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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I think the added satisfaction that could be gained by going to 1.5k would really be worthwhile... I know its 50% up on the budget but another way to look at it is hey.. Its only 500 bucks...


Being very careful at this range would get a Sony 400Q (OK without scaler) or if you could consider a scaler or HTPC (retrofitting an old or spare PC is cheap and no DVD Player needed) would get a DL450 clone...


The difference between this and something that is sub 1k is a big leap..


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Phat:


Thanks for the reply.


"Being very careful at this range would get a Sony 400Q (OK without scaler) or if you could consider a scaler or HTPC (retrofitting an old or spare PC is cheap and no DVD Player needed) would get a DL450 clone..."


The following questions will be very basic as my knowledge of FPTV is minimal.


* If I remember, the Sony 400Q was the popular Sony LCD projector prior to the current model? Since it's discontinued, what is a good source for used ones? EBay only?


* Regarding the old, spare PC, I have one - a 300mhz Packard Bell. This was a bad PC - it would freeze up all the time. Not an Intel chip, or AMD even, but some other horror of a chip. I guess this is too basic of a PC to upgrade?


* DL450 clone? What is a DL450?


* Is there an FPTV board out there somewhere where I can do some homework and learn the basics, in addition to the help I am getting here?


Thanks for your help.


Rich B.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote:
* If I remember, the Sony 400Q was the popular Sony LCD projector prior to the current model? Since it's discontinued, what is a good source for used ones? EBay only?
That's right and if you have total light control I know people who really enjoyed these and they do have some nice features (delta array pixels) but they also have defects (dead pixels and green fog) so buying used it is important to have some trust... I would say that I have seen a few at $1750 and even one at $1400 but you will need to look hard... The advantage is that it is a DVD + projector solution...
Quote:
* Regarding the old, spare PC, I have one - a 300mhz Packard Bell. This was a bad PC - it would freeze up all the time. Not an Intel chip, or AMD even, but some other horror of a chip. I guess this is too basic of a PC to upgrade?
Although SW DVD playback (about 550 mhz min) is desired a HW DVD Decoder solution would run on a 300 mhz system and be cheap to implement... But I would not recommend using a unreliable system as this is courting disaster and nothing is worse than unreliable 'theater' operation...
Quote:
* DL450 clone? What is a DL450?
It is a DLP projector that has a great light engine but a horrible scaler... for this reason I would not recommend that you use this without HTPC or scaler but if you could go this route I find the image very nice compared to others in this kind of price category... There is one in the classifieds for $1350 or similar but using it without a scaler would be a disappointment and so much less than they are capable of...


The price is limited and so are the options... All I can say is either of these setup should be able to produce an image you could be proud of but dipping below this would (personal opinion) be a little futile...



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I would avoid used unless still has warranty and warranty is guaranteed to transfer. Ebay is dangerous. Check classified section of this forum as it's safer. You can get a new Proxima (bought out by Infocus) DS2 which is an SVGA DLP (Digital Light Panel by TI) which is comparable to an XGA LCD as far as picture quality. It has 800 lumens and 2 year instant exchange warranty for $1350 (use www.cnet.com to check prices). You can make your own screen for about $12 (4'x8' glossy white tile board from Lowes or Home Depot) or buy a Model B Dalite or Bretford 70"X70" 1.1 gain manual pull-down for about $100. This is not sub 1K but I think you won't be happy with a FP that's under 1K. Remember replacement bulbs cost about $300 to $1500 and lasts from 1K hours to 6K hours. So a used unit with burnt bulb (without warranty) may cost more after buying replacement bulb than a new unit with new bulb (full warranty). Out-of-warranty work averages $700 if parts has to be replaced. Keep all this in mind when you buy your projector. If you don't have the money, then you should save up until you do and get a nicer unit. There is nothing wrong with regular TV until you have the money :)


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I agree, $1K for a Digital projector is stretching it. However, $1K for a Front Projector in general can still be done. Quite well, in fact. But it means going CRT.


