InFocus ScreenPlay 333 (yes, 333) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 612 Old 02-13-2006, 07:24 PM - Thread Starter
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My InFocus ScreenPlay 333 arrived today, so I thought I'd start a thread devoted to it.

Yes, you read that right--the InFocus ScreenPlay 333, little brother of the 777.

Although I wouldn't exactly call this monster... little. Here you see the box in which the 333 arrived. Just to give you a hint of the scale, I put an ordinary household toaster on the left for comparison.


Here is the flying saucer unpacked and sitting on the island in my kitchen/family room. That's a 42" wide countertop the 333 is sitting on... as you can see, like its big brother the 333 is no shrinking violet.



Here's all the goodies you get in the 333 shipping crate--which is to say, not a whole lot! A power cord, a remote, two AAA batteries and a thin installation manual. Oh yeah, and the 333. The lack of printed matter is no biggie, imho... since the 333 is functionally identical to the 777, you can download the complete installation manual for the 777 from the InFocus website.


Other than the sheer bulk of my new flying saucer, I have to say my initial impressions of the 333 are highly favorable. I definitely wouldn't call it a quiet projector, but considering the light output it's acceptable. Also, the 333 was in my very "live" family room--I think when it's positioned in its new home in my sound-optimized HT the noise will be even less noticeable.

As for the picture quality, I'll post screenshots when the 333 is installed and properly calibrated, but I have to say that the 3100-lumen rated output is no lie--this is a BRIGHT projector. I already have two ND filters on order, and I'm definitely going to need 'em. Even projecting an eight-foot-wide image on my dark brown living room walls was not enough to attenuate the light output of this photon cannon. I can't wait to see what the picture looks like with proper calibration on a proper screen, but if tonight's sneak peek is any indication it should be spectacular.

Speaking of installing the 333, I think I seriously underestimated the level of effort required for installing this beast on my home theater's ceiling. Anybody wanna recommend a good installer (with a strong back) in the Washington, DC area?!

p.s. For everyone who has been PM-ing me about where to buy the 333, the sponsors of this forum are selling it... click here.


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post #2 of 612 Old 02-13-2006, 07:41 PM
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Why do you call it little brother of 777? it's a sp777+Kodak softwares.
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post #3 of 612 Old 02-13-2006, 07:46 PM
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MC6,

At 3100 Lumens it is actually brighter as well. I am guessing that they traded some contrast for lumens in the design.

Scott,

I can't get any info on the unit. It is very interesting. How did you acquire it without having to buy the Kodak stuff to go with it?

-Mr. Wigggles

The Mothership is now boarding.
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post #4 of 612 Old 02-13-2006, 08:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrWigggles View Post

MC6,

At 3100 Lumens it is actually brighter as well. I am guessing that they traded some contrast for lumens in the design.

Scott,

I can't get any info on the unit. It is very interesting. How did you acquire it without having to buy the Kodak stuff to go with it?

-Mr. Wigggles


it's AVS's powerbuy, http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=641018. it's almost twice the brightness of the 777 and maintain a CR of 3200:1
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post #5 of 612 Old 02-13-2006, 08:07 PM - Thread Starter
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MC6, I call it the "little brother" of the 777 because it uses earlier-generation DMDs than the currently-shipping 777 (still trying to nail down whether they're the DC2 or the HD2+) and has a lower contrast rating (3000:1 vs. the 777's 5000:1). Also, I'm still trying to figure out exactly what the "Kodak color science" software is--whether it's firmware built into the 333 or software that has to be externally-loaded. If it's software there is definitely some stuff missing from my box because what came in the box is what you saw in that last photo I posted.

MrWigggles, normally I'd remind you that forum rules prohibit me from telling you "where to buy", but in this particular case I don't think Alan would mind... click here.


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post #6 of 612 Old 02-13-2006, 08:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Gammans View Post

MC6, I call it the "little brother" of the 777 because it uses earlier-generation DMDs than the currently-shipping 777 (still trying to nail down whether they're the DC2 or the HD2+) and has a lower contrast rating (3000:1 vs. the 777's 5000:1). Also, I'm still trying to figure out exactly what the "Kodak color science" software is--whether it's firmware built into the 333 or software that has to be externally-loaded. If it's software there is definitely some stuff missing from my box because what came in the box is what you saw in that last photo I posted.

MrWigggles, normally I'd remind you that forum rules prohibit me from telling you "where to buy", but in this particular case I don't think Alan would mind... click here.

