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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Although I am one of the bigger nut cases here regarding having a household full of electronic junk, I never bothered to research front projectors until now. I have decided on either the Infocus SP4800 or SP4805. Will the 4805 offer a significantly better picture? It will be used only for movies, either D-VHS or progressive scan DVD and only at night since I don't have a room with light control sufficient for daytime viewing. I have already picked up a 16:9 Da-Lite screen which I understand will work adequately for my purposes. The projector can be 12' - 15' from the screen. I almost purchased a 4800 but thought I would make sure I will be happy with it. If I have missed something and a model other than the 2 mentioned would be even better, I am open to a suggestions.


Chris
 

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Do not be fooled by the name. The SP4800 is the same exact projector as the X1. Infocus marketed the projector to the home theater crowd under the screenplay name, and to the business crowd under the X1 name. Then low-end business projectors forced Infocus to cut prices on the x1, but not the 4800. The two are as alike as the camero and the firebird - same exact thing but with a different name. If you want a 4800, you can save a couple hundred dollars by getting an x1- if you can still find one. The stores that still have x1's are probably down to their demo models and open-box-specials by now. Personally I have an x1 and am very happy with it.


For movies, the 4805 is a major upgrade. It has a brighter lamp (I believe 200 watts instead of 150), a 6-segment 4X color wheel (much less rainbow effect and eyestrain),and a native 16:9 resolution. This reslution has a few advantages ove the x1. For widescreen movies, the entire lamp is utilized- on a 4:3 model, the portion of light that falls on the unused pixels is wasted- making the picture dimmer. There are no "lightspilled" black bars(although that never bothered me), and finally, the 4805 can show widescreen movies with no resizing. There is a 1 to 1 mapping of pixels. With the x1, a picture that is 480 pixels high has to be either chopped a little at the sides (in overscan mode) or squished down to 450 pixels high. This resizing can cause some distortion.


The x1/4800 has one major advantage- if you can still find an x1, it will be cheap. (almost half the price of the 4805- I don't think I'm allowed to name prices). If you have to go up over a grand, though, you might as well get the 4805.


Avoid the x1a- It is a pointlessly stripped-down downgrade from the x1. X2 although brighter than the x1, is also a downgrade in many ways.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The 4800 can be purchased for about $700 less and if it will do nearly as well as the 4805, I would like to save the money. It sounds like maybe the 4805 is the way to go despite the price difference. Thanks.


Chris
 

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You already bought a 16:9 screen, you might as well buy a 16:9 projector.


I just got my 4805 running this past week, and love it. No rainbows to speak of; plenty bright even with the kitchen light on behind the projector (not a preferred viewing setup, but fine for watching the game while getting something from the frig. or microwaving something).


That said, I find a lot of the DTV stuff, at least sports, still coming in 4:3 (encapsulated in 16:9 signal, why couldn't there just be a 4:3 HD format?), and many of my games are only 4:3. But I wanted maximum capability for anamorphic widescreen DVDs, and future games. So 16:9 native projector was the way to go.
 

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4:3 dated? I used to be in that frame of mind, as 16:9 has a certain sexy aesthetic feel to it that no doubt has been pummled into our subconscious via clever marketing.


They are both wonderful formats, each with their own merits. I'd rather view 16:9 material in a 4:3 box than the other way around.
 

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I said the projector was dated compared to the 4805. I have a two year old 4:3 projector and I think it's just great. I have no problems with a 4:3 projector but with a 16:9 pull down screen why not go with the same format projector.

Personally a 4:3 or 16:9 FP is irrelevant to me if I was to buy a projector tomorrow. I'd be looking at black levels and resolution first.

I'm even considering a good second hand CRT projector which can be had for the same price. The only downside is portability. Black levels are incalculable, lamp hours are at 10,000 hours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I changed my mind and bought the Panasonic PT-L500U which is about the same price as the SP4805. The primary reason was I could say I owned an HDTV projector and not really based on any real observable preference. The replacement bulb is also less expensive based on a search although I don't know for certain that would relate to lower operating costs since I don't know which bulb will last longer in my environment. Just being able to say I have an HDTV projector may be a stupid reason but I couldn't get over that one. If the 4800 (X1) had been close to as good for a lot less money, that would have won be over but for 16:9 viewing, it apparently isn't. My personal preference was toward DLP and not LCD and although I don't get headaches or see rainbows, if the 20% will figure is correct, one of my children likely will.


I can place the projector anywhere between 7' and 15' and want a 92" diagonal screen used to its fullest so now I need to figure out if my optimal location at 12' will work. This purchase and setup is more complicated than I like because I tire quickly of researching and reading about it all. After I have one, hopefully I will understand better how to setup, use and maintain the thing but for now, I am still confused. If anybody has some quick advice to keep from making a fatal mistake since I have never read a manual first and rarely read them at all, I would appreciate it.


Chris
 
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