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Topic: Need a MUCH brighter replacement for current setup
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Joined: Jun 2, 2014
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Hi all, I need recommendations to replace our existing pair of Eiki LC-XB43 projectors in a church fixed installation. We have "put up" with our current units for 6 years now. The brightness / contrast is VERY poor with our current setup (no screens, just projecting on light beige walls and in a fairly brightly lit ambient room).

What I am looking for is recommendations on a significant upgrade. Currently, we can just about only get by with black background with white text just to see anything. Videos and pictures are almost unusable unless we bring the house ambient lights down to less than 30%. I would like recommendations on a replacement projector and possible a fixed screen combo that would allow us to show video at an acceptable brightness contrast with our ambient lighting at a reasonable level.

Sticking with Eiki would be nice only if our current mounting plates would work. Not sure if they are fairly unniversal or if I am looking at new mounting plates either way (if I stick with Eiki or another brand).

Thanks in advances for the help!
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Joined: Mar 28, 2005
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Take a photo of the current mount in use.
What is your projection distance (lens to screen)
What is the size of your current screen?
Are you happy with the current size or do you want to go larger/smaller?

The recommendation is that your projector should deliver 80 advertised lumens per square foot of screen space. So a 100" diagonal typically calls for about a 4,000 lumen (minimum) projector. But, 200" diagonal needs about 16,000 lumens. Quite the difference as screen size goes up.

Your budget will determine what size you can afford. Your wishes for a screen size will determine your budget. You must balance them.

Screens, while they can be helpful, do not correct for bad lighting in poor environments.
AV Integrated - Theater, whole house audio, and technology consultation during the build and installation process in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.
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I attached a render that I created as a proposal for the church. The screens are simulated on this picture but they are about 135" diag. We are happy with the size and the standard aspect ratio. Lens to screen is about 16 feet.

Is it your opinion that a fixed screen will not add much value in our application?

Attachments:

Simulated screens

800 × 600 pixels (73.26 KB)
  
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A slightly positive gain fixed frame screen would make a fair bit of sense. It would possibly make more sense to use a light rejecting screen from a company like Draper (I believe they just came out with some new surfaces for this).

The issue as I see it is that if that's a true photo of the space, then there is a lot of ambient light which is falling right on the screens with no attempt to control that light which is near the screen.

Your current projectors are 4:3 aspect ratio, which is fine, if this was the year 1999, but computers have abandoned the 4:3 aspect ratio, as have televisions in general, so the recommendation by anyone who knows anything would be for a 16:9 or a 16:10 setup with maximum light output.

135" 16:9 screen is 54 square feet, asking for a projector which rates no less than 4,400 lumens. But, because of the serious uncontrolled ambient light, it seems like there is a need for as much brightness as you can afford, perhaps 100-120 lumens per square foot, or a 6,000+ lumen projector.

This is the list I would be pulling from as my recommendation at under $5,000 per projector:
http://www.projectorcentral.com/projectors.cfm?g=1&hide=0&st=1&mfg=&p=500&p=5000&w=&r=&br=6000&br=60000&ll=<g=&t=&db=&dt=&c=&ar=Wide+%2816%3A9-10%29&dvi=&wr=&pjl=&pjw=&pjh=&td=&i=d&is=&sort=pop&sz=15

But, I would actually recommend more. Especially if there is a way to get the projectors out of the line of site of the congregation.

From this list:
http://www.projectorcentral.com/projectors.cfm?g=1&hide=0&st=1&mfg=&p=5000&p=12000&w=&r=&br=6000&br=60000&ll=<g=&t=&db=&dt=&c=&ar=Wide+%2816%3A9-10%29&dvi=&wr=&ol=1&pjl=&pjw=&pjh=&td=&i=d&is=&sort=brt&sz=15

Something more like this model:
http://www.projectorcentral.com/Epson-PowerLite_Pro_Z8350WNL.htm
with a long throw lens so the projectors can sit towards the back of the space instead of up near the front.

With their long throw lens, the projector could be as far back as 87' lens to screen.

http://www.projectorcentral.com/Epson-PowerLite_Pro_Z8350WNL-projection-calculator-pro.htm

I would also recommend discussing with an electrician pulling any lights which are shining on the wall which the screen are on off the main circuit and putting them on a separate dimmable circuit if they aren't already. Get light OFF the screen, and that will significantly improve the image quality which is on the screen.

I'm not sure of any budget here, but the Epson would be my recommendation. I will actually be in a church later this week and will let you know what they went with at that location.
AV Integrated - Theater, whole house audio, and technology consultation during the build and installation process in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.