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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys so im going to be purchasing a projector and screen soon for my bday! I have no knowledge with projectors so ive come to you guys for guidance. What I am looking for is a projector that offers a bright, detailed picture with vibrant colors. Can you guys suggest the best models out there? Also how do I pick a screen? And my last question, do projectors rival lcds and plasmas when it comes to picture quality and vibrantness? Im looking to spend no more than 1500 for my projector and I want a 100+ screen. Guys help me build my setup!


Re-cap on teh questions:


1. What are the best projectors on the market right now?

2. How do I pick a screen?

3. Can a projector compare to a LCD/Plasma TV?
 

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Hi Larry,


For your price range todays favorites are Mits HC1500, Epson HC720, Panasonic AX200 ( and others). There are HUGE threads on all of them, and many threads comparing 2 at a time. Most of these threads are in the first page of this forum. Best advice for you is to start reading here.


The best place to research screens is in the screen forum and DIY screen forum. Again ... more reading.


After you've done some reserch, post back with the specifics of your room, what content you like to watch, your ability to control ambient light, and which projectors you're considering ( and why ), and you'll get some good answers.


In the meantime, you'll get the most benefit from doing the above mentioned reading.


Jonathan
 

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"post back with the specifics of your room, what content you like to watch, your ability to control ambient light, and which projectors you're considering ( and why ), and you'll get some good answers."


I'm not sure how most people answer the What content question.

I watch everything. Standard DVDs, HD, xbox 360, vudu, the occasional HD DVD, etc.


But ignoring that part of the post, your room is important. Dimensions (height, width, length, seating distance from screen, wall colors, carpet colors, ceiling colors, light control all factor into your overall experience.


I really really love the dalite hipower screen. If you have a long, narrow room, it's a great hi gain screen. Even if you don't have that kind of room, it's still a very good uniform screen. It's also priced affordably, particularly considering other screens in that price range.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ok as far as content I mainly watch HD Movies via PS3 and XBOX 360. Occasional gaming, and sports. My room gets pretty dark but im not sure what you meanby "controlling ambient light". Carpet is brown...and I can post again later with the demensions of my room. Not sure what brand to get...i know ABSOLUTLEY NOTHING about projectors. I dont even know what to look for as far as specs. Im going into this blind. I just know that I ant a fat screen in my theater room lol.
 

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I'm sort of in the same situation but I have a dedicated HT room and have been using an EPSON (home 10) for the past 2 years... I am at the point where the bulb is getting close to the end of its life and instead of spending 200+ on a new lamp I want to upgrade to a 720p projector.. My problem is what to go with.. I'm not one to buy high end or even mid range equipment because I am very happy with my current projector and DIY (Blackout 92" Screen).. but since the inception of Blu Ray my tastes are getting more expensive... I have recently purchased the blu ray disc player and new receiver with Dolby TrueHD/DTS MA decoders as sound to me is much more important than the 1080P high resolution features of this format.. but instead of using a crappy 480 projector I should upgrade to at least a 720..

Advice from anyone that uses a projector with this res for around $700-1000.

I will be reading the other threads as someone mentioned but someone that replys directly to what I am asking is sometimes better.

Thanks in advance and good luck Larry with your endeavor
 

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Hi Larry,


If movie watching is the main thing you want to use a projector for, and you can make your room dark ( that's what I meant by controlling ambient light ), my choice would be the Epson 720 or the Panasonic AX200. Both are very flexible as far as placement is concerned, and I prefer their images to the similarly priced DLP's for watching movies. Both can also be extremely bright ( but less colour accurate ) when you want to watch sports or play a game with the lights on.


BTW, I have both the Epson 400 and the Mits HD1000, and each has their strengths. I prefer the Mits for TV / Sports, as it's very sharp looking, and is brighter than the Epson in the better callibrated modes, however I find it too 'digital looking' for my tastes when watching movies.


As far as screens, I use the HiPower in our livingroom setup with the Mits and Epson, and it's a great screen, however for movies I prefer a lower gain matte white surface. I chose the HiPower because of the gain and retro-reflective for the livingroom as we have un-controlled ambient light. We also have a dedicated basement theatre with a DIY painted screen ( ScreenGoo CRT White ), and I find it more natural looking for movies.


These are just my preferences though ... the reading is still a good idea. There are tons of opinions out there, and you should find the characteristics that you think you'd like best.


Good luck.


Jonathan


bqmeister, that's why I included 'what type of content' in my original question.
 

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When I give projector advice, I usually try to make it a bit simpler by telling them to compare three things about the projector--these three things are the ones that will mainly tell you about the quality of the image:


1. Lumens (how bright the projector is). As others have stated, if you have a good ability to control the light in your room, then you can probably get away with a lower lumen output projector. Most home theater pjs have a lumen output around 1000 lumens (on paper), although you will see that after calibration, the measured lumen output is typically much less than this. If you have some ambient light, you might want to get a pj with a higher lumen rating. I just picked up the Mits HC1500, and one of the main considerations for me was the lumen rating, because I will have some ambient light present sometimes.


2. Resolution: Nowadays, most home theater projectors have 16x9 panels (much like current LCDs or plasmas)--i.e., they project a widescreen image. There are, generally, two levels of projectors now: 720p (which is 1280x720) but can also be 1280x768) and 1080p (which is 1920x1080). You can get a good 720p projector for $800-1300. The 1080p projectors start about 1300 and climb from there. I was content with 720p, which is why I went with the Mits HC1500.


3. Contrast ratio: The contrast ration gives you a general idea of how deep the blacks can get on the projector. The higher the number, the more contrast between the light scenes and the dark scenes. Typically you will find contrast ratios anywhere between 1000:1 up to 10,000:1. The Mits HC1500 is 2500:1, and I understand that it has pretty good, but not great, black levels.



(OK, one more):

4. I threw in a final consideration. At the price levels you are talking about, there are two types of display technology you need to consider: DLP panels or LCD panels. Both types project an image using pixels, but both do it in different ways (do a search for an explanation of the difference). In many cases, the preference for one or the other is entirely personal. I have only owned DLP projectors, so I decided to stick with what I know and picked the Mits HC1500 over similarly priced LCD projectors. DLP has a drawback for those that are susceptible to the rainbow effect (having to do with the colorwheel that is used inside the projector). But while I have seen rainbows in the past on my previous projectors, my brain must have compensated, because I do not see them anymore. And the Mits HC1500's colorwheel is twice as fast and have many more color segments in the color wheel, decreasing the rainbow effect even more. For a discussion on the rainbow effect, do a search.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
thank u for breaking it down. I had no idea what lumens was. ok so im looking at the Panasonic PT-AX200U...the specs look pretty good. i have another question...is there a thread where people post pics of their projector setups? id love to see pics to get ideas...
 

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