Need Advice: First Time Projector Buyer (Room Dimensions inside) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 10-13-2013, 09:24 PM - Thread Starter
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My wife and I just purchased a house and it included a decently sized study. Neither of us work from home and instead of having a room that wouldn't be used except to house furniture, we decided we would prefer to turn it into a small media room/home theater room.

The dimensions of the room are 11'x16' with quite a few windows. The windows already have 1" wood blinds on them and we will be purchasing blockout curtains for the windows as well to control any ambient light. There is also a weird window that looks out into the living room. This will also have a blockout cloth on it. We are trying to control as much light as possible in this room to keep it as dark as possible. Most of our viewing will be taking place in the evening or at night due to both of us working during the day. The sun does not set or rise in any windows in the room. The only time the room will be used during the day will be the weekends and will most likely be for football games or sporting events where there will be ambient light due to the french doors being opened and people walking in and out. This isn't so much of a concern as I do have a 50" plasma in the living room if the screen is just too bad to watch with those doors open. I'm more looking to do this for me and the wife to enjoy after a long day at work.

I think I want to tackle a DIY screen. I'm relatively handy around the house and think I can figure it out. I'll make the frame out of 1x4 poplar wood and probably throw a sheet on it at first to determine how large a screen I want. From my measurements, I can fit a 113" screen at the max. This includes a 3" border of black velvet wrapped MDF as a border on the screen. I may lower the screen size, but I'll have to get the projector first. After determining the screen size I'm happy with, I'l get Sintra PVC to mount and then paint with a light, neutral gray to hopefully help with any ambient light we may have and to help boost black levels some.

So the problem is, I know exactly what I want to do, but I have no idea what projector to get! I would like to keep the projector between $1,000 and $2,000 at the high end. I could probably push it a little further though if it meant a significant bump in contrast and ambient light performance. I've attached a 3D model of the room that the projector will go in (I'm a little obsessed when it comes to projects like this lol). Any help is greatly appreciated...with all the reading I've done this weekend I think my head is about to explode!

This shows the furniture layout I have planned...this is subject to change. The ceilings are 10' high.


This image was before I finished everything but shows that weird window I was talking about that looks into the living room.
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post #2 of 22 Old 10-13-2013, 10:18 PM
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If you can push your budget up to around $2500 you could get the Panasonic ae8000, or a b stock jvc x30 (or maybe x35). If you jump up to these projectors you will se a huge increase in picture quality over the lower budget projectors and in my opinion is worth waiting a bit longer saving so you can afford one.

You haven't really given us enough information though to be able to give very specific recommendations though.


Will you be mostly watching films? Will you be playing any games? Is 3d important to you, if so how much? Also what will your throw distance for your projector likely be? Do you plan on going for a 1.78:1 or 2.40:1 (scope) screen?

I would recommend a 1.78:1 screen as your room is limited by width and to me 1.78:1 would seem to be a better fit.

16 ft is will give you around a 4 meter maxim throw. Where will the seats be positioned and how far away from the screen will that be? Assuming you are around 13 feet away that would mean as per THX guidelines the recommended screen sized would be around 110". So basically what you are planning. Just make sure you still have room for your speakers. smile.gif
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post #3 of 22 Old 10-14-2013, 04:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by FilmReverie View Post

If you can push your budget up to around $2500 you could get the Panasonic ae8000, or a b stock jvc x30 (or maybe x35). If you jump up to these projectors you will se a huge increase in picture quality over the lower budget projectors and in my opinion is worth waiting a bit longer saving so you can afford one.

You haven't really given us enough information though to be able to give very specific recommendations though.


Will you be mostly watching films? Will you be playing any games? Is 3d important to you, if so how much? Also what will your throw distance for your projector likely be? Do you plan on going for a 1.78:1 or 2.40:1 (scope) screen?

I would recommend a 1.78:1 screen as your room is limited by width and to me 1.78:1 would seem to be a better fit.

