Projector or TV ? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 37 Old 10-15-2013, 09:42 PM - Thread Starter
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I know its an old question, but I have not found any good information from the last year. I am currently looking to increase my current TV (40") and was planning on projection. So I went to a electronics store to ask some questions and he basically said there is no reason to go projection unless you are looking for portability. I found this odd, and contradictory to everything I have been reading/researching, so I figured to pose the big screen question to a projector bias audience,  Projector or TV? 

 

Clerk's claims for TV

1.  Both Projectors and TV are about on par on Price (including bulb replacements) 60' TV under $1000

2.  TV produce clearer images because projector image is passing through air.  

3.  Possibility of image blocking by walking by with wii/kinex etc.  

 

Personal Home Viewing Needs:

* Main use of large screen will be movies. I watch little TV, and roommate plays maybe 5hrs a week of xbox

* Lighting:  Some Ambient light through windows w/out curtains. (not too sure how to judge).

* Room Size: 15 x  19 Feet (Current TV on 15" wall)

* Budget: Under $1500 for complete setup (including screen, mount, etc).  

* Seating is approx.  9 feet away

* Already Have sound system

*  Eye-strain from TV

* 1st time projector. 

* Projector size would be 100" (if my research is correct) 

 

 

What I want to get from this post is why do you think a projector would be better in general and/or my situation.  Are you happy you purchased a projector?

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post #2 of 37 Old 10-16-2013, 04:14 AM
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Yes a projector is better, and no it does not look fuzzy or blurry because the signal passes through the air. The sharpness issue is mostly a non-issue except on some LCD projectors and a few DLP's as well (though most DLP's are very sharp).

Projectors can be about as sharp as a TV these days, but when you blow up an image to 100"+, you will notice faults more than a 60" TV, that said you will be surprised how clear it looks.

Go watch a pure digital 4k or a DLP at a high quality movie theater, home projectors even under $1000 will sometimes look better than the movie theater (depends which theater).


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post #3 of 37 Old 10-16-2013, 04:35 AM
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Projector all the way, but then again you are asking this in a projector portion of avs. So not really an unexpected answer I wouldn't think.

1) bulb costs depend on how much you use it, it really is a moot point though imho as it will be at least two years before you need a replacement even if you are a heavy user.
2) not the case at all
3) possible, I can't say though as don't often use those systems
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post #4 of 37 Old 10-16-2013, 06:34 AM
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Going to a TV store and asking about a projector is not going to get you good intel..
Spend some time here on AVS and read up on all the ins and outs of using a projector including the screen forum and dedicated room forum.
You have the projector itself, the screen, the room color, speakers and sound gear including a AVR or other switching device etc..
A TV is one stop shop and your are stuck with that size till you replace it.. but it works well in a lit room.. unlike a projector. there are trade offs.
With a projector you can start out with a screen as large as you can fit in your current room and if you move to a bigger house with a bigger room you can get a bigger screen without replacing the projector..(depending on the size as most entry level projectors can not really light up much over 120" 16:9 screen). When they invent a TV that grows and shrink they will have something.. Yes you can just buy a projector and shine it on the wall or a painted screen and get a reasonable image, but unfortunately to get the best results there is a bit more to it than buying a TV and turning it on.
So if you want to plug and play, watch TV and game in a sunny room, jump around right in front of the screen, buy a big TV. If you want to feel like you do when you go to the movie theater with every single thing you watch, educate yourself on what you will need and jump in with both feet! My living room has a 46" TV for day time viewing and 110" screen for all viewing after dusk. I don't have supper high end stuff, however I a using an older very high end projector purchased used.. which is a very good options but maybe not for the first time buyer... see pics in sig below for the before and after recent updates of my simple living room.. Yes, the picture is as good as a TV.. people with 60" TV typically say.. "WOW THIS IS SOO COOL" Size does matter..
Hope that is more helpful than the dimwit at the store.
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post #5 of 37 Old 10-16-2013, 06:50 AM
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There are tradeoffs. Most of us have several TVs that we use for daytime viewing and projectors we use for night or sports TV viewing. Comparing a 42 a 50 or 60 inch TV to a projector is like comparing a rowboat to a cabin cruiser. Imagine having 6- 42 inch screens instead of one. Once you see a football,,,, baseball game or a NASCAR race on a 120 inch screen its hard to go back to a PUNY 50 inch. As far as projectors getting a fair shake at a big box store most of the sales clerks are clueless and want yo sell you a flat screen with the insurance policy! Bohanna.
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post #6 of 37 Old 10-16-2013, 11:36 AM
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I think your screen size is small.

