projector project?
April 15, 2006 12:08 PM   Subscribe

Pursuant to the valuable surround sound system information found here and here, what options do I have with regard to my projector? [+]

I dumpstered a brand-new InFocus projector a while ago and have recently begun to think about how to build a semi-permanent screening area. The projector has great brightness and video quality but does not incorporate some of the home-theater features seen on newer models, such as masking the non-signal areas from the projection, keystoning adjustment, and fan noise dampening.

Ideally, I'd like to mount it to the ceiling and wrap it in a noise-dampening box, venting the heat probably into my attic. Do I have to roll my own, or are there systems out there to do this?

Finally, I don't need a receiver or DVD playback system; I do need speakers. Should I even bother with fancy options such as flat-panel or Bose cubes? Additionally, what's the deal with the hype around Bose Acoustimass systems?

Thanks very much for your nerdly expertise!
posted by mwhybark to Technology (10 answers total)
The Bose stuff is over-hyped crap, very bass/treble heavy without much midrange. Just avoid Bose.

From your description I assume you have a surround system but not speakers? Do you have a regular stereo pair of speakers that you can use as main front left/right?
posted by doctor_negative at 1:37 PM on April 15, 2006

Response by poster: I do have a reciever, but the speakers I'm using need help - they are homemade two-horn units with 12" cones and metal PA-style tweeters.

The cones are torn, but they actually don't distort at all at low levels. As they were tuned for pre-surround and the cones are torn the bass leaves something to be desired.

I figure I'll use them outside of the projector setup, and someday replace the cones.
posted by mwhybark at 1:59 PM on April 15, 2006

Best answer: This mount from Draper actually keeps the projector up in the ceiling and reflects the light to the screen using mirrors. I'm not to sure how that will work with your particular model since it lacks keystoning adjustment, but you may be able to get acceptable results, especially for a portable conference room projector. You have to be careful with a sound-dampening enclosure, depending on your model, because even if it's vented out the top, if there isn't enough circulation, you are still bound to overheat it.

I haven't been impressed with the Bose Acoustimass system, but I do have a Bose VC-10 center speaker and two Bose Environmental 151's as my rear channels. And I must say they sound great. My right and left fronts are B&W's (monitor or bookshelf sized) where I get most of the sound, with a Yamaha powered subwoofer for the bass. My point here is you don't have to buy everything at once, you can cobble together a system as you go...
posted by Roger Dodger at 2:01 PM on April 15, 2006

Response by poster: Wow, that Draper thing looks neat. I had fantasized about some motoer-driven drop-down thing and rejected it as too absurd to be pursued.
posted by mwhybark at 2:43 PM on April 15, 2006

The standard list of high-quality but inexpensive speakers includes but is not limited to Paradigm, Energy, Celestion, PSB, NHT, B&W.

The standard list emphatically excludes Bose speaker-sets, which are near-universally reviled as expensive pieces of marketing.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:44 PM on April 15, 2006

Response by poster: Wow, the Draper list price is over three grand! Now if only I could dumpster that, too!
posted by mwhybark at 2:55 PM on April 15, 2006

Um, yeah, there is that price thing. Mind you the only times I ever really bought projector mounts and other assorted A/V gear was on the corporate dime. But maybe you could DIY? Projector mounts in general are usually insanely overpriced because of the low number of units sold to the huge number of models available.

I've had good luck with my Bose speakers, though I don't recommend their tiny cube speakers at all. The 151's I dumpstered myself, but the center channel I picked up for cheap, cheap at a big box store on sale. I also picked up a Wave radio for the kitchen using credit card points, and it sounds excellent for a radio, and very good for a cd player. Overpriced? Maybe, but they are quality speakers.
posted by Roger Dodger at 3:36 PM on April 15, 2006

The state of the art in speaker design is still, has always been, and probably always will be, big ugly rectangular boxes.
posted by Chuckles at 3:43 PM on April 15, 2006

Response by poster: I have indeed been musing about prisms and mirrors all day. If anything ever comes of it, I will share.
posted by mwhybark at 12:25 PM on April 16, 2006

dude where the heck have you guys been dumpstering?
posted by fishfucker at 9:55 PM on August 9, 2006

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