Newbie Question on FPTV

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dan J M, Feb 18, 2002.

  1. Dan J M

    Dan J M Auditioning

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    Hello everyone! First, I would like to say how amazed I am at this forum. I can't believe how knowledgeable and helpful everyone is here, and how organized and professional the whole forum is. I am just beginning to look at front projection TV. We are finishing off our basement and would like to set aside a portion for a home theater. Orginally, we were looking at 65" HDTVs for down there, but we later realized there was no way we are going to be able to fit a TV bigger than 27" around the corner in the steps to our basement.
    So, we're now looking at FPTV. I have done hours of research on it, but I still have a few questions that I am hoping you guys can answer (actually, I know you guys can answer them [​IMG] )
    First of all, I'd like some ideas as to what projectors I should be looking at. I'm pretty sure I want a LCD projector (for many reasons, one being that as I understand, they aren't prone to burn-in), but I'm not really sure what ones I should be looking at, let alone what kind of screens I should be thinking about. I will be using the projector for a lot of movies where I should be able to turn off all the lights and close the window blinds, but also watching football games and other TV during the day, with the windows open (shouldn't be too much light - they are those small basement ones) and lights on. What projectors would be able to show a good picture in both of this situations? I have a budget around $3500-$4500 for the projector.
    Next, the screens. I have no idea what size screen or what kind of screen I should be looking at. I would probably like a screen in the 80" area, but maybe a tad bigger? Most of the movies I watch will probably be in widescreen format, but TV will be in normal 4:3 format. Should I get a 4:3 screen or a 16:9 screen?
    Lastly, the ceiling mount part. I am thinking that I would build a platform hanging from the ceiling for the projector. How will I figure out how far from the ceiling the platform should be, and how low down? From what I have read, I want to avoid the using the digital keystone correction because it make the picture crappy, right? If I don't use that, I'll need to find just the right spot on the ceiling for the platform, correct? Should I figure out how big I want the screen first? Sorry for all these questions, I'm really trying to learn![​IMG] Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Dan J M

    Dan J M Auditioning

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    Maybe my post would do better in a beginner's forum?
     
  3. Ray Melnik

    Ray Melnik Agent

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    Dan,

    Take a look at the Sanyo PLV-60.

    Aspect Ratio(s): Native 16:9

    Contrast Ratio: 700:1

    1200 lumens

    It is quiet as well.
     
  4. ThuanVu

    ThuanVu Stunt Coordinator

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    Dan,

    First rule, no matter how bright the PJ is, the image should be display in a totally darkness, or it'll be washed out.

    Second, is there any reason why you choose digital PJ (LCD,DLP,DILA) instead of CRT 3_tube?

    CRT is still the king here, the most close performance digital PJ I have seen close to CRT is the new Sharp 9000

    If you choose digital PJ, you have to choose 4x3 screen if your PJ has 4x3 chip panel - The new 16x9 need 16x9 screen

    You can have screen 8 ft WIDE (not diag dim) for any PJ that has 600 ANSI lumens or greater

    I used to have Sony 400Q (400 lumens) on 96x54 screen and the image is very good

    Last, most manufacturers has installation formula you can download from their webpage. Basically, the lense must be at the same plane as bottom scrren (table top) or top screen (ceiling mount)

    There are pro and con between digital PJ and CRT, pretty long to list here

    Regards

    Thuan
     
  5. Dan J M

    Dan J M Auditioning

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    Thank you both. I have spent most of my day researching the PLV-60, and I am very impressed. It seems to have everything I'm looking for. I still have a few questions, though. First of all, in comparing the PLV-60 to the Sony VW10HT, I see that the Sony is able to produce 750 TV lines and 1100 HD lines, while the PLV-60 is only able to produce 768 video lines. Is this a big difference? I thought the Sanyo was able to produce 1100 HD lines also?
    Here's the big thing I don't understand. I'm obviously going to have more than one video source (TV, DVD, etc), so how do I switch them? Right now I have all my sources hooked up to my receiver via composite lines, and I just switch the video and audio from the receiver. I can't find any receivers that will allow me to switch my component video sources - do they exist? If not, how do I do this? Thanks, and sorry for all the dumb questions! [​IMG]
     
  6. Ray Melnik

    Ray Melnik Agent

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    Dan, The Sanyo is 1080i and 720p and more. I run my DVD in input (3) component. My digital cable is in input (2) S-video and I'm waiting for my HDTV cable receiver which will go into either component input (1) or RGB (its both). See my site for a closeup of the video input panel.
    http://www.newtechnologyhome.com/features/hdtv1.htm
    My audio goes straight to the home theater sound system which has an input for each. My only issue there is that there is only one digital input so I will need a switcher so the HDTV receiver and DVD can share the digital input.
    I have not compared units because I received it through a sponsor but the picture is incredible. I use it with a screen that is 80" by 45" but it will scale up to 400" depending on the distance. It is native 16:9 and it will do 4:3 programming in 16:9 very well.
     
  7. Dave Schofield

    Dave Schofield Second Unit

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    I can't add anything to the projector "debate" but I had a question about your HT location. If you can't get more than a 27" TV into your basement how are you going to get new couches, chairs, etc down there?
     
