Opening a Gaming Center. Need some advice - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 12-27-2004, 01:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey all,

My company is opening a PC/Console Gaming Center in the DC/MD area. A year of planning and investing is about to come to a close and it is getting crunch time.

We want to offer a section where we'll have DVD/XBox on a HiDef projector. My main question is: What do you all recommend for a projector in terms of playing XBox games and viewing DVDs? Also, is there a way to wire the place so that we can display any of the PCs screens onto the projector? We will be running tournaments and such and would love to be able to switch the projector to show random PC/Console screens in order to let the audience see how certain people are playing instead of just hovering around their monitor or television. Thanks so much in advance.

Anthony
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post #2 of 24 Old 12-27-2004, 01:54 PM
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Welcome to the forum.
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post #3 of 24 Old 12-27-2004, 01:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks! Its funny because I've never heard of this forum until I started doing research on the Gaming Projector. But, by the looks of the amount of posts here.... this forum seems to be very active.
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post #4 of 24 Old 12-27-2004, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
What do you all recommend for a projector in terms of playing XBox games and viewing DVDs?
Something DLP with a VGA input. Brand names are pretty irrelevant. Obviously you would want it to display 1080i, 720p, and higher if you plan on using it for PC gaming tournaments.

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Also, is there a way to wire the place so that we can display any of the PCs screens onto the projector?
Dual Video cards run into an A/B/C/etc. switch so you can choose which card is being displayed on the monitor. I think that VGA has a limit distance wise on how it can be wired though. You could run VGA into a component switch which doesn't face the distance limits of VGA, and then use a component switch (Which will have less signal denegration than a VGA switch).

It would look like this:

PCs/XBOXs------->Component Switch------>Projector

You could make the switch on the component switch and show various consoles, I don't know of one that switches randomly on its own though, though there are remote controlled ones.

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post #5 of 24 Old 12-27-2004, 03:23 PM
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Look into the Infocus 4805 for this application, i would think.
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post #6 of 24 Old 12-27-2004, 03:38 PM
 
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4805, Not enough lumens for ambient light issues a gaming center would create.
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post #7 of 24 Old 12-27-2004, 03:42 PM
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http://www.projectorcentral.com/home...projectors.htm

Any one of these will work.

The Infocus 4805 would not be ideal for PC gaming, I would think...since it is only 854x480 resolution. At the very least it will be akward using Windows on such a low rez screen. I would get 800x600 or highter if you think you'll hook a PC up to it.

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post #8 of 24 Old 12-27-2004, 04:40 PM
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Where in DC/MD?
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post #9 of 24 Old 12-28-2004, 07:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by nothru22
Where in DC/MD?
And why couldn't y'all have opened your center BEFORE I left the DC area? :cool:

==\dub/==
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post #10 of 24 Old 12-28-2004, 08:56 AM
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tonester,

Although you don't mention displaying PC games through the PJ, I would at least recommed an XGA class PJ (1024 x 768). That way, if you wish to display any PC games on the PJ you'll be able to do it native mode at a decent resolution. Some PJ's to look at:

DLP
Infocus 5700 (1024 x 576)
Infocus 7200 or 7205 (1280 x 720)
Toshiba MT800 (1280 x 720)
Mitsubishi XD300U (1024 x 768)
NEC LT240K (1024 x 768)
BenQ PE7800 (1024 x 576)
Mitsubishi HC900 (1024 x 576)

LCD
Panasonic AE700U (1280 x 720)
Sony VPL-HS20 (1368 x 788)
Infocus SP5000 (1280 x720) for bright environs it's a pretty good deal
Sanyo Z3 (1280 x 720)
Sanyo Z2 (1280 x 720)

Or, go here and read up on PJCentral's recommendations: Highly recommeded Home Theater Projectors

Good luck, and do update us with the name and location of your store when it opens.

