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Bright projector for bright room--is it possible? (see pic)

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by jaredg27, Feb 16, 2005.

  1. jaredg27

    jaredg27
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    I've searched through much of this site, and gotten a good feel for the various projectors. And, even though I already own an InFocus LP500 and have used it to varying degrees of success in rooms with windows, I have no concept for whether a projector will be substantial for playing television/movies in the living room of the house I'm moving into next month. So I'm hoping to learn more about your experiences with brightness in fairly bright rooms so that I can recognize whether buying a projector for this room is just a bad idea. I hope that other newcomers to this site will also be able to benefit.

    My specfics: the room has 3 windows, two of which would be directly to the right and left of where the screen would be located (above the fireplace), and the other which is a double window on the wall perpendicular to the projector wall. I'd put up a screen above the fireplace for the image, of course. Here's a picture:

    [​IMG]

    Thank you again for any help. I'm curious if I should toss out the idea of a projector...or, should I get one, how many lumens I'd need to consider.

    Thank you!
    Jared
     
  2. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    You're not new to projectors if you have a DLP already, so you have an idea of what to expect, but if you intend to watch during the day and light control is going to be minimal so you will have a lot of ambient light in the room (which kills contrast), you will need a grey screen with gain.

    The Stewart Firehawk would be my first recommendation but will cost you £1300 minimum. Da-Lite do a grey screen with a gain of 1.1 (the FH is advertised as 1.3 but is probably closer to 1.1 apparently), but I don't know the prices. It will be a lot cheaper though.

    A white screen with gain will also work to a degree, but not as good as a grey screen.

    You will need plenty of lumens too. Advertised lumens can often be reduced by as much as 40% for real world figures, so you are looking at something like 2000 lumens, preferably more, and that will be from a non home cinema optimised pj that will probably need an external scaler as the brighter pjs are designed more for the boardroom and not video. I would say that xga would be the best resolution for PAL images. 800 x 600 will do a good job but can't show full PAL resolution.

    The external scaler will help remove jaggies to deinterlace the image and process the signal depending on whether or not it's film or video, PAL or NTSC. These can be bought second hand at reasonable prices in the classifieds here though.

    How do you find the LP500 though? If you find the image to be OK, then there are plenty of beter projectors out there that will give you an improved image with higher contrast. I would suggest that you try the LP500 in your new home to get a feel of how an advertised 2000 lumen pj will cope in the room on a white wall - project the image so that it is the size you want, even if it goes over the sides of the chimney breast so that you will get an idea of the light output. Then you will know what kind or performance you will get and how much more light you will need (if any).

    What's your budget? We might be able to find you something suitable for you and possibly in the home cinema range of projectors.

    Gary.
     
  3. jaredg27

    jaredg27
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    Your response is very helpful. I learned a bit about projectors 1.5 years ago when I bought the LP500, mostly for conference rooms, but I never really had to consider the screen for that sort of setup. (I use a Da-Lite Versatol tripod, maybe 72"). When I have used it at home for DVDs/sports I've found that it does a great job in the evening but the contrast is killed in the daytime. I guess you're indicating that it has a lot to do with my screen...

    As for PAL/NTSC. Since I reside in the US, I believe I'll mostly be watching NTSC.

    I'd be comfortable spending $1500-2000 for the screen, projector, and mount...if that's at all possible. Initially I could use the LP500, but my goal would be to get a home entertainment model (that could very occasionally double for work). But I do wonder if, in that price range, I'd be better off looking at LCD screens or...

    Thank you again for all your insight!

    Cheers,
    J
     
  4. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    Hi J,

    I didn't realise you were in the US, as this is a UK forum, but you are lucky then - you can get Stewart screens very cheaply compared to here. :) There are more NTSC resolution pjs around the $1000 to $1500 mark than PAL so that's more useful for you.

    Ambient light is the worst enemy of front projection, so if it's there you have to try and combat it somehow, and a brighter pj and a grey screen can help. Idealy you will have a way to block out all light by closing the curtains or window blinds etc but that's not always possible. It would be the best solution though.

    For more local help, try www.avsforum.com which is closer to home.

    Gary.
     

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