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Author Topic: Video Projectors
Robert E. Allen
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1078
From: Checotah, Oklahoma
Registered: Jul 2002


 - posted 08-04-2003 02:38 PM      Profile for Robert E. Allen   Email Robert E. Allen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
OK guys, I confess, I'm an old film handler and have never messed with video projectors. But I have several independent Christian film producer telling me to install video projectors in my upcoming project rather than the 16mm I own as virtually no one in their field is dubbing to 16mm any more. (I can get anything I want in 16mm from "Hollywood".)

Are video projectors capable of switching from one format to another when playing DVDs or video tape? That is, from 'scope to flat, etc.? Also, I am assuming these machines will give me stereo surround sound (as long as it's on the disc or tape).

This will be a small 100 seat room with a 35 foot throw to a 9 x 22 foot screen.

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Peter Kerchinsky
Master Film Handler

Posts: 326
From: Seattle, WA, USA
Registered: Jan 2002


 - posted 08-04-2003 03:14 PM      Profile for Peter Kerchinsky   Email Peter Kerchinsky   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Bob
You may want to contact American Cinema Equipment in Portland for your answers on video projectors. I'm sure they can help you out.

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Robert E. Allen
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1078
From: Checotah, Oklahoma
Registered: Jul 2002


 - posted 08-04-2003 03:39 PM      Profile for Robert E. Allen   Email Robert E. Allen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks Peter. I'm waiting to hear from them now. Tracy is out of town so I asked Scott to respond.

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Jeff Taylor
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 601
From: Chatham, NJ/East Hampton, NY
Registered: Apr 2000


 - posted 08-04-2003 04:35 PM      Profile for Jeff Taylor   Email Jeff Taylor   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
All of the video projectors I've worked with have user selectable formats via machine or remote controls, and since most all the lenses are zoom resizing for scope is not a big issue. Unless you get into really pro quality stuff, however, you're likely to find all the normal lenses much too short for your application. As far as sound is concerned, most have modest sound capabilities, but you won't be using them in your application. You'll be going direct from DVD or tape to your normal rack rather than using any of the projector's audio.

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John Anastasio
Master Film Handler

Posts: 325
From: Trenton, NJ, USA
Registered: Sep 2000


 - posted 08-04-2003 06:54 PM      Profile for John Anastasio   Author's Homepage   Email John Anastasio   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Almost any good quality video projector will beat the pants of 16mm. The image is clearer and brighter, the sound from a DVD is infinitely better than anything you could possible get from 16mm optical, and the ease of use and flexibility make them perfect for small venues with special interests. Get the highest resolution you can afford. Stay away from those SVGA(600x800) projectors that they're selling in every Staples now, or you're going to be watching your videos through a "screen door". They'll claim to do higher resolutions, but they only translate everything down to 600x800 to do it, and the pixels are annoying. I had one in my screening room for a few months and couldn't stand it so I ripped it out. Get one with the highest contrast ratio you can as well. DLP projectors are getting pretty common now, and they generally give a superior image to LCDs IMHO.

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12084
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 08-05-2003 07:31 AM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Oh, I've set up some 16mm that will beat the pants off of most 35mm shows and spank, rather badly, video. Soundwise...16mm has DTS if modern soundtracks are desired. Otherwise, yes it is band-limited mono. However, I will say that Kinoton's current preamp and soundhead does an EXCELLENT job of getting everything off of the 16mm soundtrack that there is to get.

Steve

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Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 7966
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 08-07-2003 05:34 AM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If you're looking at video projectors, check out the Sony VPL-FX51. The thing is about the size of a slide projector, puts out 5000 lumens (which is plenty for a 1.33 picture on a 12-foot high screen), and has great color and contrast. It also runs off 120VAC and is very lightweight. Presumably (though I'm not sure on this), you can get a long enough lens for it to use it from a regular booth.

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Matthew Jaro
Film Handler

Posts: 74
From: Gaithersburg, MD, USA
Registered: Jul 2003


 - posted 08-08-2003 08:19 PM      Profile for Matthew Jaro   Author's Homepage   Email Matthew Jaro   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
There are several problems with the current projectors: The LCD projectors do not have enough contrast, the DLP projectors are either way expensive or have a single chip with a rotating color wheel (like the original CBS color TV), [thumbsdown]
The resolution is still not good enough. The Sony projector only has XGA (1024x768) pixels. This means that with a twenty foot wide screen there are 4 pixels to the inch. This will still look like looking through a screen door.

I'm waiting for the following: a three chip DLP system, and at least 1280 x 1024 resolution. This will probably take another six months or so.

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Dave Callaghan
Film Handler

Posts: 60
From: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Jan 2003


 - posted 08-08-2003 10:59 PM      Profile for Dave Callaghan   Email Dave Callaghan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My experience with video projectors is that they are capable of changing formats and video sources - e.g. 4:3 to 16:9 / RGB to SVHS - BUT, you need to display a menu on screen to select the option. If you are running a mixed program, this isn't exactly a polished presentation for theatrical purposes. It may be acceptable for a presentation at a business meeting, but it is comparable to running an SMPTE 35PA loop for the audience before each subject in the program.

Secondly, projection is projection, whether on video or film. If you set up for 4:3, 16:9 will be letter boxed. True, you could zoom out to fill the screen top to bottom, but then you also have to open your side-movable masking.

Also, operating the zoom requires a focus readjustment in my experience.

Maybe I'm spoiled, but 35mm film is treated as a permanent installation that is professional because these projection adjustments are pre-set. Video has the air of an amateur in a home theatre, where even a simple aspect ratio change is done on the fly.

Hitting the screen correctly from the first frame just doesn't seem possible with the reliance on zoom instead of fixed focal length lenses, when aspect ratio changes are required.

I will add that I have projected video with the occasional 16mm thrown in to the programming. Original, independently produced 16mm is very refreshing to my eye, compared to video. The virtues of film prints without the mass production techniques requiring internegs that are the norm with the typical major studio offerings are plain to see. Video is cheaper and more convenient, but in my experience, it has yet to demonstrate that it can match or surpass film when projected, if the goal is the highest possible image quality.

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12084
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 08-09-2003 07:49 AM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Matt,

LCD projectors have been improving in the contrast department. I've seen them up to 800:1 which isn't too shabby. You are more apt to have a contrast limitation in the video source material than in the projector.

SXGA (1280 x 1024) are out there and also getting cheaper by the day. One thing I'm finding though is you tend to find the higher res projectors with the brighter lamps. There is such a thing as too bright!

Steve

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