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Projector Advice (1 Viewer)


May 11, 2024
Real Name
Robert Strange
Hi all,

New here and a noob. A friend directed me to this and AVS forums.

We are finishing up our media room and looking for a projector. A little about the space: 13"4' wall-to-wall, white wall, black-out curtains, built-in speakers, ceiling power & HDMI connections ready. The projector will be about 2-2.5 feet off the ceiling. 110-inch fixed screen, we will sit 12 feet away. Our primary use will be TV Shows/Movies and occasional (non-competitive) games... and maybe a random sports event once a blue moon. We plan to stream from the Xbox.

We currently have a BenQ W1080ST, which we bought years ago. It was reliable, so we first looked at BeQ. I assume that any of the following will be a significant upgrade.

Option 1: BenQ 4550i - throw distance seems right, reviews are good, Android TV as a bonus (although with an HDR/SDR quirk), good price

Option 2: LS11000 or LS12000... but we have questions:
a. Would the throw distance work in our room setup? I assume the projector needs some space at the back for air, so would 11 feet from the lens to 110 screen work?
b. Are there $1000 or cheaper screens that could work? We got quoted screens well above 2000.
c. Is there a huge difference between then 11000 and 12000?

Other options were a Sony(?) for over 10k, but that is too much. We are not videophiles or audiophiles, but we do appreciate good video & sound (although we do not need the best in either category). However, if we are spending 3k for a projector, we are willing to pay more if it is worth it.

Any advice is welcome!



His Own Fool
Senior HTF Member
Aug 18, 2001
The BK
Real Name
Welcome to HTF, Robert.

I'd probably go w/ the Epson LS12000, if that's what you meant (and can comfortably afford the higher price), unless you need 3D support -- I've had the non-short-throw versions of your old, entry level BenQ for several years myself before moving to Epson 5050 a few years ago, which is very similar, older, bulb-based version of those laser models... though the LS12000 is true-4K (not e-shift) and forgoes 3D support.

In the most recent comments at this review, the editor compares the 4550i a little bit to the Epson models for PQ and basically feels the Epsons (even my old-ish 5050) are (somewhat?) better (perhaps, except for sharpness w/ the older e-shift models):

And the Epsons all come w/ more flexible, remote-controllable, motorized lens controls, which can make a huge diff (in terms of usability), especially if you like changing the size of the projected image (but also for setup/adjustment ease). Looks like the Epsons also offer larger range of lens shift and zoom.

11ft throw distance for 110" 16x9 image should work w/ the Epsons -- and they don't really need much space behind them (other than for setup and cabling) as the heat exhaust and air vent are in front though blowing largely side ways. Do note the Epsons are probably significantly bigger and heftier than the BenQ (probably mostly due to the high quality, motorized lens system).

To check out more details/variations on that, you can use this PJ throw distance calculator -- they also have mobile app if you want to use on smartphone:

Personally, I'd probably spend more on the PJ to get the LS12000 (assuming you don't need 3D support) and maybe save on the screen (at least for now) and just go w/ something relatively inexpensive like this given your requirements (and budget range):

Since it sounds like this is a dedicated HT/media room, I'd also consider painting at least the walls and ceilings (and maybe even floor) near/around the screen matte black or similar or treat them in some similar ways (like black wall curtains or similar) to yield better results -- black velvet-y material is supposed to be the best (for absorbing stray light), if you can swing that. IMHO, that would (very) likely make more sense than spending more on the screen.



John Dirk

HW Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
May 7, 2000
Real Name
I more or less agree with @ManW_TheUncool 's comments. You need to decide if 3D is important to you. If not then the Epson LS1x000 line is an impressive package. Having owned the 6050UB, I can fully vouch for Epson as a value/reliability champion. Sadly, they did drop 3D support with the LS models which made them non-starters when I was looking to replace my 6050UB.

Compared to the 11000, the 12000 will probably offer a black [as opposed to white] chassis and an included ceiling mount, along with an extra year of warranty coverage. This is typically how Epson markets their projector tiers but you might want to verify.


Senior HTF Member
Mar 4, 2001
Catfisch Cinema
Real Name
Buying new in your budget, I’d get the Epson LS12000. You have a light controlled room and blackout curtains, so spend up from the LS11000 to get better contrast and black levels.

Definitely paint the walls to something darker. White walls will give the most light bounce and decrease the benefit of the light control.

You might also consider a used projector. This is a new-projector year, and maybe a better than typical time to buy a used projector. You can get more performance for less money in some regards, especially if you’re not sure what matters to you. If you went used, I’d look at used: Epson LS12000, JVC NX7, JVC NP5, or JVC NZ7. The first two should be below or near your $3000 cap. The second two might be upwards of $5000 if you were interesting in going higher end.

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