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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Guys,

I have been lurking this forum for a long long time and I finally have opened up an account. I have lots of questions and finally plenty of money to be able to afford these things (seeing that I am still in college and have a stable job). I am looking into purchasing a portable projector in which I can bring along in my backpack to have ready for presentations for the new school year. I have a lot of research classes that require lots of presentations and would like to impress my classes/professors with a neat little handheld projector.

There are a lot of projectors out there to choose from. I would appreciate your suggestions and feedback from the projectors that I have in mind below. I don't want my money to go to waste!

Vivitek Qumi Q5 - $619 on Amazon - 500 lumens seem light a bright projector. 4 stars on Amazon; reviews look good.
http://www.amazon.com/Vivitek-Qumi-...8&qid=1408662094&sr=8-1&keywords=vivitek+qumi

ViewSonic PJD5134 - 349.99 on Amazon - 3000 lumens and only 350 dollars?!!? It's big and heavy though... (7LBS). 4.5 stars on Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/ViewSonic-PJD...=1408662161&sr=8-11&keywords=pocket+projector

AAXA LED Android - 499.00 on Amazon - 550 lumens + Android, bluetooth and WIFI - this one looks pretty cool and the picture has it fit in the palm of your hand. Is fairly small and lightweight. 3.5 stars, fair review. http://www.amazon.com/AAXA-MP-300-0...F8&qid=1408662806&sr=8-1&keywords=LED+Android

Acer C120 - 208.33 on Amazon - 100 lumens. Looks like the AAXA projector but not as capable. 4.5 stars. Decent reviews.
http://www.amazon.com/Acer-C120-Pro...id=1408662951&sr=8-8&keywords=pico+projectors

Optoma PK320 - 349.99 on Amazon - 100 Lumens - More expensive than the Acer but nice contrast ratio. 3.5 stars. Ok reviews. http://www.amazon.com/Optoma-PK320-...d=1408662951&sr=8-15&keywords=pico+projectors


Those are the ones that I am looking at for right now. If you guys have more suggestions, please feel free to provide input. I appreciate your help!
 

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I have the Viewsonic PJD5134 and I gave it five stars on Amazon back in September. The little thing is amazing, but remember it is SVGA or 800x600 pixels, and it does not come with a lens cover or a carrying case. Colors are good, but text, while readable the pixels will impact letter sharpness as you go up in image size. 100 inch image and you are good. 150 inches... not so much unless you are sitting back say 15 feet. (Woody on a 92 inch outdoor screen at 10 feet. Frozen verses my 70 inch Sharp on a plain wall at 20 to 22 feet. In person, the images look much better than the pictures of the images.) The projector is set on it's lowest setting Eco using one of the out of the box settings - Movie. As to size, it feels and looks small. I have about 600 hours on the bulb and use it almost every night. It is the bedroom "TV".


One last thing, I have it hooked up to a Blu-ray player (Amazon video), old VHS recorder to use the TV tuner and as a computer monitor, if I want to watch a movie off OnDemand.



 

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Will your presentations be in the dark or with lights dimmed? If not, you'll need a brighter model (500lumen LED) and a small image-size (maybe 60inches at most) OR a lamp-based model like that Viewsonic which might be good for 70-90inches. Either way a projector will look pretty washed-out in the light.

If you're looking for LED, I'd recommend sticking to models listed at 400+lumens. Also, though there are LED projectors listed as brighter, none of them under $2000 are actually brighter than about 450lumens..so don't be fooled into paying more just because one is listed as being brighter. If a cheap 450-500lumen model fits your needs for features and resolution, get that one. Also don't pay attention to contrast specs, they aren't true and most/all models will have about the same contrast besides the LCD LED one's which look terrible and should be avoided at all cost.

Expect to pay $400-700 for a WXGA-resolution (1280x800 pixels) LED model..any less and you'll be in for a very bad surprise, any more and you're likely just over-paying and getting nothing extra for your money.
Personally, I like LG and Aaxa..they have decent prices, solid performance and great codec support for playing directly from USB..plug a memory-stick into the projector and go.
Dell, Optoma, vivitek and others have some decent models for lower prices..but some of their older stuff lacks audio outputs, remote-controls, important settings..odd things to leave out. In general, look up specs and read reviews to make sure you don't get something that lacks a feature you really need.


