Buying a Home Theater Projection Screen? 8 Things You Need To Know

8 Tips for buying a home theater projection screen…

1. Start with a White wall.

See how your projected image looks without a screen. Any issues? Could it be brighter? Is the size big enough? Is the location good?

2. How close can you sit to the screen?

For complete movie immersion, you need a 30-degree vision range.

Here is a quote from AVS Forum

A 30 degree field of vision would not only excite the central portion of the human visual system, but the peripheral vision as well. That gives a much heightened experience of reality to the viewer.

To achieve this 30-degree field of vision, you should be 1.87 times the screen width (1.63 times the diagonal length of a 16:9 display).

3. A bigger screen is better!

The bigger the screen, the further away from the screen you need to sit. You can sit closer to a big screen if the display technology you are using to project the image has a dense pixel structure. For example, D-ILA or DLP. If you are using an LCD with ‘800×600’ resolution or less, then you will want to sit further away so that you minimize the LCD pixels structure. This will require a larger room. In addition, if you are watching DVDs on a lower resolution projector, then you will need to compensate for the reduced resolution by sitting further away from the screen.

4. Choose the correct Screen Material for your projector.

Forget the marketing and error on the side of safety. So much of a screens performance is hype. It won’t turn a lifeless picture into life-like film. If the white wall showed an enjoyable and watchable picture, than don’t go too far away from those specs.

5. Gain Control.

Each screen will have a gain spec… Matte white will have a gain of 1 while the High Power screen will have a gain of 2.8. Higher gains do exist, but mostly not for home use. The higher the gain, the brighter the picture will appear. However, too much gain and hot-spots will appear in the image. Some screens have gains less than 1.0 that means it will not reflect back all of the images brightness. This can be useful if your image is very bright and you want to increase the effective contrast and shadow detail.

6. Buy a test screen.

If you are thinking of spending thousands on a screen (which you can easily do when purchasing a Stewart screen or other high-end screens), buy an inexpensive pull down screen from a manufacturer for about $100 first and see how you like that image. Choose a screen that comes close to the screen you will purchase. Same size, same gain, and watch it for a month. Also, some fabric shops sell screen material (usually of the standard matte white variety) which can be used as a very inexpensive method to mount a screen temporarily on the wall. This is all in an effort to know what you like or dislike about the standard image and what needs to be improved. Alternatively, maybe you will even learn that you don’t need to spend thousands.

7. Screen format.

If your projector is 4×3 (square, like a standard television) and not 16×9 (like a movie theater screen – wider than it is tall) then you will need to buy a screen that is 4×3 to match the image.

For a home theater projector (’16×9′ projector), you really only have one (maybe if you are lucky two) choice of screen format: 16×9.

If you are one of the few home theater owners that want to use a fixed height or width 2.35:1 screen with an anamorphic lens, then you should consult a professional installer. This is the latest holy grail of home theater. It requires the use of masking the image when not showing a 2.35:1 image and removing the masking when you are. It also allows for the ’16×9′ projector to use full resolution to display the 2.35:1 image. Without the anamorphic lens and a ‘Scale Adjuster’ to scale the image across the full panel, you would see black bars when displaying a 2.35:1 image.

8. Rear projection screen.

A rear projection screen can look terrific – very custom and finished. This usually requires a mirror to fit the projector into a small space and still allow the focal length to remain the same.

If you are thinking of a very widescreen – 10 feet or more – you may want to consider a curved screen. With a very widescreen, the differences between the distance from the lens to the outer edges of the screen and the distance from the lens to the center creates a difference in picture brightness and can distort the image. By curving the screen, the distance to the outer edges and the distance to the middle of the screen are nearly the same and remove the distortion and differences in brightness.

Calendar Considerations When Buying A Home

Most markets are cyclical in nature. In practical terms, this means there are periods where the market in question is very busy and periods where it is very slow. Many people are surprised to learn this also applies to the real estate market.

Buying a home in a seller’s market is tough. In contrast, buying during a slow market is an incredible opportunity. You have a chance to get in at or near the bottom floor of prices. If you can keep focused on the future, you can really make a killing. Yes, you might see the value of the home drop a bit more, but the key is to focus on 2010 and beyond. That may seem a long way away, but the real estate market will bounce back and have returned to typical highs by then. This is where millionaires will be made.

