Projector / Lense advice for my 2:35 setup - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 37 Old 03-03-2012, 02:03 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm a long time lurker who has been waiting years for a home theater, and thanks to a fairly recent home purchase it's finally going to happen. I'm going with a 2:35 screen and will be viewing almost entirely 2:35 content with some 16:9 (mostly TV series I would expect). No 3D content whatsoever.

Here is a rough sketchup of my proposed screen and seating setup:


The screen will be a drop down due to that wall being double glass doors and two windows opening up to a pool area. (Lighting control will be for another thread)

For this type of screen / seating layout what type of projectors should I be looking at? I have less than $4K budget for the projector. As I understand if you use the zoom method there will be light spilling on the top and bottom, but I'm not sure how noticeable that would be. I'm hoping that there is a PJ that doesn't spill light but I don't think it exists.

If the light spill issue isn't workable, then I believe I will be looking at some anamorphic lenses.

So far some PJs I've read about are the Panasonic AE7000, JVC X30, etc. but they all have 3D which I will never use.

I just want the screen to look as good/bright as my 40" LED TV, just a little bigger.
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post #2 of 37 Old 03-03-2012, 06:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TyKelowna View Post

I'm a long time lurker who has been waiting years for a home theater, and thanks to a fairly recent home purchase it's finally going to happen. I'm going with a 2:35 screen and will be viewing almost entirely 2:35 content with some 16:9 (mostly TV series I would expect). No 3D content whatsoever.

First off, welcome to the forum You have come to the right place.

For this type of screen / seating layout what type of projectors should I be looking at? I have less than $4K budget for the projector. As I understand if you use the zoom method there will be light spilling on the top and bottom, but I'm not sure how noticeable that would be. I'm hoping that there is a PJ that doesn't spill light but I don't think it exists.[/quote]

It does, but not for $4K [try about 12x that].

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If the light spill issue isn't workable, then I believe I will be looking at some anamorphic lenses.

Those that zoom claim that the light spill does not both them. Back in 2005, I used to zoom and it never bothered me either. What I don't like about zooming is throwing 25% of the vertical projector rez off the screen.
Does this $4K have to cover both the projector and the A-Lens?

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So far some PJs I've read about are the Panasonic AE7000, JVC X30, etc. but they all have 3D which I will never use.

3D on the big screen is actually quite good and fun. If you don't want it, don't use it. Most projectors will support 3D.

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I just want the screen to look as good/bright as my 40" LED TV, just a little bigger.

Projection systems will not look at bright as a direct view because of the size of the image, but you can get an awesome looking image from even 'entry level' projectors these days.

Mark Techer

I love my Constant Image Height system!
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post #3 of 37 Old 03-03-2012, 09:30 PM
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I have a 52" led in the livrm and a 42" in the bedroom.
Even though they are brighter,you can't beat a big screen especially for movies.
I have 118" cinemascope screen and I really like it,better than any TV for movie watching
for me any way.
The big screen draws you in alot more.I wouldn't be without it now.
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post #4 of 37 Old 03-07-2012, 07:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the welcome!

In terms of the projector / lens budget I guess it's going to have to be variable. I guess my range will be around $3500-$6500 depending on if I go with an A-Lens or not.

If the difference from zoom to A-lense is only marginal, I'm not all that interested in doubling the cost. I have seen some images of people using the zoom method and I can't even see black bars projected, but obviously this might be different in person.
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post #5 of 37 Old 03-07-2012, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TyKelowna View Post

If the difference from zoom to A-lense is only marginal, I'm not all that interested in doubling the cost.

And a fair statement too. I just got off the phone to my local JVC rep who was all exited about the new projectors with lens memory for an auto Scope. It was not until we talked actual pixels that he got it. Because with a projector like X30 (X70, X90), the blacks are so black that you probably won't see the light spill. However the fact remains that there is now just 810 (approx) vertical pixels on screen for Scope. Using an A-Lens is the only way to get 1080 on screen for Scope.

