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Why Use A Projector On 'Eco' Mode?

st tech1

Novice Member
I am new to the projector thing so just playing with my new projector(epson 3500) and the default was on eco. Why?

Surely we buy these toys to run at best performance?

Isnt it like buying a ferari and never going over 5000rpm?

Or is it just so manufacturers have to to get around efficiency rules and also pretend that things are quieter than they are? (conspiracy theory)

I know the bulbs last up to 50% less but lets face it the projectors arent cheap to start with so the bulb cost should not come into play.

Is the picture ever better on eco?

Eco warriors dont hunt me down please.
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
Running in Eco is fine if you are running in a dark or darkish room with a screen that is suited to your pj to get the required lumens.

You have the higher output setting for when you want to run in less than ideal conditions and need that few extra lumens.

I always run my pj's in eco as I only watch in a fairly dark room and find that the brightness is more than enough.In addition as you pointed out the pj runs quieter and the lamp SHOULD last longer.

Anything that gets more life from your lamp should be employed as lamps often do not come up to manufacturers quoted lifespans.Some people have got barely 500 hrs from lamps that are quoted as having 2000/3000hr life.

And whilst pj's can be fairly expensive I don't subscribe to your view that "bulb cost should not come into play".Bulbs can cost from around £100-£500 in some cases and I for one expect my bulb to last somewhere around the quoted lifespan.Otherwise you are giving the manufacturers licence to lie about the quality/durability of their product.

When you buy a car or any item don't you expect to get a fair amount of usage out of it and if it comes with some sort of claim from the manufacturers about is durability if it fails well before it's expected lifetime would you not be peeved and expect some recompense or replacement.

Rant over:)
 

st tech1

Novice Member
I suppose me epson 3500 that I have just bought has a quoted 4000hrs bulb life and also comes with a 3 yr bulb warranty, hence not being so worried about it.(I am not made of money).

Is it purely brightness you lose with eco?

Surely cinema black 1 in normal mode uses less power than dynamic in eco mode thus makeing the 'eco' part a waste of time?

Isnt bulb life dependant on power/brightness that it has been run on? Is there a direct corrallation between power used and brightness? And noise for that matter.

Therefore why would you not leave it in normal mode and then let the various picture modes take care of brightness which then takes care of bulb life?

I think the bulb for mine is £230 ish which surely would make me stupid to run on 'eco' on a £1300 machine with such a long bulb life?

Do people with £10k machines run on eco?
 

mossym

Distinguished Member
I think the bulb for mine is £230 ish which surely would make me stupid to run on 'eco' on a £1300 machine with such a long bulb life?

Do people with £10k machines run on eco?
you're assuming you're going to get the 4000 hrs from your bulb, you could buy 8 bulbs that all go after500 hrs...that'd be more than the cost of your projector

i run eco mode because my room is very dark with blinds closed. so i don't need fuill mode, turning it on makes a difference but not enough to warrant buying 3x the number of bulbs, assuming max bulb life.
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
You are luck you have a pj with a 3 yr bulb warranty:thumbsup: most people don't have that luxury.However most people only use there pj's for 400-600hrs per annum so in 3 yrs the bulb may have only 1500hrs on it.

If it went then would you still not be peeved that it had only done less than 50% of its life.

I am not too concerned with my pj as the bulbs are only £130 and if I get 1500+hrs the pj will be 3 yrs old and by then I will probably already have moved it on.

Which is another point in question,the values of second hand pj's tends to be low based on this very issue.In that folks tend to factor in what it's worth based on having to buy a new bulb at some stage which may be soon after getting the pj.

If bulb early failure was not perceived as a problem maybe second hand values would increase.

Anyway all this aside I use eco because it suits me and having tried high power mode did not find the picture improved and felt that the negatives of shorter lamp life and noisier fan outweighed any advantage the extra brightness gave(which in my circumstances was not evident).

I would say that a very high (75%+) percentage of pj users run in eco mode for the reasons stated above.

Maybe I shall run a poll.
 

st tech1

Novice Member
Good idea to run a poll.

I am lucky also that even on full power dynamic it is really not that loud anyway. Not that I would use it in that mode unless very sunny.

I suppose all the reason you have stated for running in eco mode are the reason I chose the epson 3500. Noise, bulb life, bulb guarentee etc.

I now look at all av items on a 3 to 5 yr rotation. So as you say after 3yrs who cares.

I understand the optoma is very loud on full power so understand why you would not want it on that setting.

Surely though people who have home cinemas and spend a fortune on av equipment are av enthusiasts who want the very best picture they can get. So noise appart surely you would run it on the best possible mode.

I cannot believe the picture can be as good on eco else they would not have the other power modes.

