Projector question

I want to install a projector in our "media" room and get rid of the plasma tv. It would be used almost exclusively for movies. Maybe a little gaming and a little watching sports. Here's the thing, I know nothing about projectors. Budget of $1200-$1500. Do I want LCD, DLP, screen, painted "screen", etc?

check AVS site.
Probably either will thrill you but LCD is more likely in your budget. Many swear by LCD, many others prefer DLP.
Used may be of benefit to you, Panasonic 4000 is $2000 new but used well within your budget. Its good advice to join I am a member there too. They offer more video info than over here where its more audio obviously. If you want any ideas email me. Cheers
This is one of the best sites if not the best for projector reviews.
Better you look at some of the 70" LCD's, projectors are a hassle. The new 70's run about $4K. A good projector, mount, screen, cabling etc. will run about $6k and need bulbs at 400.
LCD are easy to place. Your best bet is Epson 8350 for $1299 or the Panasonic 4000 u. I know the Panasonic is a little over budget but it is a great projector. I built my own screen with material I bought on Ebay also the black boarder tape. I spent $180 for a 120" screen. They are simple to make also.This is good pace to do research.
Projectors can be had with screens for less then $2500 that will blow you away. There is no substitute for a huge image, 70in is like a postage stamp compared to what you can do with projector. So you buy a bulb every couple years, so?
I agree with Chadnliz.

I did the 70" LCD thing, very nice. But, the 70" lcd is no contest compared to a projector image for half the amount of money paid for the 70" tv.

Don't let anyone fool you, big is where it's at....that's why people with big-screen tv's still go to the movies. That's why tv's keep getting bigger....everyone want's the biggest image they can get at home. Once you see a 120 inch or bigger image in your home, there's no going back to ANY television to watch a movie.

And yes, I had to replace a bulb once....$400.

Once you've set the thing up, you're home free.

Also, once you set up your projector, don't invite any friends'll never be able to get rid of them once they've seen your screen.

ProjectorCentral is the best site I've seen for projectors.
I still dont get those not informed enough these days to know projectors and even more to advise on them. It can cost far less for a pro and screen compared to larger wall displays, just remember nobody ever says "I wish I had gone with a smaller screen". There are few reasons that a projector is a absolute no go, and it certainly is no longer cost.
For 1299.00 this is a very good model: I saw it at CEDIA and was very impressed.
I second the Panasonic 4000 - great colors and black contrast levels - way better than an LCD flat TV (frankly these are awful and I'd recommend a plasma if you go flat screen)
I bought the Epson 8350 a few months back to replace my old Infocus X-1 projector....I'm very happy with the Epson.

I paid $1,199 for mine. (Visual online dealer)

You do need to do some reading at the sites mentioned above before you buy, because the projector you buy "must" fit your needs for "your" room.

I use my projector for DVD movies, wii games, sports, and netflix streaming.

I don't understand the comment to go with a 70" at 4k. A projector and screen can be had easily for less than 4k. I got a jvc hd250 and a screen for less than 3k and there are far more choices out there. IMO if you don't think it can be done for less than 6k you haven't spent time with them or seen some of the offerings out there.

Epson and panasonic are very nice at their price points. Also your too
And external light will make a difference in how well it will look.
I third the Panasonic AE4000. It was my second projector after my Infocus 4800 went down. I bought it when it first came out and it has not let me down since.
For $1500 you can pick up a refurb Benq w6000 or a Mitsubishi hc4000 for a $1000. The Epson is nice..The Benq throws a better image.
Close out JVC DLA-HD350's floating around as clearance demo units in Best Buy's accross the land, can be had for $1200!!! JVC will replace bulbs, fix any issues (if there were any), and supply missing remotes, feet, power cables, etc under the manufacturers warranty!!
The difference between the JVC's and the Epson 8350?..NO CONTEST! JVC is in another league! And black level is IN THE BASEMENT BLACK!!!...which allows you to use ANY white screen, white wall paint options, or DIY screens, WITHOUT having to use high contrast gray screen/black screen to help black level and contrast!! The Epson's black level is like any other entry projector - GRAY! And the rest of the image is way more refined all around on the JVC (of course, the HD350/RS10's were $5000 new!)
Compared to the over hyped Panasonic 4000u, Epson 8500/8700's and such the JVC's simply whipe the floor with those competing models! Really, they're in another fact they're the Mercedes Benz of projector's under $10k.
Comes with power "everything", anamorphic, large lens and automic power lens cover, 19db whisper quiet, and JVC's unbeatable customer service. ...All else are just passanger cars trying to compete.
RE: Avgoround

Can you be more specific as to which stores may have these units?

