projector advice needed

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Will.MA, Dec 12, 2004.

  1. Will.MA

    Will.MA Stunt Coordinator

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    I need advice in purchasing my first projection system. Here are some details to keep in mind while considering the best course of action:

    1) For my tastes, contrast is more important than brightness. Also, I anticipate most viewing sessions in low-light environments.
    2) occasional use only; projector will not be permenantly mounted
    3) projector must have DVI input. Would strongly prefer 16:9 aspect ratio
    4) source is HTPC; 1600 x 1200 max resolution via DVI
    5) viewing distance: 10-12 ft.
    6) intended use: 50% movies, 35% games (PC, Console), 15% TV (HD-Comcast)
    7) budget: $2k max.

    I've noticed while reading through the transcripts of past posts that many people have high praise for the infocus projector. However the impression that I have is that particular product doesn't support the DVI specification. Is there something else that's just as good? What guidelines should I follow when deciding on screeen size? I remember hearing somewhere that ideally the screen should be about half the size of the viewing distance. Is that so? Also, I like the idea of a pull-up screen that I can store away when not in use. Has anyone used a screen of this type? Lastly, both the HDTV and DVD source utilize DVI outputs. Any ideas on how to manage switching two sources for use on a display that has only one DVI input?

    Thanks for any and all suggestions.
     
  2. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    Will, are you talking about the Infocus 4805? It does have a DVI input. It is a 480p, 16:9 projector, has gotten great reviews, and is very popular. You need to go to Projectorcentral.com and read up on all the basics, and reviews of the projectors in your price range. Make sure you read the "Highly Recommended Projectors". Do you know if you want DLP or LCD?
    The screen size is determined by your seating distance from screen. With a 480p projector you need to sit back at least 2X screen width. With a 720p projector you need to sit back 1.5X screen width. I think the 4805 would be a great choice for you.
     
  3. Brad E

    Brad E Second Unit

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    I recommend the Panasonic ae700u. Might be able to squeeze it into your budget. Maybe $2100, but well worth it.
    Couldn't be happier with mine. Picture quality is excellent. I sit 11 feet back from an 8 ft screen.
    And it is by far, one of the easiest projectors to setup. With the lens shift, and huge zoom capabilities, you will find it much easier to place than most.

    The main drawback with this pj is vertical banding. But even this can be tweaked so it is rarely visible.
     
  4. Will.MA

    Will.MA Stunt Coordinator

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    So far I'm weighing heavily toward the Panny AE700. I was wondering if anyone has experience using the AE700 with a high gain screen? The Da-Lite 90" insta-theater is perfect for my intended application except for the 2.2 gain screen. My understanding is that screens of this power are good for either long viewing distances or for dim projectors. My viewing distance will be no farther than 12' and the Panny is moderately bright. Should I be worried about hot spots? Can it be adjusted for?

    Also, I've seen Japanese versions of the AE700 for as much as five hundred dollars cheaper than their USA counterparts at Videogon. I would love to save a buck or two by buying one from the Japanese market even if it meant OSD in Japanese. I'm a little cautious though because I recall the reviews of the AE700 by Japanese owners given on projectorcentral were not nearly as positive as the many glowing American reviews. I don't remember the Japanese contributions at proj-cent. being based on the LCD projectors failure to meet the reviewers personal preference as much as their apparent mechanical shortcomings. The difference was so great that as odd as it seemed I was left with the distinct impression that the Japanese version wasn't built with the degree of quality as the US version.

    Does anyone have any actual experience with the Japanese AE700? How has the projector performed? Has it met your expectations? Are there any other considerations to keep in mind for American owners beyond the OSD in Japanese? Thanks.
     
  5. Will.MA

    Will.MA Stunt Coordinator

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    Forget the question of the Japanese model PJ. I've decided once and for all that I will pay for the USA model in case of problems. Still seeking some guidance on using a high power screen with this model, however.

    Speaking of managing risks, I can't find any warranty info for the AE700. I've read the product brochure and operating manual from Panasonic's website without avail. Don't tell me the consumer has no recourse if this thing breaks down the minute you get it home or soon after. That would be a deal breaker.

    One other question: what difference would it make if video is piped out of my HTPC using the DVI or PC-RGB? Are there significant trade-offs associated with one or the other choice?
     
  6. Will.MA

    Will.MA Stunt Coordinator

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    Look for dealer quotes at projectorcentral.com for buying the Panasonic PT-AE700. There's a very likely chance that an authorized reseller can offer you a price that meets or surpasses the Japanese-model prices offered on eBay or Videogon for a NIB, authentic US model PJ with full manufacturer's warranty and friendly, experienced customer service to boot.
     
  7. PeterMano

    PeterMano Stunt Coordinator

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    Panasonic's warranty is only one year, parts and labor. Personally, I'd pocket the cash and go with the 4805. Two years from now, when your bulb, cross your fingers, needs to be replaced, you may decide rather than spend $400 on a new bulb, to get a new projector instead. Just my 2 cents.
     
  8. Travis_R

    Travis_R Stunt Coordinator

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    BenQ PE7800 2000 shipped
     
  9. Will.MA

    Will.MA Stunt Coordinator

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    Do reveal the reseller that has this offer!
     
  10. Travis_R

    Travis_R Stunt Coordinator

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    will you have a PM
     

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