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Update on the cheap WVGA LCD with $30 lamps.

post #1 of 225
Thread Starter 
For those interested.

No cutting edge specs in terms of contrast etc but the lamp life and cost are certianly something unavailable until now.


$499 + FREE SHIP!

Specifications:

* Resolution: 854×480 native, supports 800 x 600 or 1024 x 768
* Contrast Ratio: 600 :1
* Brightness: 1000 ANSI Lumens
* Lamp: 6,000 hour 150W HID
* Lamp replacement cost: $30.00
* Power: 90-260V / 50-60 HZ
* Inputs: Component, AV, S-Video, TV (coax), VGA (PC)
* Outputs: Audio, Video
* Input: RGB,PAL, NTSC, HDTV
* Keystone correction 15º
* Picture rotation for ceiling mounting
* Manual focus adjustment
* Aspect Ratio: 16:9
* Dimensions: 260(W)×330(L)×120(H)mm
* Weight: 5.8kg
* Remote: All Functions included with fluorescence
* OSD Menu
* Built-in speakers
* Automatic fan shutdown with battery back up (unplug and go).
* One-year limited warranty (lamp included)
post #2 of 225
What kind of bulb is it? Brightstar or possibly Welch Allyn?
post #3 of 225
its lumenlabs next generation chinese-made pj

http://www.lumenlab.com/forums/index...dpost&p=161764

looks real good, imho. Hope the specs live up to the hype.

Victor
post #4 of 225
It is interesting because it uses a 7" LCD panel. So the positive is that there will be no panel alignment issues. The disadvantage is that there will probably be pretty bad SD.

The cool thing is that it has a SD TV Tuner. I just hope it has audio out connectors to plug in external speakers.

Reedl
post #5 of 225
Any info on the throw distance and offset? While it has keystone correction and image flip for ceiling mount, It doesn't seem to have any zoom at all, so placement could be a bit tricky.

However, if this thing will fit with my layout, I would almost definitely get one! I'm still running the Panasonic PT-L711xu I bought in 2002; 4:3 XGA and only 1200 lumens and 300:1 contrast ratio. I have basically been planning an upgrade to a 720p model (AE900) when my bulb finally dies (2500 hours right now, still got some life in theory - but in theory communism works too). But with this puppy, I will
  1. Save almost $1000
  2. Save ~$200 per bulb in the future
  3. Double my lamp life (though at $30 a "POP!" even 1000 hr lamp life would be fine)
  4. Double my current contrast
  5. Finally use the projector for everyday, all the time, viewing and gaming (saving ~$1000 on the TV I was planning on buying for the livingroom)

My toddler is currently monopolizing my wife's laptop to watch Ghibli movies during the day, which drives my wife crazy. With $30, 6000 hr bulbs, the kids can watch the big screen any time, all the time.

The only "disadvantage" is that I would be going from 1024x768 to 854x480 and might see more pixelation or screen door (the 711xu isn't exactly top of the heap for this either ).

So what's the word on offset/throw?
post #6 of 225
Interesting except I believe weaknesses of this PJ would be:

1) Noise
2) Poor contrast (600:1 CR can be inflated--true CR may be 300:1--contrast on these cheap 7" LCD panel designed for portable DVD players are notoriously low)
3) Poor scaling (needs HTPC or 480p progressive DVD player--SDTV would be pretty bad)
4) No digital input
5) LCD panel degradation (LCD panel in these were not made to project hot light through but rather for LCD screen on portable DVD players)
6) Remote control?
7) Brightness (lumens can be inflated)
8) Vertical banding problem can be worst for single-panel design
9) Competition from other "cheap" PJ (Radioshack's Cinego can be had even cheaper (refurbished)) with $200 bulbs/2000hrs

Maybe a good one for the kids for video games and watching TV (cheap bulbs)
post #7 of 225
I would buy one of these for my son if the price was say $300 but at $500 why not just buy a used InFocus 4805 . The obvious advantage here is lamp cost but the over-all image probably blows when compared to anything decent .

--------- Jason
post #8 of 225
Sooner or later, someone on this forum will buy one (when it comes out in October??) and then we can all see if this is a good pj or not.
post #9 of 225
The only thing missing is a dvi or hdmi input.
post #10 of 225
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaGamePimp View Post

I would buy one of these for my son if the price was say $300 but at $500 why not just buy a used InFocus 4805 . The obvious advantage here is lamp cost but the over-all image probably blows when compared to anything decent .

