Projector Recommendation

Kirby Sam

Novice Member
Just moved into a new place and the living room has a large wall that is fairly well light controlled with just ambient light vs. direct light from a window. Prior owner already ran an HDMI cable from the wall to a plug in the ceiling. Just to play around then return I bought Epson 1060 (1080p at 3100 lumens) and wow, was impressed how bright it was and the image quality on a light gray wall. This demo was enough to convince my wife so now I'm on a search for a permanent one.

I have a 18' throw and want the image to be between 120''-150'', I feel like 135'' would be the sweet spot. The room won't be fully light controlled but the wall is well shadowed and no direct sunlight, the 3,100 lumens from the Epson 1060 projecting a 175'' image was adequate 9and turned on eco mode at night) but don't want to go lower. Budget is under $2k. Do I go brighter lumens and stick with 1080p (they are several 4,000 on up for under $2k) or up to 4k resolution with the most lumens I can get (the optoma UHD52 seems like a good option and we make extensive use of Alexa at home)? I'm leaning towards painting the wall vs. a screen but a drop down screen could be in the cards in the future.

Any models I should focus on and any input on the brighter 1080p vs. lower lumen 4k? Thank you.
 

noob0101

Active Member
Just moved into a new place and the living room has a large wall that is fairly well light controlled with just ambient light vs. direct light from a window. Prior owner already ran an HDMI cable from the wall to a plug in the ceiling. Just to play around then return I bought Epson 1060 (1080p at 3100 lumens) and wow, was impressed how bright it was and the image quality on a light gray wall. This demo was enough to convince my wife so now I'm on a search for a permanent one.

I have a 18' throw and want the image to be between 120''-150'', I feel like 135'' would be the sweet spot. The room won't be fully light controlled but the wall is well shadowed and no direct sunlight, the 3,100 lumens from the Epson 1060 projecting a 175'' image was adequate 9and turned on eco mode at night) but don't want to go lower. Budget is under $2k. Do I go brighter lumens and stick with 1080p (they are several 4,000 on up for under $2k) or up to 4k resolution with the most lumens I can get (the optoma UHD52 seems like a good option and we make extensive use of Alexa at home)? I'm leaning towards painting the wall vs. a screen but a drop down screen could be in the cards in the future.

Any models I should focus on and any input on the brighter 1080p vs. lower lumen 4k? Thank you.
Some basic info about projection:

Projectors are dark room devices. I don't know how much time you actually spent with the HC1060, but with any projector setup ambient light will wash out the dark parts of the image.
Even wall reflections will have an effect:

So treating the room will have a positive effect, on any projector.

The HC1060 has very poor blacks. Maybe you haven't noticed now, but it won't be long until these issues become apparent.


Secondly, the way to determine the projector's actual brightness is to measure it. Some reviews have measured the output depending on preset and lamp mode.
Just the two examples that you mentioned:

The HC1060 although relatively inexpensive is brighter than almost all projectors in the home cinema market.

Projectors like the UHD52ALV are sports/living room projectors that sacrifice color and sometimes black level for brightness. They are not (primarily) movie projectors.

Depending on the model, DLP projectors can have less color lumens than white lumens. 3LCD has the same amount of color lumens as white lumens.

The brightest preset usually has a green tint, on most projectors.

Will there be any streaming? Or gaming?

There's just two projectors with Alexa. If you want Alexa get it separately.

Certain types of screens can help with black level (in the dark), and or with the image in ambient light IF the projected image is bright, without dark parts.

These can be screens or paint mixes.

So it depends what type of environment. For light entertainment, sitcoms, sports, or daytime TV, some ambient light can be present, but not for anything else. Treating the room, limiting light to the viewing area and not the screen area, using some of the screens mentioned above, will help, but not with medium dark/dark images. Where an image is dark is where the projector is not sending light. Whatever light is on the screen will fight with the ambient light.

Of course it's your decision on how the image looks like. If the room will remain the same I don't know that you'll see any advantages of a better model.
 

