I had the same issue, I settled for a projector, with the new projectors (720p or better)I cannot really notice much of a difference, the colour saturation of the 'tv' is better, but for me, My preference was to get an 8 ft diaganol, and I also decided that seeing a dimple on a man's chin who was standing on rear left stage was not that important
If you have been coparing the options side by side the tv will always win out, but if you decide on a projector, after a few viewings, I think you will feel that it is good enough
If you can control the room light with drapes or whatever and dont have to watch in a bright room (family, kids playing, maybe your wife likes to read in same room and so on) but if you dont need more than a 40 or 60w bulb or 2 on at any given time then your all set for a Projector, look for a Lumen value of atleast 1000 and likey you will want closer to 2000 so you can have a bright image and keep it in "economy mode" for both bulb life and fan noise as when bulb burns its brightest in Dynamic modes the fan needs to crank up aswell. Contrast is key too, the ratio is the black level and anything under say 3000 is going to not give very good blacks, my current model does 6000.1 and its good, not great but good If you also dont need to turn the thing on and off several or many times daily the I say go Projector all the way, you cant shut these down for 30min to eat and fire them back up day after day, with a Projector its better to just leave it run for an hour or two if you need to do something over turning it off and on a bunch of times (think 1 hour between power up minimum to be on safe side). But you can get on the budget side a 720p unit and a screen for well under $1000 and even get some great 1080P model that are both budget and totally up to date (Epson 6100) comes to mind for s street price of under $2000, screens can be as low as $85.00 for a manual pull down, you can get a powered remote control unit for a couple hundred budget minded, paint the wall white and frame its are for looks or simply just beam it on wall period. Then screens are like this hobby, thet can get insane in price. Also remember bulbs cost $3-$600 and expect to buy 1 every year or two depending ofcourse on use, the Projector will tell you its hours on bulb life and many units are good for 2000-3000 hrs in budget mode. The Epson I mentioned earlier is great as its reviewed very well, offers 1800 Lumens (these numbers are not to be trusted but its bright) and has also the added benefit of a 4000 hour bulb...its 1080P and has more adjustments and memory than most any "budget" unit and more than some costing much more. This unit also offers 18000.1 contrast....awesome for under $2000!!!! Dont forget in the end about where you want to mount it, if its going on ceiling your great but if you want it on a shelf or such you need to get a unit with "Lense shift" to compensate for various setup short comings. DLP Projectors dont offer the Lense Shift that budget LCD units do (Epson 6100 IS LCD) Blacks are many times better on DLP but they suffer from "Rainbow affect", you can research more on this via google or Projectorcentral, AVSFORUM and others, LCD is what I prefer. I dont know it all but I know alot so feel free to PM me if you ever want to talk, there is nothing like a movie, sports or concert on a Projector, its also great for audio as its not in the way of speakers image and such. Also its price is insane these days, Plasmas and quality LCD units while more useable in daytime and such are very expensive for a comparatively postage stamp sized image. In close 1 idea is get a small budget LCD from Wallmart or such for daytime crap TV and news, mount it on wall and get a screen that comes down for Projector use, best of both worlds and cheap units are well under $1000 for a wall mount unit...anyway, cheers
Thanks to Chadnliz for the detailed info on the use of pojectors. It is also valuable to read about the experiences of others. However, having read his post, I am now satisfied that I definitely do not want to have one, although that may not have been his intention! :)
Hey its better to know if its right for you and avoid a mistake and expense then to blindly tell everyone its the best way to go.......I love Projectors for a dedicated AV room but have other options in other rooms and they are not suited for everyone in every case.
I just bought my first pj and would not go back to a TV.I bought the new Sony model VPL-HW10 1080PJ which has a high lumen output and can project a 150 inch diagonal picture. Once you get a pj, there's no going back.
I went a step further and purchased an adapter from gutwire through www.uhfmag.com that lets you attach an aftermarket powercord to your blueray player for even a better picture.
