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post #1 of 20 Old 08-05-2014, 08:54 AM - Thread Starter
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please help this newbie decide just exactly what he needs

Hi everyone,

This is the first time I'm buying a projector. The layout of my room is such that I have two options:

1. either set up my screen against a wall and leave it permanently there but then I only have a throw distance of 9.8

2. or buy a screen that I can easily roll and unroll every time I watch a film and then have a throw distance of 18.3. (the screen would then be located in front of a window with thick curtains - I don't plan to use it during daytime anyway and my room is quite dark when I pull the curtain, I virtually can't see anything)

Secondly I have no idea what price range I should target and just exactly how noticeable the difference is going to be if I spend much more money. The shop I went to basically had lots of stuff in the 800 dollar price range (the epson EHTWS200 for instance) or more in the 3000 dollar range (the Sony UPL-HW55ES for instance was priced just exactly 3000) or above but not much in between. I don't know whether I should go for the more expensive ones and what benefits it would give me. I mostly watch old films, lots of black and white (though good colour rendition is still important) and have zero interest in 3D.

Also if I choose to go with the first setup is there a specific type of projector designed to provide a large image despite the shorter throw distance? Like something with a zoom... Or is the throw distance I mentioned (9.8) too short to get a decent-sized image anyway?

Thanks a lot.
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post #2 of 20 Old 08-05-2014, 09:51 AM
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The w1070 has a fairly short throw and can get over 95" in that space..there's a short-throw model as well (w1080) that can get up to 145" with just 9.8ft of room. Most other choices can be expected to still get 80"-90" of screen from there which should still look quite large from that seating distance.

Rollup screens that don't wrinkle (tab-tension) are fairly expensive, often near or past $1000. If possible, painting a white screen onto your wall is very easy, cheap, and looks fantastic. For $20 and 10minutes of work, you won't be out much if you don't care for it and you'll be able to see how you feel about that smaller screen with a projected image on it from that seating distance. On the plus side, a smaller image is able to fight more light in the room without looking washed-out.

I'm bad with non-US model designations, but the main difference is that the more expensive models have better measured contrast which mostly results in a slightly more lively (less flat/washed-out) image and MUCH nicer looking dark scenes. That Sony 55 and its cheaper version (the 40) are very nice models with the 40 being an absolute all-star at everything for its price. To really get the most out of those nicer models you'll want to darken your room, not only in turning off lights but by painting or curtain-ing the walls and ceiling in dark flat colors..at least near the screen/wall.

If you want to stay cheaper or don't want to go through the effort of darkening the walls/ceiling near the screen (though it isn't terribly hard) the w1070 is the next best choice. There is also an Epson 8350 and 8345 that lacks 3D and is very quality, but I don't know what it's called over there..all the other LCD models near this price have very poor contrast and should be avoided in favor of the Benq w1070 or Epson 8350/8345. Likewise most DLP under $2000 besides the w1070 have poorer colors and accuracy than the w1070 as well as worse contrast though it is still significantly better than the under$2000 LCDs.

If you can get the Sony 40 for around $2000-2500, that's a fantastic option. The 55 is a little better (better contrast with the iris) but a lot more expensive and the 40 is beating even the best Epson models except for their slightly smoother 3D performance which you won't miss.

Otherwise, for under $2000 nothing beats the w1070. It's the one to get until you can pay about 3X as much for a better model like that Sony.

If you don't game, can really darken the room, and afford $3500+..then you should consider a JVC option as they offer contrast levels nobody else can touch, BUT they don't game well and they need a truly darked-out room to work their magic.

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post #3 of 20 Old 08-05-2014, 06:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice. Painting the wall is not an option as I'm only renting the place. I'm not even supposed to make holes in the walls, which is why I'm considering the type of screens that you unfold from the bottom up with a metal structure behind to keep them flat, don't know exactly how they're called. Those I've seen where nowhere as expensive as what you mention (about $300 for a 82x60 screen - size is listed as "100" - that didn't seem like it would wrinkle to me, maximum size is "120", not sure what that means). Ideally using the wall and leaving the screen there all the time would be best but I don't know how much I'll be suffering from the reduced throw distance.

