Beginning my possible projector journey, please help

Discussion in 'Displays' started by JustinS, Nov 9, 2003.

  1. JustinS

    JustinS Agent

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    OK, I am considering a FP for my new basement TV room (still under contruction). However, it has been more than two years since I looked into FP as I have owned a Toshiba 40h80 RPTV for quite some time now.

    What I will use it for:
    HDTV
    4:3 TV
    DVDs

    4:3 TV about 50% of the time at this point, hopefully decreasing over time.

    I will have a room where I can control pretty well external light, but I want something that will give me a fairly bright picture under moderate overhead lighting. In other words, this is a TV room, not a dedicated theater.

    I'd like something that will present at as nice a DVD/HDTV picture as a quality RPTV, but am obviously interested in the larger screen size option that FP gives me. On the other hand, I am not looking to have the biggest possible image either. ~80" sounds great to me.

    I do not want to go the HTPC route. I want to be able to use my HT existing equipment (standard fare stuff, DVD w/ component).

    I'd like to keep the projector + screen cost in the $2000 neighborhood.

    Am I dreaming? If not, what do you recommend? Am I just better off buying a larger RPTV?

    Any help would be *greatly* appreciated. I am really in an oarless canoe at this point.
     
  2. Larry Talbot

    Larry Talbot Second Unit

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    You definitely aren't dreaming. Go FP, even a relatively affordable FP, and you'll never want a bulky RPTVs again...The increase in screen size alone is a huge hook.

    Under $1500, the two most popular projectors for HT enthusiasts have been the Z1 (which I own) and the X1. The Z1 is native 16:3, but it sounds like you want a native 4:3, which the X1 is. You will have to find out if you are susceptible to rainbows however, because some people who view the X1 are bothered by this. But at your $2000 price range, you could probably get an even better projector among the new crop that are just coming out. You could probably pick up an HS10 for that amount (soon to be replaced by the HS10) or an AE300 (soon to be replaced by the AE500), both highly recommended but outside of my price range, so I didn't do any research on them.

    I would go DIY for a screen and spend all your money on the projector. I'm using a Parkland Plastics screen (designed for shower stalls) and it's great for the $15 I spent. I plan on painting my own gray screen soon though.

    I've sent you a PM with more information....
     
  3. Brice

    Brice Stunt Coordinator

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    How's the Z1's reputation with rainbows? It may be a little off topic I know, but I was just curious...
    ~Brice
     
  4. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    The Z1 is an lcd projector. Therefore, no rainbows, just affects some older dlp's.
     
  5. mark alan

    mark alan Supporting Actor

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    Justin, you probably won't be happy with a projector if you plan to use it with overhead lighting. In my basement setup, the overhead lighting really washes out the picture. You can have indirect lighting which doesn't shine directly on the screen. I use a floor lamp off to the side, if I want some light. It is sufficient to allow someone to read and doesn't screw up the picture much.

    However, it you feel the need to watch tv in a brightly lit room, do not go with front projection. You will not like it.
     
  6. Larry Talbot

    Larry Talbot Second Unit

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    Mark is correct. I somehow overlooked the part in your post about overhead lighting. I know some projectors are much better at dealing with this, but my Z1 does not like overhead lighting at all. If you insist on overhead lighting you might want to go with RP after all. FP's are for creating movie-theater like conditions and I can't imagine going to a movie theater with a big light on overhead. Then again I can't imagine watching my old 27-inch direct view TV with a light on overhead either, so maybe that's just me.
     
  7. JustinS

    JustinS Agent

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    Larry-

    Yes, for watching movies I would almost certainly have the lights down. That's part of the experience. However, if "the guys" are over watching a football game, I don't want to have to sit in the dark or near-dark for them to have a good look at the game, you know? If my wife and I are eating dinner in front of the TV, we need enough light to be able to see our plates clearly. That sort of stuff.

    OK, the light thing is certainly an area for compromise. Let me ask some more detailed questions:

    The room is long, fairly thin, and rectangular. The HT setup will be at one end of the room (taking up about half).

    1. Is overhead lighting more or less near the screen the problem or would overhead flourescent (sp) lighting at the other end of the rectangle present a serious problem as well?
    2. Can I can have normal shaded table lamps using average wattage bulbs in the immediate viewing area without creating too much of a problem?
    3. The new HS20 seems to have a fairly increased lumens rating. That would alleviate some of this problem as well, right?

    Thanks again!


    2. Lamps
     
  8. Larry Talbot

    Larry Talbot Second Unit

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    1. I would think that if the screen end of the room is reasonably dark, you could probably get away with lighting at the back end, depending on the projector.
    2. Might be more of a problem, but I'm not sure.
    3. I believe so, yes.

    Don't forget that the projector itself will put out quite a bit of light, depending on how bright an individual scene is. Not enough to read by, maybe, but enough to see your bag of potato chips or whatever.

    You say your room is long and rectangular - another thing to take into consideration is lens throw. A short throw lens will put up a very big image from a short distance away. Put a short throw lens FP in a long room and the you may have to mount it in the center of the room, otherwise the image will fill the entire back wall (which might look cool but where will your speakers go?)
    A long throw lens, on the other hand, can probably be mounted at the very back of the room with no problems...This issue mostly relates to projector placement. Because I'm not ready to mount my FP on the ceiling yet, it is currently sitting on a table in the middle of the room...not ideal but any further back - say, behind the viewer - and the image is simply too large...
     
  9. JustinS

    JustinS Agent

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    Larry-

    I plan on ceiling mounting if I go this route and will have complete freedom to mount wherever ends up being most ideal based on throw distance for the specific projector.

    Thanks again!
     
  10. ChrisChap

    ChrisChap Stunt Coordinator

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    I use an old lcd projector that does not put out as much light as the Z1/X1/L300 class of projectors out now and I watch football and eat in front of it all the time with two table lamps on and I have no problem. It is not as bright as my TV, but it is plenty bright to be able to see and enjoy. I even watch during the day in a room that does not have complete light control from the windows and I have no problems.
     

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