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  1. #1

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    Default Projector Questions and Concerns

    I am in the process of finishing my basement. I’m super excited to finally have a mancave with a projector and home theater. I just purchased some Polk LC 265i and LCiC inwall speakers for my front channels. I can’t wait to get this thing finished!

    Anyway, I am trying to do some reading/research on projectors. There is far too much information out there for me to figure all of this out on my own. So I’m turning to Club Polk for some answers. I think there is enough projector users here to get some answers without all the talking heads and massive amounts of information that are over at AVS…

    The theater area is going to be around 13.5’ wide by 15’ long, but also open up to another area of the basement behind it. Screen will be on the 13.5’ wall. Seating position will be in the 13-15 feet range away from the screen.

    My viewing habits will be movies (likely with all the lights off), some TV (with some possible ambient light on), and sports with the most ambient light on. I want to be able to have buddies over to watch games but don’t want to have to sit in total darkness. Will the image still look ok or is it going to be really washed out? I won’t have all the lights on full blast but would like to have some light on. Is a projector going to work ok with this situation? I should note that I will have 3-4 rows of recessed lights in the room. Each row will be controlled by its own (dimmable) switch. So I can turn off any rows near the screen and/or projector.

    Next question is projector placement. Originally I was looking at the Epson 8350 for bang for the buck. Now I’m reading all the praise about the BenQ W1070, which has me intrigued even though I’m not that concerned about 3D. Anyway, the BenQ is a much shorter throw projector than the Epson. So it would be mounted a few feet in front of the seating position. Is this a bad thing? I assume it’s a good thing to have the projector closer to the screen for cases like mine where I would like to have some ambient light on occasion. But should I be concerned about having the projector mounted in front of me?

    This should be a good start. I’ll save any other questions for later. Thanks in advance for any help you can offer!
    Sony KDL-40V2500 HDTV, Rotel RSX-1067 Receiver, Sony BDP-S550 Blu-ray, Slim Devices Squeezebox, Polk RTi6, CSi3 & R15, DIY sub with Atlas 15

  2. #2

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    I just researched and purchased my first projector.

    You need to look at the lumens for each projector. The more lumens the better it will work with ambient light. That is not the leading indicator for picture quality, however. Some lower lumen projectors have much better pictures than brighter ones, but need more darkness in the room.

    I have my projector mounted about three feet in front of the couch and it doesn't bother me. I usually keep the front can lights off and the middle and back ones on.

    If you have windows, consider blackout curtians. I found some on Amazon that I put on all the windows and can now control exactly how much outside light I want in.

    Those are just a few thoughts.
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  3. #3

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    There should be no concern with a pj mounted in front of the seating as long as its ceiling mounted, Budget is the factor here and it seems like you are looking for the best picture and ambient light occasional viewing so brightness and great contrast.

    I have owned 4 epsons, panasonic , optoma and now I have the jvc x30 and benq for 3D. The benq is the only choice and it represents the pinnacle of modern up to date technology. It is by far the best wonder machine with all the tech thats crammed inthere. The native contrast on this thing will blow your mind for the dollars and the color accuracy is just like the cinemawith little to no calibration needed at all. The pic just looks so natural and the colors are vivid and on mixed scenes itwill blow away anything and compete 3 times above the price range

    3D if you like it or not is just mind blowing and makes you think its the best 2D pic your looking at. With my nearly 3k epson 5010 I liked the 3D but it was not natural. The best way to describe the epson 3D was that of a popup book as it looked as if there was a front layer a middel and far back one and there was some flicker. The benq stretches the image to infinity as on resi evil the corridors just went on for miles and panning was smooth clean with no ghosting and flicker free.

