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#160336 - 03/01/07 11:45 AM A Projector - should I?
PeterChenoweth Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
I'm seeking advice from other Axiomites regarding home theater projectors.

Background:
I'm sort of in the thinking/early research mode about purchasing a new TV. My plan was that probably this summer/fall I'd take the plunge into a HDTV set. We currently have a pretty decent 36" Toshiba flat-tube SDTV that's about 5 years old. It's a good, solid, standard TV. Signal source is currently standard Dish Network. We've got a couple of friends' that own larger (56"+ HDTV) sets with either DirectTV or DishHD and they look great, I'm even quite impressed at even just regular 480p DVD's.

The Deal:
So about a week ago I discovered this . $730 (after $100 rebate) for a 720p (and a few online reviews say it secretly actually does 1080i) projector that seems to get good reviews, a 92" fixed screen, 25' component cables, and a ceiling mount. Seems like a heck of a deal. I really wasn't in the market *today* to buy something like this, but that price is really grabbing me. It's literally less than 1/3rd the cost of the HDTV's that I've been looking at. I'm thinking that something like this would be a significant upgrade from what I have, but not be so expensive as to rule out a big plasma 1080p HDTV in perhaps a year or so as prices fall even further.

The Question:
So can anyone offer any advice about this projector or projectors in general? I've never owned a projector. They always seemed too expensive compared to a 'regular' TV. I realize that this model is a couple of years old and it's an LCD projector as opposed to DLP, which is why it's pretty cheap. Professional & personal reviews, however, all seem to be quite positive and that was when it was $3,000. My den has one clean wall that's about 95" wide, so that screen would fit beautifully. I would be sitting about 12' away, so it's a little tight on the seating, but seems ok based on reviews. A shelf above the seating position even is the correct size for the projector. The room does have quite a few windows but they're heavily draped and 90%+ of our tv/movie watching is done at night anyway, so ambient light should be ok too.

The only big negative I'm finding about projectors is the $200-$300 blub replacement cost after 2000ish hours. 2k hours for my wife and I would be more than 2 years of use, so that doesn't seem too bad.

So what advice can anyone offer? Save my pennies for that 'regular' HDTV set in a few months? Take the plunge and join the projector-club? Help!
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M80v2 | VP150v2 | QS8v2
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Emotiva UMC-1 & LPA-1
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#160337 - 03/01/07 11:52 AM Re: A Projector - should I? [Re: PeterChenoweth]
Hutzal Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/26/06
Posts: 2102
Loc: Hollywood. (Canadian @ <3)
Just ask yourself this question:

Do I want a 92" plasma-looking screen or do I want a 55" HDTV for 3x as much?

Projectors are totally the way to go man. If you can do it (right lighting conditions, space, etc.) it is THE way to go, I am planning on getting one very soon...waiting for funds!
_________________________
Producer | Composer
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#160338 - 03/01/07 01:44 PM Re: A Projector - should I? [Re: Hutzal]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8135
Loc: Tacoma
Very nice post, Peter. I am in a quite similar mindset.

I'll be interested to see what Bridgman, mdrew, sirquack and others say about this.

I've had good information gathering experiences at the AVS forum. Also liked my initial contact with ProjectorPeople.com. Finally, don't forget about the calculators and other resources at projectorcentral.

I'm gravitating towards the Mitsubishi HD1000U. The DLP's don't have the placement flexibility that LCD's do, but depending upon your room, it might not matter.

I'm pretty sold on doing a DIY screen (because I want to and I'm cheap) using the Wilsonart Designer Grey laminate. Probably about 102" diag at 12.5 feet viewing distance. Again, DIY screen forum at AVS.
_________________________
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#160339 - 03/01/07 02:04 PM Re: A Projector - should I? [Re: PeterChenoweth]
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13311
Loc: Iowa
That does seem like a heck of a deal. When this projector was first released, Projector Central noticed a softness to the image, no matter what input source. My guess is that has been resolved as the reviews seem positive.

Whenever someone asks me about a projector, I always say at least get 720p or better. There is nothing like watching HD over the air signals in HD, amazing.

Oh yeah, Star Wars at 130" 2.35AR is pretty cool, as is Napoleon Dynamite at 104" 1.85AR also.




