• 05-21-2004, 08:04 AM
    nick4433
    Need "Projector" Advise urgently!
    So I have finally decided to go the projector route after deliberating a lot as to which route to take for big screen TV. I saw some good projectors out there but they were way too expensive. My budget for a projector is between $1500-2000.
    My questions are:

    1) How many minimum ANSI Lumens should the projector have?
    2) What would be a good contrast ratio?
    3) Does it have to have a DVI input or component inputs are fine for HDTV?
    4) Is Bulb life always as advertised? (2000 hrs, etc.)
    5) Can I use this to connect to my laptop?
    6) Is ebay a good place and what brands on ebay?

    I hope I can get some answers fast as I need to finish this project with a couple of other projects in the house.
  • 05-21-2004, 09:58 AM
    magictooth
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by nick4433
    So I have finally decided to go the projector route after deliberating a lot as to which route to take for big screen TV. I saw some good projectors out there but they were way too expensive. My budget for a projector is between $1500-2000.
    My questions are:

    1) How many minimum ANSI Lumens should the projector have?
    2) What would be a good contrast ratio?
    3) Does it have to have a DVI input or component inputs are fine for HDTV?
    4) Is Bulb life always as advertised? (2000 hrs, etc.)
    5) Can I use this to connect to my laptop?
    6) Is ebay a good place and what brands on ebay?

    I hope I can get some answers fast as I need to finish this project with a couple of other projects in the house.

    1)Depends on your usage. If it's more of a party room with some lights on, then you'll need more lumens. If it's a dedicated HT room with 100% controlled lighting, you can go as low as 500-700 lumens after calibration.
    2)After 1000:1 you are not getting as much benefit from the higher ratios. The differences will be subtle at best. As well, in order to get that contrast ratio, you need to be in nearly perfect darkness. Any ambient light will affect that ratio.
    3)I'm not sure about this, but I don't believe that there are any HDTV decoders that have a DVI output. There's the Bravo DVD player that has it. If it has DVI that's great. If not, component input seems to look pretty good to my eyes.
    4)No, but my guess is that it should be pretty close.
    5)Yes if you've got the right connectors.
    6)Maybe, but I'd check www.projectorcentral.com for your models. They have a good function where you can request a price from affiliated dealers. I think that you should be able to get as good or almost as good a price from the dealers as on ebay. you'll also be assured of not getting B-stock product.
  • 05-21-2004, 10:34 AM
    depressed
    You also need to figure out how susceptible you are to the "rainbow effect" which can be seen on DLP projectors. I suggest checking out the small local stores to see the projectors in action.
    1. BenQ 6200 (DLP)
    2. Sanyo PLV-Z2
    3. Panasonic AE-500U
    Make sure you read the info on projectorcentral.com
  • 05-21-2004, 12:24 PM
    Woochifer
    Ah! So that's where you've been hiding! Just when the Nickster emerges out of the audioholic detox, he goes into a videoholic binge! I guess the upgraditis has morphed into a different form, eh? I don't know enough about projectors to address your Qs, but I would add that the screen also has a big effect on the picture quality. Have you talked to an installer yet about some of the issues to consider?
  • 05-21-2004, 01:48 PM
    scion
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by nick4433
    So I have finally decided to go the projector route after deliberating a lot as to which route to take for big screen TV. I saw some good projectors out there but they were way too expensive. My budget for a projector is between $1500-2000.
    My questions are:

    1) How many minimum ANSI Lumens should the projector have?
    2) What would be a good contrast ratio?
    3) Does it have to have a DVI input or component inputs are fine for HDTV?
    4) Is Bulb life always as advertised? (2000 hrs, etc.)
    5) Can I use this to connect to my laptop?
    6) Is ebay a good place and what brands on ebay?

    I hope I can get some answers fast as I need to finish this project with a couple of other projects in the house.

    1) Although ANSI is a beginning point, this description is close to completely useless for home theater. Projectors exaggerate their capabilities by maximizing brightness at the expense of contrast to maximize this setting. For example the Sony HS-10 has less than 50% of it's ANSI lumens in a mode that is most suited to home theater. Since 500-800 calibrated lumens is good for home theater for a screen between 85" diagonal to about 110" diagonal, the ANSI ratings required could be anywhere between 700 and 2000.

    2) LCDs can't top 1000:1 too easily. DLPs go 2000:1 or better, and usually have better black levels. Some people claim that "rainbows" are an issue with DLPs so if you can audition one because with modern "2x" "3x" and sometimes "5x" speed rated DLPs these artifacts are not noticable. In fact 2x is perfectly acceptable in my opinion but try for yourself. If rainbows dont bother, pick DLP and its 1500:1 or better ratios.

    3) Component is fine. I have DVI and I can't see the difference.

    4) Bulb life deteriorates (it gets dimmer over time.) The rating is usually in dim mode. It usually is close to ratings given these caveats.