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I have seen some images of people using the zoom method and I can't even see black bars projected, but obviously this might be different in person.

I have made several attempts to capture the difference with a camera and the eye sees things a camera can not. The key issue I wanted to capture was pixels density because we are talking over 2M pixels with an A-Lens Vs 1.5M with zooming. The camera does not pick that up and of course looking at these images on a small PC monitor in no way reflects the actual image on screen.

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post #6 of 37 Old 03-08-2012, 01:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVX View Post

And a fair statement too. I just got off the phone to my local JVC rep who was all exited about the new projectors with lens memory for an auto Scope. It was not until we talked actual pixels that he got it.

I wonder if he really got it, because most people seem to confuse actual resolution with increased number of pixels. No matter what solution you make a scope bluray is only about 810 pixels in height. You dont gain any resolution with more pixels, you do diminish the screendoor effect with more pixels, but the screendoor is effected by projection technology and not just by zoom/lens issue.

The other issue is of course brightness and that is of course also dependent on projection technology.

The number of pixels is not intresting on its own, as long as BD is the source, but the entire solution (room+projector+lens+screen+seating distance).
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post #7 of 37 Old 03-08-2012, 02:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MovieSwede View Post

I wonder if he really got it, because most people seem to confuse actual resolution with increased number of pixels. No matter what solution you make a scope bluray is only about 810 pixels in height.

The source maybe 810, but on screen there is an image made up of 1920 x 1080. The only time source rez should be of concern is someone looking to map 1:1 as I do with test patterns for calibration.


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The number of pixels is not intresting on its own, as long as BD is the source, but the entire solution (room+projector+lens+screen+seating distance).

Yes and because when the source is from DVD (480/576) it looks quite bad on a 1080 projector. Whilst I am quite happy to sit at 2x the image height for BD, I can't bring myself to watch DVD at the same distance.

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post #8 of 37 Old 03-08-2012, 05:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVX View Post

The source maybe 810, but on screen there is an image made up of 1920 x 1080. The only time source rez should be of concern is someone looking to map 1:1 as I do with test patterns for calibration.

Its just upscaling, but since the source resolution is so high, the resolution loss upscaling creates is harder to detect.

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Yes and because when the source is from DVD (480/576) it looks quite bad on a 1080 projector. Whilst I am quite happy to sit at 2x the image height for BD, I can't bring myself to watch DVD at the same distance.

While DVD has bad resolution, its not the biggest problem. DVD has huge problem with chroma and compression. You can always make a test and project a BD with a 480P signal. While its certainly looks worse then 1080P it looks alot better then DVD.
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post #9 of 37 Old 03-08-2012, 08:20 AM
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TyKelowna, all excellent advice here on considerations for you so far. Although I agree wholeheartedly with what they have said, any time you call up the main or pop-up menu, the image will be all over your wall with the zoom method. A lot of folks are okay with that, but how that affects you will depend on how much you value your experience staying within your screen. When the room darkens and the screen comes to life within the borders of your screen, the room and experience transforms a bit. When I need that menu, and the borders are "broken," it really bugs me...but that's just me. I'd rather have a macro programmed to change the v-stretch scaling for a moment to let me see the menu.

So, what I'm getting at is that an A-lens has "experience" benefits and convenience benefits. I like to leave the A-lens in place and scale for everything. Going with an A-lens also provides the benefit of not necessarily being chained to a JVC for it's great black levels for the overspill area (although there is much to like about the JVCs for 2D). It might open consideration of other projectors such as the Epson 5010 or 6010...off the top of my head, considering your budget.

What is your throw ratio/range? If it is 1.8 or greater, you might consider a combo of a JVC or Epson projector with the Panamorph FVX200 VC lens. It is very good for a prism lens and their most affordable.

Regarding brightness comparisions to direct view screens, I have the theory that with a large projection screen in a reasonably light-controlled room there is a perception phenomenon that the screen is brighter than it "really" is because it occupies so much more of your field of vision; there's a pretty good amount of light coming at you from a big area that says (to me) "bright." Just a theory.

