4K or 1080p projector ?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by max2, Mar 19, 2019.

  1. max2 macrumors 68030

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    #1
    I mainly watch Netflix and Blu Rays.

    So mostly for movies and tv shows.

    I will be sitting 11 to 13 feet away.
     
  2. HDFan macrumors 65816

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    #2
    Don't know anything about projectors, but a 65" OLED even at that distance is absolutely stunning. Since a lot of original Netflix content is 4K with HDR, including Dolby Digital, there is a lot of 4K content available.
     
  3. CostaMoses macrumors member

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    #3
    I sit 12' away from a 90" projector screen. My projector is only 720/1080i and it still looks incredible. I think having a projector is way more fun. Gotta make sure you factor in if you watch during daylight and there is light bleed. 98% of my watching is in the evening.
     
  4. eRondeau, Mar 20, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2019

    eRondeau macrumors 65816

    eRondeau

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    #4
    I had the identical setup as the previous poster -- a 15-year-old Optoma 720p HD projector on a 90" screen in my basement. Bought it all used and it was awesome for several years until the projector was ripped down and stolen in a B&E in August. Insurance replaced it with a new Optoma 1080p HD projector which is much brighter but (to my aging eyes) looks otherwise identical to the 720p. (Although TBH there is noticeably more "rainbowing" on the new one vs the old one.) My point being, even 720p HD is pretty darn good for most viewing. While 720p HD projection is arguably much better than SD/VGA projection, 1080p HD is just marginally better than 720p HD. And I'm sure 4K HD projection will be hard to discern from 1080p HD. So while it's easy to spend 10X as much $$$ on state-of-the-art 4K video, you might only notice it slightly more. Sometimes higher specs don't necessarily mean more enjoyment.
     
  5. dazz87 macrumors 65816

    dazz87

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    #5
    11-13 is far away for anything under 85". Projector is the way to go. Best bang for the buck.
     
  6. eRondeau macrumors 65816

    eRondeau

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    #6
    It's hard to quantify but somehow it just "feels different" to watch a movie on a home theatre projector vs a big-screen TV.
     
  7. max2 thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #7
    Thanks everyone for the insight.


    There is not that much 4K content either at least not yet
     
  8. priitv8 macrumors 68040

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    #8
    How did you come to this conclusion?
    But the 4K is not the game changer.
    It is HDR. It just happens that you can not have the latter without the former.
    This day and age I would not go with just SDR-capable device any more.
     
  9. GrumpyCoder macrumors regular

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    #9
    No way to answer that question easily. In general, you want 4k, period. But it also happens that 4k is more expensive. So think about your room. What size of screen are you going to use? What aspect ratio? With a scope screen, you can sit ~1 x screen width away, which means a 11' to 13' wide screen. You want a projector with enough brightness, so if you're limited by a budget, better get a bright 1080p projector than a dim 4k one.

    Also, there's plenty of 4k content, just not on regular Blu Ray as that's limited to 1080p.

    Regarding SDR vs HDR, you can easily do the mapping with an external device, such as a Lumagen Radiance which now also supports dynamic tone mapping. This will set you back another $5k to $9k depending on configuration. If you're using a PC for playback, you can also use madVR DirectShow renderer (see thread in another forum here). They'll also come up with their own external box. Alot of devices don't support HDR, however are capable of a higher ANSI CR than devices advertised with HDR. You just need something to do the mapping for you (that's what the software/firmware in HDR devices does, there's nothing special about the displays). If HDR is important to you the one thing you do want is 100% DCI-P3 coverage, which ironically a lot of HDR devices are not capable of.

    Alot of things to consider... start simple and go from there, what's your budget and room situation?
     
  10. jeffreco macrumors newbie

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    #10

    The Epson line of Feux-K projectors are really affordable and look great. As a previous post states, the HDR is what makes the BIG difference. I have the Epson 4040 with a 110" screen, and I love it! I will say that my room is in the basement where I have 100% control over the amount of light in the room. I specifically had no windows put in that space for that reason. There is actually a LOT of 4k and HDR content! Almost anything new is available on Apple TV in HDR and 4k and the HDR looks awesome on a compatible projector. If you love going to the movies, you'll love having a projector!
     
