Choosing the right projector ~$1000 - AVS Forum
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Old 09-16-2012, 05:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi. I want to buy a 1080p projector in the $1000 price range (actually I'm in Europe so it's more like 800€/900€) and I was hoping you guys could give me some advice.

I don't have a dedicated black room so I'm looking for a "living room" projector or something like that. The main use will be to watch movies, but I also want to be able to occasionally watch tv/sports and maybe play some games. The throw distance is 11.5 feet into a white wall (I was not planning to buy a screen for now). The windows are far from this wall and I can control the incoming light relatively well.

I read a few reviews and I was thinking about buying the Benq W1100, but I am not sure if it is bright enough. I like to watch movies with the lights off, but to watch tv or sports I would like to have some light in the room. This is my first projector and I am still a little confused about the lumens value.

Any suggestions are welcome. Thanks
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Old 09-16-2012, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by nmat View Post

Hi. I want to buy a 1080p projector in the $1000 price range (actually I'm in Europe so it's more like 800€/900€) and I was hoping you guys could give me some advice.
I don't have a dedicated black room so I'm looking for a "living room" projector or something like that. The main use will be to watch movies, but I also want to be able to occasionally watch tv/sports and maybe play some games. The throw distance is 11.5 feet into a white wall (I was not planning to buy a screen for now). The windows are far from this wall and I can control the incoming light relatively well.
I read a few reviews and I was thinking about buying the Benq W1100, but I am not sure if it is bright enough. I like to watch movies with the lights off, but to watch tv or sports I would like to have some light in the room. This is my first projector and I am still a little confused about the lumens value.
Any suggestions are welcome. Thanks

I tested a optoma hd20 from costco for 800.00 Canadian for a month .The picture quality, the sharpness, and the brightness are outstanding for that price range. The blacks and dark scenes are not for a video-file but they will satisfy the average person. No other projector at that price point has better blacks anyway.

infocus 4805, mitsubishi hd1000, optoma hd 20 for one month, and now epson 8500ub
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Old 09-16-2012, 09:38 PM
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The hc4000, unless it's a lot more expensive there...
Actually it's even a little more expensive than the Hd20 in the US. Looks like the HD20 has dropped in price some more here since I last looked.


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Old 09-17-2012, 03:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the answers. Unfortunately the HD20 seems kind of expensive here. Here are the prices for a few models:

Viewsonic PRO 8200 - $1000
BenQ W1100 - $1050
BenQ W1200 - $1230
Mitsubishi HC4000 - $1280
Optoma HD20 - $1400

I read really good reviews about both the HC4000 and the W1200, but they are a little more expensive. So, you think that I can use the HC4000 without a completely dark room?
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Old 09-17-2012, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by nmat View Post

Thanks for the answers. Unfortunately the HD20 seems kind of expensive here. Here are the prices for a few models:
Viewsonic PRO 8200 - $1000
BenQ W1100 - $1050
BenQ W1200 - $1230
Mitsubishi HC4000 - $1280
Optoma HD20 - $1400
I read really good reviews about both the HC4000 and the W1200, but they are a little more expensive. So, you think that I can use the HC4000 without a completely dark room?

Here in canada the hd 20 replacement is the hd200x witch is basicly the same thing but could be sold by big store retailers for 300 to 400 less expensive. I know that Europe has thier model also just do a quick research and you will find it.

From all the research that i've been doing over the last years, i too believe that the mitsubishi hc4000 is a fantastic projector. I never saw one in action but I've owned the lower end mitsubishi 1000u and at the time 5 years ago it was the best value for a low priced projector. If i didn't buy my epson 8500u my next projector in line would have been the hc4000. The only thing i think is negative about the mitsubishi hc4000 is probably going to be it's brightness in best mode. A living room with ambiant light is probably not the right place to have a mitsubishi hc4000.

infocus 4805, mitsubishi hd1000, optoma hd 20 for one month, and now epson 8500ub
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Old 09-17-2012, 09:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmat View Post

Thanks for the answers. Unfortunately the HD20 seems kind of expensive here. Here are the prices for a few models:
Viewsonic PRO 8200 - $1000
BenQ W1100 - $1050
BenQ W1200 - $1230
Mitsubishi HC4000 - $1280
Optoma HD20 - $1400
I read really good reviews about both the HC4000 and the W1200, but they are a little more expensive. So, you think that I can use the HC4000 without a completely dark room?

Well, let's see you want a PJ that is going to placed in room that is gonna have some lights in it , at times. (so you need model with lumens to cover you, right?... well the pro8200 has the most lumens of the bunch you listed)

You need a model for movies , tv watching with some lights on, and gaming (so low lag) The pro8200 seems to be good for all 3 areas, (now if you didn't have gaming, or were in dark room, some of the others would be good too, but since you need something that will do all 3 things, cheapest model can do all 3 things.)

Do you care about warranty, pro8200 3 years and 1 year on bulb, hc4000 2 years with 1 year on bulb, the other 3 models I believe are 1 year with 90 days on bulb. Something to consider, if you want peace of mind.

