Originally Posted by youngmic
OK. Well, all this talk of bigger got me thinking and I've decided I'm going to flip the room and use the long dimension. The room is effectively 22 x 15. I'm thinking of going for a 144" wide screen. Haven't fully decided on 16:9 or 2.35. I'm leaning toward 2.35 as it will be easier to mask of for 16:9 than visa versa. On the other hand, that HUGE 16:9 image for concerts is pretty inviting.
A few questions...
1. What are the factors in determining the best throw distance? Since I'm flipping the room, I'm no longer constrained by throw distance but rather wall size. I would mount the projector on the back wall for a throw of 20' with the lens at mid zoom or mount it at app 16' with the lens zoomed wide.
Longer throw is generally higher quality (higher contrast, less glass used so slight better that way), but at the cost of light output. Which if you're going ~144" you may well need.
2. What are the factors in determining screen gain? I'm looking for the best neutral picture possible. i plan on full light control with no need to watch in ambient lighting conditions.
Essentially it's nothing more than to make up for lack of light output. You want the lowest (closest to 1.0) gain you can get away with while achieving your desired brightness. 16 ftL is the DCI standard. You can use the formula:
brightness (ftL) = light output (Lumens) * gain / screen are (sqft)
4. How do I determine the best height for the projector? There will be people seated in multiple rows so it will have to be overhead. Should I basically make it as close to the center of the screen as possible?
Ideally whatever uses the minimum lens shift, but if you're not out at the extremes of lens shift you should be fine. There's one caveat, if you use a retroreflective screen (eg DaLite High Power) you want the projector to be as close in height to your seated eye height as possible to maximize gain.
5. How much stock should I put into recommend viewing distances? My front row seats (and the most comfortable seats) will be at 14 ft. Recommended for a 144" screen is a minimum of 16'. How critical a consideration is this?
Whatever makes you happy is the only thing that matters. Recommendations are good starting points if you have no idea what you like, nothing more than that.
6. I prefer the screen to be lower so that I am looking straight ahead rather than looking up. Is this a mistake? Are there things I should consider in this regard?
If that's what you want, go for it.
7. What is the preferred method of handling super wide ratios like 2.70 (and what is the ration of IMAX/70mm)? Is horizontal masking recommended here or just grit my teeth and live with the white bars? (Of course, if I go with 16:9 screen, I'd have to build or buy a vertical masking setup anyway...hmm).
Unless you get a 2.70:1 screen you'll have bars for anything wider than your screen, you cold zoom/crop the edges off or live with the bars, or get masking. IMAX is 1.44:1 but AFAIK
, all the Blu-ray transfers are cropped to 16:9.
The commentary on DLP being weaker for darker scenes scares me a bit.
My only suggestion there is if you haven't seen a good one try to. While I don't think the comments here are inaccurate, I think they are exaggerated, at least regarding the better DLPs.