General rule: Screen should be about 9" of diagonal for each foot of viewing distance, so a 12' viewing distance = 110" diagonal. Many people like to go a bit larger than that 'standard'.

Front projectors have the biggest issues with ambient light and poor environments. So, if you can get some shades and curtains for that window to shut down light during daytime hours, and you don't really have any light that falls on the screen, you can get excellent results.

Lights hurt the image on screen, but directional lights can be on while still getting a pretty solid image on screen.

Examples:
http://www.avintegrated.com/lighting.html

In the above examples, the projector is a 12+ year old Panasonic PT-L300U which is putting out 300 or so lumens on a 106" .8 gain grey screen.

60" is cool, and in a well lit room you have to use a flat panel display. Pretty much without exception. But, if you have subdued, and controlled lighting, front projection can look every bit as good as a flat panel of the same size. I say the same size because a 1920x1080 projector is the same resolution as a 1920x1080 flat panel, and if you blow the image up to four times the size, then the pixels are four times as large. It's all about viewing distance as to what the quality will look like if the room is good. At about 1.5x the screen width, the average person can no longer see pixel structure in any form with a 1080p display, regardless of the technology of that display.

There are some brighter, inexpensive projectors which have good light output. The BenQ W1070 and Optoma 131x models, for example, can do quite a bit for not a lot of cash. The BenQ W1080ST is a good option if you want to get closer to the screen and not cast a shadow as the short throw does a great job.

I would recommend, especially if Wii/Kinect type gaming...
Some directional ceiling lights of some sort (track lights, recessed cans on a dimmer, etc.)
BenQ W1080ST ($1,000)
120" Focupix Screen ($290 - http://www.htdepot.com/Focupix-Widescreen-Fixed-Frame-Screen-115-White-p/40016.htm)
Chief RSMAU Mount ($80 - http://www.ebay.com/itm/CHIEF-RSMAU-Mini-Elite-Universal-Projector-Mount-NO-RESERVE-/300991006677?pt=US_Projector_Parts_Accessories&hash=item46147647d5)

That's under your budget, gives you room for a few accessories, perhaps a larger screen (maybe), and will look fantastic.

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post #7 of 37 Old 10-16-2013, 05:24 PM
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I think that is still too small as I believe that ends up about 1.5x seating distance based on screen width. For 12 feet away, I'd do at least a 120" (which is 1.2x seating distance based on screen width).
I sit at 1.0x, some sit at 1.4x (but most in AVS sit around 1.2x or closer).

The only way the poster will know what screen size they prefer is to try the projector at home on the wall before buying the screen, though I'd caution anyone buying their first projector will always feel the screen is too big at first, so I'd still probably use 1.2x screen width as the smallest I'd go, but there is no set rule, it's all a personal preference.


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post #8 of 37 Old 10-16-2013, 05:53 PM
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General rule is based upon THX specifications for center of theater design. If people like sitting in the middle of a movie theater, then 1.5x screen width to seating distance is the formula. Certainly people have their own preference. I'm at about 12' or so from my 161" screen and am not complaining... but budget comes into play as well.

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post #9 of 37 Old 10-16-2013, 07:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses!  More than helpful.  90% sure I am going with projector (just need to talk to roommate concerning some things)

 

To address some points given. 

Curtain- I do have curtains already, they are not up because I have no reason to (yet).  

Screen Size: I don't really know what would be best.  I think 100-140 would be what I want.  

 

I will be purchasing an external screen.  I am in an Apartment, so I can't get anything permanent.  Would the best thing be getting something for the wall or free standing?  

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post #10 of 37 Old 10-16-2013, 10:23 PM
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If u have a white or semi-white wall with nothing blocking the image being projected on it, you don't need a screen. That's the best option. You can increase or decrease the image size as needed. In the worst case, you can get 106" classroom pull down screen and hang to wall - about $100. With the screen, you are stuck with max size of the screen, not wall.

