HELP!!! I need advice re: brackets for my projector! Serious Problems!!

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by MarcoBiscotti, Jun 21, 2006.

  1. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

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    I really need some advice and reccommendations concerning a major problem Im facing!


    Here's the situation summed up...


    I have a very high end (and expensive!) DLP projection unit from Digital Projection Intenational (iVision HD-X).


    It's ceiling mounted in my livingroom. Pictured below:


    [​IMG]


    As you can hopefully see from the image posted, the projector is mounted about 40" above the screen, meaning that the projector and screen are not flush, and therefore the projected image is not leveled.


    In order to balance the image to the geometry of the screen so that the entire frame is properly filled, I need to resort to keystone correction within the projector via remote functions.


    This renders terrible digital effects and sabotages the quality of the projector output which I invested so much towards!


    It essentially causes wavy motion effects in detail and all sorts of ugly artifacting, etc. It might not jump right out at you, but any videophile or enthusiast who frequents forums like this would certainly pick up on it, and I personally find it extremely distracting and unappealing!


    I don't think I needed to spend the ammount of money I did on front projection if I were going to go the careless route of aligning the image via keystone functions and ultimately effecting the quality of resolution and picture. It seems backwards to me.


    But it was not something I thought about when purchasing and doing the installations. It was stupid of me, but I was also completely new to all of this at the time and much of my advice was obtained from everyone here at HTF and the AV Forums as well as my dealer/installer/calibrator friend whom I trust and know well. We just somehow overlooked what would seem like an obvious factor.

    Well now I'm stuck because for the past 4-5 months, my dealer has been trying very hard to order what he described to me as a "remote" lift that essentially acts as an electronic arm that can lower from the ceiling and than retract in order to properly align the projector and screen. This would be a simple solution and accessible via remote control, all pre-programmed.


    Unfortunately, I got a call back from him the other day saying that the company we were going through had been "aqquired" by a larger corporation whose direction has sort of shifted and now our options are somewhat limited.


    In order to install something like what was described above (as we'd initially intended) I would be looking at shuffling over a couple of grand. I don't have an exact estimate, but that was what was referred to me on my answering machine.

    I cannot afford to go this route right now.

    I had expected to pay for the lift, but I was expecting something within the range of $800-1700, and not in excess of that.


    It sounds like i now might be looking at what could be up to or higher than $3,000 + which is too much money, imo!


    The other option, is a fixed ceiling bracket.


    The problem with this is, the drop would have to be around 42", which means that my projector will basically hang down in the room and loom just above the top of the couch over everyone's head.


    Apart from obvious aesthetical concerns, this also means that I will no longer have access to my back window, behind the couch... It's hidden by the curtains, but I have a wrap-around balcony surrounding the entire room. The two windows which you see in the picture above, actually open inwards into the room. Think of a laundry hamper. It's basically the same concept.


    So apart from the fact that I'd have a huge bracket with wires hanging down 40+ inches into my livingroom which would look quite ridiculous... I'd also lose the freedom of my window in the summertime which is somewhat important to me.

    It would basically make it, so that if one were to stand up hastily without thinking, they could practically bump their head above the couch on the bottom of the projector.


    That does not sound like a reasonable solution to me...


    So I don't know what I'm really asking here to be honest?

    I'm hoping some of you might have some advice or suggestions for me.


    Have any of you ever experienced a similar situation, or perhaps know of a company that specializes in lifts for projectors for home use or otherwise which might fit more within my demands and pricing?

    I guess I'm really just fishing for resources to turn to now in order to figure out what to do about my situation.


    I think the only reasonable solution would be the remote lift, but how much can an electronic base-arm for a projector realistically cost? Is there a more economic route?

    Do you think the somewhat vague referral that I received for a "few thousand" would seem reasonable for such an item and given the context of my predicament?


    Please, please, please offer me your opinions or suggestions!!!


    If you have any links to companies which might specialize in this sort of thing or ones you've either used before or would reccommend, please let me know...



    Thanks in advance.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

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    To keep it even more simple - I guess I'm looking for a reliable company that specializes in motorized projection lifts.


    I need something that can retract back into the ceiling (not physically into the ceiling as it's a concrete surface, but can lift back into a fixed mounted position on the ceiling). As pictured in the post above, it should rest comfortably on a ceiling mount, but have the ability to drop to an estimate of about 42 inches for screenings.


    I have no idea where to turn. I just came accross a company called Draper (which sounds familiar) that seems to specialize in lifts, mounts and brackets. I sent off an email to a sales consultor, so hopefully I'll get an email back soon on whether they have the sort of thing that I'm looking for and if they're reasonable cost.
     
  3. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    I can't answer your question, but here's a page from http://www.projectorcentral.com/ceil...-suppliers.htm Projector Central that lists a lot of suppliers. It's a lot to wade through but hopefully you find what you want. I agree, that's an awful lot of keystone correction. Maybe you could take another tact and mount the projector on the opposite wall and get a retractable screen - they're more common.
     
  4. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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  5. Jimi C

    Jimi C Screenwriter

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    "Our Price: $3,139.00 (Varies with options)
    Original Price: $3,999.00
    You Save: $860.00 (22%) "

    I think he just said he could get one for around 2k but didnt want to spend that much?
     
  6. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    What about raising the position of the screen? This would decrease the amount of extension needed on the projector bracket. It wouldn't be ideal, but you're already in a place where some compromises have to be made. I myself tend to sink lower and lower in my seat over the course of a movie, so having the screen higher up wouldn't be so bad...
     
  7. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    A non-motorised, spring-loaded mechanical arm with a hydraulic damper might be a better option. You would have to pull it down from overhead, and give it a push to get it started back up, but that wouldn't be too bad.