Do you care for model that is in 2011 and 2012 Projectorreviews.com yearly round up, as either 2nd best in under 2,000 dollar range or honor mentioned this year,again the pro8200 made it both years.

Do you want the model with lowest REPORTED rainbow effect, or ones that sucked so bad, people had to return them because it gave them headaches? And if you are not sure if you are sensitive, do you want to take a chance, and buy it then return it and pay 15 percent restocking fee, or buy model you will not have to worry about? Again, the pro8200.

Look at thread on mits hc1000 vs hc4000 and brightness to see the results people found.

Now if you do get the pro8200, it will be very bright when you get it, but it will tame down after you put hours on bulb. But the good thing about the cheapest model, YOU GET the LONGEST bulb hours of the whole bunch. 6,000 hours. With cheap bulb replacement.

Also, out of the bunch, the pro8200, has 20 watt internal speakers and most of the rest of them don't have any speakers or very, very low watt speakers.
Also, out of the bunch, the inputs/outputs , the pro8200 has the most of all of them, even mic input (not that you need it unless you are into karaoke or are one of those guys that add funny comments into super bad 1950's sc-fi movies).

Maybe read pro reviews and user reviews and get something that fits your room and viewing style. Listen to everybody, but, look at the specs. smile.gif
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Old 09-17-2012, 01:15 PM
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I would be slightly concerned about FAN noise with that close throw (11.5 feet), because that also generally means your ears will probably end up very close to the projector (hence, the fans).
Also, being right at closest throw is going to help with brightness a little, so all you really need to do is get a screen with some gain, and the hc4000 should work for you. I would say pair with 1.4 gain or get a positive gain gray screen (these are really good for ambient light), and then you will be ok even with the hc4000. Actually it will even be too bright at first if you do this (but you said you wanted to be able to fight ambient light, so maybe buy an interchangeable ND filter to put on when it is dark in the room).

The Pro8200 would be better if fighting ambient light is your main concern, but the fans will be louder (it's not the loudest, but it is louder than the Mits hc4000). You will not be projecting a super giant screen anyhow (I assume about 100"), and at closest throw and some screen gain, the hc4000 will be super bright (you will have plenty of lumens to spare).

In the case of FAN noise, I might scratch off a few from the normally recommended list like the Benq w6000 (too loud). I do not recall how loud the Optoma hd20 is (might want to read Art's review on it at www.projectorcentral.com).

Also with that close and inflexible mounting distance (since I'm assuming your running out of space), keep in mind that the length of the projector also reduces your throw distance (since lens is on the front of the PJ), and with most projectors at that throw you will end up projecting a fairly small screen. Overall, both the Mits hc4000 and Pro8200 vent hot air out the sides, so that is going to allow you to mount the projector more flush against the wall in order to maximize projection size (whereas with some PJ's if they vent out the back, you may lose a few more inches if the PJ is too close to hitting the back wall, because you will need air circulation). The Mits hc4000 and Pro8200 also have a slightly shorter starting throw range and more ZOOM, so these two will have more flexibility in producing a larger image than some of the others. The Pro8200 and Mits hc4000 are both pretty much exactly the same in mounting distance and zoom (within a couple inches).

I am not certain if you were talking about 11.5 feet throw from the lens (which would mean you still have about 12-14 inches extra to fit the PJ in, because Pro8200 and hc4000 are about a foot long). You will therefore be projecting with the lens about 10.5 feet from the screen if you did not account for the added length of the PJ itself, so just keep that in mind when selecting a screen size. In the case of the Mits hc4000 and Pro8200, your max screen size will be about 100" if what I just noted was true (10.5 feet), otherwise max screen size is about 110" (11.5 feet).


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Old 09-17-2012, 01:57 PM
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That could be true about the fans bothering some people with the pro8200. My head is less then 1 foot from the pro8200, when I'm seated, I have the pro8200 on a bookshelf 4 or 5 foot above the ground. I also am using eco mode, lowest mode, and I never hear the fans, now I'm not really listening for them, but really I never noticed it. Now when I turn the unit off, yes, that is when I hear the fans go for about 20-30 seconds before shut off. I'm so close to unit, it's directly above my head and back less than a foot. I usually have room fan on or computer on, or air conditioner could be on, so there is always a little noise in my room. So in super quiet room maybe I would hear it, I also have speakers directly to the side of me, so movie or game or something is blaring out the speakers, when I'm watching stuff, or the computer is directly behind me, below the pro8200. So thinking about it, I might be the best test subject for the fan sound test. biggrin.gif

Yeah, maybe with special screen the hc4000 would work for you, hc4000 (1300lumens) vs pro8200(2,000) lumens.

Also, I am in room that is not batcave, the windows on the side of room are covered with blanket when I watch the pj during the day, but behind the screen 2 windows are still shining a little light into the room.

