Projector,Screen & Screen Size Recommendation - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 09-13-2009, 03:48 AM - Thread Starter
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I have a big Media room (17 ft wide x 21 ft deep) with 10 ft ceilings. But the room will have some ambient light which i am planning to control using some thick window shades.

I need your help in deciding:

1. What is the Max Size Screen I can use with floor standing speakers ? (I was told that projectors should have more Brightness to make picture brighter on bigger screens ) (Budget for screen is $800 or less).

2. Any recommendation of ceiling mounted 1080P Projectors for the above recommended Screen Size for less than $2100 (I am ok with both DLP / LCD Projectors). Again, I don't want to have a dull picture and I might have minimal ambient light (10 ft high ceilings).

3. What is the distance at which the Projector needs to be ceiling mounted?

4. What kind of Screen Material (Gain Factors) are recommended for the above screen size and projector combo?

I highly appreciate your help and feedback

Thanks
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post #2 of 20 Old 09-13-2009, 05:28 PM - Thread Starter
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post #3 of 20 Old 09-13-2009, 07:22 PM
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1. What do your speakers have to do with the screen size?

3. That depends on which projector you get. A lot of sites that sell projectors have calculators that show what distance will create an image of a certain size. If you want to mount it high up, you might want to look at an LCD projector instead of DLP. Most LCD projectors have lens shift, which gives them much greater flexiblity as far as mounting is concerned.

2. and 4. pretty much depend on answers to the other questions.
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post #4 of 20 Old 09-14-2009, 12:21 PM
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OK, I recommend a 120" diagonal screen, & a relatively bright projector to fill it. Anything anywhere near 1000 lumens would be great. That leaves out the Sanyo. Leaves in the Epsons, the Pannys, the Viewsonic 8100, & several of the DLPs.

Most viewers want to sit about 1.5 screen widths away, but I prefer 1 screen width. So, figure viewers sit 10-15 ft. from the screen.

Your floor mount speakers would easily fit outside the edges of your screen, & they would then each stand about 4 ft. from your walls. That should be OK, & the angle of the speakers to the listeners would be about right, making nearly an equilateral triangle. You can mount a center channel speaker below your screen.

I always recommend people consider a retro-reflective screen (like the High Power) if they have any ambient light issues. Especially if you go for a screen as large as I am recommending. So, a High Power pull down screen, & it fits your budget.

Projector mount position depends on the projector you choose. To make best use of a retro-reflective screen, though, you would mount the projector near eye level, so on a shelf behind the viewers. With your 10 ft. ceilings, it would not be best to try to ceiling mount anyway. So, if you shelf mount at the back of your room, you would need a projector with adjustable lens shift and a large variation in zoom. Epsons, Pannys, & the Viewsonic qualify there. DLPs are generally not for shelf mounting.

Its a great time to be shopping and buying.
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post #5 of 20 Old 09-19-2009, 12:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks a lot TrickMckaha for your valuable feedback. I appreciate your input.

Here are a few more clarifications I am looking for on the same:

I have the flexibility to go with a ceiling mount. So that is not an issue

1. I have done some reading and short listed a few Projectors namely:

Panasonic PT-AE3000
Epson Home Cinema 6500UB
Epson Home Cinema 6100
Epson Home Cinema 1080UB
BenQ W6000 (DLP)
Optoma HD20 (DLP)

Looks like from a bigger screen perspective, Pana, all Epsons and BenQ qualify. Optoma is doubtful, but it is the best budget projector I guess. Can you help me figure out which of the above projectors will make a bright and vivid picture on a bigger screen (120" diagonal or 126"diagonal) ? (Hope Optoma can do it).

2. Are there any other DLP Projectors in the price range of the above projectors that will throw a bright and very good image on a 120"-124" inch screen ?

3. Is 120" the right size ? Can I go up to 126" ? (particularly for the above projector list)


4. With my limited knowledge and price restrictions, I feel Epson 6100, Epson 1080UB and Optoma HD20 are the budget friendly ones. I also realized that teir contrast numbers are lower with Epsons having better bumbers (50000 for 1080UB and 18000 for 6100). Is this dynamic contrast a bigger factor to consider ?

