Does anyone have a suggested projector at this price range?
I want to be able to watch DVD's and play video games, both console and my computer and just have it look good. More so on the DVD side.
I dunno what combo of lumens or contrast ratio or.....? I would require.
Can I get some help? Thanx.
Based on the requirements you've listed, it's hard to recommend a direction, other than stating you need a projector with VGA input for the PC, component input for the DVD, and depending on the console, S-Video or component input for console gaming.
Keep in mind that regardless of technology, the performance of the onbaoard de-interlacer important for DVDs unless you have a progressive scan DVD player. Not all presentation projectors have good de-interlacers.
Since you will be hooking up a PC, I recommend a projector with at least XGA (1024x768) resolution. A projector with this resolution will have to scale up DVD and TV signals, so the performance of the projector's scaler is important. Again, not all presentation projectors have good scalers.
Beyond that, the big issues of brightness, noise of fans, DLP vs. LCD, contrast, bulb life, etc. are not able to be addressed without more details about where and when the projector will be used, and your sensitivity to DLP rainbows or dislike of LCD screendoor effect.
If any of the terms mentioned are unknown to you, do a search in this or the *other* digital projector forum on those terms.
An LCD projector in that price range I highly recommend is the Panasonic 711XU, the projector I recently purchased for mainly DVD viewing in mixed lighting conditions.
Look at the Sony 10HT. I've heard of prices in the $3500 range. Great projector. HD capable and standard 16:9 LCD projector.
Your major constraint with any front projector you choose is the room it will go in and the ambient light levels. Sadly, if you have a large room with many windows and are picky about decor, you may well spend twice the projector budget on ambient light control.
As an example of one extreme: a single friend of mine implemented light control in a room by taping cardboard over two windows and draping one end of his room in black fabric, except for a rectangular area of painted wall he uses for a projection screen. Total cost was about $150.
Another friend wanted front projection desperately but was married and could not negotiate the light control features needed for one large sliding glass door and one window. Anything his wife would approve ended up costing more in custom draperies and metal shades than he wanted to spend on projector, ceiling mount, and pull-down screen. As in $4500 in custom window treatments. He now owns a $3000, 47-inch widescreen RPTV.
I was somewhere in the middle. I spent about $250 and one weekend replacing existing pulldown shades with total light-blocking equivalents, under existing draperies. I got even better light control by setting a homebuilt screen on a windowsill and over a doublewide window opposite the projector. The projector itself and the three front speakers can be toted into the garage, returning the room to it's original appearance in less than 5 minutes. The wife is still not real happy but tolerates what cannot accurately be described as a "home theater", but I can watch the projector in full daylight!
Realisticly, go into your room and darken it using what light control options you have. Now hold up a white sheet of paper - that paper is as black as any part of your screen image will ever get. Unless you have near total ambient light control, you will not be happy with the black levels. Unless you can acheive near-total light control, you are not a good front projector candidate.
I totally agree, the Panasonic PT-L711XU is a good, versatile projector. I got mine for $2825, so you'll have a little change for screen, ceiling mount, and light control.
|Originally posted by Gary McCoy
Unless you can achieve near-total light control, you are not a good front projector candidate.
Gary, although I'm sure you will disagree this is as valid an approach, I'm of the opinion there are two ways to achieve an enjoyable FP picture.
The Finesse approach:
Total light control and focus on projector contrast. Projector brightness is unimportant, and if anything, you can go too bright. Best for dedicated home theaters.
The Lightgun approach:
Total light control is not quite as important. Go for a projector with high (>1500) lumens. Perhaps use a contrast improving screen if budget permits. The contrast will not be as good, but because you have a bright, vibrant picture, it's not as noticeable. It's also more versatile for multi-use rooms and Super-Bowl parties...like being at a bar.
Basically, you trade best case performance for a slightly wider range of lighting situations. Keep in mind no projector will look good in a fully lit room. I personally am very happy trading less than perfect black levels for an 8ft picture.
Research the Mitsubishi XD200U.
Also known as XD200- search this as well.