Since you’ve seen the cyclical nature of a sellers’ market versus a buyers’ market, you can see the power of buying or selling during each of these markets. Well, the good news is there are actually busy and slow times within each calendar year.

Nearly every real estate market can be timed year after year. A classical perfect time to buy is during the winter holidays. Why? Well, think about it. How many people are out looking for homes around Christmas or New Years Eve? Not many. This creates an artificial buyers’ market because the number of buyers interested in purchasing a home is greatly reduced. This period usually lasts from November through February.

Given the rather cold nature of winter, it is hardly surprising to learn that the real estate market is slow during the winter months. You might be surprised to learn that the same is true when things heat up. Specifically, the real estate market tends to cool off from July to August. Why is this? Well, families tend to head off on vacations and get caught up in dealing with the kids. There is little time to house hunt and real estate markets tend to slow down, which makes them prime buying time.

Location may be the number one rule for real estate, but knowing when to buy is important as well. It can make the difference between getting a great deal and buyer’s remorse.

Buying A Pool Table For Your Home

Purchasing a pool table can be a hefty investment so there are several things you should consider if you plan on buying one for your home.

Quality vs. Price

The price of a pool table can cost anywhere from £200 to £10,000s. As you would expect, the more you pay for one, the better quality it will be meaning you will get a better pool playing experience. However, most people don’t have £10,000s to spend on such an item so how much should you spend?

If you are purchasing a pool table for the first time then we recommend that you spend no more than £500. This will ensure that you don’t overspend on a product that you will get bored of and stop playing after several months. If the pool table is for your children then this is a great way for them to learn the basics and improve their pool playing skills. Buying a basic table means you also limit the amount you spend as well as the risk of it being damaged by children and rendering it useless; after all, they are renowned for being a bit clumsy at times!

The playing surface of these basic pool tables are generally made of MDF (medium density fibreboard), making them cost effective and lightweight so they are easy to move around your home if required. However, the playing surface is likely to become slightly warped (especially if it is exposed to warm or humid conditions) and affect the run of the ball which may ruin your gaming experience.

If you are more of a serious pool player then we recommend purchasing one with a slate bed; as the name suggests, the playing surface is made of slate meaning that it won’t warp over time so you won’t have to worry about it affecting your playing experience no matter how long you have it. The negatives of having this type of table is that they are generally much more expensive than ones with and MDF bed, costing anywhere from £1,000 and due to the weight of the slate, it can be difficult to move around the home. If pool is your hobby then we suggest that you spend as much as you can afford and purchase a quality pool table with a slate bed; if you take care of it then it will be a worthy investment and last you for a long time.


There is a calculation as to how much space you require in the room that will house the pool table. The average size of a full-size pool cue is about 5ft; this is the amount of space required around the pool table. So to calculate the amount of space required, take the amount of space required for cuing (approximately 10ft) and add this to both the length and width of the table. For example, if you plan to buy a 9ft x 4.5ft table then you will require a room that is at least 19ft x 14.5ft.

If you want to read our buying guide and find out the other things you may want to consider when buying a pool table, check out our pool tables website.

How to Buy a Home With a Dark Past

On occasion you may come across a house that is perfect in every way, except for a few small details. A crime may have occurred there or someone (or a series of someones) may have died in the home. While most realtors will be up front about this reality you may have some concerns when it comes to buying a home with a dark past. There are many ways to alleviate the concerns you may have about your potential home, but in the end you may decide that the events that have occurred in your home make the home not worth buying.

When confronted with a home with a dark past people generally have one of two reactions. You may be interested in knowing what exactly went on in the home you are considering buying, and once the details are known you may reconsider. The home could end up being a perfectly wonderful home for you and your family, or you could be incredibly uncomfortable living in the house because of past events. You might even get a better deal on the home because of its dark past.

If the home has a history of violent crime the price may be lowered because of the negative publicity that has been centered on the home. While there may be no evidence that any violent crimes have occurred in the house there may still be a buzz around the location.

