Best projector under 1G for coffee table mounting? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 06-08-2012, 09:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey guys,

What are my options $500-1000 range for coffee table mounted projectors? I don't want LED, because it won't be bright enough in my setup, I mainly watch in full darkness, but occassionally I have one window in the living room with blinds and curtains with a bit of ambient light and LED just won't cut it. I currently have a Panny AE700 but honestly even after having it calibrated the picture just isn't my cup of tea, previous to this projector experience I had a Mitsubishi HD1000U that was calibrated that blew the doors off of the Panny. My options in my room are limited to either a rear shelf, or coffee table, so it will either need lens shift, or have proper short throw/lens offset for these solutions. Coffee table is about 7 ft back, rear shelf would be 11ft back, for screen size I would want 72" to 100" anywhere inbetween. Is there anything out there?
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post #2 of 5 Old 06-09-2012, 08:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmxsoulja3 View Post

Hey guys,
What are my options $500-1000 range for coffee table mounted projectors? I don't want LED, because it won't be bright enough in my setup, I mainly watch in full darkness, but occassionally I have one window in the living room with blinds and curtains with a bit of ambient light and LED just won't cut it. I currently have a Panny AE700 but honestly even after having it calibrated the picture just isn't my cup of tea, previous to this projector experience I had a Mitsubishi HD1000U that was calibrated that blew the doors off of the Panny. My options in my room are limited to either a rear shelf, or coffee table, so it will either need lens shift, or have proper short throw/lens offset for these solutions. Coffee table is about 7 ft back, rear shelf would be 11ft back, for screen size I would want 72" to 100" anywhere inbetween. Is there anything out there?

I am curious. You state that LED just won’t cut it. I have several HW300T projectors. When I decided to buy my main concern was the noise and light output of a maximum 300 lumens. I do not have an ideal viewing environment i.e. no dedicated screens and my rooms have limited or no light control and my walls are white. Furthermore, I have a great interest in light consuming 3D.

The only way I could justify taking a chance on my LED projectors (Fry’s charges a 15% restocking fee) was that I have a curved high gain screen that I bought over 30 years ago. I kept the screen while I waited for technology that I could use with it. The screen was from a time when CRTs were used to create images.

When I stacked two projectors (HW300T) and used a set of 3D movie theater glasses as polarizers the output was painfully bright from “300” lumen projectors on the lowest setting. The 3D effect was impressive.

What I learned was that the gain of the screen was extremely important.
But there were compromises:
1. With white walls in the daytime I suffered from low contrast. At night the image popped off the screen.
2. There was a grainy effect similar to blowing up a picture too big. The closest effect I have seen was watching HD on LCOS TVs. It was annoying.
3. The cost of curved screens is extremely expensive now.
4. The aesthetics of having a huge curved screen may not be appealing.
5. The curved screen limits the viewing angle to a dozen or so people depending on size.

The most impressive video projectors I have seen have all been Mitsubishi for the past decade. But the RBE and my worries about lamp life have prevented me from buying one.

I am working hard to decide on my screens because unless I shrink my screens to 50 inches in the daytime I can not enjoy the viewing experience.

I have 4 HW300Ts that I plan to use a TVs in my bedrooms and kitchen when they are replaced (Hopefully, by more flexible LED projectors).

I also have two Epson HC 720s. I bought them from Epson as refurbs. They are extremely flexible but generate too much heat and are on par with my HW300Ts for noise. Oh, and they are much larger.

Other than rejecting the low cost LED projectors because of light output, have you had any exposure to them? I am not trying to change your mind; I want perspectives from the experiences of others in ideal viewing environments to use as a gauge for my next projectors.
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post #3 of 5 Old 06-10-2012, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by obscuro View Post

