Does what I want exist? Real time video scaling accross four projectors to either do 16:9 or 1:240 for huge scope screen - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 03-01-2013, 11:35 AM - Thread Starter
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I want to light up a very large 250-280" scope screen. I could buy 4 1080p projectors and mount them vertically, staggered across the room so I get a resolution of 4320 x 1920. Obviously that does not scale perfectly to 1:240, so some of the vertical resolution would have to be thrown away off the top and bottom of the screen. The actual ratio of four vertically mounted PJ's, spread across the screen horizontally (4320 x 1920) would net an aspect ratio of (4 x9) x 16 or 36:16 = 2.25, so not that far off 2:40.

However does the PC software exist to manipulate the image to scale that slightly for scope screen i.e. rescale 2.25 to 2.40? And then when watching normal 16:9 content I would have to scale 2.25 to 16:9 and center it horizontally across the array of projectors.

This solution, although complicated, would eliminate the need for an expensive anamorphic lens and motorized transport. It would also allow me to use four (~$1,000) 1,500-2,000 ansi lumen projectors for a total of 6,000 to 8,000 lumens at a cost of $4,000. It would also net me a resolution of 4320 x 1920. Seems like a better solution than an uber expensive 5,000 lumen 4K PJ plus $5K a-lens.
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post #2 of 17 Old 03-01-2013, 02:09 PM
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We installed a video wall at my previous place of employment, and it required dedicated hardware to split and scale the image across multiple displays. Of course that was a wall of 27 displays. I did a quick Google search and found this:

AMD FirePro™ Technology for Display Walls
AMD FirePro™ professional graphics for display walls can drive two, three, four, five or six displays from a single graphics card.
http://www.amd.com/us/products/workstation/graphics/firepro-display-wall/Pages/fireprodisplaywall.aspx

Maybe that would work for you?
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post #3 of 17 Old 03-01-2013, 02:27 PM
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I believe ATI Eyefinity can do what you want to do

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post #4 of 17 Old 03-01-2013, 03:03 PM
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FirePro (with 4 DisplayPort ports) + EyeFinity + Projector overlap (supported by FirePro only, not Radeon) could be a solution. E.g.

- FirePro W7000 (~HD 7870): good for SD/HD/FHD movie upscaling with Jinc3+AR
- FirePro W9000 (~HD 7970): good for SD/HD/FHD movie/video upscaling with Jinc3+AR

You shouldn't worry about AR. Any decent DirectShow player (e.g. MPC-HC) automatically scales the image to fit the entire screen correctly (with horizontal or vertical black bars).
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post #5 of 17 Old 03-02-2013, 04:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestions guys! I will go do some research.

If anyone has any links to similar projects/threads pls post em' up.
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post #6 of 17 Old 03-02-2013, 06:59 PM
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Supposedly the gigabyte boards with dual thunderbolt can achieve this
4K Ultra HD Display Support with Intel Collage Technology

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post #7 of 17 Old 03-05-2013, 04:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Arrggg.... I've spent all afternoon researching and I'm more confused then ever.

Do any of these proposed solutions include blending software? Do you need to use special blending projectors?confused.gif

AMD FirePro™ W600 claims: "Overlap support for up to six projectors for seamless projections", but all the implementations I've seen involve a third party blending software??

I'm looking for a graphics card with support for 4 portrait displays, with (included) driver support for blending the four images. It needs to use standard home theater projectors.
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post #8 of 17 Old 03-05-2013, 05:25 PM
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One google search got me this review from AnandTech:

"Finally, AMD has announced one more software feature for GCN FirePro cards, a few months ahead of the feature’s planned Q4 launch. AMD will be adding support for edge blending and warping for projectors, which will greatly improve the ability to setup projectors in SLS configurations. Currently it’s doable, but it requires a great deal of care to perfectly align the projectors and it only works on flat surfaces. Edge blending will complement AMD’s existing projection overlap capabilities to make it easier to setup projectors in SLS (just set them up and let the software handle the fine details), while warping will allow for aspect-correct projection on curved surfaces."

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6006/amd-announces-firepro-w600-sets-their-sights-on-digital-wall-market

You might be over researching all this. Maybe it would be worth getting a FirePro from someplace with a decent return policy and just try it out.
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post #9 of 17 Old 03-06-2013, 04:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pkscout View Post

One google search got me this review from AnandTech:

"Finally, AMD has announced one more software feature for GCN FirePro cards, a few months ahead of the feature’s planned Q4 launch. AMD will be adding support for edge blending and warping for projectors, which will greatly improve the ability to setup projectors in SLS configurations. Currently it’s doable, but it requires a great deal of care to perfectly align the projectors and it only works on flat surfaces. Edge blending will complement AMD’s existing projection overlap capabilities to make it easier to setup projectors in SLS (just set them up and let the software handle the fine details), while warping will allow for aspect-correct projection on curved surfaces."

