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Question Can you truly achieve with a consumer projector what you see in a commercial cinema?

8abel8

Established Member
Hi All,

Had the oppotunity last month to go and see Tenet at Everyman Cinema in Hampstead, London (as a bonus me and the wife where the only ones at that screening:thumbsup:).

Having not gone to the cinema since last year I'd forgotten how good a picture a commercial cinema can produce. By my "guesstimation" the screen was probably around 4.5m wide (so relatively small by some cinema standards) and we were probably 5.5-6m back. From what I managed to see in the projection booth it was a Sony commercial projector ( I think it was not a current model as the lens was offset to the left of the projector, something like the Sony SRX-R320). Specs show it has a CR of more tha 2000:1, lumens not sure but had to be quite high.

There was so much pop to the image, fantastic clarity and sharpness and excellent colours. I know the black levels weren't that black but i've never honestly come away after watching a movie at a cinema thinking " god, black levels were terrible".

I know standards are different for commercial cinemas than they are for the consumer market but say if i ever had the space to light up a say 4-5 metre wide screen, is there anything on the consumer market that would do that well and be as good as a cinema or come close? Looking at the other similar forum I see some people with obviously deep pockets have actually bought commercial projectors for their homes but this probably comes with it's own set of problems in terms of getting everything to work properly.

I own a JVC X7900 and have a 2.7 metre wide Seymour XD screen and while it's fantastic, the visit to the cinema has made me realise that although what I have is good, it is still quite far away from what I saw at the cinema.

What do you guys think?

Keep safe and well:smashin:
 

ShanePJ

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Have you had your projector professionally calibrated? If not then this is one area to start.

One of the best home cinema's I've ever seen was by one of my old customers. He converted a double garage Which really wasn't a double garage as it was so much bigger than that. He was lucky enough to know people who owned cinemas to obtain the fabrics to completely block the light and reflective light in the room. His screen was a large SMX 5M fabric screen and the projector was a flagship 3 chip DLP unit costing the price of a medium priced car at today's money

It was calibrated to the room and I will say that it was just like going to the cinema as it had the pop and black detail like I've never seen from any home cinema projector

One thing I've never forgotten about this model was that it once went back to the manufacturers for something and I was testing it to ensure everything was working fine. I'd just finished showing a JVC projector to a customer which was still running in the room. I'd placed the it in the room and powered it up, switched the input to the 3 Chip DLP and I thought I'd got lucky as it was sharper than the JVC where I'd placed it. I nipped into the menu to check focus only to find it was still out of focus and from that point, the differences were so striking it showed me that there is quality lenses and then there are lenses that are so much better.

Its that old rule "you get what you pay for". yes it might have cost five or six times the JVC's price, but sadly the JVC could never have created what that Sim2 projector delivered both on a large 5m screen and likewise in direct comparison to a JVC projector. It was like comparing a budget 1080p to the JVC you own today and its only when you see it, do you get what Sim2 were all about
 

8abel8

Established Member
Hi, Yes is was calibrated from the dealer I bought if from after 150 hours of use. Don't get me wrong, I love what I get from the JVC but it's just missing that pop and level of detail that you see at the cinema.
 

ShanePJ

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
The pop is just the brightness and the ansi contrast where the Sim2 3 Chip projector had it in abundance. Nobody could ever say JVC's are poor by the way, but a standard cinema projector is in the £10's of thousands whereas a consumable home cinema is usually in the £Hundreds to low £thousands

You cannot ignore the material they show to. It's not simple blu-ray movies, the equipment is a little more sophisticated to
 

Gordon @ Convergent AV

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
yes it is perfectly possible to get superior sound and picture to a commercial theater. It does depend on the cinema/theater you are comparing it to of course.

Here's a 5m wide screen cinema i was involved with for one of my clients. All he cared about was image and sound quality.. I have seen many cinema rooms, both built by CI companies and by enthusiasts, that would put most commercial cinemas to shame.

 

mb3195

Distinguished Member
It’s actually easily done if you have the right environment.

In a dedicated home cinema, you don’t need compromises such as exit signs, safety lighting, plus you don’t need to worry about 100 people in a room, theoretically you only need to worry about yourself.

Due to this, even the best commercial cinema has a distinct disadvantage over a batcave home cinema.

Ive never seen a commercial cinema that can get close to my picture, admittedly my screen is only 2.7m wide but I sit 2.8m back so it’s all relevant I suppose.
 
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Neil Davidson

Prominent Member
AVForums Sponsor
It’s a great question. Not many people are lucky enough to see what a really high end projector is actually capable of and a well setup DCI unit is the icing on the cake.

