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Re: Projectors and screens.
SirQuack #283593 12/23/09 11:24 PM
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 Originally Posted By: sirquack
In the blind AB testing I've done argues to the contrary.


I don't have a critical ear at all and haven't done A/B testing myself, but I'm pretty pleased with the way it sounds for me and really like the way it looks... or doesn't look \:\)

Re: Projectors and screens.
ClubNeon #283604 12/24/09 01:33 AM
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 Originally Posted By: Listener

For those of you who have them what projectors/screens are you guys using?

As Zimm mentioned I got a Panasonic AE4000 projecting onto a 134” diagonal Carada Brilliant White 1.78:1 screen. Projector is 19’ back and my seating is 14’-15’ back from the screen. I’m using 3 tower speakers L/C/R and because the screen is above them have complete flexibility in placement to get the best soundstage possible. Because my seating is far enough back 8’-10’ I don’t hear the speakers coming from below the screen.

Any projector well reviewed at Projector Central or Projector Reviews will be more than bright enough for your light controlled room and screen size. Which one is best for you comes down to what if any features you want or issues you don’t want. Similarly what style and type of screen will also depend on your uses.

I went with a 1.78:1 (16x9) screen because most of the material I watch is 1.78:1 or 1.33:1 (Xbox games, anime, and 16x9 HD shows) and the width of 2.35 screen I could fit would have severely limited those screen sizes. By going with a 1.78:1 screen I not only get the largest 2.35 screen I could fit but also the largest 1.78:1 and 1.33:1 at the same time so it was a no brainer. So far dark bars aren’t an issue for 2.35 movies because I can turn a dial to shift the image down so the only bar is up on top and not even noticeable compared to all the light bouncing around the room from the screen. That may change when I get black curtains up but then all I have to do is make some DIY masking for the top of the screen.

I also got a screen with a slight positive gain because of the screen size and distance from the projector two issues I don’t think you need to worry about. I considered and ditched the AT idea because it would have eaten up to much of my room to put the speakers behind it. AT would also have compromised my speaker positioning in relation to the walls and seating. And though I haven’t tried one I read to much about possible audio quality and especially picture quality issues that I didn’t want to risk that either.

My projector choices came down to a Panasonic and Epson:

I went with the AE4000 because I play a lot of video games and watch shows with lots of dark scenes and wanted better shadow detail over black levels. Also the Epson’s were not yet shipping at the time and last years models had issues with noise from the dynamic iris. Also the AE4000 is suppose to do a little better with frame interpolation which I find a fantastic feature on the AE4000. Mode2 eliminates almost all motion judder and also blurring during panning w/o introducing problems.

One thing to note is that while the Panasonic is cheaper out of the box bulb replacement costs could make it more expensive than the Epson in the long run.

Best thing you can do is read the various reviews and identify the projectors that have the features/performance you want.


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Re: Projectors and screens.
grunt #283658 12/24/09 02:33 PM
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Grunt How much are the bulb replacements on the panasonic? How often do they have to be replaced?


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Re: Projectors and screens.
Listener #283670 12/24/09 05:13 PM
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At your price point, your options are fairly limited. At that budget, I’d get the 4000. I recently read a thread at AVS where someone had access to a Sim 2 Lumis and the 4000. He installed them both and was very surprised that the gap in performance between the two was not nearly as large as expected (keep in mind that the Lumis is a + $20,000 projector that the majority of videophiles consider the holy grail of digital projectors). This little experiment just goes to show how far digital projector performance per dollar has gotten the last couple of years. It seams as if $2000 will get you about 85% of the way to “best performance possible”, and you have to pay through the nose to get marginal improvements above 85%. Here’s the thread - http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1206133

Considering you have a light controlled room, go with a white screen. Grey aids in rooms where stray light is an issue, or rooms in which you want to have light present. The screen reflects whatever light is present in the room, including stray light from sources other than the display device. Grey tends to reject stray light, which in turns improves overall contrast. However, grey detracts from shadow detail. This is also why it is recommended to paint your walls and ceiling flat black, and preferable to use black velvet. By painting flat black or using black velvet, stray light is not reflected to, or from the screen. This may seem overly fussy, but if you’ve ever tried to take ANSI contrast readings, you will soon understand just how important this is. ANY stray light in the room, regardless if it is reflected to the screen or from the screen into the room has a negative effect on ANSI contrast. ANSI is what gives that POP and 3D look that everyone wants. You can improve shadow detail if the display allows you to tweak the gamma curve, but unless you want to invest in the equipment to calibrate the machine, you will be stuck picking out a pre-programmed gamma curve and these tend to come with compromises. At your price point, you’d be better off just sticking with a white screen with a neutral gain and use one of the pre-programmed viewing modes that appeals to you the best and don’t mess with calibration. Once you head down the road of calibration, you might as well suck it up and zero out your checking account because you will never be happy. – I speak from personal experience.

