The prices you guys mention sound good to me. Yes, this is STILL a fantastic projector with a fantastic picture. The problem is that a lot of people have had problems with their unit (myself included) involving repairs (specifically the p-module) and a bunch of people have also complained about short lamp life and the lamps are expensive ($300?). I have NO idea what % of these projectors had or will have the p-module failure though, maybe its small - the repair is pretty easy to do yourself and costs about $125 although mine failed a second time just a day after the first fix, its working now but I have no idea for how long. If I thought I could get 2-3 years use out of it, I'd probably buy one today for around $600 though.
p.s. Projecting onto a white wall will probably work just fine. You can also buy a cheap ($10) piece of hardboard (4x8) from home depot and paint it with killz 2 primer which makes for a very good screen by itself (you can find more complex screen paint solutions detailed in the AVS forums with a little searching, but really, killz2 works great, is inexpensive, and easy to do).
p.p.s. You asked about best distance - the closer to the screen, the better, and the more centered on your screen, the better. You can get a brighter image by moving it closer, and less distortion if you project dead ahead without using lens shifting. Of course everything is a compromise, you don't want people straining their necks looking UP at a screen, and you don't want the projector mounted somewhere that people will be bumping their head on it. Don't worry about having to use a little lens shift.
Originally Posted by dusty
Im new to the projector world and had a couple questions about the AE700.
First, is it still worth buying? I have a chance to pick one up for $625 that comes with ~50ft of component cable ($120) and a mount from VisualApex ($190). The pj has about 580 hours of lamp usage.
Also, am I ok to project this directly onto the wall or do I need
a screen? My walls are white, not super-smooth, but I will be about 15ft away from the wall if that makes a difference.
Finally, what is the best distance to mount this pj at? My ceilings are ~9ft. The room size is 15ft.