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#160366 - 03/02/07 05:57 PM Re: A Projector - should I? [Re: tomtuttle]
PeterChenoweth Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
You absolutely should not appologize. This is a forum for all!! I'm enjoying the discussion, even if it strays a bit off topic.

Spent half the day reading reviews on projectors & setup techniques. So much for work productivity!

Still trying to make up my mind.
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#160367 - 03/02/07 06:01 PM Re: A Projector - should I? [Re: bridgman]
chesseroo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 4829
Loc: western canada
Quote:

Don't worry, you didn't say anything wrong and your post was very informative.

I think the comment was related to the sheer number of issues that you said needed to be considered -- sounded very much like someone who had "just been there", had learned a *lot* in the process, and was still a bit bruised




mdrew, i have to agree with bridgman. Your post is informative of the dark side of the projector world in a moderate manner. I very much enjoy reading the negative aspects of personal reviews as long as they remain objective rather than degrade to simple insults of a product or company.

Many things that have been posted in this thread also apply to our media room. Originally i designed it for a projection system at one end of the room. Before the room was really complete, we realized that seating might work better in a 90 degree shifted arrangement so we had the room wired in 2 directions for 7.1 sound. However, i ran only one access tube in the original orientation for projector wires. They would come down from the ceiling in behind a screen and then connect immediately to the left or right hand side where we would locate the equipment.
After the room was complete, we felt that the 'second' orientation layout was better for viewing and are still using the Toshiba 52" RPTV (1080i capable which has been great) instead of a projector. I've been mulling over the idea much like Peter has and i have come to similar conclusions.
  • I like the idea of the projector and the big screen it can produce.
  • I would want a very sharp screen so the projector brand would likely cost 3-5k. Much research required.
  • No home made screens here so add to the cost probably about 1k.
  • Add the cost of running the long cables, however the ceiling plug was put up in advance planning.
  • Concerns about fan noise due to the close location to seating. Much research needed.
  • Seating distance only 11' in one direction, about 12' in the other. Again, considerations for the projector style and how big a screen is needed at such a distance (calculators say no more than about 80" if i recall).
  • We watch regular tv, sometimes HD, in this room so we need to consider bulb life, or the option of having both a tv and projector (really not feasible unless you have a larger room and the $ to have both).
  • Prices of large size HD tvs (plasma, lcd and new formats coming out) are dropping like mad, especially lcd.
  • Ease of installation and use vs. a plop down tv.

At this point, i think we have decided against buying a projector simply to get a screen of 80-85" max in our media room. I think we are now leaning towards a 70"-80" hdtv, just not anytime soon. Maybe in a few years at best and once more HD programming comes to our area.
_________________________
"Those who preach the myths of audio are ignorant of truth."

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#160368 - 03/02/07 07:33 PM Re: A Projector - should I? [Re: chesseroo]
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3904
Loc: Up yonder
Whew……I was worried there. I've been trying to behave.

John/Tom,

When I said I scale 4.3 to 16.9, the image is not stretched, and I agree, stretched images look like crap. I suspect the projector simply re-scales the image and whacks the top and bottom a wee bit. This would lead me to think that heads and feet would get whacked, but they don’t. It MAY be, that all the content on Satellite is 16.9 now??? At any rate, it is not a concern to me, and I’m pretty darn fussy.

One other point I overlooked was how SD images look on a big screen. Well, they look like crap. Horrible. But, they don’t look any better to me on the 27” TV in my rec room then the 50” hdtv upstairs or the 96” screen. The point being, is crap is crap and it stinks no matter how much of you got on the bottom of your shoes. I wouldn’t even worry about this. If you can stand SD now on whatever sized TV you have now, you’ll be able to stand it on a 120” screen.

The real problem with SD, is when you get to see an HD / BR movie in all its glory, EVERYTHING else looks like crap. If I didn’t have a $3000 video processor to do its magic with SD dvd’s, I’d have a collection of 800 sd/dvds ready for the dumpster. The only SD tv I watch are the very, very few shows I enjoy….and that’s only if I can’t get them on dvd.

