Front Projector Questions re. HD-DVD and Future Price Drops.

Discussion in 'Displays' started by ian_ag, Feb 15, 2005.

  1. ian_ag

    ian_ag Auditioning

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    I have started the process of researching the purchase of a front projector and have a few questions.

    1 - How does/should the impending introduction of HD-DVD/Blu-Ray affect a projector purchase? In other words, is there a certain minimum resolution that should be adhered to? Will a native resolution of 854x480 (BenQ PE5120 for $1000) be considerably worse than 1024x576 (InFocus ScreenPlay 5700 for $2500) when it comes to HD?

    2 - Do current pricing trends suggest that I would be better off waiting 6mos to buy a projector? In other words, will a projector that costs $2500 no only cost $1000 in July?

    Any other advice or input is most welcome.

    Thanks!
    Ian
     
  2. MikeHerbst

    MikeHerbst Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm no expert, but my take:

    1) Neither of the projectors you mentioned are true-HD capable. They will have to downconvert an HD signal to fit the available resolution. For a true HD projector, you'd want at least 720 lines of vertical resolution (so you can display 720p without scaling, get it?). If you'll be watching a lot of HD content, or are interested in making sure you'll get full benefit from any HD/Blu-Ray DVDs in the future, you'll need a higher resolution than the projectors you just listed.

    2) Yes, pricing trends suggest that waiting will get you more for your money. Digital Projectors are just like any other silicon technology, they're roughly following Moore's Law, so things are getting cheaper fast. When to pull the trigger is up to you, but it'll always be cheaper if you wait...

    Now, 6 months won't cut a $2500 projector down to $1000, but it might cut it down to $1700 when the NEW model comes out at the $2500 price-point. And so on, over time.
     
  3. Evan M.

    Evan M. Supporting Actor

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    There is a lot of other things to consider in a projector other than resolution. I have a 4805 and it looks great for HD material and DVD. To me color representation and contrast ratio are just as important. You can always wait and get something better but there will always be something better when you decide to pruchase.
    Blu Ray and HDDVD will be great but it will not be the "norm" for quite awhile. It probably will take a good 2 years or even more to go down in price and be the "norm". Remember when DVD's first came along? I bought my DVD player a year after DVD hit the market. It is not a progressive player and is a single disk Panny. It cost me 250$....now that same type of player goes for around $60. I think a lot of the "hardcore" video people will eat them up and then a few years later it will replace everything. I would not wait to get a projector though. Don't get too sucked into the HD thing. Yes it is the future but there is a lot of other things to consider other than resolution. Good luck.
     
  4. Allen Hirsch

    Allen Hirsch Supporting Actor

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    I remember hearing this same question a few years back about computers, PDAs, cellphones, etc. Yes, the "next generation" will probably be better, usually at roughly the same pricepoint as the previous one, which causes prices to be cut on the old one by 20-30%.

    If you always look at that price/performance curve, though and say "I'll wait" - you'll never buy, b/c that curve continues as far out as you can see or imagine.

    True HD-DVD will NOT suddenly have 1000s of titles available (I suspect it'll be strictly a niche market like SACD and MC music, unless the movie studios are much smarter than the record labels) - first there's a format shakeout that probably has to occur, and initial players won't be cheap, either.

    In the meantime, you could already be enjoying HDTV and DVD movies on a 90-110" screen - with such a high PQ and at such a low cost that we could only dream about it just 5 or 10 years ago. Your choice....
     

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