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Some friends of mine are opening a sports bar in a small town and told me that they'd like to have a projector but feel that they can't afford one.


Are there any projectors that would do an adequate job for under $3000?


There will probably be a fair amount of ambient light, so the projector will need to be fairly bright. What would be bright enough?


They would also want to use a fairly large screen (100" diagonal minimum).


Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated
 

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I think you need to be in the $6k range if ou want something bright.
 

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The XP21N would be a good choice because of its brightness, can get it off the net for about $5400. In addition to a screen, they will need some sort of scaler as broadcst TV does not look good on projectors.
 

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You can look up the costs on these somewhere.


Manufacturer/Model Type/ANSI Lumens/lbs/kHz/Hz/Native/Maximum/Intro Year

1. CHRISTIE DIGITAL -VIVID LITE LCD 1800 8 15-91 43-85 1024x768 1280x1024 2000

2. FUJITSU-LPF-4800 LCD 1500 8 1024x768 1280x1024 2000

3. INFOCUS-LP530 DLP 2000 7 25-91 50-85 1024x768 2001

4. MEGAPOWER-ML-189 LCD 1500 8 15-75 50-85 1024x768 1280x1024 2000

5. MITSUBISHI-X80 LCD 1500 8 15-92 50-85 1024x768 1280x1024 2000

6. PANASONIC-PT-L511XU LCD 1500 8 15.6-81 50-120 800x600 1280x1024 2001

7. PANASONIC-PT-L711XU LCD 1600 8 24-97 50-120 1024x768 1280x1024 2001

8. PANASONIC-PT-L511U LCD 1500 8 15-81 50-100 800x600 2000

9. SHARP-XG-P20XU LCD 3300 6 15-126 1024x768 1600x1200 2000
 

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Anthony,


I used to own a sports bar and besides concerns over brightness and price, reliability and bulb life come into play. Sports bar projectors are on for 8 to 10 hours a day and are often wreathed in smoke. They need to be work-horses. I think your friends would be well advised to check around about the ruggedness of various projectors and then consider whether the price/performance match the budget.


FWIW, every sports bar owner I've talked to who wants a

big screen projector uses $3,000 as their budget limit. I don't understand how they arrive at this number, especially when they often have little or no experience in the projector market--just a curiosity.


jim
 

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Reliability is important, but if the projector has proper ventilation, would it really matter whether the unit was on for two hours at a time or eight?


Bulb replacement cost would definitely be an issue, but if a bulb was good for 1500 hrs, then you'd expect it to last around 6 months.


Also, they could reserve the projector for weekend use and that would mean that they could get close to a year out of each bulb.
 

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All in all, for something with that much use and with a lot of regualar TV viewing (non-HDTV, DVD), I would get as large of a RPTV as I could get.
 

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I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the InFocus LP340. It has the same light output as the 350 (which was mentioned) and can be found for just a little more then the $3k target. As I understand it, this projector has the added advantage of having an excellent internal scalar so you can get respectable results without the use of an HTPC (saving even more). I've been to sports bars that use 8" crt projectors with decent results. The LP340 would be worlds brighter then this.
 

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Since you will mostly be watching TV for sports, and the environment is a sports bar, I would think you could get away with an 800X600 projector and spend the money that you save on resolution on more lumens. Just a thought.
 

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1024x768 LCD is pretty cheap these days. Also, DLP may have raibow additives that make it incorrect for high-speed, high contrast images like sports.


In my experience (LCD in country bar!) ventilation control is PARAMOUNT!!!!.


You WILL, I repeat WILL,, ie NO EXCEPTIONS!! have to create a controlled ventilation system, that is filtered for such a beast to survive in a speots bar. i needn't be complex, or expensive, just efficent. It must provide filterd air. from a place that has NO smoke,as it's origin point for the air. It must be temperature equalized, to control humidity factors coming into play. It might take a bit of thought, and about $3-500 to institute such, but that is the ONLY thing tha will keep the LCD unit alive.


Periodic cleanings (once every few months will be manditory anyway, even with that. Accumulation of dirt obsures image quality,and causes heat build up,and creates premature failure. Right at the last quarter of the game....


Smart bar owners prefer CRT, it works wonders in a bar situation, as far as overall reliability goes. The little digital units can't take the abuse.


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Ken Hotte

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Resolution is not important for your app. Go bright, and build an enclosure that will vent the air from somewhere else, the projector will thank you. Not to mention that it will be safe from the occaisonal flying nacho
 

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The idea of using a LCD unit is fine... a 1000 lumen.. 2000 hour bulb unit, ,and one that is DESIGNED to be opened up an serviced is the one you want. You wikll have to make direct inquires, as to the servicability of different units, insofar as cleaning the optics within goes. Also, theair filtering must be good, and it must be MAINTAINED. Trying to get bar staff to do as theya e asked, will be a nightmare, though. Beating sense into minimum wage staff has always proven difficult.


A pair of used LCD units, inthe area of rez you wish.. will do fine, and fit in that buget.


MAKE SURE THEY ARE 2000 HOUR BULB UNBITS, at the minimum. this is the major expense, due to the run times involved. VERY important. It all comes down to $ per day. The second unit is a back up unit, for whent he other is out being cleaned, or serviced, or is otherwise temporarily out. Why buy new? if a minimum of two working units, used, can be purchased for less than one new unit? The warranty is #%#&@% when it comes to this sort of useage. Down time is strictly forbidden, so the warranty is relatively useless. So, new units are overpriced, and underserviced.. especially for a commercial enterprise, with such extensive pressure on the unit. The warranty may not be honoured, anyways. They have commercial useage limitations stated in the warranties...


This is my DIRECT esperience and advice with digital units in bars.


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Ken Hotte

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We have installed many different types of displays in bars and restaurants over the last 15 years.Anytime we pull one out for repair or replacement you can barely stand to have it in the same vehicle with you, smoke and dust coat everything with a THICK funky smelly residue. Considering LCD and DLP projectors route the smoky air inside their mechanism. The chances of smoke residue coating the panels and mirrors in a short amount of time seem high.

The rear projection crt projectors we have installed seem to hang in there as far as smoke damage is concerned,showing a usable picture for many years.

We are going to install a couple of Toshiba 57" widescreen crt rear projectors in a local sports bar. NCAA football every Saturday might draw some crowds away from the competition. Good luck Dallas
 
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