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Articles, Resources and Links >> Large Screen TV for under £2.5k

Contrary to what you might think, it is possible to have an absolutely awseome, dream home cinema for under £2500.00. Some large screen TV's cost that much, but the system I built for myself is a projector based setup with an 81" screen and is superb quality, both in picture and audio.

Plasma, LCD, CRT or Projector?
There is no contest here, as a plasma screen coming even close to the size of screen I have would be near on £15,000+. LCD doesn't even go up to that size and nor does CRT, so quite simply, a projector represents the biggest bang for your buck per screen inch.


Whilst you might be concerned that the bulb life is a limiting factor, with replacement bulbs near on £300.00, but I have been using my setup for watching Sky TV and DVDs for over a year now and I am only a quarter of the way in to my bulb life, which to me is excellent value considering the vewing experience.
Not only is it awsome for TV and DVD, but playing games on the Xbox or Playstation 2 is mind blowing.

The Equipment

Hewlett Packard VP6120 DLP Projector
This projector surpassed all my expectations. 2000 lumens, component and S-Video inputs and amazing picture quality comparable to projectors 3 times the cost.
circa £1560.00

Yamaha RX-V630 AV Amplifier
Excellent value surround amplifier. Yamaha make excellent surround amps at this sort of price range so anything similar would be an excellent choice.
circa £130.00

Cambridge Audio DVD55 DVD Player
Award winning DVD player at a fantastic price. What makes this player so good, is that it is progressive scan which when matched to a progressive scan projector (such as the HP VP6120) produces a superb, almost line doubled picture.
circa £145.00

Paradigm Subwoofer
Key to the real 'kick' of the sound system is the subwoofer. This particular sub was about £130.00, but pushes out enough bass to make the whole settee shake. When choosing a sub woofer, make sure it is the active kind (it's own internal amplifier) and is rated at 100w +
circa £130.00

Eltax HT-2 Bipolar Speakers
Excellent value rear surround speakers. I already had speakers to use for the fronts, but I would have been quite happy to use these as fronts if needed.
circa £60.00

Gale Center 10 Centre Speaker
An all round good performer for a very reasonable price, although it might be better to spend a little more and go for a larger size.
Circa £30.00

RGB to S-Video Convertor
I needed this because the standard Panasonic SKY digibox does only outputs in RGB or Composite. In order to get the best possible picture quality for Sky TV (very important with a screen this large) I had to convert the RGB output to S-Video with this little gizzmo.
circa £70.00

3 Way S-Video/Composite/Audio Switcher
This great little device allows me to switch between 3 different S-Video sources plus the audio. This meant I could have SKY TV, European Satelite and XBOX all running in S-Video

The Screen
3/4 inch thick plywood base, fixed to the wall, covered in projector screen material, bought off the roll and finished with a black wood surround
circa £130.00
Electric Screens here

Assorted cables - £100.00

SYSTEM CONTROL
The whole system is controlled from a Touchscreen LCD screen, which is basically like a giant programable universal remote control. To find out more about this, see the in depth article all about it here.

Resources:

www.projectorcentral.com/hp_vp6120.htm
Review of the HP VP6120

HifiBitZ
Excellent shop for all home cinema equipment

Richer Sounds
Place to buy Cambridge Audio DVD Players and Eltax Speakers

DRH Projection Screens
Sells projection screen material off the roll to your required size


Putting it all together

It really isn't as complicated as you might think to connect all this stuff together. Basically, the DVD runs into the component input of the projector with the sound coming out of the digital coaxial socket into the coaxial input of the amplifier. For SKY, I came straight out of the scart socket from the digibox, into a RGB to S-Video convertor and then straight into the S-Video input of a 3 way s-video switcher. For VCR, I go straight into the composite input of the projector.

CONNECTION DIAGRAM