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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I was wondering what some good options are for a projector that has a high contrast ratio but not necessarily high lumen output. There are definitely some decent projectors under 1000 that have fair contrast and a ton of brightness compared to a few years ago but I haven't been able to come across a lower cost projector with high contrast. It's harder to search for projectors than other stuff; there doesn't seem to be good parameter settings such as "search by contrast low to high etc." Any model that's 1080x1920 native, doesn't have to be late model but bnib would be best. Practical lumens around 800 or so max lumens under 2000 with a contrast of 30k:1 or more would be better than what I see which are low end projectors with well over 2000 lumens but only 10-25K:1 contrast.

Does this exist?
Thank you.
 

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There's an important thing to learn first, contrast numbers listed by manufacturers aren't policed in any way, so they are very literally allowed to post WHATEVER numbers they feel like and measured contrast numbers often fall ridiculously lower than what's listed.

As a general rule of measured contrast:
under $1800
-DLP averages around 1000:1-1800:1
-LCD averages around 200:1-900:1 (epson 8350 is more around the DLP ranges)
-LCoS is non-existant in any reputable form
over $1800
-DLP averages 1200:1-3000:1
-LCD averages 1500:1-6000:1
-LCoS averages 5000:1-7000:1 (except JVC which can be in the 20,000:1+ range)

The best bet for finding a low-cost/high contrast PJ is either a discontinued DLP that was formerly a high-end model like the mitsubishi7900 (though many others are 720p)
Or take the plunge to the $2000 level and take a good look at the Sony HW40es.
The used market is a bit of a gamble, obviously.

The Optoma HD131xe offers one of the dimmer (calibrated) 1080p outputs with a contrast that's typical of the DLPs in the under $1800 price-range. It isn't perfect, but the only really superior options are either much more expensive or (in the case of the w1070..which is otherwise a great option) much brighter. There are other options too, such as some ACER models that are similar to the Optoma or LED DLPs, but nothing that offers a noticeable "next step up" in contrast until you get into the high prices. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for your informative reply. The Sony seems like it would be a good bet now at a lower price. I believe $2000 is the lowest it's ever gone and probably won't go lower (even oldies like Epson 8700UB never dropped below $2k). I demo'd it once before I was really interested just to get an idea of the state of the projection industry, and a second time after doing some research realizing it had more solid tech and quality over the 5030UB, but honestly was not impressed (see new thread). The JVC 500 seems like the real deal and as long as I would be going up to a high price the 4k e-shift sounds nifty. Since my room is 100% darkened and even finished with a matte surface, it would be incongruous IMO to get anything but the real deal in terms of contrast.
 

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The 'real deal' in terms of contrast is JVC. I've never seen anything as good as what they deliver, and if you have a room you have invested thousands in to make it amazing, then JVC projectors are the ones which can deliver upon the promise of blacks which are black and contrast which is like no other.

I would get a JVC in a second in a good dedicated room if budget allows for it.
 

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Perhaps the old JVC X35 if you can find one, would be a good option. That would be on my shortlist, as well as the Panny AE8000 (higher lumen rating) which can be had for around $1500-$2000. Lens memories are my Hot Button though, and might not necessarily be yours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you, I guess to add something to my post besides rhetorical statements, where is there a capability of viewing a projector in an actual setup other than another Best Buy which just by chance might have it set up better, other than going to someone's house? Even with YouTube the Sony looks better than what I saw at BB. The JVC would be spending as much or more than the entire room since a lot of it relied on lucky coincidences, infrastructure, and my own labor.
 

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Wow under $1000 refurbished http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/...Bnl6n9ikmTJdtJ-1x65MkxoCXq7w_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds but in reality would that still blow away a simple Optoma that is yet half of that price?
I think it should have a healthy and quite noticeable contrast advantage over the more humble Optoma as long as you're using it in a dark and dark-colored room.
I would check for a dedicated thread about it to make sure it wasn't one of the older models that fell apart often..They had a couple rough models along the way.
 
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