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Can anyone recommend a good PC projector for my firm? Advice WOULD be appreciated

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by Dekim, May 20, 2003.

  1. Dekim

    Dekim
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    Thankyou if you have taken the time to read this post.

    My company wants to create a demo room for demonstrating designs produced on a PC cadcam system onto a large screen. I have been reading this projector forum for quite a while due to my home cinema interests but have not seen PC LCD projectors really mentioned unless people have been dicussing projecting their PCs using home cinema setups.

    Anyhow I wonder if anyone could take the time to recommend a projector that gives professional results from a PC? (we want to impress the clients with the quality of image) I would presume it would be 4:3 and the computer resolution would be approx 1280x1024. I am looking for someting around the £2000 mark.

    Thanks in advance for any comments

    Mike

    ps I hope this isn't off topic for this forum.
     
  2. LegalEagle

    LegalEagle
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    Hi Dekim,

    The choice of projectors that can produce resolutions of around 1280x1024 (5:4 aspect ratio) is somewhat limited and usually way in excess of your budget.

    The JVC D-ILA projectors may, however, be of interest to you. They are native 4:3 and have SXGA resolution (1365x1024 pixels). They have the best pixel fill factor of any digital projector (93% vs 40-60% for LCD), meaning that you can sit closer to the screen/enjoy a larger picture without seeing screendoor.

    For presentation projectors, brightness tends to be more important than contrast. If you have any ambient light, you need a bright unit for the image to not be washed out or hard to see. The D-ILA outputs 1500 lumens, which is plenty bright - even with the lights on.

    You can find more information about the D-ILA at:
    http://pro.jvc.com/prof/Attributes/features.jsp?tree=&searchModel=&model_id=MDL100057

    A new D-ILA will set you back considerably more than your budget. However, you may be able to pick one up secondhand. Have a look in the classifieds section of this site
    ;)

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. Dekim

    Dekim
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    Thanks for the info. I will look into this further. I dont know much about projectors but I presume I could look at XGA (1024 x768) and scale this up to 1280 X 1024 but i'm unsure if this can be done or how good the image will look.

    Can anyone comment on this?

    Cheers

    mike
     
  4. LegalEagle

    LegalEagle
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    Mike,

    You're right, if you feed XGA to the D-ILA (SXGA) for example, the projector's internal scaler will scale the image to fill the full panel (1365x1024). Feeding an XGA signal to an SXGA projector will not result in a better picture, however.

    Better to feed the projector its native resolution and acheive 1:1 pixel mapping, taking advantage of the full projector's full resolution. This will give you better detail and less scaling artifacts. There's no point in having an SXGA projector if you don't feed it an SXGA signal and take advantage of all of its resolution :)

    You can feed the projector its native resolution using a simple program called Powerstrip. You can download it for free from: http://www.entechtaiwan.com/ps.htm

    Set up Powerstrip on your computer (its very easy and there's a good support forum) and connect your VGA output from your computer to the VGA input on your projector.

    Voila, picture perfect pixel mapping, taking advantage of the full resolution of your projector's panel.

    Cheers.
     
  5. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Dekim

    Whist I'm sure the JVC D-ILA would suit the bill its going to cost the best part of £7K!

    With a £2k budget your going to be looking at an SVGA or XGA projector - XGA if you can push the top end of your budget.

    Who are your clients and what's there expectation levels? - you say you are outputting Cad Cam - are we talking wire frame drawings or rendered 3D movies; I'm sure that for all but the most picky clients with very high expectation levels your Cad work on something like the Panasonic PT-L720E at around £2.2K (or the slightly more expensive PT-L730NTE with wireless networking and a SD player) will fit the bill.

    I've often gone into architects faced with the 'big resolution' conundrum and found that just seeing their drawings on a six foot screen (even if it was not as sharp as on a big workstation monitor) convinced them that one of the little Panasonic units was good enough to convince there clients to pay for the Cad work!

    Best regards

    Joe

    PS Is it £2k ex vat :)
     
  6. Dekim

    Dekim
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    Thanks for both your replies. I have to admit i'm learning as I go along!

    The budget of 2K (excluding vat :)) isn't set in stone its just we don't have a great deal to invest on this project. We are a small company trying to compete with much bigger companies who have dedicated suits with all the mod cons.

    Basically what we want to do is do up (decorate) a spare room for customers to hang out when they visit our company. It will have a meeting table in the middle which is also where the projector will sit (we want something portable that can be used in the boardroom as well). We will put some comfy seats in etc as well so they feel at home. We we also use the room for demonstrations of our designs. The data is wireframe and also rendered photorealistic images. The idea is so the designer can plug in his computer and display the image on the big screen and discuss the customer requirements and alter data live with the customers guiding the designer as to what things he wants modifying etc.

    Hopefully the end result will be to give the impression of a professional and impressive service and are customer orientated. (or words to that effect)

    I hope this makes sence as I have typed it as it came into my head.

    Phew

    Mike

    I
     
  7. LegalEagle

    LegalEagle
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    Mike,

    How big is the room, how far will the projector be from the screen, and how large will the screen be? Do you have light control in the room?

    Other members may be able to pitch in with suggestions based on your specific requirements.

    Have you budgeted for a screen?

    Cheers
     
  8. Dekim

    Dekim
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    The table will be approx 5-7 ft from the wall. The image will have to look after itself I suppose. We may end up having to ceiling mount. The room is 20Ft square. There is also the option of mounting on the back wall but I think this might make the image too big.

    I would suspect a screen of about 60" wide would be ideal. A manual pull down screen will be ok. I see that draper screens look reasonably priced.

    I was only asked to look into this on Monday (got to do it in my own time) so this is just basic ground work while I get a feel for what I need to look into.

    Cheers

    Mike
     
  9. LegalEagle

    LegalEagle
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    With a 5-7ft throw to a 60' image, you will need a projector with a short-throw lens . This feature usually appears on a spec sheet as a ratio X:Y, where X=throw distance and Y-screen size. eg, a projector with a 1.5:1 throw would project a 60' image from 90' away. In your case, you'll need a projector with a throw ratio of 1-1.4:1

    If you mount the projector on the back wall, you'll need a very long-throw lens. (4:1 in your case) These are hard to find/expensive, hence may not be an option.

    Most projectors tend to have a throw of around 2:1. This would put it 10 feet from the screen in your room with a 60' image.

    Ceiling mounting may give you flexibility with your throw distance but not with portability. Its a real pain re-mounting, re-aligning a projector on a ceiling, making it impractical to move it around frequently.

    Cheers
     

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