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post #1 of 34 Old 01-18-2017, 08:03 PM - Thread Starter
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best project for movies under $500?

Hi there! Was hoping I could get some advice on a projector. Am looking to purchase a projector, either new or used. Will mostly be used for movies, maybe some gaming. My budget is <$500. I know it won't be amazing for that price, but was hoping to find something decent. The distance to the wall is about 14 feet. Any advice would be much appreciated!
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post #2 of 34 Old 01-18-2017, 10:53 PM
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This one has really good reviews:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B01HQ...c4L&ref=plSrch
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post #3 of 34 Old 01-18-2017, 11:22 PM
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post #4 of 34 Old 01-18-2017, 11:37 PM
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Or the 1075 if you can find a deal.
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post #5 of 34 Old 01-19-2017, 05:20 AM
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I will actually throw one out that is under 500.

It is the projector I have been currently using for going on 2 years. It is brand new and comes with a warranty of 1 year on the lamp and 3 on the projector. It is WXGA resolution and I use it connected to my laptop, BD player, OTA TV tuner etc. it is all set up to do 3D. I reviewed all the cheap projectors that were called business crossovers of the DLP type and felt this one gave the best and highest color lumen output. The image out of the box is splendid and for a screen all I use is a wall painted a medium gray with regular old wall paint. Check out the review at projector central it is quite correct IMO.

The retail price has been right around 430 for the last year and it goes on sale a couple times a year for 365 is what I paid. I will be watching this projector without upgrade plans any time soon it looks that good to me.

https://www.amazon.com/ViewSonic-PJD.../dp/B00RPJON8E

My review
ViewSonic LightStream PJD5555W, Man Cave Theater *Unofficial* Thread

PC review
http://www.projectorcentral.com/view...e=Key-Features

PC specs
http://www.projectorcentral.com/ViewSonic-PJD5555w.htm

PC calculator
http://www.projectorcentral.com/View...ulator-pro.htm


On edit I see you also will be using it for gaming. PC measure it at input lag of 33 ms. I don’t do games that much but I’m told that is a pretty respectable number.
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Last edited by bud16415; 01-19-2017 at 05:27 AM.
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post #6 of 34 Old 01-19-2017, 07:21 AM
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The big rub on the projectors at the price you are looking at.

The Viewsonic listed above is 1280x800 resolution. It's a solid enough model, but lower in resolution than the other two links provided. BRIGHTNESS AFTER CALIBRATION: About 1,400 lumens in bright mode, less in low lamp mode

The Optoma is a brand new model and is a heck of a deal. It is 1920x1080 (1080p) resolution. But, it uses a 2x color wheel. BRIGHTNESS AFTER CALIBRATION: Under 1,000 lumens

The BenQ W1070, W1075, or newest HT2050 are all 1920x1080 projectors with 6x color wheels. They have been considered as one of the best 'bang for the buck' projectors for several years. BRIGHTNESS AFTER CALIBRATION: About 1,200 to 1,400 lumens.

This is a 161" diagonal image with the W1070, to give you an idea of what spending an extra 100 bucks gives you.

W1070 With The Lights On - 161" Screen

That said, if your budget is really tight, and you gotta stay under $500, then the Viewsonic is well reviewed and certainly a solid way to go despite the lower resolution.

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post #7 of 34 Old 01-19-2017, 07:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AV_Integrated View Post

This is a 161" diagonal image with the W1070, to give you an idea of what spending an extra 100 bucks gives you.
The truth is a screen shot off my Viewsonic on a 161” screen would look just about the same. The question is at his seating distance and how good his eyes are will the difference in resolution be an issue.

Here is an attachment I made that anyone can copy and print off and use to get a truthful feel for enhanced resolution. If printed to an 8.5 x 11 paper it will be a true resolution guide for a 110” screen.

Most people sit 2X to 4X the screen height for levels of immersion they feel is comfortable.
Or in this case let’s call it 10’, 15’, 20’. Print out the attachment and in a bright room look at it from those 3 distances and check your acuity between 720 and 1080. Keep in mind this is a bright room with a grid of black and white and your eyes will be at their sharpest acuity. In reality you will be in a dark room the pixels will be in millions of colors and the colors will be moving.

