720 v 1080p projector

cokewithvanilla

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John
I am planning a home theater and I am looking into a Sony VPL-VW50 as a projector.

I hear good things, and it is about the only projector in its price range at $3,700. However, I can get a good 720p projector for about $1,600-1,800.

Is it worth paying the extra 1,800-2,000?

I am going to be using it mainly for upconverted dvd movies. I think the upconverters usually say something like they can convert a regular movie into 720p or 1080i.

HD DVDs are coming quickly, do you think its worth the extra money in a 1080p?

What is the best 720p projector?
What size screen (in inches) would you need for a 16 x 19 x 8 room?
 

Jim Mcc

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There's a review on that Sony at Projectorcentral.com, and it was average at best. There's also a great article there about deciding on whether to buy a 720p or 1080p projector. I don't think it's worth paying the extra money for 1080p at this time. There's no such thing as "the best 720p projector". Do you want DLP or LCD? The screen size depends on your seating distance(What will it be)? What will your throw distance be? Will you have total light control in your room? If not, you'll want a projector that's brighter than normal. If you answer the 4 questions, we can recommend a few models.
 

cokewithvanilla

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1. Either DLP or LCD is fine, as long as I dont get the screen door effect... but why not try LCOS?
2. Seating distance, I can put seats anywhere, but best more towards the middle of the room... maybe 10 feet from the screen. are you supposed to sit near the middle of the room so the rear speaers arent too close to your head?
3. throw distance can be whatever, I will mount it where its best.
4. Yes, the room will have total light control.
 

Jim Mcc

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I'm not saying rule out LCOS, but the review on that Sony is nothing special. For 720p DLP, check out the Mitsubishi HC3000. For LCD, check out the new Panasonic AX100 and Sanyo Z5. With a 10' seating distance, your screen size should be about 100"-110" diagonal. If you'll have a second row farther back, I'd go with a bigger screen. With a 19' long room, you can have a second row of seats. Projectorreviews.com is a great site, and they have better, more thorough reviews.
 

Leo Kerr

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Good DILA projectors are really good. Unfortunately, they're moderately expensive... I've not been really impressed by the Sony units, except for their cost (and that's generally in the maintenance... their big boys are incredibly expensive to operate.)

The best DILA/LCOS projectors I've seen have been the JVC units, the HD2K-SYS and its follow-on that I can't remember the name of - but they're far more than your price range.
 

cokewithvanilla

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When I last checked, the Panasonic AX100 got better reviews than the sanyo as long as you could control the light in the room. So that leaves me with the panasonic, or the mitsubishi...besides the mitsubishi's 1280 x 768* resolution is there anything you gain by going DLP? I heard that with lcd projectors you could get a screen door effect, which would be nice to avoid... what of the Mitsubishi HD4000U? I also heard something about non-organic lcd projectors that wouldn't degrade over time...

I read many good reviews on the HC3000, HS60, and AX100... I hate choosing... I think I am going to have to go look at some projectors in store.
 

Jim Mcc

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You've got the Panasonic and Sanyo backwards. You need a darker room with the Sanyo because it's not as bright as the Pan. The Mits. 4000 is not ideal for home theater. It's designed as a multi use, very bright projector. You definitely need to view a DLP and LCD projector to see which you prefer. A very small % of people are bothered by the rainbow effect with DLP, so you need to see if it affects you.
 

Sami Kallio

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1080p is definately worth the extra money over 720p but only if you plan to switch to HD formats or watch a lot of HD broadcasts. For DVD's a good 480p projector would save you even more money.
 

Allan Jayne

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(copied from another post)

All non-CRT 1080 projectors are 1080p and convert all source material to that. Fewer than 5% of them convert 1080i to 1080p well.

While I cannot say whether 1080 is worth the added cost over 720 for you, 1080p is not worth it unless the projector has a 1080p input with HDCP compliance. This way, even if you don't have any 1080p sources now, you will be able to get the full quality of 1080p later.

While few 720p projectors convert 1080i to 720p well either, almost all 720p projectors have 720p input that can be used for improved 1080i to 720p from an external dongle you may buy later.

A 720p projector that does not convert 1080i well gives about the same quality as a 1080p projector that similarly does not convert 1080i well, except for a slightly smoother picture on the 1080p projector.

Video hints:
http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/hdtvnot.htm
 

Sami Kallio

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Even with incorrect 3:2 pulldown there isn't that much difference between 1080i and 1080p inputs. There is quite a big difference between 720p and 1080p (with 1080i input deinterlaced to 1080p) when viewing 1080i60 material though. I rarely watch on my 720p projector anymore after getting 1080p DLP TV and 1080p projector is on my "must purchase" list since I do miss the bigger screen I can do with a projector (and the surround sound I get in my HT).
 

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