New Member Seeking Advice


Standard Member
Hi Guys,

I am a new member with about £5K to invest in a home cinema system. I have read a few articles and now need some real world advice on how to spend my money wisely.
First a bit of background which will hopefully narrow things down a bit.
Room size is 8m x 3.5m - with the screen to go on the wall 3.5m wide by 2.5m high. Ambient light is controlable, but I would like to view during the daytime if possible. I have young children who may wish to use the projection system with a games console, and I would like to watch Sky+ as well as DVD's. I am considering a screen size of about 2m diagonal, but do not have a clue about whether to buy a bit of old rag or a £2000 screen from somwhere like Stewart.

I am considering either a Sim2 Domino 20 or an NEC HT1100, however I have been advised that the NEC's image quality is poor as it is too bright - any experience of viewing these would be useful together with which screen used.

As for the AMP, the Pioneer VSX-D812 looks like good, and perhaps KEF 5005 speakers (they have to look good to keep the wife happy!).

Any advice welcomed.



Active Member
With a 5k Budget I would not advise spending £2k on a screen as it will compromise your other choices.
Both projectors you mention will give you a very good picture.
The NEC has a shorter throw lens and could be used on a coffee table or better still (with kids) ceiling mounted.
The Domino has a longer throw lens and is designed to go at the back of the room. With its optical lens shift it can sit the right way up on a small shelf on the back wall out of harms way.


Standard Member
Is there a cost-effective screen that delivers a good viewing experience with these projectors?


I think you are probably looking at a manual screen, maybe 7-8ft wide, you should also consider the infocus 5700, as it is capable of being used in higher ambient light. A manual screen such as an Othello would be £300 or less, a ceiling mount £100 or less, component video cable £100, giving you £1500 for speakers and electronics. That leaves you able, perhaps, to consider finding a bargain end of line Denon 3803 or similar, which will upconvert all your sources to component video. Single cable to the projector has a lot in it's favour. Consoles work well with this setup, and a digital set top box for TV, whether cable, sky or freeview, and a DVD player to complete it should still leave you enough for some at least 1/2 decent speakers, though sadly not enough for Anthony Gallo, which the fairer sex usually like.


Active Member
for speakers have you seen the thx mordaunt-short 500 series package?£1200 approx!! do them in beech for the missus!
as for amp the thx marantz sr5400 has good reviews only £450!
for screens go to www.drhscreens, good value! go for manual
go for a good denon or harmon kardon dvd player with pal progressive scan
as for the pj thats the big question, spend about £2000 on one to get a mid range pj for good pq.
have a good read around this forum and get as much info as you can , its great.


There are some great out of the box systems available on the market, so you don't really have to hunt around sourcing separates, differing speakers when you could by something like a bose lifestyle system which will cover a large part of the audio and dvd side of things. They also look supurb.

I have bose 161's which are bookshelf speakers. They cost me about £90 quid per speaker and are rated at 100 watt.

Also are you looking at a permenant installation because if you aren't DIY competent you may need to budget for installation.


Do an internet search for bose before buying, you might be surprised at the reality. £90 seems a bit steep for a £5 cardboard cone driver.


Active Member
am considering either a Sim2 Domino 20 or an NEC HT1100, however I have been advised that the NEC's image quality is poor as it is too bright

.............. I wonder who advised you of that (nonsense imo).............. I've seen the HT1000 (recent predecessor to the HT1100) in my own movie room for an extended period and it had absolutely superb picture quality, would be very well regarded here.

I haven't seen any of the Sim range and so can't comment on them, but the HT1000 has stood up well to Sim in expert comparisons done over on avsforum........ I think you should see decent demos of the projectors and make your own mind up.....

Sean G.

Peter Parker

Distinguished Member
Yes, either choice will give you an excellent picture. The Sim will have the edge comparing it with the HT1000 I have, though I haven't seen the HT1100. The Sim2 Domino 20H has the advantage of HDMI and will give an excellent picture when paired with a Pioneer 668 or 868.

The NEC has an adjustable iris and eco lamp mode which reduces light output a great deal. If you have some ambient light during daytime viewing, it may not be bright enough in that mode, but you have the option of opening the iris or making the lamp brighter to compensate. It's image is far from poor IMHO. :)

You should demo both before buying though.

I fully agree with Jeffs comment about spending £2000 on a screen - you'll get a surprisingly good image from something costing a quarter of that, and the more you spend, the more you get into diminishing returns.

If you can have a permanent fixed screen, the cheapest method is a wooden fixed frame and some white blackout cloth (available from any curtain shop) stretched and stapled across it will cost you around £30 for something up to around 7ft 6ins wide IIRC (mine is 7ft wide 16:9 - pics on my website). Some 1.2 gain material (which I'm now using) will cost around £100 more or so, and will give a brighter and slightly whiter image. Ideal if there are kids around as it will be cheap to repair/replace.

Manual pull down screens cost from around £200 depending on screen size:

Some people on here are using pull down blinds like those found in Ikea and are cheaper still. Use the search facility for more info.




Well-known Member
I am also looking for a screen and might be going for the drh slimline matt white. I understand the gain is around 1.0, is this suitably matched for a PT-AE100? There are higher gain screens there but I should think a gain of 1.0 is sufficient? The brightness is 700 ANSI on the PT-AE100.


Matte white generally has a gain of 1.1. It has a wide viewing angle and is generally fine for home cinema. You can get high contrast high gain screens although this will reduce your viewing angle. Have a look around because you can get good value screens without paying the price tag to have it branded. They will probably be made in the same factory by the same people! :eek:


Active Member
I have to disagree with the screen issue, although i do see that it would eat away at the budget but i also wasn't all that convinced on how different the Stewart screens would improve things but until you have seen the difference they make an enormous improvement.

My opinion on projectors is either the SIM2 or the Infocus 5700 both great projectors

Clint C

Active Member
HT1100? Don't discount it... excellent image with superb contrast ratio. Image quality poor because it's too bright? Good grief, I've heard it all now. :nono:


Active Member
What about Toshiba MT8, clone of Infocus 7200 (HD2 chip and 720P res) @ only £3.46k ( less than 500 more than 5700, altough there are reports of bulb problems on the 7200, which I don't know whether it applies to MT8, one US dealer sold 27 7200 last year, and 9 had problems and 7 were bulb related. But with a fault free unit, it should be heads better than 5700 and its Matterhorn chip.

UPDATE! - is selling the MT8 for £3.1k.

And not least, what about BenQ PE8700 (HD2 and 720p) at around $4k US streetprice (only £2.85k at ivojo and nexnix), which is $2k cheaper than same league Infocus 7200. 8700 has won many many happy US avsforum owners, avs reckons its the best DLP in its class for the price you pay. Any problems that has occured has been solved by firmware upgrades, superb CS (although don't know the UK one), or AVIA calibration.

And the revised 8700 with the new Mustang HD2+ chip has just been launched which should make an arlready super good DLP of the year according to respectable, into an exceptional, and they are selling it at the same MRRP of $6k as the previous one. Could ivojo and nexnix sell it at under £3k UK streetprice? If yes, I can't see any other DLP even come close at that price/performance, you would have to go to the new Infocus 7205 with HD2+ chip, also released just now, but with a price tag of MRRP $9K!!!

But of course, you should try and get a demo and make decision based on your own eyes if possible.



Standard Member
Thanks for the input everyone.

Does the component video conversion on the Denon 3803 actually do a proper conversion, or would I be better off cabling both a Component and S-Video cable from the Amp to the projector


Active Member


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