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Thread: Thinking about a PJ room

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    HDJ Platinum Club Member gadgtfreek's Avatar
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    Default Thinking about a PJ room


    Being we've moved so much, Ive never really had a chance to mess with it, but now may be the time to start. My plans are/where, whenever we buy/build in a few years, to have this in mind when choosing the house, and then making something nice.

    Well, I have a 4 bedroom house now, and one room is really wasted (4 bedrooms/2 people), and I was thinking this would be the place to start the PJ room.

    I threw the diagram together real quick, and here are some notes:

    *) Window would be blacked out of course, to the room would be pitch black at night

    *) Distance from seats to screen is great, but distance for seats and PJ stand is prob not enough. I was thinking of putting the PJ in between us, but the window is actually not centered, and I could mount a shelf up above our seating position.

    *) I'd want this to be simple because of the room issue, so i'd have a small shelf below the screen for the BR player, Rcvr and Vudu box. This room is STRICTLY for movies. I'm also thinkin my current sound system would move in there, and I'd get something minor for our TV viewing on the S2.

    *) I know jack about PJ's. I guess I'd want one with lens shifting (mounting options), proper 24 hz of course, and good PQ. I'm figuring 80-100 inches.

    My only real investment is CHAIRS, PF, screen, small stand, and long ass HDMI cable.

    Well, thats about all I have to offer, opinions...

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    I guess a big question would be:

    With this limited space, would the expense and trouble be worth it, when I'm already watching a 58" Plasma with a Pre/Pro at 8.5 ft?
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    Hi elwaylite,

    I think it definitely would be worth it, yeah. Is it an option for you to put the chairs closer to the screen? For that matter, what about having the projector and screen placed on the two short ends of the room? Also, are you planning to put the projector at eye level behind you or on the ceiling? Ceiling mounting does introduce a few issues that need to handled, but it seems to me it offers one's greatest versatility for placement and seating.

    Last question: how big of a screen are you looking to use?

    Yours,

    David

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    That is sure a big project, but would be a fun one.
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    Quote Originally Posted by elwaylite View Post
    I guess a big question would be:

    With this limited space, would the expense and trouble be worth it, when I'm already watching a 58" Plasma with a Pre/Pro at 8.5 ft?
    No one here, but you can answer those questions.. Do you have the money, as well as, the time.. I do mean this is thr wrong place to ask those questions to begin with. lol What do you think us Junkies are going to say, No?? lol Some people would give their first born for a Dedicated theater. lol

    I say go for it, you only live one. My biggest concern would be, when do you plan on moving?? How involved do you want to get in this?? We talking Room treatments, upgraded Speakers, AVR, etc, etc? You dipping your toes in, or you doing Candy Balls(My Daughter calls Cannon balls this. lol)???

    For a 100" screen, is 12' to close, to Far??

    What's your budget??? How much time do you want to put it to this before and after(Take down)...
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidjschenk View Post
    Hi elwaylite,

    I think it definitely would be worth it, yeah. Is it an option for you to put the chairs closer to the screen? For that matter, what about having the projector and screen placed on the two short ends of the room? Also, are you planning to put the projector at eye level behind you or on the ceiling? Ceiling mounting does introduce a few issues that need to handled, but it seems to me it offers one's greatest versatility for placement and seating.

    Last question: how big of a screen are you looking to use?

    Yours,

    David
    David,

    I could not put the chairs on the long wall, because there is another door to contend with. I got in there last night and looked, and the short walls are actually wider than I thought. I need to make measurements, and will get back. Just looking, I could prob put 3 chairs together on one short wall, so 3 could sit in. The PJ would go fine on a shelf above our heads, firing at the other short wall. It would actually be a pretty cool mini theater. Just a gutted, rectangular room with chairs and a screen.

    Quote Originally Posted by House72 View Post
    No one here, but you can answer those questions.. Do you have the money, as well as, the time.. I do mean this is thr wrong place to ask those questions to begin with. lol What do you think us Junkies are going to say, No?? lol Some people would give their first born for a Dedicated theater. lol

    I say go for it, you only live one. My biggest concern would be, when do you plan on moving?? How involved do you want to get in this?? We talking Room treatments, upgraded Speakers, AVR, etc, etc? You dipping your toes in, or you doing Candy Balls(My Daughter calls Cannon balls this. lol)???

    For a 100" screen, is 12' to close, to Far??

    What's your budget??? How much time do you want to put it to this before and after(Take down)...
    Since a move is in the next few years, I think what I want, if I do it, is to just touch the surface. Buy things that can move with me, nothing too permanent.

