T

tmurnin

Full Audioholic
Ratings
39
#1
I was all set to buy a 75-82" 4k tv, but after reviewing the prices for the models I was considering (Sony X900 or Samsung Q8),I started to wonder if a projector/screen setup wouldn't be a better choice. This is in a basement home theater-type room with very little ambient light, seating approx. 12' from the front wall (where the screen would mount). I don't know anything about projectors, so not sure what to look for. Usage in the room will be 60% movies/20% gaming/20% sports. Is 4K important in projectors now? I don't want to buy something that I'll just be looking to replace in a year.

As far as screens go, I'm just looking for a fixed screen, I think, but not sure how large I should get. What is a "typical" screen size (the wall is 22' long so there aren't any real physical constraints). The room is roughly 22'X 24' X 7.5'

One BIG consideration - this is a finished basement with a drywall ceiling, so I'd need to pay an electrician to run power and fish cables. Not sure if that cost alone makes this a silly idea but thought I'd ask.

Thanks in advance
 
Drunkpenguin

Drunkpenguin

Senior Audioholic
Ratings
459 3
#2
I vote for the PJ. 80" is a big TV, but its a tiny theater screen. In a room that size I'd be looking at 120" minimum. You also have room to consider an accoustically transparent screen with the speakers behind it. This would be much more impressive than an 80" tv.
 
BMXTRIX

BMXTRIX

Audioholic Spartan
Ratings
1,842 2
#3
We sit about 12' from a 85" flat panel TV in our family room. Upgraded from a 64" TV. The first question my wife asked "Is that really bigger than our old TV?" - It's just a TV, even a big TV, and it will still feel like a TV.

Standard screen size is about 10" to 12" of diagonal for each foot of viewing distance. 120" is definitely the smallest I would go, and I would go as large as 150" diagonal if you like it.

How do you know if you like it? You buy a projector first, then the screen second. Have the electrician come in after you have determined the screen size and projector location to put the wiring in place. Most electricians know very VERY little about how to do A/V properly, so you may want to look for a good path to run wires yourself and keep in mind that HDMI didn't exist 16 or so years ago, and the newest 4K HDMI didn't exist until a few years ago. What you have today will be obsolete in a decade. You want to be able to put new wiring in place as easily as possible.

You may want to look at projectors which support long throw distances like the Epson 5040UB or the JVC RS440 (I'm a big JVC fan). These models support 4K resolution and can be had for under $3,000. Most of all, they can be put at the BACK of your room and project all the way across it. This may minimize the wiring that is necessary. I actually did a setup where I just ran the cabling from the ceiling to the floor and had some equipment right there.

Another rather large consideration is that you will need to address audio completely separately from video. Projectors don't have much audio built in. Better models have no audio built in. They should be treated like computer monitors. Don't count on good audio or smart functions. Just a display device. That's okay because you can get a Roku for not much cash and you want good speakers to fill your space with good audio. But, once again, A/V receivers have to support the newest HDMI (2.0/18Gbs). They aren't terribly expensive anymore and you can get packages for under $500 with speakers. (Spend more if you can)

Yes, a projector is not a hang and bang project the way a TV is. It's tougher to setup. But, once it is in place, it's truly as good as going to a movie theater. It has the immersion that a movie theater offers and it has the feel of being special that a theater offers. I can't tell you how stoked my kids and their friends were when I told them they could play the Playstation on our front projection setup in the basement. They went straight to it and enjoy the heck out of it.

Front projection really can start right at about $1,000 for a complete setup, but a good JVC is about $3,000 and good audio can be way, way more than that. So, it's a range starting at $1,000 for a very entry level 1080p setup. I think the price jump that may occur for having to go from the center of the room for a standard zoom range projector to the extended zoom range of the JVC or Epson model may pay for itself for the ease of getting cabling in place.
 
T

tmurnin

Full Audioholic
Ratings
39
#4
Thanks. I already have a 5.1.4 audio setup along with AppleTv for smart functions , so that money is already spent.