--------- Jason

$300? Wow, you expect a lot . It is about people who want a plug and play device that throws a large/decent image and don't want to worry about a $350 bulb for the 4805. This item is the perfect replacement for my mom's old Epson LCD. Perfect for someone who watches TV and does not look at things like black level.

Lets face it, I recently bought a like new NEC 9PG for $355. If it were strickly about image quality vs price, everyone would own a CRT as CRT is cleary the price performance winner at the present time.

I have one of these projectors on order, When I receive it I will give it a quick non techie review and if it's crap, I'll call it as such.
post #11 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by Huey View Post

Interesting except I believe weaknesses of this PJ would be:

1) Noise
2) Poor contrast (600:1 CR can be inflated--true CR may be 300:1--contrast on these cheap 7" LCD panel designed for portable DVD players are notoriously low)
3) Poor scaling (needs HTPC or 480p progressive DVD player--SDTV would be pretty bad)
4) No digital input
5) LCD panel degradation (LCD panel in these were not made to project hot light through but rather for LCD screen on portable DVD players)
6) Remote control?
7) Brightness (lumens can be inflated)
8) Vertical banding problem can be worst for single-panel design
9) Competition from other "cheap" PJ (Radioshack's Cinego can be had even cheaper (refurbished)) with $200 bulbs/2000hrs

Maybe a good one for the kids for video games and watching TV (cheap bulbs)

These are some of the same weaknesses I thought about when I first saw the PJ being offered. The ones that truly worry me are the noise and the low contrast ratio. I'm not too worried about the rest, however:

1) Agree (the owner of Lumenlab said he is conducting tests to rate the db of the fans and will change the fans if the noise is too high)
2) Agree. However, are we sure that the lcd is one that is designed for portable dvd players? It seems to me that this lcd has too high of a resolution to be made for portable dvd players, no?
3) I'll be using an external scaler, so this is a moot point for me
4) The projectors component inputs are good enough for me
5) I kind of disagree. I think with adequate ventilation, the lcd panel will be kept at a reasonable temperature. If there are problems with it, it should be easy to simply remove the lcd panel, and drop in a new one (something you can't do with the current 3 LCD models).
6) The projector comes with a backlit remote.
7) Almost all manufacturers inflate the brightness of their projectors. However, I intend to use this projector in a fairly light controlled environment, which reduces the importance of the lumen output somewhat.
8) I don't know what vertical banding is, and if I have seen it without realizing it, it hasn't bothered me. Personally, I'm more worried about pixelation and the screen door effect more than vertical banding.
9) Currently, Radioshack is offering a refurbished cinego for $900, a full $400 more than this projector. Not only that, the $30 replacement bulb is a lot more attractive than the $200 bulb for the cinego.

So in conclusion, I am worried about the noise of the projector and the contrast ratio. That being said, I'll still be buying this projector simply because it is affordable to purchase and affordable to maintain it. I won't have to worry about leaving it on overnight and burning out my bulb since the replacements will only cost $30. The fact that the bulbs themselves are rated for 6000 hours makes this projector attractive. Heck, even if the bulbs last for only 3000 hours, I'd still buy it!

P.S. Here is the link to the projector: http://www.lumenlab.com/pm_projector.php
post #12 of 225
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by shriek View Post

9) Currently, Radioshack is offering a refurbished cinego for $900,

You should have jumped a week or two ago, There was a $600 rebate. The final cost was $299. that is correct, $299. It appears many people bought them and put them up on ebay. You could still find some on ebay for much less than $900.
post #13 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rinx View Post

You should have jumped a week or two ago, There was a $600 rebate. The final cost was $299. that is correct, $299. It appears many people bought them and put them up on ebay. You could still find some on ebay for much less than $900.

That is not a bad deal at all, truth be told. I would have bought one, and when the bulb went out, would have sold it for the same price I had bought it. That being said, I think I still would have bought the Lumenlab projector, simply because I feel more comfortable spending a total of $500 than spending $900 and then waiting 3-4 months for the $600 rebate to come in.
post #14 of 225
The only reason to get this projector is the bulb price. But I'd rather buy an optoma H27, which is a much much better projector for a few hundred more from Costco and get their unlimited return policy.
post #15 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwlaw99 View Post

The only reason to get this projector is the bulb price. But I'd rather buy an optoma H27, which is a much much better projector for a few hundred more from Costco and get their unlimited return policy.

But isn't the bulb price the primary obstacle for many newcomers who wish to get into FP systems? I know that it has been for me. As for the Optoma H27, I'm sure that almost all projectors which cost "a few hundred more" will be better in some ways to this projector (except for bulb price; the bulb price for the H27 averages around $300, which, as repeated many times before, pales in comparison to the $30 bulb ).

