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Epson Powerlite S3 or true 'HD' projector?

437 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Dougmeister
We're not supposed to use MSRP prices, but I think I can say that the S3 costs about 1/2 as much as the cheapest HD Projector that I could find (the InFocus ScreenPlay 5000).

Trying to decide whether to wait for the prices to drop on the HD-capable projectors or just bite the bullet and get the S3 now. The Powerlite is LCD, 800 x 600 SVGA resolution, but says "Compatibility: HDTV: 720p, 1080i" at ProjectorCentral .

1) What does that mean, exactly?

2) Unless they're side by side, will a novice like me notice a difference between an entry-level LCD like the Epson and an entry-level "True HD" like the Infocus 5000?
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That means you can send an HD signal to the projector, but it will scale it down to 800x600 to display it. I don't think the SP5000 cost twice as much as the S3. Check out infocus.com - they usually have a good deal on either the 4805 or the SP5000.
Noticing the difference is relative. From the review at projectorcentral.com, the S3 is predominantly a work projector with decent video performance. Would it be "bad"? Thats subjective. It certainly would not have the picture quality of a dedicated HT projector like the AE900 or the Z3, nor the resolution.

So its really a case of you get what you pay for.If this is intended for HT duty, then I would shop around and get a more HT oriented projector provided its within your budget. I personally have an AE700 and couldn't be happier. Especially if you plan to enjoy HD programming, theres no comparison.

Why dont you see if you can audition the S3 and the full HD projectors that are available. I think seeing them will really help you make the best decision, especially if you are on a budget. And make sure to shop around and go online because you may find the difference in costs alot less then you first assumed. Good luck!
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Good information from both of you; thanks.

I have $500 in Staples GCs to use up, so that's probably where I'll end up buying one. (Costco and Staples are excluded from the $300 Rebate on the Infocus 5000, unfortunately). My budget is in flux, but right now the amount is around $700. I might be able to "up" that, but without demo-ing them both, I'm not sure how I will ever know "for sure"...
If you can only buy at Staples, I'd recommend the X3:


You can never have enough pixels and for HD, you need as much pixels as you can get. One of the benefits of this model is that the M1 plug can adapt for HDMI and DVI (as well as component) which you will need more than ever with the newer HD sources.

And should you decide you want to use all of the available resolution (you don't use all of the 1024x768 when watching HD 16x9), you can always attach an anamorphic lens. Not cheap but a good holdover until 1080p pj drops in price.

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Thanks, victor-eyd. I may wait 'til the X3 goes on sale/rebate then... hmm....

The Epson S3 has a $100 rebate on right now (ends tomorrow, 05/13/06). I also have a $50 off $500 coupon that expires on 8/12/06 (in addition to the GCs).

Edit: Alternatively, maybe I can sell my Staples GCs and 'free myself' from the obligation to buy from them. Hmm....
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