My projector image stinks compared to new lcd tv - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 13 Old Yesterday, 05:38 PM - Thread Starter
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My projector image stinks compared to new lcd tv

I have a Epson 3020 projector hanging from ceiling over theater chairs 14' from 85" diagonal white chinese screen ($450 2 years ago). I was completely happy with this until I bought a 32" Samsung LCD 2015 smart tv (?h series) for $360 from Best Buy. This little TV blows my projector out of the water. It is not even close. Projector seems out of focus, but I checked 3 times. Im seeing all kinds of definition on little TV that I cant see with projector, and now dont ever want to go to home theater with projector, but instead stay in kitchen with little TV. What the heck!

Im guessing maybe a new screen is in order? Or do projectors just not have the definition of newer flat panels? My projector is bright but image is out of focus appearing. What do you recommend? I will pull the projector and put in 85" LCD flat panel if that is only way to get same quality image.
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post #2 of 13 Old Yesterday, 05:49 PM
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What content did you use to judge sharpness?
I'd first try to confirm the problem using a test image.
For example use the Basic Settings -> Sharpness & Overscan test pattern from this: AVS HD 709 - Blu-ray & MP4 Calibration

I have no experience with the 3020, but a google search on epson 3020 sharpness came up with this, indicating that it's somewhat difficult to adjust sharpness on: http://www.projectorcentral.com/epso...ge=Performance
I'd first try to see if you can adjust the focus using the above mentioned test pattern to see if it's set correctly.

I recently bought a BenQ w1070, which is in a lower price class and I'd call it razor sharp, so I imagine the 3020 should have no problem either.
Granted, I'm probably not the best judge and I don't have an LCD flat panel.

Last edited by ESPNSTI; Yesterday at 05:55 PM.
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post #3 of 13 Old Yesterday, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ESPNSTI View Post
I recently bought a BenQ w1070, which is in a lower price class and I'd call it razor sharp, so I imagine the 3020 should have no problem either.
Granted, I'm probably not the best judge and I don't have an LCD flat panel.
It's very difficult to compare sharpness in a meaningful way, when the sizes are different. Even for the same technology, a 20" 1080p LCD TV will look "sharper" than a 60" 1080p LCD TV, everything else being the same.
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post #4 of 13 Old Yesterday, 07:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dominic Chan View Post
It's very difficult to compare sharpness in a meaningful way, when the sizes are different. Even for the same technology, a 20" 1080p LCD TV will look "sharper" than a 60" 1080p LCD TV, everything else being the same.
Interesting, I did not realize that.
Is that because the pixels per inch is higher on a smaller screen, or does that have more to do with viewing distance?
Or does "everything else being the same" include distance as well.
Does sharpness have anything to do with being able to fully resolve a resolution?
I was just trying to think about what moving closer or farther away does to sharpness, but I mostly managed to confuse myself.
When I walk up to the screen, I "think" things appear less sharp than when I walk back to the viewing position.
Also I'm obviously able to more easily see individual pixels when moving closer as opposed to farther.

BTW 14' for 85" seems like a long way away for that screen size to me, that's all the way zoomed out on that projector.
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post #5 of 13 Unread Yesterday, 10:09 PM - Thread Starter
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OK. I apoligize. I was working when I wrote my original thread, and posted from memory, and now that I am home I see I got some of the info wrong. The projector is the Epson 5020UB. The screen is bigger than I said, at 100" diagonal. I have focused it as good as will get. The lens looks like it has fog on it, this may be the problem, or just that many lumens going through coated glass, dunno. Also, read elsewhere that the fact that the projector is mounted on the ceiling and I have to do keystone correction affects sharpness. Perhaps my cheap chinese screen is the problem (and why I posted in the screens forum). I turned sharpness all the way up, but could not tell a change.

I tried to clean the small to moderate dust on the lens with camera lens paper, but no significant improvement, the paper leaves as much dust as it removes. Also, the blower tool doesn't seem to be able to overcome the apparent static that keeps dust on the lens.

I changed the color setting from THX to "living room" and this seemed to make a brighter more vivid picture, improved from previous.

What I really notice, is when watching people on Comcast cable, Fox news anchors on FOXHD for example, my new LED TV shows all sorts of skin blemishes I never noticed before. And they are obvious. Freckles, wrinkles, skin roughness, age spots, etc. When I go to the projector, not obvious, like everything airbrushed. Also, on xbox and ps4 the games are just not nearly as crisp.

I was sure initially it was the screen, was ready to plop down some money on a Stewart Firehawk screen, but now not so sure.

