To move the projector closer to, or further from the screen? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 28 Old 02-28-2013, 12:19 AM - Thread Starter
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So everything I've read in past years says that the closer the projector is to the screen, the brighter the image, within the throw ratio. I know the projectorcentral.com calculators always show extra brightness when the projector is moved closer. However I've recently met an installer who has done some pretty high end set ups and seems to know his stuff, he swears moving the projector further back in the throw ratio increases brightness and yeilds better focus in a room with complete light control and minimal reflective surfaces.

My projector, when throwing a 147in image can be as close as 15ft, and as far back as 30ft. According to him being back at 25ft would yeild a brighter/sharper image than if the projector were at 17ft. Is he full of it? smile.gif

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post #2 of 28 Old 02-28-2013, 12:26 AM
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Yep. He probably is a little. You will get the brightest sharpest picture through minimal use of the zoom function. Having said that, 1080p and the new 4k resolution yield such excellent results that im sure you'll be happy. I have a Mitsubishi HC6800 1080p lcd projector running through an anamorphic lens at a throw distance of about 17 feet and my 145 inch 2 35:1 image is excellent. Its a two generation old projector with a base model lens. Image is still bright clear and sharp. Unless your projector is quiet you will want it away from directly over the viewer.

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post #3 of 28 Old 02-28-2013, 01:21 AM - Thread Starter
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I have some flexability either way, which is why I want to be sure. I have the JVC RS46 by the way.

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post #4 of 28 Old 02-28-2013, 06:59 AM
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Yes.

Projectors perform better in almost everyway aTtlonger vs shorter throws; As you go longer you lose brightness or rather lumens out of the projector. This is because of the zoom lenses having a higher efffective fF stop at longer zooms. Higher in effective F stop means the image beam uses less of the glass area than it would at closer zooms. Consider it this way, at longest zoom, you have defined the point away from the screen where if you go farther you can't make the image hitting the screen small enough. This means the exit image size leaving the lens is the smallest it can be. At close throw its the largest it can be and if you moved closer you couldn't fill the screen. That means you are using more glass in the lens and you can get more light out. On the JVCs the light out at long throw might be around 60 to 65% of what you would get out a short throw. The throw ratio of the JVC is 2.0, ranging from a minimum throw of 1.4 x screen width at 1.78 aspect to 2.8 x screen width at 1.78 aspect. 2.8/1.4 = 2. This is a high throw ratio with many projectors having a ratio of about 1.33 and a correspondingly smaller loss of light out at longest throw because the longest throw isn't as long, Lens as they get lower in F stop become much more expensive, one F stop doubles the glass area needed,

ThaJVC's long ratio is not necessarily a great attribute regarding lens performance though it does provide installation flexibility and thus a larger market for its projectors. All in all the JVC lens is a ggod one. years ago its lens with the same ratio wasn't.

I would assume you misheard your installer. brightness is another word used for setting the blacks and I think what your installer meant was the contrast or blacks improved at long throw. If he really said that the image would be brighter, I would view him as being uneducated in the theory of projectors and projector set up.

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post #5 of 28 Old 02-28-2013, 10:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Well he definitly implied it would be brighter at long throw, I grilled him about it. However I think he was probably pushing long throw for the reason you mention, extra contrast. He's all about small grey screens, and likely pushes the long throw tripe to get a darker image, so a bit underhanded perhaps.

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post #6 of 28 Old 02-28-2013, 11:10 AM
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There are reasons to move a projector back as Mark put so eloquently above, but brightness is definitely not one of them. In this day and age of people wanting bigger and bigger screens, often times the importance of brightness takes a front seat. smile.gif

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post #7 of 28 Old 02-28-2013, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plissken99 View Post

Well he definitly implied it would be brighter at long throw, I grilled him about it. However I think he was probably pushing long throw for the reason you mention, extra contrast. He's all about small grey screens, and likely pushes the long throw tripe to get a darker image, so a bit underhanded perhaps.
''

With today's projectors from JVC and setting them up at longer throws there is no need for a gray screen unless there are room problems it might ameliorate such as reflective walls and extraneous light in the room. At long throw, your best bet would probably a white screen with a gain of 1.0 to 1.5. the larger the screen the higher in gain you could go.

An installer should set forth the true facts. his job involves not letting you make a mistake but he shouldn't misrepresent things in order to do it..

