My first projector - help me pick the best for my needs - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 11 Old 09-17-2013, 12:45 PM - Thread Starter
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I am about to pull the trigger on my very first projector. I am going to try to provide as much pertinent information to help with the decision.

First and foremost, I have narrowed my choices to the following projectors;

A. Epson 3020
B. BenQ W1500
C. Panasonic PT-AR100U

There is absolutely no good reason for excluding other contenders. This narrowed list is simply based on my research for projectors which should work for my application and are amongst the more popular choices.

Here are my requirements and additional info;

A. Room is 18' x 33'.
B. Room has fair amount of ambient light for which I will install curtains/blinds and darken as much as possible. The room has 2 windows and a double (french style) door.
C. Room has all recessed lights and will be on dimmer. Lights closest to viewing area will be turned off. The remaining lights will eventually be replaced with spot instead of flood bulbs.
D. Parts of the room will be used to entertain ... i.e. bar area, ping pong, foosball.
E. Wall and ceiling colors are dark beige and will not likely be touched.
F. Room has 18" tile. I will add large area rug to the viewing/seating area.
G. Screen is 110" 16:9 spandex. White moleskin over Silver moleskin.
H. Flexible projector installation to accommodate throw distance. Would like to install projector as close as possible for max brightness.
I. Viewing activities will be 50% Movies, 40% Sports (Football, Soccer, Basketball) and 10% Gaming.
J. No interest or need for 3D. Just not my thing.
K. RBE - not sure if I am susceptible to or not since I've not seen a DLP projector in person.
L. Budget is around $1,500. Would like to stay under if I can, but just a little north will not break the bank.

Please be sure to ask me anything I may have forgot to mention. As mentioned above, I will consider other projectors assuming they would fit my setup.

Thanks for the help!

Benji
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post #2 of 11 Old 09-17-2013, 02:41 PM
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You need to decide whether DLP or LCD looks best to you. Most people around here have a definite preference for one technology or the other.

That will narrow things down significantly.

Where do you stand on the flat screen debate between plasma and LCD/LED ?

David
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post #3 of 11 Old 09-17-2013, 03:22 PM
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I think a certain amount of nervousness is understandable, given the fact that you don't buy projectors like you buy TVs. When you go to the store you look at the screen and judge the colors and sharpness and other measures. You take your TV home.

With a projector, you are essentially relying on words and maybe some screen shots ( usually through an unknown camera) and getting it mail-order. That can be a hard transition for a buyer.

With respect to your room, it sounds doable.

My only suggestion on it is to go bright.
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post #4 of 11 Old 09-18-2013, 09:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks to you both for the responses. I have a plasma tv and have always preferred plasma over LCD. I had a Kuro before it died and currently have a last gen Panasonic plasma.

Does this mean I'm more likely to prefer a DLP projector over LCD?

In regards to brightness, I believe out of my candidates the Panasonic is the brightest? Since I don't care about 3d, would either of the other projectors have any upsides being newer models?
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post #5 of 11 Old 09-18-2013, 09:56 AM
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I too am a plasma person. I find DLP to look much more "plasma like". Things I don't like about the image quality of LCD flat panels are also present in LCD projectors. Personally, I would never consider an LCD projector.

The biggest reason to go with LCD over DLP is rainbow effect. However, the W1500 on your list has a six speed, six segment color wheel. Rainbows shouldn't be an issue.

David
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post #6 of 11 Old 09-18-2013, 11:44 AM
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I had a Pioneer 60" Kuro as well (miss her sometimes but boy was she heavy!). As for DLP over LCD, get to an HT retailer and do a thorough demo of a DLP projector with everyone that you will use it with. Make sure no one is sensitive to rainbows. If anyone is, you can rule out getting a DLP completely. That being said, LCD projection requires light to pass through the LCD panels to produce the image. The resulting image has sort of an artificial haze to it. DLP being reflective image technology tends to produce a much smoother, more natural image. Coming from having owned a Pioneer plasma, I would recommend a DLP. Just make sure you make sure no one can see rainbows.

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post #7 of 11 Old 09-18-2013, 02:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks a ton guys, lots of great stuff. I tried to find a retailer who has a DLP on demo, but had no luck. Best I could do was Best Buy's $4,000 Sony SXRD LCD projector.

Guess I will just have to try a DLP projector and see within the return period.

Also, think the W1500 worth the extra money over the W1070? If so, any other DLP projectors in the $1,500 range I should look at?

Thanks again!
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post #8 of 11 Old 09-18-2013, 03:31 PM
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This one is intriguing because projectorreviews.com states that it's black performance is really good in that price range and has lens shift: Acer H9500BD

Ask on this board if someone in your area can perhaps allow you to demo their DLP. I did this once and someone opened their house to me so I could view their Panasonic AE-something some years back. Also as an option, you can demo a business class DLP. Perhaps a friend has access to one at work and can take it home.

HTPC: Intel NUC (DC53427HYE) running OpenELEC/Win7 Dual Boot
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post #9 of 11 Old 09-18-2013, 03:50 PM
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The Acer was a good deal if you get it at the right price, but I probably wouldn't go with the Acer for a first projector purchase, some of the Acers had issues with pixel mapping on some firmwares, and yet others had some fan and IRIS issues.
Also the color accuracy on the Acer is not great if you are not calibrating (and even if you calibrate, your options are limited).

If you can find an Acer under $1000, might be worth it, but as a new user buying their first projector, I'd look at the Benq w1070 vs. the Optoma hd25e or Optoma hd131xe.

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post #10 of 11 Old 09-18-2013, 04:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ben_g99 View Post


Also, think the W1500 worth the extra money over the W1070?

The 1500 has a faster color wheel. It also has wireless connectivity so that you don't have to run an HDMI cable to it.

David
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post #11 of 11 Old 09-18-2013, 04:21 PM
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Benq w1500 sounds like a top choice, but you could also look at the B-Stock JVC's as they become available (they go in and out of stock). The B-Stock JVC's are a step ahead of the others in this price range, but the lamps can add to the cost. New, JVC's cost about $2,500 to $3,000, but in B-Stock you can often get an RS-45 or RS-40 under $1800, and the B-Stocks still come with the 2 year MFR warranty.

I guess overall, the w1500 is probably your safest bet, but the JVC will eat it up in those darker Sci FI movies.

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