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6006/amd-announces-firepro-w600-sets-their-sights-on-digital-wall-market

You might be over researching all this. Maybe it would be worth getting a FirePro from someplace with a decent return policy and just try it out.

I downloaded the user manual for the W600 and there is no mention of edge blending anywhere in the manual. confused.gif

The only manual I downloaded that showed support for edge blending was a Matrox card, but it requires 'cost-effective edge blending projectors'.????
Quote:
Matrox Edge Overlap on M-Series graphics cards allows users to combine one standard PC with cost-effective edge blending projectors to create a simple, reliable and affordable multi-projector solution.

I would buy a w600 card to see if it does have edge blending (no mention in the manual though), but I don't have four projector lying around to test it out. I would have to lay out $6,000 to test it.
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post #10 of 17 Old 03-06-2013, 05:28 PM
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Reading between the lines, it sounds like the matrox card does half the job of edge-blending.
It takes two parts:
1) Fade the edges of each picture
2) Duplicate the pixels so that both projectors that share an edge also display the same pixels along that edge

Sounds like the matrox card does #2 but expects the projectors to do #1.

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post #11 of 17 Old 03-06-2013, 05:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve71 View Post

I downloaded the user manual for the W600 and there is no mention of edge blending anywhere in the manual. confused.gif

The only manual I downloaded that showed support for edge blending was a Matrox card, but it requires 'cost-effective edge blending projectors'.????
I would buy a w600 card to see if it does have edge blending (no mention in the manual though), but I don't have four projector lying around to test it out. I would have to lay out $6,000 to test it.

You know, for the amount you're looking to spend, you could get a good lens and a projector that's better and about as bright as you're looking at with your 4 projector plan. And it will likely be a higher quality solution.

With 4 projectors, in addition to the edge blending you need to think about getting and keeping them all calibrated so the image is consistent across the screen. Plus IIRC at least some HT projectors can't be setup in portrait mode. On top of that, the $1k-ish projectors just don't provide as good of a picture as the more expensive ones, eg lower contrast.

For less than $6k you could get a BenQ W7000 and a Prismasonic HD6000F. You'd get a real 1500 Lumens in a good calibrated mode, and a full 2000 Lumens if you don't care how it looks (I'd guess you'd be lucky to get 500 Lumen's from a $1k projector when calibrated, so 4 of them would only be 2000 lumens, and with lower contrast).

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do, see movies the way they were meant to be seen
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post #12 of 17 Old 03-06-2013, 07:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

You know, for the amount you're looking to spend, you could get a good lens and a projector that's better and about as bright as you're looking at with your 4 projector plan. And it will likely be a higher quality solution.

With 4 projectors, in addition to the edge blending you need to think about getting and keeping them all calibrated so the image is consistent across the screen. Plus IIRC at least some HT projectors can't be setup in portrait mode. On top of that, the $1k-ish projectors just don't provide as good of a picture as the more expensive ones, eg lower contrast.

For less than $6k you could get a BenQ W7000 and a Prismasonic HD6000F. You'd get a real 1500 Lumens in a good calibrated mode, and a full 2000 Lumens if you don't care how it looks (I'd guess you'd be lucky to get 500 Lumen's from a $1k projector when calibrated, so 4 of them would only be 2000 lumens, and with lower contrast).

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.

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?
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post #13 of 17 Old 03-07-2013, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve71 View Post

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.
Quote:
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.

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do, see movies the way they were meant to be seen
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post #14 of 17 Old 03-08-2013, 03:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

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.

My first inclination was to go with high gain screen and forgo the center channel. But I have a bunch of old commercial Altec Theater speakers headed my way, so if they sound up to par, I'd rather go with an acoustically transparent screen. I believe that will limit my gain to 1, but nothing is set in concrete.
Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 
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..

From what I've read, you've right. I think the technology to do what I want is either super expensive or still in it's infancy.


Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 

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.

Thanks for the suggestion on the Panasonic, it does look to be very interesting and the brightness may just work with a acoustically transparent screen. Interestingly enough, it has edge blending and the ability to operate in portrait orientation.
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post #15 of 17 Old 03-08-2013, 05:29 PM
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4 projectors would be too much, IMO. 2 projectors at resolution of 1024x768 would be my choice. You get close to pixel perfect 2.4 : 1 at 1920 x 800. 1024x768 are dirt cheap and I only have to adjust the brightness of one of them to match the other.
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post #16 of 17 Old 03-10-2013, 09:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pixelation View Post

4 projectors would be too much, IMO. 2 projectors at resolution of 1024x768 would be my choice. You get close to pixel perfect 2.4 : 1 at 1920 x 800. 1024x768 are dirt cheap and I only have to adjust the brightness of one of them to match the other.

Thanks for the suggestion. Any links to your set up? Do you blend the PJ's or just line them up as best as possible?
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post #17 of 17 Old 03-10-2013, 10:18 PM
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Nah. I don't really have a dual projector setup. Single projector is good enough for me. It is too hard to find 2 locations perfectly positioned for widescreen.
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