advice on projectors and screens


I want to add video to my system for concert/music videos and know very little about it. I am looking for 2 channel for now so not really looking for audio advice, just video. I envision a ceiling mounted retractable screen of 80-100 inches and a projector. If you look at my system I see a screen hanging down in front of the speakers. I can make the room completely dark if needed.

I don't want to invest a lot of money but have no idea how much I need to get decent performance. My priority is sound quality which I already have but what will suffice for video?

How much do I need to spend on a projector and what are the specs that are most important for music videos?

Same question for screens.


Get advice from AVS Forum
Buy the screen from Monoprice
How far away from the screen will the projector be mounted?.....throw range is different for each projector. (very important)

There are lots of great budget projectors out ($1,000-$2,000) street price for hi-def models.

You can read some reviews at Projector Central.

I'd suggest SeymourAV - they have attractively priced acoustically transparent screens. I did plenty of research and for a projector the Panasonic AE4000 was the best I could find (at a reasonable price, Sept 2010). It has great black levels and was far superior to my LCD HDTV. You need to be able to completely darken the room to get the best out of a projector setup.

Here is a link to what I installed

It will be about 20 feet from projector to screen. Thanks for the advice so far.

Take a look at the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 8350 Projector for around $1,200 street price.

It should be alright at 20' as long as you use a screen with some gain (1.3-1.4).

Of course if your budget is a lot higher? didn't really say?

A link:

Man 20ft is far and your gonna lose some image pop, if its on the ceiling why cant you mount it closer? I would mount (from my 4 projectors of my own and many others done for friends) around 12-15 ft from screen but thats me.
If you are going to get a roll up screen do make sure it is a "Tab Tensioned" model or in short time your likely to get a wave in your screen............not pleasing to the eyes.
Go to or google that along with "throw calculator" and examine those specs for any model you may want to buy.
You can get a Panasonic 4000 (great buget unit for around $2000) but if you just want to enjoy occasional music and such even a used 720p model will work perfectly and can be had for way under $1000. Dont let anyone convince you 1080 is this vast jump over 720p, its just not true. And this is from a guy who owns a $10,000 1080p LcOS unit. 720 will do wonders for you and you got tons of cash for concert videos or music.
I am glad to help if you want to shoot me a mail. Cheers
Thanks Chad, I threw out 20 feet because that is the distance from the rear wall to where the screen will be and would be the easiest place to put the projector. I hadn't done any research at that point and now see that is too far. It looks like a ceiling mount is the only option. I've also done a bunch of googling on DIY screens and that looks very doable. I'll look into the 720P models.

Thanks to everyone so far.
Also Depending on what you mean for budget, also look at the JVC HD250 which is for the money is fantastic. you can find them on the street around 2500 and sometimes less and throws a great picture.

I had a Epson 8350 and the auto iris bugged me so I prefer something without. The JVC line is a great product and even some of the older models if you go used are great. The RS1 and 2 are still good PJ's and can be found in the 1-2K range used.

For a screen you want something that can match up well to the projector. IE some can increase brightness with a higher gain, others will help your contrast and black levels such as grey screens. Personally I use a 1.1 gain screen and enjoy it but there are others I've been looking at doing as well.

AVS does have a lot of good info regarding PJ's and can normally be a big help once you narrow down models that you are looking at. As said before the darker the room the better as light kills the image.

Unless you want to do a black dimond screen from Screen Inovations which is nice but your looking at 2500 bucks or so for a 92".

Best of luck! It makes a world of difference going from a 42" TV to a 100" screen. Even with 2 channel it can be lots of fun.


20 feet is not too far if your projector has enough light. My throw is 30 feet and I get a stunning picture. My projector's brightness is 3,000 lumens. You will probably need about 2,000 lumens to throw a good picture 20 feet.
Try Imaging Science Foundations Web Site--Joe Kane is the Video guru on this planet...has been for many years.
The 'throw rates' as to what's acceptable are published for each tv as part of their specs.