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post #11 of 24 Old 12-28-2004, 10:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Wow! I step out of the office for a day and come back to all of these replies. Thanks so much to everyone for your help, insight, and well-wishes. The center will be opening in Rockville, MD (just north of Bethesda and DC). I'll be certain to give updates.

I'm in the process of checking out the links and projectors provided here. I also have a meeting with a video consultant from a company called Tweeters to discuss these things as well. I'll be sure to give you all the details on my final decision and let you know how it works out in the store.

Thanks again.

Anthony
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post #12 of 24 Old 12-28-2004, 12:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, after looking at a few of them, it looks like we'll be leaning towards the Sony VPL-HS51.... unless of course, any of you can tell me why we shouldn't. I'm a computer nerd, not a A/V nerd. :)

This projectory will primarily be used to:
1) View movies
2) Play XBox games

Its secondary functions will be:
1) Play PC Games
2) Be used to display the screens of other PC users during tournaments or shows.

Anthony
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post #13 of 24 Old 12-28-2004, 12:13 PM
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I second your pick.

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post #14 of 24 Old 12-28-2004, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
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It looks like the reviews for the Sony PJ above are quite good except for the brightness. Some people are reporting that the brightness could be a little better. My concern is that we'll have ambient lighting going on already and if people who are using this for Home Theater are reporting very very minor brightness issues, do I have anything to worry about? What is a good Brightness/Lumens setting for an already semi-lighted room? The room will be dark(er), but nothing near a theater-type setting.

Anthony
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post #15 of 24 Old 12-28-2004, 02:02 PM
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The Sony is a great projector- but probably not for what you're doing. It isn't an extremly bright projector. You probably don't even need an HD projector- it will still accept a higher resolution, just display it at its own resolution. However, if you do feel like you'll want the extra resolution for the $, you might want a brighter projector than the Sony. How big of a screen are you thinking, and in how bright a room? You may be needing to look at something like the Sanyo PLV-70.
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post #16 of 24 Old 12-28-2004, 02:55 PM - Thread Starter
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I haven't even researched screens, yet. However, I do know the amount of "space" we'll have to work with. The screen won't be really big. We are estimating it will be around 6-8 ft wide, and then however high that is appropriate to keep the ratio.

The lighting will be as follows:
The room is about 1800 square feet. The front area will have a small welcoming area with the register, server monitor, etc. and there will be tons of natural light there.

However, the room is very long (and relatively narrow) and the PJ will be almost in the rear where there is no natural light other than what filters in from the very front.

Other than that, at most... we'll have the light given off by 23 PCs and 2 plasma TVs (which is quite a bit). Also keep in mind, this type of business sees absolutely no traffic during the day, so natural light will not be an issue for us, really. We do have some very subtle targetted lighting in some areas of the store (from backdrops illuminating on the wall, maybe some sconces, etc).

Anthony
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post #17 of 24 Old 12-28-2004, 04:33 PM
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You'll need a VERY bright projector if you plan on keeping the lights on. I would say that with a lamp on the sony will be useable, but with flourescents on overhead...I'd question the picture quality.

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post #18 of 24 Old 12-28-2004, 11:05 PM
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tonester,

Something else you might want to consider is a rear projection screen. See here

I think the advantage with this type of setup is that you can view them comfortably when ambient light conditions aren't optimal. Many of them require a higher lumen projector though. You might venture over to the AVS Screens forum for some friendly advice regarding this.

I would also check out the PJ forums here at AVS for some recommendations. Just tell them what you need and where you're at in the decision making process. Many of them will be able to tell you if they guy from Tweeters knows his stuff. ;)

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post #19 of 24 Old 12-29-2004, 05:21 AM
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I would really recommend not buying from Tweeter as you'll probably overpay and you'll be limited to the stock of projectors they carry, which isn't very good. One of the forum sponsors would probably be a better choice then you can hire a local installer.
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post #20 of 24 Old 12-29-2004, 08:35 AM
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I second the notion that the Sony isn't NEARLY bright enough to handle this application. Even though you think it will be dark enough, any ambient light will washout the screen and make the projector virtually useless. If you were able to get the room dark enough, there wouldn't be enough light for people to enjoy themselves, see what they're doing, read, etc.

