Another "what's best for my setup? Thread - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 03-28-2012, 08:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi everyone! Hope y'all are doing well.

Ok, so I tried reading and scouring as much as I could before asking questions. Learned a lot but am still quite ignorant when it comes to projectors. I was leaning towards the Panny AX200U but I know that is an older model.

Here's the details of my setup:

Room:
- Moderate ambient light during the day from windows
- 108" diagonal 16:9 screen
- up to ~18ft distance from projector to screen (projector can be closer though)
- Projector will be ceiling mounted and not moved
- Seating is at least 8 ft from the screen at the closest

Content:
- No HD stuff. Ever. All DVD quality content.
- Mostly (converted but same quality) DVD movies with the occasional streaming video from Hulu and the like (we don't watch TV programming...ever).
- Usage is probably around 12-18 hours a week (it will be our primary TV)

Source:
- The only source currently is a Linux-based HTPC connected to my current projector via VGA
- Vid card in the HTPC is a NVidia GT220
- Audio is handled through my receiver via optical SPDIF so audio over HDMI is not needed.

My current projector is a BarcoGraphics 4000 (got it free) which is not really suited for movies, but it works well enough for now. Current resolution to the BG4000 is 1024X768. The bulbs are aging so I'm wanting to just replace the unit with one that's actually for movies and such. I'm sure even the cheapest projector suited for movies will produce better results than the BC4000 does.

The wife-approved budget is probably around 1500 but less expensive would be better based on the needs. Far as I can tell, we don't need anything super fancy.

Thanks in advance, everyone! Have a great one!
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post #2 of 17 Old 03-28-2012, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shane2943 View Post


Content:
- No HD stuff. Ever. All DVD quality content.
- Mostly (converted but same quality) DVD movies with the occasional streaming video from Hulu and the like (we don't watch TV programming...ever).

Hulu has some HD stuff and so does Netflix streaming. I would not spend much on a projector if never playing HD material, in that case a TV would look better since it has a smaller image and often processes SD better. I am not meaning to sound negative, and although upscaled DVD's are decent on a projector but they do not look that great, some DVD's look better than others. That is fine if you don't want to invest in blurays, but saying "NO HD EVER" is a bit extreme.

So I find it hard to recommend a projector as I cannot understand someone's preferences to saying this. I would just buy something really cheap, probably a 720p DLP or an LED projector under $500. No reason to pay $1500 for a projector if never watching HD material. There is a cheap Benq 720p DLP with an IRIS you might want to look at (Benq w700). It probably has the best black levels under $700.


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post #3 of 17 Old 03-28-2012, 10:39 AM
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I say if u not going hd don't bother spending over 300-400 on a projector
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post #4 of 17 Old 03-28-2012, 12:55 PM
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Here you go..you can call it a day http://shop.benq.us/ProductDetail.aspx?id=302
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post #5 of 17 Old 03-28-2012, 02:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coderguy View Post

Hulu has some HD stuff and so does Netflix streaming. I would not spend much on a projector if never playing HD material, in that case a TV would look better since it has a smaller image and often processes SD better. I am not meaning to sound negative, and although upscaled DVD's are decent on a projector but they do not look that great, some DVD's look better than others. That is fine if you don't want to invest in blurays, but saying "NO HD EVER" is a bit extreme.

So I find it hard to recommend a projector as I cannot understand someone's preferences to saying this. I would just buy something really cheap, probably a 720p DLP or an LED projector under $500. No reason to pay $1500 for a projector if never watching HD material. There is a cheap Benq 720p DLP with an IRIS you might want to look at (Benq w700). It probably has the best black levels under $700.

Sorry about that. I should have worded my post better to say, "HD is not important, at least right now, and we don't buy/watch blue ray discs." You're right that Hulu and Netflix stream some HD content. Can VGA transmit HD content in it's "glory" or would I need DVI/HDMI?

See, I'm an audio guy. Picture quality is important to me and my vision is good, but I probably don't have the "trained eye" that would truly appreciate HD content. Therefore, it's just not as important to me which is why I don't invest the money in BRD. When I see a 1080p TV set up with HD content in a store, I look at it and think, "meh." It's probably why I think my current BarcoGraphics 4000 actually looks pretty good. LOL!

