What Projector would be best?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Daniel Smith, Oct 28, 2004.

  1. Daniel Smith

    Daniel Smith Auditioning

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2004
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    I need some expert advice. I am renovating a home in a high end area. It has a perfect 14' x 17.5' room for HT. We have already prepared the room with black ceiling & deep brown walls - no windows. There will be no ambient light.

    My question is this: I am going to have to move, (unexpectedly) within a couple of months. I now have to pick an optimum projector for DVD only - no TV, etc. I want the picture to be spectacular for DVD, but not go overboard, as I will not be there to enjoy it. I don't mind going used for a couple of year old high end, to save $, but am open to all suggestions. I was hoping to spend ~$2500, but will go either way if warranted.

    Also, the front row will be ~12' from the screen. What size and type screen should I use (permanent mount).

    Thanks for all opinions. I have researched a lot, but need to be pushed off the fence between DLP and LCD.

    Thanks!

    Daniel Smith
    Tyler, Texas
     
  2. Mike Wladyka

    Mike Wladyka Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2003
    Messages:
    630
    Likes Received:
    0
    It sounds like the infocus 4805 might be right up your alley. Some others to look at would be the optoma H30, Benq 7800, Sanyo Z1, Z2, or Z3, and panny 300, 500, or 700. Since you will be watching only movies I would suggest a native 16:9 pj.

    I like DLP better than LCD, but that is just me, many people would agree and disagree. Have you seen either technology in action?
     
  3. Stephane

    Stephane Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2002
    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    0
  4. terence

    terence Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2002
    Messages:
    985
    Likes Received:
    0
    I say definatly go see both LCD & DLP pj in action to make up your mind on with one you perfer. IT will come down to preference mine is DLP, and i own a Infocus SP4805. It is a great entry level pj and could not be any more please with my pick!
     
  5. David_Rivshin

    David_Rivshin Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2001
    Messages:
    352
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm no expert, but I'll give some (hopefully useful) advice anyways [​IMG]
    In your price range the Panasonic AE700, Sanyo Z3, and Sony HS51 are currently the hot items. All are LCD 16:9 720p native projectors, and are comparable in many ways. The standout features as I understand them is that the AE700 is exceptionally flexible in placement options (large zoom and lense shift ranges), while the HS51 has some better image quality aspects but costs more than the other two. In either case you'll want an upscaling DVD player to match their native resolution.

    Another option would be to go with one of the 480p projectors. They are less expensive and match DVD resolution better, but the lower resolution will cause things like SDE to be more visible.

    There is alot of discussion on all of these (and more) at www.avsforum.com, so I'd suggest checking it out for more info.

    -- Dave
     
  6. Daniel Smith

    Daniel Smith Auditioning

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2004
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks all for your contributions - it really helps. It is great to get some informed input! Unfortunately we do not have a good selection of projectors (or audio/video stores) within 2 hours of here, and I lack the time to drive to Dallas to check these things out in action. I am leaning towards a DLP, but had been recommended to try the Sony HS51. Should I just order a 4805 and check out the quality when it gets here? I don't think the HS51 is even available yet.

    Anyway, I will continue to read and look. Did anyone have any recommendation on type of screen and size. We just got our black carpet in today and the room is pitch black! Is ~96" too big for the front row at 12'?

    Thanks again!
     
  7. jimmy~e

    jimmy~e Agent

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2003
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've had my projector for a year and a half now. I bought a DLP, the NEC HT1000. I read three different forums (this one, AV Science and Home Theater Spot) for about two months before my purchase. I read about 30 professional reviews (Projector Central is very helpful as is just Googling different projectors), then I bought my HT1000 over the internet sight unseen. I love it and I am 100% pleased with my choice. I might buy the new Panasonic for the bedroom as well! Then I'll be LCD upstairs and DLP downstairs!
     
  8. Brae

    Brae Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2002
    Messages:
    509
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you are moving in two months I would suggest you wait until you get to your new accommodations to determine the environmental constraints and suit it with the best projector for that environment.
     
  9. Daniel Smith

    Daniel Smith Auditioning

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2004
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ok, a clarification. I am going to finish this theater in the house that I am having to move from. That is why I am wanting the optimum projector for only DVD's (no HD) at the best price. Again, it is a dark room.

