My Sub $1000 Choice - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 09-03-2012, 08:12 PM - Thread Starter
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My Sony SXRD 60" failed and I am looking to replace it with a projector. My budget is around $1500 and that includes a new audio system. I narrowed it down to two choices the Viewsonic Pro8200 ($800) or the Optoma HD180($850). I have decide to go with the Viewsonic Pro8200 because it has speakers included (I plan on occasionally using it outside in the backyard), has better brightness, better warranty, better lamp life, and seems to be better for gaming. This leaves me around $700 for the speaker system and probably a DIY screen and misc (mounting, wires, etc). I have seen the Viewsonic on Newegg for as low as $659 but at this point the cheapest I can find it is $799 from Best Buy or Amazon. My current plan is to purchase it from Best Buy as I have a good relationship with the manager there if I decide to return. The main reason I considered the Optoma is because of Costco's outstanding return policy.

My questions:

1. Am I missing a competing unit that is in the same price range? I don't want to go too far over $800 so I can get a decent sound system and screen. I would forgo built in speakers for a significant increase in PQ but I don't see that in this price range.
2. Best Buy or Amazon or specialty shop online? I am a little nervous as this will be my first projector and would like to feel safe that I could return it should it not work out.


Thanks in advance for any insight.
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post #2 of 10 Old 09-03-2012, 08:21 PM
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I'm confused. Do you want the projector to have speakers or not? If not, the best projector is the Mits. HC3800 refurb at Projector People. And yes, it has a 1 year warranty.
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post #3 of 10 Old 09-04-2012, 01:03 AM
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If you have good working relationship with Best Buy, you would have 30 days to figure out if model works for you. And if not , return it.

No matter what model you get, there will always be a better PJ you could get for more money. Same thing if you bought a hdtv. There are always better ones coming out.

Look at user reviews on Amazon going from newest going back on any model you are thinking of getting, so you see what people are saying that have just bought it or had it the longest. Look in forum rooms.

Go to Projectorreviews.com and read Art Felerman's reviews of the models you are interested in. And the 2011, 2012 roundup. Then give it your best shot.

Not sure why the other guy is recommending a hc3800 refurb from a certain company and he is not giving the price or reason you should get it. Does he work for that company. Can't he say more that just a one line statement, like why he thinks it's the best. How is one year warranty better than 3 years.

I have owned my pro8200 for 9 months, and I still have 2 years and 3 months left on my warranty. If I had one year warranty, I would only have 3 months left and if it broke in 4 months, I would be screwed. You were thinking of the costco because it would give you longer time to return, but 3 years warranty gives you model you don't have to worry about for 3 years. Read what amazon users think of that optoma 180 too.

Now your sony sdrd 60 was 3,999 dollars when you bought it , right? Rear Projector TV. So, 799 for pro8200 is a hell of a lot cheaper than 3,999. You might have high quality tastes, so maybe a 4,000 PJ might be good for you. I don't know. smile.gif So doing the Best Buy option, will help you put your toes in the water to see if the pro8200 works for you. If not, get a 4,000 dollar PJ . smile.gif

The pro8200 has a usb port in the back for service, but I use the usb port for my usb speakers , the type you use in computers and use the audio plug in back of pro8200 for extra sound, WORKS for me. The 20 watt speakers are good in some settings, but may not be loud enough in big room, so either use sound system or bring usb powered speakers with you for compact portable use. wink.gif I was at buddies house, and his roommate said the sound was too loud when I used the 20 watt built in speakers, and his roommate was in the back room in his house, many rooms away. So it depends on room you are in , and if you NEED extra bass, you can add subwoofer in audio out. smile.gif
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post #4 of 10 Old 09-04-2012, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgtaa View Post

Not sure why the other guy is recommending a hc3800 refurb from a certain company and he is not giving the price or reason you should get it. Does he work for that company. Can't he say more that just a one line statement, like why he thinks it's the best. How is one year warranty better than 3 years.
I have owned my pro8200 for 9 months, and I still have 2 years and 3 months left on my warranty.

I am recommending the HC3800 because it is the best projector under $1,000 right now. I've had mine for over 2 years and it's an excellent projector. And I didn't give the price because it's against the forum rules!! I didn't say a 1 year warranty is better than 3. The OP asked for the best projector under $1,000, and right now it's the HC3800. Just read the reviews at Projectorcentral.com and Projectorreviews.com about these 3 projectors, and see which one comes out on top.
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post #5 of 10 Old 09-04-2012, 04:43 PM
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I think the hc3800 is a great PJ too, like the pro8200. Both are very good projectors.

The hc3800 was in the 2010 roundup in projectorreviews, it held the same runner up position as the pro8200 did in 2011, the next year. So maybe back in 2010 when you bought it , the pro8200 wasn't made yet so that is why it didn't show up in 2010 roundup. smile.gif But for 2 years after the pro8200 beat it in 2011,2012 round ups.

