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post #1 of 19 Old 08-17-2017, 01:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Deciding between LED & Projection?

I’m looking at replacing my old LCD with a new LED or Front projection. My view distance will be about 10’. This is a dedicated theater room to watch satellite, stream, DVD, sports, movies, etc., no widows and very little ambient light. At time we like to watch with lights on, though pretty rare. Think dinner while watching football.

Projection gets me a larger screen at few dollars. Still I have virtually zero experience view modern projection units. I would DIY my own screen.

Considering a 10’ (10~11' throw) viewing distance and a single row of seating in front what are some of the other member thoughts?

Equipment recommendations?
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post #2 of 19 Old 08-17-2017, 04:36 PM
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@missin44 , you don't mention price range, but generally speaking the BenQ HT2050 is the most often recommended projector for less than $1,000. In the $1,000-$1,500 range the Epson 3100 is highly rated and if your budget is in the $1,500-$2,000 range the Sony HW45ES tends to get the most votes.

There are lots of basics for first time projector owners to understand. For example, different projector models have different throw ranges at which they can produce specific size images. So your screen size and how far from the screen you plan to mount the projector can rule some models out. There's also the question of whether you want to table mount near level with the bottom of the screen or mount high on the ceiling or on a back wall near level with the top of the screen.

The more ambient light in the room the brighter the projector needs to be to properly illuminate the screen. It's important to manage ambient light and keep it away from the screen as much as possible as uncontrolled ambient light can totally wash out a front projection image. You've already given some good details such as a throw of 10'-11'. Knowing your target image size and budget will help narrow things down.
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post #3 of 19 Old 08-17-2017, 06:27 PM - Thread Starter
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@missin44 , you don't mention price range, but generally speaking the BenQ HT2050 is the most often recommended projector for less than $1,000. In the $1,000-$1,500 range the Epson 3100 is highly rated and if your budget is in the $1,500-$2,000 range the Sony HW45ES tends to get the most votes.

There are lots of basics for first time projector owners to understand. For example, different projector models have different throw ranges at which they can produce specific size images. So your screen size and how far from the screen you plan to mount the projector can rule some models out. There's also the question of whether you want to table mount near level with the bottom of the screen or mount high on the ceiling or on a back wall near level with the top of the screen.

The more ambient light in the room the brighter the projector needs to be to properly illuminate the screen. It's important to manage ambient light and keep it away from the screen as much as possible as uncontrolled ambient light can totally wash out a front projection image. You've already given some good details such as a throw of 10'-11'. Knowing your target image size and budget will help narrow things down.
I had looked at he Sony online and see them anywhere from $1400 to $1800, too me that seems reasonable. I would build my own screen.

1. As far as the screen size goes. Sitting 10' away I don't want the screen too big or too small. I have the wall area to go as big or small as needed. What I want it the optimum screen size for sitting at around 10' from the screen. From what I have seen a screen size of ~100" would be best, though I really don't know.
2. The projector would sit on a wall shelf maybe at a slightly high angle, not straight on or low like on a table.
3. As far s light goes, virtually no ambient light. Though it would be nice to have some room lighting on if needed.

Regarding price, with a Costco 75" bargain TV at ~$2500, I still have a lot fewer dollars invested then with the Sony. What I don't know is picture quality and viewing experience between the two. It's easy to see LED TV, not so true with projection units.

Thanks for feedback

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post #4 of 19 Old 08-17-2017, 06:49 PM
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@missin44 , throw distance is measured from the front of the lens to the screen surface, and it's critical to know down to the inch as approximations can produce a combination that doesn't work. So you really do need to measure your distance very carefully. For example, let's hypothetically say your room is exactly 12' wide and you want to put the projector on a shelf on the back wall. The Sony HW45ES is 18" from the front of the lens to the rear, so let's say you have it on a shelf with the back of the projector against the wall. That means the lens is 18" in front of that, and subtracting 18" from 12' means the front of the lens is 10' 6" from the screen wall. With a 10' 6" throw the largest image an HW45ES can produce is a 106" diagonal.

