A significant portion of people interested in setting up an indoor golfing simulator with a projector would also like to use the same space as a home entertainment area. That means movies and TV streaming, and increasingly also gaming, as in video games with consoles such as PS4, PS5, and Xbox Series X/S.
The overlap between golfers and home theater aficionados appears considerable. This trend enjoys support from the evolving design of golf simulator projectors, which now share many of the features and core technologies of home entertainment projectors. You can enjoy many forms of entertainment with one swing, so to speak. Here we’ll look at the most important things. Essential specifications to keep in mind include 4K, short throw, high brightness, and color accuracy.
Since the projector forms the heart of your golf simulator and encompasses your home entertainment center, this is very important.Short throw is absolutely essential since it allows placement of the projector where it is needed to fill the screen, outside your swing or hitting area and with no annoying shadows cast on the image. The resolution you want is 4K, obviously, with laser projection tech and high brightness to deliver superb image quality in diverse lighting conditions.
Ultra HD 4K resolution
This provides the pixel-perfect depiction of famous golf courses you need to really get into the simulation spirit and properly develop your skills as a golfer. You can see stunning ocean vistas at Pelican Hill or fog-shrouded trees at Loch Lomond with lifelike detail. This is especially important if you are using a high-end system simulators optimized for use with software such as E6 CONNECT or TGC 2019 that supports 4K outputs.
The benefits of 4K extend beyond the golf sim arena. All major streaming apps focus on 4K content now, from Netflix and Prime Video to Hulu and Disney Plus. The best way to enjoy movies is with 4K Blu-ray for the full 8.3 million pixel experience and watching content as it was meant to be watched. Gaming has also moved on to 4K, with PS5 and Xbox Series consoles running most games at 4K 60Hz. Settling on a 1080p projector will only save you a little money, but will put a damper on your entertainment.
Classic home cinema projectors were designed for use in very dimly-lit locations, and so high brightness projection wasn’t taken into account. Golf simulators require more light for the tracking cameras to photograph and analyze hits, with the main consequence being that projectors built for golfing simulators need to put out a lot of brightness. For perspective, the typical home cinema projector has 2000 lumens. Good golf sim projectors throw at least 5000 lumens, or nearly three times as much light to fill a typical 13 foot or wider impact screen while delivering excellent image quality that doesn’t look washed out.
To achieve high brightness in the area of 5000 lumens and above, laser projection has to be present. While costlier, laser projectors provide the benefits of more advanced technology. Not only their color accuracy is vastly better, but they consume less power, and have instant on/off capability with no warm-up or cooldown. Laser projectors don’t need any specific maintenance, since the light source doesn’t need to be replaced as is the case with lamp-based projectors. That also save you money in the long run. Going back to brightness, lasers age in a very slow and linear way, resulting in consistent brightness and color over a longer product lifespan.
Like all simulators, golf sims try to emulate the real world and actual locations and bring the experience to your home. Believable, realistic colors are part and parcel of doing that. Golf courses have so many elements that depend on color accuracy to look good, from grass and trees, to sand traps and bodies of water and even the sky boxes above. Without color accuracy all of these pale in comparison to their real world counterparts, and the simulation can’t sell the illusion.
All good and well, but what to look for? Since the most common color gamut for golf sims, movies, and gaming remains Rec.709, you need a projector that offers at least 90% coverage of this color space. Please check for this specification, as many projectors labeled as high brightness may have the lumens, but they don’t have the color accuracy. With 90% Rec.709, not only do your golf sim locales appear realistic and immersive, but movies are depicted as cinematographers and directors planned, while video games (just like your golf sim) also draw you in with vibrant and accurate graphics.
The right projector means you maximize the potential of your home entertainment space without shortchanging any given activity, be it golf simulation, home cinema, or console gaming.
The newly- launched BenQ LK936ST laser projector, selected for the ProjectorCentral InfoComm 2021 Best of Show Award, is specifically designed and made as a new generation platform for savvy golf sim fans with a wide-reaching interest in other forms of home entertainment. The LK936ST delivers 4K laser-driven images with a precision Texas Instruments digital light processing (DLP) module. Brightness is at an eye-popping 5100 lumens with a short throw ratio of 0.81-.89. For color accuracy, the LK936ST delivers the goods with 92% Rec.709 coverage. And with its exclusive Golf Mode, this projector’s color and abilityto be a high-quality home theater and gaming solution enables you to create a dual-purpose golf simulator in a single space.
BenQ has trained staff to help you find the perfect golf simulator projector – within your room size and budget. To help you make the best decision, you can reach out to one of our experts to set up anything from a chat to a complete online demo, to help you find the right projector for your needs.
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