    Two chairs to begin with

    Buy the PJ and mount it on a simple shelf above us.

    I dont even need a screen, I could just paint the wall.

    I'd actually move my Denon, the Def Tech and the sub into the PJ room and use the TV for the sound in the living room.

    The Duo would stay with the TV, since it's calibrated, and im not worried about processing on Blu-ray/Vudu HDX.

    I would also have the PJ calibrated, and would get one with a good CMS.

    My upfront cost is really minimal, and it's all stuff thats easy to move. Here is what i think I need:

    *) PJ ($1500;thinking about the Mitsu 4000)
    *) Calibration $500 (or maybe just do it myself with the C5)
    *) 2 chairs ($???)
    *) Simple AV stand
    *) Long HDMI cable
    *) Paint
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    Quote Originally Posted by elwaylite View Post
    David,

    I could not put the chairs on the long wall, because there is another door to contend with. I got in there last night and looked, and the short walls are actually wider than I thought. I need to make measurements, and will get back. Just looking, I could prob put 3 chairs together on one short wall, so 3 could sit in. The PJ would go fine on a shelf above our heads, firing at the other short wall. It would actually be a pretty cool mini theater. Just a gutted, rectangular room with chairs and a screen.
    Hi elwaylite,

    Okay, then maybe having the chairs a bit closer to the screen, say 1/3 of the way forward from the wall, could work. Behind them you could put whatever other furniture you like (a wet bar, for instance).

    Quote Originally Posted by elwaylite View Post
    Since a move is in the next few years, I think what I want, if I do it, is to just touch the surface. Buy things that can move with me, nothing too permanent.

    Two chairs to begin with

    Buy the PJ and mount it on a simple shelf above us.

    I dont even need a screen, I could just paint the wall.

    I'd actually move my Denon, the Def Tech and the sub into the PJ room and use the TV for the sound in the living room.

    The Duo would stay with the TV, since it's calibrated, and im not worried about processing on Blu-ray/Vudu HDX.

    I would also have the PJ calibrated, and would get one with a good CMS.

    My upfront cost is really minimal, and it's all stuff thats easy to move. Here is what i think I need:

    *) PJ ($1500;thinking about the Mitsu 4000)
    *) Calibration $500 (or maybe just do it myself with the C5)
    *) 2 chairs ($???)
    *) Simple AV stand
    *) Long HDMI cable
    *) Paint
    Hmmm ... if you're going to move soon, why not just wait until after that to do the install? Especially since theater rooms are quite pricey, that could help you more easily to save up what money you need. Also, don't forget or underestimate the cost of a good screen. A very basic screen can be found cheaply, yeah, but this stuff gets very expensive very quickly. The one I'm looking to get is the Joe Kane Special, which Kane introduced at CEDIA last year and sells for a paltry ~$2,000. (You want pricey? Look at a Stewart Screen Snowmatte.)

    Yours,

    David

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidjschenk View Post
    Okay, then maybe having the chairs a bit closer to the screen, say 1/3 of the way forward from the wall, could work.
    Because of the size of the room, the discussion of moving chairs in towards the screen might need some thought. The purpose of considering going to a projector, I would assume, was to increase screen size and provide the immersion that one wants in movies. I guess if it were me I would want to fill the short wall with as much picture as I could.

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    I'm guesstimating 80-100" at 10ft right now. Like I said though, gotta break out the tape measure.
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    Have you looked into the Panny Projector, Ae400u, it's about 2g's, I'm sure you can find it for a tab bit cheaper..

    I agree with David, I would save and do the theater room the right way.. Pay once, Cry once. lol I know it's hard to hold off and wait, but why try to piece something together that you might not possible use again once you move.. To me that's a waste of money, but if you have enough disposable income, go for it..

    HT rooms, aren't usually slapped together, well the good ones aren't.. By good I don't meant the top tier rooms either.. I would sit down and def draw up some kind of gameplan before jumping into this. If you want a decent HT room, it's going to cost you. If you just a few G's to spend, I would save it and wait.. No need to force yourself to like something at a subpar budget..
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    Quote Originally Posted by elwaylite View Post
    David,

    I could not put the chairs on the long wall, because there is another door to contend with. I got in there last night and looked, and the short walls are actually wider than I thought. I need to make measurements, and will get back. Just looking, I could prob put 3 chairs together on one short wall, so 3 could sit in. The PJ would go fine on a shelf above our heads, firing at the other short wall. It would actually be a pretty cool mini theater. Just a gutted, rectangular room with chairs and a screen.