I’m assuming the OP is new to projection so he doesn’t yet know the screen size he will want to watch from his seating distance. The viewsonic I suggested is a fairly long throw projector. He said the distance to the wall is 14’ and if the lens of the projector was 12’7” from the wall / screen he would be throwing a 110” 16:9 image and watching it at something like a 2.5 X screen height distance. That would satisfy most people’s immersion likes.
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post #8 of 34 Old 01-19-2017, 07:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AV_Integrated View Post
The BenQ W1070, W1075, or newest HT2050 are all 1920x1080 projectors with 6x color wheels. They have been considered as one of the best 'bang for the buck' projectors for several years. BRIGHTNESS AFTER CALIBRATION: About 1,200 to 1,400 lumens.
.
Which of those 3 BENQ models would you recommend?
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post #9 of 34 Old 01-19-2017, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Blair Wendell View Post
Which of those 3 BENQ models would you recommend?
I don’t want to speak for AV_Integrated but without a doubt I would go with the HT2050.

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post #10 of 34 Old 01-19-2017, 08:06 AM
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Used or refurbed epson 8350, check ebay, C.L. or interweb
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post #11 of 34 Old 03-03-2017, 01:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bud16415 View Post
I will actually throw one out that is under 500.

It is the projector I have been currently using for going on 2 years. It is brand new and comes with a warranty of 1 year on the lamp and 3 on the projector. It is WXGA resolution and I use it connected to my laptop, BD player, OTA TV tuner etc. it is all set up to do 3D. I reviewed all the cheap projectors that were called business crossovers of the DLP type and felt this one gave the best and highest color lumen output. The image out of the box is splendid and for a screen all I use is a wall painted a medium gray with regular old wall paint. Check out the review at projector central it is quite correct IMO.

The retail price has been right around 430 for the last year and it goes on sale a couple times a year for 365 is what I paid. I will be watching this projector without upgrade plans any time soon it looks that good to me.

https://www.amazon.com/ViewSonic-PJD.../dp/B00RPJON8E

My review
ViewSonic LightStream PJD5555W, Man Cave Theater *Unofficial* Thread

PC review
http://www.projectorcentral.com/view...e=Key-Features

PC specs
http://www.projectorcentral.com/ViewSonic-PJD5555w.htm

PC calculator
http://www.projectorcentral.com/View...ulator-pro.htm


On edit I see you also will be using it for gaming. PC measure it at input lag of 33 ms. I don’t do games that much but I’m told that is a pretty respectable number.
This and the BenQ MW526A seem to be competing for those looking for a 720p projector in the $400 range. I'd like to know how they compare but I haven't been able to find any comparisons.

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post #12 of 34 Old 03-03-2017, 04:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soulburner View Post
This and the BenQ MW526A seem to be competing for those looking for a 720p projector in the $400 range. I'd like to know how they compare but I haven't been able to find any comparisons.
The BenQ MW526A has a color wheel with 92 degree white segment 26% and very small CY segments. It is said to produce 660 good color lumens of the 3300 overall lumens.

The Viewsonic PJD5555W has a much smaller white segment 57 degrees 16% and larger CY segments. More important I feel is the amount of the color wheel given over to RGB is greater when comparing the two. Thus the good color lumens is said to be 860 with 3200 overall lumens.

The source of this information is the site colorlightoutput.com and keep in mind they compute color brightness by adding together only the RGB outputs I’m told.

There is some positives to the CYW segments in producing some colors and maintaining very reasonable color quality. For example having a yellow segment makes making some of the bright yellows much more efficient than making them from RGB alone just as having a white segment seems logical in producing a brighter color than making white by RGB. The positive effects of non RGB blending is seen as when a projector like the PJD5555W is actually measured in its best mode of movie presentation the readings come back 1000 lumens or higher.

I don’t profess to understand the methods different projector companies use to blend in these non RGB colors to make the same colors they would in a RGBRGB projector or if they even use them to expand the color gamut as they could in theory. They mainly adopted the idea as a trick to produce very high lumen business projectors without talking about a white segment as consumers caught on to that trick. Very few people seem to know very little about how it all actually works and having had the PJD5555W for going on 2 years and looking at the color wheel makeup and actual reviews of dozens in this same crossover group I felt it was one that had the greatest potential of all the ones I reviewed to do a good job with the non RGB segments and of course I was looking for the best for the least, and staying in the <$400 price point.

Without knowing how the color wheel is managed and no equipment to measure things with other than my eyes and others eye I have had watch it with me. I concluded This projector does a great job to about its mid overall lumen rating. So up to say 1500 lumens. I would say it would more than exceed my expectations of a <$400 projector and other than resolution PQ is on par with an RGBRGB at double the price point as I don’t know of a good recent 720p RGBRGB projector as there isn’t a market for one.

