If you had $2000 for a projector which would you choose?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by micah bjj, Jul 14, 2004.

  1. micah bjj

    micah bjj Stunt Coordinator

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    IF you could pick any projector (preferably 16:9) for $2000 or less which one would you buy?

    Same thing but you have $3500 for a projector which one would you buy?
     
  2. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    I had 2K, and I bought a Barco Graphics 808. If I had 3500 I would probably buy the same thing or a similar 8inch CRT, but in mint condition.
     
  3. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    With $2k i'd probably pick up a Sanyo Z2 or a Panasonic L500U depending on which throw distance is more appropriate for you. For $3500 I would try to find a good 16:9 native 720p DLP, not sure of any models off the top of my head.
     
  4. Mike V

    Mike V Stunt Coordinator

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    I will be spending $1995 on the Sanyo PLV-Z2 (16:9)next week.

    If I had $3500 I'd probably go with a BenQ DLP, not sure which model as I have not researched in this price range.

    Good luck with your choice.
     
  5. micah bjj

    micah bjj Stunt Coordinator

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    It looks like for under $2000 it is between the Z2 and the Panasonic L500U.

    Stephan, could you please tell me the differences between the two models throw distances.

    Also, what is the difference between 16:9 and native 16:9? And, what kind of picture quality differences can you generally expect between a $2k projector and a $4k projector? Thanks for all the help.
     
  6. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    With the L500U you can get a bigger image with the projector closer to the wall. The Z2 would have to be farther away to get the same size image as the L500U. The Projector Central throw distance screen size calculators should help you pick which projector gives you the screen size you want based on the distance from the screen where the projector will be mounted.

    16:9 native means the pixel configuration is in a 16:9 configuration. Some less expensive and more presentation based projectors are 4:3 native but have 16:9 modes that cut off the unused pixels. This gives a lower 16:9 resolution and requires even more throw distance to get a good sized 16:9 picture. The Infocus X1 is a good example of a 4:3 native projector.

    With the more expensive projectors you can get DLP instead of LCD in the 720p resolution. This gives better contrast ratios which mean deeper blacks. You can also usually get brighter projectors meaning light control isn't as big of an issue, but the Contrast Ratio and Black level difference is the main one. Also more expensive projectors usually have better internal video processors and de-interlacers yielding better PQ on non-progressive sources as well as sources that aren't presented in the projectors native resolution.

    I really think a L500U or Z2 with a good DVI Scaling DVD Player would offer some of the best bang-for-the-buck for screen size and picture quality.
     
  7. micah bjj

    micah bjj Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for all the info Stephan. I am really new to this stuff and do not know much. Trying to absorb everything. I am leaning away from the Z2 because of the 1500 lamp life combined with a $450 bulb.

    So in the economy range it seems to be between the Panasonic 500U and the INfocus 4805. The Panasonic if $400 more, but I will get a free 2nd and 3rd year warranty. It has a 1000 hour less lamp, and the lamp to replace is about $35 more. I dont think that should make or break my decision.

    Where I am kind of confused is how the INfocus is 854x480 WSVGA with a contrast of 2000:1 , while the Panasonic is 1280x720 WXGA with a contrast of 1300:1.

    This is confusing me because one has a higher resolution and the other has a higher contrast. I have no idea by looking at those figures which one is better and which one will produce a better picture. Could you please help me with this?

    Also, could someone please tell me how much 100 lumen difference will make. And, if there is a huge visual difference between a $2k projector and a $4k projector. I dont want to spend $4000 thousand if I dont have to, but on the otherhand I would rather spend the extra $2000 than have a bad picture at $2000.

    Thank you all for all the information you have given me. I have been using all of your information as a home theater crash course.
     
  8. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    The 4805 is a great projector for DVD use since it operates at progressive scan DVD's native resolution. The 4805 is not, however, a true High Definition projector since it's resolution is not atleast 720p. It will still work with High Definition content but will convert it to it's native resolution which is actually less than 75% of HD resolution. The L500U has a true high definition resolution and will offer a better picture for High Definition sources.

    The 4805 will probably offer better black levels since it is DLP instead of LCD. If you have enough light control in your room and a good grey/silver screen then the black levels of the L500U will still be very good and I would pick it for it's higher resolution, especially if you plan on doing much High Definition TV viewing (HDTV is really coming on strong right now and offers amazing picture).

    Sorry that I can't comment on the more expensive projectors because my only experience is limited viewing in showrooms. I'm sure someone else can help more though.
     
  9. PeterMano

    PeterMano Stunt Coordinator

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    Check out www.projectorcentral.com. They have a lot of information for users covering a wide range of topics as well as projector reviews and user reviews and ratings as well.
     
  10. Mike Wladyka

    Mike Wladyka Supporting Actor

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    i had about the same budget, and picked the benq6200. it is around $1500, but it is 4:3 native, but can do 16:9. i use it for dvd and gaming, but once football season hits, it will be HD time. i just prefer the DLP picture to the LCD picture.
     

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