How much ambient light is too much?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Evan M., Feb 14, 2004.

  1. Evan M.

    Evan M. Supporting Actor

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    I have been mulling over the idea of getting a front projector recently. It would not be for about a year or so but I like to research things early. I do not intend to use it for T.V. It would be for movies and maybe some football. I would put in front of my current t.v. with a dropdown screen. My question is how much ambient light can a projector handle? It would be in my living room. The room has a big 8ft wide 4ft high picture window on the side and a 3ft wide and 4 ft high window in the front of the room. I would do most of the watching of movies at night so I know it would be fine then but we are blessed with a lot of vacation time from our jobs so we do watch movies during the day. The room gets very little direct sunlight during the day as the room is in the back of the house and faces east. will droppping drapes or blinds be enough or should I not bother with front projection? Since I am not purchasing in a year will more "ambient light friendly" projectors be coming out? If I can do a front projector what numbers should I be looking more closely at? Thank you guys in advance.
     
  2. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    I don't know any numbers but, try hanging a screen in the room now and observe it with nothing projected on it. A lot of us videophiles spend time worrying about black level and what you see will be your black level.

    You can take a slide projector or 8mm projector and show something on that screen to see whether blacks are not black enough.

    Finally you might rent or borrow a projector or two, judge the picture quality, and make a note of the numbers notably the lumens output, also noting the picture size.

    If you feel that blacks are not black enough after you have darkened the room all you can (or wish to) then front projection is not for your room. Usually if you would have difficulty finding your way around the room with the lights out, the room is dark enough for frnt projection.

    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm

    If you do calibrate using Video Essentials, AVIA, etc. test disks, you will find that the settings for a dark room (nighttime viewing) will differ from settings for a not so dark room (daytime viewing). With insufficient window coverings you are then forced to choose between a calibration for decent daytime pictures and compromised nighttime pictures, or terrible daytime pictues and excellent nighttime pictures.
     

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