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Good current or upcoming low cost projectors?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by BrianShort, Sep 26, 2004.

  1. BrianShort

    BrianShort Supporting Actor

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    I'm thinking about picking up an entry level projector around the end of this year or early next year. What are the current hot projectors in this range (around $1500?) Do the newer DLP projectors still have issues with rainbows? I'd want something with native 16:9 and good contrast (as good as you can get in an entry level unit, anyway).

    I need something for my LOTR EE marathon I want to hold [​IMG]

    Brian
     
  2. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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    In the "a little less than $1500" category, the Infocus DLP-based Screenplay 4805 still reigns supreme at this moment in time.

    It has a 4x speed color wheel in a six segment RGB-RGB configuration, a native 2200:1 high contrast 16:9 DLP chip, and the latest in Faroudja DCDi processing. The only real Achilles heel of the pj at this time is its resolution: It's optimized for 480p DVD, and does a tremendous job from that source; but it does have to scale true high def sources (720p and/or 1080i) down to 480p. (Keep in mind that it does a commendable job with the scaling, though!)

    On the horizon are some new, breakthrough, LCD-based machines promising DLP-like contrast ratios (we're talking 2000:1 all the way up to 6000:1!) with native 720p resolution and markedly improved LCD "pixel fill" for reduced SDE. These machines, personified by the Panasonic AE700 and the Sony VPL-HS51, won't be available until about mid-November or so. When they are available they'll street for around $3000; which is, of course, over double the current cost of the 4805. You can rest assured, however, that they'll be skewing more toward the $2500 street price in about 6-8 months.

    The bottom line is that at this moment in time the Infocus 4805 is probably the best choice for that LOTR marathon.
     
  3. Tim Glover

    Tim Glover Lead Actor

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    Good summary Joseph. I read on projectorcentral.com that some retailers are already booking the AE700 for 2199.00. Not bad.
     
  4. BrianShort

    BrianShort Supporting Actor

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    Sounds like a good choice. I really don't have a dire need for HD support, especially not at twice the cost or more. Have people reported rainbows with this unit like I read a lot about for some older popular units that were around $1000?

    Brian
     
  5. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    Yea unfortunately anything with a color wheel is gonna produce rainbows. I finally noticed what people were talking about after 2 months of owning the 4805. It's when I avert my eyes (moving them quickly from side to side) I can see a small 3-6" rectangle of red, green, and blue. Maybe people see it differently but that's all I notice, very small and doesn't detract from my movie watching.

    Just make sure the room is light controlled and well ventilated. Good, quiet airflow is always important when tons of people are in the same room with hot equipment.
     
  6. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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    As Scott indicated above, any pj with a color wheel is going to produce RBE (rainbow effect) to some degree. However, the color wheel in the 4805 spins twice as fast as the wheel included with the older Infocus X1, which is probably the pj you were hearing about. The result is vastly decreased RBE detection for the overwhelming majority of the population. (You should be aware of the fact that most people can't detect RBE from even a 2x wheel pj, like the X1.)
     

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