Scott

I talked to Alan early today, he said the 3200:1 CR by Koday is true measurement not factory spec, I think some ISF measured the 777dc3 to be something like 3500:1Cr in true measurement and I think WSR measured a 1800:1 cr of the older hd2 sp777. So the sp333 has similar cr as the sp777dc3. I have not done any measurment yet but I have done some a/b test with my Qualia 004, the contract and black are much better than the qualia, so the 3000+ cr seems to be accurate.

if you do -> manu -> picture -> advanced -> color tempeture
you see a column read -> performance. I think that's the Kodak software add to the sp333, I am not sure but that's the only different between the regular sp777 and the 333 I can find. May be Alan can command on this.

I don't think anything's missing, It's excertly the same as mine.

Mike
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post #7 of 612 Old 02-13-2006, 09:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Aha! Got it. Alan PM'ed me earlier and confirmed that the Kodak color science software is built into the 333 and is not external software that needs to be loaded.

I can certainly believe the 3200:1 measured contrast after having done some more viewing. Even in its current uncalibrated state (and shining on a brown eggshell-finish wall, no less!) the picture is really something else.

I still can't help but think of the 333 as the little brother to the 777--after all, it is 444 less , there's no glowing "InFocus" sign on the case, and the cabinet finish is a flat matte black instead of the 777's shiny black and silver. Then again, I am very happy to pay a significantly lower price for the 333 in exchange for a less flashy case.

Now I just need to find an installer who will attach my new toy to the ceiling.


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post #8 of 612 Old 02-14-2006, 05:43 AM
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Scott,

What screen are you planning on using with this projector? How far from the projector to screen?

Thanks,

Jim Z

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post #9 of 612 Old 02-14-2006, 05:56 AM
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Congrats Scott! The Infocus has such a cool looking shell. Welcome to 3chip DLP high lumen/contrast. Enjoy... What screen are you going with?
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post #10 of 612 Old 02-14-2006, 06:21 AM
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Scott, if you just need someone to lift as you attach I can stop by.

Nigel
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post #11 of 612 Old 02-14-2006, 07:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamtheatre1974 View Post

Scott,

What screen are you planning on using with this projector? How far from the projector to screen?

Thanks,

Jim Z

Quote:
Originally Posted by Staged View Post

Congrats Scott! The Infocus has such a cool looking shell. Welcome to 3chip DLP high lumen/contrast. Enjoy... What screen are you going with?

I'm going to use a 72" x 128" Stewart UltraMatte 150 positioned just under 20 feet from the screen. For my reasoning behind using a relatively high gain screen like the UltraMatte with this photon howitzer, click here.

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Scott, if you just need someone to lift as you attach I can stop by.

Nigel

Thanks for the offer, but I think I can round up enough strong-backed friends. What I'm more concerned about is whether the joists can support my flying saucer... which is why I'm leaning towards paying a professional installer.


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post #12 of 612 Old 02-14-2006, 07:22 AM - Thread Starter
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For everyone who has been PM-ing me about where to buy the 333, the sponsors of this forum are selling it... click here.


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post #13 of 612 Old 02-14-2006, 07:50 AM
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What I'm more concerned about is whether the joists can support my flying saucer... which is why I'm leaning towards paying a professional installer.

How heavy is this thing? I used to have a 225 lb. CRT hanging from the floor joists with no issues, and I seriously doubt that the 333 weighs more than that...

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post #14 of 612 Old 02-14-2006, 07:55 AM
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Quote:


I'm going to use a 72" x 128" Stewart UltraMatte 150 positioned just under 20 feet from the screen.

Scott, are those measurements for a 2.35:1 screen? Are you going to run a constant height setup?

Can you comment on any significant differences you see while viewing 3 chip dlp vs the other implementations (single chip DLP, LCD Lcos etc.).

Congrats on your new toy, I'm doing my homework for my next upgrade and the brightness of 3 chip DLP seems to be a definite plus, although at 3100 lumens I might get a tan watching this thing on my Silverstar!

Regards

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post #15 of 612 Old 02-14-2006, 08:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Bob Sorel View Post

How heavy is this thing? I used to have a 225 lb. CRT hanging from the floor joists with no issues, and I seriously doubt that the 333 weighs more than that...

