85 inch LCD vs 4K projector - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 32 Old 03-17-2019, 07:44 PM - Thread Starter
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85 inch LCD vs 4K projector

I am seriously considering the Sony 85X900F. We just started today building a theater room. We are not 100% sure if we should instead go with a projector. The final room size will be 13 ft wide by 25 ft long with an additional 15 feet completely open in the back for cabinets and counter top, etc. we know at least in the far back (that 15 ft that the back of the theater will remain open to) will typically have lights on (dimmed during movie watching) we are not sure if that would ruin the experience with a projector. Any thoughts, guidance would be awesome.
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post #2 of 32 Old 03-17-2019, 07:47 PM
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Projector 100%. Not even close even when comparing to a 85" TV. With that size room you can easily go big enough with the screen to make it feel very immersive.
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post #3 of 32 Old 03-17-2019, 08:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Fazzz View Post
Projector 100%. Not even close even when comparing to a 85" TV. With that size room you can easily go big enough with the screen to make it feel very immersive.
Many thanks Fazzz. We know there will almost always be at least dim lights at the far back 25 ft from the screen and concerned that would wash out the picture from a projector. I wish we could see the affect in a home settting. We do like the large 110 or 120 inch screen we would have with a projector, but concerned that we would be limited to only enjoying content in a completely dark room. Real advice from real owners who have a projector is what I need. Quality of content at Frys, ABt, Best Buy, etc, is poor when demo-ing projectors. I get it, there is a lot of light in the store setting, but all we’ve been able to see is junk picture quality from a projector so far because of this.

Any advice on this would be highly appreciated.

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post #4 of 32 Old 03-18-2019, 10:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vailoa View Post
Many thanks Fazzz. We know there will almost always be at least dim lights at the far back 25 ft from the screen and concerned that would wash out the picture from a projector. I wish we could see the affect in a home settting. We do like the large 110 or 120 inch screen we would have with a projector, but concerned that we would be limited to only enjoying content in a completely dark room. Real advice from real owners who have a projector is what I need. Quality of content at Frys, ABt, Best Buy, etc, is poor when demo-ing projectors. I get it, there is a lot of light in the store setting, but all we’ve been able to see is junk picture quality from a projector so far because of this.



Any advice on this would be highly appreciated.
Light will hurt the image but at 25 ft if its dimmed way down you should still be fine plus when the lights are fully off the image on alot of the new projectors are as good as the 4k tvs. I get told all the time my 165 in picture is just as good as my 65in 4k image in the living room. If you go the projector route I highly recommend you look into the jvc models

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post #5 of 32 Old 03-18-2019, 11:03 AM
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Subscribed, I'm having the same decision and about the same room layout, incoming light, etc..
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post #6 of 32 Old 03-18-2019, 12:47 PM
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I say projector all the way. When I have friends over to watch UFC, I leave some lights in my dedicated room on low, and no one complains. I don't think you will have any issues with ambient lighting at the back of your room. I second JVC as I am on my second JVC projector in 5 years. They throw an absolutely stunning picture.
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post #7 of 32 Old 03-18-2019, 01:14 PM
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With a PJ running there's enough light in the room to see and move around. You wont need a lights on to leave or see what your doing. Once you have a 120" you'll wonder why you even consider the 85". You won't regret the jvc
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post #8 of 32 Old 03-18-2019, 01:23 PM
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My room is a multipurpose space (HT and music/guitar studio) and is similar in size to your room. I often use the projector with some lights on in the room to showcase the guitars on my walls--dimmed low. Even my ten-year old Panasonic 3000 projector (on its third bulb) does just fine in that setting. If we elect to go full lights out for a dedicated movie experience, the quality is stunning.


Get a quality, large screen. The projector will do fine, and you can then just update the projector when technology requires (of course that advice is coming from a guy with a ten-year old projector)
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post #9 of 32 Old 03-18-2019, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vailoa View Post
We know there will almost always be at least dim lights at the far back 25 ft from the screen and concerned that would wash out the picture from a projector.

