Home Theater Forum and Systems banner

21 - 40 of 114 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,234 Posts
The bulb problem is real, but also there for rear projection sets and those have been very popular. Front projectors are not TVs. They can't be kept on, just for company, in a bright room. They are home theater.
I don't wish to sidetrack this thread, but I found this interesting because it made me more aware of a line separating true (dedicated) home theaters (if I can use that description) versus setups that you can casually watch HD TV.

Bob
I don't think they are a secret myself and agree with the various posts, but Bob and gs nailed it if you ask me... I think there is a big misconception about them. As good as they can be, a projector isn't going to look like an HDTV or can be used as a TV and I think that's what some people expect. There certainly isn't anything wrong with watching cable or satellite programming on a projector, but it's not the same as a dedicated HDTV set, at least in my opinion.

Projectors are a bit softer and more film like and some people just don't like that. They want the big bright over saturated look of TV and I know some that swear projectors look horrible by comparison. It's just a difference in viewing tastes to me.

Then the bulb issue... projectors eat bulbs much faster than RPTV's (CRT projector guys have it made in this area) plus as the bulb ages the picture brightness drops off, adding to the mind set that they are dimmer and more of a pain. We have a 55" SXRD HDTV in our living room as well as the 106" screen for the projector. For casual viewing or certain movies we use the 55" set, for big epic movies we use the projector.

I was seriously looking at the 70" JVC HDTV and possibly thinking of just dumping the projector altogether, but still liked the film like look and larger size the projector had to offer. I think we'll be seeing some 80" HDTV's at reasonable prices soon and that's going to have an impact on the projector market for sure... brighter more vibrant images, easier to install, ability to be watched any time...

Will HDTVs reach a size where it's a death call for projectors? Nah. Projectors will change in their uses and size will go even bigger. I can't wait for the technology that's coming that will reduce bulb prices or even eliminate the need for replacement altogether (laser projectors). The big HDTV may replace a projector in the living room, but that same projector may find a new home in the bedroom, or as an outdoor theater, pool theater... the possibilities are endless. Once place I never see HDTV replacing projectors though is in dedicated HT setups. There projectors are still king, but that's also what they were really made for, not just a 'big' TV. :)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
311 Posts
There is one real advantage for a front projector- it's small size. The screen is a passive device, and can be rolled up into the ceiling when not in use. If the walls are white enough, it can be just a wall. Now imagine trying to sell a 100 inch big screen TV to your wife. It is absolutely huge, jet black, and takes over the room decor. This is one really good thing about a front projector. I know it made my HT possible. I have no place to put such a large screen, but the roll-up screen works great. When it's up, there is a book case, and a small screen TV behind it.
 

·
Elite Shackster , HTS Moderator Emeritus
Joined
·
2,216 Posts
Same here for me. The 55" HDTV was taking up way too much room in the HT, and I knew nothing larger would work in the room. When it was time to upgrade, the projector made it possible to go bigger without intruding more.

It even made speaker placement easier and the sound better (no more weird cavity effects off the RPTV enclosure).

Happy Sanyo Z4 owner!
 

·
Senior Shackster
Joined
·
792 Posts
The only reason I got into DLP projection was because I saw it demonstrated at a film collector's house.
I thought the quality was superior to 16mm but not as good as optimum 35mm (camera negative print
or dye transfer Technicolor print) but much better than the high speed print shown in megaplexes
so I took the plunge. None of the stores near have any type of demonstration of the technology
which is one of the main problems. No one is going to purchase a DLP unless they've seen it in
operation which is especially important due to some people's problem with rainbow effect distortion.
On top of that none of the retail stores in my area have sales personnel that don't have any knowledge
of electronics. The most they can do is check you out when you pay. You have to do all of your
own research on line or with other people who know something about it like this site which is another
problem in expanding the consumer base.



Another problem is that DLP's had a lot of bad press when they were introduced in cinemas because they didn't prove to be reliable. Heat build up in the machines when they were in constant use so they defaulted and shut down and the managers had to switch back to 35mm projection. This happened at some trade screenings of Hollywood movies. As it turns out, DLP's work great for home theaters since they aren't in use for ten hours non-stop but anyone who saw problems in cinemas might be reluctant
to invest in the format even though it's a much higher end machine that they used (professional
DLPs are in the $100,000 range).
 

·
Elite Shackster , HTS Moderator Emeritus
Joined
·
2,216 Posts
As it turns out, DLP's work great for home theaters since they aren't in use for ten hours non-stop but anyone who saw problems in cinemas might be reluctant
to invest in the format even though it's a much higher end machine that they used (professional
DLPs are in the $100,000 range).
While not a common occurrence, my LCD projector is sometimes on for 12 to 14 hours in a single sitting (but not every day). Sundays during football season come to mind. :)

So not all home projectors are babied!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
746 Posts
For myself, the lack of a dedicated room means several windows to deal with, plus the room doubles as a living room and in addition because of a supporting post, mounting a projector would be problematic at best. The short version, some of us aren't fortunate enough to have a suitable environment for them.