5. Epson 1080UB seems to be a good balance from Lumens, contrast and price perspective. Can it throw a vivid, bright picture on a 120"+ screen in dark room mode and for a NFL Game with lights on ?

I highly appreciate your feedback

Thanks
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post #6 of 20 Old 09-19-2009, 01:51 AM
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Raks -- Ceiling mounting is an issue! You missed the point of TrickMcKaha's comment on the Da-Lite High-power screen, It is retro-reflective (gain = 2.8), but it only works if the PJ is mounted on a shelf at about the viewer height (when seated). If you ceiling mount your PJ, you will lose the advantage of the high gain (it drops to around 1.6, or so, for ceiling mounts - the higher the PJ the less gain). Also, the larger the screen, the more expensive it will be (a 120" Da-Light High-Power screen, retractable, model C, will be pushing your screen budget). The fixed frame versions are even more expensive. The shipping costs for large screens are also high ($100 to $200).

#1. If you insist on ceiling mounting your PJ, then your only choice of PJs will be the Epson 6500UB or the Epson 6100. They are the only ones bright enough to be usable with a standard 120" screen like an Elite ezFrame CineWhite (gain = 1.1) - the only screen close to your budget limit.

#2. The DLP PJs are not bright enough for your proposed application.

#3. You can go larger, but you will blow your budget. Also, then the image may not be bright enough for your stated use. I would recommend staying with a 120" screen, for both cost and image brightness.

#4. The only ones are the Epsons. The Optoma will not work (and the image is a lot worse than the 2 Epsons). Those numbers you quoted are the "Dynamic Contrast" numbers. They are also the advertised numbers and you will not get those in the real world, especially if you have ambient room light (it kills the contrast).

#5. The Epson 1080UB is now over 2 years old. While it is cost effective, you are much better off getting last year's 6500UB or the cheaper 6100. Both are much better than the 1080UB.

From your posts, you still have a lot of reading to do. You seem to have gotten caught up in the projector hype (at least a little), without understanding the details (and downsides - my guess). I would suggest that you read up on the PJs at www.projectorreviews.com. I would also recommend that you read up on screens in the AVS Screen Forum (http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=23). You should also check out the DIY screens. By making your own screen, you can save a lot of money. You can also build a larger screen, and if it doesn't work out, it's easy to make it smaller (without losing a lot of money).

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post #7 of 20 Old 09-20-2009, 03:02 AM - Thread Starter
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CT_Wiebe: Thanks for providing valuable feedback

Here are some newbie questions...

I am not understanding what is meant by retro-reflective screen....The only thing I umderstand is this screen gives a gain of 2.8 in brightness. But as per what i read on screens (limited reading),the higher the gain, the more non uniform the screen brightness is with the center of the screen being brighter and fading towards te edge of the screen. If so, this screen should not be recommended right ? Please explain

I prefer ceiling mounted projector. I am not sure how ceiling mount reduces the gain factor.

1. Looks like you are saying ceiling mount only leaves Epson 6500 and 6100 as choice. How about Epson 1080 and Panasonic PT-AE3000. I have read several places that Epson 6500UB and Panasonic PT-AE3000 are head on competitors. Also, in the normal mode, Panasonic seems to have more brightness than Epson 6500UB (http://www.projectorcentral.com/epso...nic_ae3000.htm).

2. I have read a review that BenQ W6000 is a very bright projector (2500 Lumens). Can this not be used for a 120 Inch screen ?

3. Looks like 120 Inch is the right size....If I want to go with the next higher size, would that be 133" ? How much more expensive it can get ?

4. I have windows in the room which I am planning to cover with thick drapes. So I am thinking room will be decently light controlled. In that context,do you still say Epsons and 120 Inc screen ? My intent is to go bigger and still have a good & Bright picture.

5. I have read that 6500UB is brighter where as Panasonic has better implementatina of Frame Interpolation (http://www.projectorcentral.com/epso...nic_ae3000.htm). How important is Frame Interpolation ?

I agree with you..I have read about projectors and not much about screens. I will follow your links

Thanks
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post #8 of 20 Old 09-20-2009, 05:48 AM
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Hi there,

All good questions, indeed!

