Good projector for $1000 or less... help! : ) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 09-12-2012, 08:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello!

My children and I have been saving up to buy a projector for my husband's birthday. We're hoping to stay around $800, but we could stretch it to $1,000. I've been researching for days and I've narrowed it down to:

Acer H6500
Mitsubishi HC4000
Optoma HD20
BenQ W1200

I'm sure that's not a "surprising list" given our price range. : ) They all seem to be good machines, with pros and cons to each. I'm hoping you'll be able to advise me for what would work best for our situation.

(Our previous projector is a Mitsubishi HD1000. It has served us well, but it's getting a bit long in tooth and my husband would love to have an HD projector. Our screen is a 95.6" DIY, gray Wilsonart with a black velvet covered wood border. )

Our theater is set up in the guest apartment above our garage. While it is technically in the "home" category as opposed to the "theater" category, it is close to a theater set up. There are two interior rooms (a bathroom and a bedroom) that can be shut off from the living room. The living room has two windows on either side of the front door. They are not overly large and can easily be completely light blocked. The room is very dark at night, (we live in the country). The ceiling is 7'3". We will be ceiling mounting the projector and leaving it in place, (no plans to haul it around places). We will be using the projector almost exclusively for movies - no gaming. We will need to hook up our media PC and a surround sound system. We also need HDMI input(s).

Hmm... what else... I remember from when we researched years ago that my husband was looking for good blacks, and no, (or very little), screen door effect. He is a detail oriented man and will notice imperfections where they exist. I wish we could buy him a more expensive machine, but it's not possible. I believe that whatever we get will be a great improvement over what we have, though we have been happy with it.

I greatly appreciate your time and value your input.

Have a wonderful day!
Stacie
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post #2 of 18 Old 09-12-2012, 10:53 AM
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Maybe also add the viewsonic pro8200 to the list, it might not be the right one for your husband. But if you do have kids and they play video games or watch sports football tv, when not on sale it's 799, maybe read reviews and research it too. It is 3 year warranty, bright. etc. It is a hard call to make for someone else, maybe the hc4000 which is 1,100 dollars on amazon would make the logical choice, since he has the hc1000 already, don't know. You have all good PJ's on your list, and just for movies, you should be fine with any of them. Maybe look for one of those on sale. Maybe also get one that has good return policy, so if he doesn't like what ever he gets, he can be honest with you and get something else. And not take 15 percent restocking fee. Maybe someone else has some suggestions, that would help you. Very nice present to get your husband, you are a "keeper". smile.gif
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post #3 of 18 Old 09-12-2012, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by rgtaa View Post

Maybe also add the viewsonic pro8200 to the list, it might not be the right one for your husband. But if you do have kids and they play video games or watch sports football tv, when not on sale it's 799, maybe read reviews and research it too. It is 3 year warranty, bright. etc. It is a hard call to make for someone else, maybe the hc4000 which is 1,100 dollars on amazon would make the logical choice, since he has the hc1000 already, don't know. You have all good PJ's on your list, and just for movies, you should be fine with any of them. Maybe look for one of those on sale. Maybe also get one that has good return policy, so if he doesn't like what ever he gets, he can be honest with you and get something else. And not take 15 percent restocking fee. Maybe someone else has some suggestions, that would help you. Very nice present to get your husband, you are a "keeper". smile.gif

I've also had the mitsubishi hd 1000 u for the last five years. It's a great machine i'm not sure that any of those would be a big improuvment in blacks on dark sceens. My guess and choice would be in mitsubishi hc 4000

I would put a new bulb in your projector for 200$ and wait till i could do a real upgrade to better blacks . Example epson 8700 ub
But thats just me!

Good luck
Ps sorry i quoted the wrong person

infocus 4805, mitsubishi hd1000, optoma hd 20 for one month, and now epson 8500ub
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post #4 of 18 Old 09-12-2012, 12:07 PM
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Mits. HC3800. Check out the price at Projector People, GREAT deal on a great projector(yes, I own it). It's a refurb, and it has a 1 year warranty.
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post #5 of 18 Old 09-12-2012, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McC View Post

Mits. HC3800. Check out the price at Projector People, GREAT deal on a great projector(yes, I own it). It's a refurb, and it has a 1 year warranty.

Bought one of there "refurb" HC4000s that came with the dreaded checkerboard issue, lamp also has 644 hours on it. Good deal, but I wasn't happy.

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post #6 of 18 Old 09-12-2012, 01:07 PM
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Jim
You bought your hc3800 new , right, a few years ago?
Why would you recommend Projector People , this is part of there return policy on PJ.
http://www.projectorpeople.com/customer-service/purchase.asp

Please note: non-new, remanufactured or refurbished B-stock or C-stock products are not eligible for exchange if they are Defective* or D.O.A.**. They are eligible for factory authorized repairs only.

