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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, I'm FINALLY ready to add a front projection system to my home theater and I've decided it definitely has to be a DLP and not a CRT(based on price, maintenance and convenience). I've been doing a little reading on this forum about the various DLP front projectors currently available and to be perfectly honest, I'm even more confused now than I was before. I've narrowed my choices down to the following brands:


Runco XV-5000ci or XV-1000ci

Marantz VP-12S2 or VP 12-S3

Sim2 HT300

InFocus 7200

Sharp XV-Z10000U or XV-Z12000U

NEC HT1000

Dwin TV3


Are there any other top performers I'm leaving out or are these the major players that I should choose from? The Runco is probably a little more than I want to spend(especially the VX-5000C which is way too much at $27,000), but I've been told they're the absolute pinnacle of DLP FP's. Is this correct or will I be able to get similar performance from one of the other brands listed above? I've also heard fantastic things about the Marantz projectors and I'm seriously considering the 12S2 or new 12S3 since they're a little cheaper than the Runco PJs. That said, however, the Marantz units are pretty expensive as well and I don't want to break the bank for one of their projectors if a cheaper one will serve me just as well. Also, while I'm discussing price, is there a place where I can find the MSRPs for all of the projectors listed above? I found the Runco prices in a HT magazine, but I can't seem to find prices for the other projectors. I'm sure these questions have been asked somewhere else, but I've been unable to find a thread that discusses and compares all of these different brands of DLP front projectors. Any help and information you guys could provide would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
 

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I agree.


I bought my PJ from Daniel and got great advice, excellent service and a price that was better that I could have expected. In fact i was so shocked Daniel ended up asking me if I wanted him to raise the price!!


All that saidI've seen most of these PJ's excpet the Sharps.


My personal fave was the InFocus 7200 and the Dwin

None of them are bad.

I did not buy any of them though.

The resolution and color of the JVC was th trump card for me.


We all see them different :)


Good luck

Rob
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Robert,


Which JVC model are you referring to and what is the MSRP on that projector?


Daniel,


Thanks for your offer to discuss this with me. I will definitely give you a call sometime this week to pick your brain. In the meantime, if you have any information you could post on here to help me start the elimination process, I'd really appreciate it. Talk to you soon.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Robert Holloway
SX21 - The one on the powerbuy

The MSRP is $11k I think

Rob
Great projector but a lot of money for a non-HDCP compliant machine. Not a good risk IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks to everyone who has replied so far. Unfortunately, instead of narrowing down my list of choices, I've had three new candidates suggested(JVC, Samsung and Yamaha) which has me even more perplexed. I was hoping to get my list down to the top 2 or 3 models and then make a choice from there. That's what I did when I bought my plasma earlier this year. It came down to a choice between Panasonic or Pioneer after I eliminated all the other brands and I ended up getting a Panasonic(which I'm very happy with by the way). I think that chooising a projector might be a little more difficult, though, because there seem to be a lot more legitimate players in the field with PJs than there are with plasmas. Going by my original list and not including the three new brands that have been suggested here, can anyone rank them from best to worst or is that impossible to do? I'm sure there aren't too many people(if any) who have had hands-on experience with each and every one of these projectors so I understand if comparisons of all them are not possible. I'm just trying to gather as much infomation as I can because this is an expensive purchase and I want to make sure I get the right one.
 

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There is an awful lot of personal preference involved...


EG is brightness valued over CR ??? Is the room a dual use or theater only room (eg dark walls / perfect light control) ??? How important is saving money ??? Do you have a screen size in mind or even more important already have a screen ???
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Phreddy,


Well, I'd like to find the right balance between light output and contrast. I don't want something that's really bright, but with horrible blacks and vice versa. The projector will be in a dedicated theater room(completely dark with no windows or external light). As far as price, I don't want to overspend, but I also don't want to go the cheap route and end up with something of inferior quality. Like I mentioned before, I think the Runco PJs are out of my price range so I can pretty much eliminate them from the list. Any suggestions to what projectors are in their class(or close to it) at a cheaper price? As for the screen size, honestly, this is one area I have no idea about. I figured I'd try to select the right projector first and then figure out the screen size part of it from there. How do you determine what screen size to use and how big can you go before the picture starts to look bad? I'm very picky and I know that if you go too big(especially with DVD) that you start to see imperfections in the picture. I do want it big enough to have a movie theater feel, though. If you have any advice or suggestions, I'd really appreciate it.
 

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Brent,


Look over Robert Holloway's various threads documenting his extensive auditions and reviews of most of the key DLPs and the JVC DILA. There ARE differences and tradeoffs between models.


