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Advice on best projector for ARound $2,000 - $2,500 budget

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Projector experts,
I am redoing my basement home theater (very dark room) and would like to get a 1080p projector for a budget of around $2,000 (US). I have a wall that is approximately 125 inches wide and would like the 16:9 format for watching movies, sports, and ps3. I can have the project as far back or as close as needed and have a lower drywall ceiling (about height of drop ceiling) to mount it to. I have an onkyo 7:1 sound system so I don't need an upgrade there. I know the EPSON 8350 is okay (saw it demo'ed at a local store), but I know the 5020 has much better contract ration, but is a little out of my price range. Is there another great 1080P projector out there that will serve my purposes? I have little to no interest in 3D.

Combined with the project question, is there a budget screen you could recommend or is there a DIY or screen paint I can use to save money on the screen and put that towards a better projector?

Lastly, doe most projectors only have 2 HDMI ports? I have the cable input (HDMI), ps3 input (HDMI), and apple TV input (also HDMI) i would like to set up. Or, is there an HDMI splitter that can solve the problem?

Any advice would get GREATLY appreciated.

Thanks in advance!!!
post #2 of 10
Well this is easy, buy last year's Epson 5010, the difference in PQ is small between the 5020 and 5010 but you'll save several hundred $$$, although incremental, the 5020 does have a tad less gaming lag and is a bit brighter. There are several online dealers selling last year's 5010 right at $2k. Unless you are a big FPS gamer, the lag probably won't bother you all that much. Even the Epson 5020 doesn't have perfect lag either, so it isn't much different.

There are not many projectors that can be purchased new with great blacks under $2,200 other than the 5010, that is really the only one. In the refurb or used market, there is the JVC RS-40 (x3) RS-45 (x30), and JVC HD-250 / RS10. These JVC's will do punchier black levels than the Epson 5010, but they are hard to come by in the refurb market sometimes, you can find them used though.

Most projectors only have 2 HDMI ports (some only have 1!). You just need to buy an HDMI switch (about $40 online).

There is a dedicated screen category in these forums for posts about screens, check the DIY screen posts in those threads over there and/or post a screen question in a new thread over there. There are plenty of ways to do a cheap DIY screen.
post #3 of 10
What are you using for sound? Generally, people run all their sources into their receiver via HDMI and then run 1 HDMI out to the display (projector.) 1 HDMI input is sufficient on a FP.
post #4 of 10
I have two projectors running off the same HDMI switch so I cannot use the receiver in my case, because I use a 5x2 matrix switch. HDMI switches will usually have either a COAX or Optical Audio Out as well, and since I only have a 5.1 setup so using Optical Audio isn't a big difference for my setup as I also have an older receiver.

If someone just has one projector (like most do) and wants to do a pure 7.0+ setup, then I think they can still just buy the Matrix switch and use the secondary output to go to the receiver (it will then pass the sound through the HDMI normally with all data for 7.1 or whatever). There are still options.

I initially skip the receiver, run the sound into the HDMI switch, then run the audio back to the receiver from the HDMI switch.
For instance, my 5x2 matrix switch DUAL outputs the video/sound over two HDMI ports at once, so if I wanted I can use the secondary output for ONLY the HDMI sound and run one projector off the AVR switch, but I don't need to do that in my setup. For someone with one projector, it's even simpler, just use the secondary ouput on the matrix switch to go back to the receiver.

If the AVR works, then use the AVR, but I personally like the switch method better only because it's much easier to A/B projectors.
Edited by coderguy - 1/27/13 at 3:38pm
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
So how much would I have to increase my budget to get a higher end projector to get better blacks and less lag when gaming? I will be using a ps3 on here and want good blacks since it is a perfect dark room.

I am also using an onkyo 7:1 sound system but it is the year before hdmi inputs. Sounds like a switch is the way to go.

Thanks again!!!!
post #6 of 10
If this is your first projector I would advise you NOT to raise your budget. Since you aren't interested in 3D you can find a handful of options at or below 2k.
post #7 of 10
+1 for Coder's recommendation. Once you've seen a JVC in action, the others are just nice projectors. Sony is a close 2nd due to the use of LCoS technology.

Neither JVC or Sony refurbished models are cheap but you would not regret it.
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickczer3 View Post

So how much would I have to increase my budget to get a higher end projector to get better blacks and less lag when gaming? I will be using a ps3 on here and want good blacks since it is a perfect dark room.

I am also using an onkyo 7:1 sound system but it is the year before hdmi inputs. Sounds like a switch is the way to go.

Thanks again!!!!

Sony hw50 is the only one that has dark blacks and low lag, although the Panny 8000 has decent blacks and low lag but not as good as the Sony overall.
The Sony is about $1000 more than your budget.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Which JVC and Sony projectors should I be looking out for around a budget of $2,000-$2,500?
post #10 of 10
Refurbished JVC 3D RS40 or X3 is under $2k, while Sony is hard to find in your price range, regardless of 2D or 3D. Most of the Sony VW85 (2D) are used if you can find one.
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