Band Member Looking to build a projected show at

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Old April 7th, 2009, 11:23 AM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Northville NY
Posts: 3
Band Member Looking to build a projected show

Hey Guy's found this site and am hopeful I might find some good suggestions and lists of good equipment and perhaps even some used equipment within this group to help me make this band project show I have going come to life.
I am the lead vocalist and second guitar for a newly formed group of musicians who are interested in creating a Classic Progressive Rock band. Yes,Genesis,Rush,Crimson,Floyd, Etc.
My plan is to have a DVD Projector with a super wide angle lens and high enough wattage to rear project on a screen 8' high and 12' wide or so... ?....Not sure what is available and at a price "used" I can afford.

Perhaps nothing? I might have to go smaller but hate to do that.

I will be trying to find some suggestions. By the way I am headed back to college in the fall and am in the process of signing up for classes in visual communications/graphic arts and with a few extra classes on the CAD program I plan to change my career and head in this direction. I am sure there are those of you who may have a kind word or comment from your highly valued experience that you might share with me concerning this venture?

Thanks in advance, this seems to be a knowledgeble and friendly group.

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Old April 7th, 2009, 09:07 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Santorini, Greece
Posts: 35
Rear projection will definitely require more lumens because the image has to pass 'through' the screen

It will depend on what you're trying to project.

If it is full motion video and you're looking for a wide spectrum of the gamma curve, things could become expensive, because in order to have enough lumens, you'll likely need a fairly pricey modern LCD/DLP or LCOS projector.

on the other hand, if what you're trying to do is more of a high-contrast animation with bright colors over black and not much in between, you may be able to do it on the cheap---

Here's one way:
there are lots of old "panel projectors" floating around on ebay and elsewhere from companies like dukane, sharp, polaroid and 3m.

Basically these are old school transparent active matrix panels designed to go over overhead projectors which would beam the image onto a screen.

The advantage of using one of these for a rock an roll show, is that

a) they're quite cheap---most of the panels can be had for $30 or less, and overhead projectors are basically being given away these days.

b) you can use something other than on Overhead projector, such as an inexpensive halogen bulb from a car headlight, and thus increase the amount of lumens projected
OR one can 'hotwire' an overhead projector by putting a much more powerful light inside it

c) the larger size of the frame means that with the right fresenel lens, one could blow up the image to a larger size with less 'accurate' lamps. many of the of the shelf halogen lamps can be had for under $30 and will provide a great deal more lumens than the bulbs designed and sold for specific modern projectors (but there's a catch--see below)

The disadvantages:

a. the contrast ratio of most of these panel projectors does not approach even the most minimal contrast ratio of modern LCD and DLP projectors.

b. using OHP lights and halogen car lights means there will be dispersion abnormalites, in part because the arc of these lamps is not designed for precisely throwing light in a particular direction.
this can lead to uneven images and less than ideal shadows and blacks.

c. the oldest of these panels don't have the greatest refresh rates---thus ghosting can be a problem----however, in my experience, when I used to use these things for a similar purpose, was that for pseudopyrotechnics, they worked pretty well---sort of a poor man's laser show.

d. most of the old ones are low-res by today's standards---rarely anything higher resolution than 800 by 600, although there are a few floating around that have slightly higher res.

An alternative way to do this is to use a modern laptop LCD with a mirror backing and a fresnel lens---I've not personally done this, but there used to be multiple websites out there describing how to do this---try googling DIY movie projector, or DIY panel projector.

There are also low budget DIY type companies like Lumenlab that make cheap 'modern'-type projectors with off-the shelf type parts---I haven't checked out their stuff lately, but last I looked, they offered a cheap, low-budget projector that uses standard $30 halogen bulbs instead of the $300 variety.

Hopefully others can give additional pointers.

Again, if it's full motion video with film like gamma curves you want to project, these methods will not work well at all, but if high contrast colored shapes and ambience is what you're after, try one of the above methods.


Last edited by Peter Gjevre; April 7th, 2009 at 09:09 PM. Reason: mispelling
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Old April 7th, 2009, 09:32 PM   #3
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Northville NY
Posts: 3
Peter, this is great information. And Yes I did have the plan to do actual Video's running to the music, not just graphic images or colors. Perhaps some funny cartoon animation on some and everything from dancing puppets or skeletons. And other various effects. I was hoping I could find some equipment I could , like you said, "Hotwire".

I will look into the Lumenlab stuff to see what can be had. I hope I can come to some kind of comprimise with my ideas and finances end up with at least a 6' by 10' screen. And the resolution is certainly an issue I am worried about but the audience will be approx 20 feet away so that will help slightly.

Is there anyone in here who has an older projector that has been set up to run something like this? Or is this site affiliated with some company..... or for some other reason.... is it illegal to sell something privatly here?

Thanks again Peter
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Old June 16th, 2009, 07:57 PM   #4
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Northville NY
Posts: 3
Hey guy's I know I am more of just a visitor looking to pick brains than I am a video enthusiast but I do appreciate this site and with the experts who frequent this one..... I guess that makes this site the perfect forum for this sort of thing. Thanks again for the last information.

I did look into the rear projection and have decided it is just a little to tricky for me to build or expensive to buy what I need for a reliable, affordable rear projection set up.
If I was to go with a hanging front projector (as we now have a sound company that has become a 6th member of the band and he he has all kinds of stage risers and light bars to work from) would you have any suggestions for one that will be durable and with enough power to light a screen about 6' high and 8' wide with the bottom of the screen being 4' off the gound, the projector hanging at an angle about 10' above stage and approx 12' from the back wall. Basically right over the lead singers head while on stage so there will be little silouete problems. but there will be lots of color light floods and changes.
I will assume this will be me much simpler for me to find the equipment I want and at an affordable price as this is not much more than a large screen entertainment system Right?

Thanks again in advance.

Last edited by Randy Decker; June 16th, 2009 at 08:49 PM.
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