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F. Projection Image Size vs Quality


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#1 of 29 OFFLINE   Kirk Patrick

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Posted February 09 2004 - 02:36 PM

What kind of quality increase do you see in the cheaper front projectors like the X1/Z2/Panny 300 if you keep your image size smaller, say in the 60-70 inch range?

How much does this overcome some of the defects of this class of projectors? Ie. screen door, contrast, rainbow etc?
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#2 of 29 OFFLINE   Bill Cowmeadow

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Posted February 09 2004 - 03:04 PM

On my panasonic 300U the image is superb at 100" diagonal. The only reason to project a smaller image would be if your room was very small and you were limited on space for the screen itself. If you can't sit further than 11 feet away from the screen, you might find that front projection is not for you anyway.

Good luck

#3 of 29 OFFLINE   ChadLB

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Posted February 10 2004 - 01:48 AM

I have a Sanyo Z1 with a 106" diagonal. 1st row seating is about 16ft back and second row is 21ft back. Looks great.

#4 of 29 OFFLINE   Rick Guynn

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Posted February 10 2004 - 02:23 AM

The only real advantage of shrinking the screen size is increasing the apparent brightness of the image.

The rest of the answer to your question would depend on your seating distance. If you are keeping your seating distance in proportion with the screen size, then it makes no difference. If you keep your seating distance constant, then decreasing the screen size would decrease pixelization (making the picture 'appear' sharper) and reduce the visibility of artifacts.

RG

#5 of 29 OFFLINE   Sheldon-m

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Posted February 11 2004 - 01:29 AM

I have a x1 and it is sitting about 11ft from the wall. it looks great. I think the quality of the picture does depend on how far you are sitting. right now my seating is about 9 ft, and looks very sharp. In a few weeks i will be moving it down stairs in my living room( my LR is very dark. even in the day.). It will be sitting about 15ft from the wall and my coach will be about 13ft. so the quality of picture should stay the very good. This is the best thing to happen to me and my xboxPosted Image don't tell the misses

#6 of 29 OFFLINE   Kirk Patrick

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Posted February 11 2004 - 11:55 AM

I will be sitting about 12 feet away from whatever projector I get. Since I hear so much about screen door, rainbows, contrast and things like that which apparently happen less with pricey projectors and more with lower cost, I was wondering if by projecting a smaller image I would get less "faults" with it. I have been looking at the Grand Wegas which are $5000 in Canada for a 50" image. So I am thinking...hmmm...why not buy a low cost projector and project a smaller image of 50-60 inches and get something that looks like the Wega but costs a lot less.

Perhaps I am wrong, I _assume_ that the Wega 50 inch image is going to be sharper, brighter and have less faults/artifacts than the projector. The Wega certainly looks very nice to me but is simply more than I have to spend.

Does this make sense?
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#7 of 29 OFFLINE   Bill Cowmeadow

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Posted February 11 2004 - 03:43 PM

Quote:
So I am thinking...hmmm...why not buy a low cost projector and project a smaller image of 50-60 inches and get something that looks like the Wega but costs a lot less.


Kirk, Everyone here will tell you that if you have a projector, you will only entertain the thought of projecting a 50-60" image for about 10 minutes, then you'll be looking for a way to get 100" or more.

When it comes to projectors, bigger really is better.

Quit thinking about projectors, just do it, you won't be sorry.

Bill

#8 of 29 OFFLINE   DuWayne

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Posted February 11 2004 - 04:27 PM

Go for the Z2. I sit 10'-12' from my 110" display. No probs what so ever. Bill is 100% correct, once you seen a 100"+ screen, you wouldn't be able to stand anything less.

One other note...HDTV was made for 100"+ displays....TRUST ME! Posted Image

#9 of 29 OFFLINE   Sheldon-m

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Posted February 12 2004 - 05:21 AM

THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT ONCE YOU USE FRONT PROJECTOR YOU WILL NEVER GO BACK. MY WIFE HAS CONVERTED. SHE IS PROBABLE THE MOST CLOSED MINDED PERSON ON THE PLANET WHEN IT COMES TO ELECTRONICS(LIKE MOST WOMEN). SHE WANTED A BIG SCREEN, BUT ONCE SHE SAW THE X1 AND 100" PICTURE. SHE WAS HOOKED. LIKE A DRUG. Posted Image ANYWAYS YOU WILL LOVE IT. ONCE YOU GO FRT PRO YOU NEVER GO BACK.

#10 of 29 OFFLINE   Kirk Patrick

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Posted February 12 2004 - 08:44 AM

Ok Guys, thanks. I think I get it.

Bill Cowmeadow is probably right, you end up wanting to go a little bigger and a little bigger.

I guess the point that you are all making is this:
60" and 100" still both look very good so why settle for a smaller screen size.

All that's left is to pick the projector.