The 333 weighs as much as the 777--about 45 pounds. While that's certainly nowhere near your 225 pound behemoth (jeez--I'd be afraid to sit under THAT! ), you have to remember that I'm used to little bitty conference room-style projectors... my previous PJ was the XGA rez VT540, which my 333 would squash like a bug.

I guess my main concern is the width of the joists--they're those newfangled engineered wood joists, which are only about 2 to 2-1/2 inches wide. The mount I'm using--the Premier Mounts PBM-757L--is only connected to the joist by four wood screws, and what concerns me the most is that I'm not even sure that the screws will drive solidly into the joist instead being deflected to the side. This is the first time I've mounted a projector on the ceiling (my VT540 was a bookshelf installation), and I've really picked a doozy for my first time.

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Scott, are those measurements for a 2.35:1 screen? Are you going to run a constant height setup?

No, the screen is 16:9. I didn't want to bother with a CH setup.

Quote:


Can you comment on any significant differences you see while viewing 3 chip dlp vs the other implementations (single chip DLP, LCD Lcos etc.).

I'm fairly susceptible to rainbow artifacts, so obviously that's one thing I don't have to worry about with the 333 vs. single-chip DLP. And even though I'm projecting an uncalibrated image on the worst possible surface you can imagine (a brown wall with an eggshell paint finish) the color depth and contrast levels I'm seeing are startling. I can already tell that this projector will look amazing with proper calibration and a good projection surface.

Quote:


Congrats on your new toy, I'm doing my homework for my next upgrade and the brightness of 3 chip DLP seems to be a definite plus, although at 3100 lumens I might get a tan watching this thing on my Silverstar!

That's what the ND filters are for. Keep in mind that as the projector bulb dims with age, I'll have the flexibility to go with progressively lighter ND filters, and then ultimately no filter at all. Even when the bulb is approaching the end of its service life, I'll still have an optimal picture because of the overhead this design affords.


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post #16 of 612 Old 02-14-2006, 08:30 AM
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OK - you guys sucked me in.

I was almost ready to buy a C3X Lite, but now this 333 sounds a whole lot more interesting. It will be way too bright for my 8ft wide screen, but I'd rather put an ND filter on it and wait for the bulb to dim.

Can someone please confirm:

1) That it has DC3 chips;

2) That it has equivalent CR to the 777 and/or the C3X;

3) What is the bulb life and cost;

4) What does the Kodak software do?

Thanks,
Phil
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post #17 of 612 Old 02-14-2006, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by pmd918 View Post

OK - you guys sucked me in.

I was almost ready to buy a C3X Lite, but now this 333 sounds a whole lot more interesting. It will be way too bright for my 8ft wide screen, but I'd rather put an ND filter on it and wait for the bulb to dim.

Can someone please confirm:

1) That it has DC3 chips;

2) That it has equivalent CR to the 777 and/or the C3X;

3) What is the bulb life and cost;

4) What does the Kodak software do?

Thanks,
Phil


1) No DC3 chip

2) Supposedly equal CR to the 777 as MEASURED (not what the brochure says). It's not equal CR to the C3X. Remember the 333 CR and Lumens specs are measured for EACH UNIT. These are real #s, not marketing #s.

3) Don't know.

4) Don't know.
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post #18 of 612 Old 02-14-2006, 08:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmd918 View Post

OK - you guys sucked me in.

I was almost ready to buy a C3X Lite, but now this 333 sounds a whole lot more interesting. It will be way too bright for my 8ft wide screen, but I'd rather put an ND filter on it and wait for the bulb to dim.

Can someone please confirm:

1) That it has DC3 chips;

No--it's either got the DC2 or HD2+ (still trying to nail that down). But don't let that deter you...

Quote:


2) That it has equivalent CR to the 777 and/or the C3X;

See the post MC6 made above... Kodak's measured contrast was 3200:1, which compares very favorably with the 777.

Quote:


3) What is the bulb life and cost;

Bulb life is rated at 1500 hours. Still trying to find out the cost, but I'm told by Alan that it's less than the $750 or so for a 777 bulb (see the AVS Powerbuy thread).

Quote:


4) What does the Kodak software do?

From what I can tell so far in my monkeying around with the service menus, Kodak's color science firmware is a leap in performance over the stock 777. I tried turning off the Kodak color enhancements (which are factory preset to 6500K and SMPTE C by default) and the picture looked washed out and flat. Others who have had their 333 longer may be able to expand on this, but I guess what I'm saying is that the out-of-the-box picture on the 333 is pretty darn accurate--and that's what you get with the Kodak firmware.


