Living Room Projector

G

gtche

Audioholic Intern
In our living room we have extensive built-ins that limit the size of our tv to 55". Modifying the built-ins would be a massive undertaking so we are exploring other options. Our current thought is to keep our current Pioneer plasma and add a projector system to the living room. Typical viewing during the day would remain with the plasma and at night we would use the projector. For the projector I was thinking of something like the JVC NZ3 as it has a high lumen output that would allow for use other than just at night. We have curtains to control light but it is still a living room and open to the rest of the house. The projector will be about 13 feet from the screen.

The screen would be recessed into the ceiling with a motorized tab-tensioned screen (my ceiling joists do go the correct direction). The primary and farthest sitting position is 11 feet from the screen. I was thinking of a 106" to 110" acoustically transparent screen (my speakers will be behind the screen). I am aware that this is far from ideal and will be quite expensive ($3-4k), but is it crazy? One other thing, I will need about 42" of drop as my ceilings are 10' tall. My local home theater shop sells Draper and Stewart screens (along with JVC). I can expand my search to Knoxville or Asheville if another screen manufacturer is preferred as I am wanting to get this professionally installed.

I am open to suggestions and it is ok to tell me that this is not worth ~$8-10k I am thinking this is going to cost. Modifying the built-ins and installing a 77" OLED will likely be about the same cost. Thanks for your help.
 
Last edited:
BMXTRIX

BMXTRIX

Audioholic Warlord
*sigh*

I think you get some idea of what you are dealing with. What is missing is your first-hand experience to see what a projector looks like in your space and if you will really like it. IMO, you would. But, that's a lot of money.

I would lean towards the Epson 5050, as it tends to actually be brighter with calibrated video than most others. It also has greater lens shift which would be a huge factor if you want to have the projector as tight to the ceiling as possible. While I'm a huge fan of JVC, their DLP projector uses the same chip and has the same limitations as so many other current DLP manufacturers.

For a screen, Draper, DaLite, and Stewart are all excellent mid-tier product solutions.

But, all that said, this is an expense for after-dark viewing only. Without good shades you won't be doing any daytime usage. Still, a 77" OLED would be a heck of a update over a 55" TV. Going back to one of my original complaints since I started doing AV... NEVER DO A BUILT IN THAT LIMITS TV SIZE!!!! In reality, you could get an articulating TV mount and float a TV directly in front of the built in instead of inside of it. With the ultra thin TVs available today, including OLED, you could have it out less than an inch from your built-in and not spend much more than the price of the TV, plus the mount (get a good one) and any installation costs.

I might go that route before putting in a screen and all that's required for it to work properly.
 
G

gtche

Audioholic Intern
I really appreciate your feedback BMXTRIX. I wanted an honest answer as I think I knew that this was an unrealistic project and I felt like my local shop would have told me what I wanted to hear.

I definitely agree with you on the built-ins. Unfortunately they came with the house when we bought it and putting the TV in front of them will not work. Once this Covid mess dies down I think we will do some more searching for a wood worker/contractor to expand the center section. All I need is 18 more inches in the center section to make everything work.

Thanks again for saving me from spending a stupid amount of money on a comprised solution.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
Always good to audition the PJ before you buy.

Recently I had 2 clients come over to compare the JVC NZ3 vs JVC NX5 (my house) vs Epson 6050UB (Best Buy).

They were shopping for a PJ to use in a room with ambient lighting. So I turned on the lights in my HT room, which they said is a lot brighter than their rooms. My screen is 150", while their screens are smaller (130"). PJ distance in my room is 23FT vs 15-16FT in their rooms.

For the money, both of them ended up buying the NZ3 and loving it.

You have to audition for yourself and compare the pros and cons. What is salient to you? Is black level the absolute salient factor? Or can you compromise slightly in one area (like Black levels) and gain other areas?

The NZ3 is LASER, so you won't be losing as much lumen outputs like all these lamp-projectors. And you won't be changing lamps every 2-3 years (depending on how much you watch) like these lamp projectors.
 
afterlife2

afterlife2

Audioholic Warlord
*sigh*

I think you get some idea of what you are dealing with. What is missing is your first-hand experience to see what a projector looks like in your space and if you will really like it. IMO, you would. But, that's a lot of money.

I would lean towards the Epson 5050, as it tends to actually be brighter with calibrated video than most others. It also has greater lens shift which would be a huge factor if you want to have the projector as tight to the ceiling as possible. While I'm a huge fan of JVC, their DLP projector uses the same chip and has the same limitations as so many other current DLP manufacturers.

For a screen, Draper, DaLite, and Stewart are all excellent mid-tier product solutions.

But, all that said, this is an expense for after-dark viewing only. Without good shades you won't be doing any daytime usage. Still, a 77" OLED would be a heck of a update over a 55" TV. Going back to one of my original complaints since I started doing AV... NEVER DO A BUILT IN THAT LIMITS TV SIZE!!!! In reality, you could get an articulating TV mount and float a TV directly in front of the built in instead of inside of it. With the ultra thin TVs available today, including OLED, you could have it out less than an inch from your built-in and not spend much more than the price of the TV, plus the mount (get a good one) and any installation costs.

