Looking for a good $2500-$3500 projector - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 9 Old 02-11-2020, 08:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Looking for a good $2500-$3500 projector

Just picked up some Octane Azure LHR's for a room I'm building and now I gotta get the screen to go along with it. I have never owned a projector before, but with 65 inch TV's downstairs I'm looking at going all out on the size for a theater experience upstairs.

A little about the room (See attached picture):
A very large room I intend on making like a little club room with a bar, theater area and some kind of gaming entertainment (arcade, air hockey, etc)
The "open below large window" is an open area that overlooks the front door. There is a decent size window above the front door that cannot be covered and sits about 25 feet from the wall where the screen will be. The screen will be centered on the wall pointed out and I would prefer to get a 120" projection. The "large window covered" area will be covered with blackout curtains unless there is another cheap alternative that will provide better light reduction for the room.

I will be using this screen mainly for watching movies and prefer to have a sharp picture as I'm now used to enjoying 4k HDR content on my 65 inch screens downstairs. I have not been able to see a lot of show room space other than the magnolia down the road where the worker is like "Oh ya we can set you up with this room for $120,000". Sorry buddy... I'm not "pinky's out fancy". The seating will be 4 seats in a single row with the screen being the focal point (curved row with ~130 inch width for the seating). I do like the idea of an ultra short throw projector and have recently stumbled upon the Optima Cinemax P1 I think it's called. I did really enjoy the brightness of the short throw laser projector that was at magnolia, but again I don't have 10k to spend on a projector either.

Additional information that might not matter is that I did like the LED starlight thing they had going on and I would prefer to be able to maintain a ceiling fan in the space if possible. I don't plan on using this for gaming, but I am a heavy 4k gamer and also wouldn't mind playing on it every now and then for response intensive games (FPS genre). This is not a deal killer to not be able to play games on it though.

Thanks for your help everyone and cheers on my first post on the forums
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post #2 of 9 Old 02-12-2020, 02:14 AM
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Probably an Epson 5050ub since you plan on leaving a window uncovered, the 5050 will fight ambient light better than say a JVC NX-5. Though the JVC NX-5 will have the overall better image, but the NX-5 is also more expensive and you would have to increase your budget slightly. You could also consider a JVC RS-540.

This being your first projector setup, I would NOT buy the screen right away. Either shoot onto a painted white wall (if not heavily textured) or buy some blackout cloth from a fabric store or from Walmart. This will give you a temp screen on your wall to experiment with. Plain white Roclon Blackout cloth is what I have used in the past. You can tack it to the wall where the screen will be with regular thumb tacks. This will give you the feel for different screen aspects and size issues. Make sure you get the plain white stuff, not the Ivory. I would probably not order it online, unless you want to buy an entire roll. The reason is if you get it online it will come wrinkled unless you buy the full roll. You need about 4+ yards or so, but 7 yards will give you a do-over if you mess up the first time. It usually only costs $35 or so to setup a temp screen, and it actually makes a decent looking temp screen that is comparable to regular screens you buy. You'll have to re-position the tacks a few times to get the wrinkles out as they develop.

Then later on, you will need to decide 2.35 screen (Scope) vs. a 16:9 screen (standard HDTV size). The issue is many movies are 2.35-2.40, and a lot of streaming is 2:1. The resulting black bars on a 16:9 screen take quite a bit away from the image IMO. So I would recommend a scope screen and make some manual masking panels. For the masking panels, get some foamboard and staple or glue Triple Black Velvet to it. Then glue neodymium magnets to the panels and to the screen frame or the wall. Then when you are watching 16:9 or 2:1 stuff on a scope screen, you just set the panels against the magnets and you'll have no ugly black bars in the way.

The only reason I mention the above NOW is because it's good to think about all this in advance, such as where and how you will be affixing the magnets to the wall around whatever screen you end up buying.
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Last edited by coderguy; 02-12-2020 at 02:33 AM.
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post #3 of 9 Old 02-12-2020, 03:19 AM
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What coderguy said.

Blackout blinds are fine.

Is the window above the door parallel to the screen or perpendicular?
Does the light coming from it hit the screen directly?

Is there going to be daytime viewing?

When viewing movies, is there going to be any ambient light? If yes, what source, location and intensity?

Where abouts is the ceiling fan located and at what height?

Ceiling height?

Seating distance?

Budget?

Color of walls?

Are you willing to use paint for a screen? This will keep the budget down and provide a good screen. Not complicated, can be applied with a paint sprayer.
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post #4 of 9 Old 02-12-2020, 07:50 PM
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The light from the uncovered window is going to compromise picture quality, especially black levels. You might consider a remote controlled motorized honeycomb blackout shade being installed in it, those look nice and the remote makes it easy to close it when you are using the projector.