16 ft is will give you around a 4 meter maxim throw. Where will the seats be positioned and how far away from the screen will that be? Assuming you are around 13 feet away that would mean as per THX guidelines the recommended screen sized would be around 110". So basically what you are planning. Just make sure you still have room for your speakers. smile.gif

Thanks for the reply! Sorry...I knew I was forgetting some things when I posted that last night, just couldn't think of what.

We will mostly be watching TV Shows either off of my HTPC or through my Comcast X1 HD receiver during the week. Shows I like to watch would we catching up on Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire, etc... and shows she likes would be Real Housewives of Orange County and every show on HGTV or DIY Network....so picture quality is more of a concern to me than her smile.gif

On weekends we will be watching a lot of college football and NFL football. I would like to be able to game on this. I'm not a regular gamer, more of a weekend kind of guy and even then it may only be 1-2 weekends per month that I would actually game on it. Also, weekends would be the time I would watch movies and I would watch a lot more with a projector setup. I've always thoroughly enjoyed movies, just never liked watching them on a small 50" screen really so I would definitely be watching more movies with this setup.

I was planning on going with a 1.78:1 aspect screen due to the width limitation. I think I was doing some calculations on Drapers custom screen calc and I could do a 2.40:1 if I blocked out top and bottom to make the screen a little bit smaller that way instead of on the sides as is done traditionally. Don't know if this is a good idea or even possible though....

I can place the middle of the couch anywhere from around 9' all the way to about 14' 6" comfortably and still have just enough room for the rear speakers. I'd like to keep it in the 12'-13' 6" range though if possible.
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post #4 of 22 Old 10-14-2013, 05:30 AM
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All HD TV content is 16:9/1.78:1 and since this is what you will be watching most then a 1.78:1 screen would be best and just deal with the "traditional" top and bottom bars. 2.40 is more for viewing movies and unless you can have a constant height system, meaning the height of the 2.4:1 screen is the same as the height of your preferred 1.78:1 screen and then use blind to open or close your screen depending on aspect ratio of your video content. You would use lens memory such as what the Panasonic ae8000 has which allows you to easily switch between 1.78:1 content to 2.4:1 and vice versa. Basically it zooms and de-zooms into positions you calibrate it for each aspect ratio.
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post #5 of 22 Old 10-14-2013, 05:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mastertiger101 View Post

All HD TV content is 16:9/1.78:1 and since this is what you will be watching most then a 1.78:1 screen would be best and just deal with the "traditional" top and bottom bars. 2.40 is more for viewing movies and unless you can have a constant height system, meaning the height of the 2.4:1 screen is the same as the height of your preferred 1.78:1 screen and then use blind to open or close your screen depending on aspect ratio of your video content. You would use lens memory such as what the Panasonic ae8000 has which allows you to easily switch between 1.78:1 content to 2.4:1 and vice versa. Basically it zooms and de-zooms into positions you calibrate it for each aspect ratio.

OK that's kind of what I figured. Basically the same idea as what a traditional HDTV does right now except on a larger scale.

Oh, and I forgot to mention, 3D isn't very important to me. 3D in theaters gives me a headache pretty often and it seems like the clarity isn't there like it is with 2D movies. If I have it, great, I'll probably use it once or twice to show it off but if I don't have it, no harm no foul and I won't miss it.
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post #6 of 22 Old 10-14-2013, 07:04 AM
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OK that's kind of what I figured. Basically the same idea as what a traditional HDTV does right now except on a larger scale.

Oh, and I forgot to mention, 3D isn't very important to me. 3D in theaters gives me a headache pretty often and it seems like the clarity isn't there like it is with 2D movies. If I have it, great, I'll probably use it once or twice to show it off but if I don't have it, no harm no foul and I won't miss it.

