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Please vote, basic occasional use projector

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
A few days of searching and these seem to be choices I have.

The room:
Basement movie room, 19 ft throw to back wall with projector mounted in wall at ceiling level. Have painted wall right now with 144" diagonal but will put a screen on it with maybe 120 or 130". Lights are all dimmable and controlled.

1) Mits HC 7900 from Tiger Direct- 800$- has 3D which I am not sure I care about (now at least, but do have children 5,3,1 so this will come up)
2) Epson 8350 from Ebay for around 900 used with low lamp hours.
3) Epson 8100 on Craigslist for about 500 with new lamp
4) Benq 1070- looks like around 800

I am not picky, have never had a projector and this room hasn't been used by me, it is in a house I bought a few years ago. I anticipate occasional usage only.

Will need a screen too, so if anyone knows how to start there: my thanks in advance!
post #2 of 8
Not much response on this, so I will...

Used is ALWAYS a gamble on your part, and not something I ever recommend. The 8100 is certainly dated, and I would skip it altogether. Unless you are prepared for a $400+ repair bill, skip it.

The 8350 is a solid model, I would never buy it used. You can get it brand new with warranty and a perfect lamp for just a few hundred bucks more. Not worth getting used. Only better than the W1070 or HC7900 if placement is an issue.

BenQ W1070 - A all-time entry level favorite right now. Solid model, must be about 12' or so from your screen. Can be even with or slightly above the screen.

Mits 7900 - I believe this model is the best of the bunch. Great price for what you get. Was a lot more, but Mits. is getting out of the projector game. They will still support the models they have sold, but not sure for how long. Still, the best image will come from that. I believe the lens must be slightly lower than the top of the screen. Double check on that and if that works for you. This one can be towards the back of your 19' deep room if you want it there.

You should go with a minimal gain white screen with the projector. Like 1.3 to 1.5 gain white screen.
post #3 of 8
I agree with everything AV stated above but the off set of the Mits. It has a very large off set and at 110" screen it must be about 9" above the screen and it increases with screen size. The lens shift adjustment is large but only in the direction of increasing the off set. I believe anything larger then 120" with an 8' ceiling would put the screen very close to the floor.
post #4 of 8
Oh yeah, isn't it the new Epson 2030 which has the reverse offset? Hard to keep track of all the models. Yeah, the Mits. has serious offset which likely will make it tough to use in the space with typical ceilings and a large screen size.

You may be forced to use a 8350 or AR100 or similar for the distance you are talking about.
post #5 of 8
Take some time to look at the projector calculators that each manufacturer has available on their websites. These are the most reliable way to know whether or not a given model will physically work within your space. They're all a bit clunky to use, but are worth the very small amount of time required. I wanted to buy the Mitsubishi, until the calculator made it clear that it was unworkable for my space.

Manufacturer calculators include offset and any available lens shift, both of which are critical to knowing whether or not a given model will work for you. Projector Central's calculator focuses on light and screen size--not exactly a comprehensive tool.
post #6 of 8
Originally Posted by 5150 View Post

Projector Central's calculator focuses on light and screen size--not exactly a comprehensive tool.
While they have offset for many fixed lens projectors, they certainly fail on projectors with lens shift. I decided to shoot them an email about that. They certainly have a number of ways they can improve their calculator and it would be nice to have it updated after the years and years they have used it as it currently is. Adding lens shift range would be a huge thing.

Really though, it does show many things already including zoom range (or screen size range), change in brightness based upon zoom distance. Offset for fixed lens projectors (typically), etc.

Would potentially be nice to add some other information and perhaps a tutorial video as well.

Not sure if that is in their 'budget' this year, but I'm happy to put a bug in Evan's ear about things like this.
post #7 of 8
Definitely HC7900DW between the choices if it fits, otherwise W1070. Figure on the lens of the projector being about 12-14" above the top of your screen to still allow a slight bit of lens offset adjustment both ways during installation at that screen size.
post #8 of 8
How about the Optoma HD131xe? Should it not be on the list?
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