Do you have enough depth to use rear projection? It is mostly immune to ambient light.
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post #10 of 32 Old 03-18-2019, 02:19 PM
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I have a 16'x26' room that I recently was in the same position in regards to deciding between a JVC/Sony 4K projector or an 85" TV.
My wife said she wanted to do puzzles and other things that require the lights to be on most of the time. With the build budget and compromising between screen size/Ambient light rejecting screens/acoustically transparent screens, I found it to be too expensive and too much drama with the projector.
We ended up getting an 85X900F when it was on sale and couldn't be happier. The screen is bright enough for with the lights on. If you dial down the brightness it has decent black levels when the lights are down, and you don't need it to be that bright in the dark anyways (it can be eye searingly bright!)
The Sony TV can do true HDR (~1000 nits) and support Dolby Vision, which is something that the projectors can't really do yet.
With a TV you never have to worry about replacement bulbs, screen being bright enough, or anything, it just works without any fuss
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post #11 of 32 Old 03-18-2019, 02:23 PM
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We were originally going to install a 75" Z9D in our 13 x 24 room (in what is essentially a bat cave) and many here also convinced me to go the projector route. We did a 100" 16:9 screen and have really enjoyed it even though use is typically only on the weekends. I'm so glad we went with the projector instead of a wall-mounted 75" LCD. In the end, we spent the same money for the projector/screen combo.

I might only do one thing different though...and that's go with a 2.35:1 screen instead.

Best of luck with your decision.
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post #12 of 32 Old 03-18-2019, 04:32 PM
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85" or 100"+, for dedicated room bigger all the way!
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post #13 of 32 Old 03-18-2019, 05:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dixon View Post
My room is a multipurpose space (HT and music/guitar studio) and is similar in size to your room. I often use the projector with some lights on in the room to showcase the guitars on my walls--dimmed low. Even my ten-year old Panasonic 3000 projector (on its third bulb) does just fine in that setting. If we elect to go full lights out for a dedicated movie experience, the quality is stunning.


Get a quality, large screen. The projector will do fine, and you can then just update the projector when technology requires (of course that advice is coming from a guy with a ten-year old projector)
Thanks Dixon,
So many variations of screens. If we went that route, what screen would you recommend?

GDS
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post #14 of 32 Old 03-18-2019, 05:33 PM
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Even a "now smallish" 110" screen is substantially bigger then an 85" hdtv, in terms of screen real estate.

And then think about what that hdtv is doing to your center channel speaker positioning. And then think what an acoustically transparent screen can do for you, in terms
of raising the center channel, allowing you to use an identical speaker to the LR mains for a center channel, and how it can hide sub/s and even some corner bass trapping,
and front wall absorption.

The hdtv might have an edge on overall picture quality, but some of that, is about the smaller screen.

Those cabinets and bar tops in the bar, are detrimental for audio....
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post #15 of 32 Old 03-18-2019, 06:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starfury View Post
I have a 16'x26' room that I recently was in the same position in regards to deciding between a JVC/Sony 4K projector or an 85" TV.
My wife said she wanted to do puzzles and other things that require the lights to be on most of the time. With the build budget and compromising between screen size/Ambient light rejecting screens/acoustically transparent screens, I found it to be too expensive and too much drama with the projector.
We ended up getting an 85X900F when it was on sale and couldn't be happier. The screen is bright enough for with the lights on. If you dial down the brightness it has decent black levels when the lights are down, and you don't need it to be that bright in the dark anyways (it can be eye searingly bright!)
The Sony TV can do true HDR (~1000 nits) and support Dolby Vision, which is something that the projectors can't really do yet.
With a TV you never have to worry about replacement bulbs, screen being bright enough, or anything, it just works without any fuss
Hi Starfury,
Thanks for your feedback. What is your seating distance from the 900F? Do you also have a full audio set up? Reason I ask is because of the audio factor. Most of what I’ve read suggests the closest distance is 7ft for that size. That said, I think that may be too close for the front L/R and center speakers. Regardless of what we choose for a screen, we are going with a full 9.2.4 audio set up. I’m going to start framing the HT this weekend, and need to finalize our TV choice soon because that will affect eh build (riser for second row, etc.).

