Best LCD 16:9 projector under $1500

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Jim Mcc, Mar 28, 2004.

  1. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    Is the Panasonic 300 the best LCD, 16:9 projector under $1500? If not, whats your choice and why? Thanks.
     
  2. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    The Panny's a great choice as would a Studio Experience 1HD. I went with the 1HD since I wanted the lens shift feature and the better warranty but they both use the same LCD panel and it was cheaper up here.
     
  3. craig_curtis

    craig_curtis Stunt Coordinator

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    there's alot of buzz about the Infocus 1405 (i think that's the number). est. street price is around $1400... i'm going to check out one myself!
     
  4. MikeRP

    MikeRP Supporting Actor

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    I just purchased the Hitachi Home 1 and will post a review in the next couple of weeks. The owners I've talked with are very satisfied.

    Mike
     
  5. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    I read the review on the Hitachi Home-1 at Projector Central, but I did not like the fact that they said you need to sit 2X the screen width back to eliminate seeing pixelation. I plan to have an 8' wide screen, and I cannot sit back 16'. But I do like the Hitachi's long throw & versatile zoom. Thanks.
     
  6. Brent Hutto

    Brent Hutto Supporting Actor

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    To a certain extent watching any DVD-quality image from much less than 2.0 screen widths is going to show artifacts. Maybe an LCD projector's screen door shows up a bit farther away than other image problems but only the very, very best DVD's are going to look good from something like 1.5-1.6 screen widths. HDTV is another story, though, if the projector has the resolution to display it.

    How far back were you planning on viewing that 96" wide image? Also, you'll need some screen gain unless your room is extremely dark. Something like the Home-1 only puts out 400-odd lumens so it will take about a 1.4-gain screen to get you up around 18 ft-L.
     
  7. MikeRP

    MikeRP Supporting Actor

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    I agree with Brent on that Jim.

    96 inch wide is pretty big for a PJ in this class.

    My screen is 80 inches wide. So, at 2x, I'm looking at 13.5 feet back and I'll actually be 12 feet back.

    My diagonal will be about 92 inches and I think this is in the range recommended for PJ's in this class.

    You can with a bigger image size but you probably ought to put out more for the PJ and step up in lumens output.

    Is your room completely dark?

    Mike
     
  8. LouAR

    LouAR Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Guys,
    I'll kick in my 2 cents. I have a Home 1 and I really push the limits of that seating distance ratio sometimes.

    First, I have a 92" wide screen and I use that width on 2.35:1 movies. I lean more 80x45 on the 1.85:1s

    I have a Dalite HCMW screen which has a gain of 1.1

    My seating area is a curved "L" shape sectional. So when it is just me and one or two others, optimal seating is right about 15'. However, last night I had four others over and I took the closest seat on the sofa to give my guests the better view. This had me at about 1x screen width and sitting at about a 45 degree angle from the screen. I was amazed at the picture under these circumstances. We were watching X-men 2.

    While I could occasionally pick up some SDE and of course I prefer to be laying in the corner facing the screen, I was really pleased at the image from that "worst seat in the house". I have been playing with the MLA which amounts to a slight defocus to bloom the pixels and hide the grid of the SDE. It works, either that or I am enjoying my movies so much that I don't really see it anymore [​IMG]

    Jim, I'm not trying to convince you to reconsider the Home 1. Actually, I think asking "which is the best..." in these forums can be a bit risky. I have been hanging out here for months now and really see people emotionally attached to the model they own. I experienced a bit of that when I first bought but have always encouraged people to apply their own priorities and read professional reviews.