I just spoke to a (typically incompetent) sales associate from customer service on the phone who couldn't spell JVC.

The local store's sales guy was much more helpful but couldn't locate one in any of the area stores.....
I just read "The official JVC DLA-HD350 owners thread" (the last few pages anyway) at the AVSforum.....I wouldn't invest in that projector at any price, yikes!

Do a search at the AVSforum before you buy.

Update: Just bought another (3rd) DLA-HD350 from Best Buy in Southern Cali area for $1000 plus $129 for 2yr war (includes one free bulb replacement)!! Also, JVC will replace dead bulb this demo came with, under their warranty! - amazing!!!
Sogood51, might I just state that, first, the HD350 is FULLY AUTOMATED AND MOTORIZED, unlike simpler stipped down MANUAL EVERYTHING models from likes of Epson and optoma! So, inherently, there's more right there to possibly go wrong and need service, with the much more robust and motorized JVC projectors. This last one I just bought being the 3rd I've owned, yes, I can say I already had a service issue, which was a thin blue discoloration stripe down the left side of image. However, JVC replaced optical block for repair over 2 days turn-around time, and all was perfect! NOT ONLY THAT, THEY GAVE ME A NEW REMOTE CONTROL, NEW FEET FOR THE PJ, AND A BRAND NEW REPLACEMENT BULB TO BOOT!!!..all under warranty, of course! EXCEPTIONAL customer service, indeed!
At any rate, I've been thilled thus far from not only JVC's customer service, but the image quality from these things is just amazing!..and I got em all for screamin deals too.
Beyond all of that, I see nothing on these units that would lead me to believe that these JVC's have more service issues than anything else out there. In fact, I've owned litterally more than a dozen video projectors in the past 8 years, AND MOST ALL OF THEM HAD SOME SORT OF IMAGE FLAW, ISSUE, OR IMPERFECTION - if not some sort of break down- TRUTH BE TOLD!! Let me list:

Sanyo PLV-Z1 - swapped out with replacment (pixels out)
InFocus X1 - red discoloration in one corner
OPtoma HD65 - image from chip not all the way up 16:9 view
Epson 8350 -(owned 3)all 3 had red discoloration in black
scenes/field, 1 was at least 2 pixels off 3lcd
Optoma HD65 - (currently own) 1/2 image is pinkish color
Panasonic PTAE4000U - no issues to report(lacked image pop)
Mitsubishi HC6800 - 1/2 image was bluish hue/darker
JVC HD350 (owned 3ea) one service issue,fixed jvc -perfect.
I'm just saying. I don't think I believe for a second the JVC's are more prone to issues than anything else. They're fragile pieces of machinery by nature. So undoutedly you'll find issue across the board with this catagory over most anything else, in my experience. Some might differ, I'm sure, though.
The thing is that once its set up the motor zoom and shift mean nothing so itsaves a few steps? Big deal! I had a manual and now a full motorizied unit and it really means nothing after the first setup. I could see if maybe its not ceiling mounted that it gets moved or bumped I suppose.

I could not read the whole owners thread, it's very long. All I read was the last few pages and didn't like what I read.

That said, I understand that this is a $5,000 I'm not surprised anyone would point out that it is better than a $1500-$2000 projector.....I would be surprised if it were not better (much better!)

At $1,129 I would say you got a great deal. That said, I found no deals like that in Michigan (our Best Buy doesn't even carry that brand afaik).

