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  1. Member yoda313's Avatar
    Join Date: Jun 2004
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    I'm debating on getting a new or used projector. I still have my old 4:3 monster of a projector but I hardly use it since its so massive and non hd.

    I'm also thinking about maybe getting a 3d projector. That would seem to push it to 300.00 or 350.00 usd new (for the absolute minimum off brand svga level projector). That may not happen.

    But I've seen lots of knockoff no name non 3d brands on ebay for under 100.00usd. But these have sub 1024x768 native resoulutions. Even though they claim 1080p input compatibility with hdmi inputs without at least 720p native resolution isn't that kind of worthless?

    So my questions:

    Is lumen rating more important than the contrast ratio?

    What is the minimum lumen rating one should consider?

    If I want real bluray 3d support should I only buy new if I go the 3d route?

    Does the throw distance matter in a home environment?

    What minimum resolution should I consider for it to be worthwhile? Is svga still ok if it has hdmi input? I know it will be 800x600 native but for blurays will that downconversion hurt it too much when blown up on a bigscreen?

    Again this isn't a firm purchase. It's just that I'm plotting my next big purchase for the year and I can't really see myself buying a next gen console yet. I also don't really need a hdmi amp nor a new tv or another computer or even more movies. I'm toying with this idea of a new projector as something I might have more fun with since I do like the old projector I have but its sd and 4:3 and is the size of a tank basically.

    Also is the lumen rating directly proportional to how dark the room has to be? I won't be using it in broad daylight mostly. Or at least shades will be drawn to promote darkness.

    Thanks.

    Edit - I've had a rethink. I'm starting to think I might go for a 3d monitor instead. I'm looking at the sony ps3 24" monitor. I believe it's discontinued but I've seen good prices for used ones on ebay. Its active shutter 3d and its by sony so I think it should last for awhile being a name brand.

    I think I'll also start looking at 3d monitors like acer and stuff. I'm going smaller instead of a projector. I think I want something real that will work and not cost an arm and a leg. Besides for monitors you'd be closer to the screen instead of regular tv viewing distances.

    So this might be a better route for me to consider.

    But I'm still interested in your responses to my original questions. Thanks.
    Last edited by yoda313; 4th May 2014 at 09:46.
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  2. Member fritzi93's Avatar
    Join Date: Nov 2003
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    Here would be the place to ask about projectors:

    http://www.avsforum.com/f/68/digital-projectors-under-3-000-usd-msrp

    Not that there aren't some members here knowledgeable about projectors, but you'll get replies and opinions galore at AVS.

    I considered a projector when I built my home theater, but decided to get a 70" (Sharp non-3D base 640 model) LED/LCD instead. (Sharp uses active 3D, which I didn't want). We also have a 65" passive 3D LG in the living room. While I like passive 3D, we don't watch it often enough for it to be a priority. I have a few dozen 3D Blu-Rays, and while some of them are glorious to watch, most of our viewing by far is 2D.

    Anyway, there are advantages and disadvantages, of course, to either choice (display or projector).

    Projector advantage: Immersion. If you want really big, it's the only way to go.
    Projector disadvantages:
    - You'll likely have some re-wiring, etc, to do. Mounting, adjusting, etc.
    - Bulb life.
    - The room must be light-controlled, if not blacked out.

    Display disadvantage: Well, size. But my 70" is still pretty immersive at 8' viewing distance.
    Display advantages:
    - Easier to set up
    - More conducive to use as a monitor.
    - Not necessary to darken the room.

    No doubt others can add to the list. For me, using the display as a monitor was determinative. I'm typing in front of it now. And unless I'm watching a movie, I don't usually darken the HT. I'm not talking bright lighting, but some.

    Good luck.

    [EDIT] I should add, I got the 70" Sharp about a year ago. It was the floor display at Wal-Mart, and I got it for ~ $1,300 bucks. This was the one time I bought an extended warranty. Now would be a good time to get a floor model if you want big for relatively cheap. New models typically come out in the Spring.
    Last edited by fritzi93; 4th May 2014 at 11:05.
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  3. Member yoda313's Avatar
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    Thanks fritzi.

    I am actually turning to the idea of a small 3d monitor or sub 32" 3dtv. I won't be using it as a in your face immersive juggernaut. I've scaled it down to a more personal 3d experience. Still not sure on monitor or tv.

    But the idea of the sony ps3 tv is very intriguing. I can find a bunch at good prices.

