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Advice For Projector - Home Theatre

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Hi, apologies in advance for my low level of knowledge on projector stuff - I have never owned one before.

I am building a new home with a theatre room measuring 4.53 x 3.80m. The 3.80m needs to be the "length" of the room (projector to screen) due to door and window locations. I would like to get the best projector, screen and sound setup I can for my budget, which will be about $4,000. I will be watching mostly 1080p movies, 720p TV and formula 1 and AFL broadcasts.

From reading this and other forums, it seems the Sony VPL-HW40ES is the best value in my price range. Do people agree? Are there other models worth considering? Where is the best place to purchase (I am in Perth)?

How much do I need to spend on a screen?

I asuume I should mount the projector on the ceiling. I am having the builder run conduit for HDMI and speaker cable from the bottom right corner of the room (where power and network plugs will be located) to the roof space. Does this make sense?

I had a look at http://www.projectorcentral.com/Sony-VPL-HW40ES-projection-calculator-pro.htm and assuming I mount the projector right near the back wall, and lose about 60cm from my 3.8m room for projector and screen depth, then I have a throw distance of 3.2m for a 220cm / 87" image size. Have I got this correct? Is it worthwhile getting a projector for this result, or should I just get a big LCD?

Any advice is appreciated.

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You will get a 120" image at the same distace with a benq W1070.

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Hi, apologies in advance for my low level of knowledge on projector stuff - I have never owned one before.

I am building a new home with a theatre room measuring 4.53 x 3.80m. The 3.80m needs to be the "length" of the room (projector to screen) due to door and window locations. I would like to get the best projector, screen and sound setup I can for my budget, which will be about $4,000. I will be watching mostly 1080p movies, 720p TV and formula 1 and AFL broadcasts.

From reading this and other forums, it seems the Sony VPL-HW40ES is the best value in my price range. Do people agree? Are there other models worth considering? Where is the best place to purchase (I am in Perth)?

How much do I need to spend on a screen?

I asuume I should mount the projector on the ceiling. I am having the builder run conduit for HDMI and speaker cable from the bottom right corner of the room (where power and network plugs will be located) to the roof space. Does this make sense?

I had a look at http://www.projectorcentral.com/Sony-VPL-HW40ES-projection-calculator-pro.htm and assuming I mount the projector right near the back wall, and lose about 60cm from my 3.8m room for projector and screen depth, then I have a throw distance of 3.2m for a 220cm / 87" image size. Have I got this correct? Is it worthwhile getting a projector for this result, or should I just get a big LCD?

Any advice is appreciated.

Actually, you can get ~ 108" (say 100" or maybe 105" after allowing a margin for error) with the Sony HW40. When using the calculator you linked to, first move the slider control for the Throw Range to 1.59x zoom, then adjust the Throw Distance. :)

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Actually, you can get ~ 108" (say 100" or maybe 105" after allowing a margin for error) with the Sony HW40. When using the calculator you linked to, first move the slider control for the Throw Range to 1.59x zoom, then adjust the Throw Distance. :)

Thanks - that's great! Is there any downside wrt to image quality (or anything else) to using the maximum zoom?

Is the Sony the best choice? Will 4K ever be in my price range? :)

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Thanks - that's great! Is there any downside wrt to image quality (or anything else) to using the maximum zoom?

Is the Sony the best choice? Will 4K ever be in my price range? :)

Lenses do tend to be optimised around the middle of the throw range, but will still work fine at maximum zoom.

At that price point the Sony would be my choice of current projectors. At 100" you'd have to sit mighty close to see the difference between 1080 and 4K - let the early adopters pay the premium for 4K and reconsider in a few years when it's mainstream.

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Perhaps more important is, "how far will you be sitting/viewing from the screen?" For your budget you probably want to go with the BenQ W1070, or similar (BenQ currently selling their W1400 for $1299. W1400 has more features and better zoom) and a projector screen and cables from one of the mentioned places on this forum, Cable Connection, OZTS, Selby, EZYHD (check the commercial area for sale area for links). Oh, don't be ripped off by expensive HDMI cables either. None of the previously mentioned will rip you off.

One thing everybody says is this, "Buy the projector first, figure out the size of display you want by projecting to the area you want to view (hang a sheet/project on to the wall behind the area you will be viewing. Once you are comfortable with the screen size you are viewing then order your screen." Remember - you don't wanna be moving your head side to side / up and down. You'll get tired of watching pretty soon...

This should leave you around $2500 for you sound system, and cables. Again, check out the places on here in the commercial section. If you can't get speaker cable at a good price, check out your BIG local hardware store. You'll be surprised at what you find in there. For what you want, you should be able to get 30 metres of 14G cable for around $38.74 ;)

As for receiver and speakers, I would lean towards better speakers than the receiver. Or should I say, go for a receiver with less features than an all singing, dancing, Spotify, Atmos 11 channel etc... Just try and stick with the reputable brands - and with everything where you want a warranty, stick with Australian stock.

Stick with 5.1 Receiver and spend more money on the best value speakers you can. I'm pretty sure you'll keep your speakers longer than your receiver (technology is always changing) . Shop around, ask for advice and feedback on here, there's a lot of good people who will offer you help.

Cheers!

