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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello!


I've been exhausting the search here on the forums for someone with a similar situation to mine but I can't seem to find anything. The situation is that I am deciding between a 59" (or 64") plasma or Epson 8350 to go in my living room. My wall has enough room for 100" picture. There would be no doubt that I would purchase a screen to go for my projector to get a better picture.


Now my problem is that I have heard people say that you shouldn't get a projector to watch your regular TV on (though you can) and instead use it for movie watching or something at night. These people would suggest you get both a TV for regular viewing and a projector for the night viewing. However, I won't be able to do that. I don't have a designated Home Theater room and in fact, it will just be my living room. I have South Facing windows about 2 feet away from where the TV wall is. I can attach a picture later if it will help.


Basically, how good of a picture will I see with a screen during the daytime with the projector taking into account it will be used about 4 hours a day during the week and maybe more on the weekend? I know that at night or with the shades drawn, the picture is going to be amazing and hard to beat but I'm talking about the OTHER part of the day when it's not feasible or likely to close up the living room.


Thanks so much for your help and reading this extensive bit of rambling!
 

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Note that movie theaters are dark. Unless you spend a lot of money for a specialized screen made for some ambient light like a Black Diamond screen

>$2000 you will need to block out all the light to get a good picture.


I use a projector in my living room with a small portable screen. I set it up every night and watch HDTV and DVDs. We have an old 32" CRT that we used for daytime viewing. I can block out most of the light and get a fairly good image during the day, but I do not bother. So Yes you can use a projector in the day time for regular TV but you will need to eliminate the ambient light.


The main reason for this is your screen only reflects light. So for instance,

you have a dark night time scene, and you have light shining on your light colored screen, the Black of the night scene will only be as black as the screen is with all that light shining on it.. in other words, WHITE not black and you won't be able to see the image...
 

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Yes, spend some time and effort to block out the sun. Just get some thick curtains from Ikea. That's what we did. It's simple, it's fast, it's a a great solution
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I understand the importance of blocking out all light to get a great and accurate picture but often I wont be able to block out light. Living in sunny san diego with my gf necessitates that I don't treat my living room like a cave during the day haha.


I guess my concern is that when I can't block out the windows and lights, how is this projector going to fare? Is it going to be completely washed out?


Btw, I was thinking the d-lite high power screen would be good for this scenario. Wasn't looking to spend more than 2 for both the screen and projector combined.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mortey /forum/post/20813650


I understand the importance of blocking out all light to get a great and accurate picture but often I wont be able to block out light. Living in sunny san diego with my gf necessitates that I don't treat my living room like a cave during the day haha.


I guess my concern is that when I can't block out the windows and lights, how is this projector going to fare? Is it going to be completely washed out?


Btw, I was thinking the d-lite high power screen would be good for this scenario. Wasn't looking to spend more than 2 for both the screen and projector combined.

Yes, if you cannot bring the room to total or near total darkness then the image will look washed out.


The High Power screen will help make the image look brighter but will frankly do little to nothing to reduce the "washed out" look that too much light in the room will cause.


As others have said, the darkest image your screen can produce is equal to what the screen looks like in the room without the projector turned on. In a totally black room you have the potential for truly black, high contrast images. In a room with ambient light, then you lose that ability.


Worse still, unless you treat the room for reflected light by painting the ceiling and walls in flat, dark colors the light reflecting off of the screen onto those walls and back again will also degrade the quality of the projected image.


I know because I have an Epson 1080 setup in my living room (all white ceiling/walls with lots of windows and a skylight) throwing to a 110" screen and frankly there is just no way to make the image on that screen look decent before sunset. Even after dark the image takes a hit from the white walls but that projector and screen are only for when lots of guests come over and they really don't mind.


(I have another, smaller, dark walled, light controlled, dedicated theater room in the house for when it is just myself and my wife at home.)


Your only real option for a screen with reasonably decent contrast in the room during the day with the windows uncovered would be the Black Diamond screen however the 100" version costs about twice the price of the projector that you are considering ($2500) otherwise it will most definitely look "washed out".
 

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Hi mortey,


I've had a livingroom setup for TV for about 6 years now. You can make it work as long as you can do the following, and limit your expectations for daytime viewing.


Our livingroom has 40' of floor to ceiling east facing windows with no blinds. Our screen is on the south wall. The walls are all semi-dark grey rough wood, and the ceiling is golden oak satined tongue and groove.


A retro-reflective screen like the HiPower. I have a HiPower ( older 2.8 gain ), Greywolf, and Elunevision 2.4. The HiPower is the best, but the Elunevision is close. The screen is 92" and we sit about 12' away.


No ambient light source from behind.


Table or shelf mount the projector as close to eye level as possible. Ours is table mounted in a custom end table. When operating, the lens is about 27" above the floor, which is about 9" from eye level. Also, the projector should be positioned so that you use the widest zoom to minimize light loss.


Don't expect to be able to watch a movie during the daylight hours. Movies generally have dark scenes, and what the other posters say is true, the image will wash out. However, for most TV and Sports, the high contrast of the content makes up for this.


While it's true that the 'blackest' your screen will be is what you see with the projector off, this doesn't tell the whole story. Our eyes only have an 'instantaneous' contrast ratio perception in the low hundreds to one. ( as opposed to non-instantaneous, which some say approaches over a million to one. ). This means that a bright, high contrast, image will make the blacks look black because the whites are over 100x brighter. This is why dark movies won't work. The contrast in the scene is much lower, and our eyes perceive the black level on the screen as it really is.


With the 8350 and a new lamp, I've measured close to 150 foot lamberts off our screen. The screenshots below were with an older HC400 with 1000+ hours on the lamp, measuring about 75FL off the screen ( in the HiPower sweet spot between the screen edges and at eye level ). This amount of brightness makes high contrast content look good when viewing in daylight.


The snaps below were taken around noon on a sunny day.







Jonathan
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Jonathan,


Thank you so much for a thoughtful post! Truly caught me off guard (most internet forums tend in the opposite direction of helpful)


Your pictures helped a great deal and I appreciate your candor in describing both the weaknesses and strengths of a projector. Based on what you said, I am leaning towards not getting a projector based on people's suggestions that it defeats the purpose if I have lots of ambient light.


Furthermore, I am not that mechanical or handy myself so the process of putting in a projector and arranging the setup for one seems above what I can do. I do have a very capable friend who could assist me, and was originally going to do that, but it seems like I need to know a great deal to get the best possible picture.


Unless someone tells me radically different from what I've been told thus far, I am weary of making such a large investment that very few people suggest.
 
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