To be safe you'd probably want to limit yourself to a 100" screen as the calculator can be off by an inch or two. So that would work for you as long as you didn't decide you wanted something bigger than a 100" screen. I have an HW45ES and 100" screen that I view from exactly 10' and it's about perfect for me. But some prefer larger and some prefer smaller. We're all wired a little differently so it's not predictable what size someone might prefer if they have no previous experience with front projection.

I highly recommend the HW45ES as it's generally acknowledged as the best overall projector for less than $2,000. But don't be fooled by the low prices. The only ones that come with a Sony factory warranty are those sold by Sony-authorized dealers, and Sony-authorized dealers are required by Sony to charge a minimum price, which is currently $1,799. The ones you see advertised for $1,400-$1,600 are usually grey market models that Sony will not cover with a factory warranty. I paid $1,799 for mine and I think it's worth every penny. So just beware of vendors who advertise a lower price and make sure you are buying from a legitimate Sony-authorized dealer unless you're willing to live without a factory warranty.
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post #5 of 19 Old 08-17-2017, 07:40 PM - Thread Starter
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@missin44 , throw distance is measured from the front of the lens to the screen surface, and it's critical to know down to the inch as approximations can produce a combination that doesn't work. So you really do need to measure your distance very carefully. For example, let's hypothetically say your room is exactly 12' wide and you want to put the projector on a shelf on the back wall. The Sony HW45ES is 18" from the front of the lens to the rear, so let's say you have it on a shelf with the back of the projector against the wall. That means the lens is 18" in front of that, and subtracting 18" from 12' means the front of the lens is 10' 6" from the screen wall. With a 10' 6" throw the largest image an HW45ES can produce is a 106" diagonal.

To be safe you'd probably want to limit yourself to a 100" screen as the calculator can be off by an inch or two. So that would work for you as long as you didn't decide you wanted something bigger than a 100" screen. I have an HW45ES and 100" screen that I view from exactly 10' and it's about perfect for me. But some prefer larger and some prefer smaller. We're all wired a little differently so it's not predictable what size someone might prefer if they have no previous experience with front projection.

I highly recommend the HW45ES as it's generally acknowledged as the best overall projector for less than $2,000. But don't be fooled by the low prices. The only ones that come with a Sony factory warranty are those sold by Sony-authorized dealers, and Sony-authorized dealers are required by Sony to charge a minimum price, which is currently $1,799. The ones you see advertised for $1,400-$1,600 are usually grey market models that Sony will not cover with a factory warranty. I paid $1,799 for mine and I think it's worth every penny. So just beware of vendors who advertise a lower price and make sure you are buying from a legitimate Sony-authorized dealer unless you're willing to live without a factory warranty.
Thanks, I think a screen of 100"+/- a few inches would be fine. As for the pricing I tend to buy locally as if there is a problem returns and help are easy. My search was simply to get a feel for the prices. So based on what I have seen in your post the Sony should work well given my flexibility on screen size. My last question, what if I had room lighting on, what have you seen?
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post #6 of 19 Old 08-17-2017, 08:42 PM
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Considering a 10’ (10~11' throw) viewing distance and a single row of seating in front what are some of the other member thoughts?

Equipment recommendations?
You still haven't said what your max distance is. What is the 10'-11' throw distance based on ? If you want the best black levels, those tend to come with both larger cases and longer throws. That means more room depth is needed to fit the projector. There is a very good used JVC just listed in the Classifieds, but in a room 12' deep it would max out at 103" image size. It is head and shoulders better quality image than the Sony 45ES, but that is a pretty small image in my book. From 10' I would want at least 110" 16:9 with the option to go wider for 2.35 movies. If you had 17' room depth, either the JVC RS50 or the Sony 45ES would allow zooming as small as 100" and as large as 150" for watching movies. The JVC has the advantage of motorized lens. The downside to the JVC is that it is the best there is -- if you use one as your "starter" projector in this hobby you will never want to settle for anything less.

