Extremely short view distance (8' to < 9'), limited budget, options? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 10 Old 08-24-2015, 07:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Extremely short view distance (8' to < 9'), limited budget, options?

Hello all! First post, thanks for having me in your community

First of all, I realize that there is no "good" solution in a case such as mine, and I'm not looking for a silver bullet, just a good idea of what I'm up against and what my best options might be.

Second, my scenario: I recently moved to a very strange "garden unit" apartment that has an incredibly narrow "living room" (if you'd call it that). It is around 8' 10" wide. I have a couch pressed up against one wall, which gives me a viewing distance of roughly 8' max I'm guessing, assuming I put the projector screen against the opposite wall, which is my plan. In a worse case situation it could be as little as 7'6" I estimate.

I know that for this distance, a "normal" TV might be my best option, a 50" TV or something would be good, but this is where the "weirdness" of my apartment comes in. I basically don't have any place where I could put a TV, because the wall that I plan on putting the projector screen on is actually not a wall but a doorway into an unused bedroom. So a big part of the reason I want to get a project in the first place is so that I don't have to put a TV in front of the door, I can mount the projector screen on the ceiling and just roll it down when I need it.

I also know that at such a short viewing distance, resolution will be an issue. Which is where my first budget issues come in - a higher resolution quality projector (1080p let us say) is going to cost more money then a 720p projector. And 4k is right out for me.

My budget will be roughly 500-750 dollars. Which I know for many (most?) here is likely a joke. But like I said, I realize I'm not going to get something amazing for this. Also, I'm willing (and am!) looking for stuff on craigslist, etc.

So finally,

Third, what I'm hoping to actually learn from this thread:

1. is this viewing distance just completely insane in terms of making a projector work? I'm not super worried about the "throw distance" because I am hoping to mount the projector on the ceiling almost against the far wall, so I expect to have at least 7 feet of space for the projector to do it's projecting thing . I'm more worried about the actual distance from the screen for viewing.

2. How big is absolutely too big from this 7-8" viewing distance? I know this is subjective, but I'd love to hear some opinions on what would just be absolutely too big. 60"? 80"? 100"? Although I know this is working against myself and the resolution problem, I sort of figure if I'm getting a projector I might as well make the image as big as I possibly can. I've read this thread: [edit: can't post links yet, but it was a discussion about 9' viewing disntace] which is actually very similar to mine, and one guy says that he thinks the projector should be ~ 1/2 the viewing distance away. So in my case, that would be only ~50". That's not particularly big (in fact, that feels small for a projector (?)). I've also read a few articles that say that you start seeing lines/artifacts at screen sizes that are ~ > [viewing distance] / 1.5 for a 720p projector, and ~1.2 for a 1080p projector. That would give me roughly 64" for a 720p projector or ~80" for a 1080p projector. Do those numbers seem silly/too big?

3. Is thewirecutter.com actually a good source to go to for choosing a projector? In their $500 projector article [edit: can't post links but it's a link to the wirecutter review of < 500 projectors]) they recommend a Acer H5380BD which is 720p. Their review seems fairly thorough and in general I like their site, but I'd be curious if the more "hardcore" AV community approves of their reviews/findings.

4. What would you do if you were me (keep in mind there is no perfect solution )?

Well, that's about all I have for now! Thanks for taking the time to read my question!

edit: I think it's somewhat funny that I've been a member here since March 2003, but this is my first post - not sure what caused me to make an account 12 years ago, but here we are !
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post #2 of 10 Old 08-24-2015, 08:18 AM
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1. Most people go with flat panels from that distance, but if your situation really calls for a projector, then there's nothing wrong with viewing from 7' to 8' away from the screen. It's not typical, but will give you some more light on the screen which isn't typically a bad thing.

2. Typical viewing size is 10" to 12" of diagonal for each foot of viewing distance. So 70" to 96" diagonal isn't at all inappropriate. Let's call it a 80" diagonal.

3. Projectorreviews.com and Projectorcentral.com are very good review sites. I would always check them out before the more general 'electronics' review sites. Still, if you read good reviews in one place, and those reviews are backed up in other places, then it's likely a decent way to go.

