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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys. I'm somewhat new to front projectors. I have a 50" Samsung Plasma set in my downstairs living room and I've been using an older 46" Samsung DLP rear projection set in my bonus room. I'm turning said room into a somewhat dedicated home theater area, though it will double function as a home office for now. The room is in the neighborhood of 20 feet x 12 feet, so it's a pretty good layout. There are two smaller windows in the room that let in a fair amount of light when the blinds are open.


That said, I'm looking to put a projector in this room. I've been playing around with a friend's older Panasonic PT-AE900U which is nice but simply isn't bright enough at 1100 lumens. The wife wants the ability to watch TV up there with a fair amount of ambient light, so I'm in the market for something much brighter - at least 2000 lumens. However, I'm also hamstrung by a very small budget. I'm looking to find a projector for $650 or less and then I will plan on buying a low-end screen, in the 100"-106" diagnal size, or making a DIY screen.


That brings me to the Epson EX70. Epson currently offers a refurb of this unit, with their full 2 year warranty, for just under $500. From what I've read, this is a pretty good little projector that can display 720p content nicely. The problem is that I've been able to find so little information on this projector. I read somewhere that the EX70 is very similar to the PowerLite Home Cinema 700, with exception to a few different connection/port options, but I haven't been able to get that verified. So I'm looking to get input from anyone who is using the EX70. I'm going to be using it for a mix of sources, including Blu-ray movie watching, sports and various HDTV watching, and some Xbox 360 gaming.


Does anyone have any advice on whether this would be a good all around projector for what I'm looking for? Note that I've considered picking up a used or refurbished Optoma HD65 for just a bit more money, but I'm a little concerned about the lower light output of 1600 lumens. Thanks.
 

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My suggestion would be to wall off the room leaving the room with windows as the office and the theater with none. I can not comment on that projector, I have never seen it, but spec wise the contrast ratio i rather low by today's standards at 2000:1. Ambient light will crush contrast regardless of projector brightness.. especially on an inexpensive white screen. Black will be light gray no matter how bright the projector is, unlike rear projection the screen can only reflect light it does not produce it.

Spend a bit more time researching all the issues and the differences between DLP and LCD as well as screen material before you spend your money. If you really want to watch TV with lots of light on, what you are looking to do right now will be very disappointing. You would be better off picking up a large used rear projection unit (they are selling these days in your price range and below) if you really want the light on..
 

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No projector is going to be compatible with "a fair amount of ambient light". To meet your wife's requirements you may want to consider something else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies guys. I should probably clarify a few things. I'm not expecting to be able to watch TV during the middle of the day with the blinds wide open. And my wife understands that is not an option. I think the most difficult thing I'm finding in my entry into front projection, is the measurement of ambient light. It seems difficult to quantify what a little ambient light is versus a lot - at least for someone with as little knowledge on the subject as I.


What I can tell you is that I've used the calculator on projectorcentral.com, for several different models that I'm considering, and with a fairly short throw distance of 12-14 feet, it tells me that I have the "recommended image brightness for rooms with ambient light". Also for what it's worth, my friend with the PT-AE900U says he used it for years in a bright room with the curtains pulled, and no issues. And that was with 1100 lumens.


Anyway, I'm pretty sure that I can find a setup that I'd be happy with, as I feel like I'm going into it with pretty realistic expectations of needing to close the blinds, etc. But the comment on the low contrast ratio of the EX70 got me thinking. The HD65 is listed at 1600 lumens max, less than the EX70, but double the contrast ratio - 4000:1 versus 2000:1. Based on my requirements, is it possible that the HD65 may actually be a better fit? Ironically, projectorcentral says the following about the HD65: "Many folks do not have the means or inclination to darken an area of their house for theater use. Projectors like the HD65 allow those users to bring the theater experience into their living rooms without drastically altering their decor."


So assuming I'm just a stubborn guy set on obtaining the best 100" screen on a budget, in a room with *some* ambient light, which projector might you guys suggest? I should note that another fairly inexpensive unit that I'm looking at is the Samsung A400B which can be had for a little bit more money - about $650. This unit offers 2000 lumens with a little higher contrast ratio (2500:1) than the Epson.
 

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The Epson's pretty good. We use them here at work. Using them as prsentation projectors they can take a fair amount of ambient light. Beware, No Component Video connection though.


Some of the DLP projectors would probably work too.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JOHNnDENVER /forum/post/18191019


The Epson's pretty good. We use them here at work. Using them as prsentation projectors they can take a fair amount of ambient light. Beware, No Component Video connection though.


Some of the DLP projectors would probably work too.

They have component- you need to use a component breakout cable that connects to the rgb input.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by JOHNnDENVER /forum/post/18191019


The Epson's pretty good. We use them here at work. Using them as prsentation projectors they can take a fair amount of ambient light. Beware, No Component Video connection though.


Some of the DLP projectors would probably work too.

Thanks for the input. Yeah, I'm aware of the lack of component video, which is certainly a negative. But I should be able to work around that by using the HDMI and VGA port. Let me ask you this; how is the noise level of the fan when the bulb is set on high mode? I ask because I've read several posts and reviews where people complained that the HD65 is quite loud and I was wondering how the EX70 does.
 

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Your comparison of the Epson and the Optoma are a little to direct here. Hate to make things more confusing, but the difference between the 2000:1 and 4000:1 contrast ratio is a lot bigger than you'd expect. The 2000:1 realistically be something like 350:1, because they are quoting dynamic contrast on the Epson... It's achieved by dimming the light in darker scenes to make them appear blacker...


