The pros and cons of projection (and why you really, really want it), after the jump.
This is the obvious one, and the reason to go projection. They are larger than life. Literally! At 50 inches tall, that means a close-up is a 4-foot-tall head. Or think of it this way: watching a 2.35:1 movie, like “Lord of the Rings,” on a screen that nearly fills your entire field of view is the very definition of absorbing. Speaking of absorbing, if you drink too much soda and you need to take a break, this movie theater is in your house! Pause, micturate, then movie!
Easier on the eyes
Everyone always asks if having a screen that big hurts the eyes. Actually, it’s the opposite. Filling a larger percentage of your visual field, and with less overall brightness, a big screen actually quite relaxing to watch. More like an actual movie theater, which often produces no more than 5 footlamberts or so (on my screen, most projectors produce around 30 to 40; an LED LCD can be three times that or more).
Space (sort of)
If you mount the projector on the ceiling, the screen can just hang on the wall. More expensive installations feature retractable screens, where the screen disappears into the ceiling.
Even though you can mount a TV on a wall, most people don’t. They’re surprisingly heavy. A screen is light, and if you drop it, there’s little possibility of damage (unless you stick something through it).
Well, that’s the big problem. No matter how bright the projector, and no matter how clever the screen material, any ambient light in the room is going to wash out the image. Forget about watching TV with the shades up, or the lights on. You need absolute light control in your room, or you’ll be forced to watch TV only at night. In my theater, there is some light during the day, but not enough to wash out the image (though this means I can only review projectors at night, leading to a rather bizarre sleeping schedule).
Nearly all projectors create light with a UHP lamp, which lasts a few thousand hours and then costs a few hundred dollars to replace. Figure a new lamp every year or so, maybe every other year. The cost of doing the business of awesome, apparently. We’re starting to see LEDs replace UHP lamps, but so far the price is still high. You’re better off getting a better-performing UHP-based projector and paying for the lamps.
See Full Story at www.cnet.com