Brightness is of course relevant but the sharpness and incredible colour fidelity are what I like best.
 

IWC Dopplel

Distinguished Member
Hi All,

Had the oppotunity last month to go and see Tenet at Everyman Cinema in Hampstead, London (as a bonus me and the wife where the only ones at that screening:thumbsup:).

Having not gone to the cinema since last year I'd forgotten how good a picture a commercial cinema can produce. By my "guesstimation" the screen was probably around 4.5m wide (so relatively small by some cinema standards) and we were probably 5.5-6m back. From what I managed to see in the projection booth it was a Sony commercial projector ( I think it was not a current model as the lens was offset to the left of the projector, something like the Sony SRX-R320). Specs show it has a CR of more tha 2000:1, lumens not sure but had to be quite high.

There was so much pop to the image, fantastic clarity and sharpness and excellent colours. I know the black levels weren't that black but i've never honestly come away after watching a movie at a cinema thinking " god, black levels were terrible".

I know standards are different for commercial cinemas than they are for the consumer market but say if i ever had the space to light up a say 4-5 metre wide screen, is there anything on the consumer market that would do that well and be as good as a cinema or come close? Looking at the other similar forum I see some people with obviously deep pockets have actually bought commercial projectors for their homes but this probably comes with it's own set of problems in terms of getting everything to work properly.

I own a JVC X7900 and have a 2.7 metre wide Seymour XD screen and while it's fantastic, the visit to the cinema has made me realise that although what I have is good, it is still quite far away from what I saw at the cinema.

What do you guys think?

Keep safe and well:smashin:


There can be something about the motion and stability of the image that some commercial projectors seem to get so right, that for me can often compensate significantly for the higher black floor and les than stellar contrast. Plus there is no getting away from the screen size however close you might sit at home its not the same
 

8abel8

Established Member
It’s actually easily done if you have the right environment.

In a dedicated home cinema, you don’t need compromises such as exit signs, safety lighting, plus you don’t need to worry about 100 people in a room, theoretically you only need to worry about yourself.

Due to this, even the best commercial cinema has a distinct disadvantage over a batcave home cinema.

Ive never seen a commercial cinema that can get close to my picture, admittedly my screen is only 2.7m wide but I sit 2.8m back so it’s all relevant I suppose.
I'm rather impressed with your setup and whilst I agree with the disadvantages you mention, that's more of an environment issue, i don't believe when it comes to the image you can better it with general consumer projectors. I know sitting further back improves things somewhat, I've often observed the image from just outside my batcave looking in through the open door(around another metre further back from where i normally sit and it looks better) but these commercial projectors cost mega bucks, have superior lenses, etc and then there's the source material as well but that's probably best keep for another discussion.

There can be something about the motion and stability of the image that some commercial projectors seem to get so right, that for me can often compensate significantly for the higher black floor and les than stellar contrast. Plus there is no getting away from the screen size however close you might sit at home its not the same
Completely agree with the size thing. No matter how far back a sit in a commercial cinema I'm always wowed by the size (assuming a large theatre), I know sometimes the screen won't fill your field of view if you sit towards the back and you can pretty much see the whole theatre sometimes but still the size and image looks amazing, you cannot simply recreate that at home by sitting closer, by doing that you then start to see issues with image quality. Agree with accepting the less than perfect blacks but like I said, i never felt it was an issue in cinemas. On that point, as most will say it's all about creating what the director intended, would not what you see at the cinema be what the director intended? After all the director knows his work will be shown in the cinema after all...

In any case, apart from buying a actual commercial projector, what would one buy given the funds? I assume something from Barco Residential or similar??
 

mb3195

Distinguished Member
In any case, apart from buying a actual commercial projector, what would one buy given the funds?

Christie Eclipse is the PJ that anyone would want if funds and space would allow.

But, going back to your original post, If you saw my image you’d change your mind, I’d pretty much guarantee that.

Complete bat cave with zero reflections from within the room, Lumagen dealing with DTM, laser image, inky blacks, HDR, true 4k, best possible video source, absolutely sublime 3 dimensional image, that genuinely think can’t be beaten, it’s absolutely stunning.

Check out my open day thread for reviews from fellow members.....they all pretty much say the same thing.

EVERY commercial screen I have seen is at least 30% worse.
 

alebonau

Distinguished Member
I've been to the best commercial theatres where we are and apart from IMAX... the others ... apart from their large screens....and quite good picture ... are not anywhere near what achieving at home with much smaller screen but still with immersion to THX spec. and this was even with my jvc x7000 i had prior....

