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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Though this question has certainly been raised in various ways on AVS, I'm having a dilemma that I need some outside advice solving.
  • Theater front row viewing distance (depending on screen placement): 7-9 feet
  • Somewhat minor ambient light issues, depending on window shading and whether the room lights are up

I've considered front projection, Mitsubishi 73835 73" rear projector, and the expected-this-year Mitsubishi Laservue 73" rear projector. I just cannot make a decision, but now that I'm spoiled by a Pioneer Kuro 60" PDP-6020FD plasma in my bedroom, I've got a serious itch to replace my theater's Pioneer Elite 62" rear projection (circa 1999, 1080i).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by curtis-r /forum/post/15456272


Though this question has certainly been raised in various ways on AVS, I'm having a dilemma that I need some outside advice solving.
  • Theater front row viewing distance (depending on screen placement): 7-9 feet
  • Somewhat minor ambient light issues, depending on window shading and whether the room lights are up

I've considered front projection, Mitsubishi 73835 73" rear projector, and the expected-this-year Mitsubishi Laservue 73" rear projector. I just cannot make a decision, but now that I'm spoiled by a Pioneer Kuro 60" PDP-6020FD plasma in my bedroom, I've got a serious itch to replace my theater's Pioneer Elite 62" rear projection (circa 1999, 1080i).


Bigger is always better... why settle for a 73" rear projection TV when for the same cost you can have a 100" front projector system? When properly set up a front projector system always aces a rear projector system. Don't count on seeing a properly set up front projector system at a brick and mortar store. Most of the B&M stores haven't a clue on how to properly set up a front projector system hence you won't be impressed. It takes a little more time to set up a front projector system and the B&M stores aren't equipped with the personnel to help.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by FremontRich /forum/post/15456625


Bigger is always better... why settle for a 73" rear projection TV when for the same cost you can have a 100" front projector system? When properly set up a front projector system always aces a rear projector system. Don't count on seeing a properly set up front projector system at a brick and mortar store. Most of the B&M stores haven't a clue on how to properly set up a front projector system hence you won't be impressed. It takes a little more time to set up a front projector system and the B&M stores aren't equipped with the personnel to help.

Agreed, I stayed away from projectors for a couple years because my impression from the stores was very bad, even in dark rooms they looked terrible, even for the expensive units. I wanted to try one out but didn't want to pay the restocking fee. Finally my day came when I was able to purchase one that was open box, and I was instantly hooked, now I cannot even consider going back to tv. In fact I almost regret getting my 40 inch as its not very fun anymore, but is useful for quick news or weather, but thats about it. 73 inches will never be able to give you that home theater experience like a 100 inch and bigger screen will.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks FremontRich & d james.


Not that it hasn't been answered, but I guess my underlying question is can I get as good as a picture w/ a good
 

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That's a bit of a tough call. Seven to nine feet is pretty close and ambient light can definitely be an issue. You mentioned first row, how many rows do you have?


My first projector I purchased 5 years ago for $6800 and it was a great deal at the time for a 720p DLP. Because of a color wheel problem I recently purchased a Sony HW10 SXRD 1080p projector for less then half that. Projector technology has gotten more advanced and the price has come down. There are plenty of quality projectors in the 3K range.


Depending on the quality of the picture for the material you watch the closer you can get, so take that into consideration. I debated it myself before getting my first projector (like many I imagine). I think part of it was dealing with the setup and wiring. But after having a front projector, I couldn't imagine ever having anything else.


Personally, for HD material and decent SD DVD's I could see watching on a 92" screen from 9' but no closer. At that size most projectors would probably have enough output to handle some ambient light and a higher gain screen can do the rest.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by curtis-r /forum/post/15459011


Thanks FremontRich & d james.


Not that it hasn't been answered, but I guess my underlying question is can I get as good as a picture w/ a good
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by FremontRich /forum/post/15470664


How much ambient light are you estimating you need?

Sorry for the late reply. Somehow I forgot to subscribe to my own thread.


Obviously, hard to describe how much light without using a meter, but our "theater" has our only TV in the house aside from our master bedroom.


That doesn't mean we have it brightly lit, but there is usually some ambient light from a ceiling fixture. If I go front projection, I'm thinking remove the ceiling fixture (which may be required for projector line-of-sight) and change to recessed cans with low-wattage, dimmable, focused pin-spots over each theater chair. I guess my point is that 80% of the time, we have some level of our dimmable light on while viewing. The amount of light to have on is often a source of debate with my wife - it should go without saying she wants more, I want less.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by curtis-r /forum/post/15490805


Sorry for the late reply. Somehow I forgot to subscribe to my own thread.


Obviously, hard to describe how much light without using a meter, but our "theater" has our only TV in the house aside from our master bedroom.


That doesn't mean we have it brightly lit, but there is usually some ambient light from a ceiling fixture. If I go front projection, I'm thinking remove the ceiling fixture (which may be required for projector line-of-sight) and change to recessed cans with low-wattage, dimmable, focused pin-spots over each theater chair. I guess my point is that 80% of the time, we have some level of our dimmable light on while viewing. The amount of light to have on is often a source of debate with my wife - it should go without saying she wants more, I want less.

