Projector vs flat screen

Discussion in 'Displays' started by RichardWilt, Nov 22, 2004.

  1. RichardWilt

    RichardWilt Auditioning

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    I'm new to the forum, so if this has been answered in the past, please direct me to the thread.

    I am just starting to put together my HT and I'm trying to decide between a projector and a flat screen monitor. I will, of course, use the screen for movies, but it will also be used for game systems and normal TV watching.

    The room is approximately 15 feet deep, so if that is a concern for projectors, please let me know. The room also has two windows, but I am putting up blinds that should reduce most of the light when needed.

    Price is a consideration as I would like to stay at about $3000 for the whole system (projector/TV, screen, receiver, speakers), although I could be convinced to go higher! [​IMG]

    Thanks for any assistance!

    - Richard
     
  2. Ian-Fl

    Ian-Fl Second Unit

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    The Infocus 4805 has a good deinterlacer. You could probably get a decent cable TV picture with that.
    I have a TV capture card in my PC and run the cable into my projector from the PC because my FP doesn't have a good deinterlacer.
    I don't think cable and projectors neccessarily go together well.
    Keep in mind that projectors and RPTV's have short bulb life. 1000 to 1400 hours.I watch maybe two cable programs on my projector a week to save bulb life.
    Projectors look great watching DVD's and HDTV after that because the picture is so large you'll see artifacting. The signal is just not good enough with cable.
    There are less than 300 lines of resolution that cable has compared to 480 for DVD and those 300 lines are not always good quality.
     
  3. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    Richard, will this be your primary TV? If so, I would not get a projector. I have an X1 projector and I love it. But, I only use it for DVD's and occasional HDTV. The X1 bulb is rated for 3000-4000 hours, but the hardest wear on bulbs is the on/off cycles. You can't use a projector like a typical TV set. Unless the $200-$400 bulb cost doesn't bother you. The 15' depth means you'll probably sit back about 13' from screen, correct? Depending on resolution of projector, you should use a screen size of up to 8'wide(for a 720p) or 6.5' wide for a 480p projector. This is based on 1.5 X screen width, and 2 X screen width.
     
  4. RichardWilt

    RichardWilt Auditioning

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    This is not our primary TV, although I would like to use it for TV programs sometimes, especially the Big Games! These would mostly be from satellite, although I may have some local channels through my antennae signal. I am mostly going to use it for movies and video games.

    Yes, 11-13' is about right for distance from the screen.

    So, if I get a better resolution projector (720 pixels? vs 480 p), I can get a wider picture on a wider screen with the same clarity? Sorry for being so ignorant on this.

    Am I still in my budget with the Infocus 4805 or the X-1?

    - Richard
     
  5. Sami Kallio

    Sami Kallio Screenwriter

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    X1 can be had for $700 refurbished and 4805 for $1300-1400 new so you're still on budget. If you think you can setup a CRT projector then you should look them up at the used market. They have a much better picture quality and longer life on their tubes. But setting them up without professional help isn't for everyone and if you can't do it yourself it would kill your budget.

    I would recommend the 16:9 widescreen 4805 over 4:3 "fullscreen" X1 but then again it's twice the price...
     
  6. Ian-Fl

    Ian-Fl Second Unit

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    I'm sitting about 12-13' and my screen is 96"X 54". I wouldn't move any closer or build a bigger screen. As the projector gets further back the picture becomes bigger however because good theater projectors only have 1000 lumens the picture will become dimmer.
    You can buy projectors with more lumens but you will sacrifice black levels (blacks look like grey)
    So 11 to 14 feet is about perfect for a typical theater projector.
    Digital projectors are great for plug and play. My projector has a lens shift feature that's great for setting up with. Sanyo has a similar lens shift feature.
    Last summer I took my projector, some blackout cloth and the 2.1 sound system from my PC out to our cottage. The lens shift feature made it easy to set up every night.
     
  7. RichardWilt

    RichardWilt Auditioning

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    So, is your Infocus 4805 a digital projector?

    I don't understand the lens shift feature. What does it do, exactly?
     
  8. Travis_R

    Travis_R Stunt Coordinator

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    Ian I am planning on buying a 4805 early next year, but I am wanting to go with a 104x58 screen 119" diagonall, do you have any screen shots of yours you could put up, I would like to see?
     
  9. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    Richard, you need to go to Projectorcentral.com and do a lot of reading. It's a great site, and will help you make the right decisions. With your budget you will probably have to get a 480p projector. I use the X1 in 16:9 mode with a 16:9 screen I made and I love it. HD also looks GREAT on the X1. What is your budget for receiver, speakers, cables, etc? You can buy a great sounding 6.1 system for less than $500 easily, including subwoofer. Most guys on these forums will disagree, but that's OK, I did it.
     
  10. Ian-Fl

    Ian-Fl Second Unit

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    Lens shift is something the Sanyo Z1,Z2 and Z3 have. It's a feature that allows you to physically move the lens in order to line it up with the screen. therefore, you don't have to be precise about the projector's location. I found the lens shift to be a good feature if you don't have a fixed projector but prefer to take the projector out of the closet.
    I own a two year old 4:3 NEC LCD projector.
    There are two kinds of front projectors LCD and DLP. Both have some drawbacks.
    DLP projectors look more film like however they suffer from a problem called rainbows. Some people are less sensitive than others to rainbows.
    Older DLP projectors like the X1 have a slower color wheel that causes more rainbows. The 4805 has a faster color wheel and rainbows are less prevalent.
    LCD projectors have a problem with screen door. If you look closely you'll see that effect, however at 1.5 times the distance of the width of the screen it's irrelevant.
    I've seen a Sanyo Z2 and screen door was noticeable at 5' for a 96" screen. At 10' I didn't notice.
    Every year projectors have better black levels (black's look like greys). You can tell a good black level projector by it's contrast ratio. Projectors have contrast ratios now at 2000:1
    There are lots of tricks to improve black levels.
    Grey screens, FL-day camera filters and even painting theaters dark colors to reduce the amount of reflected light.
    Here's a link to the throw distance of a 4805.
    http://www.projectorcentral.com/proj...m?part_id=2362
    I found by moving my projector as close to the screen as possible I got about a 10% improvement in PQ as opposed as far away as it could go only because of light output. The further away the picture was slightly dimmer because of the light output. My projector is 800 lumens and I suspect in Econo mode it's putting out 400 lumens which improves lamp life.
    If you click my Homepage button on my post you'll see what my current setup looks like.
    I mounted my gear on the tracks from pocket doors so I could move the projector in to watch a 4:3 picture on a 16:9 screen and more recently added a HTPC which adds much more possibilities into the mix.
     

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