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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've seen these and similar ultra-low-budget projectors floating around different stores after BlackFriday, and this particular one caught my eye with the startling honesty of its specs...and the roughly $100 price at the time.

I shouldn't want this. I have all the projector/s I need. More than I need. ... If it's bad I can always return it, and if it's good I can box it back up and possibly gift it to someone. Guess I'm getting a new projector. :D


The claimed specs are accurate as far as I can tell; native 720p resoution, a little over 150lm WhiteBrightness and a little over 100m ColorBrightness. I'm guessing it's using strobed RGB LEDS through a single LED panel because of the lower ColorBrightness and I don't see any color-fringing or pixel misalignment, but I also can't see any RBE nor temporal dithering on most paused images..though I'm not sure how common that is for strobed LCD VS DLP which I'm more familiar with.

This all leads to some good news and some bad news.

I'll start with some negatives:
-The fan noise, though smooth and medium-pitch, is about as loud as a modest AC (or bad central air) or a space-heater. I don't personally find it aweful once a movie starts playing or if I'm watching in a room with higher ambient noise from open windows or a loud fridge, but in the small home theater it's pretty off-putting when you first turn it on against the previously dead silent room.
-Placement flexibility is basically non-existant. There's no zoom and using the optical keystone causes poor top-to-bottom focus, so you're best location is about center screen-height and I want to say roughly 1.45:1 throw-ratio...perfect for some rear-shelf mounts onto a bare wall, terrible for ceiling-mount or particularly long or short rooms or needing to fit a pre-installed screen's size.
-There appears to be some temporal dithering in some moving images though I'm not sure if that's the panel, scaler or possibly even the source itself...I don't find it bothersome, but figured it's worth mentioning...particularly if someone else happens to know what the cause is.
-There aren't advanced color/calibration options (it still has common/typical options which are customizable for each input), the slightly higher white VS color brightness is a real thing (even if it's more subtle than most non-RGBRGB DLPs), and I think purple shades look a little weak/pastel.
-The LCD panel on mine seems to have shipped with a couple tiny spots of dust, but it's only visible as a couple small, unfocused, lighter spots when the screen goes full black in a darkened room.
-The included power cord is unusually short. It's a common "mickeymouse" style if you want to get a longer one, but still..


On the positive side:
-The brightness uniformity looks great even on full-screen solid colors or whites.
-The single panel design's lack of color-fringing makes B&W content particularly nice.
-Focus is decent as long as you aren't really using the optical keystone..none of the sides/corners look distractingly soft.
-I was pleasantly surprised at the lack of SDE despite this being a relatively low-resolution LCD PJ...it looks more like a DLP than an LCD in this regard.
-Decent input/output options including 3hdmi (one with an included RokuStick plugged in), VGA, AV (requires a 1/8" to AV adapter which isn't included), USB (fullsize for playing media), USB (micro for powering included RokuStick), microSD, 1/8" stereo AUX out, and bluetooth audio output...and a standard threaded tripod mount in a decently balanced location.
-I haven't measured it, but I'd roughly judge the contrast to be similar to a budget DLP or some of the nicer budget LCDs...around 500:1-700:1 nativeCR. Different ultra low-budget LCDs can be all over the place for CR, but this is one of the better ones.
-The builtin speakers are pretty decent compared to other portables I've tried. A little louder and fuller than some...definitely useable in a pinch.
-I have no way to measure input-lag, but it doesn't feel sluggish so I'm guessing it's decently low.
-The Standard and Soft color presets aren't aweful out of the box, and simply adjusting the User color option a little can give some nice improvements (mine has worked well set to: Brightness 45, Contrast 30-35, Color 40, Sharpness 20, WhiteBalance Warm, AspectRatio JustScan, NR OFF...though each one might be a little different and YMMV). I wouldn't call it super accurate, but it has a nice white-balance (no exaggerated green tint or cold/blue appearance) and the colors look decently natural for the most part rather than the extreme overcooked and oversaturated look of some displays.