    The color wheel on the benq is the best as with my optoma gt 3D I could see the occasional rainbow in dark scenes. One thing with this dlp is that for sports and other fast action scenes is that is smooth with no motion blur, kinda like a plasma compares yo and lcd tv so games and sports are just great. My JVC is great but it is beaten by the benq for sports and games, especially for the all important lag times. The bulbs are cheap and the lamp life is extensive compared to the old benq's
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    If at all possible, I would try to get it behind the seating position. I used to have a Benq mounted about 15 ft on a 106" screen with no issues.
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  5. #5

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    I will add that technology might play a role in your decision. It played a big role in mine. I looked long and hard at all options around the $1k mark and decided on a refurb Epson 8100. Most units in that range are DLP, which is fine for most. Neither I nor my wife have ever had issues with the Rainbow Effect, but without knowing how it would affect my son, I decided to go with LCD. I've got it about 13' from the screen and its throwing up a 120" screen with little issue.

    Once the kids get a little older, I will likely not care as much about technology vs. overall performance.
    Usher CP-6311, Shuguang S200MK, Shuguang S845MK, Pioneer BDP-51fd, Essence Audio HDACC, Douglas IC's, Douglas Alpha bi-wire SC's, Pangea/Douglas PC's, Epson 8100

  6. #6

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    Thanks for the info guys!

    What about DLP vs LCD? I know about screen door and rainbows and that's about it.
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  7. #7

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    I would consider a good screen also because this can make a big difference in the picture brightness and quality. I haven't used a projector in 3 years and don't have any recommendations.

    Have the dimmer lights converted to a Lutron remote dimmer. You will love it becasue you can adjust the light while sitting when you need to find the remote or whatever.

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    If the funds allow I would also tell you to step up to the JVC models. As for Benq being the pinnacle of PJ, one word: NOPE. I'm not even sure how PFB can compare a Benq to his JVC X30 as they are in different leagues if you ask me. Benq makes a great PJ though, very bright. I had one in my HT, and on it's highest setting it was just too bright. Colors were really good, Ansi contrast was impressive, but it lacked the black level performance of the Epson and JVC models. I could see some RBE, but this was due to fast action when playing Call of Duty on the Xbox 360.

    If you are ok with LCD or LCOS/SXRD, I would suggest either of those over the Benq. With the Epson/JVC models you get great lens shifting which helps with installation. If you want both 3D and great 2D I would suggest the Sony HW50ES which does both very well. If that is out of your league then definitely consider the Epson models. Epson has made great projectors capable of a fantastic image which is why so many Polkies have them. It all depends on your budget at this point.

    As for screen it's just as important as the PJ, so don't sell yourself short on a less than capable screen. I would suggest Elite or Carada with the latter being on the same performance level as Stewart. If you can swing the funds then opt for a Carada Screen, you get excellent craftsmanship, excellent service, and a fantastic screen. I have the Criterion model with Brilliant White material. At a seating distance of 13 ft you should be ok with a 110" screen or so. Get some painters tape and mask it out then decide. Carada has dimensions on the website so have a look at that. If that is out of your budget then the Elite would be next runner up. Very nice screen at a great price, simply bang for buck. I've also read good things about Seymour Screens but, I have never seen one in action so I could not tell you what they do.

    Looking to see pics of your room, sounds like it should be really good. As for dimmers, check out Lutron Spacer systems. Each dimmer can be programmed to four different scenes giving you different lighting situations per dimmer. What I like about these is that they work with Harmony Remotes with no issues. I have them in my room and have had no issues at all. Hope some of this helps you.
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  9. #9

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    Thanks again for the responses! As for my budget, I will probably stick to around $1000, give or take, for the projector. Screen will likely be DIY with Seymour (acoustically transparent) or some other inexpensive material. Since this is my first real setup like this I don't want to shell out a ton of coin until I know for sure we will get a good amount of use out of it. My kids are young so there are not a lot of opportunities to sit down for a few hours and watch movies, but when I do it will be worth it! The HT will probably only get used on the weekends for big games and weekend movie nights (along with a lot of kids movies). Definitely going for bang for the buck here. I'm no videophile, just as long as the picture looks good (slightly better than your average joe would like) I'll be happy.

    My biggest concern at this point is DLP or LCD and whether mounting the PJ in front of the seating position is a bad idea...

