Home cinema from scratch (£5,000 budget). Advice on projector PLEASE!

Woodhill

Novice Member
I need help. I am about to convert a room to a home cinema. It will also be used as a living room (most of the time).

The room is 6.5 metres by 5 metres. I have a budget of about £5,000 for a projector, AV receiver, and speakers. Of this , I think about £2,000 will go on a projector.


I have no special preferences but the projector should give a good quality HD picture on a 2.5 meter wide screen with some ambient light.
I will be using the system for Sky HD, PS3, X-box, and a Wii. About 5-10% of the use is gaming. The rest of the time, it will be used for movies and TV.

There is so much conflicting advice out there. Can you help me narrow my choice?
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
Unfortunately you have put this post in the wrong section as it is for CRT projectors (those huge boxes that used to cost an arm and three legs) rather than the projectors section.

These are now virtually defunct so not too many people visit here (other than the CRT enthusiasts) so hopefully a mod will move it for you.

To start you off on the projector front you say there will be some ambient light and it really depends on how much as light is the projectors worst enemy.

You are going to need a bright projector otherwise I would have suggested a JVC HD350 which are currently available for £2k and are an outstanding bargain.

Until we know what sort of conditions (light wise) any possibilities may be the wrong one for your needs.
 

phil5366

Banned
I would reccomend the Epsom 3200 or 3600 a great projector for the money, excellent picture! You will also need a decent screen, an electric one.

You will also need a decent AV setup which could be anything from the Denon, Onkyo, Sony range, etc. You will get some great advice on the AVR thread as you will be spoilt for choice.

Ditto with the speakers.

To control it all, you will nedd a Harmony One Remote. This remote will work all your gear instead of having half a dozen remotes littering the place.

In a decent setup you will also have a trigger installed to work the screen and projector together. Press a button on the Harmony Remote, the screen and projector automatically turn on, the screen drops down and the harmony will turn your AVR on along with Sky HD and your surround sound. Press another button and it will all switch off, etc.

Take a look at my thread and it is all explained.

Regards

Phil.
 

HeavenlyWarrior

Well-known Member
Choose a projector that is most suitable for your sources, screen size and seating distance, not just what the critics say is the best. You have to choose the best for YOUR uses. And dont forget that a great home theatre is 25% projector, 25% audio, 25% screen and 25% room decor.

Phils advice of an all in one remote is damn good advice too.
 

phil5366

Banned
Choose a projector that is most suitable for your sources, screen size and seating distance, not just what the critics say is the best. You have to choose the best for YOUR uses. And dont forget that a great home theatre is 25% projector, 25% audio, 25% screen and 25% room decor.

Phils advice of an all in one remote is damn good advice too.
Coud'nt agree more with Heavenly Warrior, some sound advice there!!
 

Woodhill

Novice Member
Thanks everyone.

In terms of ambient light, the room can be darkened with blackout curtains for projector viewing. I just made that point because it will also be a lounge and when not being used for cinema projection, it will be quite light.

Being a lounge, the decor and walls will be light coloured. Normal day to day viewing will be on an LCD/ Plasma screen.

There might be a problem during the odd time it is used for gaming. With the interactive controllers (Wii and kinect), I don't really want the kids running around in the dark and some lights will have to be on.

I am looking at a screen width of just under 2.5 meters. I agree with an electric screen and the way Phil concealed his screen is about the most impressive I have seen. A harmony 1100 is also on my shopping list.

Onkyo and Denon seem to be market leaders in AV receivers. At my budget, I am seriously considering the new Yamaha RX-V2067.

When the project is commissioned, I will start a build thread with pics.
 

KelvinS1965

Distinguished Member
To be blunt, I wouldn't spend a fortune on a projector if the room is going to be a light colour as much of the extra picture quality you're paying for will be wasted by the room reflecting the light back at the screen and washing out the picture. You need to do some research into different screens to find one that will help fight this reflection/washout, such as grey or directional screens. You could consider the Black Diamond II screen, but the electric version isn't due out until early next year, with a price tag of close to £5k for the size I was interested in (about 3 metres wide), so it's not a cheap option compared to treating the room with darker walls, etc.

