or Connect
AVS › AVS Forum › Display Devices › Digital Projectors - Under $3,000 USD MSRP › Are Projectors Right For Me?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Are Projectors Right For Me?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Recently I have the itch to go big screen. I'm thinking I might want to dabble in projectors. I'm not sure if there for me though. First and biggest question is how much light can I have in the room while watching the projector. Can I have a lamp on? Also this would be a replacement for a TV. Are projectors well suited for just surfing cable? Do projectors match or beat the PQ of a good plasma? Last question, I also game a lot, do projectors have problems with burn in or input lag?
post #2 of 11
Ah, another pending convert! Excellent! biggrin.gif

These are my suggestions and opinions. Others will chime in.

Getting into PJs requires a bit of a commitment. Using one as your ONLY display requires a bigger commitment. I would guess you're not married if you are thinking about losing the TV. My wife would never go for it. When I was single my PJ was my only display for awhile, but I did not game on it (I'm a PC gamer guy). I eventually went back to a PJ/TV setup. Watched movies on the PJ, news and stuff on the TV.

You will have a lot of reading to do, but to sum things up a little:

The primary two PJ technologies used in projectors are DLP and LCD (there's LCOS too, but then you're in the $3K+ neighborhood). In general LCDs have much less lag than DLPs and are better for gaming. DLPs have a bit more "filmlike picture " to them. BUT, there are excellent PJs utilizing either technology that will do a good job. You have to read up on them and ask questions and make the best compromise for YOUR situation. For example, I have poor light control in my living room. So I bought a PJ that gives up some of the finer black level for a brighter image. You have to do due diligence with your research and pick the machine that is best for you and your budget.

Home theater/home entertainment PJs work best in a darkened room. The more lights you want on in the room, the brighter the PJ has to be (measure in Lumens). Lumens are a good indication of how bright a PJ will be, but Lumens don't tell the whole story. There's contrast ratio and other specifications that factor in.

While good 2D, 1080P projectors can be had for under $1K, the sweet spot ATM seems to be in the $1.2K-$1.5K range. That would get you a very nice 1080P, 2D projector with enough horsepower (lumens) for a bit of ambient light in the room.

AFA using it as your only display, it's really up to and your wallet. Bulbs get dimmer as they age. Typical life these days is roughly 3,000 hours of usable life (before it gets too dim and must be replaced). Sometimes bulbs fail. They are bulbs, afterall. Bulbs cost anywhere from $250 and up these days.

Assuming you don't have a dedicated room for your HT and are doing this in your living room, I would suggest a ceiling-mounted pulldown screen, right in front of your TV. Use the PJ for movies and games and the TV for your everyday watching.

Hope this helped a litle bit.
post #3 of 11
Originally Posted by michaelddd View Post

I would suggest a ceiling-mounted pulldown screen, right in front of your TV. Use the PJ for movies and games and the TV for your everyday watching.

What brands do you recommend for pulldown screens?
post #4 of 11
I'm no screen guru, but screens can get very expensive. You can get a basic, 100" 16:9 pull down screen for $200-ish. If you start to get into the higher-gain screens it gets expensive very quickly. I use a homemade 90" blackout cloth screen. Works for me. Cost me about $80 to build back in 2004. For someone just getting into PJs, without a dedicated HT room, I'd recommend getting a cheaper screen first, to see if the whole PJ setup is going to work fo you.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for some solid info. This would be in a dedicated man cave. I can black out the room but the walls are light in color and so is the rug. Even with that said sometimes i like a lamp on or something just so I don't feel like a vampire. Now with the LCoS does that get me more brightness? Is it "worth" the price? The other poster talked about screens, I wouldn't need a pull down one nut Id need one to get me the brightest image.
post #6 of 11
also if you don't have a dedicated room you might wanna get a short throw model. something to consider
post #7 of 11
Lcos gets you everything, basically. But they start at $3k and quickly go up from there.
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks, I'm gonna start researching now. See whats right for me, I am to assume burn in is not a problem on projectors?
post #9 of 11

if you set it up "right", you can have quite a bit of light in the room and have a more than watchable picture... i use my pj for everything, and almost never sit in the darkness.... and often have 300 watts of halogen lights on... smile.gif

i orignally set mine up with a pulldown in front of my plasma... that didn't last long... smile.gif

like with most things, there are compromises to be made, but my room is "almost normal" (if you don't count the front third of it being black... tongue.gif )...

if you see the link in my sig, you can see how it evolved... there's still work to do...

i don't regret doing it for a second... i loved (and still do love) my kuro, but once you go big, it's impossible to go back... i never thought i'd ever think of a 60" tv as being "small", but the kuro looks positively tiny now... redface.gif

good luck if you do it... there's lots of helpful people around here... smile.gif
post #10 of 11
@the op...

i just happen to have 106" pulldown da-lite high contrast matte white screen sitting around doing nothing....

if you are willing to make a drive across the river (i'm in collingswood) and pick it up and will make a small donation to your local no-kill animal shelter, you can have it... not the bestest/greatest screen in the world, but it will get you started... smile.gif
post #11 of 11
I am one of those who was going from my moderate sized TV to something bigger. I entertained the idea of a 65" plasma (at the time about the biggest I could find). I decided to take the plunge and I couldn't be happier.

My room is far from perfect. Since we were repainting anyway we chose a color that minimizes reflections, yet still is just a nice color for the room anyway. I have 2 large windows (70x90 and 70x40) on the right wall, the back of the room is open to the foyer and there is a pocket door on the left wall that goes to the kitchen. I'm using blinds on the windows and I close the door to the kitchen. So far, I haven't had any issues watching Sunday afternoon football. It doesn't have that killer picture that I get a night, but even during the day it's much better than my 5 year old LCD direct view. At night, there's no comparison.

Probably the biggest factor for me was cost. I could not have gotten anywhere close to what I have now for the $ I spent had I gone direct view. My projector and screen cost me under $2.5k (that's projector, mount, screen/material) and about 2 full weekends of time (spread out over 3 weeks). I build my screen following the advice I found here (silver fire on sintra). I picked a projector after reading a ton of information here and talking with several dealers (Epson 8700UB). That landed me a picture that is about 105", and has never failed to impress anyone who has seen it (we host movie/game nights about 3x a year). I used to like watching movies at home. I LOVE watching movies at home now.

All that said, there are a couple of caveats. I've not had my projector calibrated. I won't. I love it the way it came. While picture quality is important to me, I still watch SD and DVD based material and it doesn't bother me in the least. I still marvel at how good the picture is on the 70-something inch I looked at recently, but it was 2x the cost of my projector and waaaaayyy smaller.

In the end, IMO, if I was truly a picture quality freak I would be prepared to spend way, way, way more than I did on a projector - or - I'd settle for a smaller direct view.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
AVS › AVS Forum › Display Devices › Digital Projectors - Under $3,000 USD MSRP › Are Projectors Right For Me?