Projector for 'good' HDR on a 170" AT CIH
My theater is coming up on 10 years old and is in need of a new tech refresh. It's an under garage dedicated theater, 23x'16'x9'. It is all matte black fabric lined including the ceiling, so I have full control over ambient light, so it's completely dark as one would want. I would like to keep the existing screen, a Seymour AT (their original fabric I think around a 1.1 gain?) that is 170" at 2.35/1. I've been using a panasonic 3k with powered zoom for managing CIH (and a custom motorized masking system for sides) and the biggest issue I have is with image brightness as you would expect and lack of 3D support.
The theater is 99% movie, 0% TV and 1% gaming -- I have a dedicated gaming section in the basement with an LG oled and 7.2.4 atmos denon/triad setup, so the theater is only used during 4v4 or 8v8 parties I sometimes but rarely do at my place and I'm not concerned with input lag or delay in the theater. I'm focused purely on movies for the theater. To break down genre, it's 60% action, 20% drama, 10% documentary and 10% animated.
I'm torn on 3D support, there's a few movies I've wanted to see in 3D and haven't been able to. I do have a son now so I foresee 3D becoming something that would be good to have as an option. I will say too that I try to stick mainly to IMAX and XD theaters for 3D since I don't enjoy the half brightness 3D setups that many theaters do.
I have 2 viewing positions, first row at 10' and second at 17'. I have less than average vision so I prefer the closer 'in your face' viewing position and contrast is slightly more important to me than purely resolution. My wife and guests do notice pixels with this large of a screen and 1080P source. This is why I'm looking at a new projector as the market seems about there.
I've spent a number of hours going over specs and reviews of the 5050UB, 695, 295, NX7, and 690. BenQ was a 'presentation projector' in my mind in the past but I might need to look at those based on what I've seen referenced. I was looking to spend about $4k but it seems some sub $3k projectors are actually pretty descent for brightness while over $5k the value of performance goes up pretty fast but brightness does not. However due to a connection at Sony I can get those for a hard to pass cost if they just had better brightness.
So now to my main question. What can really be expected with HDR and projectors? I've tried finding articles talking about what is realistic with projectors and where things are and going but it doesn't seem to exist. Trying to find out what projectors can do HDR well wasn't successful either, I haven't seen anyone report results of pre or post calibration for say '120 nits measured on XYZ" screen with X gain' vs '45nits with HDR turned off'. OLED is amazing with 600+nit but getting any high HDR number on a projector seems like a long shot if wanting to stay under $5k-$6k or even $50k. Is everyone just ignoring high nits on large screens like a 170" since getting enough lumens from a projector to do that is very expensive or comes at the cost of contrast or blacks?
For me, I'm really only picking up UHD movies now. I also got a big shock and didn't realize at first that I had HDR turned off when I watched a few movies on an OLED tv so when I rewatched them in HDR I was floored at how much I was missing out on without high nits for HDR. This makes me wonder what I can get out of a projector for HDR. It looks like HDR on projectors is just a no-go or consolation prize. So with a 170" screen, where should I be focusing for projectors?
Last edited by distoga; 09-04-2019 at 11:46 AM.