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I need help choosing my first projector

Discussion in 'Televisions' started by etherz, Mar 15, 2004.

  1. etherz

    etherz Member

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    I've been loking for a new err, tv for my room downstairs that currently has a tv, computer, couch in (not the living room) and this is where i will watch most of my films and watch tv. I wanted a BIG tv or a projector, i am quite a computer geek but have no experiance in projectors.

    My budget is just under £1000
    I have looked at:

    TV
    CRT-Probably to small, only up to 36"
    LCD-Great bu too expensive
    Plasma-Nice but fade and too expensive
    Rear Projection-Sales person nearly got me, but no no no, 3 bulbs are too expensive to replace and they don't look too good

    Projectors
    Great idea but i don't know many people with one in their living room which they also use as a tv for four hours a day (is that a bad idea). I have seen the epson EMP-TW10 that does widescreen and the bulbs only cost £144 (Affordable)

    My Requirements
    Already have sound setup,
    Already spotted screen
    Use with freeview, vcr, dvd, and pc (not much so don't need good resolution for pc)
    Cheap bulbs
    Long lamp life
    good recommendations
    widescreen
    as quiet or quieter that a ps2 console

    Much help would be appreciated, this is only my first projector so it cannot be more than £1000.

    If you don't think i should get a projector then please tell me any alternatives and don't flame me if i'm totally wrong

    Thanks -={EtHErZ}=-
     
  2. Oriphus

    Oriphus Senior member

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    I think a projector would be a good idea in your case. Since it is a first time purchase, you budget is a sensible one. I spent £1060 on an amazing Panasonic PT-AE500 that will do all you need it to do and gives amazing resolution and clarity/colour. It is also very quiet. However, you can get the Pansonic PT-AE300 which is a very good system also. I got my from a German retailer who delivers to the UK for £25 (cash ondelivery). Here is a link to one:

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3083857683&category=19722

    Also, it may be worth while to look at the Sony HS1, as a lot of people are very happy with it. Note that these projectors are SVGA projetors, whereas my Pansonic is a WXGA projector. It is my second projector and it is absolutely amazing. However i do recommend using a progressive scanning DVD player (like MArantz DV4300) to enable the better picture quality.

    To understand more about Progressive scan, visit this post:
    http://forums.afterdawn.com/thread_view.cfm/74567

    Also, have a look at this post for more info:
    http://forums.afterdawn.com/thread_view.cfm/74117

    Hope this helps,
    Anymore questions, feel free to ask,
    Chris
     
  3. etherz

    etherz Member

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    thanks a lot!

    i will look at these links and do some more research and tell you what i have chosen

    -={EtHErZ}=-
     
  4. Oriphus

    Oriphus Senior member

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    No problem, let us know what you narrow it down to and before you actually buy it and maybe we can give you more advice.
    Thanks
    Chris
     
  5. mike17032

    mike17032 Member

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    I also need help choosing my first projector. I am not sure what currency you guys are using, but I dont want to spend more than about $6-7000 US. This is just for the projector itself, I am willing to get a good screen later. And I already have a very good sound system ready to go (the TV is the last part).

    It will be my primary TV. I play a lot of Video Games (Mostly Xbox, and most of those games are in 480p with some in 720p or 1080i). The TV I watch is from Direct TV (so it will also be high def with a new reciver).

    Here is what I care about:
    the picture MUST look good, having a clear picture is very important to me.

    I need all 3 HDTV formats (480p, 720p, and 1080i) supported. All 3 must look good too because of the varying formats I play.

    It has to do well in a room that has some light in it. I can keep the room dim but I want to be able to watch TV with some lights on and still see.

    Before I started looking at projectors I had my eye on this TV from Sony:
    http://www.circuitcity.com/detail.jsp?c=1&b=g&catoid=-8041&qp=0&oid=82156
    Its a 70 inch LCD TV that goes for around $7000. Very clear and bright, one of the best looking TVs I have ever seen.

    Can I get a projector in my price range that will do what this TV does? Do you guys think a Projector is right for me, or should I go with the giant TV?

    It seems that if I go with a Projector that DLP is the way to go. The Optoma H76 seems to fall right in my price range, and I have heard some good things about it (both here and other places).

    Thanks again for any responces.
     
  6. Oriphus

    Oriphus Senior member

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    Hi, that is certainly a nice budget to have available and you will find something to suit your needs. First off, the Sony certainly is a big television, but i dont say anywhere anything about its contrast ratio, which will be very important. I personally, like the quality you can get with a projector over a fixed LCD/Plasma screen.

    Lets look at your projector options:
    1). You need a projector that projects XGA or better
    2). You need a projector that outputs 1000+ Lumens or so to enable you to use it in birght room.
    3). You need a projector with component connections for high quality images.

