I'm Buying My First Projector and Need Help - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 08-21-2012, 12:08 PM - Thread Starter
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I've been a staunch supporter of RPCRT for decades. But I'm tired of the tweaking, convergence and constant cleaning and adjustments. Don't get me wrong. I still love the CRT results! In fact, I am not expecting to match the quality of Blacks and pure color fidelity with the new projector. But I do look forward to enjoying the 1080p digital advantages that the new HD technology renders. So I am finally going to bite the bullet and give up the ghost on my Hitachi 65F59 HDTV. I'M donating it to a Church. And I am going to buy one of the following projectors to get started down the next path.
  1. Viewsonic Pro 8200- $799
  2. Vivitek H1080 FD- $749
  3. Optoma HD 20- $749

I decided to go the budget route to get started. That way I can always just switch to a big flat panel later if I don't like front projection. I would deploy the front projector as a game/PC monitor under that circumstance. I will be throwing the projector image onto a 65"-75" black or gray screen. I initially was going to take the 65" screen portion off of the Hitcach RPTV and fix it to the wall to project on. But decided against it for right now, so I can donate it vs junking/scrapping it. I will stay with the donate plan unless someone here thinks its a great idea to use the Hitachi screen for that purpose. The dimensions of the room is 12' x 12' with an 8' ceiling. So I don't want to throw anything up bigger than 75". 65"-70" is ideal. Because I want to place the projector on a table in front of the screen instead of hanging it.

So my question is which of the above projectors would serve my purpose best in your opinions. Or do you recommend another. I want to stay in this same budget range initially ($750-$999). But it would have to be really special for me to jump to $999 as my first try. If I truly like front Projection tv, I will upgrade to a $2000-$3000 model in the future and use this elsewhere as describe above. At the price range in the above models I am not concerned about "Rainbow Effects". Because if I or the wife encounter them we will move on to a different technology without incurring a big loss. Please give me your advice and suggestions.
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post #2 of 7 Old 08-21-2012, 02:44 PM
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You have to keep in mind that when you table mount a DLP projector with an offset (which is every DLP in your price range), then you'll either have to raise your screen up higher, or put it on a really low table.
So the answer is it depends how high the table is you can put it on.

Without knowing that, my suggestion would be to get the Optoma hd20 in this case, because it's not as bright as the Viewsonic and it has half the offset so you won't have as much trouble with the table height. Brightness is going to be too over-powering, even with a gray screen in most cases. You might need a gray screen + ND filter or just one or the other.


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post #3 of 7 Old 08-21-2012, 04:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks coderguy. That is exactly how I wnat to place the projector. That meaning; on a table no more than 2 feet high with at least 2 feet of clearance under the screen. I would like it to mimic the appearance of the Hitachi CRT as much as possible. But with the screen being on the wall with a low stand underneath it. Any thoughts on the idea of mounting the screen from the Hitachi? Or would you just go with a fabric screen? I also take from your response that you are not enamored with the Vivitek. My only concern about the Optoma is all of the repair issues on the HD 20 thread. Otherwise it would be my first choice. I was leaning Vivitek 1 and Optoma #2. But your lack of mention is causing me to pause on it.
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post #4 of 7 Old 08-21-2012, 05:15 PM
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Vivitek only has a 3x color wheel, is brighter (you don't want it brighter at that small screen size), and the Vivitek has more offset (you will be forced to mount the PJ lower).
You might not care about the offset, but just depends where you want to mount the bottom of the screen.

My favorite PJ for this setup would probably be the Mits hc4000, but it also has a large offset, it has the best picture though, but it is more than you wanted to pay.
There are some refurbished Mits hc3800's for about $700 floating around, and those are pretty good, but again the offset might be an issue (depends).

The hd20 and Mits hc3800/hc4000 both have 4x color wheels and are not as blindly bright as the Vivitek or Viewsonic.


Quick and Easy Shelf Mount Method for both one projector or dual stacks

Web Calculator v023 & v025
- Quick Peak at the new upcoming calculator
**Current Projector Calculator** -- http://www.eliteprojectorcalculator.com

Coder's Top Projector Picks of 2012 --http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread....

