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Author Topic: Choosing a projector  (Read 2774 times)

Dave Garoutte

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Choosing a projector
« on: December 24, 2015, 05:35:59 pm »

Hi Folks.
I'm a part-time sound, stage and lighting provider.
I am interested in being able to provide video for events.
How the heck do I figure out what I need?
Since it's not for a specific project, I need versatility and reliability, but of course I don't want to spend more than necessary.
(Heard that one before?).

I'm guessing 20-50 feet distance.
Dark to dinner lighting levels.
10-20 foot screen front or back lit.
Are LED projectors bright enough?

Thanks!
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Jamin Lynch

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Re: Choosing a projector
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2015, 07:09:28 pm »

Hi Folks.
I'm a part-time sound, stage and lighting provider.
I am interested in being able to provide video for events.
How the heck do I figure out what I need?
Since it's not for a specific project, I need versatility and reliability, but of course I don't want to spend more than necessary.
(Heard that one before?).

I'm guessing 20-50 feet distance.
Dark to dinner lighting levels.
10-20 foot screen front or back lit.
Are LED projectors bright enough?

Thanks!

Figure the screen size that will fit most events first. That will make a difference on everything else.

How large are your typical events? Number of people? Typical room size?

You will want something easy to set up and tear down. I would suggest a Da-Lite Fast Fold. Comes with a case with wheels. They have a "Dual Vision" screen which can be either front or rear projection.

A 20ft screen is huge!! Hard to deal with. I have 14ft (width) for larger rooms (1000 people) and 10ft for smaller rooms. I can set up the 10ft myself.

I have short throw projectors that will do the 14ft screen at approx. 8ft distance. I prefer to do rear projection for events. Keeps the projectors out of the audience. You just need to have the room behind the screens available.

Projector brightness (lumens) you will need depends on how much ambient light in the room. I don't use anything less than 3500 lumens DLP.

You will also need a video source like a computer, along with cabling, splitter (if using 2 screens)

It can get pretty expensive

It all depends on the scale of your events.

« Last Edit: December 24, 2015, 08:04:06 pm by Jamin Lynch »
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Caleb Dueck

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Re: Choosing a projector
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2015, 07:44:30 pm »

LED looks great, but nowhere near bright enough.  Laser is great, Digital Projection has an 8500 lumen laser that could work great.  A couple lenses at least, but keep in mind they aren't cheap.  I'd personally stay above 6k lumens minimum. 

What about LED wall?  It allows for much more flexibility as the size and shape are custom for each event.  It can be split and used for stage "lighting", has plenty of brightness even for outdoors, and has zero dead space for projector cone.  Higher cost yes, but many more applications for rental. 
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Dave Garoutte

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Re: Choosing a projector
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2015, 01:14:59 pm »

What about LED wall?  It allows for much more flexibility as the size and shape are custom for each event.  It can be split and used for stage "lighting", has plenty of brightness even for outdoors, and has zero dead space for projector cone.  Higher cost yes, but many more applications for rental.
[/quote]


Yeeps!  I just priced some Chauvet LED panel options.  You're looking at $15k for the starter pack!
Too much for my 'budget'.  Something to keep in mind if I can attract that level of clientele.
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Events.  Stage, PA, Lighting and Backline rentals.
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Inventor.

Jordan Wolf

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Re: Choosing a projector
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2015, 04:07:53 pm »

NEC, Panasonic, and Christie are the manufacturers I'd look at. I use their stuff all the time. They have all sorts of models and lending that will scale to your events.

I recommend subtending a few times until you know what you really need. Pass on the cost to the client and go from there.

I'd go with a 7k lumen projector as minimum; you can always dim them down by using Eco mode, fewer lamps, etc.

You'll pay for actual HD projection, but you can really get away with 720p if needed...most people don't even know the difference, and it's very dependent on content as well.

Where are you located?


- Jordan Wolf
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Jordan Wolf
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"We want our sound to go into the soul of the audience, and see if it can awaken some little thing in their minds... Cause there are so many sleeping people." - Jimi Hendrix

Dave Garoutte

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Re: Choosing a projector
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2015, 04:40:56 pm »

North of San Francisco.
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Events.  Stage, PA, Lighting and Backline rentals.
Chauvet dealer.  Home of the Angler.
Inventor.

TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Choosing a projector
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2016, 09:53:33 am »

A 10'-20' screen is a big range - a 10'x5.6' screen is 56 sq ft, while a 20'x11.25' screen is 225 sq ft - 4X the size of a "10'" screen.  For the same brightness, you'll need 4x the lumens for the upper end of your range compared to the lower end.

Right now the sweet spot in projectors is 4500-5000 lumens.  A reasonable quality projector in this range is ~$1300: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1086206-REG/panasonic_pt_vw530u_wxga_1280x800_lcd_5000.html

Prices go up rapidly for full-HD (agree that it's probably not needed), lens options, or brightness.  If you can make 5000 lumens work it might be worth owning. 

In my experience, these look pretty good for rear projection on 12'x7' screens if you can control the ambient lighting a bit - especially behind the screen.  All bets are off if you are in a room with lots of light or if you want a larger screen (though 12x7 depending on the nature of the content and your expectations, 12'x7' looks good up to about 60-80' away from the screen IMO).

I was just on a show with a bunch of 20K projectors on 16'x10' screen.  It looked great, but these are solidly in the "if you have to ask..." category.

LED walls can be great - they will be much brighter than a projector, but up close they look terrible (Light Brite effect), take a long time to setup, and are more expensive for small screen sizes.
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John Daniluk (JD)

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Re: Choosing a projector
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2016, 10:50:03 am »

Before you buy the projector, decide how you are going to get the video to it.  Fiber, hdmi, sdi, each has pluses and minus.  Make sure the projector can work with what you decide to use.  Be aware you may have some lip sync issues,  audio leading video.  If you run more than one projector you may have HDCP issues.

good luck

jd
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Choosing a projector
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2016, 10:50:03 am »


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