Just an fyi, any clarity loss will simply be the cinema not doing it right (or there equipment not being up to par). 3d at home with a dlp projector is almost as different as the old red and green glasses 3d is to what many cinemas have (there are some that do a superb job though, sadly just like 2d they seem to be far and few between and in 3d the issues are more noticeable). In any case anything you buy will come 3d ready now a days, just don't expect anything but DLP's to be breathtaking in this area. If you really can't stretch your budget beyond $2000 the Benq w7000 is a great choice and can be had refurbished for around $1500. It is a projector that whilst it competes with projectors costing twice as much and more then it in nearly all regards it has one big failing which is in its sub par black levels. Also you really must try and test out some dlps before buying as some people find them unwatchable due to the rainbow effect. I personally can't see the rainbow effect at all and have even tried seeing it, but (thankfully) alas I am seemingly rainbow blind. One of the reasons I am suggesting dlp's is they should be notably better for watching things like football (better motion handling).

There are also several epsons worth considering but I would never recommend Epson due to my experiences with there projectors and there poor CQ and how they 'dealt' with customers when there was an issue. With that being said if you don't ever have any issues, the products when working are very good from what I have seen.

Also due to the content you are watching and the fact that your room is width constrained I would once again say 1.78:1 is probably the best way to go. Just remember no matter what you decide (both in terms of what projector you buy, whether you diy the screen or buy a screen ) there will always be a trade off, just do what you can to ensure you are happy with whatever you decide upon. smile.gif Also make sure any projector you consider will work in your room with your throw distance (this shouldn't really be an issue for the most part, but it is still worth checking up on).


My general projector recommendations tend to go (in no particular order):
Benq w7000: Beyond amazing for 3d, very bright and provides that dlp picture that many love, sadly despite how good everything else is the black levels are sub par and the IR isn't very good and I find it best to have it turned off (which doesn't help the blacks at all).
Panasonic ae8000: A very strong projector whose black levels are very good albeit there are several better in this price range. Misalignment is a common issue as is the case with any lcd projector (as unlike the one chip home dlp's they use three panels), likewise any uneven color is often present, this however is very uncommon to be able to be seen in footage and tends to only be seen on test patterns. 3d is poor as I have found with near on every lcd projector. It has some amazing features like an electric controlled zoom and focus.
JVC X35: best blacks in this price range without a DI (and all the issues they can cause). The only big con I can think of is not as bright as its competition and more notably no color management system and poor 3d.

All have excellent motion and colors and honestly I don't think any of the above three are a bad choose for most.


edit: before I forget, if you are doing a diy screen or buying you must have a masking in your system to cover the black bars with a black material (do this yourself though as buying a masking system is ludicrously expensive). This makes the image look a whole lot better and can be done for very little. Really to not do this would be silly as it really can make a massive difference to how you perceive the image.


Lastly remember I and most others on this site are fanatics and we can make mistakes and our opinions are not perfect (nor is any professionals either). I urge you to try out anything before buying, or at least get one with a good return policy. [Also sorry for any grammar and/or spelling issues found above it is rather late where I am and I really should be heading of for some sleep].
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post #7 of 22 Old 10-14-2013, 07:30 AM - Thread Starter
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I'll have to go check some DLP projectors out, but from what I've seen in the digital cinemas around me that use DLP's, I've never had any complaints as far as headaches. Not sure how similar these are to the home projectors so I'll have to go to a Best Buy that has a Magnolia HT setup so I can look at a DLP one.

Also, if I do go DLP (sounds like this might be the best assuming I don't see any rainbow effect), what would a good one be that has good black levels? Or is the lacking black levels a drawback of all DLP projectors?
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post #8 of 22 Old 10-14-2013, 09:59 AM
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The DLP projectors in theaters are 3 DLP chip monsters - not much in common with a single chip DLP projector except both use wobbly mirrors to do their thing.

Rainbow effect personally doesn't really bother me, nor do I see it very often, but I do notice a little bit more eye strain on my LED PJ vs. LCOS/LCD projectors. It's not something that noticeable, but if I think about it I can tell the differencwe at 3+ hours of looking at both.
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post #9 of 22 Old 10-14-2013, 10:08 AM
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Some additional things you might consider.

