comparing budget projectors

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Brian_Fitz, Sep 14, 2005.

  1. Brian_Fitz

    Brian_Fitz Auditioning

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    I'm looking to put together a home entertainment configuration that can be viewable in moderate light, but optimized for home theater experience. what have you guys experienced with these budget infocus projectors:

    what I've read:

    x2 - optimized for business presentations, NOT home entertainment use

    4805 - front-runner, optimized for home entertainment use

    LP500 - just jumped out of nowhere at me...how does it stack up next to these other two? mainly just a super-portable unit? how about picture quality? I've heard some bad things.

    also...looking at building a screen (for budgeting reasons), what do you guys find a better solution...painting/mounting directly on the wall, or building a "stand-alone" frame. How bout the "Screen Goo", and/or DIY Theater? What about mounting an inexpensive screen (available on Ebay for 30 and claims to be optimized for great picture quality) to mount to the wall and frame?

    basically just looking to get the kinks worked out before I start this project. Thanks for your time and responses

    ps - I had links to all these items but it wouldn't let me post them. no biggie. thanks.
     
  2. Victor Ferguson

    Victor Ferguson Stunt Coordinator

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    I think you should consider a screenplay 4800 over the x2. The 4805 is the best projector in the group you listed. As far as DIY screens, I think permanent wall mounted is the way to go. No waves, wrinkles, etc. I have stretched black out cloth over mine and tried many different paint mixtures but have went back to UPW. I would recommend starting off with a UPW and go from there.
     
  3. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    I agree the 4805 is the best of those projectors. Are you considering brands other than Infocus?
    I had a blackout screen for about 6 months, and it was OK, although too dull white, then it developed wrinkles. I then painted a sheet of 1/2" MDF and hung it on the wall, and I'm much happier with it than the blackout cloth. I used 2 coats of Kilz 2 primer, then 2 coats of Behr Ultra Pure White, eggshell finish. First I tried flat finish, but I like the eggshell better. I have the Infocus X1 by the way.
    Screen Goo is WAY overpriced, and I would NEVER buy from Ebay.
     
  4. Charles J P

    Charles J P Cinematographer

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    Unless you are set on those models, dont forget the Optoma H31. If for some unkown reasons it HAS to be one of those models, go with the 4805.
     
  5. Brian_Fitz

    Brian_Fitz Auditioning

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    First of all, thank you for the responses!!



    Do you consider this better than the 4805? My room will have moderate/considerable ambient light during the day...would this make you lean one way versus the other?

    thanks again for your time; I am appreciative
     
  6. Charles J P

    Charles J P Cinematographer

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    The light in the room wouldnt affect my decision BETWEEN the 4805 and the H31 but it might influence my decision to get a PJ in general. ALL projectors will suffer from wash-out in a room with light leakage. Also I see people qouting lumen specs when considering a PJ in a non-light-controlled room. Which is silly because that has nothing to do with it, you will have no black levels. Most pjs out today have enough light output but once you have ambient light on the screen you cant get the blacks back.

    As far as the 4805 vs. H31, the thing that pushed me to the H31 was basically Projector Central said they are super close and the 4805 is better out of the box but the H31 is better if both are calibrated to their best potential.
     
  7. Brian_Fitz

    Brian_Fitz Auditioning

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    Gotcha. I mean....how bad is it in the light?!? Obviously I don't expect a great picture during the day, but is it at least bareable? The reason I'm leaning toward a projector is because the way the room is laid out (long and narrow), it doesn't have space for a big entertainment center, especially for a tv w/ a big back etc. so a wall mountable unit would be perfect -- but I don't have the cash to drop 3-5000 on a decent size plasma.

    I don't watch tv all that often during the day, but I do want it to be watchable during the day in case I chose to -- mainly, of course, I'd watch DVD's etc. during the evening, plus I'm on the east coast so Monday night football doesn't come on til 9:00pm -- what do you think? [​IMG]
     
  8. Charles J P

    Charles J P Cinematographer

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    It all depends on how much light there is. Of course, with curtains or even blinds you could get it down to a pretty reasonable level, not that that is a free solution either. Really, I'd literally have to be in your room and have you ask "is this too much light" to have a good answer to the question. Of course, how much light is in the ROOM is also different than how much is on the SCREEN. I watch non-movie content with the lights on but dimmed but not a lot of that light falls on the screen (some does of course). I could EASILY see someone's room being that dark or darker with all the lights off but some light coming in the windows.
     
  9. Brian_Fitz

    Brian_Fitz Auditioning

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    I see. well thank you for your input. I'm pretty much set on a projector though, so I guess the matter will be just getting the screen configured in the best possible way to minimize the effect of the ambient light.
     
  10. Charles J P

    Charles J P Cinematographer

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    Wasnt trying to steer you away, just making sure you're aware of the potential issues. PS, I recomend Visual Apex for a retailer if you are buying off the web.
     
