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Need a little advice...

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi all!

I'm wanting to get a projector for my room, but I know absolutely nothing about them. I began doing some of my own research, but quickly got overwhelmed. This site is awesome for advice, so I thought I'd ask.

It's mainly going to be used for my PC (playing games/movies). My room is really dark, even during the day, and I have about 12' for a projection distance. I'm looking for one with 1080p. My budget is $1000. I'd like some suggestions on what you guys think would be good for my application. There seems to be a pretty big price range. Is trying to get one for under 1k insane? What sets apart the expensive from the cheap? How important are the specs like lumens/watts and contrast ratio for this device? What models can you suggest?

Thanks in advance :-)
post #2 of 14
Do you know if you are sensitive to the rainbow effect?
Can you mount the projector on your ceiling or a shelf near the ceiling, how high is your ceiling?

From 12' the biggest screen you can project on most of these is about 106", because you have to account for the size of the projector itself.

If not rainbow sensitive and you can ceiling or high shelf mount, then I would recommend a DLP, otherwise the Epson 8350 is going to be your best bet with increased placement flexibility and no RBE. If you cannot spring for the cost of the 8350 and you still need flexible placement, then you'll have to look at Epson refurbs or new 720p LCD units.

I would narrow down your choices to about 3 different units:

Around 1k or slightly above the best image is going to be the MIts hc4000
Runner ups for well under $1k are going to be the Optoma hd20 and the Viewsonic Pro8200.

The Mits hc4000 has the best image of them all, darker blacks, better contrast, a tiny bit sharper.

Otherwise, the Epson 8350 (or a refurb from Epson's or VisualApex site).
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by coderguy View Post

Do you know if you are sensitive to the rainbow effect?
Can you mount the projector on your ceiling or a shelf near the ceiling, how high is your ceiling?
From 12' the biggest screen you can project on most of these is about 106", because you have to account for the size of the projector itself.
If not rainbow sensitive and you can ceiling or high shelf mount, then I would recommend a DLP, otherwise the Epson 8350 is going to be your best bet with increased placement flexibility and no RBE. If you cannot spring for the cost of the 8350 and you still need flexible placement, then you'll have to look at Epson refurbs or new 720p LCD units.
I would narrow down your choices to about 3 different units:
Around 1k or slightly above the best image is going to be the MIts hc4000
Runner ups for well under $1k are going to be the Optoma hd20 and the Viewsonic Pro8200.
The Mits hc4000 has the best image of them all, darker blacks, better contrast, a tiny bit sharper.
Otherwise, the Epson 8350 (or a refurb from Epson's or VisualApex site).

Wow. I never heard of the rainbow effect before (I had to look it up). That's a trip. I don't think I am. I've never had a problem with projectors before. I've had a few friends that had them, and I've never had anything like that happen. I was planning on putting up a shelf across at about the same level as where the middle of the screen would hit. Is it better to mount higher? I have pretty flexible placement.

106" is more than big enough. I was planning on going about 96".

Thank you so much for your response. The Mitsubishi looks pretty nice. I actually have a Mits TV too, and I really like it.

Just for my knowledge, what specs are important to keep in mind? I know when I was TV shopping, marketing likes to throw around a bunch of numbers (like super-high Hz) that don't really matter that much. Anyway, thanks again.
post #4 of 14
I love this site: Plug in the distance you are away from the screen and it will give you min and recommended screen size. This is based on a theater experience! This has been very helpful. If you are only 10 feet away from the screen like my room....you don't want a 120 inch screen...it would be ridiculous like sitting in the front row of a movie theater. For my room it said it recommended an 89" diagonal (Min 73") and I'm at 84"! It looks great in my room!

http://myhometheater.homestead.com/viewingdistancecalculator.html
post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by blognorg View Post

Wow. I never heard of the rainbow effect before (I had to look it up). That's a trip. I don't think I am. I've never had a problem with projectors before. I've had a few friends that had them, and I've never had anything like that happen. I was planning on putting up a shelf across at about the same level as where the middle of the screen would hit. Is it better to mount higher? I have pretty flexible placement.
106" is more than big enough. I was planning on going about 96".
Thank you so much for your response. The Mitsubishi looks pretty nice. I actually have a Mits TV too, and I really like it.
Just for my knowledge, what specs are important to keep in mind? I know when I was TV shopping, marketing likes to throw around a bunch of numbers (like super-high Hz) that don't really matter that much. Anyway, thanks again.

Coderguy definetly seems to know his stuff so his advise is one of the best on this site. Another thing to look for is lag time. You need to be under 80ms to enjoy gaming, especially games like COD which are very fast.

