How to judge light control in living room for projector as main TV? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 04-27-2014, 07:39 AM - Thread Starter
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if you don't have a projector to test, how do you tell whether the amount of ambient light in a room is too much for a projector?

We have a 19x22' living room with a 52" LCD TV right now. I'm considering replacing the TV with a ~100" screen and a Benq W1080ST. The living room only has one window which doesn't get direct sunlight and has a good set of blinds on it. However, there are two hallways off the living room to areas with glass doors which have no light control. And there is a large archway to the kitchen which has one large window with blinds and some smaller windows without blinds (though, these smaller windows are around the corner from the living room).

Is there any way to estimate whether this much light will be a problem for a front PJ? I searched and there are some old threads on this, but I couldn't find anything particularly helpful for my situation.
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post #2 of 21 Old 04-27-2014, 08:17 AM
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If it's possible for you to post some photos, soupxcan, I'm sure you'll get lots of suggestions.
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post #3 of 21 Old 04-27-2014, 09:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Here are photos. These show mid-day sun with all of my current light control activated. The fridge and dishwasher are only there temporarily while we're remodeling. The PJ screen would go where the LCD TV is today. The 100" screen would be on a 45 degree angle in the corner with a ceiling mounted W1080ST.

1. Facing east. The bright hallway opens to a foyer with two front doors that have large glass panels. No light control.



2. Facing west. No light control on the back door windows but doesn't seem too bad in person. The hallway opens to a side door with a half glass panel that has no light control.



3. Facing south. This hallway is 100% dark, no light sources.



4. Facing north. The main source of light is the entrance to the kitchen.

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post #4 of 21 Old 04-27-2014, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soupcxan View Post

Here are photos. These show mid-day sun with all of my current light control activated.

It's the darkest corner in the room, but there's still quite a bit of light that'll be landing on your desired projection area frown.gif

The hallway and kitchen are your main issues: and with some of that light coming from behind your seating position, it'll have a pretty detrimental effect on the projection screen, washing the image out.

Those closed white/silver blinds are also leaking quite a bit of light.

In your favor, 100" isn't considered massive (smaller is brighter) and the W1080ST is pretty bright; but I think it's going to be a close call as to weather day time watching (particularly movies, which tend to be darker than series/kids shows) is going to be feasible.

Perhaps consider a screen that can be pulled-down in front of your current display - using the current display for daytime and the projector for night-time? You could ceiling- or wall-mount a pull-down screen...

BenQ W1070 Projector; Xtreamer Ultra 2 (running XBMC on OpenELEC) via Sony STR-DH540 AVR with Boston Acoustics SoundWare XS SE 5.1 Audio. MediaBrowser3 for Mobile Streaming.

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post #5 of 21 Old 04-27-2014, 10:49 AM
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Go to the movie theater, wait till the movie starts, look around.. That is about how dark it needs to be for a good image.
Day time use a TV, night time with SOME room treatment, use front projection.

A good way to get an idea of why I say this is to do the following.
Hang a piece of white printer paper and a piece of black construction paper next to each other on the wall where you want to put the screen.
In the Day time with whatever light you expect to have, look at the paper. The WHITE paper is what the blackest black would look like when viewing a projected image in that amount of light. The construction paper is for reference as to what Black should look like.. If you are good with that, then go for it, or buy one of the very expensive specialty screens for use in this sort of environment I.E SE Black Diamond
Hope that helps!
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post #6 of 21 Old 04-27-2014, 11:14 AM - Thread Starter
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post #7 of 21 Old 04-27-2014, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kreeturez View Post

It's the darkest corner in the room, but there's still quite a bit of light that'll be landing on your desired projection area frown.gif

The hallway and kitchen are your main issues: and with some of that light coming from behind your seating position, it'll have a pretty detrimental effect on the projection screen, washing the image out.

Those closed white/silver blinds are also leaking quite a bit of light.

In your favor, 100" isn't considered massive (smaller is brighter) and the W1080ST is pretty bright; but I think it's going to be a close call as to weather day time watching (particularly movies, which tend to be darker than series/kids shows) is going to be feasible.

