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Author Topic: Which Projector would you recommend?
Ramon Ganuza
Film Handler

Posts: 2
From: Bilbao, Bizkaia, Spain
Registered: Sep 2017


 - posted 10-06-2017 08:18 AM      Profile for Ramon Ganuza   Email Ramon Ganuza   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hello everyone!
I am new in this forum. After screening 35mm and 16mm for some years, the activity in my workplace stopped.
Now we are thinking on returning to the Film programming, and we are checking different models of Digital Cinema Projectors. Keeping in mind that our auditorium is a small venue with 200 seats and a screen of 6x2,5 meters, with a throwing distance of 18 meters aprox., which projector would you recommend based on your experience?
I have asked to different companies to send estimates and received offers for the Barco DP2k-6e, the NEC NC1000C and the Christie CP2208. I also received offers for a 4k model by Sony, but i think it is not worthy since our screen is small.
I keep in mind three factors: Costs of operation and maintenance, to get the newest model (Assuming that it will contain a higher number of improvements) and the adaptation of the projector to the size of the venue and the screen.
It would be great if you could share your opinion with me and help me taking the decision about which projector to buy.
Thank you very much!! [beer]

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Pietro Clarici
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 135
From: Foligno (PG) Italy
Registered: Sep 2008


 - posted 10-06-2017 08:45 AM      Profile for Pietro Clarici   Author's Homepage   Email Pietro Clarici   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I wouldn't say your screen is too small for a Sony, actually it is just the right size for an optimal R510 setup with a healthy amount of headroom. Keep in mind that not only is it 4K, but it has way better contrast than any DLP machine - especially the smaller units based on a S2K chip.

Personally, I have 7 DLPs on screens ranging from 6.6 to 15m and I don't think 1750/2000:1 contrast is acceptable anymore, not with HDR TVs and projectors becoming mainstream.

If all offers are in the same ballpark (and as far as I know they should be), I'd give the Sony a good look. Just be sure to keep it regularly maintained.

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Leo Enticknap
Film God

Posts: 6629
From: Loma Linda, CA
Registered: Jul 2000


 - posted 10-06-2017 08:59 AM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Your choice of server/IMB or IMS is also something that could influence your choice of projector. Barco's pricing structure pretty much ties you in to their ICMP (an IMS with a built-in ICP), called the Alchemy. You can use another one in there, but doing so would probably make the overall price of the package noncompetitive. NEC sells an IMS which is effectively a badge engineered Dolby IMS1000. You need to know if your quote for the NEC machine includes one of these or not. If it doesn't, you'll need to buy an IMS or a server/IMB combo separately. I don't know what the situation is with Sony and Christie (I have almost no experience with these two brands).

The Barco and the NEC are broadly comparable machines: both have minor strength and weakness differences. A decision between those two would come down largely to price, the warranty offered, and how good support in the field is where you are.

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 11749
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 10-06-2017 10:09 AM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I generally suggest to people that the bottom tier projector one should consider is the Barco DP2K-12C. It is a .98" chip projector so its contrast ratio is significantly (noticeable to the common viewer) better than any of the S2K projector (DP2K-6E, NC1000, CP2208) and it has a HUGE range of lamp sizes. At the low end, 850-watts and at the high end 2200-watts with 1200, 1600 and 2000 watts between those so getting the right lamp size is pretty easy.

All of the S2K projectors come with drawbacks in performance (they had to cut somewhere to get the cost down and it comes in both visual performance as well as feature set). Using a laser-phosphor light source in an S2K projector can make its contrast ratio issues less noticeable, I've noticed but that adds $10KUS to the price in any category.

As Leo has mentioned, another factor in choosing a projector may be the server. S2K projectors are the most restrictive and typically depend on the server for the alternative content input. I have not found that Barco's pricing of the ICMP to force one's hand into a server choice. We can supply an ICMP or Dolby IMS2000 or GDC SX3000 for the same price (without getting into the specifics of why you would or would not want to use any of those models, those are features you need to research for yourself to see what makes sense to you). With the DP2K-12C (or other .98" projector) you can also still use an HDSDI based server like the GDC SX-2001A too, which prices out similar to the above mentioned servers with 4TB of storage.

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Carsten Kurz
Film God

Posts: 3277
From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 10-06-2017 10:33 AM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I guess you would have mentioned it - but just to be sure - what about 3D? Should that be covered, now or in the future?

- Carsten

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Ramon Ganuza
Film Handler

Posts: 2
From: Bilbao, Bizkaia, Spain
Registered: Sep 2017


 - posted 10-09-2017 05:27 AM      Profile for Ramon Ganuza   Email Ramon Ganuza   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thank you all for your responses.

quote: Pietro Clarici
I wouldn't say your screen is too small for a Sony, actually it is just the right size for an optimal R510 setup with a healthy amount of headroom. Keep in mind that not only is it 4K, but it has way better contrast than any DLP machine - especially the smaller units based on a S2K chip.

Personally, I have 7 DLPs on screens ranging from 6.6 to 15m and I don't think 1750/2000:1 contrast is acceptable anymore, not with HDR TVs and projectors becoming mainstream.

