CEDIA Expo 2016 and IFA Preview

Next month (Sept. 2016) is the time for the largest home theater oriented trade show in the USA – CEDIA Expo 2016 (14-17 Sept. in Dallax TX).  It’s also the time for the largest consumer electronics show (including Home Theater products) in Europe – IFA (2-9 Sept. in Berlin, Germany).  Traditionally video projectors, and often related products, have been introduced at one or both of these annual trade shows.  This blog discusses what new home theater projectors (with a focus on 4K compatible models) we expect to see announced and perhaps demo’ed at these events.    The information provided in this blog is a combination of officially released information, rumors from generally reliable sources, and educated speculation.

NEW PROJECTORs

I’ll discuss what we expect to see in the way of home theater projectors from the mainstream manufacturers.

EPSON – With unusual timing, for Epson, the replacement models for Epson’s popular mid-level models were already announced back in June.    These include the Home Cinema models 5040UB and 5040UBe (pictured below) and the Pro Cinema models 4040 and 6040UB.  The most prominent update of the previous generation models is the inclusion of pixel shifting technology along with the projector’s 1080p 3LCD display chips to offer support of 4K UHD video inputs (Epson calls this “4K Enhancement”).  This brings “4K-lite” capability into the market segment of mainstream, moderately priced, home theater projectors.   Previously the JVC DLA-RS400, with a list price of just under $4,000, was the least expensive projector to offer similar “4K-lite” pixel shifting technology.  In addition to the pixel shifting for improved resolution, these new Epson models also support High Dynamic Range (HDR) and Wide Color Gamut (WCG) as being offered by 4K UHD Blu-ray discs and some on-line streaming video services.  List prices for the new Epson Pro Cinema models range from $2699, for the model 4040 up to $3999 for the 6040UB.  The Home Cinema 5040UB lists for $2999 while the version with wireless HDMI (model 5040UBe) lists for $3299.

Epson 5040UB

Epson Home Cinema 5040UB Projector

In addition of the “4K-lite” projectors  mentioned above, Epson has been offering  for the past several months lower-end 1080p models including the Home Cinema models 740 (720p), 1040 (1080p) and 2040 (1080p). Some of these models were introduced nearly a years ago and it’s possible that Epson will have something new to announce at CEDIA Expo or IFA for the budget end of their wide range of projectors.

Two years ago Epson introduced their flagship Pro-Cinema projectors, models LS10000 and LS9600.  The LS10000 featured pixel shifting for “4K-lite” resolution while the LS9600 was as conventional 1080p projector.  These were Epson’s first projectors to use “LCD Reflective” display technology (equivalent to LCoS) and both models used a laser-based light engine.  I expect Epson to announce a replacement for at least the LS10000 at CEDIA Expo.  This is speculation on my part, but given that Ultra HD Blu-ray discs are now available, I would expect Epson to introduce a replacement model with improved support for this new 4K/UHD video source.  More specific, the likely enhancements would include support for 4K/UHD HDR and improved support for WCG video sources.  Also the light output may be increased to better accommodate the display of HDR content.

JVC – Last year JVC enhanced their pixel shifting technology for “4K-lite” and added improved 4K/UHD support by accepting and displaying 4K/UHD video with HDR and WGC, such as available from 4K/Ultra HD Blu-ray discs.  JVC also last year increased the light output of their projectors and lowered the price on their entry-level model.  We reviewed both the entry level model DLA-RS400U as well as the flagship model DLA-RS600U and found both to offer outstanding performance.  So what’s next from JVC?  There  is what appears to be a well informed source in Europe claiming the JVC will introduce/demo a native 4K resolution flagship projector at IFA and CEDIA Expo that will also feature a laser light engine.  We do know that JVC has previously produced both 4K projectors as well as projectors with laser light engines for the professional and simulation markets and I have previously heard from JVC sources, going back to 2014, that native 4K displays for consumer projectors were being investigated.   From the rumored information it appears this new JVC native 4K projector would sell in the $30,000 (or perhaps a little less) price range.  While this would certainly be expensive, such a projector from JVC would compete directly against Sony’s VPL-VW5000, which carries a $60,000 price tag.  Again, this is based on an unconfirmed rumors, but it does appear there may very well be some factual basis for this rumor.