If you're going to be playing from a laptop or similar source and can be somewhat careful when carrying the projector (don't bounce around or bump it a lot..the same kind of careful that you probably already employ with your computer), a lamp-based projector will trade some of your portability for more brightness which can make some difference in a bright room.
Be warned, while most led models can be tripod-mounted, most lamp-based models need to be set on a table or similar flat surface. Might be no problem, might be impossible.
Also, certain models can have lamps as cheap as $80 while others may run as high as $250, so look up official prices (and don't be tricked by off-brand lamps..they are a huge gamble).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'll be able to control the lights. There's a lighting panel that I can utilize to cocntrol the lighting in the classrooms. Are there any other alternatives that you guys have looked into? I see the top ten projector rankings on projectorcenterl(dot)com with the Optoma coming out on top with Vivitek and AAXA trailing behind. AAXA has three projectors on this list. Has anyone ever had experience with their projectors? Their 550 lumen unit with Android is on this list which looks like it'll fit in with what I'm doing for school (ranked 7th).

What do you guys think? :)

Will your presentations be in the dark or with lights dimmed? If not, you'll need a brighter model (500lumen LED) and a small image-size (maybe 60inches at most) OR a lamp-based model like that Viewsonic which might be good for 70-90inches. Either way a projector will look pretty washed-out in the light.

If you're looking for LED, I'd recommend sticking to models listed at 400+lumens. Also, though there are LED projectors listed as brighter, none of them under $2000 are actually brighter than about 450lumens..so don't be fooled into paying more just because one is listed as being brighter. If a cheap 450-500lumen model fits your needs for features and resolution, get that one. Also don't pay attention to contrast specs, they aren't true and most/all models will have about the same contrast besides the LCD LED one's which look terrible and should be avoided at all cost.

Expect to pay $400-700 for a WXGA-resolution (1280x800 pixels) LED model..any less and you'll be in for a very bad surprise, any more and you're likely just over-paying and getting nothing extra for your money.
Personally, I like LG and Aaxa..they have decent prices, solid performance and great codec support for playing directly from USB..plug a memory-stick into the projector and go.
Dell, Optoma, vivitek and others have some decent models for lower prices..but some of their older stuff lacks audio outputs, remote-controls, important settings..odd things to leave out. In general, look up specs and read reviews to make sure you don't get something that lacks a feature you really need.


If you're going to be playing from a laptop or similar source and can be somewhat careful when carrying the projector (don't bounce around or bump it a lot..the same kind of careful that you probably already employ with your computer), a lamp-based projector will trade some of your portability for more brightness which can make some difference in a bright room.
Be warned, while most led models can be tripod-mounted, most lamp-based models need to be set on a table or similar flat surface. Might be no problem, might be impossible.
Also, certain models can have lamps as cheap as $80 while others may run as high as $250, so look up official prices (and don't be tricked by off-brand lamps..they are a huge gamble).
 

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I've heard many times that the "top10" on projectorcentral isn't what you think it is..so don't put too much stock into it. It probably doesn't mean what it looks like it means.

Having light control is great news, projection will actually have a chance to look nice if you can keep light off the screen/wall.

I've used Aaxa's p300 for a while but I don't have enough experience yet with their brighter models to say much..the Android Projector, P450, and soon discontinued 3D Showtime are all about as bright as LED models get. If reviews don't have anything scary such as glitches or shutdowns, they should be alright and the android options might be useful or fun.
I've also heard good things about the Optoma ML550 (and some negative about the older ML500). The vivitek qumi 5 might be worth a look but the qumi7 is way overpriced and overall unimpressive when I had one (bad remote, very slow menu response, picture was slightly worse than others I've tried even after cleaning-up settings, built-in mediaplayer makes video choppy and poor so hdmi is the only decent option) I'm not sure if the qumi 5 has the same problems.
There's a particularly inexpensive Acer or Dell model that may warrant a look, but make sure it has an audio-output and remote.
The LG Pa70, Pa75, Pa77, pa1000 may be worth checking out, but only if you find one around $650 or lower..they have some advantages that are nice at home but meaningless in class and there are certainly cheaper options that are just as bright.