One last thought, you might want to consider an ambient light rejecting screen such as SI Black Diamond or similar due to the proximity of your boundaries.

What say you, guys?
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post #10 of 37 Old 03-08-2012, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TyKelowna View Post

In terms of the projector / lens budget I guess it's going to have to be variable. I guess my range will be around $3500-$6500 depending on if I go with an A-Lens or not.

If the difference from zoom to A-lense is only marginal, I'm not all that interested in doubling the cost. I have seen some images of people using the zoom method and I can't even see black bars projected, but obviously this might be different in person.

That's the dilemma people with a low budget (I'll arbitrarily define your budget as low) face; what's the most efficient way to use my limited funds:

A) Should I get a $6500 projector with no lens? Will the benefit from an expensive projector outweigh the disadvantages of larger pixels and lower brightness?

B) Should I get a $1500 projector and $5000 lens? Will the benefit from an expensive lens outweigh the disadvantages of a cheaper projector?

C) Should I get a $5500 projector and $1000 lens? Split the difference - is this the sweet spot?

I'm curious what option people would chose and why.

If it were me, I'd opt for secret option D) $3000 projector, no lens, and $3000 Nikon D800 (or $3500 Canon 5DMKIII if you're into that system) DSLR
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post #11 of 37 Old 03-08-2012, 11:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cam Man View Post

any time you call up the main or pop-up menu, the image will be all over your wall with the zoom method. A lot of folks are okay with that, but how that affects you will depend on how much you value your experience staying within your screen. When the room darkens and the screen comes to life within the borders of your screen, the room and experience transforms a bit. When I need that menu, and the borders are "broken," it really bugs me...but that's just me. I'd rather have a macro programmed to change the v-stretch scaling for a moment to let me see the menu.

That's something that I did not think of, but I imagine I would have an aspect button programmed to change back to 16:9 if required.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cam Man View Post

So, what I'm getting at is that an A-lens has "experience" benefits and convenience benefits. I like to leave the A-lens in place and scale for everything. Going with an A-lens also provides the benefit of not necessarily being chained to a JVC for it's great black levels for the overspill area (although there is much to like about the JVCs for 2D). It might open consideration of other projectors such as the Epson 5010 or 6010...off the top of my head, considering your budget.

I see some convenience with the A-lens, but also an additional level of cost, complications, setup, and maintenance. If I've got my head around the A-Lens correctly I'm going to gain about 33% more pixels, and hence about 33% brightness which is an important factor. In addition it's fitting all on the 2.35 screen without projecting the black onto the walls or curtains.

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Originally Posted by Cam Man View Post

What is your throw ratio/range? If it is 1.8 or greater, you might consider a combo of a JVC or Epson projector with the Panamorph FVX200 VC lens. It is very good for a prism lens and their most affordable.

That's yet to be determined, and I have some reading to do on the throw ratio. But the room is 25 feet long and I can mount the projector pretty much anywhere. I am leaning towards the JVC DLA-X30 with or without a lens for the blacks and 2D quality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cam Man View Post

Regarding brightness comparisions to direct view screens, I have the theory that with a large projection screen in a reasonably light-controlled room there is a perception phenomenon that the screen is brighter than it "really" is because it occupies so much more of your field of vision; there's a pretty good amount of light coming at you from a big area that says (to me) "bright." Just a theory.

One last thought, you might want to consider an ambient light rejecting screen such as SI Black Diamond or similar due to the proximity of your boundaries.

What say you, guys?

I'm going to agree with your theory. Using my ipad/iphone on max brightness during the the day is bright, but in the dark I can have it turned down to about 1/2 or less for the same effect. I believe our eyes adjust and brightness is probably perceived compared to ambient light.... but I'm just speculating.