Above the midpoint of the total lumens output the PQ does not fail instantly and to be honest the projector is marketed as a business machine and never makes claims to have 3200 lumens of pure movie output. The analogy I make is what is needed in the classroom to try and maintain some CR and what is needed in a garage with a bunch of guys watching a football game are similar qualities. You may be willing to sacrifice some color accuracy for raw lumens of any type to try and get a CR that you can watch. That’s what this does that a RGBRGB will run out of gas trying to do. I might add if you compare the specs of any of these RGBCYW’s to RGBRGB’s you will notice the wattage max of the projectors quite a bit different the RGBCYW will be around 250w and the RGBRGB 350w. so you are getting more CR producing lumens from less power. Of course the people building the machines see that as a cost savings to make as well.

That’s my best comparison of the two projectors you mentioned and I had the BenQ on my list and picked the Viewsonic based around the color wheel design. I don’t think a whole lot of research is going into trying to get better colors out of RGBXXX projectors at this low price point. I was surprised the PJD came out as a new projector and seemed to be moving in the right direction and it also had a lot of HT type features built in as well like 3D and even anamorphic compression. Some other nice features that would never be used in the classroom. So who knows some people might still be working on making a bargain basement projector better.
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post #13 of 34 Old 03-03-2017, 09:40 AM
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You can definitely get a "decent" projector for ~$500, whether new or factory refurbished. There are tradeoffs with every model as each has a different balance of strengths and weaknesses. So the more we know about your personal wants and needs the more we can zero in on recommending the best projector for you.

Some basic information that would be helpful to know includes:

Do you have any previous experience with front projection?

Do you know if you are sensitive to seeing rainbows when viewing video from a DLP projector?

Will you always be viewing in the dark or sometimes with ambient light (which washes out a front projection image), and if with ambient light can you estimate how much?

Are you planning to project on a wall or buy a screen, and if buying a screen have you figured that into your budget?

Do you have any idea how big an image you want to view (diagonal in inches) or are you planning to experiment on a wall to find the size that fits you best?

Do you already have a sound system (projectors have tiny speakers equivalent to a small table radio) and if not have you figured that into your budget?
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post #14 of 34 Old 03-04-2017, 10:12 PM
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I ended up grabbing the Viewsonic PJD5555W for $335 refurbished. From what I gather I probably can't beat that

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post #15 of 34 Old 03-05-2017, 05:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soulburner View Post
I ended up grabbing the Viewsonic PJD5555W for $335 refurbished. From what I gather I probably can't beat that
I don’t think you can beat it for the price.

What size screen will you have? What is your rooms walls / ceiling, and lighting like? What screen have you selected?

Keep us posted on what you think of it.

Have fun.

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post #16 of 34 Old 04-10-2017, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Soulburner View Post
I ended up grabbing the Viewsonic PJD5555W for $335 refurbished. From what I gather I probably can't beat that
How did the Viewsonic PJD5555W turn out for you? Would you recommend it for the price? Thanks.
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How did the Viewsonic PJD5555W turn out for you? Would you recommend it for the price? Thanks.
What normally happens when someone gets a great looking projector for $335 and they didn’t think it possible they get excited watching it nonstop and showing it off to their friends and they forget to come back here and fill us in. It takes a while to re-watch your entire movie collection.

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post #18 of 34 Old 04-11-2017, 08:11 AM
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What normally happens when someone gets a great looking projector for $335 and they didn’t think it possible they get excited watching it nonstop and showing it off to their friends and they forget to come back here and fill us in. It takes a while to re-watch your entire movie collection.
Hahaha. I was going to buy this yesterday as I saw a Amazon warehouse deal for $330 but I actually need 1080p. It's going into my office which is 11'x11'
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Hahaha. I was going to buy this yesterday as I saw a Amazon warehouse deal for $330 but I actually need 1080p. It's going into my office which is 11'x11'
Not too many people need 1080P. But ya if you need it then this isn’t 1080P. I have had it 2 years and no one has ever noticed it wasn’t 1080P and that is sitting 2X screen height away. People say is this thing HD? And I always say it sure is. If they go on and on about the PQ I tell them it is 4k.

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Originally Posted by bud16415 View Post
Not too many people need 1080P. But ya if you need it then this isn’t 1080P. I have had it 2 years and no one has ever noticed it wasn’t 1080P and that is sitting 2X screen height away. People say is this thing HD? And I always say it sure is. If they go on and on about the PQ I tell them it is 4k.
When sitting less than 10 feet away, it wouldn't look pixelated?
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BenQ is clearing out the W1070 brand new for $499. 1080p, 3D, lens shift-- it's an older model but for the price I'd still take it over just about anything else available at that price point: the Optoma 142x, refurb Epson 2040, etc.

