My local film society is using a still-working-fine Sanyo PLV-70 projector (1366x768, WXGA) and an also-still-working-fine Oppo 971H DVD player. We project onto a zero-gain 130" wide (155 diagonal) screen from about 21'. We normally have about 40 people in attendance. I'm getting ready to approach my working group and talk about upgrading to better equipment, but I'm somewhat at a loss to know what to ask for.
On the one hand, I think we'll need to go straight to Blu Ray to compete with ever increasing capabilities in homes and local theaters. We're not trying to replace those venues, but we don't wish to pale in comparison. But, even buying used (as I did with the above named equipment), I think I'm looking at $3k and up to get something halfway decent. We only use the equipment no more than 100 hours a year, so I don't want to overspend, as well.
I've been focusing on replacing the Sanyo, but now wonder if I could get away with replacing the Oppo, at least for the time being. We wouldn't get HDMI, much less Blu Ray, though. What I don't understand is what my pictures might look like with a) an upgraded DVD player vs. b) upgrading the projector to HDMI vs. c) upgrading the projector to an inexpensive HDMI like the Panny AR100U (or whatever you might suggest) and the DVD player to Costco-type Blu Ray vs. d) upgrading the projector to a used HDMI like the JVC RS55 (in that ballpark) and the DVD player to, say the Oppo BDP-103? I'm just trying to see how to visualize these differences as the first step in deciding what choices to make.