What are the Pros and Cons of Projectors (ceiling and table mount)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Lanny_B, Jan 8, 2002.

  1. Lanny_B

    Lanny_B Second Unit

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    I've never seen these in action before - the projectors that project an image on the wall. I've just seen some pictures in magazines. What's the story with these?

    Can they be good, high quality images?

    Do they need a special wall to project onto?

    Do they support HDTV, DVD, Video Games?

    Are they widescreen?

    And overall,

    Are they better than a TV?
     
  2. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    "Can they be good, high quality images?" - You bet.
    "Do they need a special wall to project onto?" - You can project onto a white or light grey wall although a dedicated screen will probably look better.
    "Do they support HDTV, DVD, Video Games?" - Yes. Basically, whatever can be displayed on a TV can be displayed on a projector. You could even hookup your VCR or satellite and pull in TV stations.
    "Are they widescreen?" - Some are 4x3 (like a traditional TV) but can display widescreen images that are not 16x9 enhanced (Extra vertical resolution). Others can display the widescreen images 16x9 enhanced. But all will display the movies as their aspect ratios are.
    "Are they better than a TV?" - In my opinion, yes. You get a nice sharp image on a 120" screen and that blows away the experience from any TV. The end result is much more cinematic.
     
  3. Lanny_B

    Lanny_B Second Unit

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    Great responses Niel, thanks!

    What about Pro's/Con's then?

    Are they generally more expensive?

    Is it hard to project them at an angle that doesn't distort the image?

    What about space issues? Is it a pain to keep people from blocking the light, walking in front, etc.?

    I also can't picture an advanced setup with one connected to a receiver, and components, because I've never seen one. Is the entertainment center pretty much in the middle of the floor then? How does that work out?
     
  4. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    Front projection TV is best used in a room that people won't be doing other things in and walking around in when the set is turned on. The room must be quite dark although not necessarily totally.
    Most folks mount the projector to the ceiling. If the projector is on a rolling stand or put on a table, it needs to be positioned precisely the same way every time to minimize the need for focusing and converging adjustments.
    Running cables is more cumbersome for projectors sitting in the middle of the room.
    If you have a low ceiling or floor standing unit, people walking around will block the light, and more so if your projector is at the back wall. (People walking around in front of an ordinary TV also disturb viewers.)
    Projectors have mounting guidelines and limited adjustments to minimize the trapezoid (keystone) distortion that occurs when the projector is not directly in line with the screen.
    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm
     
  5. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    You picked a good place to post your questions although sooner or later, you will have to personally visit some store setups to get a personal viewpoint of projectors and their setups....

    I prefer ceiling mounts simply because when family and frineds visit, I don't want to have to continually chase children around to stop them from getting their little destructive fingers on the unit. I have 3 boys of my own so I am speaking from experience.

    Some projectors have an adjustment in the menu to compensate for keystoning. This occurs when the projector is mounted too high or too low with respect to the screen and the projected image becomes trapezoidal instead of rectangular. Other projectors need to be lowered or raised but when they are in the perfect spot, they don't have to be adjusted. You can also rest the unit on a table or even a shelf in the back of the room.

    A decent projector can be had for what you would pay for a typical HDTV rear projection unit. Perhaps the 2 single biggest factors to consider are cost and ambient light in the room. You will need to be able to control most (or all) of the light in the room and make it reasonably dark. It does not have to be pitch black. Some projectors are brighter than others and can be watched with lights on even and will look ok.

    Also, you have to consider screens. They come in many variety's from cheap pull down screens, to fixed screens, to motorized screens. As well, they come in various gains. The higher the gain, the more reflective the screen and the brighter the image however, high gain screens can also get hot spots in the centre of the screen where the outer edges are less bright, and they may have a narrower angle of viewability than a low gain screen. My screen has a 1.0 gain screen for instance but I can control the ambient light in the room with no problem.

    Hope this helps a bit.
     
  6. Deane Johnson

    Deane Johnson Supporting Actor

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    Lanny, you've gotten some good explantations here, but to really have a feel for what it is all about, you need to visit a home theater store and see one in action.
    I'd like to answer one of your questions, "Are they better than a TV"? In my opinion, they shouldn't be thought of as a TV though they will display everything your TV will. They should be thought of as "home theater" and judged accordingly. You're probably not going to want to display low resolution images such as from VHS, some over the air sources, etc. And I personally question their use for video games, though I know there can be some exciting things done. Trouble is, bulbs are costly and usually last from 1000 to 2000 hours of use, some much longer.
    I think it might be accurate to say that most people going the projector route are not seeking to create a "big TV", but rather a "theater" experience.
    You asked the question about the entertainment center being in the center of the floor. The only thing that needs to be in the center of the room is the projector, and as pointed out above, it can be in the ceiling or on a table on the floor. You simply run a line from the output of your video source, where ever it's located, to the projector. Some use S-Video, but most people who want the best quality use the component feeds.
    Mine is in the living room, and I chose to minimize the equipment so that people walking in don't even realize it's there. The same can't be said for my screen area, it stands out as intended. I wanted to concentrate on "theater" and not "equipment".
    I just mention these things to start you thinking about the possibilities. Here's a link to my site with some pictures showing just one way to approach it. You'll note my projector is not ceiling mounted, but most people never even know it exists. Same for the equipment.
    I'll never forget the first demo I saw. There was no turning back.
    Deane
    http://www.kathiejohnson.com/HomeTheater.html
     
  7. Chauncey_G

    Chauncey_G Second Unit

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    This has been a very informative thread. Thanks to all. After reading through all of this, would I be correct in assuming that an FPTV system is recommended over an RPTV system? Or can a blanket statement like that be made? I'm going to be buying one of the two this year sometime, I just can't decide which system to invest in.

    Thanks again!
     
  8. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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