Finish a Basement: A DIY remodeling adventure!
Great home theater tips to help you design and setup your basement home theater!

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>Home >Home theater >HDTV front projectors

HDTV front projectors

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If you've ever considered getting a front projector, your basement remodeling project may be the perfect opportunity!

Front projectors need a light-controlled environment. If you can get the room completely (or almost) black you'll enjoy the best picture.

Most basements have just a few small windows to contend with, which makes it a perfect spot to create a home theater experience!

Some things to consider as you make your decision:

  • Front projectors offer a better inch-for-inch value than flat panels or RPTVs. You can get a decent 720P projector for under $1,000. This will allow a screen size of up to 100" (maybe more!) which should be plenty for any basement theater.
  • 1080P projectors have really dropped in price, with models from Epson, Panasonic, and others available for under $2,000. If you can afford one, they're the way to go! This will be the perfect match for your new Blu-ray player!
  • You'll need to figure out how you'll mount your projector. The ceiling is often the best place, but you can also put it on a high shelf in the back of the room, or even on a coffee table near the front of the room.
  • If you do go with this option be sure to create separate 'zones' for your lighting- all with dimmers. This will enable you to have your viewing area be dark, while still allowing adequate lighting for other activities (cards, games, etc.) in other areas of the basement. Check out my basement plan for details of how I plan to setup my lighting.
  • Since your projector will not include a tuner, you'll need to use your cable box or satellite receiver.
  • The bulbs on front projectors will last about half as long as those in RPTVs. So despite the cheaper up-front costs, you'll spend around $300-$400 for a bulb every couple of years or so.
  • You'll also need to purchase a screen. These can run $500 and up. One of the options I'm considering is Screen Goo. This is a special paint that allows you to create your own screen for about $200. If I end up going that route, I'll let you know what I think of it.

Home theater projector resources:


Home Theater Topics

Setting your budget

Selecting components

A/V receivers

How big should the screen be?

Display technologies

Front projectors

HDTV shopping tips

Speakers and subwoofer

DVD players

Blu-ray vs. HD-DVD

How to buy a Blu-ray player

Top Blu-ray players

Lutron dimmers: Custom home theater lighting

Lutron Spacer System: Custom programmable scene lighting

Cables and accessories

Buying home theater systems

Buying home theater speaker, Blu-ray players, and accessories

Home theater setup



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