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Newbie questions - ambient light issues

246 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Alan Gouger
I want to upgrade the video display portion of my home theater and, until last night, I presumed the best way to do that would be with a 42" plasma. Then a friend mentioned that I should consider a projector instead. The idea appeals to me, but I have concerns about ambient lighting. My home theater is in my living room which has 3 north-facing windows and 3 skylights. I have shades in the skylights (non black-out), but no shades in the windows and prefer not to have shades in the windows. The distance from the projector to the screen would be about 12 feet. Here are my questions:

1. Do I simply have too much ambient light to use a projector? I don't want to have to "prepare" the room to watch TV or DVD.

2. How large an image could I display with a 12' distance from the projector to the screen?

3. The projector would be situated about 2' over the head of the viewers. Do projectors make too much noise for this set-up?

4. If you think a projector would work despite these obstacles, do you have any recommendations?

Thanks for your help.

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I have a sony 11ht lcd projector. When watching dvds some indoor ambient light is okay as long as it is not directly hitting the screen. Although the darker the better. Outside light really kills it. When watching tv on it, like football games alot of indoor light doesn't seem to be a problem. Another thing with projectors is you have to be concerned with bulb life. I have a dedicated theater and only use it for movies or football. I don't use it for casual viewing. As far as noise the sony is quiet. You wouldn't hear it.

Hi Jeff

It does not sound good for daytime viewing unless you can come up with some sort of window treatment. The ambient light will wash out the image on any projector. Yes you will still see a picture but it will be faded.

Its hard for anyone responding to your post to know just how much ambient light we are talking about but I will assume a fair amount.

There are some gray screens that may help fight the problem and give the appearance of better contrast such as the Stewart GrayHawk or FireHawk or Dalites HiContrast.

If daytime viewing is critical for you then maybe a Plasma is not a bad idea!
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