That is definitely the best projector for MOVIES at this price with the best blacks.
It however is not the best 3D projector and it has a bit more gaming lag than most people prefer if you are into FPS gaming. There really isn't a perfect PJ in this price range that can do everything, for a few hundred more there were some B-Stock Sony hw50es's around (around $3000 I think), but those might be sold out, they can do everything pretty well (low lag, good 3D, good movies, decent blacks).
That said, my next recommendation would be the Epson 5030 or similar, though I'm not a huge fan of the EPSON for movies, I don't like LCD that much.
You could also look at the Mitsubishi hc8000 or a used Sharp XVZ-30000 if you wanted to get a DLP instead of an LCOS or LCD. Though overall I'd still say you'll be hard pressed to beat the JVC RS-45 or RS-46.
I think most makes will be available online, I am not sure there will be much available direct from local stores here in far north Australia. I could probably stretch to maybe 2500 dollars, even a bit more if it meant a much better projector.
There are a number of very good projectors such as the JVC RS46 (X35) which are excellent for a dedicated space. There isn't much between $1,000 and $2,000 which offers significant improvement IMO. The Optoma and BenQ entry level models for DLP are very good as long as you don't need placement flexibility. But, in a dedicated space, spending more money for the JVC RS46 is a great way to go.
I just don't know if that level of projector is in any way feasible. It could be $3,500 AUS, while it is only $2,700 in the USA... or it could be a fair bit more. While the Optoma HD25, or the BenQ W1070 could be $1,500 AUS. So, you will want to get some actual pricing for where you are to have a better understanding of what you can afford and will have to consider your theater space carefully to determine if spending more really makes the most sense.
I recently built a large listening room as I am a bit of a hifi nut. The room is 9mx8m. The missus comes in after our evening meal to watch tv, but now due to the room size you almost need binoculars to watch it now. We both agree that a projector is the way to go and we want something that we are not going to regret buying 6 month down the line. I was going to get something like the Benq but the missus said try to get something half decent, but we only really watch tv for maybe one- two hours a day max so we dont want to spend a fortune, but all the same we dont want a projector we will regret either.
I am having a bit of trouble with model numbers as it seems US model numbers are not the same as Aus ones. I have been searching prices here for the Epson 5020, but I cant find it, what is its model number here?
I also found an ok price (but over my budget really) on a Panasonic ae8000, are they any good?
I think I have worked out the model numbers. I have found a Panasonic PT-ae8000 and an Epson TW8100 both over my initial budget but if they are worth the extra money I dont mind paying it. I can seem to find a JVC locally here though, would the JVC be better than the Epson and the Panny?
I'm not going to discuss money on this at all, but just make recommendations.
Your room size is very large so there are a lot of questions which will help to determine a recommendation. That said, the LCoS technologies (Sony/JVC) are the best bang for the buck you will find, but are a bit more than other products. LCD (Panasonic/Epson) are good, but not in the same class as LCoS. The DLP technologies from Optoma and BenQ provide a ton of bang for the buck and have some very bright images possible which are great for larger screens, but they don't always have the same placement flexibility that the LCD/LCoS models have, and most don't have the same image enhancing features or black levels.
What is your ceiling height?
What is your viewing distance?
What is your hopeful screen size?
Can the projector go anywhere in the room?
What color are the walls?
What color is the ceiling?
What color is the carpet?
What will you be using for a screen?
What is your screen budget?
What is your lighting situation like?
Spending more on a good projector, when you have a bad room, won't yield better results. Kind of like sticking good speakers in a terrible room. It just isn't what you want to do. Spend money appropriately.
The ceiling is 2540mm high, and the sofa is 6300mm from were the screen will be (back of sofa). I had not really though about screen size we just want a decent image. We only watch tv in the evening so it will be dark outside so light is not a problem. The projector will be mounted on the ceiling I have already wires in the roof void as I thought about a projector when I built the room. The walls are light yellow and the ceiling is white. The floor is natural bamboo (smooth and light yellowish) and I have a rug (darkish that will be under the screen). I have only had a quick look at screens and I saw a few advertised around 250 dollar and I was thinking of spending around that unless you advise I spend a bit more?
What is the distance from where the wires are to where the screen will be located? This is called the 'throw distance' and you can't just randomly pick a projector that will allow for any distance to be acceptable. It is impossible to recommend a specific make/model without knowing the throw distance.
Your room is terrible. It is not light controlled. Don't get me wrong, but light control doesn't mean 'after dark' - it means controlling the reflecting light from the huge screen in the room and keeping it from destroying your image.
With that in mind, I would not spend money on a higher level model or recommend that you do so. Optoma HD25 (series) or BenQ entry level models are all appropriate for your room setup.
