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RPTV vs. Projector - How did you decide? (1 Viewer)

Kevin Goodwin

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Mar 30, 1999
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I'm in the process of getting quotes on having my basement finished, and I'm trying to decide exactly what kind of display I want for my HT. Originally, I was just going to get a fixed screen and a projector, but after thinking about it for awhile, I'm starting to have second thoughts.

My new plan was to get a smaller RPTV for normal viewing (with the lights on), and an electric drop-down screen/projector for when we want to watch something big. I thought this was a better idea, because it's more flexible, and because I will have 3 kids under the age of 4, so a retractable screen would save me from potential damage.

But, after taking a look at some 60ish" TVs and comparably priced projectors, I totally can't make up my mind.

For those of you out there that looked at projectors and decided to stick with RPTV's, what made up your mind?

FYI, my room is about 27' long and 15' wide, with the first row of seating at about 12'.
 

Jim Mcc

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I've had my projector for about 1.5 years and I love it. Shortly after buying it, we sold our 55" Mitsubishi RPTV because we hardly used it. We just watch DVD's on the projector and occasional HD programming. Like Allan asks, You need to have a very dark room to fully enjoy a projector(if not, get a RPTV). Would you rather have a 60" set or a screen size of at least 100" diagonal for the same or less money? Once you see a projector in action, you'll know what I mean. And you have a very large room. Even a 65" set will be way too small for that room size.
 

Kevin Goodwin

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Mar 30, 1999
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It's a basement, so I can totally darken the room, but I just wonder whether I'll want to watch TV/movies all the time in a dark room.

I've seen a few HD projectors in action at Best Buy/Tweeter, but they haven't blown me away like I'd expected.

I don't think I need a HUGE screen. Granted, my room is pretty long, but we're planning on a couch 12' away, and a couple chairs right behind that.

From everything I've read online, I hardly ever hear of someone going BACK to a TV after having a projector. I wanted to hear from someone who did, and why you would (what's the downside to the projectors?)
 

ChrisWiggles

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Aug 19, 2002
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Personally I think the quality of even the more modestly priced projectors is such that in a light controlled room for dedicated viewing, I don't think there's much merit to going a small-screen route. If you're an absolute-black-level fanatic and are considering CRT-based RPTV because of it, then just go FP-CRT. I don't see much reason to go other than FP unless you have ambient light or something.
 

Philip Hamm

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Jan 23, 1999
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When my RPTV died I put a projector in the ceiling in my basement. A projector is orders of magnitude superior for movie watching than an RPTV. Ever been to a movie theater? Then you know why. How much "regular TV" watching are you going to do in this basement? In my house I don't do that much. The electric screen/two TV deal may be overkill.
 

MikeHerbst

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Feb 15, 2001
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At the time I was making this decision (about 2 years ago), I found the brightness of any RPTVs (other than CRT) to be insufficient for the lighting in my living room during the DAYTIME.

My solution was to keep my 32" CRT Direct-view for daylight TV watching, and to supplement with a projector for movies. The screen pops up in front of the TV, and the speakers are arranged to serve both equally well.

I feel like this is the best of both worlds. My bargain projector (Epson Home 10+, $1100 w/screen) onto an 80" screen is hands down more fantastic and larger than any RPTV I could have afforded. At night I can watch an 80" screen from 10' away, which is "small" for a projector but massive in my tiny family room. My direct-view TV is naturally bright enough to watch TV even with full-blown afternoon sun streaming in from the west-facing window. Any RPTV would have been a weak compromise in either of these situations (smaller screen at night, not bright enough with the lights on).

Admittedly, the brightness levels have come up in the last couple of years, but I'm still getting by just fine with a tube TV...
 
Joined
Feb 9, 2002
Messages
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The main issue with the pj is light control and type of viewing. That said, I have a 27" tv below my pj that I said I was going to use for regular tv viewing, or for when the lights are on. That said, I turn the tube on maybe once or twice a week. The rest of the time, I use the pj, even with the lights on.

I think everyone goes through the dilemma you're going through and I think all of the above advice is good. That said, get a projector. Bigger is better.
 

Shane Harg

Second Unit
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Feb 14, 2006
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291
12' from the screen? Totally darkened room? 27' x 15' room? Sounds to me like the perfect environment for a dedicated 7.1 front projection HT system that will blow your mind.

The reason those front projectors didn't impress you at BB or Tweeter could be one or all of three reasons. 1)Using low-end connections 2)Too much ambient light 3)Not calibrated correctly. All are typical of any display set-up in these types super stores. Go to a reputable high-end electronics dealer and have them give you a high quality demo in a dedicated home theater room. Look for projectors such as the Panasonic AE900U, the Sanyo Z4 and Optoma HD72. All of them are excellent machines. I have the AE900, myself. It's beautiful and I can't imagine EVER going back to direct veiw again, though I do have a 32" CRT off to the side for small-time entertainment.

So...where are all the replies from people who "looked at projectors and decided to stick with RPTV's"? Heh. That's because the impact quality front projection is an experience from whence there is NO return! :)
 

Chris Gerhard

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I have a 720p LCD projector and a 1080i CRT. I love both and watch the CRT, Sony XBR910 more than the projector but on movie nights in a dark room, the projector is always the choice.

Chris
 

Kevin Goodwin

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Mar 30, 1999
Messages
119
Thanks for all the suggestions, guys. One more question: How much TV do you watch on your projector? I'm planning on getting DirecTV HD for the HT, and we watch a LOT of television programming. This room will be our main hangout in the house, which is why I was thinking of having a TV as well as the projector, 'cause we don't want to sit in the dark all the time.
 

Philip Hamm

Senior HTF Member
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Jan 23, 1999
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I watch little "television" on my projector. It's in the basement and NTSC sources for the most part look pretty awful (with the notable exception of LaserDisc and DVD). I use it for sports, mostly HD stuff, and movies, and HD PBS stuff. Most "television" like news and stuff gets watched on a little tube.
 

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