Anyone else coming from a projector and want to replace it with VR HMD? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 7 Old 03-26-2019, 11:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Anyone else coming from a projector and want to replace it with VR HMD?

We're living in pretty exciting times. I've been a projector owner for over a decade, owning three different BenQ DLP units, with the W7800 being my third and current one. I'm still fairly happy with it, but must admit I'm getting a little sick and tired of dealing with pj lamps. I don't enjoy watching my screen slowly get dimmer and lose its brightness over time. Plus, for my particular setup, the 110" screen I have is the maximum size I can install in this room. Believe it or not I'm actually spoiled and want an even bigger screen experience. That's why I'm looking for alternatives, and these new head mounted display units like the Cinera and the Goovis Pro seem like they're perfect for delivering the enormous theater screen effect I'm after, without the drawbacks that a projector comes with(required control lighting, lamp life, etc).



Are there any projector owners out there that have replaced, or are looking to replace it with a VR head mounted display for your home cinema enjoyment?
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post #2 of 7 Old 03-27-2019, 04:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isamu View Post

Are there any projector owners out there that have replaced, or are looking to replace it with a VR head mounted display for your home cinema enjoyment?

I think we are at least 4-5 years away from a VR display giving an image in the same quality range as a good home theater. I think you need at least 8k x 8k displays per eye to have the resolution of a HD home projector due to the way the lens in the headset amplify the display. And the highest resolution headset that has been announced is a 2k x 2k per eye in the HP Reverb coming in April


And then there is the whole issue of comfort. I have had a HTC Vive for over 2 years and my threshold for having a 1.5 pound device strapped to my head is about 40 minutes. They need to get the weight down under a half pound, and preferably a quarter pound, before I think it will be comfortable for several hours.


Rather than VR, the most promising thing I've heard of is the AR headset Apple is supposedly bringing out next year which reportedly has 8k displays, although no word yet on the Field of View and if it will be wide enough for an immersive cinematic experience.
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post #3 of 7 Old 03-28-2019, 12:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by DuaneAA View Post
I think we are at least 4-5 years away from a VR display giving an image in the same quality range as a good home theater. I think you need at least 8k x 8k displays per eye to have the resolution of a HD home projector due to the way the lens in the headset amplify the display. And the highest resolution headset that has been announced is a 2k x 2k per eye in the HP Reverb coming in April


And then there is the whole issue of comfort. I have had a HTC Vive for over 2 years and my threshold for having a 1.5 pound device strapped to my head is about 40 minutes. They need to get the weight down under a half pound, and preferably a quarter pound, before I think it will be comfortable for several hours.


Rather than VR, the most promising thing I've heard of is the AR headset Apple is supposedly bringing out next year which reportedly has 8k displays, although no word yet on the Field of View and if it will be wide enough for an immersive cinematic experience.

Thanks for the reply. I agree with your comment about comfort, after extended use possibly being an issue for *some* people, however for me it's never been a problem. I play racing sims and have worn my Rift for over 4hrs straight without any discomfort or need to remove the headset. Guess it depends on the individual.


I do disagree however, with your suggestion that a headset would need two 8K displays to achieve the same level of quality of an HD projector. If the projector in question is 8K, then you have a point. But if the unit is 4K(keep in mind, I'm still satisfied with my lowly 1080P BenQ pj), then I can very well see a headset such as the upcoming HP Reverb holding its own against it in terms of picture clarity. Not sure if you follow MRTV but the host, Sebastian went to GDC and demoed the Reverb. He came away blown away by it's clarity. Said the picture was crystal clear, although not clear to the point of fooling you into believe you're actually inside the world(or something to that effect). I have very high hopes for this HMD.



Then there is another VR headset on the market called the XTAL. Probably not fair to bring this unit into the equation as it's strictly for enterprise and commercial use, and has a cost of around $6000, but nonetheless Sebastian and his fellow Youtube VR personality Sweviver both demoed the XTAL last year and came away stunned by its image. The unit uses two 2560 x 1440 OLED screens, but because of the lenses and optics used, they've managed to deliver a picture that according MRTV, is almost as clear as a PC monitor.



So you see it's not all about the resolution, it's also about the quality of lenses and displays used and how well they can optimize them for close to eye viewing. I've used my Rift to view a few things using in 2D using "Virtual Desktop" and have sampled a couple live action videos in "2D" format, and yes the screendoor effect is there, but it's something I felt I could certainly get used to after a while. And that's just with the Rift. Imagine how quickly I could adopt to watching video on the Reverb.



Also, I recall someone in the other thread mentioning that the Luci Alyx will have 2 4K OLED screens. If this is the case then sign me up pronto!
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post #4 of 7 Old 03-28-2019, 12:55 AM
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I dunno. There's something just different about wearing a headset, not being able to see around you such as where you set your water cup, not being able to share the experience with a family member etc. I think for someone living in an apartment, a headset and some ear buds would make a great experience, but I don't think I see it ever replacing a good quality projector setup.

Not to mention, I can only wear one of those VR headsets for about 30 minutes before nausea sets in for me.
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post #5 of 7 Old 03-28-2019, 02:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isamu View Post
Thanks for the reply. I agree with your comment about comfort, after extended use possibly being an issue for *some* people, however for me it's never been a problem. I play racing sims and have worn my Rift for over 4hrs straight without any discomfort or need to remove the headset. Guess it depends on the individual.