If you're comfortable with DIY stuff, think about making an Acoustically Transparent screen. Make your poplar frame, kerf it with a circular saw blade and clamped fence, and stretch in some Milliskin Spandex (two layers, white over black) using rubber splines. This is a common project over at the DIY Screens forum.

You can then suspend the screen a foot or so out from the wall and place the speakers behind the screen. You'll then be able to deploy a larger screen. And film dialogue will eminate from the screen, just like at the cinema.

Unless you are planning to mount the projector on or under a coffee table, you will probably need a longer-throw projector for a ceiling mount. That would lean towards an Optoma HD25 or BenQ W1500.

If the room isn't finished yet, you could do a lot of good with acoustic room threatment. Something simple like acoustic tile (painted a dark color) and carpet on the walls and floors will affect the sound quality much more than any audio component you buy.
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post #10 of 22 Old 10-14-2013, 10:33 AM - Thread Starter
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I'll have to look into that. I had seen it mentioned before but didn't pay much attention.

I'm sure the wife will be happy that I have more information to research...she was already giving me (a little) grief about modeling the room last night lol cool.gif
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post #11 of 22 Old 10-14-2013, 10:58 AM
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I suggest you take a looking at the "best home theater projectors report - 2013" at the Projector Reviews web site: HERE.
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post #12 of 22 Old 10-14-2013, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by PrimeTime View Post

Some additional things you might consider.

If you're comfortable with DIY stuff, think about making an Acoustically Transparent screen. Make your poplar frame, kerf it with a circular saw blade and clamped fence, and stretch in some Milliskin Spandex (two layers, white over black) using rubber splines. This is a common project over at the DIY Screens forum..

I would not recommend this with the kind of projector he is looking at. You will loose some contrast and he needs all that he can get.

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Originally Posted by LSUstang05 View Post

I'll have to go check some DLP projectors out, but from what I've seen in the digital cinemas around me that use DLP's, I've never had any complaints as far as headaches. Not sure how similar these are to the home projectors so I'll have to go to a Best Buy that has a Magnolia HT setup so I can look at a DLP one.

Also, if I do go DLP (sounds like this might be the best assuming I don't see any rainbow effect), what would a good one be that has good black levels? Or is the lacking black levels a drawback of all DLP projectors?

Poor black levels will be one drawback, also as has been said at home and this price range you are looking at one chip dlp's which are rather different to what is in cinema. So best to see if you have issues with the rainbow effect with one chip dlp's. To keep it in perspective though, the w7000 is brighter and has better black levels then most cinemas. It just doesn't compare as favorably to other home projectors. Honestly though, if there where dlp with really good levels at this price range nothing else would sell as dlp would be curb stomping the competition in more ore less every single area.

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Originally Posted by Ron Jones View Post

I suggest you take a looking at the "best home theater projectors report - 2013" at the Projector Reviews web site: HERE.

Seconded.
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post #13 of 22 Old 10-14-2013, 03:52 PM - Thread Starter
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I suggest you take a looking at the "best home theater projectors report - 2013" at the Projector Reviews web site: HERE.
Definitely something I will be looking at in detail tonight.

Thanks for the link!
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post #14 of 22 Old 10-14-2013, 07:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Ron Jones View Post

I suggest you take a looking at the "best home theater projectors report - 2013" at the Projector Reviews web site: HERE.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FilmReverie View Post

Just an fyi, any clarity loss will simply be the cinema not doing it right (or there equipment not being up to par). 3d at home with a dlp projector is almost as different as the old red and green glasses 3d is to what many cinemas have (there are some that do a superb job though, sadly just like 2d they seem to be far and few between and in 3d the issues are more noticeable). In any case anything you buy will come 3d ready now a days, just don't expect anything but DLP's to be breathtaking in this area. If you really can't stretch your budget beyond $2000 the Benq w7000 is a great choice and can be had refurbished for around $1500. It is a projector that whilst it competes with projectors costing twice as much and more then it in nearly all regards it has one big failing which is in its sub par black levels. Also you really must try and test out some dlps before buying as some people find them unwatchable due to the rainbow effect. I personally can't see the rainbow effect at all and have even tried seeing it, but (thankfully) alas I am seemingly rainbow blind. One of the reasons I am suggesting dlp's is they should be notably better for watching things like football (better motion handling).

