Projectors

Dirty Hipsters

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I'm currently in the process of moving to a new house, so I'm planning on completely redoing my entertainment set up. This is the first time I'll actually own my own house, which means I'll actually be able to put together the kind of dream set up I've always wanted and not have to worry about having to dismantle it in a year or 2 and move, and whether I'll be able to fit it in my next place.

One of the things I'm considering is having a laser projector instead of a TV.

One of the upsides of my new house is that the living room has a lot of windows that provide a lot of light. The downside is that I don't like putting furniture directly in front of my windows, and one wall is taken up by a fireplace (why do houses in California even have fireplaces?!), which is going to limit how I can arrange my living room furniture around my TV. But then I thought of the idea of setting up a screen with a motorized floor stand and using a short throw laser projector. That way when I'm watching TV or gaming I can have the screen pop up in front of the windows, but the windows won't be blocked when it's not in use.

Basically I'm thinking something like this:


Anyone here have any experience with laser projectors (and especially short throw laser projectors)? Anything I should know before purchasing one or anything I need to watch out for? I know that there are now some projectors that can do 4k 60z or 1080p 120hz, which is great for modern consoles which support 60 or 120 fps at those resolutions, so it should work for when I'm finally able to get a PS5 at a decent price.
 
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crimson5pheonix

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If your room has a lot of light pollution, you'll either need a projector with a very bright laser (high lumens) or you'll need to black out your room. Front projection screens aren't transparent, but light will bleed through from your windows if you set it up that way and affect image quality. Ideally you'll want a way to black out the windows on top of using the screen if at all possible. Bright projectors also tend to need more cooling which makes them louder, so be prepared to overcome that. Finally short throw lenses can be a bit temperamental in focusing (as someone who has had to focus a lot of projectors), so try to mount the projector somewhere where it won't get bumped, and of course moving the screen might cause the projector to go out of focus a bit.
 
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Dirty Hipsters

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If your room has a lot of light pollution, you'll either need a projector with a very bright laser (high lumens) or you'll need to black out your room. Front projection screens aren't transparent, but light will bleed through from your windows if you set it up that way and affect image quality. Ideally you'll want a way to black out the windows on top of using the screen if at all possible. Bright projectors also tend to need more cooling which makes them louder, so be prepared to overcome that. Finally short throw lenses can be a bit temperamental in focusing (as someone who has had to focus a lot of projectors), so try to mount the projector somewhere where it won't get bumped, and of course moving the screen might cause the projector to go out of focus a bit.
Light won't be an issue, I use black out curtains on all of my windows and just leave them open when I need light, so closing them when watching TV won't be a big deal. TVs reflect light anyway so I usually have the curtains closed when watching TV, and I mostly watch TV at night anyway.

I'm not intending to mount the projector, I'll probably have a wide stand on which the screen would be mounted, and the projector would be placed on the stand along with some additional speakers.

Conversely I was also thinking of maybe buying a medium throw projector and having it installed in my coffee table which has an opening. Kind of similar to this, but has optional closing doors that slide closed on either side:


The potential downside of that would be hiding the power cable, and also whether that would have enough fresh air to cool the projector as I'm not sure how hot they get.
 

crimson5pheonix

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Light won't be an issue, I use black out curtains on all of my windows and just leave them open when I need light, so closing them when watching TV won't be a big deal. TVs reflect light anyway so I usually have the curtains closed when watching TV, and I mostly watch TV at night anyway.

I'm not intending to mount the projector, I'll probably have a wide stand on which the screen would be mounted, and the projector would be placed on the stand along with some additional speakers.

Conversely I was also thinking of maybe buying a medium throw projector and having it installed in my coffee table which has an opening. Kind of similar to this, but has optional closing doors that slide closed on either side:


The potential downside of that would be hiding the power cable, and also whether that would have enough fresh air to cool the projector as I'm not sure how hot they get.
Quite toasty is the answer, do make sure there is adequate airflow for any projector. Between those two options (excluding price and all that), the short throw is the better option simply because it's less likely to be bumped.
 

Dirty Hipsters

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Quite toasty is the answer, do make sure there is adequate airflow for any projector. Between those two options (excluding price and all that), the short throw is the better option simply because it's less likely to be bumped.
That's what I figured, but definitely wanted the opinion of someone who had a bit more experience with these things than I do.

Cost isn't really a huge concern for me. I already know that the projector and screen together are going to cost me about $3000-$4000, so what's another couple hundred bucks for a decent stand to house it all? If I was concerned with the cost this wouldn't be a consideration to start with considering you can get a really good TV these days for like $800.
 

gorfias

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A review: I'm very excited for you! A new small 11x11 home theater is my current project.

EDIT: I am told to watch this guy
 
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Dirty Hipsters

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Just realized I've been using the wrong projector terms this whole time.

By short throw projector I actually meant "ultra short throw" projector, and by medium throw projector I actually meant "short throw" projector.