I do disagree however, with your suggestion that a headset would need two 8K displays to achieve the same level of quality of an HD projector. If the projector in question is 8K, then you have a point. But if the unit is 4K(keep in mind, I'm still satisfied with my lowly 1080P BenQ pj), then I can very well see a headset such as the upcoming HP Reverb holding its own against it in terms of picture clarity. Not sure if you follow MRTV but the host, Sebastian went to GDC and demoed the Reverb. He came away blown away by it's clarity. Said the picture was crystal clear, although not clear to the point of fooling you into believe you're actually inside the world(or something to that effect). I have very high hopes for this HMD.



Then there is another VR headset on the market called the XTAL. Probably not fair to bring this unit into the equation as it's strictly for enterprise and commercial use, and has a cost of around $6000, but nonetheless Sebastian and his fellow Youtube VR personality Sweviver both demoed the XTAL last year and came away stunned by its image. The unit uses two 2560 x 1440 OLED screens, but because of the lenses and optics used, they've managed to deliver a picture that according MRTV, is almost as clear as a PC monitor.



So you see it's not all about the resolution, it's also about the quality of lenses and displays used and how well they can optimize them for close to eye viewing. I've used my Rift to view a few things using in 2D using "Virtual Desktop" and have sampled a couple live action videos in "2D" format, and yes the screendoor effect is there, but it's something I felt I could certainly get used to after a while. And that's just with the Rift. Imagine how quickly I could adopt to watching video on the Reverb.



Also, I recall someone in the other thread mentioning that the Luci Alyx will have 2 4K OLED screens. If this is the case then sign me up pronto!



Have you ever tried using Netflix on the Big Screen app on your Rift? I tried it once with my Vive and watched a couple of minutes of Lucifer. On a medium shot where you could see the main characters from their heads down to their knees, if felt like their faces were represented by about six pixels. You could tell it was a head from the context, but no way could you make out a facial expression. Going from 1k x 1k of the Vive/Rift to 2k x 2k of the Reverb doesn't seem like it adds enough extra pixels to make the faces seem as clear as watching the same thing in my theater or even on my laptop, which is why I said I think you will need 8x by 8k to get something that feels as sharp as simple 1080P HD looks in my theater.
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post #6 of 7 Old 06-11-2019, 02:38 AM
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I've had an Oculus Go for a while (and a PSVR but I won't mention the PSVR because of the thousand or so attached cables that go with it) and only yesterday linked up my Movies Anywhere account with YoutubeVR.

I have to say I was very impressed. It's not the same AV quality I have watching in my dedicated HT with my native 4K projector and ATMOS surround system but I can take the OculusGo anywhere and watch in any position and with the cost of under $200 I can even consider gifting it to others.

It may be perfect for me in time esp if the quality of truly wireless VR improves and if iTunes arrives in VR . As my kids leave for collage, I tend to watch mostly alone and it sort of feels off having a big screen high powered sound system sitting there alone. In one way I appreciate how fortunate I am, but everyone sitting alone in a nice HT doesn't seem like viable future. And organizing screenings with friends is something I do but that's maybe twice a month and often less than that.

VR makes more sense everyday.

-Brian

Last edited by Brian Hampton; 06-11-2019 at 04:29 AM.
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post #7 of 7 Old 06-11-2019, 01:11 PM
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First let me address your concern about lamp life. I do agree the older BenQ projectors had short dimming lamp life and the replacements are expensive. But these projectors are cheap. By contrast I switched to a Sony 665 a couple years ago and surprise! the lamp hasts about 4500 hours and only falls on on brightness for the last 300 hours. In addition, the lamps while very expensive can be easily disassembled and a replacement bulb installed same as the original for $80-$100. I can even do the swap while the projector remains hanging. It's designed that way. Plus it's 4K panel and upscaler for 2K to 4K. The brightness curve is flat throughout the life of the bulb.

OK- on to the HMD- This is a rapidly developing technology and I expect next year's HMD's will completely eliminate the screen door artifact. This is a problem with all consumer HMD's today because you are looking at the OLED panel so close up that you see the cross hatch of individual pixels.

Already mentioned is the weight and balance gets tiresome after just under an hour for me.

The self contained HMD's like the Quest and GO ( I have both ) don't have battery power for much beyond an hour anyway. You can still use them but you will need to plug in for power.

Consider that the HMD's primary function is Virtual Reality, to view in 360° environment, you will never get with a flat screen. That's the main advantage it has over flat screen and if just to replace the projector big screen feel, you will miss out on where an HMD shines.

But as flat screen movies and TV is concerned, the HMD has an advantage of making your screen as big as you want, flat or curved and the feel of a real IMAX theater down to a desktop TV set.

You might be trading one set of problems and complaints for another. I am nowhere near ditching my projector and doubt I will even if they make all screen door artifact go away, increase the battery life to 4-5 hours and make the HMD so light I don't even feel it is on.

Probably a good low cost experience is the Oculus Go for $200. buy one and experience it for a few months. Then you can see how to upgrade if you think an HMD will work for you.

BTW- I also have an Oculus Rift I use for editing VR360 video. It has better balance than the Quest.

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