projector/media room setup??

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by internetman, Aug 21, 2019.

  1. internetman

    internetman Well-Known Member

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    #1 internetman, Aug 21, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
    good day:

    i am inquiring into peeps with a projector setup.

    i have a basement area that i am finishing and am leaning towards going with a projector instead of two 50" tvs.

    i watch sports but not two at the same time.

    its in the basement and light (impacting screen) will not be an issue.

    projector: im thinking about:

    BenQ MH535FHD

    sound: i know that i will need a sound system, not an issue (prob go with 7.1).

    screen: should i get an actually screen or paint on screen/flat screen.

    what else should i be looking at?
     
  2. dmclone

    dmclone Well-Known Member

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    #2 dmclone, Aug 21, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
    I set my basement up about 10 years ago and have made adjustments since. New projector, new AVR, new HDMI cables, seating, etc.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Here are a few things I'm happy I did and a few things I wish I would have changed.

    • I wired for 7.1 but never went beyond 5.1 and still feel no need. If I did, I'd probably go atmos. I did take pictures of all the wiring before the drywall went up, which was very helpful.
    • I put all my A/V gear in the unfinished part of the basement. Very happy I did this.
    • I didn't do any kind of cable management in the ceiling. HUGE MISTAKE. 10 years ago I thought to myself "HDMI will never change and if it does it will probably just use CAT6 so I'll just put an extra cable up there". When I switched over to my 4k projector I figured out that my HDMI cable wasn't up to current requirement. I spent over 4 hours and nearly killed someone trying to replace that HDMI cable. Get some kind conduit system in the ceiling for every wire.
    • I first went with a homemade 99" screen, which did pretty well for a couple hundred spent. Then I went to a 120" screen and it's better.
    • You can get a good AVR and projector for cheap. I wouldn't overspend on these items. Where you do want to overspend is on the speakers. Speaker technology usually doesn't change much and I've been using the same speakers for 20+ years.
    • I added power recliners, which are a very nice addition.
    • If I could do it over today, I would make more use out of LED lighting.
    • My harmony remote controls everything in the AV closet as well as lights
    • Light control means everything. Your picture will be so much better with a blacked out room. With that said, you still need a little light in certain places so people can find the beer.
    • A few months ago I added bass shakers to my chairs. I consider this a waste of money and would rather see someone just get an additional or bigger sub. My sub is pretty huge.
    • I don't use it as much as I should. Of course we watch every big game on there and some movies but probably only 5 hours a month during the off season. I do play a lot of PS4 down there.
    • It was a pretty cheap build compared to most people but I've got my money's worth over the last 10 years.
     
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  3. dmclone

    dmclone Well-Known Member

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    #3 dmclone, Aug 21, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
    I can't see which projector you are looking to buy. Can you give name/model #?

    I have an Optum UHD50 and I like the picture but I have two things I don't love.

    #1 It's a short throw projector so I actually have the opposite problem most people have. I have to zoom in at 100% and had to move the projector forward to get it down to 120". This I worked out so not a big deal.

    #2 The fan is louder than the 1080p Panasonic projector that I had before. You don't notice it except during quiet scenes of a movie. Apparently this isn't an Optum problem, it's a problem with all the projectors that use this 4k chip. Family/friends don't notice and I probably wouldn't either but my previous one was silent.
     
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  4. internetman

    internetman Well-Known Member

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    BenQ MH535FHD $499 on amazon
     
  5. dmclone

    dmclone Well-Known Member

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  6. dmclone

    dmclone Well-Known Member

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    On a side note, the racing picture is just there to cover up the fuse box. Also, the island that I built behind the seating was mostly there to hide the support beam but has worked well for those times where we have more than 4 people and kind of sections off the room.

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. internetman

    internetman Well-Known Member

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    remote allows for placing controlables (blu-ray, roku, etc...) where ever?

    do you have to point the remote at them?
     