    I owned an Infocus X1 for a few weeks many, many years ago and I could see the occasionally rainbow with that but that was YEARS ago. I would think DLP has improved a bit since then???
    Sony KDL-40V2500 HDTV, Rotel RSX-1067 Receiver, Sony BDP-S550 Blu-ray, Slim Devices Squeezebox, Polk RTi6, CSi3 & R15, DIY sub with Atlas 15

  10. #10

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    Well, for sports viewing I would recommend a Mits HC4000 or another DLP. The biggest drawback of this model is the lack of dynamic iris, which makes the picture a bit hard to discern details in very dark scenes. The upside is excellent color and depth in well-lit scenes. Another upside with this unit is overall cost (around 1200-1400) and pretty long bulb life. Lastly, the PJ itself is relatively small and quiet. This PJ is my 2nd DLP TV and I have never witnessed any "rainbow effect" - I think this only effects a small % of people. When I am ready to upgrade, I will probably look at some of the JVCs first, FWIW.

    As far as a PJ with a shorter throw distance...light bleeding may be annoying depending on the model. Ambient light is going to be an issue regardless of throw distance I think. Think through how you want to set up any lighting fixtures or sconces that will be located in the same room as the screen. I can post some pics to demonstrate some examples...

  11. #11

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    DLP vs LCD hmmm All I ever owned was LCD and LYCOS and have to say that the pixel structure of LCD makes the image look hard and the screen door effect is visable. LCD at the price your talking gets you a nice blurry image for action movies and sports. If you dont go for the benq w1070 then why ask for advice on what the best for $1000 ? Go check out avs and read the science behind why its simply the best out there or take my word for it as I have owned way more pj's than anyone else on here

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by polkfarmboy View Post
    Go check out avs and read the science behind why its simply the best out there or take my word for it as I have owned way more pj's than anyone else on here
    Funny post.
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    I might have missed it but what is your ceiling height? The reason for the question is that you might have to consider projectors that have both horizontal and vertical lense shift and if you need vertical lens shift majority of the projectors are lcd based (<1500). Not sure if you are ok with refurb products but I picked up a Benq W6000 DLP based projector with both vertical and horizontal lens shift for around 1400 directly from Benq. The projector had like 5 hrs on the bulb and I have not had any issues with it since I purchased it about 18 months ago.

    Not upto speed on the current models.
    Last edited by shadowlight; 03-01-2013 at 03:09 PM.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by polkfarmboy View Post
    DLP vs LCD hmmm All I ever owned was LCD and LYCOS and have to say that the pixel structure of LCD makes the image look hard and the screen door effect is visable. LCD at the price your talking gets you a nice blurry image for action movies and sports. If you dont go for the benq w1070 then why ask for advice on what the best for $1000 ? Go check out avs and read the science behind why its simply the best out there or take my word for it as I have owned way more pj's than anyone else on here
    Does your Benq has a dynamic iris.....how does it perform in dark scenes?

  15. #15

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    The diff beetween dark chip 3 and 2 is how it implements contrast. All projectors will have to dim the picture to some degree even without an iris. Its how this darkchip is also implemented compared to darkchip on a diff unit. This really does not affect the shadow detail and the fact that most other projectors are lower in contrast does not mean they wont have good shadow detail. Often the case is with projectors that have very high dynamic contrast ratings tend to have worse shadow detail because they want to squeeze every last bit of black out and shadow detail is often sacrificed

    As far as dark scenes go there are many diff situations for example, a scene could be totally black and this is where my jvc x30 kicks ass but the majority have some sort of light and this is where the benq shines way better than almost all low end projectors and competes with the high ticket items. The ansi contrast is sky high and these ansi numbers almost never get published and thats what gives dlp its signature look even in the lower end models

    The benq is remarkable and should make anyone happy, this has a really great 6 segmant color wheel so its almost impossible for me to catch a rainbow at any time. The only reason most will spot on on this is not the color wheel but it being too bright


    I sold an epson 8100 on here a few months ago that I had in my game room. If I think back to the picture quality then sure on that one scene that would come up for about 5 seconds in a 2 hour movie it was good and slightly better than the benq. For the other 99% of the movie it could not touch the high end quality pop the benq gives me

