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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I would appreciate some thoughts on the following overview of the $5-15k projector market at the moment. This is not meant to be comprehensive, but indicative of what I see happening. I also believe that in a technology environment that is changing so rapidly, there are very few people who want to pay more than $15k to see a new improved model come out 9 months later.


The market seems to have split into three groups.


The $5k price point - At $5000 there are some spectacular LCD bargains to be had. Most notably, the Sony VW12HT and Sanyo PLV70. They both have many fans and reviews suggest that they both produce stellar images. The big difference seems to be the brightness of the Sanyo.


Late last year the DLP market saw the arrival of the new TI Mustang 1280x720 chip. Most people see this as a significant innovation. Several manufacturers released product and they seem to have provided the other two price points that I think are important.


The $7-8k price point is the entry level for this new technology. The Sharp 10000 seems to win raves with special mention of its color management systems and the capability to fine tune. The In Focus 7200 is also at this price point. Both projectors have higher MSRP’s. However, the distribution strategies enable the significantly lower price points.


The $10k+ price point. Utilizing the same technology as the Sharp and InFocus we have Marantz, Dwin and Runco. All of these brands tend to be sold in more up market stores with higher gross margin requirements. However, the technology is in essence the same.


This brings me to my point.


Is it better to spend $5k today knowing that TI will have a new chip here in a few months?


How about the price differential between the Marantz and the Sharp?


From my perspective. The Runco’s, DWIN’s and others in that category will find it harder to protect their position in the future. The market is changing more rapidly due to the pace of new technology. The new technology is not proprietary and access is widespread.


It’s food for thought, that’s all. I just think that with Sony’s new SXRD arriving soon, and products like the Sanyo and Sharp on the shelves at great prices, it’s a very interesting time to be a consumer and a high end dealer. My hope is that the market grows fast enough to accommodate everyone profitably as Runco, DWIN and others are important.


Best regards

Rob
 

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I think your thoughts are a fair analysis of the market today.


My two cents: As soon as you wait and purchase the "next" TI chipset however, a new one will be announced. That is the good and bad of technology (look at computers). Buy what you can afford and enjoy it now and know that newer products will emerge that will create more reasons to buy again two or three revisions later.
 

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A couple of points.


The NEC HT1000 sells for $5000 or less, and is apparently an excellent projector. It wouldn't be fair to leave it off your list.


The Infocus 7200 (or specifically its Toshiba clone) is reported to be available for less than $6000.


If you are going to wait for TI's next generation chip, how much improvement would really be expected over the current products? At some point, the PQ reaches a point of diminishing returns. I can't say how close we are to that point now, but the current models look really, really good.
 

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The only fault I see with your analysis is that you are separating high end by price inconsistantly. In one scenario you use the street price on the other projector you use sticker. If you go by sticker, the Sharp, Dwin and Infocus are all priced very close to each other. All though the Infocus can be had for 6k, the sticker on this price is around 10K. So what happened in reality is that the projectors who came out first like the Infocus are now being discounted and the newer models coming out like the Dwin are being sold supposedly at full price.


On the question of waiting for the next generation, thats a weird game, because if you go by that, you will never buy anything. By the time your unit ships, within two months, you will start hearing of new model coming out with a new chip. Those who bought the Infocus had a long time to enjoy the high end status. Those who will buy the Dwin within the next couples of months will be startled to hear that the next best thing coming out of Cedia in September
 

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Instead of always waiting for the next "marketable improvement in technology", why not wait for a projector that meets HD requirements along with your own personal standard. Do you need 64K temp or would 67K do ? Do you need 1920 X 1028 or would 1280 X 1028 do ? Once you find the projector that meets your definition of a video engine buy it and enjoy !
 

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Well, whether we'll see new TI DMD's soon or not, it will undoubtedly benefit us the consumers whether we'll be buying the latest and greatest or buying the "old" HD2 at huge discounts.

Choose your "poison" gentlemen, both ways, it'll be sweet! :)
 

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I agree with Daniel's statements!


The Dwin can be had for less than full MSRP, without a doubt.


