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I hit the Jackpot, but I need your projector knowledge help......please.

1332 Views 24 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  RobertWood
Being new to the whole Home Theater world, I need some helpful recommendations from people more in the know. I am planning on building a dedicated home theater in the basement of our brand new house (as well as finishing the rest of the basement) over the next 2 to 3 years. I have come upon a "window of opportunity" to get a projector basically for FREE!!!! (a gift from a business associate, for whom I send A LOT of business). The window is only about a month wide (of course I'd rather wait until the theater was about finished, 2 to 3 years from now, and choose from whatever projectors will exist then, but how do you pass up on a gift like this!!!), so I need to make a decision soon. I need your recommendations for a projector for my future theater, which will end up approximately 20' x 12' with lighting fully controlled, no ambient light. I don't want to push my luck or the envelope of generosity that I'm being given here, so I'd like to keep the MSRP of the projector under $6000. I want to get the most clear, detailed, and bright (which shouldn't be a problem because of the lack of ambient light) picture that I can for the cost. Any help from those with experience would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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Good business relationships are priceless.

I'd recommend the BenQ 8700 or the InFocus 7200. Check the recommended list on Projector Central.

I have looked at those and I've been trying to read as much as I can on this forum. It just seems like ther;es a never ending list of possibilites: the ones on projector central, Sharp models , Sanyo models, Marants models, InFocus, NEC.......I'm starting to overload on info. I guess I'm just looking for a few people to agree on a couple of modesl that really peform well with a sharp clear picture for around that amount.

I forgot to say that it will be used mostly for DVD viewing, and also some digital HDTV cable, and XBox & PS2 gaming (any possible "burn-in" issues with projectors?).
Whatever you do, make sure that it:

- has DVI with HDCP

- meets your requirements in terms of throw distance

- has the proper light output for your screen size (provides enough "punch")

- has the ability to be calibrated to D65 (some are tougher than others)

- has a good scaler/deinterlacer if you don't plan on getting an external one

- is quiet enough for your needs (DILAs can be quite loud)

A number of projectors fit the bill here. The InFocus 7200 certainly does, as does the HT1000 (although, the HT1000 is 4:3).

Also, remember to enjoy it once you've got it :D
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Buy projector... Sell it 0 hour full warrantee via videogon... Put money somewhere safe... Buy the same projector in 2 years for 1/3rd its value or spend the full 6k on a something we are probably spending 15 or more on now.... Of course that is if you are not going to watch it at al in the meantime...

My other suggestion would be to probably add a little bit to his price and buy a Sharp 12k now if you will be watching it in the interim... To me the Sharp sits right at the high end of the value performance bell curve...

However when you say MSRP are you taking into account MSRP is often very little relationship to 'street' pricing... Basically are you trying to spend around 6k or around 4k ??
Phreddy - I'm going to have to order it through his choice of vendor (as I'm sure he will appropriately write it off as a business expense) and I know that they are always on the high end as far as price goes, so I'm afraid "street" price may not be much of a factor here.

Yubyub- thanks for the check list, I'll be sure to utilize it.

........it would be nice if I could get a few more opinions from people who have tested some of the models........
Does anyone else get the feeling that this just sounds strange, fishy, and unethical all in one?
Originally posted by Snakehunter
........it would be nice if I could get a few more opinions from people who have tested some of the models........
Check out some of the shootout threads here on AVS. Here is mine, but there are others out there as well"


Good Luck!

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Patrick - There's nothing fishy or strange about it, but the strictest of rule followers may dub it as unethical. I send a lot of business his way, he wants to thank me for doing so, and is utilizing a avenue through his business to do so. Unethical - probably, uncommon - not at all.

Now, do you have any helpful advice/recommendations as far as projector selection goes?

John - Thanks, I've been reading "projector 1 vs. projector 2" threads for 2 days now, trying to learn & understand as much as possible.
As I read more and more, it seems the only way that I'm going to get what I truly want to know is to go out and try to see these projectors in action. I'm quickly learning that there is no such thing as "best for this price" because these simply too many subjective factors when it comes to a projector.

That being said, I live in the south suburbs of Chicago. Does anybody familiar with the Chicagoland/NW Indiana area have any suggestions as to where to go to see some of these projectors? I'm aware of Sound & Vision in Orland Park and The Little Guys in Homewood/Glenwood.

Thanks to all who have tried to help me out, and patrick too.
I've never been there but a co-worker has been to ABT Electronics (I think it's north of Chicago), and he likes their set-up.


You should also post this question on the CRT Forum.

What does it matter, you aren't going to watch it in 2 years. Get the most expensive you can from the guy and sell it.
I've thought about that too patrick. But then I start thinking that if I have the projector, it will entice me to get started quicker on the theater itself............
You have a long narrow room - this will restrict your projector throw choices and thus your screen size.

Do you want the projector out of the room for maximum aesthetics?

Or do you want the projector behind/over/infront of your head in the room?

You only have a 12' wide wall - do you want to put the speakers on the screen sides - thus restricting to a 6-8' widescreen? Or do you want to go larger perfscreen putting the speakers behind? Do you want room for curtains on the sides?

How many screen widths away do you like to be in a real theater? Now temper that with the reduced resolution from film to digital displays.

Sketch out your room first - then pick the projector. Then realize that the projector is worthless in three years when you finish the room. So plan on a projector with a wide zoom range so you can use it in your living room for now!
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Do you have to buy from a local retail store?

Do you have to go digital?

Since you have light control: for 6K you can get a killer CRT that will blow your socks off. (no flames here folks both digital and CRT have + & -)
Check out these links for CRT info
Krasmuzik - I was hoping to put the projector in an small area behind the back wall of the future theater. I may be able to widen the theater a little bit by encasing the current lolly column poles inside asthetic columns ( I dont want exposed support poles in the theater). I intended to try to hide the front speakers, placed to the sides of the screen, via fake walls covered with acoustically transparent fabric. No curtains. I like to be about 1.5 to 2 screenwidths away. Unfortunately, my livingroom is dominated by my 2 little guys( 3yrs & 18 months) and all that ever plays in there is The Wiggles, Bob the Builder, Blues Clues, Barney & Teletubbies; although they do love all of the Disney/Pixar pictures too, so that's good. Now you know why I need an escape cave with a titanium door and retina scan entry system.........er....I mean theater. I have yet to get to watch either of my LOTR extended version DVDs..

Misohorny/RobertV - I never thought about a CRT projector, I'll start reading.......

DigitalReality - Thanks for the recommendation.
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My advice: start calling up A/V shops in your metro area and have a look yourself. After you have seen a few, then ask this forum. It will certainly make things easier for yourself and the members here who are trying to be helpful.
Putting the projector in a projection room is always a good thing for a dedicated space . If you assume a 6-8' wide screen (leaving room for speakers) then that works out to a 2.5-3.3x projection throw, which is a longer throw!

Seating would be at 12' and 16' for an 8' screen. To keep the people in the front seats happy you should look for 720P resolution or above.

Many of the forum "favorites" that people want you to buy are actually short throw, and would cause you to change your installation plan with the projector hung from the ceiling overhead. This does not bother some people, but I say if you have the space for a projection window - go for it!

There are a couple of throw calculator projector search engines out there, let me know if you cannot find the links.
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