Narrowing down my options (can I afford a PJ for a big screen?) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 10-19-2010, 08:50 AM - Thread Starter
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My new dedicated HT space is just begging for a big screen, around 12-16' wide.

I'll be DIYing the screen, but I'm having a great deal of trouble establishing if I have enough budget to achieve my goals. Screen gain and PJ brightness are inextricably linked, so it's kind of hard to choose one without knowing the other. HELP!

My budget for screen, A-lens (if needed) and PJ is $4500. I could increase this, but I really don't want to. Maybe some used gear?

So to AT or not AT is the biggest issue since AT screens have much lower gain per $ spent. Going AT means $$ screen material and $$ PJ and $$ A-lens.

If I skip the AT screen (and center channel ), I could make this work with high gain painted DIY screen and a zoom CIH PJ like the panny ae4000u, right?

But I really want a center channel if possible (hi-end audio is the focus of this theater) but is it possible with my budget? Used might also be an option. I'd also like great black levels, but maybe I'm pushing it .

BTW I'm very opened to using a zoom solution over an a-lens (at least at my price point).

Some other info
1) Room will be 100% light controlled
2) Room will be painted with dark matt colors.
4) Room is 26ft deep and 22ft wide.
5) My speakers take up 3ft of depth, so if I go with an AT i will have less than 23ft of throw distance. Skipping the AT screen & CC will mean I have less than 28ft.
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post #2 of 18 Old 10-19-2010, 12:09 PM - Thread Starter
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No takers?

Well I guess what I really need to know is

(1) How do I calculate if my image is going to be bright enough?
(2) What PJ's support easy zooming for 2:35?
(3) Are any of these brighter than the panny ae4000?
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post #3 of 18 Old 10-19-2010, 01:54 PM
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This area doesn't get a lot of traffic...it's a niche of the hobby. If you look at the last thread on the front page, you can see that there is not a lot of posting vs the speakers forum per se'. So be patient and give it a week or so....it's not as if you thread will not be seen on the front page during that time.

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post #4 of 18 Old 10-19-2010, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve71 View Post

No takers?

Well I guess what I really need to know is

(1) How do I calculate if my image is going to be bright enough?

You take Lumens (real/calibrated not the specifications) divide by the area of the projected image (screen size*), and multiply by screen gain.

I put a * by screen size because when zooming for scope you need go divide by the size of the projected area, including the area projected off the screen.

So for example, if you have a 1000 Lumen projector, a 100 square foot screen that's 1.6 gain, you get:
1000Lumens/100sqft*1.6=16ftL.

The DCI recommendation for brightness is (IIRC) 16ftL, but generally 12-16 ftL is recommended (some like more, some are OK with less).

An AE4000, according to Cine4home's test is somewhere 450-600 Lumens calibrated (depending on lamp mode and zoom). If we assume 600, and 12 ft wide scope screen:

12ft * 12ft/1.78 = 81sqft (remember have to account for the whole zoomed image)

600L / 81sqft = 7.5 ftL

To get to 16ftL, you'd need about a 2x gain screen (can a DIY do that?). But you'll also want to consider light loss over time.

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(2) What PJ's support easy zooming for 2:35?

The new Epson's have lens memory, so they're equally easy, but any projector with at least 1.33x zoom is doable, like the JVCs.

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do, see movies the way they were meant to be seen
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post #5 of 18 Old 10-19-2010, 02:29 PM
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1) There are various online calculators available. http://www.projectorcentral.com/proj...ulator-pro.cfm is a good one that I've used.
2) The panny is your best option for zoom-based 2.35:1. However, a $2k projector + anamorphic lens can still fit in your budget if you use a cheap screen material (black out cloth, paint, etc.).
3) I have a LG CF181D which is bright for its price point. http://www.projectorreviews.com/lg/cf181d/index.php is a good review covering the details. I use it in a room with some ambient light & a 10ft wide screen and am pleased. 12' in a dark room with a 1.3 gain screen is doable if you don't require an ultra-bright presentation.
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post #6 of 18 Old 10-19-2010, 02:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rboster View Post

This area doesn't get a lot of traffic...it's a niche of the hobby. If you look at the last thread on the front page, you can see that there is not a lot of posting vs the speakers forum per se'. So be patient and give it a week or so....it's not as if you thread will not be seen on the front page during that time.

Sorry, I didn't' mean to come off pushy, I was just clarifying my post...
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post #7 of 18 Old 10-19-2010, 02:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

To get to 16ftL, you'd need about a 2x gain screen (can a DIY do that?). But you'll also want to consider light loss over time.

