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Projectors DLP Projectors, LCD Projectors & Screens Please Note : This forum is for projectors that use a screen and not rear projection HDTVs. There is a separate forum for RP HDTVs.

Front vs. Rear Projection

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Old 09-29-2005, 06:13 PM   #1  
How can anyone watch standard def?
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Default Front vs. Rear Projection

I'm sure every now and again, some knucklehead starts a thread like this but please try and humor someone new to the board.

I've been doing a great deal of research on rear projection TV's lately, but recently realized that I haven't checked out front projection. Perhaps someone can highlight the pros and cons for me.

Here are some questions I have as well:
- I ended up canceling a Samsung 720p RPTV because I'm interested in the 1080p technology. Will I pay through the nose for it with front projection?
- Who are the top manufacturers of FPTV?
- Is a ceiling mount the recommended setup?
- Is setting up my system so complicated that I should pay an expert to set me up?
- I have an old movie theatre screen that's in decent shape. Can I just cut out a square and slap it on my wall? Do I need to frame it out or create some masking?
- The way it looks to me so far is that FPTV is the far more expensive route, since I'll need the projector, receiver, sound system, and screen. Is that correct?

Any help you guys could provide would be most appreciated!
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Old 09-29-2005, 07:32 PM   #2  
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Default FP-the most wow for the buck -projectorcentral.com

Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithK
recently realized that I haven't checked out front projection. Perhaps someone can highlight the pros and cons for me.
Here are some questions I have as well:
- I ended up canceling a Samsung 720p RPTV because I'm interested in the 1080p technology. Will I pay through the nose for it with front projection?
- Who are the top manufacturers of FPTV?
- Is a ceiling mount the recommended setup?
- Is setting up my system so complicated that I should pay an expert to set me up?
- I have an old movie theatre screen that's in decent shape. Can I just cut out a square and slap it on my wall? Do I need to frame it out or create some masking?
Quote:
[ I use an 8' pulldown screen aka 110' diag)
- The way it looks to me so far is that FPTV is the far more expensive route, since I'll need the projector, receiver, sound system, and screen. Is that correct? --
Quote:
prices on FP HDTVs are similar large plasmas - but the images are 4-10 times bigger in area !
Any help you guys could provide would be most appreciated]
there are some bonafide FP gurus here - I just watch DVDs and MNF on mine - I'm sure they will send you directly to http://www.projectorcentral.com do not pass go!
check out the thread on the Miracle screen - also I read that the contrast ratio on your computer monitor is about 60:1 and a printed page is about 200:1 so don't let the contrast numbers flummox your decision process.

Last edited by maicaw; 09-29-2005 at 07:58 PM..
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Old 09-30-2005, 06:11 AM   #3  
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As per the previous post, all of my replies can be further researched at Projector Central.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithK
...I'm interested in the 1080p technology. Will I pay through the nose for it with front projection?
Hard to say since there aren't any mainstream home theater 1080p FPs on the market. Current mainstream home theater HD FPs ($2.5k to $10k) come mostly in 1280x720p with a few 1080i models on the higher end of the spectrum. The two 1080p FPs I've seen from Sony and JVC cost well over $20k.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithK
...Who are the top manufacturers of FPTV?
That's debatable, but generally, Panasonic, Sanyo, Optoma, Infocus, Sony and Benq are among the common home theater favorites. It depends on whether you prefer DLP or LCD. (research at projector central)

Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithK
...Is a ceiling mount the recommended setup?
No such rule, an "ideal" setup depends on how you use the room, seating location and equipment used.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithK
...Is setting up my system so complicated that I should pay an expert to set me up?
Hard to say since you don't have a system picked out yet and we don't know anything about your own ability to perform the task. But generally speaking, it's not so complex.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithK
...I have an old movie theatre screen that's in decent shape. Can I just cut out a square and slap it on my wall? Do I need to frame it out or create some masking?
A possible solution. Masking can help depending on the ambient light control for the room. There are effective paint products as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithK
...The way it looks to me so far is that FPTV is the far more expensive route, since I'll need the projector, receiver, sound system, and screen. Is that correct?
I'm not sure how you arrived at that conclusion, but it's not correct. If you consider the limited quality you get from a TV's built-in audio capabilities, a slightly better HTIB system that's pretty cost-effective would make a home theater FP solution far less expensive than say a 60" or larger HDTV of any flavor.