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You still haven't said what your max distance is. What is the 10'-11' throw distance based on ? If you want the best black levels, those tend to come with both larger cases and longer throws. That means more room depth is needed to fit the projector. There is a very good used JVC just listed in the Classifieds, but in a room 12' deep it would max out at 103" image size. It is head and shoulders better quality image than the Sony 45ES, but that is a pretty small image in my book. From 10' I would want at least 110" 16:9 with the option to go wider for 2.35 movies. If you had 17' room depth, either the JVC RS50 or the Sony 45ES would allow zooming as small as 100" and as large as 150" for watching movies. The JVC has the advantage of motorized lens. The downside to the JVC is that it is the best there is -- if you use one as your "starter" projector in this hobby you will never want to settle for anything less.
If you mean distance from lens to screen, max distance from screen to lens would be 11' and no less than 10'. Room depth is just over 11'.
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post #8 of 19 Old 08-17-2017, 09:15 PM
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If you mean distance from lens to screen, max distance from screen to lens would be 11' and no less than 10'. Room depth is just over 11'.
Room depth is what I meant. If it is only 11', then none of the longer throw projectors like the Sony or JVC will fill a 100" screen.

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I’m looking at replacing my old LCD with a new LED or Front projection. My view distance will be about 10’. This is a dedicated theater room to watch satellite, stream, DVD, sports, movies, etc., no widows and very little ambient light. At time we like to watch with lights on, though pretty rare. Think dinner while watching football.

Projection gets me a larger screen at few dollars. Still I have virtually zero experience view modern projection units. I would DIY my own screen.

Considering a 10’ (10~11' throw) viewing distance and a single row of seating in front what are some of the other member thoughts?

Equipment recommendations?
I love my LED projector (XGIMI H1), it has been awesome so far and I probably won't need to worry about anything for a decade (until of course UST 4K becomes more affordable which is bound to happen a lot sooner than that ).

XGIMI H1 (SmartProj) - Swan M200MkIII (Speakers) - Bluedio UFO Plus (BassHead) - Sony MDR CD3000 (UnicornHead)
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post #10 of 19 Old 08-18-2017, 08:39 AM
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If you mean distance from lens to screen, max distance from screen to lens would be 11' and no less than 10'. Room depth is just over 11'.
I'm afraid your room dimension and throw distance are still not clearly defined. I previously mentioned that the Sony HW45ES is 18" (or 1' 6") from back to front and that if you had the back of the projector against the back wall the front of the lens would be 1' 6" from the back wall which would subtract 1' 6" from the room width when calculating the distance from lens to screen wall. Now you say that your room depth is just over 11' and that the max distance from screen to lens would be 11' and no less than 10'.

If by just over 11' your room turns out to be 11' 4" deep and you have the back of a 1' 6" deep projector against the back wall, the front of the lens is going to be 11' 4" minus 1' 6" = 9' 10" from the screen wall absolute max. At 9' 10" lens to screen the HW45ES cannot throw an image any larger than 99", so a 100" screen would not work.

I'm concerned that you don't seem to be taking the time to take actual room measurements to the nearest inch and are still using approximations. This may work for buying a TV but it will not work for front projection. A TV is an appliance that everyone is familiar with setting up and using. Front projection is totally different and requires careful calculation and advanced planning to match exact throw distance and screen size to a specific room.
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post #11 of 19 Old 08-25-2017, 11:24 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm afraid your room dimension and throw distance are still not clearly defined. I previously mentioned that the Sony HW45ES is 18" (or 1' 6") from back to front and that if you had the back of the projector against the back wall the front of the lens would be 1' 6" from the back wall which would subtract 1' 6" from the room width when calculating the distance from lens to screen wall. Now you say that your room depth is just over 11' and that the max distance from screen to lens would be 11' and no less than 10'.

If by just over 11' your room turns out to be 11' 4" deep and you have the back of a 1' 6" deep projector against the back wall, the front of the lens is going to be 11' 4" minus 1' 6" = 9' 10" from the screen wall absolute max. At 9' 10" lens to screen the HW45ES cannot throw an image any larger than 99", so a 100" screen would not work.