    From this, i can recommend a few projectors. Firstly, lets look at the NEC WT600 at $6995.

    It has an output in Lumens of 1500ANSI which means it will be nice and bright even in a lit-up room. Its contrast ratio is an amazing 3000:1 meaning that the black levels will be perfect when under any viewing conditions. Its a DLP projection system with 6 segment colour wheel meaning no rainbow effects. Also it supports 1080interlace, 720progressive and 480p/i. It has DVI and Component as well as VGA connection. Note: it is a 4:3 native projector, so widescreen will have bars top and bottom.
    http://www.projectorcentral.com/NEC-WT600.htm

    Secondly, lets look at the Optoma H76 $5995, my personal favourite. Its another DLP projector with 1000ANSI lumens output and 2000:1 contrast ratio. It isnt as bright as the NEC, but does have a distinct advantage with its 7 segment colour wheel and Mustang HD2 DLP chip. Its also a WXGA resolution, native 16:9 projector, so 4:3 images will have black bars to the left and right. It supports more HDTV and has 1080i,720p,575i,576p,480i,480p as well as having Component Inputs and DVI inputs (VGA for PC).
    http://www.projectorcentral.com/Optoma-H76.htm

    Next we look at the Benq 8700 ($7995). It may be a bit over the budget, but its another great projector with a 7segment colour wheel with HD2 Mustang DLP chip in it. It has a good 1000 Lumens, and a good 2000:1 contrast ratio (anything over 1000:1 is pretty good). It supports 1080i, 720p, 480i, 480p and has component inputs as well as DVI and VGA. Its a WXGA resolution of 1280x720 Pixels so will suit 16:9 modes better than 4:3. There is a model called the 8710 which is the same price, but has 900 Lumens output and 2500:1 contrast ratio (i would choose this but i watch movies in a darkened room).
    http://www.projectorcentral.com/BenQ-PE8700.htm

    Overall, i think for your needs, NEC WT600 is the better model. the reason i say this is the higher output of Lumens for the brightness and the higher contrast of 3000:1 (to combat the increase in lumens). The Optoma H76 would probably be my choice for its fantastic price and amazing specification, but if you use XBox and games a lot, the 16:9 format may not be the best and the 1000 Lumens may not be bright enough for you in a light room.

    With the NEC, the brightness in daylight should be good because of the high contrast. I had a 1600 Lumen projecotr which was nice and bright in daylight, but with only 350:1 contrast, it was very poor depth and blacks. Now i have a 850 Lumen Projector (which i only use at about 600 Lumens) with a 1300:1 contrast and it is excellent, but only in darker rooms.

    Hope this helps.
    Chris
     
  7. Oriphus

    Oriphus Senior member

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  8. mike17032

    mike17032 Member

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    Thanks for all the info!

    And the Xbox does support 16:9 in all the games that are high def. I forgot to mention that I want a widescreen model (have to plan for the future).

    Based off what you said, looks like I was on the right path with that H76. Unless there is an NEC similar to the NEC WT600 but with native 16:9 size?

    I do like the brightness of the of the NEC, and the contrast. Do you think the H76 will be bright enough though? The room wont be really bright, just have a few lights on sometimes.

    I guess my biggest question is can a projector be used as your primary TV? I half watch TV a lot (while I am on the computer gaming ect). I dont know why it wouldnt work (i know the bulbs need replaced but so do the ones in DLP and LCD TVs).

    I dont have a number for the contrast ratio on that TV, but its better than any other LCD or DLP I have seen. Big reason I liked it. Very bright image too (almost to bright sometimes).

    Great forum btw, and thanks for your help.
     
  9. birtytown

    birtytown Member

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    I have two projectors for sale . email me @

    reefermik@hotmail.com for photos and info

    buy payes p+p etc UK only ( my location - BRIRMINGHAM)

    OPEN TO OFFERS OR CASH / SWOPS .
     
  10. Oriphus

    Oriphus Senior member

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    Birtytown - its a US user

    Mike:
    The H76 is an ideal choice, in fact the much cheaper H56 is an amazing projector as well, i tried to get one from the US myself but the customs fees were too high. In terms of brightness, i think the H76 is fine in a room with a few lamps (maybe not the main light) on around the room. In fact, to set up a home cinema system correctly, a lot of people would recommend putting a light behind the screen to lessen eye strain (personally i prefer the dark room). It would probably be bright enough for your requirements, the contrast ration helps this. Obviously, the darker the room, the more the picture comes to life in terms of quality and contrast, but even my 600Lumens setting Panasonic will work ok with the lamp on in the room.

    Also, for watching TV, it will only be good if you are using a HDTV signal for the image.

