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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I started this project last summer and tried a few projectors that didn't work out, mostly trial and error. I'd like to get it right this time and am hoping for some input.
I'll do my best to provide specifics on everything,

Note, currently based on the attached pics, my DeerTV box is under the pergola, I want it to sit on top of the pergola. Easy to move L/R resting on top if necessary, and basically hidden and out of the way. This is VERY IMPORTANT to meet the wife acceptance factor.

Bottom edge of screen (white part) is 30" from the ground.
Height of the screen (white part) is 67", so top of screen (white part) is 97" above the ground
Width of the screen is 121"

Throw distance from screen to front of DeerTV box is ~144". Probably a little less once it's on top of the pergola as I can slide it closer to the front edge and also want to make sure the pergola isn't in the way of the light output as it might be if it's set further back.
So throw ratio is approx 1.2 if I calculated that correctly.

The lens height of the projector on top of the pergola would be at approximately 100", maybe a few inches higher depending on how tall the projector is and where the center of the lens is located.

Here's the rub, I don't want to turn the projector upside down in the DeerTV box (like a ceiling projector would be mounted). I ran into issues doing that because
a) I had to move the projector to get to any controls on the top that weren't motorized and controllable from the remote. Major PITA trying to align the projector with screen and focus (not an issue if projector has remote control L/R/U/D lens shift/focus/zoom but I don't think there's anything with this without a 5 figure price tag)
b) almost all the projectors I tried had a rounded top so didn't sit flat and combining this with a) above, even more major PITA. I need to be able to set this up when it's relatively dark and don't want to spend hours climbing up and down a ladder trying to tweak things)
c) some projectors had fans on the top so I can't place them upside down on a flat surface, blocking the airflow.

Ideal projector would have
a) high light output so it can be used earlier in the evening (I read every 1000 lumens was good for about 30 minutes earlier use)
b) BIG vertical lens shift downward (when not upside down)
c) Ideally light pattern is 80s style "V" shape so the right side up projector would project lower than most projectors that are more of a "7" light pattern
d) it needs to fit inside the DeerTV box (interior dimensions Width 18.3, Depth 21.9, Height 6.9 inch Or ( Width 46.5, Depth 55.5, Height 17.5 cm ))
e) I'd like to keep cost under ~2Kish

Less important, 4K vs 1080p (source will primarily be a 4K TiVo mini but there isn't a lot of 4K programming happening there)
I will go up in $$$ by maybe 40-50% if there is a good reason to do so
Refurb or used is OK
PQ not really relevant, I'm not going for a home theater experience here. It will mostly be used by teens and to watch 8pm NFL games.

I was considering the Viewsonic X100-4K (I've read about the contrast issues). I believe the lens shift when right side up is DOWN ONLY up to 65 degrees. It also projects in the "V" pattern so before any shift, at 100" lens height, the bottom of the picture should be at (please double check my logic) 50" above ground, or about 20" from the bottom of the screen, so I'd need to lens shift downward 20" which is I think 40%? It doesn't have the greatest light output, but I couldn't find anything else that would work. Not a single projector using the projectorcentral search database. Sony had a couple of older 5500 lumen laser projectors around $2K refurb that were flat on top that might work upside down, but they were too wide to fit in the DeerTV box and I'd really like to avoid upside down unless all shift and focus adjustments can be done from the remote or front of the unit.

[update: just learned the X100-4K shifts UPWARD ONLY if not upside down, so that eliminates that option]

Any feedback or projector ideas would be greatly appreciated. Please note I am NOT handy at all and building anything is probably not going to happen unless I can have my handy guy do it.

Thanks!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Ok I've given up on the idea of the projector being right side up. Doesn't seem like there is anything that will work. Plan B, upside down. It needs to have a flat top and all focus/zoom/shift controls either on the front of the unit or on the remote (so I don't have to move the unit at all to get to controls while tweaking things).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So far I think I've found 3 that may work upside down
Viewsonic PX703HD - 1080p - 3500 lumens - all controls available from remote (zoom/lens shift) except focus. Super cheap at $650ish list (so probably cheaper)
Optoma ZH606 (1080p) or ZU606 (1920x1200) - both 6000 lumens w/remote control image shift. rest of the manual controls appear to be reachable from the front even when upside down.
- normally I wouldnt consider the 1920x1200 but so far price shopping I've found it for $2200 (refurb) vs $2750 (new) for the 1920x1080 version
 

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You sure the PX703HD has power zoom/shift? It looks like it only has manual zoom and no shift at all...

