Help Please on Projectors and Screens

Discussion in 'Displays' started by lyndaCW, Nov 22, 2004.

  1. lyndaCW

    lyndaCW Auditioning

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    I know nothing about this!!! I've been looking on the Internet for help and get confused the more I read. So I call a local place and the sales guy just about talked me out of pursuing this Christmas quest. You guys are my last ditch effort.

    I have a 800 sq ft room (the fun room). For Christmas I thought it would be cool to get a projector that the family could watch movies, play games, and watch sporting events. I thought $2000 - $2500 for projector and screen. Is it possible to do this on this budget? I'd like the picture to be fairly large, but is there a projector 1500 - 2000 that won't have the dots all over the screen? I saw a projector at a local store that was approx $1000 but when the picture was approx 5' across, there were dots everywhere.

    The room has two big bay windows with blinds, I could put heavy curtains if need to make the room darker.

    Should I end my quest or is it possible to get a projector and screen in my price range? The guy at the local place acted like we couldn't get into anything for less than $5000 so I've about nixed the idea [​IMG]

    thanks for any help
    L[​IMG]
     
  2. Bob Maged

    Bob Maged Stunt Coordinator

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    There are many choices now for affordable hometheater front projectors that fit your proposed budget. Your first stop in researching FP should be projectorcentral.com.
     
  3. Mike Voigt

    Mike Voigt Supporting Actor

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    Also go over to AVS Forum and check out some of their discussion. The salesperson was full of hot air; probably looking at making some sort of fat commission check...

    A suggestion: check out the Panasonic AE700 in hte "under 3500" area on AVS Forum. It would seem to fit your budget, including a good screen. You get HD capability to boot, lots of flexibility, etc...

    Best wishes, keep looking, there are lots of options.

    Mike
     
  4. Ian-Fl

    Ian-Fl Second Unit

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  5. Scott Dautel

    Scott Dautel Second Unit

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    Lynda ...

    You'll find lots of Front Projection pundits here at HTF and certainly also at AVSForum.com. It's also very do-able on a budget of $2000 or even less.

    Most here will agree that for FP to be effective, you need a 95% darkened room. This means if you intend to use it during daylight hours, you'll spend a portion of your budget on "blackout" shades or blinds for the windows. If you can't or don't want to darken the room most of the time, You're back to a std RPTV or flat-panel ... and your budget is likely to go up.

    The "dots" all over the screen to which you refer are known as "pixels" in the digital projector universe. How visible they are to you will be a factor of (1) screen size, (2) seating distance from the screen, & (3) the projector specs (price). As a rough guide ... if you are going to sit 10 ft away from the screen, you should keep the screen size to 86" (diagonal) or less. (Thats still over a 7 ft. screen!) I calculoated this for the popular, entry-level InFocus 4805 DLP projector (480 x 854 pixels). Last week at Costco, this PJ with a screen was on sale at Costco for $1400. (A fantastic value!)

    If you move up to a better projector (the next level is 720 vertical pixels), this allows a bigger screen or closer seating distance before you begin to notice the "dots" (often referred to as "screen door effect" or SDE).

    Hope this very basic little primer is helpful. The salesman you spoke with was basically full of crap!
     
  6. Chris Stock

    Chris Stock Extra

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    Lynda,

    Just a little tip about screen size and screen door effect (pixels or dots). The closer you sit to the screen, the more likely you are to see the matrix which makes up the picture (either the LCD panel strucutre, or DLP micro-mirrors). A good rule of thumb is, sit at least 1.5 times the screen width, or better still, 2 times the screen width.

    If you get a projector for sub $2000 US, you'll most likely only be able to get away with a 92" diagonal screen (could push for a 100" but light control will be vital). Most projectors in your price category will only allow a screen size of 100"

    So the question remains, can your room accommodate people sitting at least 12 to 15 feet from the screen? I think so judging from the massive volume you stated above (800 sq ft room).
     
  7. lyndaCW

    lyndaCW Auditioning

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    Thank you for all your help. The Panasonic AE700, from reading, sounds like the projector I'm looking for. I'll check into building a screen, my husband is very good at building and framing things.

    Thanks again for your help
    L[​IMG]
     
  8. JeanSSullivan

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    You could always paint it on the wall , BEHR SilverScreen look like a popular color for LCD, for now and if you want to invest in a screen later..
     
  9. Scott Dautel

    Scott Dautel Second Unit

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    Since you are concerned about SDE/pixels, a better rule-of-thumb is that you should sit at least 1500 pixel-widths away from the screen. For the Panny AE700 (720 x 1280 pixels), this translates to the following:

    for a 60" diagonal 16:9 screen, sit at least 5.1 ft away
    for a 80" diagonal 16:9 screen, sit at least 6.8 ft away
    for a 86" diagonal 16:9 screen, sit at least 7.3 ft away
    for a 96" diagonal 16:9 screen, sit at least 8.2 ft away
    for a 100" diagonal 16:9 screen, sit at least 8.5 ft away
    for a 110" diagonal 16:9 screen, sit at least 9.4 ft away


    The numbers change quite dramatically for the InFocus ScreenPlay 4805:

    for a 60" diagonal 16:9 screen, sit at least 7.7 ft away
    for a 80" diagonal 16:9 screen, sit at least 10.2 ft away
    for a 86" diagonal 16:9 screen, sit at least 11.0 ft away
    for a 96" diagonal 16:9 screen, sit at least 12.2 ft away
    for a 100" diagonal 16:9 screen, sit at least 12.8 ft away
    for a 110" diagonal 16:9 screen, sit at least 14.0 ft away
     
  10. Jay Foster

    Jay Foster Stunt Coordinator

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    Take a look at the Panasonic Pt-L500u. It has a 1280x720 resolution. I believe the price has now dropped within your budget. This was an editor's pick in DVD Etc.
     

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