New To Projectors - Advice Wanted

Discussion in 'Displays' started by ZackR, Mar 28, 2005.

  1. ZackR

    ZackR Supporting Actor

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    Hi,

    My wife and I will be building a new house and will be moving into it in approximately 6 months. We have a bonus room upstairs that we will be converting into a "theater room." I would like to get a 72 or 84 inch screen and have a DLP of some sort. The room is 31ft by 25 ft. I would like high-def capability and like I said, I am looking at a screen of either 72 or 84 inches. I saw some nice ones at carada.com (thanks to HTF for the link!)...I do not need top of the line but would like something decent. The room would be used primarily for watching DVDs and whatever little hi-def content we can get in our area. I was hoping to spend in the neighborhood of $2,000 on a projector right now, and maybe REALLY update the home theater room to more "top of the line" stuff in 5 years or so. But right now, I think the $2,000 neighborhood is the most I could realistically spend right now. Is this even feasible? If not, any other alternatives you would recommend? I would really appreciate any advice or input. Anyways, I know this might sound like a pretty basic question, but I am totally new to projectors. Our TV now consists of a 27 inch standard TV. Thanks in advance for any input!

    Zack
     
  2. Paul-D

    Paul-D Stunt Coordinator

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    I can highly reccommed the SP4805. It's a great product and you won't be dissapointed. However for your price, you may be able to find one a bit better. You should contact the people at TV Authority. They are a forum sponsor and will be able to help you out tremendously.

    Good luck and let us know what happens
     
  3. ZackR

    ZackR Supporting Actor

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    OK cool. Thanks. I will check with them. Like I said, this will be my first projector and I am hoping to setup a nice little theater in that bonus rooms. What about HD? How does it perform with HD material? Have you used it all for that? Thanks for your input. I appreciate it. [​IMG]
     
  4. Paul-D

    Paul-D Stunt Coordinator

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    I love it on HD!! It's absolutely wonderful. In fact, when we first bought it and got HD, my wife said if she doesn't see a difference then we're taking it back. Needless to say we still have it and SHE still wonders why we didn't do it sooner. I hope to post some screen shots sometime this week. Keep researching and checking things out. You can also read quite a bit here at projector central They will give you a lot of help.
    Keep us updated
     
  5. DanHal

    DanHal Stunt Coordinator

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    Zach,
    A 84" screen in a room that is 25' by 31'. I think that that size of a screen, may leave you wanting a little more after a few weeks viewing. Sure, it is a huge step up from that "tiny" 27", but if you have the room for a larger screen, I would recommend going to something like a 110" diagonal. You could purchase a projector first, and just put the image on your bare wall for awhile, and see what size of screen that you really like the most, and then purchase the screen afterwards.

    I also highly recommend looking at the D.I.Y. section regarding screen construction. You can save a lot of $$, if you want to put a little time into constructing it.

    Finally, I recommend just taking your time and researching all your components. If you rush into a purchase, you may end up regretting it in the future. Good luck, and most importantly, have fun.

    Be warned though, once you catch the htf bug, you'll be stuck for life!!
     
  6. ZackR

    ZackR Supporting Actor

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    Hey guys, thanks for all the suggestions. I will look into constructing my own screen as well. The ones I have seen online are a bit pricey, and I am all for doing it myself if I can get a quality result. I will be posting my results and I am sure I will have many more questions. It will be 5-6 months before the house is even constructed anyways.
     
  7. Howard Clarke

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    Zach,
    I agree with Dan. That 84" is very small for such a large room. I also would recomend you experiment by using the wall first and you will see what we mean by wanting the bigger picture. If you go to www.projectorcentral.com there is a ton of information there to read through that will help you with your decision such as the difference between the technologies (DLP vs. LCD)and user reviews. Once you narrow your options down you can use the projector calculator to see the screen size options available. There is also a wealth of information over at the avsforum.com. I would not be concerned about your price range. 2K is more than enough for a decent projector. And probably enough left over for a 110" or larger DIY screen.

    Howard
     
  8. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    What Dan said.
     