UPDATE (10 August):  Confirmation – the JVC UK web site now has a IFA preview and JVC USA web site a CEDIA preview for the new DILA 4K projector using “BLUEscent” (i.e., JVC’s trade name for their blue laser/phosphor wheel technology).

As for JVC’s current projector line-up, I would expect these models to be most likely continued for another year, or at most, slightly updated versions to be announced at CEDIA Expo/IFA.

SONY – Last year at CEDIA Expo Sony announced upgraded versions of their lower-end native 4K projectors as well as announcing a new flagship model VPL-VW500o ($60,000) using a laser light engine.  That latter projector didn’t begin shipping until a few months ago so I don’t expect any replacement for the VW5000 to be announced at this year’s CEDIA or IFA shows.  However, the previous flagship, and now aging, model VPL-VW1100 was carried over again for 2016.  I would expect Sony to announce a replacement for the VPL-VW1100 to offer support for such capabilities as HDR, HDMI 2.0a, and improved WCG compatiblity with 4K/Ultra HD Blu-ray discs.  There are some unconfirmed rumors floating around the web that a VW1100 replacement will have a laser light engine, but with lower light output than the flagship VW5000.

As for Sony’s lower-end (but still rather expensive) native 4K models, HDR support was added last year, but WCG, supporting least DCI P3 color space, is lacking from the current models.  Also these models do not have full bandwidth for their HDMI 2.0 input.  So perhaps, Sony will offer up replacement models for their VW3xx, VW5xx and/or VW6xx series of projectors that will be capable of more fully supporting the features offered by the latest 4K/UHD video sources, i.e., Ultra HD Blu-ray discs and streaming 4K video sources, and upgraded to provide full bandwidth HDMI 2.0a (or 2.0b) inputs.  This is all speculation at this point, as Sony has not yet released any official information on their planned product introductions.

DLP 4K PROJECTORS – Last year during CEDIA Expo Texas Instruments (TI) held private showing of an engineering model 4K DLP projector.  Consumer home theater projectors based on the TI 4K chip-sets are now forecast to begin shipping within the next few months.  This design uses pixel shifting, but unlike pixel shifting projectors from JVC and Epson, the TI design starts with a display chip that can display one half the pixel count of a native 4K display while the JVC and Epson projectors use 1080p display chips which only have one fourth the pixel count of a native 4K display. This means with the DLP approach the full 8M pixels of a 4K image/frame can be displayed as two 4M pixel sub-images.    As with conventional 1080p DLP projectors that use a single display chip plus a rotating color wheel, these new DLP 4K projectors can still be subject to a visible “rainbow effect”.  This results from using a single display chip and sequentially displaying the red, blue and green sub-images.  In fact the initial designs for the 4K DLP projectors appear to provide a maximum effective color wheel speed of 3X while the better home theater 1080p DLP projectors frequently offer 5X or 6X speeds.  I assume the 3X limitation is due to the need to display each 4K image as two half resolution sub-images.  That would mean that a color wheel rotating fast enough to provide 6X speed in a 1080p DLP projector would, at that same mechanical rotation rate, only be providing 3X speed in a 4K DLP projector.

So who is going to be offering these 4K projectors and what will be demo’ed at CEDIA Expo (or IFA)?  Both Optoma and Benq have already announced plans to release 4K DLP projectors in the 2nd half of 2016.   These are expected to include both entry-level lamp-based models, with prices starting in perhaps the $5000 price range, as well as more expensive LED based models.  Neither Benq nor Optoma are listed as exhibiting at CEDIA Expo (however, Optoma is listed as exhibiting at IFA).  in any case, there is always a chance their projectors might show up in some other exhibitor’s booth at CEDIA Expo.  It’s also possible one or more of the more upscale DLP projector manufactures, that do have exhibit booths at CEDIA Expo (e.g., Digital Projector, SIM2, etc.), will announce a 4K projector using the new TI 4K chipset.