So, in effect , you bought it , you own it. No returns no refunds, on refurbs.
Correct me, Jim, if I am wrong. Thanks


http://www.avsforum.com/t/1280645/online-retailer-that-lets-you-return-projectors
read this thread for different return policy's , check out amazon's 30 days , and doesn't go by hours on bulb, like projector people does, if you go over 4 hours on NEW PJ at projector people, 15 percent restocking fee, and if you go over 10 hours, YOU OWN IT, can't return it. And you can't return it PERIOD if it's a refurb. Jim, you should have pointed that out, why didn't you?
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post #7 of 18 Old 09-12-2012, 03:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikeswife View Post

Hello!
My children and I have been saving up to buy a projector for my husband's birthday. We're hoping to stay around $800, but we could stretch it to $1,000. I've been researching for days and I've narrowed it down to:
Acer H6500
Mitsubishi HC4000
Optoma HD20
BenQ W1200
I'm sure that's not a "surprising list" given our price range. : ) They all seem to be good machines, with pros and cons to each. I'm hoping you'll be able to advise me for what would work best for our situation.
(Our previous projector is a Mitsubishi HD1000. It has served us well, but it's getting a bit long in tooth and my husband would love to have an HD projector. Our screen is a 95.6" DIY, gray Wilsonart with a black velvet covered wood border. )
Our theater is set up in the guest apartment above our garage. While it is technically in the "home" category as opposed to the "theater" category, it is close to a theater set up. There are two interior rooms (a bathroom and a bedroom) that can be shut off from the living room. The living room has two windows on either side of the front door. They are not overly large and can easily be completely light blocked. The room is very dark at night, (we live in the country). The ceiling is 7'3". We will be ceiling mounting the projector and leaving it in place, (no plans to haul it around places). We will be using the projector almost exclusively for movies - no gaming. We will need to hook up our media PC and a surround sound system. We also need HDMI input(s).
Hmm... what else... I remember from when we researched years ago that my husband was looking for good blacks, and no, (or very little), screen door effect. He is a detail oriented man and will notice imperfections where they exist. I wish we could buy him a more expensive machine, but it's not possible. I believe that whatever we get will be a great improvement over what we have, though we have been happy with it.
I greatly appreciate your time and value your input.
Have a wonderful day!
Stacie

I tried the hd 20 for a month and i found the colors and brightness to be very very nice. The only complaint that i had was about the blacks on dark sceens, example the bars on a 2:35 movie are not black but rather grey and were very distracting for me. Other wise this projector had a beautiful picture.Black levels are easily evaluated using the black bars. There is enough light coming through them that they can even light up a dark room. A projector like a epson 8500 will leave you in the dark when there is nothing but black on screen.

infocus 4805, mitsubishi hd1000, optoma hd 20 for one month, and now epson 8500ub
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post #8 of 18 Old 09-12-2012, 04:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for your input thus far. None of us play video games, and we don't have TV, (we live out in the sticks). We could potentially have TV in the future, but it would be a long time from now, (if/when technology catches up to us). Our current projector works fine and doesn't need a new lamp, I just know my husband would love an HD projector. He does so much for us and not much for himself and we'd like to bless him. We *could* keep saving up for something more expensive, but it would honestly take us a year or so, and in the end, it likely wouldn't happen.

After some more reading, I'm leaning towards the Mitsubishi HC4000, and I've also added the Epson 8350 to the list. The Mits seems like a good machine and ours has certainly stood the test of time. It *is* a bit higher than we we're looking to spend, but may be worth it. The Acer sounded like a good machine. I'm not concerned with the lens ring or fiddly adjustment because once we get it set on the ceiling, it won't be moved. The BenQ 1200 is likely too much unless it *really* is a big improvement over the others. I still need to read more on the Viewsonic.

Please keep sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate it.

Stacie
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post #9 of 18 Old 09-12-2012, 05:03 PM
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The Mits hc4000 is the winner in this price range for your usage. I've seen 3 out of the 5 projectors mentioned and owned 2 of them, including the Mits hc4000 and Pro8200. The Mits has the best contrast of any PJ under $1200 that I know of, other than the 720p Benq w710 or Epson 8350 which both have an IRIS. However, the Mits beats the Epson 8350 overall. If your not RBE sensitive and don't need a light cannon for a huge screen and extended placement flexibility (lens shift), then I think the choice is fairly simple, get the Mits it's worth the extra money.