The Optomas look pretty ideal for the application if you're really looking for a usable image prior to dusk... seems geared towards classroom, medium-venue, and other ambient light-heavy applications, if you're willing to spend for it.

My personal choice would be something along the lines of a refurb Epson 3700 or 3800 upside down with some furniture feet to level it and DIY some discs to extend the lens shift controls so they can be reached from the front... but you'd have to decrease your screen size to 120" diagonal.
 

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Agreed the Epson 3000 series should work even right side up but you may need to tilt it a little and use a small amount of digital keystone. It should be able to be 10% of screen height above the top of the screen right side up but have heard of conflicting results. Throw distant is another issue and it may not be able to fill your screen. The 3000 series are the brightest "home theater" class projectors in the under $3K market. All the newer 4000/5000 series with power lens are to big to fit.
 

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Ok I've given up on the idea of the projector being right side up. Doesn't seem like there is anything that will work. Plan B, upside down. It needs to have a flat top and all focus/zoom/shift controls either on the front of the unit or on the remote (so I don't have to move the unit at all to get to controls while tweaking things).
It sounds like you're trying to set the projector upside down on the bottom of the DeerTV box.

Your DeerTV box has VESA spaced mounting holes both top and bottom. This would allow you to bolt/screw the projector to the top of the box. Utilizing the VESA mounting holes to fix the projector as an inverted celling mount option make the shape of the top of the projector superfluous.

However, from the dimensions you've given, you have the medium size DeerTV box. The 6.9" inside dimension height is probably a limiting factor as well. That simply does not give you much room to mount the projector as most any projector short of some of the business class projectors are typically around 6" plus high. It also does not allow much room, clearance around the projector, for the projectors exhaust fans. Yes, I know the DeerTV box has an exhaust fan. But putting 10 lbs. in a 5 lbs. box is probably not a good idea.

The dimensions you give for your screen, 67" x 121", don't exactly jibe for a 16x9 aspect. But if one assumes the 67" height is correct, you've got something around a 135" diagonal screen. You've also indicated you have a 144" or 12' throw distance. The point is, your going to have to be careful with the throw as 12' for that screen size is kind of on the edge.

The Epson 3xxx series mention in other posts are too big to fit in your box or it's going to be a very tight fit and not recommended with consideration to cooling the unit.

I would look at the Epson HC2150 or its replacement the newer HC2250.

The HC2250 has 15% lens shift which should be more than enough with your given dimensions. It should be plenty bright with something around 25-30 foot lamberts with a 1.0 gain screen (looks like you're using a Carl's Place screen).

It's small enough to mount to the top of the DeerTV box, still have access to the lens functions, and have cooling air room.

The down side is that you're probably going to need 13' throw distance with consideration to your screen size.

...
Note, currently based on the attached pics, my DeerTV box is under the pergola, I want it to sit on top of the pergola. Easy to move L/R resting on top if necessary, and basically hidden and out of the way. This is VERY IMPORTANT to meet the wife acceptance factor.
...
A word of caution...

Keep in mind that the DeerTV box is not a temperature controlled enclosure. It's a very simple metal enclosure with a simple fan and foam air filter that pushes/draws ambient air through the box.

Mounting it on top of your pergola will expose it to full sun. Full sun and a metal box are going to create some rather high temperatures inside the enclosure. Don't be surprised to see in excess of 100°F inside the box mid summer. Maybe not so good for the projector...
 

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If you built a simple frame out of some 1x and 1/2” ply, you could slide the pj in and out and it wouldn’t need to adjust the settings each time you put it up. As long as you make the frame so it just fits, just loose enough to slide in and out, it will end up in the exact same spot each time, and you wouldn’t need to adjust any of the settings. You’d loose some inside volume, but a small pj like the Epson mentioned, or the BenQ 850i, would still fit. And it will fit your throw/screen combo. I have to say, the size of the box would make me a little worried about heat, as well. You could also screw the pj directly to the box as mentioned, and take the whole box up and down. It wouldn’t be hard to figure a way to mount it in the exact place every time, so you wouldn’t have to mess with the settings. Just some early morning thoughts. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the feedback everyone. Let's see what I can answer and provide thoughts on some suggestions.

