1st Projector - which one? - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 17 Old 10-12-14, 10:52 PM Thread Starter
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1st Projector - which one?

Building a house and have a month to decide on a projector. Here's the info I think would be needed:

Room Dimensions: 13' Wide x 17' Deep x 8/10' Height
This is a true media room - no windows
From front screen wall to 1st row seating is 9' / 2nd row another 3'
Screen type will be - Elite AR120WH2 Aeon 120 diag. (58.32x104.1) on amazon for $465 has zero edge frame similar to Black Diamond but 1/3 the cost "1.1 Gain" whatever the that means

NOTE - builder pre-wires the ceiling connection at roughly 15' back - is that going to be an issue for the intended 120" Screen Size?

Budget up to $1000 for Projector and here are my front runners based on 1) tons of reviews 2) tons of GOOD reviews - must haves (1080p/high contrast ratio/allow for 120" screen at 15' distance)


Optoma - GT1080 / HD141x / HD50
Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 8350 / 3020 / 2000 / 2030

Ok - biggest question is $600 price difference between the Epson 8350 - 3020 worth better contrast ratio?
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post #2 of 17 Old 10-13-14, 02:40 AM
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Re: 1st Projector - which one?

Everything you need to know is here.

Try their calculator to see if your units will fill the screen at 15' with the required brightness.

That's pretty much all you need to kjnow, except that the contrast figures don't matter, which you can read about here.
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post #3 of 17 Old 10-13-14, 05:29 AM
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Re: 1st Projector - which one?

I would disagree on two points. First, telling a fellow user that all he needs to know is at a particular site is rather dismissive and unhelpful. It does not really answer the question. Second, to say that contrast does not matter is fundamentally incorrect. It may not be as much of a consideration as many assume, and it may not be specified in a useful manner, but it is an important factor in enjoying video.

I don't know the two models well enough to answer the question, but I suspect that there are others here who can share some experience. I hope seantx does not get the idea from the first response to his post that we won't put forth the effort to more specifically answer his questions.




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post #4 of 17 Old 10-13-14, 08:33 AM
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Re: 1st Projector - which one?

SeanTX - I read the review on the Epson at Projector Central. They have always been a great resource. I'm on my 3rd projector. I'm assuming you noticed its not 3D capable. It does looks solid for the price point. Lumen output will be fine and the verticle lens shift capability will allow you versatile placement without issues. Have your builder use cables that will support 4k (for when you upgrade). Your screen gain is a ratio of lumens projected to lumens reflected. You will not require a high gain screen with the lumens this unit provides because you will be controlling the ambient light.
Not knowing your familiarity with projectors here's a couple of things to look at with respect to placement. You want to be sure at the mounted height there is no obstruction (read viewers heads) between the bottom of the lens and bottom of the screen. Screen placement will be critical and you'll want to take the time to measure relative to both the viewer height and projector lens shift angle. Also, don't forget to consider your center channel height under the screen.
If the room is built I would mark the screen borders on the wall, get a laser pointer, a chair of approx height and get a feel for what you'll be looking at. For my taste a 120" Diagonal will be too large at 9'. A good rule of thumb is viewing distance = 2xScreen Width. You'll be at about 1:1 at 9ft. At this ratio you may find you won't like the quality of the picture. (pixels visible). I have a 92" Diagonal (80" Wide) and sit 10' back (1.5:1) and the screen looks big. You have to look around to see it all. The owners manual is a must read, all of this measurement info will be in there including the throw distance relative to screen size. Bottom line a projector is not a TV. They require some homework but its worth the work. Hope this helps a little.
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post #5 of 17 Old 10-13-14, 12:13 PM
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To be clear there are multiples models of each optima and epson mentioned in my 1st post (see below) & I'm completely open to other brands of projectors (please share your opinion) -

Optoma - GT1080
Optoma - HD141x
Optoma HD50
Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 8350
Epson - 3020
Epson - 2000
Epson - 2030

These Projectors currently being researched - if anyone has had experience with "ELITE SCREENS" please share - seems to be best value/quality for gray screen
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post #6 of 17 Old 10-13-14, 12:23 PM
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Re: 1st Projector - which one?

Quote:
seantx wrote: View Post
Ok - biggest question is $600 price difference between the Epson 8350 - 3020 worth better contrast ratio?
There is no a simple yes/no answer to that question since it's a subjective matter. Contrast is considered the holly grail of video projection. People know this so do the companies that raise the price when a new model performs better in that section.
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post #7 of 17 Old 10-13-14, 12:45 PM
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Re: 1st Projector - which one?