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Epson PowerLite 955WH Projector Review

The Epson PowerLite 955WH is a higher-end model in Epson’s Powerlite 9xx series of classroom projectors.  While Epson markets the PowerLite 955WH as a classroom projector, but it would also be suitable for use in many business/conference room applications.

This model has a native 1280 x 800 (WXGA) resolution with a 16 x 10 aspect ratio.  With discounts available for education institutions,  the PowerLite 955WH is a cost effective solution for schools, or businesses, needing a bright projector with good color accuracy.

The PowerLite 955WH projects a sharp image that is bright, while providing good colors and offering a lot of performance for the money.

Epson offers other models in the Powerlite series that feature similar WXGA resolution as well as models with lower XGA resolution. We previously reviewed the entry-level XGA resolution PowerLite 97H as well as a previous generation WXGA resolution model Powerlite 99W.  Both of these projectors received out Hot Product award so it not too surprising that the PowerLite 955WH also proved to be an very good performer and also earned a Hot Product award.

Overview

The Epson PowerLite 955WH is a compact classroom projector offering a very bright image and features well suited to the typical classroom environment.  It projects a very sharp image, with its native 1280 x 800 resolution, and offers picture modes providing good color accuracy.   While the PowerLite 955WH is not a pico or pocket class of projector, it is a compact unit making it easy to move between classrooms (or conference rooms), when it has not been permanently mounted.  With a retail price of $899 and a relatively long 5,000 lamp life (in normal mode and up to 10,000 hours in Eco mode), it provides an economical solution for the education market.   The PowerLite 955WH is one of the higher-end models within Epson’s PowerLite 9xx line of classroom projectors that starts with the entry-level model PowerLite 97H, with XGA resolution and a rated 2700 lumens of brightness, which sells for $350 less than the PowerLite 955WH reviewed here.

Highlights

  • Offers a bright image with 3200 rated lumens, in brightest mode
  • Very sharp image provides excellent text readability for business/classroom presentations
  • Excellent video scaling performance
  • Picture Modes offered with good color accuracy suitable for displaying video and photos
  • Moderator function supports split-screen display with content from up to 4 networked video sources
  • Wired networking built-in and optional wireless networking
  • Can be controlled and managed from networked PC using supplied software
  • 1.6x zoom lens along with keystone correction provides very good mounting flexibility

Network Based Functions

The Powerlite 955WH comes with an optical disc that contains network related software plus additional software is available from Epson’s web site for several network enabled functions including:

  • EasyMP Network Projection software sets up your computer for network projection
  • EasyMP Monitor software (Windows only) lets you monitor and control your projector through the network
  • EasyMP Multi PC Projection software allows you to hold interactive meetings by projecting the computer screens of users over a network
  • EasyMP Network Updater software (Windows only) allows you to update firmware for a projector over a wired LAN.

The Powerlite 955WH is also compatible with Crestron RoomView(TM) network monitoring and control systems.

Moderator Functions

The PowerLite 955WH supports a “Moderator Function” that Epson describes as:

“Multi-PC projection and Moderator function allows up to 50 devices to connect over a network and then select up to 4 to project simultaneously.”

As illustrated below, this allows the teacher/moderator to select the content to be displayed from up to 4 devices (i.e., PCs, MACs or mobile devices), from a maximum of 50 connected devices.   The network connect can be either wired or wireless, with the optional wireless adapter.

PC-Free Slide Shows

A flash drive can be plugged into the projector’s USB connector to display photos, slideshows and videos without having an attached computer.  The projector’s remote includes the buttons needed to navigate through the photo slide show or video.  This can be useful when the projector is being used as a portable unit for doing a quick setup for hassle-free presentations.  The PowerLite 955WH supports the basic types of photo files (i.e., jpg, bmp, gif, and png) as well as avi video files.  While some other business or education projectors may support more file types for PC-free presentations, such support for Microsoft Word/Excel/Powerpoint files, this projector’s more limited file support should be adequate for most education or business applications.

