How to buy projectors?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Matthew Will, Jan 16, 2003.

  1. Matthew Will

    Matthew Will Stunt Coordinator

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    Hello,
    I am starting my search now but I will not be buying a new projector for several months now. Here is my question.
    I am looking to use my projector for home theater, video gaming, sports extravaganza events, etc. What should I look for in a projctor both to buy and to compare with other projectors? Ive heard there are no worries with DLP concerning burn-in which I have to take into consideration with my video gaming. Then again, people seem to complain about a rainbow effect that DLP's present. What is the rainbow effect? Is there any way to beat it? Anyways, if you could please tell me what features I should be looking for to compare models with one another. Also, what would you suggest for someone with a budget around 1500? Take into consideration that I dont mind if the projector is used. Thanks. Matt
     
  2. Mike Matheson

    Mike Matheson Second Unit

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    Hi Matt,
    What size is your room? Does it have windows (i.e., to what degree can you control the light)? Do you have a rough estimate of the screen size you'd prefer, and the distance the projector will be positioned from the screen?
    Do you have any HD channels?
    This kind of info will help us narrow down what to suggest, though your $1500 budget sort of does that already. [​IMG]
    If you can stretch your budget a little bit (or maybe in a couple months the price will be down) the Panny AE300/L300 is a hot unit right now. Here's a recent review at Projector Central. Probably just under $2000.
     
  3. Matthew Will

    Matthew Will Stunt Coordinator

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    Hello,
    The room I have is fairly large. The screen size is sadly limited by the height of the wall. Right now I am fitting an image that is 106" measured diagonally 4:3. I have complete control of the light. The room is entirely pitch black without lights. I can put the projector anywhere from 5 feet to about 30 feet away from the screen although Id rather keep it closeer. Eventually I will hopefully purchase a HD DVD player that will act as a scaler and doubler to provide the best images possible.
    I looked at the AE300 that was suggested. This just ties into my other questions I have. When I look at the specs for the AE300 I think, "Well yea my projector only has 800 lines of (horizontal?) resolution and this has 960 but mine has 600 (vertical?) compared to the AE300's 560. Also should I look into DLP to get rid of the screen door affect? Thanks. Matt
     
  4. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Neil Joseph
    DLP and LCD as well as the other digital projectors like LCOS or DILA (more $$$) do not suffer from "burn-in". Take a read through this articel which will answer some of your general questions... Front Projection - How do I select one for my needs? .
     
  5. Mike Matheson

    Mike Matheson Second Unit

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    Hi Matt,

    Looking into DLP would solve the screen door thing (as might a slight defocus of the lens on an LCD projector, and I'm told the AE300's screen door isn't that visible)--but I'm afraid looking is all you'd be able to do at the $1500 price point. DLP is more expensive. . .
     
  6. DavidY

    DavidY Supporting Actor

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    In the US$1500 range, I believe that the Infocus X1 (DLP) and the Sanyo Z1 (LCD) are both quite popular. If you look into their reviews, they both have their pros and cons generally....X1: 4x3, rainbow effect and possible headaches for some; Z1: 16x9, screen door effect (depends on viewing distance and screen width), dust blobs, dead pixels.

    I'm considering the above plus a refurb NEC LT240....and if available here in Canada, the Panasonic AE300. None of the local stores have these brands or models. One store carries Sharp though.

    Dave
     
  7. Matthew Will

    Matthew Will Stunt Coordinator

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    Hello,
    Is one reason the Infocus X1 is so great for home theater is because although it may only be 800X600, it is DLP and makes it much harder to see the pixels? Is the rainbow effect corrected by sending progressive signals or line doublers or anything?
    What other options do I have as far as used or refurbished to possibly get better quality for a cheaper price? Although thr X1's long lamp life, contrast ratio, and HDTV compatability do sound nice. I still have to see what the rainbow effect is like first though. I suppose there arent any websites that demonstrate it. I'll have to go to a store myself. Thanks. Matt
     
  8. Robert James Clark

    Robert James Clark Second Unit

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    Yes, the X1 is ok for home theater because it's DLP (less screendoor). An SVGA LCD projector has to be limited to a pretty small (say 80" diagonal) screen size due to screen door.
    The Z1 has been getting rave reviews too, and they're both right in your price range.

    This has been an incredible time for budget projectors!
    (Panny PT300, X1, Z1, Sony HS10)
     
  9. Matthew Will

    Matthew Will Stunt Coordinator

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    Hello,
    So then what would a more true description of the X1's 800X600 DLP resolution be if it were and LCD projecting the image? 1024X768? Are there any models I can look into that I could find used for my price with more performance than the X1? Thanks.Matt
     
  10. DavidY

    DavidY Supporting Actor

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    Oops, I forgot to mention the Dell 3200MP for around US$2K ($2200 minus coupon).

    A review by Projectors Central noted that the Panasonic AE300 was better (slightly I think) than the well regarded Sony HS10. AE300 is under US$2K too.

    Although I haven't seen any PJs that I am considering (Z1, X1, etc.), I am leaning towards the Z1....but am still a bit hesitant about screen door. The screen door on the AE300 is suppose to be a lot less than Z1 as it apparently uses a specialized process or feature to minimize the screen door effect. If the viewing distance is at least twice the screen width, then screen door effect is usually not an issue based on what others have said.

    I have only seen the Sharp Z90U personally...but it was only briefly. Rainbows weren't apparent....5X color wheel is higher than most...Infocus X1 is 2X. It seems that people that are most susceptible to rainbows when the colour wheel is 2X or 3X....that's a guess on my research to date.

    Dave
     
  11. Matthew Will

    Matthew Will Stunt Coordinator

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    How much would a used Dell MP3200 cost or are there any internet discounts? At a true 1024X768 DLP resolution it may produce stunning clarity since it is not affected by screen door. I can't find the specs on the color wheel though. Is it 2X, 3X, 5X? IM guessing this one is going to be out of my 1500 dollar range though because of the increased resolution and 300 extra lumens. If anyone knows let me know.
    What kinds of discounts are available through group buys either here or on www.hometheaterspot.com where you have to pay to take part in the buys? Are there some serious discounts there? Thanks. Matt
     
  12. Robert James Clark

    Robert James Clark Second Unit

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    I think Dell is the only seller of their projector so internet discounting is out and it's also too new for used...
    There has yet to be a thorough review of this projector by anyone (it is apparently based on the HP X31).
     
  13. Robert James Clark

    Robert James Clark Second Unit

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    If it were me, I'd go for the sale on the Panny PT-300 for $2000 with free progressive scan DVD player and free dvd's.

    Sounds like a fantastic projector, NO screendoor, 5000 hour bulb life, 1/4 HDTV scaling, very quiet, excellent black levels.

    Better hurry though, after the ProjectorCentral review, there will soon be a waiting list for this just like the Sony HS10...
     
  14. Matthew Will

    Matthew Will Stunt Coordinator

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    Where do I go to see the review of the PT-300? All I can find is the PT-L300U model which does not have 5000 hour lamp life, so I assume we're not looking at the same models. Panny is short for Panasonic as well correct? I could not find the PT-L300U or the PT-300 on their site. At 2000 it still might be out of my range though. Thanks. Matt
     
  15. DavidY

    DavidY Supporting Actor

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  16. Robert James Clark

    Robert James Clark Second Unit

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    The 5000 hour life is in low power mode...

    The AE-300 is the Japanese version of the PT-L300U.
     

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