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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

Hola, it would seem I may soon have the opportunity to get myself a nice TV to replace the 40" Sony KDL BX450 LCD I'm currently using. It's a general purpose computer monitor/media center/gaming screen. I looked around and found that my best bet for picture quality + price per inch in my price range is a 60" Panasonic ST60... seems like it would be adequately large for across room computer use (approximately 13' across the room), but I've also had great interest in owning a projector for years. The screen is on anywhere from 6-16 hours a day, so I need something that can handle long sessions and not cost an additional $300 a year in bulbs (an LED setup should last somewhere around 4-6 years under those conditions, as I understand). I looked into LED lit projectors a bit last year and saw little of interest. This year I'm seeing lots of 1080p laser/led models coming out, wondering if any of them offer reasonable 1080p performance for $2k or less (preferably $1500 or less, as that is the approximate cost of the P60ST60)? I'm also seeing some relatively highly reviewed 720p projectors for under $700, very tempting for a projector I don't have to change bulbs in, so let me know which ones to look at..

 

Anyone with PC projection experience care to enlighten me as to regrets, warnings, etc on either 720p or 1080p LED/laser (hybrid or otherwise) driven models? Half my issue right now is that I can barely read text on my screen due to the relatively small size of the screen, and while I do love me some plasma quality, dropping enough money to buy a car on a screen that isn't the size of my wall (or close enough to it, the "projection area" is approximately 140", I might use 100"-120" of it) would take me outside my comfort zone. Sorta the point of the money, I suppose, but even at 720p the prospect of a 100" screen makes me smile.

 

Overall picture quality is important, but anything roughly on par with this set would do (seems easy enough, it's a budget 2012 LCD). 3D isn't important, but if it exists I will likely spring for a set of glasses to test it out. The lighting in the room is moderate during the day, almost pitch black at night, so I believe LED should be bright enough even during the day, and I can/will do some light control as needed. I'm not a serious twitch gamer, so even 720p is adequate for many of my games, making the PA75U and it's ilk very attractive options.

 

I've looked at many options in my price range... there are many decent bulb projectors available in my range but the need for replacement bulbs is troublesome, so the quality to cost ratio compared to LED would have to be significant. LED LCD TVs were an option, in the price range I'm looking at 70", but that somehow seems "too large" and simultaneously not large enough at the same time, if you get me. That leaves plasma TV and LED driven projectors, which has led me here.

 

I may be wrong, and it could turn out that I can get a damn fine bulb projector + 5 years of replacement bulbs for the price of a mediocre LED projector. Let me know if that's the case, I may reconsider. My research suggests that the difference in quality would be negligible compared to the significant bump in screen real estate, given the distance to the screen and my less than perfect eyesight, regardless of the projector.

 

Side note, if I get something for under $1000 I might spring for a receiver, as mine only supports Pro Logic II as a surround standard. I have 7 speakers, 4 of which are full range. I can't say with any certainty, but somehow I get the impression that going from a 40" 3 channel setup (the surround channel isn't connected, hardly seemed worth the effort for a shared channel that can't transmit highs or lows) to a 100+" 5 or 7 channel setup might be infinitely more worthwhile even if it means settling for 720p considering the amount of time spent watching video and playing non-twitch games.Let me know what you think, I'd love to here your thoughts, and feel free to recommend nice receivers on the low end that can push around 100w/channel with 12ohms impedance that will support surround sound input from both games and movies on a Windows 7 PC via hdmi... possibly TOSLink..

 

Sorry for the mile long post, up until a few hours ago I was dead set on the ST60, but now that LED projectors have entered the equation I'm trying to figure out which path would leave me happiest, so thanks in advance for any advice you can offer.
 

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The cheap 720p projectors.



1 they aren't really 720p, I wouldn't dare use them as a monitor


2 just because they LEDs last 30,000 hours doesn't mean the rest will. I wouldn't put much hope in a 500 dollar projector that's on 16 hours per day.


3 trying to read text on a projector with ambient light is going to kill your eyes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Well, WXGA, not 720p, but I get the point. They don't output at their native resolution of 1200x800? Interesting, haven't read anything on that. Also, 5-600 lumens wouldn't be sufficient for reading even with light blocking curtains? This is the kinda stuff I'm looking for, thanks for the info. Oh, what part of the hardware might be prone to failure if it were to run extensively? I don't see the point in a 20-30000 hour lightsource if the rest of the hardware can't last that long. My understanding of the tech means LED lit projectors are significantly cooler, so long term use seems like it should be a non-issue with one... disappointing to hear that may not be the case, at least with the cheaper models.