There are also several epsons worth considering but I would never recommend Epson due to my experiences with there projectors and there poor CQ and how they 'dealt' with customers when there was an issue. With that being said if you don't ever have any issues, the products when working are very good from what I have seen.

Also due to the content you are watching and the fact that your room is width constrained I would once again say 1.78:1 is probably the best way to go. Just remember no matter what you decide (both in terms of what projector you buy, whether you diy the screen or buy a screen ) there will always be a trade off, just do what you can to ensure you are happy with whatever you decide upon. smile.gif Also make sure any projector you consider will work in your room with your throw distance (this shouldn't really be an issue for the most part, but it is still worth checking up on).


My general projector recommendations tend to go (in no particular order):
Benq w7000: Beyond amazing for 3d, very bright and provides that dlp picture that many love, sadly despite how good everything else is the black levels are sub par and the IR isn't very good and I find it best to have it turned off (which doesn't help the blacks at all).
Panasonic ae8000: A very strong projector whose black levels are very good albeit there are several better in this price range. Misalignment is a common issue as is the case with any lcd projector (as unlike the one chip home dlp's they use three panels), likewise any uneven color is often present, this however is very uncommon to be able to be seen in footage and tends to only be seen on test patterns. 3d is poor as I have found with near on every lcd projector. It has some amazing features like an electric controlled zoom and focus.
JVC X35: best blacks in this price range without a DI (and all the issues they can cause). The only big con I can think of is not as bright as its competition and more notably no color management system and poor 3d.

All have excellent motion and colors and honestly I don't think any of the above three are a bad choose for most.


edit: before I forget, if you are doing a diy screen or buying you must have a masking in your system to cover the black bars with a black material (do this yourself though as buying a masking system is ludicrously expensive). This makes the image look a whole lot better and can be done for very little. Really to not do this would be silly as it really can make a massive difference to how you perceive the image.


Lastly remember I and most others on this site are fanatics and we can make mistakes and our opinions are not perfect (nor is any professionals either). I urge you to try out anything before buying, or at least get one with a good return policy. [Also sorry for any grammar and/or spelling issues found above it is rather late where I am and I really should be heading of for some sleep].

Thanks to both of you guys I think I'm going to go with either the BenQ W7000 or the Panasonic AE8000. If I don't really see any RBE I'll probably end up with the BenQ after reading the raves over DLP projection.

Although it may be too bright? Would that be a real concern with the BenQ and a 100" screen?
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post #15 of 22 Old 10-15-2013, 12:53 AM
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Thanks to both of you guys I think I'm going to go with either the BenQ W7000 or the Panasonic AE8000. If I don't really see any RBE I'll probably end up with the BenQ after reading the raves over DLP projection.

Although it may be too bright? Would that be a real concern with the BenQ and a 100" screen?

With the BenQ it can't be to bright as you can easily control the iris and dim it and thus you would have no issues projecting a 50" image if you so decided to. I currently use a 92" screen with the BenqQ w7000 and I currently have in my possession a Panasonic ae8000 (it isn't mine but I have use of it for the next few months).

Be aware the new Benq is coming out soon and is called then Benq w7500. Though it is worth noting the w7000 had many issues that took months to fix when it was initially released so waiting for the new model may or may not be a good idea as the w7000 now works as it should where as the w7500 is an unkown. If they significantly improve the blacks I would be very interested in the w7500 though. biggrin.gif

The ae8000's main advantage over the w7000 is in its blacks and its shadow detail. Otherwise most tend to agree that the benq is better. With that being said black levels and shadow detail is massivly important.


