My take on $$ and picking a projector - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 3 Old 07-03-2008, 10:04 AM - Thread Starter
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When you're on a forum, you can get caught up and spend a big % of your budget/income/savings/credit cards on just one component.

If you're at the speaker forum, you can end up spending thousands after reading posts. Same with projectors. True you'll often get a better product but the increase in value might be questionable in the large scheme of things (i.e., your entire home theater experience).

Keep in mind that, if you're really into HT, after buying a projector, a few months later you might decide you want better speakers, home theater seats, a new receiver (for lossles audio for example) and so forth. Don't cripple your entire HT experience by spending a ton of money on a pj just to get a little better blacks (unless you're loaded, then spend away).

Take my experience for example.

Agonized over a PJ for months, read a bazillion reviews and forums. I could have easily spent $4k on a PJ and blown much of my HT budget.

But I went the Mits 4900. Blacks weren't phenomenal. I agree about that. But two things: first the eyes adjust after a while. Second, don't disregard the room. After 6 months with the 4900, I decided to turn one room into a dedicated HT. I pained everything black and black out all windows. The perceived contrast is now phenomenal. Watching Ice Age again and looking at the vultures' wings, they were deep, inky black compared to when the room was painted white. A $100 paint job was suddenly worth thousands to me.

But, after setting aside a dedicated HT room, then I needed carpet or a rug because of hardwood floors. But that costs dollars. And there are some killer area rugs here in NY that are practically works of art and make a dedicated HT look amazing. So I'm glad I didn't blow too much on the projector.

And I needed seats. They can get very expensive. Again, glad I didn't blow too much on a PJ, so I can get some nice, comfy seats. And there's sconces, maybe new speakers, a new receiver, maybe a star ceiling, etc. I remember at one point, about a year ago, i really wanted amazing floorstanding speakers with that great wood/glossy finish. Real eye candy. Now that I'm in a bat cave, I'm glad I didn't spend thousands on the speakers. Not only would the fancy wood/gloss not be visible during a movie, but with a 100 inch screen, they would be in the way. Not spending all that $$ gave me flexibility.

Hopefully not too preachy. Just saying keep an eye on the road ahead because alot of us here are probably habitual upgraders. It's fun to upgrade. Probably more fun to have that flexibility than to spend thousands more to give better blacks but have your hands tied financially with regard to upgrades.
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post #2 of 3 Old 07-03-2008, 12:38 PM
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Great post. I agree with the room points. The room should always be in the plan! I'm painting my room black too.
There's always new stuff coming out. When the new comes out, I get the one that jsut got replaced! It's soo much cheaper that way! Hope you understand what I mean.
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post #3 of 3 Old 07-03-2008, 01:00 PM
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This is an interesting point that is far too often ignored here. If you do not have a theater black room (as I suspect more and more of us don't) then the black levels and contrast that you perceive are already going to be far less than even the least performing of today's projectors can provide. It is funny to have you say that the blacks look wonderful in your now darkened room because that is where most of the experts would tell you the 4900s relatively (very important word) poor (but good for the price) black levels would be most apparent. The fact is, by using your pj in a multi-purpose room, be it an ae2000, dc4900, or RS2 the perceptible contrast and black is going to be more room limited than technology limited. When it comes down to it, a truly thorough projector review, more so with a projector comparison, would have both HT (home theatre) and RR (living room or bed room) results. Is that PJ worth the extra $3,000 if the improvements over the $2,000 are not going to show up in your room. Add into that the differences in implementation - the mits hc5500 has the reon rx chip, is that worth more than another pj that upgrades to the 7th generation lcd panels when it comes to viewing in a non-black room?
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