or games.

More than anything though I'd say reconsider your audio. A half decent receiver and 5 speakers (and sub) will make a massive difference to your viewing experience over a soundbar.
 

Stormbandit

Novice Member
The room will be partly divided, the cinema area has a velux (which will have a blackout blind) and two small narrow windows (arrow slit like) which are opaque/frosted, these could be backed out also. The other sided of the divide is large opaque/frosted window the size of a standard door, plus a fully glazed door, and window which is about 2m x 2m. The plan was to put internal shutters on the 2 x 2 window. Area for the cinema is 4m wide by 5-6m depending on final location of the divide.

I was looking and screen ratio's last night and details on the 4K blu-rays (16:9), do projectors or can projectors output 16:9 as 2:35:1? I will not be watching live TV/Sports.

I will look into audio options, better going with av receiver like Sony STRDN1080 and separate speakers?

Darko, I have nothing remotely local to demo so was kind of relying on reviews.

 

dhts

Active Member
In broad terms everything is 16:9. Projectors, Blurays, DVDs, etc all output 16:9. Most movies will have black bars top and bottom as you'll have seen so you're getting a 2.35 image with black bars making it fit a 16:9 rectangle.

If you're using a scope screen you set the zoom on the projector so that width wise the entire image fits on the screen, and the black bars which are still part of the picture are projected above and below the screen where you don't really notice them (though it helps not notice them if your screen has a black velvet border).

If you want to watch something 16:9 then you zoom in to make the whole image smaller, this way the image will fit the height of the screen and you have two unused parts of the screen on the left and right.

Most projectors at or above the point you're looking at will allow you to save these two different setups in internal memories so you can easily switch between the two depending upon what you're watching.

Yes the Sony receiver is the sort of thing. Each year new receivers are launched with the latest incremental bells and whistles and the current year's models are heavily discounted (40-50%) so of late I've waited until this happens and then save a chunk of money. Likewise well looked after units can be found in the classifieds on this site.

I'm current in temporary accommodation and had to leave my £6k Sony projector behind but knocked up a 2.35 Spandex screen for £100 quid, bought an Epson 7300 for £1200 and have a decent sound system and would have thought I'm enjoying movies just as much as I was before even if the contrast isn't as good as it could be.

It's the sound and scale of the image which gives you that cinematic feeling.
 

swiftpete

Distinguished Member
I completely agree with the sound aspect of it being important. You can build a diy screen for not much money and use the money saved on sound. For a grand you won’t get much new but look in the classifieds here and pick up an acoustic receiver and some speakers and you’ll be up and running.
 

dhts

Active Member
I should add if you’re wondering why people keep banging on about Spandex it’s not (just) some fetish for stretchy fabric but it’s acoustically transparent and allows you to place the speakers behind the screen out of sight which again adds to the overall experience.
 

Luminated67

Distinguished Member
^often wondered about these spandex screens, how don’t you see the frame it’s mounted on that’s if it has a central support, do you double layer it with maybe one layer in black covered by an outer white one?
 

Stormbandit

Novice Member
Going back to screen ratio 16:9 v 2.35 (scope), seating will be around 4.6m from the screen, actual room width is 4.37m, does this influence choice or benefits or not as the case maybe of 2.35 over 16:9?
 

dhts

Active Member
Going back to screen ratio 16:9 v 2.35 (scope), seating will be around 4.6m from the screen, actual room width is 4.37m, does this influence choice or benefits or not as the case maybe of 2.35 over 16:9?

4.6m is further than most would want to be from a 3m wide scope screen, so you're right to question it. If you've no experience of what's right for you it's always worth trying just with a projector to see what's comfortable for you. Here's my favourite diagram on the subject:



Do you have scope for a wider screen and how far back can the projector go (this might limit how big an image you can get.
 

dhts

Active Member
^often wondered about these spandex screens, how don’t you see the frame it’s mounted on that’s if it has a central support, do you double layer it with maybe one layer in black covered by an outer white one?

I'd concluded that best practice is one of white over one of black so did that. My central support is set back and not touching the fabric. I'm really, really, lazy, so rather than have to cut wood and work out how to fix it together I got some square aluminium profile cut to size which meant it just needed the plastic corner pieces banging in. I added a wooden central support which I fixed to the back of the aluminium away from the material.
 

Luminated67

Distinguished Member
Going back to screen ratio 16:9 v 2.35 (scope), seating will be around 4.6m from the screen, actual room width is 4.37m, does this influence choice or benefits or not as the case maybe of 2.35 over 16:9?

To some degree it’s your choice of projector that will determine which screen you go for because regardless of whether you watch only movies or not you will realise that the big screen experience enhances loads of other things that are usually 16:9.

So if you want a 2.35:1 screen then best look for a projector that has motorised lens shift with memory to switch between both at the touch of a button, otherwise go for as big a 16:9 screen as you feel comfortable with.
 

Luminated67

Distinguished Member
I'd concluded that best practice is one of white over one of black so did that. My central support is set back and not touching the fabric. I'm really, really, lazy, so rather than have to cut wood and work out how to fix it together I got some square aluminium profile cut to size which meant it just needed the plastic corner pieces banging in. I added a wooden central support which I fixed to the back of the aluminium away from the material.

I wonder has anyone tried a combination of black spandex base layer with a grey layer on top instead of white, might give even better contrasts?
 

jacobe

Active Member
I wonder has anyone tried a combination of black spandex base layer with a grey layer on top instead of white, might give even better contrasts?

Everything has been tried :) Search around a little. TBH I don't think this thread is the right place to discuss that particular topic. (FWIW, I use a double layer of white and I love it.)
 

Stormbandit

Novice Member
Thank you for the reply's so far much appreciated.

I have made a cardboard template of the 299cm x 168cm (16:9) screen and it is a good fit for the space. So will probably just stick with that, with Acoustic Pro UHD as the screen material. I would like to have in-wall speakers for front left and right and centre, rears and subs can be free standing.

With the above in mind I would want to look at monitor audio as a brand as we have had a pair of PL300 that have severed us well since 2010/11. Any one using monitor audio in-wall on their cinema setup?
 
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