Thank you for the reply.
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post #6 of 17 Old 03-28-2012, 02:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joesyah View Post

Here you go..you can call it a day http://shop.benq.us/ProductDetail.aspx?id=302

Thanks! I'm ignorant to projector tech and even more so to DLP. How susceptible is DLP to the "rainbow effect" I've read about? How about reliability? Can I trust a referb (I know in some areas of technology, referbs are fine, but in others, referbs are to be avoided)?

Thanks again!
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post #7 of 17 Old 03-28-2012, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shane2943 View Post

Thanks! I'm ignorant to projector tech and even more so to DLP. How susceptible is DLP to the "rainbow effect" I've read about? How about reliability? Can I trust a referb (I know in some areas of technology, referbs are fine, but in others, referbs are to be avoided)?

Thanks again!

Tough to answer the RBE question since everyone is different. DLPs are quite reliable as a whole. I have a benq w1000 that has performed flawlessly with 1300 hours on the lamp.

I was just throwing something out there. Being you didn't seem too concerned about 1080p.

Refurbs come with the same warranty as the new products most of the time. So there's not much to lose in buying a refurb. DVDs IME just look better on DLPs IMO.
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post #8 of 17 Old 03-28-2012, 02:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joesyah View Post

Tough to answer the RBE question since everyone is different. DLPs are quite reliable as a whole. I have a benq w1000 that has performed flawlessly with 1300 hours on the lamp.

I was just throwing something out there. Being you didn't seem too concerned about 1080p.

Refurbs come with the same warranty as the new products most of the time. So there's not much to lose in buying a refurb. DVDs IME just look better on DLPs IMO.

Thank you, Joesyah! I appreciate that.

Would 1100 lumens be enough for my screen size in a room with moderate ambient light? The one redeeming quality of my current Barco projector is that since it has 2 lamps, it is a blow torch. Contrast ratio stinks compared to the other projectors I'm seeing, but it's pretty bright.
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post #9 of 17 Old 03-28-2012, 03:45 PM
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You wouldn't need a 'trained' eye to tell the difference between HD and SD. It's the obvious difference between fuzzy detail and sharp detail.
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post #10 of 17 Old 03-28-2012, 04:21 PM - Thread Starter
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You wouldn't need a 'trained' eye to tell the difference between HD and SD. It's the obvious difference between fuzzy detail and sharp detail.

You're right and I once again used the wrong wording. What I was trying to say (poorly) was that the difference between HD and SD is not important enough to me to justify the increase in media cost (BRD vs DVD...not to mention more hard drives once the BRDs are bought and ripped to my HTPC). HD looks nice to me, but so do DVDs, if that makes more sense.

I'm really not doing well with my words today! I need a nap or somethin.
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post #11 of 17 Old 03-28-2012, 05:00 PM
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U have not truly seen what high def (blue rays) is capable of intill u have see it on a projector with a. Good large projector screen.
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post #12 of 17 Old 03-28-2012, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shane2943 View Post

Thank you, Joesyah! I appreciate that.

Would 1100 lumens be enough for my screen size in a room with moderate ambient light? The one redeeming quality of my current Barco projector is that since it has 2 lamps, it is a blow torch. Contrast ratio stinks compared to the other projectors I'm seeing, but it's pretty bright.

If it's all about torching the screen. The Panasonic PT-AR100U can do that for 1k.
http://www.projectorreviews.com/pana...erformance.php
I wasn't sure how you felt about contrast/black levels. For mainly daytime viewing the Panasonic should be fine.

You'll always have to give a little/lot in contrast/black levels, if you're out to torch the screen.
Anytime ambient light is added to the equation, you're going to lose some image quality.
What aspects are important too you? Or does it even matter?
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post #13 of 17 Old 03-28-2012, 05:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Joesyah View Post

If it's all about torching the screen. The Panasonic PT-AR100U can do that for 1k.
http://www.projectorreviews.com/pana...erformance.php
I wasn't sure how you felt about contrast/black levels. For mainly daytime viewing the Panasonic should be fine.