You need a light cannon like the Sanyo PLV-70, or something with that type of light output.

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post #21 of 24 Old 12-29-2004, 10:22 AM
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If you want to display multiple pc's on one display you might want to use a KVM. They are very versitile and come in many different sizes. They are basically a switch/hub that you can use route multiple pc's to multiple monitors. You can also use them to control multiple pc's with one controlling keyboard and mouse. The combinatins are endless.

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post #22 of 24 Old 12-29-2004, 10:42 AM
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I think your choice for projector is very good. I have an HS10 by Sony which is 2 generations back from the HS51. I love my projector, and the Xbox looks amazing on it. But when compared to Half Life 2, it looks like dog crap!

I would make sure that if you do it, do it right. You are selling to tech savy people who generally like the new and greatest...and for gaming that's really becoming widescreen gaming. I would make sure that you have a widescreen projector for sure, and a nice screen, get a DaLite or Draper screen that has a pretty descent gain...1.6 or something like that...this will help a ton for any ambient light in the store. If you want to go high end, look at the Stewart Firehawk or Greyhawk screens...or the Vutec Silverscreen. More money, but the picture is suppose to be awesome!

Make sure you hook up all your systems with Componenet (RGB)...forget about Svideo or the red, white and yellow plugs (Composite). There's nothing worse than spending the coin, only to have the end result crappy by using a crappy screen or crappy cables. That doesn't have to mean Monster cables but use the highest connections possible. Also...if you are going to hook up a PC, skip VGA and go with DVI...the digital picture is outstanding! And if you want to really wow them...have a collection of widescreen games on the system like Half Life 2, Far Cry, Need 4 Speed Underground 2, Splinter Cell Pandora tomorrow, etc. and have a kick butt gaming card like the ATI X800 XT. Turn all the eye candy up to high and all the extras on and watch them drool!

I think the final step would be to have a sweet Dolby Digital surround system. Those mini systems these days can pack quite a punch and take up very little space. Get everything fed into that with optical or coaxil digital cables and you will have sound that matches your picture!

You have definitely come to the right forum, if you want to know anything about what I have said above, there is a section of this forum for each part. Good luck in your ventures!!

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post #23 of 24 Old 12-29-2004, 10:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks again for the replies.

Going VGA for all the PCs is not really an option. 1) It isn't cost-effective for us and 2) We don't really need that.

The PJ will be used primarily as a DVD screen and an XBox screen. Both of these devices will have very good inputs/cabling. We may, if the logistics are in our favor, provide one PC access to the PJ to play games on, and if so, this PC will have good inputs/cabling.

However, all the other PCs are for audience viewing only. It will solely be used for tournaments and to allow the "audience" to get a feel for all the action going on without having to move around the already crowded space and having 20 people hovering over 1 player's shoulders during a tournament. Because of this, we are not putting a ton of emphasis on visual quality. As long as the audience knows what is going on, we are satisfied.

As for the PJ, I'm still looking. 99.9 percent of our business will be at night. We don't have any flourescents or any overhead lighting going on at all. All the light will be generated from LEDs from wall-mounted cases and/or a few lights that are more for highlighting and decor. Despite that, I'm still concerned about the lighting on the projector. I'll check out all of your recent suggestions. Thanks again and I'll keep you updated.

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post #24 of 24 Old 12-29-2004, 11:36 AM
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With 20 people moving around a crowded space, you aren't going to be running it in darkness. Those HT projector's previously listed will probably end up being disappointingly dim.

Try something bright like a NEC LT260 (2100Lumen XGA) or Sanyo PLV70 (2300Lumen 1366x768).

http://www.projectorcentral.com/nec_LT240.htm

http://www.projectorcentral.com/sanyo_plv_70.htm

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