Since I have turned off the cable, I think for good, and only want to watch DVD, can anyone recommend a projector especially good for DVD's?
thnaks
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#11 of 29 OFFLINE   Trevor Schell

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Posted February 12 2004 - 02:54 PM

Kirk!
You can get a 1280x720 native res 16 x 9 FPTV and
a 106" DA-Lite screen for $4,397 CDN
A great combination if you can muster a 15 feet seating distance from the screen.
Let me know if you would like more detail!
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#12 of 29 OFFLINE   Mike_Lott

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Posted February 13 2004 - 05:50 AM

K.P.
I'm no FP expert, but I've been doing a bit of research on this as well, as I'm planning a dedicated home theater room in the next year or so. So far, this is what I've come across:

1. First factor is the type of FP, such as LCD or DLP. Main thing with LCD (typically) has been screen door effect at a certain distance (normally 1.5x the screen width, but can be less or more, depending on the FP). Main thing with DLP is the possibility of seeing the "rainbow" effect, however, this isn't seen by all people, so this is a variable that may or may not affect your decision.

2. Second factor is the type of lens and throw distance of the projector. If you have a small area, such as 10-13 feet, you need a "short throw" type projector. This type of projector can project up to 100" while being mounted between 10 and 13 feet from the screen. If you have a longer room, say 20 feet or up, you need a "long throw" type projector.

3. Third factor is Lumens and contrast (not rated numbers, but rather the actual output once calibrated). Therefore, if you go for a projector that is low in lumens, you will want to keep the screen size under 100", to allow for more light to be projected onto the screen. If you go 90", you will have a brighter and probably better picture. However, I haven't heard of anyone going much lower than 90", unless they just can't sit far enough from the screen to get away from pixelation or screen door. Along with Lumens is contrast. The higher the contrast, the "sharper" the picture. Also, the smaller the screen size, the more likely you are to be able to get a sharper, better contrasted image. However, once again, it probably doesn't make sense to go less than 90".

I have looked at the Sanyo Z2 and the Panasonic AE500U, and these are both excellent projectors at a good price. If I recall, the Panasonic had a slight advantage as far as screen door goes, since you only have to be about 1x the width of the screen (let's say 8 feet for a 100" diag screen) away from the screen to no longer see any type of screen door or pixelation. However, they are both good, and affordable. They are LCD, so no issues with seeing rainbows either. At any rate, I would suggest looking for reviews on different types of FP's, and looking for these various issues within the reviews. Pretty soon, you'll get a good feel for what meets your needs and your budget. Good luck.

P.S. Don't take anything I've posted as absolute. As I mentioned, I'm still learning about this stuff, so I may have mixed up a thing or two. I just thought it might give you some more information you can use to further your search.

#13 of 29 OFFLINE   LouAR

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Posted February 13 2004 - 07:23 AM

Mike,
You mention something I have been struggling with. I do not have dedicated space so must accommodate to my living room. My problem is that the only place to put the projector must 14.5' from the screen. The projector will only come out for viewing as there is no place to perm. install. The largest screen I can accommodate is 45" tall so to fit 2.35 aspect ratio I will need a 106" wide screen. I can fit this size screen but the FPJ throw (at 14.5' will be too large an image. Room dynamics will not really accommodate a shorter throw.

I have not heard of "long throw" FPJs. I went to Projector Central and checked the distance calculators and all of the FPJs I checked (in the under $1500 category) all seem to have shorter throws. Have you seen any "long throw" FPJs in this price range? If yes, which models? Is there any way to identify a "long throw" FPJ other than going to the calculator for each individual FPJ?

I really want to get a FPJ but have not found any that will work in this room. Any advice is greatly appreciated!
Thanks,
~Lou~

#14 of 29 OFFLINE   Kirk Patrick

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Posted February 13 2004 - 12:59 PM

Trevor, thanks for the offer, I just don't have the real estate for your setup, I am about 11-12 feet away from my screen placement. Plus I have to stay under about 2500 CDN which won't be easy I think. Liked your HT pictures. Would like to see more pictures of your screen especially darkened.

I am planning to wait for the Panny 500 to come down at least close to that and then buy.

Mike Lott said: "The higher the contrast, the "sharper" the picture. Also, the smaller the screen size, the more likely you are to be able to get a sharper, better contrasted image."

Thank you Mike, you seem to be confirming the notion that I had when I started the post. This is what I suspected though it is clear that if you are a "projector person" you will want a large image of at least 100". I am 11-12 feet away so it should be doable. I think the Panny 500 looks very good to me.
Thanks All
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#15 of 29 OFFLINE   Joseph Sabato

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Posted February 13 2004 - 02:39 PM

Another factor in deciding screen size is how much control of ambient light the is in the room. I looked at a Sony HS20 on a 110" Firehawk screen today at a dealer that had a pretty reasonably set up room; dark walls, controlled lighting with dimmers etc.

The demo started out with a few lights on but very dim (about as low as you can get before it shuts off) and the door to the room (on the side of the room) open to other areas of the showroom). The image was very sharp, had good contrast and looked good as close as 10' away with no "screen door" effect.