I want a rather large screen as I suppose the native format of my projector will be 16/9 and I'll be watching a lot of 4/3 films so they will look a lot smaller. One throw distance calculator I found on the net gives me a 3'10x5'1 image in the 4/3 format and 3'10x6'9 at the 16/9 format for the Sony VPL-HW55ES at a throw distance of 9'5. I don't know if that means using the zoom and whether that reduces luminosity/contrast and such.

Another question I had is how bad is it if the projector is a little off-centered compared to the screen?

I don't game and can afford to pay a little more so the JVC is a serious option. I live in Japan so I might find it cheaper.

My other concern is the Sony is quite bulky. But all the projectors at that price range seem to have the same problem.
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post #4 of 20 Old 08-05-2014, 08:34 PM
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The non-tab-tension rollup screens will wrinkle and curl at the edges, but they are available cheap and will usually look okay for a year or two. I'm curious if a two year warranty would get one replaced for this problem..would be nice.
Tab-tension can occasionally be found cheaper, but I wouldn't know what brand or model.

Sounds like it is using zoom for maximum size, but that's okay and won't decrease brightness or contrast..zooming to largest size from a closer distance makes it the brightest for that given size compared to moving farther back and zooming-out to shrink to the same size.

Keep in mind the throw-distance is calculated from lens to screen, not back of projector to screen. You may have a nearly 10ft space, but the projector lens is 1'-2'forward from your rear wall (also remember to leave room for cords). So expect about 8.5ft where most projectors will make a 42"tall image. That means roughly an 85" 16:9 and a 60" 4:3. I see what you mean about wanting a larger 4:3 image.

The Sony and JVC can handle being a little off-center, but not by several feet or anything drastic. There are few if any under $2000 that are able to though, only higher end models.

Yeah, most/all the nicer models are bigger..it does make them run quieter though. The JVC will need you to darken your room to really look noticeably better than the Sony (dark paint or cloth covering ceiling and walls), I'm not sure about your future situation but it sounds like the JVC would be wasted at your current space..unless you can get it surprisingly cheap so it doesn't matter.

It sounds like the rollup and long distance is the only way to get a nice sized 4:3, like you mentioned. That or a solid frame screen up on an easel or something like a simple tv stand.

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post #5 of 20 Old 08-05-2014, 09:02 PM - Thread Starter
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The non-tab-tension rollup screens will wrinkle and curl at the edges, but they are available cheap and will usually look okay for a year or two. I'm curious if a two year warranty would get one replaced for this problem..would be nice.
Tab-tension can occasionally be found cheaper, but I wouldn't know what brand or model.

Sounds like it is using zoom for maximum size, but that's okay and won't decrease brightness or contrast..zooming to largest size from a closer distance makes it the brightest for that given size compared to moving farther back and zooming-out to shrink to the same size.

Keep in mind the throw-distance is calculated from lens to screen, not back of projector to screen. You may have a nearly 10ft space, but the projector lens is 1'-2'forward from your rear wall (also remember to leave room for cords). So expect about 8.5ft where most projectors will make a 42"tall image. That means roughly an 85" 16:9 and a 60" 4:3. I see what you mean about wanting a larger 4:3 image.

The Sony and JVC can handle being a little off-center, but not by several feet or anything drastic. There are few if any under $2000 that are able to though, only higher end models.

Yeah, most/all the nicer models are bigger..it does make them run quieter though. The JVC will need you to darken your room to really look noticeably better than the Sony (dark paint or cloth covering ceiling and walls), I'm not sure about your future situation but it sounds like the JVC would be wasted at your current space..unless you can get it surprisingly cheap so it doesn't matter.

