PROJECTOR BUYING TIPS

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Apr 09, 2014 3 comments
I have to admit, I don’t really understand TVs. Sure, I review them, and through various trade shows and articles, see dozens every year, but I don’t get it. Why would you want something so tiny? A 50-inch TV is a postage stamp.

The new 70- and 80-inch models are barely better, and they’re expensive. These days, for less than $1,000, you can get a decent-looking Full HD “TV” that’s over 100 inches diagonal.

Rob Sabin Posted: Mar 27, 2013 4 comments
Putting together a home theater can seem like a daunting task. So many pieces to think through and connect up! But if you care enough to do your homework and educate yourself, you’ll find it’s not as complicated as it looks. Here’s what goes into your typical viewing room.

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John Sciacca Posted: Feb 13, 2013 0 comments

Projection screens come in virtually any size, and affordable solutions are available that exceed 100 inches diagonal. And even though much marketing hype continues to push flat-panel LED and OLED technology, here are five reasons why a front projector still makes the most sense for home theater.

Al Griffin Posted: Feb 09, 2013 0 comments

Need a good reason to buy a projector? How about this: Of all the video-display types, projectors provide the biggest image for your buck. Rear-projection TVs, which were once available in screen sizes up to 92 inches, used to be an even more affordable big-screen option, but the last manufacturer with a stake in rear-projector manufacturing, Mitsubishi, recently closed up on that biz.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Apr 27, 2012 1 comments

Stewart Active 170 3D
Performance
Setup
Value


Da-Lite High Power
Performance
Setup
Value
Stewart Filmscreen Reflections Active 170 3D
Price: Varies by size, type (see review) At A Glance: Higher gain than popular StudioTek 130 G3 • Good off-axis performance and color uniformity • Noticeable hot spot

Da-Lite High Power
Price: Varies by size, type (see review) At A Glance: High Gain • Picture darkens visibly off-axis • Hotspotting virtually undetectable

We’ve come a long way from the days when screens were an afterthought. I imagine there are still a few enthusiasts who cut their projection teeth on a sheet or a bare white wall, or even an old, beaded, home-movie screen. Today we know better. The screen is a vital part of the projection setup.

Screens now come in a wide variety of sizes and characteristics. Their physical construction—fixed frame, retractable, flat or curved, masked or unmasked, perforated or not—is a subject for another day. There are also rear-projection screens. Here, however, we’re primarily concerned with the characteristics of the screen material itself, as used in front-projection setups, the type most commonly found in theaters, both commercial and home.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Sep 12, 2011 0 comments
Performance
Setup
Value
Price: $2,699 At A Glance: Gets the black bars out • Solid value • Minor uniformity issues

Elite Screens may be less well known than some of the bigger names in the business, but they offer a wide range of projection screens for every application. Since their products are manufactured in China, they’re more than competitive in price. But this limits their ability to offer customization, such as sizes not included in their standard lineup.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Apr 26, 2011 2 comments
Price: $2,199 At A Glance: Image pops with room lights on • Minimizes room reflections with lights off • Fixed frame—no retractable version

Lighten Up

Many of us will tolerate a projection system that requires a totally darkened room for movie watching. But when other family matters make this impossible, or when your buddies come over on a Sunday afternoon for the big game, how many of us are willing to totally blacken the room and leave everyone to stumble around in the dark?

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Apr 25, 2011 1 comments
Getting the most out of your big-screen experience.

When it comes to setting up a great video projection system in your home theater, the screen is nearly as important as the projector. A white wall or sheet simply won’t do, except in a pinch as a temporary stopgap. There’s no substitute for the real thing.

But choosing the right real thing requires research, together with examination of your individual needs. How tightly can you control the room lighting? How big do you want the image to be? What shape screen do you want—that is, what aspect ratio—and do you want a screen that can mask off the unused portions when the source is a different aspect? Can the screen have a fixed frame, or do you want it to be retractable? How much gain should the screen have? Which screen will best match your projector? And last but not least, how will 3D affect all of these other considerations?

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Apr 18, 2011 0 comments
Putting the theater in home theater.

It wasn’t so long ago—less than 10 years, in fact—that video projection in the home meant a bulky CRT projector that often weighed 200-plus pounds and took hours to set up. It used three separate CRTs, one each for red, green, and blue, which had to be precisely converged and focused on site. Once the setup was complete, you couldn’t move the projector without risking a need to repeat the entire operation. The CRTs also tended to drift, so periodic reconvergence was needed, either by the dealer or by a tech-savvy owner. It was complicated and expensive. Once you threw the cost of the then-expensive video scalers (needed by the day’s standard-definition sources) into the mix, the proposition could easily run into six-figure prices. But the best of these CRT setups were truly amazing—even in standard definition.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Mar 01, 2010 0 comments
I vividly recall those freeway signs that once littered the sides of the clogged Los Angeles freeways. “If You Lived in Nutty Oaks, You Could Be Home by Now,” they trumpeted.
Adrienne Maxwell Posted: Apr 27, 2008 0 comments
Tips for selecting and installing a front-projection screen.

What’s keeping you from taking the front-projection plunge? Is it a belief that projection systems are still only for the rich and famous, consisting of $15,000 projectors, movie-theater-sized screens, and elaborate masking systems, controlled by advanced touchpanels? The entry-level projector roundup on page 38 of this issue is proof that there’s a 1080p projector to suit almost any budget, and the same is true for theater screens.

Shane Buettner Posted: Aug 03, 2007 0 comments
Since front projection has become a much more affordable proposition, its popularity has swelled in recent years and continues to be a growth category in the industry.
Thomas J. Norton Posted: Aug 03, 2007 0 comments
You want the big screen experience. That means a projector and, obviously, a screen. Yes, you could just aim the projector at that white wall, or a neatly-pressed sheet. You'll get a picture, and the video police won't show up to drag you away to an ISF re-education camp.
Graham McKenna Posted: Mar 08, 2007 Published: Mar 09, 2007 0 comments
THX is setting a new standard for picture quality and making shopping for HDTVs easier.

When you think of THX, you think of great sound, right? Those three letters have been synonymous with cinema and home audio for more than two decades. So, when THX launched a new certification program for high-definition video products at last year's CEDIA and helped introduce several new THX-certified projectors from Runco and Vidikron, it raised a few eyebrows in the consumer electronics community.

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