Information Overload.... seeking projector input

Discussion in 'Displays' started by danDo, Jan 23, 2006.

  1. danDo

    danDo Agent

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    We discovered that the newer DLP projectors do not cause the rainbow effect for my wife, so that is a large plus. I had thought that we would end up getting the Infocus 4805 or 5000 and then found out more information about them... which lead me to looking at the Panasonic ae900 and the sanyo plv-z4.

    Now my brain is mush.

    My theater area is in my basement wich I can take from full lighting to pitch black. I have roughly 8.5 foot celings and my screen is ~12 feet from where the projector will mount in the ceiling. The projector will be over the couch and I have no option of putting the projector on a shelf... mainly because of a 3 year old and a 1.5 year old [​IMG] We already have a screen (90+ inches 16:9 format) that we tested out with a compaq MP1600 projector and were able to get a 70"x40" picture and all the projectors I looked at estimate about the same size or a bit larger, but will still fit on the screen. The visible section of the screen begins somewhere between 12-18 inches below the ceiling. I ran svideo and component connections from where the components will be to where the projector is, to be honest the digital cables were cost prohibitive and I really did not know much about them at the time I ran the wires... tearing up the ceiling to run another is just not somethng I am willing ot contemplate right now. I currently do not have hdtv or plan on getting hdtv from my cable provider any time soon. The projector will be 95% for watching DVDs. The other 5% would be for when family visits during football season and they will insist that they watch it on the big screen(I don't watch sports) My DVD collection is mainly movies, but my TV shows on dvd collection is growing very quickly.

    Okay, now that "that" is out of the way....

    I was originally really excited about the InFocus 4805 ( or the 5000 when we were not sure about rainbow effects with my wife) because of all the positive reviews on this and other sites and from seeing many home theater setups on the web which used them. Also seeing the same price on the two projectors, after rebate, on the infocus website made things easier. Since I was mainly using DVDs I figured I would not need to get a new dvd player because of all the good things I heard about the 4805 converting 480i better than most dvd players and mine is an old dvd player. Then I saw that the 4805 and 5000 do not have lens shift! I can't see how, with my current setup, I would not have to have some form of keystone correction with my image and I have not seen any comments on picture degrading, black bars, or any other things that may popup when using keystone with the 4805. I saw these on the compaq we have and it takes away from the enjoyment of the movies.

    I then looked for other projectors that have lens shift. It looks like the Panasonic ae900 and the Sanyo plv-z4. They both look like a large step up in "quality" than the InFocus machines, but stretch the projcetor budget a bit. It seems that the ae900 has better image quality out of the box but the z4 has much more tweaking that can be done to get to the same or better. The smooth screen feature of the 900 may also be a big plus over the z4's sharp picture image because of our seating distance. The big one for me though is that the ae900 is considered, in the reviews I read, superior when watching non-hi-def videos and TV. So it sounds like the ae900 is the best of the two for me.... except for the 8.5' ceilings. From what I understand, the z4 can be mounted much closer to the ceiling because it has a larger lense shift than the ae900... trust me, the kids have "serious" reach and toys to extend that reach when standing on the couch and will naturally want to "touch" the projector when we are not looking. You should see our coffee table, walls, etc. [​IMG] It also seems that I would need to buy a better dvd player if I use either the 900 or z4, since they will be getting component video signals.

    Lastly, I think it would be a "good thing" but not necessarily an absolutly have to have thing, to be able to watch DVDs or tv on the screen under low to mid light so people don't kill themselves getting to the stairs. As far as i am concerned everyone can bring a flashlight... but then they will probably expect me to supply batteries :p

    Thus my dilema and my brain turning to mush. Unfortunatly I do not know any one with a projector(except for the outrageously expensive home theatre store, which their $4k lcd projector looked like crud) or even hdtv set up. So I am shooting from the hip on this basement project.

    Any help and answers to my questions/concerns above would be greatly appreciated. I installed the recessed lights last night so we are getting close to being able to paint the ceiling and walls and finally enjoy our basement again.

    Thanks,

    Dan
     
  2. John S

    John S Producer

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    You sure have to watch these so called projector demos at some of these places.


    I went and looked at some, and they were hooked up, I kid you not, via Composite video from the DVD players, Not DVI/HDMI, not even component, not even svideo.


    I gave up, when the sales guy was saying, "Don't you just love that picture and detail?"


    Your stressing out to much over this. If your at all concerned about projector positioning -vs- screen size in your room. Go for the Z4, it is so versitile, I don't think there is a room / screen size it can't deal with.

    The projectors are way more similar than different I can assure you. I think your DVd Player hooked up via Component Video will look great, even if you don't get a new one in all honesty.


    With the lights on is a toughy. I'd still say from all the projectors I looked at, the SP5000 has it in this particular regaurd. But the screens I seem the Z4 and AE900 on were really large, just a little ambient light did them in bad at thos screen sizes.
     
  3. Joe Szott

    Joe Szott Screenwriter

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    Well, first off take a deep breath. OK, doesn't that feel better? [​IMG]

    The 4805 you would buy today has every feature and looks just as good as it did a year ago. The only limitation I can see for you is that it tops out at 480p and no lens shift.

    Both the Panny 900 and the Sanyo Z4 are fantastic choices. The Z4 does have more versatility, but that is not a dig on the 900. The 900 is plenty versatile, it's just that the Z4 is almost silly in features and setup. Both these PJs have also dropped recently in price, from ~$2200 to $2000. Plus I've seen rebates of $200 on the 900 and Z4s that ship with free extra bulbs ($300 value.) So yes, they are more expensive but not as much as they were.

    What I would suggest is see if you can find a dealer (local or online) that carries both the 4805 and either the 900 or Z4. Then explain your problem to them and see if you can audition a 4805 in home for a week to see if it works. If it does, you are done. If not, return/swap it for the 720p projector and enjoy.

    It's all good with front PJs.
     
  4. danDo

    danDo Agent

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    Joe, you are funny [​IMG] I was never frantic or overly stressed about the projector, I had just read so much about the 4 projectors that everything was getting a bit crossed in my mind.

    I really liked projectorcentral before today, but as of now I absolutly love the site. Continuing to do research this morning since most of the "deals" end on Jan 31. I found a nice article on there called Battle of the Budget Projectors, in which it described the throw angle offset of the various projectors, including the 4805. Having never heard or thought of this before I have been plesanly suprised. Using the projection calculator for the 4805 with my screen being about 12' away from the projector means that the the top of the image will start ~ 10" below the center of the lens. If I hang the projector ~ 1 foot below the ceiling I should hit the viewing area of my screen with a few inches to spare.

    So it looks like I will be able to get the original projector I was looking at, save quite a bit of money, and have no need to upgrade my dvd player.

    I will have to got to a local store and find a generic ceiling mount to set up and get actual measurements to verify the above.

    Thanks for your replies and for being a good sounding board for me.

    Dan
     

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