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-   Digital Projectors - Under $3,000 USD MSRP (http://www.avsforum.com/forum/68-digital-projectors-under-3-000-usd-msrp/)
-   -   Projector on a shoestring budget (http://www.avsforum.com/forum/68-digital-projectors-under-3-000-usd-msrp/1503728-projector-shoestring-budget.html)

ashukg 12-04-2013 09:57 PM

I hope you can help me put together a projector setup on the cheap.

My budget is $400(preferably including a screen). I already have a nice 55" in the living room as our primary TV. The projector is for the rare occassions where we want ot watch movies or games once in a while on a large screen (I am hoping to get a 120")

Here are the questions I need help with:
1. Am I better off getting a used projector or buying something newer on the cheap? What will I be compromising in either case? What are the major technological advances that I will miss on by getting a unit that is say 7 years old. I am not a videophile and barely notice any difference beween a 720p and 1080i TV I see.
2. I see a lot of business/multimedia projectors that are much cheaper. I know the lack of 16:9 resolution will introduce black bars at the top and bottom of the screen, but is that the only drawback? (and lack of any special video processing chip?) How much impact does the chip have on the video quality? How does getting a business projector compare to getting an old one?
3. Are there any particular things to look for when getting a used unit other than the bulb life remaining?

Appreciate all your help!


sodaboy581 12-04-2013 10:08 PM

That's really not enough money to do anything, really, unless you're planning to get both the screen and projector used.

Even if you buy a cheap screen from Amazon from Silver Ticket or Elite, 120", you're looking somewhere between 200-300 dollars.

Better start scrounging around on Craigslist for a used screen and projector! Also, with used projectors, you might inherit issues with the projector and/or bulb.

I would try to increase that budget to at least $700, if it is possible, then grab a 720p projector + screen brand new.

ashukg 12-04-2013 11:35 PM

Thanks for a quick reply.

I understand that this is probably on the lower end of a shoestring budget. I do plan to keep an eye on the craigslist for any used units (yes that includes screen) I am still confused about getting a 6 year old 720p model vs getting a current model designed to be a business class pj.

PGTweed 12-05-2013 02:51 PM

I recently bought a used BenQ MW519 3D Projector for $340.00 = $20.00 shipping from Columbus, Ohio. Apart from the dust I can see on the fans, which I will have to clean off and the bulb counter at 1267 hours. I find it is an excellent projector. The Active Shutter 3D beats my passive 3D LG 3D Monitor. The video quality is hard to tell the difference in resolution between it and the LG 3D Monitor. I also have a Mitsubishi XD221U-D 3D Projector for $50.00. It arrived without a lamp $90.00-$160.00, a remote and it has a bad color wheel which needs to be replaced. $90.00

bepperb 12-06-2013 07:30 AM

Don't be crazy. Wait for Acer H5370bd to go on sale at Newegg. It's been as low as 380, that I've seen possibly even lower. That's a new 720p projector with a new bulb, warranty, returnable. IMO I'd prefer that over used. And bright enough to do 120". Buy a can of Glidden white paint from Home Depot, 18 dollars. In and under budget.

You're definitely on the low end, but the only reason someone would tell you it can't be done is because they didn't do appropriate research. A while back I bought a similar Acer h6510bd for 620 bucks, painted my wall with maxxmudd which was about another 60 bucks. The only benefits I would have over what I recommend for you is 1080vs720 and better contrast from the better paint. Whether that's worth another 300 bucks is up to you, depends on how much you use it I guess.

ashukg 12-08-2013 09:27 PM

Thanks for some great suggestions. I knew I can bank on the resourceful folks here. I think I have selected a few projectors in my shortlist. Need to pick between a new 720p vs an old one. Still debating.

nickoakdl 12-08-2013 11:01 PM

I can't vouch for the seller, but you might wanna try this one on the AVS classifieds:


That was my 1st projector and I paid $1000 for it before I sold it off for $500 a few years back. Blu-rays and games look great on it. Check out some reviews:


DtommyD 12-08-2013 11:39 PM

Instead of the white paint route I'd go with some Behr Silverscreen. Same cost. It's just a color swatch you pick. Go flat or eggshell unless you can spray it and the screen is super flat. It's just greyer which you'll need on a lower end projector to get back some contrast. Blacker blacks. I have a lot of experience buying pieces of C rap off of CraigsList. Also keep in mind when you're buying a used projector that without the bulb it's like blowing up your engine on a car. If it's old, it's pointless to fix it. Factor in the bulb cost and research the bulb cost beforehand. If you pay $200 and it lasts a year are you ok with that? I was. Also consider a bulb dims as it ages. I've picked up many projectors off of ebay for $100 and below knowing the bulb had six months- to a year. And I was right. The 9 months using my last one (only outside) was well worth the $75 I paid for a used model.

Have you considered moving your chair closer to your 55" tv? smile.gif

Cujo74 12-09-2013 12:08 AM

That's a tough budget but possible used. I just picked up a Epson 8345 140 hrs on the bulb and a 100" elite 16/9 pull diwn screen for 600.00 CDN. Thought it was great deal.

jbichsel 12-09-2013 05:39 AM

Tough budget but possibly doable.

I know you can build a screen the size you're looking for in the range of $100-$120. I did it several years ago.

If you could find a Yamaha LPX-510 for $400 I think you would be happy for a long time. We have had ours since 2005, it's been moved between 6 houses in 2 states. The only thing we have had to do is replace lamps around every 3,000 hours. I believe we are on lamp 4 now.

It is only 1080i, but with power zoom, power focus, power shift (hor & vert), keystone, etc. it is a complete projector. I keep thinking of getting a newer projector but why? This thing provides a VERY good image whether using DirecTV, DVD/BlueRay, Xbox 360, PS2 & 3.

We have a dedicated home theater room, projector is about 13' from a DIY 125" screen. Get 4 people playing Halo and basically everyone gets a 62" screen.

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