When looking at a home for sale the buyer has the ability to ask if the home has a dark past, and the seller must be honest according to the law. Houses that are rumored to be haunted are generally locations buyers will want to stay away from because of the uncertainty of the market value as well as the overall mystery of what is actually going on in the house.

If you’ve decided to dive in and buy a home that has a dark past you might find that repairing and restoring the house makes a world of difference. Doing routine maintenance like painting the outside of the house, replanting (or planting) a yard and landscaping can change the aesthetics of the house as well as the overall feelings people might have towards the property. The interior could also use a fresh coat of paint; use this time to create your dream home with the right color schemes, accent walls, new curtains, and more! You can also replace any insulation, windows, or other siding that may be worn out or need replacing.

Hire professional cleaners will also make restoring the house easier. Whatever you need to do in order to feel better about living in a house with a dark past is completely fine and up to you.

Buying a home with a dark past is the same process as buying a brand new home. Ask your realtor and the seller if there have been any criminal activities, violent crimes or other unfortunate events that have occurred on the property and use your best judgement.

Pros & Cons of Buying A New House Versus Old House

Buying a newly built property is certainly a better and exciting idea than compromising with the old via renovations and reconstructions. It is simply a blank canvas where you get to select the design for everything from the drapes to the appliances or even the counter tops.

Moreover, new property offers more space and better facilities. However, like any other purchase, buying home property too comes with its own disadvantages and advantages, especially when it comes to big and reputed cities. All these factors must be given a careful consideration before you commit yourself to any such purchase. Below is the rundown of the certain chief pros and cons to reflect on while buying a newly built house.

Pro: The Modern Upgrades

One of the biggest advantages of acquiring a newly built house is its upgraded features. When you are planning for a new home, you put in every little feature along the lines of the latest modern trends. From bathroom tiles to kitchen surfaces, everything is chosen under the most upgraded versions.

Sometimes, you don’t even hesitate taking an extra leap with your budget for these upgrades. Most of the Home Builders provide an upgrade for almost anything while at times you may have to consult a specialist. These days the usual house upgrades consists of intercom systems, lighting systems or integrated heating, security systems, extra parking, swimming pools and balconies.

Con: Compromising budget for the Upgrades

Picking on the most modern and luxurious facilities for your new home definitely seems appealing. And since buying a home is a once in a lifetime investment, you must gather the best from the available options. Though extending your already planned budget a little on the upgrades is acceptable but going overboard with it is not much of a wise choice.

The upgrade options will certainly allure you. However, it is best to make a list or at least have a rough idea of what you need in the new house. This will aid you in getting an estimate for the budget. Usually, mortgage lenders select the upgrades they lend for. In case their list does not include the one you desire, then you may have to search for an alternative source.

Pro: You get to pick out your own builder

An obvious part of the property buying procedure is to investigate the builders for the construction you are concerned with and overall reputation. In order to get the feedback for a particular builder, ask your friends or others who had purchased property from the same builder. Also, a quick screening online can assist you in estimating the decency in the reputation of the Home Builders.

Con: Confront the builder before closing the deal

Once you step in the real estate world to buy any type of property, you will be surrounded by ample dealers and builders, each trying to persuade you with their own best claims. You might even be pressurized into extra perks or a mortgage.

Relax and take your time before arriving at the final decision. Wisely choose your fittings and upgrades. Sometimes, builders try to engage you into a mortgage from their own brokers. Therefore, you must make sure that you are provided with a good rate. Also, ensure that your builder is willing to compensate you for expensive and stressful business delays.

Pro: Features that cut down both energy and money

New buildings come with several electrical, new heating and even plumbing systems that help you to reduce costs. The properties in metro cities such as the homes. are more prone to such features. Your home may be more energy efficient, safer and provide you with lower utility bills. Moreover, you make enquiries to your builder to avail for the benefits from the tax breaks on account of owning energy efficient systems.

Con: Quality kicks the Cost

As a general rule, the new construction will certainly be more costly than the old. Covering for special energy efficient systems and features definitely calls for higher investment. Sometimes, builders even add in the expenses of constructing new sewage pipes or roads. These costs ultimately fall to the buyer.