_________________________
M80s-VP180-QS8s-EP600-2xEP350 Denon3808 Outlaw7700
M22-OWM22-VP100-Denon2805
Audio Nirvana

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#160340 - 03/01/07 02:19 PM Re: A Projector - should I? [Re: SirQuack]
Stymie Offline
veteran

Registered: 08/17/06
Posts: 132
Loc: Edge of Distraction
Not to hijack, but a related topic. Does anyone have an electric screen they can recommend or have general feedback on? I wired my room for a projector, but have yet to pull the trigger. I plan on recessing my current 36" CRT TV into the wall for normal SD viewing with a ~92" electric screen that will drop down in front of the TV for HD and movie watching. I'm hoping to get the best of both worlds.
_________________________
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Epic 80*500
Samsung HLT6187S
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#160341 - 03/01/07 02:39 PM Re: A Projector - should I? [Re: PeterChenoweth]
bridgman Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5256
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
Big, bright, high res -- choose any two

Seriously, I think your decision will depend on (a) whether you care more about size or brightness, and (b) whether you have at least some control over ambient light.

I jumped at getting a projector when the price for a 720p dropped to $1800 CDN and am *very* happy with the decision. At least two of my friends, however, went with large RPTVs because (a) they felt that brightness (and, to some extent, sharpness) was more important than the extra size, and (b) they were spending enough money that they wanted some future-proofing in the form of 1080p native resolution.

None of us have any regrets.

This is going to be a decision you really need to make based on your own priorities, and you're probably going to have to look at some systems to be sure. Remember that pretty much everything you see in the store is going to be cranked up to an insane brightness level and you probably won't want to run that at home, both for longevity and picture quality.

Finally, I'm not sure "projector now, TV later" is the ideal path... the same rationale that you use to choose a projector now will probably hold when it's time to upgrade.

I would be thinking either "720 projector now, 1080 projector later" or "hold off for a bit and get the 1080 TV I really want". Then again people say I think too much.


Edited by bridgman (03/01/07 02:43 PM)

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#160342 - 03/01/07 02:59 PM Re: A Projector - should I? [Re: Stymie]
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13311
Loc: Iowa
monoprice dot com has some very affordable remote/electric screens in matte white, they seem to be pretty decent.
_________________________
M80s-VP180-QS8s-EP600-2xEP350 Denon3808 Outlaw7700
M22-OWM22-VP100-Denon2805
Audio Nirvana

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#160343 - 03/01/07 03:01 PM Re: A Projector - should I? [Re: SirQuack]
Stymie Offline
veteran

Registered: 08/17/06
Posts: 132
Loc: Edge of Distraction
Thanks. I'll check 'em out.
_________________________
Onkyo TX-NR5007
Epic 80*500
Samsung HLT6187S
5 Outlaw M2200s


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#160344 - 03/01/07 03:03 PM Re: A Projector - should I? [Re: PeterChenoweth]
PeterChenoweth Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
This is some great advice. I really appreciate it!

I have been in the presence of exactly one really nice projector setup at a home theater specialty shop, and it was nothing short of astounding. That was a $10k projector, however.

I would say that my primary question is really, "how flexible are projector setups?" A TV is easy. You figure out the size you want, read some online reviews, pick one out that looks good, and plop it down in your room. Done. With projectors, I'm simply inexperienced and don't know how it will look in my room. That said, I went out on a whim and bought these unheard Axiom speakers and look what happened .

My feeling is that my room is probably better suited to a HDTV, but I could be very wrong in that assumption. It's not in a basement and is where we do our 'general' TV watching. I don't (yet) have the luxury of a seperate, finished-basement type home theater room that can be kept theater-dark and employ large singular comfy chairs. So that's another question - can a projector be used as an everyday setup or is that silly? How bad will regular TV look on this thing? Unwatchable? I know, these are questions that no one here can probably answer.

I've not ever really thought about owning a projector, and that's the basis of my questions. This package deal just seems so cheap for what you get. I mean, it's barely more than half what I paid for my TV 5ish years ago.

I'm very curious to hear others opinions, and it's nice to hear that so many of you say it's the only way to go.
_________________________
M80v2 | VP150v2 | QS8v2
SVS Pci+ 20-39
Emotiva UMC-1 & LPA-1
M22ti + T-Amp, in the Office

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#160345 - 03/01/07 03:14 PM Re: A Projector - should I? [Re: Stymie]
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13311
Loc: Iowa
_________________________
M80s-VP180-QS8s-EP600-2xEP350 Denon3808 Outlaw7700
M22-OWM22-VP100-Denon2805
Audio Nirvana

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