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Which Projector Should I Get? (2 Viewers)

Indy Guy

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At the dawn of widescreen formats
Cinerama and ToddAO films might open with squarish 1.37 IMAX shaped screens masked with curtains to tease the audience for what is about to happen. This enhanced the effect of being blown away by the engulfing width of the new formats. After the screen reveal wow moment, the films remained wide as there would be little reaction (or benefit) from repeating the gimmick again.
I wish today's directors who prefer using IMAX ratios would do likewise and stick with their preferred format. After an initial expanded image, ratio changes do become gimmicky.
Does anyone remember partial 3D films (like Harry Potter 7) that put subtitles on the screen promting the audience to "put glasses on now"? Inter-movie format changes are like story asides, reminding viewers of techno hype rather than emotion...
"The next scene will be really exciting rather than just average!"
 

Edwin-S

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I think a 16×9 screen in a home theatre is a better choice for most home setups. Not even most modern cinemas use native 2.40:1 screens and most of the cannot even bother to mask properly when a "widescreen" film is played.
 

Josh Steinberg

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I think this thread is drifting far off its originally intended topic of conversation, and that we’re doing a disservice to the original poster by getting into the weeds of the extremely small number of IMAX titles released yearly, $30,000 projectors, etc.

From this and other related threads, the original poster is looking to spend $3000-5000 on a projector, looking for a screen that takes up the maximum amount of real estate on his wall (which would be a 16x9 ratio screen), and above all, is a first time projector buyer.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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I think this thread is drifting far off its originally intended topic of conversation, and that we’re doing a disservice to the original poster by getting into the weeds of the extremely small number of IMAX titles released yearly, $30,000 projectors, etc.

From this and other related threads, the original poster is looking to spend $3000-5000 on a projector, looking for a screen that takes up the maximum amount of real estate on his wall (which would be a 16x9 ratio screen), and above all, is a first time projector buyer.

Thing is it was actually the OP who kept bringing this back to discussing 2.4:1 CIH setup as something he seems to really want (at least in "theory" anyway), so...

But yeah, no sense discussing (at length) PJs (plus external processing) that cost 5 figures... other than for context and some sorta eventual possibility to consider some day perhaps...

Anyway, if definitely going for largest possible screen, especially in 2.4:1 CIH, for under $6K, seems like the Epson 12000 should be the best option... in part because he'll probably benefit from the brightest light canon for such a setup me thinks...

_Man_
 

Josh Steinberg

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Thing is it was actually the OP who kept bringing this back to discussing 2.4:1 CIH setup as something he seems to really want (at least in "theory" anyway), so...

It may have been his other thread where he more recently stated that he didn’t want to make 16x9 movies smaller - that was a later comment about wanting to use as much wall space as possible, so I think we may have moved past the idea of 2.40:1.

But yeah, no sense discussing (at length) PJs (plus external processing) that cost 5 figures...

I think that’s the key point here. I don’t want to put words in anyone’s mouth or misinterpret anything that is being said, but we’ve got someone who’s having a little bit of very understandable decision paralysis dipping their toe into these waters for the first time, and suggestions of external processors, projectors that cost tens of thousands of dollars, etc., only serve to confuse what should be a relative simple decision of picking out a good projector within the available budget. And I think the honest truth is that nearly any projector at that price range, for someone making the leap from a television set to a projector for the first time, is going to be incredible. There really aren’t bad choices at that price range. Just minor differences to match minor variations in preferences.

Anyway, if definitely going for largest possible screen, especially in 2.4:1 CIH, for under $6K, seems like the Epson 12000 should be the best option... in part because he'll probably benefit from the brightest light canon for such a setup me thinks...

I would agree that based on Nathan’s posts, the LS12000 will serve his needs and be suitable in both 16x9 and 2.40:1 setups. Also with size - these things are spec’d to throw an image up to 300”, and realistically, Nathan’s space provides for about 165”. The last Nathan wrote, he was leaning towards buying the projector first and then settling on screen size after he could plug it into a few sources and see what screen sizes looked best in his space. If that is indeed what he is still leaning towards doing, the decision towards purchasing one aspect ratio or another can wait.

