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Advice on 106" screen + PT-AE500

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by tnaseem, Aug 25, 2004.

  1. tnaseem

    tnaseem
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    I'm currently kitting out a new room to be used as a cinema room (+ study!). For this I'm now about to purchase the following, but would like some advice first!

    Projector: Panasonic PT-AE500
    Screen: Draper 106"

    My room dimensions (it's actually an L shaped room, but the 'leg' of the room where the Home Cinema will be set up is approx 11ft wide by 16ft length.

    So viewing distance will be approx 13 to 15ft max.

    I've been to the www.myhometheater.homestead.com website and doen the calculations and it appears that the screen size should be okay.

    Now from a subjective point of view, do you think it's overkill in terms of screen size?

    Will the projector I've selected work fine with that screen size. Approx how far should it be fitted? (to the ceiling via a ceiling mount probably). I'd prefer it to be mounted on the back wall if possible, but not sure if that's too far.

    I'm thinking of mounting the screen to the ceiling (once I've located the joists!). Any recommendations on how to do this?

    Are these things bloody heavy!? Don't want the ceiling to cave in with the weight. Missus won't be happy. :)

    Should I go for a smaller screen setup? Say 92" (or whatever).

    I can get the above package from DiscountTV. If I buy the projector, they will reduce the price of a Draper screen by £100 + a free pixel check, according to the site, so sounds like a good deal. Does this sound okay?

    The reason for the post is that I want to make sure I'm not being too silly with the screen size, which I probably am! So, any help or advice would be most appreciated.

    Cheers,
    Tarique.
     
  2. JamesPA

    JamesPA
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    Hi Tarique,

    Just my personal experience here. My screen is smaller at 73" diagonal and my viewing distance is 9 feet, so about 1.5 times the screen size. I would not be comfortable with a much bigger screen than that, as it would mean too much head movement when watching IMHO ;)

    In your case, at a viewing distance of 13 foot, that's 1.47 times the screen size of 106", and at 15 foot away it's 1.7 times. To me that's sounds absolutely fine. (I've also read somewhere that between 1.5 and 2.0 is the ideal viewing distance to screen size ratio, but I can't remember where, sorry!)

    So if I was you I'd stick with the 106" screen; you might regret getting a smaller screen later - they all seem huge to begin with, but after a few weeks, you crave an even bigger picture (well I do sometimes! :D )

    As for the weight, well my screen is a Draper Luma pull-down too. It doesn't weigh that much, maybe 8 kilos at a guess? It's suspended from the ceiling by two hooks screwed into a ceiling joist, one at each end. The Draper Luma has loops of it own that you just hang it from. Buy decent size hooks though. You should be able to get them from a local ironmonger for a few pence. Otherwise screwfix.com do them.

    Cheers,
    James
     
  3. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    I personally think 106" is too large for an AE500 (106 diag or wide?)
     
  4. JamesPA

    JamesPA
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    I'm guessing 106" diagonal, as that's a Draper Luma standard size. 106" wide would be too big from that viewing distance I agree.

    Just wondering, is the concern about a large screen with the AE500 because of the resulting lower brightness of the picture?

    James
     
  5. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    sorry, Trade work on screen width not diaganol....... larger screen means chicken wire is more visible etc it is all relative to veiwing distance and how good your eyes are, but when you get futher away image gets duller etc
     
  6. JamesPA

    JamesPA
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    TBH I hadn't thought about the brightness of the image with a screen that large - that's an extremely important point of course. Is there a way of determining what screen size is the max for an acceptible image from a PJ? It must partly depend on how dark you can get your room too.

    Only speaking from my own experience, but I would have thought the chicken wire effect would not be an issue for the OP - with the same viewing distance vs. screen size ratio, my PLV-Z1's chicken wire is fine with a minute touch of defocus applied, and the chicken wire from the AE500 is much less visible than the Z1 as I understand it.
     
  7. tnaseem

    tnaseem
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    Hi all,

    Many thanks for the replies. My concern was two fold I guess. One was whether it would be too big for the range I'll be viewing at. From what James says, this is not a problem at all. I've also done the calcs from that site I mentioned which suggest the same

    Obviously, the projector will suffer somehwat due to brightness due to the range from the screen. This is my other concern. I wonder if anyone can tell me how far the AE500 must sit to give a picture that size? I can black out the room quite a bit as we've already got some thickish curtains which will cover the windows.

    I'm presuming the screen size of 106" is in fact diagonal (same as picture tube sizes, etc). Obviously, I don't want to buy something this big if the projector is going to suffer as a result (and thus having to position it so it gives a smaller image!)

    Has anyone used an AE500 with a screen that big? Or can someone suggest another model perhaps.

    Thanks to all who have replied by the way. Much appreciated!

    Cheers,
    Tarique.
     
  8. joebloggs123

    joebloggs123
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    I think one of the biggest mistakes in Home Cinema is going for too big a screen.

