Can I get a decent projector for $2000 or less?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by James Zos, Aug 16, 2002.

  1. James Zos

    James Zos Supporting Actor

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    I know next to nothing about projectors, but I do know this: my girlfriend has agreed to go in with me on the price of one, in order to avoid the bulk of a RPTV, which she is none too fond of.
    I'll have around $2000 to spend - can I get a decent projector for that amount? What will I be giving up by not buying a more expensive model?
    As always, any input/suggestions greatly appreciated!
     
  2. Gabriel_Lam

    Gabriel_Lam Screenwriter

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    Yes, you definitely can get a good picture with that amount of money. You'll need good control of ambient lighting though (read: a dark room).

    For under $2k, either look at:

    1. Used CRT
    2. Used Digital projector
    3. Panasonic PT-AE100u

    Then, go for a do-it-yourself screen of some kind. Either blackout cloth, or parkland plastic + screengoo.
     
  3. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

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    I'm always bothered when people ask about "can I get X for less than Y?" and people respond with things that cost Y+10%.
    But here it goes, anyway.
    I got a new Panasonic PT-LC75u for $2230, including shipping. It's a brighter, higher resolution 4:3 projector than the PT-AE100 mentioned above.
    Of course, something about projectors that you should be aware of when it comes to cost.
    What are you going to project onto?
    Where are you going to put the projector?
    I've been doing serious DIY on my hanging screen, and I'm up to about $50, and probably still going up (although probably not past $75.)
    I built my own ceiling mount, too. But since I'm working in a drop-ceiling basement, it was easy for me to move one of the tiles aside and drive the bolts into the joists. I'm estimating that my ceiling mount has cost me somewhere in the neighborhood of $40. (Again, that involves R&D -- or, rather, failed attempts.) It, too, may go higher.
    We haven't gotten the PC to be quite as stable as we'd like for PC playback, but when it does work, it is superior to the table-top player, so I haven't had to invest in a fancy Y-Pr-Pb -> HD-15 cable, as we had a long enough VGA cable and a second VGA out on the card. Otherwise, you might have to factor in costs of (a) better DVD player, (b) cables, (c) other accessories that you don't know you need.
    HOWEVER, once you get it going, you will also discover that it's really hard to go back. My 70" diag screen that is just as good at HD as most of the so-called HD sets on the market only cost me about $2330. (Not that I have an HD tuner for it, but...)
    Leo Kerr
    [email protected]
     
  4. Daniel Swartz

    Daniel Swartz Second Unit

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    I purchased an NEC LT150 from Dell for $17xx shipped last year. It was a pricing error but the real price is still close to $2k. A stunning projector for the price. Checkout hundreds of reviews and posts of the unit on the AVSForum...
     
  5. James_T

    James_T Stunt Coordinator

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    James:
    If you are interested, I am selling an NEC LT150 and IScan Pro, both used for only the past year. I also have a Peerless ceiling mount for the projector. E-mail me if you are interested, and we can discuss specifics:
    [email protected]
    The IScan is a line doubler that improves the picture quality of the projector considerably. You can get lots of info on this projector and the IScan over at avsforum.com.
     
  6. James Zos

    James Zos Supporting Actor

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    Thanks to everyone for the responses!

    James_T - my girlfriend and I are going to be buying a house, and I promised I wouldn't get started on our new home theater (currently have a 27 inch Panasonic!) until we make the big move ... so any purchases for me are at least a couple of months off I'm afraid. I appreciate the offer though!

    Since I know next to nothing, can someone tell me the difference between a CRT and a digital projector?
     
  7. James Bergeron

    James Bergeron Supporting Actor

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    James, here:
    I explained the differences
    As far as getting one cheap, you can! I got a used CRT for $2K CDN so thats around 1200 USD built a mount for $30 and a screen for $30. And everyone including me is amazed!
     
  8. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Real Name:
    Neil Joseph
  9. James Zos

    James Zos Supporting Actor

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    Thanks Neil and James!
     
  10. James Zos

    James Zos Supporting Actor

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    Neil - Maybe this is a dumb question, but I meant to ask: do you recommend the Xp-18?
     
  11. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    I'm not familiar with the Boxlight XP-18 but I will try to look for some specs for it. The 8-t I know does HD. It is an XGA projector (1024x768).
     
  12. Paul Seward

    Paul Seward Agent

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    Leo, I see that you are from Maryland, which is not to far from me in VA. So what i am wondering is did you buy the 75u sight unseen or is there a shop up there in MD willing to demo it for ya. I have had a REALLY difficult time finding it here in central VA for demo. And I am just a tad nervous about shelling out $2600 beans for somthing sight unseen.

    Any help whould be wonderful.

    Thanks,
    Paul
     
  13. Gabriel_Lam

    Gabriel_Lam Screenwriter

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    $2600 is dangerously close to the $2700 or so the Sharp NoteVision PG-M20X costs. Something you may want to consider.
     
  14. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

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    Paul,
    I lurked over at the AVS forum for a couple of months, and saw a lot of traffic about the AE100 and the LC75 among others. They also talked a lot about the company Ritz-AV in Beltsville, MD (south of Laurel on US Rt 1, north of DC.)
    It isn't exactly close to Richmond, but they do have them on display.
    At the time, I wasn't interested in buying - I wanted to see what the noise was all about. Ritz-AV has and will show off a large number of projectors in a shoot-out style setting.
    Some time later I got it from a vendor listed on Projector Central.
    I just checked the RitzAV prices on the web, and they've come down a great deal. (www.ritzav.com)
    Leo Kerr
    [email protected]
     
  15. Paul Seward

    Paul Seward Agent

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    Leo, Thanks a MILLION!!!! I will just have to make a trip up north.

    You are the man!

    paul
     
  16. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

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    do note the website; they do aparently like people to give them advanced notice... not sure why, but they do request appointments to be made.

    Leo
     
  17. Paul Seward

    Paul Seward Agent

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    Yes, I did notice that and will be calling. Thanks again.

    paul
     

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