Projector and Screen

BenQ Projector with Screen

When my sons’ bratty friends come over to hang out, they love to go into my Man Cave and play XBox One on the big screen.  As soon as I hear them playing, and just before I kick them all out, I can usually hear one of them say, “This is so cool!  You must be rich!”.   To myself I’m always thing, “Kid, I’m so broke it’s not even funny.  That projector and screen is cheaper than the flat screen you have in your bedroom.”  It probably is actually.


The projector you see in the picture of my theater room is the “BenQ W1080ST 1080p 3D Short Throw DLP Home Theater Projector”.  I bought this projector back in late 2013 and it still functions perfectly. It is a “short throw” projector which means you can put it closer to the screen if needed. My room is around 20 ft x 20 ft, which means I could have used a normal projector, however I have a low hanging heater vent on the ceiling that cuts the ceiling in half. That required me to get a “short throw” projector. It hangs about 8 ft from the screen and is in front of my couch. Due to its small size, this doesn’t bother me at all.

To Be 3D or Not To Be 3D:  The BenQ W1080ST is a 3D projector. The glasses for them weren’t cheap, I purchased 4 of them at around $60 each. It was a complete waste of money. Did they work? Yes. Did the 3D look awesome? Yes. The problem is, I don’t like 3D nearly as much as I thought I would. I have tried to watch 2 movies on 3D and about 30 minutes into each movie I switched it back to 2D. Make sure you really, really, really like 3D before you purchase a blu-ray player, projector and the glasses that support it. I purchased the “Sony BDP-S590” 3D blu-ray player and it’s great, but again, I should have thought twice. Which reminds me, just because you purchase a 3D projector, no matter which one you buy, doesn’t mean you automatically get 3D on the screen. You need to buy a 3D blu-ray player to connect to the 3D projector. Both must be 3D enabled. You cannot use your old DVD player which isn’t 3D and connect it to a 3D projector and watch a 3D movie. Both must be 3D enabled in order to work. The same goes if you buy a 3D flatscreen TV. You don’t just get everything in 3D, you need a 3D blu-ray player or 3D cable box or 3D satellite receiver plugged into the 3D TV in order to get 3D with your also required 3D glasses. Remember, the 3D version of any of the above is also more expensive, I could have saved at least a few hundred dollars back when I did this. Today, it may be cheaper than it was back then, but it will still cost more for a 3D setup than a non-3D setup.

Last but not least is the movie screen. When I first thought about building my theater room I figured the huge screen would be just as expensive as the projector. I was so wrong. I purchased the screen material, called “Carl’s Blackout Cloth”, for $45. Add to that the cost of some 1″x3″ pine, some staples and brackets, and I built my screen for under $100. The screen is 120″ diagonal, which of course is 10ft. Since I sit around 12ft from my screen, it’s like being in a movie theater. Be careful to know what size screen to build based on your room size, sitting distance to the screen and the projector you decide to use. Since I purchased a BenQ projector, I used the “BenQ Projector Calculator” to determine everything.

As far as building the screen, you can see in the picture below it’s no harder than building a frame using 1″x3″ pine boards and stapling the screen material to it.

I hope this information helps you when you’re ready to build your own theater room.  Below are links to the actual products I purchased on Amazon.com.  The pine boards, brackets and staples were purchased at my local Home Depot.

 

The BenQ projector I purchased is below:

The glasses I actually bought are no longer available.  If you really want 3D glasses, it appears these new ones will work, but you should ask somebody at Amazon.com before buying them:

The Sony blu-ray player I purchased is below. It’s old and cheap now on Amazon so if I were you I’d find a new model of the same brand:

The screen material I purchased is below:

Any comments or questions, use the form below and I’ll answer them for you.

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A mix of home improvement ideas, DIY projects, product reviews, compiled from years of owning my own home and refusing to pay anybody to do, build or fix anything that I couldn't figure out myself.