It sounds like the rollup and long distance is the only way to get a nice sized 4:3, like you mentioned. That or a solid frame screen up on an easel or something like a simple tv stand.
Good to know. What you said about the screen is a real drawback though, making me seriously consider the flat screen TV alternative. If I make holes in my wall/ceiling to attach a tab-tension screen I can pretty much kiss my deposit goodbye (I don't know exactly what "tab-tension" means but I assume they have to be fixed on the wall/ceiling and cannot be moved around - they look like they can be rolled from what I see on google image).

One last question is how high does my projector need to be set-up? Is it the higher the better?
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post #6 of 20 Old 08-06-2014, 07:39 AM
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Nonono, lol. See that's what I always imagined too when I first heard about tab-tension, but they don't use any more holes than a regular rollup. The tension tabs are attached to a tight rope on both sides that is simply part of the screen and unrolls with it being pulled taught by the weighted bottom bar. You don't have to tighten it yourself or anything it just keeps the sides from curling. I'll admit that I've only seen ones that pull down from the ceiling, but there's NOTHING stopping them from being a pullup tripod one-piece like other pullups. I'm sure they exist in the way you need, they're just much mire expensive than a plain pullup because they last a very long time and require a little more to make.


I'm not sure if this shows up, if not, just do an image search for "tab-tension screen". It's easier to see than explain. First time I noticed one I had to ask the store clerk "is that what a tab-T screen is?".."huh, that's much better than what I thought they were."

Otherwise, getting a $50 TV floor stand and hanging a fixed-frame projector screen from that saves you from holes, prices and wrinkles. Though it'd block the curtains quite a bit.

The Sony and JVC are both quiet and have a lot of vertical lens-shift so you can basically mount them as high or low as you need to without problems. Many people prefer to mount as high as possible to keep it more out of site, but nothing says you have to. If you go with something cheaper like the Benq w1070, you'll need to mount roughly 1ft back for every 10" of diagonal at 16:9 (so about 12' back to get a 120" 16:9) and the lens will have to be about 10" above the screen's top (though a few cheap models need to be lower..the w1070 included) and you'll go a little higher if you go bigger than 120" 16:9.

You'll want to have your screen (or tv if you go that route) just high enough that your seated eyes are somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 of the way up the screen..for example; your eyes are about 3ft from the floor when you sit and your screen is 5ft tall..you'll want it positioned 6"-16" off the floor so that 1/3-1/2 the screen is below 3ft. Most people go closer to 1/3 because that allows the screen to be a little higher and less likely to get blocked by a low table or ottoman. Try not to go higher than 1/3, it keeps your neck, head and eyes comfortable during longer movies.

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post #7 of 20 Old 08-06-2014, 07:52 AM
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Another option would be a diy screen made from a flat substrate or material stretched over a frame. You could then attach the frame of the screen to one of those entertainment centers that have a flat screen mount built into them. Check out the diy subforum in the projection screen section to see what others are doing.

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post #8 of 20 Old 08-06-2014, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by rom1 View Post
Good to know. What you said about the screen is a real drawback though, making me seriously consider the flat screen TV alternative. If I make holes in my wall/ceiling to attach a tab-tension screen I can pretty much kiss my deposit goodbye (I don't know exactly what "tab-tension" means but I assume they have to be fixed on the wall/ceiling and cannot be moved around - they look like they can be rolled from what I see on google image).

One last question is how high does my projector need to be set-up? Is it the higher the better?
I would not hassle with a screen you have to put up and take down.

I would go with a fixed frame screen, sitting on top of a narrow stand, and project using the 9.8' distance. Throw is actually from the front of the lens, so you probably only have 9', but a Benq W1080ST will fill a 120" 16:9 screen.

I would mount the projector upside down from a free standing structure that looks like a right "bracket" ] flush against the wall behind the sofa and running floor to ceiling.

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post #9 of 20 Old 08-07-2014, 02:11 AM - Thread Starter
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I would not hassle with a screen you have to put up and take down.