    If you want more info on Home 1, here is another review: http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volum...r-12-2003.html Additionally, if you can (and are willing to) wait a few more months, coming soon is the new model Hitachi PJ-TX100 which is an improved Home 1. The European model number for the Home 1 is PJ-TX10 and the TX100 has higher resolution and more lumens and more. here is a link to an interesting thread (in AVS) about the TX100: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hlight=hitachi

    One other point that may be worth considering (or not..), the projectors that most post as "the best" X1, z2, etc., etc. which are obviously thee largest sellers in their respective price ranges and so have by far the largest population of owners - but they are also the most frequently posted machines with problematic questions "what about this... Has anyone experienced that... How do I fix ... etc., etc." While one can certainly argue that is a function of the larger owner population, I have only to look at the list of PJ models listed with problematic questions in the forums PJ and/or Display Devices to know which ones I would be cautious of. Similarly, and of course I MUST point out the considerably smaller owner population, I have never seen one single Home 1 owner complaint - I may hereby be asking for trouble [​IMG]

    Well, that may be 5 cents worth...
    ~ Lou ~ [​IMG] FP - WOW [​IMG]
     
  9. Bob Maged

    Bob Maged Stunt Coordinator

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    Actually, that buzz you're hearing is about the InFocus 4805, which has been announced but not released, will sell for $1799, and is a DLP projector, not a sub-$1500 LCD PJ.
     
  10. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    L200 can still be found for $995 to $1150. Its awesome. Value for your money is great.
     
  11. ChadLB

    ChadLB Screenwriter

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    Jim,
    Panasonic 200
    Pros - Cheapest
    Cons - 1 Year Warranty

    Panasonic 300
    Pros - smooth screen tech, Higher res then Epson/Hitachi
    Cons - 1 year warranty

    Epson Home 10
    Pros - Standard two year parts and labor limited warranty, 90-day lamp warranty, $199.00 bulb replacement
    Cons - Lower res than Z1/Panny 300

    Sanyo PLV-Z1
    Pros - Lense Shift, Three years parts and labor, Higher Resolution than the rest

    Cons - Bulb life?, Bulb replacement Price is higher than
    Epson/Hitachi

    Hitachi home-1

    Pros - $199.00 bulb replacement compared to Sanyo
    Cons - One year parts and labor,Lower res than Z1/Panny 300

    Lamp life for Epson, Sanyo, Hitachi are estimated at 2000 while I think the 2 Panasonics are 3-4,000.

    I chose the Z1 because of 3 reasons: Price, Lense Shift, 3 year warranty. The warranty was important because I had problems with some recent items that broke right after the std. one year warranty. Though it was my fault for not buying an extended warranty but that(3 year warranty) did help with the purchase of the Sanyo Z1.
    From my readings the only reason the Panny 300 would be worth the extra money is if you have a DVD Player that has DVI and if you can't sit more than 1.5* screen width.
    I think that if this is where you fall Jim then get the Panny 300 and be done with it.
    I would also recommend that if you can only sit max 16' back then don't go any bigger than 106" diag. This is what I have and my First row seating is about 16' back. Sometimes I wonder if the picture would be better if it was smaller but for now it stays.
    Like I said if you need to see one in action. The place in appleton carries the Panny 500, I have the Sanyo Z1 and I think sooner or later Hi Fi Heaven in Green bay will have the Epson home10 on hand.
     
  12. LouAR

    LouAR Stunt Coordinator

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    Chad,
    While I cannot speak for any of the other projectors as I have not researched them, I can say that your information on the Home 1 is less than ten percent of the truth. By YOUR standards that you outline for the other projectors, the Home 1 stands out if you supply the real information.

    I fully realize that owners (like myself) tend to be biased toward their model but if you are going to advise others, at least get the facts and do not mis guide people with partial information. With that said, here is the truth about the Home 1:
    - 3 year warranty (maybe down to 1 yr after yesterday deadline)
    -lens shift
    -2.08 zoom
    -Longest throw
    -Most quiet 25 dB in whisper and 28dB in Normal
    -Compatibility: HDTV: 1035i, 1080i, 720p, 575i
    -LCD with MLA (improves brightness and reduces SDE)
    -Native 16x9 (as compared to others native 4:3)
    And more, the point being - to say the only pro of this PJ is the $199 replacement bulb price is more than a gross understatement - it is outright misleading to the person/people you are supposedly trying to help. Not intending to be critical but if your info is this far off on one projector, maybe it is just as far off the mark on the others too. They are all within the same general price range, the specs are all different, and each probably serves the needs/preferences of different individuals.