Support for Mobile Devices

Projection of content from iOS or Android devices is supported when the the optional wireless network module, $99 accessory, is installed on the projector and when the mobile device has installed the free Epson iProjection app.

MHL Support

MHL is essentially mobile HDMI.  The Powerlite 955WH supports MHL devices on its HDMI #2 port.   MHL is relatively recent, so it may see a lot more capabilities down the road.  To be effective, since MHL supports video, audio, and command and control, a projector really should have its own sound system, which the 955WH does (with a mono speaker).

Some phones and tablets, as well as all kinds of other smart devices are being designed with MHL.

Instant On and Direct Power Off

This is an not a common feature for a lamp-based projector.  While Epson refers to “instant on” it is really more of a quick turn on.  Also the projector turns off the cooling fan very soon after powering off the projector.  This feature allows the projector to be connected to a electrical circuit that can be switched to turn the projector on or off.

Instant On and Direct Power Off

This is an not a common feature for a lamp-based projector.  While Epson refers to “instant on” it is really more of a quick turn on.  Also the projector turns off the cooling fan very soon after powering off the projector.  This feature allows the projector to be connected to a electrical circuit that can be switched to turn the projector on or off.

See more Projector at https://projectorpro.in.th

BenQ TH670 1080p Projector Review

the BenQ TH670 is an inexpensive, crossover 1080p projector for home and office. The banner at the top of BenQ’s TH670 webpage reads “Home Entertainment Projector,” and some features–notably full 3D support and a fast lag time for gaming–aren’t of much interest for office use. But the model name shows up on both the Home Theater and Business lists on BenQ’s website, and the projector can do a credible job in either role.

The 1080p resolution and 3000 lumen rating are appropriate for presentations with fine detail in a mid-size conference room and for HD video that can stand up to ambient light in a family room. More important is that the TH670 delivers suitable image quality for both applications, which isn’t true for much of the competition. Most DLP models are tweaked to show fewer rainbow artifacts for either data images or video, for example, depending on what the model is meant for. The TH670 shows very few of these artifacts with either kind of image.

Picture Quality

Color Preset Modes. The TH670 offers four customizable color modes: Bright, Vivid, Cinema, and Game. In addition, there are two User modes, which you can rename, so you don’t have to remember which one is meant for what.

As a practical matter, for business presentations and other data images, Vivid, Cinema, and Game modes all deliver well-saturated, suitably eye-catching color. For video and photos, Bright mode has an obvious green bias, as is typical for the brightest modes in many projectors. Color in the other three modes is more than acceptable overall, but a bit short of excellent.

In a direct comparison with the calibrated projector we use as a reference, it’s easy to see that the TH670’s colors are a little dull and dark in all modes. Without side-by-side images, however, colors look obviously dark only in Bright mode. Whether you’ll notice the issue in other modes will depend on how well-trained an eye you have. However, a minor loss of color fidelity is forgivable for such an inexpensive projector. Color balance is excellent in all modes, with neutral grays at all levels from black to white.

BenQ TH670 Home Theater Projector

Data Presentations. Not all 1080p projectors hold detail equally well. The TH670 does swimmingly on this score. White text on black, for example, was easily readable at 6 points in my tests and black text on white was easily readable at 5 points. It also does an excellent job of resisting pixel jitter and moire patterns on images that tend to bring both out. Results can vary depending on your graphics card, but in my tests, the image was as rock solid with a VGA connection as with HDMI.

2D Video. Handling detail well is an obvious benefit for HD video too. In addition, the test unit did a good job of avoiding posterization and holding shadow detail, even on our most demanding test clips. I saw some noise, but less that with many models in higher price ranges and only in scenes that tend to cause it. Contrast ratio is a bit low, but it’s obvious only in theater dark lighting. With ambient light in a family room, the benefits of a higher contrast ratio tend to get washed out in any case.