This argument is comparable to the component vs HTIB argument that goes on in the speaker section. Audiophiles will spend extra money to get the best sound quality as possible, whereas people who simply want good sound will purchase a HTIB system. Similarly, videophiles will be willing to spend more for excellent picture quality, whereas people such as myself will purchase this projector because want an affordable projector.

I agree wholeheartedly that the picture quality as well as some features will be not as good as some of the upper scale projectors, but it will be good enough for what people want (gaming, t.v. viewing, and movies). And who knows, maybe this projector will be one of those 854x480 projectors which turn out to be an enormous success (Infocus 4805 anyone? )!
post #16 of 225
I can't wait for a professional grade review of this thing. The addition of 854*480 native resolution and component input makes it even more attractive.

I would definitely consider it for the bedroom or something if it got good reviews.

The contrast is kind of on the low side but I am sure proper calibration would help and if it is anywhere as close in brightness as the 4805, I can compromise some on other aspects.

I love bright PJ's, what's there not to like about them?
post #17 of 225
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwlaw99 View Post

The only reason to get this projector is the bulb price.

Exactly. As stated, it is not the projector for a videophile. It is for the person who does not look at things like black level and contrast ratings and does'nt want to worry about the high cost of using his/her projector.

Quote:


But I'd rather buy an optoma H27, which is a much much better projector for a few hundred more from Costco and get their unlimited return policy.

The Optoma is likely a much better projector but the initial price is about 50% more and the first time you buy a replacement bulb you've paid twice as much for the Optima and still only get 90 days on the new bulb and then you're on your own again hoping the bulb does't blow. The Chinese projector comes with a one year warranty on the bulb and costs $30 to replace.
post #18 of 225
From the Lumenlab Forum (http://www.lumenlab.com/forums/index...c=11150&st=440):

Quote:


Lets assume that we upgrade the projector in 5 years (as I'm sure that there will be better projectors out by that time):

Costco Optoma H27 cost of ownership for 5 years :
$700 projector
Free replacement of bulbs from Costco
$50 x 5 Costco Yearly membership
===================
$950

LL Premade cost of ownership for 5 years:
$500 projector
$30 x 5 replacement bulbs (~1 bulb/year)
===================
$650

So you would still end up saving money had you bought the LL projector vs. the Costco Optoma H27.
post #19 of 225
I would be more worried about the LCD panel, power supply, ballast, etc. than the bulb prices. Do we have any idea about the quality of the LCD panel or its cooling efficiency? I wouldn't think that could be answered until after some folks have had them in service a year or so. What good is a 4000 hour $30 bulb if the LCD block is shot after 1000 hours, and costs $10 less than the whole projector? I donated a PLV-SW15 Sanyo to my church, which is still working fine, but the polorizer is gone at less than 800 hours, leaving very noticeable yellow splotches all over the image on bright scenes... Even a new polorizer (if it is even seperately replaceable on this projector), may cost 200-300 dollars.
post #20 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by Projectorguy1 View Post

I would be more worried about the LCD panel, power supply, ballast, etc. than the bulb prices. Do we have any idea about the quality of the LCD panel or its cooling efficiency? I wouldn't think that could be answered until after some folks have had them in service a year or so. What good is a 4000 hour $30 bulb if the LCD block is shot after 1000 hours, and costs $10 less than the whole projector? I donated a PLV-SW15 Sanyo to my church, which is still working fine, but the polorizer is gone at less than 800 hours, leaving very noticeable yellow splotches all over the image on bright scenes... Even a new polorizer (if it is even seperately replaceable on this projector), may cost 200-300 dollars.

Good point. I've posted your question in the Lumenlab forum to see if we couldn't get an answer. In its favor, however, Lumenlab is offering a one year warranty on the projector, which sounds pretty encouraging to me.
post #21 of 225
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Projectorguy1 View Post

I would be more worried about the LCD panel, power supply, ballast, etc. than the bulb prices. Do we have any idea about the quality of the LCD panel or its cooling efficiency? I wouldn't think that could be answered until after some folks have had them in service a year or so. What good is a 4000 hour $30 bulb if the LCD block is shot after 1000 hours, and costs $10 less than the whole projector?.

Everything you said also applies to any projector or for that matter, any piece of gear you might buy.

