Still planning to get a Hitachi Home-1, but I would like to audition it first. I can only find internet dealers. does anyone own one in the DC area that would let me audition. Or know of any dealers around here? Thanks in advance.
You're welcome to view mine, sadly I live in California. Don't bother with an audition - you'll be very pleased with the quality per $. I've got about 100 hours on mine in the last month (I use it for "HD"TV and DVD) and am completely satisifed.
This is a fine PJ with lots of awesome features, good color balance, and a quiet fan. The one detractor is the WVGA panel, but that works great for DVD, and I'm not disappointed with HD material, it looks quite good. No DVI, but its only 480p, so downrezzing won't matter so much (if it comes to that). Don't underestimate the added value lens shift has, especially if you don't plan to ceiling mount. I table mount and use the lens shift frequently.
1) Price, Price, and Price (Brand spankin new in box for seven Ben Franklins)
2) cheapest bulb price of any other projector I know of.
3) lens shift - Great feature. Its a disgrace that other projectors designed for home use don't have this.
4) 2x zoom. Wife specified that projector HAD to be out of sight as possible, meaning mounting inside back wall at 14.5', but not have stupidly large image. The next projector that can do this is the nice Panny 700 at $2200. Why so many other projectors have short throw lenses I don't know. Every "theater" I know has the projector in back.
5) Easy menu and good adjustment ability.
6) Hitachi has always made quality products.
It comes down to this. If your on a really tight budget, there are a few options such as the Home-1 and other DLP projectors from Infocus and BenQ. If you see rainbows, or need the adjustability like I did, the Hitachi is a great and only choice. For 3 times the cost I could have had the Panasonic, and would have if the money was there, but I'll wait 4 years for true HD 1080p projectors to be at the $2k price.
It was discontinued last October. But brand new stock is still out there. Yes it is only WVGA, but so are popular others like the 4805. Stick to Projectorcentral's comments and keep the screen under 90" diagonal, and sit 2.1x back the screen width (width, not diagonal) to remove screen door. Also calibrate it on you screen with avia or DVE. It can go much bigger, all depends on you image preference.
I really don't think you'll find a place to preview it anymore.
Just FYI, stay away from most of those NYC dealers. If you don't know the company, do a search for those places online and you'll see they are nothing but ripoff artists selling greymarket. Read the reports, if you don't buy a $500 screen from them the projector suddenly is "out of stock".
There are many reputable online dealers.
And don't forget other costs. My "clean" install required supplies for the wall cutout, long cables, wall plates, new in-wall hidden cabinet I'm making for AV equipment, and infrared remote extenders. Ebay has been my friend.
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