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Backyard Theater - Outdoor Movies

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Author Topic: Specs for garage based projector with medium ambient light?  (Read 1690 times)
btrcp2000
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« on: August 01, 2016, 10:07:51 am »

Hi-

For years i have been using a panasonic pt-ax100 in my garage and on the porch.  Works great at night,  but obviously not so much during the day at 2000 lumens.  It does okay starting around dusk,  though,  so im thinking about upgrading  and wondering if i can set up earlier if i had more lumens?

Very willing and likely will buy used from ebay or CL,  dont really care how old as long as it has hdmi and at least 720p. I am by no means a stickler for picture quality,  have just been using the primered whkte wall in the garage and actually a brick wall on the porch.  Surprisingly tolerable,  and i never have to set up a screen.  All other tech (sound,  sources)  is permanently installed in the garage with hdmi split to porch ceiling

I know how to use the projector central database,  but not sure what specs to hit other than lumens.  Do i care about contrast ratio? What else?

Certainly open to specific recommendations as well.   Thanks!
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SR
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« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2016, 12:24:22 am »

Hi-
 im thinking about upgrading  and wondering if i can set up earlier if i had more lumens?


to answer your question, probably.  It would be good to know what size your current screen is so I can calculate estimated lumens.  The one trick here is you want the picture bright enough to see it, but not so bright that it makes your eyes hurt.  To bright of an image will cause your eyes to feel sort of scratchy by the end of a movie.  Again depending on screen size, and lumens, it best you can probably hope for a 15 or 20 minute earlier start time.  Yea, I know we show double features every Friday and Saturday night, with pre-show, intermission clips and the whole bit.  When your first movie doesn't start until 9:30 it not uncommon for me to still be shutting down, and cleaning up at 3AM.  Good news is we are past the longest day of the year so start times are creeping earlier.

So could you shoot me your screen size?
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SIT & VUE "3" OUTDOOR THEATRES

PLEASE VISIT US ON THE WEB!
WWW.SITANDVUEOUTDOORTHEATRE.WEEBLY.COM

WWW.NIGHT-SKYOUTDOORTHEATRE.WEEBLY.COM
btrcp2000
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« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2017, 10:01:30 pm »

SR, please accept my apologies for never replying.  I apparently didnt have the forum set to notify, then life interfered, weather got bad, and I forgot all about this project.  Back on it now that spring is on the way.

I am highly flexible on screen size as I am just using the walls.  When its too bright, i just zoom in to make a small but brighter picture, then zoom out as it gets darker.  But I would say for the sake of discussion, 90 inches diag at most.  (Bearing in mind that 45 inches also gets the job done, as a smaller picture outside on a beautiful day beats anything inside)

I am looking at a Sanyo PLC XM100L that i could pick up for $300, only 186 hours on the bulb and it would get me 5000 lumens.  Native res is only XGA, but it can do 1080p.  Had it turned on with a movie and some ESPN clips, looked good enough to me to be considered HD on a brick wall.  It's just kinda huge. http://www.projectorcentral.com/Sanyo-PLC-XM100L.htm

Thanks again for your help!
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SR
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« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2017, 12:14:23 am »

Apology accepted but not needed we all have stuff outside of BYT.  If it were me I would jump on the CL PJ, that's a huge increase in lumens and you will notice a difference.  One thing some PJ's with higher lumen output have the option of switching to reduced output, epson likes to call it economy mode, another PJ I use to work with was a 4,000 lumen unit and it could be switched to 3,000 lumens.  So you might be able to start early on full power and then turn it down once it gets a bit darker.  You'll get to start earlier, plus by turning down the light output you'll get extended bulb life too assuming the one your looking at has that option of course.

