Display suggestions - Projector/Plasma??

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Steve.Carr, Feb 27, 2006.

  1. Steve.Carr

    Steve.Carr Auditioning

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    Hey everyone, I've been going back and forth between a 37-42" plasma or just spend the same amount of cash and get an entry level projector. I have 2 choices in my house for an entertainment room...the basement (12x13' area) or my living room, which is about the same size. I can control the light in both rooms, but the living room is somewhat bright during the day. The basement can be completely black. I have a budget of around $2500 for whatever unit I decide to go with and appropriate accessories. I watch DVD movies and a few tv shows...mostly on weekends, and about 1 hour a night on weekdays

    So far I've been looking at these, sorry I can't post links yet but here are the models:
    -Infocus Projector IN74
    -Panasonic 37" Plasma HDTV (TH-37PX50U)
    -Hitachi 42HDF52

    What I'm going for:
    -Easy use, expandability
    -Great resolution
    -be able to hook up a PC to it
    -be able to run a PS2 on it

    My current setup (not specific):
    Onkyo reciever 5.1 Dolby/DTS
    Polk towers in front, satellites and sub
    Regular 27" Flat panasonic tv
    Not sure on the rest, but all newer stuff within 2 years
    Also i have the Comcast DVR and cable box


    let me know what you all think...opinions are appreciated!!
     
  2. Steve.Carr

    Steve.Carr Auditioning

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    After researching about 20 threads...I'll admit I am totally lost. I could really use some suggestions and will be willing provide answers regarding my current setup/needs and wants. Thanks guys!
     
  3. Shane Harg

    Shane Harg Second Unit

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    I was thinking of getting a flat panel TV, too, since they are about the hottest selling piece of home electronics, here in Japan, right now. But to get the same sized screen I had in America would've cost me upwards of $5000. And to be perfectly honest, I have yet to see a flat panel, either LCD or plasma, to match the resolution of the the 55" Mitsu HD RPTV (bought in 2000) I had before I moved here.

    That's when I started looking into other alternatives and found that alternative in front multi-media projectors. I saw a demo and did some research on the Panasonic AE900 LCD projector. The demo was the best I have seen on just about ANY display, the reviews were all glowing, I found it to be one of the best selling projectors ever, and best of all, the price was right. In fact, for the same $5000 it would have cost me to buy the flat panel, I bought the projector, a 100" screen, a Yamaha RX-V2600 reciever, 7 B&W speakers, and a KEF PSW2500 subwoofer.

    Another projector to look at is the Sanyo Z4. It edged out the Panasonic in a couple of reviews I read, but it also costs a bit more. I couldn't justify spending that much more for what those reviews found to be better (which wasn't really much) about the Sanyo. Sanyo is also not as well known as Panasonic for dependibility, over here, either. You could probably easily get into the Z4 with your budget, but remember, you also need a screen.
     
  4. Steve.Carr

    Steve.Carr Auditioning

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    I am at an absolute loss trying to figure out which way to go. It seems like I would get so much more out of a projector setup and actually end up spending less in the end.
     
  5. Shane Harg

    Shane Harg Second Unit

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    With your stated viewing habits, I believe you would be better off in the long run with a front projector - much more impact, too, with the larger display. But I can't make that decision for you.

    BTW, where in Utah are you? I just moved from UT (Kearns area) to Japan last June. Not with the military, though. Thanks for your service!
     
  6. Steve.Carr

    Steve.Carr Auditioning

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    I'm stationed at Hill AFB. It's between Ogden and SLC.

    On the subject of Front projectors, what components would I need to make this a seemless transition to that type of set up. For Example:

    If I found something with HD capability and 720p resolution...from what i understand is the way to go. Would i need to upgrade my DVD player (not sure if it's pro-scan or not). Also, since my cable provider is digital Comcast, i should be able to recieve HD signals through that also correct? Would i need to buy a HD box of some sort because the projector, I would assume, doesn't come with that technology inside of it...meaining its just capable of it?

    As far as screens...could I get away with a 100" fairly inexpensive one?
     
  7. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Projector is usually always the way to go. They are getting very cheap, the AE900 is an excellent machine for example, and now down to like 1500 bucks.

    You will not need a different DVD player, the projector can scale everything it gets. However, you will be looking at a large, high quality display image, so your DVD player may or may not cut it.

    The projector is just a display, think of it just as a monitor. It doesn't have any tuners or anything like that, so you have to feed the video to it. I assume since you get digital cable that you already have a box, so you'd hook that up to your projector.
     
  8. Shane Harg

    Shane Harg Second Unit

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    I had Comcast digital cable while living in Utah also, so I do have a little experience with that. The box you got from them should already be HD capable, so you should be able to hook that either directly to the projector via a component cable or in to your reciever and out to the projector. I find it's most convenient to let the reciever do all the video switching, if I can.

    How updated all of your equipment is, directly determines what type of connections you will use to connect it all together. So, perhaps a more specific (including model #s) listing of your current equipment or other equipment you plan to get would be appropriate for helping you implement your new display seamlessly into your HT.

    And yes, double check to see if your DVD player is progressive scan. 480p native resolution from your DVD player assures that the picture coming from your display looks the best it can be (short of upscaling). Not all progressive scan DVD players in the same price range are created equally, however. I compared a progressive scan Sony, Panasonic and Pioneer (in the same class) side by side and of the three, the Pioneer had the best picture by far. Panasonic had the worst. This is partly attributible to the fact that Pioneer's lower end players utilize the same progressive scan video circuit as their higher-end players.
     

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