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post #8 of 28 Old 02-28-2013, 06:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Currently the projector lens is 17.5ft from the screen, and even when I revamp the room it'll likely stay that distance since the screen samples I'm seeing have me sticking with high power more than likely. I think some people just get these opinions in their head and start to believe that they are fact. He doesn't like grey screens to accomodate room problems, he just thinks it makes the image more contrasty.

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post #9 of 28 Old 03-01-2013, 06:53 PM
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Re HP, are you going to have the projector lens near your eye level? If not you won't get the advertised gain especially if the projector is mounted significantly higher than your eye height. There are better choices considering all thing. When evaluating small size samples, one can easily think brighter is better when in fact other things suffer with HP.Provided the recommended mounting height is complied with, I think HP is ideal for 3D given how dim 3D pictures can be on a normal gain screen. for 2D, if you don't need the light, there are much better choices with repect to sharpness or pixel bleed. That said many are happy with HP as a 2D screen but I think they have been blindedby the brighter fabric and are unaware of the image quality loss they suffer from not having a gain of 1.0 or so reference fabric.

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post #10 of 28 Old 03-01-2013, 07:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Actually I have the old 2.8 high power right now, and the projector is near eye level, I'd say it's 12-18in over my head. I'm looking to replace my screen soon as it's damaged, and have been exploring alternatives as I'd like to get the projector mounted up higher. Could you define the quality loss with high power?

Problem is I have a 147in screen, I like a big screen. Comparing samples from other companies, I have Stewarts Studiotek 130 G3 and Severtons Cinema White(both have the same rated gain, though the Severtson seems brighter), naturally they aren't as bright, but they don't seem any sharper. I also have Severtsons Stellarwhite 2.2, which seems adequatly bright, as well as Elite's Powergain 1.8 material which appears nearly as bright as high power. Will these suffer the same sort of quality loss as high power? Another thing, the samples I have are all taped to a posterboard that I move around. When I move the samples left or right, the brightness of all the samples except the 2.4 high power drop off notably. Is this an anomoly with the small sizes, or is this how a large screen will behave in those materials?

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post #11 of 28 Old 03-01-2013, 07:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plissken99 View Post

Actually I have the old 2.8 high power right now, and the projector is near eye level, I'd say it's 12-18in over my head. I'm looking to replace my screen soon as it's damaged, and have been exploring alternatives as I'd like to get the projector mounted up higher. Could you define the quality loss with high power?

Problem is I have a 147in screen, I like a big screen. Comparing samples from other companies, I have Stewarts Studiotek 130 G3 and Severtons Cinema White(both have the same rated gain, though the Severtson seems brighter), naturally they aren't as bright, but they don't seem any sharper. I also have Severtsons Stellarwhite 2.2, which seems adequatly bright, as well as Elite's Powergain 1.8 material which appears nearly as bright as high power. Will these suffer the same sort of quality loss as high power? Another thing, the samples I have are all taped to a posterboard that I move around. When I move the samples left or right, the brightness of all the samples except the 2.4 high power drop off notably. Is this an anomoly with the small sizes, or is this how a large screen will behave in those materials?

I'm not familiar with the Stellarwhite, but have powergain, HP 2.8, and have had a 1.2 gain screen as well... I'd be concerned with hot spotting on an angularly reflective screen of that size at shorter throws.

"A wide screen just makes a bad film twice as bad. "
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I wonder what he'd think about 3D IMAX?
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post #12 of 28 Old 03-01-2013, 08:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Could that be why the brightness is dropping off? Hotspotting? Never experienced hotspotting personally.

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post #13 of 28 Old 03-01-2013, 09:07 PM
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No. the HP loses brightness has the projector goes higher or lower from you eyes because it is a rretroflective screen rather than a angular reflective screen. Most screens are angular reflective. There are calculators you can use to calculate the gain you would get with a HP as you move away from eye level in the mounting. As long as your projector and you don't move, you should see the same brightness no matter where you move the screen sample. hotspotting is non uniform brightness accross the screen. The center and area spots away from center would look brighter to your eyes, ergo hot ot bright spotting. hotspotting is a function of screen gain and throw distance. Generally, the throw multiplier should equal or be greater than the gain to avoid hotspotting. Re HP, because it is retroreflective this generalization may not apply. I would check with the screen manufacturer for its recommendation for minimum throw.