Kirby Sam

Novice Member
That is good info thank you. Mostly we'll be streaming Netflix / Amazon through Roku, movies aren't that often at least for the adults, kids will be happy with any picture. Some gaming will be done as well.

If anyone else has input or recommendations I'd love to hear. Was trying to avoid, but might have to buy a couple of options and test them all out first.
 

noob0101

Active Member
That is good info thank you. Mostly we'll be streaming Netflix / Amazon through Roku, movies aren't that often at least for the adults, kids will be happy with any picture. Some gaming will be done as well.

If anyone else has input or recommendations I'd love to hear. Was trying to avoid, but might have to buy a couple of options and test them all out first.
It depends on a few factors.

A few more questions:

What percentage will the projector be used with ambient light?

How much ambient light is there actually? A picture/example would be helpful.

How far away are the walls and ceiling?

Are any viewing position at an angle from the central axis of the screen?

Any sources of light opposite of screen?
 

Kirby Sam

Novice Member
Reading up I'm looking for a home entertainment projector over a home cinema projector and care more about fun/enjoyment than reproducing the movie's image as accurately as possible. Little issues that would bother an enthusiast probably wouldn't bother me.

I've attached a pic of the room with the test proctor from when we just moved in. It is taken in the afternoon so even daytime viewing is pretty light controlled and should be just fine for sports, regular TV and kids movies. There will definitely be gaming in the future as the kids get older. By the time I get to watch a show or movie it's usually dark so black level during movies isn't an issue (though looking at the picture I might have to do something about the reflected light from that right wall).

To narrow the field, best 4K, at least 3,100 lumens (level of the test projector), sub-$2k, projector or just skip the 4k and get the 1080p Esposon 1450 packing 4,200 lumens? (I think I need the 4k though).
 

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noob0101

Active Member
Reading up I'm looking for a home entertainment projector over a home cinema projector and care more about fun/enjoyment than reproducing the movie's image as accurately as possible. Little issues that would bother an enthusiast probably wouldn't bother me.

I've attached a pic of the room with the test proctor from when we just moved in. It is taken in the afternoon so even daytime viewing is pretty light controlled and should be just fine for sports, regular TV and kids movies. There will definitely be gaming in the future as the kids get older. By the time I get to watch a show or movie it's usually dark so black level during movies isn't an issue (though looking at the picture I might have to do something about the reflected light from that right wall).

To narrow the field, best 4K, at least 3,100 lumens (level of the test projector), sub-$2k, projector or just skip the 4k and get the 1080p Esposon 1450 packing 4,200 lumens? (I think I need the 4k though).
As you can see wall reflections will have a severe effect on black levels.

Having a good picture is not something that only an enthusiast can tell. Everyone can, including a child.

I would strongly advise against getting projectors made for the classroom/boardroom. If you have a projector like the HC1060, getting one with more lumens will not help.

I was leading somewhere with the questions in the previous post.
Is there any light source from the opposite of the screen?
How long is the room?

It's difficult to tell how bright of a projector you would need since you haven't specified what preset and lamp mode are used. If you look in the review, there is a lot of difference in lumens. You can't just say 3100 lumens, that doesn't mean anything.
 

Kirby Sam

Novice Member
The room is just over 18.5' long with the projected ceiling mounted just off the back. There are no light sources opposite from the screen. some ambient light from one side of the rear but only earlier in the afternoon. When I was testing the HC1060 it was more than bright enough at night when I usually turned it down to eco mode. During the day with lots of ambient light it was on the brightest setting, okay for sports / tv / kids shows but obviously blacks were unobtainable.
 

noob0101

Active Member
The room is just over 18.5' long with the projected ceiling mounted just off the back. There are no light sources opposite from the screen. some ambient light from one side of the rear but only earlier in the afternoon. When I was testing the HC1060 it was more than bright enough at night when I usually turned it down to eco mode. During the day with lots of ambient light it was on the brightest setting, okay for sports / tv / kids shows but obviously blacks were unobtainable.
The 1060 has a few presets. For instance Cinema on Eco is 980 lumens, but Dynamic is 2061.
On Normal lamp Dynamic preset is 3300, Bright Cinema would be 2500.

