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post #1 of 23 Old 08-01-2009, 08:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Sorry in advance for the rather long question.

I am currently running a Marantz VP12S2 on an 84 inch Stewart FireHawk screen. I acquired this set-up in 03/04 after spending many hours on this very web site. The long in tooth combination was fully satisfying until I added a BD player and now suffer through the black bars. I also find the picture quality much inferior to my Elite KURO 60inch display which I use in my family room. Finally, the lack of an HDMI input on the Marantz prevents me from using the latest lossless audio codecs.

I have been looking for a new display using an anamorphic lens. I have been lurking around the forums here and reading all the tutorials I can find. There are a number of differing opinions regarding screens, projectors and lens systems and even more competing philosophies on these same issues.

I have two dealers in town and am exploring a number of options from each of them. The new dealer (AA) in town has a 120 anamorphic setup in his store using a Dream Bee projector and a Draper screen. It looks impressive. The other established dealer (TE) has never done an anamorphic install but I have worked with them on many projects in my house for ten years now. They assure me they can do whatever I want.

My current room is 14' across the front and 24' deep and 8' high. I use an Elite SX-09 running Nautilus 802's and horizontal center channel up front and stand mounted CDM1-NT in the back (5.1). The room is completely light controlled and ASC sound treated.

I was looking at a 120-130 screen but then I saw that crazy set-up in your CIH picture thread with C3PO and R2D2 about thirteen feet high! I now knew what I wanted.

Measurements reveal I can place a 160 diagonal screen in the space but I will run into the top of my Nautilus speakers. I could change my front stage speakers but this will add significant cost to the project. A perforated screen was discussed to use the full width of the space but AA thought there would be significant compromise in picture quality.

I am also finding that to properly use a screen larger than 120 requires a very bright light engine. The usual suspects projectors just do not throw the lumens to make that happen. This increases the price by a factor of two to three. It is not out of the question to do this but there will be marital discord on the issue (not terminal however).

So here are my options:
AA:
1) JVC RS 20/750 with the RSAL1 lens and a Stewart 120 screen. We also could flip in the Marantz VP11 or VP15 with either of their lenses (Panamorph or ISCO) for about the same dollars or a little more.
2) Projection Design Avielo Optix DLP projector with the ISCO lens and a Stewart 156 parabolic screen.

TE:
1) Samsung 900B with their anamorphic lens and a DA-LITE/Affinity JPK screen , he is not sure the size of the screen the projector can handle.
2) Runco VX 22i, three-chip DLP, McKinley anamorphic lens, Affinity Cinema 166 Diagonal screen.

I have not gone with masking yet due to the cost and I plan to use this system with only movies, the KURO is for Television.

My impression is that 120-130 is the way to go to prevent eye fatigue but the full wall of picture has such pizzazz I am drawn to it for all the wrong reasons . I have spoken to Scott Varner at Projection Designs and to say to that I am impressed with what they offer is an understatement. Unlike Runco they actually make what they sell. Not that Runco offers bad product, it is just an admiration for true R&D. I was actually looking into the Avielo Kroma, their new LED-DLP. It is the same chassis as the Optix, no color wheel and is very quiet. The problem is the maximum screen size is 120, price increases $6K and I am worried about early adopting any first generation technology. I see LED-DLP as the future but I am not sure we are there yet.

So now that I have bored you to tears (if you made it this far) here are my questions:

1) Has anyone had good/bad experience with acoustically transparent screens?

2) I am intrigued by the Joe Kane (JPK) concept but not sure I am ready to drink the cool-aid. I am told JPK actually is not supportive of anamorphic displays. I have not seen any info about the Samsung used in an anamorphic set-up. Can anyone comment on the Samsung/JPK/Affinity screen option. It appears on the DVE website they use and ISCO lens but there is no information. Does anyone know the brightness of the 900B and the largest screen size it can support?

3) I have been impressed with Marantz for all these years but am given to pause in their current lineup. I am concerned about the low brightness of their products (for larger than 100 screens), I am concerned about rumors of their withdrawl from the video market, I am baffled by the age of their current line-up and their cost compared to other models such as the JVC and Samsung models. I feel the loss of Mr. Dan Miller is a significant loss to their marketing plan. How do others feel the Marantz compares to the other projectors mentioned in the 120 screen size. Is it actually worthwhile to move up to the VP11S2 with their ISCO lens?

4) Anyone gone with Projector Design? They seem to have the most expensive one chip DLP out there but their twin bulb design allows up to 180 screen size. They are impressive as mentioned above but seem to be small players in the North American market likely due to their limited exposure in the <$20K market.

