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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought a new house. I really want to put a projector in my living room as an everyday tv. I don't know how one would hold up in the light though.

From what I've read the Epson 5030UB and a Sony one are the best out right now in this price range. I'd prefer the Epson.

I'm attaching two pictures. One is facing the wall the projector would be on and taken from the kitchen. The other is from the projector wall to the kitchen. These photos were taken at noon and the sun runs along that side of the house all day. Rises behind the projector wall and sets behind the kitchen wall so it would be coming in the windows on the right most of the time. I feel like I could take care of those windows pretty easily with some shades, but I wouldn't neccesarily want to black them out. The screen door I wouldn't touch and the kitchen lights would be on sometimes while watching it. The distance between the kitchen and the wall is pretty far though.

I could buy the projector to test it out and return it pretty easily but the screen is a different issue. That would be harder to return, I'm guessing anyway, so I don't know if buying one and projecting it onto the wall would be that helpful of a test. There's 146 inches between the two windows on the wall so I can put a pretty massive screen there. The bigger the screen the harder to make it bright enough though, right?

So my questions for anyone with experience with ambient light are; By looking at the pictures, is this something I can pull off for daytime viewing and nighttime with the kitchen lights on in the back? And how big of a screen could I potentially have?
 

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It depends on how far you are going to mount the pj from the screen as to the brightness. I think with the right window treatments it is doable. Would you consider painting the screen wall a darker accent color? If you are willing to put your speakers in front of the windows then having a 130+ screen is an option. I would get the pj, mount it, and project it on to the wall and take it from there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It depends on how far you are going to mount the pj from the screen as to the brightness. I think with the right window treatments it is doable. Would you consider painting the screen wall a darker accent color? If you are willing to put your speakers in front of the windows then having a 130+ screen is an option. I would get the pj, mount it, and project it on to the wall and take it from there.
As you can see, I have a blank slate so I can do just about anything. I can put the projector anywhere on the ceiling. There is full attic space above that room to run wires. Does painting the wall behind the projector a darker color absorb more light, is that why you're asking? That's defiinitely doable.
 

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As you can see, I have a blank slate so I can do just about anything. I can put the projector anywhere on the ceiling. There is full attic space above that room to run wires. Does painting the wall behind the projector a darker color absorb more light, is that why you're asking? That's defiinitely doable.
I have a setup with a Panasonic AE-3000U (7 years old now) and a DNP SuperNova screen, and I love my screen. The screen is polarized to reject light at angles other than the straight-on direction from the projector.

For events like the SuperBowl, etc. - you don't want to have everyone sitting in the dark.

I have less ambient light issues than you do, with just one window off to the side, but I also have lights in my home theater. I can watch TV with all of the lights on, but, of course, I prefer the picture with the ambient lighting turned off.

I have a video on YouTube from when I first put my home theater together that shows the screen in both day/night conditions.

 

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If you are serious about doing a home theater in your family room, then the space you are looking at is certainly less than ideal, but not horrendous if you are willing to make some changes.

I would paint the room and add darker carpet. While a 'theater black' is obviously not ideal, painting the room in darker shades which are complimentary to your home is certainly recommended. This includes the walls and ceiling. It's nice that the room is separated by soffits from the others spaces in your home, so you really can paint the walls and ceiling one color, and have the adjoining rooms painted another color.

Blackout curtains/shades for the windows. A nice combination of blackout shades and thick curtains will give you whatever conditions you want/need at every single window while still looking very good.

The further you are from the screen, the more light you can have in the room. You just want to keep light from falling directly on the screen.

Now, the DNP Supernova is certainly an option, but a light rejecting screen is a Band-Aid solution for a bad room. It's been a while since I've seen the Supernova, but I have seen the Black Diamond screens recently, and I would rather get a bottom of the line LCD television then put that screen in any room of my home. It is a terrible looking screen. If the DNP Supernova looked twice as good, I still wouldn't consider it. So, I would want to take a look at the DNP Supernova again with a far more critical eye to ensure that those who love it, actually know what they are looking at.

But, in that room, you really have the ability to cut a lot of light out of the room near the screen anytime you want. Then after dark you can have the lights out, or turn on directional lights, away from the screen area, to have excellent results.