If your main purpose is sports or movies, go with the projector. After watching movies on a 106" screen, I try very hard to avoid watching movies at friends' houses even if they have 50" TVs coz I have to come back and watch them again on my screen. So, I steer them to play reruns. That's how powerful it will be. Recent 1080p PJs are very bright and cheap $800-$1000. Can you get a 106" TV even for double or triple that price ? I do have 42" tv that we watch regular tv and daytime casual movies.

Only issue with projector would be placement and ambient light. It has to be placed in the center of the room. And if you can darken the room as much as possible, it would look best. In my opinion, if most of your viewing is night time, go with pj, else tv.
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post #11 of 37 Old 10-17-2013, 02:18 AM
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Walls cause a loss in ANSI contrast with regular paint, and also make the perception of contrast reduced due to no black border. Re-painting the wall with a special type of paint is a better option if you want to save money and not buy a screen. Though most people should use a projector for at least a week before buying the screen if at all possible to decide on what size they prefer anyhow. Overall though I'd recommend not using a regular wall for any long-term period even if it has white paint.


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post #12 of 37 Old 10-17-2013, 03:04 AM
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I'm new to projectors. I have two but only had them a year maybe.

I project onto a white wall & don't see a problem with it. Bigger & better than any TV I ever owned.

I get the hardcore guys point of view but it can be done & still get great results for way less than a TV.

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post #13 of 37 Old 10-17-2013, 04:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Two Cents View Post

I'm new to projectors. I have two but only had them a year maybe.

I project onto a white wall & don't see a problem with it. Bigger & better than any TV I ever owned.

I get the hardcore guys point of view but it can be done & still get great results for way less than a TV.

It can, but the boost in image quality even with a cheap diy screen will be significant enough that once you have decided on a screen size it would be silly not to have a screen. It certainly is watchable though. smile.gif
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post #14 of 37 Old 10-17-2013, 05:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Two Cents View Post


I get the hardcore guys point of view but it can be done & still get great results for way less than a TV.

Yep, a white wall works, but for many after a week you start to think.. "I wonder why they sell screens?".."Can it make the image even better?" And so it goes...
Then again, if you are the type that will watch a movie or sports on a Phone, tablet or laptop.. a white wall may be all you need..
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post #15 of 37 Old 10-17-2013, 06:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by werv View Post

Thanks for the responses!  More than helpful.  90% sure I am going with projector (just need to talk to roommate concerning some things)

To address some points given. 
Curtain- I do have curtains already, they are not up because I have no reason to (yet).  
Screen Size: I don't really know what would be best.  I think 100-140 would be what I want.  

I will be purchasing an external screen.  I am in an Apartment, so I can't get anything permanent.  Would the best thing be getting something for the wall or free standing?  

Pull down screen wall mount . Best option. This way after you leave you can carry it under your arm. Lots of mounting options available. Tripod screen fall over,, require to much front space and wobble from left to right- Bohanna
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post #16 of 37 Old 10-17-2013, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Two Cents View Post

I get the hardcore guys point of view but it can be done & still get great results for way less than a TV.

I may be hardcore, but having a physical screen to pair with your projector isn't a hardcore view smile.gif


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

Web Calculator v023 & v025
- Quick Peak at the new upcoming calculator
**Current Projector Calculator** -- http://www.eliteprojectorcalculator.com

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

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post #17 of 37 Old 10-17-2013, 10:01 AM
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The best choice is no choice, go with both.

Get a cheap edge lit LCD panel for daytime viewing, most are crazy thin, really cheap, and have eye searing brightness for daytime viewing. Use a cheap ultra-thin wallmount from monoprice, and then put a big 100"+ retractable projector screen above it, and use it in the evenings or when watching movies.