I'm concerned that you don't seem to be taking the time to take actual room measurements to the nearest inch and are still using approximations. This may work for buying a TV but it will not work for front projection. A TV is an appliance that everyone is familiar with setting up and using. Front projection is totally different and requires careful calculation and advanced planning to match exact throw distance and screen size to a specific room.
Fair enough. The room is 12' exactly wall to wall. For screen size, 100"+/- is ok with me, call int in the range of 100". I would do a DIY screen either permanently mounted or maybe pull down, figure 4" off the wall for a pull down, 1" for permanent wall mount.. Projector would mount on a shelf or hang from ceiling. Most likely a DIY shelf. At this point I'm looking at 3 projectors:

1. Optoma UHD65 - 17.7" deep
2. Sony VPL-HW45ES - 18.3" deep
3. Epson Home Cinema 5040UB - 19.6" deep

I want to keep price point below $3K, prefer below $2k.

Hope this helps

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post #12 of 19 Old 08-25-2017, 08:01 PM
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@missin44 , the minimum distance from lens to screen to produce a 100" image is 10' 2" for the UHD65, 9' 10" for the 5040UB and 9' 11" for the HW45ES. These numbers all come from a projection calculator that is usually accurate in predicting throw distance within an inch or two. But even with the back of the projector against the back wall you are on the ragged edge to fill a 100" screen, especially one that isn't flush with the screen wall.

As for which one is best, hundreds of posts have been made on this forum debating that point. Under $2,000 would limit your choice to the HW45ES, which is recommended by many as the best all-around projector <$2,000. The other two do battle in the <$3,000 class. They have some features the HW45ES lacks. They also have different pros and cons. For example the UHD65 is a single chip DLP model so it has the sharpest image, but it also has the weakest black levels. So you can see right away that whatever projector you pick will have some kind of compromise compared with the others.

I have an HW45ES and think it's great. For me it wouldn't have been worth paying hundreds of dollars more for either of the other two models. Other people have different ideas as the other two models have features they value more than I do. You can see what owners think in the respective owners threads for each of the contenders.
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post #13 of 19 Old 08-25-2017, 08:09 PM - Thread Starter
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@missin44 , the minimum distance from lens to screen to produce a 100" image is 10' 2" for the UHD65, 9' 10" for the 5040UB and 9' 11" for the HW45ES. These numbers all come from a projection calculator that is usually accurate in predicting throw distance within an inch or two. But even with the back of the projector against the back wall you are on the ragged edge to fill a 100" screen, especially one that isn't flush with the screen wall.

As for which one is best, hundreds of posts have been made on this forum debating that point. Under $2,000 would limit your choice to the HW45ES, which is recommended by many as the best all-around projector <$2,000. The other two do battle in the <$3,000 class. They have some features the HW45ES lacks. They also have different pros and cons. For example the UHD65 is a single chip DLP model so it has the sharpest image, but it also has the weakest black levels. So you can see right away that whatever projector you pick will have some kind of compromise compared with the others.

I have an HW45ES and think it's great. For me it wouldn't have been worth paying hundreds of dollars more for either of the other two models. Other people have different ideas as the other two models have features they value more than I do. You can see what owners think in the respective owners threads for each of the contenders.
With respect to the 100"ish screen. Since all of the will be on the edge for a 100" screen, will there be potential issues going to a screen this size?
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post #14 of 19 Old 08-25-2017, 08:30 PM
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With respect to the 100"ish screen. Since all of the will be on the edge for a 100" screen, will there be potential issues going to a screen this size?
The only issue is if you can't get the minimum throw distance from the front of the lens to the screen for a 100" image. The next standard screen size down from 100" is 92". The safest thing to do is buy the projector first without a screen, mount it as far back as possible and use the zoom to throw the maximum size image on the wall. Measure the diagonal and that will tell you exactly the biggest screen you can use and what to order.

Just remember that if you can't get an inch over 100" on the wall that if you add a screen that sits a few inches from the wall then the throw will be reduced and you might end up with only a 99" or 98" maximum. So if you want a 100" screen that sits a few inches off of the wall you'd want to be able to measure a 102" or 103" diagonal when throwing on the wall. Of course if you go with a painted screen on the wall you can size it to fit whatever the maximum size image is that the projector can produce. So there is some flexibility with various options.
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post #15 of 19 Old 08-26-2017, 07:36 PM - Thread Starter
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The only issue is if you can't get the minimum throw distance from the front of the lens to the screen for a 100" image. The next standard screen size down from 100" is 92". The safest thing to do is buy the projector first without a screen, mount it as far back as possible and use the zoom to throw the maximum size image on the wall. Measure the diagonal and that will tell you exactly the biggest screen you can use and what to order.