  8. TitanClone

    TitanClone Well-Known Member

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  9. BryceC

    BryceC Well-Known Member

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    I did the same thing. I'd recommend a lot of seating. We have a huge couch on the floor, a riser behind that with theater chairs, and a high bar area with seats behind that and honestly it's just not enough if you're having a game watch or something.

    Also, I have an epson projector. It's not bad at all, but the entire reason we got it is that cnet said it was the best one at the time in brighter areas. You do want a blacked out room but no matter how big of sports fans you are, again, if you're watching a game with a lot of people most people want to have side conversations and be doing other stuff rather than sit in the dark. It's the same with kids.

    I have a harmony remote too, but honestly that might become pretty useless in the future. I think eventually we're going to cord cut, then we'll just be driving everything through the apple TV, and then we'll only need our phones. I think in hindsight, I'd rather have apple TV instead of a nice harmony remote and just use my phone

    100% agree spend the money on speakers. Most people really can't tell a huge difference in picture but a sweet theater sound does really make it a cool experience. Cranking up a big action movie or something that really bangs with a great sound system and full surround sound is great.

    Edit: last thing - we have a 100" screen. That's effing huge. When the guy at the store said that would fit I was like heck yes. However if you're going 100' or more, you need a LOT of space behind it. Sitting on our couch which is still pretty far away is as close as you want to be to it.
     
  10. dmclone

    dmclone Well-Known Member

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    I have an IR setup that sends all the commands to the closet but that was built 10 years ago. If I was doing it today, I would do something similar do what I do in my living room, which is to use a Harmony Hub/Remote combo. I also have a Google Home setup upstairs so I can say something like "Watch TV" and it will perform all the commands.
     
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  11. 3GenClone

    3GenClone Well-Known Member

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    I install commercial AV for a living:

    A physical screen is always preferred over painting. If you have a textured wall and/or the paint coat is uneven it can create image issues and can also be distracting. Plus a fixed frame screen is cheaper and easier to install and get it installed in an hour, whereas you could spend 1-2 days painting and cleaning up (depending on how many coats you use).

    Some items to consider:
    Think about the fan noise of the projector you select. You don't want to hear a fan running as you are trying to watch a movie or live sport. Most manufacturers should have decibel levels listed.

    Consider projector placement - it's probably going to be ceiling mounted. Are you an animated sports fan (like I am)? Will you (or any guests) block the image or possibly interact with the projector mount if a big play occurs. If you have kids just know that they will probably try to mess with it at some point as well, so make sure you have a sturdy mount that can absorb some abuse.

    Long-run HDMIs can be expensive and also the gauge can be extremely thick, which makes it hard to pull through walls (especially through insulation). Consider HDMI extenders - these use CAT5/CAT6 cabling. Extenders are way more expensive than pre-made HDMI, but it will allow you the flexibility to install your equipment in a concentrated area a fair-distance away from the projector. Most extenders are rated for over 100'. Another benefit is that it could give you flexibility to move your projector outside on a nice fall evening without disrupting your AV system.

    Have a duplex outlet installed within 5ft (preferably closer) of where the projector will be. That will give you two outlets - one for the TV and the other for the HDMI extender or a peripheral device.
     
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  12. Gorm

    Gorm Well-Known Member

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    100% agree with this. For my set up I went with a 120 inch audio transparent screen from Seymour. (Who coincidentally is based out of Ames.) I'm very happy with it, and I get no bad effects on 4K content from my Sony Native 4k Projector.

    This is great advice. In my setup, my projector is mounts on the ceiling about a foot behind my theatre seating. This prevents any "mishaps" even with my lower (8 foot) basement drop ceiling.

    This becomes VERY important if you have 4k HDR content. I have a 30 foot run from my AV cabinet to my projector. I ended up using a very nice Monoprice cable, but their mid-line series was unable to handle 4K HDR at that distance, so I had to go up a series line.
     
