what is the state of ultra-low budget HT projectors?

Anthony*B

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to clarify, what are some of the latest, greatest bargains in the world of projectors & screens & such? is it possible yet (or ever) to set up a "decent" little system (& by decent I mean 16x9 capable, 60" + screen, decent image, HD resolutions (i doubt the last one is feasible)) for under 2000$, assuming the screen at least could possibly be DIY (i would have a VERY difficult time justifying paying 3-500$ for a screen)...is there a "killer" projector, perhaps from the computer graphics world (as those seem to be FAR more reasonably priced than the specifically HT projectors-10,000 for a projector...I can only dream of being able to spend that sort of scratch on my HT
)....please keep in mind when I say low budget, I mean low (as in entire setup
 

ChrisWiggles

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And if you want to sacrafice a little bit of elbow grease for *ultra* performance at low-prices, used CRT is still the superb choice that I recommend heartily if you have the dedicated space for it.
 

Anthony*B

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used CRT? I have to admit I'm not familiar w/ that, other than the direct meaning of the term
can you elaborate?
I'm all about elbow grease if it will save me money, though space is at a premium here sadly

also, thank you Jack, I will look into the Infocus definitely!
on a related note, does it look like the prices of projectors are coming down dramatically like plasmas & such? it would be good to know before spending money on one & finding out a month later that something better & cheaper just came out (though that is pretty much inevitable I guess)...are projectors catching on enough that manufacturers will start making more & thereby hopefully lowering the cost?
 

Matthew Todd

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I also have a used CRT front projector. Projector and screen cost just under $1000.

You can easily get a 7" ES focus CRT (like an Electrohome ECP, an Ampro 2000, a Sony, or Barco) and a decent screen (I paid about $225 for an 84" wide 16:9 Da-Lite pull down) for under $2000.

If you search around, you can probably get an 8" EM focus set for that amount. I have an Ampro 3600 8" EM focus set that I run normally at 1280x720.

Used CRTs are relatively big and heavy (typically at least 100 lbs), but they throw a beautiful picture. There is no screen door effect, no rainbows, and the very best blacks. Remember these are machines that a few years ago (and still current models) were sold new for $10K to $20K or more. They are very good at what they do.

The downside to a used CRT is that you really need a dark room for it to work well (you really should have this with any front projector), they take a little more time and learning to set up (but anyone can do it if they are willing to learn), and they are big.

Matt
 

Andrew Pratt

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The cheaper projectors like the Infocus X1 and Sanyo Z1 (or Studio Experince 1HD) are available for about the $1K mark and a DIY screen can be easily done under $100. The Z1/1HD projectors are 16:9 format and 1/4HD meaning they can't fuly resolve all of HD's potential but they scale it very easily and it looks very very nice on them. The newer 2HD/Z2 can do true HD but they're quite a bit more money...but still under $2K.

The used CRT market offers some very nice buys providing you have the room for one...CRT PJ's aren't something you'd want to move around a lot and require more tweaking to get set up then their digital counter parts...that said CRT has the potential to offer the best image quality available if you can make it work for you.
 

Kenneth Harden

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The thought of a HD front PJ for under $2k is a good thought - anyone agree!

I mean, a 50" Samsung DLP is over $3k!
 

ChrisWiggles

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CRT projectors use three CRT tubes(red green and blue) to create the image, which is projected and converged onto the screen. As mentioned they are large and heavy, but this is also a benefit because they are readily available very cheaply on the used market, for very tiny fractions of a cost of their 10, 20, 30K+ prices new.

You can read an excellent primer on CRT projectors here: http://www.curtpalme.com/6901.html

And there is lots of info at AVS about CRT as well if you take some time to read up on em. Can be a good project.
 

Ron Boster

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The one combo that has eveyone talking at AVS is the just released (as of yesterday) Infocus 4805 DPL projector matched with a 92" Carada Gray screen. People were amazed by the PQ compared to projectors 3-5x the cost. Native 16x9, but no true HD....but they said the HD performance is vey close. They had a shootout in denver last weekend. Your can read about it here:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=404458

Here's a link for the Infocus 4805:

http://www.infocushome.com/amer/eng/...lay/sp4805.asp

You can link to the Carada screen website here at HTF, since they are a sponsor.

Sounds like a great combo.

If you are looking for a true HD capable projector (for that price), I'd try the used market. Many suffer from upgraditis and sell their gently used CRT's, DPL's and LCD's for pennies on the dollar...some with time left on the warranties. Try here, audiogon and videogon for listings.

Good Luck
Ron
 

mark alan

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Considering that you can buy a $1500 projector that runs rings around a $10,000 projector from 5 years ago, I don't think that you will find too many projector fans that are complaining about prices.
 

Martice

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Benq 6100 and 6200. The 6100 (899.00 after rebate)is a 800x600 native resolution DLP projector with 3x color wheel (and does a pretty good job on rainbows). The 6200 (1300.00 after rebate)is a native 1024x768 DLP projector with 3x color wheel.

Do a search using 'Benq' in the "displays under 3000" forum and read up on them. I have the 6100 and I really enjoy it. I don't have HDTV yet and I will probably be one of the last to crossover so TV, XBOX (on my 92" screen is unbelievable)and dvd's are really good.

Check them out.
 

Shane Martin

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I would agree if you didn't have a room full of windows and no light control. Samsung DLP's have their pluses.
 

Anthony*B

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Considering that you can buy a $1500 projector that runs rings around a $10,000 projector from 5 years ago, I don't think that you will find too many projector fans that are complaining about prices.

I have no doubt that that is absolutely true, but the important point I'm trying to get across is that $1500 is just as out of reach as $10,000 is for me, thus the search for something as inexpensive as possible )that perhaps doesnt exist yet) that still performs acceptably...hehe HT is NOT a hobby (obsession?) for the weak of wallet

fact of the matter is, I don't have anywhere at all to put a projector/screen anyway (bad living room layout/WAF)-
if I was a bachelor, I/d be fine living in a barn w/ a big HT system at one end & a bed & microwave at the other
but ah well...
 

Pus Suchre

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Thanks ChrisWiggles, Curt palme's CRTs is an excellent link. I was having some trouble understanding the whole CRT thing- and this site does a pretty darn good job explaning. If and when I go the projector route- I strongly suspect that the used CRT will be my path. Cheers!
-Pus
 

Ron Boster

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Mark: I was wondering the same thing. This post should have started out by stating, I'm not in the market but....
 

Anthony*B

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mark, I was asking about projectors because I feel that (especially if we get to eventually move into a bigger place) I need to learn & keep up on the growth/price of projectors so I am ready when I feel I can take the plunge...& I guess if it absolutley came down to it, I could turn my hot little attic room into a projector room, but I'd have to figure out how to run some inexpensive AC up there (air conditioning)...again, the weak wallet factor, or that would be done already...I apologize if you feel I'm wasting anyone's time, but I assure you I'm not
learning, I feel, is never a waste of time!
Thanks to everyone who answered, commented here BTW...some wonderful advice...
 

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