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#160346 - 03/01/07 03:44 PM Re: A Projector - should I? [Re: PeterChenoweth]
Stymie Offline

Registered: 08/17/06
Posts: 132
Loc: Edge of Distraction
I'm in a similar boat in that I originally wanted to go with a projector only for all TV/movie viewing. After researching online, I came to the conclusion that it probably wasn't the best thing to do based on bulb life expectancy/cost. My wife convinced me that a 60" RPTV was the way to go. It's bigger than what we currently have, but not as big as a nice sized screen. I was planning to go with a 96" screen. After researching the RPTV, it has similar issues with needing to replace the bulb. (My TV tends to stay on even when no one is sleeping on couch.) This isn't a good thing when bulbs have a finite life expectancy.

After a significant amount of indecision, I finally decided (90% sure) that my best option is to keep my current CRT TV for regular viewing and to only use a projector for movies and HD shows. To accomplish this, as noted above, I plan on recessing my TV into the wall so that the front of the TV is flush with the wall. I also plan on doing the same with my audio cabinet. This will allow me to get an electric screen to drop down in front of the TV when needed.

Obviously, not everyone can do this so you have to figure out what works best for you in your environment.

I'm currently looking at the Panny AX100U and the Sanyo PLV-Z5. By the time I get all of this done and pull the trigger, those will be replaced with new models, I'm sure.

#160347 - 03/01/07 04:33 PM Re: A Projector - should I? [Re: Stymie]
Krich Offline
old hand

Registered: 02/19/07
Posts: 93
Loc: Duvall, WA
I agree with most here. If you can do a projection setup, by all means, do it!

I was 100% into getting the new Media Room set up with a projector. My issue is that the room was just too small to get it done. Plus there was the ever escalating cost of construction and my deep paranoia of "screwing up the install". I was going to have to reverse the double doors leading into the room, hire an electrician to put an outlet on the ceiling, pay a premium for running at least 25' of HDMI, Component, DVI, etc cables to the projector, the screen was going to have to completely block out a window, and on and on and on. I came to the realization that, as much as I wanted it, it simply wasn't the right room for a projector.

So, I consoled myself by buying, as my wife puts it, an "embarassingly large" DLP. Brought my neighborhood buddies over, drank beer, and took turns saying, "Yep, that's nice". The cost came out to roughly the same price as buying a nice and highly rated 720p projector with associated accoutrements and construction costs added in. Plus, it got my wife off the "custom cabinetry" kick, bane of all speakers.

So, yeah, I had to trade a 96" for a 73", but with a 11' viewing distance, what's the difference between a "big yoda" and a "really big yoda"? (Boy, that really sounds like I'm trying to convince myself it was a good decision. I guess I'm still in mourning about all that... )
Ken. VaSSallo Series M60v2, VP100v2, QS8v2 SVS SB12-Plus

#160348 - 03/01/07 05:24 PM Re: A Projector - should I? [Re: Krich]
tomtuttle Offline

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8488
Loc: Tacoma
Ken, my Evergreen-State-Brother!

You snowed-in today? Not me.

I'd do a 73" RPTV in a heartbeat (but no smaller). I would need that much viewing area to not decrease the size of 4:3 content from my current 55" Mitsubishi. Problem is, a TV that big is mighty expensive. I don't really mind snaking cables and installing outlets, so I think I can do a projector setup for less than half of what something like that would cost.


what's the difference between a "big yoda" and a "really big yoda"?

Where's Peter?
bibere usque ad hilaritatem

#160349 - 03/01/07 06:37 PM Re: A Projector - should I? [Re: PeterChenoweth]
jakeman Offline

Registered: 10/03/05
Posts: 853
Loc: Toronto
That is a great deal for a projector of that quality. Anybody who owns a projector will say its a much more immersive experience than any Tv display.

Getting a good 720p projector at todays prices is actually pretty smart shopping.

There is alot of hype about 1080p resolution but most video experts and ISF calibrators would rank the following in order of importance when comparing image quality: high contrast ratio, greyscale linearity, colour uniformity and lastly resolution. According to my calibrator he says my 720p Sim HT300e excels in the first 3 criteria and throws a superior image to many 1080p projectors. Its also more fun to watch than my 60" Sony 1080p LCos rear projector tv. Resolution is important but not as important as a good size image with high contrast, great greyscale tracking and excellent colour.

When reseaching your projector purchase try to find one with the highest on/off ansi ratio and highest lumens. Reviewers should give some insight on how linear it tracks greyscale. $200-$300 for a new bulb after 2000hrs is pretty good pricing.