CT_Wiebe has both the patience and typing skills and the love of sharing his expertise thru his own experience and research, employing his reading and comprehension skills (no doubt), spending his hobby time here learning by reading countless threads, AND utilizing the "Search Function". So, no doubt he may well jump in again once you have more pointed questions!

Included in CT_Wiebe's post were links to threads which are full of valuable lessons all gone over before waiting to be rediscovered rather than repeated by retyping.

Reading the stickies and using the search function is highly encouraged, such as reading post one on the High Power screen over in the Screens sub-forum, in answer to some of your many good 101 questions! That thread, for instance, is a treasure trove of other folks on the same trail you are embarking upon!

I only mean to be helpful, and also in answer as to why you may not be getting the answers to your very good questions, ie. your 2nd post.

Hopefully this helps as it was intended.

Best of luck~

-Regards

~ Retro-reflective goodness ~
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post #9 of 20 Old 09-20-2009, 07:40 AM
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14' 8" x 17' 6" dedicated room w/total light control. Just bought Viewsonic Pro8100. White or grey? With this PJ and set up, am I going to be more concerned about blacks (go grey), brightness (go white & gain), or neither. Looking at 100" elite fixed white or grey.
Great info here from everyone! Thanks!
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post #10 of 20 Old 09-21-2009, 05:32 AM
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b4ward -- What screen you get depends on how large a screen you get (or build, if DIY). You said you will have total light control, so you could get a gray screen. If you don't DIY, (and can use a fixed screen), then the Elite ezFrame CineGray screen (gain = 1.0) should work just fine for a 106", 16:9, screen. That screen is the lowest cost option (unless you build your own). For your room, that's about as big as you likely should use (from a reasonable viewing distance standpoint - leaves enough room for 2 rows of seating). See http://www.projectorreviews.com/view...8100/index.php for a good review of the Pro8100.

finthen -- Thanks. That's exactly what I was trying to say.

Raks -- A brief description of screens, PJ output and throw distance:

There are 2 types of screens with positive gain (gains greater than 1.0). A normal reflective screen (gain greater than 1.0) reflects light off of the screen surface back towards the audience, much like a mirror. A "retro-reflective" screen (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retrore...etroreflectors) has a surface that reflects light back towards the exact direction that it came from (that is directly back towards the PJ lens). Consequently, for a ceiling mounted PJ most of the light will be sent back towards the ceiling. The amount of light sent back towards the audience will be only about half as bright as it would be if the PJ was mounted at the viewer's head height.

The amount of light coming out of a PJ depends on the amount of lamp power (Pj usually have 2 modes - standard ("high power" or "full"), and low power (or "eco" mode. Depending on the PJ, the low lamp mode can be anywhere from 17% to almost 30% dimmer than the standard lamp mode. This output is measured in Lumens. Depending on the throw distance and the maximum zoom ratio, the PJ output can vary by as much as 45% from the shortest throw distance to the longest throw distance.

The amount of light coming off the screen (what is seen by the viewers) is measured in foot-Lamberts (abbreviated as ft-L, or ftL).
This brightness can be calculated by using the equation:

(Screen Brightness in ft-L) = (PJ Output in Lumens) x (Screen Gain) / (Screen Area in square feet)

For example, an Epson 1080UB (a 2 year oldl PJ) has an output of about 460 Lumens when at 20% zoom (throw distance of ~14' 3" from a 120" screen) in it's low lamp mode when calibrated for its best quality output for watching movies. A 120" screen has a 104.6" x 58.8" viewing area = 42.73 square feet. Therefore, for a matte white screen (gain = 1.0) that screen brigthness = 460 x 1.0 / 42.73 = 10.8 ft-L. The recommended brightness is 13 ft-L to 18 ft-L in a totally dark room (and you will need around 25 ft-L with some ambient light in the room). So that combination won't work. If you switch to the standard lamp mode the ouput increases to about 597 Lumens, and the screen brightness goes up to ~14 ft-L (barely acceptable in a totally dark room).

By running the 1080UB in the much brighter "Living Room" plus standard lamp modes, then the output increases to 937 Lumens which will give you 22 ft-L. That would be Ok with a very small amount of room light.

