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post #1 of 14 Old 09-28-2017, 07:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Best Buy for Under $500 USD ( Second Hand ) + Bonus TL;DR story

Hello to everyone here at AVS who have decided to click on my thread. As you may see, I am new here on AVS and this will be my first post ever. One week ago I knew absolutely nothing about projectors. Even though I have read about 5-6 hours a day in order to get the big picture, I consider myself to be a total noob. I have never owned a projector and the reason I am looking into buying one now isn't even for home entertainment, but for a bussiness idea I came up with recently. I'll try and keep it as simple as possible, in order to not bore the hell out of y'all. Basicly what happens is that me and the owner of a cinema at a nearby mall have a common friend that hooked us up and after a long discussion I was able to reach a good deal for renting one smaller hall of the 7 total the cinema has. The idea is to stream esports competitions in there. Therefore I have this cinema screen on which I want a clear, crisp 720p ( and probably 1080p in the near future, if everything turns up ok ) covering 300" ( inches ) as that would be the size of the screen ( roughly meassured though ). Usually from what I read thus far, people that were looking into projectors that can do 300" were mainly interested for outdoors purposes, didn't find any thead for indoors. Please keep in mind that this is simply my idea for a side bussiness and the main reason why I want to try it is that I live in a country where esports is not quite a thing yet so this will be a very first. Depending on how it works, of course I will invest more and more but for the very beginning I don't really want to invest more than $500. Also I do not want to buy from outside my country, I never done it before, there are many taxes involved, the time it takes to receive the actual product, if it's faulty more time and nerves... so I want to keep it simple. I will buy the projector second hand from sites like eBay / Amazon but from my country as I have a ton of experience doing so. From what I read I guess I should be sticking with companies like Epson, Optoma of BenQ just to be sure. Also if 300" is too much for whatever reason I am not familiar with as I'm a noob, I think a 200" will cut it too. What I have come across so far, keeping things simple, searching for projectors in my country only and sticking to Epson, Optoma and BenQ :

1) Epson Home Cinema 705HD (H331A) - $550

2) Epson EH-TW5300 - $500

3) Epson EH-TW5200 - $400

4) Optoma GT1080e - $550

5) Optoma HD141X - $550

6) Optoma W316ST - $550

7) Optoma GT1070x - $550

8) Optoma HD25 - $450

9) Optoma HD26 - $450

10) BenQ W1070+ - $550

11) BenQ W1060 - $450

12) BenQ W1070 ( without remote ) - $400

13) BenQ W1000+ - $450

It would really REALLY help me a lot if you guys could post your own Top 3 picks from this list I've made. Additionally you could also state the reasons why, it would help me learn more about projectors and I would sincerely appreciate it. I am eagerly looking forward for what the AVS community has to say about all this. Please go easy on me, lol, as I previously said... one week ago I didn't even know what a "Lumen" was.
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post #2 of 14 Old 09-28-2017, 07:48 AM
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You will need to do research on the projectors for their actual (not advertised) lumen output. Most home theater projectors only achieve about 1,200-1,400 lumens once calibrated.

Then you have a math problem: The square footage of the screen will need about 15 lumens per square foot for acceptable viewing results.

300" diagonal = 267 square feet = 4,000 lumens real world - That is SUPER bright and well beyond most home theater projectors. The Epson 3700 is an ideal candidate for a screen that large as it really can deliver some solid brightness while maintaining good black levels.

200" diagonal = 119 square feet = 1,785 lumens real world - that is achievable, or close to it, for many home theater models once calibrated, or in an acceptable viewing mode.

I would skip the Optoma models with their 2x color wheels that really don't have good color when their brightness is cranked up, and I would stick with BenQ or Epson.

There are none on that list that jump out to me as being particularly satisfactory for a 200" image overall. I would look for some Epson models which are a fair bit brighter, and if this were me, I might opt for the Epson 3700, which costs more, but is worth it.

