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Sound Advice: Best screens to use with projector

Don Lindich, Tribune News Service on

Published in Entertainment News

Q. I am interested in setting up a portable indoor/outdoor theater using a Nebula Cosmos projector. What screen do you recommend? I see Nebula has a new Cosmos Laser 4K projector. How does it compare to the Cosmos Max 4K?

—K.C., Pittsburgh

A. Look for a smooth PVC screen with 1.1 gain. I use a JWSIT 120-inch indoor-outdoor screen ($178) that snaps securely to a frame and has two strong legs with two feet at each end. When used outdoors these feet can be secured to the ground with supplied anchors. The picture quality is fantastic and I have never had the desire to upgrade to a more expensive screen. The screen and legs fold up and fit neatly into the supplied carrying case.

I also have an HYZ 100-inch screen with tripod stand ($99) for indoor use. It that is much quicker and easier to set up. Just unfold the legs, extend the pole and roll up the screen, just like slide projector screens of years ago. Picture quality is similarly excellent. I suspect most projector owners will eventually end up owning one of each screen, just as I do.

I recently tested the Cosmos Laser 4K and prefer it to the Cosmos Max 4K. It has the solid build of a professional projector and picture quality is improved, especially the brightness. This extra brightness really pays off when projecting in ambient light or filling a 150-inch screen. The image is solid, deep and extremely sharp. The laser light source is rated for 25,000 hours and there are no lamps to replace.

The Cosmos Laser 4K supports Netflix natively (for Netflix with the Cosmos Max 4K I recommend an external streaming device like a Roku or Amazon Fire TV Stick) and has seen continuous improvements via firmware updates. The only advantage I saw for the Cosmos Max 4K was the color rendition, which I slightly preferred. An upcoming firmware update will enable more precise color control on the Cosmos Laser 4K. This will make it a moot point, and the difference was admittedly small. If I had a choice of projectors when watching, I would reach for the Cosmos Laser 4K every time.

The Cosmos Laser 4K is $2,199. This is a noticeable increase from the $1,599 Cosmos Max 4K, but it is a top-of-the-line, no compromise solution for a portable Smart projector. If the $2,199 is a bit steep for your budget I am sure you will be happy with the Cosmos Max 4K. seenebula.com

 

Don’t forget a 5G Wi-Fi repeater if using the projector far from your wireless router. Panasonic’s class-leading 4K Blu-ray players are your best choice for playing Blu-ray and 4K Blu-ray discs.

Q. I have an old iPod and the computer I used to upload my purchased CDs is long gone. Is there an app or a way to transfer my songs to a different computer through the headphone jack?

—B.B., Livermore, California

A. You could use a USB audio converter with the headphone jack, but all you get out it is an analog audio signal. This means you have to record the audio in real time, clip out each song from the long recording and name the audio tracks and albums one by one. Better to keep everything digital, which preserves the audio quality and track information. The process will also be fast and automatic.

Wide Angle Software makes a computer app called TouchCopy that will make the process very easy for you. It sells for $30 and works on both Macs and PCs. wideanglesoftware.com

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