-- What screen you get depends on how large a screen you get (or build, if DIY). You said you will have total light control, so you could get a gray screen. If you don't DIY, (and can use a fixed screen), then the Elite ezFrame CineGray screen (gain = 1.0) should work just fine for a 106", 16:9, screen. That screen is the lowest cost option (unless you build your own). For your room, that's about as big as you likely should use (from a reasonable viewing distance standpoint - leaves enough room for 2 rows of seating). See http://www.projectorreviews.com/view...8100/index.php
for a good review of the Pro8100.finthen
-- Thanks. That's exactly what I was trying to say.Raks
-- A brief description of screens, PJ output and throw distance:
There are 2 types of screens with positive gain (gains greater than 1.0). A normal reflective screen (gain greater than 1.0) reflects light off of the screen surface back towards the audience, much like a mirror. A "retro-reflective" screen (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retrore...etroreflectors
) has a surface that reflects light back towards the exact direction that it came from (that is directly back towards the PJ lens). Consequently, for a ceiling mounted PJ most of the light will be sent back towards the ceiling. The amount of light sent back towards the audience will be only about half as bright as it would be if the PJ was mounted at the viewer's head height.
The amount of light coming out of a PJ depends on the amount of lamp power (Pj usually have 2 modes - standard ("high power" or "full"), and low power (or "eco" mode. Depending on the PJ, the low lamp mode can be anywhere from 17% to almost 30% dimmer than the standard lamp mode. This output is measured in Lumens. Depending on the throw distance and the maximum zoom ratio, the PJ output can vary by as much as 45% from the shortest throw distance to the longest throw distance.
The amount of light coming off the screen (what is seen by the viewers) is measured in foot-Lamberts (abbreviated as ft-L, or ftL).
This brightness can be calculated by using the equation:
(Screen Brightness in ft-L) = (PJ Output in Lumens) x (Screen Gain) / (Screen Area in square feet)
For example, an Epson 1080UB (a 2 year oldl PJ) has an output of about 460 Lumens when at 20% zoom (throw distance of ~14' 3" from a 120" screen) in it's low lamp mode when calibrated for its best quality output for watching movies. A 120" screen has a 104.6" x 58.8" viewing area = 42.73 square feet. Therefore, for a matte white screen (gain = 1.0) that screen brigthness = 460 x 1.0 / 42.73 = 10.8 ft-L. The recommended brightness is 13 ft-L to 18 ft-L in a totally dark room (and you will need around 25 ft-L with some ambient light in the room). So that combination won't work. If you switch to the standard lamp mode the ouput increases to about 597 Lumens, and the screen brightness goes up to ~14 ft-L (barely acceptable in a totally dark room).
By running the 1080UB in the much brighter "Living Room" plus standard lamp modes, then the output increases to 937 Lumens which will give you 22 ft-L. That would be Ok with a very small amount of room light.
If you read the reviews (by Art Feierman) of these projectors at www.projectorreviews.com
, you will see that the Epson 6500UB (which has a higher powered lamp of a new design) you will find out that the 6500UB puts out about 50% more Lumens for the same conditions. In addition, the maximum that the 6500UB can output can be almost twice that of the 1080UB, if needed.
If you use a Da-Lite High-Power screen with a ceiling mounted PJ, its effective gain = 1.6 (compared to about 2.6-2.8 for a shelf mount at about eye height). Therefore, the calculations I made above are multiplied by the gain as stated. Again, the further the PJ is from the screen, the dimmer your screen image will be (due to the decrease in the lens f number as the throw distance increases). Dropping the screen size to 106" (33.34 square feet) will increase the screen brightness by about 30%, per the equation above.
BTW, from those reviews, Art also states that the Panasonic AE3000 has about the same brightness as the older 1080UB.
We cannot make your choices for you, since we don't have a clue as to what your preferences are.
If you want my specific answers:
#1. Yes, the epson 6500UB and the 6100 are the only two models (based on what you have told us). The Panasonic is not brighter than either of those 2 Epsons - the PJC calculator is not correct in terms of brightness numbers, even if you use it correctly.
#2. You did not say which review you read on the BenQ W5000, but that 2500 Lumen statement is bogus. Even PJC stated that it was around 600 to 800 lumens (the same as the Epson 6500UB) and Art hasn't finished his review yet. In addition, this PJ is brand new and full production models are not being delivered yet. Yes, the BenQ W5000 will work but doesn't have the placement flexibility that the Epsons have (and it's not measurably brighter either).
#3. Screen prices go up by screen size. The amount of increase depends on which screen manufacturer you buy from. For Elite ezFrame screens you have 106", 120" and 135" choices. The 120" is about $30 more than the 106", the 135" is about $130 more than the 120". And don't forget that the shipping charges increase significantly as the screen size increases. You can more than double those prices for Da-Lite screens.
#4. No comment, I've covered this quite thoroughly. If you don't want to believe me, I'm sorry I can't help you. If you go to a 135" Elite screen, I think you will be disappointed, IMHO.
$5. Use of Frame Interpolation (FI) is a highly personal preference. Epson has fixed their low level FI operation. The Panasonic AE3000 has a better FI option. Now, you are saying the AE3000 isn't as bright (contrary to your post #1, please be consistent).
If you do decide to get an AE3000, you will not have enough brightness to use any screen larger than 120" for your room (and I personally don't think you should anyway). BTW, the W5000 doesn't have any FI and it has some performance drawbacks that the other PJs don't have.
I sincerely recommend that you read the DIY screen threads (http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=110
). Since you can't seem to decide what to do, making your own screen (the materials are readily available from you local Home Improvement and fabric stores) is the lowest cost solution. Don't forget that you also have to pay for the shipping
charges on any screen you buy (typically anywhere from $75 to $200).
Actually, the best thing you can do is to decide what PJ to get, and use it on a plain white wall, for starters. That way you can see for yourself how bright it will be and what screen size can work the best for you. That way you won't spend $500 to $1000 on a screen that won't work for you.
Sorry for the long post, but all of this information is available either in the AVS Forums, or online (PJ reviews at www.projectorreviews.com
and the screen distance calculator at http://www.projectorcentral.com/proj...ulator-pro.cfm
, but the ftL numbers aren't quite correct).
, don't get caught up in a lot of hype and wishful thinking (there is a lot of FUD out there, too). Unless you are willing to spend at least a month doing a lot of reading and research you are going to be very unhappy with a quick and uninformed purchase. Making an intelligent and informed choice is something only you can do (we can't make those choices for you).