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post #1 of 15 Old 08-04-2014, 04:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Projector + screen material recommendation for filmic 2D image

Wasn't sure if I should stick this in the under $3000 or over $3000 thread... I don't have a firm budget but anticipate spending between $4000-$7000 between the screen and the projector.

Ok, so here's the deal: I know I could chase image perfection until I'm blue in the face and broke in the wallet. So I'm self-imposing a benchmark to meet, and being the nostalgic sucker I am that's the picture quality of a decent 35mm projected film theater from the days before digital started taking over in earnest.

I will not be watching any 3D content at all (just not the sort of movies I'm interested in, and I only watch in social contexts where 3D glasses won't be ideal), so in terms of projector performance and appropriate screen material its just not a factor. All content will be 2D cinema, primarily Blu-ray sourced.

I am moving into a new house next month and I live alone so I have a fair amount of flexibility.

This will be in the living room where I expect to have some light control, but it won't be a dedicated room (this is NYC afterall). Figure the room is something like 15' wide by 18' deep? I plan to paint the walls very dark, but will probably keep the ceiling relatively light. The screen will mount in front of the windows, blocking them when in use. I will exclusively be using this screen at night, so exterior light control is not much of a concern.

My question is what will give me the most filmic look? By this I mean color, contrast, texture, and cadence most like a traditional film-projecting cinema. I've heard LCoS designs give that texture and richness, but DLP better nails the cadence. What about Sony's black frame insertion on their SXRD?

At this point I assume my projector options can meet or exceed the *real world* contrast performance of typical commercial film cinemas (*not* referring to the theoretical contrast maximum of film). Am I wrong?

What projection surface most closely resembles a commercial cinema? Does a cinema typically have a unity gain screen or a slight gain around, say, 1.3? I plan not to use a perforated screen because I will still have the windows behind the screen and because the viewing distance will be too close.

Constant image height via motorized lens and a 2.35:1 screen is a plus, but not critical.

All insight much appreciated! I haven't had a projector since I moved into my current apartment a couple years ago, and before that I had an InFocus X10 shining on a Da-Lite Floor Model C in simple matte white (in a room with matte black walls).
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post #2 of 15 Old 08-04-2014, 04:58 PM
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Most DLP projectors can't reach the "filmic" look that LCoS projectors can do. Most will recommend something like the JVC DLA-X500 as that fits your budget. But there are a couple DLP projectors that give a more natural looking image, but also have less contrast available to it. The Runco LS-1, LS-3, and LS-5 all have a more natural looking image over any JVC projector. But as I said, they don't have the on/off contrast that the JVC's and Sony's will have. There are tradeoffs to each technology and unfortunately nothing that does everything perfect yet. Just expect to pay a lot more for a well performing DLP projector.

As far as cadence goes are you talking about proper pulldown and frame doubling/tripling/quadroupling/ect techniques? Just about any of the projectors in the $3000+ forum will do proper cadence. Some of the projectors have some issues with interlaced material but with progressive material all of them will output the signal with ease. DLP mirrors do have far higher native response times than LCD and LCoS panels so motion will look better, especially when there's a lot of fast motion happening on screen.

As far as screen materials go, you'd actually want to avoid what commercial cinemas are using. Most commercial cinemas use 1.5 gain perforated screens. In the home, because we sit fairly close to the screen, these materials will look awful compared to something with lower gain and that isn't perforated. If you want to go acoustically transparent I'd look into the Enlightor 4K material from Screen Excellence. If not take a look at materials from Stewart like their StudioTek 130 or 100 material. I've heard some good things about their Firehawk G4 material as well, but that isn't something you should need in a dedicated space.

Anyways, there are a few options for projectors within your budget. I'd recommend either the JVC DLA-X500, Sony VPL-HW55ES, or the Runco LS-3. All will fit in your budget and look amazing. The JVC does have a few added bells and whistles like lens memory for a CIH setup, it's 3D capable (so is the Sony), and can accept a 4K signal.
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post #3 of 15 Old 08-04-2014, 05:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Seegs108, thank you for the well-considered advice.

I'm primarily familiar with Da-Lite's screen line-up, and in their line-up the HD Progressive 1.3 looks attractive. However, all of Da-Lite's tensioned screens are quite expensive and are electric. Electric is no benefit to me, and I almost liked the physicality of my old Floor Model C, which I pulled up using a pulley and ratchet system. Do other manufacturers do less expensive tensioned screens? My earlier experience indicated to me that a unity gain screen doesn't even need a tensioned screen, although my setup was crudely tensioned and also can I assume a unity gain screen is only preferable in the most dedicated of spaces with dark ceilings and other treatments?