  13. Gorm

    Gorm Well-Known Member

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    #13 Gorm, Aug 21, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
    Bingo. All windows in my theater room have wooden 3" shutters on them. Also, within 6 feet of the screen I surrounded the back wall / ceiling / sides / carpet (although not in my under construction photo below) with black velvet which absorbs light. This allows the light to NOT be reflected back into the screen.

    Also added the first contact sound panels.

    0-1.jpg

    Also, for those curious whats behind that 120" screen:

    IMG_4680.JPG

    (That shelf on the right side is long gone.)

    The front 3 are custom builds by me.

    3 Way design on each speaker.
    * Baby cheek tweeters from JBL.
    * 2" Compression drivers attached to CNC wood tratrix horns. (The horn is about 21 inches from end to end)
    * 15" Drivers for lows.
    * Crossovers by ALK labs. Gentle slope 500hz, and extreme slope 5800 hz.

    In between each speaker are Dayton Ultimax 18" subwoofers. Each with a 1000 RMS at 2 OHMs amplifier.

    This setup is rated roughly at 104 DB at 1 watt. So I don't need much power to blow away anyone right out of the basement with it.
     
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  14. Gorm

    Gorm Well-Known Member

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    #14 Gorm, Aug 21, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
    Sound absorbing doesn't have to be addressed but I would highly suggest it. It really cleans up the sound. Here is what the rest of the room looks like behind my power recliners:

    0.jpg


    I have a 7.1 surround. The surround speakers are Klipsch pro cinema 8060's.

    Don't waste your time on Atmos unless you have at least 10 foot ceilings. Also, speakers that fire up with Atmos content are useless. It just muddies the sound something awful. Only use downward firing speakers with Atmos if you feel you even need to go with that fad. A good, well positioned 7.1 system will never benefit from adding Atmos unless you have some real high ceilings you can work with.
     
  15. dmclone

    dmclone Well-Known Member

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    That is a killer sound system.
     
  16. NotJustMagic

    NotJustMagic Member

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    I used a special projector paint. I actually prefer this as it looks like an accent wall when the projector isn't on and provides a really good screen. My brother has a screen and he prefers my wall. Note, as others have stated, you don't want to do this if you have textured walls. I had this wall finished flat with a level 5 finish for this reason specifically.

    I used this brand, not sure on the grade. It's a very thick paint that rolls on smooth and doesn't leave any streaks. If you don't know how to properly roll on, make sure you watch a video. I used (2) coats, and still had half a gallon left.



    I would also suggest running conduit for all of your wires, that way you can pull new if anything doesn't work or goes bad. I didn't and wish I would have.
     
  17. Urbandale2013

    Urbandale2013 Active Member

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    Curious how much these set ups cost. I’m 5+ years away and a move but just thinking ahead?
     
  18. Gorm

    Gorm Well-Known Member

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    I've probably sunk 10 grand + over the last several years into my setup. Audio / Video hobbies aren't cheap when you want a particular quality.
     
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  19. dmclone

    dmclone Well-Known Member

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    Mine was pretty reasonable and I added over time but here are some estimates.

    Elite ezFrame Fixed Frame Screen=$400
    Optima UHD 50 4k Projector=$1,200
    5 speakers=$1,000 (20 years ago)
    1 subwoofer=$800
    Seating=$2,000
    Denon Receiver=$500
    Harmony remote/IR equipment=$200
    A/V rack=3 piece of wood and built myself

    So around $6,000


    Sometimes I think about upgrading the sound but then I talk myself out of it. Even at 50% volume I worry about bothering the neighbors, especially with the bass.

    I will tell you that I don't feel too bad about this hobby when I think about the times I've walked out of a car dealership and lost the same amount of money in resale value of a car in 24 hours.
     
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  20. tolstoy

    tolstoy Member

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    #20 tolstoy, Aug 21, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
    Sweet Baby Jesus
     

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