How will you be getting video/slides to it and what sort of content do you plan on showing? Do you need sound?
I suggest you get something with an audio-output jack either way because you'll end up using it later for recreation. Also, if you need audio in class, you'll need a bigger/louder speaker system to play through because the built-in speakers will be too quiet and thin sounding. So plan on a portable speaker set or possibly a classroom PA option if you need sound.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hmmm... sounds reasonable. Mostly I will be using this thing for powerpoint presentations without the need for sound but having it is a plus for situations when I would need it.

I've been scouring youtube of videos looking at these projectors and how they work. I've seen some interesting things with the AAXA projectors. Pretty powerful units compared to Optoma and Qumi for the price. The LG PG63 compared to the previous model AAXA LED Showtime does not match it even through it has more lumens. Here's a video that I found!
The color reproduction on the Showtime looks pretty good for such a small projector.

Even in bright lighting conditions, the newer LED Android is viewable and playable. I found this video here
.

Thanks for the help. I would like to hear your opinions or suggestions. I'm leaning towards the Android more and more as I keep researching it. :):):)


I've heard many times that the "top10" on projectorcentral isn't what you think it is..so don't put too much stock into it. It probably doesn't mean what it looks like it means.

Having light control is great news, projection will actually have a chance to look nice if you can keep light off the screen/wall.

I've used Aaxa's p300 for a while but I don't have enough experience yet with their brighter models to say much..the Android Projector, P450, and soon discontinued 3D Showtime are all about as bright as LED models get. If reviews don't have anything scary such as glitches or shutdowns, they should be alright and the android options might be useful or fun.
I've also heard good things about the Optoma ML550 (and some negative about the older ML500). The vivitek qumi 5 might be worth a look but the qumi7 is way overpriced and overall unimpressive when I had one (bad remote, very slow menu response, picture was slightly worse than others I've tried even after cleaning-up settings, built-in mediaplayer makes video choppy and poor so hdmi is the only decent option) I'm not sure if the qumi 5 has the same problems.
There's a particularly inexpensive Acer or Dell model that may warrant a look, but make sure it has an audio-output and remote.
The LG Pa70, Pa75, Pa77, pa1000 may be worth checking out, but only if you find one around $650 or lower..they have some advantages that are nice at home but meaningless in class and there are certainly cheaper options that are just as bright.

How will you be getting video/slides to it and what sort of content do you plan on showing? Do you need sound?
I suggest you get something with an audio-output jack either way because you'll end up using it later for recreation. Also, if you need audio in class, you'll need a bigger/louder speaker system to play through because the built-in speakers will be too quiet and thin sounding. So plan on a portable speaker set or possibly a classroom PA option if you need sound.
 

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Many videos seem to have poor representation of what the projectors look like in person, and for the most part anything made by a non-scammy company will have very decent potential with very minimal settings adjustment.
I will say that in my experience so far, the cheaper 720 Aaxa has required less settings adjustment to get more natural looking colors than the 720 LG unit, but both and many others are still very nice looking with a small amount of effort and the videos tend to show best cases VS badly set devices and are fairly unreliable for color/contrast comparison.
The brightness difference (or lack thereof) is accurate enough to the extent that you won't really find an affordable LED model putting out much more than 450-500lumens in any color-accurate mode..most rated around 500lumens are just as bright as those listed at 700-1000lumens.

The only bad things I've heard about that Aaxa is that it lacks 3D (for no good reason, as it's basically free software on the manufacturer's part) and that the model it's based on (LEDShowtime) had a relatively slow RGB cycle which resulted in more lamp-based-like rbe whereas faster cycled LED units can avoid rbe better than even a 6X colorwheel lamp unit. Small complaints, but completely avoidable if the manufacturer was smarter.