I'm most closely looking at JVC and Sony right now. JVC wins on motorized lens for me. Sony wins on brightness level and, maybe, purchase price (though I plan to calibrate around 16 fL, depending on final light control). If I go the Sony route I'm inclined to buy the HW40 because as I understand it is nearly all of the HW55ES performance minus a few features at a lower price.

Panasonic also includes a motorized lens, but is the image competitive? Obviously it is a less expensive box. Also, my limited searches show some frustrations achieving CIH with the AE8000, am I incorrect?
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post #4 of 15 Old 08-05-2014, 06:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sumitagarwal View Post
Wasn't sure if I should stick this in the under $3000 or over $3000 thread... I don't have a firm budget but anticipate spending between $4000-$7000 between the screen and the projector.

Ok, so here's the deal: I know I could chase image perfection until I'm blue in the face and broke in the wallet. So I'm self-imposing a benchmark to meet, and being the nostalgic sucker I am that's the picture quality of a decent 35mm projected film theater from the days before digital started taking over in earnest.

I will not be watching any 3D content at all (just not the sort of movies I'm interested in, and I only watch in social contexts where 3D glasses won't be ideal), so in terms of projector performance and appropriate screen material its just not a factor. All content will be 2D cinema, primarily Blu-ray sourced.

I am moving into a new house next month and I live alone so I have a fair amount of flexibility.

This will be in the living room where I expect to have some light control, but it won't be a dedicated room (this is NYC afterall). Figure the room is something like 15' wide by 18' deep? I plan to paint the walls very dark, but will probably keep the ceiling relatively light. The screen will mount in front of the windows, blocking them when in use. I will exclusively be using this screen at night, so exterior light control is not much of a concern.

My question is what will give me the most filmic look? By this I mean color, contrast, texture, and cadence most like a traditional film-projecting cinema. I've heard LCoS designs give that texture and richness, but DLP better nails the cadence. What about Sony's black frame insertion on their SXRD?

At this point I assume my projector options can meet or exceed the *real world* contrast performance of typical commercial film cinemas (*not* referring to the theoretical contrast maximum of film). Am I wrong?

What projection surface most closely resembles a commercial cinema? Does a cinema typically have a unity gain screen or a slight gain around, say, 1.3? I plan not to use a perforated screen because I will still have the windows behind the screen and because the viewing distance will be too close.

Constant image height via motorized lens and a 2.35:1 screen is a plus, but not critical.

All insight much appreciated! I haven't had a projector since I moved into my current apartment a couple years ago, and before that I had an InFocus X10 shining on a Da-Lite Floor Model C in simple matte white (in a room with matte black walls).

Sent you a PM.

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post #5 of 15 Old 08-05-2014, 08:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sumitagarwal View Post
Seegs108, thank you for the well-considered advice.

I'm primarily familiar with Da-Lite's screen line-up, and in their line-up the HD Progressive 1.3 looks attractive. However, all of Da-Lite's tensioned screens are quite expensive and are electric. Electric is no benefit to me, and I almost liked the physicality of my old Floor Model C, which I pulled up using a pulley and ratchet system. Do other manufacturers do less expensive tensioned screens? My earlier experience indicated to me that a unity gain screen doesn't even need a tensioned screen, although my setup was crudely tensioned and also can I assume a unity gain screen is only preferable in the most dedicated of spaces with dark ceilings and other treatments?

I'm most closely looking at JVC and Sony right now. JVC wins on motorized lens for me. Sony wins on brightness level and, maybe, purchase price (though I plan to calibrate around 16 fL, depending on final light control). If I go the Sony route I'm inclined to buy the HW40 because as I understand it is nearly all of the HW55ES performance minus a few features at a lower price.

Panasonic also includes a motorized lens, but is the image competitive? Obviously it is a less expensive box. Also, my limited searches show some frustrations achieving CIH with the AE8000, am I incorrect?

I'd give Mike a call. He's a true expert on both projectors and screen materials (among other things). He won't point you in the wrong direction. Personally speaking, I would avoid the Panasonic PT-AE8000. It's not a bad projector by any stretch of the imagination, but for a little more money the differences in picture quality that you gain with the projectors I've mentioned are quite noticeable. It's worth the extra money.
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post #6 of 15 Old 08-05-2014, 10:45 AM
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You're going to be hard pressed to beat a JVC RS4910 and a Stewart StudioTek 130 G3 screen for a " filmic " look IMO !! And it should fit your budget.

