Projector Stacking Made Easy - AirFlex5D - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 01-21-2013, 06:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Elite Screens has launched at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show Airflex5D, a company dedicated to providing Multi-Projector Stacking system at a low cost.
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High-end 1080P projectors that produce 10000+ lumens are upwards of $50K to $80K or more! When breaking down the cost-to-performance, this is about $5-8 per lumen in picture brightness. However, with an AF5D-5S system, you can get similar results by using a combination of 4x standard 3000 lumen projectors with a pair of AF5D-5S stacking processers and get similar results while paying on average below $1 per lumen.

This is not only great for commercial applications, but also for stack and create linear passive 3D in full 1080P.
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Another great feature for a pair of projectors using the Airflex AF5D-5S is that it can provide a theater-grade Passive 3D performance when combined with Elite's AirBright3D2 screen material. Geometric image correction is essential for commercial presentations that utilize an uneven projection surface. This feature of the AF5D-5S is crucial in projecting on extreme curved or dome screen projection arrays.

What about the DIY’ers who already do it without the controller? Well according to Elite, once you use the controller, you can position your projectors in any way you want and you can stack. The controller does all the work. Stacking the traditional way by manually aligning the projectors in order to see the same image (which is never perfect) can be time consuming and is not accurate. This allows you to stack virtually any projector in a matter of minutes whether it is a 4:3, 16:9 or even 2.35:1.

Airflex5D offers multiple different processors depending on the solutions. For the home for passive 3D, the processors start at $1999 MSRP. This becomes a more cost effective solution for the Home Theater enthousiast who wishes for passive 3D Projection compared to the LG 10K$ Projector.

Check out a video on how to align 2 and 4 projectors to give you an idea how easy it is.

What do you think?


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post #2 of 20 Old 01-21-2013, 09:05 AM
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I am a huge fan of passive 3D and I was thinking of getting back into projection - this is definitely a way to go so long as fan noise doesn't become an issue. I love the idea of having multiple projectors because you can also aim them at the walls and run visualizers for a crazy nightclub effect, then turn around and have daytime-viewing light levels and darkened-room 3D that doesn't need to use dynamic mode thereby preserving calibrated color. All sounds good to me.
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post #3 of 20 Old 01-21-2013, 12:07 PM
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What happens to something like black levels in a situation like this? Do they get chalkier and chalkier, or does the brightness output make the blacks feel darker regardless?
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post #4 of 20 Old 01-21-2013, 12:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorry Guys, I forgot to post this FAQ, it answers alot of questions

http://www.airflex5d.com/faq.html#setup_02

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Originally Posted by chirpie View Post

What happens to something like black levels in a situation like this? Do they get chalkier and chalkier, or does the brightness output make the blacks feel darker regardless?

To answer your question Chirpie:
Quote:
Q9: What are the benefits of using a Passive 3D Polarized Silver projection screen material? Do the Elite AirBright3D2 and Airbright5D projection screens fit this category?

A: 3D imaging occurs at a lower level of brightness than regular 2D presentations. Also, it is difficult to maintain polarization on regular projection screen materials. The benefits of Passive 3D polarized silver projection screens are that they increase the brightness of projected 3D images while allowing them to maximize retaining image polarization levels. Lastly, its diffusion layer enhances contrast. Although passive 3D imaging can arguably be performed on other projection materials, the polarized silver materials optimize overall 3D performance with the best results. Yes, the AirBright 3D2 and AirBright 5D projection screens are passive 3D polarized silver projection screens made for the specific reasons specified in the first part of this answer. The AirBright 3D2 is the standard retail model while the AirBright 5D has added contrast levels for enhanced contrast and diffusion moderation.

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post #5 of 20 Old 01-21-2013, 02:32 PM
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Interesting product. I was just reading into these last night when I saw ad for it in Widescreen Review.

I'm not generally interested in 3D but this is a pretty cool product for all sorts of people. I'll keep my eye one this one.

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post #6 of 20 Old 01-21-2013, 02:56 PM
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post #7 of 20 Old 01-21-2013, 04:41 PM
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Am not interested in AirFlex5d. Just wondered if anyone has stacked an older 740 and newer 1080 projector together. Can passive 3d be accomplished ?
Would really like some feedback.
Thanks
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post #8 of 20 Old 01-21-2013, 06:31 PM
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This seems like a really cost effective way to stack multiple projectors to boost light output.

That said, wouldn't "aligning" the 4 outputs through this device without getting the physical alignment much closer than in the video be akin to digital keystone correction and take away from the total resolution of the image?

If this was paired with a adjustable mount/lens setup that afforded for fine alignment corrections and then use this alignment method to correct for the final few percent it should be great.

If all the main alignment is done in software I'd have to question how it affects the image quality.

If the projectors used had really good tilt shift and zoom lenses, an adjustable mount and then software "alignment" added I could easily see this working really well, but having experience using software lens correction in digital imaging I know that it cannot improve physical issues as well as a better optical design could handle them and is normally best used to get that last few percent of performance out of the setup instead of using it to fix a bad design or implementation.

Maybe this was show as a exaggerated "worst case" and the suggested typical setup guidelines make efforts to explain that correcting the physical alignment as close as humanly possible first will allow a better effect.

Still looks pretty cool.
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post #9 of 20 Old 01-22-2013, 01:17 AM
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The cost to operate 3 or 4 projectors is going to be very expensive when the time comes to replace bulbs. Not to mention running the A/C from the bulb's heat and electric bills for 4 projectors. And, they said major design parameters were cost and performance, would anyone know the asking price for Projection Design's F85? And unlike 3 or 4 stacked projectors, the F85 is a 3 chip DLP and will provide much greater color and possibly better convergence due to it being an all in one unit.
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post #10 of 20 Old 01-22-2013, 04:13 AM - Thread Starter
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I tried looking on-line for the price of the F85, without any luck.

