No Turning Back Now

I did a sales presentation with the company projector last Friday. I noticed during the setup while the projector was turned on before we set up our screen, the projector threw a large image on the back wall.....I'd never seen our projector in a room large enough to be back far enough to throw such a large image. Curious, I took the projector home for the weekend.

I moved some things around because I already have a 61" Phillips big screen in place. I threw the image from about 18 feet onto an egshell white blank wall. Oh my goodness! I was viewing "Master and Commander" starring Russell Crowe. The image was 11 feet wide and 8 ft high. While watching this in DTS, I could have sworn that I was on the boat with the crew. I had to duck to keep the cannon balls from crashing onto the couch....we checked for damage after every battle scene. My wife and 7 year old son were overwhelmed.

The 61 inch Phillips is very nice. It is no match for my company's $1500 data projector for sheer size and scale and the "being there" feeling. This was a projector on the low end of the rung. The thought is downright frightening to know that it gets much better using a proper screen and a higher end projector. I had IMAX right in my house last weekend.

I'm bringing it home again this weekend and we're watching 'Jurassic Park' and 'Gladiator'. I will also hook up my Atari Jaguar and play 'Defender'.

I'm saving my money to buy a projector....if you have the room, there's no other way to go. I'm convinced of that now.
Excellent abuse of company resources! :)
Maybe i can swipe one from work some day and try it out. ;)
I've done the same, and it's a truly awesome experience - lots of folks use these projectors in this way.

One thing to be aware of - the bulbs can run several tens of percent of the cost of a new unit. Just an example: an average Infocus brand projector for say $1800 to $2000 uses bulbs that get 2000 hours of estimated life. They're high-intensity, not generic, and expensive. Replacement bulbs are around $400 apiece for these units. Once the projector is off the market (1.5-2 years at most, the market moves FAST!), the bulbs won't be available from competing mail-order houses, and the manufacturer will be your only source for them. Once this happens, I've seen prices go over $500 for the same bulbs you might have gotten for as low as $300 when there was open-market competition. Not scaring you away, just plan ahead and get a spare bulb or two when you pick one up, and keep them in a well-padded, bombproof box. You'll save money and get several years of guaranteed enjoyment. Given the bulb game, you might find it wise to pack at least one away up front.

Sounds like a lot of money, but you'll be challenged to find more bang for the buck, when you think about it.
Agree with Slappy. Try the Infocus X-1 at around your price range...thats what I use. I have an 55 inch RPTV in the other room that I thought was good untill I got the contest!

On another note...great for TV also as long as you understand BULB LIFE?

The X=1 is rated at 4,000 hours FYI

Sounds awesome! You should definitely watch the last of the "Lord of the Rings" flicks. Those epic battle scenes would be unforgettable on a picture that large!
...thanks for the tip on the bulbs. I can easily see where that's a smart move.

Does bulb life improve with higher end projectors?
Mitch - that's a good question that I don't know the answer to (though I'd guess probably not?) Based on Dave's (Sogood51) response, my figure of 2000 hours for a bulb may be low for today's current projectors. I'm going from models I last evaluated maybe 2-3 years ago. Check the manufacturers' specs in any case.

My experience has been that these bulbs DO tend to last their rated lifetime, often much more. I imagine that this would be even more true in a home theater setting, where proper care is the norm (allowing the bulb/projector to cool after powering off and moving, if at all - as opposed to flipping the switch, packing the projector away hot and running off for a flight.)

I haven't seen more than one or two early blowouts in 5+ years of supporting a dozen or so projectors at work as part of our computer services group (that's 60 or so "projector unit years"), and these could easily have been due to the rough use they receive on the road with our sales staff. Like lots of high-end audio tubes, the bulbs seem to last longer than their ratings. Most of them we have in service don't stop working but just get progressively dimmer past their service life.

Even with the cost of the bulbs, there is lots of value to projectors. Here's a quick example: $2000 projector (comes with 1 bulb) + $400 for spare bulb. Bulb life, say 4000 hours each. $2400 / 8000 hours = $0.30 / hour. Super for movies, a little on the high side for TV if you watch alot, but super for special occasions.

I'ts a no brainer for movies.

Watching an eleven foot wide picture that's eight feet tall from 18 feet away in DTS was otherworldly. The only other time I've ever been so immersed in a picture was at an IMAX theater. I never thought anything could be better than going to a movie theater. Now I'm a changed man. Home theatrer is where it's at if you have the room for it. Obviously you don't have to spend a fortune either.

It will be too much of a hassle to watch tv on the projector. Because it is in a multi-use room, no one else can do anything else in the room because the whole room is pitch black.