 

Still, any 1080p models worth looking at? Also, any other opinions on the WXGA models? The upper end of my budget is $2000, though I'd like to keep it to $1500 or less. If I were to get a WXGA model would the video quality be sufficient to use as a movie/game screen, with the 40" lcd serving as a secondary/text monitor?
 

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Will it be sufficient, yes. But I'd wager 10/10 optometrists would advise against it.


The pico 720p projectors have the pixels rotated 45 degrees, video is fine but text?
 

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the LG PF80, 1080p 1000lumens is the latest one from LG. Im still using my LED from 2009, it's on 8hrs eveyday and still running fine.
 

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I wouldn't worry about the projector lasting, but the diamond pixels are going to make text a huge problem. The actual resolution isn't 1280x800 - it's less than that and they market it as that. I think someone said it was around 1150x550 or so, which sounds about right from looking at it.


As for light control, I have a PA70G - so 700 lumens in torch mode which is not what I'd really call usable due to color rendering, plus it's LOUD in the brightest mode. I run mine in the middle brightness mode, and I think reasonably well calibrated it's around 400 lumens or so. Plenty for a light controlled room at 100-110", but put any light in the room and the contrast ratio drops well below 100:1 actual and you will not be able to see crap on the screen. Even projectors with tons of lumens look like crap with anything more than very very low levels of ambient light. There's a big difference between "a little bit of light" coming in through curtains and near bat cave levels of light control, even though I bet most people who don't have much front projection experience would put them close to each other, which is how conventional panel TVs tend to work.


I also wouldn't use a plasma as a near 24/7 computer monitor. Burn-in is mostly a thing of the past, but that's just not the right panel tech for this application IMO.



I own a Panasonic plasma (loving it for 7 years now!), and a 720P LED projector - I wouldn't use either one like you're describing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I rarely have still images on screen for any extended period, so burn in is not a concern. I've used a plasma screen as a monitor in the past, it was a budget 2006 set. There was minor image retention but nothing permanent, so i can only imagine a mid range set from 2013 would have even less.


Thank you for the details on resolution and pixel details, i read about the diamond pixel effect, wasn't sure what to make of it. Now I know to avoid it in text heavy situations.


As for light control, it honestly wouldn't be hard to block almost all light from a room in this house, it's small and has very few windows. Even in broad daylight you normally have just enough light to read inside without a lamp. I'm more than willing to get blackout curtains and light blocking decals, they are fairly cheap. Where might I purchase the lg pf80, I was trying to track one down, didn't check ebay... I'll try there. Thanks again for the advice.
 

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Seems a lot of people love their LED models, but as pricing on lamps continues to drop, and Epson has now come out with their $1,000 projectors with 5,000 hour lamp life, and $99 replacement lamps, it seems like you can get true 1080p, with serious lumens, and a solid installed projector for a very good price with long term usage capability.


For text, we generally use 1280x800 projectors in conference rooms because that's a good resolution for making text viewable from typical distances. But, you can always tweak the resolution of your computer to maximize readability and you can always move closer if needed.


I'm excited that the brighter micro projectors are coming to market, and I'm glad there is finally 1080p, but it is the portability with the solid state lamp which really makes them worthwhile IMO. For home use, the jump to traditional lamps just seems to continue to make a world more sense to me and be far more practical for most viewers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

I see, makes sense. 5000 hour (eco mode) bulbs appear to be available for around $65 on Amazon, Should I expect that price to stay roughly the same for a few years? It'd be much easier to pitch a projector setup if the total cost is around the same as the TV with at least 5 years of lamp life available... if I stock up a few extra bulbs and they last at least a year under my standard conditions, that might make my wife more accepting of the purchase.

 

That said, I could use some recommendations for models utilizing the aforementioned 5000 hour bulbs. Quality wise, are there any special standouts in the $8-1200 range? Would a jump to $1300-1600 net me a significant boost in quality? My understanding of lamp projectors is that DLP offers the best motion resolution and on the lower end better blacks, LCD is brightness king (and in many cases very competent CR wise) and LCOS offers superior image quality but such projectors are virtually non-existent in the entry level segment... is that correct?