    I'm not sure where you would get such a thing, although I would suggest that manufacturers of industrial warehouse equipment might be a place to look, but someone with a bit of mechanical ingenuity could build one out of old door hardware, I think. If you have ever had one of those spring-loaded ceiling trapdoors, or an old-style garage door, I think that mechanism could be modified with the use of a pantograph arm to keep the projector level and a hydraulic damper such as are used on institutional doors.
     
  8. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

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    Also, there are numerous companies that make projector lifts. You're not trying to lift a Christie Roadie, and you're not trying to lift a BarcoGraphics CRT projector; you're trying to lift something that weighs less than 20 pounds (or so.)

    You may need to consult with someone other than your local vendor to find someone who deals with other sources.

    Peerless and Chief are some of the big ones, but there are plenty of others.

    Leo
     
  9. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

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    I'm hesitant to do that because I'm sort of the same way, I even end up lying down sometimes since I use a couch for my h.t. seating so Im worried what that would do for eye level viewing. Especially since it's such a significant drop, it would have to be raised a lot! And it would sort of throw everything off alignment as far as the speakers are concerned also, as you can see from the picture above. They're in-wall and positioned according to the acreen and seating. It would also look awkward given the center channel directly below the screen.. :/
     
  10. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

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    Chris, that's an interesting suggestion.

    I'll bring that up with my installer and see if it could be looked into further. My only concern would be keeping the alignment and position. It would have to be mounted and setup in a way that the springload mechanism and pull-down would be accurate and secure so as not to shift in any way or alter the viewing angles, etc.

    Even with the mechanized lifts that we've been looking into, we've been having difficulty finding ones with such a long drop. The last thing I want to have is a 20" metal box on my ceiling with the projector bracketed on that and than a enormous pole mount hanging down to accomodate the drop..

    The good news is that there's an HT conference coming up this Fall in my city and there should be more options to explore and hopefully better deals than, but I dont want to put this off too long. Ive compromised my viewing for almost an entire year now and it's really starting to get to me considering the initial investment I put into all of this...
     
  11. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

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    Thanks a lot for that link Alan, I'm gonna dedicate tomorow morning to digging through all of that and researching my options!


    At this point moving the screen would be the least convenient option. I'd have to rearrange my entire livingroom. The speakers are all in-wall and moving and that would require new installations as well as replastering and painting the entire room as well as rearranging all the furniture. Plus since the opposite wall is a floor-to-ceiling window, I'd have no place for the center channel. I watch a lot of classic films and it would make for awkward listening given the ammount of use that speaker gets with the vast majority of the films having mono soundtracks. I also can't envision where the couch would go, given it's a three-piece L-shaped... the elongated part would basically cut off the entire room by sticking out against the extended fireplace that you see in the picture. There would be a little more than a foot of space to pass through and would look pretty bad with both continuations of the sofa and fireplace facing each other. I think it would offset the balance of the whole room. That doesn't seem workable at all...


    I'm beginning to wonder if I shouldn't just put this off for a few months until the Fall, save up the money and go for the more expensive retractable motorized arm, since price aside - it really seems to make the most sense when looking at the broader spectrum.

    I just feel like I spent soo much money already, much more than most people normally would on this sort of project.

    Do you think it's the right way to go?

    Apart from the B&W sub Im saving up for (hoping to pick up around the holiday season this year), my HT is basically finnished. $3-5k is a lot of money for me right now, but I wonder if I should be trying to cut corners and economizing on the final and potentially most important and central part of my HT (since it directly affects the image and my viewing via the projector) after having devoted so much already?


    On a completely seperate note, I have another question though:


    My projector is pretty quiet (audible noise according to projectorcentral = 28.0 dB - Link) Anyways, fan noise isn't really an issue right now, but I'm a bit worried about what it will be like when I have to bring the PJ down about 41" and it's floating essentially directly overhead...

    Do you think that this will be an issue that I should concern myself with?

    I guess being a tad compulsive, as Im sure most HT nehtusiasts are when it comes to this sort of thing, I admit that I do sometimes pick up on the fan noise if it's during a quiter scene or slower-paced film. But what difference could significantly be made by bringing something like this down 41" if it's basically right overhead as it stands and I barely hear it?

    Does anyone anticipate this being a problem or that the fan would be much more audible or should it not make much difference if any at all?


    Thanks!


    (sheesh - I thought I was through with all of this last year after the months of planning, ordering, installing and finishing!)
     
  12. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

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    PS - After quickly browsing through the resources/suppliers linked above from ProjectorCentral, they unfortunately all seem to be fixed bracket mounts.


    So I guess I'm back to square one.


    I think it's looking more likely that there is only one option... and that seems to be the expensive route.


    I really wonder if there's such a thing as what Christopher suggested...
     
  13. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

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    Bother. I can't remember who had it, but someone has a projector lift that uses four steel cables, and just rolls the "mount" up.

    In a pinch, you could build something like most theaters (stage) have. Your projector is mounted on a "platform" or some other rig that provides you with four corner lift points. On the ceiling, four pulleys.

    Thin steel cables run from each corner of the projector rig, up through the matching pulley, and then over to a "block" that grips all four cables. This block is then hooked to a larger steel cable, which goes to a manual or electrical winch. Turn one crank (or have the motor do it) and all four corners lower at the same rate, keeping the projector trim in position. Height can be trimmed as needed. Maybe use a very light tension spring to pull the cables with the projector when it goes back up.

    The only hazard I'm aware of for an operation like this is if it's close to a strong HVAC duct that may cause the whole thing to sway slightly.

    Off hand, a common manual winch with a 1000# capacity costs $30.

    Add some pulleys and wire-rope, and away you go.

    Leo
     

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