For whatever it's worth, I'd personally avoid the Epson 7220 for all but the smallest screens in the brightest rooms.
I've owned one and it was the biggest turn-off for cheaper LCDs I've ever experienced. The pixel gaps were big enough to make screendoor a problems from twice the distance of my
 

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I second the lg's. With your requirements I would look at the pa75/77 with their 700lm rated output. They look to throw a good picture and have a bit more power than others in this class. Or step up to the pf85 for full hd and 1000 rated lumens. That one is a bit pricey for what it is, for me at least. Check ebay, you can pick up a new 75 or 77 for around $500. As it is I'm fighting to keep my money from jumping out of my wallet for one of these until after CEDIA. They are small, versatile, and I'm impressed by the quality and features. I think my kids will go bonkers for this thing and I won't have lamp hour anxiety as they watch their favorite movie of the moment over and over and over...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for your guys' inputs. I went ahead and bit the bullet and ordered the AAXA LED Android. I'm excited! I hope it'll work well for what I'm using it for. I'll keep you guys posted when I receive it! Hopefully the built in Android works smoothly... :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:

I second the lg's. With your requirements I would look at the pa75/77 with their 700lm rated output. They look to throw a good picture and have a bit more power than others in this class. Or step up to the pf85 for full hd and 1000 rated lumens. That one is a bit pricey for what it is, for me at least. Check ebay, you can pick up a new 75 or 77 for around $500. As it is I'm fighting to keep my money from jumping out of my wallet for one of these until after CEDIA. They are small, versatile, and I'm impressed by the quality and features. I think my kids will go bonkers for this thing and I won't have lamp hour anxiety as they watch their favorite movie of the moment over and over and over...
 

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Thanks for your guys' inputs. I went ahead and bit the bullet and ordered the AAXA LED Android. I'm excited! I hope it'll work well for what I'm using it for. I'll keep you guys posted when I receive it! Hopefully the built in Android works smoothly... :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:
It's running a dual-core with a decent amount of RAM so Android should run like a good lower-end dual-core phone, but the interaction via plain remote sounds clunky. Still, with the browsers and mediaplayers and hopefully Bluetooth audio, etc..it should be a neat all-in-one and I look forward to hearing what it's like.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Should receive it on Thursday!:grin::grin::grin::grin::grin:

I second the lg's. With your requirements I would look at the pa75/77 with their 700lm rated output. They look to throw a good picture and have a bit more power than others in this class. Or step up to the pf85 for full hd and 1000 rated lumens. That one is a bit pricey for what it is, for me at least. Check ebay, you can pick up a new 75 or 77 for around $500. As it is I'm fighting to keep my money from jumping out of my wallet for one of these until after CEDIA. They are small, versatile, and I'm impressed by the quality and features. I think my kids will go bonkers for this thing and I won't have lamp hour anxiety as they watch their favorite movie of the moment over and over and over...
It's running a dual-core with a decent amount of RAM so Android should run like a good lower-end dual-core phone, but the interaction via plain remote sounds clunky. Still, with the browsers and mediaplayers and hopefully Bluetooth audio, etc..it should be a neat all-in-one and I look forward to hearing what it's like.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Hey guys, I received my projector yesterday! So far I am pretty impressed with the performance of the projector. The ease of use is what impresses me. I can navigate through app pages and the main screen with a mouse. I have a video me testing out the projector using the Youtube app that I downloaded off of the Google Playstore. I am using an external speaker and a mouse. Take a look for yourself guys I think it looks great! I filmed towards the end of day with some light coming in from the blinds that don't really work well haha. The wifi on the unit works quite well, I don't see much throttling of speed. I have yet to try bluetooth on this device but I will try it out and see if that works. There are quite a lot of features on this device. I'm going to try out Netflix on it later this week when I take it to my girlfriend's place to try out. The screen size is roughly 60ish inches I would say and it looks great in my opinion. Let me know what you guys think! :)

 

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I appreciate that you already took the time to grab some video footage of it, but you might catch a bit of harshness for not taking some extra time to get it little less over-exposed on the camera. I did notice that a fast darker scene looked a lot nicer than everything else so I'm hoping it was just camera exposure/point-focus and not the PJ itself.

First, if there's enough room, try to get the picture-size about as big as you'd expect to use in class or (if you believe 60" will be about all) try it at 90" just for the experience of it.
Second, because cameras have trouble capturing the full contrast range of any DLP with rgbrgb performance, try going into settings of the projector and lowering contrast by about 10points and raising brightness by about 5 points..then lower color by 5 or more points.
It may look a little less cool in person, but it should look more natural for the camera.

Last, when shooting video try to get the camera to focus on a brighter part of the scene if it's coming out over-exposed (or turn down the camera's contrast setting or engage HDR-video if possible and see if that helps.

If the video still turns with brights being over-powering and darks getting squished to black, try raising brightness another 5 and lowering contrast another 10.
I hope you'll try this and post more video.


