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Where to go to buy Projector


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33 replies to this topic

#1 of 34 OFFLINE   sherazFromNj

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Posted November 14 2012 - 11:39 AM

I created a new thread but it kinda disappeared as I asked many question. So this time, I'll ask one most important question. While choosing the right projector for myself (so far it's Sony VPL-VW95 ES)my biggest issue is that how one buys projector without seeing its display? It's like reading reviews on TV but you still have to go to store to see if you like the display. I'm sure all these reviews are written by pros but how only reading reviews would be suffice for someone to go and spend 6,000 or more? It is very surprising to me that I can' t find any store I can go and see projector in action :confused: I live in NJ and can commute in tri-state. Can you guys please help where can I go to see the projectors demo? Also how do you guys decide which one to buy if there is no store to see them? Thanks a bunch.

#2 of 34 OFFLINE   Jason Charlton

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Posted November 14 2012 - 12:02 PM

When shopping for a flat screen display, it's very difficult to properly evaluate a set's performance based on how it looks in the store.  The environment (especially the lighting) is nothing like what you have at home, the viewing angle is usually absurd (it's either sitting on the floor, or raised 5 feet) and you generally have no idea what or how the source material is being fed to the TV (i.e. a single source split 40 times to the displays?).   Those same challenges (and many more) exist for front projection - which is why I don't think "seeing it in action" should be a prerequisite for purchasing it.   At least with a flat screen display, the image size is constant.  Evaluating a projector properly should take into consideration the screen size and throw distance - two variables that are completely dependent on your room geometry and seating distance.   You also have the issue of calibration.  NO DISPLAY looks as good as it can straight out of the box.  They ALL can be improved by adjusting their various settings.  IMO, front projectors have MUCH GREATER customization controls than any flat panel display.  They have to because performance of front projectors is affected to a much greater degree by your room environment than flat panel displays.   As you've noted - brick and mortar locations with properly set up front projection demos are very hard to find.  If you want to see a specific projector model in action, it's virtually impossible.   As others have noted on this forum, the best (and easiest) thing to do is to seek out demo projectors of the various projector technologies (LCD, DLP, LCoS) to find out which technology you prefer.  Best Buy Magnolia rooms frequently have one or two front projection setups available.  That's about the only mass-market option that comes to mind.   The reviews online at projectorcentral.com and projectorreviews.com are very thorough and are done by reputable people.  Much moreso than a flatscreen display, you CAN make much of your decision based on the information you gather from those reviews combined with the particulars of your room geometry and goals.   Finally, you should make your purchase from a reputable dealer with a decent return policy.  I got my projector from www.projectorpeople.com and would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone.  If you have a problem, or don't like it, you can return the projector within 30 days hassle free.   If you've done your research and determined that the Sony is the best option for you - get it, hook it up, spend a month using it and seeing if it works for you.  If it doesn't send it back and you're not out anything at all.   Edit: I see projectorpeople.com don't list that model in their inventory.  I would suggest calling them to find out for sure if they have it, otherwise, even ordering direct from Sony - they offer 30 day returns.

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#3 of 34 OFFLINE   sherazFromNj

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Posted November 14 2012 - 12:30 PM

Jason, thx for your detail reply. I agree with everything you said. It's not easy to evaluate a TV in store and projector is much more harder to evaluate as it is more based on darkness, and placement. I have never bought a projector before. I guess therefore I wanted to see how it'd look. I'm sure you own a projector. Does a 1080P projector look same as a 1080P TV or even better (considering we are keeping projector at mid point and room is completely dark)? I read many reviews on Sony VPL-VW95 ES and they all say it's a great projector. I just don't know when they say great, does it mean picture quality, color, image sharpness same as a good 1080P or even better. I"m comparing to 1080P as this is the only option I know of (I own one 1080P TV). What about 3D? Does projector have better 3D than TV. I though it would since it's bigger in size. Thanks.

#4 of 34 OFFLINE   Jason Charlton

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Posted November 14 2012 - 12:49 PM

What about 3D? Does projector have better 3D than TV. I though it would since it's bigger in size.  
  My projector is "only" a 720p model.  I have a 96" screen and sit about 11 feet from the screen.  To my eyes the picture is amazing.  I've had the projector for 5+ years and still from time to time turn to my wife and say, "Man, that's a great picture."  I don't know how much I'd be able to discern between this and a 1080p image.   Of course, this also assumes you're feeding an HD signal to begin with.  If you feed non-hd material and it's enlarged to sizes typical of front projection (90"+) then all the image flaws and artifacts will be magnified... you can't avoid this - regardless of the display technology or type.   As for 3D I can't comment on that, since I don't have 3D capability and have little interest or experience with it.

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#5 of 34 OFFLINE   sherazFromNj

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Posted November 14 2012 - 09:04 PM

jason I contacted projectorpeople.com and the person I chat with said that they do have it in stock for $4,800. I think it is a great price. To my surprise it turned out that screens are very expensive specially when i want the speakers behind the screen. The price was around 800-900 for 130'' screen.

#6 of 34 OFFLINE   Jim Mcc

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Posted November 15 2012 - 01:04 AM

Projector People is a great place to buy from. I bought my last 2 projectors there.