I think - again, without wanting to put words in anyone’s mouth - that the enthusiasm the handful of 2.40 advocates have for their setups has led to a discussion that shortchanges the amount of extra work it takes to run such a setup, and that we’re getting into the weeds of a discussion that the OP doesn’t necessarily have the context to fully grasp.

Over the weekend the OP was considering a used Sony to save $1500 off the cost of the Epson. That doesn’t sound like someone who is ready to commit to a $30,000 projector, or a $15,000 external processor. Those are all perfectly valid choices for people who have that level of interest and available funding but I don’t think they’re really relevant to what the OP is trying to accomplish.
 
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Josh Steinberg

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I wish Nathan lived closer to us so that we could provide an in-home demonstration of the basics of home projection and how good setups at this price range look and sound to provide better context.

Even though it would probably add money to his expenses to do so, for his own piece of mind, it wouldn’t be a bad idea for him to either visit a few home theater showrooms, or a consumer electronics show. He’s worried about making a choice he might regret and I think a few hundred bucks in travel expenses might provide something of value. I was comfortable doing my research and pulling the trigger sight unseen but it’s perfectly understandable for different folks to want a little more.
 

Indy Guy

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Poster NTLKnight was looking for the biggest screen possible, with a preference for widescreen and small usage of the screen for regular TV.
A widescreen setup need only have one add on price to make his dream system a reality...that being a motorized zoom lens.
If widescreen is what is most important (as it is to me), why discourage him from going after his dream? If he gets his system up and running by the time a spectacular widescreen film like "Wonka" hits Home Theater, he will be thrilled to not view it pinched into a 16x9 frame.
I've enjoyed home projection since the 70's and nothing during that journey has matched the theatrical experience of widescreen films filling a wall-size home screen.
Today that sense of wonder can be had with reasonable priced equipment.
As years go by, you can add sophistication, but you will never tire of the thrill of scope imagery shown at home!
 

Josh Steinberg

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If widescreen is what is most important (as it is to me), why discourage him from going after his dream?

I’m not at all discouraging it; I’m simply not recommending a $30,000 piece of hardware to someone with a $5000 budget. I’m also making note of a more recent post of his from one of his other threads where he stated that he didn’t wish to make 16x9 content smaller than 2.40:1 content; he asked in another thread what screen shape would get him the most real estate for the size wall he has, and with the size of his wall, 16x9 would command more real estate.

I have nothing against 2.40 constant height setups. As I’ve said multiple times in this thread and Nathan’s other threads, that I believe it is important for him to understand the additional work it involves using a 2.40 screen so that he can make an informed decision as to whether that extra effort is worth it to him. It very well may be.

I also feel that the thread has gone off course when the answer to “what projector should I get” detours into “I do not like films that are made in a combination of different screen formats.” I feel that is certainly an interesting topic of discussion but one better suited to its own unique thread.
 

Josh Steinberg

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All of that said, I know everyone’s heart is in the right place. I also know that having multiple threads tracking nearly the same subject can lead to confusion or people coming with perspectives that might have been discussed elsewhere. I think everyone is being very generous with their time and opinions and there’s nothing that I particularly disagree with. I just don’t want us to all push Nathan into feeling that he can’t have a high quality setup without stepping up to a level that is beyond his budget and experience.
 

NTLKnight

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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.
I'm onboard with what you're saying! However, I pulled the trigger last week on a new Epson LS12000, which will be here in a few days. "Having said that" (quote from Curb Your Enthusiasm)...I see the value in exploring and considering a Barco for my next projector (in my case, probably a used unit...to bring the price within reach) and making Barcos a viable consideration...maybe over JVCs (which are heavily promoted here). Since Barcos would never need a Panamorphic lens (and probably also would not benefit from a processor?). A used Barco could end up being cheaper than other 16:9 AR projectors (JVCs and Sonys) when coupled with add-on lenses/processors...whilst (the Barco) giving "the best"(?) cinema scope experience...AS WELL AS superior 16:9 content compared to other projectors.