If you have any other questions regarding these two projectors let me know. Also remember to do you research on other potential projectors as well. I by no means have seen everything out there.


Also:


cool.giftongue.gif
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post #16 of 22 Old 10-15-2013, 12:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by FilmReverie View Post

With the BenQ it can't be to bright as you can easily control the iris and dim it and thus you would have no issues projecting a 50" image if you so decided to. I currently use a 92" screen with the BenqQ w7000 and I currently have in my possession a Panasonic ae8000 (it isn't mine but I have use of it for the next few months).

Be aware the new Benq is coming out soon and is called then Benq w7500. Though it is worth noting the w7000 had many issues that took months to fix when it was initially released so waiting for the new model may or may not be a good idea as the w7000 now works as it should where as the w7500 is an unkown. If they significantly improve the blacks I would be very interested in the w7500 though. biggrin.gif

The ae8000's main advantage over the w7000 is in its blacks and its shadow detail. Otherwise most tend to agree that the benq is better. With that being said black levels and shadow detail is massivly important.


If you have any other questions regarding these two projectors let me know. Also remember to do you research on other potential projectors as well. I by no means have seen everything out there.


Also:


cool.giftongue.gif

After reading, the comments about the black levels on the W7000 have me worried. Since you own the W7000 and have an AE8000, I was hoping you could answer a few questions, if you don't mind.

Since this will be my first projector, I don't have anything other than a 50" panasonic plasma to compare it to as far as color and black levels go. From what I'm reading, a neutral gray screen will help boost contrast levels anywhere from "slightly" to "significantly" depending on who makes the comment. I guess my question would be, would a neutral gray screen help boost the contrast levels enough on the W7000 to be considered acceptable? Or would it be better to go with the Panasonic AE8000? I realize that the question is pretty subjective, but just wanted to get your thoughts on it since you have both in your possession at the moment.
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post #17 of 22 Old 10-15-2013, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by LSUstang05 View Post

After reading, the comments about the black levels on the W7000 have me worried. Since you own the W7000 and have an AE8000, I was hoping you could answer a few questions, if you don't mind.

Since this will be my first projector, I don't have anything other than a 50" panasonic plasma to compare it to as far as color and black levels go. From what I'm reading, a neutral gray screen will help boost contrast levels anywhere from "slightly" to "significantly" depending on who makes the comment. I guess my question would be, would a neutral gray screen help boost the contrast levels enough on the W7000 to be considered acceptable? Or would it be better to go with the Panasonic AE8000? I realize that the question is pretty subjective, but just wanted to get your thoughts on it since you have both in your possession at the moment.

A grey screen will not boost the contrast, it will make the blacks blacker but it will also make the whites darker (therefore no change in contrast). I can't say if you will be happy with the w7000 blacks but to put it into perspective, the black and contrast of the w7000 is better then any cinema I have ever seen. It is just at home we have access to better. It is still undeniably very watchable though. The colors on both projectors are excellent (I haven't seen the w7000 calibrated yet myself but based on what I have seen and what others have said regarding it I think color differences between the two projectors are rather moot). Remember the w7000 is still regarded as a ultra high contrast projector. It's just that it is more towards the low end of this quality range, whereas the Panasonic is more in the middle and the jvc is closer to the higher end. The black levels I have said and will continue to say are not bad (how many times have you sat in the cinema which has a worse black level and complained about the black level?), there is simply better out there for home theater. I unfortunately can't compare the projectors with a a Panasonic plasma as I have had far to limited a time with them. I will say I would take both projectors over a kuro any day (assuming I couldn't just sell it on immediately). Neither have black levels that compete with a kuro but size really does matter.