If you read the reviews (by Art Feierman) of these projectors at www.projectorreviews.com, you will see that the Epson 6500UB (which has a higher powered lamp of a new design) you will find out that the 6500UB puts out about 50% more Lumens for the same conditions. In addition, the maximum that the 6500UB can output can be almost twice that of the 1080UB, if needed.

If you use a Da-Lite High-Power screen with a ceiling mounted PJ, its effective gain = 1.6 (compared to about 2.6-2.8 for a shelf mount at about eye height). Therefore, the calculations I made above are multiplied by the gain as stated. Again, the further the PJ is from the screen, the dimmer your screen image will be (due to the decrease in the lens f number as the throw distance increases). Dropping the screen size to 106" (33.34 square feet) will increase the screen brightness by about 30%, per the equation above.

BTW, from those reviews, Art also states that the Panasonic AE3000 has about the same brightness as the older 1080UB.

We cannot make your choices for you, since we don't have a clue as to what your preferences are.

If you want my specific answers:
#1. Yes, the epson 6500UB and the 6100 are the only two models (based on what you have told us). The Panasonic is not brighter than either of those 2 Epsons - the PJC calculator is not correct in terms of brightness numbers, even if you use it correctly.

#2. You did not say which review you read on the BenQ W5000, but that 2500 Lumen statement is bogus. Even PJC stated that it was around 600 to 800 lumens (the same as the Epson 6500UB) and Art hasn't finished his review yet. In addition, this PJ is brand new and full production models are not being delivered yet. Yes, the BenQ W5000 will work but doesn't have the placement flexibility that the Epsons have (and it's not measurably brighter either).

#3. Screen prices go up by screen size. The amount of increase depends on which screen manufacturer you buy from. For Elite ezFrame screens you have 106", 120" and 135" choices. The 120" is about $30 more than the 106", the 135" is about $130 more than the 120". And don't forget that the shipping charges increase significantly as the screen size increases. You can more than double those prices for Da-Lite screens.

#4. No comment, I've covered this quite thoroughly. If you don't want to believe me, I'm sorry I can't help you. If you go to a 135" Elite screen, I think you will be disappointed, IMHO.

$5. Use of Frame Interpolation (FI) is a highly personal preference. Epson has fixed their low level FI operation. The Panasonic AE3000 has a better FI option. Now, you are saying the AE3000 isn't as bright (contrary to your post #1, please be consistent).

If you do decide to get an AE3000, you will not have enough brightness to use any screen larger than 120" for your room (and I personally don't think you should anyway). BTW, the W5000 doesn't have any FI and it has some performance drawbacks that the other PJs don't have.

I sincerely recommend that you read the DIY screen threads (http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=110). Since you can't seem to decide what to do, making your own screen (the materials are readily available from you local Home Improvement and fabric stores) is the lowest cost solution. Don't forget that you also have to pay for the shipping charges on any screen you buy (typically anywhere from $75 to $200).

Actually, the best thing you can do is to decide what PJ to get, and use it on a plain white wall, for starters. That way you can see for yourself how bright it will be and what screen size can work the best for you. That way you won't spend $500 to $1000 on a screen that won't work for you.

Sorry for the long post, but all of this information is available either in the AVS Forums, or online (PJ reviews at www.projectorreviews.com and the screen distance calculator at http://www.projectorcentral.com/proj...ulator-pro.cfm, but the ftL numbers aren't quite correct).

And please, don't get caught up in a lot of hype and wishful thinking (there is a lot of FUD out there, too). Unless you are willing to spend at least a month doing a lot of reading and research you are going to be very unhappy with a quick and uninformed purchase. Making an intelligent and informed choice is something only you can do (we can't make those choices for you).

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post #11 of 20 Old 09-21-2009, 06:37 AM
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Bravo, CT Wiebe! Thanks for the input. I was thinking 100" or 106" screen. My first row viewing position is 8-8.5 ft (depending on recline). I have 2 rows of Lane leather HT chairs (2 rows of 3). Eager to get this baby up and running.
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post #12 of 20 Old 09-21-2009, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b4ward View Post

Bravo, CT Wiebe! Thanks for the input. I was thinking 100" or 106" screen. My first row viewing position is 8-8.5 ft (depending on recline). I have 2 rows of Lane leather HT chairs (2 rows of 3). Eager to get this baby up and running.

