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Video All equipment used to display & transmit video regardless of event type. This includes projectors, LCD & plasma screens, DVD players, video game consoles, video cables, etc.

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Unread 06-08-2010, 02:39 PM   #1
big daddy
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Hello all,

Questions about projectors.......in a previous thread, I mentioned I am a newbie and will be starting off with a 12ft Gemmy inflatable. I don't know if anyone has any experience with this particular screen or not. My question being is that certain projectors that I have researched will only fill so many inches??

I know lumens are very important in a projector and have been told that at least 3000 lumens is necessary as minimum. Is there one projector that stands out in anyone's opinion that will work on both a 12ft screen and a 20fter or 25fter. The later 2 for when expansion is necessary due to requests to hosting larger events other than backyard movies?

what type of budget should one look at spending intially on a projector? I looked at the Epson 1925, but uphere is close too $2000.00+. Should that amount be spent on a high end projector initially?

Matthew
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Unread 06-08-2010, 04:51 PM   #2
Mackinac Movies
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Not an expert by any means, but my opinion is a 12' screen is a different monster then a 20'+ screen. You will understand if you have ever stood next to a 20 footer. The 20 foot, for commercial purposes you should be looking at a 4500+ lumen projector. That would be overkill for your 12' screen for sure.

OK, so we are thinking that you will not be using the same projector for both setups. Get a decent 2500ish projector for your 12' screen, then after upgrades, plan on using that as a backup projector for a bigger screen. I will qualify that statement by saying I do not have a 12' screen, so I would not be 100% sure about what size you would be looking at. I have both 16 and 20' screens. I use a 5400 for the 20' and the same 5400, with only 1 lamp on for the 16'
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Unread 06-08-2010, 07:10 PM   #3
big daddy
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Thanks for the reply Neil,

I am not clear though on note about a projector with 2 lamps. Am I missing something when shopping for projectors? Should they state in their description that they actually have 2 lamps.

On a side note, I assume with your 20fter, you do some big commercial gigs also?

Which size do you find you have more demand for?

thanks.

Matthew
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Unread 06-09-2010, 08:38 AM   #4
Doug Miles
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Unfortunately it's going to be very difficult to get a good/bright image on a 20' screen without spending several thousand dollars. However, things are changing very quickly, and by this time next year, who knows?

One way to gauge projector brightness is by determining how many lumens per square foot the projector/screen combination achieves. Calculate the square footage of the screen, and divide the projector lumens by this number.

Looking at your example of a 3000 lumen projector and a gemmy screen, it would have about 35 lumens per square foot. If the Gemmy screen is about 12' wide, it would be about 7' tall. 12 x 7 is 84, so 84 square feet. Then, 3000 lumens divided by 84 square feet, is 35 lumens per square foot.

The number I hear most often is that a projector should have a minimum of 20 lumens per square foot. If that's the case, then a 3000 lumen projector on a Gemmy screen is even more than you need. You can work the equation in reverse also. If the Gemmy has 84 square feet of screen surface area, then multiply that by 20 to get the minimum lumens you would need. 84 x 20 is 1680. So the Gemmy should need a projector with at least 1680 lumens. A 20' screen is usually 20' by 11.5', or 230 square feet. 230 x 20 is 4600, so using the equation, a 20' screen should need a projector at about 4600 lumens.

The problem with all of this is that no two movie locations are identical. Some will have very dark environments, some will have ambient light (street lights, house lights, etc.). Also, the screen surface material can make a difference, as well as front-projecting vs. rear projecting. This makes it difficult to say for sure how any particular screen/projector combination will work. Also, I've run successful parties with lumens per sq. ft. as low as 15, and as high as 75. When you begin to go under 20 lumens you will need to worry more about ambient light, and you will need to wait longer to start movies (as much as 1/2 hour after sunset).

Projectors with 2 lamps are less common. Most projectors, especially home theater projectors, will have only one lamp. Two lamps is a great feature. You can select to use one lamp or both (obviously using one lamp is half the lumens output). This makes it adaptable to smaller screens without using the full power. Also, many of these projectors will switch to the unused lamp automatically if one lamp fails. So, if you're running a movie using one lamp, and the lamp dies, the projector will switch to the other without you having to do anything. But, I think the two lamp advantage is slowly fading. As new projectors get brighter and brighter, it will soon be more cost effective to buy 2 projectors, using one as a backup, instead of a larger projector with 2 lamps.

Like Neil said, a 2500 lumen projector would work really well. It should look really good on the Gemmy, and in a pinch could be used as a back up for a larger screen later. There are several good 2500 lumen projectors around. The 2 that I see most often reviewed are the Optoma HD66 and the Epson 705HD (both 720p resolution projectors, and both in the $600 to $700 range). Or, an even brighter one that someone here just purchased, is the Epson 1925 (4000 lumens). However, there's more to consider than just lumens. Resolution, black level, warranty, etc., it gets confusing. A pretty bright 1080p projector is the Benq W1000 (2100 lumens at its brightest, about $1000). And, for the best of all worlds, the Benq sp890 (4000 lumens, 50,000 to 1 contrast ratio, 1080p resolution). But, it will set you back $3000.

Sorry for rambling, I got a little carried away there. Personally, I'm looking into the Epson 705HD for my 10' and 15 ' screens.
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Unread 06-09-2010, 11:30 AM   #5
Mackinac Movies
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Hey Matt, uh, what Doug said!

He has been doing this far longer then I have, in fact - OK technically I have no commercial experience, yet. My first paying job is a park movie thing for the local town on July 4th. I have a 2 yr weekly contract with them, that is why I was able to get going in this biz.

So, I guess I really can't say what screen is going to rent more. I promised them a 16' screen, got that, and also got the 20' because it is more impressive. I will plan on using the 20' ever week, unless the weather is windy, where I will switch to the 16'

I hope to get some smaller type jobs to in-fill between the weekly park job. I want to get some more experience before I do a lot of advertising though.
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Last edited by Mackinac Movies : 06-09-2010 at 01:25 PM.
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Unread 06-09-2010, 12:45 PM   #6
JPR
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I want to start off by saying I have no experience at all. But thanks to Doug who opened my eyes to some things I have done a decent amount of research over the last few weeks. I also have a moonwalk rental business and have quickly found out that you cannot trust customers when it comes to their descriptions of their environment. My favorite is, "We have no sprinklers" and then we show up and there are sprinkler heads everywhere. That's why we carry sand bags to every delivery just in case. FYI, they're heavy! Or my other favorite, "Yes there will be power available" and show up and no power. This one sucks because I don't lug the generator around unless they ask from the get go.

At first I was concerned about brightness, which is obviously really important. Doug makes a good point, one that he made to me also, that when you do this commercially you have no idea of the conditions. The only thing you really know is your equipment. So the brighter the better to make sure your picture doesn't come up short. The other thing you know is your screen. So make sure to buy a projector that will integrate with your screen as well as possible. If you're buying wide screens make sure your projector has a widescreen native aspect ratio (took me a while to absorb this as I didn't understand why a projector could not project both equally as well). That way you are optomizing your equipment and providing a picture that fits your screen while not losing out on the brightness. Basically, I think you want something as versatile as possible for your budget.

My 1925W should be here Friday and I can't wait. Unfortunately not sure I'll have time to test it out. Have a crazy weekend with rentals.
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