$300 to $400 to spend for used projector, advice for my situation? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 07-25-2014, 07:30 AM - Thread Starter
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$300 to $400 to spend for used projector, advice for my situation?

Hi folks,

I have had a projector for about 10 years, started with an Infocus X1, then had an Infocus 4805. The light tunnel recently collapsed for that projector, so I’m without one for now. My budget is limited to $300 - $400, so I will need to go used via either ebay or Craigslist. I did a little bit of research, and it seems like the Optoma HD20 might be a great choice for me. I posted this question in the HD20 thread, but I guess I will get more advice in it's own thread. My main point of posting here is to get some advice for projectors to consider for my situation.

My projector is in the basement, so I can control the light. The main thing it’s used for is either watching movies via DVD/Blu Ray or watching sports. My current screen is a 80” diagonal painted tileboard screen with Velvet border. Projector is 11 feet from the screen, and the main seating position is right under the projector.

I definitely want to go bigger with my next screen, how big is the question. I am thinking 100” so I can use the same method I did before for building the screen, but I can use another method if bigger is better. A limiting factor is where the projetor is currently mounted. The total basement ceiling height is about 92”, but the projector is mounted under the center beam which brings it to about 80”. So, if I go bigger than 100”, the screen bottom will be getting too close to the floor.

Do you guys think this is too small of a screen for an HD20? I plugged in the information to the Projector central calculator, and it says it will be 29 fL. Does that calculator use eco mode or full power?

Any other suggestions anyone has would be appreciated!
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post #2 of 10 Old 07-25-2014, 08:53 AM
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I always say this because I think it matters a great deal...

I would not recommend a used projector if you are on a limited budget.

There is no promise or guarantee with used. You could get the projector, and a week or a month later the lamp blows. It could be a cheap lamp, it could be another issue. No warranty, oh well, you're out the money.
Maybe there is nothing wrong, but you just need a new lamp - That's $250 for a proper manufacturer original lamp.

No big deal, but you can buy a brand new, new lamp, new projector, full warranty, etc. projector for around $700 for 1080p or about $450 for 720p.

Your beam issue is certainly another point of issue (IMO). You have to clear that beam, and a 100" screen is far more realistic to use instead of the 80" model you are currently using. Perhaps even larger may make sense.

The HD20 is perfectly capable, but it is a 'cheap' model, and has failures. It's a long way from new at this point, so it wouldn't surprise me in the least to see it in need of a $300 repair in the next year or so, which just isn't something I would want to gamble on if I had a limited budget to work with. Your choice on this entirely.
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post #3 of 10 Old 07-25-2014, 11:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for your reply. Yes, buying used is definitely risky. The problem is, I really can't go over $400 right now. I did do some looking, and it seems maybe something to consider is a new Acer H380BD? There was at least one deal in the past that brought it down to that price. It seems that other new projectors in that range are all business oriented and many 16:10 ratio which I would like to stay away from. Any suggestions anyone has would be welcome.

Also, the issue of my mount location would have to be looked at. To get the projector higher, I would have to move it forward a foot. Not many projectors would give me a big enough image at under a 10 foot throw. I guess another thing I could look at would be tilting it up slightly. That would require the top of my screen to be off the wall some. I'm not sure how to calculate that.
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post #4 of 10 Old 07-25-2014, 12:13 PM
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I have a sanyo PLV Z2 to sell.. really dont know how much $$ tho.. and im in canada.. But i should sell under 200$ Bulb is good.. but old.. so i cannot tell i long it will last.
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post #5 of 10 Old 07-25-2014, 02:36 PM
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I would avoid trying to tilt your projector if at all possible as that will require you to use keystone corrections to fix the distortion. How big of a project is it to move a mount or get a new mount if you have to?

If you are concerned about a screen being too bright with a certain projector, don't forget that you can always add an ND4 or ND2 filter in front of the lens to kill some of the lumens.

I agree that used projectors can pose a risk, but keep in mind that some of the cheaper new projectors only have a 1 year warranty anyway and warranties on bulbs are commonly 90 days. My first projector I bought used and lucked out. I only replaced it because it was an entry level 720p model that had a not so great contrast ratio.

However, it can be very easy for someone to fake the hours a bulb has been used and not all projectors separately track how long a bulb has been used in ECO vs the bright setting which could greatly impact bulb life. So, I think the key to buying used is that you buy from someone you can trust and try to seek out models that have a history of reliability (which is the one big benefit to buying used in that you know the track record for your specific projector model).

Another thing to consider if you are on a real strict budget is that many different projectors have very different replacement costs for bulbs. My current projector, a HD131xe, has a bulb that can be found for $150ish, but the prior model I believe cost about double that for bulbs.

