Is this room ok for projectors? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 36 Old 08-26-2013, 07:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello all. I currently own a 50" plasma that I want to move to my bedroom and I was thinking about getting a 65" plasma. Then, after reading an article over at CNET, I started looking into projectors. It would allow me to go much bigger than 65" which is something I'd like. Another advantage is that it's possible to buy it on a trip to the U.S. (I'm from Brazil and electronics here are expensive and outdated) whereas a TV isn't possible. But I'm a little worried about brightness in the room. Since I know absolutely nothing about projectors, I'd like some help.

Let me say first that I watch tv mostly at night, so brightness issues won't be a problem 80% of the time. That said, I'm worried about the other 20%. I have 3 big windows in my living room but all of them have blackout curtains. I'm just unsure if that is enough or not. I have some old pictures from the previous owner, which had different curtains but that seemed to block a similar amount of sunlight. These pictures were taken when it was VERY sunny outside and only the curtain closest to the tv was closed. I'll try to take some current pictures with all of them closed to give a better idea.

I also notice that the current viewing area is very small. My idea is to remove the cabinets that are hanging above the TV. I would like to keep the lower ones if possible. Would that be a problem?

If and when I decide to go with a projector, I'll also need recommendations on PJ, ceiling mounting and screen models. I believe my budget would be close to 3k for all items.

Pics:
1 - Picture of the windows just to show how sunny it was outside.


2 - Picture of the TV area:


3 - Another picture of the TV area. You can see how close the window is to the screen area.


4 - A closer picture of the TV area.


Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 36 Old 08-26-2013, 11:30 PM
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I always tell people that projectors are more of a commitment but better than any viewing experience when done right. If you have a 1 year old and a 3 year old, maybe a dark room isn't for you.
The upper cabinets would have to go, but you could keep the lower ones. Have you considered leaving the tv where it is (on the wall but moved up) and have a powered or 'pull down' screen 'ceiling mounted' a few inches in front of the TV? You'd get the best of both worlds by using the TV during the day and projector at night. No lifestyle change. Ceiling mount both the projector and screen.

Unless you had your heart set on a permanent screen on that wall, that is...

Actually. You could mount the screen in front of the upper cabinets too if you wanted to. I'd personally want it against the wall, but you do what you need to do. You need to find the right balance between a quality viewing experience, and being realistic about how that room is used by you and your family.
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If your buying a new projector, buy more lumens than you will use. Running it in "Eco Mode" makes your bulb last 20-40% longer and reduces noise and heat.
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post #3 of 36 Old 08-27-2013, 06:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey Tommy, thanks for the reply.
I have heard of people using both the TV and the PJ, but that would imply me getting a new TV for the bedroom which would not work with my budget, given that I don't want just some cheap TV for the bedroom.

I do indeed have a 2-yr old but I don't mind closing the curtains to watch the PJ during the day. A completely dark room is out, but I'm hoping the blackout curtains will do a fine job for daytime watching. I also don't need perfect quality during the day, I just need it to work ok. We don't stay at home during the day, except for the weekends, so there isn't a lot of TV watching during the day.

I think my hesitation comes from never having seen a good projector in a home environment, so I'm not sure how it would look in most circumstances. But if it looks like some pictures I've seen, I definitely want to pursue it. From my calculations using the projectorcentral website I could fit a 130-inch panel in that space but it would probably be too much. I'm thinking something along the lines of 100-110. From what I've read yesterday, a fixed screen would be "better" than a pull down, unless the pull down is tab tensioned. I'm still not sure which is more or less expensive. I don't mind having a fixed screen at all but if the pull down is better I could definitely go with it.

Thanks a lot!
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post #4 of 36 Old 08-27-2013, 07:38 AM
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If you can make it a dedicated theatre and don't mind it not looking perfect during the day, then by all means, go for it! If you've talked your wife into it maybe you should write a tutorial for us smile.gif it sounds like your doing the calculations already so yeah, that's the next step. I'd go 16 x 9 aspect ratio for the screen and then you'll need to calculate the throw distance needed for the different projectors your looking at. Since you have a kid the cieling mount for the projector is a must. Although, in most cases it's the best way anyway. So that brings you to what projector and what screen? A permanent screen would be your best route in most cases. You'll have to decide if the screen is something you can do yourself or not? Same for the cieling mount projector and the wires that go along with that. If this all has to be installed professionally than that's a big part of your budget as well. The installation part needs to be checked into before you can price out a projector and the screen if you truly have a fixed budget.

If your buying a new projector, buy more lumens than you will use. Running it in "Eco Mode" makes your bulb last 20-40% longer and reduces noise and heat.
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post #5 of 36 Old 08-27-2013, 07:41 AM
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I'm also assuming the cabinets on the top are coming out. You won't be able to do a ceiling mount if they aren't.

