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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Everyone, I wanted to buy a 36 inch tube TV, but then I decided I dont want to buy the big bulky thing, instead a projector seems a good alternative.

Most of the projector reviews and posts talk about screen sizes of 80 inch or more, Im not looking for a big scrren size, aound 40 inch would be more than enough. I intend to use the projectire primarily for movies connected to my DVD player, which I think means going for the 16:9 format.


Any suggestions on what should I consider. Should I be looking at models costing 3-4000 or can I get an excellent image quality for under $2000.


Thanks a ton in advance.
 

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If you can afford$3k-$4k, you HAVE to consider plasma TVs. Especially, at the size you want.


If you want to keep the cost down, I'm thinking you should look at the Sanyo Z1. It's a 16:9 machine. Best resolution/price right now. If you will be sitting 80" or farther from the screen/wall, this should work well for you.


I would also think the light concentration would be good enough to work in semi-bright rooms.


If you need something for a very bright room, you might want to look at the NEC 240K. Brightest picture in the under $3K price range but you may see rainbow artifacts (some do, some don't). Do a search on rainbows to learn more about this potential drawback of DLP projectors. (BTW: The Z1 is an LCD PJ).


Also, the 240K is not a native 16:9 machine but certainly can display 16:9 images with black bars.
 

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Hey man, get an Infocus X1. It's under $1,000 with a 5 year warranty. It has a great onboard Faroudja deinterlacer, 2000:1 contrast ratio & is an unbelievable little machine.


I run mine on an 9 foot diagonal 16:9 screen and the picture looks as good or better than my Toshiba HD Read rear projection TV (which looks great by the way, but it's missing a great deinterlacer).


If you don't see rainbows (I have never seen one and I don't go looking for them either) than you should probably stick to DLP, LCDs have more screendoor effect and blacks aren't as good.


I don't see how you'll stand not going larger than 40" when you get a projector though. I originally intended on going about 80" in width and now I'm doing about 95-96" in width (which I believe is a tad more than 108"/9ft. diagonal). I would go to 10 feet wide if I had more space. The picture at this size just makes mine and everyone elses mouths drop. It's enormous and it looks great.


The X1 FAR exceeded my expectations. The X1 is an incredible home theater projector, especially for the price. I didn't think anything of it's quality (aside from HUGE CRT projectors) could be had for under $3,000.
 

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at 3-4k$ for 40" I would buy a plasma,

I don't think it will be very easy to setup a 40" screen (throw distance, brightness ..),

99% of the PJ-population have >80" screens.


Do think about lamp life!!

You 've got to invest in a new lamp every 2000-3000 hrs.


I am about to buy a PJ, but I will rarely use it to watch cable,

PJ= dvd, occasional sports event, ...

28" TV=daily use


If you do decide to buy a PJ, be sure to see it in action first,

the X1 and Z1 both have great price-quality levels,

however the Z2 is on it's way !!

A panny 300 would also be an excellent value.

A plasma will be watchable with ambient light,

a projected image will suffer a lot !!!!!!!
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Herakles
at 3-4k$ for 40" I would buy a plasma,

I don't think it will be very easy to setup a 40" screen (throw distance, brightness ..),

99% of the PJ-population have >80" screens.

Do think about lamp life!!

You 've got to invest in a new lamp every 2000-3000 hrs.

I am about to buy a PJ, but I will rarely use it to watch cable,

PJ= dvd, occasional sports event, ...

28" TV=daily use

If you do decide to buy a PJ, be sure to see it in action first,

the X1 and Z1 both have great price-quality levels,

however the Z2 is on it's way !!

A panny 300 would also be an excellent value.

A plasma will be watchable with ambient light,

a projected image will suffer a lot !!!!!!!
Please don't take this personally, but I am going to have to dispute a couple of targets of your post.

First of all, don't buy a plasma. An LCD display has a smoother image, and a SIGNIFICANTLY longer life, plus no burn-in worries, lighter weight, no shiny reflection, etc etc etc. Do some research. Every major web site that I have read far outweight a LCD display over plasma. More specifically, I have heard twice now that you can expect Plasma to be an obsolete technology within the next 2-3 years ... much like casette tapes when CD's came out :)

And actually, with the ambient light and brightness of a projector, as was discussed many times before ... the farther away from your screen you move your projector - the more light is lost.

Keeping that in mind, the closer you move your projector to your screen (which would be pretty close on a 40" image) your projected image will be shining nice an bright. Due to less light being lost in the path.

