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Hello AVS Forum!

We currently have a meeting room that measures aprox. 45' x 60' with dual projectors and screens. The screen sizes are 120" being lit up with 2 Optoma TX1080's. Unfortunately, one of the projectors is getting pretty bad, intermittent color shifting (color wheel?) and sudden power off's; very annoying when hosting 120 people in the meeting room, and it just suddenly acts up and throws a fit.

So I got to thinking, maybe it's time I should consider replacing the projectors. So I'm looking for something that will give out good, relatively accurate color and contrast, since we view a lot of photos that require it. There are also some pretty detailed charts and financials going up on the screens. But we want something bright enough that will cut through the lights, even if they're turned up to full brightness. And of course, something that's not going to result in a call from the CFO asking "What the hell are you thinking?!" ;)

I was looking at the InFocus IN3138HD, but now I'm thinking maybe not...

Any suggestions?

A couple of answers to questions I see regularly:

Dedicated room? Yes, this is a room dedicated to conferences/meetings

Size of the room? Aprox. 45' x 60'

Ceiling height? 14'

Throw distance? Aprox. 18'

What type of content? Mostly PowerPoint/Keynote, rarely videos.

Room color? Please see attached pics.

Seating distance? Anywhere from 10' to 40' from the screens.

Resolution requirements? WUXGA would be nice, but I think I could settle for WXGA.

Lighting? The room is outfitted with a 5 zone lighting system with a Lutron controller. We can dim each zone independently of each other, and the fluorescents contain dimmable ballasts which are tied into the Lutron controller as one of the zones.

Windows? None, the room is capable of getting really dark, but rarely is. Most people that use the room are not aware or just choose not to use the light controller so the lights are usually shining bright throughout most presentations.

Current equipment? 2 120" white fixed screens, 2 Optoma TX1080's

Requirements for hookups? VGA (with 2 inputs, and monitor out [unless I go get a VGA splitter]) & HDMI


Thank you!

Photos:







 

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Oh, I also wanted to ask... Would it be worth my time considering repairing the TX1080 that's going bad? I would just hate to throw money at it for parts and then it not being the correct part. Any resources for parts for this projector? I'm pretty sure that the color wheel motor is going bad... Thanks again!
 

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I will get back with more details in a bit, but I would look at LCD projectors over DLP on this.
 

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Okay... First off. How does the TX1080 work for you when it was working? Was the image quality acceptable? Was the brightness appropriate?

The Optoma would not be my first choice for a projector in this type of space. You are talking about a facility that, when filled, likely is costing over $3,000 per HOUR in employee revenue. Easily $20,000+ a day for a full venue. This is a large meeting space for sure. Most meeting/training facilities seat about 40-80 towards the upper end, and this is a fair bit larger.

This is where this space should be approached from IMO. The projectors play the key role in augmenting the role of the person who is at the podium. They must work well, and they should look good, and thinking $1,500 or $3,000 or whatever the cost may be is not the right approach. The right approach is that this space is worth thousands of dollars every single day, so how much does a rock solid projector cost to deliver on that value?

Now, the throw distance is irrelevant. Not because it doesn't matter, but because you have a drop ceiling so the projector can be moved forwards or backwards a few feet relatively easily.

You may need a new mount if the existing mount isn't a proper universal mount. It may be... it may not be.

Now, I'm going to narrow down what MY recommendation for you would be.

1. I would pick LCD. I like DLP well enough, but in a large format presentation, you don't want people who are RBE sensitive to be bothered by it. As well, LCD delivers far more lumens for color brightness, and tends to do far better with color material in comparison to single chip DLP business class projectors.

2. I am not sure you 'need' 1920x1080 or higher resolution. But, I would start with that as a recommendation, and I would happily go to 1280x800 before I would go to DLP alternatives.

3. I'm not locked in on your throw distance, but we will start there.

This is the model I would recommend: http://www.projectorcentral.com/Panasonic-PT-EZ580U.htm

From this list: http://www.projectorcentral.com/pro...jh=&td=17&is=120&i=d&tr=&oop=2&sort=brt&sz=15

It's a true professional grade projector with interchangeable lenses (that you don't need in this case). It comes with a lens which is appropriate for your setup. The high resolution combined with over 5,000 lumens of LCD brightness means you will get an image that has far more color saturation then what you are utilizing right now. It includes lens shift for a bit more placement flexibility, which shouldn't matter, but is nice.

The price is about $4,000 with the lens, and it is what I would consider as 'most appropriate' for your setup and the room.

Keep in mind, I'm not selling you this, you buy wherever you want - this is my recommendation as a commercial A/V engineer who has done this for over a decade. That model would be my 'very good case' scenario. There is a best case scenario, but that'll run you $10,000 more.