    To those following this thread, obviously there are many factors for each projector. Resolution, throw, zoom, lens shift, tech (lcd/dlp), etc., etc., etc., I apologize if this sounds like me blowing the Home 1 horn but the simple truth is I (and the other posting owners) think this is a great machine. Anyone offering advice about this, or any equipment, if they really want to help others would take the time to present the facts and not mislead with fractional information.

    Sorry for the rant.
    ~ Lou ~ [​IMG] FP - WOW!! [​IMG]
     
  13. ChadLB

    ChadLB Screenwriter

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    Lou,
    Well your wrong on the Native 16:9 as all have a 16:9 native aspect. What were you SMOKIN?
    I was just doing a quick rundown off the top of my head....so be it.
     
  14. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    Thanks a lot guys for the input. I'm not sure how much importance to put on the warranty vs. features & price. After reading the review on the Z1, I didn't even consider it.
     
  15. Eric Hahn

    Eric Hahn Agent

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    Wile I think it is great for everyone to try and help someone out, there is in no way enough information on what and how the person starting this thred wants to use a pj, room size, lighting, screen size, distance from screen? is HD a issue? need dvi?

    Everyone loves the pj they have, and most would recomend it, but more info is needed and much research.

    The Best is very subjective....

    I hate to see it tun into mine is better, no mine is better....

    FP is great, but each room and goals are different..

    just my .02
     
  16. ChadLB

    ChadLB Screenwriter

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    Jim,
    Like Eric said what is your room setting like? This may help people give you more input.

    Have you seen a FP in person yet?
     
  17. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    Chad, my room is in basement with 1 small window. Room will be totally dark during viewing, 12'X17', ceiling only 6'9" high, want 16:9 proj. and I will make my own screen with B/O cloth. The only place near me to view a proj. is Flanner's, and I saw 2 Sharp's, but very expensive. I'm only going by the reviews I've read. Thanks.
     
  18. Lawrence X

    Lawrence X Stunt Coordinator

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    As to the original question, yes there are cheaper LCD's than the 300, but nearly all of them will have an issue with screen door. In that price range the resolution is lower and screen door is inevitable without the smoothscreen technology of the 300.

    However personally I would save another $500 and go with the higher resolution Sanyo Z2 that will give less artifacts, better contrast and better resolution for HD material. All things considered, its a nice step up and a current model. The 300's been discontinued.

    Personally I own the Sony HS10, and can vouch for how much better a higher resolution is for both HD and upconverted DVD (via DVI player).
     
  19. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    One thought. Do the extra lumens of the Epson Home 10 1000 vs the 700 to 800 of most of the others give the Epson much of an advantage in any way?

    I'll add:

    L200

    Pro's:
    Almost no vertical banding
    Little or no peak-a-boo scanlines
    ok contrast

    Con's:
    Lower resolution
    Screendoor-must do defocus trick but it works well
    Contrast still lower than all others here

    L300:

    Pro's:
    Vertical Banding not too bad, almost as minimal as the L200
    Higher resolution looks good
    Smooth screen makes screendoor almost a non-issue
    Contrast better than the L200

    Con's:
    Peak-a-boo scanlines are distracting according to some, but they can be minimized by tweaking but this problem is often L300 owners biggest complaint of the 300

    Sanyo Z1-Matinee HD1

    Pro's:
    Higher resolution without peak-a-boo scanlines
    Lens shift

    Con's:
    Colour not necessarily as good as the Panny's
    Shorter bulb life?

    L500

    Pro's:
    Possibly higher contrast
    Higher resolution looks great
    Smoothscreen virtually eliminates screendoor and yet little or no peak-a-boo scanlines compared to L300

    Con's:
    Vertical Banding worse than both of the above, although some people find DVI fixes or reduces it. Flicker tweak can also sometimes minimize it, but vertical banding remains a problem for this unit
    Price! Out of the range of the original poster, but thought I'd add it here for comparison.

    Sanyo Z2/Matinee HD2

    Pro's:
    Similar to the Z1 except even higher res and contrast

    Con's:
    Even more expensive on average than the Panny 500

    [​IMG]
     

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