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Old 03-11-2008, 12:17 AM   #1
ryoohki ryoohki is offline
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Default The wonderful and complex world of projectors (projector introduction)

10 years ago, projectors were those big 3 canon machines that cost a lot of money and took a lift to transport. Then came the world of Digital Projectors. Digital Projectors use the same technology as digital TV, be it LCD, DLP or LCOS. Price have gone down drastically over the year to the point that nowadays you can get a 720p machine for less than 1200$ for the newest and latest model.

Projectors are fun because they can give you any size you want from 60 inch to 133+ inches and give you the most theatrical fell you can get for the price.

Room Size and Room Lightning Control

The first thing to look when buying a projector is the room size. Depending on the technology you can put your projector from 9 feet to 20 feet, you can also put in on a table, on a shelve or on the ceiling. Some technology offer great placement (LCD) and other more or less (DLP).

Room lightning is very important too. Projectors unlike Digital TV, don’t output the light in your face but behind you. So if you have light coming in, you’ll need a lot more lumens (Light output) to fight for the extra light. The best is to have your room as dark as it can be. You can buy material in store to cover the windows during day viewing. I myself bought a large piece of black vinyl witch I put in front of my window and hide 100% of the coming light.

Technology


Like normal TV there’s plus and minus to each technology.

LCD offer great placement with Vertical and Horizontal shift. With this you can place your projector anywhere in the room (or almost). They are also the one of the quietest model available. Color, Contrast and Black Level are now very good but not as good a DLP. SDE can be a problem. SDE is the visibility of the grid. LCD has a distinct grid and this problem can happen a lot more with 720p projectors. Panasonic have a technology called ‘Smooth Screen’ that render them invisible or almost but at the cost of being a little less sharp then other model. It all depends of the screen size and the distance you are sitting. Some people don’t see it, some are. On 1080p LCD projector this is not an issue since it have more than 2 millions pixel.

DLP offer better color saturation, contrast and black level and they have sealed light path witch mean they don’t have ‘Dust Blob’ problems. ‘Dust Blob’ (particle of dust on the panel that show on the screen) can happen on LCD projectors since the light path is not sealed. That’s a lesser problem now than it was 2 years ago thought. Low cost DLP have a color wheel, that spins at very high speed. This combined with the fan cause more noise than LCD models. The color wheel can also cause some problems to a very small number of people. Some see ‘Rainbows’ which is one of the colors that the eye can see faster than the other, some other case report nausea and head hake but those are very rare. I myself see the blue color on DLP when the action goes very fast.

Most low cost DLP don’t offer any kind of placement possibility you have to find a way to place it before than fix your screen or paint you’re wall. SDE is also visible on DLP, but much much less than LCD (at 720p for example)

LCOS is pretty new and offered mostly by JVC and Sony. This technology is a mix of DLP and LCD. I never experience this technology myself but the JVC RS1 and RS2 (6000$+) are one of the best digital video projectors on the market. Sony have a 2999$ solution with the VW40.

The best way to experience them is going to stores that has a controllable environnement and test them.

The Dynamic Iris


Most low cost projector has a Dynamic Iris to compensate for the contrast ratio. This iris move in real time and adjust itself to output the correct amount of light. Depending on the manufacturer, the iris can be fast enough or too slow. That can be only experience seeing it live. My Z4 have I pretty fast iris and I almost never saw its shortcoming. High End projectors have a true Contrast Ratio and don’t have any iris to compensate. But there’s a very good difference in prices. If Sanyo say : We have a CR of 15000:1, this is with the dynamic iris ON, at OFF it might only have 3000:1. While when JVC say its 10000:1 , then it’s really 10000:1 , but there’s a difference of 3x the price on the unit.

Blub Life

This is the biggest shortcoming with it come to projector. Bulb Life varies from 2000 to 5000 hours depending on the model. 2000 might not seem a lot. But my Z4 is at 1600 hours after 2 years and I did a LOT of Xbox 360 and Blu-ray viewing. I just don’t use it as a TV to watch news. Bulb cost mostly about 350$ each.