Thing is it was actually the OP who kept bringing this back to discussing 2.4:1 CIH setup as something he seems to really want (at least in "theory" anyway), so...
Apologies if this thread has covered too many different angles. Hopefully once I get things up and running (and setting up the hardware), I'll be able to give back to the community with videos, pictures and/or things I've learned along the way that could help other newbies. FWIW, up until a couple weeks ago I didn't know the Sony 5000ES didn't have motorized lens control...and I didn't even know what that actually meant. I was tempted to buy a used one locally to test it against the LS12000, because from what people were telling me, it (Sony) is a "little" sharper with HDR content than the Epson (though I wasn't sure if the lesser lumens would mean an overall worse image on 165"+ screen sizes). What I understand now is that I still *could have* tried the Sony...albeit on a CIW (16:9) screen covering as much of our wall as possible and using masking to crop the top/bottom for scope content (making 16:9 content always the bigger image in that case). I'm happy (now with the LS12000 coming) to experiment with a CIH screen and use that aha-moment Indy Guy described...when going from 16:9 to extra-wide for the "main event".

...we’ve got someone who’s having a little bit of very understandable decision paralysis dipping their toe into these waters for the first time, and suggestions of external processors, projectors that cost tens of thousands of dollars, etc., only serve to confuse what should be a relative simple decision of picking out a good projector within the available budget.
Yes, you're exactly right. And if I may...try to find some positives from this ongoing conversation, for people who may happen upon this thread who are new to these topics, to have a tiny bit of an understanding of what anamorphic lenses are and why people with enough budget buy them...what madVR, vs Lumagen is...or how much it would cost to build your own PC to run free madVR (and learn to modify it to keep it working). Even understanding Zoom Range on a projector (which I just started wrapping my head around these past few weeks) is important to know how big you can go on a screen depending on how much length you have in the room....the Epson has a bigger range than the Sony, for instance.

Also with size - these things are spec’d to throw an image up to 300”, and realistically, Nathan’s space provides for about 165”. The last Nathan wrote, he was leaning towards buying the projector first and then settling on screen size after he could plug it into a few sources and see what screen sizes looked best in his space. If that is indeed what he is still leaning towards doing, the decision towards purchasing one aspect ratio or another can wait.
Yes, I already have prepared the wall in anticipation of the LS12000 arriving shortly...I'm putting up white sheets on the wall today to start experimenting as soon as it gets here. I imagine it won't take me more than a few days to see how big I can go with 4k content and be happy with the quality and brightness. I'll be happy with 165"...and even happier if it can handle 170" (scope)...which would be smaller for 16:9, I realize...but still immersive, I believe. The AR can wait, but with the hundreds of YT videos I've watched...and re-reading all the answers I've received to my questions, I'm starting to see how special it can be to have a CIH screen that expands and retracts on the sides (and not the top/bottom)...reserving the biggest size for scope content.

Over the weekend the OP was considering a used Sony to save $1500 off the cost of the Epson. That doesn’t sound like someone who is ready to commit to a $30,000 projector, or a $15,000 external processor. Those are all perfectly valid choices for people who have that level of interest and available funding but I don’t think they’re really relevant to what the OP is trying to accomplish.
True...and you guys talked me down from getting the Sony...which I was going to buy only to test it agains the Epson. For my next projector (setup) though...wouldn't a used Barco (at around $15k) be a consideration over a JVC with an anamorphic lens and madVR? If a native Barco (with no bells and whistles added) plays scope AND 16:9 content better or as good as an expensive Sony or JVC with the anamorphic lens and/or a processor...it seems Barco *could actually be* a cheaper alternative with better results.

All of that said, I know everyone’s heart is in the right place. I also know that having multiple threads tracking nearly the same subject can lead to confusion or people coming with perspectives that might have been discussed elsewhere.
Apologies for that! My next questions will be a) which AVR and b) which 1.3 projector screen material...and where to buy. Should I start another thread to ask those questions so this one doesn't jump around too much?

Best Regards,
Nathan
 

Josh Steinberg

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However, I pulled the trigger last week on a new Epson LS12000, which will be here in a few days.

This is the most important thing, that you have a decision you're happy with - congratulations on your purchase, and may you enjoy it for many, many years!

wouldn't a used Barco (at around $15k) be a consideration over a JVC with an anamorphic lens and madVR?

