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DickB

Any Beamers Out There ?

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I've been reading the various FS Forums for quite a while. and I don't recall anyone using FSX with a large screen front projection system (aka Beamer in the US I believe), though I'm sure there must be a few.I run with an InFocus 7210 DLP Projector and a 7ft screen. And it is awesome ! Beats TH2G by a mile.Course, there are some downsides. Microstutters become macrostutters for starters. And you need some room. But the sense of immersion and realism is unbeatable. And the cost of projectors is coming down all the time.Anyone else gone down this route ?

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I've been reading the various FS Forums for quite a while. and I don't recall anyone using FSX with a large screen front projection system (aka Beamer in the US I believe), though I'm sure there must be a few.I run with an InFocus 7210 DLP Projector and a 7ft screen. And it is awesome ! Beats TH2G by a mile.Course, there are some downsides. Microstutters become macrostutters for starters. And you need some room. But the sense of immersion and realism is unbeatable. And the cost of projectors is coming down all the time.Anyone else gone down this route ?
I would love to try out the only thing that keeps me from projection systems is that cost of the bulbs are still high.

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I've got a Panasonic AX-200u. Just don't have the time or the energy to lug my pc down stairs to hook it up. I'm sure it would look cool though.

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I've got a Panasonic AX-200u. Just don't have the time or the energy to lug my pc down stairs to hook it up. I'm sure it would look cool though.
It took me a while to make the jump as well. I was using the InFocus for Home Cinema (Theater) for months before I got round to hooking up the PC. No going back now.Silverbird has a point about the cost of the bulbs. I may have been lucky - I've had the InFocus a couple years now on the same bulb. It would be a different story if I found myself replacing bulbs more frequently. But they reckon they're good for 3000 hours these days. It'll be a while before I have that many hours in my logbook !

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I've been reading the various FS Forums for quite a while. and I don't recall anyone using FSX with a large screen front projection system (aka Beamer in the US I believe), though I'm sure there must be a few.I run with an InFocus 7210 DLP Projector and a 7ft screen. And it is awesome ! Beats TH2G by a mile.Course, there are some downsides. Microstutters become macrostutters for starters. And you need some room. But the sense of immersion and realism is unbeatable. And the cost of projectors is coming down all the time.Anyone else gone down this route ?
Dick- Have you tried setting up multiple views on your projector? Awhile back I experimented with Views LFwd,Fwd,RFwd all on one screen plus displaying as many popups as practical. Since I don't have either a projector nor large HDTV, I simply packed everything onto a 19" CRT. To my pleasant surprise it worked nicely- other than everything was too small to be readable and the frame rates on my 6 year old computer were a bit slower than desirable! But smooth!Here is a screenshot showing what's possible. (PMDG 747 FS9) Note that in addition to triple views, I was able to display BOTH Captain & First Officer 2D panels neatly mated together- except for the dual center windscreen posts.I would be really curious to see how this works on your 7 ft projection screen!Alex ReidPMDG 747 aloft near Vancouver. Triple views- 135

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Guest jshyluk

I've seen folks who build wooden cockpits and then use a projection screen to provide the view out the window. Then they use smaller displays to fill in the guages for the cockpit. In some cases, it's "just" a screen or two that uses the 2-D views to provide the panel view, whereas in other cases, folks have been able to split up the gauges so that each has its own display! My monitor is 17"... I am in screen envy.Jeff ShylukSenior Staff ReviewerAVSIM

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I've seen folks who build wooden cockpits and then use a projection screen to provide the view out the window. Then they use smaller displays to fill in the guages for the cockpit. In some cases, it's "just" a screen or two that uses the 2-D views to provide the panel view, whereas in other cases, folks have been able to split up the gauges so that each has its own display! My monitor is 17"... I am in screen envy.Jeff ShylukSenior Staff ReviewerAVSIM
Jeff- Yes, a separate projection screen for the views and a smaller HDTV (27-32"?) for the panel(s) & popups!! I've seen specs for a projector with a focal length of 6' giving a 4:3 ratio, 100" diag screen that looks promising for home simming.One of the optical quirks of multiple views display, is that each view must be seen square to the pilot's eyes- that's why multiple monitors need to be arranged in an arc. If the views are seen as all in a flat line, the horizon(s) will bend as the plane rolls or pitches. Monitors placed in an arc maintain a straight horizon in roll- but I have yet to find a vertically concave monitor to keep the 3 horizons straight in pitch up/down!Which leads to an interesting possibility with a projector displaying triple views- LFwd,Fwd,RFwd. Just suppose one was to build a slightly concave viewing screen for the projector. Having worked with fibreglas a fair bit on backyard sailboat projects, I see no great problem in building a simple 8' concave mould and laying up a fibreglas screen. (Actually the mould would be convex to produce a concave screen.) The math for this seems pretty simple- the essential requirement being that every point on the screen is equidistant from one's eyes.Now we are getting close to the display system in commercial simulators- and we're only using one projector!!!! No frustration trying to align triple views from 3 separate projectors- to say nothing about cost.Alex Reid