The HW40ES, 5030, BenQ W1070 would be my choices. The W1070 is a very solid projector if you are looking to save a bit of cash. The HW40ES would be my personal choice for 'best under $3,000' out there. I certainly prefer the look of LCoS over LCD any day of the week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If you are serious about doing a home theater in your family room, then the space you are looking at is certainly less than ideal, but not horrendous if you are willing to make some changes.
One thing I should put out there is that I'm very easily pleased. I'm in no way a videophile. I can tell the difference between a blu-ray and a DVD on the 60-inch I have now but I honsetly don't care. I could watch DVDs on it all day and not be bothered. I just like the big screen. So all I'm after here is a big screen. I'm one who would hook up a sound bar and call it a day for audio. :eek:

I can definitely look into darker paint colors and window shades. That stuff is easy. I can't do carpet though. I've been trying to rid myself of carpet for ages and I finally have, won't be putting it back in.

So to sum it up I just want a big screen that looks decent. I don't need perfection. At night I'm not even worried about it, just daytime viewing has me worried. With darker paint, shades and a good screen, it will probably be fine during the day for someone that doesn't mind DVDs from 10 feet away on a 60 inch tv, right?

And as far as screens, what do you recommend? There seems to be way too many of them to figure out what is going on. I've read about a firehawk G4 in forums but other than 1 page on their website I can't seem to find any info on them or any place that sells one. I have one of those Magnolia places that Best Buy bought near me. Would they have what I'm looking for screen wise? I'd really like to be able to return it easily if this doesn't work out.
 

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I can definitely look into darker paint colors and window shades. That stuff is easy. I can't do carpet though. I've been trying to rid myself of carpet for ages and I finally have, won't be putting it back in.

So to sum it up I just want a big screen that looks decent. I don't need perfection. At night I'm not even worried about it, just daytime viewing has me worried. With darker paint, shades and a good screen, it will probably be fine during the day for someone that doesn't mind DVDs from 10 feet away on a 60 inch tv, right?

And as far as screens, what do you recommend? There seems to be way too many of them to figure out what is going on. I've read about a firehawk G4 in forums but other than 1 page on their website I can't seem to find any info on them or any place that sells one. I have one of those Magnolia places that Best Buy bought near me. Would they have what I'm looking for screen wise? I'd really like to be able to return it easily if this doesn't work out.
I wouldn't worry about it not working out. As long as you are willing to paint ceiling and walls and hang heavy drapes, you will be very happy with that room. While I agree wall-to-wall carpet is a pain, you might consider a throw rug in the area in front of the screen. It will help eliminate distracting reflections off the tile, but still be easy to take outside and beat with a broom or replace if pets ruin it. With a 146" space between the windows, you can easily place a 150" screen. The 5030UB won't necessarily benefit you because the room is not closed off and you will have ambient light coming in from the kitchen area, so I would save my money and get the W1070.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I wouldn't worry about it not working out. As long as you are willing to paint ceiling and walls and hang heavy drapes, you will be very happy with that room. While I agree wall-to-wall carpet is a pain, you might consider a throw rug in the area in front of the screen. It will help eliminate distracting reflections off the tile, but still be easy to take outside and beat with a broom or replace if pets ruin it. With a 146" space between the windows, you can easily place a 150" screen. The 5030UB won't necessarily benefit you because the room is not closed off and you will have ambient light coming in from the kitchen area, so I would save my money and get the W1070.
That would be a significant chunk of change to save but I thought I had read a bunch how the 5030 is at 6,000 lumens now or whatever it was and that would significantly help with ambient light. Not the case?
 

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That would be a significant chunk of change to save but I thought I had read a bunch how the 5030 is at 6,000 lumens now or whatever it was and that would significantly help with ambient light. Not the case?
Nowhere near 6000 lumens. More like 1500. http://www.projectorreviews.com/eps...#quick-cal-brightest-mode-dynamic-1487-lumens

While the W1070 is roughly the same. 1700 lumens. http://www.projectorreviews.com/ben...w1070-calibrated-user-1-best-mode-1711-lumens
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ah, yea sorry, pulled 6,000 out of my rear. It's listed at 2,400. I must have gotten 6,000 from their listed 600,000 contrast ratio. Okay well I have that to think about then too.
 

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Ah, yea sorry, pulled 6,000 out of my rear. It's listed at 2,400. I must have gotten 6,000 from their listed 600,000 contrast ratio. Okay well I have that to think about then too.
To be clear - NEVER - EVER - EVER - read the specifications on any projector and expect that to be reality. The W1070, Sony HW40ES, and Epson 5030 have 'similar' brightness. They are all bright models. The Sony and BenQ are my favorites at their price points, and many agree, others do not. Still, they are bright and decent units.

For a screen, if you are doing a decent job controlling light, and paint the room, then you should get a white minimal gain screen. A 1.2 to 1.4 gain white screen of decent quality will look best after dark. During the day, with light in the room, it will certainly be a bit more washed out, but not horrendously if you are controlling light.