In fact the the retro/streamline design of this projector makes it, in my mind a safer bet in terms of reliability.. There is not a whole lot that can go wrong. You can count the parts that make up this projector on one hand.
There is always the chance that it will turn out to be junk but as I was just discussing with my brother, manufacture has reached such a high level across the board that it is very rare these days that a dud reaches the public. In other words, the parts that make up these projectors, not just the manufacturing of this projector, are likely pretty good.
post #22 of 225
Okay - 1st guy that gets one needs to give us a report. It does sound interesting. Thanks!
post #23 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rinx View Post

Everything you said also applies to any projector or for that matter, any piece of gear you might buy.

In fact the the retro/streamline design of this projector makes it, in my mind a safer bet in terms of reliability.. There is not a whole lot that can go wrong. You can count the parts that make up this projector on one hand.
There is always the chance that it will turn out to be junk but as I was just discussing with my brother, manufacture has reached such a high level across the board that it is very rare these days that a dud reaches the public. In other words, the parts that make up these projectors, not just the manufacturing of this projector, are likely pretty good.

It certainly does apply, but what I am saying is that the lamp replacement cost is the main discriminating factor here between this projector and other low end units, which have much better specs, but more expensive bulbs. This advantage becomes less important if you can't expect at least 5 to 8 thousand hours of use with minimal/no repairs or parts needed for the projector. Most users are not going to surpass 4 or 5 thousand hours per year. Just my opinion, but it seems that very few folks around here have put many thousands of hours on any digital projector (especially LCD) without having some kind of issue such as a blown power supply, ballast, polorizer, stuck pixels/mirrors, etc.

For those who will use it all day, every day (still hard to imagiine >4000 hrs/year), however, this may be just the thing...
post #24 of 225
Thought I'd add a few pics to this thread (none of these were taken by me, btw; I just lifted them from the Lumenlab thread):

Prototype of the projector:



A closeup of the prototype's inputs:




A pic of what the final projector will probably end up looking like (exactly the same as the prototype but with a paint job):

post #25 of 225
The projector has made it onto the engadget blog:

http://www.engadget.com/2006/09/08/n...-on-the-cheap/
post #26 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rinx View Post

You should have jumped a week or two ago, There was a $600 rebate. The final cost was $299. that is correct, $299. It appears many people bought them and put them up on ebay. You could still find some on ebay for much less than $900.


Actually, there is still $300 of "instant" savings available - moving it to $599.
post #27 of 225
I think this is basically a toy.
You know those "theater research" speakers you can get on Ebay, where the whole 5 piece system can be had for $149.95? I think this is the same marketing and business model.

THeater Research speakers came on the scene several years ago, and could be bought basically for whatever you happened to have in your pocket. In Fact, my friend has a theory that the same people who did the "White van" speakers in your local shopping center parking lot just decided that with the internet and Ebay, they now longer needed the white van

I've been watching them closely - They were on Ebay in HUGE numbers, available for nothing. Lately though, I've been seeing the same speakers on Ebay, but with a "buy it Now" price of $699! I think the strategy is, sell cheaply until the public gets ingrained in their heads by Osmosis the vaguely "high end" name of "Theater Research", then just begin pretending they ARE high end and slap a high price on them. A sucker is born every minute...

I believe LumenLab is doing the same thing. Heck, it may even be the same people

Several years ago, ads for "150" big screen projector" began popping up on the internet, for $19.95! However, on inspection, it was simply a plastic Fresnel lens and instructions on how to make your own homemade "projector", using your own TV as a source. Basically...junk.

Then, those began to fade away, and up pops Lumenlab, with their $299 projector. No specs, no technology info, just how great the giant picture would be for your Playstation!

For those who cared to inquire, you could discover that it was basically a hastily thrown together plastic case with an overhead projector lamp and a surplus LCD screen from outdated technology, cobbled together to throw an image. This much I know, as one of my sons friends actually bought one on Ebay. It would throw a moderately bright but blurry and low contrast, low color image on the wall. Brightness uniformity was horrendous, as you can imagine an overhead projector lamp, 5 inch LCD panel and a plastic lens would throw. Probably about 3 times as bright in the dead center, with the edges almost fading out. My son and his friend ended up preferring to play their games on a 32" direct view TV.

Now, after a few years, LumenLab comes out with name recognition, a NEW projector, complete with "specs", a new case but basically the same technology inside. Needless to say, I'm VERY skeptical. Comparing this to a Infocus 4805 or even an Optoma 27 is , IMHO, a farce.

I could be wrong though. Maybe Lumenlab started with a few bucks and a dream and did the best that they could. Then, as revenue picked up, the "picked themselves up by the bootstraps" and poured their profits back into their fledgeling company and developed a product that ushers them into the world of true home theater projectors.