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Guest jshyluk

I've seen curved personal projection screens as well, but they were heavily curved, and stuff at the periphery was terribly distorted. They were not primarily intended for flight sim, though. Curved LCD screens are on the way, although really big ones will be difficult to come by for several years from now. Still, maybe in our lifetimes...?Jeff ShylukSenior Staff ReviewerAVSIM

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I've seen curved personal projection screens as well, but they were heavily curved, and stuff at the periphery was terribly distorted. They were not primarily intended for flight sim, though. Curved LCD screens are on the way, although really big ones will be difficult to come by for several years from now. Still, maybe in our lifetimes...?Jeff ShylukSenior Staff ReviewerAVSIM
Jeff- some fast doodling on a scratch pad gives me the following dimensions for a compound curvature projection screen.This is for a 6' focal length projector yielding a 100" (diagonal) image at a 4:3 ratio.Screen height 60"Screen width 80" (This is the arc chord)Screen curvature depth 12" at centerYour comments re peripheral distortion are interesting. How did the curvature depth on the screens you have seen, compare with my calc of 12" in an 80" width?From my experience with triple monitor placement (angling outer 17" mons at about 40

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I seem to have set a few hares running ! Excellent. To pick up on some of the points in the previous posts

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Hi,Several folks are using beamers, particularly the "pit" builder looking for realistic out of cockpit scenery. Attached is a quick pic of a 3-projector system using a Matrox Triple Head 2 Go system and the Immersiview Sol7 geometric correction software to fit the image to a curved screen.As you can see if you look closely in the upper left hand corner, KJFK with the enhanced airport scenery and UT2 with 80% Airline traffic takes its toll. There is also still a bit of work to do on the edge butting where the three projector images align (or don't).CheersImage deleted, over the 200K file size limit, attachements must comply with Avsim posting rules

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Guest dougwells
Attached is a quick pic of a 3-projector system using a Matrox Triple Head 2 Go system and the Immersiview Sol7 geometric correction software to fit the image to a curved screen.Image deleted, over the 200K file size limit, attachements must comply with Avsim posting rules
Would you be willing to repost the photo with 200k size or less. I'm interested in curved screens and the Immersiview software.Thanks

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I seem to have set a few hares running ! Excellent. To pick up on some of the points in the previous posts

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Hi,Several folks are using beamers, particularly the "pit" builder looking for realistic out of cockpit scenery. Attached is a quick pic of a 3-projector system using a Matrox Triple Head 2 Go system and the Immersiview Sol7 geometric correction software to fit the image to a curved screen.As you can see if you look closely in the upper left hand corner, KJFK with the enhanced airport scenery and UT2 with 80% Airline traffic takes its toll. There is also still a bit of work to do on the edge butting where the three projector images align (or don't).CheersImage deleted, over the 200K file size limit, attachements must comply with Avsim posting rules
jb747- I did have a chance to study your pic before it was deleted. Very nice, thank you.If this pic is in your "MyPictures" file, I have a handy method to reduce it to AVSIM limits. Takes all of 10 seconds!I'll post it here if anyone is interested.Alex Reid

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Sorry about that. It's been awhile since I posted anything and was distracted by the note on the attachement page that limited upload size to 1.8 Mb.Anyway, here it is again, reduced below 200 kb.

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Guest dougwells
Anyway, here it is again, reduced below 200 kb.
WOW! That looks great! 15 FPS can be pretty smooth. My 2 year old system runs locked at 15fps and I find it very realistic. This is the direction I want to take my simming....large wraparound screen. Looks like it could be done fairly affordably with 3 used projectors. Did you make the cockpit enclosure or buy it from a 3rd party?Beautiful....

