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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I'm sorry to post such a lame query, and I'll understand if it withers away unattended, but I do have a quick question:


My next 'TV' will probably be a projector, but not until next year at about this time. I haven't been around this forum for long, but for those who have - what were prices/specs like a year ago? Hopefully from that I can extrapolate to next year... If I were buying now, I would be thinking VT540 - how much did that sort of quality cost last year, and what do you think would be the quality/specs of a $3-4k projector be in one year's time?


Any/all replies/speculations/random walks through merest possibilities most welcome!


Thanks!


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Jim,


Keep in mind that posters from Wisconsin need to look for digital projectors at fishing shows. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


Actually, I remember vividly what was around a year ago because this was when I started looking for a system that would suit me.


A year ago, DILA had the best picture.

Today, DILA has the best picture.


A year ago, the Sony LCD projector was hot at 6-7k.

Today, the Sanyo LCD projectors are hot at 6-7k.


A year ago, I wouldn't think about buying a projector that was hot a year back.

Today, I wouldn't think about buying a projector that was hot a year back.


The prices stay the same, but the expectations change.


Chi
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the thoughts - anyone care to comment about the future of the low-end ($3-4K) models where I will be dwelling? - I assume it will still only be LCD at that price point in a year?




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Hey - I'm limited to "low-end" too! (Can't justify more than 2-3K$ on a toy!) The summary above is on target - just like PCs, the one you WANT is always expensive, BUT the acceptable models are coming into range. This is shaping up into an exciting year for us slavering cheapskates. Right now, the NEC VT540 ($2895 refurb)or LT150 is about as low as I would go for "acceptable" quality - i.e., a $3K FP might keep me happy for a few years. It's good to be able to wait - watch for the reports from InfoComm, especially on the InFocus HT units; they look like the best bet for late 2001 so far.

The worst overall problem is that FP mfgs are only starting to take HT seriously, so this is very much an emerging market. Projectors built for business use have an entirely different economic/performance focus - we beat them into submission, but it's always a compromise. Next year should be good!
 

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Well, I don't have a crystal ball, but if you look at what you can get for $3-$4K right now, you are looking at things like (forgive me if I forget some):


XGA DLP (Infocus LP350, NEC LT150, etc.)

XGA LCD (NEC VT540, NEC LT155, etc.)

WXGA LCD (Sony 10HT - just out of the price range)


After that, there seems to be a pretty big jump in price up to something like the Sanyo LCD's at $6000.


So, figure that next year in the $3-$4K range, you will be able to get something at least as good as you can now. You will likely be able to get a projector that has some combination of the following improvements:


- brighter

- better contrast

- 6-segment color wheel

- better internal processing

- quieter

- better handling of 16:9 screens (through use of a "native" mode)


I'd imagine that you will get a noticibly better although not revolutionary projector this time next year. I doubt that a 2000 lumen, 1000:1 contrast, 16:9 panels, Faroujda based processing projector is on the horizon for $4K.
 

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Well, there are two theories. Here they are:


1. Continuing technology improvements and lowering of costs will bring about many new projectors that have excellent HT properties, even if they are intended for the presentation markets. Crossover machines like the NEC LT150 will be more available. New technologies like LCos and improved DLP's will add to our choices. Old machines will be cheap on the used market.


OR


2. Manufacturers will notice the potential for the HT market, and the extra profits available from those customers. Crossover machines will no longer be made as machines that might work for home theatre will be deliberately crippled to only suffice for the presentation market (witness the new Infocus LP340B with inferior scaling). Machines that work for the HT market will be even more expensive as manufacturers look for high margins. Davis--a leading manufacturer of HT-compliant machines--has just dropped out; this will hurt. Companies like Outlaw will head for the high-end where the margins are rather than trying to build value.



Who can say? My sense is that we will see some of 2, and clearly are seeing that with Outlaw for example. We will have to wait to see Infocus' next move. (My guess is that the Infocus 530 will be maddeningly near to HT perfection but will miss the mark on the color wheel.) But, in the main, scenario 1 will prevail, but it may take a bit longer than we had hoped. The big reason is that the presentation market will start to demand better video as well as computer use and manufacturers will respond with better configurability, thus accidently making better HT machines.

 

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Sorry, can't resist another rant - why a projector vs RPTV?


My reasoning is that I have a surround-sound digital system, so I don't use the TV audio. I recently got the SA1000 digital cable box, which has digital (coax) audio tuning/output, full tuning capabilities with SVHS output... I hid the TV remote so that no one would mess up the settings; just use the power button ONLY! The TV is only a video display, so why should I buy a hulking box with tuner and audio I won't use, containing a small projector and fixed, imperfect screen? I'll put my $$ into the projector itself! (Component vs. integrated, once again.)