GDS
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post #16 of 32 Old 03-18-2019, 07:26 PM
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Thanks Dixon,
So many variations of screens. If we went that route, what screen would you recommend?
It has been a while since I was considering screens, so I will defer to those who are more current on the best offerings. I went with a Stewart Studiotek 130 when I did mine ten years ago. It is a fairly bright white screen. Colors pop on it.

I almost went with a grey screen for black levels, but I decided the studiotek was right for me. Turned out to be a great choice.

The Stewart’s are pricey, but they are also high quality. Ask around in the screen forum, But make clear what projector you are leaning toward, as well your expected use and room lighting.
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post #17 of 32 Old 03-18-2019, 09:20 PM
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Hi Starfury,
Thanks for your feedback. What is your seating distance from the 900F? Do you also have a full audio set up? Reason I ask is because of the audio factor. Most of what I’ve read suggests the closest distance is 7ft for that size. That said, I think that may be too close for the front L/R and center speakers. Regardless of what we choose for a screen, we are going with a full 9.2.4 audio set up. I’m going to start framing the HT this weekend, and need to finalize our TV choice soon because that will affect eh build (riser for second row, etc.).
The viewing distance is about 10' in my setup. Right now I have a 7 speaker setup with 3 in-walls for LCR, two towers for surround left/right and 2 in-ceilings for surround back and lacking a sub. I plan on changing that soon to 7.2.4 with replacing all speakers with 7 new in-walls and 4 ceiling speakers. I haven't came up with which speakers I want to use yet, still investigating.

The room currently has a pool table in the back half, which at some point in the future, depending on usage, I plan on adding a second row of seats on risers.
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post #18 of 32 Old 03-19-2019, 09:34 AM
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This same thread has popped up a dozen times over the last few years in different forums and there clearly isn’t a correct answer that will suit all people.

First off my belief is big sound (theater sound) for a blockbuster action movie needs a certain level of immersion (audio immersion). You are talking about a home theater and a high quality sound system so I will tell you immersive sound requires an equally immersive image. Big sound = Big image.

I like a CIH level of immersion where for scope and flat I’m sitting about 2 times the screen height. As an example the middle row in a commercial theater is 2.5 times the screen or image height. IMAX1.89 the theatres some call LieMAX requires a closer seating distance and for that type image I prefer 1.5 times the image height seating distance. There are already quite a few movies framed to IMAX at least for some of the movies, like Dunkirk. There is now a program called IMAX Enhanced where more new movies will be put on BD and UHD BD in the IMAX1.89 AR or some will be even taller at 1.77 or 16:9. These are not pan and scan or cropped they are the scope movie with the additional IMAX image above and below.

If I had an 85” TV I would want to sit 7’ when watching a Flat 1.85:1 movie. When I watched a Scope 2.35:1 movie or an IMAX1.89 movie I would want to be 5’3” away. Lets round them up saying you might not like strong immersion and even say 9’ for flat and 7’ for Scope you can see that first without zoom you will have to move your seating or watch the content intended to be more immersive as less immersive. Most people don’t move their seating so they pick a point in the middle and live with Scope and IMAX being a little under whelming. That’s for your first row. Now add a riser and another 6’ to the viewing distance and you are so small there is no theater experience to be had.

Even with projection and a screen size 110”-130” it is hard to have a second row without a great loss in visual immersion. It is nowhere as bad as 85” though. For that reason I turned my seating 90 degrees and also the screen shooting across the short distance of my room, with one much longer row of seats and no riser. Without a riser it is possible to go with a taller CIH+IMAX sized screen as there are no heads in the way of a lower bottom edge of the screen. It is also more social when you say have 4-6 people watching a movie to all be seated in a long slightly curved row. How often do you go to a commercial movie theater and sit in different rows. For me being off angle isn’t as bad as loss in immersion.

I think IMAX1.89 is going to be very relevant over the next few years and even if it wasn’t there is other amazing things to watch with IMAX immersion. Things like Planet Earth and Game of Thrones and even some sports scale up nicely.