Most of this is pretty common to LED-lit portable PJ's, but this combination of brightness, contrast, resolution (and lack of SDE) used to start closer to 3X this price just a year or two ago. This price-category tends to be dominated by 360p resolution, 50lm models with fewer options and much higher claimed specs.
This is exactly the kind of projector I'd recommend to someone on an extreme budget who wants to dip their toes while projecting onto a wall or sheet in a dim room (or at night). The price, LED lamp, wireless features and typically hassle-free returns are a lot less scary to folks just looking to try something new.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Some pictures on the 1.0gain white screen at about 120".







There's some extra noise and grainy-ness from the crappy cellphone camera, but it looks pretty good in person.
 

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Some pictures on the 1.0gain white screen at about 120".















There's some extra noise and grainy-ness from the crappy cellphone camera, but it looks pretty good in person.


It’s pretty amazing what a $100 bucks will get you now days. I probably would never have gotten into projection not for a hand me down 480p projector. I still remember watching lord of the rings on a 90” picture on my wall. It’s funny too, I was used to a pretty high end 40” 1080p lcd tv. I was surprised how this old projector held up. Even though it had a quarter of the resolution I was able to see details I had always missed watching on such a small screen.

Sadly, a lot of people come to this forum looking for budget projectors like this RCA. Only to be turned away by droves of snobs who tell them if they don’t spent $5,000 on a high end projector they won’t enjoy it “it’s a terrible picture”. The irony is most of them where enjoying projection 10-20 years ago on projectors that where half as good as the ones they tell people are “terrible”.

So thanks for sharing your enthusiasm for what looks like a great picture relative to the price.

Sorry for the rant, hopefully you do give it to someone as a gift. The more people into projection the better for all of us!
 

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I just helped my buddy set his up with my old Elite 106" pull down screen the other day.
He has it on a table behind his couch maybe 12 feet or so from screen.
For a walmart special it's pretty decent. There is a zoom feature in the menu but I just physically moved the pj to get the screen fitment. Had to use some keystone adjustment as well, and focus was good except for some softness at the corners.
He's eventually getting a real pj and moving this to his kids room.
It's decent, nothing crazy but for a little over a hundred bucks not bad also.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It’s pretty amazing what a $100 bucks will get you now days. I probably would never have gotten into projection not for a hand me down 480p projector. I still remember watching lord of the rings on a 90” picture on my wall. It’s funny too, I was used to a pretty high end 40” 1080p lcd tv. I was surprised how this old projector held up. Even though it had a quarter of the resolution I was able to see details I had always missed watching on such a small screen.

Sadly, a lot of people come to this forum looking for budget projectors like this RCA. Only to be turned away by droves of snobs who tell them if they don’t spent $5,000 on a high end projector they won’t enjoy it “it’s a terrible picture”. The irony is most of them where enjoying projection 10-20 years ago on projectors that where half as good as the ones they tell people are “terrible”.

So thanks for sharing your enthusiasm for what looks like a great picture relative to the price.

Sorry for the rant, hopefully you do give it to someone as a gift. The more people into projection the better for all of us!
I usually avoid suggesting anything this cheap too because many of them are low quality enough that I can only imagine them scaring folks into believing that all projectors are somehow terrible..I used to be pretty set on the low-end "really" starting around $300-$400 when you could get a useably bright 720p LED-lit DLP. Then that fell as low as $200 on rare occasion a couple years ago for some models, and now I'm really hoping the DLPs will continue to creep down in price (from the shrinking and cheapening 4K shifting chips) and these LCD models are inherently cheaper for the panel while their strobing backlight seems like it should be very similar.
So I do my own snobbery too, it just starts an entire tier or two lower than many, lol.
If I'm looking for it I can notice the nicer PJ's put out a smoother image (this has a small amount of banding and temporal noise), better color and higher contrast as the prices jump way up, but I also have to admit this is good enough that its imperfections don't really bother me once I'm into a movie.