The best thing would be to actually adjust brightness/contrast/color with some simple test patterns to make sure nothing's too extreme nor wasted, but even though that might work well for a really good camera taking stills, it'll remain troublesome for even a nice videocamera to capture the full 1000:1-1500:1 contrast range without clipping highs, lows, or both.

Do people and skin-tones look pretty good to your eyes or do they look a little pale or maybe a little orange? Do colors look somewhat too shiny or neon, or are they nice right from the box?
I totally forgot about the ability to use a mouse..that's awesome to here they weren't lying about that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thank you for the advice! I will post more videos soon with the tips you have provided. :)

I appreciate that you already took the time to grab some video footage of it, but you might catch a bit of harshness for not taking some extra time to get it little less over-exposed on the camera. I did notice that a fast darker scene looked a lot nicer than everything else so I'm hoping it was just camera exposure/point-focus and not the PJ itself.

First, if there's enough room, try to get the picture-size about as big as you'd expect to use in class or (if you believe 60" will be about all) try it at 90" just for the experience of it.
Second, because cameras have trouble capturing the full contrast range of any DLP with rgbrgb performance, try going into settings of the projector and lowering contrast by about 10points and raising brightness by about 5 points..then lower color by 5 or more points.
It may look a little less cool in person, but it should look more natural for the camera.

Last, when shooting video try to get the camera to focus on a brighter part of the scene if it's coming out over-exposed (or turn down the camera's contrast setting or engage HDR-video if possible and see if that helps.

If the video still turns with brights being over-powering and darks getting squished to black, try raising brightness another 5 and lowering contrast another 10.
I hope you'll try this and post more video.


The best thing would be to actually adjust brightness/contrast/color with some simple test patterns to make sure nothing's too extreme nor wasted, but even though that might work well for a really good camera taking stills, it'll remain troublesome for even a nice videocamera to capture the full 1000:1-1500:1 contrast range without clipping highs, lows, or both.

Do people and skin-tones look pretty good to your eyes or do they look a little pale or maybe a little orange? Do colors look somewhat too shiny or neon, or are they nice right from the box?
I totally forgot about the ability to use a mouse..that's awesome to here they weren't lying about that.
 

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Looking forward to more videos and hearing what you think of it over time. Have you rooted it yet? :p Since it has access to the PlayStore if you have an Android phone there are some pretty good remote apps you could use for control that would give you a touchpad on your phone for mouse control over wifi or bluetooth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Looking forward to more videos and hearing what you think of it over time. Have you rooted it yet? :p Since it has access to the PlayStore if you have an Android phone there are some pretty good remote apps you could use for control that would give you a touchpad on your phone for mouse control over wifi or bluetooth.
I'll be posting videos soon! I'll have some time over the weekend to use it. :D I'm sure it can be rooted but I don't know how really. I should really try out the remote app! I've just found that the USB mouse works pretty well so I haven't had the thought of downloading an app to use my phone as a mouse. But I do know you can download apps to wirelessly mirror your Android phone onto the projector which sounds pretty cool. I'll keep you guys posted on that development as well!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hey guys,

New update and better video I was able to take over the weekend. The screen throw size is roughly 70 inches and I focused directly on the projection itself. My girlfriend had a pretty big, empty wall so I was able to use that. I was running the Twitch app that I found on the Google Playstore for this video to stream a League of Legends match haha. The video quality looks pretty decent at a large screen throw. The brightness is really good from the projector. This time the video was taken in a pitch dark environment which made the colors look good. The game generally has a dark environment so the blacks look pretty good and the colors look quite vibrant. Let me know what you guys think! Let me know what you guys want to see as well, I'll try my best to show you more. This is a pretty cool projector that I think is worth sharing all the details about.

Here's the video!
:D
 

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Looks like a monster app-drawer! Cool.
I'd love to see some live-action content more than animated. Particularly if it shows a good chunk of people/person for skin-tone performance and more dark-scene stuff is always welcome.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Looks like a monster app-drawer! Cool.
I'd love to see some live-action content more than animated. Particularly if it shows a good chunk of people/person for skin-tone performance and more dark-scene stuff is always welcome.
Noted! I'll try to get some more of that up soon!
 
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