Please help me make a decision! [Projector] - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 2 Old 07-26-2014, 12:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Please help me make a decision! [Projector]

Hello hello! First time posting here and I was hoping I could get some advice. My 50" Samsung HL-R5078 has gotten to the point to where I do not want to pay to repair it again, and I wanted to take that step to becoming a first time projector owner. I feel like I've researched all that the internet has to offer and thought it was time to ask folks with more experience in the field.

The two projectors that I've been stuck between are the Benq LW61ST and the Optoma ZW212ST. My wife and I recently moved and we have a room with a big wall which I think will provide the perfect space for our first home theater. The room does have one large window, however even with the blinds up the window faces a wooded backyard that manages to keep the room fairly dim even on the brightest of days.

My wife's biggest concern was for the potential for people to walk in front of the projector, so I had narrowed my search to mostly short throw projectors. One of my biggest wanted features was for a laser and/or LED light source, mostly because I desire newer technology and less down the road costs for bulb replacements.

As far as my seating is concerned, the closest couch would put someone about 9 feet away, and furthest away would be about 15 feet. My goal screen size is between 80-90 inches. At 85" diagonal I seem to get 89 foot-lamberts from the Benq and 111 fL from the Optoma, but I have no clue how good this is, if this is the right thing to be looking at, or what. Also both of these projectors are 720p native resolution and not 1080p that it seems most people are looking for, but if I'm reading the charts, for my seating distance and desired screen size does it matter?

So why am I torn between these two? Both projectors were released in 2012 and I'm a little hung up on the lack of updated models. But similary priced more recent stuff seems to A) not be as bright B) not be as high resolution or C) not be short throw. The LG PF85U for example looks like a great projector for my needs, however it is not short throw and is only rated at 1,000 lumens. The Projector Central throw distance calculator gives me only 23 fL and has to be over twice the distance to reach that 85" screen size.

They both seem to offer excelent contrast ratios and both have what I think will be adequte lumens. But the Benq is rated at only 10,000 hours bulb life while the Optoma gives me that sweet spot 20,000 hours, however I've seen the Benq for sale between $1,000-1,200 while the Optoma ranks in between $1,600-1,700. I'm budgeted and not only do I like the look of the Benq better, the money saved would make a big difference towards screen and audio upgrades. However my wife has started watching more and more of the HGTV channel, and kids plus WiiU equals alot of on time.


I've read some reviews but there are not many. I've watched some YouTube videos but there are not many.
  • Anyone seen or used either of these and know if there's a strong arguement for or against one over the other?
  • Also nobody is perfect, have I missed one?
  • Or is there a bright HD laser/led short throw that's due to market soon?

Thank you for being here, and thank you for your help!

Last edited by BlakeStonefeather; 07-26-2014 at 12:31 AM.
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post #2 of 2 Old 07-26-2014, 01:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Okay. I discovered there is also a Forum just for sub $3000 projectors. Maybe that's a better place for this.
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