You need to see at least a few of these devices to understand what the trade-offs are between contrast, brightness etc. With a small room even the Sim2 should be bright enough for your purposes. IMO you could eliminate the Runco on the basis of the silly price in today's market and throw a dart on the list of the rest; there are NO BAD PROJECTORS on your list.


If you look over the threads from the recent CEDIA show you will find sone very interesting new models coming out from Samsung and BENQ that just might set new bang for the buck standards. Although I'm not sure of the availability of either unit.


Call Daniel and discuss your options for sure. You will find that some are sold through dealers that closely adhere to list price while others are available through dealers like AVS at discounts that are pretty substantial.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Carl,


I shouldn't have even listed the Runco models on that list because they're out of my price range. Guess I was dreaming a little bit when I put them on the list :) By the way, since I'm relatively new to the projector scene, what's the difference between DLP and D-ILA and does one have advantages over the other? The only D-ILA I've ever heard about is the JVC, but obviously I've found several good DLP candidates. My revised list is now:


Marantz VP-12S2 or VP-12S3

Sim2 HT300

InFocus 7200

Sharp XV-Z10000U or XV-Z12000U

NEC HT1000

Dwin TV3

JVC SX-21(D-ILA)


I really don't know how I'm going to go about the process of elimination with these things because I won't be able to audition all(or any) of them in person. When I was looking for a plasma, I was able to spend a lot of time in front of all the different panels and observe the strengths/weaknesses of each one. Obviously, there aren't any places with 7 or 8 home theaters set up where you can go watch a different front projector in each room so I'll have to go by the reviews I read on the internet and the suggestions of members on this forum. I'm sure I'll eventually be able to find the right one, but I have a feeling it's going to take a LOT of time and research before I'm satisfied.
 

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Well by posting your location and (possibly) a new thread lots of members are happy to open thier homes to people wanting to look.. This is a great way to get to see one in person and often after someone has taken the time to optimize it for thier room (though of course the mount of skill in optimization is important)...


At least getting a look at a DILA / LCOS model and a DLP model is very important... Then trying to see DLP's of different design goals (Marantz models.. High CR, Infocus 7200 high brightness) to see what you prefer is all important... Then working out what screen type to install based on what projector choice / room is also important...


How much of an issue price makes up is also important... Looking on VideoGon will show you some HD2's right down at the 5k mark... Is a couple of thousand worth the difference between a Sharp 10k and a Marantz S2 to you... Or again the savings of a HT1000 over a HD2... These are all very relative items...
 

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If you want to narrow your list to 2 or 3, you can easily do that by studying the specs of each projector. Two of the critical factors are throw distance and vertical offset. All of these projectors are different and it is unlikely that they all would be suitable in your room. Also look at brightness. The Sim2 is very dim, whereas the Infocus 7200 is very bright. The rest are somewhere in between. You must first determine your needs and then look at the projector specs to see which ones are legitimate candidates.


Go to www.projectorcentral.com to see specs on most of the above. The manufacturers' websites also have all the specs.


If you're going to make an informed decision, you'll need to be informed. There's no way any of us can help you pare down your list because we don't know your needs and desires and any information about your room. Do your homework before calling Daniel. Projector Central has a lot of decent articles to help you decide what you want and need in a projector.


I think you can eliminate all but 2 or 3 on the basis of specs alone.


By the way, the Runcos on your original list may be too expensive, but Runco also makes several models that fit squarely with your other picks. In fact, the CL-710 is $9,999 and many here think it's the BEST HD2 single-chip DLP projector out there. Put it on your list.
 

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Hmmm...isn't the Projector of Damocles still hanging overhead because it didn't make it to cedia?


Just curious...I have a friend looking to buy a HD2/HD2+ machine as well and I told him to wait till cedia since his HT isn't done yet anyway (and gave him my old Plus to shoot against a wall). Its getting closer to done and he's wanting to know whether to pull the trigger or wait a little longer and leave off on finishing the ceiling.


He's of the school of buy the most he can afford and don't upgrade for 10 years so I had advised patience. Its not like he doesn't have a "free" projector to use and "free" has a quality all its own. :)


Nigel
 

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Brent, you still haven't stated the screen size you wish to have (usually relative to room size and seating distance). If you are going for a larger screen size (at least 120" diag and larger) you can knock off some from the list (same goes with having a smaller screen). From there you look at your budget and what you're willing to spend up to. In my experience all the the PJ's you listed have great picture quality, and they all have their strengths and weaknesses (brightness, CR, throw ratio, fixed lens offset).

I really do believe you need to tell us here more about the room (size, totally light controlled), budget, and what you like to see more (punch of a brighter PJ or blacks, usually a tradeoff).
 
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