FIRST TIME BUYING A PROJECTOR - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 05-25-2014, 07:18 PM - Thread Starter
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I want to set up a good home-theatre system in my living room. Already bought the speakers and the sub for 7.1 set-up,thanks to the guys on this forum, my only issue is getting the right projector with good quality(i.e video wise). Am kind of new to this thing and am willing to spend less than $500 but  I can add a couple of a hundred dollars if its worthy the cost. Any suggestions and advice  would be gladly appreciated.

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post #2 of 26 Old 05-25-2014, 07:46 PM
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Get the W1070. It's about $800 or so online and is the best value under $2,000 out there with the best image quality.

http://www.amazon.com/BenQ-W1070-1080P-Theater-Projector/dp/B00A2T6X0K/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1401072348&sr=8-1&keywords=w1070

Be aware of the projection distance, screen size, lens offset, and most of all that YOUR ROOM is the single biggest impactor on image quality. If your room sucks, your picture will suck.


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post #3 of 26 Old 05-26-2014, 04:56 AM
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I totally agree with AV on the BenQ W1070. If you can swing the extra money, the projector's picture looks like it should sell for much more then it does.

If there is no way you could swing that much, and are willing to take a hit in pq, Newegg has a promo on an Acer H6510BD, $599 with promo code EMCPEHG22. This sale ends today and just be aware their return policy on this projector is for an exchange only of the same projector. No refunds.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824009486&cm_re=acer_h6510bd-_-24-009-486-_-Product

It is a good price for a budget 1080p projector, but when it comes to picture quality the BenQ W1070 is clearly the winner.

You can also look at Amazon Warehouse deals on the Optoma HD131Xe. Runs about $530.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B00E4JEDWE/ref=dp_olp_used?t=slickdeals&tag=slickdeals&ascsubtag=7d7f012d47174ffb9e2848de96b54c21&ie=UTF8&colid=12CK3DR0DX3LH&condition=used&coliid=IAC5P3O9SDMGC

New from Buydig for $677 with coupon code BIGSCREEN40
http://www.buydig.com/shop/product.aspx?sku=OPHD131XE

You can also check BenQ's site for a refurb to come into stock for $677. They get them ever couple of weeks and comes with a 1 year warranty.
http://shop.benq.us/benq-outlet/refurbished-projectors/w1070-1080p-home-theater-projector.html?PID=4485850&utm_source=cj&utm_medium=CPA&utm_campaign=cj

Again, BenQ W1070 is the best of the bunch but I figured I would show you some other options if the money was an issue. I don't think anything at $500 or under will be as good as any of these. You would be looking at 720p projectors at that price point and these are all 1080p that I listed.
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post #4 of 26 Old 05-26-2014, 12:01 PM - Thread Starter
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thanks guys, how about the BenQ W770ST just saw it on amazon, and do i need to buy the projector screen or it comes with it, just wondering

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post #5 of 26 Old 05-26-2014, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RNgugi View Post

thanks guys, how about the BenQ 
W770ST just saw it on amazon,
 and do i need to buy the projector screen or it comes with it, just wondering
Are you looking for a fixed frame screen or one the pulls down?

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post #6 of 26 Old 05-26-2014, 01:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Ear4hire View Post


Are you looking for a fixed frame screen or one the pulls down?

Either one, it does not matter, just trying to save on cost and still maintain quality.

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post #7 of 26 Old 05-26-2014, 04:44 PM
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you very much get what you pay for here. I would tend to suggest spending more on the screen than the projector, since like it or not, the projector will need to be replaced in a few years, but the screen could last you decades.

but, I would agree with others about the 1070. imo, that's about the bottom end of what could be considered 'good quality' for a home theater. certainly there are other options, but none quite so proven as the 1070. and anything significantly better is at least twice the price.

screens are bought separately, but sometimes get bundled in with the projector, depending where you buy from. there are DIY alternatives, or you can even paint a wall if you want something really cheap to try out first. its not a bad idea to project onto a blank wall for awhile. this let's you experiment with screen sizes to see what you like before you buy a screen

just keep in mind, projectors are the next level ABOVE flat screen TV's. they are not a cheaper alternative to a good flat screen. a good projector will cost at least as much as a good tv. so don't expect a 700 dollar projector to blow away the picture quality of a 700 dollar TV. it'll just be a heck of a lot bigger, haha.

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post #8 of 26 Old 05-26-2014, 06:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RNgugi View Post

thanks guys, how about the BenQ 
W770ST just saw it on amazon,
 and do i need to buy the projector screen or it comes with it, just wondering
No, the W1070 is what you want.

Read this thread: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1532806/a-projector-noobs-experience-and-setup-on-a-budget-viewsonic-pjd7820hd-acer-h6510bd-benq-w1070

At the end of the day, the W1070 is a great looking projector for the money, and you really WANT 1080p for front projection. Where people clamor about how important 1080p is for their 42" TV that they sit 15 feet away from, you actually will have a screen which truly does benefit from the large size. 100"? 110"? 150"? You can go big in a way that flat panels don't, so the investment in more resolution is a big plus, and if that resolution gets combined with a clean image, good colors, and solid contrast, at a reasonable price, then that's what the W1070 is.