I get my screen today so will play more later. On my projector it has to modes, eco and normal. Thats a bit like saying 'tight git' and 'av enthusiast'?

No offense meant. And I do mean noise asside. I cant believe you would buy a 10k machine and run it on eco.
 

mossym

Distinguished Member
I cannot believe the picture can be as good on eco else they would not have the other power modes.
.
have you never bought a tv? most true av enthusiasts who buy a tv the first thing they will do is turn down the ridiculously high brightness and contrast levels they come set at. by the same question you mentioend above why would they even be there?

and, rather than just take it as an eco mode vs full power, if you calibrate your projector to proper levels at eco mode, why would it be better at full power? i mean, if you want to talk proper av enthusiasts, surely a properly calibrated display will be more important than what brightness you run it?

when you calibrated your display, did you do it at full power or eco mode?
 

st tech1

Novice Member
I have not calibrated yet as my screen is coming later.

Are you saying though that if you calibrated it in perfect dark conditions the picture would be exactly the same in both modes? And if it were then you would use no more or less power in either mode.

Why do they have the option then? Why would it not go: dynamic,living room, natural, theatre black, tb1, tb2, etc? With dynamic being noisy and bright and the other end being perfect for night time cinema conditions and let it choose the power?

At the end of the day if you cannot see it you need to go brighter so whether you are either in eco dynamic or normal living room surely they would be using the same power?

I dont proffess to know anything I am just trying to learn what is best.
 

mossym

Distinguished Member
I have not calibrated yet as my screen is coming later.

Are you saying though that if you calibrated it in perfect dark conditions the picture would be exactly the same in both modes? And if it were then you would use no more or less power in either mode.

Why do they have the option then? Why would it not go: dynamic,living room, natural, theatre black, tb1, tb2, etc? With dynamic being noisy and bright and the other end being perfect for night time cinema conditions and let it choose the power?

At the end of the day if you cannot see it you need to go brighter so whether you are either in eco dynamic or normal living room surely they would be using the same power?

I dont proffess to know anything I am just trying to learn what is best.
no, not saying you would get the same image, but a properly calibrated image is what we strive for. If i have a light controlled room, and can obtain a calibrated image using eco mode, why would i run full power? my image is as it should be, no need to run full power. If on the other hand , my room is less light controlled, and i cannot get a calibrated image using eco mode, then i would switch to full power to allow me to achieve that image. that comes at the cost of bulb life though.

so, if with my projector nicely calibrated and in eco mode, there is no need for me to switch to high power mode, so i still get the best picture as my projector is properly calibrated, and i get as much from the bulb as i can

the different modes you mentioned are jsut all variations on the settings, presets, wihch allow a user to cycle through and see which one he prefers, they are like easy calibrations, however , in 99 % of cases none truly match what a proper calibration would be. think of them as easy setting for people that don't want to, don't know how to, or couldn't be bothered to get a calibration disc and try it themselves
 

st tech1

Novice Member
So you are saying that in an ideal light controlled setting the image would be different in eco and normal when calibrated, so which would be the best picture?

If you had a 10k projector had tons of money and a new type of bulb which lasted forever, got it out the box up on the wall and were ready to start calibrating it, which mode would you do it in, eco or normal?
 

jacko5

Active Member
Good idea to run a poll.

I am lucky also that even on full power dynamic it is really not that loud anyway. Not that I would use it in that mode unless very sunny.

I suppose all the reason you have stated for running in eco mode are the reason I chose the epson 3500. Noise, bulb life, bulb guarentee etc.

I now look at all av items on a 3 to 5 yr rotation. So as you say after 3yrs who cares.

I understand the optoma is very loud on full power so understand why you would not want it on that setting.

Surely though people who have home cinemas and spend a fortune on av equipment are av enthusiasts who want the very best picture they can get. So noise appart surely you would run it on the best possible mode.

I cannot believe the picture can be as good on eco else they would not have the other power modes.

I get my screen today so will play more later. On my projector it has to modes, eco and normal. Thats a bit like saying 'tight git' and 'av enthusiast'?

No offense meant. And I do mean noise asside. I cant believe you would buy a 10k machine and run it on eco.
Why do you equate picture quality with brightness?

It sounds like your tastes are more suited to a large plasma tv than a home cinema projector.

Do you also find that you obtain the best quality sound from your audio by turning the volume to maximum?

If you were to measure your screen brightness using your new projector in high lamp mode, depending on your screen, you would probably be getting in the region of 30 ft. lamberts, or more. The average commercial cinema is more like 12 ftl.

A brighter image is not only less restful on the eyes, it also shows up more image artifacts, so it could be argued that brighter equates to poorer image quality.
 
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Tight Git

Well-known Member
My (limited) understanding of these matters leads me to believe that full mode produces a brighter picture.

