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Best projector and screen for under $2,000?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by AndrewW, Aug 24, 2008.

  1. AndrewW

    AndrewW Well-Known Member

    Oct 21, 2001
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    Finishing my HT and last thing I need is a projector (1080P and some kind of verticle/horizontal shift since it's not going to be perfectly centered in the ceiling) with mount (closest to ceiling the better) and a screen in the 100" range (or is that too big for a 10'X14' room?).
    I've already ran HDMI and component cables to the spot it'll be mounted.

  2. hodedofome

    hodedofome Well-Known Member

    Nov 21, 2006
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  3. Brent_S

    Brent_S Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2000
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    "Best" depends on several factors and taste.

    You also may have the cart before the horse. By prewiring, you may have eliminated certain options if their throw distance can't be adjusted to meet your chosen screen size.

    Personally, I think 100" is way too big for any dimension in your room, but others will disagree. I think 91" diagonal at 12' viewing distance is as big as I ever want, but I'm at the outer limit of "acceptable" distance according to THX recommendations. One of those taste things.

    What kind of light control do you have? After rebates, the Sanyo Z2000, full 1080p/24 capable, can be had for $1600ish. It's not a light cannon, so you'll need full light control. It's got possibly the most lens shift of any projector anywhere near your budget along with a very flexible zoom lens. How far off center are you? Even the Sanyo only has about 5" of horizontal shift, IIRC. Lens shift axis are not independent...the more horizontal shift you use, the less vertical is available and vice versa.

    By being off center, you've eliminated DLP units. In your budget range, the units have fixed vertical offset and no horizontal. If the goal was stay as far under $2k as possible, the Mitsu HC1500/1600 would be a strong contender. The 1500 is now discontinued, but was being blown out last month for as low as $599. It's replacement, the 1600, is hovering around $900.

    If you've got any DIY interest at all, you can build a 1.2 gain screen for about $100. Look for DIY screen articles on DesignerWhite laminate. It's a color of Wilsonart laminate that happens to be a nearly perfectly neutral white with a measured gain of 1.24. Available in up to 5'x10' or 5'x12' sheets. My 4'x8' sheet was $80ish, special order from Lowes. A frame of some sort and you're done. Some have even applied it directly to the wall and trimmed it out. Unlike fabric screens, it's nearly indesctructible. In my experience, both adults and children have an irresistible urge to touch the screen for some reason.

    Barring that, Elite has been getting quite a bit of good press with selections starting around $200ish, I think. Even available from your local Best Buy or Circuit City, IIRC.

  4. projectionguys

    Aug 25, 2008
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    I may be a little biased... but. =)

    The HC1600 is good, but I think you will be happier with the flexible placement of something with lens shift.


    Look at the Epson Home Cinema 1080. It features a $300 rebate and extra lamp bringing the total value around that 2k mark. We do a lot of the Elite fixed frames and everyone is happy. They are 95% the same screen as a Dalite Cinema Contour with protrim. (at 25% the cost)


    If you go 720, the Panasonic AX200u is popular, but so is the Epson Home Cinema 720. The Epson will be a better value as it to has a 100 rebate and free extra lamp. Both of these are very flexible with lens shift and a wide lens ratio.

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