    The recommended maximum screen size for the ptae500 is about 8 feet (96 inches) -
    see projectorcentral.com.

    The bigger you go beyond this the more you will see the picture quality deteriorate.

    I've got a ptae500 with 92 inch screen sitting 1.5 times the screen width (the screen is 2 metres wide and i''m sitting 3 metres away) and at this distance the picture is stunning.

    I read another post somewhere with someone sayin they had 106inch image and that although it was good it was not as good as commercial cinema quality.

    I can honestly say after playing with it for about 3 weeks- screen position, controling ambient light in the room, adjusting picture settings and using a Hoya ND2 filter (this is great by the way- really makes the picture pop out)- I've got a picture that I think is better quality than most of the commercial cinemas i've gone to.

    I think most of us are more critical of a home setup than a commercial one- at home sometimes I find myself really studying the picture- can i see any grain? can i see any artifacts? is that black dark enough?

    I went out to the cinema with a few mates the other day and studied the picture in the same way and I thought- hey if I look for it I can see lots of grain and the black levels weren't truly black- but this is something i never would have noticed before because i never looked for it before.

    Then I went home fired up the projector and thought - wow I actually prefer this picture.

    In the end it's a compromise between size and quality.

    If the ptae500 is setup right it can be amazing - there have been times when i've looked at the screen and thought "Wow it looks like I could jump into that picture".
     
  9. tnaseem

    tnaseem
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    Many thanks for that feedback 'Joe'. It's just what I was looking for. I'll have a rethink about the size.

    I guess I sort of fell into the 'The bigger the screen the better the experience' trap! But this is obviously not always the case.

    I think 92" should be plenty big enough. I'll also check out the filter you mentioned.

    Cheers to all for the help and advice (to everyone!).

    Regards,
    Tarique.
     
  10. tnaseem

    tnaseem
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    Well, I finally took the plunge and ordered myself an PT-AE500 and Draper 92" screen, together with a Pioneer DV575. Ordered from ww.discounttv.co.uk.

    Only thing is they didn't have any stock of the 92" screen, but offered the 106" for the same price (minus £100 for buying the AE500)! Which is what I went for in the end!

    I've done a quick test using the system (not mounted properly yet), and the results are pretty impressive, once I've played around with the projector setting. So well pleased so far!

    The guys at discounttv were bloomin' marvelous as well. Great advice and very helpful. They even price matched the Pioneer with Richer Sounds price. Goods arrived the next day. Top job.

    Anyone know where I can get hold of this Hoya ND2 filter? Will Jessopns do it? What size would I need to get to fit an AE500?
     
  11. JamesPA

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    Loads of congrats on your purchase! I hope you have lots of enjoyable hours spent in front of your system. :thumbsup:

    Just to pass on a couple of things I picked up when I was playing around with my first HC - Make sure you get the room really dark; I added black out curtains behind the normal curtains (I just hook them over the rail when I'm using the projector TBH) Now there is no light coming in round the edges of the curtains, and the resulting contrast from my Sanyo LCD pj is terrific. The better the contrast, the more the image jumps out at you!

    The other thing I did was get hold of the AVIA calibration DVD. That or Digital Essentials are invaluable in my opinion. Everything improved from the factory settings - colours more life-like, contrast, shadow detail. I coudn't have done it so well with just my eye. After calibration it I didn't need a filter IMHO. In fact I did hack a similar neutral filter on the front and the loss of brightness put me off buying one.

    But then again, it will depend on your pj and screen combo, plus light levels in your room, so the Hoya filter could be good in your case. Part of the fun of owning a pj is getting the very best image out of it, so have fun in the process!! :smashin:

    Cheers,
    James
     
  12. tnaseem

    tnaseem
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    Thanks for that James.

    Just ordered the AVIA DVD from Piero (in the power buys section). Look forward to having a play!

    The new 'cinema' room is almost complete. Just painted it today. Can't wait to get it set up properly!

    Cheers,
    Taz
     
  13. JamesPA

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    I got mine from good old Piero too! :cool:

    Hope you didn't choose pure white paint like I did (before I got the pj) :D Next time things will be different.... just got to convince her indoors that dark colours are the "in" thing for lounges! ;)

    Cheers
     
  14. John7

    John7
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    Its not a ND filter you need. Its a Hoya FLD. Have a look in the projector forums -there are specific threads relating to using this filter with LCD Pj`s and the improvement it gives. I havn`t tried it yet, but I will soon.

    BTW I am using a PTAE100 with a 96" diagonal screen and I think its great. This projecto would not have a problem going up to 106" (I know because I can project the larger image onto the wall behind the projector screen which is about 1 metre further away). My viewing position is about 4 m away from the screen. The PJ is placed on a modified music stand (purchased from Maplins for £20.00) behind the viewing sofa and can be easily removed and put away when not being used.
     

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