Originally Posted by Colmino
No telling. Is that meant to be a decisionmaking concern?
No. It was just a question.
This seems to be implying that a bulb's lifespan is only as long as the image is satisfactorily bright.
That is not at all what I intended, but now that you mention it, there does come a point when bulb replacement is advisable, and that point can happen long before the bulb actually pops. I saw a recent-model Sony LCD projector with a very old bulb (it was so dim you really couldn't make out anything in a completely dark room), but the bulb was still burning after 18 months at 10 hours a day, so it hadn't been replaced. Price differences aside (which are important, I know) bulbs are like bars of soap -- you don't have to keep using it just because there is a tiny piece of it still left unused. But I doubt this was the case on the Pearl you saw, since these projectors haven't been out for very long, so that's really not what I was getting at.
I was merely trying to understand the factors that make this projector appear so dim. Several things can contribute: mounting at max throw, having it on "low bulb" mode, having the colors undersaturated, using an old bulb, ambient light (a real killer on most projectors), using a screen that's too big, and projecting onto a screen with a gain of 1 or below can all be contibuting factors. Put all of these things together and you've created the perfect storm for a craptastic viewing experience, although some of these can be big problems even in isolation. It is important to understand the lumens rating of whatever projector you buy and to design accordingly, if possible.
, in spite of assertations that 700 lumens is "enough" or even "too much" (!), many projectors out there can boast 1500-2000+ lumens.
Oh, I think here we're dealing with differences in expectations. I'm at 80 hours on my bulb, and I'm still watching in "low bulb" mode. One thing I've noticed is that once the bulb starts to dim, a recalibration is in order -- primarly a lifting of black level and maybe some gamma tweaking. It is quite likely that this was not done on the projector you were viewing.
In addition, while I recognize that brightness can be very seductive, it can also destroy black levels unless paired with very high contrast. In my environment, the additional brightness would be wasted, since I would never ask the Pearl to deal with *any* ambient light, and I don't need a screen any bigger than 96 inches.
I bought my projector to watch movies in a completely light controlled room with dark walls. Now that digital projectors can throw an image with a bit of brightness to it, people are pulling them into their rec rooms to view while playing pool with the guys. My personal opinion is that this is not an optimum environment for watching movies or for most projectors (digital or otherwise), and if that's what people want to do, they will have to spend for something with more lumens or find a way to make a higher gain (more directional) screen function in their environment.
Or they might want to consider a big RPTV, which is much more affordable than the big plasma I mentioned earlier.