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Topic: <long> What questions should I ask for picking a new projector?
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Its been 17 years since I bought my last projector (SharpVision) and much have changed since then (must be, right?).

I am looking to buy a new projector that would fit in the old/current environment.

I vaguely remember what consideration went back then when making a choice but I would think things have changed since and I should consider new elements.

Looking to narrow down the projectors list. What questions should I ask myself? and ... are there some obvious choices to make based on some of the information below?

1. Projector will be on a shelf 16 ft away, and 6"2 high.
2. screen side 105" diag (16:9 ratio) (DA-Lite white)
3. cable is DVI (can I use it with connector?)
4. Receiver: Denon avr-x2400h
5. Use: Stream video/movies, Watch Sports/TV; (gaming is nice but not must)
6. Lighting - Can watch in dark (not total dark) but would want watch, at least sport games with some light in the room.
for movies, deep darks please.
7. In my current setup, I think I needed Keystone correction, not sure if its lens shift ... but I do need to project bit below the projector direct height.



At this point, I think I want any new investment to be 4K or more.
Need to be fairly quiet as projector is just above my head but dont know how to define it.
Long hours use - want to be using it without worrying about light bulb. that was a pain point in my old projector.

Don't care about:
3D - don't mind but won't be a decision factor.
Mobility - Don't need to move the projector.
Short distance - No
Speakers - No

Nice to have:
A way to cast from a PC directly to the projector - (no sounds needed)

Budget ... not sure but probably up to ~3K-4K? (Depends on how much other upgrades might need to do to the equipment.)

Me thinking I want to be laser projector but been told that the main benefits for it are:
How fast the projector bulb warms up.
No color change over the lifetime of the bulb.
Bulb last longer

No benefit on picture quality as its not coming from Laser as from the optics on the projector.

What else I should be checking/asking myself and ... based on what already stated, are there good recommendation.

p.s

I just remembered the big challenge I had back in 2005 ... not being able to see any demos. How do you deal with it now?
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So, you have a number of potential issues.

The biggest is that your throw distance is a bit far for such a small screen combined with the request for a laser projector.

This matters because most people sit near the back of the room and often have about 10" of diagonal for each foot of viewing distance, so if you have a projector near 16' away from the screen, and you were sitting 16' from the screen, it would be more common to have a 150" diagonal size (or so). 105" is relatively small, but I am assuming you are sitting closer than 16' away.

The laser projectors are coming on more and more often, but we haven't seen a lot of high-quality units in the $2,000-$3,500 range which offer plenty of zoom range and lens shift which is what you should be after.

Be aware that laser light sources are not user replaceable. At 20,000 hours, if the laser fails, you send it in for repair, or you get a new projector. You can't just swap the lamps.

This said, the list for sub-$4,500 laser projectors with 4K resolution that can hit your screen size from 16.5' lens to screen is short...
https://www.projectorcentral.com/projectors.cfm?g=1&hide=0&st=1&exp1=1&r=1017&br=&c=&w=&db=&ar=16%3A9&zr=&wt=<g=101&ll=&wr=&dt=&mfg=&p=800&p=4500&t=&pjl=0&pjw=0&pjh=0&exp4=1&td=16&is=105&i=d&tr=&tr2=&exp5=1&oop=2&sort=pop&sz=15#list

Specifically, the JVC NZ3 is the only model which can do it properly...
https://www.projectorcentral.com/JVC-LX-NZ3B.htm

Would I get the NZ3?

Probably not. I would get the Epson 5050UB instead...
https://www.projectorcentral.com/Epson-Home_Cinema_5050UB.htm

The 5050 does use traditional lamps, but it has a better overall image and a ton of placement flexibility. A projector like this Epson also has a much longer lamp life than older projectors had. Up to 5,000 hours in eco mode. That works out to two years of use at 8 hours a day, every day, before the first lamp would need to be replaced.

Still, if the goal is laser, then the JVC is close to best-in-class.

Now, you had a few other questions...
Demoing projectors still is nearly impossible. Places like Best Buy may have a projector section in their stores, but typically only with one or two models. On the plus, that may include the Epson. But, it is unlikely to have the exact models I am talking about. Usually they show Sony models and others which are $5,000+ models. Nice, but very spendy. Call first to find out what models they may have.

Second: If you want to wirelessly go from a PC to your projector, then get a Chromecast or similar wireless HDMI device which allows you to send video from your PC to that device. The video will be okay, as long as there isn't movement. The flat out reality is that you can't send video at full frame rates, wirelessly from a laptop. PowerPoint, yes, motion videos, no. And hook it up to your Denon, not the projector. Use your Denon as the source for everything you watch.

