Television set alternatives
August 23, 2010 6:34 AM   Subscribe

What options do I have that allow me to watch cable and dvds without a television set?

I'm thinking:

Small projector w/hideaway screen
laptop w/sling box

I know very little about these options or any others and could use some direction. I'd prefer not to sit at my desk and watch via desktop computer and would like to replicate a living room viewing experience, just without the hulking tv in the corner.
posted by mizrachi to Technology (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I have a 1080p projector on a side table and a smooth, very white wall on the opposite side of the room. It's now my favorite TV in the house.
posted by Gucky at 6:51 AM on August 23, 2010

I have a tv, but I also picked up a used projector on Craigslist (watch out for projector bulb hours if you buy used), and I love it! I too have a smooth wall and I painted it a color called "Silver Screen" by Behr, which I saw recommended on an AV forum. My projector shoots widescreen hi def and can go to about 8 feet wide. It is about the size of a large dictionary. Most can be either hung on the ceiling or set on a table, so it would be fairly easy to conceal. I only bring mine out for "big" movies and I set it on a tripod I rigged up.

The picture is amazing and if you have a reasonably smooth wall, you won't need a screen.
posted by midwestguy at 7:27 AM on August 23, 2010

If you're a Mac user, I suggest eyetv for your laptop, and a projector.
posted by jardinier at 7:35 AM on August 23, 2010

I have a projector that's connected to a Roku, which allows me to watch Netflix Streaming movies on the projector in HD. I like it.

The best investment was a real retractable screen mounted on the wall ... it lets me roll it up and make the room less of a "home theater" and more of just a living room when I'm not using it. I have it mounted above a fireplace so the room doesn't seem too oddly arranged when it's rolled up.
posted by Kadin2048 at 7:38 AM on August 23, 2010

just without the hulking tv in the corner.

Wall mounted LCD/Plasma.
posted by wongcorgi at 7:50 AM on August 23, 2010

Response by poster: I'd consider wall-mounting an lcd if the bezel were white and the screen were not black when switched off. Since that seems impossible, I'm looking for alternatives...something along the lines of the projector or streaming to an ipad or hand held screen.
posted by mizrachi at 8:25 AM on August 23, 2010

I saw on one of those HGTV shows a setup where you could push a button and a cool piece of artwork came down and covered the flat-screen TV. Not sure exactly how they did it, but it might emet your needs.
posted by radioamy at 9:30 AM on August 23, 2010

Another projector recommendation with an HD tuner and other source for movies/DVDs for the main viewing room. Even if it's not totally light sealed. In fact that has the advantage that it limits casual TV viewing until late and you really settle in.

I also use EyeTV on my iMac in the bedroom and the combo works nicely both as a TV as well as a PVR for Australian FTA HD broadcasts.
posted by michswiss at 11:40 AM on August 23, 2010

HD projector - flat wall, no screen or special paint - just beige. Hooked to a PS/3 which streams movies from my TVersity Media server in addition to doing BluRay/DVD directly.

Getting about a 7 foot screen - could be larger if my apartment was bigger.

It is by far my most favorite setup ever. (I've had read-projections, 50" LCD, etc...) - when it is not in use, it is simply 'not there'...
posted by jkaczor at 9:25 PM on August 24, 2010

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