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post #7 of 15 Old 08-05-2014, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Craig Peer View Post
You're going to be hard pressed to beat a JVC RS4910 and a Stewart StudioTek 130 G3 screen for a " filmic " look IMO !! And it should fit your budget.
Hi Craig,
How much does the StudioTek 130 G3 cost approximately?
Let us say, Fixed 130" 2.35:1
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post #8 of 15 Old 08-05-2014, 11:29 AM
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Please call Mike or myself for pricing - thanks! Also, the Stewart Cima Neve is awfully close to the StudioTek picture wise, for a less money - just FYI. Direct Line - 585-671-2972
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post #9 of 15 Old 08-05-2014, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Craig Peer View Post
You're going to be hard pressed to beat a JVC RS4910 and a Stewart StudioTek 130 G3 screen for a " filmic " look IMO !! And it should fit your budget.
Agreed. I've got the JVC RS4810 paired with the Stewart ST100 and the image is extremely film-like with a good quality Blu. I watched Raiders of the Lost Ark recently and it felt like watching a brand new film print.

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post #10 of 15 Old 08-05-2014, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Craig Peer View Post
You're going to be hard pressed to beat a JVC RS4910 and a Stewart StudioTek 130 G3 screen for a " filmic " look IMO !! And it should fit your budget.
Craig, I think you must have missed that this is an electric. A 120" diagonal 16:9 or 2.35 Stewart with ST130 with JVC RS4910 is over his 7K budget. It is over budget, even if the screen was sold at cost.

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post #11 of 15 Old 08-05-2014, 01:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the guidance, guys. Will be planning to place some calls as I get closer to purchase (closing on the townhouse later in the month, and of course that's priority over the projector purchase!)

I'm feeling inclined to get a top-quality JVC projector based on most of what I've read so far.

While I did state a budget of $4-7k, bang for the buck is important to me. Also, automatic electric screens are not important to me.

With that in mind, if I'm allocating most of my budget to an excellent JVC projector can I go with a less expensive manual tab-tensioned screen (Draper? What are my options?) without a substantial image downgrade? I assume this would essentially come down to surface materials, and I don't care much for built quality so long as the screen stays flat and retracts/extends correctly. Tentatively aiming somewhere between 100" and 120". I doubt any budget tab-tensioned options are offered in 2.35:1, right?

Tangential question: thoughts on motion resolution of the JVC's versus the Sony VW40 with dark frame insertion enabled? Filmic flicker when viewing in a darkened room does not bother me.
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post #12 of 15 Old 08-05-2014, 02:13 PM
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sumitagarwal,

When the time comes and if they are available, you might also want to consider a B stock JVC projector sold by AVS which is basically 'like new'. That is the best bang for the buck hands down. I saved quite bit that way in my case (about $1600 if I recall) with my B stock RS4810 vs going new. Availability of them is usually very limited though so you have to pounce on it when the opportunity is there. I do know there has been some B stock 4910s available at times.

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post #13 of 15 Old 08-05-2014, 02:53 PM - Thread Starter
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sumitagarwal,

When the time comes and if they are available, you might also want to consider a B stock JVC projector sold by AVS which is basically 'like new'. That is the best bang for the buck hands down. I saved quite bit that way in my case (about $1600 if I recall) with my B stock RS4810 vs going new. Availability of them is usually very limited though so you have to pounce on it when the opportunity is there. I do know there has been some B stock 4910s available at times.
Thanks for the suggestion, David. I am generally in favor of b-stock and even refurbished equipment so long as the manufacturer stands behind it with their full as-new warranty.
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post #14 of 15 Old 08-05-2014, 03:11 PM
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Thanks for the suggestion, David. I am generally in favor of b-stock and even refurbished equipment so long as the manufacturer stands behind it with their full as-new warranty.
Agreed. Mine came with a 3 yr manufacturer warranty.

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post #15 of 15 Old 08-07-2014, 01:24 PM
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Craig, I think you must have missed that this is an electric. A 120" diagonal 16:9 or 2.35 Stewart with ST130 with JVC RS4910 is over his 7K budget. It is over budget, even if the screen was sold at cost.
You're right - I didn't notice that. My bad !

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Reply Digital Hi-End Projectors - $3,000+ USD MSRP
Gear in this thread - VPL-HW55ES, by PriceGrabber.com



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