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Anyone use a projector as a PC monitor?

Postby Kolakube » Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:19 pm

Is it possible to get a small 30" projection or are they all huge, like 5 foot or more?

Looking for a monitor replacement. LCDs make me ill. CRTs fine but too bulky, Plasmas fine but too big to sit that close too. I just figured a projector may be the way to go here but I dont need a huuuuuuge size at all.

Any advice appreciated.
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Re: Anyone use a projector as a PC monitor?

Postby Seccione » Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:25 pm

Sure you can get a small projection, but per pixel price is high and projectors tend to be noisy.
Not to mention that you'll need relatively dark room, otherwise hurting eyes guaranteed!
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Re: Anyone use a projector as a PC monitor?

Postby Kolakube » Fri Mar 23, 2012 4:00 pm

Thanks mate,

Can I pick your brain some more (Urrr, horible experssion)

I hadent considered the noise.

I need something that will at least display Ableton Live. Infact thats all I need it for. Its for a music PC that has no other function.

So I need some sort of resolution to fit it all onto. Also as you say I need some decent brightness. It would need to be used in daylight but not direct sunlight. Any help greatly received as I have no clue about projectors.
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Re: Anyone use a projector as a PC monitor?

Postby Seccione » Fri Mar 23, 2012 4:16 pm

There's two types of projectors; data projectors for displaying PowerPoint presentations, and movie projectors for... well you know.

Data projectors typically provide support for more resolution alternatives, but I don't know what kind of pixel count they manage to do nowadays.

Movie projectors typically support at least 720p (1280x720 pixels) and/or 1080p (1920x1080 pixels).
Movie projectors are more silent than data projectors, at least the expensive ones.

For daylight usage, you'll need a projector with powerful lamp. Projecting from close distance helps.

Modern projectors could be silent - my knowledge is lagging a few years. At least the old lamps produced lots of heat -> the fan was spinnig -> noize.
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Re: Anyone use a projector as a PC monitor?

Postby Kolakube » Fri Mar 23, 2012 4:22 pm

Thanks mate. Appreciate your experience.

I have been looking at this one.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B005E0LT24/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_1?pf_rd_p=103612307&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B003CLU6QW&pf_rd_m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&pf_rd_r=00Y0TTWJD5ZNRDRDH48T


As for running it from a close distance, I think it will have to be screwed to my celing so about 2 meters.

So the closer it is the brighter and smaller? If so thats perfect for me. Small and bright is what im after.
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Re: Anyone use a projector as a PC monitor?

Postby Seccione » Fri Mar 23, 2012 5:29 pm

After a little thought I must say that this might be a bad idea: The image produced by a projector is rather bad for real work: it's blurry (bad focus, bad optics) and individual pixels leak light. Small text is tiresome to read.
If your eyes are too sensitive for normal flat screen monitor, this experiment could propably murder you!

I suggest to visit a store where you can check out the image with your own eyes, and make the decision based on that.

Can't comment the Optoma, not familiar with the brand. Sorry.
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Re: Anyone use a projector as a PC monitor?

Postby Kolakube » Fri Mar 23, 2012 5:44 pm

Well im pleased you have said that. Id hate to waste my money.

Mind I must say I will not be reading text on it often at all. More the GUI nature of Ableton and thats about that if that changes your opinion. To re stress this PC will strictly be for music.

Any word docs and internet etc etc will be done on a CRT monitor elsewhere. (Dont like these distractions in my studio to be honest.)
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Re: Anyone use a projector as a PC monitor?

Postby Seccione » Fri Mar 23, 2012 6:09 pm

Not familiar with Ableton either, but I figure it's GUI contains thin lines for automation curves, vst plugs presentin small text for knobs and buttons etc.

I must emphasize that blurry pixels produces eye-tiring image! Tweaking that automation curve will be tedious.
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Re: Anyone use a projector as a PC monitor?

Postby Kolakube » Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:00 pm

Yeah good points mate. There are indeed fiddly one pixel automation lines etc. hmmm, maybe ill have to rethink this strategy.

I think a plasma would be ideal but there just so big. 42 inches from a meter away is too much. Shame they don't make 30 inch plasmas.

Im really grateful for your replies here. I may have made a big mistake
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Re: Anyone use a projector as a PC monitor?