If your buying a new projector, buy more lumens than you will use. Running it in "Eco Mode" makes your bulb last 20-40% longer and reduces noise and heat.
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post #6 of 36 Old 08-27-2013, 08:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, if I settle on the PJ, the cabinets are definitely coming out. I might put them someplace else or just ditch them entirely. As for convincing the wife, I'm about 90% there. But my job's easy. I've got the most awesome wife. The only restrictions now are the budget and actually knowing if it looks as good as we imagine. So I'm working on an estimate of how much I'm going to spend total to see if it's feasible or not and searching for some place where I can see one of these PJs in action.

As for the calculations, I was thinking 16:9 as both video games and current tv shows are always 16:9. The only time I'd have to live with black bars would be for some movies but I'm ok with that. For the throw distance, I'm not too worried. The living room has ample space. It's probably 30 feet deep.

For the mount, it definitely has to be a ceiling mount, but I know absolutely nothing about that. I'm assuming that's somewhat simple so I'm focusing on learning about the PJ and the screen. One thing I've read about is lens shift. How you can't mount a PJ on the ceiling if it doesn't have it. Is that true?

For types of screen, unless I learn something completely different, I'm going for a fixed screen. The only problem is I'd have to buy it here in Brazil since I imagine transporting it isn't very easy. I'm not sure what goes into making my own screen. Does it provide good results? I guess if I study it, I'd be able to pull it off with some help. The ceiling mount I can probably handle installing it by myself.

Thanks for all the help and sorry for so many questions.
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post #7 of 36 Old 08-27-2013, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gurumaia View Post

One thing I've read about is lens shift. How you can't mount a PJ on the ceiling if it doesn't have it. Is that true?
Lens shift is nice to have but I wouldn't say it's a must. If you can get it all lined up correctly I don't think it's needed. It comes in handy when your limited to where the projector has to sit. Same with the keystone. You don't design a theater to have your keystone maxed out at 15%. Same with your lens shift (if it has it). That's something you do when you bring your projector over to a buddies house to watch a game. Not for when your designing a theater from scratch.
also see - pretty basic but you get the idea- http://www.projectorpeople.com/resources/lens_shift.asp

Also screens usually come rolled up so I wouldn't worry about a mailman bringing an 8ft wide screen. Check out the sections on screens and DIY screens in the home theater sections. http://www.avsforum.com/f/

If your buying a new projector, buy more lumens than you will use. Running it in "Eco Mode" makes your bulb last 20-40% longer and reduces noise and heat.
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post #8 of 36 Old 08-27-2013, 11:46 AM - Thread Starter
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I think I understood something wrong about lens shift then. I think I read somewhere that all PJs project upwards so if you ceiling-mount them they'd be projecting upwards onto the ceiling and not onto the wall / screen. And that to correct that you'd need lens shift. I hope I'm wrong because from what I gather lens shift is an expensive feature.
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post #9 of 36 Old 08-27-2013, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gurumaia View Post

I think I understood something wrong about lens shift then. I think I read somewhere that all PJs project upwards so if you ceiling-mount them they'd be projecting upwards onto the ceiling and not onto the wall / screen. And that to correct that you'd need lens shift. I hope I'm wrong because from what I gather lens shift is an expensive feature.

That's why they're mounted upside down when ceiling mounted.wink.gif

Ed
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post #10 of 36 Old 08-27-2013, 12:42 PM
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It would be helpful if you did a top view drawing, showing where the windows, door opening and cabinets are. It's hard to gauge the size of your room. It looks big enough, but looks can deceive.
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post #11 of 36 Old 08-27-2013, 12:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by old corps View Post

That's why they're mounted upside down when ceiling mounted.wink.gif

Ed
Ha, good thinking. Sorry for my stupidity. I imagined that but since I read about lens shift I thought that reversing the image would be harder than shifting it. Thanks for the clarification.
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Originally Posted by Lone Cloud View Post

It would be helpful if you did a top view drawing, showing where the windows, door opening and cabinets are. It's hard to gauge the size of your room. It looks big enough, but looks can deceive.

Ok, I'll try to do that today. I have the measurements of the wall but I'll do the top down as well and post that.

Thanks!
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post #12 of 36 Old 08-27-2013, 03:11 PM
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This is a projector mounted upside down. The general rule in projectors is that the bottom of the screen and the bottom of the projector should line up. So when you mount it on the ceiling upside down, the top of the screen and the projector should line up.

