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Anyone know anything about overhead projectors?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by A.Nonymous, Aug 11, 2012.

  1. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Extreme Android User
    Thread Starter

    The projector at our church is dieing a slow and painful death. There is a blue splotch that starts at the left hand side of the screen and is creeping slowly across the screen. As time goes on, it's been getting bigger and bigger and the display is getting dimmer and dimmer. I'd describe the setup, but a pic is worth 1000 words so............


    The projector sits in a room behind the overhead screen. I suspect this is nothing more than the bulb dieing. However, the thing is close to 10 years old and I've looked at bulbs online. Replacement bulbs are going to cost ~$400. I'm thinking I can replace the old projector for not much more than that. However, I'm not entirely sure what I'm looking for.

    Do I want a high contrast? Are more lumens better? With it being up in the room above everything I'll need a wired remote of some kind to turn it on. Is this a common feature? Is there a better way to turn it on?

    This is the model we've been using - Panasonic PT-L6510U 3LCD Projector. I'd love to replace it with something with comparable functionality.

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  2. SmugMug

    SmugMug Newbie

    I agree with you when you say the gradual dimming is a sign of the bulb dying, but the expanding blue splotch sounds like a cracked LCD to me. I don't believe wired remotes are common features, but you can probably find a projector with an RF remote that will go through thin walls. If the projector uses a standard IR remote, you can simply get an IR repeater that will do the job for you. (You can tell the difference because IR remotes generally have a small window or bulb at one end that sends the infrared signal)

    Example of an IR Repeater:
    Amazon.com: IR Repeater System - Hidden IR Control System for Home Theater: Electronics

    Projectors have come a long way in the past ten years, and you should be able to find a comparable model for close to the cost of a replacement bulb. High lumens/good contrast will be important if you want to use it without dimming the lights. Your best bet is to go to Amazon or comparable site and read user reviews. Generally, people will be quite vocal if the product is exceptionally good or bad.

    Here's a projector I found in a quick Amazon search. It's at a price comparable to your bulb with positive reviews regarding use in a well lit space:

    Amazon.com: ViewSonic PJD5123 SVGA DLP Projector 120Hz/3D Ready, 2700 Lumens, 3000:1 DCR: Electronics
  3. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Extreme Android User
    Thread Starter

    I hadn't considered a cracked LCD. That's definitely a possibility though and would explain it. The current one we've got lists it's specs as 4200 lumens. I don't see a lot out there that's close to that which concerns me. It's definitely going to be used without dimming the lights. I'm unsure how contrast is measured. Is 3000:1 better than 4000:1 or vice versa?

    In an ideal perfect world, I'd love it if we could turn it on from the back of the building as that is where our projector's computer is. It's in an enclosure you can just see the corner of on the right side of the picture. That is a long ways away though.
  4. SmugMug

    SmugMug Newbie

    I did a little bit of googling for you. You might find this guide useful:
    How to Find the Right Multimedia Projector | eHow.com

    If your old projector is rated at 4200 lumens, it's possible that consumer-grade projectors are out of the question since you're working in such a large room. A google search tells me that 4000+ lumen projectors can easily break $2000. It's possible that the method they use to calculate projector output has changed over time like vehicle MPG, but I don't know enough about the field to give you a good answer.

    When it comes to contrast ratios, higher numbers mean more contrast, which is good. As far as your on switch problem goes, I'm sure they make specialty repeaters or corded solutions for special situations like yours, but you may have to contact a manufacturer or an installer directly and inquire about specialty support unless you plan on running everything yourself.

    I don't know much about projector shopping, but I have had the "pleasure" of working with them for several years. Most of what I'm telling you I'm learning from web searches. If you're looking for answers specific to your situation, you may get lucky asking Google :)
  5. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Extreme Android User
    Thread Starter

    I was really hoping someone could explain to me in plain english what the difference was between a gaming projector, a home projector and a business projector and which one is best for my use.
  6. PH8AL

    PH8AL Android Enthusiast

    This would be a good replacement.

    Epson EX3210 SVGA 3LCD Projector - Product Information - Epson America, Inc.

    I have the EX3210 and they a setting to flip the picture for the rear projection set up you described.

    Very bright 2800 lumens no need to dim the lights.
    Good variety of connections on the back.

    This might be a little light for your use and doesn't suppoert true 1080 but either the 5210 or 7210 would be more than up to the job.

    Bulbs for the ex series are also much cheaper. Epson had them for $149 for the whole lamp unit and they are good for 5000 hours continual use.
    Screen size up to 27' with the projector at 30' out.

    We chose this as an alternative to the high cost of a good HD tv. They were $599 then shelled out another $200 for a surround sound and $20 to build my own screen and had a 120" picture on the wall.
  7. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    Don't quite know what they mean by "gaming projector", but I guess it's the same for flat-panel LCD TVs and monitors. Means it's got a very fast response. So there's no smearing or motion-blur when playing fast FPS games. Although I've never known smearing or motion-blur to be a problem with projectors, especially the DLP(Digital Light Processor) type.

    "Home projector" probably means domestic, and "business projector" probably means professional. Professional grade equipment tends to be better made and therefore more expensive. That's how it usually works.

    Although domestic are more likely to be showing TV or movies, business projectors are much more likely to be connected to a PC showing Powerpoints. Maybe there's differences in the way that they're optimised or designed.