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post #19 of 612 Old 02-14-2006, 08:59 AM
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My seating is very close in relation to the size of my screen. I've got a 120" wide (137" diag) screen, the projector sits about 24ft away. Seating on the first row is 11' from the screen and 19' on the second row. What about SDE? Do you think SDE would be overbearing in my setup?


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post #20 of 612 Old 02-14-2006, 09:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Keep in mind that the 333 is a DLP projector--screen door is minimal compared to an LCD projector. That said, you can still see the individual pixel elements if you get close enough, but with my temporary setup projecting an eight-foot-wide image, from ten feet away I couldn't see the individual pixels at all.


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post #21 of 612 Old 02-14-2006, 09:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Gammans View Post

. . . I definitely wouldn't call it a quiet projector, but considering the light output it's acceptable. . .

Scott,

Can you qualify this somewhat? The 777 is whisper quiet. And the C3X isn't much louder. How does the 333 compare to those, or any other PJ I might be familiar with?

This could be a deal killer for me because it will be positioned almost directly above the seating position.

Thanks,
Phil
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post #22 of 612 Old 02-14-2006, 09:43 AM
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Others who have had their 333 longer may be able to expand on this, but I guess what I'm saying is that the out-of-the-box picture on the 333 is pretty darn accurate--and that's what you get with the Kodak firmware.

While I don't know the first thing about the Kodak firmware, I do know that InFocus products are normally calibrated to D65 before leaving the factory. I have owned and used several IF projectors, and all of them measured within dE of 5 (usually 4 or less) of D65 right out of the box. I think all you will need to do is to adjust for black and white levels and you will be done...
Quote:


I guess my main concern is the width of the joists--they're those newfangled engineered wood joists, which are only about 2 to 2-1/2 inches wide. The mount I'm using--the Premier Mounts PBM-757L--is only connected to the joist by four wood screws, and what concerns me the most is that I'm not even sure that the screws will drive solidly into the joist instead being deflected to the side. This is the first time I've mounted a projector on the ceiling (my VT540 was a bookshelf installation), and I've really picked a doozy for my first time.

Scott, is the ceiling open (like in a cellar or above a dropped ceiling) or finished (plaster, etc.)?

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post #23 of 612 Old 02-14-2006, 10:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmd918 View Post

Can you qualify this somewhat? The 777 is whisper quiet. And the C3X isn't much louder. How does the 333 compare to those, or any other PJ I might be familiar with?

It's hard to say since I've never seen the C3X in person and I don't have a 777 sitting next to the 333 to compare, but the 333 is definitely quieter than my old NEC VT540 (even when the VT540 is running in "Econo-Mode"), and it seems to be as quiet as the 777--but like I said, it's hard to compare a physically-present machine with the memory of what another machine sounded like. I certainly don't find the fan noise objectionable, and my rear row seating will only be three feet in front and six feet below the 333.

One thing you do need to take into consideration if you're going to be sitting next to the 333 is light spill. The 333 has a small amount of blue-hued light spilling through the exhaust vents on either side of the cabinet. It's not a LOT of spill, but in a totally darkened room it might be noticeable to someone sitting on either side of the projector.

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While I don't know the first thing about the Kodak firmware, I do know that InFocus products are normally calibrated to D65 before leaving the factory. I have owned and used several IF projectors, and all of them measured within dE of 5 (usually 4 or less) of D65 right out of the box. I think all you will need to do is to adjust for black and white levels and you will be done...

Cool!

Quote:


Scott, is the ceiling open (like in a cellar or above a dropped ceiling) or finished (plaster, etc.)?

Finished drywall. Should I have attached a plate of some sort to the joist before it was sealed up? Can't something like that just be screwed in on the finished side of the drywall?


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post #24 of 612 Old 02-14-2006, 10:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmd918 View Post

Scott,

Can you qualify this somewhat? The 777 is whisper quiet. And the C3X isn't much louder. How does the 333 compare to those, or any other PJ I might be familiar with?

This could be a deal killer for me because it will be positioned almost directly above the seating position.

Thanks,
Phil


The 333 is louder than the 777, I am pretty sure. It might be due to it's higher light output, more cooling from the fans are needed. But like Scott said it's not objectionable.
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post #25 of 612 Old 02-14-2006, 10:57 AM - Thread Starter
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FYI, Alan just posted the price of the replacement bulb in the 333 powerbuy thread--$615.

