Low price but high quality front projector

Discussion in 'Displays' started by KamranA, Apr 2, 2004.

  1. KamranA

    KamranA Auditioning

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    Hi guys, I'm new here and I found this forum...and it seemed big enough and active enough so I'll ask the experts here.

    I'm an avid gamer and DVD person, planning to buy a Xbox and PS2 soon. Now, right now my family has a lame 27" TV in our living room and I want to take it upon myself to buy us a nice projector because we have a wall big enough for one.

    My question is, I have a limited supply of money since I'm in school right now; what's the best quality projector? I saw the InFocus X1 had very good reviews and seemed decent enough for what I wanted to do.

    Basically, here's the goal:

    * Sharp
    * Big
    * Playing games, Gamecube, Xbox, PS2, and sometimes PC
    * Watching DVDs
    * High use of Component Video (I can buy a switchbox for using multiple devices with Component)
    * Digital Cable

    Basically, a home theater. I don't want to spend over $1500 on a projector...

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. KamranA

    KamranA Auditioning

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    Hmmm, no suggestions for a projector? I suppose I'll have to read some reviews.
     
  3. LouAR

    LouAR Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm not very familiar with the X1 but many are very pleased with it. It's native 4:3 should make it good for gaming. You will want light control as ambient light affects the image so daytime use will probably require window blinds (unless in a windowless basement or similar). You will also need to pay attention to throw distance. Every projector will throw a different size image at a different distance from the screen. You can see a throw calculator for each projector at projectorcentral.com Click on projector reviews, then look for the projector you are interested in and then click on the model (in blue) within the review for that projector. You will get to a summary page and look for the throw calculator. Click there and you can fix either your screen size and see what mounting distance you need for that screen size or you can fix the throw distance and see what size image you will get from that distance. Here is a direct link to the projection calculator for the X1: http://www.projectorcentral.com/proj...m?part_id=1885

    AVSforum has a forum exclusively for projectors under $3500 and there is much discussion about the X1 there. Here is a link:http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forum...php?forumid=68 You will need to register to post as you had to here.

    Whatever you decide on, you might price check it against the prices listed at pricegrabber.com. Be careful if you decide to purchase through a merchant on that site. Check the merchant ratings (will appear on far right of results from product search) and the number of votes cast to generate that rating. If the rating is less than a full 5 star (as most are), click on the reviews link and read the negative ones to see if there is a trend toward a specific problem that might affect you and your purchase. Sometimes these trends indicate shipping prices changed after order or web site indicating a product in stock and after order getting notified the item is back-ordered. As you read through negative posts (they are short so look at least 20 of them to see a trend), you will quickly know if there is a trend.

    Good luck and HAVE FUN!!! Welcome to the wonderful world of front projection! There is much to learn but it is great fun!

    ~ Lou ~ [​IMG] FP - WOW!! [​IMG]
     
  4. LouAR

    LouAR Stunt Coordinator

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    PS. When you go to that link for the AVSforum for projectors under $3500 - in the lower right corner of the page (when scrolled to the top) there is a search line that reads: "Search this Forum: (Current)" in this space, you can type in "X1" and it will search the forum for all posts which mention the X1. That should make reading about that projector a bit easier for you.
    ~ Lou ~
     
  5. DaveGTP

    DaveGTP Cinematographer

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    Well, under $1500 limits you a lot - but there are some good units. I've got an X1. X1s are $1000, 4:3, good for gaming. But it's got a 2x wheel - if you get one, make sure you can return it in case you are subject to the rainbow effect that some of us (me included) can see.

    The new Infocus 1405 is coming out soon, it's widescreen, with a 4x wheel, most likely for $1400.

    The Optoma H30 is $1300ish, 4x wheel, 4:3 but doesn't have the Faroudja de-interlacing chip - but I hear that the new pixelworks chip it has is 90% as good. If you are interested you should read this AVS thread (long!) http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...ighlight=cheap

    I wouldn't go for a non Faroudja based unit (except for the Optoma H30) because a lot of non-progressive video games (all PS2, a lot of GC, some Xbox, all oldschool) will need the superior deinterlacing. If you consider a non-Faroudja unit, be sure to read some reviews about the deinterlacing quality.



    LCD units - Panny L300, Sanyo Z1 - supposed to be good units, but if you are going LCD, it'd be better to try and get your hands on a Sanyo Z2 if you can find one in stock.


    I don't do LCD myself (I'll take occasional rainbows over worse blacks, vertical banding, etc), so I don't know a lot about the LCD territory.

    If you do DLP, make sure it's returnable in someone in your family is in the minority that see rainbows (like me). I like my X1 a lot anyway!!
     
  6. KamranA

    KamranA Auditioning

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    We've been to Best Buy and seen the Samsung DLP TVs and I didn't notice any rainbow effects...maybe they turn faster (doesn't say on their website).

    Now, the X1 doesn't support 16:9 then? Hmmm, maybe I will wait for the 1405.

    LouAR, I've seen the projector calc on projectorcentral.com, thanks! I calculated it'll be approx 109in diagonally.

    I'll check out the links, thanks!
     
