E-bay projector kits?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Will-Layfield, Sep 8, 2004.

  1. Will-Layfield

    Will-Layfield Stunt Coordinator

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    Ok I dont know if people have asked about this before and if so I am sorry but I was wondering if anyone has taken the time to look at or order one of these ebay projector kits. I just bought a 27"flat tube sony wega trin tv set and is good for normal tv but I want something biggger for movies. I have tons of tvs lying around and thought I would give this a try. I am sure PQ would not be amazing but maybe it would work? I just wanted your guys opinions.

    p.s.-I know its not a substitute for a real projector but I cant afford one right now and figured for around 6-10$ it might be fun to try.
     
  2. Will-Layfield

    Will-Layfield Stunt Coordinator

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  3. Rolando

    Rolando Screenwriter

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    My God, that can't look good.
     
  4. Jimi C

    Jimi C Screenwriter

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    All you are buying is the plans and the lens. You still need to buy all the materials and then assemble it. However i am curious as to how well it will actually work.

    WIth shipping his comes to about $20us and thats before buying a few sheets of mdf or particle board, and cutting and drilling and nailing and painting the enclosure for the upside down tv. But.. still.. i would be interested to see how well it works. How do you plan on mounting such a large heavy thing?
     
  5. Matthew Will

    Matthew Will Stunt Coordinator

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    Its not worth it. Because of lens refractions it will also flip the image and then you need to take the tv to a repair/service place to have them flip the image for you. I did this and it cost me either 40 or 80 for them to flip the image and was still not pleased with the results.

    Do what I did. Buy a very entry level, older lcd projector for 400-500. Then months to a year later purchase something like the Dell 3200MP, which has been replaced by newer better models at the price range, and then hook it up to a DVI capable DVD player such as the Bravo D1. I have that combo and I am impressed. Don't bother with those cheap fresnel lenses. Matt
     
  6. Will-Layfield

    Will-Layfield Stunt Coordinator

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    it says you have to use a tv that plays upside down. I would imagine that would offset the upside down picture no? Mounting? I have no idea. I still might do I have not decided yet. Do you think it will matter for reolution if I get a 6x lens or a 3x lens or is that just for screen size. Honestly if I can get like a 50" screen with a 13" tv I think it would be worth it.
     
  7. Wes

    Wes Screenwriter

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    I have not tried it but If I were to I would use a computer monitor combined with a VGA output DVD player I think this would create the best picture quality you could possibly get out of one of these DIY PJ's. Heck, you could even hook up a VGA switcher and run a VGA output HD receiver and have true HD!
    I have heard many naysayer but none have tried it, they just say "That would not work very well!"[​IMG]

    If you try it document it well with photos so you can let us all know how it worked out, it's free and easy to create a web site to host it!

    Wes
     
  8. Will-Layfield

    Will-Layfield Stunt Coordinator

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    Are vga and dvi the same thing? Sorry I still don't know all the lingo.
     
  9. Matthew Will

    Matthew Will Stunt Coordinator

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    No. VGA is a resolution, 800X600, and DVI is, I believe, "Digital Video Interface." For example when playing a DVD through a non DVI capable DVD player, the signal goes from a digital signal on the DVD to an analog signal through the cables, and then has to be converted back into a digital signal for the projector/display device to project. These transitions take away picture quality. With a DVI capable DVD player, such as the $200 Bravo D1, the signal does not have to be converted. It just stays as digital the whole time and provides the most "seamless" picture possible on that display device.

    Anyways, on to where I try to pursuade you not to do the DIY system. Projectors are expensive and theyre expensive for a reason. It is really hard to provide excellent picture quality for images as large as a wall or even 50". One thing youre going to need to think about it is that the fresnel lens is going to have to be perfectly parallel to the tv screen. If it isn't then there will be image distortion. Since the whole assembly needs to have a moving lense so you can focus, that task of being parallel gets difficult.

    Another problem with the moving assembly is it makes it hard for the box to be light tight. Light seeping into the box will cause image distortion.

