Re: Cutting Costs in Retirement
13 to 15 feet should give you 100" diagonal in 4:3 with the average infocus consumer home theater proj like an x1. Other projectors may vary in image size.
Infocus has a calculator, just go to their site, click down onto a home projector and look for the link to calculate image size and distance.
I've fiddled with paint and screen materials, but honestly just throwing it on a textured white wall (medium orangepeel) looks fine with no fuss.
Supposedly Sony has a new screen material that rejects white light but accepts red/green/blue with improved gain. Unfortunately they're looking at $500 for a regular size screen and I didnt pay much more than that for my x1. If you want to get a good pic during the day without blacking out your windows, look for a model with higher lumens, at least 1500 and preferably 2000+. Avoid anything with low contrast ratios, look for 2000 and up. Some presentation projectors pretending to be home theater projectors have far lower contrast ratios and you'll have to crank up the brightness to see whats going on in dark scenes. Then get blasted by daylight scenes.
Given that for $750 plus a few doodads you get a better picture than a $3000 big screen, and it takes up a lot less space, I'm still very happy with the x1. Which has been replaced and I think a lot of the experts are still favoring the x1 vs its replacement (I think its the 4800 or 4805?). The one benefit the new one has is "native" 16:9 projection. I think that matters a lot more to purists than to mooks like me that just want a big cheap picture.
Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.