Too bad SutterCane doesn’t visit here that much, he’s got a wealth of knowledge to share on this topic. I think he’s had several projectors in his house the past few months doing back to back tests trying to figure out which one to keep….including 1080P projectors. You should shoot him a PM and get his thoughts. If I recall, he’s leaning towards an Epson 720P unit.
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#160369 - 03/02/07 08:53 PM Re: A Projector - should I? [Re: michael_d]
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13336
Loc: Iowa
1/3rd eye line of sight from the bottom is a good rule of thumb, but not set in stone. Many people use 1/6th from the bottom. A lot depends on if you have 2 rows of viewing seating and how high you build your platforms.
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M22-OWM22-VP100-Denon2805
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#160370 - 03/03/07 03:56 AM Re: A Projector - should I? [Re: PeterChenoweth]
Sutter Cane Offline
aficionado

Registered: 04/10/04
Posts: 626
Loc: Wichita, KS
Hi Peter,

I don't have any first hand experience with the projector in question, but perhaps I can shed some light on the subject in general.

When a person is considering a projector for the very fist time, it more offten then not comes across as a royal pain in the a$$. Don't let that stop you or scare you off, for it's not as complicated as it all sounds, or comes across. There's just simply many, many questions that one needs to ask themselves, for there are many things that need to be considered.

For example...

1. What kind of projector do I want, 720p or 1080p?
2. What kind of screen do I want and or need (ie. high gain, low gain, white, silver, grey)?
3. What size of screen do I want?
4. What kind of setup do I want, do I want a 16.9 setup, or a Constant Imagine Height 2.35 setup?
5. How far from the screen will my seating be?
6. Is my room dark or light in color?
7. Do I have total light control, or are there windows?
8. Is your room fully enclosed, or does it open up into other rooms?
9. How much can I afford to spend?

These are all things that will play a roll in which type of projector you should go with, as well as which type of screen would be best.

Once you have answered those questions for yourself, you then move on to the second series of questions.

1. What am I after? What it is you're wanting to do.

2. Which projector will give me all or most of what I'm looking for, for the least amount of money? This is very important, because most of us are not rolling in the dough, with cash flowing out of our rear ends. It's not like we have money trees growing out in the backyard that we can just pull as much cash off of whenever we want/need to. Despite what anybody says, cost is always an issue to "some" extent.

3. Will, and or could, my decision effect other things that I'm going to want and need to pull off the setup that I want to do? Example: If I purchase the most expensive projector, would it or could it effect getting that new screen I want, or that new lens I've been eyeballing ect...ect...?

4. Do I really want to jump up to a 1080p projector now, knowing that they will only get better and cheaper as time goes on?

And......

5. Am I really going to benefit from a 1080p projector? The fact of the matter is, many people, despite what they "want" to think, will not. It all boils down to various factors, such as how far from the screen they're going to sit, how big of screen they're projecting on, is the room light controled or is it not, ect... ect...

These are all things that I feel everybody should ask themselves and take under serious consideration. Unfortunately, alot of people fail to do so.

Once you've answered these questions for yourself, you'll be better prepared to make a logical and sound decision based upon what is best for you, your setup, and of course, your wallet.

The reason that I recommend these steps, is because in this hobby it's simply far to easy to get sucked into what I call the bandwagon game. There's constantly new products that are always coming out. With these new products comes a lot of hype, some justifed, some not. We all hear this hype and by nature we get excited. These feelings of excitement often causes us to make irrational decisions, without throughly thinking things through. So ask yourself these questions, and buy what's right for you, your needs, your system/setup, and ultimately your budget. By doing so, I think you'll find greater peace of mind and a system that you'll not only love, but one in which you can enjoy for years to come.

Now with all that said, before one can ask themselves questions regarding projectors and screens, they've got to know what's out there and have a basic understanding of the differenct technologies. More then likely you'll be considering either an LCD or DLP projector.

Those who have read my posts and or reviews over at AVS, would probably tell you that I favor LCD projectors; And they'd be correct.

It's not that I do not like DLP projectors. I've owned a few in the past, and they were all great projectors. I just don't favor them, for I don't find most of them to be worth their cost, if for no other reason then their lack of flexability.

