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Old January 31st, 2005, 03:43 PM   #1
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Rear Projection Equipment - buy/rent? drawbacks???

Looking for some advice on a rear projection setup for on-site display work. We've been asked to do a presentation at an event and are wondering if the equipment is worth buying or renting or what???
Space is limited, so that's why I'm thinking rear projection.
Anyone who's done this in the past and has input, I'm all ears.

Thanks,
Dave K.
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Old January 31st, 2005, 04:12 PM   #2
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This is a long thread, but there's already some discussion on this topic here: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...5&pagenumber=6 and also here: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...threadid=38267
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Old January 31st, 2005, 09:40 PM   #3
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I was asked to project some video once and the A/V company for the hotel involved wanted almost as much to rent a projector as to buy one...so I bought one. You don't need a lot of room to set up a front-projector and screen, and you don't want the projector too far back from the screen anyway (so you can keep a brighter image). Seems to me it could be more trouble to find space for a rear-projection setup, depending on the configuration of the room.

Figure a minimum of about $1500 for a decent projector, screen, and projector stand. You can easily spend much more than that if you want better quality.
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Old January 31st, 2005, 10:35 PM   #4
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Could I buy a projector and screen that does both? Or at least the projector? I assume there would be some logistical issues with the placement of the projector and people in the way. Are they easily conquered?

How large of a screen do you think is required for say, local Elks club or wedding reception kind of crowd?

How often do you use your projector professionally?

Thanks for any input.
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Old January 31st, 2005, 11:25 PM   #5
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Now that you mention it, I think some projectors may be able to flip their image horizontally so they'll look right when projecting from behind a screen. Then all you have to do is figure out what to project on for those situations, since a standard screen probably wouldn't work. Regarding screen size, I bought the largest one which would fit in my car folded up, which is several feet across. I haven't had much demand for using this equipment yet, but I'm hoping to find a way to market it more effectively.
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Old February 1st, 2005, 07:08 AM   #6
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If you have more than 3 events per year like this, you can slowly aquire the equipment. For most venues up to 400 people 1500 lumens will get the job done. The rear element is different from the front when doing rear projection. Most time I rent the screen because you will encounter needs for 7.5x10 feet or 6x8. Sometimes just the rear element is needed, other times the front. The permutations don't justify owning a stable of these unless you are a rental house.
Best to own any equipment instead of paying the" i just landed at the airport and i need av gear hotel prices". They used to get away with it but not so much anymore. Really ... projector rentals for 1600 buck for 4 days!!! It happens a lot. I actually moved a conference once because the hotel was so sure they could charge me "*projectorage" fees if I brought my own. They lost a week's worth of rooms and meals for a hundred delegates.

Anyway, find a decent rental house for the imaging screen(s). Owning the projector is a must for any quantity of this work.

*projectorage: likely not a word but refers to a house charge to be paid when bringing your own projector. See "corkage" when doing the same with wine at a restaurant.
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Old February 1st, 2005, 03:29 PM   #7
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Good Stuff, Guys. Thanks.
I agree owning is better than renting in this case. And like most of us here, the more electronics the better. Because you never know...

Someone was telling me that lumens was secondary to the contrast/compression ratio in determining a quality projector. Can that be confirmed?

Thanks again...
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Old February 1st, 2005, 04:21 PM   #8
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I think you need to consider both contrast ratio and lumens. Lumen ratings should only be used for ballpark comparisons however since there doesn't appear to be a standard way of rating projectors from different manufacturers.

Regarding the earlier question about projection surfaces that can be used from both the front and rear, Gerriets International makes a variety of screen materials as described here. I have used several of these in sizes up to 32' high x 60' wide. We use their Studio material for rear projection on the stage. It is sort of dark grey which helps the screen blend into the darkness when nothing is shown on it. It is a "high gain" screen which gives a very bright image, but as you move off to the side brightness decreases rapidly and it also has a bit of a "hot spot" in the center.

We also use their Opera screen which gives a very even image from a wider viewing angle with no hot spot. The tradeoff is that it sucks up a lot of light. It is a multi-purpose product however that's off-white in color and is designed for projection from both the front and rear.

They can provide you with samples and more info if you're in the market for a screen, and in fact you may find that wherever you buy a screen it will be constructed from their material.
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Old February 1st, 2005, 04:35 PM   #9
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Thanks, Boyd. Time to digest...
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Old February 2nd, 2005, 08:56 AM   #10
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Dave,

Keep in mind that if space is limited, rear projection might not be the way to go. You are going to need approx. twice the throw as you are high, unless you use a short throw lense. So if you go with a 9x12 screen you will need 18 ft in distance from the back wall. Do you have the option to hang from the ceiling without incurring rigging charges? Maybe set-up in the back of the room on a high secure riser? This will save you the most space.

As for buying vs. renting, I try never to make a purchase unless I know I can make money with the gear (asset vs. liability). And at the high hotel rates, I totally understand making the purchase, especially with there is a multiple day event. I recently bought a 16 ch mixer for that very reason. Haggle with the AV company over the rental price before you purchase your own gear. Factor in set-up time into your overhead. Good luck.
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