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Topic: Projector Screen Recommendation for 3-Season Room
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Joined: May 14, 2019
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Hi there,

Firstly, thank you very much for taking the time to write such a comprehensive reply! This information is extremely helpful and insightful, and really brings everything together!

With respect to lumens and brightness of the projected image, it is hard to appreciate how much is needed, especially in the specific environment where we plan to use the projector. While I'm assuming that we will mainly use this projector late in the day/in the evening, is 1800 lumens (e.g. from the BenQ HT2050a) enough for using the projector during the daytime in a covered screen room with "some" ambient light? I know that the level of ambient light is a key question - we may be able to control this a little bit with the use of light-blocking curtains. Once again, I'm not an enthusiast, but I'm trying to determine if it is worth the extra money to purchase a higher-lumen rated LCD projector for use in this kind of environment (these seem to be typically >$1000, which is really more than I want to spend).

As previously mentioned, I was also hoping to find a projector that had lower latency to allow somewhat responsive gameplay (i.e. games that require a game controller such as an XBox gamepad for on-screen movement). Regarding this last point, the lower-cost Epson models, <$900 (e.g. 1060) don't seem to be a good option (your review stated 52ms input lag for the 1060). Even the more expensive Epson 3100/3700 models have 28ms latency at best. Something like the BenQ HT2050a seems to be much more robust in this capacity (e.g. 16ms), but also has a lot lower effective lumens compared to the Epson models.

Bottom line regarding choice of projector for use in my environment, within my budget, it seems to be very diffcult to find a projector that ticks all the boxes: price (<$800), lumens/"bright enough for use in shaded outdoor screen room" (>2500?), low latency (ideally, under 20ms), non-short throw to avoid the need for an expensive tab-tensioned screen. It seems like some kind of sacrifice needs to be made...?

In terms of projector screen: the Elite Screen projector screen you suggested looks ok. Is there any particular reason you suggested that model? (there seems to be several models offered by this vendor that could be suitable). I'm not really keen on the use of a motorized projectors outdoors, as it would seem to add another point of failure.

Another key question that we have is how to mount the screen on an "open" side of our outdoor room (i.e. with no solid wall but rather a mesh screen behind it). I see that Elite Screens depicts the use of their "Yard Master Manual" screen on an open side of a porch, which will be similar to what we want to do (see on Amazon: sixth picture down on the left: https://www.amazon.com/Elite-Screens-100-inch-Protection-Projector/dp/B01KZRQ0HO/). However, it is unclear how stable the screen would be mounted like this - i.e. even in a light wind. How do you secure or tension the screen to make it more stable? Attach weights or bungee cords at the bottom?

In terms of mounting: you provided a tremendous amount of information for ceiling mounts. I feel a bit bad about this - unfortunately, I failed to mention that a ceiling mount is not an option in our outdoor room, as the ceiling is very high and also has fans. We plan to place the projector on a table or other stand on the floor in the room. I realize that this may mean having to finesse the placement every time we set up the projector. With regard to stands, I have seen some "tripod" like stands which give some control over projector height, but they look a bit unstable. Do you have any thought on these, or recommend other options for floor-based mounting?

Once again, thank you so much for all your advice!
[Edited by BigScreenGamer on May 19, 2019 at 6:14 PM]
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So, almost all wall mounted screens have the ability to use a hook to hang them from. I have no preference for Elite Screens over other brands such as DaLite or Draper or the myriad of other manufacturers out there. Their website is just pretty easy to navigate.

Motorized is certainly a failure point, but some people really like it. I don't care either way.

I do think that you likely would be happier with a LCD projector in this situation and the added lumens will be something you would really benefit from overall. The HT2050A is a BETTER projector in terms of overall image quality, but that's in a home theater, which you aren't.

Input lag may be an issue for VERY serious gaming, but in reality, most people don't notice lag under 50ms. Projectors pretty much didn't get under 33ms until a few years back. 33ms was considered very solid for competitive gamers.

So, don't expect that 50ms will really be as bad as you think, but I'm not sure what games you play or how competitive they are. For interactive on-screen use, 50ms is not very noticeable. I'm not sure what delay your current gaming display may already have. It may by higher than you think. (or maybe not)

The Epson 1060, from the Epson Refurb store is under $500. So, it's a great price and ideal starting point for your outdoor use.

As for a table stand that works well, I haven't seen one. I have seen the cheap stands that are out there, and they are just that. Not exactly heavy and versatile. I would more likely build something that is specific for the projector so you could more easily place/remove it when it isn't in use. Build it to match the deck/projector setup, and you should be good to go for the life of the projector. Build it like a 'table', and use it as a end table when the projector isn't out there. Just make sure to put leveling feet on it, and mark exactly where things go to make setup easy.

Of course, audio still needs to be considered as well (if it hasn't).
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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Thanks again for the advice!

For screen, I'm leaning towards the Elite Screen Manual Series 100", with extra 24 inches of border (to give some extra leeway with screen height). While it's not weatherproof, its reasonably priced, so I can replace it as necessary without taking too much of a financial hit. As previously mentioned, I may spray some weatherproofing on some of the mounting components to try and ward off rust.

I appreciate the insight on input lag. I'm not a competitive gamer, so the response of the Epson projectors seems adequate.

Regarding the Epson 1060, it's brightness seems to differ quite substantially based on the color mode (i.e. Dynamic, Cinema, etc.) as well as power mode. I notice that "Game" mode has the lowest measured brightness - I'm just wondering if that is going to be a problem. I assume that you can game in any color mode, such as the highest brightness mode, Dynamic? The more expensive models you mentioned (e.g. 3100/3700) seem to offer more consistent (and typically higher) brightness across all color and power modes.

