Front Projectors - What's Hot Now?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Mark.D, Jun 30, 2003.

  1. Mark.D

    Mark.D Agent

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    Well its been a while since I posted... we finally made the move up here to Blue Ridge, Georgia [​IMG]

    We also just closed on some land upon which to build a house [​IMG]

    So, once we get the land paid off shortly, we're gonna start building... Good News, one of my patients is an A/V installer for Custom Car/Home Audio in Atlanta... he said he can even get me A/V equipment wholesale [​IMG]

    Originally about a year ago, I was looking at the SharpVision Front Projector, but then HTF members suggested the InFocus because of their new "Faroudja" chip... I think they recommended the InFocus 7200, but now I see they also have 9500 model out that puts out 5200 ANSI!

    So what do you think of the 5200?
    --------------------------------------------
    Aspect Ratio: Native 4:3; supports 5:4, 16:9
    Brightness Uniformity: 85%
    Contrast Ratio: 700:1 full on/full off
    Data Compatibility: UXGA, SXGA, XGA, SVGA, VGA, and Macintosh®
    Digital Keystone Correction: +/- 30 degrees
    Display Technology: 1.8" PolySilicon TFT
    Dot Clock: 230MHz
    H-Sync Range: 15-120kHz
    Image Offset: 100% positive/negative vertical offset
    Image Size (Diagonal): 30.3"-600"/76.9cm-1,524.0cm
    Lamp: 2x150-Watt UHP, 1,500 hours
    Lens Shift: Motorized
    Min/Max Projection Distance: 5.25'-104'/1.6m-31.7m
    Native Resolution: XGA (1024x768)
    Operating Temperature: 5-35 degrees C/41-95 degrees F
    Power Supply: 100-120V, 200-240V at 50-60Hz
    Projection Angle: +/-9 to +/-12 degrees (approximately)
    Projection Methods: Front/rear and ceiling/desktop
    Throw Ratio: 2.0-2.6:1 (distance:width)
    V-Sync Range: 50-120Hz
    Video Compatibility: HDTV (1080i, 1035i, 720p), EDTV (480p), NTSC 3.58/4.43, PAL, SECAM, PAL-M, and PAL-N
    Zoom Ratio: 1.3:1
    Dimensions: 17.3" (W) x 23.8" (L) 8.9" (H)/43.9cm x 60.4cm x 2.7cm
    Weight: 45.2 lbs/20.5kg
    CONTROL
    Mouse Control: USB, PS/2, and serial
    Projector Control: RS-232
    INPUT SOURCES
    Standard:Input 1 (modular): DVI-I, audio in, mouse control; Input 2 (modular): 5xBNC (RGBHV, RGBS, RGB, YPbPr, YCbCr), audio in, mouse control; Input 3 (modular): 2xBNC (composite, Y,C video), S-video, audio in
    OUTPUT
    Audio: 2x3-Watt stereo
    Brightness: 5,200 lumens in 2-lamp mode, 2,600 lumens in 1-lamp mode
    Number of Colors: 16.7 million colors
    Output Sources: RS-232 out and audio out
    OTHER
    Approvals: UL, cUL, CE, FCC Class A, TUV, C-tick, NOM, and IRAM
    Audible Noise: Less than 45dB
    Menu Languages: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, and Japanese
    WARRANTY
    Lamp Warranty: 90-day limited lamp warranty
    Projector Warranty: Two years parts and labor (excluding the lamp)
    Contents:

    Proxima PRO AV 9500 projector
    Wired/wireless remote control with mouse
    Wired remote cable
    AC power cord (U.S. and European)
    Macintosh adapter
    Mouse cables (Serial, PS/2 and Macintosh)
    DVI cable, VGA cable
    DVI/VGA adapter
    Composite video cable
    S-video cable
    Audio cable
    RCA to BNC adapters
    Owners manual
    Lens cap and dust cover

    -----------------------------

    What do you think is "Hot" this year for projectors?

    Thanks,
    Mark
     
  2. Rick Guynn

    Rick Guynn Second Unit

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    The specs you posted look like a large-venue presentation PJ.

    As for what's hot, you have to break it down into price ranges. In the budget-PJ category (that would be me [​IMG]) You have the Infocus X1, Sanyo Z1, and Panny 200. You'll ahve to ask others about mid and high-ends. I try not to torture myself too much with focusing on them since I can't get them :p.

    RG
     
  3. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    Mark:

    I haven't read any reviews on the 9500 so I can't comment. What I can say is that Infocus is a fantastic company to work with. Their customer service is outstanding and a model to be used by other companies in dealing with customers.