One last piece of advice if you go the projector route. 99.9% of people building a FP home theater start liking visual immersion more and more. And with 4k now there isn’t the limiting PQ issues to immersion. I almost never hear I wish I had a smaller screen, but I hear a lot I wish I had gone larger. Right now you watch TV and maybe go to a movie a couple times a month. When you get your theater you will be watching a couple movies a night. Now with streaming it is easy to do trust me. Immersion will grow on you. I often tell people paint the screen wall white don’t hang the projector right away and take a few months to play with immersion and figure out what you like.
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post #19 of 32 Old 03-19-2019, 09:41 AM
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I'd only use an 85" TV if they largest screen I could use would be less than 100" (maybe even 95"). Otherwise projector all the way. Can you put up some nice curtains to block the stray light from the other parts of the room?
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post #20 of 32 Old 03-20-2019, 07:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vailoa View Post
Many thanks Fazzz. We know there will almost always be at least dim lights at the far back 25 ft from the screen and concerned that would wash out the picture from a projector. I wish we could see the affect in a home settting. We do like the large 110 or 120 inch screen we would have with a projector, but concerned that we would be limited to only enjoying content in a completely dark room. Real advice from real owners who have a projector is what I need. Quality of content at Frys, ABt, Best Buy, etc, is poor when demo-ing projectors. I get it, there is a lot of light in the store setting, but all we’ve been able to see is junk picture quality from a projector so far because of this.

Any advice on this would be highly appreciated.
My room isn't a dedicated theater (I have a quarter wall on the screen side but the rest is open). I sometimes leave lights on over by the candy and popcorn machine or lights on at the stairs with no issues whatsoever. I've had Super Bowl parties and had lights on with no problems. I have 3 rows of lights on the ceiling on the theater side of my room and have watched things with the back row turned but dimmed. Of course, unlike a TV, the more lights you have on the more the screen will get washed out, but even with my open setup I've never had a time where I wished I just had a TV instead of a screen. I do have a 65" TV on the other side of my room, but would never think of watching a movie over there. Check the local Best Buy by you to see if they have a theater room demo. The BB by me has a dedicated room with a projector in there and they're usually very happy to demo it for you. You can see what the screen looks like with the door open and light coming in or with the lights at various level. Don't buy anything from them because you'll get ripped off, but it's a nice way to get the feel for things.

This is what my layout looks like looking from the TV area over into the theater room.



Here's an approximation of what your 85" TV would look like on my 115" screen from about 10' back. Doesn't look like much of a difference but it's almost half the screen area. The smaller rectangles are approximations of what a 2.39:1 movie would look like for each.
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post #21 of 32 Old 03-20-2019, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vailoa View Post
We know there will almost always be at least dim lights at the far back 25 ft from the screen and concerned that would wash out the picture from a projector. I wish we could see the affect in a home setting. We do like the large 110 or 120 inch screen we would have with a projector, but concerned that we would be limited to only enjoying content in a completely dark room. Real advice from real owners who have a projector is what I need. Quality of content at Frys, ABt, Best Buy, etc, is poor when demo-ing projectors. I get it, there is a lot of light in the store setting, but all we’ve been able to see is junk picture quality from a projector so far because of this. Any advice on this would be highly appreciated.
My living room is 13 feet x 24 feet. My projector is a Runco LS-5 (1080p | 1,000 calibrated lumens) and is ceiling mounted in the back of the room. It's 21 feet from the front of the projector lens to the screen and 15 feet from the main seating position to the screen. I'm projecting on a Silver Ticket (16:9, 150", White Material) fixed frame screen, a shadow box extending out 2 feet into the room from the screen wall. (Using manual masking for aspect ratios north of 1.78:1.)

In the back of the room I do leave a small lamp on quite often when watching DIRECTV or different apps on my Apple TV 4K. It raises the ambient lighting level just enough I don't feel like I'm sitting in the dark while at the same time having very little impact on the picture.


And here's another video with the lights turned on over my dining room table as well. These videos look like garbage on YouTube compared to how they look on my iPhone. (And my iPhone sort of blows the image out a bit to start with which doesn't help.) They still demonstrate quite well I think how decent the image quality is maintained despite the indirect lighting at the back of the room.


And here are a few stills with all the lights out. Note that even with all the lights out you can see how much the projector lights up the room due to the white walls. Even so, it's still nice when I'm in casual viewing mode to have the small lamp on in the back of the room.

