Projector recommendations for under $2k

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Alexey_G, Nov 21, 2003.

  1. Alexey_G

    Alexey_G Auditioning

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    I am looking for recommendations on which projector you would recommend for a budget under $2,000. I am currently very interested in the Infocus X1 projector, but am very open to suggestions.

    The projector will be used for DVDs mostly, as well as a little for videos games and maybe cable TV. It will be placed in a room that may have a significant amount of light, but I can pull the shades down if necessary (or watch it during the evening).

    Thanks in advance for your input.
     
  2. ChadLB

    ChadLB Screenwriter

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    For under $2,000 here are some options:
    Panny 200http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...&O=&sku=272880

    Panny 300: http://www.visualapex.com/LCDproject...&MFR=Panasonic

    Sanyo PLV-Z1 or Z2: http://www.projectorpeople.com/homet...projectors.asp

    Hitachi: http://www.projectorpeople.com/homet...=Hitachi+HOME%

    Epson: http://www.projectorpeople.com/homet...erLite+Home+10

    I demoed the X1 and decided I wanted true 16:9 native and a good price so I opted for the Sanyo Z1. It is a great machine. A light controlled room will be your best setting.
     
  3. Ian-Fl

    Ian-Fl Second Unit

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    The advantages of a projector is you can blow the picture up on a big screen.
    The disadvantages is it's useless with ambient light in the room.
    I've experimented with connecting my cable TV and at this point I find that useless as well. The problem is regular cable TV signals do not have sufficient resolution to justify it.
    When you blow the picture up the colours are washed and the focus is not sharp.
    I've read people connect xboxes with success to play video games and that's where a 4:3 projector would come in handy.
    In my opinion if you're primary viewing is watching DVD movies then I'd go with a 16:9 projector like the Panasonic.
    I have a 4:3 projector and my next one will be a 16:9 projector. I see more widescreen rentals now at the video store to justify that.
     
  4. ChadLB

    ChadLB Screenwriter

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    Ian,
    Yeah I agree std cable looks like crap. I did test HDTV on mine and it looked amazing. My only thought now is ...Digital cable any better than std...
     
  5. Ian-Fl

    Ian-Fl Second Unit

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    Digital cable is expensive and it depends alot on the source. Some picture quality is good on some channels and others not so good.
    Something I'm doing is watching TV series on DVD like Lexx. That's excellent on DVD.
     
  6. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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    I own the Infocus X1 and love it!

    In it's 16:9 "film" preset mode I've found that colors, contrast, and resolution are outstanding for the presentation of anamorphic DVD.

    The only caveat is how much you might be bothered by the so-called "rainbow" effect. Since the Infocus is a one-chip DLP-based projector, it utilizes a "color wheel" with Red,Blue,Green,and White segments spinning at 120 Hz to provide the color. Actually, in its "presentation" mode, the white segment part of the color wheel is utilized which results in more lumens, but less color purity and contrast. In its "film" and/or "video" mode, the white segment portion of the color wheel is switched off and then the projector provides very true looking primary colors and better contrast, but less lumens. (The "film" mode is recommended for DVD viewing.) The problem is, some people are bothered by the spinning color wheel. They will occasionally see distracting split second "flashes" of color on the screen as a result. (Most people, including me and every immediate member of my family, are not bothered by this effect.)

    Fortunately, you can purchase the Infocus X1 at your local Best Buy, in the computer peripherals area. Best Buy will typically provide you with a two week return policy on the projector. That should provide you with more than ample time to ascertain if you're one of the few who's bothered by the "rainbow" effect.

    BTW, when viewing DVD's on this projector, you should simply plug your DVD player into the X1's s-video input. This is due to the fact that the X1 is equipped with the Faroudja DCDi scaler and de-interlacer circuitry. It typically does a better job of scaling than the progressive output of most DVD players. Also, BE SURE to set your DVD player to 16:9 mode (via it's SETUP MENU) and also place the X1 into its 16:9 mode. This will ensure that you'll get pixel-to-pixel resolution from your DVD source. You'll find the presentation to be "razor-sharp" as a result.

    Good luck!
     
  7. ryan_m

    ryan_m Stunt Coordinator

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    Joseph, it seems to me that the general consensus (at least over at the avs forum) is that while the svideo input looks good on the X1, using a progressive scan player via component cables looks best. I believe a Infocus guy even claimed that. I personally agree.

    Personally I think cable tv looks certainly decent enough to watch and I'm even using a Tivo. I thought I would only use the projector for dvds but now I watch pretty much everything on it (including playing ps2/gamecube). HD looks great on it (too bad there's not much HD content I want to watch).

    I too will probably go with a 16x9 projector next time (i have a 16x9 screen) but with the X1 being only $1000 and available at the local Best Buy I couldn't pass it up. The upcoming panasonic (AE500) looks like a winner since it's capable of hi def. I believe it's also around $2000 (US version coming in Feb).

    Also in regards to the X1's rainbox issues, I could see lots of them when I first got it (in July) but now I almost never notice them. People's claims that they would go away were surprisingly true (for me atleast).
     
  8. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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    Ryan, I'm so happy with the DVD presentation that I'm currently getting with the X1 that I'm extremely reluctant to change anything at this point. Then, too, I think that the quality of the progressive scan DVD player has a lot to do with it as well. (My player is one of those under $100.00 Panny progressive scan players.) I still think that many people will be very happy just running s-video from their DVD player with this projector due to the excellent internal DCDi scaler/de-interlacer.

    As to the "rainbows", I have to say that when I first obtained the projector I could see perhaps one "rainbow" every half-hour or so on a really dark movie if I was determined to look for them. Like you, after a few weeks I stopped seeing them. Believe me, it was never a big deal. Prior to this projector, I was trying to utilize a presentation-quality LCD projector for HT and having to put up with constant poor contrast ratio and occasional trace lines on scenes with lots of action. (And that projector cost almost three times as much as the X1!) After having lived with that, the really gorgeous picture the X1 puts out makes it really easy to overlook a "rainbow" or two!
     

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