Budget 720p projector - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 16 Old 02-22-2014, 11:51 AM - Thread Starter
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As the title states, I'm looking for a budget 720p projector for a home theater I'm going to put together. I'm thinking to stay in the 500-600 dollar range. If there is something there that is a little more expensive than that and is leaps and bounds better than others in the range I can go more. I'm going to be mostly using it for movies, some gaming. It'll be in a basement with no windows so not much light will be getting in. I'll be hanging it off a 9 foot ceiling projecting on a wall that is 9'8" wide.

 

I've searched plenty and read reviews and haven't come up with a definitive match for what I need. Not decided on DLP or LED yet, seen mixed things about both of them.

 

Any insight would be appreciated!

 

Thanks

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post #2 of 16 Old 02-22-2014, 01:51 PM
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I have a BenQ MW663 headed my way for around $540. It's a business DLP pj that is said to perform suprisingly well for video, 720p native (800X1280), should be around 1500color lumens. I'll let you know how it compares with everything else I've had the chance to see so far in about a week.

 

Otherwise, I can at least vouch for the bigger LG LED pj's being pretty quiet when running compared to the smaller LED pj's that tend to have a laptop-ish whine to their fans.

 

When you say you haven't decided on dlp or led, I'm guessing you meant LCD. As long as you can handle dlp, I'd strongly suggest dlp over lcd at 720p because LCD's can really look screen-door-like at lower prices and lower resolutions..at least if you like to sit fairly close to the screen.

 

If you or another veiwer is rainbow sensitive for dlp, then spend a little more to go with a hometheater Epson (their business pj's have terrible contrast, so go hometheater). Their warranties are solid, their bulbs are the cheapest, and they make the LCD panels for almost every other current pj anyway..so you might as well stick to the source. my 2cents


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post #3 of 16 Old 02-22-2014, 06:46 PM
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Now, you have to understand that 720p is dead in the world of projectors. That is, it isn't completely dead, but projector manufacturers are putting out 1080p projectors for well under $1,000 now. There's no focus on 'quality' 720p and no reason to. I mean, it's all the same stuff - a DMD chip, lens, processing, etc. So, the cost differential is really not huge between 1080p and 720p anymore, and the focus is on 1080p. Still, there is a relatively new, solid entry level 720p option...

This: http://www.projectorcentral.com/Optoma-H180X.htm

$500 and very good specifications.

Frankly I would save $300 more and get a 1080p projector, but it's all up to you.

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post #4 of 16 Old 02-22-2014, 07:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Saw that one, wasn't sure if its any good. Someone else recommended this one.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Optoma-HD131Xe-1080p-Theater-Projector/dp/B00E4JEDWE/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

 

Looks decent, if not, I can spend some more if it really isn't worth it to get a 720p.

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post #5 of 16 Old 02-22-2014, 08:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Double post.

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post #6 of 16 Old 02-22-2014, 09:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inoita11 View Post

Saw that one, wasn't sure if its any good. Someone else recommended this one.

http://www.amazon.com/Optoma-HD131Xe-1080p-Theater-Projector/dp/B00E4JEDWE/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

Looks decent, if not, I can spend some more if it really isn't worth it to get a 720p.
The HD131Xe is a 1080p projector. Certainly a upgrade on the one I linked to. Probably very similar actually, but with a 1080p chip instead of the 720p chip.

For around $800 there are a number of options. The BenQ W1070 sometimes drops to that price point ($800) as well.

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post #7 of 16 Old 02-24-2014, 06:41 PM
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How long is your throw? I just picked up a used Mitsubishi WD2000 for $200 as I needed a longer throw (17 feet to a 96" wide screen).
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post #8 of 16 Old 02-24-2014, 11:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Thats an interesting idea. How do you like it so far? I'm not exactly fixed on where my theater is going yet so I will try a couple different setups. I just started renting a house with a friend, won't be here for long so I don't want something permanent obviously. The basement is really open so I might see what works best and a 200 dollar projector would be an easy way to figure it out. I'll post more dimensions of the space I have to give a better idea of what I have to work with.

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post #9 of 16 Old 02-27-2014, 04:20 PM
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I received the mw663. It has a fantastically smooth and seamless dynamic backlight, it processes video well and its fan is nicely quiet. I also didn't notice any RBE though I've only been minimally affected by it in the past.