It may well be better but it is a few years old and in projectors newness often brings improvement with a lower pricetag.
My experience with the Pany 4000u was that it offered somewhat better than average LCD black level performance, and that it had no visible pixel structure. On top end of the contrast range, however, it was a little flat comparitively and subdued looking - EVEN COMPARED TO THE EPSON 8350!! (which had more "pop" to the image). Otherwise, the Panny was an excellent unit, which could have likely benefited from some sort of high contrast black screen, like screen innovations Black Diamond series.
The Mitsubishi HC6800 also had some similar characteristics as the Panny 4000u, including limited dynamic range/contrst on the top end, smooth overall pic (visible pixels close up, however), BUT BLACK LEVEL WASN'T EVEN BETTER THAN MY OPTOMA HD65 720 DLP PJ!! - also needs something like the Black Diamond SI screen to help boost contrast range and lower black level performance.
The Epson 8350's didn't have the N'th degree of color accuracy, but close. Never the less, they offered a very contrasty, poppy looking image, and descent pixel sturcture. Black level, however, wasn't any better than typical LCD or entry DLP projectors, really - also needs a proper screen. Beyond that, I see quality control issues there also! (Black sceens have Redish brown tint in the corners - distracting. Also, some pannel mis-alignment issues).
I've still kept my Optoma HD65 DLP projector, for netflix movies and computer work from the VGA connection. The image from this thing still has great contrast on the top end, image pop and sparkle...but black level hurts the darkest sceens, obviously. But then again I paid $350 for the thing used (still a great pj at a great price for portable ap's, gaming, coputer display, and tinkering!
Back to 1080p now...
The JVC, upon firing it up, and making a few adjustments JUST BLOWS YOU AWAY! THat black level is soooo deep compared to what you're used to from typical LCD/DLP projectors (and no color wheel), and so film like, and so contrasty looking(likley do to DEEEEp blacks), that you just can't stop adding superlatives! That's all I'm saying.
I've been an admirer of the JVC's since I saw them first at the trade shows. Now that I've owned one, I am just as pleased now as I was then! Truely nice looking, even with lack of color managment built in..still settings get color very very close,and close enough to thrill.
Yeah, I'm sure I found a pocket of these in my area, that no one else paid much attention to. I saw em and knew I had a bargain on my hands. So I took the deals and invested.
Lol - unfortunately, I like the deal and to turn the cash more than keeping the merchandise!! I will likey, however, still keep this last one..the others I've honestly sold for several hundred dollars profit each! Just couldn't help myself, in flipping the deal...hehe!
Ckniker, these three jvc units were found in my local Southern California area stores, within 30 mile radius. I might add however- as JVC is no longer a line BB carries, apparently - that some of these DIDN'T EVEN SHOW UP ON IN THE INVENTORY when I called to verify computer listed stock on hand! This was the case with one of the Mitsubishi HC6800's I found as well. I had to make several calls to many of the local stores and had them do physical searches, as I know often times merchancise "buckets" on computer inventory lists are "off" or wrong, lots of times. In fact, I had called one store on a whim, and happened to ask a sales associate at Best Buy if they had any of these projectors in stock (I know the computer showed 0's accross the board). And low and behold, the associate said I'M STANDING NEXT TO ONE NEW IN THE BOX! (The Mits Hc6800 was clearanced down to $999 ,down from $2495, down from $3495! ..of course I took it -AND SOLD It $1450!-EBAY)
Last HD350 I picked up the other night also did not show up in their system...but I knew it was there, cause I had seen it off-n-on for months when I would pass through. Sure enough, went in one day, and manager finally "caved" and gave it up for $1000 (missing accessories, few scuffs, needing a new bulb and such).
Basically, this kind of stuff all comes down to making calls, talking to sales associates and even managers, and working either do this kind of thing, or you don't. I've been finding these kinds of deals all my life, and it's like scavanger hunting. I keep your eyes open, and just work the deals!!
Let me review: Last 5 (yes, that's five!) 1080p video projectors I bought, WERE FROM BEST BUY, on like "triple clearance!" -2009 models - otherwise still quality stock!

Items picked up in last 2 months- again:
1ea Mits HC6800 -new sealed @$999 (sold for $1450 ebay!!)
1ea Mits HC6800-720hrs bulb+free bulb @$728(SOLD $1200ebay)
3ea JVC DLA-HD350's -all got 2new bulbs,1 from JVC &1 BB
(made $800 profit so far on 1st 2!!)
I agree with you on the 8350 to a certain extent Avgoround. I honestly never found the image to have that pop you describe. For 1200 its a good unit with great flexibility. But one can do much better for not a whole lot more money.

The HD65 is another unit,that is OK, but is way too dim for my taste. Black levels are lacking severely. It does have great pop in certain movies,such as animations. Hell what projector doesn't pop with this stuff though? lol

You got a great deal on the JVC. That unit is currently re-badged as a JVC HD250.

I have a DLP that will give your JVC a run for the money! ;-)
While I'm certain someting like the Misubishi HC4000 is a superior projector over the likes of the Optoma HD65, the hd65 has a great bang for the buck factor. I find it's extemely portable, throws a pretty acceptable image on an HC gray screen of 100-120", and has the cheapest replacement bulb available ($130 OEM) for those who use it every day (I use mine for VGA out for computer work and occasional netflix movie). Truely, nothing to complain about there for $300-400 street prices with low bulb hours!- I think, anyway. And I've never had a friend or family member who's viewed the HD65 say anything other than wow!...looks great.
For dedicated movie setups, for $1000 though, I truely doubt that there's anything out there that can touch the image quality that this JVC HD350 can produce! You can use a white screen, and blacks are still excellent. You can blow up the image for 2.35:1 setup, and also looks amazing.
Fully automated, and videophile type of machine. Sure, lacks CMS, but I find I can get it close enough for satisfactory in that regard.
Side by side, for $1k used, I think any other buy would be hard pressed to surpass the performance! I really do.