Good listening, (er ah, viewing)

Hey Larry, will do.

Good to hear you are still around. I just bought that Barry Manilow 2:00 am album, couple of bucks sealed on Amazon. haven't played it yet but I was surprised to see the lineup of jazz guys in the band. Looking forward to it.

I would still not go 20ft if at all possible....closer is always best and allows use of more lamps or room light for those who dont like a pitch black room.
THAT is a really, really great album.
Mundell Lowe, Sarah Vaughn, Mel Tormé, Gerry Mulligan, Shelly Mann and memory just quit.
To anyone who hasn't heard Paradise Café 2:00AM, by Barry--it's a real treat. I recently got a friend to buy it and he's listening to it every day.

Good listening,
Thread got me going (-:...........bought the Epson 8350 to replace my old Infocus X-1. It will be here Wednesday...I'm pumped !

cool....let jh s know what ya think.
Dave - the auto-iris in the Epson 8350 can be really annoying. This is how they get better contrast and better blacks out of cheaper designs. If you have not opened the box you may want to reconsider.
oops tablet typos ...touch screens suck

Ya, I knew about the iris, and many other issues with this projector....but I found many issues with "every" projector I read about at the AVS forum.

I doubt the iris noise will bother anyone here with the projector mounted well above, and a little behind the listening area, and if it does, I'll turn it off.

At the price I paid (around what I paid for my old Infocus X-1) many years ago......I expect I will be "more" than happy!

We don't use our projector much anyway.....less than 3,000 hours on the Infocus bulb even after all these years (-:

Well, how do you like Paradise Café???

Tell us about your impressions please.

You know, that's one album that I go on 'kicks' with.
I'll go for a year and not listen, then put it on...listen to a couple of selections, then start at the beginning, listen all the way through.
For the uninitiated, it's cut just like a great jazz set--one continuous song--Manilow says that they started playing, and sequed into the next, then on and on.
It really has the feel of a jazz club--you can smell the (from my old days of playing in some) cigarette smoke, the beer, the scotch.
Plus, the recording, (using my imagination here) has that, 'brick wall behind the performers' kind of mix to it.
To hear, Mundell Lowe, Sarah Vaughn, Mel Tormé, Jerry Mulligan all on one album is such a thrill--and the music is just wonderful, if you love great harmonies and understated arrangements...
When first bought that album--some almost 30 years ago--I was so smitten, I'll bet I didn't have it back in the album jacket one time in the first two months...what a treasure.

Highly reccommended.

As is Reneé Olstead...either album, what a talent!

Good listening,

Hey Larry, well, uh, it is well recorded but I can't seem to get into it. I do like that genre but in a word I would say it is boring. I tried a few listens but so far it falls flat with me.

I generally agreed with your suggestions and the demo stuff you played at Nicholson's so I'll give it another try at some point.

It may be that it simply has no allure for you, that can always happen.
But, when I go into my, fantasy world of music, with an almost meditative state, I can smell the liquor, hear other people around me, and simply believe that I'm in that club at 2:00am.
The songs, "When October Comes" a masterful poem by Johhny Mercer, that his wife found in his desk after he'd died, then wrote to Barry and asked if he'd put a melody to it...sort of captures my imagination.
"Big City Blues" a duet with Mel Tormé, the duet with Sarah, Mundell Lowe, and Gerry Mulligan playing riffs...I simply love it...but KNOW that not everyone will.
I go through periods of love with it...then put it on the shelf for months, then drag out and meditate to music...I love it, Herm.

Good listening,
Did you ever add the video to your setup?

no, after researching it I decided I didn't want to spend the money right now that would be needed to get a decent system. As I inch toward retirement I seem to get more and more frugal.

cute kid you have there

Buy a used FPJ1 or JVC2 for a grand.
Dalite High Power for the same.
Blueray for $100.
Tie it into an existing audio set up.
Killer theatre.