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Projector, Plasma, LCD, CRT or RP - Help me decide


Established Member
[note, I wrote this befor finding the right forum to stick it in so I hope it isn't too off topic - but this forum seems closest to the main point]

Just in the process of buying my first house and need to make some AV decisions…

I have a cellar that I want to turn into a cinema room, it’s 14' 5" x 10' 2" (4.39m x 3.10m)

I have a lounge/diner that I want to listen to music in, it’s 23' 11" x 11' 6" (formerly 2 rooms knocked into one)

I don’t want the cellar to be a full on cinema, more multipurpose so I can sit there and relax on the sofa with the TV on and laptop on lap – because of this, in the short term I am not interested in having a TV in the lounge as I expect to spend a lot of time in my underground layer. In the longer term it would be nice to have a TV upstairs too, but not a priority straight away.

So, I need to decide on some sort of video display. I have about £1500 to spend on this and need to decide between getting a plasma, rear projection, LCD TV or Projector and my thinking is thus:

- In the long term I’d like a projector, but a top spec 1080i one is going to be the wrong side of £3000, so I’m after something in my price range that can be a stopgap for a few years. One option is a projector in my price range, but then the jump to a higher spec projector a few years down the line would not be such a big jump – and big jumps put a smile on my face.

- If I got an LCD or Plasma then I could have it in the cellar until I got a projector, at which point I could move it upstairs to the lounge. A 32” LCD would probably be better in the long run as space for a 42”+ plasma upstairs would be limited

- Rear projection seems to offer the best value for money (the 55” Sony 55A2000 seems to be the one to go for) and would be ideal for the dark cellar with the kind of viewing angle I would be sat at, but… when I upgraded to a projector I couldn’t make much use of it elsewhere in the house in the way that I could for a plasma or LCD

- The other option is to stick with my 32” Panasonic CRT until I can afford a top spec projector. There’d be a certain satisfaction in this as it’s a great TV and I could save the cash and concentrate on getting the audio and source side of things sorted out.

So, I’d love to hear what you lot would recommend…

[and if that isn’t enough for you to get your teeth into…]

Current Kit:

Castle Inversion 100 Speakers
Castle Inversion 15 Speakers
4x Musical Fidelity X-A50 monoblock power amps
1x Musical Fidelity XS-100 dual mono power amp
Musical Fidelity X-Pre preamp
Musical Fidelity X-Ray CD player
Musical Fidelity X-A1 integrated amp
Musical Fidelity X-10D
Musical Fidelity X-DAC
Musical Fidelity X-CAN V2 headphone amp
Musical Fidelity X-LP phone stage
Michell Engineering Syncro record player
Marrantz DV7010 DVD player
Marrantz SR5200 Amp
Mourdant Short 905C centre
Mourdant Short 308 Sub
Panasonic TX-32PH40 TV

Shopping list: - to complete the cinema room – the rest can wait

Castle Inversion 45-C – Centre speaker to pair with the Inversion 100s at the front of my AV setup
Castle Inversion 50s to use as rears
REL Sub (or similar) – not sure which one
7.1 Channel surround sound processor
A new DVD player – Something with good upscaling to get the most from my DVD collection
A Video display of some sort – see above
More Musical Fidelity power amps depending on how crazy I want to go with the bi-amping

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