I have owned an InFocus LP425 projector for the last year or so which I purchased used on eBay. It is ceiling-mounted and projects onto a 100" diagonal 4:3 ratio Draper Luma screen. The projector is rated at 700 lumens and is quite adequate for evening viewings. After a year of watching numerous movies in various lighting conditions, I have decided that a projector upgrade is in order. Unfortunately, our HT is located in our family room which has patio doors on the wall directly behind the projector, adding a fair amount of ambient light to the room even when the vertical blinds are closed. In addition, the projector has always had a bit of a "whine" to it when running - onscuring quieter passages of movies.
I would like to keep my purchase somewhere around $2000 or less (new baby on the way), but am having a tough time deciding between brightness and resolution. Primarily at this point, all I am watching are DVDs and occasional satellite broadcasts, so SVGA seems like way to go - I can get a 1600 lumens projector for around $1,600. On the other hand, I can get an XGA projector with around 1200 lumens for about the same price, or could get back to the 1600 lumens for about $2,100.
My question is, is it wise to get a native XGA projector when the likelihood of me watching HDTV broadcasts of anything worth watching in the next few years is fairly slim? Or is it better to spend the money on the brightness, since that seems to be my current issue, and worry about HDTV compatibility when it is a little more mainstream? I'm sure that a newer SVGA projector would be sharper than my InFocus dinosaur and I have seen quite an increase in viewability when testing just a 1000 lumens InFocus LP280 projector. But would I really see the difference in the resolution as well when viewing DVDs?
Due to my location, viewing different projectors side-by-side at a dealer are not really an option. Currently, I am pondering the BenQ DS650 (SVGA, 1600 lumens), Panasonic PT-LC75u (XGA, 1200 lumens), ViewSonic PJ551XGA (1500 lumens), and BenQ DX650 (XGA, 1600 lumens) projectors, but am open to all suggestions. Any input would be greatly appreciated.