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Old 01-29-2018, 02:47 PM   #1
Erman_94 Erman_94 is offline
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Question Projector Help Needed - First time buyer...

Hi all,

I have been away from the forums for quite some time but I am now back hoping to get some insight and advice regarding a projector setup. Long story short, I now have a dedicated HT space and decided now was the time to transition into a projector setup and would love to get some advice from the members on here who know far more than I do (please and thank you!)

I will try to provide as much information as possible to make advice/recommendations easiest. This is what I know so far (and will update as needed):

Budget: $4,000 MAX (CANADIAN ) for BOTH projector/screen together. More comfortable at $3,000 though unless something is spectacular

Projectors Currently being looked at (but open to suggestions):

1) Optoma UHD65 (or 60)
2) BenQ HT2550
2) Epson 5040UB
3) Epson 4040 (or 4000)
4) Sony VPL HW45ES (are there other 1080p projectors better?)

(Note: I understand that only the Optoma is true 4k with 2160 and the 5040 and 4040 are pixel shifters, while the Sony is a very good 1080p projector. Just not sure which is best - whether to wait for 4K projectors to improve/prices to come down while enjoying a great 1080p picture in the meantime or to dive in)

Room dimensions: roughly 20 feet long by 12 feet wide and 7 feet high

Room Conditions: Basement HT (one small window with shutters); complete light control, although would prefer to watch TV/play games with minor ambient light (dimmable recessed lighting at lowest setting) and only movies with no light at all.

Uses: 60% movies, 30% TV, 10% gaming (my main interest is in making my movies look great though)

One question I have is how does one determine what screen gain to get? If I am using some ambient light for tv/games, would a grey screen be best? Or will that negatively impact my movies? Is there a happy medium? Maybe I should post that question in the screen section, but I am curious.

Thank you all so much in advance for your replies and help!

EDIT: I have no interest in 3D capability, if that changes anything

Last edited by Erman_94; 01-29-2018 at 03:29 PM.
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Old 01-29-2018, 07:02 PM   #2
Dirk504 Dirk504 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erman_94 View Post
Hi all,

I have been away from the forums for quite some time but I am now back hoping to get some insight and advice regarding a projector setup. Long story short, I now have a dedicated HT space and decided now was the time to transition into a projector setup and would love to get some advice from the members on here who know far more than I do (please and thank you!)

I will try to provide as much information as possible to make advice/recommendations easiest. This is what I know so far (and will update as needed):

Budget: $4,000 MAX (CANADIAN ) for BOTH projector/screen together. More comfortable at $3,000 though unless something is spectacular

Projectors Currently being looked at (but open to suggestions):

1) Optoma UHD65 (or 60)
2) BenQ HT2550
2) Epson 5040UB
3) Epson 4040 (or 4000)
4) Sony VPL HW45ES (are there other 1080p projectors better?)

(Note: I understand that only the Optoma is true 4k with 2160 and the 5040 and 4040 are pixel shifters, while the Sony is a very good 1080p projector. Just not sure which is best - whether to wait for 4K projectors to improve/prices to come down while enjoying a great 1080p picture in the meantime or to dive in)

Room dimensions: roughly 20 feet long by 12 feet wide and 7 feet high

Room Conditions: Basement HT (one small window with shutters); complete light control, although would prefer to watch TV/play games with minor ambient light (dimmable recessed lighting at lowest setting) and only movies with no light at all.

Uses: 60% movies, 30% TV, 10% gaming (my main interest is in making my movies look great though)

One question I have is how does one determine what screen gain to get? If I am using some ambient light for tv/games, would a grey screen be best? Or will that negatively impact my movies? Is there a happy medium? Maybe I should post that question in the screen section, but I am curious.

Thank you all so much in advance for your replies and help!

EDIT: I have no interest in 3D capability, if that changes anything
Out of the PJs you provided, I’d only get either the Sony 45es or Epson 5040. The Sony is an awesome PJ, but it’s not 4K. I have the Sony and a 4K tv. When I’m watching a movie on the Sony, I’m not missing my 4K picture, so you can take that for what it's worth. The Epson is good as well, but I’ve read about a lot of technical issues. And it’s not true 4K. The only faux K projectors I’d get are JVCs. If I were you, I’d wait until the Fall after CEDIA. There may be some lower priced true 4K PJs announced that can handle HDR better. Def don’t get the Benq or Optoma. They have bad contrast and blacks.

Also I have a white silver ticket screen in a blacked out home theater (pics in gallery), but ambient light doesn’t make the picture unwatchable, but it is a noticeable difference. While I don’t game on my PJ, I’ve heard the Sony is great for this.