    There was a test done by kraine a french reviewer showing how the benq beat the crap out of jvc's high end 4K resolution called e-shift. The benq had the sharper image and thats one thing a single chip benq will do it will make everything look soft. My benq is sharper than my jvc x30 and wayyyyy sharper than my espon 5010 could even dream of being

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    I would go Epson or JVC over the Benq any day of the week. Black level easily surpasses the Benq and either would be way bright enough at that throw. If you are considering DLP I would go with the Mitsubishi model. JVC doesn't use a dynamic iris so the numbers are usually spot on. Also DLP is usually sharper than Both LCD/LCOS, but I wouldn't say it's that huge a deal.

    PFB can you take pics of the Benq in your room, I'd like to see how it stacks up against your X30. Also would like to read that review you mentioned.

    Here's a good review

    www.projectorreviews.com/benq/w1070/index.php

    The jvc x55 using eshift 2
    http://www.projectorreviews.com/jvc/dla-x55r/index.php

    Mitsubishi 7000 DLP
    http://www.projectorreviews.com/mits...00dw/index.php

    Sony HW50es
    http://www.projectorreviews.com/sony/hw50es/index.php

    Those should give you an idea of what to expect.
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    My x30 is under repair as it broke down, when I get it back I will do a side by side with plenty of pics and comments

  18. #18

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    My projector is about 3 feet in front of my seating position, but I never see it when I am seated.

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    Went through similar concerns a few years ago during the height of the DLP vs LED vs LCOS period. Back then DLP "rainbows" and LED "screen door effect" were bigger problems than today with more evolved tech. I have an upstairs home theater that is not dedicated- it is also used for regular TV viewing and has ambient light. The room is approximately 14'x 19'. Like you I installed recessed cans on separate circuits to allow some ambient lighting while shutting down the fixtures closest to the screen. After seriously considering the JVC line, I eventually settled on a Sony SXRD(Sony's version of LCOS) projector VPL-VW60 which had decent lumens and a 400w lamp. This projector had a throw range complementary to my space and I mounted it about 12-13 feet back from the screen. I purchased a used Stewart Firehawk screen on ebay but found the center gain lessened off-axis viewing too dramatically for my liking. I then tried the Sony Chromavue Blackscreen. It did a great job of making images bright in a well lit room. But it was only available in 80" and I wanted a larger screen. Ultimately I purchased a used Sony VPL-VW200. This projector has a 1000 watt HID lamp that produces enormous lumens. Expensive to replace (750$) but solved my problem and produced ample lumens in a well-lit room.

  20. #20

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    The picture on the sony make have been good back then but its actually quite dim and $750 for a bulb that used to cost $1000 is horrible. You could but a used jvc rs15 every time for the price of just the new bulb in that sony

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    There's a way around that. Just buy the Sony bulb without the housing assembly

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    UPDATE: I bought and tried the BenQ W1070 and really hoping it would work out for me. The picture is pretty fantastic but unfortunately I see rainbows. My wife and I both see them so we must be super sensitive to them. I don't think I want to live with them until I try out an LCD projector first. So I am sending the BenQ back to amazon and am looking at the Epson 8350 (which they seem to be slowly replacing with the 8345). or the Panasonic PT-AR100u. Right now I am leaning toward the Panasonic simply because it doesn't seem to have the problems that plague the Epson's. Plus it's super bright so I can watch it with some lights on.

    Does anyone have any experience with the Panny AR100u?
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    I can't speak for the Panasonic, but I have the Epson 8350 and have been pleased with it. I've never had problems with rainbows (we had a Sharp DLP prior), but went with the LCD just to be safe. I have it mounted right over the front row of seats, and it's VERY quiet and leaks VERY little light. I do have a problem with fast panning. The image seems to blur badly (to the point of discomfort in viewing) when a scene pans quickly. Have the same issue with the old 720p DLP and the new 1080p LCD.

    I should note that when we upgraded, I first bought the Optoma (I think the HD85?) and did not like it. It was LOUD - even on eco mode. It also had a lot of light leakage from the unit. Both were too much to tolerate with it mounted right overhead. I will say that that sucker was BRIGHT and had a very nice picture for the price point (I think around $1200).