I ran into one odd behavior when I was connected to a Blu-ray player as opposed to a PC or FiOS. Every time I started playing a DVD or Blu-ray disc, the TH670 switched to Bright mode, forcing me to reset it to the mode I wanted. BenQ insists this is by design, but it’s hard to understand why, considering that all of the other modes offer better color quality. In any case, if you want to use one of the other modes, you’ll have to switch to it every time you start a movie.

3D video offers essentially the same quality as 2D in most ways, but with only one color preset. It also does well on those aspects of image quality specific to 3D. I didn’t see any crosstalk and saw just a hint of 3D-related motion artifacts in the most demanding clips.

Rainbow artifacts are a minor issue at worst for the TH670. With data images, the only time I saw any was with one test image that’s designed to make them show. With video, I saw some with clips that tend to bring them out, but less often than with many home entertainment projectors. Anyone who sees these artifacts easily will see them with the TH670, but infrequently enough with most material that it’s unlikely to be annoying. The potential exception is with black-and-white input, where they show more often.

Key Features

Zoom. The 1.2x zoom offers some flexibility for how far you can position the projector from the screen for a given size image.

Small and lightweight. The TH670 measures 5.4″ by 12.9″ by 9.2″ (HWD), and it weighs only 6.6 pounds, making it small and light enough to carry with you or set it up quickly as needed if you don’t have a place to install it permanently.

Useful audio. The built-in 10-watt mono speaker offers usable sound quality and enough volume to fill a typical family room or medium-size conference room.

Full HD 3D. The TH670 offers full HD 3D compatibility, and automatically switches to and from 3D mode as needed. The 3D works with DLP-Link glasses only.

Good Lag time. The 33.1 ms lag time in Game and Bright modes is at least a match for the vast majority of projectors and faster than most.

Security. The menu offers password protection. There’s also a Kensington lock slot on the back and a security bar along the left side.

Warranty. The price includes a one-year warranty for parts and labor and a 90-day warranty for the lamp.

BenQ Th670 Panel

BenQ TH670 Rear Connection Panel

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Acer H7550ST

  • PROS

    Native 1080p resolution. Bright. Short throw. 1.1x optical zoom. Supports 3D for video sources, like Blu-ray players. Comes with two pairs of 3D glasses. Short lag time. Three HDMI ports. Near-excellent video quality.

  • CONS

    Shows rainbow artifacts in video, particularly for black-and-white source material.

  • BOTTOM LINE

    Despite showing rainbow artifacts, the Acer H7550ST is a tempting choice as a home-entertainment projector, thanks to its bright image, a short throw combined with a 1.1x zoom, full 3D support, and a lag time that’s suitable for gaming.

he DLP-based Acer H7550ST delivers a constellation of features—including 1080p (1,920-by-1,080) resolution, a 3,000-lumen rated brightness, and a short throw combined with a modest zoom—that make it a strong candidate as a home-entertainment or low-end home-theater projector. Its Achilles’ heel is that it shows rainbow artifacts just often enough that they could be annoying to anyone who sees them easily. However, it delivers otherwise high-quality video. For those who aren’t bothered by rainbow artifacts, the H7550ST at Amazon is a tempting choice.

Compared with the Optoma and Epson models, the H7550ST is notably bigger and a little heavier, at 3.9 by 14 by 9.5 inches (HWD) and 7 pounds 8 ounces, which makes it more cumbersome to carry with you to a friend’s house for a movie night or gaming. However, it’s still small and light enough that if you don’t have room for installing it permanently, you can store it away and then set it up quickly and easily when you want to use it. Acer even supplies a soft carrying case with reinforced side panels.

Setup

Setup is a little unusual for a short-throw projector. Most short-throw models don’t offer any zoom, which means you have to move the projector when you want to adjust the image size. The H7550ST’s 1.1x zoom gives you some flexibility for exactly how far to place it from the screen for a given size image. However, the cost of this added convenience is that even at its maximum zoom setting, the H7550ST has a longer throw than most short-throw models.

or most of my tests, I set the lens to its maximum zoom setting and used a 90-inch image (measured diagonally) at the native 16:9 aspect ratio, which put the projector 53 inches from the screen. As a point of comparison, the Acer H6517ST, which offers a short throw without optical zoom, delivers the same size image at 38 inches from the screen.

