Two weeks ago I bought two HW300T projectors. Last week, I bought two more because I was extremely impressed.
Prior to those four projectors, I bought two refurbished Epson HC 720’s. I bought the Epson HC 720s for the following reasons:
1. The Epson warranty,
2. The price of the second unit was about the cost of a replacement lamp,
3. LCD technology (I am very sensitive to the rainbow effect in DLP technology)
4. Great reviews of picture quality
5. Flexible installation (zoom and lens shift).
When I received the Epson projectors I did not realize how big they were. Then I could not use the high brightness because it would reduce the lamp life. But not only that I truly hated the noise output in the higher brightness modes. I also realized that the projectors produce a significant amount of heat (my home is energy efficient).
So for the past eighteen months, I have logged about 200 hours on the Epson projectors. I wanted a replacement for them and the new LED based systems were coming online. The three main concerns for me with the LED projectors were the RBE (they were all DLP), the noise (tiny high revolution fans for some niche market), and low light output.
After months and months of reading (a special thanks to the HW300T thread creator), I decided to buy the HW300T because Fry’s was having an anniversary sale and I could rationalize buying two (for SBS 3D).
I prefer movies with subtitles so that compounded my concerns about RBE. On my HW300T, I can see them but only in very isolated situations and not enough to distract me from any movie I have watched thus far. When I use them on my extremely high gain (curved) screen then I do see more rainbows but again not enough to be distracted. When I used them in 3D mode the size of the screen is more of a distraction than rainbows. (The screen is 30 years old and from my days of using a modified TV and Fresnel lens to project a picture.)
The noise in the economy mode (the lowest light output) is masked by almost any sound but it is distracting if played in a dead room. It is on par with a quiet desktop computer.
The light output was the final concern. The brightest mode (I’m sure it is south of 300 lumens) has a much more pleasing picture but at the cost of a really annoying whir of the cooling fan. The same is true of the normal mode i.e. it is brighter but the noise while not annoying is more noticeable. I use the economy mode because it produces a pleasant picture.
I currently have three units set up in my house: bedroom (72 inches wide), living room (160 inches wide) and family room (80 inches wide). I use width because I watch movies mainly of 2.35 ratios, so I use the height of the movie to determine whether I move the projector. I found that the 16:10 ratio is too big to enjoy if I leave the projector optimized for my preferred 2.35 image size.
I do not have screens set up in any location, yet. I have the high gain screen to test 3D and light output. I project on white walls in non-light controlled environments and I am very, very impressed.
My ceilings are 10 feet so I do not ceiling mount. I plan to hide the units in little stand / coffee table along with my AO722 netbook to form a HTPC solution.
Every 10 inches in diagonal measure is about 10 inches required for projector displacement e.g. for a 50 inch diagonal picture set the projector (pj) approximately 50 inches from the screen or for a 100 inch picture set the pj 100 inches away. My projectors are between thirteen and twenty five inches from the floor.
I did not buy these projectors because of size. I wanted a device that I could turn on and not worry about the lamp going out. When I learned that LG included an ATSC tuner, I took that as a sign they had great confidence in the technology.
There was one consistent view among the user reviews I found: the image is pretty amazing. I totally concur. If you don’t try one of the LED projectors (especially considering that you have an optimized environment) I believe you will feel that you have done yourself a disservice.
One final thing that impressed me was I recode my movies in AVC format. The HW300t’s playback of low media files is extremely impressive on my 200 inch screen