Best HT System with Projection Screen for $14,000

I have cleared $14,000 in cash from the wife to turn my basement into a 7.1 Home Theater. I am going to go with a projection unit and screen rather than a TV. The sheet rock is not up yet, so I have plenty of options for wiring.

I also would like to supply 3 other rooms in the basement for a zone two.

I have not decided on anything yet, but leaning towards Denon electronics (3803), the Denon DVD/SA/DVD-A player and Paradigm speakers.
I will need bulk speaker wire, and interconnects as well. Wondering if component switching is must, or just a nice to have feature.

Looking for sound quality and realiabilty.

If anyone has just go through something like this and has some advice, I would really appreciate it.

eandj2000 and use audiogon's other site for classifieds. for projector information and screen size calculator

Determine expected screen size and whether 4:3 or 16:9 is your focus... Go look at those projectors and screens, then find out how much money you have left for everything else. for inexpensive long run VGA cables that don't ghost.

You might end up with a Scaler (instead of a component switcher) to limit the runs of cable back to your projector.

Make sure to get a good sub $1000+ in you budget.
Definitely budget for a scaler that does 720P or you will only be able watch the HD channels. This is because everything else at 240i looks so dithered or pixelated or something. I only use a 50" TV set. I would hate to see a large projector image at 240i from 16 feet away.

I spent more on my scaler than the DLP TV set.

My computer helper put an AC regenerator, (PS Audio P300), to shoot very regulated power to the TV to try to keep the bulb from failing early. I really don't know much, but I rely on qualified advice. Also dedicated circuits are needed.

Good luck whatever you do!
Check out the panasonic PT-L300u HD projector for about $1900 street price. The Sony cinemaz 10 has a slightly higher resolution but scales to the same resolution as the panasonic. I had a chance to A/B them and the pana had just as good of a picture with slightly better blacks. I paired it up with a Da-Lite Da-mat perma-wall screen (92" 16x9) for about $400. The Denon is an ok piece for the money. Also, it up-converts s-video and composite video to component. This can save you the expense of running extra cables to the projector. But, with your budget, I would recommend going with a seperates. You can pick up a Carver Theater Grande II for about $1500 and a five channel amp for about $1000 (rotel or outlaw). I noticed in your post that you wanted to do 7.1. 7.1 needs a fairly large room to work right; about 20 x 16 or larger. If your set on 7.1 then check out the Carver Theater Grande III($2700) or the Anthem AVM20($2600). Both these processors also have 2 extra zones already built in. Budget about $800 - $1000 for a decent sub and about $1200 for brackets(projector) and cables. That leaves you about $8000 for speakers and second zone amps.

I've spent the last two months renovating my home theater and expect to have averything finished in about two weeks. Looks almost like a real theater except for the seating which I will change when I have more cash.

Good luck.
A used low hour 8" CRT projector with a Stewart fixed screen and either an HTPC or Faroudja 720p NRS scaler. If you shop around, these 3 pieces can be found in top used shape or new for less than 8k. I would reccomend a Sony G70, NEC 135LC, Electrohome 8500 8" projector. This would give you stellar video.
You could save some $$ from getting a Da-Lite screen instead of a Stewart. As for a projector, an NEC XG-135LC or XG-110LC would be a good bet at the $3500-4500 price range. If you want a really big screen, though, you will have to go with a digital projector. A good recommendation there would be either the NEC HT1000 with the panamorph lens or a Sanyo PLV-70HT (not the 60HT).

Get an HTPC with an Immersive H3DII for a scaler and you are set.
DENON 3803. Get it.
It is a fantastic reciever, you will not be disappointed.
Pretty good multizone feature, but it only does one room.
A seperate control system can always work to enhance that.
I think the DENON 5803 has 3 zone control though.

Paradigm speaks should work great.

If you are open to reccommendations, get the Denon 3803, and get 7 KEF Q1 speakers (bookshelf size). Use identical for front, back, surround, and center. They sound great and are an excellent matchup for the Denon 3083. This is what i have running, along with a deftech subwoofer and it sounds fantastic. The biggest plus, is the Q1's are onlt 225 each

the Denon 3803, and KEFs bought new, totals about $3,600 throw in a good Deftech sub or velodyne, you will still have about 9000-9500 left for projector, screen, and wiring.

Also, i agree with PRPIXEL, he has some very good ideas as well.
Thanks everyone for their advice. I was on vacation and it was nice to have some great responses when I got back.

PRPIXEL- I heard the Anthem system last week and almost bought it. I hear what you are saying about separates. I have a lot more shopping to do, but I feel like I getting closer.
Thanks again!