PJ for a Sports Bar? - AVS Forum
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Old 05-13-2002, 04:44 PM - Thread Starter
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My friend owns a bar and wants to show games as a draw to get customers in. What's a good projector for him to buy. I'm assuming most of the TV he's watching is SD and not HD for a few years to come. I'm looking for a good screen/PJ combo.

The needs for this projector are:

1. Low cost of ownership. Bulbs shouldn't cost an arm and a leg.
2. Ease of use. (Plug into a cable box basically)
3. As nice an image as possible, taking into account (1) (2) and the approx $5K
budget.

The bar is fairly dark inside, the lighting is generally quite low.

R-S
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Old 05-13-2002, 05:52 PM
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Projectors LIKE darkness. The darker the better. I'm sure a bar has alot of ambient light compared to darkness, so high lumen projector should be of interest.

My AE100 with 700 lumen is not bright enough when it's daytime, even with shutters closed. So perhaps a higher lumen projector would be in order. The Sanyo XP21 is 2500 lumen.

Have your friend demo out some projectors IN his bar before making a decision... or at least make sure you have the ability to return it. Buying the wrong projector is worse than spending a little more money on the right one.

- JP in TOronto
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Old 05-14-2002, 05:52 AM
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Sanyo XP21N is a good machine for some ambient light especially if you pair it with a gray screen (greyhawk / firehawk / DaLite Hi Contrast) if the brightness is still a little low the other Sanyo's in the range go up to 4500 lumens (but I understand the image on the XP21N is very nice)...

This should be OK for a sports bar
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Old 05-14-2002, 07:03 AM
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you're alive!


Any way, back to the subject at hand. Sanyo makes a fair number of LCD units,and a few are specifically designed for venue type installation. What this means, is the age of digital PJ's having the same sort of longevity in usage, quality,and dependability is coming. it's getting close now. overall, CRT still has digital projection beat, when it comes to reliability in a commercial application like a bar. This is FUNDAMENTAL to any bar owner. Many owners, once shown the options, combined with their experience, will STILL opt for a CRT..if the differences in reliability (between the technologies) are clearly shown.

Some of the higher lumen count LCD units are now getting more viable. So, the simple precautions necessary for long-term reliability of one of these devices in a sports bar:

1)The LCD projector MUST have track record for venue related-reliability-performance. This comes -before- price considerations..due to down-time that can be experienced by faulty devices. This is not (downtime of the projection system) allowed in a sports bar. Period.

2) The owner of the bar MUST, I mean MUST place the LCD projector in a location, or spot, where it can be fed CLEAN, humidity, and temperature controlled air. As said in the movie 'Contact'..."It's not going out there without MINIMAL, I repeat MINIMAL protection". I have seen many a LCD PJ die long before it's time, due to a lack of care in it's install.

This means a hushbox, with filtered air going to it. The air must be source from a different location from the bar area, or the kitchen area. The air must originally be clean. The hushbox system,and air filtration system must be foolproof, as bar staff are notoriously stupid (or uncaring..especially at the wages paid!). That air must have no seasonal-change aspect to it's behavior.(it must be neutral all year around.) This aspect of installation is actually pretty simple, it merely requires that the bar owner wrap his head around the fact that it is likely that $1K or more will have to be spent on protecting the viability of the LCD projector investment.

Ignore this warning..and they will be out the usage of the device, and the value of it's investment.


So, a mid priced LCD unit, in the 1024x768 panel size area, with a multi year reliability track record..a proper clean air feed..and a long bulb life.

It's location must be carefully planned as well. It must go in a place where the screen area is darkened, no matter the position of the sun, or lighting. Good locations for projection units..leads to a underlying current of constant patronage by the general public..because the image is repeatably,and constantly good looking,and performing. People go to bars to exercise their internal desire for the comfort of sameness..and group interaction. The projection system must be sublime in operation and action..and slip beneath their conscious observance..with its high quality. Only then will you have the general public hooked. and half of them won't even know why..it becomes the mystery of atmosphere. Psychology at work.

Ken Hotte

"Never forget that only dead fish swim with the stream." -- Malcolm Muggeridge.
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Old 05-14-2002, 07:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by raoul
The needs for this projector are:

1. Low cost of ownership. Bulbs shouldn't cost an arm and a leg.
2. Ease of use. (Plug into a cable box basically)
3. As nice an image as possible, taking into account (1) (2) and the approx $5K
budget.

The bar is fairly dark inside, the lighting is generally quite low.

R-S
1. XP21N bulbs retail for $600, but can be found for $400. 2. Plugging into a cable box probably won't be a good solution for too many projectors. I use on HTPC (with DScaler) and most sports events look good, although distance shots and fast panning (which happens quite a bit in football) aren't so good. But an HTPC doesn't meet your needs. A viewsonic VB50 is a plug and play cable box type solution (and cheap, $100!). I have one, but haven't tried it on my XP21N yet. Some claim that the viewsonic de-interlaces better than an HTPC, although the HTPC is still a much better scaler. But for sports action de-interlacing is critical.
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Old 05-14-2002, 10:32 AM - Thread Starter
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KBK. Thansk for your words of warning. I think it will be digital AND in a hush box, at least that's what I'm going to recommend. I don't see him putting up a huge CRT
unit and the light output too low. Don't get me wrong, I have a CRT of my own at
home and I LOVE the picture (ECP4500 + HTPC).

JPinTO. Nice recommendation on the Viewsonic box. I was wondering about how
I was going to sell him on buying a scaler that costs $1000 and now I don't have
to. This will probably do well for him.

R-S
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Old 05-14-2002, 10:39 AM
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Consider the Sony 10HT. I've heard of pricing below $4000 and the PJ is capable of HD and displays at 1000 lumens. For sporting events, you can't beat HD. Great looking picture and doesn't cost a bundle. The bulbs are relatively expensive at $450 a pop, but they last between 1000-2000 hrs depending on whether using "cinema black".

Good luck.

-Brett
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Old 05-14-2002, 01:31 PM
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Though I'm a true DLP-fan - I'd still go for a CRT - you have no bulb, and no panels that can suck up the smoke making the picture yellow...
The best way (also to get brightness) is to make a rearprojectioncabinet with a smaller projector (LCD or DLP)... keep that in mind. You'r friend will be sorry if he mounts a LCD in a smokefilled room ;-)
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Old 05-14-2002, 03:13 PM
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If you're ever in the area of Louisville KY, check out the Churchill Sports Spectrum (aka: TRACKSIDEotb). They have 8 Sanyo XP21N's and a whole lot more to look at.

I would also agree that fresh clean air will be the single most important thing to remember.
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Old 05-14-2002, 04:57 PM
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I wouldn't consider anything less than a XP21N. I think the Sony 10HT just will not cut it. 2500 lumen should be around the minimum for this type of installation.
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Old 05-14-2002, 06:28 PM
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I just tried the VB50 with the XP21N, and I do like its de-interlacing capabilites better than the HTPC. It gives much better results with the weaker channels, which can really bite with an HTPC. I wish there were some football hgihlights on so I could really test how it performs. The VB50 seems to handle motion much better and the colors are good. You don't have nearly as much control as you do with an HTPC, but it is so easy and it does output native resolution.
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