Ultra Budget PJ Options? - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 7 Old 01-29-2015, 03:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Ultra Budget PJ Options?

I've been around here for three generations of PJs and a friend of mine just bought a place and was asking for my help in finishing his basement and setting up a PJ. I was getting ready to recommend the 1070 to him when he dropped a budgetary bomb on me. Now I'm looking for something far cheaper than what I consider an entry level PJ. I'm opposed to most used PJs (you just have no idea how much wear and tear there is) and there isn't much around here locally anyways. So now I'm looking for 720P PJs. I know there are quite a few of them in the 300-400 range and wanted to know what I should be looking at as I have no experience with this part of the PJ market.

TIA!
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post #2 of 7 Old 01-29-2015, 06:27 PM
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The <$500 King

http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-500-projector/
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post #3 of 7 Old 01-29-2015, 06:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coolhand View Post
I've been around here for three generations of PJs and a friend of mine just bought a place and was asking for my help in finishing his basement and setting up a PJ. I was getting ready to recommend the 1070 to him when he dropped a budgetary bomb on me. Now I'm looking for something far cheaper than what I consider an entry level PJ. I'm opposed to most used PJs (you just have no idea how much wear and tear there is) and there isn't much around here locally anyways. So now I'm looking for 720P PJs. I know there are quite a few of them in the 300-400 range and wanted to know what I should be looking at as I have no experience with this part of the PJ market.

TIA!
I would convince him to finish a wall smooth and paint it white, then add the money he was going to spend on a screen to the projector budget. If there was no budget for a screen, I'd wash my hands of the matter. He'll just end up blaming you for any disappointment he feels with the final result, and if his budget is unreasonable he WILL be disappointed with the result.

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post #4 of 7 Old 01-30-2015, 12:16 AM
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Any idea how dark the room will be and what size he's hoping for?
There are a couple surprisingly impressive LED projectors in the $400-450range, but the cheapest options are best kept to a fairly dark room.
Also, the fan-noise would be similar to a hot laptop computer, so that's another consideration if they're noise-picky.

Simple <$250 dedicated black-fabric theater room, build in a day, takedown in an hour.
Easy $25-40 DIY black/dark-grey ambient-light rejecting screen, grab two things from a local store..mix..roll..done.
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post #5 of 7 Old Yesterday, 12:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ftoast View Post
Any idea how dark the room will be and what size he's hoping for?
There are a couple surprisingly impressive LED projectors in the $400-450range, but the cheapest options are best kept to a fairly dark room.
Also, the fan-noise would be similar to a hot laptop computer, so that's another consideration if they're noise-picky.
Its in a basement and will have complete ambient light control.

I'm kind of with Dreamer. I've been slowly backing away from this whole thing. Its not JUST the theater he is cheaping out on. He bought a fixer-upper and doesn't seem to appreciate just how much work and money the whole thing is going to cost. I'm all for creating value but I've been through some remodels. Even if his friends/family are going to do ALL the labor, the hard costs on flooring/windown/cabinetry are way beyond what he is thinking. I found myself in a similar situation last year and came out of pocket quite a bit to help another friend get a rental in order.

On the other hand, I KNOW the $400 PJs of today would trash my first two PJs and I still think there is a way of doing this for quite a bit less than I have in mine.
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post #6 of 7 Old Yesterday, 05:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coolhand View Post
Its in a basement and will have complete ambient light control.

I'm kind of with Dreamer. I've been slowly backing away from this whole thing. Its not JUST the theater he is cheaping out on. He bought a fixer-upper and doesn't seem to appreciate just how much work and money the whole thing is going to cost. I'm all for creating value but I've been through some remodels. Even if his friends/family are going to do ALL the labor, the hard costs on flooring/windown/cabinetry are way beyond what he is thinking. I found myself in a similar situation last year and came out of pocket quite a bit to help another friend get a rental in order.

On the other hand, I KNOW the $400 PJs of today would trash my first two PJs and I still think there is a way of doing this for quite a bit less than I have in mine.
Here is the thing. Most people (not on this forum) would be very happy with a cheap 720p projector. ( I started in 2013 with a ViewSonic PJD5134 and a Logitech 2.1 200 watt set of speakers hooked directly to the pj. I didn't know the difference and we loved it for it's large image on our off white wall. After a couple of weeks it completely replaced our Sharp 70 inch TV.)


I put up a ViewSonic PJD5533 for a friend and for a $415 dollar pj you get a great image. Are the colors perfect, no. Is it as sharp as a 1080p, no, but most people, who aren't on this forum, wouldn't notice the difference. If you don't believe me, just look at the Amazon reviews for the SVGA ViewSonic PJD5134.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve1106 View Post
Here is the thing. Most people (not on this forum) would be very happy with a cheap 720p projector. ( I started in 2013 with a ViewSonic PJD5134 and a Logitech 2.1 200 watt set of speakers hooked directly to the pj. I didn't know the difference and we loved it for it's large image on our off white wall. After a couple of weeks it completely replaced our Sharp 70 inch TV.)


I put up a ViewSonic PJD5533 for a friend and for a $415 dollar pj you get a great image. Are the colors perfect, no. Is it as sharp as a 1080p, no, but most people, who aren't on this forum, wouldn't notice the difference. If you don't believe me, just look at the Amazon reviews for the SVGA ViewSonic PJD5134.
My first PJ was a 480p with what would now be considered horrific contrast ratio and cost $1800. I LOVED that thing. We really have come a long ways. So while I am quite snooty about my HT experience I think he would be quite happy with a Epson, Viewsonic, etc. And thats what I am trying to figure out. Which one would make me happiest in that I provided him the best advice and got him into a good machine with relatively inexpensive upkeep.
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