Last edited by Dirk504; 01-29-2018 at 08:07 PM.
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Old 01-29-2018, 07:42 PM   #3
lucellent lucellent is offline
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Wasn't the Optoma a pixel-shifter too?
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Old 01-29-2018, 09:38 PM   #4
JurassicBD JurassicBD is offline
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If I was currently in the market to replace my Mitsubishi, the first place I'd check would be the reviews at projector central. They seem to stay on top of most of what's out to be able to offer good advice. If you decide to stick with 1080p for now, until laser projection becomes more affordable for better HDR rendering, you might want to also budget for a used Oppo 103D (Darbee edition), while they're still available.
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Old 01-29-2018, 10:55 PM   #5
Erman_94 Erman_94 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirk504 View Post
Out of the PJs you provided, Iíd only get either the Sony 45es or Epson 5040. The Sony is an awesome PJ, but itís not 4K. I have the Sony and a 4K tv. When Iím watching a movie on the Sony, Iím not missing my 4K picture, so you can take that for what it's worth. The Epson is good as well, but Iíve read about a lot of technical issues. And itís not true 4K. The only faux K projectors Iíd get are JVCs. If I were you, Iíd wait until the Fall after CEDIA. There may be some lower priced true 4K PJs announced that can handle HDR better. Def donít get the Benq or Optoma. They have bad contrast and blacks.

Also I have a white silver ticket screen in a blacked out home theater (pics in gallery), but ambient light doesnít make the picture unwatchable, but it is a noticeable difference. While I donít game on my PJ, Iíve heard the Sony is great for this.
Thanks for the reply! I actually demoed the JVC's and was blown away by them. But they are unfortunately out of my budget, especially in Canada. They run about $4,500 and that's just for the projector alone with no screen.

Would a grey screen make any change to the image in a blacked out environment or just improve it when watching in ambient light? If it is the latter, why wouldn't everyone opt for a grey screen?
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Old 01-29-2018, 10:57 PM   #6
Erman_94 Erman_94 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucellent View Post
Wasn't the Optoma a pixel-shifter too?
From what I have read it has a native resolution of 3840x2160. From what I understand, is it not true 4k as long as it can provide the 2160? Although I am aware that the higher end Sony 4K projectors deliver 4096x2160.

Any clarification on this?
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Old 01-29-2018, 11:00 PM   #7
Erman_94 Erman_94 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JurassicBD View Post
If I was currently in the market to replace my Mitsubishi, the first place I'd check would be the reviews at projector central. They seem to stay on top of most of what's out to be able to offer good advice. If you decide to stick with 1080p for now, until laser projection becomes more affordable for better HDR rendering, you might want to also budget for a used Oppo 103D (Darbee edition), while they're still available.
Thanks for the reply. Any reason for recommending that Oppo? Is there something it does specifically? I see the high price, which I am assuming is for a reason...
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Old 01-29-2018, 11:06 PM   #8
samlop10 samlop10 is online now
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I would also recommend the Sony VPL HW45ES. Specifically, I would recommend getting the Sony and waiting a couple of years for 4K projectors to go down in price a bit and improve a bit in quality as well.

Right now the Sony VPL-VW285ES is probably the best 4K/HDR/WCG bang for the buck projector but it’s currently selling for around $5000. The Epson 5040 ($2500) would be the best bang for the buck 4K/HDR/WCG projector but I have been reading of more people having issues with them. JVC’s middle entry of their Pro line (the DLA-X790R) is IMO the sweet spot in quality (without going into exorbitant prices) but that one is currently around $6000. I would get it if I owned a house. Below the Epson and Sony, all other 4K projectors have pretty subpar quality. They have the resolution but lack in contrast, black levels, HDR and their color performance.

Edit: ALR (Ambient Light Rejection) projector screens are probably what you’re looking for but they’re currently pretty expensive. A decent quality one at a decent size (100”) would probably cost you around $2000. I would rather recommend you get a simple white screen with a 1.3 gain and control your ambient light to lower levels for TV/games and have it pitch black for movies since you have the ability to do that. If the ambient light is not too much you can simply have a picture mode that compensates for the ambient light somewhat and another picture mode for pitch black conditions. You’d just need to switch between them as appropriate.