I am curious. You state that LED just won’t cut it. I have several HW300T projectors. When I decided to buy my main concern was the noise and light output of a maximum 300 lumens. I do not have an ideal viewing environment i.e. no dedicated screens and my rooms have limited or no light control and my walls are white. Furthermore, I have a great interest in light consuming 3D.
The only way I could justify taking a chance on my LED projectors (Fry’s charges a 15% restocking fee) was that I have a curved high gain screen that I bought over 30 years ago. I kept the screen while I waited for technology that I could use with it. The screen was from a time when CRTs were used to create images.
When I stacked two projectors (HW300T) and used a set of 3D movie theater glasses as polarizers the output was painfully bright from “300” lumen projectors on the lowest setting. The 3D effect was impressive.
What I learned was that the gain of the screen was extremely important.
But there were compromises:
1. With white walls in the daytime I suffered from low contrast. At night the image popped off the screen.
2. There was a grainy effect similar to blowing up a picture too big. The closest effect I have seen was watching HD on LCOS TVs. It was annoying.
3. The cost of curved screens is extremely expensive now.
4. The aesthetics of having a huge curved screen may not be appealing.
5. The curved screen limits the viewing angle to a dozen or so people depending on size.
The most impressive video projectors I have seen have all been Mitsubishi for the past decade. But the RBE and my worries about lamp life have prevented me from buying one.
I am working hard to decide on my screens because unless I shrink my screens to 50 inches in the daytime I can not enjoy the viewing experience.
I have 4 HW300Ts that I plan to use a TVs in my bedrooms and kitchen when they are replaced (Hopefully, by more flexible LED projectors).
I also have two Epson HC 720s. I bought them from Epson as refurbs. They are extremely flexible but generate too much heat and are on par with my HW300Ts for noise. Oh, and they are much larger.
Other than rejecting the low cost LED projectors because of light output, have you had any exposure to them? I am not trying to change your mind; I want perspectives from the experiences of others in ideal viewing environments to use as a gauge for my next projectors.
Would a 1.0 gain Gray screen work with those? or would there be issues with black levels?

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post #4 of 5 Old 06-11-2012, 08:59 AM
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post #5 of 5 Old 06-11-2012, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Snipe3000 View Post

Would a 1.0 gain Gray screen work with those? or would there be issues with black levels?


I don’t have enough experience or knowledge to comment on screens.

I am trying the DIY approach and I know that I will probably exceed the cost of a good screen. Actually, if I had a personal reference for the various gain levels and contrast output then I could decide if I should simply buy a screen.

I have been reading the DIY Screen forums. Yesterday, I went to Lowes where I bought five sheets of whiteboard. I hope (but again I really don’t know what I’m doing) to get at least 4 screens (two 55 inch and two 80 inch screens) from two boards.

Before buying the whiteboard I bought: blackout cloth, various fabrics, a 4x8 plastic insulator board, 3x4 dry erase boards, and a 2.5x3 piece of clear plastic. I bought these items to make a screen. I did not complete any of those projects (and because I have learned of the difficulty in cutting the whiteboard I will probably add another failed screen attempt).

The reason I have pursued the DIY approach is because I can not relate to spending a large amount for a screen if I will not give a great improvement over my white walls.

What keeps me trying is that when I sprayed Rustoleum metallic paint on the large plastic (36 x 30 inches) sheet the results absolutely amazed me. On the Epson HC 720, the color saturation and balance increased dramatically. They simply popped. And the blacks were dramatically darker. The test was in my family room with white walls at night because I have extremely limited light control. It was a 120 inch image on the white wall. I placed the plastic that I had spray painted in the center of the display. I was wowed!

The experience showed that the LCD could give me a dramatic image. The size of the plastic was too small. And the paint job was poor. I had two distinct zones: shiny and dull. The shiny was obviously higher than a 1.0 gain but the dull was the region that impressed me because of the “Wow” factor.

I tried the painted plastic sheet with the HW300T and the colors and black had the same wow factor. However, color saturation on the LED is already high so I don’t know what the results would be if I complete a screen.

Actually, I was watching some animation and the colors changed drastically on my white wall. I never noticed the changes before but they were there on the computer monitor. So that confirmed that it was the source and not the projector.

At the Fry’s sale price, I took a gamble and felt that the compromises were worth the gamble. For me, I was literally raced back to more projectors: I now have four. I really like the idea of a self contained system that I can turn on and enjoy with the flip of a switch e.g. if I power it on with the tuner; I’m watching TV or with an attached USB HDD I make a couple presses and I can watch every movie I have ever enjoyed on a massive screen.

Yes, I have to wait until the sun goes down to enjoy higher contrast or brighter picture. And yes, I seem to have to refocus between uses (I send 1920x1080 signals to the unit and I think the initializing high fan speed may effect the focus.) I focus on the center because I watch subtitled movies and then I simply enjoy the movie.

I have been debating if I believe this or my net book is the most significant piece of technology I own. I haven’t decided yet.
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