Last edited by borromini; 09-30-2005 at 06:26 AM..
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Old 09-30-2005, 06:17 AM   #4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maicaw
...prices on FP HDTVs are similar large plasmas - but the images are 4-10 times bigger in area!
If you define large plasmas as 50" or bigger then you are incorrect with the price comparison. A high-performance HD FPT can cost as little as $3k. You won't find a large plasma for that same price. So the advantage with the larger image is even more compelling. The only technology that can compete with mainstream HD FPs would be RPTVs, but then again you'll be limited in screen size.
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Old 09-30-2005, 06:23 AM   #5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maicaw
...also I read that the contrast ratio on your computer monitor is about 60:1 and a printed page is about 200:1 so don't let the contrast numbers flummox your decision process.
Uh, computer monitors are a very poor analogy since they are designed for data display so consequently have a very different requirement than home theater video and reading a printed page is an even worse case-model in terms of relevancy. Contrast ratio is extremely important to enjoying a quality home theater image. For FPs, generally all the latest models have improved to an average of 2000:1 CR making it less of an issue than in recent past.
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Old 09-30-2005, 11:16 AM   #6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by borromini
If you define large plasmas as 50" or bigger then you are incorrect with the price comparison. A high-performance HD FPT can cost as little as $3k. You won't find a large plasma for that same price. So the advantage with the larger image is even more compelling. The only technology that can compete with mainstream HD FPs would be RPTVs, but then again you'll be limited in screen size.
-my intended point was was the same as yours - "Current mainstream home theater HD FPs ($2.5k to $10k) come mostly in 1280x720p with a few 1080i models on the higher end of the spectrum" -Costco sells 50" HDTV res plasma for under $3000 -Optoma 50 16:9 HDTV-Ready Plasma TV Resolution: 1366 x 768 $2,699.99 (s/h $250)- Nothing beats FP if you are willing to let the room become the TV set -IMO - plus I like the geeky thing of looking at a piece of fine electronics permanently mounted on the LR ceiling!!!

Last edited by maicaw; 09-30-2005 at 11:34 AM..
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Old 10-03-2005, 09:23 PM   #7  
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Borromini, I've read several of your posts and you seem to know a great deal about this form of HD. May I inquire what type of equipment (Projector, Home Theatre System, Receiver, etc.) you use at home?

Thanks!
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Old 10-04-2005, 04:30 PM   #8  
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For me front projection is the ultimate, but only if done as a home theater. If you have a room with good to excellent light control then go for front projection. Most living rooms are only suitable for watching FP at night. Some people will install a plasma on the wall behind a drop down screen for such use.

Generally I would not advise either or. I would advise adding a FP to whatever your day to day TV might be, even if that is a SD set. Using a FP TV for normal TV watching can be difficult.

BTW Sharp is a brand that was missed in Borromini's list.
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Old 10-04-2005, 08:01 PM   #9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbinck
...BTW Sharp is a brand that was missed in Borromini's list.
Actually, I meant to list Sharp in lieu of Sanyo. Sanyo does make a very good high-end model that costs around $11k...oops!
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Old 10-04-2005, 08:15 PM   #10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithK
Borromini, I've read several of your posts and you seem to know a great deal about this form of HD. May I inquire what type of equipment (Projector, Home Theatre System, Receiver, etc.) you use at home?...
First of all I agree entirely with rbinck as far as why and when do you choose to use an FP so I'll assume you understood his recommendations and have considered the pros and cons with the room you are considering placing an FP in.

As for my equipment, I own a Sony HS20 which is now about close to two years old but still going strong. It's successor last year was the HS51 with this year's successor arriving in a month or two. I don't have a very high-end home theater system: Athena Micra 5.1 Surround Speakers ($600), since I don't use it for music and does a fine job with movies. My receiver is a Pioneer VSX-D912K ($430). I painted my wall with Screen Goo. DVD player is a Bravo D1 and I use DirecTV's HDTV service. The entire project costs came out to $6k and worth every penny considering the result includes a 102" image.
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Old 10-10-2005, 12:24 PM   #11  
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Quote:
I would advise adding a FP to whatever your day to day TV might be, even if that is a SD set. Using a FP TV for normal TV watching can be difficult.
Rbinck, can you expound?
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Old 10-10-2005, 02:17 PM   #12  
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my impression is that SD DTV (including "upscaled" HDTV eg.PBS) and video sourced DVDs aren't up to the quality necessary for 100"+ displays only HDTV and film DVDs - break out the 34" CRT or flat panel
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbinck
... Using a FP TV for normal TV watching can be difficult...
- -- the Faroudja DCDi helps the others immensely though - see:
http://www.highdefforum.com/showthread.php?t=12669 and
http://www.highdefforum.com/showthread.php?t=12190 and
http://gnss.com/technology/articles/dcdi-overview.html

Last edited by maicaw; 10-10-2005 at 02:23 PM..
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Old 10-11-2005, 10:20 AM   #13  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithK
Rbinck, can you expound?
I think what he's referring to is that while HD and DVD's are great on FP, everything else is just so-so. I know some people can't stand watching regular signals on a FP but I myself use my FP as my main TV. The only other TV I watch is in the bedroom or on very few occassions (When I plan on watching for just a few minutes) I'll watch our 27" CRT in our Den.

Now, using my Projector as our main TV, did require us to have room darkening shades in our living room (fortunately my wife had already made these) and most of our viewing is done in the dark - I do have a 40watt bulb in a nearby lamp that really doesn't affect the light.

In my opinion, it's all worth for a 100" image!
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Old 10-13-2005, 03:28 PM   #14  
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IMHO a FP is good to have when you have a dedicated room and a good tv to watch tv on regularly, and use the FP for movies and sports.
A good screen may make a O.K. projector look good,
A good projector may make a O.K. screen look good,
A good screen and projector...WOW!
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Old 10-13-2005, 04:35 PM   #15  
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Originally Posted by KeithK
Rbinck, can you expound?

The comments by the others said part of it. The other part is that wifes and children can have difficulty operating all of the equipment associated with FP. Projectors usually take a while to warm up, surround systems have to be turned on and the proper input selected and all that to watch a washed out picture at mid-day. Your results may vary.
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