Thanks for the calculations!

I *think* 2x gain is possible with a painted screen, but I really want to do an AT screen. I have no idea if that amount of gain is possible with an AT screen DIY or not.
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post #8 of 18 Old 10-19-2010, 02:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg_R View Post

1) There are various online calculators available. http://www.projectorcentral.com/proj...ulator-pro.cfm is a good one that I've used.
2) The panny is your best option for zoom-based 2.35:1. However, a $2k projector + anamorphic lens can still fit in your budget if you use a cheap screen material (black out cloth, paint, etc.).
3) I have a LG CF181D which is bright for its price point. http://www.projectorreviews.com/lg/cf181d/index.php is a good review covering the details. I use it in a room with some ambient light & a 10ft wide screen and am pleased. 12' in a dark room with a 1.3 gain screen is doable if you don't require an ultra-bright presentation.

Thanks for the links and I'll look into the LG you mentioned, but it does seem like it's going to be borderline if the screen ends up on the larger side.

How much should I budget for a good A-lens? Is it easy to pick up a used one?
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post #9 of 18 Old 10-20-2010, 06:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve71 View Post

How much should I budget for a good A-lens? Is it easy to pick up a used one?

There are a number of new lens coming out in the late fall/early winter...they seem to fall into the higher price bracket of $3k-$10K....but all are cylindrical based designs vs the prism design. I would imagine (myself included) will be selling their used prism lens to step up to higher price (and hopefully performance design). I would bet Nov-Jan you'll find some good prices on used lens. The great thing about a used lens is that 99% are mounted and hardly ever touched again...so performance should be the same in new vs used.

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post #10 of 18 Old 10-20-2010, 06:40 AM
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Or the B-stock HD5000-R's AVS is selling are a great value. I got one and love it.

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do, see movies the way they were meant to be seen
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post #11 of 18 Old 10-20-2010, 07:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

Or the B-stock HD5000-R's AVS is selling are a great value. I got one and love it.

stanger89,

I have sent you a PM!

...Glenn
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post #12 of 18 Old 10-20-2010, 09:45 AM
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I was about to suggest AVS as well. $2k should get you an excellent anamorphic lens solution. In other words, budget $2k PJ, $2k lens, $1k screen. There are DIY acoustically transparent solutions that do an excellent job. Given your budget, you will have to do DIY if you want an AT screen (14' wide 2.35:1 options are not cheap).

Take a look at the new Epson & JVC PJs (along with the LG I mentioned earlier) and compare the -calibrated- light output. You will also need to think about how gray you want your blacks. The LG (and others) can be a light cannon but you will be giving up black levels. For me in my non-optimal room I do not care about black levels (ambient light washes it out anyway). For you in your cave the tradeoffs will be different (i.e. slightly dimmer presentation is OK if you get better black levels, etc.).
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post #13 of 18 Old 10-20-2010, 09:49 AM
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Here is the price post regarding the lens that stanger89 mentioned: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1270944
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post #14 of 18 Old 10-20-2010, 10:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply's guys, I'm going to check out the suggestions and will report back tonight.
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post #15 of 18 Old 10-20-2010, 05:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rboster View Post

There are a number of new lens coming out in the late fall/early winter...they seem to fall into the higher price bracket of $3k-$10K....but all are cylindrical based designs vs the prism design. I would imagine (myself included) will be selling their used prism lens to step up to higher price (and hopefully performance design). I would bet Nov-Jan you'll find some good prices on used lens. The great thing about a used lens is that 99% are mounted and hardly ever touched again...so performance should be the same in new vs used.

Ron

Thanks for the tip! That will be around the time I'll be looking. What's the market like for used lenses? I'd imagine they hold their value reasonably well, so should I expect to pay about 60-70% of street price?

Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

Or the B-stock HD5000-R's AVS is selling are a great value. I got one and love it.

I checked out their site and I see they also have the B-stock manual lens for a pretty attractive price. I'll have to do some reading up on them.
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post #16 of 18 Old 10-20-2010, 05:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg_R View Post

I was about to suggest AVS as well. $2k should get you an excellent anamorphic lens solution. In other words, budget $2k PJ, $2k lens, $1k screen. There are DIY acoustically transparent solutions that do an excellent job. Given your budget, you will have to do DIY if you want an AT screen (14' wide 2.35:1 options are not cheap).