Current screen is a 139" (diagonal) Carl's Place as someone guessed. They advertise it as 10' x 6.5' (it is definitely not anywhere close to 6.5' tall)

I ended up with the Medium DeerTV box because at the time I ordered, my projector was tiny and I was thinking I'd just throw it in the box and it would work, not taking into account all of these variables I've now learned about. The large box seemed complete overkill (at the time) and when my wife saw the medium sitting on the living room floor (it looks much larger in the living room than it does outdoors), she flipped out at the size. Now I'm regretting not ordering the large :).

Heat has been a definite concern. I have cryptomining rigs in my basement and I've learned getting rid of heat is critical and can be a real PITA. It has been at the back of my mind, especially when thinking about a 6000 lumen light cannon. It was one of those things where I was thinking I'd just have to try it and cross my fingers. A smaller projector does make much more sense in regards to heat management. I am in New England, so the heat is less of an issue than say TX or FL, but projectors give off a lot and most of the projector specs I've read want large amount of open space to the L/R of the exhausts. I was hoping the exhaust fan on the DeerTV might be good enough (or replace the fan with something with much more CFM if necessary, I've had lots of experience with installing high CFM quiet fans from mining). I could also potentially add an intake on the bottom with a filter to try to keep the elements out if necessary.

I would prefer not to reduce the screen size since it's just more work and more money, but I was just looking last night to see if there was such thing as an outdoor ALR screen (I didn't find one).

For suggestions above:
The Epson 2250 seems like the best fit mounted upside down. Being of a smaller form factor, there's more room for air flow and it works with my current screen at 12' throw. Projector dimensions are 4.80" x 12.20" x 12.40"

The Epson 3800 at a 6.5" height fitting into a box with 6.9" height could be a challenge. Especially if I need to take up some space with a ceiling mount inside the box. The ProjectorCentral throw calculator did seem to indicate that it would work with my screen size and throw though.

Building a frame..... forget it, that's why I mentioned I'm not handy at all. And it takes up space that could be used for air circulation and potentially blocks vents on the projector.

Rethinking the X100-4K mounted upside down - same issue as the 3800. Size.

Rethinking the ZH606 - This is remarkably small for what it is at 4.60" x 14.70" x 11.90" (similar in size to the 2250). Fits the DeerTV with plenty of room to spare. It is expensive @ 3-4x the cost of the Epson 2250. But if 6000 lumens would allow the family to actually use the projector into the day (we only have a couple of hours when sun is directly visible from the backyard), and I can remove the heat, it would be worth the spend to be able to watch 4pm NFL games. But those two things are assumptions. If I go the ZH606 route, I'd have to make sure to purchase from somewhere with a good return policy. I can't find much info on what the reality would be as far as how much earlier I'd be able to use a 6000 lumen projector. It it's only a couple of hours, then it's definitely not worth the premium. I also have a 55" TV outside so it's not like we'd have nothing for those 4pm games.

So I think with the info I have so far, it's between the Epson 2250 and the Optoma ZH606. I will also have to try to find a very shallow ceiling mount and make sure my fingers have enough space to reach any manual adjustment controls.
 

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You will never be able to watch 4pm games. It’s just not possible. If you are putting the projector out for the viewing and taking it down after, why do you need the DeerTV? What if you screw a piece of ply, like 2’x2’, onto the top of the pergola, and hang the pj below it with a quick release mount, and shoot over the cross beam. Looks like there’s room. You’d hafta measure. You wouldn’t need the whole pj to clear the beam, just the lens, and of course the light beam.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
The whole idea of the box is the projector is staying out there 24/7 until winter. If 6000 lumens isn't enough for a 4pm game then unless someone has a better recommendation, I will grab an Epson 2250.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Like this.
That would be pretty cool, but the box is too wide to fit there, and even if I moved the boards so it fit, it would be sticking out pretty far and also shorten my already short throw even further. Or maybe you were thinking it would fit inside the gap, pushed back. Box is much too tall for that. Easiest just to place it on top of the pergola but I love the idea of hiding it inside there if it fit.
 

