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Which Projector Should I Get? (1 Viewer)

NTLKnight

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Thank you for the answer. So, in your opinion, are any of those options (Sony VPL-XW5000ES, JVC's NP5, NZ7, NZ8, NZ9) a better choice than the Epson LS12000? (And the sale through Sunday...are those found on any retailer's website?)

Nathan
 

Robert_Zohn

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Yes, Sony and JVC are my favorite brands for long throw projectors. We have them listed on our website along with several other brands and all of the sale prices are listed on each webpage.

Sorry for the short notice on the sale prices. The sales started two weeks ago, but end tomorrow.
 

NTLKnight

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I know this is a newbie question, but oes the Sony XW5000ES have motorized lenses, or lens memory? I can't seem to find that information. If not, how do you work around adjusting for different ARs when switching content?

Thanks,
Nathan
 

Robert_Zohn

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Sony's XW5000ES has a manual lens for focus and zoom.
Regardless of the content format the projector will display the images correctly. For constrained height "CinemaScope" content the projector generates the black bars to display the content in all of the CineScope aspect ratios, e.g. 2.35:1, 2.37:1, 2.39:1, and 2.40:1 and normal broadcast 16:9 that fills the screen and 16.10:1 and 4x3.

The only time you would want to adjust the zoom would be if you add an anamorphic lens.
 

NTLKnight

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Thank you for your answers, I appreciate it! Since your sale ends tomorrow, I hope you won't mind if I follow up with a few more questions. In the last few hours I've been re-educating myself and comparing the LS12000 with the XW5000ES (and also reading up on the JVC NP5 for good measure). I'm in a similar place that I was 5 or 6 months ago when I was torn between these different models!

There are a couple YT reviews that have helped shed a bit more light on the subject...and in reading the hundreds of comments (to those videos) I may have even gotten a more "rounded" insight into which of these projectors is better (at least for my particular space...and for the way we'll be using our projector). (Wished they had calibrated these machines for these comparisons!)

This video...

...had me convinced that the Sony not only had a sharper image, but was somehow even brighter.

This video...

...also had me convinced that the Sony even had better colors AND a sharper image than the Epson.

...then, in reading the comments of this last video, I found that the person who made the video ended up choosing the Epson, even though in the video he said he'd probably choose the Sony. (He chose the Epson because of the quieter fan noise, HDMI 2.1 and 4K 120.) The comments then gave some more context to how calibration plays a big role. Is it possible the Epson may even be configured to produce a sharper image with the firmware update?

If the Sony is really that much sharper (as shown in these 2 videos) than the Epson, that would be a major plus for me (assuming the screen size I plan on using doesn't mute that point). When they freeze some of those frames and you can see the details in bricks in the walls, or detail in the clouds that you can't really see in the Epson, that is very attractive to me and reminds me of the differences we started noticing when we went from DVDs to Blu Rays. Having said that, there are other considerations I realize need to be weighed in to the whole thing. My main points to consider are:

  • Screen size. I plan on using a screen between 150"-170" (hoping to use a constant width as much as possible and use masking for the top/bottom. I wonder if the Sony would retain its sharp image (edge over the Epson) on a screen that size.
  • Brightness is a concern because of the screen size, even using a 1.3 gain screen (will not put the speakers behind the screen).
  • I plan on treating our living room to make it as theater friendly (first 6 feet of the side walls/ceiling especially...with velvet or felt or dark paint), while still being a living room. We'll watch our movies at night...mainly, but I'm sure there will be occasional gaming sessions on the big screen (during the day) and other daytime viewing.
  • MadVR. I'm not well-versed enough in this topic to say much, but though I'm probably not (currently) willing to spend $9.5k on a madVR Envy setup, I may be willing to explore the DIY options of building a PC for madVR tone-mapping. (I only mention this in case tone-mapping would make up for the lack of "sharp image" the Epson would have compared to the Sony. Or if the madVR would boost the brightness of the Sony to make up for the fewer lumens compared to the Epson.)
Best Regards,
Nathan
 

Robert_Zohn

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Sony's advantages are the better lens and much better processing for up-scaling low resolution content, like cable and even 4K HDR streamed content as Netflix, Amazon Prime and all other streaming services compress the video to 15Mbps and Sony's very well respected XR processor does a great job with low bit rate and compressed content. Also motion resolution is better on the Sony. So the answer is year for the sharper and more detailed images especially with the larger screen sizes you are considering.

