PROJECTION SYSTEMS


 Bringing the BIG SCREEN to Your Home!
 
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Thinking of having a projection system in your home? We have several options available for both projectors and screens.
​Talk to one of our experts to find out the right fit for you and your space! 
 
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Not all projection systems are alike. Whether it is for your home or office, or going in the basement or living room, we will take the time to talk to you about what you want out of your projection system, as well as the equipment that will be best suited for your space.

​We take into account details like ambient light levels, room usage, square footage, projector throw distance, and budget to recommend the best equipment for you and your media. If you don't know what you're doing, it can get very confusing, very fast. There's no need to give yourself a headache when you have friendly and knowledgeable pros right here, ready to help.
 
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Even lights and a window are no match for this 3,000 lumen laser projector and 120" Black Diamond ambient light rejecting screen.
 
Building or renovating a home? Don't forget to plan ahead for your audio/video, network, security and smart home needs! Head on over to our Wiring page to learn more about how our Pre-Wiring Services can get your base of operations tech-ready and even save you money!
 
 

 
Projection Systems
Projectors 101: The Basics
Two of the more common types of projectors used these days include 3LCD (liquid crystal display) technology similar to that of a TV, and DLP (digital light processing) methodology that utilizes a multitude of microscopic mirrors. Here is a brief description of how each one creates a colored image on the screen:    
3LCD (Liquid Crystal Display)

For LCD projectors, a bright beam of white light is reflected off a combination of mirrors, including dichroic mirrors that separate the light wavelengths into either red, blue, or green light. The red, blue and green beams shine through 3 liquid crystal screens that create the image's dark and light contrast- the liquid crystals either block light or allow light to pass through based on the electrical current running through the crystals. When the colored light passes through the LCD screens, it makes 3 color-tinted versions of the same image. The three images are then sent through a dichroic prism and combined to bring millions of colors to life before coming to rest on the screen. 
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DLP (Digital Light Processing)

Projectors with DLP technology utilize a digital micromirror device (DMD) chip that contains a grid of close to two million, extremely tiny mirrors that are one-fifth the diameter of a human hair. Each mirror represents one pixel that can be individually tilted towards or away from the light source in an "on/off" position to reflect an image on the screen. To add color to the image, the light first passes through a red, blue, and green colored spinning wheel before contacting the DMD chip. The combination of these colors when bounced onto the mirrors and then merged together gives rise to an endless variety of colors. Lastly, a lens collects all the beams of light to produce the final image you see on the screen.  
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Laser Outshines Lamp: The Superior Light Source
The light source is arguably the most important part of a projector. There won't be a picture if there isn't a light source, and thankfully we now have some options when it comes to that- a conventional projector lamp, LEDs, and cutting-edge laser technology. There's really no contest; laser projectors edge out the competition in multiple aspects:
  • Lifespan- Most conventional projector lamps last around 3,000-5,000 hours of use before needing to be changed. Laser, on the other hand, can pump out upwards of 20,000 hours of watch time- that's 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, 50 weeks a year, for ten years! Finally eliminate those obnoxious "change lamp soon" interruptions.
  • Consistent brightness- Traditional projector lamps tend to lose brightness over time, causing the image to become slightly faded prior to a new lamp being installed. Not with laser. You get an intense, richly colorful image every single viewing hour.
  • Minimal maintenance- No lamps means no purchasing and installing those expensive lamps, so forget the headache and put that money back in your pocket. Thanks to their minimal hands-on needs, laser projectors are perfect for tight or hard-to-reach locations. 
  • Instant enjoyment- Laser units can start up and shut off immediately, so no needing to wait for the lamp to warm up to the ideal operating temperature and brightness. 
  • Environmentally friendly- With fewer energy needs than standard lamp projectors, and with no toxic mercury to dispose of properly at the end of the projector's life, a laser projector is considered the more eco-friendly projection option.​
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LED Projectors
Similar to how LED (light-emitting diode) lights are becoming the standard for car headlights and holiday decorations, LED lights have made their way into projectors now, too.  Like laser projectors, LED units offer the benefit of long life and near-instant start-up, plus LEDs run cooler than traditional lamps, saving energy and eliminating the need for additional fans or cooling systems. So why don't all projectors use LED lights? Well, until very recently, LEDs struggled to produce the light output needed to compete with brighter environments. As time goes on and the technology improves, we may start to see a shift away from traditional lamps in favor of LED projectors.  
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4K vs "Faux-K": Pixel Shifting Explained
First, it is important to note that there are two specifications for resolution: native resolution and maximum resolution. 
  • Native resolution is the true, physical image resolution of the projector. The projector will never be able to display more actual, full-sized pixels than this amount. 
  • Maximum resolution relates to incoming resolution formats. It is the highest resolution signal that the projector has been programmed to process and display.
What does that mean? Well, when you are watching 4K content on a native 4K resolution projector, that projector is displaying all 8.8 million full pixels to make up the image- roughly 4 times the 2.2 million pixels you get with a 1080 HD image. In an effort to create a sharper, more 4K-like image while staying affordable, some projector manufacturers figured out a way to increase the number of pixels used to about 4 million- no, they didn't make the pixels smaller. Instead, they fired the pixels twice, the second time with the pixel shifted diagonally halfway onto the next one. This creates an overlap between two diagonal pixels, which when combined with some high-tech picture processing, creates a sharper image than a standard HD projector can achieve.
 
