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post #1 of 124 Old 08-23-2017, 11:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Ask Me Anything: Home-Theater Projection

Welcome to a very special thread on AVS Forum, presented by Sony, which provides you the opportunity to ask any questions you like about home-theater projection. Today, from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM Pacific time (2:00 to 3:30 PM Eastern time), video expert Joel Silver will monitor the thread during that hour and a half for your questions on this hot topic and post his answers on the spot.

To get this party started, we began a pre-event thread inviting AVS members to post questions ahead of time, and many of you responded with some great ones. Joel will begin by answering a few of those up front. Meanwhile, feel free to post your questions in the new thread—the one you're reading now—and Joel will respond to as many as he can.

Because of the functionality of AVS Forum, we decided the best way to conduct the AMA is within a standard thread. This allows people to quote and search for specific posts, but it also means you'll need to reload the page often to see Joel's responses as well any new questions that are posted. Also, because of time constraints, he probably won't be able to answer every question.

In addition to getting answers about home-theater projection, those who submit a question will be automatically entered to win a Sony UBP-X1000ES UHD Blu-ray player. The winner will be selected by random drawing from among those who submit at least one question; submitting more than one question will not increase your chance of winning. The drawing and announcement of the winner will be made at the end of the live session around 12:30 PM Pacific/3:30 PM Eastern.

After the live session has ended, Joel will need to move on to his next project, but this thread will remain open for 48 hours, during which I will answer as many remaining relevant questions as I can. However, I won't respond to questions posted after the live session is over. After 48 hours, the thread will be closed.

If you're confused about home-theater projection, you've come to the right place. What would you like to know about it? Post your question(s) here and follow the thread in real time for the answers.

For the official rules and regulations of the giveaway, click here.
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post #2 of 124 Old 08-23-2017, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avdoc View Post
I moved away from projection 5 years ago because the black levels and contrast ratio weren't very good. What's the maximum black level/contrast ratio that's possible with a projection system now and how does it compare to the best OLED/LCD televisions? Thank you.
Great question - we can answer with DCI specs that are the basis for the CTA/CEDIA standard. DCI specs for commercial theaters are 100 to one checkerboard and 1200 to one for sequential patterns – price no object systems with complete room control are 150 to one and 2000 to one – flat panels can go way beyond that and OLEDs cannot be measured – we do not have "Black" meters!
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post #3 of 124 Old 08-23-2017, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by TL5 View Post
Will HDMI 2.1 be incorporated in projectors this fall?
For TL5 - HDMI 2.1 will be the future, but not the immediate future, and certainly not this fall - the chipsets for portable test gear is still not available so we do not expect 48 Gbps inputs for quite a while.
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post #4 of 124 Old 08-23-2017, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Saber008 View Post
10-15 years ago my father started working on a room that he had planned to make into a home theater. With the high price of projection he decided to go with a 65" rear projection RGB television. It wasn't until now that he finally switched to projection thanks to it's affordability and easiness to install. Home projection is seeming to become more and more common but it is still seen as something of an expensive luxury to the average consumer. My question is, do you guys feel that home projection will become much more popular and seriously compete with the average consumer looking to buy a larger television or is it doomed to always play a much smaller roll in consumer electronics?
The high price now is large flat panels - the Sony 100" is $60K and the 77" LG OLED is $20K - projection is much more cost effective if you can control ambient light. Projector and screen manufacturers are reporting excellent sales this year so we know more people than ever are deploying projection at home.
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post #5 of 124 Old 08-23-2017, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by clientnumber9 View Post
Does one screen color (ie white or gray) lend itself to better performance with newer HDR/WCG capable projectors? or is your choice of screen color still dependent on your room and individual preference on image?