I love that you will be putting black fabric or flat black paint on the walls and ceiling 6' on the left/right and ceiling!
You likely will need the 1.3 gian screen for a multi-purpose room that will have some ambient light and especially for the
 

NTLKnight

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Sony's XW5000ES has a manual lens for focus and zoom.
Regardless of the content format the projector will display the images correctly. For constrained height "CinemaScope" content the projector generates the black bars to display the content in all of the CineScope aspect ratios, e.g. 2.35:1, 2.37:1, 2.39:1, and 2.40:1 and normal broadcast 16:9 that fills the screen and 16.10:1 and 4x3.

The only time you would want to adjust the zoom would be if you add an anamorphic lens.
I wish you would have mentioned that the lack of motorized zoom and lens memory means you can't really use the Sony XW5000ES with a 2.40:1 screen system.

Going with a cinema scope screen size was the first (& easiest) decision(s) we made for our home theater. I didn't realize that this would render the Sony 5000 series...as not a very good option...at least without either a Lumagen, madVR or anamorphic lens.

Nathan
 

Robert_Zohn

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Nathan, Sony's XW5000ES works perfectly with an CinemaScope or 16:9 screen, and with all content aspect ratios. The XW5000ES, like all other projectors will generate the required cropping black bars to properly display all aspect ratios on the screen of your choice.

The only time you would want a motorized lens is if you add the Anamorphic lens or if you want to adjust the image size.
 
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ManW_TheUncool

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Nathan, Sony's XW5000ES works perfectly with an CinemaScope or 16:9 screen, and with all content aspect ratios. The XW5000ES, like all other projectors will generate the required cropping black bars to properly display all aspect ratios on the screen of your choice.

The only time you would want a motorized lens is if you add the Anamorphic lens or if you want to adjust the image size.

Robert, maybe we're not quite understanding you, but he wants 2.4:1 CIH setup, so how do you get that w/ that Sony PJ or any other similar PJ w/out motorized lens and lens memory (w/out using anamorphic lens nor additional 3rd party image processing)?

AFAIK, that's not (practically) possible w/ the Sony.

_Man_
 

Robert_Zohn

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All projectors, like TVs will automatically generate the black bars when displaying Cinema Scope content to properly display the 2.35:1 - 2.40:1 Cinema Scope image.

We have Sony's XW5000ES set-up in our main showroom's theater demo room with a 135" 16:9 screen and Cinema Scope content looks beautiful.
 

Robert_Zohn

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Oh sorry if I missed that Nathan would be going with a constrained height Cinema Scope screen format. If this is the case it would be best to have a motorized lens that also has memory.

With this option you can set-up the XW5000ES on the Cinema Scope screen with Cinema Scope content to fill the image area and when you watch 16:9 content the projector will generate the cropping black bars on the left and right sides of the screen to comply with the broadcast standard 16:9 format.

Also with any projector if the majority of content played will be Cinema Scope format it's best to add the Anamorphic Lens so you compress all of the resolution, color and luminance into the Cinema Scope format. Without an Anamorphic Lens you will be loosing some of the luminance and resolution when watching all Cinema Scope content.
 

Josh Steinberg

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With respect, you are missing what everyone is trying to explain.

The original poster is considering buying a 2.40:1 constant height screen. He is *not* asking about viewing a 2.40:1 movie on a 16x9 screen.

The Sony’s lack of a motorized zoom and lens memory means that he will have to manually adjust those things each time he watches content that comes in different ratios. That is why he was asking for advice specifically for a projector that has a motorized zoom and lens memory, specifically to be used in tandem with a 2.40:1 aspect ratio screen.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Oh sorry if I missed that Nathan would be going with a constrained height Cinema Scope screen format. If this is the case it would be best to have a motorized lens that also has memory.