Airflex5D offers more than one solution depending on how you want to stack. But I guess the one I thought would be more interesting to present here would have been the dual PJ stacking processor, not the 4. The 4 is much more expensive and is more for commercial applications for extremely large venue screens. Lamp costs would be expensive, but someone who is working on a large venue and one bulb goes out, he/she is not without a projector. Same goes for the Home Theater side of things. You are not out of service for very long. The other feature I found interesting on the Airflex5D is that it increases your contrast ration. So if you use 2 x BenQ DLP Projectors W1070 @ 2000L and 10,000:1 contrast and one processor, your looking at under $4,000 solution for a large screen not to mention, full 1080P 3D with good brightness.

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Originally Posted by 8086 View Post

The cost to operate 3 or 4 projectors is going to be very expensive when the time comes to replace bulbs. Not to mention running the A/C from the bulb's heat and electric bills for 4 projectors. And, they said major design parameters were cost and performance, would anyone know the asking price for Projection Design's F85? And unlike 3 or 4 stacked projectors, the F85 is a 3 chip DLP and will provide much greater color and possibly better convergence due to it being an all in one unit.

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post #11 of 20 Old 01-22-2013, 06:15 AM
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I am more interested in multiple projectors for eyefinity use. Many people use 3x1080p PJs to create super wide (180 degree FOV with 6ft radius arc) screens for simulation games (racing/flying).

Look up warpalizer on youtube to see what I'm talking about. You need edge blending software. Some are doing 5xPortrait LEDs, I'm starting out with 3xLandscape DLPs.

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post #12 of 20 Old 01-22-2013, 10:16 AM
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I don't understand how something like this can be viable without a built in CMS. Sure you could use projectors that have their own color management system, which are generally quite expensive, or you could add expensive external VP's to adjust the color. Could such a unit as this really produce a pleasing "professional" image without such color management? There is much more going into a dual projector setup than just lining them up (which is in my experience the easy part).
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post #13 of 20 Old 01-22-2013, 02:50 PM
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it looks to me like the process of aligning the two images would create allot distortion, kind of the way that keystone correction does
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post #14 of 20 Old 01-22-2013, 02:52 PM
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post #15 of 20 Old 01-23-2013, 02:24 AM
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Can this system be used with any screen? Or it need to be 3d screen only?
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post #16 of 20 Old 01-23-2013, 06:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supercop View Post

Can this system be used with any screen? Or it need to be 3d screen only?


Here's what I found on the Airflex5D FAQ:
Quote:
Q8: I heard that polarized "3D" or "5D" (dual-purpose 2D or 3D) projection screens should be used with passive 3D systems for the best image results. If so, what option should I consider for a polarized 3D screen?

A: In regards to polarized 3D projection screens, Elite Screens Inc. does offer a full line of 3D Polarized "Silver" screens, like AirBright 3D2 or Airbright5D. Both are passive 3D "tensioned" materials that are mounted on either a fixed frame or motorized "roll-up" configuration. Combine any of the AirBright polarized "silver" projection screens with an Airflex5D system (Processor, Lens Filter and Circular/Linear Glass) and it is possible to have a professional 3D cinema array in either residential or commercial applications.
Back to top

Q9: What are the benefits of using a Passive 3D Polarized Silver projection screen material? Do the Elite AirBright3D2 and Airbright5D projection screens fit this category?

A: 3D imaging occurs at a lower level of brightness than regular 2D presentations. Also, it is difficult to maintain polarization on regular projection screen materials. The benefits of Passive 3D polarized silver projection screens are that they increase the brightness of projected 3D images while allowing them to maximize retaining image polarization levels. Lastly, its diffusion layer enhances contrast. Although passive 3D imaging can arguably be performed on other projection materials, the polarized silver materials optimize overall 3D performance with the best results. Yes, the AirBright 3D2 and AirBright 5D projection screens are passive 3D polarized silver projection screens made for the specific reasons specified in the first part of this answer. The AirBright 3D2 is the standard retail model while the AirBright 5D has added contrast levels for enhanced contrast and diffusion moderation.
Back to top

Q10: What are the recommended components needed to set up a complete professional Polarized Passive 3D Projection System?

A:There are 4 major components, the polarized silver screen, 3D processor, 3D lens filters (1 for each projector), an even count (2, 4, 6…) of projectors.
Polarized Silver Screen: Elite Screens' AirBright 3D2 or Airbright5D screen materials are both 3D Polarized "Silver" screens. Either is ideal for the purpose of 3D/2D applications. The main difference between the two is that the Airbright5D has added diffusion treatments for lower gain/higher contrast ratio. The enhanced contrast also enables it to perform better in 2D formats. The Airbright3D2, can likewise handle 2D or 3D formats. However, the Airbright3D2 has a lighter diffusion layer which increases brightness.

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post #17 of 20 Old 01-23-2013, 12:23 PM
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Omega Optical offers a rack system and passive 3D setup

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBBZry-2gSE

youtube,

type; passive 3D cod
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post #18 of 20 Old 02-11-2013, 10:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Newly added information, thought I would share. Received many questions regarding contrast ratios.

http://www.airflex5d.com/faq.html#features_06


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post #19 of 20 Old 05-02-2013, 08:09 PM
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Has anyone had any experience with this product yet?
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post #20 of 20 Old 05-03-2013, 05:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sulakd View Post

Has anyone had any experience with this product yet?

I actually have someone who wrote a review of the system:

http://www.andrew-robinson-online.com/review-airflex5d-af5d-30-projector-stacking-system/

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