Thanks!
Screen technology is entirely room / screen size / viewing angle dependent - individual preference on contrast and light output is standards based - size and angle and seating distance is individual preference. Light-challenged rooms are better suited to gray and ambient light-rejecting (ALR) screens, while a "bat cave" is ideally suited to white screens.
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post #6 of 124 Old 08-23-2017, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Crappyguy View Post
Do you expect OLED or some other technology to replace front projection in the next 5-10 years? In others words, will we see the screen that you can roll on your wall anytime soon?
The Sony Crystal LED video wall is a great technology to replace front projection - if budget permits - a 14 meter wide one is going into a magnificent yacht in Europe where a projector would have gone - it will work really well - but the 3.5 million Euro price might be a minor issue for many of my clients.
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post #7 of 124 Old 08-23-2017, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by wiyosaya View Post
Does the theater room for a projection system need to be totally dark?
Darker rooms provide the potential for good contrast - any light is a challenge - ambient light rejecting screens and bright projectors are great tools for better performance in imperfect rooms - but dark rooms are easy and cost effective. Any light hitting the screen reduces the perceived contrast.
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post #8 of 124 Old 08-23-2017, 12:10 PM
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Hi Joel.

Not to jump the line, but I had the following question:

Adding to the HDR questioning faction ...

In addition to the obvious questions:
  • When will projector HDR capabilities approach OLED HDR capabilities?
  • When will we see a projector with 4000+ nits of brightness?
  • Will projectors with frickin' lasers attached to their heads achieve the HDR goal?

I'm curious about the difference between contrast ratio and HDR. For example, why does a projector like the Sony VPL-VW675ES with a 350,000:1 contrast ratio only achieve acceptable (at best) HDR?

- Dave
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post #9 of 124 Old 08-23-2017, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoelSilver View Post
The Sony Crystal LED video wall is a great technology to replace front projection - if budget permits - a 14 meter wide one is going into a magnificent yacht in Europe where a projector would have gone - it will work really well - but the 3.5 million Euro price might be a minor issue for many of my clients.
What a shame. My wife and I discussed the budget for our projector replacement and she put a cap of 3.0 million Euros on me. Maybe next year prices will come down to fit my modest budget.
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post #10 of 124 Old 08-23-2017, 12:15 PM
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Several people have asked about seating distance with relation to screen size. The ITU recommendation for optimum distance (the closest you can sit before you start to see artifacts) for a 16:9 screen is three screen heights for HD, 1.5 screen heights for 4K, and 0.75 screen heights for 8K. In practice, however, the vast majority of people don't sit that close, and I base the viewing distance for my clients on their preferences in the commercial cinema. For example, if you sit one third of the way back from the screen, you're sitting closer than the recommended distance for HD (2K), but you're fine for 4K. Next time you're at a commercial cinema, take note of where you prefer to sit; pace off the width of the screen and the distance to your preferred seat, and use that ratio in your own home theater.
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post #11 of 124 Old 08-23-2017, 12:15 PM
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Do you think we'll get to the point of, affordable, theater quality projection for home theaters (i.e. IMAX Laser projection)? Home Theater is my hobby, but of course it gets expensive to start this hobby. I'm wondering if we can get to a point where we get that type of quality. Thanks
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post #12 of 124 Old 08-23-2017, 12:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Dugal View Post
Hi Joel.

Not to jump the line, but I had the following question:

Adding to the HDR questioning faction ...

In addition to the obvious questions:
  • When will projector HDR capabilities approach OLED HDR capabilities?
  • When will we see a projector with 4000+ nits of brightness?
  • Will projectors with frickin' lasers attached to their heads achieve the HDR goal?

I'm curious about the difference between contrast ratio and HDR. For example, why does a projector like the Sony VPL-VW675ES with a 350,000:1 contrast ratio only achieve acceptable (at best) HDR?

- Dave
Take a look at post 2 for what's feasible for projectors. If you include system contrast ratio (projector+screen+room), that will tell you the actual result of the system as opposed to, for example, the Sony VPL-VW675ES's native contrast ratio of 350,000:1.
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post #13 of 124 Old 08-23-2017, 12:19 PM
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Hey Guys,