I'm going for a light controlled room which is going to be a challenge, but that's for another thread.
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post #12 of 37 Old 03-08-2012, 11:20 AM
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The JVC may push the pj/fvx200 combo over the budget a bit...based on MSRP, but you will probably come under or very near based on real-world pricing.

The FVX200 is not heard of that much because few rooms have as much depth/length at yours. I've used it in several of the dedicated theaters I've designed. Another nice thing about it is that in the long throw scenario, it keeps the zoom lens in a wider focal length so there is less light loss. The only limitation would be using a curved screen.
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post #13 of 37 Old 03-08-2012, 11:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cam Man View Post

The JVC may push the pj/fvx200 combo over the budget a bit...based on MSRP, but you will probably come under or very near based on real-world pricing.

The FVX200 is not heard of that much because few rooms have as much depth/length at yours. I've used it in several of the dedicated theaters I've designed. Another nice thing about it is that in the long throw scenario, it keeps the zoom lens in a wider focal length so there is less light loss. The only
limitation would be using a curved screen.

Here's the room:


(Just playing with some old furniture for seating positions for now)

I've got about 25' to work with in the main area. A curved screen is out as it's going to have to be drop down. Unfortunately this can't be a truly dedicated theater as the doors open up to pool area that is high traffic in the summer.
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post #14 of 37 Old 03-08-2012, 11:40 AM
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There is another option that could be worth thinking about. Since you getting a dropdown screen, nothing prevents you from moving the screen closer to the seats and as a result you can get the same viewing area on a smaller screen but with increased brightness a side effect.
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post #15 of 37 Old 03-08-2012, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MovieSwede View Post

There is another option that could be worth thinking about. Since you getting a dropdown screen, nothing prevents you from moving the screen closer to the seats and as a result you can get the same viewing area on a smaller screen but with increased brightness a side effect.

Good idea and has acoustic advantages. I typically don't care for in-ceiling LCR speakers, but this could be a scenario where they would work. If the screen was a bit away from the wall with the top of the image somewhere near the height of the door/windows or a little higher, in-ceiling LCRs (like the Klipsch KL-7502-THX) might be a good choice. I've never been in a situation where I could use them at LCRs, but have used them as back surrounds and also the KS-7502-THX surrounds in-ceiling. I don't think that the width of your room is nominal for in ceiling surround speakers, though.
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post #16 of 37 Old 03-08-2012, 03:11 PM - Thread Starter
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CamMan -- I'm planning on floor standing speakers for the two fronts, and then having the center channel mounted just above the doors and aimed at the first seat. (That's what an Axiom rep suggested to me a while back).

I realize this is personal preference here, but I thought that sweet spot should be around 3x seating distance from the screen height for the best viewing experience? With 2-4 being an acceptable range. When I do go to the movies I like to sit fairly close to the annoyance of my wife.
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post #17 of 37 Old 03-08-2012, 03:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MovieSwede View Post

There is another option that could be worth thinking about. Since you getting a dropdown screen, nothing prevents you from moving the screen closer to the seats and as a result you can get the same viewing area on a smaller screen but with increased brightness a side effect.

I could also get an acoustically transparent screen and make it nearly the full width of the room. Right now the current design allows for some floor standings speakers on the sides.
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post #18 of 37 Old 03-08-2012, 04:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TyKelowna View Post

I could also get an acoustically transparent screen and make it nearly the full width of the room. Right now the current design allows for some floor standings speakers on the sides.

Well, it seems like a room with a lot of potential, despite it being a little unconventional due to the door and windows.

Are you saying that the L/R speakers are considerably lower than the center? If so, you will experience "rollercoaster" screen pans rather than smooth screen pans; generally something to be avoided, if possible.
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post #19 of 37 Old 03-08-2012, 05:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cam Man View Post

Well, it seems like a room with a lot of potential, despite it being a little unconventional due to the door and windows.

Are you saying that the L/R speakers are considerably lower than the center? If so, you will experience "rollercoaster" screen pans rather than smooth screen pans; generally something to be avoided, if possible.

