I have never seen one personally, but I have heard many on this forum mention that Ampro projectors are the best bang for buck leader. I would have liked to buy one myself but they are not very common on the market.
Some other personal comments:
The Barco 800 uses the same tubes as the sony 1272 and Barco 801 yet sells much cheaper. An 800 can produce a stunning picture as a 1272 or 801 but for way less money.
As for the electromagnetic 8 inchers, the Barco 1208 has better specifications than Barco 808 but sells much cheaper. It totally makes no sense to me why people pay more for less when they choose an 808 over the 1208.
I think the older Marquee's are a decent value too. Older Marquees don't have the fancy options, but they still have 8 inch MEC tubes, electromagnetic focus, rugged construction; and most important, a competitive price.
The Runco, NEC PG and XG series and Sony G series are always talked about as being on top of the pack, but they are also really expensive compared to their counterparts from Ampro, Barco and Marquee; at least thats what it seems like to me.
I would think the higher end PJ's are a better deal. The reason for this is that you may buy a lesser PJ, but you will in the end, have a higher end model. So cut to the chase and get what you really want.
My vote is for and 8 inch setup is a Barco Graphics 808 with NRS-720P...outstanding picture....I believe is rivals the NEC XG series. And my personal favorite 9 inch setup is my Sony 1292 with DVP-5000 at 1080P....absolutley incredable. For 7 inch....it's really hard to beat the value of the Sony 1272 for the quality it provides when setup properly and mated with the proper video processor. Just my two cents guys!!!
Curt Palme is awsome. Talk to him over the phone for ten minutes and the next thing you know he's sending you replacement parts. MUCH better warranty than if you bought it new! I really cant say enough good things about him, and he's in Canada!
This question comes up now and then... you always get some people suggesting NEC pg series, Sony 12nn series, Barco's 800's, some even venture into ampro and ecp's. The bottom line is best bang for the buck changes from day to day - even in used stuff - sometimes you can snag a good deal sometimes not. But everyone has there own preference - Mine belongs in the NEC camp.
- So I'd have to say that the best bang for the buck would be the NEC PG series (6000 & 9000 's can be found cheap).
My only experience so far has been this. I bought an Electrohome 8501LC sight unseen from Cinemasource. I got their name from Tim at Etech as a good source for used machines that were not rebuilt. I missed out on the first batch, and they sent me a message when they got some new ones. I took the best gamble at 4000 hrs and NO BURNS according to them. The machine came as described and after sitting in my friends house for about 9 months (as ours was not done) I finally mounted it on the ceiling on July 2nd. Tim Martin came up and did the squeeze mod and some tune up including software upgrade. We mounted it and he did the set up on my projector, and on the NRS. I have been thoroughly satisfied with my investment. I have less than $3,600.00 into hardware excluding the processor. I had about $500.00 into set up.
We are putting 4-6 hrs a day on the machine on the weekends, and 2-3 on the weekdays. We watch everything from Hi def to Barney. I have to say it is one of the best entertainment investments I have made. I got very lucky and got a great machine. Tim felt it was in excellent shape. I think that we will get as much life as we want out of it until something better comes along. Which I have not seen yet except for 9 inch machines like the G-90 and the 9500 etc.
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