I have never bought or even considered buying a projector, that is until ALL TV manufacturers decided to kill 3D for no good reason. I am an avid 3D fan and I have spent A LOT of $$$ on my Blu-ray 3D collection and I refuse to buy another TV ever again since the TV manufactures basically killed a feature that makes my collection useless after my current TV (Samsung 78" JS9500) kicks the bucket. This really infuriates me to no end!! So my question to all of you is two fold. 1.) Since watching 3D is WAY more important to me than 4K/UHD/HDR, any suggestions on what features/options I should be looking out for the best 3D projector possible and 2.) Are projector manufactures going to be taking the 3D feature out of future models or is it going to live on and survive for this niche market? I really hope that projector manufacturers leave this feature in, because there are A Lot of 3D fans out there like myself that are severely disappointed with TV manufacturers! BTW, I don't get this whole 4k/UHD/HDR craze...I feel its severely overhyped. Case in point, Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2 is WAY MORE enjoyable in 3D than the disappointing 4k? version.

Thanks for your time
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post #14 of 124 Old 08-23-2017, 12:20 PM
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Room Size Constraints

I have a very limited basement space I am looking at to set up a small home theater and I am unsure as to whether it makes more sense to go with a projector or with a flat screen (LCD or OLED) display. How much distance is optimal between screen and seating and screen and projector? If my space would only barely accommodate a 75 inch display does a projector even make sense? My video library is about 60/40 DVD/BluRay and I won't start looking at a 4k/HDR player or disks probably for another year either.

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post #15 of 124 Old 08-23-2017, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lamende View Post
Do you think we'll get to the point of, affordable, theater quality projection for home theaters (i.e. IMAX Laser projection)? Home Theater is my hobby, but of course it gets expensive to start this hobby. I'm wondering if we can get to a point where we get that type of quality. Thanks
The important word here is "affordable." The key to getting theater-quality projection on a budget is a relatively small screen in a perfectly dark room with dark walls. Look at the DCI specifications as a guide to performance.
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post #16 of 124 Old 08-23-2017, 12:22 PM
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What are my options for calibrating a 4k projection system in my home other than a professional ISF certified tech?
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post #17 of 124 Old 08-23-2017, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RevolutioN64 View Post
Hey Guys,

I have never bought or even considered buying a projector, that is until ALL TV manufacturers decided to kill 3D for no good reason. I am an avid 3D fan and I have spent A LOT of $$$ on my Blu-ray 3D collection and I refuse to buy another TV ever again since the TV manufactures basically killed a feature that makes my collection useless after my current TV (Samsung 78" JS9500) kicks the bucket. This really infuriates me to no end!! So my question to all of you is two fold. 1.) Since watching 3D is WAY more important to me than 4K/UHD/HDR, any suggestions on what features/options I should be looking out for the best 3D projector possible and 2.) Are projector manufactures going to be taking the 3D feature out of future models or is it going to live on and survive for this niche market? I really hope that projector manufacturers leave this feature in, because there are A Lot of 3D fans out there like myself that are severely disappointed with TV manufacturers! BTW, I don't get this whole 4k/UHD/HDR craze...I feel its severely overhyped. Case in point, Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2 is WAY MORE enjoyable in 3D than the disappointing 4k? version.

Thanks for your time
It's interesting that TVs have abandonded 3D, but most projectors still support it. For example, all current Sony projectors still support 3D with built-in IR emitters that work with a variety of manufacturers' 3D glasses.
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post #18 of 124 Old 08-23-2017, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by smdelaney View Post
I have a very limited basement space I am looking at to set up a small home theater and I am unsure as to whether it makes more sense to go with a projector or with a flat screen (LCD or OLED) display. How much distance is optimal between screen and seating and screen and projector? If my space would only barely accommodate a 75 inch display does a projector even make sense? My video library is about 60/40 DVD/BluRay and I won't start looking at a 4k/HDR player or disks probably for another year either.
Please see post 10 in this thread. 75" is very small for projection; you might have a hard time finding a screen that small, in which case, a flat panel might be better in your case.
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post #19 of 124 Old 08-23-2017, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by tonyjspr9 View Post
Will there be a short throw 4k projector with HDR?
This already exists. One example is the Sony VPL-VZ1000ES
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post #20 of 124 Old 08-23-2017, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by JoelSilver View Post
It's interesting that TVs have abandonded 3D, but most projectors still support it. For example, all current Sony projectors still support 3D with built-in IR emitters that work with a variety of manufacturers' 3D glasses.
Has there been any rumblings that projector manufacturers are going to be abandoning 3D also? I'm in no need to buy something right now (I love my Samsung 78" JS9500) but I would buy something now and store it for future use if they were taking it out