That is all I have to say positive about it. Despite it running a darkchip3 (service manual says so) the contrast is thoroughly wasted and ruined by needing brilliant color off to lower white levels down to match color levels..and doing so doesn't lower black level. So you can either cut your contrast to 1/3 of what it could be or suffer the horrible look of colors being about 1/3 as bright as they should be. Those are the choices you are stuck with because of the rcygwb color wheel (instead of rgbrgb). The calibrated brightness and contrast are nearly neck-and-neck with my LG LED projector! Equally annoying, the whole reason I went dlp is for the awesome pixel fill ratio that I've enjoyed from my LED units, but the mw663 has much larger gaps between its pixels. As an insult to injury, the sound is noticeably worse (more tinny) and starts to distort earlier. The color/tint/sharpness controls aren't accessible using hdmi and color temp isn't accessible with brilliant color off.

On the bright side, the CMS actually works how it should and has a large range. If it used an rgbrgb wheel which would fix the colors and contrast, this would be a fantastic looking pj ignoring the pixel fill ratio. As it stands, it is equal or bested in every possible way by a cheap LED..even in brightness..with some age on the bulb it'll be noticeably dimmer, ironically. I could not recommend any dlp that isn't rgbrgb or LED at this point.

Easy $25 DIY black (or any color) ALR paint +$40-$50sprayer screen mix smooth/clean and very easy to learn spraying with little/no mess.
Simple $25-40 DIY black/dark-grey ambient-light rejecting screen, grab two things from a local store..mix..roll..done.
Quick <$250 dedicated black-fabric theater room "A store that sells blinds can help your picture more than a store that sells projectors many times." -bud16415
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post #10 of 16 Old 03-05-2014, 10:10 PM
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Delete, please.

Easy $25 DIY black (or any color) ALR paint +$40-$50sprayer screen mix smooth/clean and very easy to learn spraying with little/no mess.
Simple $25-40 DIY black/dark-grey ambient-light rejecting screen, grab two things from a local store..mix..roll..done.
Quick <$250 dedicated black-fabric theater room "A store that sells blinds can help your picture more than a store that sells projectors many times." -bud16415
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post #11 of 16 Old 03-06-2014, 04:58 PM
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I was looking at the Acer K132 on sale for $329.99. I couldn't really find any good videos of how it looks on YouTube. I was hoping maybe the K330 was similar to it since there's a lot of videos of that and somebody made an offhand remark that they were similar 720p, 500 lumen projectors, but I have no idea. That one looked fine except for obviously not having great black levels. Searching K132 on avsforum doesn't seem to yield any substantive results.

 

I just want the cheapest projector that adequately will let me watch movies. If anyone happens to own the K132, could you post videos/photos/opinons?

 

I'd also like to know if there's something better/cheaper. I'm looking for <$400 because I already know of decent 1080p projectors starting at $600, so I'd might as well save for those, in my mind, if I were to go above $400.

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post #12 of 16 Old 03-06-2014, 05:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AV_Integrated View Post

The HD131Xe is a 1080p projector. Certainly a upgrade on the one I linked to. Probably very similar actually, but with a 1080p chip instead of the 720p chip.

For around $800 there are a number of options. The BenQ W1070 sometimes drops to that price point ($800) as well.
This. Don't even bother with 720p. The Viewsonic PJD7820HD is an awesome projector for the price. The best part is the bright, long lasting bulb. Goes for about $675 at most places.


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Delete, please.
Delete it yourself.
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post #13 of 16 Old 03-06-2014, 08:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psythik View Post

Delete it yourself.
How. I can't find the delete post function. frown.gif

Easy $25 DIY black (or any color) ALR paint +$40-$50sprayer screen mix smooth/clean and very easy to learn spraying with little/no mess.
Simple $25-40 DIY black/dark-grey ambient-light rejecting screen, grab two things from a local store..mix..roll..done.
Quick <$250 dedicated black-fabric theater room "A store that sells blinds can help your picture more than a store that sells projectors many times." -bud16415
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post #14 of 16 Old 03-07-2014, 12:05 PM
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post #15 of 16 Old 03-07-2014, 02:04 PM
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I only have the edit-pencil and the lag-flag. Glad to see iit's where I'd expect it to be, but WHATS GOING ON? :/

Easy $25 DIY black (or any color) ALR paint +$40-$50sprayer screen mix smooth/clean and very easy to learn spraying with little/no mess.
Simple $25-40 DIY black/dark-grey ambient-light rejecting screen, grab two things from a local store..mix..roll..done.
Quick <$250 dedicated black-fabric theater room "A store that sells blinds can help your picture more than a store that sells projectors many times." -bud16415
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post #16 of 16 Old 03-07-2014, 02:15 PM
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The BenQ w770 is one of the better inexpensive 720p projectors and it can often be found in the ~ $500 range.

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