Waiting is a matter of choice. But, I certainly would NOT buy a $5k projector with the expectation that I will purchase another one in a few months when TI comes out with a new chip. I don't believe in purchasing things twice if it can be helped. Do it right to begin with. With the quality of the current crop of HD2 DLP projectors, that certainly isn't hard to do!
 

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I've been debating this endlessly as well. How much better will the Sharp replacement be for the Sharp 10K? If it's as significant as the 10K is over the 9000 then I wouldn't want to spend the kind of money on it now. On the other hand the 10K for me really is a great projector but this is relative to what I will be seeing later on.


I also like doing things right the first time. But then if you buy a $5000 projector and replace it after two years rather than buying a $10K projector and replace it after 4 years, you'll might get a better projector in the last two years of the 4 years for the same price. But it's psychologically a harder pill to swallow using your $5000 projector for only 2 years.
 

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I don't know about all of you, but even at $5k, I am expecting to keep my projector for at least 4 years. I also agree that HD2 does seem like a rather dramatic improvement in DLP technology, so late summer/early fall might be a great time to pick one up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ksoza

I have no intention to wait. However, I am struggling with the right decision for summer 2003. Do I buy a $5k unit today with the xpectation of upgrading in 12 months or spend $7k and hold on for 2-3 years? I honestly believe that the nature of this technology works agaist hi end players.


dcottle

I have a 9 year old $30k line doubled, hi end data grade CRT setup with a Stewartek 130 100" screen. The challenge for me is that the CRT needs continual calibration (I will give it to my son's school or something). i want to buy something in 2003.


Daniel

I have not seen much evidence of DWIN going down the Sharp / Sanyo distribution strategy route? Are you sure that the reason behind price is not distribution versus timing?

Totally agree that the waiting game is a no win scenario as there is always something round the corner.


MrPenPad

I am looking for a projector with no screen door, great blacks, wonderful color, no rainbows..... However, with technology evolving so fast, i am querying the wisdom of paying $15k plus


Rob

Buying a $5k projector every 24 months makes more sense than a $15k every 36 :)


BTW - I'm watching the dreadfully wonderful Swept Away whilst typing this


Rob
 

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The thing about putting down the money (whatever your upper most budget is) is that you'll end up having more happy years. At least your projector will be somewhat top of the line for a little while and you'll be happy with it. And you'll most likely keep your projector longer than you anticipate. I mean how many months do we usually take from the time we start thinking of an upgrade to the time we actually end up purchasing it? Most of us probably research the thing to dead first. Plus we might hold out for that new product to come out before we make the purchase.


It does make more sense to buy a $5K projector every 24 months than $15K every 36. But that might not be in reality. In reality you'll be much happier in that 24 months with your 15K projector than your 5K projector. And one also has to assume that the 5K projector 24 months down the line will be significantly better than the 15K projector now. Not to mention 5K 2 years later also might not buy you something that you're totally happy with. Going all out and spoiling yourself might not make the most economical sense but that peace of mind and happiness might be priceless.
 

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Daniel,

I bought a the DWIN TV3 and my price was definitely discounted. I'll just say that the price I was offered for the DWIN was about $30 higher than the price I was offered on the Sharp. I was going for the Sharp because I thought I wouldn't get a discount on the DWIN because of the high demand. Turns out that by ordering the DWIN, I was helping my dealer become a high-volume dealer (according to how many he ordered) and he was helping me out by giving a great price and letting me choose based on features of the 2 projjectors.
 

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Oh I know that the Dwins are becoming discounted. Just not as much as the Infocus, but I am sure that with time, pricing betweent the two might be close. On the other hand it also depends on what the MFG is charging. As not to give away any secret info :), I will use fake numbers but if Brand X sells their units to the dealers for 1K and Brand Y sells theirs for 2K, then pricing will never be the same.


I am not sure if the distribution systems make a difference. Infocus went way out of their way to make sure that the 7200 was not sold by internet dealers and that the dealers were selling very close to MSRP. It was a complete failure. It started with everyone tyring to honor this and then basically it became a stampede to see who could sell the Infocus for less and thus sell more units.