I am always happier to see the barrier to entry getting smaller over time.



I just helped my buddy set his up with my old Elite 106" pull down screen the other day.
He has it on a table behind his couch maybe 12 feet or so from screen.
For a walmart special it's pretty decent. There is a zoom feature in the menu but I just physically moved the pj to get the screen fitment. Had to use some keystone adjustment as well, and focus was good except for some softness at the corners.
He's eventually getting a real pj and moving this to his kids room.
It's decent, nothing crazy but for a little over a hundred bucks not bad also.
I've seen other models with a digital zoom that let you shrink the image. Sadly this particular RCA I'm using only seems to have a non-adjustable zoom2 and zoom1 which stretch the image huge and crop off the edges.
A cheap LED-lit wireless PJ can make a good backup/kids-room PJ with how portable and somewhat hardy they can be.
 

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All of the cheap single panel TFT LCD projectors with white LED light sources churned out in a few Chinese factories and marketed under dozens of different brand names used to top out at 720p native resolution like this RCA model. Recently LCD factories in China have been churning out native 1080p TFT LCD panels so the best of the newer models have improved resolution at a somewhat higher price point than the older native 720p models. Consensus seems to be that the best of the bunch have reasonably decent performance as long as expectations are realistic. Accept them for what they are and don't tear them down as totally worthless or build them up to be more than they actually are.

By the way, for those who didn't know, RCA is no longer a consumer electronics manufacturing giant as it once was. RCA electronics products today exist under a trademark name owned by French company Technicolor SA (formerly Thomson SA). The RCA trademark is licensed by Technicolor SA to many different companies for use on many different products manufactured in a variety of production plants around the world. The RCA-branded LED projectors are marketed by Curtis International and manufactured in the same Chinese factories that produce similar models that are marketed under dozens of other brand names.
 

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... I'm guessing it's using strobed RGB LEDS through a single LED panel because of the lower ColorBrightness and I don't see any color-fringing or pixel misalignment, but I also can't see any RBE nor temporal dithering on most paused images..though I'm not sure how common that is for strobed LCD VS DLP which I'm more familiar with. ...
Unlike DLP with its micromirrors, there's no need to strobe RGB LEDs with a TFT LCD panel as the panel itself is producing the colors like a laptop, tablet or cell phone screen. All of the cheap single panel TFT LCD projectors simply use a single white LED light source.
 

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All of the cheap single panel TFT LCD projectors with white LED light sources churned out in a few Chinese factories and marketed under dozens of different brand names used to top out at 720p native resolution like this RCA model. Recently LCD factories in China have been churning out native 1080p TFT LCD panels so the best of the newer models have improved resolution at a somewhat higher price point than the older native 720p models.
Do you have a link for any of the native 720p or 1080p units? All the ones I can find (including the RCA RPJ133 & 136) seem to have a native resolution of WVGA - 800x480. They accept 720p or 1080p signals but display far less.
 

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Do you have a link for any of the native 720p or 1080p units? All the ones I can find (including the RCA RPJ133 & 136) seem to have a native resolution of WVGA - 800x480. They accept 720p or 1080p signals but display far less.
There are dozens of them and you don't really need links. Just do a web search for native 1080p led projector or native 720p led projector and you will get a ton of hits including many for sale on Amazon. You are smart not to be fooled by the misleading "720p support" or "1080p support." Any of the lower resolution models can claim to "support" higher resolution without actually producing higher resolution. :)
 

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Thanks! Found some this time.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Unlike DLP with its micromirrors, there's no need to strobe RGB LEDs with a TFT LCD panel as the panel itself is producing the colors like a laptop, tablet or cell phone screen. All of the cheap single panel TFT LCD projectors simply use a single white LED light source.
I've seen the kind you're talking about where there are RGB sub-pixels sharing space just like a typical flatTV, but this appears to be a little different. The pixels don't have visible sub-pixels but instead appear solid like a DLP or perfectly aligned 3chipLCD PJ.
AAXA sells one or two cheap/portable LCoS projectors that use a single LCoS chip (rather than the typical 3) and strobe RGB LEDs onto it like a singlechip DLP, so I'm pretty sure the same is possible with LCoS's non-reflective sister even though I can't remember seeing it advertised anywhere.

