Cheap Dave's Home Theater


What kind of display?

Everybody is really excited about plasma TVs. We have seen these things coming for at least 20 years and now there are here (just a little expensive). I personally don't get all the excitement.

Everybody is really excited about plasma TVs. We have seen these things coming for at least 20 years and now there are here (just a little expensive). I personally don't get all the excitement.

I talk to people about it and they say "I can have a big picture that hangs on the wall and is only 4" thick!!". I answer "I have a picture that is 1 photon thick and can be projected on any surface". My projector weighs less than 10 pounds and I can take it anywhere."

Oh and by the way a good projector that will make a picture at least twice as large as a plasma TV costs about 1/3 as much. So if you want to do a home theater you have to really ask yourself some questions.

Roughly how big of a picture do I want?
Can I control the light in this room?
Is the room dedicated to HT or will it be used for other things?
Do I want to really create a theater like experience or just good TV?


If you want a picture larger that 50", can control the light in a dedicated room and you want to create a movie theater like experince then you should really consider a projector.

The projectors have really come a long way in the last 10 years. Previously high end Home Theaters used CRT based projectors. These were large, heavy expensive machines. They had to be installed in only one place to make a given screen size and required a professional to properly calibrate them. They had three CRT tubes, Red, Green and Blue. The tubes had a fixed life and when one burned out it was a major expense to replace it. And don't even get me started on line doublers that could cost twice as much as the projector.

The projectors currently being use in most home theaters owe more to the development of computer displays than the old CRTs. They have been driven by by the computer industry and traveling business people. So as a result
the quality has improved and the size of the projectors has gotten smaller. All for lower prices.

Most of these projectors can produce an HDTV picture without any problem. And if you haven't seen HD on a really big screen you will be amazed.

There are some great websites that offer a huge amount of information on projectors and I will write more about that later. But first really try to see if a projector can't be used in your HT.

If you don't have a dedicated room you can still use a pull down screen even in front of your regular TV so the room can be transformed into a home theater. Do you watch most of your movies in the evening after dark? Maybe just some curtains will be enough to control the light.

So considering the fact that good projectors start at less than $1000 and go up from there. You really should think hard before jumping on the plasma band wagon. Look around and see how many people will give you an old "Big
Screen" TV if you will just come over and haul the thing away.