One other final thing on buying used, if you decide to do it is be patient, flexible, and willing to buy the projector at a moments notice. I would have a list of projectors you were considering and a price range for each and be willing to pull the trigger if the buyer seems trustworthy.

Now, one alternative that you may want to consider is going for something refurbished. That often gives you a warranty, but may not give you a new bulb in all cases. Every so often deal sites like woot etc will get a shipment of refurbs in. So again, have an idea of what you want and then be ready to pull the trigger as soon as you see something that meets the criteria.

You can definitely find something you will be happy with in your price range whether it is used, new, or refurbished, but as it is a low budget, I would familiarize myself with the low end models that were released in the last 4 years and eliminate ones that you are not happy with.

I would also keep in the back of your mind that some really good current gen projectors had gone for $600ish refurb (the W1070 and HD25e in the last two months) so I would try and stay within your budget or if you do decide to go above it, go all the way and wait for the next refurb deal on the W1070, HD25e, et al) rather than spending an extra $100 and getting an older 720p model.
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post #6 of 10 Old 07-26-2014, 02:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wysi2001 View Post
I have a sanyo PLV Z2 to sell.. really dont know how much $$ tho.. and im in canada.. But i should sell under 200$ Bulb is good.. but old.. so i cannot tell i long it will last.
Thanks for offering. I'm trying not to go that old. I did look them up and was looking on ebay. Saw some PLV Z4s that can be had under $200 looks like on ebay. That tilt shift would be nice to have. Can anyone comment about what an older LCD like that would look like compared to an Optoma HD20 or maybe that Acer I was referencing?
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post #7 of 10 Old 07-26-2014, 02:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Shamrock, that seems like good advice. Looks like bulbs for HD20s are only about $100. Also, if I had to tilt the projector up, I would tilt the screen down as well and not use the keystone correction.
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post #8 of 10 Old 07-27-2014, 09:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AV_Integrated View Post
I always say this because I think it matters a great deal...

I would not recommend a used projector if you are on a limited budget.

There is no promise or guarantee with used. You could get the projector, and a week or a month later the lamp blows. It could be a cheap lamp, it could be another issue. No warranty, oh well, you're out the money.
Maybe there is nothing wrong, but you just need a new lamp - That's $250 for a proper manufacturer original lamp.

No big deal, but you can buy a brand new, new lamp, new projector, full warranty, etc. projector for around $700 for 1080p or about $450 for 720p.

Your beam issue is certainly another point of issue (IMO). You have to clear that beam, and a 100" screen is far more realistic to use instead of the 80" model you are currently using. Perhaps even larger may make sense.

The HD20 is perfectly capable, but it is a 'cheap' model, and has failures. It's a long way from new at this point, so it wouldn't surprise me in the least to see it in need of a $300 repair in the next year or so, which just isn't something I would want to gamble on if I had a limited budget to work with. Your choice on this entirely.
Completely agree. If you shop around, don't mind buying a late model year PJ or refurb, you can get 720p for $400 new. Newegg, Woot, or BenQ refurb will have 720p in that price range form time-to-time. Unless you are buying used from a friend, in general, not worth the risk ESPECIALLY if you are on a tight budget.

I LOVE projectors, but in that price range, you won't be able to get a decent screen....I'd go the 50" LED route or wait till you can get $900-1100 together to buy a decent 1080p PJ and screen. Also, the 50" LED could be a nice day time/breakfast TV once you get the funds to buy a decent projector.

I've used to buy used all the time, but after getting burned once...not worth all the headache and you really don't save that much $.

Chris

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post #9 of 10 Old 07-28-2014, 09:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice. I will be looking to see if the Acer H5380BD goes on sale anywhere like it did before. The problem with that is that it could be tomorrow, or it could be never. That projector would fit my setup nicely because of how small the offset is on it. It still seems like maybe the best used option might be the HD20, not sure what other used projectors to watch out for.
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post #10 of 10 Old 07-28-2014, 09:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wysi2001 View Post
I have a sanyo PLV Z2 to sell.. really dont know how much $$ tho.. and im in canada.. But i should sell under 200$ Bulb is good.. but old.. so i cannot tell i long it will last.
A PLV-Z2 isn't worth the shipping cost, the value isn't even worth as much as a new lamp costs (I value a Z2 at about $15, yes seriously).
Even a PLV-Z5 value is worth about $50 at best and that's with a fairly new lamp. There may be a few fools paying more on Ebay that don't know what they are buying, but the above is the real world value IMO.

It's not worth it for anyone to buy such a projector these days, so really the VALUE should be ZERO, but I give it some value for parts.



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