I don't think a strobing design costs much more than a single white LED design as much as it just takes a few differences. It allows for a cheaper/simpler panel (pig pixel instead of 3subpixel) but needs a different image processor/builder, but the strobing processor and the strobing LEDs (and optics) themselves have already been used in super cheap DLPs and LCoS models..while the extra simple LCD panel is likely cheaper than any DLP or LCoS. Not sure if I'm making sense, but it seems to add up in my head..for whatever that's worth. ;)

I'll try to find a link to the RGB strobing LCoS model/s if I can.

EDIT:
http://www.aaxatech.com/products/led_pico_pocket_projector.html
http://aaxatech.com/products/hd_pico_projector.html
 

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I’m glad you succumbed to the urge to buy the RCA. I have glanced at these in Wal-Mart a 100 times and been tempted myself. I always say the same thing, “I have 3 working projectors on the shelf at home and one hanging from the ceiling why do I need another.”

These have a place and how I would have loved to find one under the tree when I was 12 years old. Of course there was no media then and color CRT was only a few years old. But just think what that would have been like. My dad had an 8mm Bell and Howell projector for home movies and under the tree I got a thing called an opaque projector I think from the Edmunds catalog that you could sit on a comic book and project the image on the wall. I was thrilled to be able to do that.

What a great way now to be able to get someone young interested in HT for a 100 bucks. I actually wish I knew someone that would like one.

Great job on the review. :)
 

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I've seen the kind you're talking about where there are RGB sub-pixels sharing space just like a typical flatTV, but this appears to be a little different. The pixels don't have visible sub-pixels but instead appear solid like a DLP or perfectly aligned 3chipLCD PJ.
AAXA sells one or two cheap/portable LCoS projectors that use a single LCoS chip (rather than the typical 3) and strobe RGB LEDs onto it like a singlechip DLP, so I'm pretty sure the same is possible with LCoS's non-reflective sister even though I can't remember seeing it advertised anywhere.

I don't think a strobing design costs much more than a single white LED design as much as it just takes a few differences. It allows for a cheaper/simpler panel (pig pixel instead of 3subpixel) but needs a different image processor/builder, but the strobing processor and the strobing LEDs (and optics) themselves have already been used in super cheap DLPs and LCoS models..while the extra simple LCD panel is likely cheaper than any DLP or LCoS. Not sure if I'm making sense, but it seems to add up in my head..for whatever that's worth. ;)

I'll try to find a link to the RGB strobing LCoS model/s if I can.

EDIT:
http://www.aaxatech.com/products/led_pico_pocket_projector.html
http://aaxatech.com/products/hd_pico_projector.html
Right, established name brands generally offer more sophisticated projectors with better performance from more complex designs that cost more to produce and sell at higher prices. A single TFT LCD active matrix panel with a simple white LED light source is the easiest and cheapest to make so it's the dominant design at the low end of the projector price/performance range and is generally marketed only by low end brands.

TI recently introduced a new 0.23" DLP DMD with 960x540 micromirrors and 4X pixel shifting to achieve 1080p resolution. I'm not sure if there are any projectors on the market with this chip just yet but it should allow for fairly inexpensive LED pico projectors.

ti.com/product/DLP230NP
 

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It’s pretty amazing what a $100 bucks will get you now days. I probably would never have gotten into projection not for a hand me down 480p projector. I still remember watching lord of the rings on a 90” picture on my wall. It’s funny too, I was used to a pretty high end 40” 1080p lcd tv. I was surprised how this old projector held up. Even though it had a quarter of the resolution I was able to see details I had always missed watching on such a small screen.

