Best Projectors For Watching Movies / Sports / TV - Under $500 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 5 Old 10-17-2013, 06:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi all. I am pretty new to the forums and to projectors in general. I recently moved into a new apartment (rental) and we have a pretty big living room so I decided to look into getting a projector. We have a 47" LG that we use as our daily TV, but want something bigger to watch sports (football, basketball & soccer), occasional TV and then movies. Since this will not be our everyday projector, we are not looking to spend more then $500 really.

The distance i sit from the wall right now is between 20 and 22 feet and I would either mount the projector on the ceilings or place it on a shelf on the wall.

I care more about picture quality, being able to watch it some brightness (we have 3 windows which i will get blackout drapes for) then I do about having a 3D projector.

I also am open to taking a 720P projector that may have better specs over 1080P (unless at this distance I need a 1080P?).

I plan on hooking up a home audio system to this which will have Roku (for plex), DVD and a cable box hooked up to it.


Any suggestions will be super helpful... and if there's anything i forgot, please let me know.

Thank You!
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post #2 of 5 Old 10-17-2013, 08:37 PM
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This is one of those 'you can't get there from here' situations as far as I can tell.

22' is a VERY long throw distance. You need a super zoom projector if you want a size that's in the 100" to 120" range, and those lens elements aren't available for $500. Heck, almost no worthwhile home theater projectors are that price anyway.

You get models like the Optoma HD66, which I do recommend, but even that's a tad over $500 and it's already really cheap.

Let me put this all in perspective for you though...

This is the complete list of projectors under $700 which can throw a 120" diagonal from 20' away (lens to screen):

http://www.projectorcentral.com/projectors.cfm?g=1&hide=0&st=1&mfg=&p=0-700&w=&r=&br=&ll=&ltg=&t=&db=&dt=&c=&ar=&dvi=&wr=&pjl=&pjw=&pjh=&td=20&i=d&is=120&sort=pop

Understand why you can't get there from here?

The Epson 8345 and the Panasonic AR100U are both about as cheap as it comes with long zoom capability that you are requiring.

Raise your budget, or move the projector.

This is the list you were hoping to work from:
http://www.projectorcentral.com/projectors.cfm?g=1&hide=0&st=1&mfg=&p=0-700&w=&r=&br=1000&br=250000&ll=&ltg=&t=&db=&dt=&c=&ar=Wide+%2816%3A9-10%29&dvi=&wr=&pjl=&pjw=&pjh=&td=&i=d&is=&sort=pop&sz=15

The Acer listed (under $500)...
http://www.projectorcentral.com/Acer-H5370BD.htm
Can throw a 110" diagonal from 12'4" to 13'6" from the screen...

It's just a matter of what you want vs. what you will pay for.

AV Integrated - Theater, whole house audio, and technology installation in the Washington DC metro area.
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post #3 of 5 Old 10-18-2013, 09:25 AM
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I'm interested in this thread in that I'm interested in people's opinions of the 500 dollar projector market.

I've been passively following the forums while I finish out my basement rec area. I'd agree the few good projectors in this price range won't throw 22 feet, and even if they did the brightness would be too low to view with ambient lighting. If you can move that closer somehow there are a few of what I hope to be good 720p options around 500 and some 1080 options around 800.

What would you be projecting onto?
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post #4 of 5 Old 10-23-2013, 07:59 PM - Thread Starter
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AV_Integrated, appreciate the input! I agree 22 feet is a long way and i was skeptical. I can probably get the throw distance down to 14' by putting the projector in the middle of the room which I think will help me out. I rather do that and work with the cables then spend more money due to throw being too far.
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post #5 of 5 Old 10-24-2013, 06:54 AM
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Even at 14’ your options are limited. If you want to go with a 10’ wide screen (~144” diag in 16:9) and have enough power to deal with some ambient light, at around $550 you have 2 Epsons; the Home Cinema 725HD (which I have and like) and the EX6220. Both are WXGA (1280 x 800) and 2800 and 3000 Lumens with good contrast.
If you want to go 9’ wide (~120” diag) in the same range you have the Optoma DW339 (right at $500), but it’s a business class DLP so it probably has a 2x color wheel with a white segment meaning your Lumen output is about ½ of what the manufacturer rates and you’re much more likely to see RBE.
Otherwise you’d need something with a lot of zoom range which can’t be had in the $500 range unless you want to go used.
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Optoma Hd66 Dlp 3d Ready Home Theater Projector , Epson Home Cinema 8345 1080p 3lcd Platinum Edition , Panasonic Pt Ar100u Lcd Projector Pt Ar100u , Acer H5370bd Dlp 3d Projector

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