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jerryo 8th December 2012 04:14 PM

Projector upgrade
Myself and three others run a community cinema in a local arts centre which only shows a film every couple of weeks but we would like to upgrade our projection facility to make the best use of the Blu Ray player that we have as our source.
Currently we are using an ageing Sanyo PLC-XP46 which is an LCD projector. This projector is fine as far as it goes, but lacks a full HD facility and does not project a bright enough image.
The throw of the projector at its present location is about 13 meters and the screen is about 4 x 2 meters.
The arts centre is run as a charity so obviously cost is an implication, so I would like to hear from anyone who has experience of this type of installation for some advice as to what make and model of projector would give us a qualatitive increase in screen image resolution and brightness, without costing the earth!



Pano 8th December 2012 06:05 PM

Good question Jerry. As large screen video projection is my job, I might be able to help some, but since the projectors we use cost as much as a nice car - I won't be much help on the budget. :xeye:

The progress in video projectors is almost as astounding as that of the flat panel TVs. You can get a 2000 lumen HD projector for a decent price these days. I greatly prefer DLP over LCD because of the colors, but there are some decent LCD projectors on the market these days - and they cost less per pixel than DLP. That's the trade off.

Look for a projector that has a "native" resolution of 1920x1080 pixels. That's (usually) what you get out of a Bluray. Remember, too, that HD video is in a 16:9 format (1.77:1) That means that if your screen is 2 meters tall and you do full screen height, then the image will be 3.5 m wide. You might want to mask the ends of the screen with some black fabric.

Look at the lens ratio, if you can find it in the specs. You take that ratio and multiply it by the throw ratio of the lens to find your throw distance and were the projector needs to be placed. E.G., if the projector has a 1.5-2.5 zoom, the project can be between about 5 and 8 meters away for your 2m high by 3.5m wide image.

I can't really recommend a brand or model, they all change so fast. Have a look around a the choice is very wide. LCD will give you more light for you money, DPL will look better.

jerryo 9th December 2012 05:05 PM

Hi Pano,
many thanks for your reply.
I too would like to go down the DLP route as I have been led to believe that there will be a noticeable reduction in the "chicken wire effect" of the LCD system for audiences closer to the screen. The Sanyo projector is around 2000 lumens which is not really bright enough so I think we will need somewhere in the region of 6-8000 lumens to really make a difference. We have looked at Barco and Christie projectors, but these are hitting the 18,000.00 mark, which, for the amount of usage, is a little excessive. Would be nice though!
Realistically, keeping the costs below 10,000 is what we need to aim for. We currently just show films from DVD but would like to stream HD content from the Internet from the live Theatre broadcasts that are being done. We don't think that a 3D facility is necessary or indeed affordable judging by some of the figures I have seen regarding the costs!



Pano 10th December 2012 04:51 AM

Hi Jerry, you're welcome!

Where I work we are exclusively a Christie house. I love 'em. Barco is nice, too, but I haven't used them much lately. Have you looked into the used market? We still have some Christie 5K/6K projectors in our stock that are nice. They won't do 1080 native, but will do 1280x720 no problem. You might check around for something like that near you - great looking projector.

Do you know if HDCP will be a problem? What will you be streaming from?

jerryo 10th December 2012 06:49 AM

Hi Pano,
the live streaming from the Internet is something we have not looked into closely, but we feel that it will become a significant source of material in the future as "hard copies" of media become gradually redundant.
The second hand market is definitely worth considering although at the risk of the unknown care and maintenance of the projector. Bulb life is also a consideration as they really are expensive.
I will keep an eye open on the second hand market; you never know, I might get lucky!



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