If your buying a new projector, buy more lumens than you will use. Running it in "Eco Mode" makes your bulb last 20-40% longer and reduces noise and heat.
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post #13 of 36 Old 08-27-2013, 04:58 PM - Thread Starter
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I see. So the height of the screen is regulated by the length of the support's pole, unless you have lens shift. Good to know.
Thanks
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post #14 of 36 Old 08-27-2013, 08:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, here's the top-down. Please disregard the furniture in the image as it doesn't match my home (it's the image from the ad they used to sell the apartments). The only cabinets that would interfere with the installation are the ones in the pictures.



Here's a 360 picture of the room: http://sphereshare.net/#!/s/b86b61796aab1289c3e1b26e64c34f88 (link doesn't seem to be working now but hopefully it'll work soon)

The red line in the top-down is about where I'd place the screen (it'd go closer to the wall, my mistake). It measures 165 inches, but there is a tall cabinet on the side that reduces the area that can be used for the screen to about 120 inches wide.
The ceiling is 8 feet high.
The distance to the wall opposite to the screen I'm not able to measure accurately, but it's very very far. I'm sure I don't need to go that far.
The height of the lower cabinets is 26 inches so that leaves me with about 70 inches to work with. That's almost a perfect 16:9 with the 120 I have in width. I don't know who planned these cabinets but this seems to be working to my advantage =).

Are there any important measurements I'm missing?
Also, how much space should I leave between the screen and the side walls / ceiling / lower cabinet? i.e., 120x68 = 138" but I'm sure it'd look horrible to fill the entire area with the screen. I'd need some kind of border. How much is usual? I was thinking 110" but I wanted to know what's the "limit" if there is one.

Thanks for all the help guys!
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post #15 of 36 Old 09-02-2013, 05:59 AM - Thread Starter
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update: I found a store here that has a Panasonic pt-ae7000 on display. Went there yesterday with my wife and spent about 20 minutes watching it under different lighting conditions.
This was in a non light controlled room but it wasn't very bright with the lights turned off, kind like my room is when I close the curtains during the day. With lights off the image was pretty good, but you could see that it could be much much "black-er". As you turned the lights on a bit, the image degraded progressively but it was still very watchable.
Having seen it in action, I think I might go for a pull-down, tab-tensioned screen, just for the fact that I *might* want to put a TV behind the screen in the future if we feel that the PJ is not adequate for daytime viewing, especially for my daughter.
I think now's the time to start looking for the precise model I need. I'm not sure what my budget is, I guess I still need to learn what's the difference between a 800$ PJ and a 2000$ PJ. Should I start a new thread for help on picking a PJ?

Thanks everyone!

PS: Just to give you an idea of how ridiculously over-priced everything is over here, they had an Epson 3020 selling for USD $ 4,600.00
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post #16 of 36 Old 09-03-2013, 05:04 PM
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So I'm seeing that projector for sale here in the states for $2000-$2500 ( pt-ae7000 ). Why can't you order one from here? How much could the shipping be? $100? I must be missing something? A big tax? Why do you need to buy it from there?

Epson 3020 is $1600 ish

If your buying a new projector, buy more lumens than you will use. Running it in "Eco Mode" makes your bulb last 20-40% longer and reduces noise and heat.
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post #17 of 36 Old 09-03-2013, 05:56 PM - Thread Starter
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The price I mentioned was only to illustrate the advantage to projectors instead of a TV, that I talked about in the original post. My wife is actually traveling to the us in October and she'll probably buy it when she's there. All I have do now is choose the right model.
I think I'm leaning towards the Benq w7000 though I'm a little worried about the black level, which is something I value highly, at least when talking about TVs. I'm not too picky but I do enjoy a good PQ. I'm wondering if the extra 800$ are worth the upgrade to an LCoS JVC or if there are other good options in this range.
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post #18 of 36 Old 09-04-2013, 01:09 AM
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It's good she'll get it here. I guess I always assumed everyone can just order off of Amazon.

Black levels are part projector, and part surroundings. There is such a thing as too many lumens. The brightest projector doesn't have the darkest blacks. Something to keep in mind. I personally couldn't tell you which projector is better.

If your buying a new projector, buy more lumens than you will use. Running it in "Eco Mode" makes your bulb last 20-40% longer and reduces noise and heat.
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post #19 of 36 Old 09-04-2013, 12:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, ordering electronics internationally isn't that easy. Amazon doesn't ship electronics to Brazil. And even if they did, the shipping would be pretty steep (I'm thinking about $500) and then there are import duties of 60% on top of the product + shipping total.

As for the specific model, I'll keep researching. I might end up with a cheaper model like the w1070 since this is my first PJ and I'm pretty sure I'll learn a lot of things after using the first one for a while. When I upgrade it I should be able to make a more informed decision.

