AVS Forum banner
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
705 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My unlce is starting to build a home theater. I've already got one so he's looking to me for a lot advice. I'm caught up on the build threads and what have you so I think we can make that happen pretty well. However, I feel the actual projector is a very personal choice. I don't honestly believe you can make the best choice by reading reviews. They all sound great on a review! So I've narrowed it down to a few projectors and I was hoping to drag him down to see them in action. Does anyone in the MD/NoVA area (Maybe even South PA/NJ/DE) have any of these sub $3k projectors we could actually see?


Mitsu HC3800

Panny AE4000

Epson 8500
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,380 Posts
I know exactly how you feel as I have been there. However, I was able to reach a comfort level of the projector I purchased without even seeing anything "live" before other than in 1 or 2 show rooms and the projectors there were not setup to ideal situation or were so expensive that I didnt think twice about them.


I did all my research here and did A LOT of reading for about 1.5 years before I finally got my build going and done along with purchasing my first projector.


Based on my research, which was 99% done here, I was able to buy with confidence of the projector that suited my needs.


I just thought I would add this bit of experience just so you know there are a few of us here that have purchased soley on review alone.


Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,917 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
705 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Kezug, if it was for me, I could pull the trigger based on a review. But could you pull the trigger for someone else? I'd much rather them see it, fall in love with it, and make that decision for themselves. I think I know what's best for them but if they can't see what I'm trying to tell them, they'll always think I led them astray. Well, I guess until they actually see/live with it. But still... it's the point of the matter.


Thanks for the link DGP!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,954 Posts
Buying a home theater projector is really such a leap of faith if you haven't seen one.. it really is.


I remember when I picked up my first Projector, Epson Home 20, I expected something along the lines of what I saw in the meeting room in our office or in my kids class using their powerpoint.


The actual home image blew my mind, but I still wanted it better. By far, the best investment that I have ever made is my screen. It is a custom built fixed screen using hardboard as a substrate, the black side felt of a vinyl cloth for a border wrapped on moldings, and many layers of well laid down behr silverscreen with a poly finish to offset the blue shift that SS gives you. It is really close to a neutral gray. I went with grey even though logic would mislead that you want something that is going to reflect more light. I am glad I went gray. I still remember the disbelief when I put my projector on the screen and the whites.... were actually white. I expected a really light gray.


the other big difference is the black border. I know everyone likes to throw around the word "pop", but it is alot more than what it implies. I makes your image really stand out more than you would ever think.


The other thing that expected what a larger image to be more soft and washed out. I actually see the contrary. I currently just upgraded from my Acer PH530 720p to the new Optoma HD66 720p 3D. The image my little projector produces is sharper and more real looking that my parent 3 year old DLP 62 RP TV or my friends Sharp 52" 92U aquos 1080p TV. At times, I think it looks better than what I see at the local DLP Regal. I remember noticing a light stain on the screen during one movie in the one theater.... you really get used to how much better a projector can look.


I originally went in getting a projector hoping to get close to the theater experience. I didn't anticipate how easy it is to EXCEED that experience. And I am not talking about some film worn out theater, but a regal 2K DLP theater room.


So, to answer your question: If you can't find someone, try a high end electronics store and ask if they have sample rooms set up. The two in my area that do (SE PA) that I know of are Bob and Ron's World Wide Stereo, 6th Ave Electronics and even a Bestbuy. The thing is that they may or may not be calibrated or set up right, but it will give you a good idea of what you are looking at.


Some advice:
  • Don't focus too much on lumens. Lumens are important, but in all reality you only want 400-800 lumens in a light controlled Home Theater. Lumens helps more when you have lights on and such. In some ways, I like my old Acer as the lumens are much lower than my new HD66, but of course the output on the HD66 in calibrated movie mode is around 1000 and it will drop down to 700-800 once it hits about 800 hours and is broken in. At brightest mode, it outputs about 2K lumens which is WAY TOO MUCH unless I have the windows open with sun coming in the room.
  • Positioning is actually really important. You really need to take into account where you are going to mount this. Furthermore, you WILL eventually replace the projector and may findyou want to use the same spot so it will affect future positions as well... and hence future projector choices.
  • Don't buy/build a screen until you are sure what size you want. I went into this hobby thinking that 70" was more than enough.
    I settled on 16:9 96" which works for my room (@ 8-10' away)
  • Consider renting one. Alot of places rent these things. It will give you an idea of how your room will work with it. You may see one persons setting up, but get a completely different experience with the same projector in your house. Environment does affect the image.
  • Consider starting with an entry level projector (sub $800). You can always sell it on craigslist and ebay and recoup alot of your costs. Plus you will have a much better idea of what you really want.


There are other things that you can spend money on than the projector. I budgeted about $800 for the projector, $500 for the sound, $1200 for the furniture, $100 for the screen, $200 for the kettle popcorn popper, $100 for the candy "consession stand" (basically those old fashioned candy jars set up on a half height book shelf - about 12 different varieties from carmel cremes to individually wrapped twizzlers to Runts and M&Ms), another $300 for decorations and gosh know what else I have added to it over time. Strangest looking "living room" you will ever see. Even built a mame arcade machine for the back corner... every HT needs an arcade section.



replaced the stock Onkyo speakers with Klipsch about 6 months ago. another 600 but definitely better than my old ones... thanks woot.com
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
705 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm not sure how he did it, but he got the warm fuzzy from the lady at projectorpeople and pulled the trigger on the 8500ub and a 119" fixed frame 16:9 Elite screen. I'd have gone with a cheaper, easier to maintain projector along with a way more expensive 2.40:1 screen, but it's his so I'm happy if he's happy



Thanks for all your interest lads!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
834 Posts
He picked a great projector, and if he wants to upgrade the screen he can always do it anytime down the road. Better to get the good projector now, as upgrading a screen is alot cheaper than buying a new projector (usually
)

Glad things worked out!
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top