    It sounds like the 4805 is in the lead. Checking into the other options, though. Does anyone have a suggestion of a higher end model from a year or two ago that may be available now for a much better price?

    Thanks again!

    Daniel
     
  10. David_Rivshin

    David_Rivshin Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2001
    Messages:
    352
    Likes Received:
    0

    I usually see a recommendation of about 1.5x screen width for DVD quality source material. A 96" diagonal screen is roughly 84" wide, so that leads to a recommended viewing distance of 126" (10.5'). So I think 12' would be just fine. A very dark room is certain a help, and should allow you to be satisfied with a projector which isn't as bright.

    As far as screens, if you want to go the DIY route alot of people recommend what is termed blackout cloth. It's essentially backing added to room darkening curtains, and can be found in your local fabric store. Just have to build a frame and stretch the fabric over it. Very cheap way to get a reasonably good screen. The DIY forum here and the screens forum on avsforum both have more info on construction and material selection.

    I have also seen some deals for a 4805 and a screen for what seems to be a relatively good price. I think the coupons&bargins forum here has such a deal listed.

    Hope this helps,
    -- Dave
     
  11. Mike Ulveling

    Mike Ulveling Auditioning

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2003
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    I wouldn't recommend buying a used LCD projector. Many models, including the Panasonic ae300 I once had, are prone to develop color blotches, color stripes, or even an overall color cast due to degradation of the polarizers and optical block. This can happen in less than 1000 hours of use, sometimes less than 500. I am totally not convinced of the longevity of LCD projectors, especially the compact units. A used DLP projector would be a safer buy.
     
  12. David_Rivshin

    David_Rivshin Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2001
    Messages:
    352
    Likes Received:
    0

    As far as I know this is all true. However, I believe it's also more of the exception rather than the rule. Anything can have an early death, after that you hope the warranty coverage is good. If such problems were common within 1000 hours you'd better believe alot of people would be up in arms. HT enthusiasts tend to be a fairly rabid bunch (just look at what happens with relatively "minor" authoring errors in DVD's... [​IMG] ).
    Also, if he buys a used projector that works when he receives it, chances are it will still be working when he moves in a few months, no matter what the technology. It working or not when he receives it is totally about the honesty of the seller, which is a completely different issue. Because the time period is so short I'd tend to think saving a few $$$ is more important than absolute best, especially since I'd expect that savings to be put towards the replacement.

    Cheers,
    -- Dave

    PS. As an example of unusual bad luck, I've got a Civic which needed to have it's transmission replaced within 8000 miles. I don't think that's a common occurence, and I haven't seen anyone else complain about the same. It was replaced without too much hassle under warranty, and I'm still generally happy. Now if it happens again I might start raising cain, but so far so good.
     
  13. Greg Bright

    Greg Bright Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2000
    Messages:
    263
    Likes Received:
    2

    I don't intend to hijack this thread, but I am a bit confused about this. If a projector has a native 720p resolution how could it matter whether the upconversion is done in the DVD player or in the projector? What am I missing here?
     
  14. David_Rivshin

    David_Rivshin Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2001
    Messages:
    352
    Likes Received:
    0

    It's basically equivalent to asking whether you should use the DACs in your receiver or your CD player. Sometimes the scaler in the player is better, sometimes the scaler in the projector is better. I think in most cases people have found that the players are doing a (slightly) better job than these projectors, but I haven't seen it myself so take it with a grain of salt.
    In any event you'd definitely want player which outputs over DVI or HDMI, and most such players also upconvert.

    -- Dave
     
  15. Daniel Smith

    Daniel Smith Auditioning

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2004
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    David and others,

    Thanks for the detailed input, as this has done a lot to help me with my analysis. I am still open to further suggestions, but have a lot more direction now.

    Thanks!!

    Daniel
     
  16. lloydMon

    lloydMon Extra

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2004
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    4805. I have it. It rawks.
     
  17. terence

    terence Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2002
    Messages:
    985
    Likes Received:
    0



    YES it does! [​IMG] [​IMG]
     

Share This Page