In most other ways, setup for the H7550ST is standard. Choices for image input on the back panel include two HDMI ports, a VGA port, both composite and S-Video ports, and three RCA connectors for component video. As with an increasing number of projectors today, there’s also a third HDMI port in a hidden compartment at the right-front-top section of the projector. The hidden port is meant for a streaming wireless adapter, should you want to use one. Both it and one of the HDMI ports on the back also support MHL.

The H7550ST can also be used with Acer’s WirelessHD Kit , which integrates nicely with the projector. The optional kit includes a transmitter that you connect via HDMI cable to an image source and a receiver that plugs into one of the projector’s HDMI ports.

When the receiver is plugged in, the H7550ST automatically replaces the appropriate HDMI option on its source menu with a WirelessHD option. Choose it, and if the WirelessHD connection isn’t already established, you’ll see step-by-step setup instructions on the screen. The instructions basically tell you to connect the transmitter, plug in its power adapter, and turn it on. Not only is the WirelessHD easy to set up, but it worked flawlessly in my tests, with no noticeable difference between using it and connecting via HDMI cable instead.

Brightness

As with any single-chip DLP projector, discussing the H7550ST’s brightness gets a little complicated, because of differences between white brightness and color brightness. Briefly, unlike three-chip LCD projectors, which have the same brightness level for both, most DLP projectors deliver a lower color than white brightness, which can affect both color quality and the brightness of color images. The difference in the two levels means that the 3,000-lumen rating for the H7550ST may or may not translate to a brighter full-color image than you’ll get with an LCD projector like the Epson 2040, which has a lower rating, but has the same color as white brightness.

As a reality check, in my tests in theater-dark lighting, the H7550ST was too bright at its brightest setting for the 90-inch image that I used. I had switch to Eco mode to find a comfortable level. You can also lower the brightness by choosing one of projector’s predefined lower-brightness settings or by turning off the DLP Brilliant Color feature. Both choices have the added benefit of improving color quality as well.

Performance

Image quality for 2D video is near excellent, at least in Movie and Dark Cinema modes, which offer the best color quality. The brightest mode had a green tint in my tests, which is a common issue for projectors, and some colors in each of the two brightest modes—Bright and Standard—were dark in terms of a hue-saturation-brightness color model, which is expected for projectors with a significant difference between white and color brightness.

Beyond that, the projector did a near-excellent to excellent job on our tests with shadow detail (details based on shading in dark areas). I also didn’t see any motion artifacts or posterization (shading changing suddenly where it should change gradually), even on test clips that tend to cause those problems. I saw some moderate noise in video clips that tend to show noise, but not enough to be an issue for most people.

The H7550ST also does a better job of avoiding rainbow artifacts than many DLP projectors, but it still shows some. I saw them often enough in my tests that anyone who sees them easily will notice them, and may find them bothersome, particularly with black and white source material.

Image quality for 3D video is also near excellent. For those aspects of image quality that both 2D and 3D share, the quality was similar in my tests. I didn’t see any crosstalk, and I saw only a hint of 3D-related motion artifacts. A notable extra for the H7550ST is that it comes with two pairs of DLP-Link glasses. Most projectors don’t come with any.

Two other pluses are the H7550ST’s stereo sound system and short lag time. The two 10-watt speakers offer good sound quality, with enough volume to fill a small family room. If you want better quality or higher volume, you can connect an external sound system to the audio output, or use the built-in support for Bluetooth to connect to headphones or speakers. Gamers will appreciate the short lag time, which I measured, using a Leo Bodnar Video Input Lag Tester, at 34 milliseconds (ms), or a two-frame lag at 60 frames per second.