Sadly, a lot of people come to this forum looking for budget projectors like this RCA. Only to be turned away by droves of snobs who tell them if they don’t spent $5,000 on a high end projector they won’t enjoy it “it’s a terrible picture”. The irony is most of them where enjoying projection 10-20 years ago on projectors that where half as good as the ones they tell people are “terrible”.

So thanks for sharing your enthusiasm for what looks like a great picture relative to the price.

Sorry for the rant, hopefully you do give it to someone as a gift. The more people into projection the better for all of us!
I think people come to this forum after seeing 100 Chinese projectors which have zero USA support and lie in their advertising and think that they can get a 3,000 lumen, full 1080p projector for $125, AND they want to place the projector in some weird location at a very specific distance, in a room with a lot of ambient light, and then they need to be given a reality check.

People who are on a severe budget can always get cheap projectors like this and get their feet wet, but they need to know that these models, if not this one specifically, often have poor image uniformity, weaker than typical contrast, and no placement flexibility. The placement flexibility can be a huge issue as the projector has no offset typically. That is, it must be placed in the exact center of the screen both left/right and top/bottom. They include keystone (which tilts the LCD panel inside the projector) and this causes focusing issues.

To get a projector which can be mounted at the bottom (or top/upside down) with proper focus, you can't use these.
To get some zoom functionality, you can't use these.
To get added contrast, you can't use these.
To actually achieve 1,000+ lumens, you can't use these. (!!!)
To get true 1080p you can't use (MOST OF) these.
To get rid of the pretty significant noise, you can't use these.

It is not a jump to $5,000, but a jump to about $500 which can get most people into a very good entry level 1080p projector that delivers the goods. Sharp focus, solid contrast, great input lag, some zoom, fairly quiet, etc.

If people understand that there are many significant upgrades when they go from $100 to $500, and they only have $500 and understand what their compromises are, then few here are going to tell them 'NO!'. Instead, it's a very responsible way to get into all of it.

Places like Gear best and Amazon have a ton of models. Many made in the same Chinese factory, and many with very fake claims of what they actually are. So, people have to be super wary of what they are getting into. But, once they dig deep enough and learn enough, their choice is their choice, and few here will stand in their way.

I've personally been blown away at the quality of 720p and 1080p LED projectors I have tested, but they've all been from more major manufacturers. I haven't gotten into the sub $500 models at all. I would love to see a couple dozen of them side by side for comparison. That would be awesome.
 

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^ Nicely balanced summary with good perspective. Though it's now 5 years old, projectorcentral.com's "Cheap Projectors -- how bad are they?" review still makes a good read. Since then cheap projectors have improved (including some now with true native 1080p) but so have mainstream projectors, so the balance is probably still roughly the same.

projectorcentral.com/cheap_projectors.htm
 

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Discussion Starter #16
That PJC review is a really good warning even as the super cheap models get better because there are still some REALLY glitchy models and a lot of terribly false specs/advertising...so buying from somewhere with a good return policy and making sure you test everything you care about while you're still within that return window is extra important if you're trying to squeek by on a super low budget.

Having realistic expectations is also a good point, especially for folks who are just starting out. The nicer projectors around $500-700 can make things a lot easier with their placement flexibility and 4X-10X greater brightness.
I've been trying to remember to push the importance of putting good effort into the room's projector/screen and light placement whenever folks remark about how good an ALR image can look despite the lights. Emphasising that the screen/projector are setup for good brightness and uniformity while making sure lights/windows and the screen are either positioned where that light glances off the screen at a sharp angle while lights that could hit the screen at an angle roughly similar to the projector's ideal placement are dimmed or blocked from washing against the screen badly. It takes some of the "magic" out of the equation, but it gives a much more realistic expectation. Plus I like the planning and placement stuff; it uses simple math and costs little/nothing while giving really huge benefits when you nail it well.
 