:sad:

Bob

Ahh, another victim of untruths. I own a Marantz PJ and it is my only display and is used for all viewing. Weekends I watch football all day both days. My HT is my living room as well. I have a floor to ceiling double window, front door with top pane glass, and a skylight. Then movies and a little bit of HD programming at nights. How many people do daytime viewing other than on the weekends?
Sure it looks better in the dark but is totally watchable in the daytime. Especially if I run the iris wide.
And I've never had to take it out of Eco lamp mode.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
746 Posts
As good as they can be, a projector isn't going to look like an HDTV or can be used as a TV and I think that's what some people expect. There certainly isn't anything wrong with watching cable or satellite programming on a projector, but it's not the same as a dedicated HDTV set, at least in my opinion.

Projectors are a bit softer and more film like and some people just don't like that. They want the big bright over saturated look of TV and I know some that swear projectors look horrible by comparison. It's just a difference in viewing tastes to me.

I just don't agree with that. My PJ BLOWS my best friends 720P LCD t.v(Sharp Aquos), blows it away bad.
This PJ looks 95% as good as my 1080p rptv dlp(sammy) and instead of 50" it's 110".
-JMO

This is true, if the buyer doesn't understand or appreciate a real picture and wants fake crayloa colors they would be unhappy, but not hugely. It's not like these things look like plasma with a white filter over it...
-again jmo
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
746 Posts
As it turns out, DLP's work great for home theaters since they aren't in use for ten hours non-stop but anyone who saw problems in cinemas might be reluctant
to invest in the format even though it's a much higher end machine that they used (professional
DLPs are in the $100,000 range).

Maybe they've come a long way then, as I ran my Mitsu HC1500 for 10+ hours a day forsix days straight before selling it for my current Marantz. Since then I have put 10+ hours straight on it every weekend.(both days) Haven't had one issue.

Also, if you think ahead companies like 'Mack' have a warranty for replacement lamps making them 'just as' cost effective as RPTV's. Mine was $85 for TWO lamps. :)
 

·
Senior Shackster
Joined
·
792 Posts
I can't answer for LCD projectors. I just know that DLPs have had problems in cinemas which
is why they weren't universally installed after claims that they would replace film prints. It didn't
happen and it doesn't look it's going to happen for quite a while due to their cost and reliability
in the field. I'm not even sure that cinemas will last in the long run. There are too many
screens right now given the limited amount of product and weekly attendence is very paltry
compare the past with an occasional blockbuster exception. Most megaplexes survive solely
on concessions and commercials which is a shaky position to be in. At the very least,
some of the 37,000 screens will fold. When attendence was more than half
of the US population in the forties', there were only 20,000 screens and that seemed to be
the right number until the nineties when the megaplexes began their major expansion.



Back to the original discussion, I don't think projectors are a secret (most retail stores carry them) as opposed to the problem that they haven't figured out how to market them to consumers. Most of the demos they have in stores are for large screen monitors with a comfortable chair and surround speakers. No one has a darkened screening room to visit to see a projected image on a large screen
to sell the concept of a home theater.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
746 Posts
Yeah, it does seem the theaters are going away slowly.
But I think instead of selling the "HT", they should sell as big screen alternative to t.v.'s.
-jmo
 

·
Senior Shackster
Joined
·
792 Posts
Or a big screen alternative at home rather than going to a cinema at all. I agree the "Big Screen"
concept is a good sales pitch but they have to have something impressive to show. I remember when
HD DVDs were introduced, they were showing "Apollo 13" as the demo. Bad choice. That movie was
in the sub-standard 'Super 35' format which means they shot they exposed the entire 1.33 frame
in the camera (like a TV show) then cropped the tops and bottoms off and blew it up to the anamorphic
scope 2.35 x 1 format. In short, the movie was a grainy blow up image that looked even grainier on the HD monitors they were using. The same applies to selling the 'big picture' concept of a video projector.
They need to demonstration with something like "Lawrence of Arabia" or "Star Wars" or "The Searchers"
and other movies that have excellent cinematography that is enhanced in the digital domain which
projected onto large screens.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
746 Posts
Yeah, if 99.9% of your sales force has no knowledge about PJ's that right there will kill alot of possible potential customers. Because they will do things like you just described.
I like being part of the PJ group, but would love if they got more mainstream because that would rive prices even lower even more quickly.