    The only issue I had with the Epson is the bulb went after about 900 hours on eco mode. I have a 2-year warranty and didn't want to use up my one and only bulb replacement within the first 6-9 months, so I called Epson directly. They replaced the lamp for FREE even though it technically was not covered under any warranty. That customer service really earned them points with me! I also now nave some dark spots in the image, but I think I just need to clean some dust off the lamp or lens... Keep forgetting to do that!

    Bottom line, I'd recommend the Epson 8350 for the price point (I think they are now around $1300+/-).

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    If your looking for something really fantastic I have a jvc dila x30 3d pj just back from the factory where they put a new bulb in it for $1750

    I do not see any rainbows on my benq w1070, I must be lucky. I did see them on my 3d optoma gt750 though.
    Last edited by polkfarmboy; 07-10-2013 at 05:24 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scubalab View Post
    I also now nave some dark spots in the image, but I think I just need to clean some dust off the lamp or lens... Keep forgetting to do that!
    Sounds like you have one or more dust blobs on the LCD panels. Poke around your manual and there should be a procedure to clean them off. Very common on LCD projectors since the light engine is not sealed. LCOS and DLP both have sealed light engines.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pdxfj View Post
    Sounds like you have one or more dust blobs on the LCD panels. Poke around your manual and there should be a procedure to clean them off. Very common on LCD projectors since the light engine is not sealed. LCOS and DLP both have sealed light engines.
    Thanks! Will try that. That sounds like what it is, especially since it appeared right after I replaced the lamp. Probably moved some dust around in the process and didn't clean it good enough. Problem is, I'm usually sitting too comfortably in the recliner when I notice it to get up and take care of it. Then I forget about it until next time!!

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    Thanks but the 3010 doesn't have lens shift. My install requires the screen to be fairly low from the ceiling so the 3010 projector would hang too low from the ceiling...


    Quote Originally Posted by scubalab View Post
    I can't speak for the Panasonic, but I have the Epson 8350 and have been pleased with it. I've never had problems with rainbows (we had a Sharp DLP prior), but went with the LCD just to be safe. I have it mounted right over the front row of seats, and it's VERY quiet and leaks VERY little light. I do have a problem with fast panning. The image seems to blur badly (to the point of discomfort in viewing) when a scene pans quickly. Have the same issue with the old 720p DLP and the new 1080p LCD.

    I should note that when we upgraded, I first bought the Optoma (I think the HD85?) and did not like it. It was LOUD - even on eco mode. It also had a lot of light leakage from the unit. Both were too much to tolerate with it mounted right overhead. I will say that that sucker was BRIGHT and had a very nice picture for the price point (I think around $1200).

    The only issue I had with the Epson is the bulb went after about 900 hours on eco mode. I have a 2-year warranty and didn't want to use up my one and only bulb replacement within the first 6-9 months, so I called Epson directly. They replaced the lamp for FREE even though it technically was not covered under any warranty. That customer service really earned them points with me! I also now nave some dark spots in the image, but I think I just need to clean some dust off the lamp or lens... Keep forgetting to do that!

    Bottom line, I'd recommend the Epson 8350 for the price point (I think they are now around $1300+/-).
    Thanks for the info, but your post is the exact reason I am looking for other LCD alternatives at this price point. The 8350 seems to be problematic. Epson's customer service makes me feel a little better about possibly buying one but I haven't found any widespread problems with the Panasonic.
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    Quote Originally Posted by polkfarmboy View Post
    If your looking for something really fantastic I have a jvc dila x30 3d pj just back from the factory where they put a new bulb in it for $1750
    Thanks for the offer, but I think I need more of a home entertainment projector than a home theater PJ. I probably want/need something a little brighter... and I don't think I want to spend that much.
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    You know I would just hang in there and wait it out as cedia is just round the corner and you know what that means. New projectors and the prices on current on just crash through the floor, especially if 4K pj's are announced. This trickles down into the used market as many will flood it

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