Thinking about upgrading; is this a significant upgrade? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
Forum Jump: 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 11 Old Yesterday, 06:25 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 0
Thinking about upgrading; is this a significant upgrade?

We have a BenQ SP831 projector in a room that seats 300. It's 4000 lumens, 2000:1 contrast ratio. To make it look decent we have to entirely black out the room, and even then, sometimes it's difficult to read things like black words on a red background which look perfectly fine on an LCD monitor.

Our budget is unfortunately in the US$1500 range. I essentially want to downgrade our resolution and upgrade brightness/contrast since we only have a 4:3 screen anyway. I was thinking of the Optoma X600 which has 6000 lumens and a 10,000:1 contrast ratio.

Others in my price range:

Viewsonic Pro8510L - doesn't specify a contrast ratio.

BenQ SX914 - 6500:1 contrast ratio.

Should I ignore the BenQ completely since its contrast ratio is worse? What about the Viewsonic?

Thanks in advance to anyone who wants to respond.
Mango123456 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 11 Old Yesterday, 07:46 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Dave in Green's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 4,043
Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1671 Post(s)
Liked: 1107
Advertised contrast specs have been proven to be unreliable, so it's best not to put too much trust in them.

Your BenQ SP831 is a 10-year-old design that's really outdated. But there's no need to downgrade from the already low 1280x768 resolution to get more lumens and better contrast than the SP831. Older LCD models mostly have organic LCD panels that degrade over time so a 10-year-old model is not going to look as good as it did when new. Newer LCD models have inorganic LCD panels that are much more robust.

The new Epson 2250U has 1920x1200 resolution, is rated at 5,000 lumens and also has a dynamic iris and much improved LCD panels over the SP831. While not designed for a dark home theater it will have good contrast for a bright business projector. With an msrp of $1,599 its current street price at several trusted vendors is comfortably below your $1,500 limit at $1,399. Another bonus is that Epson sells replacement lamps for the 2250U at a low price of $99 -- much less than what other projector makers sell their replacement lamps.

epson.com/For-Work/Projectors/Meeting-Room/PowerLite-2250U-Wireless-Full-HD-WUXGA-3LCD-Projector-/p/V11H871020

Last edited by Dave in Green; Yesterday at 07:51 AM.
Dave in Green is online now  
post #3 of 11 Old Yesterday, 08:59 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave in Green View Post
Advertised contrast specs have been proven to be unreliable, so it's best not to put too much trust in them.

Your BenQ SP831 is a 10-year-old design that's really outdated. But there's no need to downgrade from the already low 1280x768 resolution to get more lumens and better contrast than the SP831. Older LCD models mostly have organic LCD panels that degrade over time so a 10-year-old model is not going to look as good as it did when new. Newer LCD models have inorganic LCD panels that are much more robust.

The new Epson 2250U has 1920x1200 resolution, is rated at 5,000 lumens and also has a dynamic iris and much improved LCD panels over the SP831. While not designed for a dark home theater it will have good contrast for a bright business projector. With an msrp of $1,599 its current street price at several trusted vendors is comfortably below your $1,500 limit at $1,399. Another bonus is that Epson sells replacement lamps for the 2250U at a low price of $99 -- much less than what other projector makers sell their replacement lamps.

epson.com/For-Work/Projectors/Meeting-Room/PowerLite-2250U-Wireless-Full-HD-WUXGA-3LCD-Projector-/p/V11H871020
Thanks a lot for taking the time to respond.

So hypothetically I have a guest seated 60 feet away from the screen (that's about average). You're thinking a 1920x1200 resolution with 5000 lumens is going to provide a better viewing experience than 1024x768 at 6000 lumens? i.e. sharper rather than brighter?

I did the math; looks like the difference in resolution would be 9 ppi for the Optoma vs 14 ppi for the Epson.
Mango123456 is offline  
 
post #4 of 11 Old Yesterday, 10:38 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Dave in Green's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 4,043
Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1671 Post(s)
Liked: 1107
@Mango123456 , the Optoma is DLP and the Epson is 3LCD. The maximum lumen rating of bright DLP business projectors is only for white lumens. In its brightest mode a typical bright DLP business projector produces colors only about a third as bright as whites. So when producing 6,000 white lumens the Optoma will only be producing ~2,000 color lumens. White will be bright but colors will be dark and dingy by comparison. In order to get equal white and color lumens you'd need to put the Optoma in its dimmest mode of ~2,.000 lumens or lower.

3LCD projectors produce equal white and color lumens all the time, even in brightest mode. So when the Epson is producing 5,000 white lumens it will also be producing 5,000 color lumens. When color lumens match white lumens the overall image appears much brighter. So while the Optoma DLP would be fine for black and white images it will be at a disadvantage on images with any color in them.

