Thoughts on getting back into the PJ world

mrapbp

Well-known Member
Hi All,

I think I am going to head back down the PJ route having been away for many years (maybe 15 years…..). I have kept my eye in with regards to the PJ scene and am looking at the Epson tw9400 which looks like a good place to start (likely will upgrade as some point but want to start at a sensible place). Unless anyone can point me in a much better direction up to say £4k?

I haven’t kept up with what’s going on with the screen side of things. I will need an acoustically transparent electric tab tensioned screen of about 135 inches diagonal. So far all I have come across (and remember from my previous years) are Grandview screens, they were good back then and still seem to hold up now. Just not sure what else is available.

Any thoughts and help getting back on the PJ horse gratefully received !
 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
Hi All,

I think I am going to head back down the PJ route having been away for many years (maybe 15 years…..). I have kept my eye in with regards to the PJ scene and am looking at the Epson tw9400 which looks like a good place to start (likely will upgrade as some point but want to start at a sensible place). Unless anyone can point me in a much better direction up to say £4k?

I haven’t kept up with what’s going on with the screen side of things. I will need an acoustically transparent electric tab tensioned screen of about 135 inches diagonal. So far all I have come across (and remember from my previous years) are Grandview screens, they were good back then and still seem to hold up now. Just not sure what else is available.

Any thoughts and help getting back on the PJ horse gratefully received !
9300/9400/X7900/X5900 look like good places.

X7900 would be the best second hand under £4k unless u can get lucky with a N series at that price.

brand new, a 9400 looks like a great choice and will have warranty.
 

mrapbp

Well-known Member
I definitely think the 9400 looms like a good choice and I want to buy new.

Anyone have any thoughts on screens?
 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
Thanks for that, the Sony VPL-VW590ES looks like good value!


Might be a bit dimmer but will be in a different class to the Epson so its definitely an excellent choice.

Best in class motion and picture processing, black floor, better 3D capabilities, native 4K resolution etc.
 

Shinji Mikami

Active Member
Maybe I'm wrong but I'm pretty sure that I read in someplace that once calibrated the Sony VW590ES set same lumens than JVC's and Epson's alternatives.
 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
Maybe I'm wrong but I'm pretty sure that I read in someplace that once calibrated the Sony VW590ES set same lumens than JVC's and Epson's alternatives.


Where've you read that? Everywhere I've read, the Sony is behind both in lumens when calibrated.
The Epson and JVCs are about the same calibrated.

The sony will definitley be quieter and more tolerable in high lamp mode.
 

Shinji Mikami

Active Member
Where've you read that? Everywhere I've read, the Sony is behind both in lumens when calibrated.
The Epson and JVCs are about the same calibrated.

The sony will definitley be quieter and more tolerable in high lamp mode.

I found here, Passion Home Cinema, popular french projector website. If we scroll down the review page and find Calibrated Lumens with High Lamp numbers we see that all three, JVC N7, Epson TW9400 and Sony VW590ES are very close.



 

mrapbp

Well-known Member
From a simple persons perspective it would seem that the Sony (at a list of £6k vs the Epson at £2.5k) should be way better in almost every way. At only £1k more it’s a bit of a no brainier ?
 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
I found here, Passion Home Cinema, popular french projector website. If we scroll down the review page and find Calibrated Lumens with High Lamp numbers we see that all three, JVC N7, Epson TW9400 and Sony VW590ES are very close.





Thanks. the sony looks 200 lumens short in high mode and 250 lumens short in low lamp mode.

So the JVC is about 25% brighter than the Sony in low lamp mode (which most people will use) and its 13% brighter in high lamp mode. However once you take into account different setups, the JVC will probably be more flexible (the zoom option for 15% uplift brightness for free for 2:35:1 screens etc.). The Epson is also much brighter in low lamp mode than the Sony but again, you're right in that high lamp mode the numbers are pretty close.