 

Would the quality of the aforementioned Epson $1000 projectors be similar this set? I managed to get some nice contrast and color out of it, I assume that a reasonably well calibrated projector would look just as good, if not better. Also, I might be able to spend $100-200 on a screen if the projector + a few replacement bulbs are cheap enough, otherwise I will end up having to fashion a screen. Bear that in mind when making recommendations, my understanding is that a proper screen can make a world of difference on it's own in improving color accuracy and contrast.

 

Part of me really doesn't want a giant TV to haul around when I move when for the same money I could have a screen twice the size... or larger.... or smaller, if required. Realistically this level of use can't continue for much longer, gonna be going back to work soon, but I'd still like to guarantee at least a year on a bulb regardless of my use, if possible. Thanks again.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Verge2  /t/1496681/looking-at-led-projectors-could-use-some-advice#post_23882835


You'll get 5000 hours out of a 65 dollar lamp on amazon.


I'd bet my first born on it.

Yeah right! If you get 1500 hours on a knock off lamp you are doing good! If you get 2500 hours on a Philips lamp before dimming you are doing good as well! The lamps may stay lit but the quality of the image and colortemp will start to degrade somewhere around the 2000 hour mark in regular mode and 2500 ish in economy mode. - If you replace a lamp in a LCD projector you should keep it in economy mode for the first 1000 to 1500 hours to prevent cooking the blue Polarzer and Blue LCD panel out! - Bohanna
 

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Iv
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bohanna  /t/1496681/looking-at-led-projectors-could-use-some-advice#post_23883238


Yeah right! If you get 1500 hours on a knock off lamp you are doing good! If you get 2500 hours on a Philips lamp before dimming you are doing good as well! The lamps may stay lit but the quality of the image and colortemp will start to degrade somewhere around the 2000 hour mark in regular mode and 2500 ish in economy mode. - If you replace a lamp in a LCD projector you should keep it in economy mode for the first 1000 to 1500 hours to prevent cooking the blue Polarzer and Blue LCD panel out! - Bohanna

I've seen 3 years worth of epson bulb posts. You might be lucky to get 1000.


I would just never recommend using a projector as a computer monitor. You can get 2 24 inch ministers AND a decent 720p led for video for under a grand. Why not get both.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Verge2  /t/1496681/looking-at-led-projectors-could-use-some-advice#post_23883341


Iv

I've seen 3 years worth of epson bulb posts. You might be lucky to get 1000.


I would just never recommend using a projector as a computer monitor. You can get 2 24 inch ministers AND a decent 720p led for video for under a grand. Why not get both.

I was talking about UHP lamps and projectors in general. The epson folks try to keep the fan noise down which hurts the lamps by not giving them proper cooling. I just worked with a 3010 at a friends house and was surprised at just how little air it moved and how fast it shut down when you hit the power button. It was just about instant off!-- Bohanna
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

Some things to keep in mind - this is a living room PC. I sit 13 feet from my screen so anything under 50" at this point is irrelevant. 24 inch monitors tend to be ~2500 pixels wide by ~1200 pixels high, driving two of them would cripple my 7850 to the point of unusability if I were to span a game on them. I don't see the point in having two of them if I'm not going to do that, but I get your point. Even one of them would choke the video card though. With my vision, I'd have to be right on top of them to resolve the full res of the display anyway.

 

Light is a non-issue, at night it gets darker than most movie theaters in here and during the day there are maybe 3 hours you can (barely) read without eyestrain using ambient light. I should be able to get away with running in eco mode if I get the appropriate curtains and paste-ons. Would that get me at least a year per bulb (assuming around 12 hours a day average use) if they're rated for up to 5000/6000 hours in eco mode, assuming the projector is in a well vented room with an ambient temp of around 70F?

 

Also, as this is a living room PC... it is my desktop, but think of it as my cable box/DVR/DVD player/blu-ray player/game console that I also happen to be able to write code and browse the web on (the former I would use a small dedicated screen for, obviously, and the latter can be done on most any device in the house). The 40" it's currently connected to could be paired with one of the spare boxes I have around here for typical Windows environment stuff.

