4K Front vs. Rear projection? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 04-11-2013, 01:39 PM - Thread Starter
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I have been tasked with planning the new A/V set up in my company's conference room. I want to go with 4K projector set up. Is there a strong argument one way or another for front v rear projection?

Overview:
- Budgeted for the Sony SRXT110 (not set in stone)
- 122"x69" display surface
- Image quality is the primary concern
- Presentations and VTC are the main uses
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post #2 of 24 Old 04-12-2013, 04:41 AM
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The debate between front vs rear projection can be slightly biased (depending on the cost, installation, and room set-up). For image quality, it has been said, and from what I have seen, agreed upon that rear projection is optimal for viewing. It works better in ambient light and your colors should be brighter altogether. I have installed and used many rear projection set-ups and this has a few benefits, mainly regarding installation. It gives you more space to play with, and in some cases, better ventilation. This like will give slightly more data:

http://www.ta-inc.com/newshtml/frontvsrear.htm

So that is my take on the projection methods. Just keep in mind, that if you want to do rear projection, you have to make sure that you can actually set it up. With a 4K projector, you might need a lot of space. Check the the throw ratio on the projector you want, do the math and ensure that this is workable for your set up. Make sure you plan out the entire system and do all calculations before purchasing.

But is it necessary to go with 4K? Your screen doesn't seem to be larger than 10' and I have set up a lot of 10' screen that looked great with 1080p projectors. Will you be showing 4K videos, or is your company just willing to put in that extra $15,000 for the best possible?
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post #3 of 24 Old 04-13-2013, 10:59 PM
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I've never heard rear projection lauded as the pinnacle of image quality. I know some people do it with projectors (though relatively rarely).
My only experience with rear projection were all the rear projection TVs and every single one of them suffered from hot-spotting, poor off-axis performance, and visible screen structure. And every professional I've ever read regards appeals to the best in front projection as the standard in image quality.
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post #4 of 24 Old 04-13-2013, 11:14 PM
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I'll Laud it.

Ill take a good rearprojection screen over a flat front projection any day. it is a great idea for a very large 4k and then sit smack close to it.

Torus Front
Rear Pro
Then Flat screen Front

That is the order of image quality in my view.cool.gif
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post #5 of 24 Old 04-16-2013, 10:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Jak View Post

So that is my take on the projection methods. Just keep in mind, that if you want to do rear projection, you have to make sure that you can actually set it up. With a 4K projector, you might need a lot of space. Check the the throw ratio on the projector you want, do the math and ensure that this is workable for your set up. Make sure you plan out the entire system and do all calculations before purchasing.

But is it necessary to go with 4K? Your screen doesn't seem to be larger than 10' and I have set up a lot of 10' screen that looked great with 1080p projectors. Will you be showing 4K videos, or is your company just willing to put in that extra $15,000 for the best possible?

I am looking at 4K because the display, at times, will be broken to multiple sections up to 3x3 matrix. Definition within each cell is important. A contractor has done a site visit and they feel comfortable that given the space, a rear projection system is possible. The cost for difference for a rear system is about $20,000 over a front, which is fine if the ROI is there.
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post #6 of 24 Old 04-17-2013, 11:15 AM
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OK, I understand why 4K.
Quote:
The cost for difference for a rear system is about $20,000 over a front, which is fine if the ROI is there.

Does that mean rear projection will cost $20,000 more than standard front projection? If it does, I would skip the rear projection and go with standard. That is how I have done all of my set-ups and it works great. I don't thank that any benefits from rear projection (if any) is worth 20K. EVER.
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post #7 of 24 Old 04-17-2013, 12:46 PM
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Two things RP can do that FP can't are high image CR with lights on, and the ability to walk up to the image and look at it without occluding the pj, like if people want to get closer to those 9 sub-images.

Noah
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post #8 of 24 Old 04-18-2013, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Jak View Post

OK, I understand why 4K.
Does that mean rear projection will cost $20,000 more than standard front projection? If it does, I would skip the rear projection and go with standard. That is how I have done all of my set-ups and it works great. I don't thank that any benefits from rear projection (if any) is worth 20K. EVER.

