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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone. I need some advice on what projectors to consider. We're looking to replace our ceiling-mounted church projectors.

Each projector is 19' from its screen. The screens are 8'x8'.

We use them for displaying images, text, and videos. 1080p 30fps should be fine, and we don't need HDR or anything fancy.

The room has some windows, but the lights can be turned off to make the room moderately dark.

Budget is around $1200 USD per projector., but if it could be $1000 that would be great. Any suggestions?

Thanks a bunch!
 

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How close are viewers to the screens? It seems to me that you would be best served by 1280x800 projectors from normal viewing distances considering a screen diagonal of about 120".

By the numbers, there are only 4 projectors which are widescreen and under $1,500 which can hit a 8' width. That's a really long throw distance for such a narrow screen.

http://www.projectorcentral.com/projectors.cfm?g=1&hide=0&st=1&r=&br=&c=&w=&ar=Wide+(16:9-10)&lag=&db=&zr=&wt=&ltg=&ll=&mfg=&p=400&p=1500&wr=&dt=&t=&pjl=0&pjw=0&pjh=0&td=19&is=96&i=w&tr=&tr2=&oop=1&sort=pop&sz=15

None are under $1,300. I would recommend the Eiki from that list.
 

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That Eiki EK-500U has a typical street price of ~$3,000. The only less expensive ones are reconditioned models with only a 1-year warranty. Genuine Eiki replacement lamps are also pricey, with Eiki advertising the one for the EK-500U at ~$500.

From that list I think a brand new Epson Home Cinema 1450 or nearly identical Epson PowerLite 2245 makes more sense. Along with being new and having a full factory warranty, genuine Epson replacement lamps are much less expensive than Eiki with Epson advertising them for just $99.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
How close are viewers to the screens? It seems to me that you would be best served by 1280x800 projectors from normal viewing distances considering a screen diagonal of about 120".

By the numbers, there are only 4 projectors which are widescreen and under $1,500 which can hit a 8' width. That's a really long throw distance for such a narrow screen.

http://www.projectorcentral.com/projectors.cfm?g=1&hide=0&st=1&r=&br=&c=&w=&ar=Wide+(16:9-10)&lag=&db=&zr=&wt=&ltg=&ll=&mfg=&p=400&p=1500&wr=&dt=&t=&pjl=0&pjw=0&pjh=0&td=19&is=96&i=w&tr=&tr2=&oop=1&sort=pop&sz=15

None are under $1,300. I would recommend the Eiki from that list.
Thanks. Widescreen is not needed for our use.
 

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Thanks. Widescreen is not needed for our use.
I wondered when you said your screen was 8'x8', which is a 1:1 aspect ratio. But you asked for 1080p, and by definition native 1080p is widescreen, i.e. 1920x1080 pixel panels for a 16:9 aspect ratio. The squarest native projector format is XGA which is 1024x768 pixels for a 4:3 aspect ratio. That would be the closest to your square format screen, but it's not high definition (HD) like 1080p. It would not show the finest details but would be OK for non-critical viewing.

It would help to know what brand and model your current projector is and where you might want to see improvement with your new replacement projector.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone for your help so far. This generally would be for 4x3.

We are currently using two BenQ SP920's but they're dying.

I just got off the phone with a B&H Rep. They steered me towards the BenQ SX914 and the Epson Powerlite 5510.

The Powerlite costs a bit more, but it's LCD (vs the BenQ DLP) and the bulbs last much longer and are much cheaper.

Any thoughts from anyone?

Thanks.
 

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There are some issues here.

The BenQ SP920, does not offer ANY optional lenses. From 19' lens to screen the SP920 throws an image with a minimum width of 121". That's 10' wide vs. 8' wide. So, either something weird is going on there, or something isn't accurate with the measurements made from the lens to the screen.

This matters a great deal to have VERY accurate measurements and not approximations, because the wrong distances will get you a projector which won't work at all.

Close to the center of the zoom range, the SP920 throws a 96" wide image from about 13' away.

If we change the search criteria to 13' from a 96" wide image, the results are considerably different with over 200 total options.

Sticking with widescreen and LCD only, here is the list:
http://www.projectorcentral.com/projectors.cfm?g=1&hide=0&st=1&r=&br=&c=&w=&ar=Wide+(16:9-10)&lag=&db=&zr=&wt=&ltg=&ll=&mfg=&p=400&p=1500&wr=&dt=1.0.0&t=&pjl=0&pjw=0&pjh=0&td=13&is=96&i=w&tr=&tr2=&oop=1&sort=brt&sz=15

There are a couple of Panasonic models up near the top of the list which are pretty solid, and one at $1,300 with 5,000 lumens, and another with 4,400 lumens and 1920x1200 resolution. Those are pretty strong contenders.

There are some Epson models in there as well which aren't quite as bright but very likely have much lower costs for replacement lamps and may have longer rated lifespans.

Going 4:3 aspect ratio, identical to the resolution of what you have now...
http://www.projectorcentral.com/projectors.cfm?g=1&hide=0&st=1&r=&br=&c=&w=&ar=4:3&lag=&db=&zr=&wt=&ltg=&ll=&mfg=&p=400&p=1500&wr=&dt=1.0.0&t=&pjl=0&pjw=0&pjh=0&td=13&is=96&i=w&tr=&tr2=&oop=1&sort=brt&sz=15

You once again have Eiki and Panasonic near the top of the list. This time I confirmed the price on that 5,500 lumen Panasonic at $1,250 which is really a good price for a very bright projector.

You will need to confirm pricing on any model in that list.

But, at this point, I really think that some measurements need to be double/triple checked for accuracy as it seems something is screwy.
 

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I recommend paying more attention to advice from knowledgeable members of this forum than to advice from vendors who are trying to sell you what they have in stock.

I also need to point out that your existing BenQ SP920 projectors are XGA (1024x768 pixels) rated at a maximum 6,000 lumens and had an msrp of $4,500 back when they were new in 2008. So when you start looking for replacements at a quarter of that price but need to maintain that high lumen level you are asking for a lot.
 

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Hi everyone! Thanks for your input so far. We've been able to up our budget to around $3000 per projector.
With that budget and the fact that you want to continue with the same 4:3 aspect ratio images, a projector with the same native resolution as your current projectors (1024x768 pixels, XGA) makes sense. B&H actually made a good recommendation with the Epson PowerLite 5510. It's rated at 5,500 lumens and Epson is very realistic with their lumen ratings so it should be brighter than what you have now. As you noted it also features less expensive genuine replacement lamps ($99 each direct from Epson).

The next issue is throw distance. The 5510 can fill your 8' wide screen from a maximum distance of 20' 9" as measured from the front of the projector lens to the screen and you said you have a 19' throw so it should work just fine. It also has horizontal and vertical lens shift which will make it easier to adjust on your screen from the current mounting location. It looks like it's an ideal projector for your needs.

Best of all the 5510 is priced well under your $3,000 per projector budget. Another bonus is Epson is currently throwing in a free spare lamp if you buy before March 31. B&H is a solid vendor with both low pricing and great service. I've bought a lot from them and have always been satisfied.
 
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