With this option you can set-up the XW5000ES on the Cinema Scope screen with Cinema Scope content to fill the image area and when you watch 16:9 content the projector will generate the cropping black bars on the left and right sides of the screen to comply with the broadcast standard 16:9 format.

Also with any projector if the majority of content played will be Cinema Scope format it's best to add the Anamorphic Lens so you compress all of the resolution, color and luminance into the Cinema Scope format. Without an Anamorphic Lens you will be loosing some of the luminance and resolution when watching all Cinema Scope content.

Yes, ideally, using (a good) anamorphic lens setup would be best, especially for a particularly large 2.35/2.4:1 screen (that pushes the limits of light output)... at least to switch between 16x9 and 2.35/2.4:1... though there are also increasingly more other ARs in between 16x9 and 2.35/2.4:1 (that are probably not feasibly addressed w/ anamorphic lens) that one might still end up wanting motorized lens w/ lens memory anyway... if one's really gonna go thru such trouble for optimal results.

Too bad they don't include a good anamorphic lens even for the flagship JVC NZ9 at its very high end price level though...

_Man_
 

NTLKnight

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With this option you can set-up the XW5000ES on the Cinema Scope screen with Cinema Scope content to fill the image area and when you watch 16:9 content the projector will generate the cropping black bars on the left and right sides of the screen to comply with the broadcast standard 16:9 format.
BTW, thank you, Robert...for your patience with all my questions, I do appreciate it! In the above scenario you mentioned, if the 5000ES were set up on a scope screen (to fill up a 2.40 screen when playing 2.40 AR content)...and if you then changed the content and played something in 16:9...wouldn't that spill over the top/bottom of the scope screen, rather than simply generating black bars on the L/R sides?
 

Josh Steinberg

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In the above scenario you mentioned, if the 5000ES were set up on a scope screen (to fill up a 2.40 screen when playing 2.40 AR content)...and if you then changed the content and played something in 16:9...wouldn't that spill over the top/bottom of the scope screen, rather than simply generating black bars on the L/R sides?

Yes. That’s why you then must use the zoom lens (whether manual or motorized) to adjust the image size to be small enough to fit within the height of the 2.40 screen, leaving the sides of the 2.40 screen blank for 16x9-shaped content.

That’s the point I was trying to make in your other thread. Home video content has been mastered and standardized to be displayed on 16x9 displays. There is no projector setting that will make a projector work automatically with a 2.40 screen. Any time you go from watching a 2.40-shaped movie to a 16x9-shaped movie, you’ll have to adjust the zoom settings so that the image displays properly. Every time. Or you could spend thousands upon thousands for very niche hardware and software add-ons to do this for you, but then we’re talking about going down a rabbit hole that represents a very tiny niche of all projector users and you’ll be mostly on your own in terms of usage and product support. Simply put, having a 2.40 constant height screen puts a lot of extra work on you, the user, each and every time you want to watch something that’s not 2.40, or every time you want to switch back to 2.40 material after watching 16x9 material. There’s nothing wrong with this approach but it’s not a one time adjustment, it is a thing you’ll be adjusting every time you watch something. I don’t mean to discourage you from getting such a setup but I’m just hoping to make it clear how much extra work you’re signing up for so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not that’s worth it for you.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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^Yeah, besides all the extra fuss involved, you would also still have the issue of not playing IMAX-variant formatted movies not likely as desired/intended IMO...

To me, ideally, what one should actually want is a giant 16x9 screen that's wide enough for the largest 2.4:1 (or wider) image desired/needed, use a good system to mask it effectively down to 2.4:1 CIH for most content, but be able to open back upto that giant 16x9 (or any other AR) whenever desired/needed/appropriate for certain less common cases like IMAX VAR, 2.2:1, 2:1, 1.66:1, 1.37:1, etc -- and how big to go might actually vary w/ the specific content, not just specific AR IMHO... Of course, that may actually require and involve/delve into even more/greater fuss, hehheh...

I'm definitely not a fan of strictly going 2.4:1 CIH myself, especially as filmmakers and content creaters have continued to branch out into various ARs, etc...

Maybe it's also partly because I value different ARs from a still photography POV, not just as cinema appreciating enthusiast... even though I don't generally use my HT setup for stills...

