How to upgrade to a front projector?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Michael Mathius, Sep 30, 2002.

  1. Michael Mathius

    Michael Mathius Screenwriter

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    I've been reading about the true hometheater feeling one gets from having a dedicated room and projector so I'm thinking of converting a 13x12 room into a hometheater and getting a front projector.

    The room is currently a loft with one window so I will have to build a fourth wall and add a door to enclose it. I also planning on building a media rack against the length of the new wall. Once this is done the front wall will be 10 feet wide.

    I plan to have two rows and will be sitting 8 to 13 feet from the screen. I plan on building a 6" riser for the back row and a small stage up front. Since my walls are currently white I can get a screen later.

    I have been reading Avsforum and Projector Central but I would still like to get your opinions on which under $3500 projector (DPL or LCD) and what size screen should I get for a room my size. I already have a progressive dvd and a hdstb so I need a projector which can display both 4x3 and 16x9 and can also display hdtv.

    Has anyone rented a projector before to demo it in your home? My wife (CFO) wants me to create a budget in excel so if anyone has one I would appreciate a copy.


    Thanks

    Michael
     
  2. Brian Corr

    Brian Corr Supporting Actor

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    You should be able to construct a wall for well under $1000, especially since your doing the work yourself.
    LCD or DLP is subjective. I like LCD in that price range myself, but what I like doesn't really matter. [​IMG] It's probably gonna depend on what your wife likes! [​IMG]
    Make sure you don't get headaches or eye strain when watching a DLP. The newer ones are supposed to be better about this but I haven't spent any time with them.
    I use a panasonic PT-LC75u which is a LCD 4:3 projector with a 16:9 mode. It also handles HD signals. It's around $2200.
    Lots of new models coming out soon so I'd check them out if you can.
    Screen size is also somewhat subjective, but at your seating distance, I wouldn't go bigger than 54x96. I sit about 12' back and have a 40.5" x 72". 45x80 might be a good size also.
    Keep reading AVS. It's a much better site for FP info.
     
  3. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    There certainly is a major push to FPTV among the HTF members lately (which is a good thing). There is no better way to experience movies in my opinion.

    Anyway, You have to be careful with screen size. If your first row of seating will be 8ft from the screen, with the second row 13ft from the screen, a 92" 16x9 screen (45" x 80") for instance would be a real strain to watch from 8ft away because the field of view would be quite large, 13ft would be fine. Plus, at 8ft you may be able to make out screen-door effect depending on the projector. You may want to consider a WXGA projector that is native 16:9 to take full advantage of its resolution for widescreen material. I can recommend some projectors but first I feel you have to iron out the sceensize issue first. I will let others chime in with that but IMO I think a 92" 16:9 might be a little big for that first row of seating.
     
  4. Michael Mathius

    Michael Mathius Screenwriter

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    I can push the from row atleast 2' feet back. I guess I don't need that much leg room in the rear. How much space on average do you have between rows?

    I like what I've read about wxga lcd projectors and I'm leaning toward the 16x9 native projector since I will be using it mostly for dvd and hdtv. My current rptv is a 4x3 53" so I would simply like a larger screen like a 72" to 84" 16x9.

    I'm heading to home depot to get the material cost this afternoon.

    Michael
     
  5. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    A row of seating at 10ft and a second row of seating at 13ft, with a 92" (diagonal) 16:9 screen (@ 45" x 80") will all work just fine. The spacing you had originally between the 2 rows was more than needed. This is a nice solution.
    For us$3500, I would be looking at this one for starters...
    [​IMG]
    Boxlight Home Cinema 20HD
    which has a native resolution of 1366x768. It is basically the same unit as the Sanyo PLV-70...
    [​IMG]
    Sanyo PLV-70
    and the review can be found here
    Just FYI, this is the exact same setup that I am doing right now, except I don't have the second row of seating like you do.
     
  6. Cary

    Cary Stunt Coordinator

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    There are lots of new models coming. At CEDIA, Sony announced their new Cineza, which would fit your needs. The VPL-HS10 has a list price of $3000. It's a 1366x768 resolution, 1200 lumens projector, with DVI for HD.
    There's also a lower model in the line-up, the HS2 at $1800. This one is SVGA, with 854x480, and 1000 lumens. I would certainly consider the higher model, but this one is FYI for budget buyers out there.
    Link to the press release - news.sel.sony.com/pressrelease/2738
     
  7. Ron Boster

    Ron Boster Screenwriter

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    Neil:

    Would the 20HD and PLV70 both run in the mid-5k range? The 13HD or PLV60 fall into the mid-3K range...I'm a new 13HD FP and LOVE IT!!!!! HD on a 106" screen rocks. Then you pop in Superbit Patriot upscaled to 790P and you don't want to leave the house.

