1/4 HD front projector

Discussion in 'Displays' started by BobR, Jan 1, 2004.

  1. BobR

    BobR Agent

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    I've been looking at front projectors and trying to learn a bit about them. It seems the big tradeoff at any given price is brightness vs resolution. I would like a 16:9 native aspect ratio and we will not be sitting in a dark room to watch movies. Consequently, I was considering the Mitsubishi HC3 which is brighter that the Sanyo PLV-Z2 but it is 1/4 HD instead of WXGA. A review I read at projector central suggested a viewing distance of 2X screen width for this projector. If that's true, I will have to settle for a smaller screen size than I would like. Does anyone have any experience with this projector? Do I really need that 2X viewing distance to avoid seeing pixels or is it ok at 1.5X width?
    Alternatively, if I got the Sanyo PLV-Z2 would I really need to watch it in the dark or is some light ok?
    I know it would be best to go look at some of these in different light at different distances but there's just no place around here to do that.

    Thanks
     
  2. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Neil Joseph
    The Mitsubishi is slightly brighter, yes but, for me, the more important thing is how well it can achieve its blacks, and this is where the contrast ratio becomes important. In this aspect, the Z2 is by far better. Many of the projectors used to do business presentations are meant to be viewed with some ambient light in the room but the blacks they project are gray in colour. If it comes down to choosing a projector such a the Z2 for instance, and you are concerned about ambient light washing out the picture, then you may want to reduce the amount of ambient light in the room as much as possible. Of course, I am assuming that you intend to use the projector for movie watching but, you actually may want a bright projector if your viewing needs include sports watching or casual TV/gaming material where some amount of light in the room would be desireable.

    That said, how much do you intend to spend on a projector?
     
  3. BobR

    BobR Agent

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    I was trying to keep it under $2000. It would be primarily for movies but would also be used for TV and gaming. The reason I'm concerned about light is that there are usually other things going on in the room. It is by no means a bright room but we do need some light. The viewing distance is about 12-14 ft.
     
  4. Thomas Willard

    Thomas Willard Stunt Coordinator

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    If "other things" will be going on in the room, then a Panasonic PT-L300U projector which I have will probably not do the job for you. I watch movies and TV with room lights dimmed considerably. At work I use Panasonics with double the light output, but also half the contrast ratio. But contrast ratio in a moderately lite room is not really a big issue. Using one of the high output projectors with lower contrast ratio, does not make a good low light projector for movies.

    You need to decide which environment is more important to you. I believe some model DLP projectors have good contrast ratio and light output. Just be careful of the rainbow effect that bothers some people.

    The newer model PT-L500U provides about the same light output as the 300, but has a slightly better contrast ratio and better resolution (not important for DVD's, but would help somewhat with HDTV. The 500 should sell for about $2K I hear.
     

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