Before I calculate foot lamberts are you sure 90" is a correct average diagonal measurement for your screen.  Assuming a 4.3 screen that's only a little over 4 feet tall by 6 feet wide.  5,000 lumens would most certainly be to bright in absolute darkness, but if you have a lot of ambient light it might be just what you need.  So just want to verify that.
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SIT & VUE "3" OUTDOOR THEATRES

PLEASE VISIT US ON THE WEB!
WWW.SITANDVUEOUTDOORTHEATRE.WEEBLY.COM

WWW.NIGHT-SKYOUTDOORTHEATRE.WEEBLY.COM
btrcp2000
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« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2017, 07:58:55 am »

Yes, 90 inches is the biggest it can be on the porch as that's the size of the wall. Porch is a rectangular shape, with two sides open.  Projector hangs in the middle and shines on one of the shorter sides brick wall.  For the intended purpose however, I would be setting it to a 16:9 non-native 720p or 1080p resolution, mostly movies or live sports.  Garage is a better environment anyway, so whatever works on the porch will be fine in there.

As mentioned, I am not a picture quality perfectionist.  For my goals here, do I need to care about anything other than lumens? Contrast ratio is only 1000:1, etc.?  $300 is a steal but not if it doesn't make much improvement.

Also, does it matter much that native resolution is 4:3?  Not looking for gaming or anything. 1080p probably even overkill but it seems wasteful not to have that at a minimum even on an older pj.

Thanks again!
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11visions
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« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2017, 09:16:13 am »

For just $100 more, I'd buy this: https://epson.com/Clearance-Center/Home-Entertainment/PowerLite-Home-Cinema-740HD-720p-3LCD-Projector---Refurbished/p/V11H764020-N

A few of the advantages is the warranty, $79 factory replacement bulbs, native 16:10 aspect ratio and it's much lighter and easier to mount.

That Sanyo you're looking at will be expensive when it comes time to replace the bulb.
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Phillip Hullquist
I toured the U.S. showing outdoor movies in 2010 on Carl's 16x9 screen.
Now I own eight commercial rental screens ranging from 9x5 to 30x17!
btrcp2000
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« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2017, 10:21:50 am »

appreciate that insight and the heads up on the refurb clearance.  but wouldn't i be giving up a  lot of lumens, bearing in mind that I'm currently running 2000 which is not enough?  The panasonic only has 3k, while the sanyo is at 5k. Or are there other features that would offset lower lumens?

I'm seeing the bulbs for $60 on ebay.  This would only be switched on maybe 10-15 hours a week during spring/summer, then shut off for probably 6 months, so I'm not TOO concerned about bulb life

 http://www.ebay.com/itm/OEM-Equivalent-Bulb-with-Housing-for-SANYO-PLC-XM100L-Projector-/291627254329?hash=item43e656c239:g:BLQAAOSwNuxXY6Ih
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11visions
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« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2017, 09:01:17 pm »

appreciate that insight and the heads up on the refurb clearance.  but wouldn't i be giving up a  lot of lumens, bearing in mind that I'm currently running 2000 which is not enough?  The panasonic only has 3k, while the sanyo is at 5k. Or are there other features that would offset lower lumens?

I'm seeing the bulbs for $60 on ebay.  This would only be switched on maybe 10-15 hours a week during spring/summer, then shut off for probably 6 months, so I'm not TOO concerned about bulb life

 http://www.ebay.com/itm/OEM-Equivalent-Bulb-with-Housing-for-SANYO-PLC-XM100L-Projector-/291627254329?hash=item43e656c239:g:BLQAAOSwNuxXY6Ih

On a white screen, more lumens ins't going to do as much as you might think if the surface is lit and there is little contrast to be had. I own several 5000 projectors and several of the smaller Epson 3000 lumen ones as well. I can barely tell the difference between the two on the same size screen pre-sunset. With some light control provided by the garage, you would probably have an advantage with the 5000 machine. It would be even more obvious with one of the dark grey "high-contrast" screen surfaces.