I do not know what your setups consist of but by my book you are seriously cutting corners. Good enough should not be good enough. The screen and mirror system on this one had an $87K premium over front projection and it more than exceeded expectations.

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post #9 of 24 Old 04-18-2013, 10:10 PM
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I know this doesnt fit with the OP's needs but in general.....

I know that if I could afford it I would much rather have a bright rear projection set up that could be viewed in the dark or with lights. I love my theater and would cut the length down a few more feet (already have 4' behind my baffle wall) if could have a better than plasma look image with light. I dont even watch sports on my Sony 4k just because of lights and I watch every major sport except college football (no defense) and hockey.
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post #10 of 24 Old 04-18-2013, 11:47 PM
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Rear projection has huge advantages over front projection if you have the space!

Front vs Rear
photo DSC_0817.jpg

Close up of Front Projection
photo DSC_0819.jpg
Close up of Rear Projection
photo DSC_0820.jpg


I have 5 projection set ups. My main theater has a Barco 4K DCI projector with a 14' wide 2.0 aspect 4-way masking screen. I have a DP Highlite Cine 260 HB on the living room front projection and kitchen rear projection screens. Both are 106" diagonal. I have a new JVC RS-4810 in my old theater room on a 12' wide scope screen and a JVC RS-1 in my master bed on a 106" 16:9 screen. Nothing impresses people more than the rear projection setup. It's get 65fl calibrated. Looks like a huge LED TV. The picture quality and contrast is incredible!

I would highly recommend anyone who has the space to consider a rear projection setup. Especially for daytime sporting events! No one wants to sit in dark room all day long!
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post #11 of 24 Old 04-19-2013, 06:58 AM
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^

I followed your thread when you were setting it up and, it is what got me interested in it.

I need to check it out again as a matter of fact.
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post #12 of 24 Old 04-20-2013, 11:30 PM
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Since you're looking to do some matrix.. and individual cell resolution is important have you considered a small scale video wall approach? Skip 4k rather tile in a couple few projection cubes with a wall processor? Christi barco mits etc all have varying cost solutions.
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post #13 of 24 Old 04-22-2013, 10:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccool96 View Post

Rear projection has huge advantages over front projection if you have the space!
Close up of Front Projection
photo DSC_0819.jpg
Close up of Rear Projection
photo DSC_0820.jpg

Thank you. Those images are night and day from each other!
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post #14 of 24 Old 04-30-2013, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zamboniman View Post

Since you're looking to do some matrix.. and individual cell resolution is important have you considered a small scale video wall approach? Skip 4k rather tile in a couple few projection cubes with a wall processor? Christi barco mits etc all have varying cost solutions.

And let's not forget the Prysm Laser rearpro systems a former regular here is selling.
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post #15 of 24 Old 05-05-2013, 01:35 PM
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When it comes to evaluating picture quality I'd be thinking only of lights out conditions, since no display looks it's best with the lights on. That given...

When it came to rear projection TVs, be it CRT, DLP or LCD, I could not bear the lack of screen uniformity/hotspotting etc. And there was always the "silk screen effect," which came about apparently due to the type of screen material necessary for those designs.

So my question is: Will these issues also be there in the type of rear projection set ups mentioned in this thread? What type of screen material is necessary for a rear projection set up?
Does it need any more gain than a neutral gain screen? Is screen structure/sparklies/speckiles/screen artifacts part of the bargain?

It's just that when people talk about what type of image set up will beat another, we all have our own set of criteria for a "good image," and for me, increasing issues with visible screen structure or issues with even illumination would be deal breakers.
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post #16 of 24 Old 05-06-2013, 11:17 AM
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post #17 of 24 Old 05-06-2013, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post

I've never heard rear projection lauded as the pinnacle of image quality. I know some people do it with projectors (though relatively rarely).
My only experience with rear projection were all the rear projection TVs and every single one of them suffered from hot-spotting, poor off-axis performance, and visible screen structure. And every professional I've ever read regards appeals to the best in front projection as the standard in image quality.

