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I've been looking into taking my first step into LCD or Plasma. Primary use is for HDTV and DVD watching. I've setteld on either the Sharp Aquos 37" or the Panasonic 37" plasma. However, now I am considering a projector.


I know almost nothing about projectors. From what I've read here, it sounds like the Panasonic AE700 is a good selection and is in my budget.


But I have a lot of open questions (many of them very basic) about projectors, in general. Keep in mind, I've never even seen HDTV or DVD output from a projector.


1) In general, how do LCD/Plasmas compare with projectors for picture quality?


2) How far away does the projector need to be in order to create a 50" diag image.


3) I assume the brightness drops drastically as the distance between the screen/wall increases. At what distance can a projector be used for a typically lit living room?


4) How would I get my televsion signal in, assuming I have (Comcast) cable? Is there such a thing as "cablecard" (which is my preference). How does connecting a projector differ from a typical television (LCD/Plasma)?


5) There appear to be no audio support on projectors. I assume audio is handled through a receiver.


6) Can projectors that handle HDTV and DVD also be used with a PC?


7) What are the other advantages of projectors of CRT/LCD/Plasma?


8) How well do projectors work when projecting onto a white wall? Is there significant advantage to a screen?


I'm sure other questions will come up. But this is a start. Thanks.
 

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I am by no means an expert, but here goes my thoughts. :)

1) In the right room (dark) a PJ has a very good picture. In the right room. I have 100% light control and dark walls, ceiling and floor.

2) Don't know exactly, but 50" is pretty darn small for a PJ. Not even sure you can buy a screen that small. 6.3 to 7.5 feet is what Infocus shows for a 50" screen in 4:3.

3) I don't think the mounting distance really affects it, it's ambient light you need to worry about.

4) You need a ... cable box, VCR, whatever to supply the signal.

5) You shouldn't be using any built in TV speakers anyway. Get a surround system. :)

6) Pretty sure most if not all of them, yes.

7) BIG picture.

8) Smaller screen will be a better picture.
 

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To answer your questions:


1. From what I have seen, projectors picture quality is ass good or better than most plasmas. One advantage a projector has over a plasma you can view the screen at almost any angle without a dropoff in picture quality, whereas a plasma's picture quality diminishes as you leave the 'sweet' spot.

2. Most people that buy a projector expect to get an image of at least 86" diagonal. If you are looking to stay in the 50" diagonal range, a projector probably isn't for you. Why limit yourself to ONLY a 50" diagonal screen, I personally have a 106" diagonal, nothing like having your own movie theater at home.

3. The brightness does not drop drastically as you increase the distance between the screen and the projector. Every projector has range for the distance between the projector and the screen. Most projectors have to be in a light controlled room.

4. Projectors usually have composite, component, DVI and/or HDMI connectors

5. Yes, you will need a receiver, but why wouldn't you want a 5.1 system? You should have great audio and video. :D

6. Yes

7. and 8. See below


For the rest of your questions, you should go to Projector Central for the rest of your questions. After doing more research, if you are still interested in a projector (which I am sure you will be) come back and ask more questions and we will help.


Good luck
 
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