I really want a projector.... but

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ryan Peter, Dec 20, 2002.

  1. Ryan Peter

    Ryan Peter Screenwriter

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    OK here's my situation, and I call on you merciful HTF Projector Gods to help me out! [​IMG]
    (The long story, skip this and go down before if you are in a hurry or want to get to the point!)
    I'm a young guy who doesn't have a bunch of money. I only got a 27" about 2.5/3 years ago or so. Ever since I've had a 27 inch tv, I've become increasingly bored of watching DVDs. They just don't have a huge impact on me, although I am a huge movie buff. The smallness of the screen when watching especially letterbox stuff becomes more and more noticeable as time goes on (I *love* widescreen/OAR, don't get me wrong). I'm sure LCD projectors aren't as good as others, maybe don't display blacks as well, I've heard that. That's OK for me. For now I just want big, I can get over stuff like that.
    Alrighty! I've decided I really want a projector, here's why: I live in an apartment, size is an issue. I just can't haul in a 55" television set or whatever, and plus when I move, that would just suck. My apartment isn't the world's largest, it's not tiny, but a big WS television would look out of place for sure. So portability and size are both big issues. Cost is another, and that leads me to this post...
    Like I said, I'm not Donald Trump. I will sacrifice quality for price, because there will be nothing unless there is a decent price. I'm talking $1000 here. What I'm thinking about is a used $1000 LCD projector (I have a computer for it with DVD-Drive + decoder). $1000 would be perfect, however I will be saving up for that and it may be even a year or more before I can get it. What I'm looking for is a nice big image for $1000 with passable quality. I'm thinking a 640x480 would be fine, I don't need HD so that would work for regular movies. I know this place is quality over price oriented, but I'm really on a budget here so $2000 would be impossible. $1200-*maybe*1500 might be doable, but really $1000 is it unless that's simply impossible.
    So what I'm interested in is:
    A) Can I get a decent(not very good) quality used LCD projector for $1000 or less?
    B) Where is the best place to look for such a device? Ebay?
    C) What brands/types are the best in that range/category? What specifically should I be searching for on Ebay or wherever?
    Thanks so much for any help. I'll probably get a cheap screen to go with it, but for now I want to focus on the LCD projector first.
     
  2. John Parris

    John Parris Stunt Coordinator

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    First of all, welcome to the proverbial "fence" [​IMG]
    $1000 gets a lot more than it used to in the world of FP... but it's still pretty tight. You're in luck, as the technology is rapidly improving in low-end LCD projectors right now. First of all...need to establish a few items before a recommendation can be made...
    A)How far are you sitting from where the screen will be?
    B)What range of throw-distance (distance from lens to screen) is possible? (Keep in mind that the lens will probably be in-line with the top or bottom of the screen depending on how you mount it)
    C)Is this something you're looking at *now* or a year from now? Like I said, technology is improving... There are a number of units (InFocus X1 DLP, Panasonic AE-200, and Sanyo "Z1") that are fresh on the market and would suit your needs quite nicely for a smidge over your budget-- so when they hit the used market they should be dead on for what you're looking for.
    D)How much ambient light is in the room?
    Right about now, Sanyo Z1 and Panny AE-200 are the top picks for under $2000 LCD... both are 16:9 native and have outstanding picture quality for the price point. Check out AVSforum.com for lots of info on these models.
    I'm considering a Sony VPL-HS10 right about now myself... when they hit the used market, they should also be approaching your budget ($2500 street price right now-- just hit the US shores about a month ago)
    Hope you enjoy whatever you decide on [​IMG]
     
  3. Robert James Clark

    Robert James Clark Second Unit

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    I would second the votes for the InFocus X1, and Sanyo Z1, both about $1500. $1000 would get you a used Panasonic AE100, which is a fine starter projector (good color, long bulb life, easy setup, LOTS of screendoor).
    If you want new, you could go with the Epson 30c at Sam's Club online for $1100, but it's not as nice looking as the AE100.
     
  4. Ryan Peter

    Ryan Peter Screenwriter

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    THANK YOU GUYS!!! John, you post is making my dream become a reality in a hurry! And thanks also Robert James Clark, very useful info there.

    OK I thought I would answer those questions:

    A)How far are you sitting from where the screen will be?

    - close to 10 feet, about 9 - 10 feet. Now could be farther depending on if that's not a good range or shorter as well. I'm flexible in this area.

    B)What range of throw-distance (distance from lens to screen) is possible? (Keep in mind that the lens will probably be in-line with the top or bottom of the screen depending on how you mount it)

    - if I could put the projector anywhere, I would put it about 6-8 feet from the screen it will be thrown onto. But if that isn't realistic, I can change this.

    C)Is this something you're looking at *now* or a year from now? Like I said, technology is improving... There are a number of units (InFocus X1 DLP, Panasonic AE-200, and Sanyo "Z1") that are fresh on the market and would suit your needs quite nicely for a smidge over your budget-- so when they hit the used market they should be dead on for what you're looking for.

    -I could probably get $1000 to buy this in 6 months. A year seems just too far for me, but possible. However if I start saving now, I think withing 5-6 months I'll have a grand. If waiting a couple more months beyond that yields a much better machine (the ones you mention, InFocus, etc) then that's doable.

    D)How much ambient light is in the room?

    - There are plenty of windows, but when I shut the shades, and it's night time (I would only watch at night), it gets pretty dark in there. Not like an enclosed room.

    Oh thank you so much for a great post with so much info.

    Here are a couple of questions:

    What is the best place for me to watch for good deals on this? Like is there a fatwallet.com or whatever where killer deals occasionally pop up and I can take advantage of them or no? Or should I just watch Ebay? See I'm thinking while I wait when saving, I could watch some web site for an occasional killer deal, and if it saves me a couple hundred bucks, maybe get it before I was planning, but only because of the deal.
     
  5. MattMB

    MattMB Agent

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    Do yourself a favor and go do some reading on http://www.avsforum.com/
    Tons of information on projectors in the $2000 and under range. You can pick up projectors great brand new projectors at the $1500 price point and slightly below.
     
  6. Robert James Clark

    Robert James Clark Second Unit

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    All "throw" information and tons of other info including current dealer prices on almost every projector can be found Here
    You might also find a used projector there in your budget...
     

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