Time to take the plunge?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Evan H, Dec 9, 2003.

  1. Evan H

    Evan H Stunt Coordinator

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    Living in a studio apartment that is more like a glorified closet, I'm trying to find ways to increase the amount of free space. I'm thinking about getting rid of my TV and replacing it with a front projector to open up my room significantly. The Sanyo Z2 looks like highest probability for the model I'll get. This has led me to several questions about the viability of this working.

    Can a projector be used as a primary viewing device for let's say 3-5 hours per day?

    How dark does the room have to be to use the projector? Will the blinds be sufficient for daytime viewing if the screen will not have any direct light, or will blackout drapes be needed?

    I'm sure more questions, comments and concerns will come up over time, but of course if the cost and inconvenience of replacing bulbs are too great, then I'll have to re-think making the switch.

    Thanks in advance to any assistance
     
  2. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Producer

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    Based on my experiences with a Sony VPL-W400Q LCD FP...

    You will need to control the light in the room. Depending upon the light output of the Sanyo this may be less of an issue, but I would recommend minimizing ambient light when viewing with a FP.

    Due to the replacement costs of the lamp on the Sony I "plan" my film viewing and don't use the FP for "casual" viewing. On the Sony one of the biggest factors affecting lamp longevity is the number of times the lamp is started. My self-imposed basic rule is that lamp stays on until I am finished viewing media for the day and once the lamp goes off it doesn't turn on again that day ( to minimize the number of off to on iterations. )

    Personally, I wouldn't recommend an FP for casual viewing due to issues involving light control and lamp cost. I kept a small 27" set on a cart for news, television, etc. and only use the FP for film viewing. I tend to use the FP only 2 or possibly 3 times a week for 4 to 6 hour stretchs.

    Perhaps a flat panel display might be more suitable for combined purposes and minimizing floor space requirements? Obviously a smaller flat panel will not have the impact or offer the immersive experience of a larger FP screen display ( which is why I went with a FP many years ago. )

    Some basic thoughts from yours truly. Perhaps those who have experience with the Sanyo can provide more specific information. I don't know what the lamp life or cost is for the Sanyo which could have a big impact on the decision. Good luck.

    - Walter.
     
  3. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    I agree with Walter that for "casual" viewing that a traditional CRT would be the best way to go. But there is nothing like watching a movie on a big screen via front projection. The image impact is as big of an improvement on the visual side as adding 5.1 with a subwoofer on the audio side.

    The newer FP projectors have more light output for sure but you still need to have control over your ambient light in the room.

    While you are looking projectors you might have to take a look at the new Panasonic PT-L500 that Projector Central just did a shoot out with the Sanyo-Z2.

    Parker
     
  4. Evan H

    Evan H Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the info Walter and Parker.


    So Blackout drapes are definitely in my future if I do take the plunge. How long can I expect a bulb to last if let's say it's used for 30 minutes viewing in the morning while getting ready for work, and then 3 hours viewing in the evening. Would I be better off biting the bullet and dropping the extra $1000 to pick up a plasma screen? I really wanted to try and avoid that extra expense.

    Unfortunately, I really don't have the space for a CRT in the room, the 32" screen I have right now overpowers the area, and makes it a royal pain to have both a decent sized couch and coffee table. I have been cryptic as to the actual size of what I'm working with here, so here's the dimensions: The room is a rectangle, 11 x 21 feet or so. I have a Queen sized bed in the back right corner, the kichenette is in the back left side of the room. This leaves an area about 11 x 15 feet for the "living" area. Not quite the best of space to piece together a system when the TV is over 2ft deep on its own. I'm still learning how much noise actually goes through the walls of the apartment, and so there's no subwoofer in the apartment, but I am running a 7 speaker setup.

    Thanks again for the input [​IMG]

    Evan
     
  5. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Most of these newer generation budget lcd projectors have bulb lives that range from 3-5000 hours but I would budget on 4000 hours as an average so simply do the math. As for controlling the ambient light, plan to do it if you get into front projection for better results.
     

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