What is your screen size?
Dave in Green is online now  
post #5 of 11 Old Yesterday, 11:01 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 0
Wow; I learned a lot. Thank you very much.

Screen size is about 9.5' x 7'.
Mango123456 is offline  
post #6 of 11 Old Yesterday, 11:08 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Dave in Green's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 4,043
Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1671 Post(s)
Liked: 1107
@Mango123456, I forgot to mention something you may not be aware of since your old projector is 3LCD. DLP projectors, especially bright ones, are subject to showing rainbow artifacts -- flashes of rainbow-like colors. While most people aren't bothered by it a few people who are sensitive to DLP rainbows can't tolerate them. If you are showing to large groups odds are that some will have issues with DLP rainbows. Along with superior color brightness that's another advantage of 3LCD projectors when presenting to large groups.

If you decide that you don't need the extra resolution and could be content with 1024x768 on your 4:3 screen then I would recommend the 3LCD Epson PowerLite 2065. Although lower resolution than the 2250U it's 500 lumens brighter at 5,500 white and color lumens. Its msrp of $1,699 is $100 more than the 2250U, however at least one reliable vendor currently has it listed for $1,499 -- still within your $1,500 budget. Like the 2250U Epson only charges $99 for genuine 2065 replacement lamps whereas Optoma charges $400 for genuine X600 replacement lamps.

epson.com/For-Work/Projectors/Meeting-Room/PowerLite-2065-Wireless-XGA-3LCD-Projector-/p/V11H820020
Dave in Green is online now  
post #7 of 11 Old Today, 04:33 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
bud16415's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Erie Pa
Posts: 5,254
Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 965 Post(s)
Liked: 363
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mango123456 View Post
We have a BenQ SP831 projector in a room that seats 300. It's 4000 lumens, 2000:1 contrast ratio. To make it look decent we have to entirely black out the room, and even then, sometimes it's difficult to read things like black words on a red background which look perfectly fine on an LCD monitor.

Our budget is unfortunately in the US$1500 range. I essentially want to downgrade our resolution and upgrade brightness/contrast since we only have a 4:3 screen anyway. I was thinking of the Optoma X600 which has 6000 lumens and a 10,000:1 contrast ratio.

Others in my price range:

Viewsonic Pro8510L - doesn't specify a contrast ratio.

BenQ SX914 - 6500:1 contrast ratio.

Should I ignore the BenQ completely since its contrast ratio is worse? What about the Viewsonic?

Thanks in advance to anyone who wants to respond.
Mango123456

Quite a bit of ground is covered here so far, but some of the recommendations are made without (I think) a clear understanding of what you are using the projector for and the room conditions aside from having the room blacked out. By blacked out I’m assuming you mean windows are covered and lights are turned off.

300 people in a room viewing are quite a few and the seating distance you mentioned depending on content will allow some lesser resolutions to be seen no different than a higher resolution.

Is the stuff you will be watching “Movie Like”? or is it closer to “Business Like”?

When your room is blacked out and the projector is off would you say the level of darkness in the room and room colors are “Movie Theater Like” or “Church Like” or Conference Room Like”?

I have a lot of experience with High Lumen DLP Business Projectors. The description of how they make color and brightness above I don’t believe is completely accurate. They are measured as stated above in terms of overall lumens and that is what is advertised. So if they say 6000 lumens that is the overall addition of the white lumens and the color lumens and is called overall brightness or white lumens. When color lumens are stated by third parties that are financed by the LCD manufacture, they add the red, green, blue RGB lumens together of the color wheel and neglect any contribution from the other segments of the wheel most commonly cyan, yellow, white CYW. These bright colors in the high lumen settings for the most part don’t produce dark and dingy colors. But color accuracy will be lost away from the more movie like qualities we dealing in home theater want. These projectors crossover and on one end of their adjustments are designed to look good with movie content and on the other end the goal is bright vivid color presentation while maintaining contrast. The colors may not be what you would want to see as a high class cinematic image but they are very bright and colorful. Most of the folks here have never actually watched or played around with these business machines enough to have a feel for how they work in different settings.

As to rainbows, they are normally brought about in a very small percentage of people when the image being watched from a DLP projector is very immersive sitting close to a large screen and then watching bright action movies with a lot of eye movement with an image with fast movement. Again knowing the type of things you will be watching would tell us if that is even a concern as you only mentioned seeing black letters on a red background so far.

If you have any way to test a DLP Business projector I would suggest you take a look still as it is hard to buy any projector based on specs only.

