Best Front Projector under $3k...

Discussion in 'Displays' started by jeff_john, Jun 13, 2003.

  1. jeff_john

    jeff_john Auditioning

    Nov 9, 2001
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    I have read this board for some time and am finally taking the plunge into a front projector for a new home theater. I would like to spend under $3k and have HD capabilities. This technology is changing so fast. I would like to know what you would buy now and why. Thanks in advance, Jeff
  2. Gabriel_Lam

    Gabriel_Lam Screenwriter

    Mar 7, 2002
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    HD capabilities meaning it can take 720p and 1080i inputs? Or HD capabilities meaning it can take 720p and 1080i inputs and actually resolve upwards of 720p? Nothing in that price range can fully resolve 1080i.
  3. Chris Moe

    Chris Moe Screenwriter

    Jun 12, 2002
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    I would go with a used CRT projector.

    Lots to choose from in that price range.

    I have Curt Palme's (CRT reseller) most recent list of projectors. His list is pretty small this time, he has some that are cheaper than your budget, but with your budget I would get this:

    Electrohome Marquee 8500 $2,200-$2,800, 8" guns EM focus has a NEC9pgPlus for $3,250 and a NEC9pgXtra for $2,575

    There are other resellers out there as well. Then there is always eBay, just do your homework before you buy.

    I picked up my Sony G70 for $2,500, I had to replace two tubes which cost me about $1,100, which is a little out of your budget but I couldn't be happier.

    Of course if you don't want CRT (crazy thought I know) this all moot. [​IMG]

    EDIT: As to the why I would go CRT. I like having black blacks, I see rainbows on DLP, I prefer the look of CRT's, digital PJ's look flat to me, no screen door, no costly bulb replacements, CRT's offer the best image quality (IMHO) and CRT has the best bang for the buck (IMHO)
  4. Craig Robertson

    Craig Robertson Supporting Actor

    May 12, 1999
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    i'll have to second Chris' recommend for a used CRT, for all the reasons he gave. as corporations and govt offices take high dollar CRT projectors out of their board and meeting rooms, in favor of smaller lighter digital projectors more suited to travel, we HT folk are getting high performance for pennies on the dollar.
  5. Steve Marsh

    Steve Marsh Stunt Coordinator

    Aug 22, 2002
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    I'll third the comments in favor of used CRT. There has never been a better time to get into CRT.
    If you have a little patience re setup and full lighting control in your room you can not beat a used crt in the under 3K catagory.
    If you were to do a little research and smart shopping and then spend around 5K you could end up with some of the best CRT PJs around and I'll gurantee you that it will blow away almost any digital and defineately any digital under 10K.
  6. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

    Jul 19, 2002
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    but than again, as someone says over on avs-
    theres something to be said for a good ole rooty-tooty, aim and shooty ( i.e. a small digital pj).
    i've only owned an XGA dlp, and never seen a good crt, so i'll take it on faith they are as beautiful as they sound.

    however, i wouldn't want the space they take up, nor the issues of brightness, burn-in with letterboxed material, the need to regularly maintain them (i drove myself nuts with my RP in the short time i had it, trying desperetly to get the picture as sharp as i knew it could/should be...and never did).

    the other nice thing about the micro portable dlp i've used- i can easily maintain a constant height/ variable width set up by just movig the pj back and forth on a small cart.
    i don't have to have 2.35 movies like Gladiator or ATOC or whatever, being the smallest images on the screen.
    on my screen, they are the BIGGEST, with the 4:3 material being projected at the smallest size.

    that right there is the main reason, i myself, would probably never want a crt set-up.

    in answer to the orignal posters query- are you looking for LCD or DLP? i think the PLV-70 is in that price range.
    if you bump that up to $3500, you can pick up the NEC HT1000 (it's $4k at many dealers, but there is a $500 rebate until Sept.).
    if you can wait several months, i think there will be some more major re-pricings, probably in Oct./Nov, the price on the NEC will get cut again, along with some other good pjs.

    you could always buy a decent one used pretty cheap (~$1k) to use for a year or two, and sell it for just a small loss when this falls technology is a little more mature and much cheaper next year.

    otherwise at that price range, you are pretty much limited to XGA if you are looking at DLPs.
    i'm not up on the situation with LCDs as i'm not rainbow sensitive ( i was actually, but got over it in time), anmd i've always thought the picture from DLPs was just much more film like.
    manybe not crt film-like, but much moreso than the very digital looking LCDs, imo.

    as far as HD goes, as Gabriel said, nothing in that price range (and beyond at this point actually) will fully resolve HD.
    even the $6-12,000 HD2 pjs are only at a 12xx x 768 res.
    that still isn't fully resolving HD.

    so with that in mind, i would probably pick up an infocus X1 for $1k or a used nec LT150/240 for about the same price and use it for a year or year and 1/2, and then sell it for about $400-500.
    in a year and 1/2, that $3K budget is going to be able to buy a helluv a pj.
    one that won't seem like a compormise at all.

    the bang for the buck may very well be in crts.
    i just think there are drawbacks to them as well that for me would trump the PQ and price.
  7. Thomas Nichols

    Thomas Nichols Stunt Coordinator

    Nov 27, 1999
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    I recently saw the Sony Cineza HS10. It is an LCD projector that runs about 2900$. Looked fantastic. I believe the native resolution is 1366x768....I cannot remember. There are reviews of this projector in Sound and Vision....they liked it. I can say that it looks really good. The demo was fantastic. You may want to check it out. It meets all of your requirements.

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