Originally Posted by Googi
Ok so these laser projectors are like electric cars. You don't have to fill them with gas, but at the end of the life cycle you have to replace the whole thing and it will end up being more expensive and harmful to the environment. Hmmm I'll stick to my benq then.
Secondly, buying an Epson as a first projector means you went for 3LCD. Back when I bought my first projector, DLP was superior. Is this the case these days?
There are different levels of LCD models out there, but at the entry level (under $1,000) DLP tends to have the best image. LCD is no slouch in quality, but typically can't hit the black levels of DLP for the money. Throw in an iris, and the LCD models start looking better. So, the 3700 is a nice model.
But, the big thing about the Epson 3700 is that the lens offers a ton of placement flexibility. It has a good deal of zoom range and a ton of lens shift. This is ideal for people with pesky room setups.
Kind of a headache, IMO, is that DLP hasn't advanced their chip in years and the chip in the DLP projectors today, is the same that was in there 5+ years ago. So the new HT2050 uses the exact same chip as the W1070, and many projectors for years before it. So, it has been a fairly stagnant technology.
LCD really advanced, especially with their better models, to deliver more at the upper mid end in their 3700, and still moreso in their $3,000 5040 model. But, LCoS reigns king for contrast. Sony delivers more native contrast than LCD or DLP can hope to deliver in the price range with their HW45ES around $2,000. Then the JVC models which are all over $3,000 just tend to trounce the rest with true native contrast above 20,000:1.
Anyway, DLP or LCD are both very solid with the edge generally going to DLP, and unless they are side by side, you are unlikely to really notice a tremendous difference between them. But, once you go to a good dedicated theater space, then I would strongly encourage LCoS as the projection system of choice.
As for laser drive projectors, they are likely the future. Casio doesn't build around home theater, so their stuff, while it has improved, is still not home theater worthy. There are discussions elsewhere of more home theater based models which, like flat panels, should last most people 10+ years and then be tossed. I expect you COULD send it in and have the light engine replaced, but by then, you would just toss it and get a new one. I'm not sure it's any more or less harmful to the environment than televisions or the lamps used in typical projectors really. There is certainly a premium at this point for those solid state light engines, except for the LED models which tend to be far too dim for most serous home theater setups. Nice for more casual enthusiasts. Look at the PF1500 from LG for a nice LED based model to read about.