Conclusion

Be sure to consider the Epson 2040 for its guaranteed rainbow-free images, particularly if you see rainbow artifacts easily and expect to watch much black-and-white source material. Also worth looking at is the Acer H6517ST, which has an even shorter throw than the Acer H7550ST. That said, if you don’t see rainbow artifacts easily or don’t find them annoying, the Acer H7550ST offers a short lag time for gaming, an eminently usable sound system, and a bright image, with near-excellent image quality. Although it costs a little more than the competition, it largely justifies the price by adding a zoom to the short throw, and bundling in two pairs of 3D glasses.

See more Projector Information at https://projectorpro.in.th

Home Theater Projector Brightness, Zoom lenses and Throw Distances

What’s this all about?

When shopping for your home theater projector, of course brightness – lumens, are one of the most obvious specs you see. The interesting thing, is that depending on how/where you set up your projector, brightness can vary by almost double!

That’s right – a projector placed in one position in your room, might do 350 lumens, but placed more optimally, it could produce as much as 700 lumens. Sound easy? Not! There are always trade-offs. Before I get into all of this, let’s be clear up front:

The purpose of this piece is to improve your understanding of the impact of positioning a projector, the lens it has, and your need for achieving a level of brightness. While the information here, may cause you to change some of your installation assumptions, it is unlikely that you will make totally different choices in projector, screen type, or whether you ceiling mount or shelf mount a projector. These decisions will all have some, but minor impact on your overall theater, and its performance.

OK, back to brightness, first, this two to one range of brightness isn’t true for all projectors. The huge shift in brightness occurs with projectors that are exceptionally flexible in placement, by virtue of wide range zoom lenses.

When a projector’s lens is in full wide angle mode (largest image from a given distance), more lumens make it out the lens. In full telephoto, less lumens.

Many projectors for the home, (mostly 3LCD and LCoS types) now offer 2:1 zoom lenses. That is a placment range from closest to furthest, of 2 to 1. Perhaps, for a 100″ diagonal 16:9 screen, that might be from 10.5 feet to 21 feet away.

If you mount it 10.5 feet from the screen, you will get almost double the lumens as mounting it 21 feet back.

There is no straight simple formula, because different lens designs will have some impact on the actual amount of change, but, let’s say that with a 2:1 lens, it will be close to a doubling.

If, on the other hand, the projector has a far more limited lens, say with a zoom ratio of 1.2:1, then, the change in brightness from one “extreme” to the other, becomes minimal, and not a serious consideration.

Now, most of the DLP projectors have limited zoom lens (1.1:1 to 1.3:1), so there isn’t much to concern ourselves there, but with the 3LCD, and LCoS projectors, where all of them seem to have at least 1.5:1, and most are around 2:1, where you place the projector can matter a lot.

Consider, the reason you get a 2:1 zoom on most of these projectors, is to allow the flexibility not just to ceiling mount the projector, but to give you the option of mounting the projector on the rear wall of your room. The projectors with wide range zoom lenses means that probably 90+% of people can rear shelf mount.

And, rear shelf mounting can save money, in terms of length of cables as well as installation costs – as it’s harder to get power to most ceilings, and if you have fairly high ceilings, working up there means ladders or scaffolding. For most, shelf mounting is just plain simpler and less expensive.

For most people that are shelf mounting their projectors, they will find their zoom lens nearer to the middle of the zoom range, or further back. As a result the actual brightness will probably be a little less than we quote, since we measure with the zoom at mid range.


The only reason this may be important, is for discussions of what is bright enough to meet your needs, screen size, type, etc.

If getting more lumens tempts you to ceiling mount, no problem at all. You get to enjoy any extra brightness. Of course there are trade-offs to everything. The closer the lens to the screen, the more optical distortion in the ends and corners (I’m talking very, very minor stuff). There will also be a smaller “sweet spot” for sitting, with higher gain screens. For that reason, as an example, Stewart FilmScreen’s Firehawk (which I own), comes in two versions, one for closer in positioning of the projector, and that one has less gain (less brightness back to your eye). Again, its another small difference, but a consideration if you are being thorough. Interesting – you mount closer for more brightness, but then need a screen that is less bright to maintain a wide viewing cone (angle). Overall, closer is still brighter, but such offsetting issues do tend to limit the importance of placement, in terms of brightness.

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