  8. Dan J M

    Dan J M Auditioning

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    Well, that's a good question. We really can't get anything too big down there, but it's kind of hard to describe how we already got some couches down. The steps to our basement are almost in the family room. The steps go down about 4 steps, then turn a corner and go all the way down. Not sure if you can picture this, but above the landing the wall is cut out about 4ft x 4ft, and is looking down into the basement, past the landing. We can turn the couches sideways, kind of like a > shape, and pass them through there down into the basement, but there's no way we could get a big TV through there. [​IMG]
    Thanks, Ray for your descriptions. I may have to go that way. I guess there is no receiver that will switch component? If not... someone from Sony better be reading this! By the way, what did you do to get your projector from a sponsor (ProjectorPeople I presume?)?

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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  10. Ray Melnik

    Ray Melnik Agent

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    The PLV-60 has a better angle to reduce keystone if you use the mounting bracket and hang it upside down but the shelf worked for me. It is in the lower level of our home and the ceiling is fairly low. With the slight adjustment I did not notice a change in quality. The manual gives the throw angles and you can download it from Sanyo.

    I used the ovation software to adjust everything. When using this unit it is fine with a small amount of light from the table lamp or the recessed lighting dimmed but a sunny window would kill the picture. I covered our window with a heavy dark curtain. It is best in a dark room.

    Dan, As far as the sponsors; I have been building New Technology Home since July 1999 and in March of 2001 I received my Service Mark. That was when I started to solicit sponsorships. I use the sponsors products to illustrate the various subjects to help people understand these new technologies. I do no reviews. It usually takes weeks to get the sponsor and it is a trade for the logo exposure in the feature as well as ads on our directory pages and homepage. The bottom line is that home technology is a growing sector and most of the sponsors like the concept of New Technology Home and of course they look at my stats. We try to illustrate all of these subjects in as simple a way as possible.
     
  11. Guy Kuo

    Guy Kuo Supporting Actor

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    Front projection is definitely the next step up in home theater experience after one outgrows RPTV's in terms of image size desires. However, those new to FPTV often have fairly unrealistic expectations about how good an image will look with lights on and/or windows open. Yes, you can get a usable image, but in comparison to an image projected in a good light controlled environment, there is no contest. As others have mentioned, "black" in front projection is what you see on screen when it is lit up by the ambient light in the room. The darker you can make that, the better the picture. Accept that overriding concern and your front projection experience is likely to be more satisfying.

    It is possible to allow some dim ambient light by use of a gray screen with gain like the Stewart FireHawk fabric. That can help but should not be considered an invitation to turn the lights on during use of a front projector. A very high light output projector will also allow use with some ambient light, but realize that blacks will still be elevated and ultimately your projected image will not achieve the ultimate possible.

    In terms of screen size, a good rule of thumb for front projection is to look at the light output of the projector in lumens. Take the factory rating and divide that by two to get the actual usable lumens. Now divide those usable lumens by 14 (a reasonable target FL brightness) and multiply by screen gain (let's say 1.3). The result is the square footage of the screen that projector should illuminate. Let's assume you start with a 1000 lumen projector. For a gray screen, the gain figure may need to be multipled by the reflectance factor for degree of gray.

    1000/2/14 * 1.3 = 46 square feet for a 1.3 gain screen.

    Take that square footage and figure out what size screen (in the native shape for the projector) comes up to that size.

    That translates to just under a 8 x 6 foot screen for the example above. Now we get to make things worse because the calculation doesn't take into account some things which will happen.

    a. The bulb will dim to perhaps 60% of its initial brightness during its lifetime. If you budget the light output base on initial bulb brightness, you'll end up with a dim image during much of the bulb life. So you should probably take the above square footage estimate and chop it down to about 80%. The bulb will be brighter than needed initially and dimmer at its end life, but on average you'll be in the usable ball park.

    b. Your sensitivity to image fidelity is likely to increase as you become more experienced with video. That means you will perhaps be doing things like filters, calibrations, projector modifications to deepen black level, correct color temperature,etc. Those steps for achieveing greater contrast and image fidelity will tend to reduce light output to perhaps 60% of the pre-modified state.

    So 46 square feet from above * 0.8 * 0.6 = 22 square feet for the screen. That's about 5.5 feet wide instead of the earlier, optimistic estimate for screen size. You can ignore these last two factors, but if you care about image fidelity over the life of the bulb or expect your thirst for a better picture to increase, then it would be smart to factor them in when figuring out what size image a projector and actually handle over the long run and with good fidelity.

    These calculations are really only usable for digital projectors. For CRT, a rough rule of thumb for screen size is to the inch size of the CRT is the feet wide of the screen. In other words a 7 inch CRT will handle about a 7 foot wide screen.

    Now the next thing you get to figure out is how close you sit to your screen. For good quality front projection, expect to be about 2 screen widths from the screen. You already know from previous the width of screen the projector can handle. You could also go backwards through the seating distance, figure the screen width, then area, and then work out how many lumens output are needed to light up that size screen.

    Choice of LCD, DLP, LCOS, CRT technology is a big subject which I'll leave to someone else.
     
  12. Ray Melnik

    Ray Melnik Agent

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    Guy,

    I noticed your homepage link to Ovation. Is that your company?

    I used that DVD to do all my adjustments and I recommend it highly.
     
  13. Guy Kuo

    Guy Kuo Supporting Actor

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    Yes, I'm the one who built all the video test patterns
     

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