#7 of 34 OFFLINE   Jason Charlton

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Posted November 15 2012 - 06:10 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by sherazFromNj /t/325188/where-to-go-to-buy-projector#post_4001608 jason I contacted projectorpeople.com and the person I chat with said that they do have it in stock for $4,800. I think it is a great price. To my surprise it turned out that screens are very expensive specially when i want the speakers behind the screen. The price was around 800-900 for 130'' screen.
  AT (acoustically transparent) screens are expensive.  They also tend to cost you some image brightness as well (due to the microperfs present).   Another plus for PPeople is that you can call them and talk to someone that actually KNOWS what they're talking about.  If an AT screen is something you'd be considering, see what their opinion is as well.  They can make educated recommendations and offer some discounts for bundle orders as well.   Good luck!

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#8 of 34 OFFLINE   sherazFromNj

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Posted November 15 2012 - 01:18 PM

Thanks Jason. I was wondering if they can provide me some discount. Someone suggested a site to buy screen material. It is cheap but I have no clue how to put the stuff together so I might go with PPeople to see if they can break me a deal. For a scren size I'm looking for (140"), the cheapest online rep showed me was around $800.00 and it's an AT. Seems like very expensive. If I were to buy screen material itself, it's 250 for that size and also AT.

#9 of 34 OFFLINE   Jim Mcc

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Posted November 15 2012 - 03:25 PM

Thanks Jason. I was wondering if they can provide me some discount. Someone suggested a site to buy screen material. It is cheap but I have no clue how to put the stuff together so I might go with PPeople to see if they can break me a deal. For a scren size I'm looking for (140"), the cheapest online rep showed me was around $800.00 and it's an AT. Seems like very expensive. If I were to buy screen material itself, it's 250 for that size and also AT.
How far are you going to sit from that HUGE screen? And the Sony VW95ES is WAY TOO DIM for that HUGE screen size. If you go to the Calculator Pro at Projectorcentral you will see for yourself.

#10 of 34 OFFLINE   sherazFromNj

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Posted November 15 2012 - 08:15 PM

Based on this site http://www.projector...calculator.html I should be sitting 18.7. I entered 138" or the screen size and 21 ft a total space. Since you pointed HUGE scree, I figured it's better to share my room config to make sure I didn't mis-understand my calcuation of screen

Room total length: 21 ft
Screen Wall Width: 11 ft
Screen Wall Height: 8 ft

Room light: Completely dark.

The reason I chose VW95ES is after reading a lot of reviews on it. Basically what I am looking for is not only great 2D but also great 3D (agreed that there arn't great 3D but I am trying to find the best I can in this price range). Projectors under 6,000 this one came out to be the best one in both fields (2D,3D). Projectreviews.com says that in 2D it should have no problem projecting on 130" screen but for 2D (due to low lumen) 100" is recommended and don't exceed more than 110". Other projectors also have great 2D in this price range but they are not as strong in 3D as VPL-VW95ES.

VPL-VW95ES has a tie with JVC DLA-X70R and Mitsubishi HC9000D is a runner up.
Here is the link
http://www.projector..._3500_10000.php

#11 of 34 OFFLINE   Jim Mcc

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Posted November 16 2012 - 12:04 AM

Do you realize that a 138" diagonal screen is 120" wide(10')? And that doesn't even include the border around the screen. And your screen wall is only 11' wide. Before you deduct for the border, you have only 6" on each side of the screen. Are you going to put your speakers behind the screen after all? That's the only way it would work. And are you going to reduce the image size when you switch to 3D? I don't understand why you won't consider a brighter projector. Make sure you are familiar with the return policy of wherever you buy it from.

#12 of 34 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted November 16 2012 - 06:04 AM

For the price of the Sony you can get the Panasonic 8000 AND the next version that comes out in the line. Just sayin...

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#13 of 34 OFFLINE   sherazFromNj

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Posted November 16 2012 - 09:04 AM

Jim, Yes I do realize that it's 120" wide screen. It's the max I can go and yes I will put the speakers behind the screen. The reason I chose to put behind the screen is not because I have to have 120" of width but because the central speaker should be placed in the middle and at the height parallel to ears. Based on that, placing speakers behind the screen seems like the only option. I'm going with 138" because 1 - I get to see a nice large screen 2 - If I buy a projector that can handle this big screen, then I can utilize that size anytime I want. Do I want to reduce to 100" for 3D. No I don't but do I have a choice???? Most of the time I will be watching 2D on it so 2D has to be great but I will also watch 3d and some 3d games. What other choice do I have that gives me great 2D and good 3D???????? If a projector is only giving me great 2D but sucks at 3D then it's not a good choice. Also you said "Sony VW95ES is WAY TOO DIM for that HUGE screen size". What good VW95ES is for then? Why would sony ask its customers to pay more money than say Sony VPL-HW50ES. Yes HW50ES is 1300 Lumens and VW95 is 1000 but then this confuses me as a consumer as to why one would pay more if one with less money is better. There has to be something about VW95ES that makes it better choice than 50ES. Thanks