Still cheaper and IMO superior to relying on either a super bright projector or super huge LCD panel.
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post #18 of 37 Old 10-17-2013, 10:16 AM
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From reading your viewing needs it seems you answered your own question.
Your viewing needs seem to gear towards a projector.
Bang for the buck ? a projector will give you a greater wow factor and it will be a more immersive experience.
There are some projectors out now that have a built in TV tuner.
If you can control the ambient light and are not worried about lumens the new yet to be released in the US LG PF80G could be a good projector at $ 1,200 with no worried of changing the bulb.
I would wait and see the reviews here on AVS before you make a decision in buying the LGPF80G.
If you are not worried about bulb replacement then there are a lot of cheap 1080P bulb projectors with higher lumens.
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post #19 of 37 Old 10-17-2013, 10:22 AM
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I managed to get a cheap real cheap Inland screen from Micro Center for $ 65 with 1.2 gain.
It's a pull down screen at 109 inches.
On the other issue it all depends on the costs and size of the TV compared to a projector and screen.
Remember ? with a projector you'll get big screen with less bucks.
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post #20 of 37 Old 10-17-2013, 11:37 AM
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LG SA560 <---If i would use a projector instead of a TV i would put abit more money aside and then buy this projector. Similar technics as the Hecto, only 1280x800 but 500 Lumens brighter. 20.000h lamp life. Ultra Short Throw. 2500 Lumens. Saw it in action and it is bright enough even for very bright rooms especially in combination with a grey screen. In Europe it costs 1380EUR (1.886$). You can see him in the video below at 2:12.

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vm3xPZ9Dds

 

 

 

 

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post #21 of 37 Old 10-17-2013, 04:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coderguy View Post

I may be hardcore, but having a physical screen to pair with your projector isn't a hardcore view smile.gif

Don't get me wrong, I fully understand projecting onto a screen of any description is far superior to projecting onto a wall. I just meant if one's budget won't allow for one, or they rent & are not allowed to fix things to walls/ceiling etc, a screen is not essential. smile.gif

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post #22 of 37 Old 10-17-2013, 05:05 PM
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I project onto a wall and I get people all the time go up to the wall and touch it because they have a hard time believing it. I own several screens and have projected onto them at the same time as the wall, overlapping the two and to my eyes, cannot tell a difference in quality. I only have cheap 1.0 gain screens, so maybe that's the reason. I've projected onto more expensive slide projector screens that my dad had, just to see how it looks, and the added gain, makes a difference, but not enough for me to justify going out and spending a bunch of money as my wall satisfies me right now. So to the poster, I would suggest projecting onto a wall first and seeing how it looks, and decide on a screen later. Having the wall is nice cause you can at least adjust the size and decide on what you might want to settle with if your set on getting a screen.

I think the reason they sell screens, is not necessarily because the picture is so much better, but because many people need one to pull down in front of windows, or tvs, or walls with pictures or shelves on them. Most people don't have a big empty wall to project on, so if you do, its a nice option to save some money.

Coderguy: I have not heard there is a loss of ANSI contrast, I haven't noticed that on my wall compared to the screen, although, I have no way to measure contrast either. How much loss have people measured? If anything I guess that's a good reason to get a screen, as every bit counts. Have you heard any other negatives besides the border, which I think makes a huge difference in itself.

Far as the store telling you the picture is superior on the tv, maybe the tv has some benefits that the pj doesn't, however, from my own experience, I think the projector looks much better. Im not sure how to explain it, but an LCD tv looks more computerized or digital, more unfilm-like. It does not give me the sense that I am at the movie theater as the pj does. The picture to me looks more natural and the size lets me see all the details that are missed with a little 40 inch tv. As a matter of fact I recently watched a couple movies on the pj, then tried to watch them on the tv, and the experience was so different and bad, that I couldn't finish them, it just pulled me completely out of the movies. I even caught myself squinting a few times to make out the details. When people ask me if a pj makes a difference, I just say, "Does going to the movies make a difference to you". For some it makes no difference, to others, it makes a huge difference. I think if it didn't make a difference, movie theaters wouldn't be spending so much money to make the screens so big.

If you hang the pj on the ceiling, you can still create an area that you can play the wii on because the pj creates a cone shape like this < towards the screen, so if your not standing in that, your ok. My old setup I had the pj up about 4 feet from the ground, but put the pj offset to the side, and we could play right in front of the 150 screen no problem.