    Hope this helps
    Chris
     
  11. mike17032

    mike17032 Member

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    Great news, thanks. I know the normal DTV channels (non-high def) are not going to look great, but thats no different than on any big screen right?

    The way a projector has to scale the resolution on 1080i pictures, is that the same way that a big screen TV would too? I am pretty sure the LCD TVs have a set number of pixes too (1386 x 788 x 3, on the XBR I was looking at), not that far off from what the projector has.

    So far I like everything I hear about projectors, and thanks again for all your help.
     
  12. Oriphus

    Oriphus Senior member

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    Yeah, the LCD televisions will have (should have) inbuilt scalers for various formats. The one inside the H76 is extremely good. Instead of me eplaining it poorly, here is a good lot of information on the H76 Projector:

    http://www.coleprojectors.com/which_home_theater_H76.shtml

    Also, note that there is a new mode, the H77 coming out in a while (probably end of year or later). In case you could be bothered waiting. Personally, new projector models come out all the time. I would just get the H76 and be happy with it. Then if you want to upgrade to a new one, you will know where to send your old one to ;-) *me* lol

    Glad to help
    Chris
     
  13. mike17032

    mike17032 Member

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    Any idea what the new features are on the H77?
     
  14. Oriphus

    Oriphus Senior member

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    None whatsoever, Optoma havent released anything yet, bar that they are working on it. I dont forsee any massive changes, but who knows??
     
  15. etherz

    etherz Member

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    Hi guys,
    My search slowed down a bit for a few weekends but i am now close to finalising my projector.

    I really like the Panasonic PT-AE projectors for many reasons such as Scart connection (good for freeview and stuff), winescreen and 5000 hr lamp life. I have even gone to see the PT-AE500E in action at the Panasionic Retail shop in Milton Keynes and was really impressed but they tried to charge me £1599 for it, no way!!!

    I've been having a look for it on the internet and have found http://www.komplett.co.uk where i buy computer parts from stock it but, i have been told that they are not an authorised Panasonic UK dealer and therefore there products must be "Grey Imports", this is not a problem as the warranty is valid in any country and at the end of the day it is still a PT-AE500E so i don't have a problem with that.

    There prices are very competetive:
    PT-AE500E - £1,116.25
    PT-AE300 - £775.50

    Prices are inc. vat and delivery is an extra £5.

    The PT-AE300 seems much better value at £340.75 cheaper but i am still in favour of the PT-AE500E.

    Screen 1370mm x 1245mm - £111.63 inc. vat and delivery.
    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3089256552

    Any thoughts please, i need your help.

    -={EtHErZ}=-
     
  16. Oriphus

    Oriphus Senior member

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    They may not be grey imports. They can of course be products purchased in bulk from a Panny distributor who is authorised. Richersounds, the largest hifi retailer in the UK, was accused of being a Grey Import user, but turns out they got deals from companies who were Authorised.

    In terms of your choices...
    The screen you are looking at seems pretty decent. I looked at it myself not so long ago, but opted for a screen more like this one because of the gain of 1.1:
    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3088046225&category=22610

    The projectors you are looking at are both great. The PTAE300 gets amazing reviews from its many owners that all say that the SDE is virtually invisible and that there is no vertical banding at all with it. The AE500 however, has the higher resolution, which you do notice when seeing them both together. It to has minimal Screen Door Effect, and although there are some users that experience vertical banding, you can do a flicker tweet in the service menu that will allow you to rid yourself of it (i personally never got any with mine)

    The contrast ratio on the PTAE500 is fabulous with great black levels. It comes with 2 cinema mode settings for colour, but for me, and a few others, we found ours to have far to much green. A DVD calibration disc sorted that so now i have the perfect picture.

    I highly recommend you getting a Panasonic PTAE500. I got my from here:
    http://www.tsn-cd.de/

    It only cost £1060 + £20 p&p whih you can choose to pay in cash when you receive it. They do speak English.
     
  17. Oriphus

    Oriphus Senior member

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  18. etherz

    etherz Member

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    Thanks i will talk it over with the rest of the family.

    -={EtHErZ}=-
     
  19. Oriphus

    Oriphus Senior member

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    No probs, im sure you will enjoy your purchase no matter which one you get.
     
  20. biebelop

    biebelop Member

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    Hi all,

    I also want to buy my first projector.
    Looking at optoma I like the EP756.
    However this does noet seem to be a home theater version like H56,... but has much better lumens (2000)
    Can I watch movies and tv properly with the EP756?
    Has anyone an idea and help me out:
    http://www.optoma.co.uk/PDF/English-PDF/EP757/756-BackUK.pdf

    Thanks,
    Biebelop
     

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