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Your nuts if you want to leave it outside 24/7 in New England. I live in New England and a cool humid night will cause condensation and destroy it in a hurry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
call me nuts then, perhaps it will be a good thing I went with the cheaper projector. I have a 55" samsung out there 24/7/300 (about 2 months away from 365), no issues so far. it has been completely exposed to weather except a $40 "waterproof" slip cover that goes over the top with a velcro flap over the front. i took it off the fence and mounted it under the pergola and put plastic around the 5 pergola sides for the winter so i could go outside, crank up the fire and watch tv in my winter cave. it's going back on the fence tomorrow per the wife. I had no expectations as to whether it would live or die, I was willing to sacrifice the $350 to find out.

just picked up the 2250 from best buy tonight, went to set it up but I can't find the allen security bit I need to take down the deerTV and the existing mount. hopefully by tomorrow night i'll be projecting away. (otherwise 15% restock fee at best buy :p )
 

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call me nuts then, perhaps it will be a good thing I went with the cheaper projector. I have a 55" samsung out there 24/7/300 (about 2 months away from 365), no issues so far. it has been completely exposed to weather except a $40 "waterproof" slip cover that goes over the top with a velcro flap over the front. i took it off the fence and mounted it under the pergola and put plastic around the 5 pergola sides for the winter so i could go outside, crank up the fire and watch tv in my winter cave. it's going back on the fence tomorrow per the wife. I had no expectations as to whether it would live or die, I was willing to sacrifice the $350 to find out.

just picked up the 2250 from best buy tonight, went to set it up but I can't find the allen security bit I need to take down the deerTV and the existing mount. hopefully by tomorrow night i'll be projecting away. (otherwise 15% restock fee at best buy :p )
A TV is nothing like a projector as it has no optics, mirrors, diffusers, polarizers, multiple fans, mechanical iris to collect moisture. Temperature extremes will stress all the optical alignments, good luck. The optical block on LCD projectors is wide open to the elements for cooling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Alas, the 2250 is no go. I had a number of issues (not the least of which was finding someplace to buy a hex security bit.... HD and Lowes both fails... advance auto FTW after 3 hours of driving around) but ultimately gave up trying to solve them due to the impossibility of overcoming #3

issues:
1. wouldn't connect to wifi, either guest or regular, 2.4 or 5 directly or via android pairing set up. after that failed, a message came up saying i could connect by ethernet, but it doesn't have an ethernet port.
2. i couldn't get HDMI working. it runs through a 4K 4x2 matrix hdmi switch. I swapped cables with the outdoor TV to confirm the cable worked fine. I switched the EDID dips on the back of the matrix switch from auto to 1080P. still no picture.
3. the picture speaks for itself. this is as large and as low as it was going to go. so much for the projectorcentral calculator :(. the user manual for the projector had different info that suggested i needed a longer throw but i decided to roll the dice and just go for it.

Time to see what else I can come up with for projector options and eat the $135 Best Buy 'rental fee'. Rekbones has me a little nervous now about the idea of leaving a $3k+ projector (ZH606) outside. I was OK with risking a $900 one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Was just about to order PX703HD, double checked everything. ProjCtrl lists it with 20% vertical shift which I wasn't sure would be enough given the 2250 was 15% and as you can see from the above pic, it had a ways to go. But viewsonic's site says it's only 5%. So now that's off the table. I'm running out of options.
 

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Alas, the 2250 is no go. I had a number of issues (not the least of which was finding someplace to buy a hex security bit.... HD and Lowes both fails... advance auto FTW after 3 hours of driving around) but ultimately gave up trying to solve them due to the impossibility of overcoming #3

issues:
1. wouldn't connect to wifi, either guest or regular, 2.4 or 5 directly or via android pairing set up. after that failed, a message came up saying i could connect by ethernet, but it doesn't have an ethernet port.
2. i couldn't get HDMI working. it runs through a 4K 4x2 matrix hdmi switch. I swapped cables with the outdoor TV to confirm the cable worked fine. I switched the EDID dips on the back of the matrix switch from auto to 1080P. still no picture.
3. the picture speaks for itself. this is as large and as low as it was going to go. so much for the projectorcentral calculator :(. the user manual for the projector had different info that suggested i needed a longer throw but i decided to roll the dice and just go for it.

Time to see what else I can come up with for projector options and eat the $135 Best Buy 'rental fee'. Rekbones has me a little nervous now about the idea of leaving a $3k+ projector (ZH606) outside. I was OK with risking a $900 one.
I don't see anything wrong with the Projector Central calculator. It says you'll get a 124" image with the HC2050 and a 12' throw. For a 139" image you need a 13' 5" throw.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Omg. This whole time I've been entering 121 instead of 139 and also using 121 for my throw ratio calcs.
 
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