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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I am currently looking for a projector to be used to watch tv, movies and work on my computer. I mostly use my computer for graphics design with Adobe Photoshop, some programming and playing games. I am going to college in the fall so I would also be doing homework on it also.

I am hoping to have a resolution of 1280 x 720 and have something that I can watch digital cable and movies (hopefully in 16:9 widescreen). My budget is around $1200 but less is always better.


I have been looking at the Sanyo PLV-Z2 and the Z3. I noticed that the Z3 does not have a dvi port but the Z2 does. Would that make a difference in picture quality, using VGA, for what the work I am doing in Photoshop? Would a projector even work for my needs with Photoshop and the demand for very high quality, detailed images? Which one of these would be the best for my needs?

I should be able to get my room fairly dark when it is on so I don’t think there will be able light concerns.


I have not owned a projector before, so I am not even sure if I am asking the right questions.


The reason I am looking into getting a projector is because for the next 4 years I am going to be moving every 3 months between college and my work in Chicago and I am trying to reduce the amount of things I have to move.

I am not going to be mounting it on the ceiling because I will be leaving in an apartment. Will just putting the projector on a high table be good enough or does it need to be mounted on a ceiling?

I am planning on having the project around 8 feet or so away from the wall in my apartment and around 11 feet in my dorm room.


I probably won't be buying the projector until November or December because it’s not really too important to decide until I have to move back to Chicago in January.

I assume I will also need to buy either a tv tuner card for my pc or a cheap home theater system to have sound for the projector but that can come later.


So I guess after all of that which would be better for me to buy the Sanyo PLV-Z2 or the Z3 considering my budget of around $1200? Would the price of the Z3 maybe go down by Christmas time?


Thank you for taking the time to read this.
 

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Not sure your going to find a Z3 for that price range, but the Z2's have come down since the Z3 came out, and the Z4 is on the way. Can't comment on using a projector for photoshop graphics design, I'm sure you could but a larger flat panel computer screen that can reach higher resolutions would be better. More movies, DVD, HD, etc.. the Z2 or Z3 is outstanding. The Z2 has DVI (digital video only) and the Z3 has HDMI (both audio/video). HDMI came out after DVI because many of the new TV's have this port and you can pump the digital audio/video on one cable. Both projectors have lens shift, so you don't have to mount them high on a shelf or ceiling. Make sure you at least have a smooth, matte white wall to begin with, otherwise the picture will suffer if there is texture or sheen to your walls.
 

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I too doubt you'll get a Z3 for that price in a few months. No need to ceiling mount. Just throw it on a table and it'll work fine with the lens shift. I did that for quite awhile before putting it on a shelf in a different room.
 

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You'll love either one, so get whichever one fits in your price range when you are ready to buy.

ArtT
 

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DVI and HDMI are pin compatible. I am not an expert on this but cables can be bought which convert from one to the other and this is a lossless pin to pin conversion.


I would think the Z2 is a great deal for your use because it is the cheapest pixel per dollar on the market and for a computer monitor you need high res.
 

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The Z2 and Z3 are both great values and either should work nicely for your purpose. Get the Z3 if you want to spend the extra amount, otherwise the Z2 will be fine.


Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the replies


I will see which one is closer to my price range when I go to buy in a couple months.


I think I will end up buying one because I think the color should be correct enough for what I am going to be doing in the future.


How often do you need to replace the bulbs? I would probably have the projector on an average of 3 to 5 hours everyday. Weekends would be more because I will be home more. How long would you guess the bulb might last?

Are the bulbs difficult to change? Are there any other parts that go bad after a while that I will need to replace?


I am going to be getting digital cable in January, what will be the best way, for the least amount of money, of hooking that up to the projector? I guess my next big question is going to be what all I am going to need for this to work, accessory wise? I will get a cheap 5.1 surround sound/dvd set up in December; I already have a dvi cable for my computer. So I guess what I am overlooking?
 

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Bulbs are VERY pricey, and the Sanyo bulbs are among the shorter lasting. Much as I am a Z2 fan, you may want to compare bulb life specs to some of the similar 720 p lcds out there, such as the Panasonics. Bulbs are $300-500 range, and range in life from rated 2000 hours to 5000 hours. With the use numbers you are planning, I'd definitely factor that into your equation. There are also occasionally deals where a spare bulb is included.

Art T
 

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I understand the Z2 uses 8 bits and the Z3 uses 10 bits to process color. This this may be important to know if you're planning to do PhotoShop work.
 

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missingklown,

If you are doing mission critical work using PhotoShop, do not use a projector. You will not be able to calibrate it like you can a monitor, and your work area is going to be quite short regarding resolution so you will be doing lots of scrolling. Also, at 3-5 hours a day, your budget of $1200 will quickly balloon with all the bulbs you will have to purchase. Bottom line: projectors were not designed for daily graphic design work.


I faced the same question you are facing (Z2 or Z3) and went with the Z2 ($999) after reading all of the praise it had received, and it offered more bang for the $ than the Z3 ($1500+). The picture may be slightly better on the Z3, but I've never seen it so I'll never know it to change how I feel about the Z2. It's got an awesome image, and I don't even have a screen yet!


Hope this helps.
 
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