Is a projection system for you?
As flat screen TVs have gotten larger, you would think people would veer away from projection systems. But, once bitten by the “big screen” bug, many consumers just want more than what the market offers in flat screen TVs. This is especially true if you have the right room layout for a projection system.
So, if you’re looking for that movie theatre 100+ size image, then projection is the only way to go.
With projection systems, you have 3 major components: the projector, the screen & the sound. Obviously, wiring is involved, as it is with flat screens, and there are lots of extras, such as custom made furniture, acoustic sound silencing, universal remote systems, even devices to make your seats shake. But, we’re not going too fancy in this article. We’ll keep it to the basic three.
Projectors: Entry-level projectors at 1080p HD resolution will still cost around a thousand bucks. But for 1-2K more, you can get better video processing, features like 3D functionality and better contrast (Darth Vader looks black not gray). Step up to the big-spender category, and you can enjoy videophile-grade picture quality with great colors. The deepest blacks, and the kind of robust picture that might make you forget how much you paid.
Screens: Most people go with either mounted or drop-down screens. You can have a screen mounted to the wall or a screen that is ceiling mounted & electronically comes down the wall for viewing. There are benefits and drawbacks for both styles. There are also screens that are specifically made for areas of high ambient light so your picture is not washed out. If the room has windows or high levels of ambient light, there are other things that require additional analysis as well.
Audio: With a projection system, you have to have separate audio, so you need to consider a receiver and speakers. The size of the room that your screen is going in will determine your speaker requirements. You need space on each side of the screen and & underneath the screen for either in-wall or stand alone speakers. Then you’ll have at least two speakers behind your seating to create the surround sound. These can be mounted in the ceiling or from a back wall depending on the room. Let’s also not forget the subwoofer that you will need for the room filling low frequency effects.
The main considerations when deciding between projection or flat screen TV is “size” of the image, type of room, and permanency. While you can move a flat screen TV if you redecorate, a projection system is generally there for the long haul. Thus, most people who go this route make the investment to go above entry-level in all components. While components can always be replaced, good quality ones will last longer, have better warranties & most certainly make the investment worthwhile with the image and sound that you get from them.