Regarding sound - I was planning to use a pair of outdoor bluetooth speakers that are mounted in the room (one speaker is hardwired to the other). I was going to install Kodi on an Amazon Fire 4K TV stick and plug that into the projector to watch movies. I believe that there is an audio delay setting / buffer that can be used to compensate for possible bluetooth delay? For games, I was planning to either hook up a PC or console directly, or stream from a PC to the Amazon Fire stick using an app like Moonlight (currently do that to an NVIDIA Shield hooked up to one of my TVs and it works well).

I think that I can find (or build) a suitable table that is matched and dedicated for use with the projector. Marking the best position of the table for projector placement is a good idea.

Once again, thank you so much for your valuable input!
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I would recommend that you hard-wire the audio to a HDMI switch which extracts the audio to analog left/right.

The most common setup is to use a A/V receiver, and I understand that is not always a practical option, and it kind of bums me out that more projectors don't include audio out as an option.

The Epson 1450, by example, has analog audio out...
https://epson.com/Clearance-Center/Home-Entertainment/Home-Cinema-1450-1080p-3LCD-Projector---Refurbished/p/V11H836020-N

It has a 3.5mm stereo jack on the back which could directly feed your speakers, then you could adjust volume using the remote control of the projector. Whatever source you are viewing is what you would hear through the speakers, and you could listen to anything.

Most people's experiences has been that Bluetooth has had a significant amount of audio delay which has been unacceptable for video viewing. Talk about adding 'lag' to the system as well. I can't confirm this information, but it seems the Bluetooth is just not built around usage with video and lip-sync.

So, you could pick up a tiny 3x1 or 5x1 hdmi switch with analog audio output...
https://www.amazon.com/J-Tech-Digital-Switcher-Selector-Extractor/dp/B00QJGAKCW/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?keywords=hdmi%2Baudio%2Bextractor%2Bswitch&qid=1558540226&s=gateway&sr=8-1-spons&th=1

Then directly connect it to a set of speakers with volume control, or put in a small amplifier with volume control on it. Overall, really cheap, and depending on where you locate them, they should last for years if covered up.

So, I might get something like this...
https://www.amazon.com/Channel-Bluetooth-Amplifier-Wireless-Speakers/dp/B072Q157FY/ref=sr_1_9?keywords=tiny%2Bamplifier&qid=1558540420&s=gateway&sr=8-9&th=1

Which doesn't have a ton of power, but would be good for powering some weather rated speakers, then hard wire any outdoor speakers of your choice.

That way you can get better speakers in the future if you want, or if the speakers go bad, you aren't out 'everything'. Outdoor speakers typically last 10+ years without issue if protected from the rain. So, spend $100 on the outdoor speakers, then $30 on that amp and $30 for the switcher and another $30 or so for decent 14 gauge speaker wire. All in for audio under $200 including speakers. You can even start with super cheap $20 or $30 speakers, then upgrade later if you want.

Otherwise, you could just use a pair of powered computer speakers and connect them to the HDMI switch/audio extractor directly and get something done for under $50.

https://www.amazon.com/Logitech-S120-2-0-Stereo-Speakers/dp/B000R9AAJA/ref=sr_1_4?keywords=computer+speakers&qid=1558540794&s=gateway&sr=8-4

So, $37 or so for that HDMI switch + audio extractor, then $10 for speakers. You could hear things rolling for next to nothing. The audio would 'suck', but it would be easy enough to upgrade down the line.

I would probably get decent $100 speakers and try out that amp to see how things sound.
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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While I know that bluetooth is not as reliable as a wired audio set up, there are some reasons why this was selected in our scenario. We plan to use an Amazon Echo or Input with hands-free voice control in this patio room to control audio streaming to the speakers and some lighting, fans, etc. in the room. While bluetooth capability could conceivably be added to wired speakers, included or added to a receiver, etc. we tried to simplify the setup and eliminate some of the wiring and devices that are needed.

To see if a bluetooth audio setup would work for us, today I tested some self-amplified outdoor bluetooth speakers (OSD BTP650) with both an NVIDIA Shield TV and an Amazon Fire 4K stick. I played YouTube videos through the Android YouTube app and movies/TV shows through Kodi. There was no significant audio lag on either device connected to the speakers (I played videos where I could see a person speaking to subjectively check the synch). One problem that I did encounter is that the Fire stick remote could not change the volume level of the bluetooth speakers, but the Shield remote could. Looking online, this seems to be a known issue with the Fire stick... this is a deal breaker for me if I cannot find a solution.

I also did a quick game test with both devices, using the above-mentioned bluetooth speakers and my LG OLED B7 TV (which is rated at 21ms input lag). I also used an Xbox One bluetooth controller, also connected to the devices, for testing. I streamed a simple 2-D platforming game from my PC to both devices @ 1080p / 20Mb/s using the Moonlight app for Android (which I installed on both the Shield and Fire stick). I must say that it all worked pretty well using the Shield - the audio didn't noticeably lag and the control was reasonably precise. While audio and control also worked on the Fire stick, there was some noticeable lag (little for audio, but more significantly for control). Note that while the Fire stick was working over WiFi, the Shield had a hardwired ethernet connection. I plan to test the Shield tomorrow over WiFi to see how that impacts controller responsiveness (which I think may be a significant factor).

If the Epson 3100 projector (which I'm leaning towards) has 28ms of input lag in fast mode, it should give a similar response to my LG TV, so it looks like videos and gaming could conceivably work with the bluetooth speaker and controller setup.
[Edited by BigScreenGamer on May 22, 2019 at 7:47 PM]
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