At the end of the day, your primary product is not the cinema, or the screen, it is the image produced by the projector, and if you don't deliver on the quality needed for that, then nothing else matters. Sticking with a $500 budget, may not be satisfied with the results you are giving them, then you are out $500 or so, and don't have customers that want to come back. Spending a bit more for the Epson 3700, will get you over 2,000 usable lumens and if you close shop, you can resell it and get most of your money back. Can't remember the European version of the 3700 right now, but it's there.
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post #3 of 14 Old 09-28-2017, 09:16 AM
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I have the previous model of the Epson TW5200/5300 which was rated at 1800 lumens. The first three thumbs are with the projector at 25 feet doing a 220 inch image with the projector set on normal/living room and with a new lamp in it. The downside is the fan is loud on this setting. The last thumb is with it doing a 190" image.

The brighter Epson 705HD (native 16:10) might be the way to go for a 200" plus image, but having recently upgraded to the 3700, I agree that it would be the best way (flexible, quieter, brighter, contrast/black levels) to go to fill up a 300" screen in a commercial venue. Also, keep in mind that projector placement becomes a major factor with the cheaper Epson until you step up to the 3700.
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post #4 of 14 Old 09-28-2017, 09:25 AM
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@Perseqtor , it's not uncommon for those who are new to front projection to imagine that they can get a projector that will properly illuminate a 300" screen for $500 or less. As @AV_Integrated has explained that's a lot like chasing after unicorns.

The best bright model that's even close to $500 would be the new Epson EH-TW650 (Home Cinema 1060 in the USA), which I believe costs a couple of hundreds dollars more than $500 in the EU. It will produce an honest 3,100 white and color lumens in brightest mode. But if your screen is greater than 200" diagonal the 1060's image will become too dim as you will be spreading the same number of lumens over an increasingly greater area. For a 300" screen you would really need something like one of Epson's 5,000-lumen models that cost more than $1,500.

I would suggest sticking with Epson because 3LCD delivers equal white and color lumens in brightest mode which DLP does not. In brightest mode DLP produces bright whites but colors that are only about 30-40% as bright. You need to run DLP projectors in less bright modes to equalize white and color lumens. Also, since you will be running your projector long hours and are on a tight budget Epson has a further advantage of selling genuine replacement lamps for less than half the cost of competing projector manufacturers. Finally, a small percentage of people are bothered by seeing DLP rainbows. So with large audiences 3LCD is a safer option.

But we haven't even gotten into things like throw distances. Projectors can only produce certain size images from specific distances. So you need to know exactly how far you will be mounting the projector from the screen. For example, for a 200" image the Epson EH-TW650 must be mounted with the lens somewhere between 4.4m and 5.3m from the screen. If you can't mount an EH-TW650 somewhere in that range then it will not work with a 200" screen. Different projector models will have different throw ranges.
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post #5 of 14 Old 09-28-2017, 01:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you all very kindly for your replies so far, I really appreciate it as I can learn a lot from what you guys wrote. Truth be told, I was feeling a bit uncomfortable myself as I implying the 300" size image and after what you said and what I've read in the meanwhile I am 100% that for now I will stick to 200" and be happy with that. In a perfect world, where my budget would be bigger... yes, indeed, I would've looked into Epson Home Cinema 3700 or at least 3100... but unfortunately I seriously cannot spend more than $500 at this moment, as the whole idea is new and a bit of a far fetch. If there is any interest in this, and I should be able to tell after 2-3 events, I will for sure make some efforts ( probably I'll find myself borrowing money from a friend ) and go for the 3700. Regarding the distance between the screen and the seats, I believe there is enough to place the projector from what I saw with the naked eye, but of course I will have to measure the exact distance.