Quote:
lcaillo wrote: View Post
I would disagree on two points. First, telling a fellow user that all he needs to know is at a particular site is rather dismissive and unhelpful. It does not really answer the question.
It may seem that way, but its the "teach a man to fish" concept. He's listed several units, has questions about throw, screen size, brightness, etc. For someone to answer that for each unit, they'd probably go to the linked site and use their calculator and post the results. Suggesting the OP do that for himself is actually more helpful than doing all the work for him.
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lcaillo wrote: View Post
Second, to say that contrast does not matter is fundamentally incorrect. It may not be as much of a consideration as many assume, and it may not be specified in a useful manner, but it is an important factor in enjoying video.
Did you read the linked post? Does 2000:1 sound like an impressive contrast ratio? Not really these days. Yet most home theaters with projection that haven't been designed with complete dark rooms, with black surfaces, etc. won't do any better, and typically much worse. People pick projectors because one will do 40,000:1 over another that "only" does 8000:1. Those figures can only be measured in a highly controlled lab, and never achieved in a real HT. Wearing a white shirt in any room blows away any contrast figure above 2000:1 by reflecting screen light back to the screen. Also, nobody mentions that the contrast ratio you see in a commercial theater is 2000:1 or less, typically half that. That, and the info in the blog post I linked (which I thought was pretty interesting, btw), form my opinion that projector contrast ratio specifications don't matter.
Quote:
lcaillo wrote: View Post
I don't know the two models well enough to answer the question, but I suspect that there are others here who can share some experience. I hope seantx does not get the idea from the first response to his post that we won't put forth the effort to more specifically answer his questions.
Ok, I see your point, it was a little terse, and for that I apologize to the OP. I thought giving the OP the tools with which to learn and make an informed decision may be more valuable than an unqualified personal opinion about one of the units on his list.
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post #8 of 17 Old 10-13-14, 01:18 PM
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Re: 1st Projector - which one?

Sorry. Missed your point. I'm not sure how one would express differences in viewing experience at different contrast specs. That said, the 8350 (the one I was referring to) has contrast of 50,000:1 the 3020 40,000:1. I doubt the difference would be noticed. My first panasonic 1080P was 11,000:1. Loved the picture. Low lumens (1100 max) too. Used to watch it at around 350-400 lumens with no ambient light. Gave a real movie theater experience. Liked the pic much better than Samsung 60" DLP ($4000 at the time) at 10' viewing distance. Middle projector 100,000:1. 1600 lumens. Much better for Live Sports. Current projector 500,000:1 2400 lumens. (Keep in mind that you won't operate your projector at max lumens. In this context its just gives an idea of the projectors capabilities.) Gives better black levels and shadow detail, but you have to be super picky to notice. I bought it for the 3D capabilities only.
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post #9 of 17 Old 10-13-14, 02:59 PM
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Re: 1st Projector - which one?

If we are in to talk about contrast, we 'll be here until the end of time!!

Which contrast? On/off, ansi, intrascene, native, produced by an iris? There are so many factors when we discuss contrast that the whole marketing trick of the companies seems like the ultimate joke. There are no 200.000:1 and 500.000:1 nor even a 100.000:1 CR on any projector in normal viewing. These numbers can only be achieved with black and white patterns measuring projector's lens. Contrast is not a static but a dynamic concept, so anyone who trusts these numbers for buying a new projector is on a wrong path in my point of view.
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post #10 of 17 Old 10-13-14, 03:10 PM
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Re: 1st Projector - which one?

Quote:
John Stewart wrote: View Post
Sorry. Missed your point. I'm not sure how one would express differences in viewing experience at different contrast specs. That said, the 8350 (the one I was referring to) has contrast of 50,000:1 the 3020 40,000:1. I doubt the difference would be noticed. My first panasonic 1080P was 11,000:1. Loved the picture. Low lumens (1100 max) too. Used to watch it at around 350-400 lumens with no ambient light. Gave a real movie theater experience. Liked the pic much better than Samsung 60" DLP ($4000 at the time) at 10' viewing distance. Middle projector 100,000:1. 1600 lumens. Much better for Live Sports. Current projector 500,000:1 2400 lumens. (Keep in mind that you won't operate your projector at max lumens. In this context its just gives an idea of the projectors capabilities.) Gives better black levels and shadow detail, but you have to be super picky to notice. I bought it for the 3D capabilities only.
Great choices.

Just to keep it real, 100,000:1 and 500,000:1 are ratios that cannot even be measured on a screen in a lab, they are theoretical only. Past a few thousand:1, contrast ratios have nothing to do with shadow detail or black level. Lumens, on the other hand, matter a lot though just as equally hyped in specs. Agreed, you won't run your projector in torch mode ever, so you have to cut the specified lumens in half or less to hit reality. But since on-screen black is mostly determined by stray light hitting the screen (including light coming from the screen and being reflected back to it) and not the projector, all we have is brightness to help increase the apparent contrast.

Shadow detail is another issue.
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