As for location, my components are all in the front of the room and speaker wiring is all there as well, so I think I’m locked into wiring running to front. Your comment about needing the wiring upgradeable in the future is interesting, are you suggesting running conduit for the HDMI?

As for the projector, what features are important? Native 4K or is the pixel-shift technology ok? Any other key features? Should I focus on epson and JVC or is Sony also good?

We sit about 12' from a 85" flat panel TV in our family room. Upgraded from a 64" TV. The first question my wife asked "Is that really bigger than our old TV?" - It's just a TV, even a big TV, and it will still feel like a TV.

Standard screen size is about 10" to 12" of diagonal for each foot of viewing distance. 120" is definitely the smallest I would go, and I would go as large as 150" diagonal if you like it.

How do you know if you like it? You buy a projector first, then the screen second. Have the electrician come in after you have determined the screen size and projector location to put the wiring in place. Most electricians know very VERY little about how to do A/V properly, so you may want to look for a good path to run wires yourself and keep in mind that HDMI didn't exist 16 or so years ago, and the newest 4K HDMI didn't exist until a few years ago. What you have today will be obsolete in a decade. You want to be able to put new wiring in place as easily as possible.

You may want to look at projectors which support long throw distances like the Epson 5040UB or the JVC RS440 (I'm a big JVC fan). These models support 4K resolution and can be had for under $3,000. Most of all, they can be put at the BACK of your room and project all the way across it. This may minimize the wiring that is necessary. I actually did a setup where I just ran the cabling from the ceiling to the floor and had some equipment right there.

Another rather large consideration is that you will need to address audio completely separately from video. Projectors don't have much audio built in. Better models have no audio built in. They should be treated like computer monitors. Don't count on good audio or smart functions. Just a display device. That's okay because you can get a Roku for not much cash and you want good speakers to fill your space with good audio. But, once again, A/V receivers have to support the newest HDMI (2.0/18Gbs). They aren't terribly expensive anymore and you can get packages for under $500 with speakers. (Spend more if you can)

Yes, a projector is not a hang and bang project the way a TV is. It's tougher to setup. But, once it is in place, it's truly as good as going to a movie theater. It has the immersion that a movie theater offers and it has the feel of being special that a theater offers. I can't tell you how stoked my kids and their friends were when I told them they could play the Playstation on our front projection setup in the basement. They went straight to it and enjoy the heck out of it.

Front projection really can start right at about $1,000 for a complete setup, but a good JVC is about $3,000 and good audio can be way, way more than that. So, it's a range starting at $1,000 for a very entry level 1080p setup. I think the price jump that may occur for having to go from the center of the room for a standard zoom range projector to the extended zoom range of the JVC or Epson model may pay for itself for the ease of getting cabling in place.
 
BMXTRIX

BMXTRIX

Audioholic Spartan
Ratings
1,842 2
#5
I would personally focus on Sony and JVC. Epson hits a price point for the money.

Yes, conduit is the recommendation for any pathway that is otherwise inaccessible. Not sure how your wall is setup and where studs run, so it may, or may not, be possible. Every installation is its own can of worms. But, for true future-proof installations, you must have retro access, and a 1.25" conduit is the smallest that can reasonably work. Still, I've done work where I shot wires behind and around finished walls to unfinished spaces without the need to cut a single hole. So, it all depends.

For a projector, certain features matter a bit more than others, with contrast being one of the most important. Unfortunately, advertised contrast and real world contrast are completely different. LCoS remains king, DLP does a good job with cheaper models, with Epson's UB series falling between DLP and LCoS, and the cheaper Epson models having the worst contrast. But, Epson doesn't suffer from RBE issues (rainbows on DLP),that some are bugged by. LCoS doesn't either, but the LCoS products carry a price premium.
JVC and Epson render a half 4K image with eShift, and while sharp, and better than 1080p, they are not as sharp as the DLP models or the native 4K models (better Sonys & newest JVCs).
The Epson models don't support full 18Gbs HDMI yet. Neither do the Sonys. JVC does and the cheaper DLP models do as well.