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Sorry about that. It's been awhile since I posted anything and was distracted by the note on the attachement page that limited upload size to 1.8 Mb.--------
jb747- Beautiful!! Thanks for reposting your pic. I would be interested to see more. I'm especially impressed with the very smooth joints between projector segments. This pic is certainly proof of the curved projection screen thesis. Well done!Question- Am I correct that when your aircraft pitches up or down, that the horizon no longer maintains a straight line across all three segments? But rather it bends somewhat at the joint between the views? Pitch up and the horizons of the outer segments angle up somewhat? And visa versa.(Similarly, I would expect that the horizon(s) remain in a straight line when the airplane is in roll mode.)Alex Reid

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WOW from me too - that certainly knocks my modest system into a cocked hat ! Busy now figuring out where I can install the other two projectors :( And I agree with Doug, 14 fps is no problem if it's smooth.One thing though - even on a large single screen, curved or otherwise, all you get is a forward panoramic view, albeit on a larger scale than TH2G. If you want to look left or right you still have to switch views or pan (as indeed I do). What you (I) REALLY want is a setup where you don't need to do that - you just look to your left or right. To do that with a single wraparound screen would (I think) require several projectors (probably more than three) to maintain focus across the full view. I'm thinking if I was going to invest in a multi-projector setup I would be looking at three separate screens (left/front/right) correctly oriented, though where to put the projectors would be a bit of a challenge ! It might also turn me into a 'pit builder' (love that term !)

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Hi guys,Interesting questions. Regarding the angle between the front projector and the left/right during a climb or decent, I haven't noticed any distortion. The following two pictures show either a climb or decent. Look inside the Pit at the PFD and you can see which is which.A bit of help. The above picture is during climbRegarding the other question on straight ahead view versus side views....I originally used Wideview with a front view and a left/right view angled at 60 degrees. The sense of motion from peripheral vision was very real. I have been pleasantly surprised that the same effect is noticed with my current curved screen, as the curvature fills the front windscreen. I have asked the question of the Sol7 developers if, in fact, if you build a full 180 degree wrap around screen if you can look down the intersecting taxiway or not. The question is still outstanding.In any case, the sense of motion that I got with Wideview is replicated with the current configuration.Cheers,Jon

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Great stuff, Jon. Do you believe you could implement a 180-degree screen with just 3 projectors ? If not, how many ?

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--------One thing though - even on a large single screen, curved or otherwise, all you get is a forward panoramic view, albeit on a larger scale than TH2G. If you want to look left or right you still have to switch views or pan (as indeed I do). What you (I) REALLY want is a setup where you don't need to do that - you just look to your left or right. To do that with a single wraparound screen would (I think) require several projectors (probably more than three) to maintain focus across the full view.
Dick B- not so: it is quite feasible to display 3 views on one screen-ie views LFwd,Fwd,RFwd all synched into one. See my earlier post #5 in this thread for a screenshot with triple views- one monitor. This is the method I would use to save on multiple projectors. However it does not give you the very wide screen effect of 3 projectors- merely a 4:3 ratio screen displaying a 135

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Hi Alex - sorry, as usual I probably wasn't making myself clear ! I know you can put the LFwd/Fwd/RFwd views together on one screen, but my point is that they are all Forward views. I agree that gives you a wider forward view, but you still need to pan or change to a new view if you want to look to the left or right side e.g. out of the side window. For some reason I seem to do that a lot !It may be that Jon's suggested 180 degree screen will provide side as well as front views, but it sounds like there are still some unanswered technical questions to be resolved !

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Hi Alex - sorry, as usual I probably wasn't making myself clear ! I know you can put the LFwd/Fwd/RFwd views together on one screen, but my point is that they are all Forward views. I agree that gives you a wider forward view, but you still need to pan or change to a new view if you want to look to the left or right side e.g. out of the side window. For some reason I seem to do that a lot !It may be that Jon's suggested 180 degree screen will provide side as well as front views, but it sounds like there are still some unanswered technical questions to be resolved !
Dick- sorry,I misunderstood. Each FS View spans 45

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Five projectors - now we're talking. We'll have it up to double figures before we're done !Thanks for the side view/outer monitor tip. I'll give it a try and see if it works for me (a lot of this stuff is very subjective). Most times I just pan.

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Hi guys,Interesting questions. Regarding the angle between the front projector and the left/right during a climb or decent, I haven't noticed any distortion. The following two pictures show either a climb or decent. Look inside the Pit at the PFD and you can see which is which.A bit of help. The above picture is during climbCheers,Jon
Jon- your pics and comment to the effect of no horizon twist/distortion during pitch up/down, is encouraging. My guess is that the very large size of your display makes any twist virtually insignificant. In which case, another good reason for large projection displays versus "small" ones via multi monitors!The idea behind my proposed 80"x60" screen with 3 views all on one projector (see above) is that it would fit into an average sized room.Your setup and the result is impressive.Regards Alex Reid

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