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Best projector for a partially lit room during the day (under $1200) refurb/used/new

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I'm having a bit of a problem trying to find the 'best projector' for my situation.

I've been reading these forms (and others) for several months now. Deciphering information from various websites, from the experts, casual users, and salesmen can be a bit overwhelming. I hope I can get some good information so I can pull the trigger on a projector.

Budget

-Trying to keep price under $1200 (refurb, used, new) will spend a little more for the right projector

My room situation is


-partial ambient light in room
-150 inch Matte white Elite screen
-Projector would need to be between 15-17 feet away; level with the bottom of the screen (I usually check projector central for the right measurements)
-would like 3d but not a necessity, especially if it means I'll see a huge drop off in picture brightness and quality
(Comcast offers 3d, wondering if 3d capabale units would work for Cable?)
-We watch sports, an occasional movie. (the kids love 3d)
-vaulted ceiling with a fan in the middle (ceiling mount not an option at the moment)

What I've tried

-Purchased an optoma GT750e prematurely- it worked great during the evening (very bright and colorful!) however, during the day the ambient light washed majority of the picture away. In addition, having a projector sitting in the middle of the living room (short throw) was a huge eye sore.

Projectors I'm looking at-

3d
-HD33
-3010

non 3d
-HC4000,HC6800
-Pro8200



I'm open to any make, model of projector. I have no biases or brand loyalty. I just want the best bang for my buck. Any help would be greatly appreciated. smile.gif


(edited- from 'well lit' to 'partially lit' room to reflect a more accurate description of the room)
Edited by calntheplay - 7/5/12 at 3:13pm
post #2 of 9
Don't waste your money until you take care of the ambient light problem.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
I hear what you're suggesting. And I couldn't agree with you more. However, Ambient light isn't an issue during the evening. And if I can get a projector that was 'ok' during the daytime, I'd be extremely happy.

The GT750e was close to being 'ok' for viewing. (should have read 'partially lit room' to reflect a more accurate description of room) Perhaps something a little brighter, or a few more lumens would suffice for the daytime until I can get the ambient light under control. Any suggestions?
Edited by calntheplay - 7/5/12 at 3:15pm
post #4 of 9
I'm sorry, but I don't have any other projector suggestions. The other problem is your HUGE screen size. Even with a dark room, you will need a very bright projector.
post #5 of 9
I'm considering a Panasonic PT-AR100U and its 2800 lumens for my non-man cave room. http://www.panasonic.com/business/projectors/pt-ar100u.asp
post #6 of 9
In a room like yours, the screen is just as important as the projector.

Perhaps you need a darker grey screen - maybe look into painting the screen? I'm not sure how "grey" your screen is, but you describe it as Matte White. If it really is white, I'm not surprised you had problems with the ambient light. A darker grey screen (you could paint) will be much more ambient light friendlly.

But, at that screen size, if you make the screen darker, you will need a brighter projector, and for that you need to increase your projector budget. My recollection is the GT750 puts out a lot of light, I think you'd have a hard time getting as bright a projector as the GT750 for under $1200.

Seems like somethings got to give, and in this case, I'd look at the screen ... size.
post #7 of 9
My 3010 looks great with some ambient light on my 1.3 gain matte white screen (120"/16:9). This is in ECO mode. I'm FAR from an expert but I bet it'd look fine on a 150" as well although you might need to use NORMAL mode during the day. My throw distance is about 17'. JMHO, hope it helps.

Ed
I believe Amazon had the 3010 for $1299 a few weeks ago.
post #8 of 9
A 150" screen is big for one with a near unity gain (your Elite matte white screen). In a fully light controlled room you should ideally try to get about 16 ft. lamberts for the image brightness. For a 150" gain 1.0 screen this requires a projector with 1100 lumens of actual light output. Many projector manufacturers may advertise much higher lumens, but when set to a mode for accurate colors and grey scale the lumens can drop by as much as 70% over the projector's brightest, but least accurate mode. For 3D the matters becomes much worse as the light to the viewer's eyes is typically only 15% to 20% as much as viewing in 2D mode. The Panasonic PT-AR100U is probably your best choice for a bright 1080P projector (for 2D) at a budget price. I'm not certain that any low to moderate priced projector will have enough light output in 3D mode to give satisfactory results with your 150" unity gain screen eveb in a fully light controlled room (but some people can tolerate very dim 3D images). Also when considering projectors that do not have have a lens shift adjustment, you have very few options for where the projector must be placed relative to the screen for correct image geometry, so you need to consider this when selecting a projector that will work with your room layout. You may want to check out the reviews at projectorreviews.com for more info on the projectors you are considering.

Matte screens are generally not well suited for rooms with very much ambient light. Just look at the screen with the projector turned off and under your daytime ambient lighting - this is the darkest that BLACKS in the projected image can possibly appear under these lighting conditions. The GT750 you tried should have produced 2000+ lumens in brightest mode and if the projected image still looked washed out then you should not expect any other other projector to significantly help that out. Your only real solution is to eliminate the ambient light, or possibly go with a smaller higher gain screen designed to better reject ambient light. However, if there are light sources along the wall behind the projector even such screens may not help all that much.
Edited by Ron Jones - 7/16/12 at 2:29pm
post #9 of 9
I have a 158 inch 2:35:1 screen (painted wall) and a 17 foot throw and the picture is awesome even in some ambient light. I usually use the masking panels for 16:9 and with that the screen is only 124 inches, but still I'm so impressed with the picture even with the lights on. I can watch tv no problem with the lights all the way up. I'm typing this using the screen right now, anything from the computer looks very bright with all the lights on.

The catch is I can't fully recommend my projector. It's an Epson 8350 which is right in your price range, but this model is riddled with problems. I'm on my 3rd new unit since last October (with 3 additional units that I had to send back immediately when I was getting replacements).

I don't know how other projectors look using dynamic mode, but this one is fantastic IMO. If I do upgrade I'm going to have to make sure the projector looks great in it's brightest mode since that is how I would be using it.
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