However, if you then have to use the aperture control to reduce the brightness in a darkened room, full mode is wasteful of lamplife and probably produces more fan noise.

So, if you can get away with it, eco mode wins hands down.:lesson:
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
St Tech you seem to be missing the point,it all depends on the room conditions.

As has been said repeatedly, in a dark room (darker the better) you calibrate to get an ideal image.Unless it is a huge room with a very long distance from the screen to the pj that would be in eco mode as the pj would be kicking enough light out in that mode.

If the room was not as dark you may need full brightness to achieve the same results.If the room was a lot lighter you still may not be able to achieve the same image even at brightest mode.
 

mossym

Distinguished Member
So you are saying that in an ideal light controlled setting the image would be different in eco and normal when calibrated, so which would be the best picture?
which did you calibrate it for? if you calibrated in eco mode, eco would be better, if you calibrated in full poer mode, full power mode would be better..

If you had a 10k projector had tons of money and a new type of bulb which lasted forever, got it out the box up on the wall and were ready to start calibrating it, which mode would you do it in, eco or normal?
if my room was very bright, i'd calibrate in full power mode and runit there. if i had a proper light controlled room i'd calibrate in eco mode and run there

i don't know where you got this idea that brighter was better picture quality, but no matter what people are saying to you you seem convinced of it. lamp power is not to do with improving the picture. it is to compensate for bright rooms, like watching football matches in the middle of the day in may, when the sun is outside. it is to compensate for lots of ambient light..to try and make sure you don't get a washed out picture while watching your projector during the day, or ina room where you have to leave some lights on say for kids or someting..
 

st tech1

Novice Member
Not at all. I have a 50" plasma and compared to the projector even showing on wobbly old sheets at 106", the projector is breath taking on eco, theatre black1 which is what projectorpoint recommend as the initial setting.

It was only that last night playing through the menus I saw the power option which says 'normal' or 'eco'. This made me think that I should normally have it on 'normal'. And if I want to be economical then 'eco' or eco friendly saving the rain forrests? Not sure what 'eco' implies?

This then made me wonder if pp settings were on eco or normal

I totally understand that a purist does not have it over bright, it was just my wording was misleading.

I am just trying to work out which mode to put it in. I dont want to find out a year later I had it in the wrong mode. (like a mate who had his telly running composite for a year until I told him, so is now rgb).

I did not know whether eco just reduced bulb power or had other effects. It might have been the case that on eco it tries less hard to generate the contrast, turns off other functions to reduce power etc.

They should not call it eco and normal then by the sounds of it.

Obviously when I get my screen I can do my own tests, but for now I just did not know which mode to start on. I dont care about bulb life because of the warranty so I just want the best colours/ contrast etc that I can get.
 

mossym

Distinguished Member
Obviously when I get my screen I can do my own tests, but for now I just did not know which mode to start on. I dont care about bulb life because of the warranty so I just want the best colours/ contrast etc that I can get.
get a calibartion disc if you don't have one. if, using the projector in eco mode, you can calibrate all the settings, especially contrast and grey scale, then leave it in eco mode. If, while calibrating, your room is so bright you can't calibrate correctly, bump up to full power, and re-run. if you still can't calibrate, buy some very dark curtains..:)
 
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st tech1

Novice Member
That is what I was looking for. Thankyou mossym. Thanks others also.

I am not an engineer and do not know how projectors work.

Its just the word 'eco' is not what you would associate with good quality. It is more of a word used for cheap and nasty. This is what was throwing me.

Trust me, I will not be using it in a dark room in normal dynamic mode! You would see it from the moon!

Wheres my screen? I want it now!
 

martin purnell

Novice Member
Right then, here's my pennyworth!
1) To save money, instead of buying a calibrate disc, use any Disney/Pixar dvd as they normally include a settings test for you to "calibrate" your projector.
2) There is a difference in pq (picture quality) between Eco and full power. It's not going to be the difference between vhs and dvd though! I have an LCD pj, and in full power, the pj is able to give a better contrast and blacker blacks compared to eco mode. The colours are fuller than eco and the overall definition is better. I suppose what I am trying to say here is that if you had to score out of ten every colour, contrast, definition, effect etc,etc and you assumed that full power equates to ten, then you'd give a nine.
If you take a footy match, you'll find that the grass from one of the gantry cameras, will show a few patchy blocks. It's not too noticable but if you want the lcd filters to work at optimum and eradicate the blocks, then full power is the way to go.
3 For everyday TV use, eco mode is fine. For a decent film on dvd, you will see a slight improvement by watching it on full power. Funnily enough, I actually compared the difference last night when watching a dvd version of Troy. My wife (who is registered blind) was able to see the difference and plumped for full power mode. The fan noise is an issue though, so Eco mode would beat full power on the scoring front for audio noise!
4 The point was well made about number of hours watched on average in a year. If you take our week so far, we have watched 4 hours of Skyplus through the pj (one hour of which was in HD) in eco mode and the pq was more than acceptable. Full power was used purely for the dvd.
5 Like everything else, try both modes especially in a darkened room. One man's meat is another man's poison etc.. I think you'll soon find that there is a small difference....but how small is, like opinions, subjective!

