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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First off, if I get 5 responses to this thread I will be pleased,


my goal: convert my garage into a "part time entertainment" area, but only 8-10 times a year, mainly evening viewing. The projector will be throwing onto the back wall, and I think I will be able to go as large as I want; I am hoping for a 100"+ screen. The projector can go 12 to 15 feet back or more. Source material will be mainly sports from DirecTV, but also some Blu-rays and games for the kids from the PS3.


I am looking for the "right" projector. My budget is $1000 or less, preferably a good bit less. It does not seem as if I "need" 1080p, I am just wondering if I will regret not getting it. The two choices there seem to be the Optoma HD20 and the Epson 8350. 720p choices I have looked at a lot are the Panasonic AX-200u and even the LG HX350T (although this one seems as if it may not do everything I need??). Question: am I looking at the right choices?


Two technical questions: do I "need" lens shift? I can position the projector pretty much wherever I want (as long as the kids don't run into it). Also, I will have a problem mounting the PJ any higher than 4', which seems like a good height considering everyone will be seated in the garage; the screen bottom will probably be around 4 feet or so. Any issues there?


Any feedback is much appreciated. If I should look at other models please suggest them. I would rather spend closer to $800 than $1000 but don't want buyer's remorse. Much thanks in advance for any help!
 

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You CANNOT position the projector "wherever you want it". Each projector has it's own mounting and positioning requirements. Unless the projector you select has horizontal lens shift, then the lens MUST be centered on the vertical center of the screen. And the projector has to be square to the screen to get a proper, square image.


Mounting the projector so close to the ground means that everyone will be walking in front of the projector and block the image.


Every projector has an offset, which means that the vertical position of the projector relative to the bottom (or top) of the screen varies. If the projector you select has vertical lens shift, then you have some play with that.


I would strongly advise that you pick a projector and download the owners manual. Read the section on installation thoroughly before proceeding. Otherwise, you're going to make some mistakes that may be hard to correct.


Oh, and time of viewing, do not attempt during the day with the doors open. The sunlight streaming in will wash out the image, making it unviewable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Much thanks S1952. By "wherever I want", I meant as far back as possible / reasonable. I do realize that guests will have to walk around the back of it.


I can actually get the garage "fairly dark" by mid-afternoon due to how my house sits and trees / no windows etc.


Thanks again for the help and I will definitely take your advice about the user's guide. Any suggestions on models?
 

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Okay, then you also need to look closely at the throw specs. Different projectors produce the same size image from different distances. In other words, projector A might give you an 8' image from 12' away but projector B may require 16' and projector C might only need 8'.


This website is always a good resource for narrowing down your list to the projectors that meet your needs. http://www.projectorcentral.com/projectors.cfm


Of the choices you mentioned, I would lean towards Optoma. Some people like Panasonic. Mostly personal preferences and experiences.
 

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contrary to what amazon says the lg is only 1024x768-NOT 720p
 

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5th response!


I have the AX-200u and it's a very good projector. When I was thinking of purchasing it I went to a dealer and he showed me a 720p and then a 1080p projector. Honestly the both looked very similar. There was a touch more detail and sharpness in the 1080p projector but the 720p definitely looks "HD". At the time 1080p was more than double the price so I went with the AX-200U and I'm very happy with it. My space is not light controlled and the brightness of that projector really helps. I watch everything in the Vivid Cinema mode. It also has lens shift so you can be a bit more flexible with where you place it.


I also recently purchased an Acer H5360 for 3D and love it as well, although I think the Panasonic as a better 2D picture since I can see screen door with the Acer but if you're at all interested in 3D I think it's a great choice and it's also super bright. If I didn't already have the AX-200U I would be pretty happy with the 2D picture on the Acer. For 3D though it's fantastic and you can get the projector itself for about $500 although you'll need glasses and possibly a convertor box depending on your source so that could take you over your budget by $200-300. The other downside of the Acer is that it doesn't have lens shift so you're a bit more limited in where you can place the projector. It needs to be centered with the screen and ideally either right at the bottom or right at the top of the screen if you're ceiling mounting it.


EDIT: Also, keep in mind that if you're mostly going to be watching sports I don't think they broadcast in 1080p. I don't live in the US so I may be wrong but you should check to see which format they are using.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
EM, according to one reviewer on Amazon, the LG can be "adjusted" to a 16x9 aspect ratio (it's native resolution is 1024x768). That would produce a 768p resolution wouldn't it, or am I missing something?
 

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1280x 720=921600 pixels in a 16:9 aspect ratio ,wide screen.1024x768=786432 pixels 4:3-think older tube tv format-most display devices will adjust with the gray bar on top and bottom
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by studiotan /forum/post/20795775


After a quick google search it depends on the channel. ESPN for instance broadcasts at 720p.

Most sports are on the local broadcast stations which are 1080i
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by calvinb /forum/post/20794948


Much thanks S1952. By "wherever I want", I meant as far back as possible / reasonable. I do realize that guests will have to walk around the back of it.

Put it on the ceiling... trust me, put it on the ceiling.



The first time you use it with several people over, you are going to wish you listened to me.
 

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If you don't have a good spot to mount the projector, you can create a suspended platform. That might give you some room to work with in terms of positioning and would also allow you to store the PJ elsewhere. Seems like the garage might not be the best place in terms of security and cleansiness.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Verge2 /forum/post/20797701


Put it on the ceiling... trust me, put it on the ceiling.



The first time you use it with several people over, you are going to wish you listened to me.


The main problem there is that's where the garage door opener (and the door itself!) is.


I am now leaning towards the Panasonic AX-200, which is 720p and has lens shift. I think it fits my budget and needs fairly well. Anybody think this is the wrong move? Thanks for all the suggestions.
 

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consider turning another room into a HT room?


Trust me. Lots of people like to jump to make the decision really quickly because they want to get the set up fast and get down to enjoying. But seriously. All great things take time and careful planning. So so should you. Just because your budget is small doesn't mean you should just take a wing at it. Take your time, plan alternatives. There are always alternative methods. If not another room another way of ceiling mounting. As someone else mentioned, think of another way to mount it; perhaps by some sort of horizontal plank suspended across the ceiling, under the area where your gate door goes when you open the garage.
 
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