#160350 - 03/01/07 07:19 PM Re: A Projector - should I? [Re: tomtuttle]
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16437
Loc: Ben Lomond, California
I'd appreciate it if you left my really big yoda out of this.
I can explain it to you but I can't understand it for you.

#160351 - 03/01/07 07:22 PM Re: A Projector - should I? [Re: pmbuko]
tomtuttle Offline

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8488
Loc: Tacoma
bibere usque ad hilaritatem

#160352 - 03/01/07 07:53 PM Re: A Projector - should I? [Re: tomtuttle]
Ray3 Offline

Registered: 02/02/04
Posts: 2854
Loc: Rochester, NY
I just went through the same decision-making process. After having finished my basement last winter, I wanted to replace my Sony LCD.

I saw some well set up/calibrated projectors in completely light controlled rooms and even had my wife (AKA, my opinion) with me.

We tried REALLY hard to like the projectors, but we both reached the same conclusions. Really big picture, but we were disappointed with the overall brightness, "pop" for color and the softness of the image in relation to a TV. Also, the idea of bulb replacement on top of the projector and a screen didn't raise my lumens.

Finally bought a 58" Panasonic plasma and we are thrilled with it. A lot of real estate and the clarity, definition and pop (without bulbs and screens) we were looking for.

It really boils down to budget and personal preference.

BTW - you may want to go to Projector Central and look at some reviews. That unit you mentioned on ecost doesn't usually show up in the top recommendations.

Good luck with it!

#160353 - 03/01/07 09:02 PM Re: A Projector - should I? [Re: Ray3]
PeterChenoweth Offline

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
Still enjoying all the posts....

This is the projector, and it has 4.5 stars out of 5 from 75 reviews, so people do seem to like it. No, I wouldn't pay MSRP for a 2 year old projector design, but we're talking $700 bucks with screen, cables, & ceiling mount!

So now I've even put together 3D models using Google Sketchup to see what it will look like....


After Projector

View from outside

'Tis awfully tempting!
M80v2 | VP150v2 | QS8v2
SVS Pci+ 20-39
Emotiva UMC-1 & LPA-1
M22ti + T-Amp, in the Office

#160354 - 03/01/07 09:23 PM Re: A Projector - should I? [Re: pmbuko]
snakeyes Offline

Registered: 07/13/04
Posts: 828
Loc: Newburgh, NY

I'd appreciate it if you left my really big yoda out of this.

I hate to tell you this Peter but a really big Yoda is still a small.
Leave the gun, Take the canolis.

#160355 - 03/01/07 10:20 PM Re: A Projector - should I? [Re: PeterChenoweth]
PaulM Offline

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 280
Loc: St. Albert, Alberta
Whether you should go the projector route, as Ray and others have said, really depends on what you are most looking for in a video display.

I've got a projector and love it. Like you, I found a great deal and went for it. I watch 80% DVD movies with the odd audio DVD and VHS movie thrown in. I watch very little TV and it is set up in the basement with maximum light control so it was an easy decision (no brainer) for me. When I do watch TV (mostly news and the odd hockey game) I usually use my old 21" CRT. That's because I have what my co-workers call "peasant TV", an antenna. Reception isn't very good and when I use the projector the large image just enhances all the imperfections of the poor quality signal. If I watched a lot of TV I'd want to use the projector and then I think I'd invest in HDTV service. For a while I had cable TV and it was ok through the projector, but I had to be happy with a fairly soft focus image.

Something else to consider is you have a lot of windows in that room. At 1200 lumens, it will be important for you to control lighting or the picture will wash out (particularly the blacks). This calculator at Projector Central will give you an idea of what levels of ambient light the picture starts to degrade significantly for various throw distances.

Before I purchased I borrowed a projector from work and brought it home a couple weekends in a row to see if it was what I was looking for. If you've got similar access to one you might consider test driving one at home.

I'm cheap and always looking for the best bang for the buck (like the Axioms for sound). You've found a great deal, especially if you aren't inclined to go the DIY route for a screen. If I were purchasing all over again I'd also go the 720P route (till the 1080P's come down in price and the Blue-Ray/HDDVD war resolves itself - could be a few years) and, like Tom, give the Mitsubishi HD1000U a hard look. It is an Editors choice at Projector Central and sells for $1000. The Sanyo Z5 and Panny PT-AX100U get awesome ratings and are more versatile in terms of rooms they will project beautifully in. But of course they are about double the $$.

Good luck in your decision.

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