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Query on Projectors and Ambient Lighting

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by krungthep56, Feb 21, 2005.

  1. krungthep56

    krungthep56
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    Hi,

    I have come to the oracle seeking knowledge, as I am slowly assembling a home theatre system and see problems ahead with my choice of display device. So far I have DVD player, AV amp, satellite receiver, speakers and an old CRT television which needs urgent replacement - I am now considering going the projector route with either a DLP front or rear projection system (Either Sony/Samsung RPTV or Screenplay 4805/5700 PJ).

    The challenge I have is that of ambient lighting, since the principal viewing room will be the lounge which is say 5m deep x 8m wide and which needs to function for day and night-time viewing. The lounge elevations have patio doors and double windows along one 8m width, with a single door opposite, and the 'narrow' 5m elevations have entrance door at one end, and the bottom end has a 2m wide opening to the kitchen. The screen would be placed on the entrance door 5m elevation which would then have ambient light cast obliquely across from the patio doors. I would then either install a 90" screen for the overhead PJ or buy a 50" DLP RPTV. Viewing will be split 50/50 between DVD and satellite (not HD), and 50/50 between day and night time viewing.

    During daytime, I would be able to control the amount of light in the room by the use of heavy curtains, but this would only limit and not fully control the amount of light in the room.

    On the one hand I long for the opportunity to watch movies on a truly large screen, this longing however is balanced by the practical need for the wife and kids to watch telly during the daytime.

    I am sure that this is a question that has been asked before so apologies in advance for raking over old coals, but I would like to stir the pot and ask for personal experience to see what decision others came to in similar circumstances.

    Do I go the overhead PJ route - which would be spectacular during darkened viewing, or stick to the smaller but much more flexible (and practical) RPTV??

    Thanks for suggestions,

    HT
     
  2. KraGorn

    KraGorn
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    'Fraid the Oracle is on a break right now, I'll have to do for the time being. :)

    I'm one of those who doesn't believe in using a front projector for all viewing, IMHO it diminshes the impact and 'cinema' experience if one goes from watching 'Enders to the latest blockbuster. I watch little TV so to some extent this point is moot. Another point though is that ambient light of pretty much any level kills PQ on an FP, washing out colours and destroying black levels.

    My own answer to this question is either get a cheap normal TV for normal TV viewing and keep the PJ for movies or special presentations on TV or else get an RPTV which can handle ambient light and still gives a nice large picture for movies.

    Others can and will disagree. :)
     
  3. krungthep56

    krungthep56
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    Do I assume that everyone out there has a dedicated HT room for movie viewing?

    Alternatively, and as I suspect, do the majority have a room which has both a TV for daytime and a PJ for nights and darkness?

    Regards,

    HT
     
  4. Oakleyspatz

    Oakleyspatz
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    I think you'll find the majority will have the latter. I for one have my pj in the lounge but only use it at night and mostly, but not exclusively, for movie viewing. If you use it continuously, you'll soon become acustomed to the size of the image and the 'wow' factor will be lost. Save it for the evening and you'll always have something to look forward to.
    Oh and the oracle is out of a job,KraGorn is the new advice guru !!!!
    I totally agree with ya mate ! :D
     
  5. KraGorn

    KraGorn
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    Some lucky souls have a dedicated HC room but I doubt they're the majority. I can get 99% blackout using a couple of blackout blinds courtesy of IKEA mainly for use during summer months. I suspect a combination of front PJ and LCD/CRT TV is probably quite common.
     
  6. PJTX100

    PJTX100
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    Ditto I use those Ikea blinds - work well!
    Though some people do use the PJ for normal viewing, I too prefer to reserve for dedicated DVD viewing. Kids & wife can watch Friends on the TV, I retreat to my study/AV room and watch Kill Bill!
    The perfect compromise!...PJ
     
  7. KraGorn

    KraGorn
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    A few people even have a PLASMA for their normal viewing in addition to their projector. :eek:
     
  8. gandley

    gandley
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    A little bit of ambient light dosent hurt too bad if its behind the screen.

    In my old place i had the screen come down in front of the window, and the curtains would pull far enough to block sunlight from the sides. it did allow a little light leak in the very sunny days but it didnt hurt the image.
    So with a bit of thought you can do daytime viewing without digging a basement(which would be nice, very canadian)

    However not everything looks good on a projector so i have a plasma to use for regular stuff and i have a 28ins tv in the bedroom when im just too lazy to turn on the PJ or go down stars.

    I would say its worth making a PJ viable as its just awesome for movie viewing, and once hi def is here, i will be a tad happy
     
  9. krungthep56

    krungthep56
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    Thanks for the comments and suggestions thus far.

    Based on the advice, I am leaning towards a two solution theory, one for daytime TV (4:3) viewing and the other for night-time DVD (16:9) viewing, both in the same room, on two different walls - which will bring its own problems.

    Daytime preference is currently either a 50" Sony 3 LCD RPTV or Philips 32" LCD and night-time (which will come later) will be an overhead PJ for viewing DVD's.

    The daytime solution will be first based on wife's vote, followed by the PJ which will come in a few months time. By that time, PJ's will presumably have leapt forwards again in any case.

    Preference for a PJ is currently the Infocus 4805 - any comments on how much light this outputs and if others are more suitable for a room with ambient lighting?

    Regards,

    HT
     
  10. ROZ

    ROZ
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    Dear HT,

    It's great if you can afford a number of high end AV displays but for this mere mortal, I got a SP4805 just before Christmas for all viewing needs and am well chuffed. Even shining onto a cream wall in a cream coloured room, it performs well for all mediums. Granted our room is not the brightly lit because it's east facing and has a wood infront of it - even then there can be some washing out probably due to ambient reflections. That's why I'm going for a hidef grey screen when I get my act togther and be very very happy :rotfl:

    have fun :thumbsup:
     
  11. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    For real-world lumen output, reduce the manufacturers figures by 40%, then allow further dimming as time goes on. The lumen figure is often derived from a non video optimized condition which would give an appalling image. After setting it up for more suitable video rendering, they have lost nearly half the lumens. Infocus tend to make brighter projectors so are probably a good choice in this case, but to go brighter often means more expense or a data projector which isn't optimised for video. Make sure you demo whatever pj you decide may fit the bill.

    A grey screen with some gain is the ideal screen for ambient light. It gives the appeareance of better blacks and contrast making the image more watchable than a white screen. The gain will reflect the pj light back to the viewer, and it will reflect the ambient light away from the viewer. Stewart's Firehawk is excellent but too expensive, so Da-Lite's High Contrast Cinema Vision material would be a good choice if it's in your price range.

    Gary.
     

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