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post #5 of 7 Old 08-21-2012, 07:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coderguy View Post

Vivitek only has a 3x color wheel, is brighter (you don't want it brighter at that small screen size), and the Vivitek has more offset (you will be forced to mount the PJ lower).
You might not care about the offset, but just depends where you want to mount the bottom of the screen.
My favorite PJ for this setup would probably be the Mits hc4000, but it also has a large offset, it has the best picture though, but it is more than you wanted to pay.
There are some refurbished Mits hc3800's for about $700 floating around, and those are pretty good, but again the offset might be an issue (depends).
The hd20 and Mits hc3800/hc4000 both have 4x color wheels and are not as blindly bright as the Vivitek or Viewsonic.

When I was looking at projectors, it was hard for me to get past the 1yr (90 day bulb) warranty of the HD20. Granted some people do not have issues with that machine, but some people do. Especially being new to projectors and with kids using it, I didn't want to be one of those folks griping about a burnt out bulb or color wheel issues within a year or so of ownership. In that regard at least, seems like the Pro8200 provides a bit more security for the more risk averse buyer with its longer warranty.

Coderguy, you suggested the Pro8200 might be too bright for a smaller screen in the 65" - 75" range. What do you think about the 100" - 110" diagonal screen size, would the Pro8200 be fine for that size on the lower eco/cinema settings in a light controlled room, or do those settings degrade the image? I suppose at 100" with some smaller lights on in the room the Pro8200 would be fine though?

Also does the 4x color wheel make a significant of relatively small difference in seeing rainbows compared to a 3x wheel?
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post #6 of 7 Old 08-21-2012, 10:24 PM
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The Pro8200 is ok for a 100" to 110", but it will still be a little too bright for the first 300 to 500 hours or so, but you can use an ND filter or just turn the settings down some. I just think 65" to 70" would be way too bright on many of these to the point where you'd have to use too dark of a filter and wait too long for the lamp to wear in. The lamps appear to last a long time on the Pro8200, I have 2500 hours on the lamp on one and it's still pretty bright.

Both the Pro8200 and Mits hc3800 have a very large mounting offset, twice that of the hd20, so make sure it will work with your ceiling height or if floor mounting, then your floor to screen distance. Note however though that a refurb Mits hc3800 is better than the Pro8200 if going only by picture quality.

The Pro8200 has the least RBE effect of all of these projectors by a good amount, but it is not quite as sharp (pick your poison). The sharpness isn't bad and not that noticeable in regular viewing, but it's just that in HTPC you can tell it's not quite as sharp as the Mits and the Mits has better contrast. 4x Color Wheels helps quite a bit compared to a 3x color wheel, but the Viewsonic is even a step above 4x, although the VS is 4x as well, it has an extra segment which makes the CW function more like a 5x or 6x color wheel. Not that many people see RBE on the Mits that much to bother them, only a few here and there (probably only 1in6 to 1in8 people). On the VS, I can't even hardly remember a single person in the entire VS thread complaining about RBE unless they had the image way too bright. So I think on the VS fewer than 1 in 15 people are going to see RBE to the extent that it bothers them.


Quick and Easy Shelf Mount Method for both one projector or dual stacks

Web Calculator v023 & v025
- Quick Peak at the new upcoming calculator
**Current Projector Calculator** -- http://www.eliteprojectorcalculator.com

Coder's Top Projector Picks of 2012 --http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread....

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post #7 of 7 Old 08-23-2012, 02:50 PM
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I have the Viewsonic, and coderguy knows what he's talking about.

One thing I thought I'd mention, though, is that although you are talking table mounting for now, I think that given your room dimensions, you should also consider mounting from the back wall on a shelf, perhaps upside down. You would incur that cost of a mount, but shelf mounting upside down shouldn't be too difficult, and the Viewsonic offset might work perfect in that case.

I'm sure you've see projector calculators - Coderguy has one that is particularly useful.
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