Help choosing projector and screen - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 20 Old 10-04-2008, 05:48 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm planning to buy a projector and screen in the next month or so.

The front row of seats will be 16-ft from the screen. I have 2 possible locations for the projector. One is a ceiling mount approximately 15-ft from the screen and the other is on the rear wall approximately 22-ft from the screen. I'm not 100% certain that the ceiling mount will work without blocking the view from the rear row of seats. The room is light controlled.

I was considering the Panasonic PT-AE2000U, but the new Sanyo PLV-Z700 sounds good for $750 less after rebate. Any other projectors I should be looking at in the <$2500 price range?

My screen size will be 100-106". The screen will not be mounted directly to the wall. It can be hung from the ceiling or possible on a stand. Based on the calculators, I may need a high-gain screen if the projector is placed on the rear wall. I'd like to stay under $500 for the screen.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
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post #2 of 20 Old 10-04-2008, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanD View Post

I'm planning to buy a projector and screen in the next month or so.

The front row of seats will be 16-ft from the screen. I have 2 possible locations for the projector. One is a ceiling mount approximately 15-ft from the screen and the other is on the rear wall approximately 22-ft from the screen. I'm not 100% certain that the ceiling mount will work without blocking the view from the rear row of seats. The room is light controlled.

I can't imagine having the projector mounted low enough to interfere with the back row of seats (unless you have a 3' riser ). Most LCD's will give you plenty of screen shift to allow you more than enough room.

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I was considering the Panasonic PT-AE2000U, but the new Sanyo PLV-Z700 sounds good for $750 less after rebate. Any other projectors I should be looking at in the <$2500 price range?

Both good choices. Also check out the Epson 1080UB. Great black levels and above average lumens. Used RS1's have also been popping up lately for around your price range.

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My screen size will be 100-106". The screen will not be mounted directly to the wall. It can be hung from the ceiling or possible on a stand. Based on the calculators, I may need a high-gain screen if the projector is placed on the rear wall. I'd like to stay under $500 for the screen.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

While a high gain isn't mandatory, it wouldn't be a bad idea. Keep in mind if you do go this route, to maximize it's potential, you will want to mount the projector as close to eye level as possible. I believe you can get a manually retractable hi power screen for right around your price range. You also have the option of building one, but this would be a little more tricky seeing as you don't plan on mounting it to the back wall.

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post #3 of 20 Old 10-04-2008, 07:19 PM
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Like Bass Addict said check out the Epson 1080UB. If you already haven't there's a comparison of the Panasonic 2000 and Epson 1080 @ projector reviews.com. Both won top 1080 honors for the money. Both also have indivdual reviews and what screen to use.
ProjectorCentral.com has a pro calculator for most projectors. Looks like the Epson would fit nicely.
Also the Epson has a rebate and free lamp offer keeping the cost in your price range.
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post #4 of 20 Old 10-05-2008, 07:36 AM
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for your screen size and seating distance, 1080p will show little diff. (if any) over 720p.

I would look at the planar 7130 for $600
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post #5 of 20 Old 10-05-2008, 07:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bass addict View Post

I can't imagine having the projector mounted low enough to interfere with the back row of seats (unless you have a 3' riser ).

Both good choices. Also check out the Epson 1080UB.

While a high gain isn't mandatory, it wouldn't be a bad idea. Keep in mind if you do go this route, to maximize it's potential, you will want to mount the projector as close to eye level as possible. I believe you can get a manually retractable hi power screen for right around your price range. You also have the option of building one, but this would be a little more tricky seeing as you don't plan on mounting it to the back wall.

The room has a low ceiling, and there is a ceiling fan in the way. I'll get a friend to help me check the ceiling location to see if it will be in the way, otherwise it can go on the back wall. It seems that 15-ft is a more preferred throw distance from the calculator. How much does horizontal screen shift affect the picture quality? Maybe a side wall is another option.

The Epson 1080UB does sound like a good option. The 2 main reasons I'm considering the Panasonic is that it is supposed to look good out of the box and it has the split screen for adjustments. Also, there is a good chance that I will upgrade once the price drops on the new higher contrast 120hz projectors.

I read a little about the DIY screens, and I think that's the way I'll go to begin with. There is a staircase behind where I'm putting the screen. It should fit nicely sitting on top of the rail that separates the room from the stairs. I can attach it to the rail and the ceiling with some brackets.
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post #6 of 20 Old 10-05-2008, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by davegrey99 View Post

for your screen size and seating distance, 1080p will show little diff. (if any) over 720p.

I would look at the planar 7130 for $600

I thought 1080p starts making a difference at around 50"?? I'd imagine a display over 3 times larger would benefit from 1080p??