If you plan on buying UHDs and playing them instead of using the standard blu-ray copy then I would also recommend the OPPO 203, not just for now but also for the future when you get a higher-end, 4K projector. They help process the image quite a bit to enhance it for projectors, especially if you plan to get a 4K projector in the future. If you do plan on playing UHDs (for say, playing them with Atmos when the standard blu-ray only has the 7.1 track) then the OPPO 203 would come in handy as it can converts HDR->SDR better than most players (and the upcoming firmware update will make it even better with more options and modes). I haven’t tried the Darbee video processor but it’s worth looking into for the future.

Hope that helps .

Last edited by samlop10; 01-29-2018 at 11:26 PM.
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Old 01-29-2018, 11:50 PM   #9
Erman_94 Erman_94 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samlop10 View Post
I would also recommend the Sony VPL HW45ES. Specifically, I would recommend getting the Sony and waiting a couple of years for 4K projectors to go down in price a bit and improve a bit in quality as well.

Right now the Sony VPL-VW285ES is probably the best 4K/HDR/WCG bang for the buck projector but itís currently selling for around $5000. The Epson 5040 ($2500) would be the best bang for the buck 4K/HDR/WCG projector but I have been reading of more people having issues with them. JVCís middle entry of their Pro line (the DLA-X790R) is IMO the sweet spot in quality (without going into exorbitant prices) but that one is currently around $6000. I would get it if I owned a house. Below the Epson and Sony, all other 4K projectors have pretty subpar quality. They have the resolution but lack in contrast, black levels, HDR and their color performance.

Edit: ALR (Ambient Light Rejection) projector screens are probably what youíre looking for but theyíre currently pretty expensive. A decent quality one at a decent size (100Ē) would probably cost you around $2000. I would rather recommend you get a simple white screen with a 1.3 gain and control your ambient light to lower levels for TV/games and have it pitch black for movies since you have the ability to do that. If the ambient light is not too much you can simply have a picture mode that compensates for the ambient light somewhat and another picture mode for pitch black conditions. Youíd just need to switch between them as appropriate.

If you plan on buying UHDs and playing them instead of using the standard blu-ray copy then I would also recommend the OPPO 203, not just for now but also for the future when you get a higher-end, 4K projector. They help process the image quite a bit to enhance it for projectors, especially if you plan to get a 4K projector in the future. If you do plan on playing UHDs (for say, playing them with Atmos when the standard blu-ray only has the 7.1 track) then the OPPO 203 would come in handy as it can converts HDR->SDR better than most players (and the upcoming firmware update will make it even better with more options and modes). I havenít tried the Darbee video processor but itís worth looking into for the future.

Hope that helps .
Thanks for the detailed reply, samlop10!

In terms of the Sony 45ES, is there any other 1080p projector that is better and comparable in price? Or is this considered to be one of the best 1080p projectors at that price point? Also, will the low lumens (1800) affect the viewing of tv/games with mild ambient light?

Thanks for clarifying the screen gain as well.

This Oppo seems to be recommended by a lot of people. My question is, will it make any difference if I purchase the Sony 45ES? Even though the Oppo can play 4K blu rays, the Sony is only 1080p...

Thanks!
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Old 01-30-2018, 12:48 AM   #10
JurassicBD JurassicBD is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erman_94 View Post
Thanks for the reply. Any reason for recommending that Oppo? Is there something it does specifically? I see the high price, which I am assuming is for a reason...
Hands down the best Blu-ray player made in terms of feature set. I've owned players costing in excess of 2k and the Denon 5900 DVD player was the only genuinely better made machine I've ever seen, but Denon didn't repeat it for the BD generation. Even if they had, considering the price difference and considering the the Darbee engine is far more overall beneficial to the end result than any of the advanced user controls the Denon offered, I'd still get the Oppo. Darbee is a depth and color enhancer. I've always frowned on enhancement devices, but Darbee is surprisingly rewarding in large projection setups with no significant side effects unless you crank it above 50 or so. Oppo also typically use better deinterlacing and sampling engines for lower quality and problematic material, like interlaced encodes, and 16:9 DVD and 4:3 content. It also allows you to hook up at least one external component to benefit from the players processing. Last I checked you could still find them in the $400-$500 range at amazon and ebay, which is about a hundred bucks below what they original sold for new. That said, if it's between the Oppo and a better projector, get the better projector. Darbee is a very nice tweak, but nothing so jaw dropping that you can't live without it.
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Old 01-30-2018, 01:15 AM   #11
JurassicBD JurassicBD is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erman_94 View Post
Thanks for the reply! I actually demoed the JVC's and was blown away by them. But they are unfortunately out of my budget, especially in Canada. They run about $4,500 and that's just for the projector alone with no screen.

