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Topic: Motion simulator screen(s)
Joined: Jun 16, 2022
Posts: 3
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Hi Guys,

over lockdown i built a 6 DOF motion simulator

the professional systems I have seen use a curved wall and projectors

currently we use 3 pc screens

i wanted to explore using a screen and projectors

ideally i would like to use an older design that may be easily available and cheaper to buy. I donit want to sink lots of money into the build if it fails to deliver

i am guessing i need a large screen resolution and a low lag time

you can see the sim here
Joined: Mar 28, 2005
Posts: 13,119
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Tread lightly.

The biggest factors you will have is resolution, response time, and image quality.

I would look for projectors like the BenQ w1070 (used), or the newer HT2050a. If you need short throw, the BenQ HT2150st is a great option, though some Optoma models work as well.

All these models are 1920x1080 resolution, which is ideal for gaming as it won't overburden the PC. Frame rates for projectors are locked at 60hz, so you don't get gaming monitor features like variable refresh rate.

But, lag time is low at about 16ms for the BenQ projectors.

In a darkened room, which is what you should be using, at least as dark as possible near the screens, a 100"+ diagonal for each screen is easily maintained.

UNLIKE MONITORS: Projectors are very difficult to color match accurately. As they bump up against one another on a large screen, color matching exactly will take a lot of effort and may never be perfect.

Keep in mind, just like your computer monitors, you can't change the shape of the output of a projector really. It's 16:9 output and locked at 1920x1080 pixels. If you add keystone correction or other digital correction to the image, it may increase lag time and it will lower image quality. So, there's a fair bit of planning that goes into all of it.

Epson has some decent models as well with their 3100, 3700, 3200, and 3800 models that offer greater zoom range and full lens shift for enhanced placement flexibility, but I would think the BenQ DLP models would do a bit better on the motion of the game.

It STARTS with the room things are going into.
How big will each screen be?
How high are the ceilings?
How much distance between the screen and the projector is available?
What is a realistic budget?

If some time is spent on eBay and there is no rush, then 3 BenQ w1070 projectors can be had for about $1,000 total. You may need new lamps, which could run $50-$100 each. Budget at a minimum accordingly.
AV Integrated - Theater, whole house audio, and technology consultation during the build and installation process in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.
Joined: Jun 16, 2022
Posts: 3
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Thank you for taking the time to reply to my post

the advice you have given is very valuable

some answers to your questions

"It STARTS with the room things are going into."

the room is approx 4 m square - it has a ceiling approx 2.5 m high

"How big will each screen be?"

I am not sure ! I plan to make them as big as possible with a curved projector

"How much distance between the screen and the projector is available?"

approx 3 m

"What is a realistic budget?"

if i can guarantee a good result approx 3k

here are some examples of projector screens i have already seen

this one looks affordable - (BenQ 1080st ?)
Joined: Mar 28, 2005
Posts: 13,119
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I think this video is, by far, the best of the bunch.

Be aware, that without blending/warping software you can't get a very good image on a curved screen. Projectors are designed to project accurately onto a FLAT screen. As you curve a screen, the projector doesn't magically change from a rectangle to the curved layout, so you need special software to make it work. That's highlighted in your second video.

It also looks like he is doing edge blending. That's a process where the point where two projectors meet up, they are slightly overlaid on top of each other. Instead of a harsh joining where two projectors butt up against one another, they overlay each other and are blended together. This is how it is done in ALL professional simulations.

Another significant issue, is that you need the projectors to be calibrated and matched to each other as exactly as possible.

The video you linked with 3 projectors shows what happens when you butt projectors up against each other instead of blending them and when they are not color matched...

You can actually see a gap in alignment issues in that video as well as the clear color differences. Which, yes, are visible to the human eye, even if he is downplaying it a bit.

Seams, differences in brightness, and color differences are MAJOR issues in multiple projector setups.

The new TH690ST coming from BenQ is one of the models I would SERIOUSLY consider...

With an LED light engine and reasonable brightness that should be comparable to the 2150ST (the newer 1080ST model), the TH690st is the next generation of what projectors are, and the price is in line with where you want to be.

A big plus is that LED is far more consistent with color and brightness over time. So, you won't get the same differences in brightness or color that is so common with cheap projectors. A downside is that the lens isn't on center, so you have to adjust the mount position a few inches to the side to ensure the lens is on center. The video for the 270 degree addition is a good one that discusses this issue.

The other videos you showed were mostly of 'pro' simulator setups.
The professional setups typically cost half a million dollars or more. Most use rear projection, and most have far more than two or three projectors. More projectors increases brightness and gets a feel for daylight conditions. They also use very high end calibration software and cameras to ensure all projectors are color matched and accurate for a lot of edge blending work.

That video of the cheap curved setup is the one to watch and work with. It has, by far, the best pointers of any of the videos you shared. He talks about the software he is using and he has gone through many of the associated headaches. His upgrade to a three screen 270 degree setup is solid and he provides a ton of information on what a cheaper simulator needs to make it work.

Don't forget you will need HDMI cabling, mounts, and to get the screens all put together to make it all work. A do it yourself screen is certainly a way to save hundreds or thousands of dollars in the long run.
AV Integrated - Theater, whole house audio, and technology consultation during the build and installation process in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.
Joined: Jun 16, 2022
Posts: 3
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thanks again for your advice and the mention of the TH690ST

it got me thinking, is there a single projector that can be used to fill a curved screen using some warping software ?

is 3840×2160 (4K), and 7680 x 4320 (8K) available in projectors ?

I am guessing it will be very expensive


are modern cinemas using a type of projector or do they still use film ?

is there an older cinema technology that could be bought for sensible money and used in the home ?
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