So, should i consider the acquisition of a 4k Sony projector despite the screen size? Their SXRD technology seems to offer better contrast and quality than the DLP tecnology, but SONY has a record as a company that has entered, tried and left different business fields leaving theirs customers unattended. I am worried that they could abandon DCP business if the company's economical balance says so.

quote: Leo Enticknap
Your choice of server/IMB or IMS is also something that could influence your choice of projector. Barco's pricing structure pretty much ties you in to their ICMP (an IMS with a built-in ICP), called the Alchemy. You can use another one in there, but doing so would probably make the overall price of the package noncompetitive. NEC sells an IMS which is effectively a badge engineered Dolby IMS1000. You need to know if your quote for the NEC machine includes one of these or not. If it doesn't, you'll need to buy an IMS or a server/IMB combo separately. I don't know what the situation is with Sony and Christie (I have almost no experience with these two brands).

The Barco and the NEC are broadly comparable machines: both have minor strength and weakness differences. A decision between those two would come down largely to price, the warranty offered, and how good support in the field is where you are.

All the estimates received have similar configuration: The Barco projectors are offered with the Alchemy module, the NEC NC1000C integrates an IMS , the NP90MS02.
Is there a third manufacturer that i should take into account regarding server+IMB/IMS? Nevermind, Steve Guttag mentioned some models afterwards

quote: Steve Guttag
I generally suggest to people that the bottom tier projector one should consider is the Barco DP2K-12C. It is a .98" chip projector so its contrast ratio is significantly (noticeable to the common viewer) better than any of the S2K projector (DP2K-6E, NC1000, CP2208) and it has a HUGE range of lamp sizes. At the low end, 850-watts and at the high end 2200-watts with 1200, 1600 and 2000 watts between those so getting the right lamp size is pretty easy.
Thanks for the suggestion, I will ask the companies about this specific model.

quote: Carsten Kurz
I guess you would have mentioned it - but just to be sure - what about 3D? Should that be covered, now or in the future?

- Carsten

It's not a priority, for sure, since we would be focused on screening classic movies or retrospectives about directors, genres..., but it's a nice little extra that we could offer in the future.

Again, thanks for your help. I will read in depth the different options and documentation available before taking the decision.

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Carsten Kurz
Film God

Posts: 3277
From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 10-09-2017 08:51 AM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Ramon Ganuza
So, should i consider the acquisition of a 4k Sony projector despite the screen size?
It's not a matter of screen size, but viewing angle. If people are sitting close to a screen, even a small screen will benefit from 4k (but one should also consider microperf then). Besides perceived sharpness or resolution, other aspects of the 515/510 should also be worth considering.

We have a Sony 515, and a Barco 6E. The 6E is a slick machine, with a great integrated server (Alchemy), and an unbeatable price. But black level and some other aspects are simply not up to what the Sony can deliver.

I don't know about the general Sony support situation in spain. Do you know other cinemas operating 515/510 there? Our 515 is nearly 5 years old now, never had major issues with it, and so far, Sony never let us down, even without a specific service agreement. But yes, they need some more attention to cleaning, depending on your environmental situation.

- Carsten

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Richard Fowler
Film God

Posts: 2381
From: Ft. Lauderdale, FL, USA
Registered: Jun 2001


 - posted 10-09-2017 05:47 PM      Profile for Richard Fowler   Email Richard Fowler   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Ymagis - Proyecson in Valencia could give information regarding Sony.

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Leo Enticknap
Film God

Posts: 6629
From: Loma Linda, CA
Registered: Jul 2000


 - posted 10-10-2017 02:00 AM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Ramon Ganuzza
All the estimates received have similar configuration: The Barco projectors are offered with the Alchemy module, the NEC NC1000C integrates an IMS , the NP90MS02.
IMHO, the Alchemy is by far the better of those two server options. I wouldn't have opined that a year and a half ago, but the software updates and bug fixes during that time have transformed the Alchemy from a liability into an asset. The web GUI is still a little clunky, but compared to the prettified Doremi thing on the NEC (a rebadged Dolby/Doremi IMS1000), it's a design masterpiece.

One other gotcha with the NEC: I recently tried to help a customer who needed the public key certs (.pem files) to give to a distributor, for his NEC IMS. Getting them out of NEC was an horrific nightmare, involving NEC in the US having to contact Japan and all sorts of other fun and games. The Alchemy allows you to download the cert out of the Alchemy itself using Barco Communicator, so you'll never have a problem getting hold of it.

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Marcel Birgelen
Film God

Posts: 2232
From: Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
Registered: Feb 2012


 - posted 10-10-2017 02:40 AM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I agree with Leo, the UX on the IMS1000 (included in the NEC) is definitely sub-par to Barco's Alchemy IMS with recent firmware. If you want to go the NEC route, you might check if your integrator has an GDC option available. I think the GDC IMS is even a bit more user-friendly than the Alchemy (although the differences are in the details) and equally outperforms anything Dolby/Doremi has to offer in this regards.

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 11749
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 10-10-2017 05:29 AM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Minor note, the "02" version of the NEC server is the IMS2000 rebadged. Same user interface though MUCH faster.

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