If you want an excellent big-screen experience on the cheap and are somewhat
handy, google DIY Screen. The results are not far off what you get with
purpose made screen material without the cost. The tradeoff is elbow grease!
Projectors can be had very inexpensively.

If you want to go rock-bottom, a used Sony VPL-HS51 projector can be had for
under $1k in excellent condition. It's not the newest latest, but certainly
will do a great job for a first projector. You can get projectors more
cheaply but almost all are ill-suited to movie/video use.

To get the full effect, you need masking. HTIQ makes reasonable kits
starting at $199. It makes a huge difference in the experience. Nothing saps
the life out of watching on a big screen like huge expanses of white screen.
Definitely avoid getting an HD receiver and/or high definition disc player.
I've found myself watching PBSHD for far longer than intended simply because
the visual impact was so striking it was difficult to take my eyes away.

-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Tom Fine
Sent: Monday, April 30, 2007 5:44 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] DVD video to iPod

I have a "media room" but no big screen, yet. As I said in the message,
that's coming when costs go
lower. Still undecided about a large flat-screen LED or a ceiling-mounted
projector and a pull-down
very large screen. I'm not a big-time movie buff but DVD's and a very
wide/deep variety in the local
library system have made me much more of a fan.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message -----
From: "Mike Richter" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, April 30, 2007 11:20 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] DVD video to iPod

> Tom Fine wrote:
>> This must be a generational thing. I hate (HATE) movie theaters. Usually,
the focus is blurry,
>> the sound bad and the place full of loud smelly people. So I'll sacrifice
the "larger than life"
>> aspect of the visuals for the comfort of my own home and superb surround
sound experience. As
>> large flatscreens get cheaper and cheaper -- and the same case with
digital projectors -- the day
>> fast approaches when I'll have it all: a larger-than-life picture plus
surround plus the comfort
>> of my own home. Also, going to the movies costs well north of $10 per
person if you get a medium
>> nasty greasy popcorn and watered-down soda. And the movies made today
aren't generally very good,
>> in my opinion. I still go to an occasional IMAX movie because that truly
is a super-real
>> experience.
>> -- Tom Fine
> There is another choice: a media room.
> Before I became ill, I often hosted music gatherings in my otherwise
modest home. For the purpose,
> I had a 14x35-foot room built onto the house and installed a projector
(since upgraded to DLP) and
> eight-foot screen. I had to give up my Dahlquist speakers since they
blocked the screen, but the
> B&W's provided excellent surround to complement the picture.
> In short, it's a more practical approach to a small theater or studio
screening room - and since
> I've been to screenings in the latter (I'm in Los Angeles), I can say that
while my own version is
> smaller, it's better than some of the 'pro' installations.
> Since some of my friends are members of the Academy, I have the
opportunity to see far more
> 'screeners' than time permits (and despite the protective measures of the
Academy have copied some
> for later viewing). More to my taste is bringing opera into my home via
that room. A friend who
> visits weekly remarks regularly on the convenience of attending the opera
while kicking off her
> shoes and putting her feet up on the table. (I listen from my recliner;
they make do with the
> couch.)
> Mike
> --
> [log in to unmask]