Front Projector Advice

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Tyson Burchak, Dec 28, 2003.

  1. Tyson Burchak

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    I've been thinking about buying a new TV and since I mostly watch widescreen movie I realized a front projector might be the best thing for me, but I'm a relative newcomer to front projectors. I have noticed they depreciate rapidly, which could be to my advantage. I'm looking to spend less than $1500 and am obviously interested in buying something a little bit older/used to get the most for my money. What are some of the better projectors in this price range? Who makes a good screen? Thanks for the help.
     
  2. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Neil Joseph
    First off, you should make your own screen. That way, you can channel more of the money to a better projector. Many members here have made their own screens so you can get help regarding that. As for the projector, since you are a newcomer, I would personally recommend one of the digitals. CRT is also available though. Specific digital models include the Sanyo Z1, Infocus X1, or Panasonic L200 or L300U. The Infocus is native 4x3 and the others are native 16x9. Read some info on projector basics here ... Front Projection - How do I select one for my needs?
     
  3. Thomas Willard

    Thomas Willard Stunt Coordinator

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    I concur with Neil. You can either make your own screen or purchase an inexpensive wall mount pull down70X70 matte white sreen. That would run you about $150. You only pull the screen down far enough to give you the 16:9 aspect ratio.

    The Panasonic PT-L300U (the model I own) is now being discounted because the newer PT-L500U is due out in several weeks. I believe the 300 was going for about $1500.

    I have my projector ceiling mounted (made the mount myself) and have a great picture. The 300 (and the 500) are native 16:9 projectors. You must use any projector in a darkened room or the picture will be washed out. If you want to be able to use normal lighting in the room you would be better off with a rear projection model. You can purchase high out put projectors, but your cost will be higher and the contrast ratio will be lower.

    Since the 300 is about to be replaced with the newer 500 you are wondering "Should I wait?" The newer model will run about $500 more, but will have higher resolution and a slightly better contrast ratio. I am well satisfied with my model 300 and plan to wait another couple of years before getting a new model. By then even more improvements will be offered, making the upgrade for me worthwhile. But if I were deciding today, I would pay the extra money and get the newer model.
     
  4. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Tyson:

    I assume you have a light-controlled room?

    While neil gave a side mention to CRT, I feel it is a great option for those on a budget, who are willing to tackle something a little more project-oriented. I notice you are in bellevue, you should be aware that there are some guys who deal with CRT nearby, Drew Packard sells the odd unit from time to time, I don't know if he has any now, but he is located in Monroe. Also, Curt Palme is in Vancouver BC, and is one of the couple biggest refurbers/sellers of CRT projectors. Since you consider used, I would strongly recommend you explore this option, as it might be perfect for you. It may well not be, but it's a good option, and you can get some pretty decent setups for $1500. FYI, I have a Barco Graphics 808 from Curt, which I drove up to check out and got for 2K. It's not a even a fair comparison to digitals at thie price, BUT, it is big and heavy and not plug-n-play, which is why everyone gets digital projectors.

    Mine isn't setup yet as we're still overhauling our basement, or I'd offer you a demo. Still, you should explore this option.

    see: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=303577

    A slightly older version of Curt's FAQ is linked there, you should read it, it's a good start. There are also a few other big resellers, like Tim Marton, and Terry (aka chuchuf), tim is in phoenix, and terry is in georgia, which means shipping is an issue. All great guys, I only bought from curt because I could pick it up in person.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Mike Dzurko

    Mike Dzurko Stunt Coordinator

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    Tyson:

    A month ago I was all set to buy a big RPTV. Then I started looking into projectors. Man, am I glad I did! Was going to go for a Sanyo Z2 at around $1900 but would have had to wait. So, ordered a Z1 for under $1100 and got it two days later. Figured I can always sell it and upgrade later if need be. Selling an RPTV would be a real pain. It has been SO much fun! Even with a 5 year old DVD non-prog player, the image is very good. Was just showing on a bare white wall, about 100" diagonal. Over the holidays had a lot of people in the house. I'd take a group downstairs to give a "brief" demo, and wouldn't be able to get them to come out. My wife, who rarely wanted to watch DVDs now wants to watch a movie a night. The Sanyo looked great right out of the box but now I will probably try a bit of tweaking. DIY screens make sense from the cost standpoint but time is money to me and I'd never have gotten around to it. Ordered a 102" from Carada last week and it arrived yesterday. Took about an hour to unpack and assemble. The image is significantly better than the white wall and the screen looks very cool.
    Count me one happy projector addict[​IMG]
     

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