Would a grey screen make any change to the image in a blacked out environment or just improve it when watching in ambient light? If it is the latter, why wouldn't everyone opt for a grey screen?
Gray screens are less reflective, to make blacks appear deeper. But the tradeoff is that whites won't reflect as much either. Whether or not you can afford the lumens will depend on how big your screen is and the brightness capabilities of the projector. Generally, with 3D, the brighter the better. But you might need a neutral density filter to tone it down for non-3D material if you optimize for 3D, unless the difference between high and low lamp modes is broad enough to offset the difference. Throw and offset can also affect image brightness.

Joe Kane has always advocated for 1.3 gain white screens being the most accurate and thus the most optimal. You can find 1.3 white on a budget pretty easily. Your more exotic screens like the high gain Vutec Silverstar and Stewart Blackhawks(?) are the ones that tend to be more pricey, those and motorized screens or ones with motorized masking. But, you can also build your own screen to save even more, which many seem very happy with. I have a Vutec myself, as I got into projection a long time ago. I still love the added punch, but those type of screens are likely to become less warranted with laser projection. Of course, it may still be somewhat conjecture that laser will be more affordable in the future. But I'd probably lean toward one of Stewarts more pearlescent models if I had to do it over right now with lamp based projection, partially because they've supposedly improved a lot, but mostly just to try something different, and I've liked what I've seen in showrooms using this screen. With 4K laser projection, I imagine 1.3 white will be more ideal, but there might still be some extra kick to be had from exotic materials.
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Old 01-30-2018, 01:16 AM   #12
samlop10 samlop10 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erman_94 View Post
Thanks for the detailed reply, samlop10!

In terms of the Sony 45ES, is there any other 1080p projector that is better and comparable in price? Or is this considered to be one of the best 1080p projectors at that price point? Also, will the low lumens (1800) affect the viewing of tv/games with mild ambient light?

Thanks for clarifying the screen gain as well.

This Oppo seems to be recommended by a lot of people. My question is, will it make any difference if I purchase the Sony 45ES? Even though the Oppo can play 4K blu rays, the Sony is only 1080p...

Thanks!
No problem , glad to help.

Given the current trend on home theater products towards 4K, I would say yes, the Sony 45ES is currently the best 1080p projector since pretty much all known projector makers have moved away from 1080p to 4K projectors (native or pseudo 4K). 2 - 3yrs ago you might have been able to find a better 1080p JVC projector around that price point but I am pretty sure they are all sold out now since that is around the time they began to go full-swing on 4K. Unfortunately, even though most projectors now (even the cheaper ones) have 4K capabilities, they lack the, IMO, most important enhancements that it provides, that is HDR and WCG. Better resolution is nice but to the naked human eye HDR and better color will provide a better picture if the resolution is already 1080p (or higher).

1800 nits should be enough with mild ambient light. Like if you have a bit of low, indirect light from the window or from a couple of lightbulbs it should be fine (with a specific picture mode). I would recommend painting your walls, and especially your ceiling, with a dark, muted color to reduce light reflections (both from ambient light and from the projector screen) to preserve as much of the contrast and black levels.

Get ready for some learning :

There might be different reasons why the OPPO 203 might be a good player for you, especially long term. If you decide to buy a 4K projector down the line, then the OPPO will stay relevant to your setup as it will be able to provide tone mapping to the target luminance of whichever projector you get, that is, the highest brightness it can achieve. To explain it better, basically all affordable consumer projectors have low brightness output compared to TVs. Since HDR needs as much light output as possible to achieve the intended results from HDR content, a good amount of it is compromised since projectors cannot achieve the levels of brightness that HDR needs. Even TVs have a problem with this. Thus comes tone mapping, which basically works as an algorithm that "squeezes" the very dark (shadow detail) and very bright gradations (like the sun and such) in HDR content within the limits of the display so that the display can reproduce them instead of crushing dark detail or blowing out the bright highlights. Currently, UHDs are getting mastered at 1000, 1100, 4000, and 10,000 nits. Current consumer TV's can reach (from what I remember) a max of about 2500 nits. Consumer projectors can reach a max brightness equivalent to about 400 - 600 nits. So, basically tone mapping needs to 're-map' very dark and very bright gradations so that anything below the darkest limit of a display and anything higher than what it can achieve is not lost when rendering the picture. So for example, if in a movie the rays of the sun reach 3000 nits and the center of it reaches 5000 nits, the display needs to tone map it so that you can still see a difference in brightness between the center of the sun and its rays, and so all of it will not look like the same, uniform blob of brightness. Since projectors have a lower light output, the OPPO 203 can provide a more aggressive tone mapping to preserve all that detail within a lower brightness limit. It will allow you to choose what the target luminance is (the brightest the projector can output) and an option to preserve more shadow detail, more bright detail, more medium detail, or some combination, and it will do so while also letting you keep the WCG.