Hope you don't mind my 2c worth.
If you're in lower 48, check this out (High Contrast Gray,you may need another color):
http://www.htdepot.com/Focupix_Wides...69lt-100gy.htm
There's a 9% discount code "Peace"

Google Focupix reviews, here's one on Focupix:

http://www.audioholics.com/reviews/p...io-electric-rf
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post #13 of 20 Old 09-21-2009, 06:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgibson View Post

Hope you don't mind my 2c worth.
If you're in lower 48, check this out (High Contrast Gray,you may need another color):
http://www.htdepot.com/Focupix_Wides...69lt-100gy.htm
There's a 9% discount code "Peace"

Google Focupix reviews, here's one on Focupix:

http://www.audioholics.com/reviews/p...io-electric-rf

Another site I found a few years ago. It was helpful when I did my screen:
http://myhometheater.homestead.com/v...l#anchor_13194

Also side view for vertical screen height/seating:
http://myhometheater.homestead.com/Verticalviewing.html
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post #14 of 20 Old 09-24-2009, 12:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgibson View Post

Another site I found a few years ago. It was helpful when I did my screen:
http://myhometheater.homestead.com/v...l#anchor_13194

Also side view for vertical screen height/seating:
http://myhometheater.homestead.com/Verticalviewing.html

Thanks for posting those links. I had run across them before, but lost the link.

The second one is a little misleading (pictorially), since it shows the viewers sitting bolt upright. I don't know of any theater in which the viewers do that. That's why the bottom of my screen is at about the same height as my eyes. When I sit relaxed (and semi-reclined), with my back and head in a straight line, my eyes fall at about 1/3 of the way up the screen (which is the THX recommendation).

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post #15 of 20 Old 09-24-2009, 04:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CT_Wiebe View Post

Thanks for posting those links. I had run across them before, but lost the link.

The second one is a little misleading (pictorially), since it shows the viewers sitting bolt upright. I don't know of any theater in which the viewers do that. That's why the bottom of my screen is at about the same height as my eyes. When I sit relaxed (and semi-reclined), with my back and head in a straight line, my eyes fall at about 1/3 of the way up the screen (which is the THX recommendation).

Claus, thanks for your response, and you're welcome for the link.

As to sitting reclined or bolt upright, good point.

When I sit reclined, the THX 1/3 rule is met, and my big feet don't interfere.
Any noobies should take this into consideration, and temporarily mark the image location on the wall before final screen placement.(Blue painters tape is easily removed). A low drop ceiling (79"-see pic.) required careful planning for choice of projector, mount and screen size. The new Optoma HD20's low offset easily matched my 5 year old 94" diy screen. Previously used for IN72 and Mit HC1500-both of which needed keystone. My Optoma keystone setting is zero.
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post #16 of 20 Old 10-01-2009, 01:45 AM
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+1 to the BenQ W6000

Lumens are always overstated, every manufacturer does it. But Projector Central did say that this projector is extremely bright and has a high dynamic contrast range! 2500 lumens may be an overstatement, but they did mention that they peaked 2000 lumens:
"If your only concern is image brightness, you can use Dynamic mode, the Lamp Native color temperature setting, and Brilliantcolor to create a 2061-lumen powerhouse of an image."

Here is the full review for the W6000 on Projector Central:
http://www.projectorcentral.com/benq...tor_review.htm

I Love Apple, BenQ, Samsung, and Acer Products = )
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post #17 of 20 Old 10-02-2009, 12:04 AM - Thread Starter
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That is the same thing I was referring to.....BenQ W6000 has the Lumen output and the image quality as well as per projector central.

Similarly, Mitsubishi HC6800 got a great review as well. But Mitsubishi may be having a lower overall lumens.....but what I am noting is...in the cinema mode it has almost 700 Lumens...