I agree Moon, I cant see not having a PJ from here on out but some situations just are not right for them, I dont use mine daily maybe once a week or so but its like a treat for us to go downstairs for a movie, almost like a date sometimes. I know it sounds goofy but its true.
>Apart from the fact a projector gives a much bigger picture, is there any reason to purchase one over LCD or plasma HDTV?
That's precisely the point. It's not possible to get a theatrical sense of immersion from a one-piece consumer television that costs less than a nice German car at seating distances beyond what you have in a small living room.
By 9 feet you want an 80" diagonal screen, 11' 100", 13' 120", etc. and this is on the small side for scope films even with decent DVD transfers.
>The 'knock' on projectors is that they don't provide the crisp type of picture one can get with a LCD or Plasma HDTV, any thoughts or comments will be appreciated.
At the same subtended field of vision the picture is no less sharp. 720p matches what you get on many 35mm release prints you see in a theater and 1080p beats it. That's fine.
. I suggest you go to a showroom that has the biggest screen that your room will comfortably take with a projector in the price range that you are willing to work with. Once you do that, you can never go back to a television.
Go big young man.
I have a very nice 73 inch 1080p television. Once I fire up the projector and big screen, it is no contest, not even close. If you have the room, get a projector and screen. The whole idea of home theater is to try and replicate a comercial theater...in other words, to try and get big sound and big picture. .
Sedona, it may be too ambitious, but another option is a CRT projector. They are VERY cheap now, and will likely provide a better image than any other option. I use a Marquee 8500 and (you can now get a nice one for $2k on videogon) and it far exceeds any of the displays that any of my friends get with their 'modern' projectors - one of my friends just bought a new $4k DILA projector (after much research) and the picture isn't anywhere near the same league that I get out of my CRT projector. The main downside of the CRT though is that you either have to pay to have someone professionally set it up and calibrate it (about $1k in expense) or you can learn to do it yourself (like me) - which is a bit of time and effort, but fun, if you like the technology and treat it as a hobby. I would love to get a digital projector for the convenienct, but so far they are very far from what my mid-end CRT does.
CRT isnt only harder to set up, its much larger, heavier and hader to mount on ceiling in many rooms due to clearence issues, also you may need to get a external video Scaler to get best results, the bulbs last longer but cost much much more to replace, all units are old so anyone telling you they wont have an issue with something at any time that could proove to be very expensive is not telling you the truth. I really wanted to go CRT, I even asked about it here a few weeks ago but after alot of research, calls and more research I cant get comfortable with the investment over my "modern" (I say that because above poster appears to think that means its bad) Projection unit. It only doesnt do the deep deep blacks I wish I had and thats really the only reason I wanted to look into CRT...PERIOD. Get what you think works for you but just know every plus or minus of any format or player before you maybe make a bad choice.
Hi Chadnliz, I do generally agree with your comments about CRT, but just a few points to add - the Marquee CRT projectors are still being made by a company in Florida (http://vdcds.com/products/crt/8110-8500-9500.html - they make them for the military flight sims). The Marquee models have absoutely tons of spare parts available - partly because they've still been making them for the last few years. The Marquees are highly modular, so you can just pull out a board and swap in a new one etc. if you ever need one replaced, and prices have tumbled. New tubes used to cost about $600 but are far less now. The current market prices for CRT stuff is very different from even a year or two ago. I don't use any scaler - I just use a PC for the source (with a Blu-Ray drive).
I do agree though - it is a bit of an investment of time and effort and has its frustrations - it's not for everyone. Still, it was well worth it for me though - the quality difference is so big in my opinion that I think it will be a few more years before I can be convinced to switch to a digital (In fact I hope to upgrade to a new CRT in a year or so - a Marquee 9500, which would be about $3.5k). The projector provides me a lot of 'tweaking' fun too, kind of like analog. It was a long learning curve for me to get set up (I may have invested 50 hours + in getting stuff figured out), but it was a fun ride, and one I would recommend to anyone who has the bit of motivation and interest. I'm not technical, but thanks to online forums like avsforum I now know enough to be dangerous ;-)