    A projector that a lot of members love is the Sanyo PLV-70. It can be had for under $4,900 dollars. Jeff McNeal (owner of the Big Picture) has an excellent review of this projector that you should look over. If I had the money I would be getting one of these myself. Especially with recent price drop.

    One of the ones that I am keeping my eye out for is a review of the Optoma HS76 which is a $5,999(mrsp) with the new TI HD-2 DLP chip and a five-speed, six-segment color wheel. It will be competing with projectors in the $10,000 range in performance.

    More and more units will be coming out after September (CEDIA is at this time) with even better specs and lower costs. You might want to hang around until then to see what is coming out.

    Parker
     
  4. Dave Getson

    Dave Getson Stunt Coordinator

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    You can add on the Sony HS10 and The Panasonic 300 to the list also.
     
  5. Jed M

    Jed M Cinematographer

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    The great thing about this industry is that all of these 5000 dollar projectors will be worth 1/2 of the price this time next year. I think you would be thrilled with the Z1, X1(which I own), or AE200 if you are looking for a budget projector.
     
  6. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    The Infocus 7200 (that you mentioned is a fantastic projector of the HD2 class. If you are looking for other projectors in that pricerange and with similar characteristics then most of the other projectors mentioned are really not in the same league. I would have to agree with Packy on the Optoma HS76 and also agree with Rick. The 9500 with a native 4x3 resolution will not be as good a HT projector as the 7200.
     
  7. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    If, in fact, the Optoma HS76 lives up to all the hype at its price point then I would say that's a serious contender for your consideration. I say this because I own one of those $10,000+ projectors (a Runco CL-710) that it supposedly emulates (same chip, similar electronics, etc.) and if the Optoma has a picture anything like the Runco then it will be superb.

    Of course, until people actually see production units in use (I'm not sure if this has happened yet) take everything with a grain of salt. Specs make look good, but performance is what counts. There's a lot more to a projector than the chip it uses. There are the optics, the workmanship, the after purchase support, etc. etc.

    And, of course, with CEDIA around the corner, there are bound to be announcements that might revolutionize the price : performance equation. Had I not had the good fortune of winning my Runco CL-710 on the HT cruise I would surely be waiting to see what September brings. If tomorrow's $5000 purchase brings you performance that costs $10,000 today, then it can't hurt to wait a couple of months to see what's going to be available.
     
  8. Chip McD

    Chip McD Auditioning

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    I know this has nothing to do with whats available today, but just read an article in "PC World" (i think thats the right mag) about the new bright white LED technology that is just becoming available.

    One of the applications mentioned for the LED is FPTV. They say, super bright...cool... quiet (no fan I think), and all about the size of a large flashlight. I think they even implied cheap too.

    Anyone got any other info on the development of these projectors? Time to market, specs, price range...?
     
  9. Sean M

    Sean M Stunt Coordinator

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    NEC HT1000, best projector available under $5k. The only downside is the 4x3 chip at 1024x768, which gives you the same resolution in it's 16x9 mode as the new Matterhorn chip. It's the only digital projector I've ever seen that made me go home to my CRT wishing I could swap the guy who owned it. And I've seen plenty of digitals, including a few HD2's.

    I'd wait until CEDIA as well and see if NEC puts out an HD2 version of this projector at a reasonable price. If they do, then it becomes an easy decision. The Optoma has to be credited with lowering the price bar for these machines, however.
     
  10. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    Sean:

    Thanks. I forgot about the NEC HT1000. It has a great picture that is for sure.

    I was hoping that Projector Central would have their review of the Optoma up by now. They were supposed to have a review up this month but it doesn't look like they are going to make it. The other thing that I like about the H76 is that it is optomized for video and not a presentation projector.

    I hope the end result is as good as the hype on it. If it is we should start seeing a large influx of sub $5,000 front projectors that will give today's $10,000 projectors a real run for their money.

    Parker
     
  11. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    This is an interesting read on what NEC had at Infocom and has up and coming:

    NEC has a new WT600 projector that features a lensless mirror design, enabling projection from as little as 2.5 feet from the screen up to 26 feet away for an image of up to 100 feet. NEC's new GT Series projectors offer installation users an SXGA+ resolution LCD projector (GT6000) and a projector that offers up to 9,000 hours of lamp life (GT6000R). Also on display for the first time is NEC's 84" plasma display solution, the PlasmaSync® 84VP4. (I wonder how much this puppy will be. Geez!)
     
  12. Jed M

    Jed M Cinematographer

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    84" Plasma? That would be a real sucker to move, but it sounds awesome. There are two things that bother me about plasma, 1. the price and 2. the limited size. Now I guess only one thing bothers me.

