my head is spinning when trying to choose a projector ... help! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 12-18-2013, 01:16 PM - Thread Starter
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i've been at this for quite a while now, so i figured i'd ask for some help here.  Here is what I am looking for:

 

A Projector, ideally under $800 (who am i kidding?  ideally under $500!).  It would need to show up well during the daytime with the blinds down.

I want to be able to get on the internet with it, as some non-netflix sites and such have tv shows i'd like to view on the projector.  I found a site that has the season of The OC for instance ... i'd love to watch that on the projector from the website.  all devices i see basically only let you see specific sites like netflix, etc.  i would also like to be able to play games on it from my android phone or tablet.  3d would be great, but not necessary. 

 

A few i have researched which sound cool are the LG PA75U and the Epson Power lite 500 Silver.  Any help and suggestions greatly appreciated!

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post #2 of 21 Old 12-18-2013, 01:40 PM
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Are you looking for a portable projector or fixed?

 

High resolution devices in this price range will be few and I am not aware of any capable ones that offer quality 3D.

 

You can read some more here as there are a few mentioned at the end that were recommended.

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post #3 of 21 Old 12-18-2013, 01:42 PM - Thread Starter
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i don't know if i have a preference.  until we get a screen, i think i'll just put it on a ledge and project on our wall.  the lg pa75u is 3d ... i don't know how good or bad it is though. 

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post #4 of 21 Old 12-18-2013, 02:37 PM
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Looks like your looking for two different devices. A projector is only a video monitor, very few have any speakers or sound capabilities. If you can't control the ambient light you don't want a projector. To view a web site on a projector ( or TV) you will need a laptop or PC connected to the projector (or TV) with either a VGA or HDMI cable. A PC setup up with XBMC media server (down load for free) can (with apps) get almost any TV show or Movie off the web for free.

Smart enough to know better, to old to care
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post #5 of 21 Old 12-18-2013, 02:51 PM - Thread Starter
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ok thanks - i can control the light somewhat  by having the blinds down, and possibly getting curtains later.  what is the benefit of having a "smart projector" if all of them can view websites and such by plugging into an ipad, computer, etc? 

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post #6 of 21 Old 12-18-2013, 03:09 PM
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Looked up the LG PA75U and it does have a smart TV tuner built in I didn't know the existed but they are a rare breed. The apps are limited to what ever the manufacture decides to allow just as in any smart TV. A computer or tablet you have a greater choice of apps or software. Most TV's and all projectors can be used as a monitor for computer, tablet or phone.

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post #7 of 21 Old 12-18-2013, 03:14 PM - Thread Starter
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ok thank you for your help!  it looks like if i'm going to go for the pa75u instead of the powerlite 500 silver edition, the extra money is mainly going to be for the 3d capabilities. 

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post #8 of 21 Old 12-18-2013, 05:57 PM
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Wait, wait, wait...

What is it you are trying to achieve?

Are you going for a low-ball crud image or are you trying to get a really nice high definition image on your wall which you can really enjoy all the time?

The LG is a portable projector, not a home theater projector and puts out a terrible 500 lumens which makes it next to useless in a family room during the day except for a very poor image.

For $500, why not get this:
http://www.projectorcentral.com/Optoma-H180X.htm

It's 3,000 lumens, has better specs across the board, and should be cheaper to purchase. It's native resolution is 1280x720. It natively supports current 3D formats, such as Blu-ray Disc and some PC formats.

I urge you to consider a projector just like a computer monitor. They typically don't have speakers which should be used and they don't have any worthwhile built-in online anything. So, just hook up a PC, or get a $100 Blu-ray player with that functionality built in if you want it.

Keep in mind, the resolution of these models is still low. 1920x1080 resolution really makes far more sense overall, but will cost a bit more.

For about $775...
http://www.projectorcentral.com/Optoma-HD131Xe.htm
This model offers full 1920x1080 resolution, puts out about 2,500 lumens which will fill a 100"+ screen pretty nicely during the daytime. It has proper HDMI 1.4 3D support, and is well reviewed.