5) I know there are not many lovers of Runco here but my dealer is very confident they will provide the best product for the money, ease of use and set-up and dealer support. Anyone heard anything about the VX-22i? Is three-chip DLP dead with LED-DLP on the horizon?

6) It seems the JVC RS20/750 is THE standard bearer at its price and above. What do I need to be concerned about sacrificing in going with this unit (sticking in the 120 arena)? It must have some pathos some weakness, some fault. It just seems too good for the money. I know of the color issues, panel alignment and dead pixel issues. ISF calibration can mostly rectify the color (not as good as a Samsung or Marantz I am told) and the other issues are technologically inherent. Is there a derivative of the JVC which is much better, such as the Anthem, Pioneer or other company?

Thank you in advance for reading and responding. This is a very specific application request but there are certain bigger issues mentioned, if this is best handled privately my apologies.

To say it has been confusing would be an understatement.

Regards,
Michael Segal.
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post #2 of 23 Old 08-01-2009, 08:54 AM
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Hi Michael,

Sounds like you got bit by the HT bug... we get that way some times...

Have you tried looking in the Screen Thread. I'm sure you'll find alot of tech help on A/T Screens and sizes, a/r and screen gain combined with choices of PJ's.

Steve
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post #3 of 23 Old 08-01-2009, 09:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the information Steve. I will start reading this forum. I kind of passed on it as I was more seduced by the projector forum.

Mike S.
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post #4 of 23 Old 08-01-2009, 09:44 AM
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Considering the potential budget, if using the more expensive units you mention, you should post in the high end forum. There is a ton of experience and knowledge of AT screens and high end PJs.

Some of the advice you have been given, prior to posting, is seriously wrong.

I'd start by simply outlining budget (for PJ and screen) and required screen size.

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post #5 of 23 Old 08-01-2009, 10:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for the heads up.
Could you please elaborate on this mis-information, it would be most helpful for clarification.
My budget is $20-30K.
My screen size is 120-130" diagonal 2.40:1.
I am not sure how to make an A/T system with a 10+' wide screen work on my budget. I may be very wrong and would greatly appreciate direction.
I am interested in the quality of the picture. I know that obtaining a picture like my Pioneer plasma is not realistic but I do need a significantly better picture than I have with my current set-up.

Thanks again.

Mike S.
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post #6 of 23 Old 08-01-2009, 12:39 PM
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Micheal, I think I may have misunderstood you, and subsequently inadvertently misled you as a result.

When I saw you were considering 3 chip units, Stewart screens etc, I had assumed your budget was different, especially as you mentioned the price involved in high lumen machines.

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post #7 of 23 Old 08-01-2009, 02:16 PM
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Crap, I had a long response typed up then got click happy and closed the tab Here's the Cliff's notes:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Segal View Post

My budget is $20-30K.
My screen size is 120-130" diagonal 2.40:1.
I am not sure how to make an A/T system with a 10+' wide screen work on my budget. I may be very wrong and would greatly appreciate direction.

First I firmly believe AT can be done without sacrificing quality. My SMX (material) screen is great and I just can't see the quality being better (not to say other screens might not work better in different situations). There's no interaction between the screen's and the projector's structure (moire), no sharpness loss I can detect, nothing. You can't tell it's AT unless you're within a few inches, maybe a foot or two of the screen.

And IMO don't quickly/easily dismiss a wall to wall screen. There's something about having that, and having your seating all within the screen bounds that's special.

Running the numbers a 140" wide 2.35:1 screen would be about 58 sqft. If you figure SMX material gain (1.16) you'd need 600 Lumens for 12ftL, so ideally you'd want maybe 1000-1200 Lumens to account for lamp dimming/aging. You could take almost 20% off that if you go with a 130" screen.

That's definitely on the upper edge of what the popular PJs in this forum can do, but it's not necessarily unreasonable. An RS20 or Planar 8150 for example should get you around 12ftL in that config in low lamp on a new lamp. And you can flip to high lamp down the road.

Quote:


I am interested in the quality of the picture. I know that obtaining a picture like my Pioneer plasma is not realistic but I do need a significantly better picture than I have with my current set-up.

There's a thread in the "High end over $3k" forum that discusses plasma vs FP, but I think to a large extent they're just fundamentally different. I don't think many would find 30-40ftL across their whole wall pleasing.

Anyway, my advice is to not give up on AT/whole wall screen too easily and I'd put the Planar 8150 on your short list.