Take a look at the new Epson & JVC PJs (along with the LG I mentioned earlier) and compare the -calibrated- light output. You will also need to think about how gray you want your blacks. The LG (and others) can be a light cannon but you will be giving up black levels. For me in my non-optimal room I do not care about black levels (ambient light washes it out anyway). For you in your cave the tradeoffs will be different (i.e. slightly dimmer presentation is OK if you get better black levels, etc.).

I played about with the projector central calculator and the suggested LG CF181D (1800 ANSI lumens) looks like it needs a screen gain of almost 2.0 to get the requisite brightness on a 14' wide scope screen.

But that's using the manufactures specified 1800 ansi lumens. So once calibrated that number will drop to about 1/2 right?

So unless I'm missing something I need a PJ with around 1800 ansi lumens once calibrated. Sounds expensive .

Any suggestions? I didn't see anything that bright from Epson's home line.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg_R View Post

There are DIY acoustically transparent solutions that do an excellent job. Given your budget, you will have to do DIY if you want an AT screen (14' wide 2.35:1 options are not cheap).

I'll be DIY'ing the screen for sure, but is a gain of 2 realistic for an AT screen at a reasonable cost? Any suggestions for fabric?
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post #17 of 18 Old 10-20-2010, 05:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve71 View Post

I checked out their site and I see they also have the B-stock manual lens for a pretty attractive price. I'll have to do some reading up on them.

Actually (unless something changed) it's the "R", the remote version.

Quote:
Originally Posted by steve71 View Post

But that's using the manufactures specified 1800 ansi lumens. So once calibrated that number will drop to about 1/2 right?

Not really, well in theory it would be, but there's no telling what brightness PJC uses, you've got to do the math to figure it out. If I did it right 75"*133"/144sqin @ 10ftL (just a random, easy size/ftL), they must be figuring about 700 Lumens.

Quote:


So unless I'm missing something I need a PJ with around 1800 ansi lumens once calibrated. Sounds expensive .

Bright, quality projectors are.

Quote:


I'll be DIY'ing the screen for sure, but is a gain of 2 realistic for an AT screen at a reasonable cost? Any suggestions for fabric?

I don't think it's realistic period. I think about the brightest/highest gain material you can get is the SMX or SeymoreAV stuff, which is spec'd at 1.16x. I think most fabrics are less than that. You might be able to get more with a perf/microperf, but I have no idea how you DIY one of those.

I may be way off, but I don't think you can really "DIY" AT screen material, you've got to start out with an AT material, and I think most don't really take pigment/paint/coating well.

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post #18 of 18 Old 10-21-2010, 08:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

Actually (unless something changed) it's the "R", the remote version.

This link shows both the M and the R version as discounted B stock.

http://www.prismasonic.com/account/order_form.php

Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

Not really, well in theory it would be, but there's no telling what brightness PJC uses, you've got to do the math to figure it out. If I did it right 75"*133"/144sqin @ 10ftL (just a random, easy size/ftL), they must be figuring about 700 Lumens.

OK, first I must apologize to you as you detailed all I needed to know to calculate PJ brightness in your first post. I just got distracted with the pretty animated sliders at PJC.

So doing the math with a 14' wide screen and a PJ brightness of 1800 lumens

Total area (in sq ft) = 14ft x 6ft = 84sqft.

Brightness = (1800/84) * 1.0 (gain) = 21.42

--------------------------------------------

Now if we consider calibrated lumens of 900

Brightness = (900/84) * 1.0 = 10.7

-------------------------------------------

So if I want 16ftl I need a gain of 1.4 and a gain of 1.12 for 12ftl.

This seem pretty achievable with something like the previously mentioned LG CF181D which is around $2K.

Now I just need to check out AT screen material that will give me gain in that range.

But should I expect that the 900 calibrated lumen will be more like 500 after the bulb starts to dim? In that case I'm back to needing a screen with a gain of 2.0 or a really freaking bright PJ.

BTW these calculations are based on using a a-lens.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

Bright, quality projectors are.

Yes, no point going big with the screen if I have to give up significant quality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

I don't think it's realistic period. I think about the brightest/highest gain material you can get is the SMX or SeymoreAV stuff, which is spec'd at 1.16x. I think most fabrics are less than that. You might be able to get more with a perf/microperf, but I have no idea how you DIY one of those.

I may be way off, but I don't think you can really "DIY" AT screen material, you've got to start out with an AT material, and I think most don't really take pigment/paint/coating well.

Stewart is supposed to have a AT screen material with a gain of 2, but I haven't inquired about cost etc.

BTW my definition of DIY screen seems to differ with that of AVS .

I could care less if I use a "DIY" non screen material or commercial offerings. It's all DIY to me as I'll be making the frame and installing the fabric etc.
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