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post #21 of 124 Old 08-23-2017, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by fizban11 View Post
What are my options for calibrating a 4k projection system in my home other than a professional ISF certified tech?
Until we see some 4K test discs, there are very limited options for generating test patterns. At the moment, 4K pattern generators are very expensive (at least $2500). While we're waiting for 4K test discs, you can get use a HD disc for your HD settings. For now, though, the best bet for 4K calibration is to hire a professional calibrator, which will cost you a few hundred dollars.
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post #22 of 124 Old 08-23-2017, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by RevolutioN64 View Post
Has there been any rumblings that projector manufacturers are going to be abandoning 3D also? I'm in no need to buy something right now (I love my Samsung 78" JS9500) but I would buy something now and store it for future use if they were taking it out
I haven't heard projector manufacturers say they have any plans to abandon 3D.
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post #23 of 124 Old 08-23-2017, 12:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoelSilver View Post
I haven't heard projector manufacturers say they have any plans to abandon 3D.
Oh Thank Goodness!!! Please, Please, Please let them know that are passionate home theater enthusiasts out there, like myself, that do really enjoy 3D and want it to live on at least for us to view our current and future Blu-ray 3D collection.

Thank you for answering my questions...Take Care
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post #24 of 124 Old 08-23-2017, 12:35 PM
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Many people ask me which I prefer, HDR10, Dolby Vision, or HLG? HLG is mostly for live broadcasting, while HDR10 and Dolby Vision are meant mostly for packaged movies and TV. As with surround sound formats, the talent of the content-creation team is more important to the quality of the deliverable as opposed to the tool kit used to create it. I look forward to doing some side-by-side comparisons.
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post #25 of 124 Old 08-23-2017, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by rekbones View Post
Is their any chance the more desirable HDR and WCG will be available in 1080p projectors to lower cost or is 1080p considered an obsolete resolution? I guess the current crop of 1080p eshift projectors is an interim solution.
I know of no company planning to release 1080p products with HDR and WCG. UHD is going to be the resolution going forward, and that's where the R&D is being done.
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post #26 of 124 Old 08-23-2017, 12:37 PM
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What changes are being made to improve native contrast in DLP particularly with 4k in mind? Do you anticipate DLP based projectors native contrast approaching the current contrast achieved by LCD or LCOS based projectors? Finally, what can be done to improve the stability of the SXRD panels to avoid contrast loss seen in the early 4k models?
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post #27 of 124 Old 08-23-2017, 12:41 PM
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Do you consider on/off contrast more than, less than or equal in importance to ANSI contrast?

Why do some organizations continue to push 80 to 1 in room contrast as a standard?

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post #28 of 124 Old 08-23-2017, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Wilkinson View Post
In addition to getting answers about home-theater projection, those who submit a question will be automatically entered to win a Sony UBP-X1000ES UHD Blu-ray player.
Just a quick question Scott. Are people who submitted questions in the original thread automatically entered, or only if the question is in this thread?

Thanks,
Darin
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post #29 of 124 Old 08-23-2017, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Oilmanmojo View Post
What changes are being made to improve native contrast in DLP particularly with 4k in mind? Do you anticipate DLP based projectors native contrast approaching the current contrast achieved by LCD or LCOS based projectors? Finally, what can be done to improve the stability of the SXRD panels to avoid contrast loss seen in the early 4k models?
We haven't tested enough 4K DLP projectors to give a definitive answer. Historically, LCoS has edged out DLP in terms of black level. Sony reports that people who use SXRD projectors regularly experience fewer problems than those who use the projector only occasionally and intermittently.
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post #30 of 124 Old 08-23-2017, 12:44 PM
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Just a quick question Scott. Are people who submitted questions in the original thread automatically entered, or only if the question is in this thread?
Thanks,
Darin
@darinp Yes, people that submitted questions in the original pre-thread are entered

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