    I'll still try to look up those answers on the forum you posted fritzi.

    Thanks again.
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  4. You really need to specify the viewing distance when you ask such questions. And the projected size when using a projector. A projector displaying a 120" image needs to be much brighter than the same projector displaying a 24" image. The inverse square law applies: a 5x larger image needs 25x more light to achieve the same brightness.
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  5. Member yoda313's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    You really need to specify the viewing distance when you ask such questions. And the projected size when using a projector. A projector displaying a 120" image needs to be much brighter than the same projector displaying a 24" image. The inverse square law applies: a 5x larger image needs 25x more light to achieve the same brightness.
    Ugh math! No!!!!

    Anyway I think I'll be shelving the idea of a projector since the quality I would want would price myself out of what I would really want.

    I will be looking at a smaller 3dtv instead.

    Thank you though I do appreciate the responses.
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  6. Member turk690's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by yoda313 View Post
    Anyway I think I'll be shelving the idea of a projector since the quality I would want would price myself out of what I would really want.
    Maybe, but not why head over to projectorcentral.com first and get their two cents. I got the panasonic ae8000 a year ago; excellent pic, no rainbows.
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  7. Mod Neophyte Super Moderator redwudz's Avatar
    Join Date: Sep 2002
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    I have a Sony BRAVIA VPL-AW15 Projector I bought several years ago. It was about $1300US in 2008.
    Native: 1280x720 Pixels/Maximum: 1920x1080.

    Brightness: 1100 ANSI Lumens. Contrast ratio 12000:1

    Video screen of ~10.5 feet diagonal @ 20 foot viewing distance.

    Brightness or contrast ratio? I would go with contrast ratio. I don't like washed out colors.
    The viewing screen also makes a huge difference in contrast ratio. Buy one made for video.
    But you will always need a darkened room. That may be the big downside to a projector.

    Of course the big advantage is a huge screen and hopefully a great surround sound system to
    go with it. I've never regretted my purchase.

    Your questions: (And my opinions. )

    Is lumen rating more important than the contrast ratio?
    No. Contrast ratio is most important. But it also has to have enough lumens to achieve decent contrast.

    What is the minimum lumen rating one should consider?
    About 1000 at least if you have bigger than an 8 foot screen.

    If I want real bluray 3d support should I only buy new if I go the 3d route?
    I have no interest in 3D, but I would get a projector that can at least do BD resolutions.

    Does the throw distance matter in a home environment?
    Sure it does. Longer throw distance, less lumens on the screen and less contrast ratio.
    Make sure your projector can achieve the desired picture size in the distance you have.
    My projector is maxed out to fill my screen at 27 feet.


    What minimum resolution should I consider for it to be worthwhile? Is svga still ok if it has hdmi input?
    I know it will be 800x600 native but for blurays will that downconversion hurt it too much when blown up on a bigscreen?
    My previous Sony projector was a 800 x 600. It was like watching a poor quality DVD on the screen. Even HD broadcast TV
    didn't look that good. My new projector at 1920 x 1080 looks very good with a BD. I use a 50 foot HDMI cable from a HDMI switcher
    with inputs from my two PCs, a BD player and a WDTV box.


    Again this isn't a firm purchase. It's just that I'm plotting my next big purchase for the year and I can't really see myself buying a next gen console yet. I also don't really need a hdmi amp nor a new tv or another computer or even more movies. I'm toying with this idea of a new projector as something I might have more fun with since I do like the old projector I have but its sd and 4:3 and is the size of a tank basically.

    Also is the lumen rating directly proportional to how dark the room has to be? I won't be using it in broad daylight mostly. Or at least shades will be drawn to promote darkness.
    Plan on shades and blackout curtains most times. Or just watch it at night. More lumens doesn't help that much in a fairly well lit room. You want real darkness.
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  8. Member yoda313's Avatar
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    Thanks turk690.

    Thank you redwudz for the great analysis.

    However I'm nearly set to buy the ps3 3d display. I can get it refurbed at new egg for 170.00. Its only 24in but I want real 3d and have decided to shelve the projector idea.

    But I do appreciate the responses. And hopefully they may help someone else too.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
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  9. Member yoda313's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for your help.

    I have just purchased the ps3 3d display on newegg. I should have it this weekend hopefully.

    I hope these answers are useful for others who are looking for help with projectors.

    Thanks again.
    Donatello - The Shredder? Michelangelo - Maybe all that hardware is for making coleslaw?
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