Most projectors don't come 'packaged' with screens. Your screen size should be based on your viewing distance, you can make a decent screen for not a lot of cash, you can just use your wall for a while... whatever! You have options with the screen, and long term, buying a really nice screen is a good thing to do, but is not the most important thing to get you going.


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post #9 of 26 Old 05-26-2014, 07:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks guys a lot for the advice, i guess i will save some cash first  and go with the W 1070 projector plus a quality screen, since i already spent a lot of cash on my speakers n the sub. Will let you guyz know when i lay my hands on it.

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post #10 of 26 Old 05-26-2014, 08:02 PM
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Or you could just buy the projector first and use your white wall. You can buy the screen later when you saved a bit more.

I was planning to get a decent screen, but can't justify the cost. I do not buy into multi thousand spending on a screen. Sure they should be good but can't justify a $800 PJ. A cheapo screen is not much different than the wall. And now I got lazy and still quite happily watching on my wall. If I were to buy a decent screen, I would also need to paint the walls and ceiling and floors into dark colors, just too much work and cost. I think I'll stay at it indefinately, until similar cost PJ emerges and can delivery much better black levels. Then everything will start over again.
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post #11 of 26 Old 05-26-2014, 08:19 PM
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A cheap screen is easy to build. I already had the lumber and screws, just needed to buy some screen material. Went online got a coupon from JoAnns fabric store and sent it to my phone. I purchased three yards of black out cloth for $13.71.took me 45 minutes to cut the wood, screw it together, staple the fabric to the frame, and hang it. The screen size is 106 inches. Did that about two weeks ago, now I'm about to replace my temp screen and build an 120 0r 130 inch screen with better material. Just take your time and do your research while getting your nickels saved up for the 1070. And remember to factor in a projector mount and a long hdmi cable in your budget. It's the small things that sneak up on you and blow your plan right out the water.
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post #12 of 26 Old 05-26-2014, 10:16 PM
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I very much disagree with the recommendation to pay a lot for a screen. There are very few justifiable reasons for a screen to be expensive, and those that ARE justified are specialty devices that often have inherit compromises to image quality. The only reasonable expensive builds are either specialized rollup screens (non tab-tension rollups WILL get waves..even expensive ones) and/or higher gain screens created for rooms that cannot be darkened which will suffer brightness uniformity, narrow viewing angles, hot-spotting, or sparkling.

The best solution for most home theaters is a flat or low-ish gain white screen on a fixed frame. Such a simple screen will offer the truest color, fewest artifacts, and smoothest image with the longest life-span. They also happen to be both inexpensive to purchase AND simple to build your own. You can even employ a small amount of creativity to use a hardframe screen on flexible suspension to move out of the way in a situation where you may think a rollup is the only choice (like in front of a flat-panel TV to switch for daytime/casual viewing).

To that end, you can achieve a very good image with a smooth, flat wall and a couple coats of neutral flat/matte white paint. Time, patience and less money than a meal out for two can give very impressive results.
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post #13 of 26 Old 05-27-2014, 07:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ftoast View Post

I very much disagree with the recommendation to pay a lot for a screen. There are very few justifiable reasons for a screen to be expensive, and those that ARE justified are specialty devices that often have inherit compromises to image quality. The only reasonable expensive builds are either specialized rollup screens (non tab-tension rollups WILL get waves..even expensive ones) and/or higher gain screens created for rooms that cannot be darkened which will suffer brightness uniformity, narrow viewing angles, hot-spotting, or sparkling.

The best solution for most home theaters is a flat or low-ish gain white screen on a fixed frame. Such a simple screen will offer the truest color, fewest artifacts, and smoothest image with the longest life-span. They also happen to be both inexpensive to purchase AND simple to build your own. You can even employ a small amount of creativity to use a hardframe screen on flexible suspension to move out of the way in a situation where you may think a rollup is the only choice (like in front of a flat-panel TV to switch for daytime/casual viewing).

To that end, you can achieve a very good image with a smooth, flat wall and a couple coats of neutral flat/matte white paint. Time, patience and less money than a meal out for two can give very impressive results.
I agree with this completely. I've yet to see a Black Screen which doesn't degrade the image, but SuperNova screens from what I recall are better looking that Black Diamond screens which look abysmal for home theater.

I think a 'expensive' screen for a good theater is the Carada Criterion in Brilliant White. It has excellent build quality which will last for years and years and years. The frame is well designed, and it is just overall a solid product. But, spending more doesn't make much sense, while spending less is often perfectly fine.

Spending a LOT on a screen only should be necessary if the room needs a roll-up screen, in which case a good tab-tensioned motorized screen will cost a fair bit. But, all roll up screens are going to be a compromise of quality vs. the need. You get more quality from a fixed frame screen than from any roll-up screen, so if you can go fixed frame, do so! But, starting with a wall is what a lot of people do, and if you have more time than money, and want to build your skill set, build a screen on your own. Still, I find it hard to do as fixed frame screens that can be taken apart, and have good metal frames with velour borders, can be had for just a few hundred bucks.