I would go with a fixed frame screen, sitting on top of a narrow stand, and project using the 9.8' distance. Throw is actually from the front of the lens, so you probably only have 9', but a Benq W1080ST will fill a 120" 16:9 screen.

I would mount the projector upside down from a free standing structure that looks like a right "bracket" ] flush against the wall behind the sofa and running floor to ceiling.
So if I do that is the Benq my best option as far as short-throw distance projectors are concerned? Are there no higher-end short throw distance models available? Although I don't have to spend more, if more will buy me better picture quality I don't mind the extra investment. If I could find something that combines short-throw with off center adjustment (which the Benq doesn't allow from what I can read) and good black and white rendition I'd be in heaven.

I've never seen a "]"-shaped structure like you describe but if I can find one that would be perfect.
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post #10 of 20 Old 08-07-2014, 06:25 AM
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If you can make a screen it should be light enough to use those command hooks. Would save you from making holes.
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post #11 of 20 Old 08-07-2014, 12:15 PM
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Do a search for wall projector mount. There are several that allow you to hang upside down, you will need to be able to screw to a stud. If you have a projector with adequate lense shift, you can just mount it on a shelf and shift the image to align with the screen. This is the way I set up my parents projector because they did not want to put holes in the ceiling.

You can also hang a screen using a french clete. This is how many mount their screens and only requires a few holes to connect it directly to the studs. It is very easy to hang the screen and adjust from side to side once its up.

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post #12 of 20 Old 08-09-2014, 02:17 AM
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The OP said he didn't want to make ANY HOLES in walls or ceilings. And he doesn't need to.

A fixed screen setting on a stand with double-sided tape to hold it back against the wall will work fine. No holes.

An 8' shelf sitting vertically against the wall with a base and a top shelf -- imagine a bench seat sitting up on end -- will support the weight of a mount without putting any holes in wall or ceiling for the mount. More double sided tape simply holding it in place side to side but not supporting any weight.

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Quote:
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So if I do that is the Benq my best option as far as short-throw distance projectors are concerned? Are there no higher-end short throw distance models available? Although I don't have to spend more, if more will buy me better picture quality I don't mind the extra investment. If I could find something that combines short-throw with off center adjustment (which the Benq doesn't allow from what I can read) and good black and white rendition I'd be in heaven.

I've never seen a "]"-shaped structure like you describe but if I can find one that would be perfect.
Short throw and horizontal lens shift is very uncommon.

The ] structure you would need to build. Not difficult with an 8' prefinished shelf for the vertical, two 8' lengths of 1x2 to add rigidity, and a couple of 1' pieces of 1x6 for gussets, a saw and a dozen wood screws. I'm not sure how common it is to find those materials in whatever part of Japan you're in. Here it would be a quick trip to Home Depot and 15 minutes work. HD would even cut the wood.

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post #14 of 20 Old 08-11-2014, 10:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your advice. Basically I'm left with two options: the BenQ short-throw projector and a fixed screen on my wall or the Sony (or something similar in the same price range) and something in front of my window. I think I can make holes on top of my curtain box since it's made of wood and the holes will not be visible (being on top of the box) and easier to fix since it's wood and not wallpaper+concrete. So then I can probably find some sort of hooks shaped like an upside down L. Don't know if it can work but it's worth a try since a rollup screen will be less of a hassle than something I have to set up every time or even than a fixed screen that will eat up a lot of space.
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What color are your walls? I have lived in several rental places over the years and just filled in the holes before I moved out. The walls where normally white though so I didn't even have to paint it after the patch. I just sold my last house and filled several holes, some big enough to stick my thumb through. I just went to Lowes with small chips of the paint and had them match the color.

For wood, you can use wood filler and a little old english as stain.

If you are dead set against making any holes, placing the projector on a bookshelf or stand at the back of the room will work too. You just need to make sure the projector you choose will be able to align with your screen.

