DIY Home Theater Projector

So DIY home projectors are nothing new. For years people have been trying to make their own projectors due to the high cost of real LCD projectors.Home theater receivers and a strong stereo system, along with this projector can make you feel like you are at the movies. So what makes this guide practical? Simply put, the theory behind projection coupled with the breakdown of costs for each main component of the projector. We let you decide what components are right for you, but give you a fully functional example.

We have been nearly overwhelmed with fan mail over the DIY Projector project. We have also received a plethora of questions on panels (would this make us in-famous?). So instead of answering 5 billion emails individually we put this break down on panels together. We have hand tested each model shown and will update it frequently.

The theory behind projection:

The principals that make projection in general possible are very simple in concept. You need simply 4 requirements to be met: a light source, the brighter the better; some form of imagery medium, film or LCD it’s all the same conceptually; a focusing mechanism to help provide a crisp image; and finally a display medium. There are many ways of accomplishing each of these requirements. We will be glancing over them and providing some examples that could fulfill the requirements for our LCD Projector.

The Light Source – The LCD Projector Bulb

Back in the day traditional carbon arc were used in actual film based projection, but modern xenon arc lights are now more common. Xenon’s were introduced in the 1950s, they are safe and easy to use, and are relatively cheap. Most all LCD based projection use Xenon or filtered Metal Halide, based light sources. Commercial or non DIY projectors can have bulbs that are very very expensive, often in excess of $500.00 for a bulb that usually can only last for 2000 hours. All bulbs are sensitive to shock, getting bumped too hard can be a costly mistake. So what are the most common practical light sources?

Xenon Light Source

$20 – $150
Construction Utility Lights

$50 – $250
Modified Automotive Head Lights

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