    Yeah, prices really are falling. I saw over on hometheater discussion they are offering the BenQ PE8700 for a seriously discounted price. Things seem to be heating up for summer. [​IMG]
     
  13. Sean M

    Sean M Stunt Coordinator

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    Unfortunately, the 84" NEC plasma is 4 42" glass panels used together to create the 84" image, rather than a single piece of 84" glass. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. The ultra short throw DLP option is promising for rear projection (both commercial and custom) applications.
     
  14. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    Jed:

    That BenQ looks good. What price are they say its going for now?

    Since the price of the PLV 70 has been dropping lately I wonder what Sanyo is going to be replacing it with.

    Parker
     
  15. Mark.D

    Mark.D Agent

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    Thanks for the replies guys... I'm a dentist and make a decent living, but dont want to "squander" cash needlessly though...

    I've limited myself to $10,000 for a front projector... I want the best front projector for this price area.

    I'm gonna go with a "100-"110 Stuart Screen and HDTV Quality is first and foremost... I want the best, clearest, sharpest/detailed picture I can get for this price range...

    Problem with projector selection is that HT stores dont have several models to pick from and I think people pretty much buy on the limitations of their budgets and whatever projector the salesman suggests... which might be a model they're trying to get rid of?

    Speaking of screens... For a DLP type projector, is the FireHawk Screen better than the GrayHawk?

    Thanks,
    Mark
     
  16. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    Mark:

    In the $10,000 projector catogory I would seriously look at the Runco CL 710. One of our moderators, Robert Fowkes, just got this projector and he LOVES it. I would still wait until after September though to see what is coming out. You could get something really kick ass and still not have to pay a lot. I mean why spend $10,000 on a projector when you can spend $5,000?

    I am not that sure what to recommend on the screen but from what I have read on DLP the GrayHawk has been the screen of choice for many.

    Parker
     
  17. Sean M

    Sean M Stunt Coordinator

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    Parker, I think you mean the Firehawk. The greyhawk is a nice screen if you have a light cannon (1000+ true lumens) to project onto, or if your screen is relatively small (84" wide or less). Otherwise, the gain of the Firehawk on an even darker substrate make it the screen of choice for DLP. Be sure to choose a projector with a longish throw ratio, as projectors with longer throws look better when projected onto the Firehawk.

    Of course, there are lots of people using the Da-Lite High Power with DLPs and getting great results. The High Power is retro reflective, though, and is better suited for floor mounted projectors or ceiling mounts where the projector isn't very far overhead as the primary viewing angle for maximum brightness is quite small, though you can still get some gain a reasonable distance off axis.
     
  18. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    Regarding screen choice:

    If you know for sure that you will absolutely, positively buy a particular projector and use it for the useful life of the screen then you can match the screen to the particular projector.

    However....

    If there is a chance that you might switch to another projector eventually (I'd think that probability was in the 99% range [​IMG] ) then you might go with something a bit more universal in a screen.

    Back in 1998 when I was designing my HT I wasn't sure whether I'd be getting a CRT, an LCD, a D-ILA or something else so I went with Joe Kane's recommendation at the time, a Stewart Studiotek 130 (1.3 gain white screen). It does well with all types of projectors and fit my needs.

    I finally chose to get a Sony VW10HT (LCD) projector when it was released and the screen worked fine. Stewart later introduced a Grayhawk screen to enhance the black levels a bit with LCD projectors and the Firehawk is a later addition to the line. I never had a black level issue so I didn't change screens.

    Now that I've acquired an HD2 DLP projector (Runco CL-710) the Studiotek 130 is still a great match for my new unit. And I fully expect the screen to outlive this projector as well so I'm ready for whatever new device technology comes up with for my next projector as well.

    On the other hand, I've heard of cases where people simply paint a wall to use as a screen and they are satisfied with the results. So, ya pays yer money and ya makes yer choice.
     
  19. Jed M

    Jed M Cinematographer

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    Parker, its going for $5495 through HTD. Not a bad discount on what was a $9000 projector. Jorge, the administrator over there, claims its strikingly similar to the Vidikron model 40. It is also being offered at this yahoo store for $50 more.
     
  20. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    Sean:

    No I meant the Grey Hawk. I was just commenting on the fact that a lot of the people that I know that have DLP projectors have the Grey Hawk as opposed to the Fire Hawk. Maybe they would have it instead if it was available at the time when they purchased their Grey Hawk's.

    Mark:

    I agree with RAF that the Studiotek 130 make for a fine screen. The images off his 10HT were fantastic. I can only imagine how good like look with his Runco.

    Parker
     

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