I personally would try to keep that number under 60ms. I know the Epson 8350 is overall a great projector for everything you described and from what I have read on mulitiple forums that is it a good choice for gaming as well. I also see several places online now selling it for $1099 which is really close to your budget.

Good luck.
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ishot3bucks View Post

I love this site: Plug in the distance you are away from the screen and it will give you min and recommended screen size. This is based on a theater experience! This has been very helpful. If you are only 10 feet away from the screen like my room....you don't want a 120 inch screen...it would be ridiculous like sitting in the front row of a movie theater. For my room it said it recommended an 89" diagonal (Min 73") and I'm at 84"! It looks great in my room!
http://myhometheater.homestead.com/viewingdistancecalculator.html

Thank you for the link. Judging by the calculator, it may actually be better to go 84" instead of 96" for my viewing distance. That's a pretty cool utility.
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dolphinc View Post

Coderguy definetly seems to know his stuff so his advise is one of the best on this site. Another thing to look for is lag time. You need to be under 80ms to enjoy gaming, especially games like COD which are very fast.
I personally would try to keep that number under 60ms. I know the Epson 8350 is overall a great projector for everything you described and from what I have read on mulitiple forums that is it a good choice for gaming as well. I also see several places online now selling it for $1099 which is really close to your budget.
Good luck.

Awesome. Thank you. That's very helpful. It's confusing with tech like this, because there are so many numbers being tossed around; it's hard to know what's relevant and what's not, especially when someone is inexperienced like me.
post #8 of 14
One problem with LCD projectors, especially at the lower end, is 3 chip panel alignment.... as in it can be a craps shoot as to how much the projector's panels are out of alignment. Too much and you'll really notice it. One chip DLP's, as long as you're not sensitive to rainbow artifacts from color wheels, can be better and are much better for any 3D content viewing.
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Hitchman View Post

One problem with LCD projectors, especially at the lower end, is 3 chip panel alignment.... as in it can be a craps shoot as to how much the projector's panels are out of alignment. Too much and you'll really notice it. One chip DLP's, as long as you're not sensitive to rainbow artifacts from color wheels, can be better and are much better for any 3D content viewing.

Interesting; thanks for the heads up. Is the Epson 8350 considered low end? It seems like it's kind of a toss up between that and the Mitsubishi hc4000. I found a refurbished Epson for a good price. I've gotten plenty of refurbished tech in the past without any problems, but is that more risky with the LCD design?
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by blognorg View Post

Interesting; thanks for the heads up. Is the Epson 8350 considered low end? It seems like it's kind of a toss up between that and the Mitsubishi hc4000. I found a refurbished Epson for a good price. I've gotten plenty of refurbished tech in the past without any problems, but is that more risky with the LCD design?

The overall gradification of those who own the 8350 is very high. One on the highest of all projectors in any class so I think for the price group it is in it looks like a good choice. It is considered a lower end projector but rated tops in that group (If that makes any sense?) There should be a Epson 8350 owners thread here, go there and ask as many questions you can. The other BIG factor is Epsons warranty. It comes with a 2 year overnight exchange warranty which is absolutely top notch.
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dolphinc View Post

The overall gradification of those who own the 8350 is very high. One on the highest of all projectors in any class so I think for the price group it is in it looks like a good choice. It is considered a lower end projector but rated tops in that group (If that makes any sense?) There should be a Epson 8350 owners thread here, go there and ask as many questions you can. The other BIG factor is Epsons warranty. It comes with a 2 year overnight exchange warranty which is absolutely top notch.

Yeah, I get what your saying. I think I'll head over to the Epson forum. Thanks for the advice.
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
I've done some more reading and it seems like the hc4000 has PQ and motion blur. I have a lot of flexibility for mounting, so the lack of lens shift hopefully won't matter. I have a question, though. I'm probably going to do more gaming on it than videos, so will the DLP be better in that regard?
post #13 of 14
"I was planning on putting up a shelf across at about the same level as where the middle of the screen would hit. Is it better to mount higher? I have pretty flexible placement."

Both the HC4000 and the Pro8200 have quite a bit of offset, so you can't mount them in the middle of the screen as you had posted.

You can hang them from a shelf (upside down) about 2' above the top of the screen. That is one of the few limitations of those projectors. the HD20 has less vertical offset.
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bse53 View Post

"I was planning on putting up a shelf across at about the same level as where the middle of the screen would hit. Is it better to mount higher? I have pretty flexible placement."
Both the HC4000 and the Pro8200 have quite a bit of offset, so you can't mount them in the middle of the screen as you had posted.
You can hang them from a shelf (upside down) about 2' above the top of the screen. That is one of the few limitations of those projectors. the HD20 has less vertical offset.

Ah, thank you. Hopefully that's something that I would have found out before I drilled holes in my wall haha, but thanks for informing me.
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