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Not too many people need 1080P. ...
Certainly not as much as we need air, food and water.
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Originally Posted by 4tech View Post
When sitting less than 10 feet away, it wouldn't look pixelated?
DLP is very sharp and has excellent pixel fill so it tends to look sharper than competing 3LCD and LCoS all things being equal. That being said: I disagree with bud on this one. You can get away with 720p in surprising sizes but only to a point. I had a top rated 720p projector and it was very nice but much larger than 80" or so the image started to look noticeably soft. Viewed head to head with a similar quality or better 1080p unit and there isn't really a comparison: 1080p looks way better. This difference is actual greater than what I had expected-- I partly attribute the difference to the diamond pixel structure TI uses in their 720p DLP chips.
And let's talk about that statement I made because it's a doozy: "similar or better 1080p unit". 720p has officially moved out of the mainstream of home theater/ home video projectors and is now only available in entry level models or cross over business/home units with few features. It's actually becoming increasingly difficult to find 720p models and typically there is a 1080p unit for just a tiny bit more.

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post #24 of 34 Old 04-11-2017, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by sage11x View Post
DLP is very sharp and has excellent pixel fill so it tends to look sharper than competing 3LCD and LCoS all things being equal. That being said: I disagree with bud on this one. You can get away with 720p in surprising sizes but only to a point. I had a top rated 720p projector and it was very nice but much larger than 80" or so the image started to look noticeably soft. Viewed head to head with a similar quality or better 1080p unit and there isn't really a comparison: 1080p looks way better. This difference is actual greater than what I had expected-- I partly attribute the difference to the diamond pixel structure TI uses in their 720p DLP chips.
And let's talk about that statement I made because it's a doozy: "similar or better 1080p unit". 720p has officially moved out of the mainstream of home theater/ home video projectors and is now only available in entry level models or cross over business/home units with few features. It's actually becoming increasingly difficult to find 720p models and typically there is a 1080p unit for just a tiny bit more.
I wont disagree it is only a little bit more money as you pointed out above you can get the end of the road special on the W1070 for 500 bucks. That is somewhat discount price point and a heck of a good deal. It would equate pretty close with my paying 365 for a then new model viewsonic 5555. That’s only $135 more and not a lot of cash to jump up to 1080. But another way to look at it is it’s a 37% jump in price. The technology is different of course one being RGBRGB and the other RGBCYW etc etc.

The 5555 is a crossover but it is pretty rich in HT features it does 3D with the best of them and at it’s moderate settings is has very nice rich and realistic colors. It will do A-lens compression very well, something I have no idea why someone would want it on a business projector and can hardly believe someone would buy a lens for a $365 projector but it is there and it works like a champ. It can’t be compared to a Benq 2050 but then again that is a 100% price difference. Not a lot of money but still huge jump for the guy that’s only got 500 to spare.

You are correct 720P is dead in the classic idea of a HT. But on the other hand they are making and selling a boat load of these and they are not all going into classrooms and offices. They are going into garages and basements and a lot of people that never thought they could have a huge screen to watch races and football or animated movies with their kids are doing it. In the same way we can say VHS is dead and DVD is dead and BD is ruling. I will say VHS is pretty dead but go into Wal-Mart and ask the clerk if they sell more DVD or BD they still sell 10 to 1. For under 100 bucks I got a great BD player that upscale DVD to 1080 and the 5555they look more than good enough. When I down scale a BD to the 5555 it looks amazing IMO and I know it would look even more amazing on a 2050 and even more amazing on a JVC…… on a budget amazing is good enough for some folks. We rented Moana out of a red box machine the other night BD for 2 bucks. If playing that for a bunch of kids on the 5555 wouldn’t blow their socks off nothing would.

That’s the place for a projector like this. A working guy with a bare wall and a can of paint and a couple old stereo speakers and a amp can build his kids a theater in the basement for under 400 bucks or 500 bucks if he gets in on the W1070 deal. There is a place for good quality and affordable. I wont call 720 dead yet I would put it in the same place as DVD for now. One last observation I made at red box. the DVD rental is $1 for 24 hrs and the BD is $2. Four times the data for double the price what a deal. When I go to the one here most of the time the new release is sold out of DVD but the BD is still there. I asked the guy how many they have in the machine of each and he said new releases are 5 to 10 as many DVD as BD because that’s what sells. Even with 1080 flat screens showing in most homes now DVD is still good enough to save a buck.

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post #25 of 34 Old 04-11-2017, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4tech View Post
When sitting less than 10 feet away, it wouldn't look pixelated?
It may or may not look pixilated to you. It would depend on the size screen you were shooting to and sitting 10’ away from. It would also depend on how good your vision is, and how you process the image in your brain. If you put up a still test pattern with say black and white patterns and you sat 10’ away from a 110” screen you would be just about 2X screen height viewing distance. If you have 20/20 vision you would be at the point of being able to detect a pixel yes. Now add color and movement and your brain not looking for pixels but blending them into a image most likely it wouldn’t be a problem.