What i can see the best commercial theatres do better is naturally with much larger screen.... with much more luminance ...but thats it really ? if that what chasing for certainly a commercial theatre is going to be hard to beat...but with all other aspects and in pure picture quality terms we are very lucky id say in what can be achievable in the home...
 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
Size of the image a commercial cinema wins everyday but I find they compromise PQ quite severely.

I mean most cinemas I go to.. kind of suck. The sound is compromises as hell, I don't feel the base compared to my own BK monolith plus where I feel the cars driving infront of my face in RPO.
The sound localisation also sucks.

From a projection point of view, I think beating the size is difficult. But resolution is easily matched and in my experience the black level and contrast of the cinema is similar or dare I say beaten by my old epson 9400.. so I can only imagine the JVC's destroying it.

I still think the wow factor of a GIGANTIC image is hard to beat but at the same time getting the sweet spot for seating in a cinema is incredibly hard.

I think the gap between the two is bridged with distinct advantages towards home cinema when it comes to sound.
 

IWC Dopplel

Distinguished Member
We have a small cinema in Bath in fact two that are not the large multiplex. The Little Cinema has a fabulous image on the lower screen. Blacks are okay, colour punch and motion are stellar and it has something about that is very 3D, I did find out what the PJ was I forget now, but quite expensive !

I guess like sound it’s a case of priorities, I would trade a little contrast for better motion, colour accuracy and I’d trade resolution for contrast. I very rarely crave improvement in contrast at home I measure just over 25,0000:1 on off and the black floor is low. I would like more punch as I’m only 12 or so FTL and colour is great. It’s motion that most home cinema PJ’s do less well than commercial I think 🤔
 

8abel8

Established Member
Complete bat cave with zero reflections from within the room, Lumagen dealing with DTM, laser image, inky blacks, HDR, true 4k, best possible video source, absolutely sublime 3 dimensional image, that genuinely think can’t be beaten, it’s absolutely stunning.

Check out my open day thread for reviews from fellow members.....they all pretty much say the same thing.

Sounds like i really need to see something like this. Shame I don't participate too often on this forum as I definitely would have been interested in seeing this. Very Interesting read. I plan to do something similar after my next house move next year.

I mean most cinemas I go to.. kind of suck. The sound is compromises as hell, I don't feel the base compared to my own BK monolith plus where I feel the cars driving infront of my face in RPO.
The sound localisation also sucks.
I have to agree with the sound, apart from the impact due to volume level nothing too special , although Empire Leicester Square back in the 90's was something special, still remember seeing Jurassic Park and True Lies there. Wow.
 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
Christie Eclipse is the PJ that anyone would want if funds and space would allow.

But, going back to your original post, If you saw my image you’d change your mind, I’d pretty much guarantee that.

Complete bat cave with zero reflections from within the room, Lumagen dealing with DTM, laser image, inky blacks, HDR, true 4k, best possible video source, absolutely sublime 3 dimensional image, that genuinely think can’t be beaten, it’s absolutely stunning.

Check out my open day thread for reviews from fellow members.....they all pretty much say the same thing.

EVERY commercial screen I have seen is at least 30% worse.


hey man, what do you think about 1723 vs 1723s range? I’ve been thinking in my mind whether to give them a try one day but the space between speaker and the wall is massive once u take into account the cabinet size and 30cm from the wall..


have u spoken to Arendal about them?
 

mb3195

Distinguished Member
hey man, what do you think about 1723 vs 1723s range? I’ve been thinking in my mind whether to give them a try one day but the space between speaker and the wall is massive once u take into account the cabinet size and 30cm from the wall..


have u spoken to Arendal about them?

general thoughts are the 1723s play slightly tighter and are better suited for smaller rooms. Whereas the 1723 are better suited for bigger rooms.

They did tell me that they thought the 1723 would be worse in my room compared to the S.

If you wanted to hear them and see what a Sony/lumagen combo can do, I’m always open to demos....
 

PsyVision

Distinguished Member
We have a small cinema in Bath in fact two that are not the large multiplex. The Little Cinema has a fabulous image on the lower screen. Blacks are okay, colour punch and motion are stellar and it has something about that is very 3D, I did find out what the PJ was I forget now, but quite expensive !

I guess like sound it’s a case of priorities, I would trade a little contrast for better motion, colour accuracy and I’d trade resolution for contrast. I very rarely crave improvement in contrast at home I measure just over 25,0000:1 on off and the black floor is low. I would like more punch as I’m only 12 or so FTL and colour is great. It’s motion that most home cinema PJ’s do less well than commercial I think 🤔

I didnt realise you were so close. I've not been there, usually end up at the Odeon as I can get a discount, but its pretty dire. Not been in about a year or so now mind.
 

