I'm looking to build a home theater.Thinking of going with a projector for the screen size and money advantages.I know really nothing about them though.I would like something that can play dvd's,video games and the ocational tv show via sat. reciever when my wife is getting her hsn groove on.Is this possible to run these things through a projector?I don't want to spend a gr8 deal of money on the projector..3 to 8 hundred.Used or demo are fine.Any sugjestions would be gr8..thanks
Any of the non-1080p projectors from companies like Benq would fit the bill (look at the projector central website, real informative), can run your video sources into your receiver, if it has built-in video switching, and out to your projector, I run all you have minus the video game, but that should be an easy hook-up.
The sports games in 1080i HD look great , superbowl party?
For that kind of money you'll probably be looking at 720p. You might want to stay away from used, as the bulbs may have worn and are expensive considering your budget, dust build up and alignment issues may be a concern. Throw distance, ambient light, noise,and ventilation are real considerations. Each technolgy has their pros and cons, the final decision will probably be due to personal preference. Panasonic and Sanyo amongst others have offered good values.
I own an infocus X1 which can be purchased used for 200-500$ these days (with or without bulbs).
New bulbs run about 250$ and are said to last 3k hours.
I've had my current bulb running for 4k hours and apart from a lumen loss its still going strong.
De-lite screens of 120" can be had for about 130$ from their website.
The only disadvantage is that there must be near complete darkness to see the projection. If you like watching TV during the day, or if you have any ambient light then you might want to scrap the projector idea - given your price range.
Higher end projectors with stronger lumen output can work fine in rooms with more light.
Thanks much for your sugjestions.I have no windows in the ht room.Who makes the X1?I spose I could spend more.But it seems you get more for a thousand spent on a projector and a screen.
You can find $800 for Optoma H70 for 720p, Panasonic AE100 for similar - if you look - and similar in Sanyo PLV-Z4 on the market. Any of these would be superb, you'd have no complaints, stellar pic, and save bucks (you could even do the cheep, but satisfying looking "Poster Board" with black borders for a screen ($20-25 range). Hope this helps.
Personlly, I thought the Infocus X1 gave me head aches, had a slow color wheel (saw lots of rainbows), and rather low rez overall.
Thanks again for all the information.I'm learning alot from the projector central website.Should be makeing up my mind in the next couple days as wich 1 to buy.
I'd also like to try front projection without spending much money, and a starter setup like Firnlamb describes seems ideal, but I'm concerned that Geoffgarcia is right, and that a low cost setup will require watching in darkness. We now use a 14 watt super daylight florescent mounted on the wall behind the 40" LCD monitor for room illumination. That level of illumination is adequate for us, but I worry that it may be too much for low cost front projection.

My target would be something like a Sony VPL-60 with a 92" Stewart FireHawk SST screen, but that's at least a $5K setup.

I just installed the Panasonic PTAX100 recently, paid $600 with new bulb and I have no complaints, Projector and screen for $800 shipped..........a no brainer.
I guess going with LCD OR Plasma,on a little smaller size and saving for a better projector makes the most sense.Thanks for everyones time.
Be patient. Prices are dropping rapidly. What used to cost $25K 5 years ago, can now be had for $2K. Be patient, I suspect the rate of price falls to continue, with even better picture quality, better reliability, easier maintance and set up. That is, unless of course, the US dollar doesn't hold up it's end of the bargain.
I use a Sharp XR-20X Projector. It throws an incredible image from 25 feet away onto a 240 inch diagonal screen. Very bright projector. You can buy them for around $800 at Fry's Electronics. Killer bang for buck projector. Plays 720p and 1080i.

You will love this projector.