Hard to explain, but seriously - the difference between a 2000:1 LCD projector with dynamic contrast, and 2000:1 DLP projector with native contrast is drastic.


People say that if you have ambient light then the difference is not as important, but I completely disagree. A projector with better contrast has better contrast even with ambient light.


You are also comparing a business projector - the Epson, to a home theater projector - the Optoma. The Optoma will most definitely have a better picture.



There is also a newer Epson if you decide to go that route - the EX71. It's smaller, brighter, has a longer bulb life, higher contrast, and if I am not mistaken the replacement bulb costs less. Again, I wouldn't read much into the contrast ratio specs - realistically they are no better than 500:1, if that.


If you haven't seen a DLP projector, you'd have to make sure you are not bothered by the rainbows on some of them. If you are not, you might want to look at the Optoma HD66. Newer, than the 65, brighter, longer bulb life, cheaper bulbs...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbyslav /forum/post/18191084


Your comparison of the Epson and the Optoma are a little to direct here. Hate to make things more confusing, but the difference between the 2000:1 and 4000:1 contrast ratio is a lot bigger than you'd expect. The 2000:1 realistically be something like 350:1, because they are quoting dynamic contrast on the Epson... It's achieved by dimming the light in darker scenes to make them appear blacker...


Hard to explain, but seriously - the difference between a 2000:1 LCD projector with dynamic contrast, and 2000:1 DLP projector with native contrast is drastic.


People say that if you have ambient light then the difference is not as important, but I completely disagree. A projector with better contrast has better contrast even with ambient light.


You are also comparing a business projector - the Epson, to a home theater projector - the Optoma. The Optoma will most definitely have a better picture.



There is also a newer Epson if you decide to go that route - the EX71. It's smaller, brighter, has a longer bulb life, higher contrast, and if I am not mistaken the replacement bulb costs less. Again, I wouldn't read much into the contrast ratio specs - realistically they are no better than 500:1, if that.


If you haven't seen a DLP projector, you'd have to make sure you are not bothered by the rainbows on some of them. If you are not, you might want to look at the Optoma HD66. Newer, than the 65, brighter, longer bulb life, cheaper bulbs...

Thanks for the informative response. I figured the contrast numbers were probably overhyped. I'm used to manufacturers misleading customers on specs for about any kind of video/audio component out there. But your point about the 2000:1 to 4000:1 being a big difference is good to know, even in my conditions with some ambient light.


As for the LCD/DLP comparison, I've owned a 46" Samsung DLP rear projection set for about 5 years and have never experienced the rainbow effect, so I'm certainly not against DLP. In fact, I've always like DLP sets for their great blacks and was disappointed to see everyone but Mitsubishi get out of the rear projection market.


Anyway, I'll have a look at the EX71 and HD66 units.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cushlash1978 /forum/post/18191064


Thanks for the input. Yeah, I'm aware of the lack of component video, which is certainly a negative. But I should be able to work around that by using the HDMI and VGA port. Let me ask you this; how is the noise level of the fan when the bulb is set on high mode? I ask because I've read several posts and reviews where people complained that the HD65 is quite loud and I was wondering how the EX70 does.

It moves a lot of air, is fairly loud, the air is really hot and it exhausts to the side.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cushlash1978 /forum/post/18189849


...


That brings me to the Epson EX70. Epson currently offers a refurb of this unit, with their full 2 year warranty, for just under $500. From what I've read, this is a pretty good little projector that can display 720p content nicely. The problem is that I've been able to find so little information on this projector. I read somewhere that the EX70 is very similar to the PowerLite Home Cinema 700, (also theW6) with exception to a few different connection/port options, but I haven't been able to get that verified. ...

I bought the same unit you are looking at. It is a very good value.


The EX-70 and the 700 are the same projector w/minor cosmetic differences. All the reviews you read of the 700 will apply to the EX-70. These are very nice projectors for the money. The contrast ratio is not as low as 350:1 I do not think. I would guess more like 800:1. Epson rates conservatively compared to other manufacturers.


The EX-70 is an extremely flexible projector with a great variety of inputs (including component w/adapter cable), USB and SD cards. The brightness gives a very usable image in a room with some ambient light. See my comments in the 705HD thread for more information on the EX-70 which is very similar to the 705HD.


Don't be put off by the contrast ratio or other comments here unless you are a dark room HT enthusiast, in which case you should go for the 720P for about $250 more (at the same site you are looking at for the EX-70). I did extensive research on this projector before buying and it is very highly rated by both pro reviewers and users.


For $495 the EX-70 is a great bargain and a lot of fun. The 2 year warranty and the lamp alone are worth that much.


Good luck!


P.S. Here are some links you might find informative:

http://www.bestcovery.com/epson-ex70...t=2&best=12342

http://www.amazon.com/Epson-EX70-Mul...owViewpoints=1

http://www.projectorcentral.com/epso...700_review.htm
 

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At first we will a little frighten
.

From EPSON EX70 miracle do not wait: ANSI contrast in limits 300:1, Native ON/OFF contrast nearby 500:1, Dynamically ON/OFF contrast nearby 2000:1.

But it is potential of the given device. And the truth that it quite suffices. The problem what a little to have the specification, it is necessary to be able to realise these figures. More expensive projector has a stock for adverse conditions, therefore at once has advantage before the consumer. The budgetary projector, as a rule, has no such stock. Therefore it would be necessary to put a maximum of efforts what to reach good results.

If to speak about EPSON EX70 vs OPTOMA HD65 I vote for EPSON EX70. Quality on one parity, but at EPSON EX70 is other advantages.
 
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