Originally Posted by steve71
The proposed screen size is 250-280". If I go with a single PJ I don't think 1,500 lumens will be enough? At my screen size and budget, I'm not going to get the best picture quality. I'm going to have to trade quality for size, and I *think* I'll be OK with that.
Well, let's figure 250" wide scope image. That's 250" * 105" = 183 sqft. If you shoot for a DCI standard 16ftL, that's about 3000 "effective" lumens. Raw horsepower (actual projector output) is one way to get that. A screen with some gain is another. An example is the Da-Lite High Power, which if you can work within it's setup needs can achieve a gain over 2. So that drops your lumen requirements to 1500 Lumens. A W7000, High Power and a mid-range (or used) lens should be near the $6k you mentioned.
A single high lumen PJ (Maybe the Optoma TH1060P 4,500 ansi lumens) with an a-lens is the other option - and it's looking more and more like the way to go. Four PJ's will be more hassle to keep calibrated, but I also don't need to deal with an a-lens and I get four times the pixel density, so if I could get it working and looking uniform, it would be the way to go don't you agree?
There's a lot of ways to skin this cat as it were. I think 4 projectors would be a nightmare personally. Calibrating one projector manually is a pain, keeping 4 in sync would be an order of magnitude harder. Consider that differences/deviations you would never notice with a single projector in your HT vs another one somewhere else will be blatantly obvious across 4 on one screen. You could mitigate that with something like Lumagen's 125 point CMS but that's exorbitantly expensive (4 Radiances would cost more than the projectors you're talking about). Just look at two LCD monitors on a computer side by side, even then even when profiled they're never quite the same and that bugs me (personally) and that's not even trying to make one seamless display out of them. Christie has stuff that would make it easy:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tn9C8nbADMw
but it's Christie, so it will be astronomically expensive.
You're right, you're going to have to give something up, and that's probably going to be top of the line HT contrast. But there's some interesting things out there if you look a bit. There's the Panasonic PT-RZ470, which is a 1080p DLP, LED/Laser hybrid that's spec'd at 3500 lumens (though being a Panasonic, it will probably be significantly less than that calibrated. Though being LED/Laser it should appear brighter than the numbers indicate and it won't drop in brightness like lamp-baset projectors. Thought it's also not out yet, I don't think so how well it works remains to be seen.
I'd probably give AV Science a call and tell them your budget and what you're trying to do and I bet they can hook you up with something that will work great for you.