The pro8200 has dark chip 3! Your outdated model is dark chip 2. The hc4000 and the pro8200 both have the same chip: dark chip 3. The pro8200 has internal speakers, longer bulb life, longer warranty, more inputs/outputs, much BRIGHTER, good for gaming, low in rainbow effect (which the hc3800 sucks in comparison).

Also, compare the USER reviews on Amazon of the pro8200 and the hc3800, and find out for yourself which got better user reviews, and look at dates of reviews.

Look and read the last 5 or 10 pages in the hc3800 forum to see if people have problems with unit, and then read last 5 or 10 pages in pro8200 and compare, just READ them. And make up your own mind.

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1174443/unofficial-mitsubishi-hc3800-thread/6180

The problems I ran into the last 10 pages of the hc3800 thread was the "dreaded vertical banding issue", "horizontal flickering lines", "shutdown issues", "light flickering in image like power failing", projector vibrating, problems with color wheel, "skaky/blurry image", etc ... that was looking at just 2 pages 201, 202.

Then look at pro8200 forum room, NO PROBLEMS like those in hc3800 thread. Some person did complain of horizontal lines that turned out to be faulty cable. Or someone just got the pro8200 and used receiver or blue ray player and didn't know they had to adjust settings in those players/receiver to get it to work. Now when pro8200 first came out, it had problems with firmware, but that has long been fixed, that was a couple of years ago, but NO problems the last 9 months anyone reported, even if there happens to be a "problem", we have 3 years, until 2015 to get it fixed, right?
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post #6 of 10 Old 09-04-2012, 07:59 PM
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They're different projectors for different purposes, and you need to decide how you intend to use it.

That will determine which is best for you.

In a strict light controlled home theater environment, the HC3800 is probably the best projector. I'm using the 8200 in that setting and I had to add a ND filter (actually I'm using a CC30R filter) and it brought the the projector down to about 17-19 fL on a 100" screen. And take the filter off and I can watch it with lights on.

I recently took it outside and I was pleasantly surprised how how early in the evening we could start the movie, and while I only used a 110" screen, it easily could have projected a 130-140" image.

And the sound was adequate from the internal speakers (until a rock concert in a nearby park (4 blocks away) started. Fortunately I had a additional sound system.

So in my opinion, if you're going to set it up as a home theater, the mits might be the better choice since it has superior contrast range (although Coderguy has mentioned the rainbows from the mits-- which he says is superior on the 8200. I almost never see rainbows on the 8200 (mostly on the credits- white lettering on black background.)

I'm very happy with the 8200 as it offers versatility with a little sacrifice in black level (although the filter does significantly help).

What I'm mostly impressed with is the quality of picture $700-800 will buy.
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post #7 of 10 Old 09-05-2012, 03:19 AM
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It comes down to:

mits hc3800 and optoma hd20 use the DARK CHIP 2 , which is older tech level chip

mits hc4000 and viewsonic pro8200 use the DARK CHIP 3, more current tech level chip.

Mits hc4000 is 300-400 dollars more than pro8200
Mits hc4000 has 2 year warranty, pro8200 has 3 year warranty
Mits hc4000 has no speakers, pro8200 has 20 watts (10x2) internal speakers.
Mits hc4000 1300 lumens, pro8200 2,000 lumens.
Mits hc4000 suffers from RBE, the pro8200 doesn't.
Mits hc4000 doesn't have much in the way of inputs/outputs, the pro8200 has a ton more.

in a way, the mits might have a little better blacks, but "duh", might have to do with having 700 lumens less. What happens to dark room, when you shine a brighter light in room, the darkness (blackness) is less. Put filter on pro8200 for first 500 hours, and pro8200 looks better in blacks and "brighter" picture as well.
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post #8 of 10 Old 09-05-2012, 06:40 PM
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Fatpirate may have disappeared at sea. The HC4000 is over his budget anyway, so that leaves HC3800 and Pro 8200.
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post #9 of 10 Old 09-08-2012, 07:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Avast me mateys I have returned! I think the Mitsubishi will have a better picture but the viewsonics versatility has won me over. I do have a darkened room so I am curious about the filter a couple of you mentioned (where to buy, cost, how to use). Also screen advice would be appreciated. Should I DIY? I am thinking a screen between 110" and 130". Thank all of you for your help and useful advice.
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post #10 of 10 Old 09-08-2012, 10:24 PM
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I wouldn't buy the filter until you're sure you need it. First get everything set up and calibrate the projector, setting bulb to low power mode. Your screen size depends on your seating distance from screen. A DIY screen is a great way to go. That's all I've ever used. My current screen(and best yet) is a sheet of "Wilsonart" Designer White laminate, in a matte finish. If you'd rather paint a screen, there are numerous paint formulas in the DIY Screen section here.
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