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Pixel shifting projectors, or "e-shift" as some manufacturers refer to it, are a massive improvement over their standard HD predecessors, but if you have the budget, native 4K is definitely the way to go. ​
 
Ultra Short Throw Projectors
Using special lenses and mirrors, ultra short throw units can project a huge image from a very short distance- we're talking a 100”+ image from mere inches away here. These projectors are meant to be placed right under or over the screen, allowing you to enjoy a massive picture in spaces that are otherwise too tight to accommodate traditional projectors. Since the projector sits so close to the screen, no one can get between the projector and screen to interrupt the image, so say goodbye to accidental silhouettes and shadow puppets. You don’t point these bad boys directly at a blank wall though; there are screens made specifically for short-throw situations, where the screen material is optimized to provide an extra bright image while preventing ambient light from washing out the picture.  If you want some truly epic gaming and sports experiences, this is your ticket. 
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Projector Showcase
Here we'll highlight various projectors and their key features throughout the year. Now, let us introduce you to the:
Sony VPL-VZ1000ES Native 4K Ultra-Short Throw SXRD Laser Home Theater Projector - $14,999.99
 
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Our friends over at Screen Innovations review the Sony VPL-VZ1000ES Ultra-Short Throw projector using one of their Zero Edge Pro screens
  • Ultra-Short Throw Distance - place the unit up against the wall for an 80" picture, or move the unit 8.3" away from the wall for a huge 120" image
  • Enjoy brilliant, native 4K resolution - 8.8 million pixels (4096 x 2160) creates an image so lifelike, it's like looking at the real thing
  • Z-Phosphor laser light source produces 2500 lumens of brightness and is combined with Sony's TRILUMINOUS™ color enhancement for high contrast, HDR colors across the screen
  • Watch perfectly clear pictures for up to 20,000 hours with no lamp to change and virtually no maintenance, thanks to the Z-Phosphor laser light source
  • SXRD™ (Silicon X-tal Reflective Display) and Motionflow™ technologies produce an ultra-fast response rate for clear, blur-free images
  • Reality Creation 4K Upscaler boosts your Blu-Ray or DVD player resolution to near-4K quality, enhancing color, contrast, and textures
  • Start watching your content right away with Quick Start. No waiting for a lamp to warm up to the optimal temperature
  • Choose from 9 calibration modes: two theater film modes, cinema digital, reference, TV, photo, game, bright cinema, and bright TV
  • Compatible with IMAX Enhanced content for bigger, more breathtaking images
  • Dimensions: 36-13/32" W x 8-19/32" H x 19-7/16" D  (with side covers), approx. 77 lbs.
Not sure if this is the projector for you? Let us help choose the projector of your dreams!
 
 

 
Specialty Screens
AMBIENT LIGHT REJECTING (ALR) Planning to have a totally dark, dedicated theater space strictly for watching movies? No? You would prefer to have some additional light in the room to see by, but don't want the picture to be washed out, right? Believe it or not, this is an easy problem to fix using the right screen material. Ambient light, be it from windows, lamps, floor lights, or decorative LEDs, can wash out the projector's picture, leaving you craving a darker image with more color saturation. This is where Ambient Light Rejecting screens (ALR screens) swoop in to save the day. ALR screens are specially made to either absorb or divert light that isn't coming directly from the projector, leaving a crisp, colorful image on the screen. The best part? ALR screens are available as both fixed and motorized units, so we can put your screen in the ideal spot without sacrificing image quality.  (See ALR screen video demo in "Get the Facts" section below.)  
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ACOUSTICALLY TRANSPARENT Thanks to acoustically transparent screen material, the look of the front speakers take a back seat and let your screen be the star of the show. Screen Innovation's micro-perforated acoustically transparent screens have a pattern of 30,000 half-millimeter sized holes in just one square foot of screen space, delivering all the sound with virtually no distortion. Amaze your guests and leave yourself more room for decorating when you hide the speakers behind the screen. 
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MOTORIZED SOLO PRO 2 Portable, rechargeable, and colorful- this screen brings the FUN! Screen Innovations has figured out a way to fit up to a 160-inch screen in a case no larger than 4.75-inches, and you even get your choice of 12 designer colors to match your room. This innovative, wireless motorized screen allows you to easily move the screen to your desired viewing area, and the various easy-to-use mounting brackets ensure your Solo Pro 2 can go exactly where you want it.
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MOTORIZED ZERO-G