Just remember that if you can't get an inch over 100" on the wall that if you add a screen that sits a few inches from the wall then the throw will be reduced and you might end up with only a 99" or 98" maximum. So if you want a 100" screen that sits a few inches off of the wall you'd want to be able to measure a 102" or 103" diagonal when throwing on the wall. Of course if you go with a painted screen on the wall you can size it to fit whatever the maximum size image is that the projector can produce. So there is some flexibility with various options.
Excellent idea on getting the projector first. So let me run 2 more ideas by you.

1. Make a simple frame out of PVC piping cover with a bed sheet. Measure the diagonal.
2. Build a slightly over sized screen, fill in the unused border with black tape.


Good or bad ideas?

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Excellent idea on getting the projector first. So let me run 2 more ideas by you.

1. Make a simple frame out of PVC piping cover with a bed sheet. Measure the diagonal.
2. Build a slightly over sized screen, fill in the unused border with black tape.

Good or bad ideas?
Depends on how much time you like to spend on DIY projects. I think it's a little extra work that may be unnecessary. For example, if you decide up front that you want to do a painted screen on the wall then whatever size image you can throw on the unpainted wall is exactly what you'll get when you paint a screen on the wall. If you decide up front that you want a fixed screen that will stand an inch or two off the wall then you just want the image on the wall to be an inch or two larger than your fixed screen size. If you decide up front that you want a pull-down screen that will be several inches off the wall then you will want to see an image on the wall that's several inches larger than your pull-down screen size. I personally would not take the time to do either 1 or 2 before I had the projector set up, saw what my maximum image size was on the wall and decided which way I was going to go with my screen design.
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post #17 of 19 Old 08-26-2017, 08:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Depends on how much time you like to spend on DIY projects. I think it's a little extra work that may be unnecessary. For example, if you decide up front that you want to do a painted screen on the wall then whatever size image you can throw on the unpainted wall is exactly what you'll get when you paint a screen on the wall. If you decide up front that you want a fixed screen that will stand an inch or two off the wall then you just want the image on the wall to be an inch or two larger than your fixed screen size. If you decide up front that you want a pull-down screen that will be several inches off the wall then you will want to see an image on the wall that's several inches larger than your pull-down screen size. I personally would not take the time to do either 1 or 2 before I had the projector set up, saw what my maximum image size was on the wall and decided which way I was going to go with my screen design.
Very good I see your point. I thought I had posted but painting the wall will not work as the walls are textured. I have dropped the idea of a pull down screen. That leaves a permanent frame and screen, I would built the thinnest frame I can. So losing and inch or two in diagonal is no big deal.

I'm guessing a short throw projector in terms of my budget isn't a good option?
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post #18 of 19 Old 08-27-2017, 07:57 PM
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@missin44 , short throw projectors are compromises for unique installation situations where longer throw models can't work. It's always best to go with a longer throw projector wherever possible as they generally produce superior images. Any of the three projector models that you are considering would produce a better image than available short throw models. If you go with a fixed screen where the surface of the screen is only a couple of inches off the wall and if you have the back of any of the three projectors you're considering right up against the back wall you should be able to get a 100" image. Your primary issue right now is choosing between those three projector models.
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post #19 of 19 Old 08-27-2017, 07:59 PM - Thread Starter
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@missin44 , short throw projectors are compromises for unique installation situations where longer throw models can't work. It's always best to go with a longer throw projector wherever possible as they generally produce superior images. Any of the three projector models that you are considering would produce a better image than available short throw models. If you go with a fixed screen where the surface of the screen is only a couple of inches off the wall and if you have the back of any of the three projectors you're considering right up against the back wall you should be able to get a 100" image. Your primary issue right now is choosing between those three projector models.
Excellent, thanks
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