Thanks for all the help!
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post #20 of 36 Old 09-04-2013, 12:32 PM
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So taking an actual trip to the USA is cheaper than getting it delivered? Holy crap! (I realize she's going anyway)

If your buying a new projector, buy more lumens than you will use. Running it in "Eco Mode" makes your bulb last 20-40% longer and reduces noise and heat.
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post #21 of 36 Old 09-04-2013, 12:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Depending on how much you plan to spend, it might be cheaper to buy the tickets and go buy it in the us. Sometimes taxes are incurred even when you travel but even then it's worth it.
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post #22 of 36 Old 10-29-2013, 04:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Just an update. I ended up getting the Benq w1070. Budget was a concern but also the fact that I'll likely want to upgrade in a few years when 4k PJs get affordable (sub 3k).

But I still haven't gotten it installed. I still need to remove the cabinets and get a screen. My main doubt right now is Fixed vs Pull-down/Motorized. In my opinion fixed is better because it will always be tensioned (I saw some tensioned motorized screens that weren't perfectly flat) and because it has fewer parts to break. But the pull-down / motorized allows me to put a tv behind the screen if I decide that I want that in the future. I'm still trying to figure out the price difference and will decide when I have all the information.

Thanks for all the help!
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post #23 of 36 Old 10-29-2013, 12:35 PM
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Pull down screens that are tab tensioned should remain perfectly flat. Of course they are more than pull down screens that are not tab tensioned. smile.gif
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post #24 of 36 Old 10-29-2013, 12:35 PM
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Pull down screens that are tab tensioned should remain perfectly flat. Of course they are more than pull down screens that are not tab tensioned. smile.gif
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post #25 of 36 Old 10-30-2013, 05:50 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm not sure what was the issue with the screen I saw, but it had some pretty small ripples. It didn't affect the image too much (it was barely visible with the PJ turned on) but it became a concern.
Another point is that I'd have to go with a slightly smaller screen because the tensioned pull down is slightly wider than the fixed screen. There are also those semi-tensioned screens but I'm not sure they're a good bet.

Thanks!
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post #26 of 36 Old 10-30-2013, 06:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gurumaia View Post

I'm not sure what was the issue with the screen I saw, but it had some pretty small ripples. It didn't affect the image too much (it was barely visible with the PJ turned on) but it became a concern.
Another point is that I'd have to go with a slightly smaller screen because the tensioned pull down is slightly wider than the fixed screen. There are also those semi-tensioned screens but I'm not sure they're a good bet.

Thanks!

If you can I would always recommend going with a fixed screen.
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post #27 of 36 Old 10-30-2013, 09:47 AM
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A grey screen can also help slightly with some ambient light to give a better perceived black level. It's a balancing act, and sometimes grey screens get into reflective mixes which complicates things further (causes hot spotting or sparkles).


It's tough to do a dual purpose area, but IMO, a decent motorized screen shouldn't be a big tradeoff if you really want to keep a TV in the area.


It is difficult to go back to watching a TV after getting used to a projector. I rarely want to ever watch something on my 58" Panasonic plasma since I put up my 110" screen in my media room even though it's running a modest LG PA70G.
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post #28 of 36 Old 10-30-2013, 09:57 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm not so sure I want to keep the tv. But I might decide that I do in the future and with the fixed screen I'd have to re-design the solution to accommodate that. If I opt for the motorized screen this won't be a problem but some other problems arise, mainly size and price. I'm still waiting for the quote I asked. I'll be able to make a decision once I have the pricing.

Now another question. Would I be able to mount a motorized and/or pull-down screen in front of the cabinets that are in the picture? I still have to measure the distance from the ceiling to see if the doors would be able to open below the retracted screen but is there any other difficulty that could arise because of that?

Tks!
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post #29 of 36 Old 10-30-2013, 11:03 AM
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Well that was my first thought. As long as the case and bottom edge of a retractable screen clear the cabinet doors, you wouldn't have to do all that destruction. Check how far you'll be sitting from the screen and throw distances and choose accordingly.
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post #30 of 36 Old 02-10-2014, 04:49 AM - Thread Starter
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I know it's been a long time, but I finally got the initial setup done. I went with the in-ceiling 106' motorized screen and really think this is the best option for my room. I'm using the Benq w1070 with a brazillian brand screen. It seems to be good quality, but probably nothing to write home about. Here's a pic from it running this morning:


This had plenty of room lighting so don't take PQ into account too much here. But, even at night, the image was pretty washed out. Nowhere near as good as my plasma. Researching a bit, seems like there is a bit of a problem with my source (2012 Mac Mini). Seems like an OS upgrade should solve this issue so I'll hold out judgement until I've resolved this. I turned on the PS3 briefly but not enough to comment about PQ. I'll get to it tonight.

If I get a better PQ, especially dark scene details, it'll definitely have been worth it.

Thanks!
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