Beware of the Specs


Lumens = Light measurement from the projector
Contrast Level = Difference between light and dark part of the image.

Most manufacturer show their Lumens and Contrast Ratio at the VIDID or BRILLANT preset. This preset is good if you have all light on in your room but is unwatchable when it’s all night.

For Example, the Epson 1080UB have a Lumens output of 1600, which is a LOT. When it’s using the Theater Black setting for movie it’s actually about 453 lumens. Some will never reach their promised level. You can always check the review on the net from the linked sites at the end of this document.

This should be a concern only if you don’t have the control of the lightning in your room.

Screen

A projector can be versatile, some paint gray/white on the wall and project on this. Some buy a screen. Screens come in different size and material.

There’s also screen gain. They come in different variant: 1.0, 1.1, 1.3, 1.8,2.4/2.8. Gain is the amount of light that is returned to you. The higher the screen gain is, the smaller the viewing angle is. So a 2.4 screen need everyone to be sit directly in the middle of the screen. While a 1.0/1.3 screen will give you the same image from any angle. It’s really a preference. You can email different screen manufacturer to have a free sample of their screen material. There’s Draper, Elite, Da-lite witch are the more popular. They have model at any price 200$+ to more than 4000$. PullDown, Electric, Fixed etc.

Projector Central have a calculator for screen size and distance available for all Projectors ever made, it’s a great resource.

1080p/720p?

It’s clear that the future is 1080p. Right now 720p projectors are the cheapest you can get at lower than 1200$US in street price and 1080p projector are got into the ‘Lower than 2000$’ lately.

The clear advantage of 1080p is that you can have a bigger screen and never really care for SDE and the image opacity is almost like a big 100 inch LCD/Plasma Screen.

Some 720p model are lower than 1000$ and are a great start if you want to experience with the technology. I’m pretty sure than in 2 years 1080p will street lower than 1500$ because the market really goes for it.

Painting the Room

Paint my sound like innofensive, but look at a typical theater or cineplex. Most of them have dark gray wall convered with Sound Reverb design that are convered in velvet or a type of material that absord light.

The make it easier on Home Theater and cheaper also. You can paint you're room dark. It will make a huge impact of PQ on any display and enhanced it. More so with a Retro Reflective screen, since it bounce light back. If you're room is White with shell like texture the light will come back and it the screen a second time and from different angles.

Personnally i always use (I am in Canada) Sico Cashmire type, using a dark shade (i always use blue ). It's one of the Mattest paint you can buy on the market in canada and cost about 45$/Gallon. 1 Gallon cover about a room of 12x11x8 with the ceiling,that's 2 passes. Just ask the mattest paint available in a brand. Be aware that usually, mat paint is tought to watch, it stain easily.

The problems with that is, it might the pass de ladies approval, i've seen this a lot of time. Dark = Bad, but try to explain that you try to re-create a Theater Room at home and dark is a must (like i said more so with higher gains screens).

Conclusion

5 years ago I really doubted of the projector world until my friend bought one and I just fell in love. There’s really no way you’re going to get a 100 inch screen of that quality at 1500$ (720p + screen) with a fixed panel display. Bulb life might be a turn off for some people but it’s the shortcoming for wanting a true theater experience at home.

Link

Projector Review = http://www.projectorreviews.com/
Projector Central = http://www.projectorcentral.com/

Last edited by ryoohki; 04-09-2009 at 01:20 AM.
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Old 03-11-2008, 04:50 AM   #2
AlaskaDon AlaskaDon is offline
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Good overview Ryookhi. Nicely illustrates why projectors are so versatile