I can see how you guys would put performance over price and while I do agree, I am 100% honestly on a budget for this... so in the end I will pick one of those 13 Epsons, Optomas and BenQs I have listed in my first post for start and if people show enough interest I will then upgrade to the 3700 with the money made in the first 2-3 events. That's why I really hope you'll cope with me and tell me your Top 3 picks out of those 13 models, the best for a 200" image. Nevermind my 300" daydreaming, clearly I knew too little about projectors when I thought I could pull that off with just a $500 budget. I really look forward to posting thumbs from the first ever event, hopefully it will work out just fine for a small audience.
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post #6 of 14 Old 09-28-2017, 01:45 PM
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@Perseqtor , if you absolutely cannot afford more than $500, then look for the Epson model that the EH-TW650 just replaced. In the USA the new version is the Home Cinema 1060 and the older version it replaced was the 1040. The older version still has 3,000 white and color lumens. You should be able to get a used one for less than $500 and it will do a better job on a 200" screen than any of the projector models that you mentioned in your first post.
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post #7 of 14 Old 09-28-2017, 04:18 PM
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I would pick the Epson LCDs over the other DLPs for your setting just for the color brightness. Now if the theater is in a very dark room with no lights (exit or floor) the DLP will be fine or superior. Here is my 1800 lumen Epson LCD (bottom) vs my 3000 lumen ViewSonic DLP (top) in my family room during the middle of the day. (1,2)

A few posts back I posted pictures of the Epson with 220" and 190" images with the Epson set on the next to highest light setting normal/living room. In a less than ideal setting the Epson would be the better choice...

but if the theater can get really dark -no exit or floor lights- a 3000 lumen DLP can also provide a bright image. Here is my 3000 lumen DLP over the 70" similar to what I did with the Epson in the other post. (3)

You can see why three of us have suggested getting the brightest Epson you can afford.
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post #8 of 14 Old 09-28-2017, 05:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, it seems that the older version of EH-TW650 is actually the EH-TW5200 which is on my list but has only 2000 Lumens, at least that's what Projector Central says. Wish I could post links but I can't, I'm limited, must have at least 5 posts on AVS...
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post #9 of 14 Old 09-28-2017, 08:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perseqtor View Post
Well, it seems that the older version of EH-TW650 is actually the EH-TW5200 which is on my list but has only 2000 Lumens, at least that's what Projector Central says. Wish I could post links but I can't, I'm limited, must have at least 5 posts on AVS...
No, in the USA the model that the new Home Cinema 1060 (EH-TW650) replaced was the Home Cinema 1040, and it definitely had 3,000 lumens.

I just found that in addition to the new 3,100-lumen EH-TW650 Epson is also offering a new EH-TW610 in the EU that is 3,000 lumens like the old 1040. So it's possible that Epson did not offer the equivalent of the 1040 until just recently and so there would be no second hand ones available outside of the USA. But you should check with an Epson dealer in your country and ask them if there was an older EU version of the EH-TW610/EH-TW650 that was rated at 3,000 lumens.

EDIT: I found it. The EU version of the Home Cinema 1040 is the Epson EB-U04 which has 3,000 white and color lumens. It's currently being sold on amazon.com in the UK for £477.11 new so you should easily be able to find a second hand EB-U04 for less than $500.

epson.co.uk/products/projectors/mobile/eb-u04

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post #10 of 14 Old 09-29-2017, 08:12 AM
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There is a comprehensive review of Epson's Home Cinema 1040 (EB-U04) on projectorreviews.com that will give you a good idea of its full capabilities:

projectorreviews.com/epson/epson-home-cinema-1040-home-theater-projector-review/
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post #11 of 14 Old 09-30-2017, 02:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Dave in Green View Post
There is a comprehensive review of Epson's Home Cinema 1040 (EB-U04) on projectorreviews.com that will give you a good idea of its full capabilities:

projectorreviews.com/epson/epson-home-cinema-1040-home-theater-projector-review/
Sadly, after going through every single site in my country, I haven't found one single Epson's Home Cinema 1040 (EB-U04) available for sale. Did find an EB-W04 and I hoped it was the next EB-U04 ( as the letter would suggest ) but unfortunately that is not the case... it's native resolution is a 1280 x 800, does have the same power as far as Lumen though, 3000. Could get this EB-W04 new for $250 but in the same time i can get a EB-TW480 older model with less than 100h on the lamp for just $150... same resolution, 2800 Lumen. Only problem is that I'm starting to feel like I'm chasing a bit too much after "on paper" resolution and Lumens by now and made me go looking for even cheaper projectors. Thanks to steve1106 I saw with my own eyes the difference betweed LCD and DLP in a couple of scenarios... and from what I understand so far LCD is better for not-that-dark rooms while DLP seems a little bit washed up but supposedly looks decent in almost full dark. Putting the 2 technologies in balance, for my purpose, it really seems to be like Epson's LCD is the better way to go and a highter number of Lumens is what I should chase, but reading different threads on forums ( mostly here on AVS though ) I see some highly regarded DLPs such as the older BenQ W1070 for example, which is DLP and has only 2000 Lumens and, to be quite honest, I simply... don't get ! And yes, I am aware I don't get because I am new to this, I just want to learn more. So basicly here's my dilemma : seems to me like the Epson EB-TW480 and BenQ W1070 came out about the same time ( roughly ! ) or so... while I could spend just $150 on the Epson with LCD and 2800 Lumen ( but 720p native resolution ) the lowest I can get that highly regarded ( back in the day ) BenQ W1070 is $400, which is DLP and has only 2000 Lumen ( but 1080 native resolution ). The difference, money wise it's... it's kind of huge ! Meanwhile I've been looking a lot at different models of Epson and BenQ and you guys seem to don't appreciate Optoma that much even though some newer models have A LOT of Lumens ( actually one, can't remember which, had like 3300 Lumens ) and are 1080p... and I honestly can't tell the difference between most of them, all the $450-$550 models I have listed in my initial post are 1080p, Epsons are LCD while BenQs are DLP, Lumens are between 2000 and 3000. They are so many models and being a noob I can't tell the years they all came out... so I even came up with the idea of searching for new projectors and the main sites in my country, just to get an idea of what are the relative new ( 2015-2017 ) models. Please endulge me... because I honestly DON'T FREAKIN' GET IT ! How is a BenQ TW529 a lesser model than the older BenQ W1070, when I can get the BenQ TW529 brand new for just $300 ( not from the store, from a guy that sells it ) ? I mean basicly besides the resolution ( 720p vs. 1080p ) everything else seems superior on the newer model... Lumens, 3300 vs. 2000, better contrast, newer technology and 0 hours on the lamp... I seriously don't get it ! I hope somebody will help me get a better understanding out of all this, because right now... i'm confused !
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post #12 of 14 Old 09-30-2017, 02:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Also I am very very sorry for all the typos in my previous post, I honestly don't understand why I can't edit my own posts that I literally just wrote, all those mistakes make me look even dumber than I already am. Can anybody confirm if there's a number of posts I need to get before I can edit or is there some edit button I am too blind to see ?! Damn...
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post #13 of 14 Old 09-30-2017, 03:45 AM
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The first thing you need to understand is manufactures specifications are marketing bull and not representative of what a projector can preform in actual use. DLP's for instance with higher lumin rating have a clear segment in their color wheel so can only come close to those lumins with white light not color. LCD's can't get decent color accuracy in their brightest mode. For more reliable specs go by trusted reviewers only.
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post #14 of 14 Old 09-30-2017, 05:30 AM
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So for your purposes the new BenQ TW529 with a new lamp might be the best way to go over taking your chances with a used projector and a questionable lamp. DLPs in your price point will be sharper, have better blacks and handle motion better while the LCD has the edge in brightness as you go larger, and since you are now planing on sticking with 200", you should be fine with the DLP if there isn't too much light in the theater.


Thumbs...My native 4:3 800x600 SVGA business projector with the lights off in the family room over the 70" TV: (I included the black and white because it takes advantage of the projector's native 4:3 and is around 190".)

And finally a side by side of my DLP SVGA (right) and LCD 1080p (left) doing a smaller image. You can see the advantages of a DLP over the LCD. I just never do a small image in a perfect room so I favor the LCD, but if I were you, I would just get the new BenQ for your experiment for price/newness/motion/contrast/blacks.
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