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Projector

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Brian*Lee, Apr 3, 2006.

  1. Brian*Lee

    Brian*Lee Auditioning

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    I am in the process of framing a new house that will contain a 15' wide by 30' long enclosed theater room...plenty of dark. With a budget of around $5,000, what type of digital camera projector should I be looking at? Also, depending on what camera I get, should it be mounted somewhere in the middle of the room (from the ceiling) or can it be mounted in the rear of the room. I anticipate a screen size of around 150" diagonally. In addition, the room will be 10' tall at the front and step up twice, stadium style, to around 8' in the back. It is also important to me that the camera has many remote adjustment capabilities. Some of the cameras I have looked at only have manual adjustments or very minimal remote adjustments. I will be playing HDTV and DVD's so picture quality will be important to me. I know I am using HDMI connections too. Hope that hits all the points to help you help me. [​IMG] Thanks!
     
  2. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    I'm confused by your use of the word "camera". Do you mean you want a digital video projector? If so, do you know if you want a DLP or LCD projector? You need to decide on DLP or LCD first, then narrow it down from there. There are a lot of great 720p projectors for less than $5,000.
     
  3. Brian*Lee

    Brian*Lee Auditioning

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    I use the word camera loosely. I just didn't want to give the impression that I am looking for a projection screen television. I need a digital video projector that will project the video onto a wall mounted screen. In regard to DLP or LCD, I honestly have no clue what the difference is. I have heard the term DLP thrown around quite a bit in my search, so I assume that might be what will fit my needs. If the LCD is similar to a plasma or other flat screen, that is not what I want. Finally, I have no idea what you mean by "720p". I apologize for my ignorance. I am just learning the terms.
     
  4. Shane Harg

    Shane Harg Second Unit

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    Front projectors, as they're called (projecting an image onto a front screen like a movie theater), actually come in all the same technologies as rear projectors (big screen TVs) and flat panels (except plasma). Namely, DLP, LCD and LCoS, to confuse you even more.

    DLP (digital light processing) uses tiny mirrors, one for each pixel, to reflect light. DLP modulates the image by tilting the mirrors either into or away from the lens path. It is therefore a "reflective" technology, and theoretically produces the best true blacks.

    LCD (liquid crystal display) uses liquid crystals, one for each pixel, on glass panels (yes, this is done on a small scale inside the projector). Light passes through these LCD panels on the way to the lens and is modulated by the liquid crystals as it passes. Thus it is a "transmissive" technology.

    LCoS (liquid crystal on silicon) combines these two ideas. It is a reflective technology that uses liquid crystals instead of individual mirrors. In LCoS, liquid crystals are applied to a reflective mirror substrate. As the liquid crystals open and close, the light is either reflected from the mirror below, or blocked. This modulates the light and creates the image.

    Again, DLP and LCoS theoretically have the advantage of producing better black levels than LCD, but LCD makers have come up with technologies, such as a dynamic iris to make their black levels on par with DLP and LCoS and will usually come at a better price, as well.

    LCD, on the other hand, will generally have the advantage of better color saturation, but again, it is on a case by case basis.

    Another term you should familiarize yourself with, in shopping for projectors, is contrast ratios. A good contrast ratio in today's projectors is anything above 2500:1. That means that the blackest blacks in a given projected image are 2500 times darker than the whitest whites.

    You should go out and compare and get some good demos from reputable dealers so that you can make the best decision, in your price range, based on your own judgement.

    All that being said, I chose the Panasonic AE900. It is an LCD projector and can be had for around $2000. This is a top-selling projector, and for good reason. I saw it side by side with some others including one $10,000 LCoS projector (Sony Ruby VW100), which is also capable of much higher resolution, and better contrast, but to tell you the truth, I didn't see an $8000 difference in the picture. It was perhaps a bit sharper and had a little better contrast than the Panasonic, but not a night and day difference.

    Other best selling projectors to look at are the Sanyo Z4 (another LCD) and the Optoma HD72 (DLP). Personally, I'd stay away from BenQ, but that's just me.

    As for your question about 720p, 1080i and all that good stuff, it has to do with resolution, but I'll refer you to the Primer on this site. It's worth a read, if you nothing about it.
     
  5. Brian*Lee

    Brian*Lee Auditioning

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    Thank you so much for your response. That is very helpful. So I don't get to far ahead of myself (I am about 6 months from needing the projector), I really need to know if the projectors you are talking about, DLP, LCD and LCoS, are capable of projecting the image from the back of my room (30' away from the screen) and maintain good picture quality, or if I should plan to mount it somewhere in the middle of the room to supply better picture quality. Do "lumens" come in to play with that or is there another feature that I should consider? Thanks!
    Brian
     
  6. Shane Harg

    Shane Harg Second Unit

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    Good. That will give you plenty of time to do a lot of needed research & demo-ing on your own.

    I can only accurately speak for the Panasonic, since it's the one I own. It can project a 150" image from approximately 15' (on wide) to 30' (on telephoto) and maintain a very nice picture. Most other good projectors, however, will be capable of projecting a nice image from that distance, as well. I recommend you mount the projector just behind your intended viewing area. If you intend to implement 7.1 (which your room will accommodate nicely, btw), I would not recommend having your viewing area right up against the back wall, but perhaps about 2/3 of the way back.

    Lumens does come into play to some degree, but I would be more concerned with contrast ratio, as most projectors capable of a good high contrast ratio will have sufficient lamp brightness. Some projectors will have a high and a low setting for their lamps. If the projector is going to be back 15' or more, you will want to use the high setting.
     

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