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Looking for a replacement

367 Views 8 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Carl Brinkman
I have a barco 1208crt pj and am looking to selling it and getting something I can watch more like a tv during the day? Have $2500 budget, any suggestions would be appreciated!!!


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That would seem to be enough to get an XGA-resolution digital projector in the 1000 lumen or more range. We could help you better if you shared some information about your video sources, screen (size, aspect ratio and fabric gain), and whether or not you have good ambient light control.

It should be possible to get something that is bright enough to tolerate some lighting such as a reading lamp. However, if your dream is to open all the windows and watch TV in a sunlit room, better shop for a direct-view CRT (36" max in your budget). You will also have to contend with the fact that digital projectors tend to have longer throws, and thus will be mounted further away from your screen.

I'm adding on to my living room this summer its about 11' x 20' now and am going to make it about 20' x 20'. 9' ceiling with recessed quartz 3" can lites, dimmable. The end of the room with the screen will be almost all windows with 2" wood blinds over them. We don't watch enough movies to keep the 1208. Wife watches hgtv a lot. I watch FOX news mostly. Have 2 five year old boys that watch videos. Have surround with 5.1 setup. Wanting to buy a basic htpc. Have a apex dvd.
That's still not a lot of information. However, I assume the screen being on the far wall in front of the blinds means that in daytime you will have partial darkness, with some degree of backlighting behind the screen, as the blinds will not amount to perfect light control. This situation is tolerable.

You will be shopping for a bright projector and a screen with gain. A viable and easier-to-install alternative would be a rear projection television, with the obvious drawback of the giant black box. However, if the wife is already to the point where she understands that a front projector is actually less intrusive to the decor than other TVs, go for the projector. Allow me to suggest a ceiling mounted projector and a pulldown screen.

My suggestions:

Draw detailed floorplans including screen location and the seating arrangement. Don't try to use too large a sceen - as you double the screen width, the brightness declines to 1/4th the prior value. I would suggest a screen width of no more than six feet, a 4:3 aspect ratio for the screen and projector (because of TV display), and a viewing distance of 1.2-2.0 screen widths (8-12 feet, a single row of seating in an arc which is also the surround sound sweet spot). You should be able to accomodate about 6 people with such a setup. Early on, you must decide between ceiling mount (best suggestion for a remodel) or table mount, and draw a side elevation view - the top or bottom edge of the screen lines up with the projector due to a feature called "lens shift".

To support a larger screen or more audience, you'll need a 2000+ lumen projector in a room with some ambient light. This is $4000 alone in today's prices.

If you are building a HTPC, that will cost about $1000 - double that if buying an assembled unit. You will not need a standalone DVD player or TV tuner.

The pieces are:

1000-lumen XGA projector - about $2500

Pulldown manual screen - $200 to $600

HTPC - $1000 to $2000

Misc. (ceiling mount, cables, etc.) $400

Existing surround receiver and speakers.

Be realistic with your budegeting and proactive in planning in detail before deciding upon a particular projector. All of the above expenses pale in comparison to the most expensive part of the theater, the room.

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Thanks Gary for the info.

I have a question for you, have you ever dealt with a 9200 lc barco? Bad or good and why please.

I looked it up here:


...and found out it's a 5000-lumen large venue projector with an original list price of $115,000. It's something that would normally be used in an auditorium. It uses an 1800 watt bulb that probably can't be bought anymore and would cost about $1500 or more if you could buy it - so viewing cost for "free" TV is kinda high at $1.50 per hour for that bulb.

A modern projector is a lot more reasonable to own - my VT540 has a $320 bulb that lasts 2000 hours - $0.16 per hour bulb costs. Since I pay about $2.00 per hour of DVD viewing of rental disks, that's not significant.

That's not to say you can't get a deal on a used projector - you can. But remeber that repairs on older units are costly and bulbs are generally hard or impossible to find and always expensive. Do your homework.

A good place to start:


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You realize that the barco you are referring to is about the size of a Volkswagon beetle and is a little bit louder (even with the engine revving!)

Don't be fooled by an "incredible deal" on one of these old Barco's - most often they are in poor service, and the owner has realized that the parts it needs to be really functional aren't available. He has probably also found out that a moving company is going to charge him $500 just to remove it and get rid of it. He then thinks "Aha! I'll SELL this wonderful $100,000 machine for $1500 dollars, and not only will I not have to remove it, I'll make a few bucks in the transaction! "

Be very careful if you are considering the purchase of one of these. Its sort of like a computer newbie telling you "hey! I got a great deal on my first computer, something called a 'Cray' - used to costs millions of dollars, and I got it for 100 bucks of the internet!" Of course, its the size of a house and has less power than your laptop...
Back to the original question. I don't think you are going to find a digital projector for that money that can touch the picture quality of the Barco 1208 CRT. I don't think you'll gain much brightness either (unless you count blacks:))
With your viewing preferences I'd suggest that you keep your Barco for those few times when you do want to watch movies and get either a large direct view TV or RPTV for viewing during the day and evening TV.

I have a Marantz DLP with a small 82" Firehawk screen and even this combination would not be bright enough to completely replace my Sony direct view for daytime viewing. And even with the three built in Faroudja processing chips the image from normal NTSC TV sucks compared to my Sony 32" XBR. The larger size is nice for sports but the image artifacts and lack of resolution on non-HD shows makes it far less satisfying than the Sony on every aspect other than pure size. The brighter projectors in you price range will be sadly lacking in contrast and black levels, as well as showing screen door effect.

Since you already have the Barco, why not just keep it mounted out of the way on the ceiling. You really can have your cake and eat it too!
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