Let us know your results.

Kind regards,

Martin
 

st tech1

Novice Member
I assume with every projector the difference in power between eco and normal/high is very different. On my epson 3500 it does not sound like it is straining it very much on normal. As you say time and testing will tell what is best.

Alot of the other guys earlier seemed to catagoricaly say eco in a light controlled room and that normal/higher power would not benifit the picture at all. So it is interesting what you say.

From what I can tell at the moment 'normal' seems to give bigger contrast but the jury is out. :lesson:
 

KelvinS1965

Distinguished Member
Right then, here's my pennyworth!
1) To save money, instead of buying a calibrate disc, use any Disney/Pixar dvd as they normally include a settings test for you to "calibrate" your projector.
To save money and calibrate your projector (at least using the 'basic' patterns which are a precursor to doing a proper calibration anyway) use the AVS709 disc which is free to download and then burn to a DVD (which is played in HD as an AVCHD disc on most BluRay players including PS3).

AVS HD 709 - Blu-ray, HD DVD, & MP4 Calibration - AVS Forum

I find the flashing 'black' bars very useful for setting the best brightness level (17 should just be visible otherwise you'll get black crush. I also use the flashing 'white' bars to set contrast (note that higher contrast settings will tend to make the higher bars start turning pink, blue or green depending which colour your PJ runs out of at high IREs). After I've set these, I then go on to doing a full greyscale calibration and (soon) CMS adjustment.

2) There is a difference in pq (picture quality) between Eco and full power. It's not going to be the difference between vhs and dvd though! I have an LCD pj, and in full power, the pj is able to give a better contrast and blacker blacks compared to eco mode. The colours are fuller than eco and the overall definition is better. I suppose what I am trying to say here is that if you had to score out of ten every colour, contrast, definition, effect etc,etc and you assumed that full power equates to ten, then you'd give a nine.
If you take a footy match, you'll find that the grass from one of the gantry cameras, will show a few patchy blocks. It's not too noticable but if you want the lcd filters to work at optimum and eradicate the blocks, then full power is the way to go.
On my HD350 changing the lamp power alters two things: The brightness and (slightly) the greyscale balance (which can be calibrated and saved as another User preset anyway. It doesn't give better blacks, because it raises the black floor and I would expect an LCD projector to do the same (my old AExxxx models did but the difference was so small you could only measure it rather than 'see' the difference between lamp modes). Having more brightness can over come ambient light (if any) and also make the eye's own iris close a little, which may help the impression of better blacks within an image, but not absolute black level. I like a good dark scene performance, so I tend to use the darker of two User presets I have (both using low lamp mode), though I have a second preset with the iris opened up a little if I feel that the film seems a little too dim.

5 Like everything else, try both modes especially in a darkened room. One man's meat is another man's poison etc.. I think you'll soon find that there is a small difference....but how small is, like opinions, subjective!
Very true, I don't think I'd like your meat and you might find my projector settings poisonous. :D Though I do have a very dark room with a semi batcave effect using my patent 'Bat Tent'. :)
 

fricnjay

Standard Member
Why do you equate picture quality with brightness?

It sounds like your tastes are more suited to a large plasma tv than a home cinema projector.

Do you also find that you obtain the best quality sound from your audio by turning the volume to maximum?

If you were to measure your screen brightness using your new projector in high lamp mode, depending on your screen, you would probably be getting in the region of 30 ft. lamberts, or more. The average commercial cinema is more like 12 ftl.

A brighter image is not only less restful on the eyes, it also shows up more image artifacts, so it could be argued that brighter equates to poorer image quality.

I could not agree with that more. For example using a THX setup disk running mine in econ mode allowed for better grey scaling and darker blacks. But my room allows for this. If I had a room with more ambient light I might have to bump it up to full power. So to help answer the original question most good projectors will have that feature to help compisate for different room situations.
 

martin purnell

Novice Member
Very true, I don't think I'd like your meat and you might find my projector settings poisonous. :D Though I do have a very dark room with a semi batcave effect using my patent 'Bat Tent'. :)[/QUOTE]

Kelvin, maybe we would at least agree on the cabling!!!!!:rotfl: Very interested to hear about your patented bat-tent. It could be a rival to my bat-borders! Pleae explain.

Regards,

Martin
 

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