I doubt my room is any different than any other home set up, I cant imagine many domestic setups having black walls. I understand about throw distance and I have wires in the roof void but as yet I have not made a hole in the ceiling because I dont know which projector I am buying yet and its throw distance. My room has big windows with curtains which are drawn at night and as I said there is a big rug on the floor and the room has bookshelves and record rack on the walls so I dont think the room is so terrible. I dont want a budget projector for other reasons too as I want a projector that is going to last me a while not just for a good picture. I agree that the room will have an impact on the picture, the same applies with hifi, but putting a cheap hifi in a bad room will sound worse than a good hifi in the same room, even if the good hifi could sound better in a really good room. Also there is more than picture quality I think with a projector, I saw one in a bar a while ago and when someone moved too quick the image broke up a bit, really annoying. I dont want this sort of thing so I want to get the best projector I can.
I dont know much about projectors so I do really appreciate your advice.
Chris - In all fairness, no theater has light yellow walls that you will ever visit, or windows, or white ceilings. What you have is a typical room as found in most homes. Bright and airy and terrible for front projection to deliver the best quality. Certainly this is typical of many family rooms, but many people who do front projection are in basements, or they are setting up rooms with medium shades of paint, on walls and ceiling. Not everyone for sure. At the end, the room color is the most significant impact to image quality you will ever have with front projection.
Which is why you will get nearly zero benefit from a more expensive projector. As it stands right now, spending an extra $1,000 doesn't buy you one bit more of reliability. It can buy a better image, but that better image can only be realized in a good room. This is why the Optoma HD25 and HD131 and BenQ W1070 are such popular models. They aren't phenomenal projectors, but they have shown to be reliable, bright, and cost effective.
I would look at the Optoma HD25e or the BenQ W1070 and perhaps a 133" fixed frame screen. Your wall height can't support much more, but your distance does ask for a bit more size if you can get it.
The screen needs to be a pull down type or motor type as it needs to come down in front of some hifi shelving so about 4 foot front the wall. Yes I have a white ceiling but driectly below the screen is a very dark rug and on both sides of it are dark curtains and shelving with records in it. Also the other walls is too far from the screen in my opinion to cause an issue as the room is huge. My feeling is that light reflected back to the screen will be a much bigger issue in a small room not in a room 9 meters by 8 meters. Really I think my only issue is a white ceiling, but again it will depend how high I project the image and also the ceiling for Aus at least is very high.
What pull down or motorized screen do you recommend?
There is no screen the comes down that is not tab-tensioned that is worth owning in my experience. In 15 years I have yet to see a non-tensioned screen which doesn't have waves in the material. As such, this furthers the concept that you want a lesser expensive projector so you can get a better screen for your overall setup.
I am starting to think (missus too) that it is better to get the right stuff in the first place rather than regret it later. I am looking at tensioned screens now. I have found a really really good deal on a Epson tw8200 and if I have issues with light pollution we will address it repainting as this room was built as an entertainment room that we only enter in the evening then turn the lights out so the color of the walls is really not that important. I have done a lot of reading on the JVC and I am not sure I can justify the extra money and it seems from my reading that the Epson might be better at 3d anyway which is interesting, also the JVC seems very expensive here in Aus. I thought this was all going to cost a lot less, but I suppose I spent 35 grand building the hifi room, I have 16 grand speakers and turntables one of which is worth around 5 grand so I should put this all into perspective I suppose.
The missus is not interested in hifi and she is pushing for a decent set up projector wise.
It certainly is worth doing right, which is something that shocks me that more people don't do after they drop $25 grand or more finishing the basement space (or more).
The Epson is a very capable projector. It has more placement flexibility than the DLP alternatives, and produces a bit better black levels. in my experience, LCD doesn't quite handle motion as well as DLP, but it produces a solid image with very good black levels. It is not considered one bit more (or less) reliable than much else out there really. But, they are all solidly reliable from what I've seen.
With the TW8020 being the Aus. version of the 5030, you certainly will have a lot of information to pull from in terms of reviews, settings, etc. I've used a number of Epson projectors with very good results and you should be able to achieve a realistic 133" diagonal or so without much difficulty from that model.
The tab-tensioned screens out there vary wildly in quality, which is why I tend to recommend the DaLite models as a good mid-grade model and the inclusion of a minimal gain grey screen is a nice screen option from them. They also have a half dozen different ceiling mount screen designs which can cover quite a few setup options.
The DaLite model I linked above is good. The manufacturer is considered a top tier brand. Similar in quality to Draper. Better than Elite, and a long line of Chinese imports. Not as good as Stewart.
What is nice is that they offer a grey screen which is 1.1 gain. It is called High Contrast Cinema Vision and offers a nice little boost to the image while maintaining black levels through use of the grey screen material. It is common to see .8 gain grey screens which don't do much to help an image, and the white minimal gain screens are best in dedicated spaces, but in non-perfect spaces, perhaps with some lights on, the positive gain grey is a great choice.
If you can't use a positive gain grey screen due to price, then use a minimal gain white screen. 1.3-1.5 gain is all you would want. Don't go high gain.
I have the links above to the screens I would still recommend.
Thanks for all your help, I am still searching for a local decent priced good screen but will order something in the next day or two. I have ordered the Projector today (the Epson tw8200) and a 15m hdmi lead and the bracket. I am quite excited to get it all and get it set up
I would have made some big mistakes without your help.
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