Now if you are in darker room, the mits hc4000 would give you better blacks and over all better picture, but you might be pushing it if not in batcave, 700 lumens less does make it a very low lumen PJ.

In comparisions:
optoma hd20 ... ..1,700 lumens,
benq w1200 ...... 1,800 lumens
pro8200 ........... .2,000 lumens ,
hc4000 ............. 1,300 lumens.

Coderguy's reference point is in dark room, with dark walls, dark carpeting, dark chairs, with special screen. So for him, the hc4000 looks awesome compared to the other models, it's dark in that room so having too many lumens would be like someone shining a flashlight in your face, you get the idea smile.gif. I'm not watching my PJ in that type room , because it sounds like a wonderful room for watching movies and gaming. I would love to have a room like that. . It would be like going to movie theater , only better, no loud kids or people with big heads in front the screen. But out of the models you listed, the mits 4000 falls far shorter than any other models you listed in the lumens dept.
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Old 09-17-2012, 02:18 PM - Thread Starter
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You're right coderguy, I don't have much space. I just measured the space between the two walls and it's around 11.8 feet which means that the throw distance will be around 11feet (by the way, thanks for the tip on the vents, I hadn't thought of that). Regarding warranty, in Europe, or at least where I live, it is required by law that every product must have at least 2 years warranty and that is enough for me. And yes, the fan noise is also thing to consider because I'll sit relatively close to the projector.

Well, I think I understood the pros and cos of the each solution so have to think about this. I may be willing to give a little extra for the Mits' better image quality... Just one more thing, do you think that the Benq W1100 is not good enough? Projectorreviews.com didn't review it, but from what I read it seems to be a close competitor to the ViewSonic, plus the fans are quieter.
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Old 09-17-2012, 02:56 PM
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Maybe read projectorreviews section on audio noise, for all the models. He seems to think they are all about the same. 31 db on high mode and in middle 20's in eco mode. I just read them, I always use eco mode, and he suggested it's pretty quiet in that mode. But DLP's are louder than other type PJ's he seems to suggest.

I didn't know you guys in europe get 2 year warranty on all products , that is very nice, you guys are well protected, so you can cross warranty off your list. Good luck in whatever you get.
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Old 09-17-2012, 03:20 PM
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You're right coderguy, I don't have much space. I just measured the space between the two walls and it's around 11.8 feet which means that the throw distance will be around 11feet (by the way, thanks for the tip on the vents, I hadn't thought of that). Regarding warranty, in Europe, or at least where I live, it is required by law that every product must have at least 2 years warranty and that is enough for me. And yes, the fan noise is also thing to consider because I'll sit relatively close to the projector.
Well, I think I understood the pros and cos of the each solution so have to think about this. I may be willing to give a little extra for the Mits' better image quality... Just one more thing, do you think that the Benq W1100 is not good enough? Projectorreviews.com didn't review it, but from what I read it seems to be a close competitor to the ViewSonic, plus the fans are quieter.

The w1100 and w1200 have MUCH more gaming lag (if you care) than either the Mits hc4000 or Viewsonic Pro8200. If you don't care about gaming lag and do want the Benq, I'd look at the w1200 over the w1100. Also, the Benq's are some of the loudest of the bunch, so I would be hesitant to buy a projector that close that will be that loud. The Mits hc4000 is definitely the quietest of the bunch, and the DLP's do vary in fan noise, I can attest to that after having heard most of them. The hc4000 in low lamp is virtually silent, the Pro8200 is low whir, and another difference will be that depending on firmware, some Pro8200's seem to change fan speeds while you are watching occasionally (but even if it doesn't, the Mits is still quieter by a tiny bit). The Benq's also tend to have variable fans but overall are much noisier.

When I tested the w1200 and w6000 at Fry's, the noise is far far louder than the MIts, and the VS is about halfway between the Mits and Benqs, so the FAN noise can be a variable factor between these units. Although the hd20 claims 1700 lumens, in reality the projector is not much (if any) brighter than the Mits hc4000. The hd20 is WAY too far off color accuracy wise in the brighter modes, that once you use Cinema mode (or whatever this PJ calls it) and start getting a semi-accurate picture, the Mits hc4000 and Optoma hd20 are essentially the same brightness. Some measured results by some reviewers even suggest the Mits hc4000 is brighter than the Optoma hd20 (but for ballpark sakes consider them the same).

The Viewsonics and Benqs are significantly brighter than the Mits and the Optoma hd20. That is why you cannot trust MFR lumen ratings, I'd look at measured results instead.


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Old 09-17-2012, 04:17 PM
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Maybe it does depend on the each individual PJ, because I go right up to mine in, eco mode, I can't hardly hear anything, I'm talking 5 inchs from the side of the PJ, my ears almost resting on the unit, an hours ago to test. So it might be the luck of the draw, or , my unit having newer firmware they slowed down the fan speed and noise, I don't know. I'm not thinking it's gonna be a problem unless you are really in super quiet room, but everybody's hearing is different.
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