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Topic: Help choosing new laser projector for ambient light
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Joined: Jul 6, 2017
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We are currently looking for a new projector and have it narrowed down to a couple and need some help deciding. We have a fair amount of ambient light in the room and will be projecting to a 160" screen. Throw doesn't really matter to use since we can change the position. The three projectors we are considering now is the Dell 7760 laser, Sony VPL-PHZ10, or NEC P502HL. They are all right around the same price ($3000) have similar lumen output and all use a laser for their light source. The Sony and NEC are 5000 lumens and the Dell is 5400. The Sony is a lcd projector while the Dell and NEC are dlp. Not sure what would be best or if there are other contenders that might fit the bill.
[Edited by Stitch on Jul 6, 2017 at 8:03 AM]
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You have an 80 square foot screen, assuming a 16:10 screen at 160" diagonal.

That means you need a real world, 4,000 lumens from the projector to deliver 50 lumens per square foot and to achieve about a 10:1 contrast ratio under normal florescent lighting.

I would consider a projector with an advertised 5,000 lumens to be questionable on actual brightness performance and would go brighter. Preferably closer to 7,000 lumens for long term acceptable brightness if possible.

I would NEVER buy Dell. They don't manufacturer their own products and once they are out of production, they often don't service or support the product. Sometimes they have great pricing, which is enticing, but projectors aren't standardized like computers, and if they don't support it, and it fails, you are on your own.

NEC is excellent, as is Sony and Panasonic.

Personally, I would stick with NEC and Panasonic overall, but I really have no reason to choose them over Sony, just personal preference.

With those as criteria, this is the list I would be looking at:
http://www.projectorcentral.com/projectors.cfm?g=1&hide=0&st=1&r=16&br=6000&br=8000&c=&w=&ar=&db=&zr=&wt=<g=&ll=12000&ll=100000&mfg=&p=1000&p=10000&wr=&dt=&t=&pjl=0&pjw=0&pjh=0&td=&is=&i=d&tr=&tr2=&oop=2&sort=%24&sz=15

Which is pretty much dominated by Panasonic, NEC, and Sony.

Yes, there are 5,000-6,000 lumen options, as you have found...
http://www.projectorcentral.com/projectors.cfm?g=1&hide=0&st=1&r=16&br=5000&br=6000&c=&w=&ar=&db=&zr=&wt=<g=&ll=12000&ll=100000&mfg=&p=1000&p=10000&wr=&dt=&t=&pjl=0&pjw=0&pjh=0&td=&is=&i=d&tr=&tr2=&oop=2&sort=%24&sz=15

and there is an obvious price drop there which is significant, especially for the Sony. But, that Sony isn't built anything like the other models. I would be really worried about it delivering the brightness it claims.

adding in the 1080p models:
http://www.projectorcentral.com/projectors.cfm?g=1&hide=0&st=1&r=13&br=5000&br=6000&c=&w=&ar=&db=&zr=&wt=<g=&ll=12000&ll=100000&mfg=&p=1000&p=10000&wr=&dt=&t=&pjl=0&pjw=0&pjh=0&td=&is=&i=d&tr=&tr2=&oop=2&sort=%24&sz=15

There are no 1080p projectors with a solid state light engine which offer more than the claimed 5,400 lumens from the Dell.

It's worth noting that the Sony has been reviewed on Projector Central, and was only able to deliver about 4,000 lumens, which is what I would expect.

http://www.projectorcentral.com/sony-phz10-review.htm

This is likely consistent with projectors of that claimed brightness and of that price point. This is going to be a potential issue that may require lights to be turned off in the room, and certainly ambient light from windows will not be something these projectors can overcome. If you can turn off lights near the screen and do not have windows in the room, then I would really think that either the NEC or Sony would be perfectly fine in the long term.

You will want to mount the projector as close to the screen as possible to maximize brightness.
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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We will actual have a 16:9 projector screen and are also in the market for one of those too. It will probably end up being a gray screen with a gain of 1 to 1.2. Right now our projector we are using is an old sanyo and is at least 10 years old. It is projecting a 150" at 4:3 on a matte white screen. I dont know what the lumens are rated at but i dont think it would be near the 5,000 mark. I don't think it has even had a new lamp yet and the image doesn't look to terrible beside the darker colors but I am sure it could be a lot better. Would you go with the lcd or dlp projector for higher ambient light? I know thay say lcd projectors have higher color lumens but not sure if it makes a huge difference now with technology advancement.