That's just one reason.

The other reason is, some movies get released with either Dolby Atmos or DTS:X on UHD while the standard blu-ray only gets a 7.1 or 5.1 track. This happens to all Fox and Disney releases and some catalog releases that have been remastered for the UHD format. So, if you currently have an Atmos setup, or plan to get one before you can get a 4K display, to take advantage of the immersive audio without sacrificing picture quality, then the OPPO 203 would also be better for you. All 4K players can convert HDR->SDR but almost all of them do a poor job (crushed shadow detail, clipped highlights, bad color, etc.), and since again, that OPPO model has good tone mapping, it can convert HDR->SDR better than most projectors and can also remap the colors from WCG to rec.709 (the SDR color standard) so they are properly displayed on you SDR display. This way you do not have to compromise on picture quality or audio quality. You can get the Atmos or DTS:X sound from UHD discs without getting a poor conversion from HDR->SDR (again, for the cases in which only the UHD blu-ray gets the Atmos or DTS:X track and the standard blu-ray does not).

Edit:
Other than that the OPPO is just simply a very versatile disc player. The 203 lacks streaming apps (Netflix and such) but it more than makes up for it with all the processing and other features it has. It's probably the blu-ray player with the most settings you can adjust. Plus their customer support is top notch. A lot of people consider it an investment. I have one myself and even though I was hesitant given the price point, once I got it and actually played a movie in it, my doubts about it pretty much disappeared. I do plan to get a 4K projector after I get a house (hopefully in 2 - 3 years) and I plan on using the OPPO with it provided a substantially better player is not released by then.

I know it's a lot of info to process but I hope it helps. I'm glad to explain more if needed .

Last edited by samlop10; 01-30-2018 at 01:34 AM.
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Old 01-30-2018, 01:18 AM   #13
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The Optima is definitely not true 4k. The DMD is half the megapixel of true 4k.
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Old 01-30-2018, 01:44 AM   #14
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I agree with the post above. I was hesitant about the Oppo 203 because of the price, but it is def a worthwhile investment. While I’m “only” getting 1080p, the picture is so good that I can’t really imagine that much of a difference in 4K... well at least $5k worth. My AQ has also improved. Sound is crisper than with my previous Sony player and the Atmos sound is more dynamic. The build of the player is also high quality.
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Old 01-30-2018, 01:52 AM   #15
Erman_94 Erman_94 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JurassicBD View Post
Hands down the best Blu-ray player made in terms of feature set. I've owned players costing in excess of 2k and the Denon 5900 DVD player was the only genuinely better made machine I've ever seen, but Denon didn't repeat it for the BD generation. Even if they had, considering the price difference and considering the the Darbee engine is far more overall beneficial to the end result than any of the advanced user controls the Denon offered, I'd still get the Oppo. Darbee is a depth and color enhancer. I've always frowned on enhancement devices, but Darbee is surprisingly rewarding in large projection setups with no significant side effects unless you crank it above 50 or so. Oppo also typically use better deinterlacing and sampling engines for lower quality and problematic material, like interlaced encodes, and 16:9 DVD and 4:3 content. It also allows you to hook up at least one external component to benefit from the players processing. Last I checked you could still find them in the $400-$500 range at amazon and ebay, which is about a hundred bucks below what they original sold for new. That said, if it's between the Oppo and a better projector, get the better projector. Darbee is a very nice tweak, but nothing so jaw dropping that you can't live without it.
Thank you so much for the detailed info! I have done some looking around and I have noticed that the Oppo 203 is not 203D, does this mean it does not have the Darbee enhancer? If so, which would be a better buy, the 103D or 203? Both for now and for future proofing.

Also, do you (or anyone on here) now much about the PS4 Pro as a UHD player? I seem to remember a while back that people were complaining about its lack of ability to handle audio, is that still an issue?

Thanks!
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Old 01-30-2018, 01:55 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by JurassicBD View Post
Gray screens are less reflective, to make blacks appear deeper. But the tradeoff is that whites won't reflect as much either. Whether or not you can afford the lumens will depend on how big your screen is and the brightness capabilities of the projector. Generally, with 3D, the brighter the better. But you might need a neutral density filter to tone it down for non-3D material if you optimize for 3D, unless the difference between high and low lamp modes is broad enough to offset the difference. Throw and offset can also affect image brightness.

