Projector Confusion

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Scott_Mac, Apr 6, 2005.

  1. Scott_Mac

    Scott_Mac Auditioning

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    I'm a newbie doing a new HT in a spare room and have been shopping for components, trying to educate myself. I've read a lot of articles about different projector models and specs and I'm confused about 4:3 vs. 16:9 aspect ratio. The HT will be primarily devoted to DVD movies, but also some TV. I've noticed as I've priced and compared various models that the price seems to go up exponentially as the resolution goes from 1024x768 to 1280x720 and from native 4:3 to native 16:9. But while the price goes up,it seems like the lumen rating drops off dramatically. I would like to have a fairly bright picture without having to completely black out the room.
    Actually, I know there's not a hard and fast answer, but I'd like some opinions from some of you who've been there. Would I be happier getting a brighter XGA 4:3 and cheaper projector or a 16:9 1280x720 and less bright, more expensive unit? My budget is around 2k. Any recommendations on brand or model? Thanks in advance!
     
  2. James Phung

    James Phung Second Unit

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    When you are looking at projectors for home theater use, make sure you're looking at dedicated home theater projectors and not business projectors. Most high lumen projectors are business projectors that favor brightness by losing color saturation. If you watch mostly widescreen content and hdtv then go for a 16:9 projector/screen. If you watch lots of 4:3 content and are bothered by bars on side of 4:3 more than bars above and below picture then go for a 4:3 projector.

    What is your budget to begin with? How big of an image do you want? What is your seating position? Are you going to ceiling mount the projector? What is your ceiling height? This would help determine what projector would work best for y ou.
     
  3. Scott_Mac

    Scott_Mac Auditioning

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    Thanks James! My total budget for projector, screen, and other components is somewhere around 4k. I do want to ceiling mount the unit and ceiling is 9 ft. I may be able to save some money with a DIY screen and allocate a bit more to the projector if that would get a better unit.
     
  4. James Phung

    James Phung Second Unit

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    Sounds good. Some people would say you should spend the same amount on your audio components as you would on video components. Your room dimensions, seating distance, and screen image is important in selecting a projector. If you like to sit close, I'd recommend getting a 720p projector. Sitting farther back you can get a lower resolution 480p projector (which still look great) and saves you money. Which technology do you prefer, DLP or LCD or doesn't matter (see http://www.projectorcentral.com/lcd_dlp_update.htm)? For now, you should probably look at these projectors.

    under $2500 range:
    Toshiba mt700 720p DLP
    Panasonic ae700 720p LCD
    Sanyo Z3 720p LCD
    Infocus 5000 720p LCD

    Under $1500:
    Infocus 4805 480p DLP
    Optoma H31 480p DLP
     
  5. rin

    rin Stunt Coordinator

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    Scott,
    if you watch mostly DVD's then you should definitely go with a 16:9 projector. If you plan on watching HDTV. seriously consider a 72Op model. that's the easy part. The decision to go with DLP or LCD can be more difficult. Make sure you get look at both before you buy. Neither technology is perfect so it's important to determine which set of issues are least offensive to your eyes: DLP's Rainbows or LCD's screen door and grayish blacks.
    Also. checkout Carada screens. lmy 96" diag. brilliant white screen Should be here any day) and PC Cables.com. I got 40-ft. component and HDMI cables from them. Excellent build quality and prices. I second the Panny 7OO suggestion and add the Sony HS 51 which is a great PJ. Good luck with whatever you decide!
     
  6. Torgny Nilsson

    Torgny Nilsson Second Unit

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    Don't worry so much about whether a PJ is a business PJ or a HT PJ. Decide what resolution you want, how many lumens you want for your lighting conditions (if you have more ambient light, you may prefer a "business" PJ or a PJ that does both business and HT), and whether you want 4:3 or 16:9. Then take a look at the projectors fitting your list of wants, see which are in your price range, research them and demo as many as you can, and then decide which is right for you.

    And just because you watch a lot of DVDs does not settle the issue of whether you will prefer 4:3 or 16:9. If you watch a lot of silents, classics, IMAX movies, or TV shows on DVD, you may prefer a 4:3 PJ and screen (it gives you a much bigger picture). If you watch mainly new feature films, you may prefer a 16:9 PJ and screen.

    Da-Lite makes good screens and they are not very expensive.
     
  7. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Real Name:
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