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post #14 of 28 Old 03-01-2013, 09:20 PM - Thread Starter
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... From your description it sounds like hotspotting is exactly what's happening with those samples.

Any why is high power detrimental to the pq? It looks razor sharp and bright. What's the issue?

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post #15 of 28 Old 03-01-2013, 09:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plissken99 View Post

... From your description it sounds like hotspotting is exactly what's happening with those samples.

Any why is high power detrimental to the pq? It looks razor sharp and bright. What's the issue?
Hotspotting is likely what is happening with the angular reflective screens (you are moving the samples and viewing from near the lens, correct?). If you are viewing from the same spot near the lens and the brightness drops as you move the samples towards the edges of the image on everything except the HP, that is consistent with my understanding of retro reflective (HP) and angularly reflective (e.g. Powergain) screens... Brightness would vary considerable with the HP as your viewing position moves away from the lens (the screen is reflecting more light back in the direction of the lens). A lambertian surface such as snomatte would have the same brightness from all viewing positions/angles, but requires a properly treated theater to truly shine.

"A wide screen just makes a bad film twice as bad. "
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I wonder what he'd think about 3D IMAX?
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post #16 of 28 Old 03-02-2013, 10:06 AM
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AFAIK this issue of how close the pj should be has the same trade-offs as how to set the manual iris. It's a simple brightness vs. contrast thing.

And, I've run across the first HP negative I've heard in the CalMAN 5 thread. Apparently its color balance shifts fairly drastically with seating position. People are having a hard time getting a consistent calibration across the viewing area. Whether these shifts rise to perceptibility, I don't know. But I thought I'd pass it along.
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post #17 of 28 Old 03-02-2013, 10:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Thats the same argument that installer used when I told him I use high power. However I sit dead center, and all the seats in the room are within the viewing cone. Even if the others are a bit off, I'm the only perfectionist nutjob in the household, so it's ok lol.

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post #18 of 28 Old 03-02-2013, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plissken99 View Post

Thats the same argument that installer used when I told him I use high power. However I sit dead center, and all the seats in the room are within the viewing cone. Even if the others are a bit off, I'm the only perfectionist nutjob in the household, so it's ok lol.

The color shift happens even within the viewing cone, but good point about being the only nutjob. My Lumagen was set to the wrong memory and I could tell. I had to say "wait a minute" and change it. When I was done my neighbor quipped, "Yeah... that mud just didn't look muddy enough." We were watching a trench warfare battle scene in Downton Abby. We're cursed...
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post #19 of 28 Old 03-02-2013, 02:42 PM - Thread Starter
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We're cursed...
Brother, you ain't kidding. I get the same reaction everytime I do something like that. Hell everyone thinks I'm crazy for wanting to get a new screen, it's just a couple of dots they all say(where the finished got scratched off), but it's the 1st thing I see when an image is projected.

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post #20 of 28 Old 03-02-2013, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
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Brother, you ain't kidding. I get the same reaction everytime I do something like that. Hell everyone thinks I'm crazy for wanting to get a new screen, it's just a couple of dots they all say(where the finished got scratched off), but it's the 1st thing I see when an image is projected.

I feel for ya'. That would be extremely irritating and I would get a new screen too.
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post #21 of 28 Old 03-03-2013, 11:25 AM
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Another issue with HP is its smoothness.I am talking bleed between pixels, a think most people wouldn't notice at all.

Screen evaluations almost always come down to picking the brighter which tends to swamp every thing else. Just like how louder speakers sound better to most than a less loud one regardless of all other considerations. throw distance and iris settings are not interchangeable because too short of a throw and a screen might hotspot. Once again, angular reflective wise, with a white screen choose a throw at least equal to the screen gain.

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post #22 of 28 Old 03-03-2013, 11:44 AM - Thread Starter
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So what would that equal with a 150in 16:9 screen with a 1.8 or 2.2 gain?

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post #23 of 28 Old 03-03-2013, 01:38 PM
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With a 1.78 aspect 150" Diag screen, your screen width would be 130.75 rounded up to the nearest .05. There are many screen calculators you can google to get screen dimensions if you know aspect and one other dimension.

