Help with projector decision - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 05-22-2013, 06:40 AM - Thread Starter
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I have been thinking about getting a projector and doing some research. I've narrowed my list down to the Epson 3020/Optoma HD-25/Optoma HD-25LV. My concern is brightness for my room conditions. I would be setting up in my living room with an electric screen and would prefer to have the projector on the back wall. This would put my screen distance at roughly 17.5' to 18'. I was initially looking at 120" screen size but it looks like these would be better positioned at that distance for 150" screen. The projector calculators put the 3020 and the HD-25LV for that setup with a brightness of 21FL and 18FL and the HD-25 at 14FL. Is that bright enough? Mostly would be watching movies at night but might occasionally do some daytime viewing. The room does have a couple windows but with the curtains it blocks out a good amount of light. I was just hoping for someone to be able to offer there experience as I'm having a hard time visualizing the differences in these numbers.

This will be my first projector so I don't really have any direct comparisons for my room setup. Also, I'm interested in 3D and will probably set that up with whichever I go if that makes a difference. Obviously I'd prefer the HD-25 since it's a good bit cheaper.


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post #2 of 3 Old 05-22-2013, 08:10 AM
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Your screen size should be based upon your viewing distance and your theater seating preference. From there, you have to pick a projector which will work at the distance you want to mount it, or you have to move the position you want to mount it to a position where it fits your screen size.

So, take your viewing distance in feet and multiply it by 8 inches, and that is a 'center of theater' screen width. Typical would be a 12' viewing distance, and a 96" wide screen which is a 110" diagonal.

Now, you need to find projectors which can hit a 110" diagonal from the throw distance you want.

On top of this, you have to accept that you aren't setting this up in a home theater. This is your family room. Likely light walls, white ceiling, perhaps hardwood flooring, and (worst of all) windows. You aren't trying to control light in any clean manner and you aren't handling reflections, so you should be working with living room friendly projectors like the HD25 or the BenQ W1070. But, if you demand the throw distance you are after, then this may force you into a more expensive model, which may be more theater friendly then family room friendly.

This will leave you with a poor situation during daytime viewing, but will enhance the after dark viewing.

To be fair, daytime viewing is going to be poor if you aren't eliminating ambient light properly. If your walls are white, then during the daytime, pull your shades and look at your walls - that's the shade that 'black' will be when projecting, and white needs to be far brighter.

Generally, a 10:1 contrast ratio may be about as good as you will get in that type of situation. This may be fine for sports, but won't be good for video gaming or movie watching during the daytime. Without light metering being done, it's impossible to truly tell what your real world contrast ratio expectation will be.

With a 120" diagonal and 17.5' throw distance, here is the list of projectors, sorted by price, with 3D/1080p which can support that setup...
http://www.projectorcentral.com/projectors.cfm?g=1&hide=0&st=1&mfg=&p=500&p=3500&w=&r=13&br=&ll=&ltg=&t=&db=&dt=&c=&ar=&dvi=&wr=&sp=35&pjl=&pjw=&pjh=&td=17.5&i=d&is=120&sort=%24&sz=15


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post #3 of 3 Old 05-24-2013, 12:31 AM
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The Epson will be plenty bright enough, (good for 3d), but may not produce the best blacks and as the other poster mentioned the Benq 1070 would be nice if you can make it fit in the setup. 18-21fl is a nice number to shoot for, as you need to contend with the bulb dimming a bit as it ages. SMPTE standard for film projection is around 16fl. Brighter is better for 3d, but can cause blacks to suffer some in these lower priced pj's. A little higher gain screen can help overcome some limitations of the less bright pj's, that you may have issues with, due to that throw distance. Food for thought.
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