In theory anything is up for consideration - it generally depends on the condition the used machine is in, and how it compares relative to what's on the market and what the specs and popular formats are at any given moment. It could be that in a few years, that makes a ton of sense, or it could be that it doesn't - sadly my crystal ball got lost in shipping :)

I'm starting to see how special it can be to have a CIH screen that expands and retracts on the sides (and not the top/bottom)...reserving the biggest size for scope content.

There is definitely something to that! In my previous setups, I didn't have a dedicated space so I had to use a pull-down screen, which limited me to basically a 16x9 setup. I've recently moved and my projector had reached end of life just before that, so it basically gave me the opportunity to start from scratch. Motorized screen setups were outside of my budget range, so I basically did the poor man's DIY version for myself. I now have a 16x9 screen that is basically the size of the entire wall, but I mask off the bottom of it, so that 95% of the time, it's a CIH screen where scope content is the biggest, and I have some side masking I constructed manually that I can bring in for 1.85 movies. But, when I'm watching one of those IMAX films that is mostly scope with certain scenes expanding in height to 16x9, I remove the bottom masking and use the full real estate. Using that full size is almost "too big" for the room, which is actually perfect for that IMAX feeling of being overwhelmed by something like "The Dark Knight". Now, adjusting the zoom on the projector for each aspect ratio (even with a lens memory, it doesn't remember perfectly and requires minute adjustments), and adjusting the masking manually is a little bit of a pain - but I sort of designed everything like that because being a "pretend home projectionist" is a fun hobby for me. But objectively, it's absolute madness that most people would have zero interest in.

the Epson has a bigger range than the Sony, for instance.

One of the reasons I love Epson projectors is the enormous flexibility their zoom lenses and lens shift mechanisms allow for placement and setup. They're second to none in that regard. My home setup with multiple screen sizes and aspect ratios just wouldn't work in my specific room with anything else.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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This is the most important thing, that you have a decision you're happy with - congratulations on your purchase, and may you enjoy it for many, many years!



In theory anything is up for consideration - it generally depends on the condition the used machine is in, and how it compares relative to what's on the market and what the specs and popular formats are at any given moment. It could be that in a few years, that makes a ton of sense, or it could be that it doesn't - sadly my crystal ball got lost in shipping :)



There is definitely something to that! In my previous setups, I didn't have a dedicated space so I had to use a pull-down screen, which limited me to basically a 16x9 setup. I've recently moved and my projector had reached end of life just before that, so it basically gave me the opportunity to start from scratch. Motorized screen setups were outside of my budget range, so I basically did the poor man's DIY version for myself. I now have a 16x9 screen that is basically the size of the entire wall, but I mask off the bottom of it, so that 95% of the time, it's a CIH screen where scope content is the biggest, and I have some side masking I constructed manually that I can bring in for 1.85 movies. But, when I'm watching one of those IMAX films that is mostly scope with certain scenes expanding in height to 16x9, I remove the bottom masking and use the full real estate. Using that full size is almost "too big" for the room, which is actually perfect for that IMAX feeling of being overwhelmed by something like "The Dark Knight". Now, adjusting the zoom on the projector for each aspect ratio (even with a lens memory, it doesn't remember perfectly and requires minute adjustments), and adjusting the masking manually is a little bit of a pain - but I sort of designed everything like that because being a "pretend home projectionist" is a fun hobby for me. But objectively, it's absolute madness that most people would have zero interest in.



One of the reasons I love Epson projectors is the enormous flexibility their zoom lenses and lens shift mechanisms allow for placement and setup. They're second to none in that regard. My home setup with multiple screen sizes and aspect ratios just wouldn't work in my specific room with anything else.

Josh, what screen did you end up w/ for that new setup? Or is the screen, not just masking, etc, also DIY? If so, what material?

I may start planning for something similar (for an anticipated move this summer to a somewhat bigger space inside same townhouse building, if everything works out) myself. I'm considering going for a 150" Silver Ticket... but not completely sure there's quite enough throw distance for that for my 5050UB, which you also have now, unless I tear down an extra wall/partition and go w/ same room orientation as I do now (having the screen against the normally rear-facing, windowed wall), LOL.