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I think people come to this forum after seeing 100 Chinese projectors which have zero USA support and lie in their advertising and think that they can get a 3,000 lumen, full 1080p projector for $125, AND they want to place the projector in some weird location at a very specific distance, in a room with a lot of ambient light, and then they need to be given a reality check.



People who are on a severe budget can always get cheap projectors like this and get their feet wet, but they need to know that these models, if not this one specifically, often have poor image uniformity, weaker than typical contrast, and no placement flexibility. The placement flexibility can be a huge issue as the projector has no offset typically. That is, it must be placed in the exact center of the screen both left/right and top/bottom. They include keystone (which tilts the LCD panel inside the projector) and this causes focusing issues.



To get a projector which can be mounted at the bottom (or top/upside down) with proper focus, you can't use these.

To get some zoom functionality, you can't use these.

To get added contrast, you can't use these.

To actually achieve 1,000+ lumens, you can't use these. (!!!)

To get true 1080p you can't use (MOST OF) these.

To get rid of the pretty significant noise, you can't use these.



It is not a jump to $5,000, but a jump to about $500 which can get most people into a very good entry level 1080p projector that delivers the goods. Sharp focus, solid contrast, great input lag, some zoom, fairly quiet, etc.



If people understand that there are many significant upgrades when they go from $100 to $500, and they only have $500 and understand what their compromises are, then few here are going to tell them 'NO!'. Instead, it's a very responsible way to get into all of it.



Places like Gear best and Amazon have a ton of models. Many made in the same Chinese factory, and many with very fake claims of what they actually are. So, people have to be super wary of what they are getting into. But, once they dig deep enough and learn enough, their choice is their choice, and few here will stand in their way.



I've personally been blown away at the quality of 720p and 1080p LED projectors I have tested, but they've all been from more major manufacturers. I haven't gotten into the sub $500 models at all. I would love to see a couple dozen of them side by side for comparison. That would be awesome.


I totally agree, if you were to look at a ROI scale It would be a bell curve. The peak would be at about the $500-$1’000 mark at the top. If a few hundred dollars is a lot of money to you, then projectors like this RCA are still a good purchase. If a few thousand dollars is not a lot to you, then higher end is still a good purchase too. There are so many manufacturers selling projectors, and projection buyers are a small bunch relative to other consumer electronics. This makes things highly competitive for manufacturers. That’s why we rarely see a projector that is bad in terms of value, it’s a great time to be in this hobby.
 

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I totally agree, if you were to look at a ROI scale It would be a bell curve. The peak would be at about the $500-$1’000 mark at the top. If a few hundred dollars is a lot of money to you, then projectors like this RCA are still a good purchase. If a few thousand dollars is not a lot to you, then higher end is still a good purchase too. There are so many manufacturers selling projectors, and projection buyers are a small bunch relative to other consumer electronics. This makes things highly competitive for manufacturers. That’s why we rarely see a projector that is bad in terms of value, it’s a great time to be in this hobby.
Be aware that there are almost ZERO 4K projectors that are under $1,000.

In fairness, I think your bell curve is way off. These cheap models have significantly LESS light output than better models. Better models starting at about $500. This isn't a small upgrade when you get an entry level $500, 1080p projector. It's often 3-5 times as bright and it has a DLP chip or 3LCD chips in it to drive things.

When you get towards $1,000 you are just at the LOWEST edge of 4K technology. Nowhere near the top of the bell curve. Definitely in it though.

You continue to get very significant improvements in contrast right up through the Epson 5050, which is perhaps the best looking image under $3,000 on the market, yet not one of these models offers true native 4K resolution.

So, I think there are different bell curves for different things.

For a true home theater space, where people have dropped thousands of dollars to get seating, paint and treat the room, etc. Spending an appropriate amount of money on the speakers and projector is very realistically requiring $3,000-$8,000 for the projector (JVC native 4K level money).

For a kid working part time in high school who wants to show YouTube videos on his wall, a $100-$500 projector is ideal.