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do, see movies the way they were meant to be seen
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post #8 of 23 Old 08-01-2009, 03:30 PM - Thread Starter
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I have been looking at the "big rig" projectors but I am finding myself with champagne taste and a beer budget. I know it is improssible for someone else to say what I should buy since people have differing priorities. I appreciate you taking the time to respond. If there is anything else I should consider please let me know. I am still dreaming of the wall-wall screen but I am finding it difficult to make happen.
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post #9 of 23 Old 08-01-2009, 03:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks you for "running the numbers". Sorry I could not read the full version. I am not someone to push something to the edge. I would much rather have a projector idling along on a small picture rather than one blazing the bulb on a larger screen. I would like a little headroom on the projector.
I still see there are limitations on a full size screen. I have considered stacking projectors but this lends its own distortion especially if one is trying to accommodate an anamorphic lens (or two).
The Planar projector seems to be harder to get here in the upper mid-West. Otherwise, it seems like a free for all regarding projectors with dealers tripping over themselves to provide virtually ANY machine at a discounted price. There seems to be no loyalty amongst thieves and no atheists in fox holes.

A third dealer is pushing the new Anthem 800 projector, a JVC RS-20/HD-750 variant. The only difference I can determine is a discount on the first replacement bulb.

Best regards,
Mike S.
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post #10 of 23 Old 08-01-2009, 07:17 PM
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Just my $0.02 worth on AT screens. I think the only real limiting factor is when you go too small with an AT screen. My screen is probably at the limits of what such a screen size should be for AT at 100" dia Scope 2.37:1. The larger the screen, the larger the projected image (pixels) in relation to the holes. I agree on a small screen, so detail could be lost. In my case, the audio benifits far out way any video losses (if there are any) by using an AT screen.

Mark Techer

I love my Constant Image Height system!
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post #11 of 23 Old 08-01-2009, 07:25 PM
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Yeah, the other factor is gain, AT screens are usually <1 or maybe just a bit over 1 (like the SMX @ 1.16). Here's hoping Ruben finishes up his "high gain" AT screen. The possibilities of 2x gain + AT, that opens up massive, wall-filling CIH up to a whole new group of people who can't afford the "big iron" projectors that are needed to light those sized unity gain screens.

That's something to drool over. Unfortunately it's been quiet on the SMX high gain front for quite a while

FWIW, my 8150 on my 110" wide scope SMX screen is pushing too bright in low lamp at ~200 hrs

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do, see movies the way they were meant to be seen
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post #12 of 23 Old 08-01-2009, 07:52 PM
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Intersting point. The larger the image, the larger the pixels, yet the holes are smaller per area, so technically less light losses than the same screen material on a smaller screen. Thoughts?

Mark Techer

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post #13 of 23 Old 08-01-2009, 07:56 PM
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I also vote AT and if your dealer can get Runco he should be able to get the Planar and it also has lens options. Would be great on a 130 wide screen could be done well within budget.

Nate

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post #14 of 23 Old 08-03-2009, 09:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Segal View Post

Thank you for the heads up.
Could you please elaborate on this mis-information, it would be most helpful for clarification.
My budget is $20-30K.
My screen size is 120-130" diagonal 2.40:1.
I am not sure how to make an A/T system with a 10+' wide screen work on my budget. I may be very wrong and would greatly appreciate direction.
I am interested in the quality of the picture. I know that obtaining a picture like my Pioneer plasma is not realistic but I do need a significantly better picture than I have with my current set-up.

Thanks again.

Mike S.

Hello Mike,

I have a room which is very similar in size your your space. In fact, my room is just a little shorter in height than the 8' you have in your space.

My room is basically: 25' long x 14' wide x 7'8" high. I have a false wall holding my AT screen 3' off of my front wall. Therefore, my theater appears to be only 22' long.

I am using a 10' wide (2.35:1) DIY screen using AT SMX material. I use a Panasonic AX100 with Panamorph UH-380 with M-380 for my anamorphic setup. I am very pleased with the picture and the sound is amazing coming through the screen.

I can understand that you may not want a 'lower' end projector such as the AX200 at this point as it is only a 720p machine. However, they certainly have the light output to fill the screen and provide a very nice image. IMO, a larger, brighter 720p image will more pleasing to the eye than smaller and somewhat dimmer 1080p image. In addition, you could save some cash to add a higher output 1080p projector in 3-4 years when their lumen output has increased.

In the end, whatever you do, I think that if you go with an AT screen at 2.35:1 or wider, you will be very happy.