One other thing that has really been bugging me about this screen is that I always have 3" of unused screen on either side, after adjusting it to go from top to bottom perfectly. I assumed that it was because the chinese couldn't measure, and the screen wasn't really 9x5. BUT, now I measured it and it really is 9x5 (48.5 tall, 87 wide). Now why the heck is my image too narrow? And how do I fix?
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post #6 of 13 Unread Yesterday, 11:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stinkyonion View Post
Also, read elsewhere that the fact that the projector is mounted on the ceiling and I have to do keystone correction affects sharpness.
Keystone is generally frowned upon I think as it affects image quality.
Ceiling mounted should not mean you have to use keystone.
I have mine more or less ceiling mounted (I have it inverted on a high shelf almost at ceiling height), and I use zero keystone.
Now you might need lens shift, but mostly only vertical.
Take a look at this, at least the part where it talks about roll, pitch, yaw and lens shift :
http://www.audioholics.com/projector...n-home-theater
I'd first check that your projector is centered horizontally relative to the screen and that it is level.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stinkyonion View Post
One other thing that has really been bugging me about this screen is that I always have 3" of unused screen on either side, after adjusting it to go from top to bottom perfectly. I assumed that it was because the chinese couldn't measure, and the screen wasn't really 9x5. BUT, now I measured it and it really is 9x5 (48.5 tall, 87 wide). Now why the heck is my image too narrow? And how do I fix?
That seems strange to me, as that would make it not a 16:9 aspect ratio, I'm not sure how you get that unless there is something that lets you independently adjust width from height (extreme keystone correction maybe?).
I'd consider resetting the projector (see page 53). Don't reset the lamp hours though.
https://files.support.epson.com/pdf/...plhc52ubug.pdf

Regarding the sharpness issue, I'd check online for pictures of the 5020UB to compare against what you are seeing on yours to get some idea of if yours is wildly off or not, for example:
http://www.projectorreviews.com/epso...jector-review/
Of course this is only good for getting a rough impression, not a detailed comparison.
Now I wouldn't even bother trying to fix this until the other issues like using keystone and the 3" unused space have been corrected.
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post #7 of 13 Unread Today, 03:59 AM - Thread Starter
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With just fiddling with resolution settings and color settings was able to drastically improve definition. Now the screen has actual visible pixels on it when u go up close. Before were all blended together. Plus the brighter more vivid settings make it look better to my untrained eye though the snobs would probably cringe and refer to it as store demo settings.

I read the whole epson5030 manual. No way to increase width. Still have 3" unused vertical screen either side of image. Projector is mounted 8" above top of screen and 12" to left of center. Im guessing the lens shift and keystone correction are causing the problem. Screen is 100" VAPEX fixed frame from visual apex that i bought when first came out. Will remount today and pray.

Also still wondering if the 100" Vapex white screen is any good. It is the only one i have ever had so I dont know anything. To me seems really bright in my light controlled room, but any ambient light and image washes out fast. I blame previous owner for this because whole room painted white with cream carpeting. Really?
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post #8 of 13 Unread Today, 06:08 AM
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You have a projector with more zoom and lens shift than any other projector in the market. With proper adjustment of the mount., there should be no reason to use the digital keystone. (Which can cut your resolution in half.) The Vapex screen is fine. Turn off your keystone and adjust the mount.
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post #9 of 13 Unread Today, 06:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stinkyonion View Post
I read the whole epson5030 manual. No way to increase width. Still have 3" unused vertical screen either side of image. Projector is mounted 8" above top of screen and 12" to left of center. Im guessing the lens shift and keystone correction are causing the problem. Screen is 100" VAPEX fixed frame from visual apex that i bought when first came out. Will remount today and pray.
Lens shift should not cause any significant change in aspect ratio, whereas keystone correction will do that, and also degrade the image quality.

You do not need to remount the projector, as long as it's aimed perpendicularly to the screen. Turn off the keystone correction and adjust the angle of the projector to eliminate the geometric distortion; e.g., if the image has a trapezoidal shape with left edge taller than the right edge, aim the projector more to the right, and use the horizontal shift to re-centre the image on the screen. Same with up-down adjustment and the vertical lens shift.
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post #10 of 13 Unread Today, 06:30 AM
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You might want to try one of these:
http://www.darbeevision.com/products/darblet-dvp-5000

Did you really need to quote that entire post in your reply?
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post #11 of 13 Unread Today, 12:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Holy Cow, Batman !

All I can say is thanx guys, and wow! For 2 years have had crappy picture and didnt realize it. I used to be happy until I got the LCD flat screen which exposed how ****ty my projector was set up, but I didnt know what the problem was. The predominant problem was that the projector was turned 5 degrees right to left and tilted downward towards top third of screen. This was corrected for with keystone and lens shift, and crappily. Because of the turn, the picture focus was always a compromise. When I made it so projector was perpendicular to screen left to right and up to down, eliminated all keystone, and then used only lens shift to center picture, was like KaBAM! After refocus, every single pixel was fine dot on screen without the bleed I had before. Thanx again. I feel like I just bought a new projector and screen! And the image is now 5x9 filling the whole screen. Cant believe it took 2 years...
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post #12 of 13 Unread Today, 01:35 PM
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Congrats, that's good to hear.
Just out of curiosity, how do you think it stacks up against the LCD now?
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post #13 of 13 Unread Today, 03:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Red face

Well, obviously a 100" screen has a much more dramatic presentation than a 32" LED. But in terms of quality now it is difficult to compare. I have to get 6" from 32" LCD to see the same flaws at 2' from projector screen. They are more more comparable than previous. And given that they are in different rooms on different floors, I am running up and down the stairs to see if I see a freckle before person leaves image. It is close. Now I think it is not so much the image quality any more but the fact that one screen is drastically bigger and the other has no problem with ambient light, so they each have their place for different times. The LED probably does have a sharper image, but it is subtle, and it has 2 years more technology in it. All in all I am delighted. (I am pretty sure though, if they made an affordable and light enuf 100+" LED flat panel, few would bother with a projector. We deal with the projectors to save $$$$$$$$ for the huge size we want.)
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