    Since a move is in the next few years, I think what I want, if I do it, is to just touch the surface. Buy things that can move with me, nothing too permanent.

    Two chairs to begin with

    Buy the PJ and mount it on a simple shelf above us.

    I dont even need a screen, I could just paint the wall.

    I'd actually move my Denon, the Def Tech and the sub into the PJ room and use the TV for the sound in the living room.

    The Duo would stay with the TV, since it's calibrated, and im not worried about processing on Blu-ray/Vudu HDX.

    I would also have the PJ calibrated, and would get one with a good CMS.

    My upfront cost is really minimal, and it's all stuff thats easy to move. Here is what i think I need:

    *) PJ ($1500;thinking about the Mitsu 4000)
    *) Calibration $500 (or maybe just do it myself with the C5)
    *) 2 chairs ($???)
    *) Simple AV stand
    *) Long HDMI cable
    *) Paint
    I'm going to disagree with David and House, here, and say if you can do it with nothing but that stuff, go for it. You're not going to have a full-on, fancy-pants theater room, but you'll have something that's a big step up from what you have now, at pretty low cost, and it will all be easy to take with you when you move.

    At that point, if you decide you want to go whole-hog, you'll have had a little time in the lab to experiment and learn, first.
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    Quote Originally Posted by trent.memphis View Post
    I'm going to disagree with David and House, here, and say if you can do it with nothing but that stuff, go for it. You're not going to have a full-on, fancy-pants theater room, but you'll have something that's a big step up from what you have now, at pretty low cost, and it will all be easy to take with you when you move.

    At that point, if you decide you want to go whole-hog, you'll have had a little time in the lab to experiment and learn, first.
    I can't say I passionately disagree with that proposition. It would be possible, if you wanted to, to set up a basic theater without doing too much serious stuff to the room. For that matter, you could make yourself a perfectly respectable setup without even buying a screen yet. Just paint the wall you want to use white, make sure the coats of paint are as smooth as possible, and away you go. Then you could get more serious about it once you move to the new home.

    Yours,

    David

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    House pointed out that you might be interested in this thread, elway.
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidjschenk View Post
    I can't say I passionately disagree with that proposition. It would be possible, if you wanted to, to set up a basic theater without doing too much serious stuff to the room. For that matter, you could make yourself a perfectly respectable setup without even buying a screen yet. Just paint the wall you want to use white, make sure the coats of paint are as smooth as possible, and away you go. Then you could get more serious about it once you move to the new home.

    Yours,

    David
    Thats exactly what i was thinking. I can buy a few of the good parts I need, and patch it together with what I have. For a PJ, and 2 chairs, I can have a cool little setup. I still haven't measured, but went in there and looked again. It'd be like a minature theater, with 2 chairs hehe. That's also why I was just thinking about painting the wall, and buying a screen when I move.
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    Quote Originally Posted by elwaylite View Post
    Thats exactly what i was thinking. I can buy a few of the good parts I need, and patch it together with what I have. For a PJ, and 2 chairs, I can have a cool little setup. I still haven't measured, but went in there and looked again. It'd be like a minature theater, with 2 chairs hehe. That's also why I was just thinking about painting the wall, and buying a screen when I move.
    Hi elwaylite,

    It totally would work. I've considered (and sometimes still do contemplate) such an incremental approach myself. A full install is a big, expensive project, sure, but why insist on doing it all at once? That's not how I upgrade furniture; that's not how I upgrade my computer equipment; that really isn't how I upgrade anything else. I generally build these things up gradually over time. It's easier on the pocketbook that way and, in some respects, it's actually more fun. Plus, this way you'd have projector to watch that much sooner, giving you that much more viewing enjoyment.

    Me, I'm still going to take a slow approach to this, but only because I want to save up a bunch of money and get the best darned projector I can.

    Yours,

    David

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    Hi elwaylite,

    I own no projector so I may not be the first who comes to mind when looking for advice in the field, but I would like to throw in my two cents nonetheless.

    Quote Originally Posted by elwaylite View Post
    *) PJ ($1500;thinking about the Mitsu 4000)
    *) Calibration $500 (or maybe just do it myself with the C5)
    *) Long HDMI cable
    Before buying a brand new projector, I would consider perusing some second-hand offerings. You'd be surprised what good deals you can seal with a little patience in the second-hand market, and you could put your hands on a higher end projector for the same amount.

    I would also second performing the calibration yourself, both for saving money and getting some good ol' self-satisfaction You've got a pretty good meter after all, and it would make perfect sense to use it on your projector as well.

