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post #1 of 7 Old 05-20-2017, 09:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Interested in good quality outdoor projector recommendations

I'm setting up a semi-permanent outdoor theatre in my courtyard. Projector will be about 24'-26' from the screen. I'd like the screen to be somewhere in the 12-16' wide range (so probably diagonal of 165-190 or so).

My use is limited to after the sun goes down (I'm also considering implementing a shading system to allow me to completely enclose the entire courtyard). So, I thinking I won't have to contend with a ton of ambient light.

Could I get away with something like the Epson Home Cinema 5040UB Projector? Or do I really need more light output from the projector?

I'd really prefer a higher end/quality projector. I was originally hoping to get the Sony VPL-VW365ES but that doesn't seem realistic given the constraints of the space (too far a throw from what I can tell about the projector). I stumbled upon reviews of the 5040 which make it sound like a pretty good value but I don't know if it is bright enough.

I'm new to this and I don't want to buy something that doesn't have a good chance of working out ok.

Another way to phrase the question might be, what projector options would you consider for an outdoor theater in the < $3,000 and < $10,000 ranges, given the constraints above re: my throw distance and screen size limitations...
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post #2 of 7 Old 05-23-2017, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joef View Post
I'm setting up a semi-permanent outdoor theatre in my courtyard. Projector will be about 24'-26' from the screen. I'd like the screen to be somewhere in the 12-16' wide range (so probably diagonal of 165-190 or so).

My use is limited to after the sun goes down (I'm also considering implementing a shading system to allow me to completely enclose the entire courtyard). So, I thinking I won't have to contend with a ton of ambient light.

Could I get away with something like the Epson Home Cinema 5040UB Projector? Or do I really need more light output from the projector?

I'd really prefer a higher end/quality projector. I was originally hoping to get the Sony VPL-VW365ES but that doesn't seem realistic given the constraints of the space (too far a throw from what I can tell about the projector). I stumbled upon reviews of the 5040 which make it sound like a pretty good value but I don't know if it is bright enough.

I'm new to this and I don't want to buy something that doesn't have a good chance of working out ok.

Another way to phrase the question might be, what projector options would you consider for an outdoor theater in the < $3,000 and < $10,000 ranges, given the constraints above re: my throw distance and screen size limitations...
The 5040UB should be ok. A 12' wide 16:9 screen is 165" diagonal. Based on the data for the 5040UB at Projector Central using a 1.1 gain screen you should get 19 foot lamberts with the projector mounted at ~ 25'.

A 16' wide 16:9 screen would have a 220" diagonal measurement. The 5040UB is showing 11fL on a 1.1 gain screen and 14fL on a 1.5 gain screen for this size. The 11fL is watchable but a little dim in a dark room so you probably would want to get a screen with 1.5 gain for this size. Your throw distance would be around 30'.


http://www.projectorcentral.com/Epso...ction--pro.htm
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post #3 of 7 Old 05-23-2017, 04:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by b curry View Post
The 5040UB should be ok. A 12' wide 16:9 screen is 165" diagonal. Based on the data for the 5040UB at Projector Central using a 1.1 gain screen you should get 19 foot lamberts with the projector mounted at ~ 25'.

A 16' wide 16:9 screen would have a 220" diagonal measurement. The 5040UB is showing 11fL on a 1.1 gain screen and 14fL on a 1.5 gain screen for this size. The 11fL is watchable but a little dim in a dark room so you probably would want to get a screen with 1.5 gain for this size. Your throw distance would be around 30'.
Would something like the Epson G7905U make more sense? I see it supports different lenses that I could potentially use to push up the fl into the 30 range if necessary while still having a pretty good screen size for our seating area. I just don't have a sense of how many fl I really need. My kid is young so the earlier I can start movies the better re: his bedtime, although I guess that changes pretty quickly...

The 24-30' throw is pretty fixed; that's the range I have to work with here. The area between the screen and projector is pretty much wide open so there is some flexibility in terms of viewing distances. The only other option would be to keep the projector on a cart or something so it could be closer to the screen; I was just hoping to be able to leave it in place more or less permanently...the more work I have to do to use it, the less it will get used.

Thanks for the insights re: the 5040. I wasn't sure I was using the calculator properly but your numbers more or less matched up with what I was plugging in so I think I'm a bit more confident playing around with it now.

I still don't have a frame of reference to figure out what the brightness will be and whether I'd be satisfied. The 5040 seems like a great little machine, I'm just nervous I won't be happy with the output. I'm thinking about getting a light meter so I can get a sense of what the ambient light measures at various times/conditions.

I have one more question...I'd love to be able to watch football on Sundays out in the courtyard...pipe dream? Or can something like retractable sun shades potentially make it feasible?
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post #4 of 7 Old 05-23-2017, 06:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joef View Post
Would something like the Epson G7905U make more sense? I see it supports different lenses that I could potentially use to push up the fl into the 30 range if necessary while still having a pretty good screen size for our seating area. I just don't have a sense of how many fl I really need. My kid is young so the earlier I can start movies the better re: his bedtime, although I guess that changes pretty quickly...