Of course plenty of owners will now come on here and say that they watch in a white room with the lights on and 'the picture is fantastic', which is great if your expectations aren't so high...I only wish mine weren't.:)
 

jimarchy

Active Member
Woodhill, Epson were selling some box damaged EH-TW5500 projectors for £1,750 inc VAT and delivery + 5 yr warranty but dont know if they have any left(nothing wrong with the projector just minor damage on the packaging). Maybe worth getting in touch to see if they still have any Epson Home Page. Its Epsons top of the range 2010 model and retails for £3,500 on most websites and has ISF calibration too.

I bought one early November and am pleased with it but havent had time to set it up properly as moving house. Would be a great projector at that price and leave you plenty for the rest of your set up.
 

Woodhill

Novice Member
Thanks a lot Jim. I was reading about the Epson TW 5500s on this forum and I logged on to the website. They offered me "the last one" at £1750 inc VAT and delivery + 3 year warranty.

I thought I had enough of a feel for projectors to decide to go with this one so I paid for it. Will be delivered Tuesday. Will be a while before it leaves the box though!! Hopefully this side of Christmas.

Are you happy with the TW 5500 in non HD mode (DVDs and terrestrial TV)? What about with some light in the room? Is the dreaded red light problem an issue still?
 

HeavenlyWarrior

Well-known Member
Kelvin is right about the Black Diamond. It completely transforms the image but does come t a price. Joe average will be content with a matte white screen but the home theatre enthusiast knows that the screen is as important as the projector. Have a look on the Projector Screen forum here, I posted two videos about the Black Diamond screens and they explain what is meant by light spillage:

http://www.avforums.com/forums/proj...te-difference-between-white-black-screen.html

This claims to use the Black Diamond Technology but is at a decent price:

16:9 Aspect Ratio Black [16:9 Aspect Ratio Black] - £359.99 : Clever AV Ltd, Home Cinema Supply and Custom Installation
 

DrH

Active Member
Woodhill

Following you around it seems.

I purchased my first projector and screen a year and a bit ago. My room has a dark wall for the screen on and very light walls and ceilings.... I have a thread on here somewhere in the construction section. (not sure how to post a link).

I have a Panasonic Ae3000 and a DRH screen (i just had to have one being my initials).

All whom have seen have been blown away with the picture. There is a lot of reflected light but the MK2 version of the room will sort that out next year.

Do not worry if you cannot get the last ounce of performance as you will be blown away anyway.

Looks like you are going to have a great system.

That Black Diamond Screen looks very good.

DrH
 

jimarchy

Active Member
Good purchase Woodhill... I was told that the offer was "for today only" when I got mine... ;) and very pleased with my purchase. I got a 5 yr warranty on mine apparantly, at least that is what the email transcript says and also what they confirmed when I spoke on the phone to buy it too so don't know why they only gave you a 3yr one, but it is still a fantastic deal regardless.

The damage on my box was realy nothing... if I hadnt known it was supposed to be damaged I probably would never notice to be honest. They are packed very well in any case.

I am in a similar position to you regarding using it, had it out of the box to check it and turn it on but not connected anything yet as I am between houses and hoping to move in to a new place in about two weeks. Then I can get all my gear set up and buy a screen... so realy looking forward to that! :)

I am looking for a decent screen too but not wanting to break the bank as the house I am renting is not going to be permanant so will be reading the other comments about screens with interest.
 

jimarchy

Active Member
DrH Just had a look at DRH screens website and their prices are very reasonable especially the Tab Tensioned screens. Are you happy with the screen you have?
 
Last edited:

soupdragon

Distinguished Member
Kelvin is right about the Black Diamond. It completely transforms the image but does come t a price. Joe average will be content with a matte white screen but the home theatre enthusiast knows that the screen is as important as the projector. Have a look on the Projector Screen forum here, I posted two videos about the Black Diamond screens and they explain what is meant by light spillage:

http://www.avforums.com/forums/proj...te-difference-between-white-black-screen.html

This claims to use the Black Diamond Technology but is at a decent price:

16:9 Aspect Ratio Black [16:9 Aspect Ratio Black] - £359.99 : Clever AV Ltd, Home Cinema Supply and Custom Installation
Good find, awesome demo there!
 

bravogolf

Active Member
DrH Just had a look at DRH screens website and their prices are very reasonable especially the Tab Tensioned screens. Are you happy with the screen you have?
I have a DRH screen, approx 110" diagonal, and it's perfect for me (in a room with ambient light as, like yourself, the room is used for other living things too at the mo). The screen is 4 years old and still perfect, even though it rolls up when not in use. The company is excellent, by the way, and give a lot of good information about the screen of choice/s.
 