I took some example photos of the W1070 running on my 161" screen with the lights on. You can get an idea of just how usable it is in pretty lousy conditions, and have some expectation of the quality jump you will get when the lights are out and if you do a better job with controlling light...

http://www.avsforum.com/forum/68-di...usd-msrp/1720730-w1070-lights-161-screen.html

Certainly at 130" or so diagonal, you should have very good results if you are controlling light near the screen.
 

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You would have been fine with the Epson 5030UB. Perfectly fine.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I got the projector. Not quite ready to get everything all hooked up but I wanted to test it to make sure I didn't get a lemon or anything. I had it just sitting on the table next to me and I could instantly feel a ton of heat from the moment I turned it on the first time. Hold my hand in front of it for 10 seconds and it genuinely hurts kind of heat. I know projectors give off heat but is that a normal amount of heat? Especially with it only being on for 10 seconds?
 

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I got the projector. Not quite ready to get everything all hooked up but I wanted to test it to make sure I didn't get a lemon or anything. I had it just sitting on the table next to me and I could instantly feel a ton of heat from the moment I turned it on the first time. Hold my hand in front of it for 10 seconds and it genuinely hurts kind of heat. I know projectors give off heat but is that a normal amount of heat? Especially with it only being on for 10 seconds?
It defaults with the lamp to full power (or "normal"). Change that in the menu to Smart-ECO and the lamp brightness (and heat) will change depending on the brightness of the material being watched, with the average being much less heat and fan noise than "full". Smart-ECO is full power when you need it for bright outdoors scenes, but less power for indoor and nighttime scenes. I love it.

Yes, holding a hand over the vent when in full lamp mode is toasty. It reaches full power and temp within 30 seconds, I'd say. You will also hear crackling of the plastic housing due to thermal expansion when it warms up and again when it cools down. Perfectly normal and I doubt you'll notice either one when it is mounted 4' or so over your head.
 

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thinking of going from 8700 to 5030, or the sony HW40

i have had the 8700 for roughly 3-4 years, mounted on the ceiling upside down, and roughly 1 foot or a little more above the top of my screen's height, so i think i do need quite a significant amount of lens shift capability.

concerns:

my bulb in my 8700 got very dim and burned out after being dim for 2-3 days. thankfully, i have a spare and while my evening was delayed by around 45 minutes of futzing with it to change the bulb, it all went back to normal.

however, buying another bulb as a spare to keep "in house" is around $250 to $300.

i'm thinking: for a 3-4 year old projector, maybe it is smart to upgrade to the 5030 or the Sony HW40?

Potential Issues:

- Sony might have insufficient lens shift?

- the best color, i am guessing, of my 8700, is seemingly THX to my non-professional (though enthusiast's) eyes. HOWEVER, in THX mode, the lumens outputs of the 8700 versus the 5030 is identical!!! what is the brightness benefit then of me upgrading to the 5030, i wonder?

From Projector Central:

"When it comes to pure home theater image quality, THX mode is hard to beat. It has more accurate color than the 5030UB's other image modes, which calibration improves even further, and the best contrast performance as well. THX mode at its factory settings measures 690 lumens with the lamp at full power and 512 lumens at low power. Our calibration, which improved both white balance and color gamut, resulted in a final light output of 479 lumens."

"On our sample of the 8700 UB, THX mode measured 660 lumens with the lens at wide angle, which is similar to our reading on the 8500 UB (637). That's more than enough light for a standard 120" diagonal 16:9 image in a light-controlled room, and a screen of 150" diagonal would not be unreasonable, either. Keep in mind that you can use low lamp mode with any image preset to extend lamp life to 5,000 hours and reduce lumens by 22%."
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Got everything up and running. Wanted to drop by and show you guys what I did. Ended up going with the Epson 5025UB because as you see, I mounted the screen all the way at the top and the BenQ couldn't shoot the screen there if it was ceiling mounted. Haven't done anything with rugs or paint yet and this is what it looks like with just regular blinds during the day.
 

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That picture looks very good! Plenty bright enough for watching TV or sports. I am sure you will enjoy your projector!

Jeff Aguilar
 

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I have a room with similiar lighting as yours. I just picked up some blackout blinds from Blindsonline and mounted them on the outside frame of the window leaving the window shades in place. They are on a ratchet pull and when open are hardly noticeable. Eliminated 90% of daylight. While the picture was acceptable on my 5025UB without the blackout shades, with them the blacks just pop which I love. Great projector.
 
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