Joe Kane has always advocated for 1.3 gain white screens being the most accurate and thus the most optimal. You can find 1.3 white on a budget pretty easily. Your more exotic screens like the high gain Vutec Silverstar and Stewart Blackhawks(?) are the ones that tend to be more pricey, those and motorized screens or ones with motorized masking. But, you can also build your own screen to save even more, which many seem very happy with. I have a Vutec myself, as I got into projection a long time ago. I still love the added punch, but those type of screens are likely to become less warranted with laser projection. Of course, it may still be somewhat conjecture that laser will be more affordable in the future. But I'd probably lean toward one of Stewarts more pearlescent models if I had to do it over right now with lamp based projection, partially because they've supposedly improved a lot, but mostly just to try something different, and I've liked what I've seen in showrooms using this screen. With 4K laser projection, I imagine 1.3 white will be more ideal, but there might still be some extra kick to be had from exotic materials.
I had a feeling it would have a "cause and effect" diminishing the whites since it improved blacks. Thanks for clarifying.

Are there any other factors that go into deciding on screen gain other than the light in the room? I am assuming screen size and lumen output for the projector?

I just do not want to spend a ton of money and both the projector and screen only to find that they are not a good "match" for each other and have the image quality suffer.
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Old 01-30-2018, 02:03 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by samlop10 View Post
No problem , glad to help.

Given the current trend on home theater products towards 4K, I would say yes, the Sony 45ES is currently the best 1080p projector since pretty much all known projector makers have moved away from 1080p to 4K projectors (native or pseudo 4K). 2 - 3yrs ago you might have been able to find a better 1080p JVC projector around that price point but I am pretty sure they are all sold out now since that is around the time they began to go full-swing on 4K. Unfortunately, even though most projectors now (even the cheaper ones) have 4K capabilities, they lack the, IMO, most important enhancements that it provides, that is HDR and WCG. Better resolution is nice but to the naked human eye HDR and better color will provide a better picture if the resolution is already 1080p (or higher).

1800 nits should be enough with mild ambient light. Like if you have a bit of low, indirect light from the window or from a couple of lightbulbs it should be fine (with a specific picture mode). I would recommend painting your walls, and especially your ceiling, with a dark, muted color to reduce light reflections (both from ambient light and from the projector screen) to preserve as much of the contrast and black levels.

Get ready for some learning :

There might be different reasons why the OPPO 203 might be a good player for you, especially long term. If you decide to buy a 4K projector down the line, then the OPPO will stay relevant to your setup as it will be able to provide tone mapping to the target luminance of whichever projector you get, that is, the highest brightness it can achieve. To explain it better, basically all affordable consumer projectors have low brightness output compared to TVs. Since HDR needs as much light output as possible to achieve the intended results from HDR content, a good amount of it is compromised since projectors cannot achieve the levels of brightness that HDR needs. Even TVs have a problem with this. Thus comes tone mapping, which basically works as an algorithm that "squeezes" the very dark (shadow detail) and very bright gradations (like the sun and such) in HDR content within the limits of the display so that the display can reproduce them instead of crushing dark detail or blowing out the bright highlights. Currently, UHDs are getting mastered at 1000, 1100, 4000, and 10,000 nits. Current consumer TV's can reach (from what I remember) a max of about 2500 nits. Consumer projectors can reach a max brightness equivalent to about 400 - 600 nits. So, basically tone mapping needs to 're-map' very dark and very bright gradations so that anything below the darkest limit of a display and anything higher than what it can achieve is not lost when rendering the picture. So for example, if in a movie the rays of the sun reach 3000 nits and the center of it reaches 5000 nits, the display needs to tone map it so that you can still see a difference in brightness between the center of the sun and its rays, and so all of it will not look like the same, uniform blob of brightness. Since projectors have a lower light output, the OPPO 203 can provide a more aggressive tone mapping to preserve all that detail within a lower brightness limit. It will allow you to choose what the target luminance is (the brightest the projector can output) and an option to preserve more shadow detail, more bright detail, more medium detail, or some combination, and it will do so while also letting you keep the WCG.

That's just one reason.

