I am not a techno-whiz so can only share what I have personally learned and in non-technical terms.
SVGA resolution projectors won't do a very good job with dvd movies in home use with a large image.
With a projector you are stretching the movie image to a very large size for a "theater/cinema" effect in your home. If you weren't after a very big screen size you would just use a television.
When a dvd movie is stretched to a big size - our minimum image is about 120 inch diagonal in our house - the picture quality is less and less good because the lines of resolution are not as close together.
Just in our experience at our house the least costly entry level projector set up for movies will be either 1024X768 (XGA business format) or 1280X720 (HT format). The projector also must have a digital input - either HDMI or DVI and component input.
Your dvd movie player must have component output and much better if it has up conversion/up scaling capability with HDMI digital output.
In our Home Theater room we sit about 13 ft from the screen and want about a 120 inch diagonal picture on the screen. At first, we thought component connection from our dvd player looked good but we soon realized that movies stretched to that size just didn't look nearly as good or as clear as on our HD TV.
So we bought a Sony dvd player for under $100 with up conversion and HDMI digital output to the projector and WOW - WOW. Our collection of dvd movies suddenly looked almost HD quality and we knew that Home Theater had arrived at our house.
Some projector users will tell you to not consider so called "business" projectors but I say it depends on how much you afford to spend. Our first projector was a wonderful Canon "business" projector - it was on sale and all we could afford to spend but it had the three Key Features necessary for minimum Home Theater enjoyment.
1. XGA 1024X768 resolution
2. Digital DVI input (means accepts up converted digital movie signal)
3. Powerful Image Processor with a Cinema Mode - this means that Canon used high quality components so that this projector would do a good job with movies and with a Cinema Mode means the manufacturer built in capability specifically for watching movies as opposed to PC presentations.
The only reason we bought our Panasonic 720p 16:9 projector is I found a one-of-a-kind deal and price - otherwise we would still be using the Canon and going WOW!
Some complain that with a native 4:3 aspect ratio business projector you get black horizontal bars at top and bottom of image as the projector scales widescreen content.
Truth is, 16:9 is the U.S. high definition TELEVISION standard aspect ratio and most all widescreen movies (five common movie aspect ratios) are much wider than 16:9 so these projectors will have black bars also with most movies.
Okay - now I am rambling. If you can spend $500 to $600 and shop carefully you can find a good XGA projector with digital input and decent performance specs. If you can spend more then you can find a good 720p HT type projector.
Main thing is making the step from television to the WOW or front projection cause there isn't a television available today that can compete with a front projector in a suitable room and compatible screen for Home Theater.
Yes! Any projector with an input can. Is it the best? No! But it will work.
I have a XGA 1024X768 resolution projector, that I am very happy with. No digital inputs, but I use a VGA to Component cable to feed it HD. I play many hours of Halo 3 on my Epson 83c. A front projector will change your life. I love it (front projection) and will always have one from this day foward.
imo, I'd look at either a native 16:9 within the same price range (such as the in72) or strongly consider the Epson 77c since you should be able to find it at about the same price and it has an adjustable zoom lens, which the S5 does not (which forces your hand in throw considerations)
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