Perhaps consider a screen that can be pulled-down in front of your current display - using the current display for daytime and the projector for night-time? You could ceiling- or wall-mount a pull-down screen...
I second the call for a pull down screen ceiling mounted. One big problem I see here is the ceiling fans. With ceiling fans possibly getting in the way, and with such low ceilings, you may want to look into table or shelf mounting your projector.
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post #8 of 21 Old 04-27-2014, 12:28 PM
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You'll probably also want to look for screens with a higher gain than 1.1.
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post #9 of 21 Old 04-27-2014, 08:02 PM
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BTW, no high-gain or screen-innovations screen will help against the light coming in over your shoulder. When light hits the screen from a similar position as the projector, no special screen can improve it.

Would it be possible to hang some sliding curtains or something in front of that particularly bright walkway?

Simple <$250 dedicated black-fabric theater room, build in a day, takedown in an hour.
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post #10 of 21 Old 04-28-2014, 07:07 AM - Thread Starter
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I can probably hang some curtains on the big kitchen window and the rear living room window, but don't know what I can do about the glass door windows. Wife is already on the fence about having a 100" screen and is not going to go for massive blackout shades everywhere. However most of my viewing is in the evenings.

My question remains, I know this will never be perfect, but is it just a bad setup for a PJ? Should I just get a larger LCD to replace the 52"? I don't want to buy a new LCD plus a new PJ setup.
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post #11 of 21 Old 04-28-2014, 07:36 AM
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Is it a bad setup for a PJ? Yes. Should you continue to go for a PJ even with the bad setup? Yes.
Since you're just going to use it at night, most of your light problems are far reduced. You can keep the 52 inch LCD and use a pull down screen for the evening. Once you watch a movie in your living room on a 100 inch plus screen, you'll be hooked. And your wife might be hooked too.
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post #12 of 21 Old 04-28-2014, 07:48 AM
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Go with a projector.  (70inch TV/$2000 verses SVGA projector/$349 as seen projected on my family room wall).  You can make it work.  I gave my (man cave) 70 inch TV to the wife since I can't stand to watch such a small image any more.

 

As to this room, I could never use a projector during a "clear" day (20 foot ceiling and a ton of windows), but even if it was my only spot/room in the house for a projector, I would still have a projector for movie/sport events.  The wow factor is amazing when you consider the cost/image size.

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post #13 of 21 Old 04-28-2014, 08:08 AM
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I would be okay with it, but it's sort of a personal preference thing. I don't think it'll be that bad though, especially during times of day where those places aren't getting hit as hard.

Simple <$250 dedicated black-fabric theater room, build in a day, takedown in an hour.
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post #14 of 21 Old 04-28-2014, 08:19 AM
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I guess my thing is that I have 47, 55 and 70 inch TVs.  (I am never satisfied with image size and would have jumped to an 80 inch TV by now if not for finding projectors.) You are at 52 inches now so jumping up to a 70 inch is really not worth the cost when you can enjoy the 52 inch during the day and use a projector at night.  Even if you moved the projector down to a "brighter" 70 inch image you are still under the cost of a 70 inch TV.

 

And to be honest, even watching a big TV in a non-light controlled room (like my family room in the morning even with the blinds closed) is not an ideal situation.  I have six windows on the wall next to the TV, and the image I took (above) here is in the afternoon when the sun is on the other side of the house.

 

What about cables?  It looks like you are already have sound installed, but what about a spot for your projector (and cables)?  I use a portable setup as seen in the TV vs projector photo from earlier and a "messy" setup in the basement as seen in my profile.

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post #15 of 21 Old 04-28-2014, 11:44 AM - Thread Starter
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For audio I will probably just get a soundbar with subwoofer, I don't want to get into world of amp/speaker selection right now.
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post #16 of 21 Old 04-28-2014, 01:04 PM
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I agree... keep the sound simple.  I have about $800 (not much $ for this forum, but it seems like wasted $ to me)in a sound system which I hate, but I was thinking about the HDMI cable (or cables) from the DVR and Blu-ray player.  Those can get messy in a living room unless you are opening walls or running/fishing cable.  (Is that something you have already done?)

 

My "messy" setup in the basement.  (Part not seen is all the wires /Xbox, Wii, Blu-ray HDMI, speaker wires, DVR HDMI, audio cables, sub-woofer cables/ behind the chairs and couch.)

