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Rear Projection vs. Front Projection

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I like the idea of using Rear Projection as the light will travel directly from the projector, to the back of the screen and then right to the eye. The concept of using a projector behind me to bounce off a screen and folding the optical path before it reaches my eye seems less ideal.

Since I have the room to put the projector behind the screen (113" width) I say why not. I believe that it should help in the overall ambiance to not have light in the viewing room more than is necessary.

Which screens, used for rear projection, is everyone having the best results with?

I'm like a lot of others in that I'm waiting until next year to purchase the projector so the projector currently is not a limiting factor as to which screen to get.

Another question is that if I place the center speaker also behind the screen I would have to place it far enough back as to not cast a shadow. Will I get a sync problem between audio and video if I do this? I think there are ways to adjust for the out-of-sync but I'm not sure.
post #2 of 11
Not sure about the screen questions, but can address the audio sync question.

Sound travels at about 1125 feet per second. Even if your center channel speaker was 38' from your listening position (about 33/1000 of a second), that's approximately one frame out of sync, which nobody would notice. Personally, I wouldn't worry about it.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by VanMark View Post

Not sure about the screen questions, but can address the audio sync question.

Thanks for addressing the audio question, especially on by birthday!

As far as the screen question I'm curious as to which screen used in a rear projection are having the best success. In some of my own research I've come across the Stewart Starglas. This screen is designed specifically for rear projection applications. I believe there has been only one mention of it on the forum and that was a "SUPERB" response from Jason Turk (I believe).

In general, if space is not an issue, is front projection or rear projection the better method and why?
post #4 of 11

I am looking for the exact answers you have asked. I currently have a g90 with front ceiling projection that I am considering changing for a seating arrangment reconstruction

Has anyone reported if the picture quality is as good as a standard stewart 1.3 screen?

post #5 of 11
I don't think that you have to worry about the "out of phase" problem. Your problem will be finding material that is acoustically transparent yet disperses enough light for you to see an image.
post #6 of 11
I've heard that front projection is supposed to be far superior to rear projection, but I'm not sure why. Does anyone know?
post #7 of 11

Be aware that a good RP screen is very expensive.

You can get cheaper ones but they're not light efficient and then require a brighter more expensive pj.

I don't think the center speaker behind the screen will work very well because the screens aren't acoustically transparent enough.

The Dalite site has lots of good basic RP info; look for the articles/tutorials.

"I've heard that front projection is supposed to be far superior to rear projection, but I'm not sure why."

Others would say the opposite; eother can be true.
post #8 of 11
Originally Posted by noah katz View Post

"I've heard that front projection is supposed to be far superior to rear projection, but I'm not sure why."

Others would say the opposite; either can be true.

In my mind that would mean neither is true.

At any rate from my understanding of physics is in either setup the light comes from somewhere and then scatters off the screen. Some of the scattered light then travels to your eye. While some screens may have a tendancy to reflect the light back from where it came (retroreflective) and some may tend to bounce the light like a pool ball against the edge of a table (specular) and others scatter in all directions (matte white or grey) it is pretty much the same principle.

It is not as if the rear projection screens are shooting the light straight into your eyes. If they did you would't need a screen at all. My guess is that because the RP screens have to be a little transparent they are actualy less effiecent and require a brighter projector. On the other hand I would also guess they operate better with ambient light and perhaps have better black levels though those two points are mainly conjecture.

I suspect the biggest advantage would be having the projector outside of the viewing room reducing fan noise and ambient light. you could also achieve this by using a movie theater style setup with the projector behind glass in a room behind your seeting area.
post #9 of 11
Yes RP makes for a clean setup, but the best potential performance advantage is lower sensitivity to ambient light.
post #10 of 11
We completed a rear projection system incorporating Starglas 60 and a DPI Titan HD500 1080p projector.The DPI rep said it most concisely. Get a great bright projector like the Titan and then enhance the contrast with a minimum gain screen like the Starglas.Rear projection has potential to be an ultimate display technology,albeit very expensive!
The thread about our installation with a few pictures is here

post #11 of 11
I guess this would be the perfect projector for an RP setup.

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