Since I want to set things up in my basement, in an area without windows that is "pitch black" when the lights are off to get the best pictures, I asked him to turn off the lights, and I closed the door (there was still a little leakage through the blinds on the door)

The difference in picture quality was significant, more than anything you could do with the projector settings (it was in the "cinema black" low light mode for most of the demo, but we played with the other settings) and that was a change from controlled lighting that was better than most of the HT's I have seen in the local home shows.

When I asked him what they do for installations where the customer can not / will not tightly control lighting but wants the best picture, he said they move to a 90" screen and setup in the bright mode so that the picture does not wash out, so you are definetely on the right track with going somewhat smaller. You may want to keep that in mind when you make your final decision.

#16 of 29 OFFLINE   Adam.More

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Posted February 19 2004 - 03:09 AM

This is a great thread...I'm setting up my HT this month! My basement is 1600 square feet and completely unfinished, allowing me the luxury to install a 12x20 HT with 8.5 feet ceiling (wish it could be wider, oh well) no windows, one door set up, in other words, complete darkness reigns!!

My main problem has been size of screen and seat position. So I ask you all...Do you think I can get away with sitting 11-11.5 feet away from screen (1st row) and 16.5 feet away 2nd row, on a 12 inch riser with a screen diag of 115"? I was originally thinking of a diag of 92", but after reading this I'm wondering if I can get away with something larger!

I'm leaning towards the yet to be released Benq 8710 or one of the new HD2+ FP DLP machines. I hear horror stories about dead pixel that can't be fixed and I like the blacks on DLP better...but to each his own.

#17 of 29 OFFLINE   Bill Cowmeadow

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Posted February 19 2004 - 09:46 AM

Adam,

16.5 ft away is great for your desired screen size. 11.5 ft away might be a little too close for 115" screen, 100" would probably be better.

#18 of 29 OFFLINE   Brent Avery

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Posted February 21 2004 - 08:51 AM

Kirk:

I was in the same situation as you - I was dedicating myself to a RPTV - when I saw the recently released LCD Sony Grand Wegas I thought: " I have to get one of these!" Fortunately A&B Sound had a Panasonic AE300 FP demo - I did not really care for the picture quality at that moment - it was not really setup properly - but it did sell me on front projection! Eventually after ALOT of research and hanging out at AVS Forum I settled on the Panasonic AE500 and a Bravo D1 with DVI output. Have been viewing movies with it for the last week on a off white wall while I build a DIY screen and will confirm what others have said - once you see a properly setup FP on a 100" or so screen you will not want to go back. The Sony Grand Wega 60" cannot even come close to the experience of a larger screen and the image looks better too - even though there are some "issues" with them ( screen door,vertical banding,dead pixels etc.- again, check out AVS Forum for info. ) If you would like to know what I payed just email me for info. The AE500 was purchased from Japan and has Japanese language menus - but it was easy enough to interpret. I had looked at buying the Sanyo Z2 but opted for the Panasonic as it was less money and they are pretty well even in performance. You could consider a DLP unit but I found the "rainbow" effect bothersome on even an Optoma H56. Do your research and eventually you will find a projector at a price/performance ratio that fits your needs - you just have to decide on DLP or LCD.

#19 of 29 OFFLINE   Paul_Scott

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Posted February 21 2004 - 07:57 PM

Quote:
I have been looking at the Grand Wegas which are $5000 in Canada for a 50" image. So I am thinking...hmmm...why not buy a low cost projector and project a smaller image of 50-60 inches and get something that looks like the Wega but costs a lot less.

Perhaps I am wrong, I _assume_ that the Wega 50 inch image is going to be sharper, brighter and have less faults/artifacts than the projector. The Wega certainly looks very nice to me but is simply more than I have to spend.

Does this make sense?


Kirk, your are 100% correct.
projecting a little smaller always improves the image in more ways than just brightness.
viewing distance is really the big concern and if you can balance sitting 2X screen widths back along with a slightly smaller screen than most here are using, i'm confident you will have an image that knocks your socks off.
bigger is not always better, and most of the "power users" and long time fp pros have come to realize this.

not saying you need to project 50", just that there is definitely a point where a bigger image is not automatically going to be the most satisfying-espeically with a lower cost/lower res pj.
nice thing about FP is that you can see for this yourself by just moving the pj back.
the XGA DLP i have looks like a million bucks at about 60" wide from 12' back.
at 70" from 10' back it still looks ok, but nowhere near as crisp, smooth, and vibrant.
balancing size and quality is something you will need to play around with for yourself.

#20 of 29 OFFLINE   Kirk Patrick

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Posted March 04 2004 - 02:18 PM

Quote:
not saying you need to project 50", just that there is definitely a point where a bigger image is not automatically going to be the most satisfying-espeically with a lower cost/lower res pj.


Interesting Paul, this is exactly what I suspected, yet if you look at the start of the thread, people are saying that as soon as I see an FP I will want to go as big (100+) as I can.

Your point is well taken, you need to play around with distance and image size until you find the best balance of PQ and image size that works for you.

I would love to get one of the new Panny 500 models and will probably wait until they get down a little.

I think I would defintely like to have DVI as most people seem to think this gives the ultimate in PQ.

Thanks to all posters.
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