That's considerably less than the price you'd get from InFocus, and according to Alan it's the same lamp used in the 777 so 777 owners might want to take a look.


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post #26 of 612 Old 02-14-2006, 11:14 AM
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Finished drywall. Should I have attached a plate of some sort to the joist before it was sealed up? Can't something like that just be screwed in on the finished side of the drywall?

If you can access the other side of the ceiling (an attic maybe?), then just cut a piece of 2"X10" to just fit between the 2 joists (normally they are spaced 16" on center) and lay it down flat on the drywall where you want to attach your mount. Screw in the 2X10 from the sides of the joist and you will now have a plate with plenty of wood for the mount's screws to bite into.

If you can't access above the drywall and you don't mind mounting the plate on the "good" side of the ceiling, then you could just cut a piece of 3/4" plywood that would be large enough to straddle 2 joists, of course positioned properly so that you can attach your mount in the center of the plywood plate and then paint it to match your ceiling.

Regardless of which method you use, the key to relieving stress is to straddle across 2 joists, spreading the load of the weight. You may need to make some adjustments to your throw in order to attach the mount in the center of the plate (for aesthetic reasons), but with a little thought I am sure that you can figure it out. Forty five pounds is a very easy load for even a single joist to handle, and straddling 2 joists is actually overkill, but I always figure it is better to be safe than sorry.

You could also just make a much smaller plate, one big enough to attach your mount, but not any bigger than necessary, and then attach it to a single joist and you would probably never have a problem, but with such an expensive piece of gear, I always opt for a little less aesthetics and a LOT more security...

BTW, congratulations on your new purchase! Even though I recently bought a Ruby, with my affinity toward bright, punchy images, I think I'm jealous!

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post #27 of 612 Old 02-14-2006, 11:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Ah, but you have a 1080p display, so it all evens out.

Since my HT is in the basement and I don't have easy access to the unfinished side of the drywall, I think I'll go with your second solution and straddle a plate across two of the joists. One of the nice features of the 333/777 is that they're laterally symmetrical--the lens is dead center in the middle of the cabinet. And it just so happens that the centerline of the screen is almost exactly between two of the joists, which saves me from having to buy Premier's side extender or employ the 333's motorized horizontal lens shift. Perfect!

I'm all in favor of an over-engineered solution that will give me peace of mind. Thanks Bob!


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post #28 of 612 Old 02-15-2006, 09:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Bob,

After I read your suggestion I began to wonder how a mere square of 3/4" plywood would be able to support 50 pounds of downward pressure being exerted by only four closely-spaced screws (which are the only connection between the projector mount and the plywood), so I did some reading on 3/4" plywood... who knew that there were so many different types!

I found this article which discusses four different types of plywood: MDF core, veneer core, particleboard, and combined core. This sentence in particular caught my eye, though:
Quote:


Dimensional stability, screw-holding and bending strength of MDF or particleboard panels, however, are rated as "good" or "fair," compared with the "excellent" marks that veneer-core panels get. (emphasis mine)

My carpenter had a nice, undamaged 20" x 20" piece of 3/4" MDF core plywood left over from the construction of the rear row seating stage that I thought I could use for the projector mount ceiling support, but after reading this I don't think I'll use it. I'm still dubious, though, that a plywood support won't crack down the middle and send my $10,000 projector crashing to the floor. Is veneer-core plywood really that strong??


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post #29 of 612 Old 02-15-2006, 09:38 AM
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If it were me, I'd cut the ceiling drywall, put in a 2x10 between the ceiling joists, and then repair and paint the ceiling. It's alot more work, but it will be stronger. Plus it will look a whole lot better.

If that's too ambitious for you, I'd be surprised if you couldn't find a handyman that would do it for less than $100. Money well spent IMHO.

Hope this helps,
Phil
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post #30 of 612 Old 02-15-2006, 09:38 AM
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" Is veneer-core plywood really that strong??"

Yep especially if you buy the 13-ply Baltic birch plywood (NOT at your local HD or Lowe's - you'll have to go a hardwood shop).
Good stuff, no voids and good looking too!

PS Awesome looking projector! Congrats, I'm jealous.

Next projector will have LEDs, >=1080 res, >=10 bit color, >14bit CR, >9 bit ANSI CR, >=120Hz, >16ft.L on 12ft 2.35:1 screen, <$12bit price


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