New 1080P Projo, or used Sony VPL-VW50? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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Old 06-11-2015, 02:02 PM - Thread Starter
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New 1080P Projo, or used Sony VPL-VW50?

So I am in the planning stages of building a modest home theater in a completely light controlled room. My screen will be 110", likely AT made of Milliskin.

I previously had a projector set up, using a Mitsubishi HC5500.

I have a 55" 3D plasma, and I think plasma is pretty cool, but a good majority of the content that would be watched in the HT would be 2d.

With that being said, I am debating between something along the likes of the BenQ W1070, and a used projo I found on CL, the Sony VPL-VW50. I know this is a little bit of an older unit, but seems to be a native 1080P projector that originally retailed for $3500. It's on CL for $450.

How does everyone think a rig like the Sony would compare to a modern BenQ or my old Mitsubishi?

Thanks for the opinions.

"The satisfaction of a great price will be overshadowed by the bitterness of poor quality."

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You still measure your TV in "inches"? Thats so cute! :D
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Old 06-11-2015, 03:40 PM
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The vw50 will look fantastic.....when it's new.
If it's at all abused or has simply been used heavily (they'll always claim lightly used and can just reset the lamp timer), it could be a $450 door-stop waiting to happen. Replacement lamps will also be very expensive.

The w1070/1075 is a sure thing with very low cost of ownership (longer lasting and less expensive lamps..no filters), but its contrast will look more like a theatre than a good plasma.

Considering that the next level of contrast beyond the w1070 will be the ae8000 or hw40 at $1500-2000, and by the sound of your budget, I'd say the w1070 is better than a $450+$350lamp gamble.

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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Old 06-11-2015, 04:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Ftoast View Post
The vw50 will look fantastic.....when it's new.
If it's at all abused or has simply been used heavily (they'll always claim lightly used and can just reset the lamp timer), it could be a $450 door-stop waiting to happen. Replacement lamps will also be very expensive.

The w1070/1075 is a sure thing with very low cost of ownership (longer lasting and less expensive lamps..no filters), but its contrast will look more like a theatre than a good plasma.

Considering that the next level of contrast beyond the w1070 will be the ae8000 or hw40 at $1500-2000, and by the sound of your budget, I'd say the w1070 is better than a $450+$350lamp gamble.
I am finding lamps in the $60-100 range online, but I don't know if they are OEM or just equivalent lamps.

If the lamp was questionable, and the guy was willing to take that into consideration in the price, and we settled at $400 or even $350, how would it compare to anything else you think I might find for the same price range?

Any guess how it might compare to the Mitsubishi HC5500?

The post says "On its second lamp with about 900hrs." I am guessing that means 900 hours total time, but if it was 900 on the lamp, I would replace it straight away as a matter of fact.

Thanks for the advice.

"The satisfaction of a great price will be overshadowed by the bitterness of poor quality."

Quote:
Originally Posted by KO Abear
You still measure your TV in "inches"? Thats so cute! :D
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Old 06-11-2015, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by zryder View Post
I am finding lamps in the $60-100 range online, but I don't know if they are OEM or just equivalent lamps.

If the lamp was questionable, and the guy was willing to take that into consideration in the price, and we settled at $400 or even $350, how would it compare to anything else you think I might find for the same price range?

Any guess how it might compare to the Mitsubishi HC5500?

The post says "On its second lamp with about 900hrs." I am guessing that means 900 hours total time, but if it was 900 on the lamp, I would replace it straight away as a matter of fact.

Thanks for the advice.
If it's on the second lamp with 900 hours total on the projector, that's probably a bad sign. They more likely meant it's 900hours into the second lamp with roughly 3000-5000 total claimed hours on the projector itself.

You won't find a genuine lamp anywhere near those prices..I believe the vw50's lamp might still be getting used in newer models and still costs over $300.

The Sony in good health will compete against $1600-2000 models..or it will be in rough shape and look like blotchy junk..or it might look great and break-down in a few weeks/months and require about $900 to repair.
The trouble isn't the price at all, it's the unknown internal condition and total lack of warranty combined with automatically very expensive repairs and expensive OEM lamps.
The only trouble with the price is that it isn't low enough to simply shrug if the projector dies shortly after buying it.


That old Mitsubishi was pretty high-end in some ways..nice iris (but poor ANSI contrast), full 1080p and quiet fans. The Sony in good shape will be every bit its match or better..better ANSI contrast, less visible pixels, possibly even quieter, brighter calibrated image. If it's good, it's REALLY good. If it's bad, it may not show it, and it's going to be too expensive to be worth repair if repairing is even still possible.

If possible, pick up a w1070/1075 from somewhere that gives a decent return policy and see for yourself how you like it. Set to Cinema preset and put in a dark and dark-colored room, the BenQ will practically match a professional theatre and give a very long lifespan for very little money.
If the w1070/w1075 isn't good enough, and you can't strrtch your budget to $1600-2000, then used will be the only way up..risky as it is.

If you do check out the Sony. Have them tuurn it on in a dark room with a computer plugged into it. Look at a fullscreen of white to check for even brightness and color, check a fullscreen of black for dustblobs or stuck spots. Listen to the fans for grinding or other noises as they should be nearly silent.
Try all the hdmi ports and other inputs to make sure they actually work.
Put up a crosshair picture in black and white to see how bad the panel alignment is.
Have them keep it running in full-lamp bright-mode with the fans quiet (not high altitude) to make sure it doesn't shutdown in 10-15minutes from a dead fan or other weirder issue.
Check the focus uniformity and make sure lens-shift and zoom don't screw up the focus uniformity.
See how low they'll go with the price knowing it may only last a couple hundred more hours wih this lamp if it's not already too dim.
Cross your fingers.

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.

Last edited by Ftoast; 06-11-2015 at 06:09 PM.
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