Sony has some awesome advantages in projection. I wouldn't mind owning one and would 100% take it over an Epson in a treated batcave.

Epson projectors in my experience are great but Sony & JVCs have that unique cinematic organic quality to the picture, and superior processing and motion which the Epson doesn't. I think the LS12000 has closed the gap in motion but I think probably everything else might still stand.

Epson still looks sublime and many would prefer the awesome brightness in a quick A/B comparison, especially in an untreated room.
 

GrazzaB

Distinguished Member
Thanks. the sony looks 200 lumens short in high mode and 250 lumens short in low lamp mode.

So the JVC is about 25% brighter than the Sony in low lamp mode (which most people will use) and its 13% brighter in high lamp mode. However once you take into account different setups, the JVC will probably be more flexible (the zoom option for 15% uplift brightness for free for 2:35:1 screens etc.). The Epson is also much brighter in low lamp mode than the Sony but again, you're right in that high lamp mode the numbers are pretty close.


Sony has some awesome advantages in projection. I wouldn't mind owning one and would 100% take it over an Epson in a treated batcave.

Epson projectors in my experience are great but Sony & JVCs have that unique cinematic organic quality to the picture, and superior processing and motion which the Epson doesn't. I think the LS12000 has closed the gap in motion but I think probably everything else might still stand.

Epson still looks sublime and many would prefer the awesome brightness in a quick A/B comparison, especially in an untreated room.
The LS12000 certainly improves on motion in comparison to the TW9400 as far as I can tell from reviews / opinions of the latter, plus the high fan mode is very much quieter than the JVC N5 in its high lamp mode. The unique cinematic quality you’re talking about is also very much present on the LS12000 I’m happy to add. I genuinely think that the LS12000 only loses out to the JVC in black levels (clearly so) and HDR tone mapping. But equally it’s much quieter, very bright with the ability to increase brightness in 5% steps up from 50%, has a laser light source and no bright corners / lens reflections (admittedly this is noticeable to varying degrees on the JVCs).
 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
The LS12000 certainly improves on motion in comparison to the TW9400 as far as I can tell from reviews / opinions of the latter, plus the high fan mode is very much quieter than the JVC N5 in its high lamp mode. The unique cinematic quality you’re talking about is also very much present on the LS12000 I’m happy to add. I genuinely think that the LS12000 only loses out to the JVC in black levels (clearly so) and HDR tone mapping. But equally it’s much quieter, very bright with the ability to increase brightness in 5% steps up from 50%, has a laser light source and no bright corners / lens reflections (admittedly this is noticeable to varying degrees on the JVCs).


It'd be great to see them side by side.

I found the Epson's E-Shift very lacking, specifically for video games, so clearly Epson have taken a quantum leap forwards there. However I'm very picky.

The high fan mode is excellent news. The 9300 and 9400 were like jet engines in their highest settings. Reviews I've read stated the LS12000 at 100% laser was similar to the 9300/9400 so they're probably lying or I misread but 75% was great. The N5 on high lamp is really not a problem in my room due to the pitch being fairly pleasing to the ear and my room is quite big. I'm 2-3M away from the PJ. However, it'll be far inferior to Sony. Noise level wise, Sony are the best in the business and have put a LOT of R&D into fan noise in db but also the pitch of the fan being better than everyone else's.

I personally doubt Epson can touch Sony on motion and picture processing. They're the best in the business for a reason and in decades, no one has been able to match them (even Panasonic who have a similar heritage re: tech, cameras and colour fidelity). I regret not buying Sony OLEDs instead of LGs. There is also the massive contrast level difference. The Epson LS12000 I believe taps out around 3000-4000:1 contrast with no iris to clamp down and increase this, whilst the Sony's numbers are 10,000+. Thats triple the contrast before we've even clamped down the iris. In a treated room, surely thats going to provide a gigantic difference in PQ.