 

That said, I can't take "I wouldn't try it" under advisement, someone has to and I'm rather excited at the prospect... I just need to confirm that a $100-200 lamp will get me close to 5000 hours in eco mode on a BenQ W1070, an Epson Home Cinema 2030, or a similarly priced product of roughly equivalent quality. Price per inch pjs smash the competition. Quality wise they appear to be comparable to similarly priced TVs. Flexibility wise, it's much easier to move a projector than a large format display, I can pick it up and take it to a buddy's house for a night of drinking and bad movies, or I can take it outside and watch a 150" movie under the stars with my wife. If I need it to be smaller I can scale the screen as needed, if I buy a large format TV I'm stuck with whatever size I buy.

 

Everything is in favor of the projector, except the potential cost of upkeep. I'm now trying to determine if that is higher than I consider to be worth it. The overall price is no longer crippling if you want to own a nice (ish) projector, if maintenance cost over 10 years under high use is less than or equal to the cost of the projector itself, the flexibility and awesomely badass screen size of projectors still give them the edge over flat panels. In fact, at 110" (the screen size I've settled on), the price per inch is the same as a budget 70" LED TV if the total cost of the setup (including 10 years of bulbs) is $2500, and the quality is undoubtedly higher on the pj. I'd say that's a pretty good price for 10 years of smiles. Realistically, I will probably replace it in 3-5 years with an LED or laser model, but I'd still be willing to pay it.

 

The question remains, is it possible to get close to the rated life of those $80-200, 5000/6000 hour bulbs in eco mode? Eeen getting 4000 hours out of them in eco mode would make it worthwhile, though I could make 2000-3000 hours/bulb work if they are cheap enough. Which models tend to do better? I've been looking at the BenQ W1070 and the Epson HC 2030, but I've heard there are comparable models available from other manufacturers..Worst case I send it back because I find it unusable, or the 40" remains connected as the primary screen and the pj is reduced to half duty because the bulbs die out too fast. I still get a 110" screen out of it, though I do hope to be able to make it a primary screen for around 3 years for $1400 or less. Hmm... seems I've practically made my mind up, unless the bulb life drops to 1500-2000 hours (eco mode) or the relatively heavy use (however short term) will damage the hardware.

 

Edit: Saw the 2000-2500 hour thing, that would be around 6 months per bulb with current use... 8 months if I simply turn it off every time I go out. Not bad, honestly, but realistically about how far into that life cycle do they get too dim for regular use? 2500 hours before they start to show signs of wear isn't bad, if it can get up to 3500 hours of reasonable operation that leaves me room to breathe if money gets tight when the bulb goes dim, and it achieves close enough to my 1 year goal to call it good.
 

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If you keep it strictly in economy mode you could get maybe 3000 hours out of it but the chances of you doing that are pretty much nil over the life time of the lamp. If you have a movie thats too dark and you switch up instead of adjusting the contrast and brightness. If I were you I would work around the 2000 to 2500 number. I don't really give a damn what the specks say they are made up by marketing folks trying to trick you into thinking they have some sort of magic lamps that out shine the rest of the herd when in FACT the lamp tech is pretty much the same except that the knock offs usually fail before the Philips or the OSRAM brand lamps! Read all the comments regarding The epson lamp failures and the 950 to 1500 hour marks. This speaks for itself! You hear all kinds of stories about bad batchs of lamps and different suppliers yada yada yada , when most of the trouble is due to their cooling. Bohanna
 

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I have been using my projector as a replacement to my tv in my bedroom for 3 years now ,I have the lg hx300g led projector and I have probably put about 5000 hours on it , it is only 1024x768 resolution which is fine for gaming on an xbox 360, I sometimes spend 10 hours a day using it and I don't ever worry about bulb life, I didn't want the 720p version because of the scaling issues with the diamond pixels but the new pf80g 1080p model is very interesting with the ps4 coming out . for the amount of time you will be using it full led projectors were made for you, they use less electricity and put out less heat then bulb based projectors, I wouldn't use one of the hybrid projectors as there are more moving parts to go wrong. As well as the bulb going dlp bulb based projectors have a colour wheel that can also wear out as it spins very fast in the projector (led projectors do not have this) and lcd projectors have polarizers that change one colour to another that also wear out over time.
 