What makes me feel stupid is that the RPTVs are so much cheaper than most decent FPs, even with the useless junk...... this MUST change!
 

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Personally, I think used is the way to go. Even if manufacturers only make HT projectors in the $7k+ range, that just means that yesterday's "hot" projector is now in the $2-$4k range. Witness the price of used G1000's which was approaching $4k 3 months ago - must be lower now. A used 10HT will probably be $3k 6 months from now. Maybe a year from now, a used seleco 200/250 will be significantly more affordable.


The biggest problem is generally a lack of warranty, so you really have to trust who you buy it from, or be prepared to accept some risk.


Personally, I bought a used Davis XGA DLP 6 months ago, and I'm very happy with it, but maybe a year from now I'll think about trading up. Anyone want to sell a 1-year futures contract on a PLV-60? http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


Mike
 

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Sorry, but I must differ.

I really hesitate to buy anything used that has as much value as a projector, and is as fragile.

The warranty (usually only good for the original buyer, right?) is pretty improtant for a projector.

I like my overnight repair service from Sanyo. I like that they pay shipping, and I like that they fix any problems that develop. That to me is worth the extra $1000 or more on such a big investment.


I have bought other things used and written them off when they had problems- I could not do the same with a projector.


For the guy with the Davis projector- I;m glad it works well, but didn;t they go out of business last week or something? That;s a worry I wouldn;t want for such a pricey item.


I would save until you can afford something new or demo (from a reputable dealer) or refurb with full warranty from a dealer, rather than roll the dice on buying used.


dg
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Dan G:
For the guy with the Davis projector- I;m glad it works well, but didn;t they go out of business last week or something? That;s a worry I wouldn;t want for such a pricey item.
Well, if there's no warranty, who cares if they're out of business? http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif Other than the bulb (which will be available for a long time), pretty much any problem that you can't fix yourself will cost more to fix than the projector, even if Davis *would* still fix it.


It's really just a price question. If you can get a projector without a warranty and save only 10-20%, I think everyone would get the warranty. If you could save 90%, I think everyone would roll the dice! http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


The other thing that motivated me was that I wasn't really sure what I wanted, and I kindof wanted to wait. Even if my projector depreciates to $0 in 1 year (e.g. explodes), I'll have actually spent less than if I had bought a Sony 10HT for $6k (which was a great price at the beginning of this year) and sell it in a year for $3k.


The real question - are you just dating this projector, or are you ready to settle down? You know who you are, you sly foxes out there. Are your eyes constantly wandering over the AVS pages? When you dim the lights, push all the right buttons, and turn on your projector, are you really fantasizing about other models?


OK, I think I'm getting carried away...


Mike
 

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Quote:
The real question - are you just dating this projector, or are you ready to settle down? You know who you are, you sly foxes out there. Are your eyes constantly wandering over the AVS pages? When you dim the lights, push all the right buttons, and turn on your projector, are you really fantasizing about other models?
LOL !! Thats the funniest thing I have read in the forum in weeks... The sad thing is, its oh so true..




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Well, there are two theories. Here they are:


1. Continuing technology improvements and lowering of costs will bring about many new projectors that have excellent HT properties, even if they are intended for the presentation markets. Crossover machines like the NEC LT150 will be more available. New technologies like LCos and improved DLP's will add to our choices. Old machines will be cheap on the used market.


OR


2. Manufacturers will notice the potential for the HT market, and the extra profits available from those customers. Crossover machines will no longer be made as machines that might work for home theatre will be deliberately crippled to only suffice for the presentation market (witness the new Infocus LP340B with inferior scaling). Machines that work for the HT market will be even more expensive as manufacturers look for high margins. Davis--a leading manufacturer of HT-compliant machines--has just dropped out; this will hurt. Companies like Outlaw will head for the high-end where the margins are rather than trying to build value.



Who can say? My sense is that we will see some of 2, and clearly are seeing that with Outlaw for example. We will have to wait to see Infocus' next move. (My guess is that the Infocus 530 will be maddeningly near to HT perfection but will miss the mark on the color wheel.) But, in the main, scenario 1 will prevail, but it may take a bit longer than we had hoped. The big reason is that the presentation market will start to demand better video as well as computer use and manufacturers will respond with better configurability, thus accidently making better HT machines.

 

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I'd have to second the reccomendation to buy used. I just finished up negotiating for a used 10HT at $3300. Prior to that, I was considering an LP340, VT540, or LT150. New 10HTs were out of my price range, but by buying used I was able to get a machine that fit *MY* needs better than any of the new projectors in the $3K range. I imagine that there will be many 10HTs coming on to the market with people upgrading to PLV-60s and 11HTs.
 
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