  11. GrumpyCoder macrumors regular

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    #11
    Keep in mind that the Epsons are not real 4k projektors but "wobbling", so there is a loss in resolution and sharpness. DLPs are much better when it comes to this, at least the ones with 0.66" DMDs, the 0.47" not so much. But you might run into the problem of color seperation artefacts (rainbows) depending if you choose a lamp, LED or laser powered projector.

    So pick your poison carefully.
     
  12. MattA macrumors 6502

    MattA

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    #12
    Last year I purchased an Epson 2100 for around $700. It's 1080p with 3D using 3LCD technology. It looks GREAT at 110". 4K and HDR would be nice, but for the money that I paid, you can't go wrong. The nice part about a projector is, if 4K decides to drop in price a ton, you can simply pull out the old projector and install a new one exactly where the old one was. It feels much easier to upgrade one than a standard TV.

    I bought a 110" silver ticket productions screen from amazon for $229 to go with the projector. That and the cabling/mount came to just under $1K for the whole thing.

    Good luck!
     
  13. Openaperture macrumors member

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    #13

    The only native and really 4k projectors are made by Sony and JVC and are still very expensive.

    Band for buck 'faux k' projectors provide sharp images with full DCI P3 wide color, decent (for projection) HDR performance and respectable contrast and blacks.
     
  14. GrumpyCoder macrumors regular

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    #14
    That's wrong. TI has native 4k DMDs, which you usually find in 3-chip units. Here's an example for the latest NEC (Link). Barco, Digital Projection and Christie Digital have similar units available in various price ranges up to $750k, in case you really want to light up commercial screens for cinemas, festivals, etc.
    Even Epson have developed their own native 4k LCD panels by now, here's their announcement for their latest native 4k 3LCD projector which can be used in the home theater market (Link).

    I think we have very different ideas of what "expensive" means and maybe different ideas of high quality image as well.
    Sonys 4k line starts at $4k with the 285, JVCs at $6k with the NX5. I wouldn't really say that's expensive, I'd call it dirt cheap. Keep in mind those are very, very dim projectors, so nothing you'd want to use on large screens, especially not for HDR which is aiming for 1000 nits. The JVC 4500 at $35k is better when it comes to brightness, but still not bright enough for my taste (again, screen size matters alot and the type of screen fabric as well). The Sony 5000 at $60k is much better when it comes to brightness and throws a nice image in pitch black rooms with a screen up to 150" width. If you want to go bigger I'd do a double stack or look somewhere else (that is for HDR).

    If 1-chip DLP is not an issue, check the new BenQ 990. Street price is below $10k and it's brighter than the JVC 4500, and a little dimmer than the Sony 5000. I'm talking calibrated lumes here, not spec sheet. On spec sheets they're all bright and do DCI-P3, which in reality isn't true.


    What's your definition of a sharp image? This depends on two things, the lens itself and the ability to resolve image detail on the chips used. For the lens, you ideally want a large lens made of high quality glass. This is something you usually find in the >$10k range. There's no limit upwards, at some point you have to be sure about your installation to actually select the type of lens for your projector. If you look at the Barco Balder, you'll see that Barco provides the choice of seven different lenses, depending on the requirements for you installation. For most of these 'faux k' projectors, the lens is a major bottleneck for resolution. I won't go into more detail, it's a well known issue. If you're interested in more detail, do a search on AVS forum, AV forums, etc. which have enough reading material for the next year including measurements and pictures.

    About DCI-P3... most manufacturers claim to be able to do it, most can't, other can, but only in certain modes and with dim image. Check the color space for the Epson 4010 (Link), it falls short of DCI-P3 calibrated. Here it is for the above mentioned Sony 285 (Link), again failing to achieve 100% DCI-P3. Here for the $8k JVC RS2000 (Link), also not covering 100% DCI-P3. If you don't trust reviews, get the proper equipment and do the measurements yourself.

    For good HDR performance you need one thing, brightness and excellent ANSI CR. Absolute blacklevel isn't really important since HDR is all about intrascene contrast and not on/off.