The JVC RS440 can be had for around $3,000. The Sony models are a fair bit more and there are new JVC models that are native 4K that should be competitive to the Sony models, and perhaps better overall, but won't be priced less really.

I consider the RS440 to be one of the best performance to value ratio projectors out there right now.
 
T

tmurnin

Full Audioholic
Ratings
39
#6
Apparently the RS440 is discontinued and completely sold out. A JVC guy told me that the X590 is basically the same projector with some minor aesthetic differences (lens ring is black/grey instead of gold). Looks like the X590 is at Best Buy for $3500, haven't checked anywhere else yet.
Best Buy also lists the Sony 285ES as on sale right now for $4k, but their website says they are sold out. They do have the 295ES for $5k, but that's a lot of money. The VPL45 ES is on sale for $2k (open box for $1500) but obviously not 4K compliant.

Question - how important is 4K in a projector? Is 18GpS important in real-world applications, or is that just dealer upsell stuff? If I save $2-3k and buy a 1080p projector, am I going to be kicking myself in 6 months? This stuff is hard!
 
BMXTRIX

BMXTRIX

Audioholic Spartan
Ratings
1,842 2
#7
There are many jumps in quality and price of projectors tends to lead up to a certain point before you aren't paying for much more in quality. The Sony 285 is a native 4K projector. The newest JVC models are also native 4K projectors. They start in the $5,000 range and go from there. They represent the 'best' and really do deserve it IMO. The newest JVC models haven't been reviewed as far as I know, but if they hold the contrast ratings of previous models, then they will simply be the elite and will give Sony an incredible run for the money.

I believe that support for 4K is important. The 18Gbs inputs allow for greater color depth, smoother color, and better overall image quality. Starting with a 4K source you end up with a better final on-screen image. How much better? That's a good question and is somewhat subjective.

You see, you have models like the Sony HW45ES which can put up the best image you could hope for from a 1080p projector. But, there are those who have gone from that to one of the current DLP 4K models and say that the jump in quality is apparent and that 4K is the only way to go. Then, you have those who say the opposite. So, yeah, it's very confusing, even for those who are well versed with front projection.

I'm of the opinion of going cheap or going large with very little in between. If I'm in for $2,500, I might as well be in for $4,000. If I'm not in for $4,000, then I'm not in for $2,500. I will go all the way down to a BenQ HT2050A and call it a day. Enjoy it for a few years, know that I'm compromising my image some, then upgrade when the JVC models drop or my budget allows for something in that class. There's nothing wrong with that course of action at all, especially if you plan for it and have a mindset about doing it from the start.

But, if your budget allows for quality 4K from the start with full 18Gbs support (which I think is important),then I would go that route. I would think some of the JVC models may be out there and someone may be able to get them. I haven't check with my distributor and they may very well be sold out.
 
M

moves

Senior Audioholic
Ratings
72
#8
That JVC NX 5 looks very nice but not cheap... $7500ish CAD $6000 USD I believe. However, I believe it is the lowest native 4k model they have.
 
BMXTRIX

BMXTRIX

Audioholic Spartan
Ratings
1,842 2
#9
It is. I'm actually super surprised they didn't keep the RS440 around for another year and lower the price a bit to compete in the near $3,000 area. They have their DLP model at $2,500, then a HUGE jump to $6,000. That's just going to hurt them in the next year unless they decide to drop pricing quickly, which isn't typical for JVC.
 
DigitalDawn

DigitalDawn

Audioholic
Ratings
83 2
#10
My distributor is showing the 440 and 540 in stock. Don't know if this was accurate or not but I was told at CEDIA that JVC was keeping the 440 and 540 in the lineup.
 
BMXTRIX

BMXTRIX

Audioholic Spartan
Ratings
1,842 2
#11
My distributor is showing the 440 and 540 in stock. Don't know if this was accurate or not but I was told at CEDIA that JVC was keeping the 440 and 540 in the lineup.
I've heard the opposite, but NOT from my distributor. Just third hand. I will need to call them and find out what the deal is. The 440 is certainly my go-to recommendation, and still will be as their native 4K models are a bit pricey at this point.
 

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