Postby Chevytraveller » Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:53 pm

Projectors look impressive from a distance, but wouldn't use one as a full time screen as the fiddly elements get ultra fiddly.. and the Bulbs are horrifically expensive!..
Get a nice LED backlit LCD.. no-one is making Plasmas any more as they use way too much power and suffer screen burn..
Get something like a Samsung 32" or 36" LED backlight and then wait for the OLED screens to go into full production


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Re: Anyone use a projector as a PC monitor?

Postby necromunger » Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:11 pm

LCDs make me ill


it might be the Refresh Rate:60Hz if it makes ur head hurt as my m8 cant stand playing games on my setup for very long.
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Re: Anyone use a projector as a PC monitor?

Postby Kolakube » Sat Mar 24, 2012 1:08 pm

Projectors look impressive from a distance, but wouldn't use one as a full time screen as the fiddly elements get ultra fiddly.. and the Bulbs are horrifically expensive!..
Get a nice LED backlit LCD.. no-one is making Plasmas any more as they use way too much power and suffer screen burn..
Get something like a Samsung 32" or 36" LED backlight and then wait for the OLED screens to go into full production


Hey Chevey.

I honestly dont get this screen burn thing with plasmas. My front room plasma is 5 years old and in its day a high quality Panasonic. I have left my pc on and my ps3 by accident and have never suffered such a thing? Im wondering it this is a cheapy plasma thing?

Tons of people still make plasmas mate. Just go into curry's. The pictures on a plasma is far better and more natural than an LCD, hence how they havent been replaced by the cheaper LCD technology.

LED is still LCD and it still gives me a ton of problems. Whatever OLED is mate im not sitting here to jump on the next bandwagon manufactures deem necessary. First it was HD, now thats old hat and its 3D and somewhere in between LED. Now you tell me about OLED. No mate. Theres something new out these days every 6 months. I couldn't possibly want to keep up. My SD panny that cost a few grand 5 years ago still does everything I need it to. Technology is my slave, not the other way around


it might be the Refresh Rate:60Hz if it makes ur head hurt as my m8 cant stand playing games on my setup for very long.


Necro - I think its down to how damn bright, unnatural and in your face they are. Like I say I have no probs with CRTs (bar the space they take up)
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Re: Anyone use a projector as a PC monitor?

Postby Seccione » Sat Mar 24, 2012 3:26 pm

Kolakube wrote:
Tons of people still make plasmas mate. Just go into curry's. The pictures on a plasma is far better and more natural than an LCD, hence how they havent been replaced by the cheaper LCD technology.

Amen.

Panasonic's plasmas are the really astounding. Puts every modern LCD panel to shame. No doubt.
I have an old Sony plasma, circa 2003. No screen burn, used almost daily for gaming (static ui elements). The image is far more pleasant compared to Samsung's full HD 3D LED Blah blah panel I bought last year. LCD's are fine for computer usage, plasmas are better for viewing natural imagery.

/end OT
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Re: Anyone use a projector as a PC monitor and more

Postby Brian M Rose » Sat Mar 24, 2012 4:25 pm

"I honestly dont get this screen burn thing with plasmas. My front room plasma is 5 years old and in its day a high quality Panasonic. I have left my pc on and my ps3 by accident and have never suffered such a thing? Im wondering it this is a cheapy plasma thing?"


Well, Plasma screens are sensitive to (temporary) screen burn, although they should cure themselves over time. LCD displays tend to track gamma more 'accurately'(ie, closer to an old Grade 1 CRT Display) and to have more separation in the blacks. As to colour rendering, I suspect that is is more down to user settings.
With any domestic display, don't whatever you do, use the 'out-of-the-box' setting, especially the 'shop' setting. Japanese manufacturers tend to go for a very bright, over-saturated look. This better suites the local NHK audience. Also, the shop setting attracts more attention, just because it is so bright.
It is very similar for Japanese broadcast cameras, the factory setting gives terrible pictures. I used to earn a living partially by setting up broadcast cameras to look 'good'.
As has been mentioned on this forum, it is very much the same with speakers. Domestic 'HiFi' speakers tend to sound 'exciting', because that is what they are designed to do. On the other hand, broadcast monitors can sound dull and even tiring, because they are designed to reveal the actual signal, together with any faults.
So going even more off-forum for a moment (although it is equally important for pictures as well as sound) how do you actually monitor your material? Do you only use top of the line professional equipment, or do use also listen/watch on typical domestic equipment as well? Most of the complaints about technical quality to the BBC are about sound. And in many cases, can be down to the fact that a mix may well be balanced for Dolby 5.1 in a broadcast studio, with no reference what it sounds like in a domestic environment in stereo, or even mono.
As they say, Discuss and Compare.
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Re: Anyone use a projector as a PC monitor?