I agree with Cam Man. Given the doors, I would be getting 3 smaller LCRs and mount them all above the door height aimed down. Having had my LCRs at the same height since 1999(?), I now find a raised centre very distracting.

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post #20 of 37 Old 03-08-2012, 05:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Cam - I'm not sure if I have much of a choice.

Ceiling mounted speakers are going to be nearly as good as some nice tall floor standing units. I can't exactly put the center channel on the ground on a stand, my wife would kill me. So it has to go above the door and aimed at the front seats. It's not an ideal situation, but either is my room that I'm working with unfortunately. (The next house will have a dedicated theater room under the garage slab)
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post #21 of 37 Old 03-08-2012, 11:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TyKelowna View Post

Ceiling mounted speakers are going to be nearly as good as some nice tall floor standing units. I can't exactly put the center channel on the ground on a stand, my wife would kill me.

Almost the same problem I have. The center cant be mounted in an acceptable way in the current setup, so I dropped it. LR has to fill its spot. And to be honest I havnt missed it that much.
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post #22 of 37 Old 03-10-2012, 06:51 AM
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And to be honest I havnt missed it that much.

Which is fine so long as you never sit off axis. Centre is the MOST important out of the whole array IMO and no way could I live without mine.

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post #23 of 37 Old 03-12-2012, 12:56 PM
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If the screen is drop down anyway, can you flip the room facing the other way with the pool door in the rear? It isn't clear from your pic just how much of the current rear wall there is.

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post #24 of 37 Old 03-13-2012, 06:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Bigus - if you look at the 3d rendering in my first post it will give you a better idea. I had thought about that, but I think the room would look a little funny like that. The current layout is probably the "least worst of", and makes the best use of space for theater chairs + additional furniture. (not pictured)
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post #25 of 37 Old 03-14-2012, 01:40 AM
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Could you not make a 90 degree turn of your hometheater with a black curtain to seal the room of?
LL
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post #26 of 37 Old 03-14-2012, 05:10 AM
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Could you not make a 90 degree turn of your hometheater with a black curtain to seal the room of?

The idea to turn the room might work if he had the width, but I don't think he does given what we can see in the photo above. The recess just does not look deep enough to do that.

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post #27 of 37 Old 03-14-2012, 05:13 AM
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Quote:
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The idea to turn the room might work if he had the width, but I don't think he does given what we can see in the photo above. The recess just does not look deep enough to do that.

The benefit is that he could use a framed screen, and if he just gets the right size/distance ratio it could be a better solution.
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post #28 of 37 Old 03-14-2012, 05:03 PM
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The benefit is that he could use a framed screen, and if he just gets the right size/distance ratio it could be a better solution.

I agree with what your saying. It is just that from the photo of the room, there appears not to be allot of depth (width), so he is either facing having a really small screen, or he sits 2x the image height on a medium sized screen. Finding the right projector could be an issue as well as it is a short throw. If he wants to add an A-Lens, it further complicates the matter. Although having said that, the A-lens will provide him 33% wider images at what ever height he can get to work.

I did this something similar in 2008 when my AT screen was in storage. The screen was small and most would have not bothered, but I wanted my CIH system up and running and made a few compromises that worked out OK for the time.

Mark Techer

I love my Constant Image Height system!
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post #29 of 37 Old 03-19-2012, 09:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestion. I just don't have the depth to go across, and there is also doors on the right hand wall currently, with two more being added due to a renovation. I have the JVC coming hopefully this week, so I will get to experiment with some screen sizes and seat positioning.
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post #30 of 37 Old 03-20-2012, 01:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TyKelowna View Post

Thanks for the suggestion. I just don't have the depth to go across, and there is also doors on the right hand wall currently, with two more being added due to a renovation. I have the JVC coming hopefully this week, so I will get to experiment with some screen sizes and seat positioning.

Remember you have about 2x zoom with that unit so you should be able to get a pretty decent sized image even if you did shoot across the room.

Mark Techer

I love my Constant Image Height system!
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