Now they're fine if you don't have any setup restrictions, but a lot of guys have their theaters in basements, which usually means low ceilings. This creates a big problem with most DLP's because a good majority of them have very huge offsets, and very few of them have lens shift or a good zoom/throw range.

It's mostly do to these reason as to why I do not favor DLP projectors. That and unfortunately for me, I am sensitive to RBE (rainbows).

Moving on..... You've also got, in terms of HD projectors, 720p and 1080p. Which do you want to go with, which is better?

There's a lot of debate as to how much better a 1080p unit is, and some of the points made are valid ones at that. However, I've been in the game long enough to know that resolution isn't everything. Important, yes, but in my opinion it's the sum of the parts that equals the whole. I feel brightness, contrast, and lumen output is just as important. Some will agree, some will disagree, but it's a debatable issue though, and a debate I usually stay out of. Everybody has their own opinions regarding the matter, and everybody is entitled to their own opinion, so it's all good.

As for screens, If you don't mind putting in a little work and effort, the DIY route is a good way to go. You can make a really great screen for far less then what an equivalent one would/can cost you.

Should you decide to buy one, then I'd take a look at Carada BW, it's hard to beat for money and everyone that I know who has the Carada BW loves it.

Stepping up further, Stewart screens are excellent, and the High Power by Dalite is great, but I personally don't like it. It's a pain in a$$, but if you can set up your projector correctly in respect to the screen, the results are breath taking. Personally, I'd opt for the Vutec SilverStar if I had to choose between the Dalite High Power and Vutec SilverStar. I found the PQ a little better and it doesn't have the restrictions that comes with Dalite High Power. In other words, you can pretty much mount your projector anywhere you want, ceiling, shelf, table, ect.. ect...

Now I could go on and on, but I'll stop here for now. If you have any other questions, or I can be of further help/assistance to you or anybody else here, please feel free to ask, or fire me a PM.

I wish you the best of luck and sincerely hope that I've been of some help.

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#160371 - 03/03/07 08:58 AM Re: A Projector - should I? [Re: michael_d]
bridgman Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5415
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
>>The real problem with SD, is when you get to see an HD / BR movie in all its glory, EVERYTHING else looks like crap.

I am working very hard to avoid seeing a good HD/BR setup. I'm currently very happy with my system and would like to keep it that way. (covers eyes) La la la la.... !!!

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#160372 - 03/03/07 09:17 AM Re: A Projector - should I? [Re: michael_d]
chesseroo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 4829
Loc: western canada
Quote:

One other point I overlooked was how SD images look on a big screen. Well, they look like crap. Horrible. But, they don’t look any better to me on the 27” TV in my rec room then the 50” hdtv upstairs or the 96” screen. The point being, is crap is crap and it stinks no matter how much of you got on the bottom of your shoes. I wouldn’t even worry about this. If you can stand SD now on whatever sized TV you have now, you’ll be able to stand it on a 120” screen



Which is exactly why i'm leaning away from buying a projector for which i know we would be watching some SD content.
Crappy signal on a 50" eleven feet away already looks bad. I do not want to see the same thing in a 80" version!

With more and higher resolution HD, one can sit closer to a larger screen without seeing the pixels in their eyes, and unfortunately, we just are not there yet.
_________________________
"Those who preach the myths of audio are ignorant of truth."

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#160373 - 03/03/07 10:39 AM Re: A Projector - should I? [Re: Sutter Cane]
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3904
Loc: Up yonder
Sutter,

So you are still alive …….Hope you’re feeling better.

Did you ever get around to summarizing your thoughts on the different projectors you’ve been looking at?

And what exactly is this Rainbow effect I see mentioned all the time?? What’s it look like?


Chess/John,

My advise to you is to stay far away from HD/BR then…….Stay away from Lowery Digital films too because they do such a good job of cleaning up movies that they look damn near HD.