The 24-30' throw is pretty fixed; that's the range I have to work with here. The area between the screen and projector is pretty much wide open so there is some flexibility in terms of viewing distances. The only other option would be to keep the projector on a cart or something so it could be closer to the screen; I was just hoping to be able to leave it in place more or less permanently...the more work I have to do to use it, the less it will get used.

Thanks for the insights re: the 5040. I wasn't sure I was using the calculator properly but your numbers more or less matched up with what I was plugging in so I think I'm a bit more confident playing around with it now.

I still don't have a frame of reference to figure out what the brightness will be and whether I'd be satisfied. The 5040 seems like a great little machine, I'm just nervous I won't be happy with the output. I'm thinking about getting a light meter so I can get a sense of what the ambient light measures at various times/conditions.

I have one more question...I'd love to be able to watch football on Sundays out in the courtyard...pipe dream? Or can something like retractable sun shades potentially make it feasible?
Well, the foot lambert is a luminance measurement and simplistically, it's a product of the screen and projector combination. So some target bench marks for you would be:

Commercial theaters - approximately 12-16 fL.
A plasma screen TV - approximately 30-40 fL.
LCD TV's - approximately 70-100 fL.

So with some ambient light you're going to want to be in at least the 30-40fL range.

What I can tell you are generalizations as I don't really know what the actual environment really is and you've said two different things; you won't use it until the sun goes down but you also want to watch Sunday football with ambient light.

If you go for the higher fL for daytime/ambient light, then it maybe too bright for night viewing. You could use a filter to reduce the output however.

In general, projectors and sunshine/ambient light don't mix too well. There are special screen materials that can help with the ambient light and combined with high lumem output projectors can over come some of the issues. Expect to pay a few thousand dollars for the best screens the size you're after with the properties you need for ambient light rejection. You can DIY for less money but the results may not be as good.

With your budget, you could go for either Epson and be ok based on the appropriate screen size for the brightness level you're after with some ambient light. And then maybe you buy a 75"-85" TV to wheel out for football if the sun is shining.

Edit: Different lenses don't "push up the fl".

Last edited by b curry; 05-24-2017 at 10:48 AM.
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post #5 of 7 Old 05-24-2017, 07:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok, I may have misunderstood the projector calculations re: lenses, but either way, from what you've said and I've read elsewhere, it just doesn't make sense to battle the light... I'll just stick to the original plan and focus this project on nighttime movies.

Looking like the 5040ube.

Thanks for your help!


Quote:
Originally Posted by b curry View Post
Well, the foot lambert is a luminance measurement and simplistically, it's a product of the screen and projector combination. So some target bench marks for you would be:



Commercial theaters - approximately 12-16 fL.

A plasma screen TV - approximately 30-40 fL.

LCD TV's - approximately 70-100 fL.



So with some ambient light you're going to want to be in at least the 30-40fL range.



What I can tell you are generalizations as I don't really know what the actual environment really is and you've said two different things; you won't use it until the sun goes down but you also want to watch Sunday football with ambient light.



If you go for the higher fL for daytime/ambient light, then it maybe too bright for night viewing. You could use a filter to reduce the output however.



In general, projectors and sunshine/ambient light don't mix too well. There are special screen materials that can help with the ambient light and combined with high lumem output projectors can over come some of the issues. Expect to pay a few thousand dollars for the best screens the size you're after with the properties you need for ambient light rejection. You can DIY for less money but the results may not be as good.



With your budget, you could go for either Epson and be ok based on the appropriate screen size for the brightness level your after with some ambient light. And then maybe you buy a 75"-85" TV to wheel out for football if the sun is shining.



Edit: Different lenses don't "push up the fl".
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post #6 of 7 Old 05-24-2017, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joef View Post
Ok, I may have misunderstood the projector calculations re: lenses, but either way, from what you've said and I've read elsewhere, it just doesn't make sense to battle the light... I'll just stick to the original plan and focus this project on nighttime movies.

Looking like the 5040ube.

Thanks for your help!
The lens and distance from the screen can have some influence on contrast and focus sharpness. You will gain a little brightness by having the projector closer to the screen but this has a limitation for a given screen size and zoom range if the lens has a zoom feature. The additional brightness that you might get is more or less de minimis.

If you keep the fL up around the 20-25 range by manipulating screen size and gain, you should be able to start the movie a little before sunset.

If you want to do a DIY screen, Carl's offer's excellent product for a great price. I would suggest the FlexiWhite finished edge. You may want to take a look at the FlexiGray material as well. It could help with the ambient light situation.

http://www.carlofet.com/

I wouldn't necessarily abandon your idea of retractable sunshades either. Depending on how you do it, it could help.
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post #7 of 7 Old 06-20-2017, 04:44 PM
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