I actually have some sample screen materials coming out soon and I can try and get some photos comparing a 1.26 gain white screen and a .86 gain grey screen if you would like. The photos will no doubt not be accurate to what the actual black levels are, but they should show the difference between the two accurately when taken in the same picture. At the very least I can let you know what I think of the difference if the photos are garbage. smile.gif

Really the question I would ask is, is whether 3d important to you and your room. If it isn't and you have a good room for a projector (black roof and dark walls) then go with the panasonic or jvc x35 (depending on how important a cms is to you), if 3d is important (which when you see it at home done right I think most will agree it can be breathtaking) and you don't have the best room then I would say the w7000 is the better option. Why does the room matter? The more reflections that are present the less noticeable the difference between the black levels will be and the more important other things will become.

One other option you may have is to try and get a b stock of a higher end dlp with better blacks. I don't have enough experience with higher end dlp's to recommend anything though or even know if there are any options there. But it may be worth looking into.


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post #18 of 22 Old 10-15-2013, 02:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by FilmReverie View Post

A grey screen will not boost the contrast, it will make the blacks blacker but it will also make the whites darker (therefore no change in contrast). I can't say if you will be happy with the w7000 blacks but to put it into perspective, the black and contrast of the w7000 is better then any cinema I have ever seen. It is just at home we have access to better. It is still undeniably very watchable though. The colors on both projectors are excellent (I haven't seen the w7000 calibrated yet myself but based on what I have seen and what others have said regarding it I think color differences between the two projectors are rather moot). Remember the w7000 is still regarded as a ultra high contrast projector. It's just that it is more towards the low end of this quality range, whereas the Panasonic is more in the middle and the jvc is closer to the higher end. The black levels I have said and will continue to say are not bad (how many times have you sat in the cinema which has a worse black level and complained about the black level?), there is simply better out there for home theater. I unfortunately can't compare the projectors with a a Panasonic plasma as I have had far to limited a time with them. I will say I would take both projectors over a kuro any day (assuming I couldn't just sell it on immediately). Neither have black levels that compete with a kuro but size really does matter.

I actually have some sample screen materials coming out soon and I can try and get some photos comparing a 1.26 gain white screen and a .86 gain grey screen if you would like. The photos will no doubt not be accurate to what the actual black levels are, but they should show the difference between the two accurately when taken in the same picture. At the very least I can let you know what I think of the difference if the photos are garbage. smile.gif

Really the question I would ask is, is whether 3d important to you and your room. If it isn't and you have a good room for a projector (black roof and dark walls) then go with the panasonic or jvc x35 (depending on how important a cms is to you), if 3d is important (which when you see it at home done right I think most will agree it can be breathtaking) and you don't have the best room then I would say the w7000 is the better option. Why does the room matter? The more reflections that are present the less noticeable the difference between the black levels will be and the more important other things will become.

One other option you may have is to try and get a b stock of a higher end dlp with better blacks. I don't have enough experience with higher end dlp's to recommend anything though or even know if there are any options there. But it may be worth looking into.

OK this really puts it into perspective. I'm thinking the black levels are going to be super gray when people keep mentioning how they are not very impressed with them. If they are black I think I would probably be happy with it. I also haven't seen at home 3D so I may need to find somebody in the Houston area to look at their projector and 3D experience to see how it compares. 3D in movie theaters just hasn't impressed me very much as I've always seemed to enjoy the "looking through a window into another world" kind of experience rather than trying to focus on the 3D objects floating around.

If you could get some photos comparing the screens with your thoughts that would be awesome! After extensive reading I've come to realize that screen shots don't mean much and it will look very different in person. On the other hand, they seems to be pretty good for performing side by side comparisons at the very least. I'm still completing the room, but it will have dark walls and ceiling as well as controlled lighting. Only time lighting will be an issue is when I have company over to watch college football on Saturday's and the doors to the room will remain open while the games are on. If you look at the first post, those doors will be directly to the side of the screen. Probably the worst place those doors could be but such is the room I have to work with so I'm making the best of it.
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post #19 of 22 Old 10-16-2013, 04:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LSUstang05 View Post

OK this really puts it into perspective. I'm thinking the black levels are going to be super gray when people keep mentioning how they are not very impressed with them. If they are black I think I would probably be happy with it. I also haven't seen at home 3D so I may need to find somebody in the Houston area to look at their projector and 3D experience to see how it compares. 3D in movie theaters just hasn't impressed me very much as I've always seemed to enjoy the "looking through a window into another world" kind of experience rather than trying to focus on the 3D objects floating around.