  11. Brian_Fitz

    Brian_Fitz Auditioning

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    visual apex, ok got it, I'll take a look. thanks by the way, I found your comments rather informative and I did not feel steered away [​IMG]

    regards,

    Brian
     
  12. Victor Ferguson

    Victor Ferguson Stunt Coordinator

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    UPW is (Behr) Ultra Pure White. I strectched b/o cloth over a piece of plywood which had been cut and sanded down beforehand. The screen is attached to a 4 inch felt border made from 4x1's and mounted to the wall. There are tons of recommended paint mixtures on the forums but I've always went back to UPW.
     
  13. Evan M.

    Evan M. Supporting Actor

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    Brian, the 4805 is a fine machine and to me the best of the 480p group. I have seen a lot of them and callibrated and the 4805 just was a notch "better" to me. It is going to be brighter than the H31 even though the H31 supposedly has more lumens. The Infocus SP models all rate their lumens and CR according to calibrated HT measurements. Other brands do not....that is why you see a lot of inflated numbers.
    As for viewing with ambient light. Digital FP's (LCD/DLP) DO NOT project the color black. When something is black on the screen the projector in simply not projecting anything. To give you an idea of what the black will look like in your room.....go into the room you plan on viewing in. Shut the shades and lights like you would be if you are watching a movie adn hang up a whit sheet. Now stand away and look at the sheet. Whatever shade the sheet is.....that is going to be the "black" you see. That is why people try to get the room as dark as possible. If you are saying to yourself...."I don't care, deep black are not important to me"......than think about all of the colors that have black in them......dark green, dark blue, maroon, brown...etc. this is why colors get washed out with ambient light......it doesnt matter if the FP is a light cannon....they still will wash out.
    As for where to buy......check out TV Authority. They are a forum sponcer and deserve your business especially since you have already used this forum to get a lot of great advice so far. Best of luck to you.
     
  14. Charles J P

    Charles J P Cinematographer

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    This comment is a little off too. What you are describing is how CRTs work and what makes them desireable. If something is black a CRT just doesnt put out any light there so the screen will be as dark as the room is. LCDs and DLPs always shine light at each pixel and the best they can display black is to try to limit the light as much as possible. Of course black will still be limited to the ambient light on the screen, but saying that they dont project anything when something is black is not correct.
     
  15. Evan M.

    Evan M. Supporting Actor

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    Actually....I think you are off again. You are describing digital and not CRT. CRT AFAIK does project black. Heck, maybe we are both wrong and a CRT expert can chime in......although I am pretty sure I am correct [​IMG].

    I do agree with this though.....

    "LCDs and DLPs always shine light at each pixel and the best they can display black is to try to limit the light as much as possible."



    I was just giving the simple answer....which is basicaly what is happening and what digital projection does with black. The darkest "black" you can EVER get with digital projection is the shade of the screen when viewed.
     
  16. Charles J P

    Charles J P Cinematographer

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    Ah, you are correct, my apologies. I think what I was thinking was that the calibrated output of the 4805 and the H31 was similar (which it is) but the H31 CLAIMS 3000:1. So its whether or not it bugs you that they inflate the spec even though hitting 2000-2200:1 is still very good. On the second issue, its probably a matter of semantics. One way to rephrase it from my understanding is that a CRT has the capability to not project light for the portion of the screen that is black whereas digital projectors "project black" meaning the darkest grey they possibly can produce. So obviously very dim light (DLP/LCD) is still not as black as no light (CRT).
     
  17. frankinG

    frankinG Stunt Coordinator

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    For any ambient light in the room the 4805 is going to perform the best as it has a significantly more light output than any other 480p propjector.It also has the least amount of offset so placement flexibility is much better.You do not want to have to have a projector sitting in your lap do you?[​IMG]

    Just exaggerating here a bit but you get the message.

    I like the Toshiba MT 200 in some areas but the infocus has it beat in the brightness area for sure.

    The 4805 is priced better than any other 480p projector for what you get in the box. The new optoma H27 has a ridiculous amount of picture offset but excellent blacks.

    Processing in the 4805 with the faroudja internals is top notch. Good luck with your decision. [​IMG]
     
  18. Evan M.

    Evan M. Supporting Actor

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    Yep, I agree. For some reason though I thought that CRT actually projected the actual color black.....like tit does any other color. Maybe I am wrong though.......if so I better go back and edit a lot of my posts LOL:b . Anybody here know if CRT actually projects the color black or is it just projecting no light??
     
  19. Ralph B

    Ralph B Supporting Actor

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    look around for a screen , thought I seen a fixed screen on here for $200. thats cheap!

    I just picked up a 64" da-lite perm-wall for $150 locally, it was 2 weeks old. was advertised on craigslist. wouldnt work for my HT but great for my small living room and move the pj upstairs when I want to watch up there. the cellar can get cold in the winter so it worked out fine. the wife likes it and was her idea to keep it.


    look around some people sell their used purchased fixed screens for dirt cheap.


    I own the x1 and love it. it puts out a damn good downconverted HD signal. but I am getting tired of the light splash from the ws bars on my 16:9 screen. I will be buying the 4805 refurbed for $700 shipped online.
     

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