Ready to buy my projector. Suggestions?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by SeanBurnley, Jan 27, 2004.

  1. SeanBurnley

    SeanBurnley Extra

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    Sorry for the long post. I know this is asked all the time, but I'd like some opinions on which FPTV would fit my situation. My room is a dedicated 11'6"x15'6" basement theater with 8' ceiling. No ambient light. I prefer 16:9 format and plan on getting a good screen once I know which projector (about 92" to 100" dia). I plan on viewing mostly DVDs and might like to watch HDtv some day. I think DLP is favored, but I don't know if I'd be affected by rainbows. LCD is a turnoff due to screendoor but if the resolution is enough then I won't see it (right?). I'll sit about 12' from the screen. My budget is $1000 to $1500... but I might be willing to go over that if it makes a big difference in image quality. I was leaning toward the Epson Home 10. (I switch preferences daily though). Thanks for any input. SB

    p.s. I learn so much on this form and it's given me the confidence to build my own theater. Thanks everyone!
     
  2. ChadLB

    ChadLB Screenwriter

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    Sean,
    What other ones have you considered?
    In that price range:

    DLP
    Infocus X1
    BenQ 6100

    LCD
    Sanyo PLV-Z1
    Panny 300
    Epson home 10
    Hitachi Home 1
     
  3. Curt Luther

    Curt Luther Stunt Coordinator

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    Sean,
    I was in the same boat as you. Our rooms are almost identical, mine is just a little wider. I decided to go with the Sanyo Z2 or Panasonic L500. Both are LCD, but both got outstanding reviews and both reviews say the screen door is almost a non issue. They are at the $2000 range but I figured it is worth the extra for a better image. I also thought about DLP but from what I am reading the only way to get away from rainbows is to spend alot more than I was willing to.
    Good luck to you.
     
  4. SeanBurnley

    SeanBurnley Extra

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    Thanks for the replies. Helps me narrow my search.
    X1–– I like the X1 overall, only concern is possible rainbows. I agree with Curt that a more pricy unit is the only sure way to prevent rainbows. Also it's native 4:3 which is not really my favorite and its resolution is 800x600. Is the IBM ILV300 an X1 clone? (haven't ruled it out though since the Epson Home 10 is only 854x480)
    BenQ 6100––(1280x1024 or 800x600 resolution?) and 2000:1 contrast. I'm guessing it's 4:3 too. Sounds ok.
    PLV–Z1 –– Heard it's good but not sure about all the specifics. Is the SE 2HD a Z1 clone?
    PLV-Z2 –– Sounds good too. 1280x720 WXGA(widescreen)
    Panny L300 or L500 –– Both seem good. I think the L500 is 1280x720.
    I haven't looked at the Hitachi Home 1.

    Looks like the Sony PVL-Z1 or Z2, Panny L300 or L500, OR The Epson Home 10 are the best fits so far.

    What about the Dell 3200MP, Toshiba TDP-D1-US?
     
  5. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Sean, I'd be remiss if I didnt notice you were in Georgia. One of the biggest CRT projector tech/resellers is in Alphretta GA, you could easily get a superior setup for less $$, especially for a dedicated light-controlled room, if you're up to it. Just a thought.
     
  6. Matthew Todd

    Matthew Todd Second Unit

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    In that price range I have an Ampro 3600 8" EM focus CRT. I run it at 1280x720. Have you considered a CRT? As mentioned above, if you have light control and don't mind a more involved set up, it may be worth it.

    Matt
     
  7. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    For even less the L200U can still be found. $995 USD. Screendoor but just defocus a tad and its gone when sitting at 12 feet.
     
  8. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    I cannot recommend a DLP FP in that price range that is native 16x9 and satisfay the criteria that you seek. I would have to agree that you either consider a used CRT or go with something like a Sanyo Z2 for about $500 more than your $1500 budget. It is LCD but it will also offer you a 1280x720 resolution and some other nice features.
     
  9. SeanBurnley

    SeanBurnley Extra

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    CRT? I hear there's a lot to the set up and almost yearly re-calibrations by a professional = more cost in the long run. And I was under the impression that CRT was a more expensive option overall. I saw a used Sony VPH-125Q w/1200 hrs. on the tubes for $1500.

    I did a lot of homework last night and I'm really looking hard at the Sanyo Z2 or Panasonic L500. – 16:9, high res, virtually no screen door, easy set up, decent warranties. I'm in a position to get either the Sanyo Z1, Hitachi Home 1, or Epson Home 10 immediately OR save up a little more and jump up to the Z2 or L500. I really want to get my projector prior to theater finish so I can better plan things. Smaller ticket items can wait and be acquired along the way. Pricewise, the Z1, Home 1, and Home 10 are on the nose. But, I don't want to regret getting an 850x480 res unit if I think the 1280x720 projectors will look much better. Other than cost, is there any downside to the higher res?
     
  10. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Well, sure CRT can be more equally expensive if you're not willing to set it up on your own, but it's not that hard once you understand it conceptually, just takes a little time and patience, and the right space. And it's cheaper and no contest in superiority, if you are careful and buy a good-conditioned unit that you can either test out, or buy from a reputable tech/reseller.

    The effort is greater, but you are in the end getting performance that still sells new for tens of thousands of dollars.
     
  11. Matt_Marlow

    Matt_Marlow Stunt Coordinator

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    I think the rainbow issue is blown all out of proportion by the minority who actually see them. I'm not denying that they bother a certain group of people, but I myself have never been able to detect rainbows on my cheap DLP (X1) nor has anyone who's watched with me. If I'd based my purchase on what I read on the internet, then I'd have been scared to buy the X1. Glad I bought mine before I started visiting AVS forum on a regular basis. Bottom line is that you'd have to try it for yourself to see if you see them. Most people don't.

    I'm used to using a CRT RPTV (65" Toshiba) so the black levels on my projector are its greatest weakness. I don't think I could stand for the blacks to any more gray than they already are. If LCDs are truly worse in that category then I would not be happy with one. Maybe the higher resolution would make up for it, but since I mostly just watch DVDs it's not too much of an issue.

    I guess it depends on how much HD you'll be watching compared to DVD. I believe black levels and contrast to be very important for home theater. If I had the room for one, I'd certainly be interested in getting a used CRT projector for those reasons.
     

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