    No doubt one can be happy with a dim image, one that doesn't cover DCI-P3, lousy ANSI CR and so on. You can say it makes you happy, but you can't say it does all the bells and whistles. I've lived with CRT projectors for years with laserdics as source with line doublers and later quadruplers. And when Muse laserdiscs with 1125i showed up in the 90s, even with movie prices of around $500 per movie it was video heaven (anyone remember Ken Cranes Laserdisc in Huntington Beach? nostalgic memory moment here...). I wouldn't touch it with a 10' pole today. ;)

    In the end, think about what you want, do proper research, don't believe marketing nonsense and buy what fits your bill.
     
  15. Openaperture macrumors member

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    #15
    For sure, words like 'expensive' and 'image quality' are different to different people.

    But I'm willing to bet the a poster asking about 1080p vs 4k projectors doesn't have a budget for $150,000 projectors aimed at ultra high end custom install or more likely the professional market.... I could well be wrong - @max2 what's your budget?

    The Sony and JVC's are the cheapest Native 4k projectors and yes that's how i should have described them but i think you'd your arguing they are dirt cheap you have a concept of dirt cheap that is vastly out of line with most people.

    The main confusion for new buyers into the projector market comes from the marketing Texas Instruments / Optoma / Ben Q have used for their XPR technology projectors - They're are marketing them As 4k when in fact they aren't native 4k and lack the contrast, wide color and HDR capabilities or similarly priced 'Faux 4k' projectors from Epson or JVC and most users with a budget of $1500 - $3000 would be able to achieve a better end result.
     
  16. max2 thread starter macrumors 68030

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  17. max2 thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #17
    Well because some of the movie genre I like is not in 4k at all it is indie theater.

    What is HDR anyway?
     
  18. max2 thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #18
    If the source maternal is only 1080p can hdr make it look better?
     
  19. G5isAlive macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    From following your remarks, I think you are trying to rationalize the less expensive 1080p. The reality is 4k will look better. There is plenty of content for it, more is coming out each day, and there is upscaling as well. Not to mention 'future proofing' which is just saying 'won't be obsolete next year.'

    So look at it this way if it makes it easier. 4k is still evolving in projectors and still expensive. Like all tech will get cheaper in time. So get the 1080 p now, enjoy it for a couple of years, and upgrade when 4k gets affordable. You will enjoy the 1080 p. I do enjoy mine. And I have a 4k tv in another room. I tend to use that to watch the news and sports. The 1080 p projector for the theater experience for movies.
     
  20. Openaperture macrumors member

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    #20
    That does put you just in the budget 4k enhanced projector line up.

    Is the room you're planning on installing the projector a 'white living room' or is a room you could potentially setup for purpose - painting the walls a dark color etc ?
     
  21. G5isAlive macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    HDR . .high dynamic range, is the new buzz feature. but unlike some, its useful...means brighter brights and darker darks, more realism.
     
  22. priitv8, Mar 23, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2019

    priitv8 macrumors 68040

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    #22
    Yes, indeed. HDR is not related to resolution in any way. It just happens that marketers love to package it together with 4K.
    Playstation 4 is another good example - it has HDR but only supports 1080p image.
    In addition to what G5isAlive writes above, HDR also provides larger color volume.

    PS indeed, if the material was not originally produced in HDR, then forcing pseudo HDR on it will not produce best possible results. Some material will look ok, some other may not.
     
  23. GrumpyCoder macrumors regular

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    #23
    You can easily put the DMDs into much cheaper projectors, it's actually not what's responsible for the higher price. There are other factors such as lightpath and lens. For some larger panels you just happen to need bigger lenses and so on. These 4k ones are large, as all aimed at the cinema market are. Simply said, it will result in a larger projector which in return is something people are not looking for, especially in living room installations. It's the whole package that makes a projector more or less expensive.


    Depends on what "most people" are I guess. I know alot of people with Sony and JVC and better projectors. In fact, out the top of my head, I only know one person with a sub $3k projector. Owners that is, I know alot who tried them but didn't buy because they were not satisfied. I also regularly look at these projectors, but that's more of a hobby, I wouldn't buy one unless it does what I want it to do. I usually buy the cheapest that does what I want. Also don't forget you're in a forum where people pay $1k for a phone or tablet and $4k for a laptop. So I don't think it's unreasonable to pay a little more for a projector.