Has owning a pj changed my movie experience? Definitely yes! before I bought one, I thought movies were cool, but nothing more, now people tell me I am a bit obsessed with them. Getting a pj feels so much more immersive. Now when someone asks me to come watch a movie on a tv, I pretty much cringe, because to me it just doesn't make any sense, it feels dull and lifeless and all the effort that the director put into framing a scene is lost because its so small I can't appreciate everything that's there. So I'd say jump in, with that size room, you can easily go with a 10-12ft screen. Personally I wouldn't go with anything smaller than a 110, but that's me.
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post #23 of 37 Old 10-17-2013, 09:34 PM
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To sum it up this way, tell those who are thinking of buying a projector can they remember the first time they ever went to a movie theater and remember the wow experience watching it at the movie theater ?
I remember when we were young all my dad and mom could afford at a black and white 19 inch TV for the whole family to watch.
To compare the 19 inch TV to what I can remember at the movie theater was as much as night and day.
Yes they are making 100 inch TVs but at what price ?
A projector is the best way to get that theater experience at home at a reasonable price.
With a projector you get a big picture with a nice price.
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post #24 of 37 Old 10-17-2013, 10:09 PM
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The estimated prices of the 110 inch LCDs are the whole reason I am looking into projection. Well over 10k. My 70" set me back $2,800 in 2011, and any meaningful upgrade will cost much more, so projection it is!

Just got to figure out if I want a 720p LED to hold me over until the 1080p LED models become mainstream or if I should just grab a Benq short throw (model #1080, not a fan of that name choice) Lamp model... I'll be grabbing the first sub $1,000 1080p LED model either way unless it just flat sucks.

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post #25 of 37 Old 10-18-2013, 01:05 AM
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Quote:
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The estimated prices of the 110 inch LCDs are the whole reason I am looking into projection. Well over 10k. My 70" set me back $2,800 in 2011, and any meaningful upgrade will cost much more, so projection it is!

Just got to figure out if I want a 720p LED to hold me over until the 1080p LED models become mainstream or if I should just grab a Benq short throw (model #1080, not a fan of that name choice) Lamp model... I'll be grabbing the first sub $1,000 1080p LED model either way unless it just flat sucks.

I really wouldn't be all that concerned with lamp costs. Any given lamp will likely last years anyway and they really are not all that expensive (between $250 and $450 for most that last 4000 hours or so).
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post #26 of 37 Old 10-18-2013, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by FilmReverie View Post

I really wouldn't be all that concerned with lamp costs. Any given lamp will likely last years anyway and they really are not all that expensive (between $250 and $450 for most that last 4000 hours or so).

I do a lot of Marathon gaming and movie watching, so lamp life will be an issue for me. It is why I can't wait for 1080p LED models to become mainstream, I will probably burn through the useful life of a normal bulb in eco mode within the first year.

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post #27 of 37 Old 10-18-2013, 09:35 AM
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Funny how Lamp cost is an issue.. You actually get thousands of hours of enjoyment out of a lamp and yet it is considered overly costly to replace after you use it for 3000 hours? Yet people will buy a new Smart Phone every time they make a new model and that is not considered a waste of money or an issue..
To put it in perspective.. if a new lamp is $400 and Gas is $3.20 a gallon.. you would get 125 gallon of gas (8-10 fillups depending on tank size) for the cost of the lamp or 1 or 2 tank of home heating oil .. which do you get more enjoyment from..
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post #28 of 37 Old 10-18-2013, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PENDRAG0ON View Post

I do a lot of Marathon gaming and movie watching, so lamp life will be an issue for me. It is why I can't wait for 1080p LED models to become mainstream, I will probably burn through the useful life of a normal bulb in eco mode within the first year.

Depending on the projector you can get up to 5000 hours in echo mode...

That means you could do 625 eight hour marathon sessions. If you are burning through one lamp a year on eco mode, you probably need to get outside more.....
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post #29 of 37 Old 10-18-2013, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

Depending on the projector you can get up to 5000 hours in echo mode...

That means you could do 625 eight hour marathon sessions. If you are burning through one lamp a year on eco mode, you probably need to get outside more.....

How much luminance does a bulb typically lose every 500-1000 hours?

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post #30 of 37 Old 10-18-2013, 12:37 PM
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10% to 50%, a good average is 20% to 35% is the norm at 1000 hours.


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