Postby illegal colors » Sat Mar 24, 2012 4:50 pm

Seccione wrote:
Panasonic's plasmas are the really astounding. Puts every modern LCD panel to shame.
.
.
LCD's are fine for computer usage, plasmas are better for viewing natural imagery.

I am not in a position to disagree with your assessment but I wonder if you had a chance to compare Panasonic plasma TVs to their IPS LCD TVs? I'm asking because most Panasonic flat panels are unsuitable for use as computer monitors regardless of the technology involved.

Also design of all the image processing circuitry is very important and makes massive difference.
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Re: Anyone use a projector as a PC monitor?

Postby Kolakube » Sat Mar 24, 2012 4:59 pm

Also design of all the image processing circuitry is very important and makes massive difference.


Think this is defiantly the case mate. My SD panny with HD fury looks far better than any 400 quid Samsung HD garbage my friends keep buying and inviting me round to be woow'd at.

Like the camera thing. Companies pray of peoples rampant consumerism and sheep like flocking nature. I mean how many times do people run out an buy a million mega pixel camera just for it to be craper than a good quality 4 mega pixel one because the rest of the components are higher quality. How many mega pixels is simply one part of a very big chain.

This may seem of subject but my analogy is just slapping HD, or 3D or LED on something doesn't make it any good.

I honestly think even today and half decent plasma wipes the floor with any LCD. So much more natural to view.

Honestly, this screen burn thing needs to die a death. It doesn't worry decent (IE not 20 quid worth) plasmas. If my PS3 hasent burned my panny in 5 or 6 years its never going to get screen burn.
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Re: Anyone use a projector as a PC monitor?

Postby Howdy Doody Time » Sun Mar 25, 2012 1:02 am


Have you considered LED projectors? Quiet and compact, typically >20,000 hours bulb life.
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Re: Anyone use a projector as a PC monitor?

Postby Kolakube » Sun Mar 25, 2012 6:07 pm

Hi mate,

No I haven't. I have been put of projectors re this thread. Are LED projectors any diff to standard ones?
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Re: Anyone use a projector as a PC monitor?

Postby uphillbothways » Sun Mar 25, 2012 7:25 pm

OP, you just need to turn down the brightness on your monitor and put a small lamp directly behind it. If you haven't been to the optician in the past two years, get your eyes tested.

Regarding monitors, there's only one worth buying: the Dell UltraSharp U2711. 2560 x 1440 resolution, 12-bit internal processing, 100% sRGB gamut, calibrated from the factory. £455 seems like a lot of money for a monitor, but it works out at pennies per hour.
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Re: Anyone use a projector as a PC monitor?

Postby Kolakube » Sun Mar 25, 2012 7:42 pm

No no no - your so wrong!

I have tried all kinds of LCD monitors and they all cause me headaches. Turning the brightness down helps but does not prevent the symptoms. Plasmas and CRTs do not give me this problem at all.

Dell is actually the worst of the lot. I just had the latest 30 inch they made, it was my last attempt at an LCD. I sold it on ebay a month ago. All Dell monitors are overly bright. By the way this was a grand, not 400 quid and it still killed me.
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Re: Anyone use a projector as a PC monitor?

Postby necromunger » Sun Mar 25, 2012 8:31 pm

I have tried all kinds of LCD monitors and they all cause me headaches

that's what my m8 gets after 30 mins using a lcd but fine with plasma and his old neo geo arcade machine.

he says my screens are flashing and he thinks that is what causes it as my lcds/tv are at 60hz and a plasma is 600hz which he is fine with.
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Re: Anyone use a projector as a PC monitor?

Postby Howdy Doody Time » Mon Mar 26, 2012 10:40 am


Oy Oy mate, aye LCD projectors are very different. They work like those torches with all the LED's so theres no heat and no fan noise (no hot bulb means no need for fans, So no fan means small projector. They are good for close up work which is what you want.

Hadaway doon the toon and hev a deek.