The other reason is, some movies get released with either Dolby Atmos or DTS:X on UHD while the standard blu-ray only gets a 7.1 or 5.1 track. This happens to all Fox and Disney releases and some catalog releases that have been remastered for the UHD format. So, if you currently have an Atmos setup, or plan to get one before you can get a 4K display, to take advantage of the immersive audio without sacrificing picture quality, then the OPPO 203 would also be better for you. All 4K players can convert HDR->SDR but almost all of them do a poor job (crushed shadow detail, clipped highlights, bad color, etc.), and since again, that OPPO model has good tone mapping, it can convert HDR->SDR better than most projectors and can also remap the colors from WCG to rec.709 (the SDR color standard) so they are properly displayed on you SDR display. This way you do not have to compromise on picture quality or audio quality. You can get the Atmos or DTS:X sound from UHD discs without getting a poor conversion from HDR->SDR (again, for the cases in which only the UHD blu-ray gets the Atmos or DTS:X track and the standard blu-ray does not).

Edit:
Other than that the OPPO is just simply a very versatile disc player. The 203 lacks streaming apps (Netflix and such) but it more than makes up for it with all the processing and other features it has. It's probably the blu-ray player with the most settings you can adjust. Plus their customer support is top notch. A lot of people consider it an investment. I have one myself and even though I was hesitant given the price point, once I got it and actually played a movie in it, my doubts about it pretty much disappeared. I do plan to get a 4K projector after I get a house (hopefully in 2 - 3 years) and I plan on using the OPPO with it provided a substantially better player is not released by then.

I know it's a lot of info to process but I hope it helps. I'm glad to explain more if needed .
Thank you so much for the really detailed and informative reply, samlop10!

I really appreciate the time and effort you put towards that. You did a great job of explaining the benefits.

Given what you said, is the Epson 5040 even worth it for 4K? Or is it more of a projector just to say you have 4K capability without actually having the ability to reproduce its benefits fully?

Also, will that Oppo make 4K blu-rays look better on a 1080p projector? Or will the limitations of a 1080p projector not allow me to take advantage of its processing?

And do you know if it has both an HDMI in and out? I simply use my AV receiver for its pre-outs now because of my amp and would love to have the processing done by the Oppo so I do not have to buy an atmos receiver as well :P
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Old 01-30-2018, 02:57 AM   #18
samlop10 samlop10 is online now
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Originally Posted by Erman_94 View Post
Thank you so much for the really detailed and informative reply, samlop10!

I really appreciate the time and effort you put towards that. You did a great job of explaining the benefits.

Given what you said, is the Epson 5040 even worth it for 4K? Or is it more of a projector just to say you have 4K capability without actually having the ability to reproduce its benefits fully?

Also, will that Oppo make 4K blu-rays look better on a 1080p projector? Or will the limitations of a 1080p projector not allow me to take advantage of its processing?

And do you know if it has both an HDMI in and out? I simply use my AV receiver for its pre-outs now because of my amp and would love to have the processing done by the Oppo so I do not have to buy an atmos receiver as well :P
Lol , youíre welcome.

The Epson 5040 does benefit from 4K/HDR/WCG and does take advantage of it somewhat but Iíve been reading that people keep having technical problems with them like flickering on the image and power supply failures so I personally wouldnít risk it.

If you plan on playing UHDs on a 1080p projector then it will definitely make them look better than other players thanks to the tone mapping as explained in my post above.

Unfortunately the OPPO only has pre-outs for up to 7.1 sound so it doesnít provide Atmos without an Atmos-capable pre-processor or receiver. It also only has a single HDMI input and 2 HDMI outputs. One output is for sound only and the other output can be configured to output either only video or both video and audio. The OPPO is good but itís not magical . Maybe one day disc players will have pre-outs for Atmos too but currently there isnít a single one that does (to my knowledge anyway).
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Old 01-30-2018, 03:55 PM   #19
Erman_94 Erman_94 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samlop10 View Post
Lol , youíre welcome.

The Epson 5040 does benefit from 4K/HDR/WCG and does take advantage of it somewhat but Iíve been reading that people keep having technical problems with them like flickering on the image and power supply failures so I personally wouldnít risk it.

If you plan on playing UHDs on a 1080p projector then it will definitely make them look better than other players thanks to the tone mapping as explained in my post above.

Unfortunately the OPPO only has pre-outs for up to 7.1 sound so it doesnít provide Atmos without an Atmos-capable pre-processor or receiver. It also only has a single HDMI input and 2 HDMI outputs. One output is for sound only and the other output can be configured to output either only video or both video and audio. The OPPO is good but itís not magical . Maybe one day disc players will have pre-outs for Atmos too but currently there isnít a single one that does (to my knowledge anyway).
If you had to pick between the Epson 5040, Optoma UHD65 or Sony 45ES, which would you choose and why?

I think I understand the tone mapping, but if I were to have a standard blu ray or a UHD blu ray playing on just a 1080p projector, would there be a noticeable difference between those?