For a more typical enthusiast looking for a solid choice to turn a untreated room into a decent home theater experience, then $1,000-$2,000 is a really good place for them to be.

But, $500 gives results that come close to rivaling what would have cost $20,000+ just a couple decades ago, and truly does rival the digital projectors of 10 years ago that cost $10,000+

The point being that directing people towards the right solution that fits their needs doesn't always mean that their budget matches up. When their NEEDS demand a higher budget, then their needs may need to change to deal with their budget, or they must increase their budget. This is all fine with most experienced projector owners. Especially those who have been in it for years.

Many of us started with cheap stuff. I had two CRT projectors which were given to me 18+ years ago. Then, to get a 960x540 LCD projector I dropped $2,000. Based on reviews from Projector Central, I bought it without ever seeing it in person. Since then I've upgraded a few times, but I know that my old projector which likely would sell for under $100 online these days, produced an image that would likely be in the neighborhood of 'as good if not better' than what those $100 LED/single chip LCD projectors are doing.

I think you are coming at this from a very entry level point of view. Nothing wrong with that, but certainly the $500-$1,000 range for projectors is not at the top of a bell curve for 4K projectors. It's perfect for entry level 1080p. It also should be noted that 10 years ago, when 1080p was new, the $500-$1,000 range was pretty much owned by 720p projectors. So, we've had significant trickle down on this.

One additional big consideration is that major manufacturers support their product and have support phone numbers and a real warranty. I don't know who anyone would call if that RCA projector took a nose dive. I mean, I think the best thing about it is that it comes from Walmart which is likely the only real support that model may offer. Others, like those from gear best likely to have zero actual support or real world warranty capacity.
 

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I totally agree, if you were to look at a ROI scale It would be a bell curve. The peak would be at about the $500-$1’000 mark at the top. If a few hundred dollars is a lot of money to you, then projectors like this RCA are still a good purchase. If a few thousand dollars is not a lot to you, then higher end is still a good purchase too. There are so many manufacturers selling projectors, and projection buyers are a small bunch relative to other consumer electronics. This makes things highly competitive for manufacturers. That’s why we rarely see a projector that is bad in terms of value, it’s a great time to be in this hobby.
I have been discussing this to some degree as I was one of the last to hang on to 720p when 1080p was pretty mainstream and perhaps now I’m the guy overly happy with 1080p when for a little more cash 4k shifting is in vogue.

I look at it in this case rather than a few hundred bucks but rather look at it in terms of percentages. A $100 projector compared to a $500 projector is only 400 more but it is also 5X the cost or 500%. Now that there are some great projectors in the $1000 range it would be the same 5X to suggest a $5000 projector is the logical choice. Now to many of us that’s a huge jump.

I doubt the $5000 unit is 5X better than the $1000 unit and equally the $500 isn’t 5X better than the $100 unit.

Saying this I agree for me there is some minimum standard of quality I want to accept at any given time in history given my ability to pay. 25 years ago this $100 projector would have been the talk of the town and when you think about it 25 years ago $100 would be at least $1000 today dollars. So this thing would be more like my dad paying $3 bucks when I was a kid for something for me to mess around with.

When you really think about it how amazing is this time we live in. :D
 

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I've personally been blown away at the quality of 720p and 1080p LED projectors I have tested, but they've all been from more major manufacturers. I haven't gotten into the sub $500 models at all. I would love to see a couple dozen of them side by side for comparison. That would be awesome.

I got an Icodis (Vmai M200 $300) for my son & I was amazed how this tiny 720P dlp can have such an output!
it's literally a Palm projector with battery built in and a really Loud sound! it's amazing what their doing here in the middle kingdom & these pico pj are sprouting out like mushrooms to cater to whose workers here that always travel & needs a portable non-dedicated ht.


once they've been bitten by the Cinematic Experience, chances are they'll upgrade to a more dedicated HT system @4K (lot's of local brands now have these here)
eye shot about 95" & the other pic compared with the xgimi Z6.
 

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