IWC Dopplel

Distinguished Member
I’m 5 mins from the the Little cinema, I did see a film at the Tivoli but didn’t think the image was that memorable
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
Hands down, the best commercial cinema I've been to is our local small multiplex. They demolished the old 2 screen fleapit and put up a 5 screen facility in its place and Screen 1 is just stunning - both in terms of sound and vision. - Savoy Cinema, Grantham

It uses one of the best laser projectors - a Series 4 Barco and an incredible Atmos system with I think 24 channels of discrete audio.

Many commercial cinemas have silvered screens - as matte screens wreck the light polarisation for 3D. This does not do wonders for the 2D image however, so it may be a bit of a compromise.

To my eyes the best "prosumer" projector for something approaching sensible money is this:
XEED 4K6021Z - Projectors - Canon UK They just look stunning with the best colorimetry I have seen this side of a big Barco. Black levels are excellent and the whole image really does just pop!

If you don't have the budget for this, the HD versions are a bit more reasonable and offer an almost as impressive viewing experience.
 

Luminated67

Distinguished Member
As much as I enjoy going to the local cinema and it’s a pretty decent one I wouldn’t chose it over watching the same movie at home for a number of reasons.

1: At home I always get the best viewing seat in the audience which never happens at the cinema.
2: My seats recline something the local cinema doesn’t do.
3: At home I’m not bothered by someone talking or the noise of someone eating crisps or popcorn.
4: I’ve yet to experience a commercial cinema where the image is as sharp as the one I see at home and whilst the sound is better there I don’t have the control of the volume because there are occasions when reference levels are too loud (at least for me).

Of course some might view things differently but for me it’s not even close.
 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
general thoughts are the 1723s play slightly tighter and are better suited for smaller rooms. Whereas the 1723 are better suited for bigger rooms.

They did tell me that they thought the 1723 would be worse in my room compared to the S.

If you wanted to hear them and see what a Sony/lumagen combo can do, I’m always open to demos....

Yeah I asked Arendal too today..
They basically said to me 1723 is slightly more open in the upper range, 1723s more warmer and bass wise it’s kinda redundant when you’re packing subs with a decent cross over.

1723s range is also less punishing placement wise.. giving the 1723 towers 30cm clearance is hard lol given how deep they are.
Put my mind at ease
 

8abel8

Established Member
Thanks for all your input guys. Lots to digest.

I'm beginning to wonder whether I'm doing something wrong, because everyone seems to mention how much sharper and better their home systems are. As I mentioned, i had it professionally calibrated by [email protected] when I bought it last year, and although I've moved it about some due to a new screen, so basically adjusting size, focus etc everything is the same apart from more hours on the lamp. I'm not a novice to this game, my passion for home cinema goes back to laserdisc days and crt projectors up until last year. It's hard to see how what I saw recently (or in the past on some occasions) can be bettered at home, i mean the JVC x7900 although not the best is no slouch as far as I can tell.

But to go back partly to my original question, would the JVC or similar adequately light up a large screen say up to 4 metres wide? I can see quite a difference when i zoom down to 16:9 from a 2.40 screen, the 16:9 is always brighter and sharper, so i can't see certainly my projector being able to.
 

8abel8

Established Member
Complete bat cave with zero reflections from within the room, Lumagen dealing with DTM, laser image, inky blacks, HDR, true 4k, best possible video source, absolutely sublime 3 dimensional image, that genuinely think can’t be beaten, it’s absolutely stunning.

Hi, do you know how well your Sony would light up say a 3.5-4 Metre screen? I know most manufacturers quote up to 200" but wonder if that is achievable.
 

mb3195

Distinguished Member
Hi, do you know how well your Sony would light up say a 3.5-4 Metre screen? I know most manufacturers quote up to 200" but wonder if that is achievable.
Lots of variables here I think, depends on screen gain, conditions, zoom, etc

@Gordon @ Convergent AV is probably better placed to answer this question, although I would say that it is entirely possible if conditions are ok, the laser does have a high lumen output.
 

Gordon @ Convergent AV

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
my own opinion would be that 3.5m is stretching it unless you are going to use some high gain screen...and i would avoid a high gain screen myself. I was at a clients yesterday checking something out and i put a VW760 in there on a 3.2m wide screen and at 90% laser light output at his throw distance on a 0.9 gain screen he is getting around 50 Nits once calibrated.
 

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