    Last but not least: having to run a long HDMI cable is one of my biggest concerns when it comes to projectors. You're gonna need some muscle if you want it to perform at 1080p60 on longer runs, which probably implies a harsher expenditure than your average 1m monoprice cable. Things may get pricey, there. I'm talking bandwidth, mind you. Just keep that in mind when you shop for the cable, and check whether it's bandwidth capabilities comply with your needs before pulling the trigger - better safe than sorry.

    Quote Originally Posted by davidjschenk View Post
    Also, don't forget or underestimate the cost of a good screen. A very basic screen can be found cheaply, yeah, but this stuff gets very expensive very quickly. The one I'm looking to get is the Joe Kane Special, which Kane introduced at CEDIA last year and sells for a paltry ~$2,000. (You want pricey? Look at a Stewart Screen Snowmatte.)
    I would stress the importance of investing in a good screen from the very start. Projection screens will always, under every circumstances provide better picture quality than just a bare wall, and once you get a screen you like, you'll hardly ever need to upgrade. So better go for the one you want immediately and save yourself money and trouble in the long run

    I've heard wonders of Black Diamond's pitch-black screens, though I have no idea how much they retail for in the States. Here they're pretty pricey, IIRC, but I recall some friends dropping their jaws at the sight.

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    Thanks for the input! Great stuff.
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    It may be too late to provide input, but I just came across this thread.

    Having built two home theatre rooms in different homes (one 18'x14' HT in a basement room I built and finished ... including soundproofing, and one to adapt an existing 22' x 21' room) I can say from experience that doing yourself is certainly possible.

    While you can do a projector set-up in an 8'x12' room it's tight and I personally wonder if it's worth the trouble. Consider the following carefully. Various experts recommend aiming for screen size & viewing distance that gives a 30-36 degree horizontal angle from the viewing location to the right and left edge of the screen. To judge which end of the scale to aim for consider where you sit in a movie theatre ... if near the back aim for 30 degrees or less, if up front aim for 36 degrees or more. Got it? Now, if you think about it, for the same angle you can go bigger by moving further back, , or smaller by moving closer (For example for a 36 degree viewing angle you could us a 50" 16:9 screen at 5.5 ft, 80" screen at 9' viewing distance, or 100" at 11', etc.). The ONLY advantage to a bigger screen (once you reach the 30-36 degree recommended viewing angle) is the ability to seat more viewers across the room. If you only plan on 2 seats there is NO significant advantage to a projector and big screen. To emphasize, a 50" HDTV at 5.5 ft will look IDENTICAL (in terms of size) to a 100" projection screen at 11 ft, and the smaller screen will easily allow 2 viewers. The only real issue to seating 3 or even 4 for such a setup is whether brightness falls off as you move off centre. With a plasma HDTV you can probably do 3 seated on a sofa or 2 side by side HT seats. With an LCD you probably would need to use a sofa. This is a core issue you will have to consider. While it can certainly be done, I don't consider a room less than 16' x 12' worthwhile for a projector ... but then I want seating for 4 (side by side) ... and room for speakers to the sides of the screen, sides and back of the room AND NOT in the corners (after all audio quality is an important part of the HT experience too).

    I can attest to a painted screen working fine (and you don't need fancy Goo or similar commercial products). Due to rules on this forum I can't post links, but there are fora specifically related to "DIY screens" with lots of discussion of techniques. Some options include custom (but readily available) paint mixes, blackout cloth, laminate sheeting, even paper. I've had good results with both a painted screen and with blackout cloth on a wood frame ... and neither cost more than $100.

    As to projector and equipment mounting I advocate rear wall mounting on a high shelf (if the projector has vertical lens shift and reasonable lens zoom it's easy, but even without lens shift you can always mount upside down to the underside of the shelf). The issue with rear mounting is whether fan noise is audible but most modern projectors are pretty quiet, particularly on the eco/low-power setting). Note that if you put the equipment at the back of the room the remote control signal bounces off the screen just fine. This cleans up the front of the room, and keeps cables short (except for speaker wire to the front speakers, but that's easy to hide in plastic wiring channels along the baseboards or under carpet).

    That all said, the main rationale for attempting to install a projector set-up in your present home (particularly if you only plan on two seats) is to get you thinking about the issues and give you some experience so you will be much better prepared to take on a serious install in your next home.

    Hope this helps.

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    Thanks for all the input. I decided against it because of the size, which came into me getting this 65" plasma Im on a preorder for. When we build, Ill have to try and sneak in a room just for a PJ.
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