Need help choosing a projector!!!!

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Allan P, Nov 12, 2003.

  1. Allan P

    Allan P Extra

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    Hello to all...

    First I would like to say that I am new to HTF though I have been reading posts for some time.
    I am looking into purchasing an FP and have about $1500-2000 that I can spend and still stay married. I know all the players in this area...the X1, the Z1, the panny 300, and the sharp dt 200. Problem is...I have only been able to see demos of the z1 and the dt200 though I have read all the reviews of the other two. So here is where I run into a problem....
    the room I will be using is on the small side. The length of the room is only 11'4". So I am looking at lens to screen distances of probably 9.5-10'. I would like to have an 80" 16:9 screen as this room will be mostly for watching movies and I will be sitting 1.5x the width(roughly)
    This rules out the X1...its throw is too long to get that size image. The Z1 that I demoed had too much SDE for me at 1.5x even on an 80" image.(I have too keen of eyesight I guess.
    So, I am down to the panny and the dt200...one is 1/4HD with correct aspect ratio...the other, 4:3 but can be picked up for the price of the X1.
    So my dilema is...do I go with the dt200(DLP...not affected by rainbows by the way), or do I go with the panny 300 which I have never seen(LCD, 16:9 and several hundred $ more).
    Anyone that would be gracious enough to help me out...I thank you in advance.

    Allan P.
     
  2. Thomas Willard

    Thomas Willard Stunt Coordinator

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    I have had a Panny PT-L300U for six months. I also have a small room for my home theater (about 12x15). I have ceiling mounted the projector and am displaying a 68 inch wide image (using a standard matte white pull down screen, which is 70x70 in size).

    In order to get that size image I have the projector about nine feet from the screen. I sit directly below the projector. In my opinion the 300U gives you the best bang for the buck. the 540 lines of resolution does all that a DVD can offer and it scales the 1080i HDTV images very nicely. Projector is also very quiet and with a bulb that might last 5000 hours on low setting. I use the component video input, but it also has DVI, s-video, and composite.

    You may hear about the 500U due out in January. I looked briefly at the specs of the 500U and here is what I found.
    1. higher contrast ratio (1300:1 vs 800:1)
    2. DVI with the newer copy protection feature
    3. resolution of 768 lines
    4. still a native 16:9 image

    Don't know the price of the 500U, but the 300U I hear is now going for around $1500US. I am assuming the lens, weight, bulb life are the same as the 300U. They also have the 200U, which has resolution of about 460 lines and slightly less contrast than the 300U.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. mark alan

    mark alan Supporting Actor

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    Under what conditions did you see the Z1?

    I think that I have excellent vision, and I can barely see the SDE unless I get within 1 screen width of the picture. I shoot a 84" (diagonal) picture, and looks great at 10-12 feet.

    I expect that either a slightly grey screen, or a slight defocus would have fixed the SDE problem in the setup you looked at.
     
  4. ChadLB

    ChadLB Screenwriter

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    mark,
    I agree...I have the Z1 and have to be pretty close to the screen to see sde. I am using ME by glidden for my screen color which helped reduce SDE for me. I sit about 15ft away from my screen...Allan I think if you chose a gray screen and did some tweaking it would work out for you.....The DT200 is nice but for me the price difference wasn't worth it for me.....
     
  5. Allan P

    Allan P Extra

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    Mark,

    I guess I should specify a little better...I actually saw the SE 1HD at a showroom. It was in the dedicated HT about 9-10' back on a 92" firehawk. The owner brought the image down to an 80" size after I told him that was the size I was searching for. I must admit the SDE wasnt horrible compared to some projectors Ive seen, however, I was aware of it.
     
  6. Matthew Todd

    Matthew Todd Second Unit

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    Allan,

    Have you considered a used CRT? For about $1500-$2000 you may be able to get an 8" EM focus machine. Generally, for an 80" wide screen I think the throw distance for most CRTs would fit.

    Matt
     
  7. Christian Behrens

    Christian Behrens Supporting Actor

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    Well, the new Sanyo Z2 fits your price range as well and has supposedly less of a SDE (compared to the Z1).

    -Christian
     
  8. Allan P

    Allan P Extra

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    matthew

    I had considered a CRT but this room is just too small...it is actually a spare BR and is 11'4" x 12'. I think a CRT would overpower the room, not to mention that that Im sure the ceiling is currently not designed to handle that kind of weight.

    Christian

    I have heard a few things about the Z2, but mostly just specs or people waiting for theirs to come in. But then, I get into the dilema of not being able to see the PJ...no one here in town demos Sanyo, so it is kind of the same deal as the Panny...I would be buying it blind.

    PS- Thanks for your input so far everyone...
     
  9. Allan P

    Allan P Extra

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    Dean

    Is that a seperate lens that can be purchased as an add on for the X1. I have been basing my throw distance on the X1 according to projectorcentral's throw calc. and was under the impression that I would only be able to get ~68" or so. This was based on the 11'4" width of the room...which with room layout is the only way I can throw.
     
  10. mike_bianchi

    mike_bianchi Extra

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    Allen, have you made your purchase yet? I too have been leaning to the dt-200 put the panny is interesting. Curious to know what you decided on...
     
  11. Allan P

    Allan P Extra

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    Mike B/

    Actually I did finally pull the trigger. I ended up going with the Infocus X1. I found an incredible deal on it...Open box at a local chain store...plus I got a 72" 16:9 pulldown with it. For under a well under a G I couldnt pass it up.
    I had to sacrifice screen size just a bit...I have a 76" diagonal 16:9 rather than 80-84" which I originally wanted. However, I have a smaller room that is dedicated to my home theater, and the screen size really isn't that big of a deal to me now. For the money I just decided to go cheaper since this is actually a spare BR converted. Figure I will start saving now and in 3-5yrs when my wife and I build/buy our next house I will have the funds and space to truly have a dedicated HT.
    So, for now I am quite content...and I ended up with a little $$ left over for other projects/HT purchases.
     

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