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My experience from owning a PT-AE900 (1280 x 720) projector and putting about 2100 hours on it tells me that for watching video or playing video games, you would be fine. However, I wouldn't use a projector for coding or any sort of heavy text work. I had complete light control and I never found it to be more comfortable or easier than using a laptop or desktop setup. Just to add some more info, the bulb for my projector starting dimming around 1200 hours.
 

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zxlink, I use my projector in the exact same type of setup. My source is my HTPC with an undervolted Radeon 7950. Primarily watch movies, play music on spotify, and play games on Steam, and surf the web casually from my couch. I used a Viewsonic PLED-W500 LED Projector 500 Lumens for about 1.5 years before upgrading to an Optoma HD131XE. There is no contest. Upgrading to a 1080p DLP for under $800 was the best upgrade decision I've made. I upgraded because I was sick and tired of waiting around for these fabled true 1080p LED Projectors under $1000. It STILL hasnt happened, and a lot of us have been waiting for almost 2 years. I will list a few top reasons why I dropped the LED Projector.....


Noise: LEDs are great in theory, but to date, none of the affordable ones make use a 'home theater' sized housing. Instead, everyone is going for this PICO and Portable bs. They are designed for business presentations, yet people are using them as budget HT projectors. Instead of using large fans, they are forced to use 40/50mm screamers to fit inside those cute little boxes. The fan noise is high pitched, and very loud. The HD131XE I have now is whisper quiet compared to my pico LED screamer.


Power Consumption: LED Savings is not significant enough. I did the math. My PLED-W500 drew about 75W from a Killawatt meter. My HD131XE draws 200W in Eco mode. At the end of the month, even if I have my 1080p DLP running 8hours+ a day, its not going to be more than a few dollars more every year.


Light Output: My LED projector was completely unusable during the daytime for me. My living room is open with my kitchen and is not a bat-cave. If you read reviews, Real Lumen output is below 500 Lumens on a lot of LED Projectors out there. Bright/Light Cannon mode makes colors really bad on my Viewsonic, but cant speak for the LG. My HD131XE bulbs are rated at 6000 Hours in Eco, and it is bright as hell


Resolution: all budget LEDs are diamond based pixels. Surfing the web, general desktop use, and playing games, 1080p is a much better expierence than 720p. The difference in detail, sharpness is not even close.


Price: LEDs are ridiculouly overpriced for what you get. The LG is probably the best bang/buck one, especially if it goes on sale at Frys for like $400. They are just starting to come out with 1000 Lumen LEDs, costing almost close to $1k. I dont understand how, or why anyone would want to pay $1k for a brighter WXGA/720p Screamer


bottom line is that you are going to be paying more money on a LED with worse specs and features so it can supposedly outlast a bulb-based projector and have better power consumption. Now is probably the best time to get a bulb-based 1080p DLP . Lots of great options, just have a look on the board... HD25e. HD131XE, 1070, etc. Everything seems to have its own quirks, so check out each thread.
 

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I believe Miwo makes some great points about LED projectors and how far they have come . The LGPA70 is the one I bought at frys when it was on sale for 499.00 . For what it is its great but it doesn't come anyway near the quality or the brightness of the older sanyos that I have. If I were to use it during the day I would make the screen in the 80 inch range tops. Any more than that during the day and it would be a washout. Please keep in mind that no one has EVER been charged in court with fudging Marketing specks so take what you read with a grain of salt. You will get a feel for how projectors preform by reading about the actual real time use from the hundreds of owners in these forums who have had just about every issue under the sun pop up! Like most of us mention Generally we use flat screens during the day and lamp Based projectors for night and special event viewing. if you have kids you would be STUPID to not get an LED projector considering that you will probably be dealing with males who went from Tonka trucks to video games and won't pay attention to power on and off issues until they POP a lamp and send you into a full blown Kirk- KAAAAAHNNNNNNNNNNNN ! Moment - Bohanna


BTW for your viewing pleasure (starting around the 15 second mark) here is exhibit "A"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRnSnfiUI54
 

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Miwo does make some points, but 720P LED projectors aren't horrible as long as you know their limitations. They are a cheap way to get a pretty decent projector setup with low running costs. Also, let's not forget that just 6-7 years ago they would best pretty much all of the below $3k projectors out. But light cannons they are not.


You also likely won't get anywhere near stated bulb life from a bulb projector. So do keep in mind there are somewhat high running costs if you rack up the hours.
 
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