The Candice Owens Show (1.78:1, YouTube)


Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (1.85:1, Blu-ray)


Kubo and the Two Strings (2.40:1, Blu-ray)

For a time I thought about possibly going with a direct view display in conjunction with a retractable screen for my projector. I rarely crank up the projector before 9pm EST though. By that point in my day I don't feel like sitting in my living room with much lighting to speak of anyway, so I just went with the projector. In any event, good luck sorting it all out.
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post #22 of 32 Old 03-21-2019, 07:58 PM
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I have the 85" Sony and love it. I'm finishing my basement now and debated for weeks before deciding to get the LCD. I had a JVC RS45 projector on a 105" screen for many years I thought 85" would be big enough and I really wanted a bright picture. Depending on where I put my couches, I'll sit either 8' or 14' from the screen. From 8', the size is good enough. (just barely) From 14', I am disappointed. In fact, I'm thinking about if I should install a screen to drop in front of the LCD but with the cost of a basement and time running out, I probably won't. Sooooo....what should you do? I'd say go for a projector. Good luck.





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post #23 of 32 Old 03-22-2019, 04:28 AM
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Ajikim123, that could have been a 120" wide acoustically transparent screen and a dedicated space, with but those four seats, if you eliminated the fireplace frame out.

You could have traded for a smaller room volume, with improved audio due to the possibility of a second reflected side wall, twice the screen real estate, and
get more dynamics out of your existing audio gear. And you could have hidden some of that soffiting up front, and treated some of the soffiting on the side as
a side wall soffit, and even extended the soffiting around the room.
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Ajikim123, that could have been a 120" wide acoustically transparent screen and a dedicated space, with but those four seats, if you eliminated the fireplace frame out.

You could have traded for a smaller room volume, with improved audio due to the possibility of a second reflected side wall, twice the screen real estate, and
get more dynamics out of your existing audio gear. And you could have hidden some of that soffiting up front, and treated some of the soffiting on the side as
a side wall soffit, and even extended the soffiting around the room.
Tempting...I'm actually going to post a question about my basement setup in a new post later this weekend. I have another part of the basement that I can use for the HT which works better. Would love to have your thoughts on that.

To the OP, I still think a projector is the way to go.
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post #25 of 32 Old 03-22-2019, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by ahkim123 View Post
To the OP, I still think a projector is the way to go.
I'd recommend the same to the OP. It would be awesome to have a 85" direct view display hanging on the wall. No doubt about that. There's just no way I wouldn't also have a front projector. To each his own naturally.
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post #26 of 32 Old 03-22-2019, 07:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahkim123 View Post
Tempting...I'm actually going to post a question about my basement setup in a new post later this weekend. I have another part of the basement that I can use for the HT which works better. Would love to have your thoughts on that.

To the OP, I still think a projector is the way to go.
I’m leaning in that direction

GDS
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post #27 of 32 Old 03-24-2019, 04:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahkim123 View Post
Tempting...I'm actually going to post a question about my basement setup in a new post later this weekend. I have another part of the basement that I can use for the HT which works better. Would love to have your thoughts on that.

To the OP, I still think a projector is the way to go.
Yes the AVS Forum is full of temptation....
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post #28 of 32 Old 03-24-2019, 05:59 AM
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Think about costs associated with setting up a projector room against for example a 85" TV. Sony XBR85X900F is at the moment a 4500 USD TV. Select a 4k projector model up to that price, add mounting kit, good projector screen and a related services. Even with 7k JVC NX5 you end up with twice the price as with 85X900F solution.



Next, match the PQ. Curent projectors offer only tonemapped HDR to SDR. They dont do 500, 1000 or 4000 nits. They do 50-100nits ( SDR ). Compare contrast and black levels. Compare REC.709/P3 coverage and color accuracy after calibration. Then compare motion and motion artifacts. Compare noise levels at best PQ mode ( projectors make noise! ). Now does JVC NX7 offer a significantly better and more accurate picture than Sony XBR85X900F if you want to pay twice for the solution?