Bud
bud16415 is online now  
post #8 of 11 Old Today, 07:42 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
AV_Integrated's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Northern, VA - Washington, DC
Posts: 5,354
Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 2 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1079 Post(s)
Liked: 786
I'm not sure if you have any mounting restrictions or requirements you have to deal with. The screen itself is 70 square feet (or so). Using the numbers: 70 square feet, with a minimum requirement of 50 real lumens per square foot is 3,500 real world lumens from any projector under normal florescent lighting.

Dealing with manufacturer bias and lamp dimming, you want about 80 advertised lumens per square foot of screen space, or about 5,600 lumens, minimum from any projector you buy.

1024x768 is absolutely fine for your screen size and viewing distance.

Light levels in the room may be no higher than standard florescent lighting.

This will give you about a 10:1 contrast ratio. No, you did't read the wrong. Your GOAL is to get to about 10:1 contrast. Maybe 12:1.

Now, my opinion: Your budget is a joke.

You have a room that seats 300 and you are budgeting $5 per person for the projector. If this is a unfunded, free public venue, then that's what you may have to deal with. But, if anyone pays to enter those doors, or they are paid for their time seated in that room, then at $10/hr. that's $3,000 per HOUR they are in front of the projector. Over the life of the first lamp, call it 2,000 hours, at half capacity, that works out to $3,000,000 of people hours. $1,500 is a pretty meaningless number in that consideration.

If people are paid, or pay, to be in that space, and the projector matters, then budget should almost be irrelevant, and I would plan on spending whatever it takes and shoot for something closer to 7,000 to 8,000 lumens.

AV Integrated - Theater, whole house audio, and technology installation in the Washington DC metro area.
AV_Integrated is online now  
post #9 of 11 Old Today, 08:45 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
bud16415's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Erie Pa
Posts: 5,254
Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 965 Post(s)
Liked: 363
Quote:
Originally Posted by AV_Integrated View Post
Now, my opinion: Your budget is a joke.

You have a room that seats 300 and you are budgeting $5 per person for the projector. If this is a unfunded, free public venue, then that's what you may have to deal with. But, if anyone pays to enter those doors, or they are paid for their time seated in that room, then at $10/hr. that's $3,000 per HOUR they are in front of the projector. Over the life of the first lamp, call it 2,000 hours, at half capacity, that works out to $3,000,000 of people hours. $1,500 is a pretty meaningless number in that consideration.
Your cost analyses made me smile. My first projector was getting a lot of use entertaining friends and family about 12 years ago. As a joke mostly I set a 5 gallon wine carboy to the entrance to the theater and in bragging I put a small sign on it saying this theater costs 25 cents per hour to operate please help out the management with your generous contributions. I then put all the loose change I had in the jug. To my surprise people started putting small change in the jug. I figured it might pay for the first lamp or a pizza night at my theater. When my first lamp blew in 4000 hours I had enough for the lamp or a new projector.

I should have charged them more I would be a millionaire by now.

Bud
bud16415 is online now  
post #10 of 11 Old Today, 10:01 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Dave in Green's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 4,043
Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1671 Post(s)
Liked: 1107
@Mango123456 , @AV_Integrated is an experienced professional AV installer whose opinions on commercial installations like yours are more educated than the opinions of those of us who are just home video fans. While his advice about a brighter, more expensive projector is sound for a large commercial venue, if you are absolutely stuck with a $1,500 budget and no hopes of going higher, I will stand by my recommendation of the 5,500 lumen Epson PowerLite 2065 as the best option at that price point. It will be brighter than what you have now and I believe superior to the DLP options for all the reasons I've already given.

As far as accurately describing the difference in color light output (CLO) between 3LCD and DLP projectors you don't have to rely on a couple of opinionated home video amateurs like me and @bud16415 who, with our limited experience, might inadvertently misstate some of the facts. CLO is an accepted international standard and the CLO advantage of 3LCD over DLP is well-documented in the industry. It's been covered in detail in many articles written by technically savvy professionals like the one below that includes graphic comparisons:

pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2418661,00.asp
Dave in Green is online now  
post #11 of 11 Unread Today, 12:29 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
AV_Integrated's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Northern, VA - Washington, DC
Posts: 5,354
Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 2 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1079 Post(s)
Liked: 786
I'm going to agree with @Dave in Green that the Epson PL 2065 is the better choice for the budget, and that LCD is certainly a better option than DLP for more reliable brightness for the money spent. I have yet to see a cheaper DLP projector which has any hope of decent color reproduction anywhere near the brightness claimed. The Optoma models appear exciting, and just suck. BenQ is a fair bit better, but Epson really seems to deliver.

The $99 lamps don't hurt their stance at all.

If you can work with the limited placement flexibility of this model and your budget is fixed, then that is the model I would get.

AV Integrated - Theater, whole house audio, and technology installation in the Washington DC metro area.
AV_Integrated is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply Digital Projectors - Under $3,000 USD MSRP



Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off