    5) Yes.

    6) I advise no. At least check out yahoo shopping and pick a store with good ratings.

    My advice is to check out the Sanyo Z2, the Sony HS 20, The Panasonic PT/AE300 or 500, the Infocus X1 and the newer Optoma (forgot the model but its a 3x DLP). You can't go wrong with any of these.

    The BEST place for information is the avsforum (avsforum.com)

    I ignored this advice when I bought mine but this is VERY IMPORTANT -> Start out with your room, where you will place the projector. Figure out the screen size options from this. This will tell you the lumens you want and what projector can throw that size screen from where you want to place.

    Also don't let indecision paralyze you. After having seen all the above projectors I now know I'd have been happy with any of them.
  • 05-21-2004, 01:54 PM
    scion
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by nick4433
    So I have finally decided to go the projector route ...
    I hope I can get some answers fast as I need to finish this project with a couple of other projects in the house.

    Oh and don't forget about the screen. You can go the DIY route and either paint one using screen goo (look it up) a custom mix from the screen forum on avsforum.com, or build one in a frame using the same information from avsforum, OR you can buy one. If you buy one, check out carada screens, less well known that stewart and da-lite, the big two in the screen business. A commercially made screen will cost between $500-$2000+ so keep that in mind. You WILL want a real screen after youve had your projector a while no matter how frugal you think you are. I know I didnt budget for one, went the DIY route and plan to upgrade again soon (not the projector, the screen.) Screens last forever so dont dismiss the value of one.
  • 05-21-2004, 06:48 PM
    depressed
    It looks like you have been to a show room and had a chance to see them in action, which is hard since most retailers don't have show rooms. In case you haven't, make sure you do because as I said previously, you need to see if the "rainbow effect" bothers you, figure out how to run the cables, and listen to projectors as some are quite noisy. I would agree with the recommendations here except for the X1 ($850) since it works in VGA resolution (800x600). You might want to skip this one and go with a XGA projector (1024x768)
  • 05-21-2004, 08:20 PM
    Teddyaudio
    Try this site for good deals on screens
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by nick4433
    So I have finally decided to go the projector route after deliberating a lot as to which route to take for big screen TV. I saw some good projectors out there but they were way too expensive. My budget for a projector is between $1500-2000.
    My questions are:

    1) How many minimum ANSI Lumens should the projector have?
    2) What would be a good contrast ratio?
    3) Does it have to have a DVI input or component inputs are fine for HDTV?
    4) Is Bulb life always as advertised? (2000 hrs, etc.)
    5) Can I use this to connect to my laptop?
    6) Is ebay a good place and what brands on ebay?

    I hope I can get some answers fast as I need to finish this project with a couple of other projects in the house.

    I agree with the other posts. I have researched these things for quite a while and I have decided to go with a projector as well. One thing I did was take masking tape and outline the size of the screen on the wall. If you do this, it will give you an idea of how large the image will be in your room. I found out that a 100 inch screen is pretty large in our 34 x 14 foot room since there are optimum viewing distances for each of the projectors mentioned above. I am looking a the Sanyo PL-Z2 running a 96 or 100 inch widescreen image. Go to this website and check out their screens: www.carada.com

    Teddy
  • 05-22-2004, 12:52 PM
    nick4433
    Thanks for the replies guys. I don't remember if the projector I saw was a DLP projector as I did not recollect seeing any rainbow whatsoever. So is an LCD projector better than a DLP projector? Also I will only be using the projector at night in total darkness.
    I saw some projectors capable of HDTV but did not have component video ins. I was told that I could buy a component video to VGA input cable and I would be fine. I saw some "Infocus" and "BenQ" projectors on ebay at very good prices. Are they OK?

    Wooch, believe it or not but I am very happy with my Proton prepro and am still in Audio heaven. Haven't felt the need to upgrade to 6.1 yet but maybe next year.
  • 05-22-2004, 02:08 PM
    depressed
    LCD projectors have their own issues like black levels and screendoor effect. The last one is pretty much overcome with the XGA resolution, and the "depth" of black is IMO, more then bearable. However, DLP projectors are recommended for home theater use more then LCD ones. Don't conclude that the projector you saw wasn't a DLP one just because you didn't see any rainbow effect. Some people aren't effected by it at all. Also, as someone leso already posted, the speed of the color wheel is important, as it can reduce/eliminate the effect. For example the BenQ 6200 has a 3x speed color wheel. If I were you I would go back and check if it was a DLP model and write down all the info on the projector you saw.
    Keep in mind that the LCD models mentioned above (Sanyo PLV Z2 and Panasonic AE-500U) are quieter then DLP models. If you aren't bothered by the rainbow effect,I would choose the DLP for home theater viewing,slight edge over LCD, IMO. Also, the Sanyo PLV-Z2 has lens shift that gives you flexibility with placing the projector without using the keystone correction feature (avoid it at all cost, it distorts the picture)

    As for the HDTV question, you can use your component inputs, but then you will probably need a "switcher" as I assume that you will also connect your DVD player to the projector, too. That's why you would need a projector with a DVI input, which is ideal for HDTV, and you would have the component input just for your DVD thus eliminating the need for a "switcher".
    Keep in mind that everything I said here comes from extensive research and I saw ONLY ONE PROJECTOR in action, the Panasonic PT500U/AE500U different models for USA and Japan.