    Everyone is doing it... that's why you have to do research, look at things and not trust spec sheets. Look at the whole OLED TVs... you'd think it's the holy grail. They cover about 95% of DCI-P3 and come in at about 800 to 900 nits in brightness, which is not enough for HDR and also still have poor shadow detail performance <20 IRE. That's why tone mapping is required to make it work. Marketing would suggest they're perfect, which they're not.


    You will always find particular models performing better or worse than others. What HDR capabilities are you reffering to?

    For HDR ANSI contrast is the most important feature and this has always been a win for DLP. Even if you take the $35k JVC, the ANSI contrast will come in around 350:1. Sonys are a little better, but have less on/off contrast and higher black level. DLPs have a much higher ANSI contrast and therefore better HDR performance with typical intrascene material. They usually have less on/off CR due to the higher black level. But this will only be visible in mostly pitch black scenes, as soon as something bright is in the scene you want ANSI CR, which tells you the ratio of a bright to a dark object in the same scene. Ask yourself what you would take... 150k:1 on/off with 150:1 ANSI CR or 15k:1 with 700:1 ANSI CR. And yes the room will affect the overall performance, as will someone wearing a black vs white t-shirt sitting in the room.

    The color gamut isn't really different between different panel technologies and depends entirely on the whole package. In contrast to TI chips both JVC and Epson have a much larger spacial overlap of pixels resulting in higher loss of resolution/detail. Again, this is something well discussed and documented for hundreds of pages in specialized forums including pictures and measurements. In addition, you have to deal with convergence issues due to the 3-panel design, while with 1-chip you might have issues with rainbows. With a $1500 projector, I doubt that will be the major problem... the bottleneck here will most likely be the lens softening the image. Look at how much a good photography lens costs that doesn't show CA... with projectors in this price range, you have to cut performance everywhere, which doesn't mean you can't be happy with them.


    At that price point, what a projector will give you is a "bigger" image. They will be very dim and your image will look flat or washed out unless you use a really high gain screen and even then the screen size is very limited if you want a bright, colorful and punchy image. If you can live with that, no reason not to buy one. A TV in a similar price range will completely blow away a similar priced projector when you look at image quality and not size. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for projection, you will never get a similar movie experience on a TV than on a projector, just not in that price range. That's like buying a brand new BMW or Mercedes for $5k... they don't offer them at that price for good reason, but you can image what it would be like.


    Well, all it does is tell you that your source can be mastered between 0 and 1000 nits (yeah I know, can be 4000) and that the processing before your display has to map it accordingly if the display itself isn't capable to display 1000 nits, so intrascene contrast for all objects is adjusted to achieve best possible deltas between any given objects. If your display does 1000 nits, nothing is changed and source can be displayed 1:1.
     
  24. HDFan macrumors 65816

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    #24
    What you are looking for in your video image? The king of theater (projection) video quality in the U.S. are Dolby Cinema theaters. There are only ~100 of them in the country. Their Christie Digital projectors do HDR, have a 5000:1 contrast ratio, and have a 6 figure cost (?).

    Watching a Dolby Cinema image all I can see are the flaws. The blacks look grey in comparison with the total black of a OLED. When the picture is that large to me it looks blurry, dim, and not particularly natural. With an OLED, even with it's limitations, there are times I forget that I'm watching an image and feel like I'm actually there.

    Just today I saw an HDR image of a landscape with the sun in the image. It is exactly what I would have expected to see if I had been there. I never get that feeling watching a theater projected image. All I see are the flaws. So for me its the quality, not necessarily the size (within reason) that is most important. I'd be interested in knowing if there is any projector that has a true black.
     
  25. macpro2000 macrumors 6502a

    macpro2000

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    #25

    Everything new has HDR anyway...however it just comes down to what hardware the projector/tv is capable of. If you want the best possible picture you purchase a Lumagen video processor which actually produces an HDR image in an SDR container. This blows away anything that you can buy out of the box. Obviously you need a good calibrator to make all this happen. I did this with my Sony 4k projector/130" screen and at 12' the picture is stunning, absolutely stunning. The video processor (Radiance Pro) will run you about $10k and $1k for a decent calibration.
     

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