Curt Palme in the CRT forum is usually selling moderately used ECP-4000's for ~$1K. These will tend to have around 5000 hours of good tube life left on them.


In a dark basement and at the price range, CRT is by far your best bet. Convergence is not that big of a pain unless you make it one (ie. strive for that last 2% of convergence). Of course, the result is not portable.


I wouldnt spend any money on a screen at this point. Display on a white wall, and maybe spend a few bucks to make a black fabric border around the image.


Andy K.



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Thanks for the replies.


Regarding the DIY screen solutions, that sounds best for my situation. The room already has an RPTV. I'd like to make my own screen (I'm fairly handy) and it would also be portable, only come out for a DVD. No open walls in this room. Any links to some actual DIY screens along w/ suggestions & instructions?


As for the CRT option, portable projector is still part of the requirements. If this changes, I may consider CRT - but I really HATE convergence. As much as the screen door effect (and such) is unpleasant, I consider it much more liveable with than convergence issues and non-portability.


As for buying used, I am aware that these little bulbs are quite expensive, as well as actual repair. I would definitely prefer new with a warranty.


Let me change the projector question slightly. Considering it will be used mainly (probably) for DVD viewing via a Progressive DVD player or HTPC.


What is the cheapest (new from authorized dealer, street/internet price) of a 16:9 capable non-CRT projector that you can think of?


Thanks.


Rich B.
 

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Go to Screen forums for loads of info on DIY screen. Blackout material from fabric stores are comparable to 1.1-1.3 gain retail screen without the wrinkles or waves if you stretch it on a frame. As far as 16:9 capable (squeezing image that your DVD player stretched out for better resolution), most digital projector is capable of 16:9 but still have letterboxing as it's 4:3 native panels. Unless you fork out 4K or more 16:9 panels are out of reach. If you use HTPC it's already progressive and no squeezing or stretching needed (check lock aspect ratio on PC DVD software player and you're set). Lowest prices projectors are: Proxima SVGA DLP for $1350, Infocus LP425z SVGA DLP for $1500, Sony VPL-CX1 XGA LCD (550 lumens) or VPL-CS3 SVGA LCD (700 lumens) for $1650, NEC LT85 SVGA DLP for $1700, Canon LV5100 SVGA LCD for $1700 (component input--no need for special cable), Epson Powerlite 50c SVGA LCD $1900, Sony VPL-CX2 XGA LCD (750 lumens) $2300, NEC LT150 XGA DLP (favorite here for now) $2350. You can throw in Polaroid SVGA LCD and Proxima S520 SVGA LCD in the $1600 range too. Thus, the magic mark is $1500 for a "decent" projector. They are getting cheaper too so the more you wait the better.


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Regarding the W400Q, I think is a great projector as I have one and couldn't be happier however I wouldn't buy one used with no warranty left. If you do find one with some warranty left then by all means I recommend it but send it to Sony for a good tune up before warranty expires. You can visit www.thebigpicture.com and look for the Sony W400Q forum there is a lot of info there and I have a couple of threads posted there that has some good info on how to tweak it to get the most from it.

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Is it possible?


I'm thinking about putting it in my family room (finished basement). Good news: no windows to deal with.


I realize that image quality would be low. I'm more interested in size. I'd prefer to stay away from a CRT model, which is why I posted here, I don't want to deal with convergence. It would also be ideal, if the projector was portable, so that I could put it away when not in use.


HD is not an issue.


Thanks.


Rich B.


[This message has been edited by Rich B (edited 09-04-2001).]
 

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Do not be discouraged. I have the same budget as you and was able to get a 700lumen SVGA LCD projector. You should have no problem finding a factory refurb Proxima LS1 for under $1100.


Good luck, contact me if you want some leads.


Marc
 

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I've been following this thread since the beginning and I wanted to join in if I may. I was originally looking to get a RPTV, until someone suggested that I check out FPTV for a similar price. I only have about $2000-$2500 total (that would include the screen) to spend on this setup.


I am still searching, but if anyone has some quick ideas I would love to read what you have to say. Thanks for the help.


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