(You wouldn't know I'm from Newcastle would you!)
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Re: Anyone use a projector as a PC monitor?

Postby Howdy Doody Time » Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:52 am

Of course I mean LED (not LCD cos that's wot does ya heed in)
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Re: Anyone use a projector as a PC monitor?

Postby Kolakube » Mon Mar 26, 2012 6:38 pm

@ Necro - Yeah thats exactly me too mate. Ill bet he'd be fine with a CRT too. No doubt whats in the Neo Geo at a guess.

@ Howdy - yeeey, there's two gerodies on here at last. I think ive been the only one for the last decade.

Ill look into these LED projectors mate. Know of any specific models or you just familiar with the technology?
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Re: Anyone use a projector as a PC monitor?

Postby necromunger » Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:37 pm

just make sure whatever one you buy you can afford a new bulb or diode? for a led 1 as some cost a fortune to replace.

http://www.projectorpoint.co.uk/projector-lamps/projector-bulbs.htm
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Re: Anyone use a projector as a PC monitor?

Postby necromunger » Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:45 pm

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Re: Anyone use a projector as a PC monitor?

Postby Steve A » Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:47 pm

Kolakube wrote:No no no - your so wrong!

I have tried all kinds of LCD monitors and they all cause me headaches. Turning the brightness down helps but does not prevent the symptoms. Plasmas and CRTs do not give me this problem at all.

Dell is actually the worst of the lot. I just had the latest 30 inch they made, it was my last attempt at an LCD. I sold it on ebay a month ago. All Dell monitors are overly bright. By the way this was a grand, not 400 quid and it still killed me.

Funnily enough, I was going to recommend the same monitor that the previous poster did (U2711) - I use it during all through the day for my video editing work and then also outside of work for music and leisure. That's a lot of screen time and no problems here. It also dims down really quite far, as I type I have it set to brightness of 0 and the whites really are now quite a dull shade of grey.

I accept that you have already rejected this suggestion and I mention this not to continue forcing something down your throat that you're not keen on but to speculate that if even monitors like this are genuinely unusable for you, I would definitely be considering seeking advice about your eyesight in general - if only to rule out the possibility that the problems you're experiencing *could* be early warning signs of an underlying problem with your eyes as opposed to a design problem with LCD monitors in general. Not wishing to frighten you - just some well meaning food for thought.
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Re: Anyone use a projector as a PC monitor?

Postby Kolakube » Thu Mar 29, 2012 7:15 pm

Hi Steve,

Thanks for your points. No your not shoving anything, more just adding your vote and im thankful for that.

Unfortunatly the sympoms I get from LCDs are already part of a much larger condition. LCDs basically trigger it of with relative ease. In the last two years I have sufferd from quite serious ME. Turned my life upside down to be honest.

But these are the reasons Im not wanting to go back to LCDs monitors. Esspecially Dells. All Dell monitors seeem so bright to me im suprised I dont get a free sun tan :]


@ all

Im thinking of just buying a plasma. To many negativs to projectors seemingly. Trouble with the plasmas are is there too big. Im trying to source a Samsung one. They made a 32" at one point. As far as I know its the smallest plasma ever.
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Re: Anyone use a projector as a PC monitor?

Postby Agharta » Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:57 pm

Have you tried a TFT monitor that support a 120Hz refresh rate?
It would likely need to be a 3D monitor not all of which are 120Hz but I think all that support nVidia 3D gaming are; check the specs.
I’ve heard people say that 120Hz in 2D makes a difference on these monitors.
Here’s a snapshot of some that are available up to 27”:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007617%20600030155%20600255030&IsNodeId=1&ShowDeactivatedMark=False
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Re: Anyone use a projector as a PC monitor?

Postby Kolakube » Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:37 am

Hi Agharta,

Sorry but I havent tried any 3D screens and to be honest am quite concerned the affect they will have on me.

I think the way ahead is going to have to be a plasma. I do have a shelf full of new CRTs Ive snapped up of Ebay. I bought 3 as they wont be making anymore. As said though they take up alot of space. This is fine for my internet / word PC but not my studio PC as there isnt the room in my studio as I have a huge (to me) mixing desk that seems bigger than my bed haha.

At least with Plasmas I 'know' I dont have a problem. Mind then again I have never sat 1 meter away from a 42 inch screen (If I cannot track a rare 32" no longer in production Samsung)
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