There's probably more wall space for bigger screen than that, including up top w/ ~10ft(?) ceiling, but probably not enough throw distance (for that much bigger) nor acoustically good, unobstructing space for the audio aspect. I don't want my front speakers too close to walls or too far apart nor the primary seating be close to rear wall... and if there's still enough space, I might even consider finally recovering my very hefty, used Thiel CS5i's + MCS1 center (that I bought 2nd-hand ~3 years ago) to use in this space, LOL -- I'd probably be pushing it (and need to stay w/ smaller screen), if I do, since this will still be smaller space in key dimensions (by ~2ft in both width and depth, but also taller by ~2.5ft) than the original intended space even if I tear down both partitions... :lol:

_Man_
 

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Josh, what screen did you end up w/ for that new setup? Or is the screen, not just masking, etc, also DIY? If so, what material?

I may start planning for something similar (for an anticipated move this summer to a somewhat bigger space inside same townhouse building, if everything works out) myself. I'm considering going for a 150" Silver Ticket... but not completely sure there's quite enough throw distance for that for my 5050UB, which you also have now, unless I tear down an extra wall/partition and go w/ same room orientation as I do now (having the screen against the normally rear-facing, windowed wall), LOL.

There's probably more wall space for bigger screen than that, including up top w/ ~10ft(?) ceiling, but probably not enough throw distance (for that much bigger) nor acoustically good, unobstructing space for the audio aspect. I don't want my front speakers too close to walls or too far apart nor the primary seating be close to rear wall... and if there's still enough space, I might even consider finally recovering my very hefty, used Thiel CS5i's + MCS1 center (that I bought 2nd-hand ~3 years ago) to use in this space, LOL -- I'd probably be pushing it (and need to stay w/ smaller screen), if I do, since this will still be smaller space in key dimensions (by ~2ft in both width and depth, but also taller by ~2.5ft) than the original intended space even if I tear down both partitions... :lol:

_Man_
I recommend setting up a demo of a 150“ screen with your projector. You’re getting into the size where the image is too dim to be enjoyable especially with modern HDR content.

I can say for myself, with a 120” screen and a JVC projector, I wouldn‘t be happy taking it to 150” trading brightness for size. Or, I’d need a higher end, brighter projector.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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I recommend setting up a demo of a 150“ screen with your projector. You’re getting into the size where the image is too dim to be enjoyable especially with modern HDR content.

I can say for myself, with a 120” screen and a JVC projector, I wouldn‘t be happy taking it to 150” trading brightness for size. Or, I’d need a higher end, brighter projector.

After I did some more (preliminary) checking, looks like there definitely won't be enough throw distance for 150" w/ the Epson PJ (and possibly barely enough for 135") anyway -- and almost certainly not worth bringing my old Thiels even though they probably woulda loved the ceiling height. The new space is apparently smaller than I thought w/ wider, but also shorter, dimensions (for something much more square instead of long rectangular)... unless I choose to use a different room for it, but that other room is really too narrow for what I want/need (at max of ~19x9.5ft, even if I tear down the closet space at one long end). Even a 135" screen (at ~10ft width) would apparently be too wide to fit in that room (along the narrower wall) -- I will probably be using that room as my combo bedroom+home-office space (maybe w/ a simple screen divider).

FWIW, sounds like the Epson(s) might also be somewhat brighter than the JVC PJs though... but can't go as dark OTOH. And w/out JVC's tonemapping (or equiv/better), the Epsons won't do as well for HDR regardless anyway... but I've been satisfied nonetheless so far -- truth is even the best movie theater PJ setups like the Times Square AMC's Dolby Cinema won't really look that much better for DV/HDR anyway...

_Man_
 

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It's all about preference. Many people are happy with the sacrifice in brightness to get that 150"-class image. And if my room was big enough I certainly would have gone with a larger screen than 120". But now especially with the UHD format, that trade off of size and brightness are more acute. But projectors have gotten brighter allowing for larger sizes with a bit less trade off.
 

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Screen size is only one consideration. It doesn't matter if the screen is a 165" if the projector is incapable of providing a enough lumens to create an adequately bright picture.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Screen size is only one consideration. It doesn't matter if the screen is a 165" if the projector is incapable of providing a enough lumens to create an adequately bright picture.

That goes w/out saying, heh.