Every installation is different and there are a lot of factors to consider when choosing your projector.
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Old 03-14-2008, 04:13 AM   #3
jomari jomari is offline
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dibs on this one. im going to place my input in a few to continue a little more knowhow about pjs...
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Old 07-21-2008, 01:38 AM   #4
ryoohki ryoohki is offline
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I've added a section on Paint (room)
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Old 01-31-2009, 06:41 AM   #5
FIDDYPOP FIDDYPOP is offline
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Why would someone use a anamophic lense or anyother type of lens with a projector?
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Old 01-31-2009, 06:48 AM   #6
brett_day brett_day is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FIDDYPOP View Post
Why would someone use a anamophic lense or anyother type of lens with a projector?
so that you can get the 2:35 aspect ratio. the picture will completely fill the screen with no black bars
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Old 04-08-2009, 08:36 PM   #7
Damage Inc. Damage Inc. is offline
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Nice informative article, but please... PLEASE stop typing "you're" instead of "your".
You're only adding extra digits to a simple word.
Shows who spends too much time on the internet or forums.
I'm sorry, it's just really annoying.
And it's unacceptable IF your own language is English...
I mean, I'm Dutch for crying out loud, they suck at it here and I'm the one bothered by it.
Doesn't make sense, but I guess that's the internet. XD ( < lol, intahwebs-talk)
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Old 04-09-2009, 01:12 AM   #8
ryoohki ryoohki is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damage Inc. View Post
Nice informative article, but please... PLEASE stop typing "you're" instead of "your".
You're only adding extra digits to a simple word.
Shows who spends too much time on the internet or forums.
I'm sorry, it's just really annoying.
And it's unacceptable IF your own language is English...
I mean, I'm Dutch for crying out loud, they suck at it here and I'm the one bothered by it.
Doesn't make sense, but I guess that's the internet. XD ( < lol, intahwebs-talk)
I'am french and speak a little Japanese but not that much since i stopped to practice it 6 years ago. The only thing we do in english in Quebec is watch TV. There's not much written stuff in english unless you buy books and magazine. most students with 10 years of english courses can't understand 2 phrases of english, just to show you how much english teaching sucks here.

I tought than You're was a 'Shortcut' to You are and your is for things (possesion).

I did my best with my limited knowledge of the language since i'am a projector owner since 10 years now (digital era).

Last edited by ryoohki; 04-09-2009 at 01:16 AM.
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Old 04-09-2009, 01:19 AM   #9
Damage Inc. Damage Inc. is offline
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Ah yeah, France... I understand... I hate those kinds of countries MEDIA-wise.
I'm not some person that only takes side for my own country.
But for that stuff I'm kind of glad I live here.
If I didn't grow up with movie/series and subtitles only, I would probably not have been here.
I mean, typing English on a computer.
It's going the wrong way though,
these days they show the cartoons and such that I watched in English when I was little, dubbed in Dutch.
Which is just terrible and especially sad for the kids today... for multiple reasons.
First it's not the original audio, which is not as good, the way it comes across and all that.
Plus they won't learn any other languages, it doesn't make sense...

Sorry to put this on a different topic though. :P
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Old 04-09-2009, 01:25 AM   #10
ryoohki ryoohki is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damage Inc. View Post
Ah yeah, France... I understand... I hate those kinds of countries MEDIA-wise.
I'm not some person that only takes side for my own country.
But for that stuff I'm kind of glad I live here.
If I didn't grow up with movie/series and subtitles only, I would probably not have been here.
I mean, typing English on a computer.
It's going the wrong way though,
these days they show the cartoons and such that I watched in English when I was little, dubbed in Dutch.
Which is just terrible and especially sad for the kids today... for multiple reasons.
First it's not the original audio, which is not as good, the way it comes across and all that.
Plus they won't learn any other languages, it doesn't make sense...