    Ron
     
  8. Eric T

    Eric T Second Unit

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    Uhhh, yeah. Neil, if you know where I can get a 20HD for $3500, please let me know!
     
  9. Kai Zas

    Kai Zas Second Unit

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    I started reading the article about the Sanyo 20HD and thought it would be arround $3500 too... Now I want one, but it's about double that price. Thanks a lot!
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Dmitry

    Dmitry Supporting Actor

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  11. Michael Mathius

    Michael Mathius Screenwriter

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    Anyone know where I can view a Sony VPL VW10 in South Florida? Most of the stores I've found ony have higher priced projectors. Anyone planning on getting the new Sony HS10 coming out? It should be less than 3K so I'm going to look at it.
     
  12. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    If you are looking to demo the Sony VPL-VW10HT, also see if you can demo the Sony VPL-VW11HT as well as the price differential may be minimal or nil and there were some improvements made. I have the 11HT with a 45"x80" screensize you are looking at as well.
     
  13. Chris Purvis

    Chris Purvis Stunt Coordinator

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    have you considered a used CRT? Budget-wise you can't beat them right now. But I realize they are not for everyone due to size / weight / ambient light issues.
     
  14. Jay Morrissette

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    I also would highly recommend a used CRT. For $3500 you can get a very good one. Since your room will be easy to keep dark and it is relatively small a 7" CRT will work great. You won't need to have a huge screen so the picture will look incredible.
    The advantage to using a CRT is Color and a more fluid filmlike image. When you run a CRT projector at it's optimum resolution all the scanlines and pixle structure disappear. If you use a CRT projector with color corrected lenses the colors will blow you away!
    I don't think a digital projector in the $3500 range can even come close in these areas.
    Now the downside to a CRT:
    -No zoom lens, the distance from the screen determines the image size.
    -Difficult to set up. It is highly recommended that you hire an ISF professional for the initial setup. That is about $1000.(but well worth it)
    -The convergence will need touch-ups after earthquakes, sonic booms, or every six months. (which ever comes first)
    Other than that they are very easy to live with. The tubes last for 10,000+ hours if you take care of them.
    You should at least consider CRT and ask in the CRT section of the AVS forum. You will be innundated with people like me[​IMG]
    If you decide on a CRT and can come up with a little more money, a Dwin would be a good choice because they are almost completely silent.
    But no matter which way you go I think you have made a wise decision to go with front projection. That's what puts the theater in home theater.
    ~Jay
     
  15. Michael Mathius

    Michael Mathius Screenwriter

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    Thanks guys. Since I'm completely new to front projectors I will leave my options open. Tonight I will test my first projector at home so I'll have an idea of what to expect.[​IMG]
     
  16. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Now you have me curious. What will be your first test projector and on what display surface?
     
  17. Michael Mathius

    Michael Mathius Screenwriter

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    Neil, I got a Sharp XG-E1200U from a friend who just upgraded. It's a native 832x624 4:3 (SVGA). I connected it using svideo to a dvd player and did not like the interlace picture. I then used my Dell laptop and the picture was very good seating eleven feet away projecting on a white wall with a six foot wide picture.

    I can only imagine what it would look like with xga and a screen. I should be albe to try a Toshiba MT5 or MT7 in a few weeks.
     
  18. David Hicks

    David Hicks Stunt Coordinator

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    If you are considering LCD, check out the Panasonic AE100/200/300 line. I've got a 100 and absolutely LOVE it. The new AE200 is selling in Japan for around $1700. That leaves about the same amount to put into other equipment, screen, etc...

    Whatever you decide, front projection will change your life! Good luck!
     
  19. Michael Mathius

    Michael Mathius Screenwriter

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    Hey Neil, here's an update.
    Last night I finally got around to connecting the laptop and pj via vga instead of the s-cable and I immediately noticed a huge improvement. The colors become very vivid and the blacks got darker. I also tweaked the laptop for SPDIF to get Dolby Digital to the Denon 1803 and Energy Ecore speakers I had as my bedroom setup.
    I'm still projecting on a white wall but I found a low cost DIY screen
    which I will be testing tonight.
    I am now enjoying a 72" horiziontal picture ( no more diagonal measurement for me)[​IMG]. seating just 10 feet away the picture looks very good. I can only imgine what a XGA pj will look like. I don't believe my friend ever saw his pj like this because he had it hooked up to an interlace dvd through composite and I'm not about to tell him[​IMG].
    The only negative I have seen is that the fan is very loud on this projector[​IMG].
    Thanks for the info.
    Michael
     
  20. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Are you going to keep it? What resolution exactly are you using on your laptop to send to the pj?
     

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