10-15 hours a week isn't much so bulb life might be less of an issue for you. My home projector is on 5-10 hours a day (roommates with different schedules) so I'm very conscience of bulb price. The OEM-equivalent bulbs sold on Amazon and eBay are not as bright and don't last nearly as long as factory bulbs. There's a reason they are cheap. I had a Sanyo PLC-XT35 and tried an OEM bulb in it once. It was noticeably dimmer than the factory bulb. One of my Epson projectors had a cheap bulb last year for awhile. It blew out after 3 months. Look at the Amazon reviews for most cheap replacement bulbs. That's why I brought up how current-model Epson (and certain other manufacturers) have less expensive bulbs than usual so that a plus for my type of usage. Just check the cost of a factory bulb on any projector so you are at least aware of it before you buy.
http://www.projectorcentral.com/lamp-suppliers.htm

You might be perfectly happy with the Sanyo machine linked. It's big, heavy, 4:3 and an older model so just be aware of the limitations. Sanyo/Christie made a lot of different projector models with this same case and I think it's a particularly good looking projector. Sometimes I get bogged down in the features when a big screen outdoors is going to make me happy regardless.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2017, 09:04:49 pm by 11visions » Logged

Phillip Hullquist
I toured the U.S. showing outdoor movies in 2010 on Carl's 16x9 screen.
Now I own eight commercial rental screens ranging from 9x5 to 30x17!
SR
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« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2017, 11:42:19 pm »

11V has given you a lot of good advice, but I will add that neither projector is wrong or right, however I will mention that on most projectors running them in non-native aspect ratio doesn't do your light output any favors.  With that said up until the Sit & Vue closed we had two Canon Realis which are native 4.3 units projecting night after night on to 16.9 screens and we had no complaints what so ever.  Personally I don't think 720p 1080p you will really see the difference outside.  90" is relatively small for an outdoor screen so you will sit relatively closer than you might to say a 9' X 16' screen, so you might, notice if you had them setup side by side.  It just depends on how picky your eye is (mine is not that picky).  You should look up bulb cost for both PJs, just so you know what you looking at.  Yes most of the time PJ bulbs last as long as they are suppose to but it's a good thing to know just encase something happens. 

One thing we haven't talked about is zoom.  Does either PJ have a better zoom than the other? 

I would say if you have been able to "test drive" the Sayno, and your happy with the image it produces I would go with that unit only because you have been able to "test drive it" and while you may or may not like the Panasonic you can't "test drive it".  On the other hand 11V is a professional outdoor movie person so he knows what he is talking about too. 
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SIT & VUE "3" OUTDOOR THEATRES

PLEASE VISIT US ON THE WEB!
WWW.SITANDVUEOUTDOORTHEATRE.WEEBLY.COM

WWW.NIGHT-SKYOUTDOORTHEATRE.WEEBLY.COM
btrcp2000
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« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2017, 08:07:24 am »

great info, thank you so much. Good callout on the zoom. I think I have been a little spoiled with the zoom/manual lens shift on the panasonic ax100. Neither my porch or garage mounts are perfectly squared up but I've always gotten away with adjusting things.  COuld be a challenge if a new projector doesn't have those options. By the way, I'm not even using a screen as I learned a long time ago that if it is complicated to set up, I will never use it.  I have identical monoprice mounts in the garage and porch with hdmi runs, stereo permanently installed in the garage, and I just hang the projector on whichever mount.  In the garage it shines on flat white drywall.  On the porch it shines on beige/grey/white brick.  Last year I got a denon AVR-x400 that can do dual hdmi zones, and this year a logitech harmony hub so I am now just a couple button presses away from showing whatever in both places.  Very rarely I will hang a "screen" (two walmart shower curtains held together with stretchy athletic tape) across the garage door opening, set the projector to "rear" and hang it backwards on the garage mount. Big screen night is fun for the kids, but kind of a PITA to setup, especially if it happens to be windy.

I have now spotted an Epson Ex3240 on craiglist supposedly never used for $200.  3200 Lumens, and it looks like I could easily get the money back out on ebay if it doesn't help much. No lens shift, digital zoom only though. That Sanyo behemoth isnt going anywhere soon.  It has motorized zoom and shift.

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