Am I wrong?

edit:

"Given that many people view their televisions from 8-10 feet away (if not even more), you would have to have a 65" or larger screen to really notice the difference between 720p and 1080p."
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post #7 of 20 Old 10-05-2008, 08:33 AM
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Sitting 16' from a 106" screen gives a seating distance of 2.1x the screen width which is far enough away that 1080p may not be seen as a big upgrade from 720p. At that seating distance 720p, especially with a Blu Ray source, will be sharp as a needle. If you decide to mount to the rear wall maybe you could try something like a Panasonic AX200, Sanyo Z60, Epson 720. You might find that you don't need anything more than that. A Dalite HP screen can be had in 106" size for well under $500. I would demo a good 720p machine from the back wall with a Hi Power screen and I'd be willing to bet that you'll be knocked out by the image and be able to keep some money in your pocket.

Moe
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post #8 of 20 Old 10-05-2008, 08:35 AM
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generally, you can start to see an improvement in picture from 1080p if you are less than 1.5 screen widths away.

for a 100" screen, thats about a seating distance of 11 feet.

most people will see little, if any, difference in 1080 vs. 720 at a distance greater than 1.5 screen widths.

Also, unless you are using blue-ray dvd's, No tv channel source is 1080p. Therefore, the limiting factor is the source. A 1080 projector has to "make up", or extrapolate data to produce a so-called 1080 image.

Dont get me wrong, all things being equal, the 1080 is of course better. But it really depends on seating distance, and sources used.

Final line, if not using blue-ray and sitting > 1.5 screen widths, then no sense spending xtra on a 1080 projector. Just my opinion, but read thru the multiple posts on this subject.
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post #9 of 20 Old 10-05-2008, 02:01 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davegrey99 View Post

generally, you can start to see an improvement in picture from 1080p if you are less than 1.5 screen widths away.

for a 100" screen, thats about a seating distance of 11 feet.

most people will see little, if any, difference in 1080 vs. 720 at a distance greater than 1.5 screen widths.

Also, unless you are using blue-ray dvd's, No tv channel source is 1080p. Therefore, the limiting factor is the source. A 1080 projector has to "make up", or extrapolate data to produce a so-called 1080 image.

Dont get me wrong, all things being equal, the 1080 is of course better. But it really depends on seating distance, and sources used.

Final line, if not using blue-ray and sitting > 1.5 screen widths, then no sense spending xtra on a 1080 projector. Just my opinion, but read thru the multiple posts on this subject.

Good post. I agree with it 100%.
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post #10 of 20 Old 10-05-2008, 05:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davegrey99 View Post

generally, you can start to see an improvement in picture from 1080p if you are less than 1.5 screen widths away.

for a 100" screen, thats about a seating distance of 11 feet.

most people will see little, if any, difference in 1080 vs. 720 at a distance greater than 1.5 screen widths.

Also, unless you are using blue-ray dvd's, No tv channel source is 1080p. Therefore, the limiting factor is the source. A 1080 projector has to "make up", or extrapolate data to produce a so-called 1080 image.

Dont get me wrong, all things being equal, the 1080 is of course better. But it really depends on seating distance, and sources used.

Final line, if not using blue-ray and sitting > 1.5 screen widths, then no sense spending xtra on a 1080 projector. Just my opinion, but read thru the multiple posts on this subject.

Personally, I would agree on all points. The one area 1080p stands head and shoulders above 720 is black level/contrast. 720's pale in comparison concerning this holy grail of picture quality. If you are not a huge black level guy I would seriously look towards the Epson home cinema 720. I loved mine and would argue it exceeds 1080 in many areas of picture quality. Not to mention is has the lumen horsepower to allow you mounting anywhere in your room without being forced to go with an HP. JMTC

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How much does horizontal screen shift affect the picture quality? Maybe a side wall is another option

Horizontal or vertical? Most LCD projectors have huge placement flexibility and I'd be surprised if you there wasn't enough shift to mount most anywhere in your room. Picture quality is nominally effected in all but the most extreme circumstances.

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post #11 of 20 Old 10-05-2008, 08:03 PM
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The thing is, isn't 1.5 screen widths the *recommended* seating distance? So if you sit where you are supposed to it sounds like it's borderline whether you're even going to be able to appreciate the the 1080p advantage. Is that what you guys are saying - that unless you move in perhaps uncomfortably close, you won't really see the extra resolution you are paying for?
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post #12 of 20 Old 10-05-2008, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by R o d View Post

The thing is, isn't 1.5 screen widths the *recommended* seating distance? So if you sit where you are supposed to it sounds like it's borderline whether you're even going to be able to appreciate the the 1080p advantage. Is that what you guys are saying - that unless you move in perhaps uncomfortably close, you won't really see the extra resolution you are paying for?

As mentioned, there is more to 1080p than just resolution. As far as seating, it comes down more to viewing angle than actual distance. The rest is all personal preference.

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post #13 of 20 Old 10-05-2008, 09:23 PM - Thread Starter
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I'll definitely be getting a 1080P projector. The only question is which one should I get in the next month or so. With the new models due out this month, the prices on the existing models may drop before I buy.
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post #14 of 20 Old 10-06-2008, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bass addict View Post

As mentioned, there is more to 1080p than just resolution. As far as seating, it comes down more to viewing angle than actual distance. The rest is all personal preference.