Bigger is better is not always right. Looking at a screen which is too big for particular viewing distance makes your eyes work like crazy, you loose control over the details in the whole frame. Cinematographers didnt want to you to get lost in the picture, but they want you to enjoy the full frame and all details of the shot, so your eyes see everyhing at once. Sitting 14ft against a 85" brings moderate immersion, but full control and low eyestrain.



Commercial cinemas serve movies on megabig screens and some folks go watch the movie twice or triple times.Why? Maybe they couldnt focus on every detail at once, which was showed on the screen. They need a replay.



The same is with HT. There are users who prefer 130" screen size and will defend their decision to death instead of having smaller, but better and accurate picture with full control over the content.
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Originally Posted by Plutotype View Post
Think about costs associated with setting up a projector room against for example a 85" TV. Sony XBR85X900F is at the moment a 4500 USD TV. Select a 4k projector model up to that price, add mounting kit, good projector screen and a related services. Even with 7k JVC NX5 you end up with twice the price as with 85X900F solution.



Next, match the PQ. Curent projectors offer only tonemapped HDR to SDR. They dont do 500, 1000 or 4000 nits. They do 50-100nits ( SDR ). Compare contrast and black levels. Compare REC.709/P3 coverage and color accuracy after calibration. Then compare motion and motion artifacts. Compare noise levels at best PQ mode ( projectors make noise! ). Now does JVC NX7 offer a significantly better and more accurate picture than Sony XBR85X900F if you want to pay twice for the solution?


Bigger is better is not always right. Looking at a screen which is too big for particular viewing distance makes your eyes work like crazy, you loose control over the details in the whole frame. Cinematographers didnt want to you to get lost in the picture, but they want you to enjoy the full frame and all details of the shot, so your eyes see everyhing at once. Sitting 14ft against a 85" brings moderate immersion, but full control and low eyestrain.



Commercial cinemas serve movies on megabig screens and some folks go watch the movie twice or triple times.Why? Maybe they couldnt focus on every detail at once, which was showed on the screen. They need a replay.



The same is with HT. There are users who prefer 130" screen size and will defend their decision to death instead of having smaller, but better and accurate picture with full control over the content.
Plutotype,
Thank you for your comments. They are certainly worthy of concideration. My wife and I went to demo both a 4K projector, and the Sony 85-900F yesterday. There is absolutely no question that the 85” Sony produces an absolutely stunning picture. We had them run a regular movie through the feed to compare both instead of the fabulous demo feed from the dealer. Sony 900F wins. Then we came home and streamed a movie on our 60” plasma sitting 7 ft distance. We were completely happy with the immersion. We’ve had this 60” for 5 6 years now, and will remain in our living room. Add 25 inches to that for a Sony 900F in a basement HT with high end sound, and I think we will be completely satisfied with no regrets. We have about one month before we have to 100% decide. At that point, I will be ready to build the riser. Riser placement will be completely dictated by whether we opt for the Sony 900F, or a projector. Either way, ready to purchase one or the other mid May - mid June - looking for the best time for sales.

GDS
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post #30 of 32 Old 03-24-2019, 05:12 PM
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Motion artifacts are always going to be a win on a smaller screen, at a seating distance where our eyes can't resolve any pixel structure. You don't need a XBR85X900F
for a 4K hdtv to take a win here....

I don't think one compares anything for long, as you are not immersed in the movie. Either you are watching and enjoying movie, or you are doing a review. I am good
for 5 minutes of critical viewing and yet some of my favorite viewing, isn't even available on Bluray.

Bigger is almost always better when it comes to the room actually being a home theater. Too big a screen with poor viewing angles, are just poor execution.
Too small might be simply a missed opportunity, with something as substantial as a XBR85X900F. But that doesn't mean the XBR85X900F doesn't have some
less then desirable issues, such as being a large reflective piece of glass in a room, and meaning one needs to accept a horizontal center channel speaker, mounted lower
then what would be desirable, when one starts thinking about a second row, and how front row seating negatively impacts dialog in the second row.

One could right now, snag a brand new (now discontinued) JVC RS440, plus ceiling mount, and an AT screen for far less then XBR85X900F money.

I would expect an 85" hdtv to be a really nice jump in screen size, for someone used to 60". But your scope image is about half the size it could be, even in a narrow room.
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