  7. GuyMaren

    GuyMaren Agent

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    The X1 can be set to 16:9. When you do that, it uses 800 x 450 pixels instead of the full 800 x 600. You can then tell your video sources that you have a 16:9 display and not be lying[​IMG]
     
  8. DaveGTP

    DaveGTP Cinematographer

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    I use my X1 similiarly (in 16:9 mode for 16:9 output on the DVD player). But honestly, I've been thinking about it, and I don't think there's a real point to doing so...

    Edit: Oh, just to mention, without getting too technical at this point - the Samsung DLP RPTVs instore have effectively a 5x wheels. The X1 has an effective 2x wheel. Thus, rainbows are more likely seeable on the X1 versus the RPTVs.
     
  9. Robert_Dufresne

    Robert_Dufresne Stunt Coordinator

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    If you want a good quality projector you will have to pay more than 1 500 $. You cant have your cake and eat it too.
     
  10. MikeRP

    MikeRP Supporting Actor

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    I really disagree Robert. I have the Hitachi Home 1 and IMHO it is very good. I feel like I've done just what you suggested ( and the cake was good) ! [​IMG]

    Mike
     
  11. Ralph B

    Ralph B Supporting Actor

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    there is a happy medium. the X1 is not the only projector out there with a good picture quality (the X1 in my opinion is soft on picture quality)non Faroudja's are not bad and Faroudja in my opinion is over-rated. owned the dvd players and sold them. not that much a difference. but there are alot of people into HT that are very picky. some of us are not. personally SVGA projectors are unacceptable for HT big screens. ok yes, but there is better.

    I would look at a XGA projector. LCD projectors will eventually gatther dust on the panels no matter how clean you think your home is. especially if your in your cellar, even if its finished. homes in general are very dusty. dont be fooled into how clean you think your home might be. experience is winner! go DLP! less prone to image quality issues over a short period of time. so I have read! [​IMG]

    The BenQ PB6200 looks to be a nice projector. nice high contrast ratio, 1700 lumens, XGA, DLP, HDTV and till the end of this month comes with a free extra mail in lamp all for $1499.00!!!!!

    or check out the Optoma EzPro 735 with 1100 lumens DLP, XGA. DVI-HDTV..etc for $1299.00!!!!

    both projectors are native 4:3 and have 16:9 mode on them.

    I have demoed the X1 and my old XGA LCD and a sharper more clear image. the X1 to me was soft on picture quality.

    business projectors these days do quite nice and specs to me at a certain point dont mean a thing. its so close the eye will not see the little things unless your really picky and looking for them. you think movie theaters are perfect? [​IMG]
     
  12. Robert_Dufresne

    Robert_Dufresne Stunt Coordinator

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    Ralph

    I think you might have a good point about dust collecting on LCD chips. would'nt the same reasonning apply to the DLP chip ??. Is there a safe way of cleaning the chips inside the projector.
     
  13. Ralph B

    Ralph B Supporting Actor

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    im not a guru but I believe DLP is sealed , well atleast some. it would be a while before dlp would show anything and have heard of problems on this forum with color wheels and lamps...problems and dust, burning...etc

    but with LCD in a normal dust enviroment, unless you have done the room over and sealed it it wont take long for dust to attack your LCD panels and show up on the screen if you use it alot. if you dont it may take a while. I dont use mine much and it wound up with dust blobs it didnt have when I bought it and it was used! I consider my house to be clean and we dont smoke but when your in a cellar(and mine is finished) its a proble,. there are all kinds of things going on in cellars. let the sun in your window on a nice day and look at the sun bean. how much dust do you see ? I very much used LCD projector will happen quick, less with little use. just wasnt my case.
     
  14. DaveGTP

    DaveGTP Cinematographer

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    Why not? It's more than sufficient for DVD resolution. Perhaps you mean, not acceptable for HDTV (many disagree, but there is some technical merit in this argument). As far as HT aka movies, it's just about right.

    The guys on AVS with the Optoma H30 say it has excellent PQ (reportedly better than the already excellent X1). At $1399 (and you can get it cheaper with discounts/coupons - Dell carries it)
     
  15. Ralph B

    Ralph B Supporting Actor

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    I have seen alot of the screen shots and they all looked grainy. maybe he has a bad digital camera.
     
  16. mark alan

    mark alan Supporting Actor

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    There are several threads on the avs forum about the color wheel on dlp projectors getting heavily coated with dust and dirt, cutting light output and dulling the colors projected. It just doesn't show as a dust blob on the screen (like a lcd projector does), more of a slow even degradation of the picture.

    For what it is worth, I have had my Z1 in the basement for 15 months with not a single dust blob showing up. I think that it is because we have hot water heating and no central air conditioning. Forced air heating and cooling systems are huge dust generators.
     
  17. Ralph B

    Ralph B Supporting Actor

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    I will agree with that mark!

    I have central heat and air conditioning. as well as putting up with the terrible 2 cats my wife has to have. they live in the cellar in my HT. aaarrrrgggg!!!!!!!!!

    so much dust in my house!!!!! its so hard to keep the HT clean! I told her when they are dead there will be no more animals in this house. I should never have allowed it but when I was an online gamer addict she needed some company!!!!! [​IMG]
     

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