#14 of 34 OFFLINE   sherazFromNj

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Posted November 16 2012 - 09:15 AM

According to http://www.projector...#specifications
Brightness: Manufacturer claim: 2400 lumens, 2178 measured max, 602 lumens, post calibration in "best" mode

#15 of 34 OFFLINE   sherazFromNj

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Posted November 16 2012 - 09:17 AM

According to http://www.projector...#specifications
Brightness: Manufacturer claim: 2400 lumens, 2178 measured max, 602 lumens, post calibration in "best" mode

#16 of 34 OFFLINE   Jason Charlton

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Posted November 16 2012 - 09:39 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by sherazFromNj /t/325188/where-to-go-to-buy-projector#post_4002290  because the central speaker should be placed in the middle and at the height parallel to ears. Based on that, placing speakers behind the screen seems like the only option.
  Actually, placing speakers behind the screen and using an AT screen material is not very common at all.  Most front projection setup (mine included) place the center speaker below the screen - using a stand that angles the speaker up very slightly.   Generally, when setting up a front projection system the components (screen/projector) are chosen based on a combination of three main criteria: room geometry, desired use case, and cost.  These three factors generally are used to determine which projector/screen are best suited for your situation.   In your case, you've taken a different approach by choosing the screen/projector you want to use.  That's perfectly fine - but the converse situation now applies - based on the chosen equipment, you are "locked in" to certain assumptions on room geometry, use case and cost.   You can't have it both ways, unfortunately.  Either you choose the projector that ideally suits your needs, or you live with some performance cost for choosing equipment first.

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#17 of 34 OFFLINE   Jim Mcc

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Posted November 16 2012 - 11:45 AM

Jim, Yes I do realize that it's 120" wide screen. It's the max I can go and yes I will put the speakers behind the screen. The reason I chose to put behind the screen is not because I have to have 120" of width but because the central speaker should be placed in the middle and at the height parallel to ears. Based on that, placing speakers behind the screen seems like the only option. I'm going with 138" because 1 - I get to see a nice large screen 2 - If I buy a projector that can handle this big screen, then I can utilize that size anytime I want. Do I want to reduce to 100" for 3D. No I don't but do I have a choice???? Most of the time I will be watching 2D on it so 2D has to be great but I will also watch 3d and some 3d games. What other choice do I have that gives me great 2D and good 3D???????? If a projector is only giving me great 2D but sucks at 3D then it's not a good choice. Also you said "Sony VW95ES is WAY TOO DIM for that HUGE screen size". What good VW95ES is for then? Why would sony ask its customers to pay more money than say Sony VPL-HW50ES. Yes HW50ES is 1300 Lumens and VW95 is 1000 but then this confuses me as a consumer as to why one would pay more if one with less money is better. There has to be something about VW95ES that makes it better choice than 50ES. Thanks
Yes, you do have a choice. You buy a projector that will be bright enough in both 2d and 3d use. Your logic is like buying a car that runs great up until 55 mph, then runs like crap above 55 mph. Me, I'm not going to buy that car. I gave you 2 better choices in the other thread. The VW95ES costs more because it gives a great image in a dark room, with a screen size 110" diagonal or smaller. You sound determined to buy the VW95, so good luck. You will be disappointed.

#18 of 34 OFFLINE   sherazFromNj

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Posted November 16 2012 - 01:15 PM

Jason, Thanks so much for such great advice. It didn't occur to me that I can simply angle the speaker to point towards ear. This means that I don't have to buy the AT screen anymore and can lean towards the screen that brings more brightness. Any ideas which one to get? Also I"ll place the front central speakers on the side so that takes away some width from the screen and I'm ok with that. Each speaker is aroudn 6' wide. So one foot is out from 11 ft. Plus the screen is going to have it's own borders so I think I'm left with a total of 112" of width which gives me around 128" of diagonal screen.

#19 of 34 OFFLINE   sherazFromNj

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Posted November 16 2012 - 01:20 PM

Jim, Sorry if I made an impression that I have made up my mind. I haven't. I read great reviews on Sony VPL-VW95ES so using it to compare. So I'm open to any projector. I know you adviced me to look into Sony VW50ES, or the Epson 5020UB. I have them on my list and considering them. I just spoke with one of my friend who installed the projector around 6 months ago. I haven't seen his screen but he said something which really surprised me. First of all he bought a low end projector (around $1,000). He has it installed in basement which has no light. I asked him if he finds projector quality same as a 1080P television. He said that it's not. He finds quality far less than TV. Now it can be because he bought a cheap one. If I were to buy the one you recommended or other high end ones (over 3,000), would they in general provide similar quality of like a 1080P TV on big screen??? Thanks.

#20 of 34 OFFLINE   Jim Mcc

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Posted November 16 2012 - 06:47 PM

A 1080p projector will never look as good as a 1080p TV. The reason being you are not comparing apples to apples. With a projector you are blowing up the image 4 times the size of the TV. It would take four 55" TV's to equal the size of a 110" diagonal projection screen. But the image quality will be close. Plus you get the immersive effect of the theater when using a projector. A room with a TV is just that, A room with a TV in it.




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