DrH

Active Member
DrH Just had a look at DRH screens website and their prices are very reasonable especially the Tab Tensioned screens. Are you happy with the screen you have?
I purchased a fixed screen from them after seeing an advert in a magazine, maybe HCC. I spoke to them on the phone and they were very helpful and friendly.

I found it very difficult to find any views on the cheaper screens, plenty on the more expensive it seems. Not many people seem to post about bad experiences with screens it seems.

I am very pleased with mine but it is my first one.

Hope that helps

DrH
 

Woodhill

Novice Member
Kelvin is right about the Black Diamond. It completely transforms the image but does come t a price. Joe average will be content with a matte white screen but the home theatre enthusiast knows that the screen is as important as the projector. Have a look on the Projector Screen forum here, I posted two videos about the Black Diamond screens and they explain what is meant by light spillage:

http://www.avforums.com/forums/proj...te-difference-between-white-black-screen.html

This claims to use the Black Diamond Technology but is at a decent price:

16:9 Aspect Ratio Black [16:9 Aspect Ratio Black] - £359.99 : Clever AV Ltd, Home Cinema Supply and Custom Installation
I saw your videos a while back when researching projector screens. Certainly very impressive. I am still not sure if my setup (i.e a projector, screen, and TV in the same room) allows me to have a fixed screen. Most of the home cinemas I have seen have an electric screen that drops down in front of the TV.

The black diamond electric screens will be outside my price range. Unless I can think up a way of sliding a fixed screen horizontally in front of the TV.....
 

jimarchy

Active Member
Thanks Guy's, think I will be giving DRH a call once I get moved in and decide where the screen will go.
 

phil5366

Banned
Woodhill,

Thats a great bargain you got on the Epson, a great projector that you will not be dissapointed with!
 

HeavenlyWarrior

Well-known Member
Even if the screens were outside your price range, just like they are mine :p, I still think a grey screen is the way to go as it absorbs some of the ambient light while improving black levels and the contrast ratio :) And you want that sort of screen in a room with potentially a lot of ambient light.
 

DrH

Active Member
Even if the screens were outside your price range, just like they are mine :p, I still think a grey screen is the way to go as it absorbs some of the ambient light while improving black levels and the contrast ratio :) And you want that sort of screen in a room with potentially a lot of ambient light.
I looked at the link above on the black diamond screen, fixed for me was around the £470 mark which is not at all impossible.

However is there any way of trying before buying? a sample perhaps?

DrH
 

HeavenlyWarrior

Well-known Member
Diamond material is quite specific so I doubt you will be able to get a feel for it from just a square foot of material unless you visit their store to see it firsthand full size in a demo. As a retailer, this should be arrangable if they want to make the sale. I would suggest emailing them and seeing what they reccommend if you are not within driving distance.
 

Woodhill

Novice Member
Even if the screens were outside your price range, just like they are mine :p, I still think a grey screen is the way to go as it absorbs some of the ambient light while improving black levels and the contrast ratio :) And you want that sort of screen in a room with potentially a lot of ambient light.
The electric screens (black diamond) are outside my price range. Have you used other grey electric screens?

The black diamond fixed screens are affordable but I do not know a good way to slide a fixed screen out of the way when not in use.:confused:

I will have a better idea when I decide on layout this week.
 

The latest video from AVForums

Panasonic HZ2000 OLED TV Review: The best OLED for movie viewing in 2020

Latest News

Melco anniversary edition N10 library announced
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
What's new on Disney+ UK for November 2020
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Denon, Marantz and Yamaha AV receivers hit by HDMI 2.1 bug
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
McIntosh launches MX100 AV processor and MI347 power amp
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Samsung updates and expands access to Samsung TV Plus
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Top Bottom