    Right now the last thing I can think of is that a 13" tv usually isn't HDTV. They don't need high quality resolutions because the picture quality problems they have are so small and we don't necessarily see them. We also don't expect much out of a 13" tv. Now what you're going to do is blow up that small screen and all those little distortions. I did this project years ago with a 19" tv and I was still not satisfied.

    I'm telling you. Start with an older basic LCD projector. It might cost $400-500 but the improvement over a DIY fresnel kit is ridiculous good. Besides after all the parts for the kit and the 13" tv, if you haven't bought it yet, the price of the LCD projector probably won't be that much higher.

    Here are some links to a couple ebay auctions I think are worth looking into.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...718705562&rd=1

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...718474820&rd=1

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...120778317&rd=1

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...718605821&rd=1

    Basically just look for an older LCD with at least 800X600 resolution. If I knew then what I knew now I would have never bothered with the DIY fresnel kit and just bought the cheap LCD in the first place. Matt
     
  10. Jimi C

    Jimi C Screenwriter

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    Just wanted to point out that none of the projectors you listed have component or dvi inputs.. how would you hook up an hd source to any of those? Can you get an hd signal through an svideo cable?
     
  11. Matthew Will

    Matthew Will Stunt Coordinator

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    Well obviously if the guy is thinking about a $10 fresnel lens DIY kit on ebay then cost is a factor. I'm trying to pursuade him to go in the direction I did. Buy a cheap LCD projector for starters. If you like the results but want more then save to upgrade to something like an X1 or a cheap Dell DLP. Then get a DVI capable DVD player.

    When you're on a budget its hard to get what you want from the beginning. Its just my opinion that the DIY fresnel kits are not worth any of the $10 to buy them. Matt
     
  12. Jimi C

    Jimi C Screenwriter

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    Sorry if that seemed to be sarcasm but it was in fact an honest question.. can you get an hd signal via svideo cable? A few of them claimed to be hd and all they had was svideo, thats why i asked.
     
  13. Matthew Will

    Matthew Will Stunt Coordinator

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    Sorry if I came off sarcastic as well. That I'm not sure about. I never dealt with Svideo. I wouldn't doubt if you could. I'm sure a quick search will answer that. Matt
     
  14. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    No, no HD with S-video. You would input higher resolutions via the VGA plug (which is RGB). However, this depends on whether it is electronically accepted, and in any case it will be hacked back(probably poorly) to the lower native resolution of the panel.

    No, fresnel lenses on a direct view look like complete crap, don't waste your time its for stupid people who fall easy for scams. If you have an old overhead projector, grab the lens from that and play around, but you will quickly discover that it is worth a few minutes of "gee that's kinda neat" and not much more. CRT projectors can be had for a couple hundred bucks that will outperform anything mentioned thus far.
     
  15. Wes

    Wes Screenwriter

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    Most of these Video quality PJ's are probably not going to give much better picture quality then a DIY with computer monitor. These listed above are LCD with big time screen door effect and the color is absolutely horrible. I have had an old Panasonic Video CRT and the picture is not too great and I know for a fact it blew away any cheep LCD PJ like in the links above.
    I do not know how good the picture would be with a monitor but it might be worth a try if he wants a cheep DIY PJ. Now if you can’t find a cheep VGA DVD player you would need a Transcoder or a cheep scaler to get VGA out of s-video or component.
    I hardly think receiving directions and a lens for $15. is a scam. Now if you received nothing now that’s a scam!

    If Will wants to try it let him, it's no skin off your back!
     
  16. kEVIN_hSU

    kEVIN_hSU Extra

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    Do not fall for this!

    I managed to find these plans for free on the Net sometime ago and actually built one of these "projectors." Basically it's just a box with a fresnel in it that you attach to a CRT screen. In my case I used a 17" computer monitor. First off, the image is upside down as mentioned here, secondly it's blurry as hell, and finally it's really, really dim (50 lumens? LOL), and that's in a completely dark room. This is about the worst "projector" you can get. One of those LCD panels you put on an overhead projector would be much better if you're on a really tight budget.
     

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