What kind of projector do I need?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Julian Reville, Feb 11, 2005.

  1. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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    I finally got my first laptop [​IMG]; it's a used ThinkPad T22 I got off of eBay, and I really like it.

    Now I'm developing some slideshow presentations, and I need a projector to hook to the laptop, and I haven't a clue as to what I need. The laptop has a S-video out and a computer video out. I need something relatively small, lightweight, and CHEAP (under $300 would be good, if that is not too laughable). It will be used in fairly small rooms. Used and workable is fine. There are a ton of projectors on eBay, so any suggestions before I start bidding?
     
  2. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Moving to Displays area for better response/help.
     
  3. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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    Wow. first time I ever had a thread moved. [​IMG] I have had one die with no responses. Please don't let that happen again, guys!!

    If I get one closed, does that mean a hat trick?
     
  4. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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    Could someone who knows about these things please look at this projector on eBay and tell me if it could be fixed for a reasonable amount of money?

    Toshiba projector

    Please bear in mind that I just need something decent for a laptop slideshow, not for a home theater.

    Thanks.
     
  5. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    First of all, forget all about s-video etc. When viewing a computer image, you want to use the monitor out on the laptop to get a crisp clean image. The corollary to that is that you need to have either a projector that matches the resolution of your laptop (often XGA, 1024x768) or you need to make sure you change the resolution of your graphics to match a lower spec projector (SVGA, for instance, 800x600) while doing the presentation.

    A good bet would be to hit http://www.projectorcentral.com/ and check out their portable projectors list. You probably want a projector that doesn't break your back when hauling it, since you're hooking it up to a laptop.

    Basically, try to find a projector with high-ish lumen figures (1000 or more is good, that way you don't have to darken the room entirely to do a presentation) and preferrably XGA resolution if you can afford it. Just about any projector will work for presentations, the image quality, black level and built-in image processing capabilities are far less important there.

    Obviously your choices will be limited by the price level you're shooting for.
     
  6. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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    Thanks, Kimmo

    Sounds like I may get by with a SVGA projector. Off to eBay.
     
  7. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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    I ended up getting a refurbed InFocus SP4800 for a really good price. I like it so much hooked up to my laptop for presentations, that I decided to sell my 61" RPTV, and use the InFocus as my main home theater projector as well.

    The RPTV is now sold, should be picked up in a few days, then I get to ceiling mount the InFocus, run the cables, etc. I hope I don't regret this. [​IMG]
     
  8. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    I smiled when reading your last post ^

    I asusme you are using the laptop's transport (dvd player). What software etc do you have?
     
  9. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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    ?? Yes, when using the laptop for presentations, I use the DVD-ROM transport & hard-drive primarily for PowerPoint slideshows, but when I hook up the InFocus in my home theater, I will be using my existing HT sources: Yamaha DVD/SACD player 2300 Mk II, CLD-99 LD player, a couple of VCRs; if I like the picture, I may get a OTA set-top box for DTV; I know the 4800 won't REALLY show Hi-Def, but it'll be a start.
     
  10. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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    My old Toshiba 61" RPTV was delivered to its new home yesterday: all went well, 4 guys to lift it in and out of a pickup, driven across town hitting potholes & speedbumps, moved into an apartment just barely big enough for it, and it still had a perfect picture when we fired it up. New owner is happy.

    Meanwhile, I have been using the InFocus SP4800 to watch TV and a few movies. Right now it is sitting on an end table projecting on a wall, being fed by a composite cable; I have a ceiling mount on order. Once it is ceiling mounted, I will run component and S-video cables.

    Is there a trick to ceiling mounting where you hit the exact right spot on the ceiling on the first try?

    Aspect ratio questions:

    NTSC sources should use 4:3?

    DVD should use 16:9 if the player is set to 16:9? I have never had to worry about this before as I only had NTSC TVs, so please forgive my ignorance.

    What is "native" for?

    What do you do if the DVD has a "intro" that is 4:3 then switches to 16:9, like Fantasia 2000. I watched this last night, looking for a film that had a good, noise & grain free picture. Roy Disney's intro had him looking short & fat when the projector was set to 16:9.

    I guess the projector is a keeper. On poor sources like VCR the picture is just so-so; LD really depends on the quality of the laser disc; cable TV depends on the channel, but I plan on converting to OTA digital soon; DVD looks great! Fantasia 2000 was just like being in a movie theater.
     
  11. James Phung

    James Phung Second Unit

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    I would leave your dvd player tv aspect ratio set to 16:9 and projector to 16:9 mode when watching anamorphic dvds in order to get the best picture quality. When watching something that is in 4:3, it will be stretched (you will need a dvd player that supports pillarboxing, so that it won't stretch) with these settings.

    I think you may have confused the "NTSC" term with tv aspect ratios. NTSC is US television and video standards.

    By the way, HDTV will look even better on your projector.
     
  12. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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    Thanks, James. Since I never had to worry before about which DVDs are anamorphic, I have no idea how many I have. [​IMG]

    I am looking forward to getting HDTV set up, but it may take me a while.
     
  13. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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    Last night I brought home a LG LST-4200A set top box. I have not yet put up an outside TV antenna, so just to see if it worked, I hooked it up to my attic omnidirectional FM antenna, and then to the InFocus 4800.

    The analog pictures were terrible, just what I expected with no real antenna. But the DTV channels (and I got 5!) even with this FM antenna were amazing!!!!! Absolutely beautiful!!!! James, you were right!!

    I'm still trying to figure out which aspect ratios to use on the STB and projector; it seems I was having to hit the Ratio button on the remote every time I changed channels. Any help on this would be greatly appreciated.
     
  14. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    There are a few non anamorphic dvd's that are incorrectly flagged that give a lot of dvd players trouble displaying in the correct aspect ratio as well, Titanic being one of those, just fyi.
     
  15. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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    I need more hands to hold all of those remote controls. [​IMG]
     
  16. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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    Updating old thread:

    I have had the SP4800 for 3 years now. Replaced the bulb once. I have been very satisfied with it.

    Sadly, it has begun making the loud noise that I suspect is the color wheel going. [​IMG]

    So..... repair or replace?

    Does anyone know how much InFocus charges to repair?

    I found an InFocus IN24+ for $570, InFocus IN26 for $499, ViewSonic PJ551D for $600, ViewSonic PJ503D for $400. Are these good and how are the prices?
     
  17. Audioman321

    Audioman321 Stunt Coordinator

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    If I were you I will replace it.
     
  18. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    If I had to get something right now, it would be the Mitsu HC1500 for $882 on Amazon.

    I currently own an Infocus SP1405, from all accounts a definite upgrade from your projector. It should be easy to find in your price range (~$500). I am very very happy with mine and will only upgrade when the lamp goes (~900-1000 hours right now...). Still as great as it is, there is no excuse to buy a non-HD device at this time. Wait and save a couple of more hundred bucks if you must.

    --
    H
     
  19. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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    Thanks, guys. I kinda wanted a new projector before the Masters comes on TV in April, so I have a little time. The Mitsubishi HC1500 looks good, but I don't know if I want to spend that kind of money on an item that seems to be disposable (3 years is all I got on my InFocus).
     

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