Sorry to put this on a different topic though. :P
i'am in Québec/Canada

The only way to see film in their original language here is to live near Montreal (witch i do) so i'am lucky i understand most of it (95% for sure) and even British Accent witch is not complicated for me but i know friends who understand only half of what is going on in England made movies (like Harry Potter, James Bond etc...) and i find that rather funny. Altought i grew up watching movie dubbed in french, i started switching i was about 16..
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Old 04-09-2009, 03:29 AM   #11
Damage Inc. Damage Inc. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryoohki View Post
i'am in Québec/Canada

The only way to see film in their original language here is to live near Montreal (witch i do) so i'am lucky i understand most of it (95% for sure) and even British Accent witch is not complicated for me but i know friends who understand only half of what is going on in England made movies (like Harry Potter, James Bond etc...) and i find that rather funny. Altought i grew up watching movie dubbed in french, i started switching i was about 16..
Ah, got it, I thought too quick. :P
But you know, it's especially countries like France and Germany, where it's way worse.
And it's funny, I do have a little trouble understanding certain accents
such as British or some thick American accent.
I guess it's because most movies are with plain American speech, like "normal" or average rather.
Thankgod for digital home-video right? So I can turn on or off subtitles if ever needed or not.
Plus the option to use subtitles the same as spoken.
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Old 04-09-2010, 12:51 AM   #12
lDlisturb3d lDlisturb3d is offline
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great thread. Good Info.
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Old 07-16-2010, 02:49 AM   #13
billybluray billybluray is offline
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Thanks for the info
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Old 07-16-2010, 02:52 AM   #14
billybluray billybluray is offline
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Thumbs up

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Old 12-07-2010, 07:03 PM   #15
mugen302005 mugen302005 is offline
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Great!!

I noticed, though, that your post was made around 2 years ago already, so I've been wondering whether your predictions came true. Is there a 1080p DLP projector 3D compatible out there?

I'm going shopping to the us during the holidays but as much as I'd like to get me one of those 55' led 3d capable displays, I can't for obvious reasons. It is not a convenient option for taxes or convenience with any flight. I mean you can fly taking a 55' tv, it's just not practical.

I guess I would be better off going for a dlp 3d 1080p native projector insted. Is there any option available for the budget-minded?
Thanks!! sorry if it's not the right place for questions like this.
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Old 02-28-2011, 06:10 AM   #16
Hemooo Hemooo is offline
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Default What to choose: Epson 8700UB or JVC HD250??

Good day all,

I'm planning to buy a projector (yaay) with a budget of 3,000$. After some reading, I came to either Epson 8700UB or JVC HD250. Unfortinatly, I don't live in the state so going and compare them is not an option. I want it to project 114" screen which will be used for movies/sports/gaming.

- which one you recommend to buy?
- are thoes projectors really can match the PQ of HDTV? currently I have Sony Bravia 60EX700 & I don't want to feel step down from that

many thanks
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Old 03-28-2011, 11:48 PM   #17
ryoohki ryoohki is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemooo View Post
Good day all,

I'm planning to buy a projector (yaay) with a budget of 3,000$. After some reading, I came to either Epson 8700UB or JVC HD250. Unfortinatly, I don't live in the state so going and compare them is not an option. I want it to project 114" screen which will be used for movies/sports/gaming.

- which one you recommend to buy?
- are thoes projectors really can match the PQ of HDTV? currently I have Sony Bravia 60EX700 & I don't want to feel step down from that

many thanks
If you have light control, then a 3000$ will likely be better than you're TV (in the same condition) especially if it's a LCD TV..

I would consider the Sony PRO1 and HD250 for 3000$ they are both worth it for their sealed light path (witch the Epson doesn't have) and both are LCOS, a technology that is better than LCD (HD250 have better black than the Sony, but the sony is brither)
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Old 03-13-2013, 07:39 PM   #18
MoulinBlu MoulinBlu is offline
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Sorry, I don't mean to be a jerk, but how did this ever get "stickied"? Do the mods here know so little about projector technology? Countless typos aside, what little information that isn't purely assumption based and flat out wrong, is now several years out of date and equally misleading. I'd provide examples, but, really, there are just too many corrections to be made, and I don't have that kind of time.

Last edited by MoulinBlu; 03-13-2013 at 07:41 PM.
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