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Overwhelming Information - Need some opinions for a first-time projector purchase

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks in advance for any help or insight you may be able to provide. I have obsessively read forums over the past two weeks, and I think it may be at the point where it's doing more harm than good. I am purchasing a house and for the first time will have a dedicated entertainment room (i.e. the basement is all my wife will let me have). It is 20' X 10' X 7'8" with one small window and some ambient light from the entry at the bottom of the stairs. I would like to get a projector, and am aiming for a 90"-100" screen size. I will be upgrading every major part of my system, but will be doing so on a tight budget ($1700 or less total). The system will be used for about an equal mix of Blu-Ray/Direct TV/Gaming. 3-D isn't a necessity, really more concerned about good overall picture quality and affordability. Here's what I've been able to narrow everything down to.


ViewSonic PRO8200
Optoma HD25
BenQ W1070


Yamaha RX-V473
Onkyo TX-NR414
HK AVR-1650
Denon AVR-1613

Speakers 5.0:

Jamo S 426 HCS 3


I have really no idea. I think with being able to control the light pretty well I'll only need 1.0 gain and would like a set screen I plan on mounting on the wall.

I have an old, but still kicking, DCM Sub2 that I will be using. I currently have some older DCM bookshelf and center speakers I am using, but they're a bit mismatched so I would like to get a matched set (plus, the center channel speaker is gargantuan). If I missed any details that would help with a recommendation, please let me know. I plan on starting with the receiver and speakers first because I have a 5 y/o Samsung Plasma that is still treating me well, plus I know it will take some time to paint, mount and wire everything for the projector. Thanks again!

post #2 of 11
That should be a great room for a false wall with an acoustically transparent screen with the F/C/R mounted behind it. The room is long and narrow so you would have plenty of room to move the screen out some. I would not settle for anything less than a 110" to 120" screen with the long room 90" is too small. If you have any DIY skills you could build your own screen with spandex fabric for $100 or so. Forget the vewsonic as its not 3D (unless you go out of your way to avoid 3D in the theaters and you see the 3D these projectors produce you will want it). Ether the Optoma or BenQ would be great choices, even the Acer 6510bd if you could find one would be even cheaper. I love my Denon 1912 coming from Sony's and pioneers it was a great improvement. Polk make some good entry level speakers and go with 7.1 sound even if you don't get all the speakers now you will want them later. Paint the room a dark color including the ceiling as reflections will hurt the contrast and its the least expensive solution to a great picture. If your all thumbs and DIY is out of the question Jamestown Screens make good DIY type screens with AT or any fabric you want. This is all doable in the under $2000 range with a little sweat equity. Good luck
post #3 of 11
The Benq w1070 has the best image of those three. Though I have not seen the Optoma, I know of people that have online and in the forums. The Optoma is pretty good, but the contrast isn't as high as the Benq.

I owned the Pro8200 and saw the w1070, the w1070 is sharper, has higher contrast, faster color wheel, more accurate color. The w1070 is the best budget DLP ever made IMHO, and there are no others that are really on par with it at the moment that I know of in that price range.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
I saw the BenQ and didn't think it looked as great as I'd hoped, that's why I started considering the Optoma. I saw it next to an Epson 8350, but I didn't think the difference would be that drastic. Thanks for the advice on the Viewsonic. I don't really know anyone that has experience with both. I'm not really concerned with 3D. I'd rather have better blacks and game performance.

Any advice on the receivers?
post #5 of 11
What room conditions did you view the Benq in?
If a projector's settings are not setup correctly (contrast, brightness, gamma, or color), then it can look pretty bad. Also if the room isn't light controlled, all PJ's will look semi-bad in some scenes. The Benq has the same or slightly better blacks as the Epson 8350 does even when the Epson's IRIS closes down, in a way the Benq's blacks are slightly richer, but they are similar to the Epson. The Benq is much brighter though, so if you saw it on a normal screen without an ND filter near the Epson, the Epson is going to look like it has better blacks even though it doesn't.

That said, the blacks aren't going to be great with any of these sub-$1500 DLP's, the best blacks for under $1,500 is the JVC HD-250 B-Stock from Mike@avscience.com (if he has any in stock). Other than JVC's, there aren't going to be great blacks.

