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Advice regarding quiet projectors needed

420 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  alex__
Hi there

I'm working on a research project regarding people with severe hearing impairment & hearing aids. For this we will be building an installation with several speakers and a projector + (acoustically transparent) screen. We need as little background noise as possible for accurate measurements. I'd like to get some advice from people who have more experience with this (I've honestly never bought a projector before and neither have my colleagues)

To sum up what I know so far:
As far as I understand, the best option when it comes to noise-reduction for projectors is a LED projector. Due to the size of the room we'll be doing this in, we will have to use a short throw or even ultra st. Image quality is less important than the noise but still relatively important, I think a resolution of 1280x800 should be alright but full HD would be better. Amount of lumen aren't a very big deal since the room will be obscured.

After looking around for a bit, those criteria gave me the Philips Screeneo series - there's only one problem, we'd like to output to a width of 3 meters. The Screeneos have a max size of 2,54m which I assume is the diagonal? So we'd have to stretch our image quite a bit which doesn't seem very ideal. Or would the loss of quality be negligible?

A non LED solution I found is the OPTOMA EH200ST , which claims to have a noise output of 26dB. Is this true though? Or is it just the noise during low-intensity use? It's really important that the device doesn't suddenly start heating up and getting louder in the middle of a session. A hushbox is an option to cover this, but I'd rather have a low-noise device to begin with.

Any help or advice is appreciated, thanks.
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Maybe checkout the pico air/pico pro?

Laser based fanless design.
Only 32 lumens however from the whitepaper I read it appears the light engine is crt like in it's contrast/black level capability, and a lot of the reviews state it throws a bright vivid image for the lumens.

Unfortunately the pico air can only interface wirelessly with android devices. The Picopro will support hdmi but will not be available for a month or two by my estimate ( could be longer).
Thanks for your reply. The PicoPro does indeed seem quite promising, I'll contact them to find out if they have a more accurate estimation of when they plan on releasing the model.
Do you have any idea how well its image quality would hold up for a screen that's between 2,5 and 3 meters wide?

What about the Screeneo? Do you think the quality would be noticeably worse if we went a bit beyond the 'max size' of 2,5m?

The Pico Air's wireless-only functionality isn't ideal for our case, sadly. We'll be running our software from a laptop.
Geez, 32 lumens is about enough for 50" in a dark room.

I'm not sure where you are getting your information from, but most of the LCD models have a bit lower noise. Larger models often have some of the best noise reduction. Short throw projectors are almost ALWAYS limited to a diagonal screen size of about 100".

If you truly want a quiet room, then you should remove the projector from the room altogether. Project from outside the room through glass. It's not terribly expensive to do this if the room is appropriate for it and all fan noise is removed.

I've heard the Panasonic LCD/Laser models and they aren't any quieter than their traditional lamp counterparts.

I've heard the Casio LCD/Laser models and they are obnoxiously loud.

Larger cases = larger fans = lower overall noise level

I don't get the acoustically transparent screens really unless you need very accurate speaker placement. You typically have some light loss and they do somewhat impact sound quality. But, a good AT screen should perform very well.

Unless the room is pitch black, you need about 80 lumens per square foot of screen space under normal florescent lighting to achieve about a 10:1 contrast ratio. So if your intent is to put out that large screen you want, which is almost 10' wide, and about 60 square feet, you are looking at nearly a 5,000 lumen projector for use in 'normal' lighting.

If the room is pitch dark, then I would look at home theater models which are actually designed around lower noise levels. They are dimmer, but can deliver better color, better resolution, better contrast, and lower noise for the money.

This list shows models which put out less than 22dB of noise...

They also have the brightness to fill the screen size you are considering in a darkened room.

The Sony HW40ES, which is a newer, and fairly popular model, has decent brightness to handle a bit more ambient light. But, the Panasonic AE8000 is a reputable model with a good price tag.

Redoing that list with short throw only models, the noise level jumps to a minimum of 27dB and you will want to carefully read the specifications to see if you can get an acceptable image size.


There is no world in which I would use a projector with less than 1,000 lumens, and I would be looking more in the 2,000+ lumen range.

This short throw model jumps out at me...

Good brightness, low noise, can handle a larger image size.

Still, it's DLP in the business class, so color light output is likely far, FAR lower than what is advertised. Likely just 1,000 lumens or less.
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A bit late but thanks for the detailed reply!
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