I'm not sure how useful adjusting the brightness is via laser compared to an iris. The iris clamps down and increases contrast. The laser doesn't and as far as I know just modulates brightness. So a projector running medium lamp mode with an iris of -12 will shoot up its contrast to (for example) 20,000:1 whilst the Epson's will stay at 4000:1? (I'm not talking about dynamic iris here).

If OP is in a fully treated or semi-treated dedicated room, I'd go for Sony. Non treated, the Epson looks like a great option or if he has a massive screen or hates bulbs or just prefers a bright image and doesn't care about contrast/blacks much or he wants HDMI 2.1 gaming features.

For OP's use-case, I'm not mentioning JVC as a tangible upgrade path as he wants to buy new so they're out of his price range but the Sony or Epson are clearly there. I only spoke about them because Shiki linked a review to the N7 to quote his lumen numbers so I thought I'd put them into perspective.
 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
Not had any thoughts on the screen yet, can’t believe no one has an opinion !😀


A screen is a screen mate.

What is your room environment?

Batcave = Black walls, black ceiling, black floor, ideally some velvet.
Normal room = where light bounces around. A white ceiling, floor or wall will bounce it around. This is ambient light.

If it's a bat cave, 1.0 gain.
If it's a bat cave and you have a massive screen (150+), 1.1 to 1.3 gain screen. You might get sparkles or poorer viewing angles.
If it's a normal room with ambient light or white walls and viewing angles aren't a priority, ideally an ALR screen. Might get a hotspot if throw distance is short.
If viewing angles are a priority, a grey screen will do (say 0.8 gain). Will give a perceived contrast boost to blacks but will muddy the whites.

Electronic versus fixed it up to you.
Electronic will have tramlines or very very subtle artifacts but will go up and hide away. Make sure its tab tensioned.

Fixed might get a mark being being exposed all the time and requires manual install but will make installing masking panels easier and should maintain uniformity better.

Other option is PJ paint. Paint has cons such as application and requiring a perfect wall.
Options are GS2 for a low gain screen. (ALR type quality like a grey screen)
GS4 for near reference gain.
Or Reflecterol for a 1.2ish gain screen (has sparkles)

If you need acoustically transparent because you're putting speakers behind them, then Dream Screen, XYZ etc. are all things you should consider but take into account they have a texture and weave to them which might be visible dependant on viewing distance and how sharp/sensitive your eyes are. Normally come in lower gains than their more basic brothers.

Advice in terms of screens is pretty static & basic. Or I've researched and done this hobby too long.
 
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mrapbp

Well-known Member
Thanks for that, just thought I would see if there has been any major movement in the years I have been away from it all. As mentioned in the original message I think I will go for a acoustically transparent electric tab tensioned screen of about 135 inches diagonal. Most likely a Grandview screen I think.
 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
Thanks for that, just thought I would see if there has been any major movement in the years I have been away from it all. As mentioned in the original message I think I will go for a acoustically transparent electric tab tensioned screen of about 135 inches diagonal. Most likely a Grandview screen I think.

Sounds like a good plan.

I think in the PJ world, room treatment has just been further emphasised. The days of having a red velvet home cinema seem to be numbered and true batcaves are now becoming more popular.

For people who are more casual, ALR screens are even more prevalent and important and cheaper!
 

mrapbp

Well-known Member
Managed to get a Grandview 120 inch tab tensioned acoustically transparent screen from the for sale section for a decent price so just got to decide on the PJ now. There doesn’t seem to be any of the Epson’s around at the moment and I have been quoted June/July for delivery. Might have to be one of the reduced Sony’s from the Sevenoaks website?

I am also looking at getting kit installed by a guy I have used before (running hdmi and power cables through the walls/ceiling etc). He recons 2-3 days for the install, seems a lot for a PJ and screen install. Anyone got any thoughts?

Also in terms of what I need, can some keep me honest and check I have missed anything:

Screen
PJ
PJ mount
HDMI cable
Trigger cable - not sure if this would go to the processor or PJ?

Thanks all!
 

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