-T.Wells
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post #15 of 23 Old 08-03-2009, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Segal View Post

I am not someone to push something to the edge. I would much rather have a projector idling along on a small picture rather than one blazing the bulb on a larger screen. I would like a little headroom on the projector.

I just want to point this out because it's not clear what you mean. Digital projectors aren't like CRTs, they don't have continuously variable brightness. Usually they have two settings, low, and high lamp. You can't dial back the brightness a bit like you can with a CRT.

What this means is that for a given lamp setting, there is no setting that causes the projector to be driven "harder" or "easier". There is a single, correct brightness/contrast setting that utilizes all the range of the panel without clipping. Now many projectors do have adjustable manual irises to tame down the light, but you don't "ease" the use of the projector by closing that down.

Basically what I'm trying to say is if a particular projector can produce the brightness you wish on a particular screen size. There's no longevity benefit to using a smaller screen. Given a lamp setting the projector is working just as hard regardless of iris or picture control settings.

I like to aim for being able to run in low lamp mode, so I have high lamp mode later should I ever find the projector too dim. But being on my 4th projector and having put 1000+ hours on both of my previous two (1000 hours being well past where most of the dimming happens), I've never felt the need to revert to high lamp mode, even after 1000 hours.

To put it another way, it's good to think about lamp aging/dimming when planning your setup. It's a good way to make sure you'll have a good picture for the life of the lamp. But if you've done that, and you find it will satisfactorally light the screen size you'd prefer, you're not going to make the projector's job any easier going with a smaller screen. What you'll get is a brighter image (not necessarilly a bad thing ).

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do, see movies the way they were meant to be seen
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post #16 of 23 Old 08-03-2009, 06:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

I just want to point this out because it's not clear what you mean. Digital projectors aren't like CRTs, they don't have continuously variable brightness. Usually they have two settings, low, and high lamp. You can't dial back the brightness a bit like you can with a CRT.

What this means is that for a given lamp setting, there is no setting that causes the projector to be driven "harder" or "easier". There is a single, correct brightness/contrast setting that utilizes all the range of the panel without clipping. Now many projectors do have adjustable manual irises to tame down the light, but you don't "ease" the use of the projector by closing that down.

Basically what I'm trying to say is if a particular projector can produce the brightness you wish on a particular screen size. There's no longevity benefit to using a smaller screen. Given a lamp setting the projector is working just as hard regardless of iris or picture control settings.

I like to aim for being able to run in low lamp mode, so I have high lamp mode later should I ever find the projector too dim. But being on my 4th projector and having put 1000+ hours on both of my previous two (1000 hours being well past where most of the dimming happens), I've never felt the need to revert to high lamp mode, even after 1000 hours.

To put it another way, it's good to think about lamp aging/dimming when planning your setup. It's a good way to make sure you'll have a good picture for the life of the lamp. But if you've done that, and you find it will satisfactorally light the screen size you'd prefer, you're not going to make the projector's job any easier going with a smaller screen. What you'll get is a brighter image (not necessarilly a bad thing ).

My reference to "idling" would be appropriate for a projector like the Projection Designs Optix which has twin bulbs and can be used at the same time to increase brightness or alternately to increase longevity between bulb changes and dimming. I agree with your statement that the bulb output is constant and the only thing a user can do is reduce the light output via brightness setting, iris f-stop or other end-user control.

I was referring to screen brightness and getting an adequate fl-L result off the screen. It seems 12-16 ft-L in a light controlled room is appropriate, although some projectors give their best contrast ratio and black levels at considerably lower brightness than this. A/T screens usually have a lower gain and impede brightness, as does the resultant increased screen size with a full width screen. If I go with an A/T screen I could move my screen forward up to five feet and bring the screen closer to the audience to improve movie involvement but the screen would be hanging in mid air, a somewhat unusual and potentially distracting scenario. A full width screen does solve this issue but I really need to see one in the flesh to see if this is the look I want. My carpet is beige and my ceiling is pop-corn white, both poor choices with bright reflections a concern (yes they can be changed).

I recently changed my Marantz to high bulb setting as I have 1500 hours on the current bulb. This still does not return the full color palate of a new bulb but it is a reasonable compromise.

Thanks for taking the time to correct my statement. I am waiting for some information regarding the Samsung product. I would like to splurge for the big Lumens projector but the numbers are just not adding up.

Best.
Mike S.
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post #17 of 23 Old 08-03-2009, 06:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T.Wells View Post

Hello Mike,

I have a room which is very similar in size your your space. In fact, my room is just a little shorter in height than the 8' you have in your space.