Pretty sure my Epson 5050 is bright enough at least for good/satisfying SDR output on 150" (perhaps even in its Eco mode), but HDR (and maybe 3D) would be an entirely diff story -- I suspect it still should be fine, but just not as bright as desired (or certainly optimal)... as probably no consumer level PJ is ever as bright as optimal for HDR (while maintaining good black/shadows) anyway.

_Man_
 

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Hey guys, hope you're all doing well. I wanted to let you know how it's been going with our new LS12000 which we've had for about 2 weeks now. I'll post a more detailed description later in the other thread I started about CIH vs CIW...to go over our "real-world" results and experiences while trying out all the different ARs we've come across so far. But for now, I thought it would be nice to let you know how it's been going with the new Epson!

  • Thank you, DaveF (& everyone else) for recommending the Epson LS12000! (And for suggesting we test the projector against our wall before deciding on screen size and AR.)
  • We're currently casting the image directly on to our wall, which is painted sky blue with a semi-glossy paint (and not a very even paint job...which becomes more obvious when you shine a bright light on it!). There's a fireplace right in the middle of the wall...so we took a white sheet and pinned it over the fireplace. As you can imagine, this is far from an ideal viewing situation...and yet, this is what we're testing on. (BTW, the image that is projected on the white sheet is dimmer than the image coming back off the glossy sky blue wall.)
  • We've watched a dozen movies in 2.40, 5 or 6 movies in the "Netflix" AR (2.0?) several shows and a couple movies in 16:9...as well as played some games in 16:9.
  • Now I understand what it means to speak of (and be concerned about) light output for content that is *not* 16:9!
  • I didn't totally understand that 16:9 would be the brightest (and sharpest) content...just because all of the projector's chip is being used on the image...and not on black bars. I also didn't realize that content would get 'less bright' incrementally based on the (width of the) AR of the content being viewed. For instance, the "Netflix" AR is very close to 16:9 in size (with tiny black bars above/below)...and it's only a *tiny bit* dimmer than 16:9. 2.40 content is a *tiny bit* dimmer than that...because more of the chip is being used towards those (bigger) black bars. It finally makes sense to me. (The smaller the black bars on the tops/bottoms...the brighter the image and vice versa.)
  • Having said that, the "sacrifice" in giving up some brightness for scope content is well-worth the price (for us, at least)! (Further, I'm just getting started with the LS12000's ability to save presets for all the settings. I already have some basic presets for SDR, HDR, 16:9, 2.0 and 2.4 content...setting the light and color accordingly...it sure makes it easy to throw anything at it!)
  • Seeing is believing. I'm glad I didn't put 100% faith in the online calculators (for throw distance expectations).
  • The LS12000 doesn't even need to go to the complete back of our 21' room to fill up the whole 195" wall properly (and by properly, I mean bright enough, crisp enough and focused). None of the online calculators said we'd be able to do that.
  • We started by placing the projector 10' away from the wall. It was bright, crisp and the image was about 100" (diagonally). Then we started moving the projector back 1' at a time. By the time we got to about 14' or 15' from the wall is when we first noticed a *tiny* bit of light loss (with scope content). However, once we reached 15', we didn't notice much (if any) difference between 15' all the way to 18'...in brightness or pixel clarity (which is where we pretty much settled...as 17'-18' away from the wall gets us to as big as we want to go), which is using 162" horizontally, from L-R of the 195" width of our wall. (That's right...speaker placement comes in 2nd to the size of the screen...for us.)
  • I was pretty sure we'd be going with a CIH screen after reading so many comments and hearing examples and watching dozens of YT videos. But when we brought the family in to the living room (our new multi-purpose HT), and went back and forth from 16:9 to the "Netflix" AR, to Cinema Scope and back again many times...we all agreed that limiting the size of 16:9 content to the height of a scope screen would be selling our experience way too short. And why should any AR be treated inferior...when the real estate is sitting right there for the taking? After 2 weeks of testing every possibility (and using the motorized lens of the Epson heavily in the process!) we are pretty much set on the following screen sizes:
  • Cinema Scope (2.40.1) - 174" diagonally (163" horizontally)
  • "Netflix" (2.0?) - 162" diagonally (145" horizontally)
  • 16:9 (1.78) - 153" diagonally (135" horizontally)
  • We decided TV, gaming and all 16:9 content was too small on this huge wall when restricted to the height of the 2.40 screen size...especially since 16:9 is the brightest of all content (unless we manage a cheap anamorphic solution in the future)...it can handle a HUGE screen size and shine like a star! Scope will still be the "biggest" in terms of overall viewing...and when you hit the lens memory button on the Epson and it opens up so wide, it's just as magical as ever. Rather than using the full floor-to-ceiling height for 16:9, we found a happy medium...where scope still feels bigger and more "special", but 16:9 is bigger than the height limit of the scope screen size. So, as of now, we have 3 main ARs we'll build our screen to handle...even though there are ARs, I know.
  • I'll probably be building a screen that is 163" horizontally (the widest we'll ever go) and about 7' high (the tallest we'll ever go). I won't bother with masking just yet. These past 2 weeks, we haven't even noticed the sky blue wall that is all around the image being projected. Once I paint (or treat) that wall (not to mention the 2 side walls and the ceiling), I'm not sure how much of a need we'll have for a fancy masking system for the 3 main ARs we'll be going back and for with.
  • I also done a lot of side-by-side comparisons with HDR and SDR content, freezing the frame at the exact same spot on the movie and looking for noticeable differences. We don't notice much difference in brightness or pixel density when going between HDR and SDR. I don't know if calibration will play a big role in seeing the difference. But after reading all the comments about projectors not handling HDR well, I was expecting to see a noticeable difference between the 2...which I didn't. The image is a *bit* sharper with HDR, that's all I noticed...not really any brightness difference.
  • In closing I'll say that some of the movies we've watched over the past 2 weeks were bad movies...the types of movies we'd normally give up on after 20 minutes or so (when watching on our TV), but because we're watching in scope, we couldn't stop watching them! What I'm saying is that the lack of brightness with scope content is a small price to pay for the experience of practically being in a theater. And...we're watching all of this through our very cheap 5.1 surround system which is setup facing the wrong direction...hitting us from the left...and we don't even notice it! Excited for our AVR and Atmos speaker setup (and screen) which will be coming soon!
Best Regards,
Nathan
 