We prefer a bit of light in the room also since it is less strain on our eyes. I have two light sources in my theater, dimmable sconces in the back that I can have on low when watching sports and rope light behind the screen that is on for all viewing. Having ambient light behind the screen is a good way to maintain a bit of ambient light with the least impact to the screen when using a front projector.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm pretty much sold on front projection, but I'm going to try to con my brother into lending me his projector for a day to demo (though it's specs are quite up to what I would buy).
 

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My brother has had a very nice rear projection CRT TV for a number of years and not long ago replaced it with a 50" plasma. He and his wife dropped over and took a peek at my temporary projection set up: and old Panasonic 720p projector with a sheet of projection screen material taped to the wall, in a thoroughly un-projector-friendly room (poor light control, light decor etc...this month construction begins on the room to

turn it into a projector-based home theater).


It's a modest set up to say the least, yet he was blown away. He asked to see scenes of Planet Earth in HD DVD and just kept muttering "wow." His wife kept saying "Oh my gosh" over and over. They said they'd seen the footage many times but on a really big screen it just felt like an entirely

new experience.


Now they want to buy my Panasonic projector from me once my HT room is finished and I buy my "real" projector.


2 more converts...:)
 

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Let me guess ... ... your ''real PJ'' is likely be the JVC RS1 or Epson 6500UB



Seriously, your bro is not going to buy the Pt-AE900 in all seriousness??
 

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My new projector will be the JVC RS20.


Yes, my brother wants to buy my older Panasonic projector. He doesn't have the money to put toward a new model at this point.
 

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it's funny. i have had a KDS-R70XBR2 for over two years and absolutely love it. i've always wanted to go front projection, but suffered from underfunding/underknowledge paralysis.


i don't have a dedicated room, just the living room, so i looked at front projection as something we would watch blu-rays on, only after dark, and the 70XBR2 would be for daytime viewing and/or non-blu-ray night time viewing.


a couple of months ago i bought a 5 x 10' sheet of white gatorfoam as a potential temporary screen.


last month i pulled the trigger on the sony VPL-VW80 projector.


i framed off 58" x 104" (119" diagonal) on the gatorfoam, mounted it, shelf mounted the projector, and voila. totally and completely awesome.


now, as soon as the sun goes down, the projector goes on no matter what we're watching (the screen comes down right in front of the 70XBR2).


i'm in a small room at nearly the minimum throw (about 12 1/2 to 13' from lens to screen), seating distance about 11 or so feet from the screen. 119" is definitely not too big for us at that distance, if i had the throw distance i'd go bigger. the image is also plenty bright on low lamp mode (i'm sure i'll switch to high lamp as the bulb ages).


i have samples of all the da-lite screen materials on its way, which i will fasten to the gatorfoam to see what i like. for now, the gatorfoam (which i think is probably close to neutral gain, 1.0) looks amazing.


i couldn't be happier with all my decisions to this point, and put in my two cents that going front projection is fantastic.
 

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I will echo the above postings: once you have a projector you are hooked. Use the calculators (such as on projector central) to decide on the screen size. I am projecting on a 107" screen with seating at ~12 feet. I don't think I could go bigger than that, even at this size it took a little adjustment. Don't forget to account for the depth of your rear-projector TV which will eat up your seating distance. On the other hand, the screen just hangs on the wall, it's the thinnest TV you ever had....


When you budget for a FP, don't forget you have to add the cost of the screen, surround system, mounting / cabling, which adds up. The screen can be as expensive as you want it to be. I was on a tight budget and settled for a manual Optoma Greywolf II (got it for 199 from one of the forum sponsors). It worked well with my white walls and carpet....


The surround system is something else - here is where it is more difficult to cut corners. A reasonable quality system can be had without selling a kidney on eBay, but you are looking at 2-3,000$ for the receiver and speakers. I purchased my equipment piece by piece (again the budget), and I have now a very decent sound. In my opinion, a large screen without a decent sound system would be a severe blow to a true theater experience... Furthermore, investing in a good audio equipment is more future-proof, as true audio improvement is much harder to achieve. Your system will be with you for many more years than the projector. I ended up spending around ~5000 on the system, but for me it was well worth it.


Hope this helps, good luck with your purchase.
 

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Front projection can be amazing, but boy are there pros and cons to everything! Yes, you can achieve more impressive results, but once you get into this stuff, your attention will forever be focused on your setup (as opposed to the content itself). Just ask yourself what this hobby is all really about before you move on. I'm actually considering going back to a panel or rear projection unit simply to avoid the headaches of perfection.


Unless that's your thing!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by gerard99 /forum/post/15584898


Front projection can be amazing, but boy are there pros and cons to everything! Yes, you can achieve more impressive results, but once you get into this stuff, your attention will forever be focused on your setup (as opposed to the content itself). Just ask yourself what this hobby is all really about before you move on. I'm actually considering going back to a panel or rear projection unit simply to avoid the headaches of perfection.


Unless that's your thing!

Heh...flat panels are not necessarily a cure. I got out of flat panels because

I found myself so fixated on the picture quality over the movie, whereas with projection there is something that sucks me into the movie no matter what.
 

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To enjoy by cinema my simple rules: screen must be 100-inch or more,

distance to the screen must be 2/3 (max 1:1) of the screen width


Light reflected from the screen much better, comfortable for eyes -> brain than photons from lcd, plazma displays.
 
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