So, is there a value option if $4,000 is 'crazy'? (I certainly do not think $4K is crazy considering the value of the people in that room)

Sure, let's put pricing under $3,000 and get rid of the throw distance, since that projector can be moved pretty easily.

http://www.projectorcentral.com/pro...jw=&pjh=&td=&is=&i=d&tr=&oop=2&sort=brt&sz=15

Four 1920x1200 models, and that Sony at the top of the list is very tempting, as is the Panasonic that's about $2,000.

What about 1920x1080 models? Well, in the business world, most manufacturers have gone to 1920x1200 as it fits almost any screen you end up using. If you have 16:9 screens, then you set the projector to use a 16:9 screen, and it doesn't utilize the top/bottom 60 pixels. So, it fits all types of screens very well for business use. As well, a ton of laptop screens are now in the 16:10 aspect ratio. Go figure.

You want to push light to those screens for best results, and you do have a fairly good list of options, but in my experience, LCD gives you a bit more bang for the buck in these types of situations and is a better fit for the audience.
 

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How does the TX1080 work for you when it was working? Was the image quality acceptable? Was the brightness appropriate?
The existing equipment is sufficient... nothing great, but they work. Image quality is fine, colors a bit washed out (especially when the lights are full brightness). The brightness I think is where it falls short. If I'm looking at the image on the screen of the source (laptop, ipad, etc.) the image has great contrast showing the light areas, dark areas, and even the shaded areas with the gradients, etc. With the projectors the darker, shaded areas of a picture show up dark. The only time I feel like I'm getting a really great image is when all the lights are off or dimmed quite a bit, but even then the colors seem a bit "stretched" for lack of a better term.

Now, the throw distance is irrelevant. Not because it doesn't matter, but because you have a drop ceiling so the projector can be moved forwards or backwards a few feet relatively easily.

You may need a new mount if the existing mount isn't a proper universal mount. It may be... it may not be.
Absolutely, the mounts can be moved quite easily and the mounts are universal/adjustable.


Also, thank you for your suggestions, and the time it took to write out all the details that you've covered. I will take a good hard look of the projectors you've mentioned.

Is there anything on the market that you know of that will have LCD as you suggested, but can also produce enough light with LED?
 

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Well, a bit more info on the topic. After discussing the situation with the higher-up, I'v been told I'm limited to $2500/projector. That said, I was looking at the database and came across the Epson PowerLite 1985WU. While not ideal, do you think that would be sufficient? Better lumens output compared to the current TX1080's: 4,800 compared to 3,600; LCD compared to color wheel; 10,000:1 compared to 2,200:1 contrast. Seems like an all around better projector and at a price within my budget. What are your thoughts?
 

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Well, a bit more info on the topic. After discussing the situation with the higher-up, I'v been told I'm limited to $2500/projector. That said, I was looking at the database and came across the Epson PowerLite 1985WU. While not ideal, do you think that would be sufficient? Better lumens output compared to the current TX1080's: 4,800 compared to 3,600; LCD compared to color wheel; 10,000:1 compared to 2,200:1 contrast. Seems like an all around better projector and at a price within my budget. What are your thoughts?
I'll let AV recommend the projectors -- he knows his stuff when it comes to business settings like yours. When I was a manager and buying equipment for rooms like these, I was always a cheap SOB, so AV is more in tune with what reasonable costs for businesses are.

I notice that whoever originally designed this room gave some thought to the lighting layout, since there are no recessed can lights directly in front of the screens. Unfortunately, they didn't take equal care with the reflective surfaces washing back on the screen. The white sidewalls are being used as giant reflectors to wash the room with light whenever the cans are on -- a darker color would help, and even better would be if they were on a separate switch from the lights over the seating. The ceiling tiles out to the first row of flourescents could be black rather than white -- an easy swap for a few hundred bucks. And the diffusers on the flourescents in that first row could be waffle grids so the light doesn't spread as much -- I realize people sitting under them must be able to see their work materials, but a change in diffuser might help keep the light out away from the screens. That whole row should actually be replaced with two rows of dimmable can lights, but that would be costly. At the least, the recessed can lights over the podium appear to be "flood" bulbs and could be changed to "spot" bulbs.

Finally, you have the space to replace the 120" screens with 150" screens. Those are about $500 each but would make a big difference to the people sitting further back in the room.
 

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Well, a bit more info on the topic. After discussing the situation with the higher-up, I'v been told I'm limited to $2500/projector. That said, I was looking at the database and came across the Epson PowerLite 1985WU. While not ideal, do you think that would be sufficient? Better lumens output compared to the current TX1080's: 4,800 compared to 3,600; LCD compared to color wheel; 10,000:1 compared to 2,200:1 contrast. Seems like an all around better projector and at a price within my budget. What are your thoughts?
I would stick with Panasonic as a better overall build quality choice and a company that actually does far more with higher end business products than Epson does. They also give a 3-year warranty on their products vs. Epson.

About $2,000 for this model: http://www.projectorcentral.com/Panasonic-PT-VZ570U.htm
 
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