I've been window shopping for a projector for a while now but am trying to wait until one is available that can do at least 1920 X 1080 at a reasonable price. My imagination has come up with this theoretically possible idea that probably can't be done right now: Set up four XGA projectors projecting onto one screen => one projector for each quadrant. The incoming picture would have to be split into four input signals and the projectors would have to be carefully set up but I don't believe there is any fundamental reason this couldn't work. Voila, 2048 X 1536 for the price of 4 LT150's, a screen, and a magic black box that does the processing.
The box wouldn't have to be magical. There were plenty of places at Infocomm that had video wall boxes that essentially let you choose the output resolution of your "cubes" (projectors in this case) and there you go.
How about three XGA's rotated sideways to get 2304 (of course you'd only use 1920) x 1024 (same as 2.7% overscan top and bottom). You'd have no horizontal seams and the vertical seams would be at thirds instead of dead center.
The last idea sounds like one of the old widescreen movie formats called Cinerama that had three synchronized projectors shooting onto a very large curved screen. It was expensive, required lots of setup time, was difficult to keep working correctly, and showed seams where the images overlapped. I've never seen one in person, but I've been told that it was the 50's version of IMAX. Not quite as good as modern IMAX, but darn good for the 50's.
There was also a recent thread that discussed the IMAX foray into digital projection using D-ILA technoloyg. The particular thread in question was from a discussion of bulbs. It turns out that new bulbs exhibit quite a bit of variation and the IMAX theater had to buy a few extra bulbs each time they replaced them so the each projector would match in brightness and color temp. Of course, the IMAX technology is most likely proprietary and way too expensive for anyone shy of Bill Gates to have installed in the home.
There are some other current threads that cover this same idea from a more cost effective sand point. Alan has been active in looking for a video card that will drive two projector with an overlay shared between the two screens. One of the cards he found was based on the Radeon VE so that will be the most cost effective solution for the foreseeable future. This solution does not support HDTV split across multiple projector however. At least not until software HDTV decoding becomes available.
But just to show what can be done, one of the national research labs has a super high res display system built from semi custom components that is used for scientific visualization, but that system uses 12 (I think) projectors and the output is mostly computer simulation data not video.
[This message has been edited by JoeFloyd (edited 06-21-2001).]
The biggest problem I see doing this with digital projectors is the light spill that eminates from nearly all LCD/DLP/DILA projectors. That is to say, that all these projectors have some sort of halo surrounding the projected image, which while nearly unoticable on some projectors, is noticable on others.
I am sure that this would effect the picture quality and greatly enhance the appearance of the seams.
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