What to look for in a VERY inexpensive used projector - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 09-18-2012, 05:58 PM - Thread Starter
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I am considering buying a used projector on Craigslist or wherever I might find one. I only want to spend $300-$500 so I am clearly not looking for new and/or great. Nor am I looking for something that will last forever. I just want something bigger than my 42" for football games! I probably will not use it much once the college football season is over ...until next year and another Bama National Championship!! I will use it in my basement and intend to project it onto a wall. I will probably set it up to have an image size of 6'to 8' maximum. Can anybody suggest brands or features to look for? Can you tell me what brands or models to avoid? Is there any way to tell if the lamps are nearing the end of their life?
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post #2 of 9 Old 09-18-2012, 07:35 PM
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In my opinion you should get a new Optoma HD66 which can be had new at several reputable dealers for just over $500. You get a very good 720p projector with a full warranty. If I were going to spend up to $500 I wouldn't bother with a used projector because you don't ever know when the projector or bulb is going to die. You could get a used one that lasts 6 months or 6 years. You really can't tell. If the bulb dies then a new replacement will be about the cost of the projector itself. If the projector dies then it would cost too much to get fixed. If you get a new (or at leat refurbished) projector you at least have some warranty to fall back on.

If you go for a used one try to get one that is at least 720p resolution that is designed for video, not business or data projection. Higher contrast number are better but generally aren't accurate. Higher lumens represents more light output which means you may not have to have your room as dark. Get one with the lowest hours on the lamp as possible. There are DLP and LCD projectors you will see in that price range. Some prefer one kind over the other. I have had both and I prefer DLP, but I haven't seen any of the newer LCD models.

I had an Optoma HD70 for years and it was great. It had a good combination of resolution, brightness, and contrast. You can find those on Ebay all the time for cheap. But I would get a new $500 HD66 over a used $300 HD70 any day just for the warranty and reliability. Just my opinion.
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post #3 of 9 Old 09-18-2012, 07:39 PM
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post #4 of 9 Old 09-18-2012, 09:52 PM
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+2, "If the bulb dies then a new replacement will be about the cost of the projector itself."
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post #5 of 9 Old 09-19-2012, 11:10 AM
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PowerLite Home Cinema 705HD Projector - Refurbished
$439 on the Epson site

You can prolly find a coupon too.....
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post #6 of 9 Old 09-19-2012, 11:13 AM
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Go with the Acer H5360.

Lumenlab "Community driven video lab".
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post #7 of 9 Old 09-19-2012, 12:09 PM
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I got a used HP projector of eBay for S&G's. I think it was around $150. It's certainly nothing great, but it works fine for watching football games in my garage. You can certainly fine something used off ebay, but wouldn't spend more than the bulb might be worth. You kind of take the seller at their word on the bulb life, but you can find some low hour pj's.

I would look for something with a native 720 resolution. Most of the cheaper pjs you will find will be 800x600. They will look ok, but you may be disappointed comparing it to a flat panel TV

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post #8 of 9 Old 09-19-2012, 12:52 PM
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why not an led projector? search this forum for the lg hx300g, its cheap new and secondhand its what i have and it works great 20000 hours led life, 1024*768 res , 300 lumens which might not sound alot but a 90 inch picture looks very nice and it wont dim and its tiny and looks cool and now i'll shut up and you can go and read up about it then search ebay
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post #9 of 9 Old 09-19-2012, 02:28 PM
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with new acer h5360 going for 420 on amazon.. 720p 3D 2500+ lumens 1 year warranty. the only prob with thse dlp 720p projectors, is some are showing DMD failures 1-2 years in. a used projecor would only make sense under $250. .which is all a 3 yr old lcd with 1000+ hous on the bulb is worth. trouble is they paid $1000 at a big box stores and figure 1/2 that is still fair. it isn't. if you really want a used projector, id sell you my hitachi pjtx-100 with 1600 hrs and a new unused bulb for 200.

i'd still recommend waiting til you have 420 for the acer..why spend 1000 hours looking at an inferior image when for only 10 cents an hour more, you could have something you are happy with? don;t forget the $50 for some 1x3 poplar and black out cloth with coupon from joanns for a screen. another 20 for a 25' hdmi and for less than $500 you have an image 4x the size of a 50" lcd that looks almost as good. IMO
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Reply Digital Projectors - Under $3,000 USD MSRP

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