Now imagine going to BB or CC or the like and they had a 100"+ screen set-up even slightly properly anywhere near the t.v.'s and their prices are the same. That would be a great day - imo.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
969 Posts
When attendence was more than half of the US population in the forties', there were only 20,000 screens and that seemed to be the right number until the nineties when the megaplexes began their major expansion.
Some other facts:
- The US population has more than doubled since the 1940's (130M to 300M).
- The average theater from the forties would have had more seats per screen than todays average.
- TV's were pretty much useless during WWII due to little or no broadcasting, expensive cost of a set. TV didn't really pick up until the late forties. This meant more people in theaters to watch movies, news reels, etc.
- Theater attendance is directly proportional to the quality of home entertainment devices. As TVs and its programming improved through the 50's and beyond, movie theater attendance declined.
- With every new home media invention that catches on, theater attendance declines. VHS Beta had a slow start as movies tended to take a very long time to be released on tape (years rather than months). As the video market took off the release times improved. DVDs today are released typically 6 months or less after it was released in theaters. Many people just wait for it to come out on video rather than see it in the theater. This was not really an option 25 years ago if you wanted to be up on the latest movies.
- Home theaters are the next evolution in the game. DVDs Dolby Digital and DTS made this more enjoyable, and less expensive projectors and LCD and Plasma displays bring the other facet the theaters had the advantage in (screen size).
- Theaters will close completely once it becomes more profitable to release straight to video. Theatrical releases still bring in millions and generate hype plus there is a stigma attached to the direct to video movie so theaters won't close any time soon.
- There will still be a need for high end presentations of movies. Even if theaters change as we know them today they will still be around in some form. Not everyone can afford a deluxe system. Theater technology will have to offer things not available or affordable in home theater technology.
 

·
Senior Shackster
Joined
·
792 Posts
MatrixDweller,

Some responses to your additional facts:

-The US population has increased primarily after the 1965 immigration reform act which began to
change the demographics of the country. There was modest immigration combined with rapid acculturation prior to that. Since movies were origiinally designed for mass consumption, how do you appeal to a populace that no longer has a common identity to appeal to? In the forties the concept of 'multi-culturalism' was alien (pun intended) and everyone subscribed to the melting pot theory so it was easier to make a movie that would have mainstream interest. It's more difficult today
with multi-culturalism entrenched in the media. I don't subscribe to it but Hollywood does.

-The average number of seats in the forties was about 600 for smaller theaters and upwards of
5000 for the movie palaces with Radio City Music Hall being the largest. The usurping TV medium
began for force the closing of the palaces in the fifites and sixties, however the neighborhood
theaters that were built to replace them still had an average of 600 seats and the drive ins could
accomodate large numbers too so the 20,000 screens just shifted from the large flat tops to the
ozoners. Even in the seventies and eighties, as multi-plexes were built and drive ins folded, the
number of actual screens (regardless of how many seats were in each theater) remained the
same so it would appear that 20,000 was the right number. I have no idea why they decided to
double the number of screens in the nineties with limited attendence and product available to
show. It didn't make any sense and is probably not sustainable.

-Since the FCC decided to regulate and control broadcasting (as an extension of radio), TV was delayed for many years as they sorted out who and when stations should be able to operate. Had it been in the private sector from the beginning (like cable), it would've been introduced earlier. Once the networks
established themselves in the early fifties with the FCC, they fought any attempts to introduce 'pay TV'. Theater owners also tried to prevent non-regulated cable television from being shown with campaigns supporting 'free TV' even though broacast television was also competition.

-You're correct that home entertainment cut into theaterical attendence in the late forties and early fifties and in the seventies and eighties. However, theaters did fight back and increase attendence
in each era by introducing spectacular new technology that you couldn't get at home. 3-D, Cinerama,
CinemaScope, VistaVision and Todd-AO did increase attendence in the fifties to a sustainable level
after it was cut in half due to the boob tube. In the seventies, 70mm and six track stereo was re-introduced with blockbusters like "Star Wars", "Close Encounters" and "Superman". However, as VHS
and cable began to reduce attendence again in the mid-eighties through the nineties, rather than trying
to introduce new formats or improve presentation, cinemas cut corners in all areas which not only did
not increase attendence but continued it on it's downward spiral. Theaters that played 70mm grossed
better than those playing 35mm of the same title but the megaplexes refused to install the equipment
in the houses which was the last place for Showmanship.

-I agree with you that theatrical exhibition is essentially 'paid advertising' for the ancillary markets
of home video and cable although perhaps that term shouldn't be used any more. The ancillary markets
are the primary markets now. They're not really trying to 'put on a show' in the megaplexes or 'wow' you
but rather to hype the product so people have heard of it and are inspired to rent or purchase it on
DVD. There's certainly a lot more effort and showmanship put into the home video release than the
quickly cranked out and disposable release prints that are struck for quick play off and destruction.