So for minimum throws to avoid hot spotting with a white angular reflective screen simply multiply the screen gain by the screen width. I'll let you do the math. smile.gif

If you have a gray scren things change and thrrows are longer than the stated gain. You have to know the sprayed on gain, the total gain being the mulitiplied base (substrate) material gain of say .8 by the sprayed on gain. For say a Firehawk which has a gain of about 1.25, you divided by the substrate gain of .8 and you get a sprayed on gain of about 1.6, the minimum throw recommended for that screen by the manufacturer.

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post #24 of 28 Old 03-03-2013, 08:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Hrmmm, according to Stewarts calculator for the Ultramatte 200, I'd need a throw of 21.9ft for a 150in, which is right at the end of my limit. Because of this and the brightness if I go with anything other than high power I will drop down to a 135in screen. And at that size I'd consider a 1.3 gain like Severtsons Cinema White.

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post #25 of 28 Old 03-04-2013, 05:33 AM
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And if you do the math, that distance is 2 (da screen gain) times the screen width. smile.gif

I would consider the Ultramatt 150 over the 200. While the while the brightness would decrease by 1/4 (50/200), your eyues will notice only a much smaller decrease.

Remember this well and try to understand it very well, if you had a screen gain of 1 you would have to have a screen gain of 4 for your eyes to perceive a doubling of brightness. Likewise, if your projector put out 1000 lumens, it would need to put out 4000 lumens for you to see a doubling of brightness. In this case, you would perceive less than a 10% decrease in brightness (closer to 5%) going from Ultra 200 to Ultra 150 and Ultra150 is in my opinion a much higher performing product.

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post #26 of 28 Old 03-04-2013, 09:20 AM - Thread Starter
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I go back and forth on these things like ping pong. Last night I threw up the samples again, Studiotek 130 vs Severtson's Cinema white = Severtson is slightly brighter, otherwise the same and no more or less sparkly. Same with the higher gain options from Severtson and Stewart, I definitely feel the Severtson material is a better value than Stewart as the materials are less than 1/2 the cost and appear either the same or slightly better. The Elite powergain material is tempting, as it appears very nearly as bright as the high power, but with a color difference. When a white image is displayed the powergain has a creamy color, where the high power is more of a cool white, all other samples looked varying shades of grey btw, but the powergain has a texture that is a bit more distracting than the sparkles on other materials. I keep coming back to high power, there is no hotspotting, it does sparkle but less so than other companies 1.3 materials, the whites are white, and from my seating position the color and brightness is uniform. Not to mention it's the perfect screen for 3D.

I've always heard the goal is to not see the screen, and high power is the only high gain material that gets close to that. Until one day when we have 4,000 lumen projectors that look as good or better than current JVCs and don't cost 30k, perhaps I'll get one and go to a 1.1 or 1.1 material.

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post #27 of 28 Old 03-04-2013, 09:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plissken99 View Post

I go back and forth on these things like ping pong. Last night I threw up the samples again, Studiotek 130 vs Severtson's Cinema white = Severtson is slightly brighter, otherwise the same and no more or less sparkly. Same with the higher gain options from Severtson and Stewart, I definitely feel the Severtson material is a better value than Stewart as the materials are less than 1/2 the cost and appear either the same or slightly better. The Elite powergain material is tempting, as it appears very nearly as bright as the high power, but with a color difference. When a white image is displayed the powergain has a creamy color, where the high power is more of a cool white, all other samples looked varying shades of grey btw, but the powergain has a texture that is a bit more distracting than the sparkles on other materials. I keep coming back to high power, there is no hotspotting, it does sparkle but less so than other companies 1.3 materials, the whites are white, and from my seating position the color and brightness is uniform. Not to mention it's the perfect screen for 3D.

I've always heard the goal is to not see the screen, and high power is the only high gain material that gets close to that. Until one day when we have 4,000 lumen projectors that look as good or better than current JVCs and don't cost 30k, perhaps I'll get one and go to a 1.1 or 1.1 material.

I have a 120" powergain I use in my back yard, and I would advise against it. I also have an older HP (2.8) screen, and in comparison, I think the powergain is more detrimental to the image... there is a slight grain that takes away a bit of detail on large bright areas (sky, clouds, hockey). If you have a proper HT (dark walls, no ambient light on the screen), I'd stick with one of the lower gain options.

"A wide screen just makes a bad film twice as bad. "
-Samuel Goldwyn

I wonder what he'd think about 3D IMAX?
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post #28 of 28 Old 03-04-2013, 10:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Thats the sense I get from it, I wouldn't do a powergain screen.

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