High gain screens come with penalties. Because of the screen make up and the method in which they reflect an image brighter than the source of light, you will see hot spots, sparkles, and have a narrow viewing cone. Most also require the project to be specifically mounted either above, or below the screen at a particular offset, and if you deviate from this, the result is a negative gain. From what I have read, Carada appears to have the best screen on the market right now under $1000. Stewart is arguably the best, but you pay for them. You can attempt to make one yourself, but it’s doubtful that whatever you make will perform as well as the Carada. I suppose it really comes down to how much your time means to you and how picky you are.

Re: Projectors and screens.
michael_d #283689 12/24/09 08:30 PM
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The Panasonic AE4000 lamp is $400 USD and the Epson 8500UB is $300 USD. The estimated lamp lives are, for the AE4000 2,000 hours in normal mode and 3000 hours in eco-mode and for the 8500UB 4,000 hours in both modes. I’ve been using eco-mode exclusively and don’t see any great improvement using normal mode so I don’t see switching. Please consider that lamp lives are statistical averages. One lamp might last 5,000 hours and the next one dies after 500.

Another projector you might consider is the:

Epson Home Cinema 8100 Projector Review

Michael knows a hell of a lot more about this than me but after reading about projectors for a year and a half I came to the same conclusion he has stated. That $2,000 gets you to 85% of the best possible performance. So unless you have nothing better to spend your money on . . . .

I was seriously considering buying a JVC with an MSRP of $5,000 since it was one of the best out there for under 5 digits. But the more I read the more I realized that like music the room plays a pivotal role in HT projector and screen use. So instead of spending all the money on a projector I split my budget between a projector and curtains. Might seem crazy to buy $2,000 light absorbing curtains to cover all but the back wall but as I see it those curtains will enhance the PQ of every projector I ever own. I’ve already painted the ceiling flat black which is good enough for now because even burgundy walls shine like beacons in the reflected light from the screen. But when the curtains are up if the flat black ceiling has to much sheen I will for about $150 order some sheets of telescope flocking to line the ceiling out 5’ or so from the screen.

Even if you can’t or don’t want to make the whole room black at least doing the area nearest (say 5’ out) to the screen is a big improvement. Also dark curtains surrounding the screen can create a very nice “movie-theater-like” look.

I considered a DIY screen but from everything I read people who went the DIY route and later switched to a dedicated screen would never go back. Not to say a DIY screen won’t get you a great picture and for the size your looking at there are lots of options (I was limited by size) so if paying $150 for a DIY screen helps you get the projector you want it would be a good choice. However, if you start paying upward of $500 then you really should consider getting a screen you won’t ever want to upgrade and I think the best bang for the buck is Carada.

Cheers,
Dean


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Re: Projectors and screens.
grunt #283838 12/26/09 12:46 AM
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Thanks a lot guys. Michael and Grunt that is exactly the type of information I was looking for. Thanks a bunch.

This will be a dedicated HT room so I guess I could paint it entirely black. I was considering some dark reds before, but after reading this I guess it will be all black.


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Re: Projectors and screens.
Listener #283841 12/26/09 01:54 AM
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No reason you can’t paint most of the room a dark read. The most important area to have completely black it that nearest the screen and as Michael said black velvet (or another light absorbing cloth I would add) is preferable to flat black paint because if you get the right type it will have less sheen than even the flatest black paint you can make.

This makes painting the room a dark red and curtaining the area around the screen and several feet out a nice option. That’s the route I’ve taken except the curtains go all the way back to the back wall to minimize reflections in my peripheral vision. The only thing painted black is the ceiling and surprisingly (well to me at least) a black ceiling and burgundy walls actually looks nice.

Though painting black will cost less and likely be less hassle than curtains having tested both I would go with low sheen black curtains over paint any day. It’s less reflective. Cuts down more on visual distractions like light swiches. Gives the option of opening them revealing more “friendly” coloured walls should you want to have a sports party or something. And just plain looks more “theater-like.”

How far out to go with curtains depends on how big your screen is in relation to your room and how much you want to minimize visual distractions in your field of vision.


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Re: Projectors and screens.
grunt #283842 12/26/09 02:48 AM
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My screen wall is done entirely in black velvet. Nothing like a wall to wall, floor to ceiling frame around your screen \:\)



I need to a take a new picture, that door isn't white anymore, it is the same colour as the walls.

Re: Projectors and screens.
roar #284659 12/31/09 05:43 PM
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I'm currently using normal white paint for my projection area. I also have a 92" screen which I used for testing. The image quality was a lot better on the wall. I used a bluray and paused a scene. I placed the screen over the wall and was able to compare the two at the same time.

My setup cost me around 80$ to do the whole wall. Projection area is 117"

link to HT room


Last edited by LucRaymond; 12/31/09 05:44 PM.

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Re: Projectors and screens.
LRA #284899 01/02/10 05:19 AM
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Ah yes, I remember seeing pictures of that room. Gorgeous!


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