The LG:
http://www.projectorcentral.com/LG-PA75U.htm
Is not full HD 3D compatible or ready. It only works with some PC 3D formats. It has limited resolution at 1280x800, but is similar to the first Optoma I linked above. As far as I know it has no zoom, so you have to place it very precisely.

Unless you plan to travel a lot, or have kids that want to use it for fun, the LG seems like a terrible way to go compared to the other two models listed.

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post #9 of 21 Old 12-18-2013, 06:20 PM - Thread Starter
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thank you for the suggestions!  here is what i want:

 

a big screen that looks nice, that i can easily get on the internet with to view tv shows that arent necessarily on netflix or hulu etc.  i don't have to have the sharpest most perfect screen, but while i'm considering spending hundreds of dollars, i want to get the best for my money.  3d would be cool for sure. 

 

the last time i bought a tv was for $800-850 back in 2003, I believe.  It is a HUGE 54 inch non hd non anything.  but it suits me fine for just watching cable and such. 

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post #10 of 21 Old 12-18-2013, 08:33 PM
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Yeah, I agree that you should go optoma hd131xe if you can spring it. I have the acer hd6510bd which is 650 at newegg. Those two have the better brightness, 1080p, and 3d capabilities. The benq 1070 would be a step up from the optoma but out of your budget. You might want to check the size and distance calculators to make sure they work for you though. The VIEWSONIC PJD7820HD (630 newegg and amazon) is about on par with the acer so you might check that one out also.
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post #11 of 21 Old 12-19-2013, 05:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mouschi View Post

...that i can easily get on the internet with to view tv shows that arent necessarily on netflix or hulu etc....
Stop asking for this.

A really expensive TV locks you into whatever applications they 'happen' to be running. Projectors are a much smaller market and don't have good functionality in this area. Some have VERY limited functionality in this area, but what you are talking about is a computer. So, you want a projector with a fully implemented online computer? That's (excuse me) completely silly.

If you want a computer to get online, then go buy a computer to get online.

If you want a projector to display that computer, then buy a projector and hook your computer up to it.

Since everyone (and I mean everyone!) has a slightly different requirement for their projector and what they want from it, the projector manufacturers keep it simple for the most part: It projects an image of whatever you plug into it. Some (not all) will have terrible speakers built in to play back sound, but you should always plan on adding sound as well. You can use cheap PC speakers or you can use a entry level or better surround sound system. But, you should add those speakers as a cost and add a computer to it if you want to go online. Especially if you want to go online beyond the world of Netflix.

Keep in mind, the absolute best video quality will come by feeding the projector a dedicated Blu-ray Disc player and using Blu-ray Discs as your video source. Streaming, by comparison looks terrible running at about 1/10th or less the data rate that Blu-ray does, and about 1/5th the rate of broadcast HDTV. So, if you want a great image, don't start with a low-end video source (streaming), start with a good one.

So, I am sticking with my two recommendations above. The first one being a 1280x720 solution and the second one being a couple hundred bucks more but being a full 1080p solution. Both should perform well and can accept you plugging in a PC easily. As well, both feature small speakers which will provide some basic sound to the room if you must use it.

But, to get all that PC functionality you want, hook up a PC, don't ask the projector to do it for you. More specifically, don't expect the projector to do it for you. Let the projector be a projector.

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post #12 of 21 Old 12-19-2013, 06:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks this helps a ton!  Next question - you said streaming will, by comparison, be a bad picture quality - are you talking about if i streamed from the internet, netflix, or both regardless?  also, out of the $650 option guys what has the best 3d?