If a blind can take care of that window light, I'd recommend JVC for the best PQ, and some dealers have the RS540 in the upper end of your price range, or buy a recent model used JVC. If the window must remain unblocked, I'd go with the Epson 5050 and use it in one of the brightest modes. I have both machines at my theater at the moment, and the Epson looks good if you have never seen a JVC picture.

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post #5 of 9 Old 02-13-2020, 08:12 AM
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The suggestions so for are for the normal home theater projectors where contrast and black levels rule the day.


As you say you will have alot of light to deal with. You will need more of a home entertaiment projector where brightness and screen choice will define how well it works.


The ultra short throws are great for rooms like yours. The p1 is a nice one as I understand. The LG hu85 is the next one op and there is Vava and some much cheaper Chinese ones floating around.

For the ust they make special ust alr screen to fight the ambient light better. They cost a few grand (around 2k I think) but would make a world of difference in your space. With where your uncovered entry way window you have a tricky space for daytime watching for a normal home theater setup that gets washed out by direct sunlight.



Having a projector that is watachabe at over 2500 lumens and a screen that rejectes light is key if you want to use it during the day at all.

Going with 100 -120 screen size is recommend as you want foot lamberts in the 60-80+ range to fight the ambient light and smaller screen will helps. I think the p1 max screen size is 120.


Have fun!
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post #6 of 9 Old 02-13-2020, 08:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kemannthey View Post
The suggestions so for are for the normal home theater projectors where contrast and black levels rule the day.


As you say you will have alot of light to deal with. You will need more of a home entertaiment projector where brightness and screen choice will define how well it works.


The ultra short throws are great for rooms like yours. The p1 is a nice one as I understand. The LG hu85 is the next one op and there is Vava and some much cheaper Chinese ones floating around.

For the ust they make special ust alr screen to fight the ambient light better. They cost a few grand (around 2k I think) but would make a world of difference in your space. With where your uncovered entry way window you have a tricky space for daytime watching for a normal home theater setup that gets washed out by direct sunlight.



Having a projector that is watachabe at over 2500 lumens and a screen that rejectes light is key if you want to use it during the day at all.

Going with 100 -120 screen size is recommend as you want foot lamberts in the 60-80+ range to fight the ambient light and smaller screen will helps. I think the p1 max screen size is 120.


Have fun!
This setup would be more expensive and less flexible than a regular throw setup for no reason, other than it looks cool.

CLR ALR screens are best at rejecting light from above, not so much the sides and below/other directions.

The biggest issue is the window above the door. Still waiting for OP to provide more info.
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post #7 of 9 Old 02-13-2020, 11:21 AM
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Yup, to really fight ambient light with a projector, there is only one way. It requires a rear projection setup, and you must protect the projector behind the screen from the ambient light by covering the area behind the screen. I've never done this before, saw it once at a showroom briefly (almost 15 years ago). Not sure if any UST projectors can work on a rear screen in that configuration, but it's a lot of trouble and usually requires a large room and a false wall. Also, with a rear projection setup, you lose some of the brightness of the projector because not all of it makes it "through the screen", some of it reflects back, so you need a crazy bright projector, a short throw, and extra room behind a false covered wall. Still, I've heard it's the only way to go if you really want a projector in ambient light. One thing that is sometimes possible is using a closet to project out of and building a curtain wall between the closet door and the back of the screen.

All that said, an Epson will do ok in ambient light on an average sized to smaller screen as long as too much light isn't directly hitting the screen.

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post #8 of 9 Old 02-13-2020, 08:17 PM
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If a pj will work on the room where the op wants to will come down to if the window above the door lets sunlight shine where the screen would go. If there is no direct sunlight then high foot lamberts and an alr screen would work well.

If sunlight hits the screen are then move to a drop down screen in front of the window bank or front door area would solve it.

In all cases a Lazer dlp with some sort of alr screen make alot of sense for the space and a ust let the op have a fan anywhere. It is all within with the budget they have shared if they stay with the cheaper components Vava and elite aeon screen for example.
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post #9 of 9 Old 02-13-2020, 09:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kemannthey View Post
If a pj will work on the room where the op wants to will come down to if the window above the door lets sunlight shine where the screen would go. If there is no direct sunlight then high foot lamberts and an alr screen would work well.

If sunlight hits the screen are then move to a drop down screen in front of the window bank or front door area would solve it.

In all cases a Lazer dlp with some sort of alr screen make alot of sense for the space and a ust let the op have a fan anywhere. It is all within with the budget they have shared if they stay with the cheaper components Vava and elite aeon screen for example.
That’s one of the reasons I waited until a really good UST hit the market before I went the projector route. If I had had to do a regular projector and mount it to the ceiling, I would have probably lost at least one, if not both fans and it would have really changed the aesthetics of my den and just been an eyesore.
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