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Help me chose a budget projector!

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Garrett Lundy, Jul 3, 2004.

  1. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    Ok HT-Rangers, heres what I got:

    *a $2000 budget (projector and screen)

    *Room 11' x 12'. It has no windows and one door on a side wall. Ambient light is effectively nothing!

    *I will be using the projector for 100% DVD watching. (By the time HD-optical media becomes mainstream I'll be able to afford a new HD-FP set-up). Thus I want a 16x9 native FP. I also hear DLP has a much better contrast ratio than LCD, but I'm open to anything but CRT (no room). As long as its quiet enough to set-up right above my head (the only usable projector mounting space).

    Give me a few model suggestions for a projector and a screen to use. I know the x1 and the z1 were big sellers 'round about Christmas time, but are there any new models coming out that'll be the new budget standard-bearer?
     
  2. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    Real Name:
    Nick So
    InFocus 4805
     
  3. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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    The DLP-based Infocus 4805 is the successor to the X1.

    It's probably the best "DVD viewing machine" ever made!

    It's native 16:9, is pixel-to-pixel compatible with anamorphic DVD, includes the latest Faroudja deinterlacing circuitry, and provides a 4x six-segment optimized-for-home-theater color wheel to help reduce RBE (rainbow effect) detection for those individuals that are sensitive to it.

    The contrast ratio is 2000:1 (calibrated!) and the owners even claim that the onboard pixelworks scaler does a credible job with HDTV.
     
  4. Yohan Pamudji

    Yohan Pamudji Second Unit

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    Visualapex.com is running a special on the Panasonic PT-L500U + Da-Lite HT-Lite 80" diagonal screen for $1999. Not endorsing them or even the projector/screen, but thought I'd mention it anyway. I'm not in the financial position to buy a projector right now, but I've had my eye on this one and the Sanyo PLV-Z2 for a while. As I am apparently ultra sensitive to the DLP rainbow effect, my only budget option is an LCD projector. The Panasonic PT-L500U and Sanyo PLV-Z2 are the only options with the combination of resolution, contrast ratio, features, and price that I would consider acceptable. I'd give those two a look.

    Here's a good search site for projector prices: www.projectorcentral.com. They have vendors listing the Sanyo PLV-Z2 for $1795.
     
  5. PeterMano

    PeterMano Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm also on the look for a projector screen in this price range. The infocus screenplay 4805 can be had for $1500. I've read many good things about this projector, however, a couple of downsides considering the small size of the room.

    1. To avoid screed door effect, people are recommending a viewing distance of 2X screen width.

    2. It's fairly noisy according to some. One poster on another forum measurered 57db in low power mode.

    The panny 500 and Sanyo plv-z2 are two higher rez lcd dispalys. Their contrast is not as good as the infocus but you can get by with closer viewing distances to avoid the screen door effect. Also they're much quieter. They're higher priced in the $1800 to $2000 range. I should also mention one advantage of the sanyo model. It has horizontal and vertical lens shift which should give you some flexibility in mounting.

    Infocus has a 2 year warranty, panasonic is one year, and the sanyo has a three year warranty.
     
  6. DaveGTP

    DaveGTP Cinematographer

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    That is the case with almost all of the digital projectors, LCD or DLP. 1.5x - 2x is recommended. Supposedly higher rez helps a bit. But generally, it is said that LCD actually has worse SDE. Again BUT, I have heard that the Panny 500 has significantly less SDE than many other LCDs.


    I've got an Infocus X1, and I sit right next to it (it's on my entertainment center, which I am using for a makeshift audio rack for now). You do get some pj noise, but it only becomes an issue in a very quiet (like silent) scene. All of the projectors are going to have some fan noise.
     
  7. Oren Paul

    Oren Paul Stunt Coordinator

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    I have a 500 Panasonic and I am impressed. I purchased this because I observed prices falling on todays "top of the line" single chip DLP's and thought I would use this till the "upgrade bug" bites in a couple of years, at which time todays expensive units will come down. Long story short, I can not see what i would gain by spending twice the money, I run this unit in low lamp mode, in a light controlled 12' X 34' room to a Carada 92" classic white screen and can see no screen door even when I get close to look for it, and blacks look black to me.
     
  8. Lee Distad

    Lee Distad Stunt Coordinator

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    I am currently pending on a new house, and one of it's charms is a perfectly rectangular basement rec room with only one tiny side window.

    Screen will likely be a 92" Matte White Cineperm.

    Shortlist for projectors is the Panasonic PTAE500, the Hitachi PJTX100 (looks good on spec, I'm waiting to install our store display and see how it looks), and the Yamaha LPX510. The Knoll HD177 is a distant fourth.

    Of course, being an industry weasel (as anybody who knows me will tell you), I'll buy from whichever manufacturer I get the best bottom-dollar staff purchase price from. I'm no different from the rest of you, I still need to shop for the best possible price.
     

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