projection and your budget

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Ludwig Crumb, Oct 28, 2004.

  1. Ludwig Crumb

    Ludwig Crumb Agent

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    I am putting together my first full scale home theater. I have $10k to spend on all the components(furniture, decor, acoustic treatment, lighting etc. not included). With that kind of budget Would I be making too much of a compromise everywhere else in the system if I go with front projection? In other words what is the minimum budget required to put together a decent front projection system? Is 10K enough or should I just go rear projection since good projectors cost so damn much. Thanks
     
  2. Don Solosan

    Don Solosan Supporting Actor

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    Check out projectorcentral.com for reviews and info on a full range of projectors. These days there are good ones in the 1k range, I believe. If you do get a projector, consider getting a DVD player with DVI out. It will limit your options -- there aren't that many of them available -- but the increased picture quality is well worth it.

    My whole system (including screen) cost a little over 6k, and I consider it money well spent.
     
  3. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    I assume we will be covering the rest of the system in this thread and not the projector itself. If not, then get prepared to move this over to the Display Devices section.
     
  4. Ludwig Crumb

    Ludwig Crumb Agent

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    Thanks for the reply. Would I be prying if I asked what projector you selected? It sounds as if you are happy with it. I saw the Sony Qualia at CES (phenomenal picture), but almost fainted when they told me it was going to retail for ~$25K. Thats why I've been skeptical that since any projector that I can afford which would be about 1/6th that price would be good enough.
    Also, are you using a scaler with your setup?
     
  5. Ludwig Crumb

    Ludwig Crumb Agent

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    Mr. Briggs;

    I apologize, I meant to post this in display devices in the first place.
     
  6. Don Solosan

    Don Solosan Supporting Actor

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    I went with the Plus Piano HE-3200, which is a DLP projector. It was one of the only lower priced projectors that I could find being demoed, and I had to drive to the next county to do it. Seeing it in action convinced me that I wanted to take the plunge. The price was a little over 3k; you can only order them directly from the company. Since buying it, a number of other companies have entered the low end projector market, so you can probably do better on price and features.

    The unit itself is very small and quiet, which is good because I have it mounted on top of an equipment rack in the back of the room. It doesn't throw an incredible amount of light, but I'm able to control the ambient light in the room to a great extent, so the resulting picture -- about six and a half feet wide -- is still bright and beautiful.

    The other drawback to this machine is the short bulb life: 1,000 hours. I think there are other machines with bulbs that last 3,000 hours. Again, check Projector Central for the latest info.

    One of the big drawbacks to buying a projector seems to be that there's not many options for seeing them in action before making up your mind. I live in L.A., and around here it was the big, expensive projectors or nothing.

    Good luck!
     
  7. Don Solosan

    Don Solosan Supporting Actor

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    Oops, missed that last question about the scaler...

    My Bravo D2 is set at 480p, so there's no scaling involved, if I understand it correctly. It gives the best results out of the various options.
     
  8. Ludwig Crumb

    Ludwig Crumb Agent

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    Thanks for all your help.
    I don't live too far away. Burbank actually. The short life on the lamps don't bother me. I don't plan on putting more than 500 hours a year on it anyway. Thanks again.
     
  9. RobertS

    RobertS Extra

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    Ludwig,

    I have just put together a dedicated home theater in my basement and spent so far around $6,000.00 and love it. I went with a front projector and a 92" screen for around $2200 and the picture is great. I could have bought a big screen tv for around the same price but it seems more like going to the movie theater with the projector. I started out with a budget of 5,000 and spent more than I wanted to but am very happy with the end result. Sure I could have spent allot more on a projector and screen, but I am more than happy with my decision to skip the big screen tv and get a projector.

    Rob
     
  10. Ludwig Crumb

    Ludwig Crumb Agent

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    Robert;

    Thanks for the input. Yes once you have seen good front projection it's hard to go back to RP. The problem is, that Qualia demonstration really played with my head. I want to get as close as I can to that picture quality without going over budget, and/or not having enough left to avoid buying inferior equpment for the rest of my set up.
    Which projector did you buy?
     
  11. RobertS

    RobertS Extra

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    Ludwig,

    I went with a Panasonic AE500 LCD projector. I was able to demo a lcd and dlp projector side by side and for the money the Panasonic was the way to go for me. I really noticed the difference in black levels with the dlp having much deeper blacks but I liked the sharper picture the panny had and I did see the rainbow effect every so often, mainly during chapter changes with the dlp projector. I also looked at a Infocus 7205 dlp projector which was incredible but at $9,000 it was out of my budget range, but I didn't see the rainbow effect with it. I have mine mounted on the ceiling in the basement so the lower lumen's wasn't a problem and I bought a high contrast screen so that helps with the black levels, overall I am very happy with it. I guess it comes down to looking at as many projector's in your price range you can and see what picture you really enjoy.

    Rob
     
  12. Don Solosan

    Don Solosan Supporting Actor

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    The audio/video store I saw the demonstration at was in Costa Mesa. I think I found them on the Plus website: www.plushometheater.com/en/
     

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