I'm certainly in agreement, Rich. I had a Samsung and then a Mits rptv (60" and 73"), and though not terrible, they paled in comparison to a good fp (e.g., JVC, Sony). I also looked at Optoma's 'big vision' (I think it was called), that was a rp install, with a screen up to 100" IIRC. It did look pretty awful. Not sure what these laudatory comments re rp are based on.
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post #18 of 24 Old 05-06-2013, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post

When it comes to evaluating picture quality I'd be thinking only of lights out conditions, since no display looks it's best with the lights on. That given...

...

So my question is: Will these issues also be there in the type of rear projection set ups mentioned in this thread? What type of screen material is necessary for a rear projection set up?

With lights out, a low gain RP screen can look xlnt, and with inexpensive materials, too, which are essentially just gray tinted vinyl.

But hardly anyone would choose one for just lights out use, as it would be a very expensive way to get the main advantage of retaining intrascene CR in a less than perfect room compared to a low gain front screen.

The options with lights on are then a low gain screen with an expensive very bright pj, since now room light is competing for your eyes, or one of the expensive high gain optical screens that have the disadvantages you mention.

Noah
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post #19 of 24 Old 05-07-2013, 09:01 AM
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I concur with Noah. But for a very large high resolution image, seated up in middle ... darkened environment would work as all you see is screen. smile.gif
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post #20 of 24 Old 05-07-2013, 02:37 PM
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But how does a rear projection screen material transmit the image through it? How does it do it without screen artifacts being part of the deal? This is what I'm curious about.

I'm trying to picture a gray vinyl screen as noah mentions, but I'm having a hard time understanding how the image is transmitted through such material, at appropriate brightness, without screen artifacts.
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post #21 of 24 Old 05-08-2013, 11:27 AM
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There are fresnel screens, there are lenticular screens, there are the frosted or clouded screens, I have even seen (almost) clear film screens tensioned in a frame, and of course Lycra screens that can be used for both front and rearprojection. Then there are frequency filterfilms that reject light from the front. Basically anything from concreteprotectionsheeting to Starglass.
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post #22 of 24 Old 05-11-2013, 05:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R Harkness

But how does a rear projection screen material transmit the image through it? How does it do it without screen artifacts being part of the deal? This is what I'm curious about.

I'm trying to picture a gray vinyl screen as noah mentions, but I'm having a hard time understanding how the image is transmitted through such material, at appropriate brightness, without screen artifacts.

I did some studying recently and here is some documentation that might help you understand. All Articles int he "education" section of the Da-Lite website are very useful, but Volume 1 is about the basics and theory. Don't disprove them because they are from the 90s. I was at a Christie seminar recently and the same principles were voiced by the pros.

http://www.da-lite.com/education/angles_of_view.php?action=details&issueid=32
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post #23 of 24 Old 05-12-2013, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Jak View Post

I did some studying recently and here is some documentation that might help you understand. All Articles int he "education" section of the Da-Lite website are very useful, but Volume 1 is about the basics and theory. Don't disprove them because they are from the 90s. I was at a Christie seminar recently and the same principles were voiced by the pros.

http://www.da-lite.com/education/angles_of_view.php?action=details&issueid=32

Thank you very much for that! It was very educational and now I think I "get" rear projection. Sounds really intriguing.
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post #24 of 24 Old 05-12-2013, 02:28 PM
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Thank you very much for that! It was very educational and now I think I "get" rear projection. Sounds really intriguing.

No problem. I'm not sure how much you read from that web site, but there is more data in the article "Uniformity". That talks about screen gain and problems you could have (like hotspotting).

I am still reading the articles and have only gotten to article 6 in volume 1. I am actually blown away by the simplicity of the explanations. I had a minute understanding of screens at the start of this thread, and I am still learning. Actually referred to me by Stuart Nicholson, Systems Architect for Christie Digital.
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