_Man_
 

DaveF

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I would have explored CIH via Zoom if my room supported an ultrawide screen. But to do CIH, I’d have the equivalent of a sub-100” 16:9 screen and that’s not acceptable to me when that’s 80%+ of my viewing.
 

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Wide screen films were designed for impact and immersive subject matter. Using only a portion of a 16×9 screen or projector chip tends to negate that purpose.
There are native scope projectors, Barco being the leader, where lens adjustments or add ons are not needed. The Barco chip set scales scope content to around 5K, so light output and resolution are not compromised, but enhanced.
16x9 content uses about 4K of the area on the 5K chip, so standard content is not compromise either.
Most recent blu ray and 4K discs are authored with 1.85 theatrical aspect ratios...not 16x9, so small black bars are seen at the top and bottom on 16x9 screens. The Barco senses most aspect ratios wider than 16x9 and widen the image into the left and right scope screen area. Even 1.85 films benefit from a small but noticeable increase in heght and width.
For variable aspect ratio films like Oppenheimer, IMAX sequences, are usually shot with a safe zone for scope projection. Rather than dealing with the automatic (and distracting) ratio changes, the projector can be made to override IMAX 16×9 elements, showing the entire film in scope.
On a home screen without the drama of a 40 foot tall IMAX theater, the choice to eliminate distracting shape changes, can allow more concentration on the emotional experience, rather than mechanical shape shifting.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Wide screen films were designed for impact and immersive subject matter. Using only a portion of a 16×9 screen or projector chip tends to negate that purpose.
There are native scope projectors, Barco being the leader, where lens adjustments or add ons are not needed. The Barco chip set scales scope content to around 5K, so light output and resolution are not compromised, but enhanced.
16x9 content uses about 4K of the area on the 5K chip, so standard content is not compromise either.
Most recent blu ray and 4K discs are authored with 1.85 theatrical aspect ratios...not 16x9, so small black bars are seen at the top and bottom on 16x9 screens. The Barco senses most aspect ratios wider than 16x9 and widen the image into the left and right scope screen area. Even 1.85 films benefit from a small but noticeable increase in heght and width.
For variable aspect ratio films like Oppenheimer, IMAX sequences, are usually shot with a safe zone for scope projection. Rather than dealing with the automatic (and distracting) ratio changes, the projector can be made to override IMAX 16×9 elements, showing the entire film in scope.
On a home screen without the drama of a 40 foot tall IMAX theater, the choice to eliminate distracting shape changes, can allow more concentration on the emotional experience, rather than mechanical shape shifting.

Agreed to a great extent... though a Barco is waaaay out of my (and probably most enthusiasts') range.

RE: IMAX experience, I think a 9ft tall screen from floor to ceiling for ~10ft viewing distance (w/ requisite corresponding width of say 16ft) should probably be good enough to replicate that -- the wall I actually use for my HT would provide that, if I actually use the entire wall for the screen. BUT that would be the entire wall when viewing 16x9 version of whatever IMAX VAR film.

I don't believe the shape shifting should be (completely) unnoticeable -- certainly, not all filmmakers intend it to be unnoticeable -- at least for anyone who is generally fairly observant/cognizant of their environment even while fairly engrossed in something anyway... I definitely notice it even w/ the giant (~100x70ft) screen at Lincoln Square over here -- the only way I wouldn't notice is I'm in a row that's really much too close so that I'm craning my neck, etc and struggling mightly to see more than just the bottom center portion of the image during the non-IMAX, widescreen portions of the film -- and even then, I'd certainly notice the image bottom expanding/contracting whenever the AR shifted while probably not noticing the top expanding/contracting.

Whether AR shifting is actually/truly distracting for someone is another story of course... and that's probably quite subjective (as well). I have never found IMAX VAR for a good film on a sufficiently large screen to actually be distracting -- maybe I will to some extent nowadays on say 60-70" screen in home environment after spending so much time w/ an FP setup, but I suspect I'd just as soon find watching any fixed 2.4:1 scope films on a 60"-ish screen (from 9-10ft) a tad distracting anyway just because it feels too small to me nowadays...

_Man_
 

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