Building the 200 inch 1080p HDTV

Building the 200 inch 1080p HDTV

Summary: Yesterday I helped my friend build his 200 inch 1080p HDTV for his entertainment room and it was a beast of a task. But when it was all said and done, I think he was quite happy.


Yesterday I helped my friend build his 200 inch 1080p HDTV for his entertainment room and it was a beast of a task. But when it was all said and done, I think he was quite happy. Pictured above and below is me standing in front of the display. [See gallery for larger images.]

In the photo above, you can see how I'm dwarfed by the characters on the screen by the life-like images from the movie "300" (HD DVD format).

Using the $2700 street price Panasonic PT-AE2000U 1920x1080 projector, we worked hard to mount it on to the ceiling. Pictured above is the projector with the mount installed on the bottom.  [Update 3/14/2008 - Note that the special paint used for the reflective wall and the undercoating used cost around 300 Euros.  I would imagine that the prices in the US are a little cheaper though.  I should also point out that the universal projector mount costs around $150.]

Pictured above is our handy work in mounting the thing. It wasn't easy but we got it done. Drilling through that solid concrete material destroyed 2 drill bits and it wasn't easy until we got higher quality drill bits and a powerful drill.

This is the front of the projector hanging upside down from the ceiling. You can use software control to flip the image upside down so it's right side up.

On top of the projector (or below in this case) are two optical lens shift dials that allow you to optically shift left/right 40% and up/down 100% without any keystoning effects or resorting to ugly digital keystone adjustments.

Here's the back of the unit with just the power cord and HDMI 1.3 cable plugged in. We purchased a good 30 foot long HDMI 1.3 cable off a Google search for $50 and it works quite wonderfully. Remember, digital is digital is digital so long as it works. Too many people spend $150 on even shorter cables and it's a big scam.

Topics: Mobility, Hardware, Networking, Telcos

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • How much did it cost in total?

    How much did it cost you in total including the screen. And by the way can you mention the make and type of screen you used.
    • We just used some special grey reflective paint designed for projector use

      We just used some special grey reflective paint designed for projector use. Not only is it cheaper, but it allowed us to use the entire wall. Projector screens are far more expensive.
      • Reflective Paint

        Could you be specific about the pait you used and where to buy it? I know there are many choices and I would like to gain from your experience. Thanks!
        • I'll have to ask my friend where he got it

          I'll have to ask my friend where he got it, though he got it in Germany.
        • He said he got it from

          Here's another useful resource for this

  • That would fit perfectly in my living room (kidding)

    This--IS--SPARTA! :)

    Seriously, nice work George.
    D T Schmitz
    • All you need is $2600

      All you need is $2600 :). Seriously though, that's a lot cheaper than a 60" plasma or LCD and it's a lot cheaper than a lot of rear projection HDTVs. The only catch is that you need a relatively dark room though this projector is one of the brighter ones I've seen.
  • And now for the important questions

    1. How long is the bulb life?

    2. How much is the replacement bulb cost?
    • The truth about bulb life

      Bulb life is what it is. There are many factors that go into it, including luck. It's difficult to predict accurately. The manufacturer will quote some number of hours, probably in the 4,000 range, but these numbers are just estimates. Your Mileage May Vary, and can easily be more or less. You'll hear horror stories of bulbs that died after 200 hours, and stories of people with 7,000 hours and still going. One factor that's hard to figure in to life estimates is that projector bulbs are harmed more by power cycling than by continuous operation. It's better to leave the projector on all day than turn it on and off several times.

      If spending $250 - $350 on a new bulb at random intervals scares you, buy a bulb warranty. Many (if not most) front projector owners do this.
      • How bulb life is calculated....

        When a manufacturer states a bulb life they are doing so based on the exponential distribution curve. This means that if the stated life of the bulb is 1000 hours then the chances of bulb failing beofre 1000 hours is about aproximately 60%.

        An exponential distribution is parameterized by a variable λ, which is the mean of hours-in-operation/failure rate. The Cummulative Distribution Function for an exponential distribution is defined for x ≥ 0, and is: F(x,λ) = 1- e-λx. The mean value is 1/λ. Note that well over half of the values generated by this function will be below the mean - roughly 60 percent. This is why that when you buy a light bulb that is rated to last for 1000 hours, chances are 60 percent that it will fail before 1000 hours. However, there's also a chance that the light bulb will last for 1000 years. It's just a really small chance.

        In laymens terms bulb life is really luck of the draw, thus the horror stories, and the stories of bulbs lasting 7000 hours.

        Hope that all makes sense....
    • It should last 2 years with 30 hours a week of usage

      It should last 2 years with 30 hours a week of usage with a 3000 hour economode bulb life. It's 2000 hours for regular mode but it's only slightly brighter so I would say it's not worth it and you should stick with economode. You definitely don't want to leave the thing on 24x7 and you should have a cheaper HDTV for casual watching. The bulb is around $200 I think.
  • RE: Building the 200 inch 1080p HDTV

    For the same price you could go to the movies and see first-run films on a *really* big screen 130 times. (Or 52 times if you get drinks and popcorn.)
    • If you count 2 people, you can cut that in half

      4 people and it becomes really expensive. Here you can entertain the whole family.
    • Out to the movies!

      Yeah, but you will have to deal with all the other people there. Especially that big smelly guy that comes in late and sits RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU!!!!!
  • 3 year bulb replacement

    As I recall, panasonic offers a 3 year bulb replacement on their projectors. Although a new bulb for that model is $379.99 after doing a quick search. Which seems to be about the average price.
    • *Meant as Response for nucrash* (NT)

    • $380?

      This is why I can't go with a projector bulbs cost too much.

      If they cost $100-150 I would buy one.
  • no Sparta gif?

    You go to all that trouble to stand in front of a 300 movie shot, and still no George Ou "This is ZDNet" animated gif?
  • RE: Building the 200 inch 1080p HDTV

    When drilling into concrete, use a hammer drill and the appropriate drill bits, or you are wasting your time. I can drill a 3/4" diameter hole 6" deep into concrete in less than a minute with my DeWalt hammer drill.
    • Drilling Problems

      The biggest problem I have with the use of a hammer drill is the creation of micro- (and not so micro) fractures in the concrete.

      One way I've found to mitigate that is to drill an oversized hole and use epoxy to seal the cracks and anchor the bolts/threaded rods at the same time. Takes longer to wait for it to cure and set; but I've found it to last longer.