Edited by Upstairs116

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Thanks for the advice. I am unlikely to be able to enjoy the sound too loud, as I have 3 very young kids, so would probably focus more on better quality visuals.

Would the difference between the $3k Sony and sub-$1500 BenQs be massive?

As for viewing distance - sitting immediately in front of the back wall, so about 2.9m?

If I went for the Sony, would this be a reasonable expectation

Sony VPL-HW40ES: $3,000

Screen: $250

Receiver (5.1): $700

Speakers (5.1): $800

Cables: $50

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It's not just the loudness - if anything you want decent quality so you can understand what's going on at lower volumes.

In 5-10 years when you can listen louder, or when the kids want to watch things you may find yourself needing to fork out more again.

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Also, a $250 screen to use with a $3k projector seems quite unbalanced, that's about 8% of the price of the projector.

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buy the cheaper benq, there is nothing wrong with it.

Spend more on screen/speakers/receiver.

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buy the cheaper benq, there is nothing wrong with it.

Spend more on screen/speakers/receiver.

This

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buy the cheaper benq, there is nothing wrong with it.

Yes there is, the contrast and black level of the Benq absolutely suck. The Sony is in a different league and a base model JVC makes the Sony look ordinary.

Edited by Owen

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I believe the problem you have is that you are purchasing at a point in time where technology like 4k, lcd and E-Shift etc are becoming available (and cheaper) for projectors and also Audio technology like Dobly Atmos and HDMI's ever changing versions (2.2?)!!!

With regards to your budget I would be buying a projector that is cheap ($1000-$1200) with the capability to throw the size screen you "think" you want want but wait to buy the screen until you have mounted the projector and have cast an image on the wall (hang a white sheet if your walls aren't any white shade). Just keep on zooming until you are all happy with whatever size and at this point watch some movies, do some gaming whatever and if you're still happy with the size then go on and purchase a quality screen. I will recommend Rich (oztheatre) and his screens as this is where I purchased my screen and am very happy with both the quality and customer service but their are also many members are also happy with The Cable Connection (TCC) screens and there is also Selby but not sure what their screens are like?

Owen always throws his point out there and on one hand he is right but I do not believe the contrast and brightness of the Benq range "absolutely suck" but that is his opinion...

Also on your room I would be running speaker wire everywhere it's required (IMO from all speaker locations (one bullnose at the front centre though) to your main setup on the side) as my friend made this costly mistake ($1500) for only 4 speakers wires and it's hard to drill through noggins half way down the wall without taking the roof off and using a 1 metre drill bit!

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Owen always throws his point out there and on one hand he is right but I do not believe the contrast and brightness of the Benq range "absolutely suck" but that is his opinion...

Contrast and blacks are very ordinary, the brightness of the Benq is fine.

The Benq is great value but performance in many areas is very limited.

Edited by Owen

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Brightness is black level... No point in having a bright image if the blacks are grey!

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Brightness is black level... No point in having a bright image if the blacks are grey!

And no use have great blacks if the picture is too dark. ;)

When we talk about a projectors "Brightness" we are normally disusing how many lumens it puts out and the Benq puts out plenty, it just has poor contrast like other DLP's and therefore a high black level.

Edited by Owen

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If buying right now go for it. Always room and time for an upgrade 1-2 yrs away with new tech coming thru soon

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Thanks for the advice. I am unlikely to be able to enjoy the sound too loud, as I have 3 very young kids, so would probably focus more on better quality visuals.

Would the difference between the $3k Sony and sub-$1500 BenQs be massive?

As for viewing distance - sitting immediately in front of the back wall, so about 2.9m?

If I went for the Sony, would this be a reasonable expectation

Sony VPL-HW40ES: $3,000

Screen: $250

Receiver (5.1): $700

Speakers (5.1): $800

Cables: $50

If you do go the Sony, shop around and you'll be able to find it cheaper than this (PM if you want some info). I've recently purchased this projector and have been blown away by the quality of it's picture. Another thing going for the Sony is that it is whisper quiet, so if you won't be watching movies with loud volume, this might be a consideration.

You could also try the BenQ W7500:

Fits in your budget easily and Cowboyswing from the forums uses one in his room and I can vouch that it's a seriously good projector. Although you might need some of the more knowledgable members here to give you an idea on screen size you could get with this one.

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You could always cut a section out at the back of the room and project through the hole (like the cimenas) to get a longer throw if looking at a PJ that can't throw short?

Unless of course the back of the room is a boundary wall!

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agree with the benq 7500, 1500, 1400 even the 1070 (i just got mine) your budget is 4000... really cant see a need to spend about 75% of that on the projector.. especially being your first.

i think the 1400 is the go. anyway just do not bother with st models (short throw) and make sure you have some money for screen, seating, furnishings etc to make things comfy while you sit back in front of your new toy and wonder how you ever thought a "big screen tv" was EVER big.. enjoy

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I agree with a cheaper projector, I have an old Epson I enjoy and having viewed the epson 5200 and benq 1070 and 7500, they are all a big improvement and I personally prefer either benq over the 5200. Sound to me is as important as the picture so to spend most of your budget on the sony would leave you only having money for a HTIB or similar, or searching for 2nd hand (which can work out well as an option also). Whatever you decide, choose what YOU like and then sit back and enjoy (for at least a few months before getting used to it and wanting more lol).

Aze

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