    As for buying it, here is the deal: The projector I saw in action the PT/AE500U retails for $2500 in stores. However, I met this dude/girl (not sure) from Japan that also sells projector on ebay. His ID is yclub2000. He was willing to sell it for $1700 through escrow.com, but he wants more if you are going to buy it through ebay because there is the seller fee. He/she insists that you will have warranty and he/she says that he/she will pay for shipping in case the unit is defect within the warranty period. Sounds too good, but you can talk to him and if he is hesitant to talk about it, you can mention my ebay ID "megakoloseum", he might tell you the details on how he/she avoids the customs fees.

    If this is too scary for you(and it should be,IMO) you can find sellers from Canada or even USA if you are lucky. Check the price quotes of projectors you are interested in on projectorcentral.com, you might find good deals. Really.
    I have few questions once you determine if the projector you saw was DLP or LCD. You really have to watch DLP projectors in action so you can determine if the rainbow effect represents a problem for you or not, then you can really narrow the choices down and get the best for your money.

    How big is your room?
    Where do you plan to place the projector? ( Coffe table,etc or mount it on the ceiling)
    How big is the image supposed to be?
    How far away from the screen do you plan to place the projector?
  • 05-22-2004, 06:51 PM
    mtrycraft
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by scion
    1) Although ANSI is a beginning point, this description is close to completely useless for home theater. Projectors exaggerate their capabilities by maximizing brightness at the expense of contrast to maximize this setting. For example the Sony HS-10 has less than 50% of it's ANSI lumens in a mode that is most suited to home theater. Since 500-800 calibrated lumens is good for home theater for a screen between 85" diagonal to about 110" diagonal, the ANSI ratings required could be anywhere between 700 and 2000.

    .


    I have never seen ANSI lumens used in magazines such as Sound & Vision to describe brightness.

    I do see foot lambert used though.
  • 06-03-2004, 02:51 PM
    nick4433
    Guys, thanks for all the help as I have made a relatively inexpensive purchase which turns out to be the INFOCUS-X2. This projector is currently seeing duty only in my office so far for presentaions but when hooked up to a laptop and watching a DVD, I was simply stunned by its performance.
    It is very bright and sharp with no rainbow effect whatsoever. It also has a DVI input for HDTV sources and the video images through VGA output from my laptop were awesome. The lamp life is rated at 3000 hours and the contrat ratio is 2000:1 and it is 1500 lumens in brightness.
    I watched one of my sales guys make a presentation in a moderately lit room and it still looked pretty good. We watched Master and Commander in our conference room with absolutely no lights and this thing was fantastic.
    Anyway, thanks agin for the help and thought I'd let you guys know how it ended!
  • 06-04-2004, 04:42 AM
    depressed
    I'm very glad that you are happy with the projector. Since the rainbow effect doesn't exist in your case, DLP was the best thing you could get.
  • 06-04-2004, 07:35 AM
    nick4433
    Hi Depressed, the rainbow effect as I was told existed due to some wheel(?) spinning at a particular speed but the wheel in the X2 spins faster and hence no rainbow. I hope that made sense as I have no idea what the wheel does in a detailed way.
  • 06-04-2004, 11:26 AM
    depressed
    1 Attachment(s)
    The wheel is colored in three colors. Seeing the rainbow effect occurs during the time it takes for the wheel to make a full turn. My english is bad, I can't find words to describe this better. Maybe this can be described as frequency of the wheel. What you want is that the pause between one color segments "turn" to be as short as possible. It has been calculated in a very strange way that to totally eliminate the rainbow effect on single lense projector, the color wheel would have to spin at 8x.But the most important thing is that YOU DON'T SEE IT, and based on my pricing info, you got a good deal on home theater viewing, considering the prices of other options. How would you like hauling a 200 lbs. big screen TV up the stairs? LOL. I know this isn't the right place, but I want to thank Woodman for "diverting" my research to projectors. Thank you, man!

    Btw, we just bought a home here in St. Louis, we can move in on the 24th. Extremely excited! I just wish that we had more projector dealers with showrooms here in the area, as I still haven't seen a DLP projector in action. I saw 3 projectors in action, all of them LCD.
    I gotta brag a bit, look at that baby!
  • 06-04-2004, 01:10 PM
    nick4433
    Congrats on the house. Now not having a projector there would be a shame! (LOL)