Projector central has a handy projector calculator that you can use to help determine if the projector will work in your situation. You can choose distance from screen, screen size, inverted or not, etc...

Like I said earlier, with a little enginuity, you can mount a fixed projection screen to one of those entertainment centers with the flat screen mount built in.

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post #16 of 20 Old 08-12-2014, 09:51 AM
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It looks like the BenQ projector does not have any horizontal lens shift and minimal vertical lens shift. This means that you need to have the projector centered horizontally and slightly above the screen if mounting it inverted, or slightly below the screen if using a shelf or table. You may want to look at models with lens shift if these two scenarios are not an option.

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DLP projectors with lens shift are generally much higher than their LCD counterparts because of the higher difficulty involved in shifting a DLP image when compared to LCD. You will need to spend close to $2500 to get DLP with nice lens shift, like the BenQ SH940. The Epson Home Cinema 8350 will give you nice lens shift for $1100. The Sony VPL-HW40ES appears to have great lens shift as well for around $2500.

Here is a link for a list of projectors with horizontal and vertical lens shift at projectorpeople:
Lens Shift Projectors

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post #18 of 20 Old 08-12-2014, 07:31 PM - Thread Starter
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What color are your walls? I have lived in several rental places over the years and just filled in the holes before I moved out. The walls where normally white though so I didn't even have to paint it after the patch. I just sold my last house and filled several holes, some big enough to stick my thumb through. I just went to Lowes with small chips of the paint and had them match the color.
I've done that plenty of times too back when I was living in Europe but the trouble here is that my walls are not white but have a wallpaper with a kind of weft-like texture that simply can't be fixed once damaged. It's fairly common here in Japan I think it's supposed to replicate the texture of traditional fusuma or something like that. Everybody I know has the same problem, even hanging pictures on your wall is a serious challenge. And it's not just losing your deposit, it's also all the additional and overpriced charges that you have to pay for every defect. I'm not sure how expensive it would be but since I might move to a new place in a year or two, it might not be worth finding out.

There is some hope however in that my curtain box protrudes a little from the wall (about half an inch) and the top of that box is unpainted wood that can easily be fixed and is not directly visible. If I could put some hooks there, that would be perfect. I could go with the Sony VPL-HW55ES with enough throw distance to fill a 120 screen easily (and the comfort of vertical and horizontal alignment). Not sure how many hooks would be needed nor if that would be enough to hold a tab tensioned screen that's probably fairly heavy. It's hard for me to see how you attach those things to the wall from just looking at them but it seems like there's some serious wall mutilation involved for the better models.

By the way tab-tensioned rollup screens in size 100 / 110 are outrageously expensive (more than 3,000 bucks and quite often a lot more than that). Does that sound right? Non-tab tensioned rollup screens go for approximately 1/10 to 1/2 of that price (within that range I don't know how much better the more expensive ones are at not getting all curled and wrinkled).

I wish I could use the screen section of the forum or some reviews on the internet to get an idea but the brands and reference models are completely different and unfortunately my Japanese is not good enough to discuss screens on a Japanese forum.
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post #19 of 20 Old 08-12-2014, 08:25 PM
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Both because you might be moving relatively soon and because the price makes little difference toward the resistance to wrinkling on non-tab-tension rollups, you will probably be best served using a cheap one and getting rid of it when you move. Hopefully replacing it with a fixed-frame or painted surface.

Also, there have been folks that have turned their cheap wrinkled pulldowns into DIY tab-tension versions with a little modification. If it wrinkles before you move and it bothers you enough, that's a nice option to have.

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post #20 of 20 Old 08-13-2014, 02:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Good thinking. Will probably get one that you unroll towards the ceiling as it will give me more flexibility in case I want to put it somewhere else.


Funny that some of the non-tab tensioned rollup screens are almost as expensive as the tab-tensioned ones.

Now to the difficult question of whether I should go 4/3 or 16/9. Most of the films I watch seem to be kind of in between.

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