If you could get some photos comparing the screens with your thoughts that would be awesome! After extensive reading I've come to realize that screen shots don't mean much and it will look very different in person. On the other hand, they seems to be pretty good for performing side by side comparisons at the very least. I'm still completing the room, but it will have dark walls and ceiling as well as controlled lighting. Only time lighting will be an issue is when I have company over to watch college football on Saturday's and the doors to the room will remain open while the games are on. If you look at the first post, those doors will be directly to the side of the screen. Probably the worst place those doors could be but such is the room I have to work with so I'm making the best of it.

Every projectors blacks are technically gray, so no matter what you do I would recommend having a diy masking solution to cover up the black bars.

I do want to clarify though as I reread this thread and it sounds like I am really pushing the w7000 over the others which is not my intention. From the sounds of your room I would definitely be moving away from considering the benq as you will see a very notable difference in such an environment. The only reason I would continue considering the benq is that it well handle the door being open and light coming in a lot better then either the x35 or ae8000 (some people also just like the look of dlp's) and it will also be better for gaming and should provide for a smoother image for fast moving footage like football.

The x35 will give you the best results when you have full light control, the benq when you have the door open and the Panasonic will be somewhere in between. Personally I would get the x35 if your budget allows (b stock is the only way I think you could get this somewhere near your budget though) as the content you want to look the best and will be viewing the most from the sound of it will be 2d films and tv shows in a dark room that is light controlled. If you can't get an x35 in that price range I would then go the panny and only if you really care about being able to handle external light the benq. Then again the benq can be had for near on $1000 less then the other two projectors so it is hard to say what would be best for your as that is a lot of money.

Some would also recommend several epsons, but as I have said many times I have had to many bad experiences with epson to recommend them.
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post #20 of 22 Old 10-16-2013, 07:40 AM - Thread Starter
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I will try to find a shop or some people that have both in my area. Hopefully if I can look at both projectors, even if it's not side by side, I can choose. I think I've narrowed it down to the Panny AE8000 or the BenQ W7000. Both seem like they have enough lumens to handle some ambient light and if I go with a neutral gray screen that should help with some ambient light rejection as well from what I'm reading.

Edit: I was planning on making a DIY masking solution with foam board wrapped in black velvet with some magnets on it. Saw it on a post here I think and the idea seemed really good so I'll make an attempt at something similar.
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post #21 of 22 Old 10-16-2013, 11:16 AM
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I believe FilmReverie’s experience with Epson is the exception. My experience and most of what I’ve read is that their CS is the best in the business. From the review linked above “Always helping out Epson in our opinion, is their 2 year warranty with replacement program for both years. Epson support is also just about legendary. (I'm going to be bloggin a story recently emailed to me by a reader, regarding his experience.) It seems to be the experience just about everyone gets with them.” That said, it’s hard to overlook the Home Cinema 2030 (~1000 and $99 replacement bulb, review here http://www.projectorcentral.com/epson_home_cinema_2030_projector_review.htm ) or the 3020 (~1600, review here http://www.projectorcentral.com/epson_3020e_home_video_projector_review.htm ) These seem to be more in your range and have some great reviews. I would suggest you see as many PJs in person as you can and try to match your room conditions. If most of your viewing will be with ambient light present, black levels won’t matter that much. You’d be more concerned with light output and contrast. IMO you can’t beat actually seeing the image and comparing with your own eyes.
Projector Central (http://www.projectorcentral.com/projectors.cfm ) is a great place to narrow down the field to what will fit your room, price, etc., but you should really see them in action before you decide.
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post #22 of 22 Old 10-17-2013, 07:42 AM
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Basically it zooms and de-zooms into positions you calibrate it for each aspect ratio.

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