My room is basically: 25' long x 14' wide x 7'8" high. I have a false wall holding my AT screen 3' off of my front wall. Therefore, my theater appears to be only 22' long.

I am using a 10' wide (2.35:1) DIY screen using AT SMX material. I use a Panasonic AX100 with Panamorph UH-380 with M-380 for my anamorphic setup. I am very pleased with the picture and the sound is amazing coming through the screen.

I can understand that you may not want a 'lower' end projector such as the AX200 at this point as it is only a 720p machine. However, they certainly have the light output to fill the screen and provide a very nice image. IMO, a larger, brighter 720p image will more pleasing to the eye than smaller and somewhat dimmer 1080p image. In addition, you could save some cash to add a higher output 1080p projector in 3-4 years when their lumen output has increased.

In the end, whatever you do, I think that if you go with an AT screen at 2.35:1 or wider, you will be very happy.

-T.Wells

Hi T.Wells. Thanks for the information. How bright is your image (ft-L if you are able to measure would be appreciated). I am glad to hear it is working well for you, which is another check in the A/T camp.

I have heard similar statement from Runco about 1080P not being that much of a change compared to a 720P (especially three chip design). I can see that a 1080P native signal gets degraded to about 700-800 pixels after one chops the top and the bottom off (my math is hardly exact). The benefit of going back to 1080P will depend upon how good the processor fills in the blanks. Do not get me wrong, I would take a 1080P over a 720P but I can see how the difference may be less than hyped.

Regards,
Mike.
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post #18 of 23 Old 08-03-2009, 07:23 PM
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I haven't put one in yet to verify, but the SeymourAV screens are supposedly 1.2 gain.
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post #19 of 23 Old 08-04-2009, 05:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Segal View Post

Hi T.Wells. Thanks for the information. How bright is your image (ft-L if you are able to measure would be appreciated). I am glad to hear it is working well for you, which is another check in the A/T camp.

I have heard similar statement from Runco about 1080P not being that much of a change compared to a 720P (especially three chip design). I can see that a 1080P native signal gets degraded to about 700-800 pixels after one chops the top and the bottom off (my math is hardly exact). The benefit of going back to 1080P will depend upon how good the processor fills in the blanks. Do not get me wrong, I would take a 1080P over a 720P but I can see how the difference may be less than hyped.

Regards,
Mike.

Hello Mike,

I am very sorry but I do not have an instrument (or know how) to measure ft-L in my theater room. If there is something easy to do/obtain, I can give it a try as I would be happy to help.

I too would like to have a 1080p PJ in my room but I have to say, no guest has asked if I have a 720p or 1080p projector. They are much more likely to ask ... is that Blu-Ray? I usually say that the image is 720p just to be clear on what gear I have in my theater.

Lately, for my room demo's, I've been starting with a quick showing of HDTV via Comcast with the screen masked down to 1.78:1 Then, I make with the quick switch to my 2.35:1 setup. I press one button and a BD begins to play, the Panamorph lens slides into place, and the screen's masking system moves off the screen showing the full 2.35:1 screen. This is when the guests get totally floored by my setup. I guess what I am trying to say is that to me, an AT screen (or any screen for that matter) setup to me is more of a permanent part of your room where the projector may be changed out more often. Therefore, when I built my room, I focused first on the screen size and setup (again, for me this was AT CIH with masking) first, then went and found a projector to fit my needs knowing that I'll most likely buy a new (1080p) projector to add in a few years. When I purchased, 1080p PJs were just hitting the market and the price was still very high and the light output was lower than the options you have today.

-T.Wells
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post #20 of 23 Old 08-04-2009, 06:55 PM
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Mike,

I am not a very good photographer but here are a few scope shots on my setup.

-T.Wells

Edit: The 'Zoomed Remy' is zoomed on the camera for a closer shot of the image quality. Not zoomed by the PJ for a scoped screen.
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post #21 of 23 Old 08-08-2009, 03:39 PM
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$20-$30k is a piece of cake for what you need...you should be able to do it well under. Don't limit yourself to 2 options they present, there are many more to consider.
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post #22 of 23 Old 08-09-2009, 02:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the pictures T.
Your set-up looks great.
Are you using a curved screen?

Mike S.
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post #23 of 23 Old 08-10-2009, 07:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Segal View Post

Thanks for the pictures T.
Your set-up looks great.
Are you using a curved screen?

Mike S.

Mike,

Thank you for the compliment. No, I use a flat screen. I took the pictures at a slight angle due to the size of the tripod and position of the chairs and columns.

-T
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