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newbie looking for projector under $1000

1121 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  apcall
I am new to HT and I am begging for help, anything you can help me with will be greatly appreciated....I am just getting around to redoing the basement and want to built a dedicated HT room but I know very little about projectors so here I am....let me set the stage....the room when finished will be approx 10'-6"Wx18'Lx6'-8"H. I wish to ceiling mount the unit and get a good picture (HD, widescreen) that is between 6'-6" to 7' wide. I have no windows to worry about so there is not ambient light (although, depending on who I have over, I would like to have low lighting (i.e.: backlighting on some of the defuser panels or curtains, scones, or may be the screen. All on dimmer switches). The seating plan this year (there is no money in this year's 'fiscal budget' to get good seats, at least not the ones I want) will probably consist of a sectional/recliner couch at (or near) the back and extending down both walls for 4' to 6', and 2 bean bag chairs in front of that. The viewing will be nearly all DVDs (hopefully HD or Blu-ray in the near future) as my widescreen in my family room will still be used for everyday viewing. There is a good possibly that I may want to use an XBox/PS3 on it too. I am currently studding the walls but feel that I should buy the projector soon in-order to help me build the front wall/stage and determine to the ceiling location for wiring, before I start drywalling. Can anyone give me an idea of a good projector to my space and ideas? I would like to keep it under $1000. Like I said before, any help would be greatly appreciated
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Like I've mentioned before, I don't think it's a good idea to wire the room for the projector you buy today. Even more so if you're looking for a budget sub 1K projector.

The projector you buy today will NOT be the same projector you're using in 3 to 5 years. (Yeah, if you've read some of my other posts, I hope to use my projector for many many years, but still...)

I would really recommend two ceiling outlets to cover both a long throw and a short throw projector. Maybe one outlet at 10 feet back and another at 16 feet back. If you mount at 13 feet back, you're only 3 feet from an outlet.

As far as the other wiring (HDMI/component) if you can, run two sets of conduit near each outlet. Get 2inch conduit. Don't fight with the 1 1/2 inch like I did. Since you're doing the walls/drywall, you should be able to do the conduit.

I'd just be worried if you build the room around a projector you like now, and it's a short throw projector, when you replace it, you'll try to limit your choices to other short throws and you may automatically rule out possibly superior projectors because they don't work with the wiring you did.

It's easier/cheaper to do the wiring and conduit now before the drywall is in place.

As far as sub 1K projectors, people here seem to like the Hitachi and mitsubishi. I haven't been following those that closely so really can't comment on that.
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I love my mitsubishi HD1000U, as do many others on this site. People also have said good things about the optoma HD70, and although I think more prefer the mitsubishi, both are good units and I'm sure you'd be happy with either. Both are under $1000, both will do high def (720p), they are basically everything you could want from a sub-1k projector at this time.

Both are DLPs, and if you suffer from rainbow effect (there are threads that explain it better than I can, but basically its "rainbows" across the screen where there shouldn't be anything) you may want a LCD, depending on how much it bothers you. There are people here who says it drives they crazy ad they would never buy a DLP projector, there are people who say it doesn't bother them, and there are the majority of people who don't see it all (at least not when watching normal material).
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Thanks a bunch.....I didn't think about my next projector having a different throw. I was planning on a 'drop' ceiling in the room so placement isn't that big an issue (I don't think), HOWEVER I would never have thought to include extra wire/cabling to ensure that I could reach the back wall to accommandate a longer throw projector in the future....thank you for your help, it has given me some more to think about.
EocThermos....The rainbow effect that you speck of.....is it something that happens over time (after the projector 'breaks' in) or does it start from the very beginning? Does it happen all the time or just certain times, certain movies, or certain input (dvd, cable, etc)?.....How long have you had your Mit? Have you had to replace the bulb yet?....I will be sure to search the forums more for this 'rainbow' affect...thanks for the insight.
rainbows are a by product of the color wheel. Some people are more susceptable than others but it starts when someone tells you what to look for
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Originally Posted by Nthusiast /forum/post/0

rainbows are a by product of the color wheel

And consequently are there from the beginning. It depends only on the image is being displayed. I see them on the focus pattern (white lines on a black background) and nothing else. I've got a friend who sees them when he moves his eyes around the picture. No one else who has watched has commented on them at all.

I've had my mits since the beginning of the year, so about 5 months, but I've only put 80 hours on the bulb and thus have not had to replace it yet.

The rainbow effect is usually a deal-breaker or not even considered. There are a few people that it drives them crazy and they would never purchase a DLP projector because of it, but the majority of people don't see it. If anything it gets better with time- some people have said that their eyes adjusted to the picture and they no longer see RBE.

If you have a chance to watch a properly set up DLP projector, you can determine fairly quickly if you see it or not. Otherwise, I wouldn't worry about it- just order a DLP projector, and if it bothers you return it. It really isn't a big deal- I wouldn't have mentioned it, except that it is something you should know about. Chances are you won't even see it for most movie watching.
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Eco....thanks again for coming to my aid.....I did get a chance to see a DLP in action at Best Buy. I didn't see any rainbows so maybe I lucked out
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