Thinking About a Home Theater Projector?
Here’s a Quick Guide to the Basics
For a long time, for a genuinely big-screen experience in the home, a projector was the only game in town. Before the era of flat-panel TVs, large screen TVs that stretched to 65 inches were large, bulky boxes that weighed over 200 pounds. Of course, 65 inches might be fine for a home theater in a smaller room, but realistically that might seem a little small with today’s technology. Indeed, current flat-panel TV technology stretches screens out over 80 inches, which makes a compelling case for a cinematic experience in some rooms. Flat-panel displays are easier to mount, are very bright, and aren’t as demanding about controlling light in a room.
However, for the real cinematic experience, nothing matches a projector. Projectors can work with screens from 100 to 120 inches in size, which can deliver the immersive movie experience in a large room. Here in Texas, bigger is always better, right? But there are some things you need to consider when going with a projector for your home theater installation in Frisco.
Read on to find out what you need to know to get the most out of your home theater.
Master The Light
The primary consideration in using a projector for a theater or media room is controlling light. If the room has many windows or perhaps large ones, you may need the right window treatments to block out outside light. Using motorized shades can be a great option, as they offer automated control to darken a room when needed.
Fortunately, today’s projectors are much more forgiving about ambient light than models from yesteryear. New technology, like laser and LED, not only make the light engines far longer than yesterday’s bulbs but also are much brighter and offer high contrast ratios that make the picture pop even in partly lit rooms.
That said, the darker the room, the better your projector picture will be. And the more you can control ambient light, the easier it will be to accurately calibrate the projector for the best color performance.
Mind Space and Distance
A projector needs a separate screen. If you have the wall space, the screen could be fixed and permanently mounted on a wall. For a dedicated theater room, that may work well. A popular option is a manual or motorized screen that drops down from a ceiling, which works well for multi-purpose rooms like game rooms that double as home theaters. Another option – although not one that delivers the best picture – is to paint a blank wall with special paint optimized for projected images.
Distances are also a factor. The distance between the projector and the screen affects the screen size that can be used. For a ceiling-mounted projector, the wiring has to be in the right place in the ceiling. If you wanted to hide the projector with a rear projection setup – where the image is projected from behind a mounted screen – a reasonably large room is needed to make that happen because it requires a small space behind the screen wall.
Seating distance is also a critical consideration. Depending on the size of the screen, you need to factor in the appropriate distance. Some rules of thumb exist. For example, with a 120-inch screen you would want the seating to be at least 10 feet away or more from the screen.
Placing the Projector
Projector placement is also critical. Can you mount it at the ideal distance for the screen size you want? Can you center it with the screen? If centering is not possible, you need to have a projector that has a lens shift feature that can adjust for that.
As we previously mentioned, wiring also plays a role as you need power, HDMI, and perhaps network cabling to route the image and control the projector. A new category of projector, called ultra-short-throw, can be mounted on a tabletop or credenza just a few inches from a wall or screen and can project images up to 120 inches onto a wall or fixed screen. For some problematic rooms or multipurpose spaces, that may be a viable option.
Our partner Sony makes some of the finest home cinema projectors in existence. They have a projector to fit budgets from modest to the very high-end. Most models feature 4K resolution and HDR (high dynamic range) which deliver superbly bright pictures with deep black levels and incredibly lifelike color. If an ultra-short-throw projector is the right fit for your space, Sony also has that covered as they are one of the pioneers of that technology.
So what is the best way to get the optimal home theater projector installation? Crown Audio Video has the experience, expertise, and brands to put it all together. If you’re ready to get started, contact us today.