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

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

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post #10 of 18 Old 09-12-2012, 06:54 PM
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I'm not so sure , being a gadget guy that I am, that I would want my wife/girlfriend/parent buying a PJ for me. For something this expensive, and something I would watch everyday, I would like the person to say, "I got this much money put aside for a present for you to get a PJ", these are the models I was thinking of getting for you, tell me which one you think you would like. Let me know. I love you and I want to get you something I know you would like, and I'm not sure which one you would like. So research it yourself too, and I'll buy it for you and wrap it up for you. I started this thread on AVS, and these are some of the suggestions I got. Think about it and let me know which you think would be best for our room.
What do you other guys think, about your wife buying a PJ for you? Do you think she would get the right model, without your input? smile.gif
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post #11 of 18 Old 09-12-2012, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by rgtaa View Post

I'm not so sure , being a gadget guy that I am, that I would want my wife/girlfriend/parent buying a PJ for me. For something this expensive, and something I would watch everyday, I would like the person to say, "I got this much money put aside for a present for you to get a PJ", these are the models I was thinking of getting for you, tell me which one you think you would like. Let me know. I love you and I want to get you something I know you would like, and I'm not sure which one you would like. So tell, and I'll buy it for you and wrap it up for you.
What do you other guys think, about your wife buying a PJ for you? Do you think she would get the right model, without your input? smile.gif

My favorite part about buying a projector is shopping for it, and doing all the research. I can spend six months researching, and when i buy it, i'm usually sad because i will probably not be cumming back to this site for the next fore or five years. When i commit and buy it, i usually start feeling feer that i might have made the wrong choice, but that usually goes away when i realize how much research i had done. I MAKE SURE I GET IT RIGHT.

infocus 4805, mitsubishi hd1000, optoma hd 20 for one month, and now epson 8500ub
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post #12 of 18 Old 09-12-2012, 08:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgtaa View Post

Jim
You bought your hc3800 new , right, a few years ago?
Why would you recommend Projector People , this is part of there return policy on PJ.
http://www.projectorpeople.com/customer-service/purchase.asp
Please note: non-new, remanufactured or refurbished B-stock or C-stock products are not eligible for exchange if they are Defective* or D.O.A.**. They are eligible for factory authorized repairs only.
So, in effect , you bought it , you own it. No returns no refunds, on refurbs.
Correct me, Jim, if I am wrong. Thanks
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1280645/online-retailer-that-lets-you-return-projectors
read this thread for different return policy's , check out amazon's 30 days , and doesn't go by hours on bulb, like projector people does, if you go over 4 hours on NEW PJ at projector people, 15 percent restocking fee, and if you go over 10 hours, YOU OWN IT, can't return it. And you can't return it PERIOD if it's a refurb. Jim, you should have pointed that out, why didn't you?

Yes, I did buy mine new. I saw the refurb deal with the 1 year warranty, and did not read any further. Please forgive me. The buyer needs to do some homework. wink.gif
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post #13 of 18 Old 09-15-2012, 09:38 AM - Thread Starter
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I went with the Mitsubishi HC400 - it should arrive Wednesday. If it's not what he wants, we'll return it and he can pick something else. I'm pretty sure it's what he would pick for himself though. The children and I are super excited to give it to him! Thank you for your help.

Have a wonderful day!
Stacie
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post #14 of 18 Old 09-15-2012, 12:30 PM
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Sounds like you got the best PJ for him. Let us know how everything goes.
I want a wife like you. smile.gif
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post #15 of 18 Old 09-16-2012, 01:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikeswife View Post

I went with the Mitsubishi HC400 - it should arrive Wednesday. If it's not what he wants, we'll return it and he can pick something else. I'm pretty sure it's what he would pick for himself though. The children and I are super excited to give it to him! Thank you for your help.
Have a wonderful day!
Stacie

Good on ya. The fact you put as much research into it that you did is what would make me happy regardless. I'm sure he'll feel the same. :-)
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post #16 of 18 Old 09-21-2012, 02:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks again everyone! My husband was super surprised and THRILLED with his new projector. He said it was the one he would have picked himself. smile.gif We also bought him the new Indiana Jones 4 pack, so he's pretty set for movie nights. We watched the first one after the party, (Much after since he had to fiddle with his new toy for quite awhile), and it looked amazing! I am very impressed with this pj. All in all a great gift. smile.gif
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post #17 of 18 Old 09-21-2012, 04:08 PM
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Mike is a lucky guy! Happy Birthday!
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post #18 of 18 Old 09-21-2012, 05:22 PM
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This is a great story, and thanks for reporting back how it went!
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