I would up the budget by $300 to $400 and get the JVC HD-250 B-Stock if you can find one. The issue with the JVC for you though will be lag-time. Better blacks and better gaming performance does not exist in this price category, to get that, you would need to buy a Sony hw50es, or maybe an Epson 5020 (though the Epson as more lag than the sony, it has a bit less than a JVC). The JVC will work good for almost all single player games, but if you are going to put a bunch of gaming hours on lamps, maybe stick with the Benq w1070... You will need to compromise something, if it were me, I'd get the JVC and play most multiplayer games on the TV or something.

As far as receivers, I'm no expert on the audio topics by any stretch, but as much as I love Sony Bluray players, avoid Sony receivers. I also think Pioneers are overrated (I own one), but maybe that has changed.

I like Denon or Harman Kardon receivers personally, though most receivers are ok (Onkyo, Pioneer, whatever). Denon 5.1 receivers aren't that expensive anymore (even new), the 7.1's are a bit pricier. I would base your receiver purchase more on what features you want/desire (like ipod integration or what not, though there are ways around that regardless of integration features). My advice then, just avoid Sony, Sherwood, or any of the super low-cost receivers, the others are usually similar.
Edited by coderguy - 5/29/13 at 6:26pm
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the help. The BenQ probably wasn't optimal viewing conditions as it was at a home theater store with a couple side by side. It only uses the DLP Link glasses correct? I'll probably go with ban Elite Screen or build my own like rekbones suggested. I can get the yamaha receiver for $285 at a local BB so I might go that route. Much appreciated advice, I'll update with what I go with!
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Well, I've run into a snag. The basement has a floor brace that is finished that runs the width of the room about 9 1/2' back from the wall that is usable for the screen. This makes the effective height 6'8" as is sticks down about 10" from the ceiling and is about 8" across. I can't mount behind it because it would interfere with the light being projected. Would I be able to mount it essentially directly on it? Thanks!
post #8 of 11
The projector could still be mounted behind it just use an extension on the mount to get it below the brace. At 9.6' the screen could still be about 110" but the bottom of the screen would be about 1.5' from the floor. Either a projector with more vertical lens shift ( the benQ 1070 has some but not much) or a short throw as in the benQ w1080st could be mounted in front of the obstruction.
post #9 of 11
If you are not into the 3d aspects of stuff, if you can find a new pro8200 on sale, it has a lot going for it, too. Built in 3 year warranty for one, and 6,000hours on bulb in eco with low bulb replacement costs. It's also good crossover PJ for business/home/porch use with built in 20 watt speakers (10x2). If you are into 3d the benq 1070 is good, and you might have to add warranty for it cause it comes with 1 year warranty. Many of us picked up the pro8200 for about 650-700 dollars on sale , it's cheap and good for 2,000 lumen PJ. If the benq w1070 and pro8200 are same price, I would get the benq w1070 and would have to check how much extended warranty is. Maybe check the forum rooms of the PJ's you are interested in and amazon user reviews and pro reviews. That is half the fun of making the purchase, I had fun researching it. Also, maybe look at LED PJ's too, just to leave all your options OPEN. Reading the last 3 or 4 months of posts on the PJ's you are thinking of getting well give you idea how the guys like their PJ and if there are any problems they are having and any solutions.
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
I think that's my problem, too much reading smile.gif The forums are what lead me to getting my new Yamaha receiver, V473, though. I got a great deal at Best Buy for $215. I'm really not that worried about 3D, but at least half of the viewing time will be spend on games. that's why I was looking at the ViewSonic, but everyone seems to be in love with the BenQ, and it's right at the upper edge of my price range. I really do appreciate all of the help and input. I've not had a decent sized room I could convert to a good viewing space. I might work on getting some new speakers first, as that will be a little cheaper, then see where prices are in a month or so.
post #11 of 11
3D is cool for some things, personally I would go with the Benq, but if you want another option slightly cheaper than the Benq, then check out the Acer 9500bd refurb when available (or grab it during a sale), just make sure you are getting an Acer with an updated firmware that does not have the pixel mapping issue.
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