Hey guys, I need some help with selecting a front projector for my new setup that I'm planning on using a 8' x 5' piece of DW laminate for my screen.
Quick and dirty details:
I'm looking to add a simple front projection setup in my unfinished basement. I'm not a front projection noob, this will be my second, and my previous home had a 119" setup
Anyway, my family and I do the bulk of our HD viewing on a 56" DLP in the family room or a 50" DLP in the master bedroom, but sometimes I long for my "cave" where I could go to watch Sunday Ticket by myself without noise from the kids, or perhaps crank up the Xbox late at night and not worry about the sound waking everyone up.
So, I've got the ceiling figured out (black fabric stapled to the joists), the walls (picked up 60 linear feet of used office partitions off of Craigslist for better sound quality to make a "room"), and a large piece of carpet remenant for the flooring (space is 13ft wide, 17ft deep).
Not wanting to spend much money this go around (unlike my last setup that was completely finished off), I've decided to go the DIY route on the screen to save $1k (my previous DLP setup I had a DaLite 119" High Contrast Cinema Vision screen material, along with their Cinema Contour frame w/ pro trim).
What I'm stuck on is projector selection. Perhaps those of you using laminate for your screen material can give me a few suggestions on recommended projectors? The setup will be used for Xbox 360 gaming half of the time, the other half watching HD via my HR-20 DVR from D*. 1080p is not in the plans right now, maybe later on if I finish off the basement and would want to potentially upgrade (plus, I have no 1080p source material at this time, everything I watch is network or pay TV HD @ 720p/1080i).
I'm wanting to stay under $1250 street price for the PJ itself, and I've given the Sanyo Z5 a good look. However, LCD scares me after shopping them a few year's back. I'm sure they're better now with the screen door and all, but I loved my old DLP InFocus front projector and love my current pair of DLP rear projectors.
Is anyone using a budget 720p LCD projector with a laminate screen that can give me feedback, or should I just go straight for the 720p DLP's in the same price range as the Z5 (ie. Optoma HD70, InFocus 7210, Mits HC1500, Epson Cinema 400, etc)?
One concern I have with either technology is dust, since this won't be installed in a finished area of the home. Do these LCD units have filters that need to be cleaned, or have they gone to sealed light systems like DLP technology?
Thanks for taking the time to read my post if you made it this far, I'd appreciate any suggestions on projector selection. I promise to post pictures of the "room" and screen setup as I go along (carpet and office partitions are already done, speakers wired, now it's time to order the projector online and and build the screen while I wait for delivery). I don't want to start an off-topic DLP vs LCD debate, I'm just hoping that some of you can share your experiences with any of the PJ's that I mentioned above.