4. If I were you, I would be looking at the W1070 from BenQ or the PF1500 from LG.

You have to be VERY aware of throw distance. If you only have about 7.5' from lens to screen, then you will be limited to the screen size a projector can make from that distance, which may be smaller than your goal.

Let's search:
http://www.projectorcentral.com/proj...sort=pop&sz=15

Over a dozen options, none are horrendous, most are near the $750 budget, some are a couple hundred less. All can hit a 80" diagonal from 7.5' lens to screen. All are 1080p.

You should not be looking at 720p models with that viewing distance and with typical screen sizes.

AV Integrated - Theater, whole house audio, and technology installation in the Washington DC metro area.
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post #3 of 10 Old 08-24-2015, 08:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AV_Integrated View Post

...snip...
Wow, this is an awesome reply and awesome information! Thank you!

The W1070 from BenQ does indeed seem about perfect. I'm going to look more into that and read more reviews.

Thank you for saying that I should only focus on 1080p. This is something that I *wanted* to be doing (only look at 1080p) because it made sense from what I read, but to have you say it makes me feel more confident, and help me narrow down my search!

Again, thanks for your time/info/searching for me!
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post #4 of 10 Old 08-24-2015, 06:15 PM
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Keep in mind that roll down screen have a number of problems. They move in any sort of airflow which makes the image jump around. The ones that are not tab-tensioned tend to curl at the edges and develop waves across the screen which show up as distortions in what you are watching.

Fixed frame screens do not have these problems. If you can mount a fixed frame screen on hinges above the doorway, it can be swung up out of the way and hooked to the ceiling. If you can hinge it to the wall, it can be swung open like a door to access the bedroom.

ps. If you have an unused bedroom, why not set up a fixed frame and projector in there ? It is likely larger than the space you are trying to use and would allow a larger screen, better sound, more seating, etc. If you want to maintain it as an available guest room, then use a futon for your seating.

*********************
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post #5 of 10 Old 08-24-2015, 07:27 PM
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According to the projector central calculator the BenQ W1080ST will project a 140" screen at 7.5 feet.
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post #6 of 10 Old Yesterday, 10:47 PM
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why not get one of the small led dlp units?? They could be fun at that distance.

I am telling you...screen size is not the be all end all. THere are lots of factors to creating a great space to watch movies. Don't get sucked into screen size.
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post #7 of 10 Old Today, 08:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benareeno View Post
why not get one of the small led dlp units?? They could be fun at that distance.

I am telling you...screen size is not the be all end all. THere are lots of factors to creating a great space to watch movies. Don't get sucked into screen size.
The low cost pico and pocket LED projectors tend to have much lower light output than the lamp based BenQ W1070 (now replaced by the W1075) or the short throw version the W1080ST. In fact, for those small/inexpensive LED projectors the measured lumens output, even in the brightest mode with the worst color performance, tends to only be 1/3 to 2/3 of what many of the manufactures are claiming in their spec. sheets and in the best color mode the are frequently only putting out 100 to 200 lumens.
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post #8 of 10 Old Today, 02:49 PM
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at that viewing distance, lumens are also overrated.

Do not overbuy your projector based on specs. Some people are enthralled with specs.

Lower lumen and smaller image is much better in a small space. Very likely better than a flat panel as well. At least, more fun.
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post #9 of 10 Old Today, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benareeno View Post
at that viewing distance, lumens are also overrated.

Do not overbuy your projector based on specs. Some people are enthralled with specs.

Lower lumen and smaller image is much better in a small space. Very likely better than a flat panel as well. At least, more fun.

Sitting 8' from a 100" diagonal Carada Classic Cinema White screen, with a JVC RS4910 - with the iris cranked down - imagine the black levels and picture possible ! A smaller screen with a closer seating distance can have excellent picture potential !!
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post #10 of 10 Unread Today, 10:10 PM
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I recently got the gt1080 Optoma projector. It has a short throw. I can do 135 about 60 inch from the screen. that is 5 ft away.. I would try that.. you can get it for 699. fullcompass.com has a deal with 2 free 3d glasses. that is the deal I got. the deal ends next month.

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