What were the presets used?
 

Kirby Sam

Novice Member
It was probably Dynamic on normal with ambient light, Dynamic on eco at night. There are only a handful of of (faux) 4k projectors under $2K. I'm thinking the if I were to order one for a more thorough home trial it would be the espon HC3800 over the DLP options such as optoma UHD30 or benq tk800 mainly due the full 300 lumen color brightness of the HC3800 over a slightly higher white brightness for the DLP's.
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Maybe I am missing something but what is wrong with what you have now - it seems to fit your needs?

Joe
 

Kirby Sam

Novice Member
I only grabbed the HC1060 from Best Buy as the lockdown started so I could play around with it and entertain the kids (me too) before returning. The throw ratio didn't work for my setup and projected too large an image (175'' was impressive but at floor to ceiling wouldn't work when we finished moving in and put out some furniture) 120'' - 150'' would be better and alternate options can hit that. I knew in getting the 1060 that if it "tested" okay with the family (wife) I'd probably get a 4k option with a better picture for my own enjoyment. A similarly bright 1080p option with a throw ration that works is a fall back.
 

noob0101

Active Member
It was probably Dynamic on normal with ambient light, Dynamic on eco at night. There are only a handful of of (faux) 4k projectors under $2K. I'm thinking the if I were to order one for a more thorough home trial it would be the espon HC3800 over the DLP options such as optoma UHD30 or benq tk800 mainly due the full 300 lumen color brightness of the HC3800 over a slightly higher white brightness for the DLP's.
Those DLP's highest brightness (in regular modes) is up to ~1700 lumens. The HC3800 is up to ~2200, also regular modes. Those DLPs have for the most part the same color lumens as white lumens. However when the highest preset is selected the white lumens may go up, but color lumens will go down. For instance on the PX747 the highest preset can do 3500 white lumens, but color lumens is 875.

The 1080p version is the HC3700 and is ~15% brighter than the HC3800.

Epson does have a refurbished section, but they can't be sent back unless they are faulty:

The reason I was asking about distances is a way to improve daytime viewing is with an ALR screen. IF the image is bright it will be much improved over a matte surface. Darker images will have some improvement since your setup is not bad with regards to ambient light, especially if the area around the screen would be treated. ALR screens will also improve contrast/black level.

The issue with ALR screens is that they need to be placed at certain distance from the screen. The recommended throw ratio is 1.8-1.9x. The throw ratio can be calculated by dividing the distance from lens to screen, to the width of the screen.

In your setup the throw ratio with an 135" screen is ~1.7x. If it's under the limit some visual artifacts will appear, in very bright scenes. They are not noticeable most of the time. These artifacts are hotspot, where the center is brighter than the edges, and sparkle in the center of the screen.

This is what an ALR screen with a 1.7 throw looks like:

Cameras don't always capture what the image is really like. For example this setup is with a HC3700 at a 1.35x throw. The images in daylight are not as good because there are windows from the same direction as the projector. ALR screens are like a mirror. They will reflect some side light to the other side, but also light that comes from the front. Which is why only the projector must be the light source from the front.

In the next post I managed to capture the hotpost in a white image, which is the worst scenario.

You can get samples to see what the difference is like. ALR screens are Elite Cinegre 3D and 5D, Carl's ALR (they only sell the fabric), Silver TIcket High Contrast Grey. Some of them are available in fabric only, which can be mounted on a wooden frame. It would reduce costs considerably.

If the artifacts are bothersome then getting ALR screens that don't artifact at that throw ratio is not possible since they are very expensive. The alternative is custom paints with ALR properties that can be applied on a the wall or a cheap screen. To go this route create a new thread here:


If some sort of ALR screen/paint will be used, I would actually suggest an Epson 5050UB. It can only do ~1400 lumens, but it's picture quality is superior to the HC3000 series. Especially the black levels when used at night.
 

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