Questions about Front projectors, budgeting, and best equipment for my needs

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Mike.P, Dec 10, 2004.

  1. Mike.P

    Mike.P Second Unit

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    I'd like to open with the fact that I've been browsing this site for 6 months now, and I've been very thankful for the information I've found on this entire forum, from this specific area to many other areas as well. This message board is above and beyond any I've ever found for friendliness and information, and without this forum I probably would never have become as interested in cinema as I am now [​IMG].

    So, with that out of the way, I finally had to step out of the shadows to begin brainstorming for a "Home Theater" setup for next year, and to begin I need to start with a display device. As a college student, budget will be somewhat of a concern (obviously can't afford devices like the InFocus Screenplay 777, although hopefully I can aim for something like that someday!), but being as I spend all of my free time watching movies or playing games, I really don't have anything else to spend the money on. So, for budget, I am looking at a $2,500 or less on the display device and all devices I'd hook up to it (read: DVD player, as I would like to upgrade using my PS2 as my main DVD player), and I will figure out how much I'm looking to spend on speakers later next fall. Also, I always see the idea of "save your money until you get out of college", but, that's still a minimum of two years away, but will probably be more then that if I pursue graduate work and the likes, so I will be able to upgrade once I get a real job and get out of college anyways
    [​IMG].

    So, with that budget in mind, I am trying to maximize my screen size, while keeping the highest video quality in mind. I've narrowed what type of display device I'd go with to two options - CRT RPTV, or Front Projection. Originally I was planning on aiming for a 42" - 50" RPTV, as I've always been keen on the picture of RPTV and I really don't care about saving space, plus the price would be between $1,000 to $1,600, and I would find that just fine. But with all of the browsing I've done on here, I've become very keen on the idea of Front Projectors, as some of the home theaters you all have are just gorgeous! The idea of having a 100" screen for possibly comparable prices just blew my mind!

    Now, stuff such as light control, space for a screen, and throw distance would all not be a problem. Not to mention, with the chance I will be moving to a different area of campus or off-campus entirely next year, the added mobility of a Front Projector is an even greater advantage.

    But, with the help of Projector Central I've hit a few snags in the way I was going to go, which is pretty much the main reason for posting here. I became very intrigued by the Infocus Screenplay 4805, but it's resolution, while native 16:9 (This is a MUST, by the way), is 854 x 480. Now, this is where I became incredibly confused - Is this basically the same resolution as my TV? I realize it's a progressive picture, and obviously the picture will be beautiful and maybe a bit larger then my current Phillips 20" TV (a joke!), but what does this say for HDTV content? If I do move into an apartment within the next 6 months, I would probably be getting HDTV programming, and I would like to take advantage of it. The 4805 accepts the signal of HDTV, but does it actually project it in HD? These are things that are having me second guess the 4805, and although I've read great reviews on it, the fact that I'd potentially be watching HD content and not having an HD projector would break my heart!

    So, I guess to sum of my conundrum is - What are my best options? I'd prefer to go DLP over LCD, but if the LCD offers the better picture, I'd be all over it. RPTV is not out of the question, either. I'm looking to purchase all of this in a mid range time period (6-8 months from now, although it may be sooner if i acquire the funds over the holidays), so price drops may also be considered, but I will probably be limited to this years models.

    I hope this post is at least somewhat coherent, and I look forward to hearing the advice of you far more knowledgeable folks. [​IMG]

    Thanks,
    Mike
     
  2. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    Mike, welcome to the forum! [​IMG]

    From reading your post it sounds like you have the budget to go with front projection. I own the InFocus X-1 and I paid 1,000 for it in Feb of 04. The X-2 is out now at the same price.

    Front projection has never been more affordable than it is now, in fact, if you go to a place like 'Theater Xtreme' they can install, or at least provide you with to install yourself, a great projection and audio system for the projected budget you mentioned.

    Look into it more and you'll be stunned at what can be done for 2,500 these days. Good luck.
     
  3. ThuanVu

    ThuanVu Stunt Coordinator

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    Mike,
    Did you do a search on NEC HT1000 (avsforum) yet?
    Yes, it's 1024x768 - one of the best 4x3 DLP PJ built to date (now HT1100). You can match this with Denon 1910 with DVI connection - awesome PQ - I have this combo

    So $250 for the Denon - You have $2250 for PJ
    You can find an used low hrs HT1000 for around $2000

    Or some new LCD 16x9 720p are fall into this price range such as Panasonic PT-AE700U LCD Projector

    Do a research - if you want to hook up with an used HT1000 250 hrs usage- Let me know
    Regards
    Thuan
     
  4. Mike.P

    Mike.P Second Unit

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    That NEC sounds stunning, Thuan, but for what I'd be using the projector for, it doesn't really fit my needs. I'm not completely ruling 4x3 out, but I'd rarely be viewing anything in it (only TV I watch is sports, and if I go HD that will be 16x9 anyways). Thanks for offer, though, and I'll definitely keep an eye out for one if I can find it for a decent price used.

    The main thing that confuses me about projection is the way resolution is listed. Being a long time computer 'geek', I've understood 1600x1200 resolutions and whatnot, and the differences resolutions create when playing games. Now, I also understand what exactly 720p and 1080i are, but what confuses me about projectors is the fact that, such as the Screenplay 4805 (my personal leading candidate at the moment), it has a resolution of 854x480 - progressive scan. Now while I know this would offer a far superior picture to an SDTV, but if I were compare the picture of say a HD sports broadcast on it and the same broadcast on my parents 65" RPTV, would the picture quality even be close? With HD-DVD on the horizon, I would hate to get the 4805 and then find out that I can't view HD-DVDs in a higher resolution.

    Hope that is a bit more specific in my query on front projection. Thanks for your tip on Theater Xtreme, by the way, John!

    Regards,
    Mike
     
  5. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    A digital projector will be limited by its native resolution, so everything will be scaled to that resolution, whether it's up or down.

    You mention light control would not be a problem? A used CRT projector would get you the large screen you desire, and CRT RPTV quality picture(or better) on a larger size. As a student, I assume you have some basic computer profieciency, and a computer that could feed such a CRT projector. IT's an idea that will net you far better PQ than an entry digital, though there is a learning curve to getting a CRT and setting it up. Also not mobile.
     

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