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Projector and Screen recommendation


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#1 of 7 Gaurang

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Posted January 25 2008 - 12:48 AM

With the latest super projectors, I am planning on buying a projector and a screen. My search narrows to the Panasonic AE2000U, but wanted to get opinions from knowledgeable folks. The Epson & JVC RS1/2 are also candidates, however, the JVCs are a lot more expensive.

Also, need recommendation for screens (~133" tensioned, concealed, electric).

Thanks much!

#2 of 7 GeorgeAB

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Posted January 25 2008 - 02:13 AM

You have told us very little about your installation or other vital factors such as:

Budget?
Prefered mounting location of projector?
Seating distance?
Ceiling, floor and wall colors?
Degree of light control in the room?
Aspect ratio of screen?
Planned viewing habits?

Such elements can have a profound impact upon what to recommend.

Best regards and beautiful pictures,
G. Alan Brown, President
CinemaQuest, Inc.

"Advancing the art and science of electronic imaging"

#3 of 7 Gaurang

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Posted January 25 2008 - 05:10 PM

George:

Budget: $3500 for projector + $1500 for screen
Preferred mounting location of projector: Ceiling
Colors: Wall - Dark (Red wine) behind the screen, Macadamia on the sides
Ceiling - Macadamia on the ceiling
Seating distance ~ 16'
Light control in the room: Good in the night
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Viewing habits: Mostly movies in the night

#4 of 7 GeorgeAB

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Posted January 26 2008 - 02:46 AM

Thanks for the mostly useful information. Macadamia? Please describe in layman's terms what color this is. We can be more helpful to you if we don't have to guess. It sounds like your ceiling needs to be much darker. Black is highly recommended, but this sounds like a multi-purpose room where this option likely won't be desireable. Without sufficiently dark room surfaces, you will NEVER get satisfactory black levels on the screen nor the contrast and color saturation performance your projector is fully capable of. Room surfaces reflect the light from the screen back onto it, contaminating the image.

Seating distance- 16'- 130" dia. or 114" wide is the maximum 16x9 screen size I would recommend for that seating distance when viewing 1920x1080p native programs. The screen image will start to separate into its component parts for someone with decent vision who sits much closer than that. Another consequence of too large of a screen will be the image starts to soften. I can see 1080p DLP front projector pixel structure in the image at 3 screen heights distance away, wearing eyeglasses. If you don't care that your sky, clouds and faces have a woven texture in movies, sit as close as you like. Even LCD projectors, like the Panasonics, with softened pixel structure, produce too soft of an image for my liking. Reality has a sharpness and visual snap to it that will be lost with too large of an image. The cheaper projectors lose large amounts of their rated lumen output when calibrated for accurate pictures. As their lamps age, light is also substantially diminished. Choosing a slightly smaller screen than theoretically might seem to be appropriate will give you brightness reserves you will appreciate later. Therefore, don't get too large of a screen.

Good lighting in the night- how about in the Summer when the sun doesn't set till about 9:00 PM? Are there any open doorways, etc., where light comes in from adjoining rooms? Does that happen regularly?

Viewing habits- SuperBowl parties, etc., with some room lighting on (%), standard TV programs (%), NTSC DVD (%), computer images (%), games (%), HD progams (%)? Any progams that originate in less than 1080P, even if upconverted, will look softer in a larger format. This pertains to screen size/viewing distance. A 1080P projector does not make all material look like a 1080P native program, such as BD/HD DVD. Lower resolution native programs will make you want to move further away from the image.

#5 of 7 Gaurang

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Posted January 26 2008 - 07:37 PM

Yes, Macadamia is a light color - slightly darker than beige, and the room is a family room so black is not practical for that purpose. I will think of a darker brown color.

Yes, I am looking at the 130" dia or it seems that after 119", the next up is 133" screen.

I don't have the problem of open doorways or windows to worry about. They are all covered well. The viewing habits is going to be limited to watching only HD movies. I have a rear projection DLP for the remaining viewing.

#6 of 7 SherardP

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Posted January 27 2008 - 01:08 AM

The JVC HD1/RS1 is a superb PJ, I have mine paired with the Carada BW 126 inch screen. Ive seen both the new Epson 1080UB and the Panny 2000U and they are also great performers, but they cant touch the black levels of the JVC

#7 of 7 GeorgeAB

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Posted January 27 2008 - 02:47 AM

You will first need to decide whether you want to settle for just a "watchable" picture or genuine image quality. Darkening the room will help you somewhat. Still, to get a reference light level (12 footLamberts min.) from a screen so large, in a compromised viewing environment, will require spending more money on both the projector and the screen.

I suggest you consider a smaller screen that has a gray base with gain. The best overall performer would be the Joe Kane Productions certified Stewart GrayHawk RS, but it's way over your budget. Larger white screens can give you darker blacks from a given projector, but at the cost of reduced brightness.

The JVC RS2 is a nice projector in some regards, but the color will be slightly distorted, it isn't very bright after proper adjustment, and it's way over your budget. You would never be able to realize the superior blacks and contrast of this model in your room.

I suggest you get the brightest single-chip DLP you can afford, and plan on mounting it as close to the screen as possible, to maximise the projector's lumen output. Some folks will suggest a high-gain screen to overcome the lumen output limitations of a particular projector. High-gain screens can increase the brightness of an image, but at certain costs. You cannot cheat the laws of physics. The physics of light can be manipulated, but not without certain consequences to image quality in other categories.