ManW_TheUncool

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I also done a lot of side-by-side comparisons with HDR and SDR content, freezing the frame at the exact same spot on the movie and looking for noticeable differences. We don't notice much difference in brightness or pixel density when going between HDR and SDR. I don't know if calibration will play a big role in seeing the difference. But after reading all the comments about projectors not handling HDR well, I was expecting to see a noticeable difference between the 2...which I didn't. The image is a *bit* sharper with HDR, that's all I noticed...not really any brightness difference.

You should probably calibrate to actually yield (at least somewhat) brighter whites for HDR. That probably means intentionally choosing to have a dimmer, but still very satisfying, SDR image... kinda like choosing to have a smaller 16x9 image vs scope... but not necessarily actually going CIH as you found out (like some of us). Likewise, you definitely won't want SDR to be quite that much dimmer than HDR (even though reference HDR should technically be at least 10x brighter and upto 100x for Dolby Vision, which no consumer level display actually does, heh). You're probably gonna wanna play w/ the diffs for yourself to find the best compromise for you guys.

Note though it's not the entire typical/normal image that should be brighter in HDR, but just the highlight areas should be able to get brighter. The middle and darker portions of the tone curve shouldn't be that different -- and you'll wanna set the gamma and HDR settings accordingly to yield that.

Ideally, you should get a good calibration disc (for both SDR and HDR) to help you w/ that. At this point, I'd probably get this one:


  • In closing I'll say that some of the movies we've watched over the past 2 weeks were bad movies...the types of movies we'd normally give up on after 20 minutes or so (when watching on our TV), but because we're watching in scope, we couldn't stop watching them! What I'm saying is that the lack of brightness with scope content is a small price to pay for the experience of practically being in a theater. And...we're watching all of this through our very cheap 5.1 surround system which is setup facing the wrong direction...hitting us from the left...and we don't even notice it! Excited for our AVR and Atmos speaker setup (and screen) which will be coming soon!
Best Regards,
Nathan

Congrats! You're having a blast w/ this! And that's what matters most. Definitely enjoy the heck out of all this!

_Man_
 

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