I tested this theory out with an X1 and a L200, both units looked stellar in a well-lit office environment with all the lights on. The image was clear and bright. Wheras these 2 projectors moved back to 8-10 feet ... were completely washed out with the lights on.

I believe the only downfall would be detail loss. I think if you are going to use FP for a 40" image, you are really going to need to stick with a XGA or better panel.

But IMO ... there are plenty of XGA projectors out there under $2500 that would look great on a smaller screen.

One last thought though ... at such a close distance, unless you are planning on keystone adjustments (which you should stay away from), your projector could be right in your field of vision.


And on a side note, wasn't it Hitachi that was coming out with a projector that used reflective mirrors to blow up a large image from an extremely close range. I blieve I saw it at Infocomm ... but can't remember who put it out. If you can find it, that may be a choice.
 

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I'm contemplating the same thing in my bedroom where space constraints are a problem. My initial thoughts were to simply replace the existing 24" tube with a plasma. However, plasma costs are still high for HD panels so I've been considering blasting a 40-50" projected image instead.


It all comes down to image width to viewing distance. If you are viewing a 3' wide image from 8-9', the resulting image will look excellent--- even from a "low end" projector such as an X1 ($999) or Z1 ($1300). You are so far away from it, that typical projector issues such as screendoor aren't a factor.


Issues?


You need to consider ambient light in your room. Projectors don't like ambient light. The small image should yield a very punchy image even from a dimmer (700-800Lumen) projector.


Projector image Throw will also be a big issue. Many projectors are "short throw", meaning they were designed to create BIG images in small spaces. This means that you will need to mount the projector very close to the screen to get such a small image. The ceiling is a good spot, but it will be high and women typically hate ceiling mounts. That leaves a coffee table... which you will then need to consider how to run your cables.


Alternately, you can buy a "long throw" projector and mount it on the opposite wall (shelf or cabinet). However, you then need to consider how the projector vents it's heat.


To be honest, if you have the space for a 36" tube, you won't be able to beat the image quality and ease of use. Remember, with a projector you also need to consider your audio.


Here's a summary of the different display issues :


Tube

------

Pros: Excellent image quality, low price, easy setup, Ease of use (children, wife...)

Cons: SIZE and WEIGHT



Plasma/LCD

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Pros: Form factor, mount anywhere, ease of use similar to TV

Cons: PRICE, setup can be an issue, variable picture quality based on manufacturer& technology



Projector

-----------

Pros: Great image quality, Tiny form factor, low cost

Cons: Not viewable in bright light, Lots (!) of planning & setup involved, Ease of use issues



So, having contemplated the above issues for the last 2 years, I'm still using a crappy 24" TV in my bedroom.... hoping that Plasma/LCD quality issues & pricing become more favorable. I think I'll stop waiting and replace it with a AE500.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks everyone for your inputs.


I had not thought about setup issues with such a small screen size. I guess Il should try and get a PLV-Z1 or X1 or the 300U demo'ed at my place.


Thanks again everyone!!!!
 

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A long throw lens would help you. It won't take too many lumen. I'm thinking a grey screen? Do you have drapes on the windows? You can easily do this for under $2000 including a screen. I hope you have HD cable.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Ericbres
Please don't take this personally, but I am going to have to dispute a couple of targets of your post.

First of all, don't buy a plasma. An LCD display has a smoother image, and a SIGNIFICANTLY longer life, plus no burn-in worries, lighter weight, no shiny reflection, etc etc etc.
I don't take this personally, there 's no reason to.

You 're right about the plasma,

LCD looks better,

I don't know why I did not think of it myself,

since I saw a demo a few weeks ago.


So ... at 3-4k$ for 40" I would buy an LCD :) and not an FP,

However ... a projected image may look good,

but not as good as a 40" LCD.

A LCD has no lamp-life issues but the price/inch is a very big issue.

As JPinTO says: if you have the space for a 36" tube, ...


Quote:
Originally posted by Ericbres
One last thought though ... at such a close distance, unless you are planning on keystone adjustments (which you should stay away from), your projector could be right in your field of vision.
That 's the main thing I was trying to say when I wrote:

I don't think it will be very easy to setup a 40" screen (throw distance, brightness ..)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I do have drapes on windows, and have absolute control over lighting in my living room (this is where I'll put whatever display device I buy).


Hmm...LCD seems like a good option, I never thought of it. I used to see movies (DVD) on my laptop (when I did not have seperate DVD player) and they looked great. The BestBuy and CircuitCity seems to be a good place to start with.


I guess this is going to take longer than I had initially thought, but its fun!!!

Feels good have a choice of so many display tehcnologies and options.


Thanks!!!
 
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