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post #13 of 21 Old 12-19-2013, 11:43 AM
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Netflix will likely look better than YouTube, and if you aren't picky it certainly won't look bad. But, people think because they advertise it as '1080p resolution' that it is the same as broadcast TV, or as high in quality as Blu-ray Disc is. You need to be aware that Internet streams operate at about 1/10th the data rate that Blu-ray Disc uses. It operates at about 1/5th what broadcast High Definition uses. So, the quality is not going to be 'top shelf'. Depending on how picky you are, you may call it bad. You may call it unacceptable. You may call it decent, or good, or even great. But, I can tell you it won't look as good as the others, and you shouldn't have an expectation of perfection from streaming as a source. But, IMO, streaming is certainly acceptable with a good Internet connection. It just isn't as good as Blu-ray. So making the trip to Redbox for the latest release on Blu-ray Disc is certainly worthwhile.

The 720p Optoma I linked should provide good quality 3D. It uses DLP technology which is well regarded and considered the best for 3D. The glasses you purchase (after market purchase) will impact the 3D quality very much, so read reviews of the glasses before you purchase any.

On a limited budget, without being able to jump to the $775 model under any circumstances, I would buy this:
http://www.projectorcentral.com/Optoma-H180X.htm

But, personally, I wouldn't. I would, under all circumstances, save up $300 more and get the 1080p model.

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post #14 of 21 Old 12-19-2013, 01:52 PM
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How does the Optoma H180X compare to the Acer H5370BD?

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post #15 of 21 Old 12-19-2013, 03:15 PM
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I bought the Epson 730HD for $594.00 from Best Buy recently. It's an LCD so the bulb lasts longer and is cheaper to replace than most DLPs. Another reason why I decided on the Epson was because both of my sons are managers with Best Buy and the sales people in home theater thought it was a good projector for the money. On Amazon, where it is $588 today, there are 18 reviews and they are all 5 star.

 

We are projecting it on a 100 inch screen. So far my wife and I are pretty much shocked. Blu Ray movies and regular Hi Def broadcasts on our RCN cable are clear and we can watch TV with the lights on if we want to. As you know, years ago these projectors were worthless unless the room was pitch black. Naturally the image is not as sharp as it is on our Mitsubishi 60 inch DLP tv, but when you blow up the image you're not going to get it as clear unless you spend $10,000 on a projector (and even then it's not as clear). My son has an 1080p Epson that sells for $2500 and I thought that his would be much better than the 730hd, since it's four times the price, but the image is similar. 

 

Some regular DVDS (480p) are not nearly as good as the image from Hi Def TV or Blu Rays. Some are okay. But if we're watching 1080i, 720p, or 1080p the picture is very good. 

 

Good colors, sharp image, good bulb life, easy to set up, very reasonable price. We are really enjoying it. 

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post #16 of 21 Old 12-19-2013, 03:18 PM
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Just to be clear, even though the Epson 730HD is a 720p projector, 1080p Blu Rays still look the best. The higher the quality of the image is from the source, the better the projected picture. 

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post #17 of 21 Old 12-19-2013, 03:58 PM - Thread Starter
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You all have been a great help, thank you. My next question: what about a projector that has wifi or something like that to where i can hook up my phone pc or tablet up wirelessly?
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post #18 of 21 Old 12-19-2013, 06:33 PM - Thread Starter
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ok i think i'm settling on the benq w1070 ... it sounds pretty awesome.  i am a tad worried it doesn't have much for usb (or maybe it does?) since i want to use it with my phone, tablet and laptop, but surely there is another way to use it with them!  any thoughts on 3d glasses to use with them?

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post #19 of 21 Old 12-19-2013, 07:09 PM
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That should be a good projector, low price for 1080p.

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post #20 of 21 Old 12-19-2013, 07:25 PM - Thread Starter
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ok PHEW!!!!  got the benq w1070, an hdmi cable and 3 3d sainsonic glasses.  i should be good to go for now.  any other items you all think i should need besides the screen?  i'll be throwing it up on a wall until i get a screen.  thanks so much for all your help!

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post #21 of 21 Old 12-19-2013, 07:34 PM
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Let us know how you like it. 

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