Third: It is unlikely that your 15+ year old DVI cable, which was designed for a less than 1080p image, will be capable of working with 18Gb/s 4K HDMI video. Expect to replace it, though you can certainly test what you currently own before making such a replacement.

In reality, not much has changed over the years with front projection.
A dark room is still critical.
Projectors are a fair bit brighter, but not enough to deal with a bright family room easily.
Resolution has gone up, as is normal.
Colors on decent projectors were always very good.
Decent models have generally been fairly quiet.

Not sure, specifically, which Sharp projector you have now, but that would provide some potentially useful information.
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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wow, thank you so much for all the information/details here. Amazing!!

so, lets talk first on the distance as that seems to be a limitation, I won't be able to change.

Let me first answer the projector question as like you said it might give more information:


Quote (AV_Integrated on Dec 29, 2021 6:06 AM):
Not sure, specifically, which Sharp projector you have now, but that would provide some potentially useful information.


The model I have is SharpVision Xv-z1200.

As you can see from the images, we are sitting at the ~16ft range, just under the projector.

What might be making things bit more complicated - see the pictures.. The projector seats at about ~6ft from floor. The lower part of the screen is about 32" from the floor. Does it mean I need lens shift? Wasn't sure how to account for this in the calculator.

If the distance is taking me out of the Lazer option, that makes the dilemma simpler on one hand but greater on the other as I think it opens the flood gates of lamp projectors and will still need to figure out how to narrow the list down.

I might be over reacting to my experience in replacing the lamp on the Sharvision and it might be part of "old days".

When I needed to replace the bulb, an original OEM bulb was about 50% of new projector (not same model) so I bought a none OEM and it was never the same ... the projector never produce same level of brightness as the original light bulb.

So if I got you right - JVC if I insist on going Lazer? (what's the first laser you think is worth investing in, should I go with higher budget?
Epson if I go lamp?

Here is some of the other projectors that were suggested to me:
JVC RS2100
Optoma UHZ65LV (by the wizard tool)
Sony .... (but since it started in the 24K range, I didn't feel it was necessary to get the exact model

Other thought or ideas to models I should be looking at and how to narrow the list down?

Thank you very much.

p.s Love your solution for the PC. Should have thought about it
on the DVI... Yes, I guess its time to switch.
[Edited by r.e.l on Dec 29, 2021 at 1:13 PM]

Attachments:

projector

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seating

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screen

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The measurement you need to determine how much lens shift is necessary is the distance from the ceiling to the center of the lens, and then from the ceiling to the TOP of your screen (not the bottom).

Then subtract the two.

You likely have a 106" diagonal screen, as that's a common size, which is 52" tall. If your screen is 10" from the ceiling and the center of the lens is 8" from the ceiling, then you need 2" off offset, which is only about 4% of the image height. So, with 'FULL' lens shift, you would need at least 54% +/- of the image height.

The JVC NZ3 has 60% +/- lens shift.
The Epson 5050 has more.

The Epson delivers a better overall image than the JVC NZ3 DLP model does.
The JVC RS2100 is brand new and will outperform the rest, by a bit, and is around $10,000. I struggle a bit with that as a recommendation as it is not really setup as a dedicated theater space with blackout walls/ceiling, etc. and the lack of a really good tab-tensioned screen is not ideal. So, I would likely step things down a bit.

The JVC NZ3 or the Epson 5050UB would be my strongest picks right now. The Epson 5050 is not laser, but has the better image between the two. The NZ3 should be very solid and is a very good laser-based projector.

If your Sharp is still working, then you may want to wait a few months to see what Epson delivers with their upcoming laser-based models. These are basically updated versions of the 5050UB with a laser light engine.

These models are the EPSON EH-LS12000 and the EPSON EH-LS11000.

The bottom line is that I think you would be very happy with the JVC NZ3, but you get a boost in image quality from the Epson. It's not going to be a MAJOR difference, but it would be visible if they were side-by-side. Likewise if you went with the higher end JVC RS2100 at 2 to three times the price. But that's a lot more to spend for a marginal improvement overall in your room.

You will also want to check the height of your opening that houses the projector. It shouldn't be an issue, but it's worth checking before purchase.
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 very much ...

More and more I am thinking that the EPSON might be the right way to go.
Saw some videos comparing the 6050 with the JVC and I think there is a repeated theme there that I think very relevant in my case:

If the room is not dedicated pitch black, the EPSON will be more versatile.

I am wondering if there is a diff between 5050 and 6050 or not?

Don't care of the mount but the extra light bulb and warranty might interesting.
Also, not clear from the different reading/videos is there is or there is not a difference in the actual lens.


Are the new models supposed to be announced at CES?