I might go that route before putting in a screen and all that's required for it to work properly.
HI BMX saw this paint and thought it was a good deal. Would it be decent for a wall with a 3000 lumens projector?
 
TheWarrior

TheWarrior

Audioholic Ninja
HI BMX saw this paint and thought it was a good deal. Would it be decent for a wall with a 3000 lumens projector?
When using a wall as the screen, the absolute most important part is achieving as flat of a surface as possible. For me, that meant sanding. 220 is plenty. An oil based primer is sandable (wear mask and goggles of course). Get your primer flat n smooth before painting. A small nap foam roller with very smooth, even pressure strokes, gave me a beautiful screen that I would not even consider replacing with a vinyl screen. (I have a Stewart perforated in another room) You can mask if you want, but I do not find it necessary. I kinda like having a 'stealth' screen on an already white wall.
 
DigitalDawn

DigitalDawn

Full Audioholic
To get the most out of any projector in bright environments, I recommend the Screen Innovations Slate screen. It's available in multiple configurations including motorized.

 
nathan_h

nathan_h

Audioholic
I have done precisely what you are describing (projection screen that drops down in front of a flat panel in a living room) for the two years it too me to build my home theater room (I'm a slow DIY guy).

It is absolutely doable.

If your living room is light colored, has windows that leak a little light at night, and especially if you are going to keep a few small lights on when using the projector, a white screen is not ideal. But it can work.

You can pay a lot for screens, but there are decent choices that do what you want from Elite Screens or Silver Ticket that cost less than Stewart and Seymour (I have used both in my home) and SI (I've just seen screen samples and I like their Slate .8 gain material for your situation and I think it comes in a perforated version though depending on your viewing distance those perforations might be visible.)

Acoustic transparency means higher cost, few options, and sometimes less gain.

I know you can't rebuild your room but can you move your speakers to where they screen won't block them? That would give you more options for less money.

I would advise that you try to work with a dealer that will let you try the projector in your home for a day and return it if it isn't looking good. Some will, some won't, and some will have very specific requirements like you can only use ten hours on the bulb.

There is also NO SHAME in experimenting with screen sizes by getting a cheap manual pull down screen to try for a week. You can probably pick one up for under $150. This won't be a definitive test but can give you a sense of how it all works together before you make a hefty investment. Maybe you will realize you want a different size. Maybe you will realize you can adjust your speaker positions and don't need acoustic transparency.

Also, note that all the good screen manufacturers will send you samples of their screen materials. A few of the bargain brands like Elite (I think) will charge you around $5 per sample.

These samples, taped to that cheap screen you picked up for testing, can help you decide: Hey, is paying for ALR worth it? Is simple gray a good compromise? Do I like a white screen in this room? Etc.

In our living room we have extensive built-ins that limit the size of our tv to 55". Modifying the built-ins would be a massive undertaking so we are exploring other options. Our current thought is to keep our current Pioneer plasma and add a projector system to the living room. Typical viewing during the day would remain with the plasma and at night we would use the projector. For the projector I was thinking of something like the JVC NZ3 as it has a high lumen output that would allow for use other than just at night. We have curtains to control light but it is still a living room and open to the rest of the house. The projector will be about 13 feet from the screen.

The screen would be recessed into the ceiling with a motorized tab-tensioned screen (my ceiling joists do go the correct direction). The primary and farthest sitting position is 11 feet from the screen. I was thinking of a 106" to 110" acoustically transparent screen (my speakers will be behind the screen). I am aware that this is far from ideal and will be quite expensive ($3-4k), but is it crazy? One other thing, I will need about 42" of drop as my ceilings are 10' tall. My local home theater shop sells Draper and Stewart screens (along with JVC). I can expand my search to Knoxville or Asheville if another screen manufacturer is preferred as I am wanting to get this professionally installed.

I am open to suggestions and it is ok to tell me that this is not worth ~$8-10k I am thinking this is going to cost. Modifying the built-ins and installing a 77" OLED will likely be about the same cost. Thanks for your help.
 
BMXTRIX

BMXTRIX

Audioholic Warlord
To get the most out of any projector in bright environments, I recommend the Screen Innovations Slate screen. It's available in multiple configurations including motorized.
There are a ton of ALR screens on the market, but by far the most important rule should be to avoid using a ALR screen at all costs. They simply destroy image quality due to hotspotting, lack of image uniformity, and sparkling. The very high price associated with ALR screens is much better spent on dark paint and blackout shades in any room.

Granted, a family room setup doesn't really offer much in the way of options and a ALR screen may be the only real option. In which case, Slate is about as good as any of the others.
 
nathan_h

nathan_h

Audioholic
(and it may be worthwhile to post a photo of where the TV and speakers currently reside in case there are other ideas / caveats to consider with your plan...)
 

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