  9. ZackR

    ZackR Supporting Actor

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    Thanks again for the input guys. I really appreciate it. I will definitely post my progress (and I am sure lots of questions) as the time approaches. [​IMG]
     
  10. ZackR

    ZackR Supporting Actor

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    Hi again. Been doing some research on the SP4805. I have read this review and it looks pretty good. However, I am now considering a larger screen size, after considering comments made about the size of the room and after going to a room about the size mine will be and trying to visualize screen size on comparison. That being said, the review states that it is an SVGA class and ot XGA and that optimal screen size would be 90' and it also mentions pixellation. Does anyone have any suggestions on other projectors I could look into at or around the $2,000 pricepoint that would comparable to this one or that might be better suited for a larger screen? Just want to explore several options. I have done some searching around, but would love input from some of you who already have projectors. [​IMG]
    Thanks again for your help!
     
  11. Howard Clarke

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    Zack,

    Here are a couple

    Panasonic AE700
    Infocus SP5000
    Sanyo PLV-Z3
     
  12. James Phung

    James Phung Second Unit

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    I must mention that many people are happy with their 4805 with 100+" screens. You just need to have the right screen gain and screen size combination along with seating distance.
     
  13. John S

    John S Producer

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    In your price range, real hard to beat some of the prices I see on that Panasonic AE700, certainly more than worth a look. The 4805 tends to be the one for people with a little less budget than you have.
     
  14. ZackR

    ZackR Supporting Actor

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    Thanks so much everyone. I will begin researching all those units as well. [​IMG] I am still VERY interested in the 4805 but just wanted a few more units by which I could do some comparison shopping... I am very excited about this project.
     
  15. Tony Loewen

    Tony Loewen Stunt Coordinator

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    If you want true HD, the 4805 won't do it. It's a 480p native resolution, IIRC. What saves it is the internal scaler. Alot of people speak highly of it, and I am looking at it as a good entry projector for a friend who wants me to help him get a decent setup for regular cable and the occasional DVD. I have the Z2 which is 720p LCD projector. I am very happy with it.

    If budget allows, I don't think anyone here will tell you to skimp on the extra pixels, especially if you have a way of feeding it those pixels so they reach the screen unmolested. What are you going to be using as video sources? Just a regular progressive scan dvd player primary, and occasional HD, I would say the 4805 is a pretty good choice. If you are going to use an upscaling dvd player or HTPC, or primarily watch HD, then you would be better served with a true HD projector. There are quite a few out there that will fit your budget.
     
  16. Evan M.

    Evan M. Supporting Actor

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    Well, I won't say he should skimp on the pixels but I will say that there is a lot more to consider on a display source other than just pixels. I personaly think contrast ratio is just as important as the resolution. After comparing a Z2 to a 4805 I really think when it comes to overall PQ the 4805 is the way to go. The Z2 simply does not have the "depth" that the 4805 has. With that said though, if your main viewing material is going to be HD material AND you will be sitting closer that 2X the screen width away than I would go for a 720P projector. I would step up to the Z3 or AE700 though....they are big improvements over the previous models. If you are going to be sitting 2X the screen width or futher than you will simply not be able to beat a 4805 or an H31 when it comes to PQ in the under $2000 MSRP price class (not street prices). I have also seen the AE700 by the way it is a great projector for the money. If I had to choose I would either go that route or the 4805. Both very different machines but to me the top 2 in their own respective category. Best of luck to you and enjoy it........just try to view as many as you can!!!! Only your eyes can be the true judge......
     
  17. Paul-D

    Paul-D Stunt Coordinator

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    Very well put Evan
     
  18. Tony Loewen

    Tony Loewen Stunt Coordinator

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    I had to go with an lcd, my wife and I went to an a/v store and "test drove" lcd and dlp side by side. Unfortunately, my wife is one of the few who are dramatically affected by rainbow effect. after 5 minutes of watching, she had a headache that lasted 5 hours. The contrast is much better with dlp, black levels are great, but I didn't want to kick my wife out of the room every time I wanted to watch a movie. Plus, using a HTPC to upscale and pixel match the display, resolution does play a bigger role.
     

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