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Topic: Projector needed for large high school gymnasium
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Joined: Feb 16, 2018
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Hello, I’m in need of a recommendation for a replacement projector for a bright, large high school gym. The current projector is 20ft up and 20ft from the wall. The screen is a powered da-lite 16ft wide. Our budget is between $10,000-$15,000 for the projector. We are in need of HDMI inputs as well. What is the best projector in our price range? Thanks in advanced!
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This is the projector I’m looking at:

Projector : Epson Pro L1405U
Lens : ELPLW05 (Short)


Opinions?

Thanks!
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Are you happy with your current projector?

What is the aspect ratio of the screen you are using?

Are you happy with the current projector location with no desire to change it?

Where do you plug in a computer in relation to the location of the projoector?

I always consider the brightness of a projector in a lit environment as the absolute most important factor of the projection experience in a commercial application. Contrast is achieved through better black levels, which you can't get when you are shining large white light bulbs onto the screen (gymnasium!).

So, the math is simple: square footage of the screen times 80 lumens for acceptable performance.

At 192" wide, your screen is about 160 square feet, and that works out to 12,800 lumens as the goal. You can go down in light output with reduced performance, but it will reduce perceived contrast within the space.

The use of SSLE projectors (solid state light engine) is a great move forward, but carries a very large price jump to get lamps that you don't need to replace vs. brightness that is obtained.

There are 20' ladders that can reach that height if a lamp needs to be replaced and it only takes an untrained person about an hour to replace a lamp, maybe quite a bit less, with the projector in a mounted position. Typically a couple of screws, pull the old lamp, put the new lamp in, put the screws back in.

That may be obnoxious to do once every year or two, but is still something to weigh against cost and necessary brightness.

Likewise, if the projector distance can change, you may get options which work much better with your budget.

This is the current list of under $15K projectors which can hit that width from 20' lens to screen.

http://www.projectorcentral.com/projectors.cfm?g=1&hide=0&st=1&r=&br=7000%2C&c=&w=&ar=Wide+%2816%3A9-10%29&lag=&db=&zr=&wt=<g=&ll=&mfg=&p=3000&p=15000&wr=&dt=&t=&pjl=0&pjw=0&pjh=0&td=20&is=192&i=w&tr=&tr2=&oop=1&sort=brt&sz=15

For no reason that I can figure out, the Epson you linked to is NOT in the last, so we will play with the parameters some.

IF you can move the projector location, so we can dump the 20' to 192" requirement...

http://www.projectorcentral.com/projectors.cfm?g=1&hide=0&st=1&r=16&br=7000%2C&c=&w=&ar=Wide+%2816%3A9-10%29&lag=&db=&zr=&wt=<g=&ll=&mfg=&p=3000&p=18000&wr=&dt=&t=&pjl=0&pjw=0&pjh=0&td=&is=&i=w&tr=&tr2=&oop=1&sort=brt&sz=15

If your budget allows, I would get the 12,000 lumen version of the Epson that was JUST released and marks a significant upgrade in overall capability.

http://www.projectorcentral.com/Epson-Pro_L1500UH.htm

At the price shown, it comes with a standard lens and will hit your screen from about 26-28 feet from the screen delivering over 70 lumens of brightness.

If I was standing in front of you right now, I would talk you into getting that model. Yes, it has a SSLE in it so you won't need to touch a new lamp, and it has the brightness for the screen size you are using. It will give you what you want/need for the long term and should be a 7-10 year product.

It includes a HDBT input, which is what you actually want. HDMI is for 10' cable runs, for a professional installation, you want/need HDBT.

With what you are looking at, you must balance it against something like this:
https://epson.com/Clearance-Center/Projectors-for-Work/PowerLite-Pro-Z9870UNL-WUXGA-3LCD-Projector-without-Lens---Refurbished/p/V11H611920-N

Which is 8,700 lumens, and is thousands less. Add the right lens, and 6 lamps, and you are covered for years of usage at a lower price tag.

The problem is, that projector isn't bright enough and shouldn't be used. Just like the one you looked at.

I think you have a good budget, but the model you need is at the top end of that budget, strictly by the numbers and the size of the screen.

Unfortunately, most A/V companies have sales guys that just don't get the numbers. You really want someone experienced who knows these numbers to ensure you are getting the right product.
[Edited by AV_Integrated on Feb 16, 2018 at 9:42 AM]
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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Shop around for sure, and check where you are buying from. Also call Epson about special school pricing which could be lower, but the model I linked to can be had for under $15K....

https://protechprojection.com/epson-pro-l1500uh-laser-projector/?gclid=CjwKCAiAn5rUBRA3EiwAUCWb28ynzUoAEwvdMntLuFcroEJuFxhKntpZbJvO88gxWgdmthuvpSoubxoCHwkQAvD_BwE

Not sure of the quality of this reseller, so do your homework first.
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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Thank you for your Help! We are going with the Epson Pro L1500UH.

Thanks!
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