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post #14 of 26 Old 05-27-2014, 03:42 PM
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the hang up might be what we consider 'a lot'.

I've tried two screens so far, one that came bundled with my projector, I think it's studio experience? seems like a flat white screen. nothing special. the other was a motorized screen I paid 200 for from visionHD, it's a grey material, rated at .8 gain.

my issue with both screens is texture. the grey screen especially so. I just think it's sad when taping 30 pieces of printer paper together gives me a VASTLY superior image than either of my screens.

do I think I need to pay 3grand to get this, I sure hope not. but I'm also pretty convinced that nothing under 500-600bux is worth me buying now. hanging a bedsheet and stretching it tight will get me as good or better performance than either of my two screens right now.

so if you're looking at a cheap screen, I'd definitely recommend just paint the wall, or making your own. you really have nothing to lose. if you find either of those cheap options unsatisfactory, then expect to be in the 1k and up range for something better.

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post #15 of 26 Old 05-31-2014, 12:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Just called Benq today and the guy over there suggested i  go with the refurb version of the w1070, which might be available next week or the week after, i guess i better wait. thanks guys

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post #16 of 26 Old 05-31-2014, 11:17 AM
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Quote:
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Just called Benq today and the guy over there suggested i  go with the refurb version of the w1070, which might be available next week or the week after, i guess i better wait. thanks guys

I think you will be really happy with your choice. I own the 1080 which is the short throw version of the 1070 and are really happy i took the time to read through this forum and get a good idea of whats a good starter projector. I'm in the process of finishing up my setup as of now. Should be putting the finishing touches on my 130 inch screen in the next few days. Let us know how you like it once you've picked it up, and if you have any questions about the projector itself you can head over to the w1070 thread. Lots of answers and many solutions to any issue that may arise.

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post #17 of 26 Old 05-31-2014, 04:06 PM
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Just make sure u have ceiling hight enough for it
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post #18 of 26 Old 05-31-2014, 07:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Just make sure u have ceiling hight enough for it

i dont wanna sound stupid but how high should it be or what is the minimum height required

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post #19 of 26 Old 05-31-2014, 11:56 PM
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post #20 of 26 Old 06-01-2014, 07:22 AM
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For screens, I'd recommend something like the Elite Sable series - available from Amazon for about $250-300ish. There's also Jamestown screens (search, you'll find it), which is what I have, but the wait was atrocious for mine. I think about 10-11 weeks (he promises shipping in 15 business days, so 3 weeks). The price is a little better, but the wait got old really quickly.
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post #21 of 26 Old 06-12-2014, 11:20 AM - Thread Starter
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just got the projector today, am kind of stuck, when i turn it on, it displays a white light for a few minutes, then stops displaying, when i press the menu button its does the same thing(displays a white light for a few minutes, then stops displaying), i don't know what am doing wrong , i left it to warm for like an hour but still no change, is this normal or how does it work..............
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post #22 of 26 Old 06-12-2014, 10:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RNgugi View Post
just got the projector today, am kind of stuck, when i turn it on, it displays a white light for a few minutes, then stops displaying, when i press the menu button its does the same thing(displays a white light for a few minutes, then stops displaying), i don't know what am doing wrong , i left it to warm for like an hour but still no change, is this normal or how does it work..............
just forgot to remove the lens cap that was the issue.....anyways here are some pics projected from a blank wall "was watching the soccer world cup"...
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post #23 of 26 Old 06-13-2014, 04:24 AM
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I have this screen and it works just fine. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Antra-135-16...item564e21d873

Unfortunately, they are no longer free shipping anymore.
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post #24 of 26 Old 06-13-2014, 05:34 PM
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If you can run a paint roller then you can make a pretty nice screen. I rolled mine with a sheet of shower board from Home Depot and a quart of Sherwin Williams high-end trim paint. It is white, but I looked at quite a few screens, both high-gain and high contrast and like this one the best. You will only be able to go 96" with the 4x8 sheet so if your wall is smooth or you can make it smooth, then go that route and just paint the wall. I covered some base molding with real black velvet and everyone that views the images on it are wowed.
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post #25 of 26 Old 06-14-2014, 05:35 PM
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same idea,agree with you. projectors are the next level ABOVE flat screen TV's. they are not a cheaper alternative to a good flat screen. a good projector will cost at least as much as a good tv. so don't expect a 700 dollar projector to blow away the picture quality of a 700 dollar TV. it'll just be a heck of a lot bigger,thanks
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post #26 of 26 Old 06-16-2014, 10:12 PM
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Quote:
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same idea,agree with you. projectors are the next level ABOVE flat screen TV's. they are not a cheaper alternative to a good flat screen. a good projector will cost at least as much as a good tv. so don't expect a 700 dollar projector to blow away the picture quality of a 700 dollar TV. it'll just be a heck of a lot bigger,thanks
You get what you pay for, but every once in a while you also get a surprise along with your purchase. That purchase logic doesn't apply to everything. My projector and screen combo make minced meat out of any tv in its price range.

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