-If they can find a way of hyping the product and bypassing theatrical, they will abandon it since it's
so expensive to make prints and advertise in this venue. There probably will remain some IMAX type
of theaters or other high end places but the 37,000 megaplexes will fold like dominoes as did the
drive ins and palaces. Whereas I still miss demolished Rivoli, Cinerama and Regency cinemas
I used to attend in New York City, I certainly won't miss the megaplexes since I haven't had any
memorable (good) experiences there and a whole lot of bad experiences.
 

·
Elite Shackster , HTS Moderator Emeritus
Joined
·
2,216 Posts
Great post.

I wonder if getting rid of the "Straight to DVD" stigma can be lifted -- and if so, if that would be the death-knell for the cinema. At least for non-blockbuster movies. I think there will always be a cinema market for teen-y movies and ultra-mega-explosion fests.

I went to home cinema for the exact reasons you mentioned: I stopped having a good time at the cineplexes. Movies I was looking forward to were ruined by other people, bad sound, or bad prints (lip sync, reel changes, lighting problems, etc).

So far, I do not regret the move. Movies in my basement are always the right lighting, volume, and people :)
 

·
Senior Shackster
Joined
·
792 Posts
Anthony,

Steven Seagal has been doing straight to DVD releases and surviving. A lot of indies do it too.
Perhaps some major filmmaker/distributor will try a straight to DVD release combined with a multi-media publicity campaign as a test. That means taking out newspaper ads, getting interviews on talk shows and so forth as if there's a theatrical opening but instead selling to consumers directly in retail stores.
It would be a very risky proposal but if it worked, would have a real impact on exhibition and how
movies are marketed.


One of big problems of theatrical release is it's so astronomically expensive
to make hard copies compared to DVD copies. In the range of $1000-$1500
per print for most movies and the prints don't look good. Top quality DVDs can be mass produced for a fraction of that
cost. Newpaper ads for films are charged at a higher column inch rate than
regular ads too. If the distributor doesn't at least break even in exhibition,
he recoups out of home video, cable and foreign sales which is why many movies don't make much (if any) profit for the filmmakers. However, if you don't go
theatrical there is a stigma attached, at least for the time being and you won't
make as much potential profit as if you went theatrical. It's a high risk/high
stakes business.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
225 Posts
First, this is the impression from most people. This is what I have heard when I was in a AV store. One man came into the projector room and said under his voice. "It looks good hear because they have the expensive screen and high end audio but if you had this at home it would not look or sound that good. The screen alone will cost you $2000".

Second, Poor Displays Drive Away Sales
I think places like Sam's club that sell low end projectors under full lighting have people convinced that projectors do not provide clear pictures. Especially when they sell them next to the plasma and LCD TVs.

Third, Everyone wants a Plasma
Plasma has been on the mind of every consumer since they first came out. Everyone wanted one. Everyone talked about the rich guy they knew that owned a flat screen TV and hung it on the wall. Now in the reach of every consumer the plasma is the TV that will be purchased. Once everyone has one and the novelty is completely worn off then Projectors will see an amazing increase of sales. That is my opinion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,405 Posts
Third, Everyone wants a Plasma
Plasma has been on the mind of every consumer since they first came out. Everyone wanted one. Everyone talked about the rich guy they knew that owned a flat screen TV and hung it on the wall. Now in the reach of every consumer the plasma is the TV that will be purchased. Once everyone has one and the novelty is completely worn off then Projectors will see an amazing increase of sales. That is my opinion.
Yep and wait until the paper thin screens technology picks up more. Then that will be the new coolest thing to have despite any limitations it may have. All the store has to do is just tape it to the wall and people will go bonkers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
969 Posts
If plasma and/or LCD technology becomes less expensive and the panel size increases to over 100" then home theater projects could become extinct. Unless projectors raise the bar. Typically the advantage projectors have is picture size and price, so if that goes away why would you buy a projector.

Another downside to buying a projector for the lay person is that you need to also buy a separate sound system. HTIB are cheap but built in speakers on the display are always nice and convenient. People like my parents can't figure out how to make standard connections on the back of their TV let alone a receiver w/ speakers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
746 Posts
If plasma and/or LCD technology becomes less expensive and the panel size increases to over 100" then home theater projects could become extinct. Unless projectors raise the bar. Typically the advantage projectors have is picture size and price, so if that goes away why would you buy a projector.


Another downside to buying a projector for the lay person is that you need to also buy a separate sound system. HTIB are cheap but built in speakers on the display are always nice and convenient. People like my parents can't figure out how to make standard connections on the back of their TV let alone a receiver w/ speakers.

1. I think you must have not seen some good quality PJ's. My Marantz looks every bit as good or better than any LCD flat panel I've ever seen and better than alot of DLP's and plasmas in PQ.

2. If you are happy with t.v. speakers I don't know what to say. Audio is half of HD. Speakers in t.v.'s(especially flat panels) are aweful and would totally ruin a good HD experience for me.

-jmo
 
21 - 40 of 114 Posts
Top