And here I thought it was magical haha
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Old 01-30-2018, 07:12 PM   #20
JurassicBD JurassicBD is offline
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Originally Posted by Erman_94 View Post
Thank you so much for the detailed info! I have done some looking around and I have noticed that the Oppo 203 is not 203D, does this mean it does not have the Darbee enhancer? If so, which would be a better buy, the 103D or 203? Both for now and for future proofing.

Also, do you (or anyone on here) now much about the PS4 Pro as a UHD player? I seem to remember a while back that people were complaining about its lack of ability to handle audio, is that still an issue?

Thanks!
Oppo only made two models with the Darbee engine, the 103D and 105D. I presume that either Darbee doesn't support UHD discs or they figured with HDR and UHD's color improvements, it wasn't worth increasing production costs even more. Who knows, maybe they'll add it next gen. Also, it seems that a lot of customers with more conventional flat panels preferred the 103 (non Darbee edition). It's likely that some just liked the price better and were justifying. But many reported that Darbee made the image look artificial or processed. I haven't used it with anything other than DLP projection personally, and have found it very worthwhile there, as have former colleagues of mine who still evaluate technology professionally. Which Kris Deering's glowing endorsement in his review is the main reason I gave Darbee a second look. That said, whether there's some conflict innate to limitations with flat panel displays or whether it's just a case of user error... - which is most likely as most consumers tend to overdrive contrast and sharpness and/or use modes with artificial enhancers/filters already enabled, that would no doubt reflect badly when adding even a well designed image enhancer like Darbee on top of the other processing. The 103 (non-darbee edition) has even been found to soften the image. So, that tells you a lot about the viewing conditions for anyone who might find it preferable.

The 203 would be the better buy, if you're buying a 4K projector (whether full 4K or faux) and plan on collecting UHD BDs, which should look better than 1080p BD with Darbee processing, depending on the capabilities of the projector. Of course, that's something you have to weigh yourself. If you own a lot of BDs and DVDs that'll be your primary source of disc-based entertainment, the 103D might still prove overall more beneficial. The 103D will sample just about any source to 4K, but can't play UHD discs, like the 203. Another benefit of the 203 is that it's a current player that's still being supported by Oppo. While Oppo can still repair older generations, they aren't supporting them with firmware updates any longer, which could result in some compatibility issues with BD spec changes. I haven't come across any yet myself, but I keep both PS3 and PS4 backups should such arise.

I have a PS4 Pro too. I don't stream, so I'm not sure if there's an audio limitation there. I know a lot of people were not happy that it doesn't support UHD discs though, when even the XboxOne S does. It was very surprising of Sony, considering they have more stake in UHD BD than any other content provider. But I believe their motivation was to beat Microsoft's price, as Sony hasn't been too financially sound in recent years, so they've been playing it safe in a lot of areas of their business.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erman_94 View Post
I had a feeling it would have a "cause and effect" diminishing the whites since it improved blacks. Thanks for clarifying.

Are there any other factors that go into deciding on screen gain other than the light in the room? I am assuming screen size and lumen output for the projector?

I just do not want to spend a ton of money and both the projector and screen only to find that they are not a good "match" for each other and have the image quality suffer.
They make screens specifically engineered to repel ambient light in the room too. But, I'd suggest using a table or floor lamp with a dark shade to direct most of the light down (if you're going all out, don't leave paint the ceiling white), or wall sconces, rope light and other ambient lighting. I've put in track lighting with about a 8 dimmable PAR20s (or whatever the LED equivalent is) with barn doors on them, so I could direct the beams where I wanted them.

My previous post was based on your indication that you had complete light control. Again, yes, screen size and projector brightness have directly correlating affects on what screen gain might be optimal. Be sure to check reviews, as projector specs often differ from real world testing. I've owned several Sony's. Sony's don't tend to be as bright as cheaper DLPs, as they're design is one purely for HT, where a lot of DLPs are essentially repurposed data-projectors that've been modified to fit multiple markets. Lower lumen projectors benefit more from higher gain screens. But you might also want to consider the future before investing 2k in a screen that may prove less desirable should laser LED become more affordable. When picking a screen you also have to consider the screen material and projector mount. For some high gain screens, the projector needs to be mounted straight-on for optimal benefit. But with most, mounting above (inverted) or below the screen works fine. With Sony's very flexible image shifting, you can pretty much mount the projector about anywhere you need. But some projectors have a fixed offset requiring mounting at a certain height range above or below the screen, which could be problematic if you have a ceiling lower than the usual 8 feet.
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