I tell you what - if anyone from LumenLabs is reading, I would be more than happy to take a loaner and review it for the crowd here. Nothing would be stronger testimony than a once-skeptic reversing his words and giving credit where it's due. I would be fair in the review as well, only measuring it against other projectors in its price range. If it costs 80% of a refurbished In4805, and it delivers close to 80% of the quality, i will GLADLY eat my words and tell everyone I know. And I'll even spring for a new bulb at $30 to replace the review bulb I used after I return it.

PM me if interested
post #28 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by TSO View Post


I believe LumenLab is doing the same thing. Heck, it may even be the same people

Several years ago, ads for "150" big screen projector" began popping up on the internet, for $19.95! However, on inspection, it was simply a plastic Fresnel lens and instructions on how to make your own homemade "projector", using your own TV as a source. Basically...junk.

Then, those began to fade away, and up pops Lumenlab, with their $299 projector. No specs, no technology info, just how great the giant picture would be for your Playstation!

For those who cared to inquire, you could discover that it was basically a hastily thrown together plastic case with an overhead projector lamp and a surplus LCD screen from outdated technology, cobbled together to throw an image. This much I know, as one of my sons friends actually bought one on Ebay. It would throw a moderately bright but blurry and low contrast, low color image on the wall. Brightness uniformity was horrendous, as you can imagine an overhead projector lamp, 5 inch LCD panel and a plastic lens would throw. Probably about 3 times as bright in the dead center, with the edges almost fading out. My son and his friend ended up preferring to play their games on a 32" direct view TV.

Now, after a few years, LumenLab comes out with name recognition, a NEW projector, complete with "specs", a new case but basically the same technology inside. Needless to say, I'm VERY skeptical. Comparing this to a Infocus 4805 or even an Optoma 27 is , IMHO, a farce.

I could be wrong though. Maybe Lumenlab started with a few bucks and a dream and did the best that they could. Then, as revenue picked up, the "picked themselves up by the bootstraps" and poured their profits back into their fledgeling company and developed a product that ushers them into the world of true home theater projectors.

I tell you what - if anyone from LumenLabs is reading, I would be more than happy to take a loaner and review it for the crowd here. Nothing would be stronger testimony than a once-skeptic reversing his words and giving credit where it's due. I would be fair in the review as well, only measuring it against other projectors in its price range. If it costs 80% of a refurbished In4805, and it delivers close to 80% of the quality, i will GLADLY eat my words and tell everyone I know. And I'll even spring for a new bulb at $30 to replace the review bulb I used after I return it.

PM me if interested

TSO, I don't know where you get your information but you might want to do some research first before you start making assumptions.

The Lumenlab projector is a DIY projector based on a 15" lcd panel. It is not the same thing as the "150 Big Picture Scam".

I have no affiliation with Lumenlab other than I built a projector with their triplet and fresnels and I can tell you the PQ was as good as my Sanyo Z1 except for brightness. The downside to the DIY PJ was size and lumens. The upside was bulb price and the fun of building it yourself.
post #29 of 225
I think TSO is bitter because he got scammed by a white van....

I can understand skepticism, but that's pretty harsh...and on the verge of slanderous.

I have no affiliation myself & am new to this whole pj thing. But even I understand that LL started (and still is) as a DIY community. This is just a first step and offering to those of us who: 1. lack the skills, patience & resources for a DIY pj
2. are not "videophiles" yet still want that big picture
3. can not/will not drop $300 to replace a bulb
among other things.

Have you ever visited LL's site? Maybe you should do that - there will always be skeptics and naysayers...but they are putting forth an honest effort over there & not making claims unfounded.

If you check out some of their forums, you'll see there are some noted folks (especially in the DIY screen section) from around here......
post #30 of 225
I have a Benq 6200 and a diy projector while the comercial projector is better on brightness and contrast. I use my diy projector far more than my comercial projector because of the lamp life. I have finished half life 2 twice, far cry, halo, and chronicles of riddick with no worry of lamp life. I would say that my diy projector has been well worth the cost of the build and I enjoy it very muchl.
My point is if I can build a projector like this in my spare time in my basement . with good results why cant a comercial projector manafacturer do the same thing.Is most of the profits made by selling high priced lamps.
I hope the the lumen lab projector is a big success. and other projector manafactures will take notice and start building projectors like these . Maby lumen lab has an idea whos time has come. hopfully 720p lcds and dlps with cheap lamps
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