Attention Projectorheads! Your advice needed!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Taylor Selden, Jan 16, 2003.

  1. Taylor Selden

    Taylor Selden Auditioning

    Oct 6, 1998
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    Hello everyone,
    I'm looking to replace my 65" MITS RPTV with a front projection setup. I have a dedicated theatre room that measures 14.5 ft long by 17.5 ft deep. One complication is that the room's celing is somewhat vaulted. I don't think it is possible to celing mount a projector on an angled celing, but perhaps I'm wrong. If any of you have experience with this, please let me know.
    I'd like to get the largest screen possible. My eyes are about 15 feet from the front wall, making me think that it would be possible to go forward with a 120" diagonal 16:9 screen. I'm trying to get a 36 degree THX-recommended viewing angle.
    I used the viewing distance calculator here to determine that a 120" diagonal screen would be good.
    I have a $10,000 budget for this project, but I'd like to spend less, if possible. Thus far, I'm leaning torwards the Sanyo PLV-70 after reading the very positive reviews on the projector central link. I also looked through the HTF and many of you had nice things to say about it. A nice plus to this unit is that it streets for just $5300. That would give me some leeway to buy a Stewart Firehawk screen and stay within budget.
    My only reservation about the Sanyo is that the Projector Central review stated that with a 17.5 ft deep room, the maximum screen size possible with the Sanyo was only 100 inches, due to the need for rear exhaust space. This, of course, is somewhat disappointing. If you're going to spend the money on a FPTV setup, its nice to go as big as possible. On the other hand, I'd probably see less pixelation with a 100 inch screen.
    Would you folks kindly lend your recommendations. I'd like to hear from people who've gone through this process before. Any comments about my room-size and the projector that I've tentativly selected? How did you go about finding the right projector to match to your room.
    If you've had experience with the Firehawk screen or the Sanyo projector, I'd like to hear from you as well. How big a problem is ambient light? I can block sunlight from my window 100%, but sometimes I like to watch TV with the lights on in the room. With FPTVs do you really need to block out 100% of all the light? Even for casual viewing of TV programs?
    Thanks everyone for your time and advice.
    -- Taylor
  2. Paul W

    Paul W Second Unit

    Dec 17, 1999
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    If you like the image and the price is right, I would say move the viewing position closer to the screen.

    Also, my understanding is the higher the lumens spec on the projector, the less problem you'll have with ambient light.
  3. Tommy G

    Tommy G Screenwriter

    Sep 19, 2000
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    Taylor, my setup is close to what you have and I have a 106" 16X9 screen and I am very pleased with the picture it displays as well as the size. I actually think that if I went any bigger it would be "too big". I am viewing about 14 feet away from the screen. I decided against a ceiling mount because my back wall ended up being perfect distance and ended up building a shelf instead. I keep the projector a couple inches from the back wall which provides ample ventilation but mine is an NEC VT540 and I don't know if the Sanyo has different requirements. I'm sure there will be a lot more qualified than me who will chime in.
  4. Doug_B

    Doug_B Screenwriter

    Feb 11, 2001
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    I can't provide much experience as I'm in the middle of a new FP setup as a write this, but I'll try to address some of your issues based on my current experience and knowledge.

    You'll need to look closely at the throw distances of projectors, as some will require a deeper room for that size screen. Sounds like you have some info already with the Sanyo in this respect.

    I would suggest that you validate the size screen for your environment. Make sure a 36 degree angle is not to great for your viewing pleasure (I think it would be uncomfortable for me, but I may be in the minority). Also, make sure that nothing in your room (e.g., a speaker) would obstruct anyone's view, esp those seated at an angle, and that those seated at an angle can adequately view the entire screen comfortably (also, wide angle viewing could be a problem with the Firehawk).

    Many projectors can be ceiling mounted with an extension bracket or pole and don't require it to be perpendicular with the mount bracket that's attached to the ceiling. Some may not even need an extension bracket to accomplish the "off angle". Sometimes 3rd party mounts are preferable for certain installations.

    On a related note, you do need to be sensitive to the projector's vertical offset requirements (i.e., vertical relationship between screen and lens). Some projectors have more flexibility than others. I have read time and again that digital keystoning is to be avoided (from an image quality perspective; I think it reduces resolution via an "overlap" process?), so relying on the vertical offset feature of a proj is preferable.

    On light, any ambient light will have some effect on the image. The question is how much of an effect. Brighter projectors like the Sanyo will help, as will a Firehawk at rejecting off-angle ambient light. I can't provide any useful feedback based on experience (yet), but I'm of the opinion that the lower the source video quality, the less critical ambient light issues become. Have you checked out any of the HD2-based DLP projectors? The Infocus Screenplay 7200 may be the cheapest and yet provide the most light output.

    Hope this helps.

  5. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

    Jan 16, 1998
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    Real Name:
    Neil Joseph
    Well, where to start...

    First off, at a seating distance of 15', I would recommend a 120" maximum diagonal 16x9 screensize as well, assuming your projector can properly handle that, which the PLV-70 can. At 2200 a.l. & 900:1 c.r. and especially when you factor in the firehawk, you should be set in that respect. The Sanyo is rear ported, thus the requirement for 2ft of "breathing space" behind the unit. You have to be careful with the throw chart from projector central as they are not always 100% accurate.

    For instance, according to their chart, their throw distances for my Sony 11HT are about a foot longer than they are actually. I had to set my unit a foot closer otherwise the resulting image would have been too big. (It has a short throw).

    Their are probably HD2 projectors that fall within the budget but that would leave practically no money for a decent screen. It's a tradeoff. Your idea for the PLV70 is a good one. The other option is to get the best projector you can for the budget and project onto the wall until such a time that you can afford the firehawk. In other words, the Firehawk is the way to go (just my opinion) because it will enhance your projector's PQ.

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