The Zero-G screen by Screen Innovations is almost like magic, deploying a "levitating" image right where you want it. You are no longer bound to wall-mounting your motorized projection screen, and this suspended screen is perfect for spaces that cannot accommodate standard screens or televisions. Did I mention that this screen can completely disappear when not in use? You read that right- the flush mounting option allows the screen to fully retract into the ceiling and out of sight when you are done watching. If you are looking for a "Wow!" piece, look no further. 

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 Thanks to variations in brand, screen size, material, mounting style, and accessories, we have access to hundreds of projector screen options, so we are sure to find the perfect match for you. 

 

 
Home Theaters

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So you've decided you want to do a 2-piece projection home theater, now what? Well, step one is only a phone call away- that's us of course!

We know planning a home theater can be exhausting! Figuring out what and where and how much can really make your head spin. Sure, you can piece together a system from spare parts and mismatched brands- and you'll be keeping your fingers crossed that it works every time you turn it on. WHY TAKE THE CHANCE!?  We will put together a full Home Theater package -including products AND installation- that is a great starting point, ensures equipment compatibility, and can be customized to better suit you! 


Let us do the hard part, you just enjoy!
 
 

 
Get the Facts
MYTH: The projector is, by far, the more important part of a 2-piece projection system. 
FACT: A good quality projection screen can last you a decade or more if properly cared for, as opposed to a projector that will be technologically behind the times within a couple years. It is not uncommon for the projector to be replaced a few times over when the screen is still going strong, and a high-quality screen can help make even an entry-level projector's image look its best. In this industry we say, "You date the projector and marry the screen."
​​MYTH: You need an ultra bright projector to see the image with the lights on.
FACT: As the large, sea turtle picture above illustrates, the type of material used for the screen is more important for image saturation than the number of lumens  (brightness) the projector boasts. Ambient Light Rejecting (ALR) screens are specially made to accept the projector's light while simultaneously blocking out light waves from other sources in the room. ALR screens are especially useful in multipurpose areas where the image could otherwise be washed out by room lighting. Check out Screen Innovation's Black Diamond screen work its magic in this side video:
Ambient Light Rejecting screen demo by Screen Innovations
MYTH: The picture from the projector will look fuzzy or grainy compared to a TV. FACT: These aren't the faded and blurry overhead classroom projectors from yesteryear, folks. When a high-performance projector is paired with a quality screen, the resulting image can match, or even beat, that of a traditional television screen. Many of the projectors being manufactured these days manage true 4K content, or they can achieve near-4K resolution using image processors like e-shift. If you think projected images look bad, you haven't seen a professional system yet.
MYTH: If you want audio for your media, you are stuck looking at your surround sound speakers or relying on the projector's built-in speakers.
FACT: These days, projection screens can be micro-perforated during production, which allows the front channel speakers to be hidden behind the screen without compromising audio quality or image clarity. Not a fan of looking at your audio equipment? No problem. Hide the front channels behind the acoustically transparent screen, and use in-ceiling or in-wall speakers for the surround channels. We can even use in-wall subwoofers to produce the low frequency sounds while eliminating those chunky boxes. Et ​voilà! Invisible audio achieved.
MYTH: Projection systems are really expensive and aren't affordable.  FACT: While it is true that 2-piece projection systems are more expensive than a single TV solution, screen and projectors are becoming more affordable every day. ​We promise you that a projection system with a 100-inch screen is much more affordable than a 100-inch TV, but hey, if you have your heart set on that 100" TV, just let us know. Plus, with The Theater People's easy and convenient financing options, you can build out a space you will love for years to come, so the sky's the limit!

 
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From fixed or motorized screens, to large-venue or personal home theater projectors, The Theater People can introduce you to your new favorite duo. 
Talk to one of our experts today to create your perfect system!