You'll always have to give a little/lot in contrast/black levels, if you're out to torch the screen.

What aspects are important too you? Or does it even matter?

Good questions.

We mainly watch shows/movies in the evening when it's getting dark and usually have some dim light in the room (for the wife...I prefer it pitch black in there). But sometimes we do watch movies during the day and with the lights turned up a bit more when friends are over.

I suppose torching the screen isn't really my goal, but I'm fearful of turning on a lamp in the room and the whole image washes out from it. My ignorance is showing here because 1100 lumens might be fine and I just not know it.

I would like a bit blacker black as the BarcoGraphics doesn't do the greatest job with that being that it's a 200:1 contrast ratio.

Here's what I'm used to currently: http://www.projectorcentral.com/Barc...phics_4000.htm
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post #14 of 17 Old 03-28-2012, 05:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shane2943 View Post

Good questions.

We mainly watch shows/movies in the evening when it's getting dark and usually have some dim light in the room (for the wife...I prefer it pitch black in there). But sometimes we do watch movies during the day and with the lights turned up a bit more when friends are over.

I suppose torching the screen isn't really my goal, but I'm fearful of turning on a lamp in the room and the whole image washes out from it. My ignorance is showing here because 1100 lumens might be fine and I just not know it.

I would like a bit blacker black as the BarcoGraphics doesn't do the greatest job with that being that it's a 200:1 contrast ratio.

Here's what I'm used to currently: http://www.projectorcentral.com/Barc...phics_4000.htm

OK I gotcha now. Well pretty much any modern projector is going to give you better contrast than what you have now.

The Benq w6000 would be a nice one if you're not sensitive to RBE.
The LG CF181D is a LCOS projector that is just as bright as the Benq.
I've seen both for sale in your price range.
A refurbished Epson 6500UB is another option. It will be light years ahead of your current unit in the contrast/black level area.
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post #15 of 17 Old 03-29-2012, 05:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Joesyah View Post

OK I gotcha now. Well pretty much any modern projector is going to give you better contrast than what you have now.

The Benq w6000 would be a nice one if you're not sensitive to RBE.
The LG CF181D is a LCOS projector that is just as bright as the Benq.
I've seen both for sale in your price range.
A refurbished Epson 6500UB is another option. It will be light years ahead of your current unit in the contrast/black level area.

Thank you again, Joesyah. You are helping to alleviate some my my painful ignorance.

I will definitely check out those models. Far as whether or not I'm sensitive to RBE, I don't know. Never seen a DLP projector first hand (or if I have, I didn't realize it).
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post #16 of 17 Old 03-29-2012, 06:12 AM
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If you are going to rarely watch HD, I would not get anything above 720p. It would be a waste of money. You can get a new 720p projector for $400. No need to spend more for something that you are not going to use. Plus, DVD will not look that great without a good VP and that will cost you another $1K. I think a moderate size screen up to 100in and a 720p projector will be exactly what you need. If you can find something with a 1024x768 resolution, that will work also. Look around, there are many like the Acer H5350, Benq W600 and W700, Epson 705, Optoma GT700 and GT720. All of which are under $450.
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post #17 of 17 Old 03-29-2012, 07:35 AM - Thread Starter
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If you are going to rarely watch HD, I would not get anything above 720p. It would be a waste of money. You can get a new 720p projector for $400. No need to spend more for something that you are not going to use. Plus, DVD will not look that great without a good VP and that will cost you another $1K. I think a moderate size screen up to 100in and a 720p projector will be exactly what you need. If you can find something with a 1024x768 resolution, that will work also. Look around, there are many like the Acer H5350, Benq W600 and W700, Epson 705, Optoma GT700 and GT720. All of which are under $450.

Thank you!

I already have a screen that's 108" diagonal 16:9. My curreny projector is 4:3 and so doesn't not fill the width of the screen. I definitely want my next projector to be 16:9 or 16:10 to take advantage of the wide screen.

I will look into those models you posted!

Thanks again!
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