I will attach a image you can blow up to printer size it is 8.5 x 11 in size that compares pixel size that I made for a 110” screen size. Print it out and tape it on the wall and stand back 10’ and see for yourself. If you don’t have a printer size it on your screen to 8.5 inches wide and stand back 10’ and view it. Then you will know.
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post #26 of 34 Old 04-12-2017, 09:33 AM
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As discussed many times before, from typical viewing distances seeing individual pixels is not the issue. The real issue is that the difference between 1280x720 (921,600) pixels and 1920x1080 (2,073,600) pixels means the 1080p image will appear smoother and sharper while the 720p image will appear rougher and softer with more jaggies.

Some are more sensitive (or insensitive) to this difference in overall image quality than others. So the most important thing is for each person to understand how sensitive they are to differences in image resolution and go with what works best for them.
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post #27 of 34 Old 04-12-2017, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave in Green View Post
As discussed many times before, from typical viewing distances seeing individual pixels is not the issue. The real issue is that the difference between 1280x720 (921,600) pixels and 1920x1080 (2,073,600) pixels means the 1080p image will appear smoother and sharper while the 720p image will appear rougher and softer with more jaggies.

Some are more sensitive (or insensitive) to this difference in overall image quality than others. So the most important thing is for each person to understand how sensitive they are to differences in image resolution and go with what works best for them.
Not to confuse the issue but we are talking motion pictures so 921,600 x 24 FPS = 22,118,400 per second and don’t forget Brilliant color can render each of those 22 million pixels with over 200 trillion colors. All this literally happening at the speed of light. Gives me a headache just thinking about it.

Trying to take all that in each second for a 2-hour movie is probably the reason I don’t see the jaggies.

My little pixel guide is the absolute worst case for seeing a pixel the lines are even much wider than the actual pixel separations. So it is not to show you how good any resolution is it is to show you the worst it could be. A static image black on white viewed in a bright setting with your eyes as sharp in focus as they can be not like a softer focus when viewing cinema. And the separation is much wider than a DLP image. It is not to prove or disprove anything the poster just asked if he would see pixels at 10 foot viewing distance and he doesn’t have a projector to try it with.

Another real world test he can try is go up to his TV and get 2X the screen height away and watch it. It has similar pixels depending on its resolution. I like the chart because a lot of people are farsighted and at 10’ they can enjoy without glasses.

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post #28 of 34 Old 04-12-2017, 12:43 PM
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Numbers aside, the difference between 720p and 1080p when watching a movie is that 720p will appear slightly out of focus compared with 1080p. Those who become totally engrossed in movie story lines may not even notice. My wife, for example, often watches cable TV on an SD station when the same program is on another channel in HD. She's so focused on the programming that she doesn't even notice how crappy the image looks. I can't get totally focused on the programming unless the image quality meets a certain minimum standard. So even in the same household there can be a wide disparity in image quality perception.
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post #29 of 34 Old 04-12-2017, 01:22 PM
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I remember doing the jump from a 2007 720p 47" to a 55" 1080p TV in 2009 and expecting to be blown away which didn't happen. This is why I won't go 4K until it is the only game in town and by then 4K will be old news and 8K the new thing to suck people into upgrading when they have perfectly good projectors or TVs that are only pitiful 4K in resolution. (Also it seems like some cable companies - mine- have decided that all you need is 720p, so no more 1080p for 95% of our viewing content.) I can see why Bud sticks with his 720p projector with a three year warranty...but

The $135 dollar price difference is not enough to justify not going with the 1080p BenQ. Exploding lamps and only a 1 year warranty might be.

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post #30 of 34 Old 04-12-2017, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by steve1106 View Post

I remember doing the jump from a 2007 720p 47" to a 55" 1080p TV in 2009 and expecting to be blown away which didn't happen. ...
Lots of variables here, like the quality of the TV, distance viewed from, etc. But the key point is content. If you were just watching TV programming there wouldn't be a big difference as HDTV is broadcast in 720p, not 1080p. DVDs are even lower resolution (720x480) so the difference between viewing DVDs on 720p and 1080p TVs is even smaller.

Blu-ray is where a 1080p projector produces a clearly superior image to a 720p projector. Watching quality Blu-ray movies on a big screen with a 1080p projector is where you get the big quality bump over 720p. Those who don't plan to watch Blu-rays or 1080p streaming probably wouldn't notice a big difference between 720p and 1080p projectors showing only 720p and lower resolution content.
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