I'm not sure I understand. What does viewing angle have to do with 1080p vs. 720p? Earlier in the thread you said 1080p offers superior black levels. Isn't that due to better technology that manufacturers usually reserve for their high-end projectors rather than the fact that it is 1080p. I mean, theoretically couldn't a 720p projector have black levels that are just as good?

I'm not contesting what you are saying. I'm just trying to understand. Thanks.
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post #15 of 20 Old 10-06-2008, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by R o d View Post

Earlier in the thread you said 1080p offers superior black levels. Isn't that due to better technology that manufacturers usually reserve for their high-end projectors rather than the fact that it is 1080p. I mean, theoretically couldn't a 720p projector have black levels that are just as good?

That's a valid point. At least for LCD projectors, everything before this fall was inorganic at 1080p and organic at 720p.

The new LCD "entry level" 1080p projectors include organic panels like the 720p projectors, so it will be interesting to see how performance compares.

Enjoying my second TW4000 and my new screen.
As my wife said, "Wow, it really does look a lot better...and if I think that way, imagine how you must think it looks!"
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post #16 of 20 Old 10-06-2008, 11:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanD View Post

the picture quality? Maybe a side wall is another option.

The Epson 1080UB does sound like a good option. The 2 main reasons I'm considering the Panasonic is that it is supposed to look good out of the box and it has the split screen for adjustments. Also, there is a good chance that I will upgrade once the price drops on the new higher contrast 120hz projectors.

.

Doesn't the Epson already have 24p built-in, which I thought would mean the 120hz wouldn't be necessary since thats what 120hz is supposed to do-give multiples of 24 frames. Is there something else that the 120 hz does?
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post #17 of 20 Old 10-07-2008, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by R o d View Post

I'm not sure I understand. What does viewing angle have to do with 1080p vs. 720p?

I was responding to the question pertaining to seating distance, not resolution per say. THX recommends a viewing angle of 36 degrees for the main seats, and a minimum of 26 degrees for the second row. The 1.5 rule is used as that get's you closest to this number.

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Earlier in the thread you said 1080p offers superior black levels. Isn't that due to better technology that manufacturers usually reserve for their high-end projectors rather than the fact that it is 1080p. I mean, theoretically couldn't a 720p projector have black levels that are just as good?

Yes, it's due to technological advances. With the implementation of D7 panels and improved DI (in most LCD's cases), 1080 has obtained a significant jump in BL compared to their 720 brothers. While 720 could and probably will to a small degree see better black levels, 1080 will always hold the upper hand for reasons already discussed.

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post #18 of 20 Old 10-07-2008, 02:10 PM - Thread Starter
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How would an inexpensive pull-down screen in the $100-200 range compare to a DIY screen? I think the pull-down would be easier to mount in my situation. Any suggestions on a specific screen?

Unless the other projectors come down in price in the next month, I'm leaning towards getting the Sanyo PLV-Z700 for now and upgrading in 1-2 years. Since the Sanyo has a 3-year warranty, I expect that it would hold it's value well.
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post #19 of 20 Old 10-07-2008, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by RyanD View Post

How would an inexpensive pull-down screen in the $100-200 range compare to a DIY screen? I think the pull-down would be easier to mount in my situation. Any suggestions on a specific screen?

DIY's allow you a little nicer material for less cost. I wouldn't worry a ton about the screen. Go with the 200.00 pulldown and upgrade down the road. My first screen was a doable board from Home Depot that looked just fine to me. If I had x amount of money to spend, I would budget more for the projector and less for the screen, IMO.

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Since the Sanyo has a 3-year warranty, I expect that it would hold it's value well.

PJ's and holding value are not synonymous with each other.

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post #20 of 20 Old 10-08-2008, 09:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanD View Post

How would an inexpensive pull-down screen in the $100-200 range compare to a DIY screen? I think the pull-down would be easier to mount in my situation. Any suggestions on a specific screen?

Unless the other projectors come down in price in the next month, I'm leaning towards getting the Sanyo PLV-Z700 for now and upgrading in 1-2 years. Since the Sanyo has a 3-year warranty, I expect that it would hold it's value well.

I've projected onto a number of things including thejo ann fabric blackout material that is used commonly for homemade screens. It can be purchased for about 16 bucks and you can create a 120 inch diagonal screen with it. Works just as good as my pulldown screen, and reflects the same. I mounted it on a long rod which I manually roll up when I'm done.

My pull down screen is sometimes a pain to get up, it reminds me of teachers in school who couldn't get the screen back up after some video, its the same problem. It takes about 3-5 pulls to get it up with varying angles. I've got it down pretty well right now, but if I were to do it over I would've just bought a powered screen and avoided the whole ordeal. I went with the cheapest screen, I think it cost 135 bucks plus 90 to ship. Its a 135 inch diagonal and works real well otherwise.

Before purchasing maybe you could try some homemade ones out and see how you like it to help determine what you will want. Who knows maybe you'll want a high gain screen to give more brightness.
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