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post #17 of 21 Old 04-28-2014, 06:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve1106 View Post




I agree... keep the sound simple.  I have about $800 (not much $ for this forum, but it seems like wasted $ to me)in a sound system which I hate, but I was thinking about the HDMI cable (or cables) from the DVR and Blu-ray player.  Those can get messy in a living room unless you are opening walls or running/fishing cable.  (Is that something you have already done?)

My "messy" setup in the basement.  (Part not seen is all the wires /Xbox, Wii, Blu-ray HDMI, speaker wires, DVR HDMI, audio cables, sub-woofer cables/ behind the chairs and couch.)

I am getting my first projector, 5030UBe within few days. How do you connect the audio to projector? Can I connect them directly? Can I connect them wireless?
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post #18 of 21 Old 04-28-2014, 07:42 PM
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Wow. That looks like great projector and I like the 600,000 to one contrast ratio.  (Might want to consider a better sound system to match a good projector...something like a Fry's Klipsch package for $1200 or so.  I think you have a Fry's in your area and for an extra $200 they setup and calibrate the system.)

 

Keep in mind I am "driving a Yugo" (crappy car if you are too young to know what a Yugo was) to your Honda....but,

 

  I have two inexpensive projectors (Viewsonic and Epson HC2000/13000 to one contrast ratio) and both can be connected directly to a sound "system" via a 3.5 audio jack out on both projectors.  I have them hooked up to 2.0 or 2.1 systems (a 200 watt gaming stereo that I have had for many years and one to a 2.1 Logitech 200 watt THX system). 

 

On my "better" projector (which also still has the Logitech hooked up for the kids and me to use) I  have a 5.1 Yamaha AVR  hooked directly to my Blu-ray and DVR via digital and optical outputs.  I could just use the HDMI cables to carry audio/video from each device to the 5.1 receiver and have 1 HDMI out to the projector.  Some sound bars have this feature as well.

 

As to wireless audio from the projector to the receiver, I have seen this question asked but not answered. I have a few old (AAA battery powered) radio transmitters (for a car) that will take a signal and play it over a radio, so I could use that to send to the 5.1 AVR for a stereo sound, but it would be bad and a pain to use.) 

 

The only wireless part of my system is/are the 4 pairs of JVC wireless headphones which receive the signal directly from the projector's 3.5 audio out (I split the signal from the projector to the headphones and Logitech system and use the projector's remote to control the volume.)  The JVC wireless system has two wireless speakers, but they have never worked as well as the headphones (which are fantastic) and are fairly worthless.

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post #19 of 21 Old 04-29-2014, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mil3 View Post

I am getting my first projector, 5030UBe within few days. How do you connect the audio to projector? Can I connect them directly? Can I connect them wireless?

The best way is to have your speakers connected to a hdmi 1.4 compliant receiver. The projector is the hdmi output of the receiver. Your blu-ray player, cable box, xbox, etc will be connected to the receiver inputs. Hdmi carries both video and audio. Usually easy as pie.
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post #20 of 21 Old 04-29-2014, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soupcxan View Post

I can probably hang some curtains on the big kitchen window and the rear living room window, but don't know what I can do about the glass door windows. Wife is already on the fence about having a 100" screen and is not going to go for massive blackout shades everywhere. However most of my viewing is in the evenings.

My question remains, I know this will never be perfect, but is it just a bad setup for a PJ? Should I just get a larger LCD to replace the 52"? I don't want to buy a new LCD plus a new PJ setup.



The couch facing my 100 in projector screen faces 38° Northeast. To the left of my screen at about 15 feet is my French doors with no covering. To the right of my screen at approx.6 feet is are two sets of 30x72" windows with Venetian blinds only.
My throw distance is 14 feet.

I never turn on the projector before 7:30 or so but my 5030UB is very rewarding. I couldn't imagine as better
picture. I just keep the lights to a minimum when watching. As a side note, the OTA pictures
seem to be much clearer than that of cable so a dedicated outside antenna is going up and unhook my cable box.

I would go for the pj and as others said, keep your LCD for daytime viewing.Good luck.
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post #21 of 21 Old 05-03-2014, 07:06 PM - Thread Starter
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I got the W1080st setup with a temporary 100" screen made from blackout cloth and even with my ambient light the PJ works a lot better than I expected. I definitely plan to replace my LCD with this.
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