Outdoor Projector Needed - cheap - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 09-25-2013, 07:55 AM - Thread Starter
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I am looking to purchase my first projector ever and use it for outdoor viewing. My initial thoughts are setting up the projector inside the garage and rear projecting it onto a screen that is sitting right in the garage door opening. The garage door opening is the standard 9'x7'. I would like the best/cheapest projector with an HDMI input, that will project at least 720p. I am also not sure what the best screen size would be for that application. People will be sitting in the driveway anywhere from 10-25 feet from the screen. Also keep in mind that I could possibly move this projector to a future screened in porch to mount and shoot onto a retractable screen. Thanks!
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post #2 of 17 Old 09-25-2013, 08:11 AM
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I don't know what your lighting requirements are, but...

You do realize projectors do not do well with any light?

Viewsonic PJD7820HD is the brightest cheap 1080p, and has 3D. Decent projector, some might see the rainbow effect. This will still not work in the middle of the day probably (depending on which direction light is coming from), but it will work with some non-directional ambient light.

If you will be watching at night only or in pitch black, then look at the Optoma hd131xe. Otherwise, you could look at the Acer h5360 or an Epson 707 (or other 7 series) for 720p solutions.


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post #3 of 17 Old 09-25-2013, 09:10 AM
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What do you mean by "Cheap"? $300, $500, ?
Do you know if you prefer DLP or LCD?
I have the Epson 725HD (WXGA, 2800 Lumens, 12,000:1 contrast) and have been very happy with it. I use it for outdoor viewing and It will handle a fair amount of ambient light. I haven't had much experience with DLP. I did have the BenQ MW519 for a couple days and wasn't impressed (it is a low end PJ and more for presentations). It was supposed to be 2800 Lumens as well, but to me it didn't seem to have the output of the 705HD which is 2600 Lumens. (I read somewhere that the color wheel causes DLPs to have much lower color output in general) I've used a number of the Epsons and have always been happy with them. You can find some refurb deals that should fit your needs for under $500. Like the EX7210 is $429 right now at Epson's site https://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/BuyEpson/ccProductCategory.jsp?BV_UseBVCookie=yes&oid=-16761
It's WXGA, 2800 Lumens, 3000:1 contrast and a 1 year warranty.
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post #4 of 17 Old 09-25-2013, 12:36 PM - Thread Starter
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I would mainly be watching it in the evenings or at night. But would love for it to work "ok" during the day. That's why I thought it would be best to setup in a dark garage with the screen almost at the garage door itself. By cheap, I was hoping to stay around $500 and wanted to stick with 720P....don't have a need for 1080P in this situation. I would be willing to spend a little more if it was justifiable.
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post #5 of 17 Old 09-25-2013, 01:40 PM
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Your idea of rear projection in the garage is an excellent plan. This is the only way to get a viewable picture in daylight just as you do with a rear projection TV. I have built these before for my well lit Solar house. But you will need some rear projection screen material that's just for that purpose. Its a very dark gray semitransparent plastic sheet but if its still available it might be expensive for a 9' x 7' screen (I paid 10 years ago about $60 for a 90" screen) .

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post #6 of 17 Old 09-25-2013, 06:03 PM - Thread Starter
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The screen will most likely be somewhere just under 9'x7', but how do I know what size I can make it? I have been looking at the Epson 700 series PowerLite's, possibly the 707,725,710, or 730. I have read about making a screen out of a frosted shower curtain...thoughts?
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post #7 of 17 Old 09-25-2013, 07:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rekbones View Post

Your idea of rear projection in the garage is an excellent plan. This is the only way to get a viewable picture in daylight just as you do with a rear projection TV. I have built these before for my well lit Solar house. But you will need some rear projection screen material that's just for that purpose. Its a very dark gray semitransparent plastic sheet but if its still available it might be expensive for a 9' x 7' screen (I paid 10 years ago about $60 for a 90" screen) .

This is a neat idea.
I always wondered how much difference this makes, does it really help with ambient light that much?


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

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post #8 of 17 Old 09-25-2013, 07:44 PM
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This works well if the room behind the screen is completely dark with only the projector producing light. A light colored material is not what you want as this will hurt your black level. A single layer of dark gray spandex might work but the light absorbed by it might be too much. The material used for this was readily available 10 years ago I don't know about now and in the size you need. If you could find a dark gray shower fabric big enough it would be close to the material made for this purpose.

EDIT
just found several examples of screens even ready made for $165 on ebay, just search for rear projection screen material

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post #9 of 17 Old 09-25-2013, 08:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Looks like i will be going with a 120" diagonal screen size. Now just trying to find the best material to use on a DIY frame.
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post #10 of 17 Old 09-26-2013, 05:10 AM
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Carl's has the rear projection film. http://www.carlofet.com/projector-screen-material/rear-projection-film-projector-screen-raw-material.html
5" of the 10.5' wide stuff would be more than enough for a 120" screen. (assuming your going 16:9)
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post #11 of 17 Old 09-26-2013, 08:24 AM - Thread Starter
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That is exactly what I was looking at getting...the 9'x5' from Carl's. So does anyone have any thoughts on the following projectors? I have settled on the Epson 700 series and I am leaning towards the 725HD. The reason I am leaning towards that over the 710HD, 730HD, or the 750HD is the lamp replacement seems to be half the price. Lumens, contrast etc, seems the same for all of them, so I am thinking why not save $100-$250 on the projector.
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post #12 of 17 Old 09-26-2013, 09:54 AM
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Again, I have the 725HD (I was apparently the 1st to get one) and am very happy with it. My Bro-in-law has the 705HD and I've used it a few times and I think the higher contrast of the 725 makes a huge difference. My son-in-law has the 720HD and the PQ of it really impressed me. It has 10,000:1 contrast ratio, but it's only 1600 Lumens so it has to be almost totally dark before you get a good image (it also has lens shift and more zoom which I really liked, but don't have to have and it was $1k). The 730 is pretty much the same PJ with 200 more lumens and a 2 yr warranty (vs 1 yr for the 725) and the 750 adds 3d. For $550 I think the 725HD is hard to beat. especially for outdoor use.
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post #13 of 17 Old 09-26-2013, 11:00 AM - Thread Starter
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I completely agree and I believe I have made up my mind on the 725HD. Thanks! No need for 1080p or 3D, and I need the added lumens more than the contrast ratio.
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post #14 of 17 Old 09-28-2013, 08:27 AM
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Finally got some screen shots. I couldn't seem to find a setting on my camera that would capture a still without the flash, but I got a few, somewhat acceptable shots. The screen is a 10' x 15' white tarp. The 1st is the pre show cartoon. The sun had just hit the horizon and it was light enough to see outside. The 2nd is the previews and the sun was below the horizon, but there was still some reflection off the clouds.






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post #15 of 17 Old 09-29-2013, 04:43 PM
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I had Carls make me a grometted rear projection screen for outdoor use for Halloween and I LOVE it. http://stores.ebay.com/Carls-Place-Projector-Screens
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post #16 of 17 Old 10-02-2013, 07:41 PM - Thread Starter
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I got my custom screen from Carl's yesterday along with frame kit. I am so far extremely impressed with the 725HD. Below is a pic around 2pm while it was extremely bright outside. Impressed.
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post #17 of 17 Old 12-19-2013, 05:26 PM
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very nice, curious to see what it would look like outside the garage with a front PJ
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Reply Digital Projectors - Under $3,000 USD MSRP

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