I think there are two factors in this, timing and the buyer. Wait long enough and you will get the projector at a great price. For example, I am now looking to buy the JVC D-VHS machine. I saw it for $492. That same player 6 months ago was selling for 1K. Next factor is the buyer. There are stores for people like us that know that we wont pay for sticker price and there are stores that sell the same product for thousand more because they buyer either doesnt know better or is looking for expertise.


Finally its like buying a new car (which by the way, I am in the market for) you can always buy the current model for less when the new years model starts rolling in.
 

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You could also wait for 2 years and pick up a used HD2 for a fraction of what they are selling for now. In the meantime enjoy one of the 1-2000$ pj's. You will always be a year or 2 behind the technology, but you will spend less than 1/2 as much. It all depends on just how long you can wait.
 

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The problem is that that the $1-2K projectors out right now aren't at a point where people here would be happy with not to mention be impressed with. Even with the higher end projectors there are still some things that guys here aren't totally happy with. If you're not going to be excited and happy with your purchase from the very start you're not going to have too much fun. You get what you pay for. I have a friend who keeps buying yesterday's technology. He keeps upgrading his computer to the level where he can't ever run new games in high res. Sure his new games might run but he sacrifices so much to get acceptable framerates. I have another friend who spends big on a computer purchase and uses it till he can no longer play the games he wants to play then buys a new one again. But at least for a while he'll have near top of the line gear that he'll be excited about and be happy with at least for a short period of time.


I think it all comes down to the individual. There is always something on the horizon. As I see it, if you go the $1-2K route you will always be stuck with something that isn't that good. You will probably have to splurge somewhere along the line. It's a matter of priority of course. But people here at least are mostly picky and consists of guys that either are really into projectors and will pay continually to have the newest technology and guys who simply want to buy something they know is really good now and not worry about things. Only you can determine the value of things. For some that little bit of improvement amounts to a tremoundous amount of happiness that you simply can't put a price on.
 

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Quote:
I am now looking to buy the JVC D-VHS machine. I saw it for $492.
I've seen it for $470.00! :D

Quote:
Rob

Buying a $5k projector every 24 months makes more sense than a $15k every 36 :)
Who said anything about $15,000.00??? If you pay that much for a current HD2 DLP, you got ripped off!
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Robert Holloway
Buying a $5k projector every 24 months makes more sense than a $15k every 36 :)
As long as you are satisfied with the image a $5k projector will throw why pay more. But it will not equal the viewing pleasure you get from a $15k projector. Buying a $5k pj every few years guarantees you never have anywhere near the best at a reasonable price.


When we bought our HD1 Marantz nothing cheaper would satisfy either my wife or I. We haven't regretted it for a second, even after seeing the newer HD2s. They are nicer but we still are satisfied with the HD1.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by gobrigavitch
You could also wait for 2 years and pick up a used HD2 for a fraction of what they are selling for now. In the meantime enjoy one of the 1-2000$ pj's. You will always be a year or 2 behind the technology, but you will spend less than 1/2 as much. It all depends on just how long you can wait.
It depends on whether you could really enjoy a $1-2k projector in the meantime.


My wife and I saw many projectors in the $4-5k range at CES in 2000/1 and decided that none of the above was the answer. The tradeoffs in resolution, black levels and contrast were just too great to put up with. Nothing short of a JVC D-ILA was acceptable and with a processor that was more than we wanted to spend.


On seeing the new HD1 DLPs at 2002 CES our reaction was instant, any of the 4 we saw was acceptable and at a fair price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I understand that in theory and hopefully in practice a 415k will look dramatically better than $5k.


However, in the current environment 2 years is an eternity. The $15k projector of 24 months ago was what?


It seems that the Mustang DLP is the state of the art projector unless silly money is involved. It can be had from $7k to $13k (my local retailer quotes $12995 for the Marantz)


So what to do? The Sony or Sanyo at $5k, The Sharp at $8k or Marantz, Runco and Dwin at $12-14k


Is the DLP Mustang from Sharp $2k better than the Sanyo and Sony?

Or is a the Marantz $5k better than the Sharp?


Rob
 
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