    BTW A.Nonymous if your current projector is ten years old, it probably is time for a new one. I'm sure projector technology has really imroved in that time, image quality, features, etc. New bulbs will almost definately be more that what the thing is currently worth.

    About lumens, if your old projector was say 4200 lumens, your new projector should be same or higher. I don't think contrast ratio is so important with projectors as it is with TVs or monitors, unless you can completely blacken the room. Because the black-level will only be as dark as you can make the room, as you're projecting onto a white screen. As it's a church, don't think you'll be completely darkening it will you? What are you projecting, hymn and psalm lyrics?

    Just about all modern projectors have an IR remote for controlling them, because the projector itself may well be out of easy reach. In my school the classroom DLP projectors are mounted on the ceiling. So we have to use an IR remote, to turn them on and off.
  8. PH8AL

    PH8AL Android Enthusiast

    Not sure about the gaming but agree that sounds logical. I thought maybe a color tweak but there are usually several presets for picture.

    My experience the difference between business and home systems is the brightness. Home systems use a dimmer bulb that will last much longer but require the room to be dark. Thats a good compromise in a dedicated home theater.

    I choose a business/educational model because it was a bit cheaper but much brighter. I hate sitting in a dark room and this was a replacement for our TV.

    Business projectors do usual have more connection options as well. These epsons use the pc monitor cable. Each level up uses a better cable for higher definition same as a pc monitor. Ex3210 is svga.

    Lots of Great brands out there, I like the Epsons because of the bang for the buck. Very high quality for about the cheapest prices you can find.
  9. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Extreme Android User
    Thread Starter

    After crawling around in the attic I found that the current projector has a short throw lens on it. It's ~9-10 ft to the screen. The screen is 12' x 9'. Rear projection of course.

    I'm finding a couple of different options on the Interwebs and I'm unsure which one is the best.

    1. Buy another projector and buy a short throw lens for it -$$$$$
    2. Use the projector I've bought and some sort of mirror system - $$
    3. Return the projector I bought and find a short throw projector. - $

    Dollar wise, 3 is the cheapest. Though I'm not sure if it's the best solution quality wise. I could only find 3 short throw projectors that would handle the 9 ft throw (almost everything else wanted a shorter throw than that and I'd have to build a shorter platform). I guess I could theoretically extend the platform we have built another foot or so. I didn't even think of that last night in my fevered search. I found three that could make that throw and 2 had no network functionality and 1 was out of circulation but a refurb is available. IR is just not going to go through those walls and it's in an attic space behind the screen so I'll need either a wired remote or network connectivity to power it on.

    I've also been told that since this is rear projection lumens isn't that big a deal. It just has to be bright enough to get to the screen in rear room that it's in. That room is pretty dark so that's not an issue. Is this true?
  10. PH8AL

    PH8AL Android Enthusiast

    Amazon.com: Sewell IR Repeater Kit, 4 Dual Emitters (Control 8 Hidden Devices): Electronics

    I have this same repeater. works good.

    I have zip experience with rear projection but what they told you about the brightness doesn't make sense. Think about a light in a tent viewed from outside.

    Sounds like you have it sorted but if not I can vouch that the Epson can hit that size at that distance if you have it fairly level to avoid the need to key stone and it is the proper aspect for that screen.

    Good luck.
  11. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Extreme Android User
    Thread Starter

    I'm not sure the IR repeater would work in my case. I'm wanting to turn it on from a good 100 ft away or so. I'm not sure on what the distance limit is on IR.

    In my brief research on rear projection I'm finding some people who claim you need less lumens in rear projection and others who say you need more. Honestly, the theory behind both seems sound. In front projection you've got the ambient light of the room to deal with so you need more lumens. In rear projection, you don't have to fight through the ambient light of the room, just the light in the room behind. So you need less lumens because the image is brighter when it hits the screen. But then that doesn't make sense and I've seen so much projector stuff my brain is fried crispy at this point just thinking about it. I thought this was going to be easy.
  12. PH8AL

    PH8AL Android Enthusiast

    Yeah I went through similar headaches when our first bulb gave out and I felt raped paying $150 for a light bulb. Tried to find a DIY solution. Gladly bought the bulb from Epson so it would be over.

    The distance is a problem. You could buy a longer cable(3.5mm line audio) but that would require fishing it through the wall/ceiling or in sight.

    Her is a cheap alternative that has the range.
    Amazon.com: StarTech.com IREXT Wireless Infrared IR Remote Extender - Up to 115 ft: Electronics

    This is more of an over all solution that can use wifi send the A/V as well.

    Amazon.com: StarTech.com IREXT Wireless Infrared IR Remote Extender - Up to 115 ft: Electronics

    This was the best description heres a link with a couple of better deals.

    $95 for that is a steal and got me scratching my chin. I could definitely put that to use to.

    Im a penny pinching Technophile. Love hunting up deals on gear to budget build ridiculousness.
  13. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Extreme Android User
    Thread Starter

    The model we've got now has a wired remote with a 50 ft cable attached. It ends at the front of the sanctuary though and the projectionist is at the back about 100 ft or so away. Ideally we'd like to be able to turn the thing on/off from the computer.
  14. SUroot

    SUroot Extreme Android User

    An overhead projector lamp cost about $4 ;) i think you mean video projector?



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