"The real question is how bright the picture is after calibration for ideal cinema viewing. This measurement almost never appears on a spec sheet. In its factory default Cinema mode, our test sample measured 703 lumens, which is brighter than most other home theater projectors in Cinema mode (measured with lens at wide angle setting, and lamp on full power). "

CT_Wiebe: Would BenQ W6000 and Mitsubishi HC6800 compete with Epson HC 6500 UB for my needs ?
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post #18 of 20 Old 10-02-2009, 12:20 AM - Thread Starter
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CT_Wiebe : After reading your reply and forums, at this point this is what I have settled down with:

Screen Size: 118" - 120", Medium Gain Screen (1.1 to 1.4 gain), do not want High Gain

Projectors: Epson 6500 UB, Epson 8100, BenQ W6000, Mitsubishi HC6800
(Right now Epson 6500 UB and Mitsubishi HC6800 are the top choices)

Usage: Decently light controlled for Movies
Moderate Ambient light for Sports

Do you suggest Epson 6500 UB over the new Epson 8100 ?

Any comments about Mitsubishi HC6800 vs Epson 6500 UB ?

Finally...For a budget of $1000 for a 118" to 120" screen (medium gain)...any screens you would suggest for my above usage ? Not interested in High Gain screens.

Any PMs forum folks can make for good deals on Epson 6500 UB and Mitsubishi HC6800 ?

Thanking you all for your valuable feedback
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post #19 of 20 Old 10-05-2009, 06:11 PM
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Raks -- Thanks for the PM, I'm out of town and don't have a chance to get on line as much.

RE: Your Post #17 -- I don't trust Projector Central's reviews that much, since they don't really provide a thorough review (more of a "Reader's Digest" version). I would recommend waiting until Art gets finished with his reviews of the new PJs -- www.projectorreviews.com. BTW, Art does provide the lumen output, after calibration, so you can do a good comparison for the types of conditions that you describe (you do have to read his entire review, however, not just the first and last pages - otherwise you won't get the complete picture).

He just posted his W6000 review: http://www.projectorreviews.com/benq/w6000/index.php. His 6500UB review is here: http://www.projectorreviews.com/epso...00ub/index.php. He hasn't gotten to the HC6800 yet.

From a PQ (picture quality) standpoint, the W6000, HC6800 and the 6500UB are all comparable. Of those, the HC6800 will likely have the least lumen output, after calibration (your post #18). The only place where the HC6800 might be wanting is in your "ambient light, sports" condition with the type of screen you described.

RE: Your Post #18 --
Quote:


Do you suggest Epson 6500 UB over the new Epson 8100 ?

Yes definitely. The 6500UB is a better PJ (it has higher quality panels). The 8100 is an updated 6100, with a Dual-Iris for better black levels.
Quote:


Any comments about Mitsubishi HC6800 vs Epson 6500 UB ?

I would, personally, prefer the HC6800, but the 6500UB would likely be the better choice for your use (better black levels and more lumen output, after calibration).
Quote:


For a budget of $1000 for a 118" to 120" screen (medium gain)...any screens you would suggest for my above usage ?

The best choice of a fixed screen would be one of the Carada (www.carada.com) models. However, they may bust your budget a little, after you include shipping charges. Elite has good "ezFrame" models in CineWhite (gain = 1.1) material which should satisfy your needs. Check the AVS advertisers (top of each Forum page) and look for their screen options. Da-Lite is also another source, but they may be a bit overpriced.
Quote:


Any PMs forum folks can make for good deals on Epson 6500 UB and Mitsubishi HC6800 ?

Your question is against forum rules (http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/annou...php?f=68&a=119). Nothing is stopping you from doing your own searching on the Internet. Don't forget to check the AVS advertisers listed at the top of each Forum page (and let them know that you are an AVS Forum member -- calling them might help get a better price).

PS -- The only place you can get the HC6800 (with factory warranty) is from Best Buy. Mitsubishi will not sell it, in the US, from any online sources (specifically prohibited per Mitsubishi).

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post #20 of 20 Old 10-06-2009, 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by CT_Wiebe View Post

Raks -- I don't trust Projector Central's reviews that much, since they don't really provide a thorough review (more of a "Reader's Digest" version). I would recommend waiting until Art gets finished with his reviews of the new PJs -- www.projectorreviews.com.

I guess projector central are less biased with their opinions? But I do agree that projector reviews give more in depth opinion and takes, plus they give show you pictures of the projection quality, which is always nice = )

I like Projector Central for their very clear and reliable information on their site. The navigation on the website is much better too, but that is a personal opinion.

I Love Apple, BenQ, Samsung, and Acer Products = )
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