When I first got the VP-50 I was pretty awed by how good SD/DVD’s looked, and it does a pretty good job at cleaning up SD/TV too, but the disparity between the two stayed the same. Then I bought the HD/DVD player and was pretty much screwed at that point. Now I’ve got it and BR and am totally screwed. And it’s not just the image. The sound is so much better……all SD is pathetic in comparison. So really, don’t go down the HD road unless you go all out.
_________________________


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#160374 - 03/03/07 11:10 AM Re: A Projector - should I? [Re: Sutter Cane]
jakeman Offline
aficionado

Registered: 10/03/05
Posts: 852
Loc: Toronto
That was a great post SutterCane. I thought I would comment on one aspect of your post dealing with DLP vs. LCD which I thought needed more balance. You state:

"It's not that I do not like DLP projectors. I've owned a few in the past, and they were all great projectors. I just don't favor them, for I don't find most of them to be worth their cost, if for no other reason then their lack of flexability.

Now they're fine if you don't have any setup restrictions, but a lot of guys have their theaters in basements, which usually means low ceilings. This creates a big problem with most DLP's because a good majority of them have very huge offsets, and very few of them have lens shift or a good zoom/throw range.

It's mostly do to these reason as to why I do not favor DLP projectors. That and unfortunately for me, I am sensitive to RBE (rainbows)."

Like a majority of people I can't see DLP rainbows so it wasn't a factor for me and I understand with advances in recent DLP projectors very few people can see this artifact. I regret that you are one of the few because on balance DLP has several advantages over LCD especially for dedicated HTs. To be fair both technologies have their strengths and weaknesses which are well documented and researched.

A concern I have with my LCD and LCos displays is that they are more subject to color shift and loss of contrast over time because of their greater sensitivy to degradation of the panels from heat. I don't have the link handy but research on the two technologies showed that at 2000hrs LCD displays showed deteriorating contrast compared to DLP units. The reason for this has to do with the compounds in the panels being more subject to organic chemical breakdown from heat stress particularly the blue polarizer. That's why many LCD displays including several I have owned show a shift to yellow and blue after one or two years. I recently purchased a sony LCos display hoping to avoid this longer term problem but my ISF calibrator tells me it will be just a susceptible.

Where I prefer LCD over DLP is in its greater lumens, sharpness, and heat efficiency. However in categories such as smoothness of image, contrast, and pixilation I would favour DLP. Colour rendition is pretty well a tossup between the two. If size of projector is a factor which it can be in some setups and for convenience DLP projectors are usually smaller and weigh less than the LCD projectors.

In considering these factors I have opted to use LCD/LCos displays in areas of high ambient light or for TV viewing. LCD dislays are generally brighter and work well in rooms where ambient light cannot be easily controlled. Conversely in my dedicated HT where I can control light easily DLP projectors work well, assuming like most people you cannot see rainbows.

With regards to setup flexibility that's the first time I have seen such a concern. Virtually all projectors I have viewed, DLP and LCD, or researched have varying offsets and zoom/throw ranges. In my HT I require a long throw of 20ft and there are numerous alternatives available. I have my projector installed near the ceiling without any noticeable image problems. All projectors have certain optimal working ranges and ProjectorCentral has several tools which one should check.

If going with DLPs a high gain screen is important to consider. Though for any projector, I believe the advantages of a high gain screen far outweigh any potential negatives and you have listed my favourites. Currently I'm using a 110" diagonal Vutec Silverstar which I like for its large viewing cone as well as the high gain. Most viewers remark the screen looks like a big plasma TV, which reminds me of the dangers of pigeonholing any of these technologies.

Price considerations aside, it really comes down to how you choose to implement them to take advantage of their strenghts and weaknesses.
_________________________
John

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#160375 - 03/03/07 11:22 AM Re: A Projector - should I? [Re: michael_d]
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13336
Loc: Iowa
mdrew,

The rainbow effect is basically a flutter of colored light that exists on DLP based projectors, especially in darker scenes. It is most apparent in the 2-3x speed DLP wheels. I've heard that when you get into the more expensive DLP's with faster wheels, it may not be a problem.

If you place both of your hands in front of your face about 8-10 inches, with your fingers spread apart, and then move your hands side to side real fast crossing each other, that is what it looks like.
_________________________
M80s-VP180-QS8s-EP600-2xEP350 Denon3808 Outlaw7700
M22-OWM22-VP100-Denon2805
Audio Nirvana

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