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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone. This forum has such a wealth of information, and has been super helpful, so I thought before I purchase my first projector, I'd throw out a few questions just to make sure I'm on the right path.


Basically I just got out of school, so I don't have a huge amount of money to put towards a home theater projector. At the same time, I don't want to buy something that I'm just going to end up viewing as a needless purchase in a few months.


I would like to stay as close to (or under if possible) $1000. I am thinking that the Optoma H31 is the projection unit for me, but just want to make sure. I'm also really interested in the Screenplay 4805.


Here is everything about my situation:


I live in an apartment, but our living room is fairly large and wallspace won't be a problem (I will be building a screen as soon as I get the projector selection squared away). There are some windows, but a majority (over 80%) of the viewing will be done at night, and the windows are easily covered if I do need to do so in the day.


I would prefer to set the unit on a table behind the couch, and as there are generally only 2 people in the apartment, it won't be a problem if the unit can't be above head level (what i mean is I shouldn't have too many times where people need to sit in front of the projector, so if it needs to be sat fairly low, it shouldn't be a problem).


I would like to play xbox through the unit, as well as watch DVDs, and Television (non-hdtv). Football games will be the TV viewing of choice, if that matters...


Fan noise shouldn't be an issue as I will pretty much only be watching TV when I can have a good volume level. With that said, I would like to not have to turn it up simply because of the fan.


I would like to buy through a reputable dealer so I have recourse if things go bad (I don't like the whole 'you can find one on ebay for $xxx even though they're normally 500 more kinda thing).


This is all I can think of right now, but if you have any questions, ask away. I'm really pumped about getting it all set up eventually so I don't mind answering anything you need to know.


Thanks for any help you can provide.
 

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How many hours a day will you use the PJ ?


Check the warranty for the model you want to get . Not just on the PJ but on the lamps. Most have a 90 day warranty on lamps, but some (Sanyo, Panasonic) go as low as 30 days !


The life of bulbs greatly varies from one PJ to another, depending on use, and quality controls on the lamps ... On my $1500 PLV-Z1 bought in March 2003, I have bought $1500 worth of lamps since - that's 5 lamps. That's with 3000 hours of usage - 600 hrs per bulb on average. My experience might well be worst case, but if you browse the forums you'll notice a heck of a lot of users of various projectors reporting lamp failures between 500 and 700 hours ...


So be careful. The lamp cost adds up quickly. The cost of the projector is only the beginning.


I'm not just out of school - I am a software engineer with a 6 figure salary, but I am still considering getting rid of my PJ due to the all too regular lamp replacement cost.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks so much.


I figure I'll use it maybe 5-10 hours during the week and about the same on the weekends, so I'm thinking 20 hours a week would be the most...



I think I'm gonna go for the 4805 due to it's lower price and the fact that it seems to get as good reviews as the H31.
 

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jodar perhaps you could check the poll that i posted, its located around this thread, im not sure which one to get also.
 

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jodar -- That use should be fine. It will get you through the burn-in period (200 - 250 hours) for the lamp before the 90 day lamp warranty runs out. Just make sure that you don't turn it on and off with out at least 30 minutes to an hour between. Your best bet is to turn it on and use it for, at least, 2 hours at a time. That will maximize your lamp life.


Also, leave the PJ in tne "Standby" mode (just turn it on and off with the remote) between uses (unless you will be leaving it for a week or two, or you expect a thunderstorm - then you might want to pull the plug too).
 
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