Help me pick a projector...please!

Discussion in 'Displays' started by James^C, Nov 28, 2004.

  1. James^C

    James^C Extra

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    I am almost finished with the construction of my home theater and I need to start thinking about a front projector and screen. My budget is a little limited right now (construction went over budget:b ). I would like to stay under the $3000 range. I have read some good reviews on the Sanyo PLV-Z2 and the Panasonic AE700. Are these good options? Are there any others that I should look at?

    I have been talking to my local HT store and they said I should plan on spending at least $5000 on a projector...is this true? Will I be sacrificing a ton of picture quality if I buy a $2000-$3000 projector?

    He also mentioned that I should spend the $1000 installation fee so that it is done right...is it that hard to install a projector?

    I will also need a screen. What can I plan to spend on that? I think a 106" screen should work. Any good suggestions on makes and models?

    Thanks AGAIN!!!
    James
     
  2. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    James, they are full of CRAPOLA. They just want your money. You can get a great projector with your budget. The ones you listed are LCD, are you considering DLP also? Sanyo has a new Z3 out now. What will your uses be with projector? Do you want a HD projector? Do you want native 4:3 or 16:9 projector? How far will your seating be from screen? Is $3000 just for projector, or screen and ceiling mount also?
    Once you answer these questions, go to Projectorcentral.com and do a search with these requirements. You can then read the reviews while you're there. It's a great site. The installation is not very hard, it's mainly time consuming. $1,000 just for installation is RIDICULOUS. It's also very easy to build your own screen and ceiling mount. I made my own screen, 52"X92", 106" diagonal, for $40.00, and ceiling mount for less than $15.00.
     
  3. mark alan

    mark alan Supporting Actor

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    Is that because you used that local HT store?

    No you don't need to spend 5K on a projector and you don't need to spend 1K on installation. If you made provisions for running wires when you built your theater, you should be able to install your projector in one afternoon, and build a screen in one more afternoon.
     
  4. James^C

    James^C Extra

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    Thanks for all of the remarks. To answer some of the questions:

    (1)LCD or DLP:
    What is better? I am not loyal to one or the other. I just want to get the best picture I can.

    (2) Project uses:
    I will be using the theater for movies (1-3 per week) and sports. Reqular programs will be watched on the old TV.

    (3) Do I want HD?
    Absolutely! I don't want to spend $$ on something that is not HD.

    (4) Native 4:3 or 16:9?
    16:9

    (5) How far from screen?
    I will have 3 rows of seats. First row starts about 12 feet from screen, second=17', third=22'.

    (6) No, I did not use the local HT store to build my theater. I have done all of the work myself.


    A few more questions of my own:
    (1) How far can I project? How far can the projector be from the screen?

    (2) How do I make my own ceiling mount and screen?

    (3) Any other models I should be looking at?

    (4) Does anyone know where I can see one of these projectors in use in the Cleveland or Columbus, OH area?

    Thanks AGAIN!!!
    James
     
  5. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    James, if you want a HD projector in your budget you need to stick with LCD. You should read the reviews of the Panasonic 700, Sanyo Z3, Hitachi PJTX-100. I think the Panasonic 700 got the best review. Check out the threads at Avsforum.com also about these projectors.
    How far the PJ can be from screen depends on which one you buy. It usually tells you this in the review at Projectorcentral.com(they also have a PJ calculator for this). I'm assuming your room is at least 24' long, that's too long to mount on rear wall.
    There are step by step photos & instructions at Avsforum.com, on how to build your own screen(DIY screen section) and ceiling mount(search for "Monkeyman" mount in Projector section-under $3,500).
     
  6. James^C

    James^C Extra

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    Thank you for the replies! Does anyone know where I can see these projectors in action in the Ohio area?
     
  7. Darren McGruther

    Darren McGruther Stunt Coordinator

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    dont know where you could see one in action down there, but a friend of mine just picked up an Infocus 4805 and a 100" 16:9 screen for 2100 canadian. Projector is HD and 16:9 native display and will project up to about 120"
     
  8. Travis_R

    Travis_R Stunt Coordinator

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    James first off, everyone is right, that home theater store is trying to Rip you off, second, I have seen good reviews on all the projectors that Jim mentioned and they are good LCD projectors, I would also Look at DLP, after months of debating I had it down to the sanyo PLV-Z3 and the Infocus SP4805, the sanyo is LCD the Infocus is DLP, After viewing the Infocus I decided that I would be purchasing the 4805. After much reading I decided that DLP is a better buy "for me" as the picture will last longer, I cant vouch from experience but have read of LCD's losing picture quality over time due the to the fact that since light is passed directly through the LCD panels that they over time get damaged by heat from the bulb, this also gives risk to burn in if you play video games on it "which I will be Doing", whereas with DLP Light is refracted off of mirrors pretty much eliminating the downfalls of LCD, DLP gives you better richer blacks also, BUT on the other hand with LCD you will have brighter richer colors. deciding between LCD or DLP is like choosing between a Red or a Black Corvette, its all a matter of which appeals to your eye the most
     
  9. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    The 4805 accepts HD signals but is not an HD projector at 854x480. It is 16:9 though and is currently the "it" projector for those on a budget. Mine's over 1000 hours and works just as good as new.
     
  10. Oren Paul

    Oren Paul Stunt Coordinator

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    I own the Panasonic L500 and I am very pleased. I purchased projector, mount, 30' component cables, and spare lamp online for under $2400.00, my 92" classic white Carada screen was another $600prox. The picture quality is better than expected.
     
  11. Augustine

    Augustine Auditioning

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    James,

    HT Projector prices have really gone down and I dont see the reason why you should go above your budget. 5K is rediculous and you can get a good projector for less that 2K leaving you another grand for cables and mounting parts. Consider the Sanyo PLV-Z3 instead of the Z2 if you want to go the LCD route or Mitsubishi HC900U for DLP.
     

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