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King Hotpants
Apr 11, 2005

Clint.
Fucking.
Eastwood.


King Hotpants posted:

Do you guys want me to start an actual projector thread with an informative OP and all that? We've been using this one for years.

Hey, good news: I finally got around to doing this.

After years of using someone's one-off question thread as a repository of all projector knowledge, and then a few more years of my promises to actually write an OP, it's finally time to talk about projectors in their own purpose-built thread.

This thread is about digital projectors. Specifically, this thread is about digital projectors used for home theater, home entertainment, video games, and other stuff like that. I guess you can also ask questions about presentations if you really want to.

What's a projector?

Projectors, or more accurately front projectors, are display devices that project an image onto a screen. Yes, like in the movie theater.

More technically: A projector is a display device that operates by shining light (from a high-pressure lamp, laser, cluster of light-emitting diodes, or a combination of LEDs and lasers) through some kind of imaging engine (LCD, DLP, or LCoS) and sending that image out through a lens. They are also called front projectors to separate them from rear-projection televisions, which operate along similar principles but have an integral screen.

LCD, DLP, LCoS?

LCD is short for Liquid Crystal Display. White light is split via prism into red, green, and blue. The colors are each passed through their own LCD chip, which opens and closes pixels as needed. The RGB channels are then recombined via prism and shot through the lens onto the screen. You'll often see this called 3LCD, because all modern LCD projectors use three panels.

DLP is Digital Light Processing. DLP projectors use a single digital micromirror device, or DMD, that has a tiny mirror for each pixel. Light from the source is sent through a spinning color wheel, which filters the light into red, green, and blue (and sometimes other colors as well). That color-filtered light is directed onto this chip. The mirrors flip on or off, and the light is reflected (mirrors, remember) out to the lens. Because the colors refresh so quickly (a minimum of twice per frame), your eyes and brain try to combine the red, green, and blue flashes into a single full-color image. Problems can occur when your eyes and brain don't do this correctly -- you'll see flashes of color where they shouldn't be. This is called a color separation artifact, but everyone refers to it as the rainbow effect. Rainbows are more common on DLPs with low color wheel speeds, but some people can see them even on the fastest DLP projectors.

The above only applies to single-chip DLP projectors. Three-chip DLP projectors do not use a color wheel and thus are immune to the rainbow effect. However, single-chip DLP projectors are vastly more common than three-chip DLPs, and you should assume that a DLP projector is single-chip unless you're explicitly told otherwise and it costs more than $10,000.

LCoS is Liquid Crystal on Silicon. Like LCD, LCoS always uses three chips. Like DLP, it is reflective rather than transmissive -- light bounces off of the chips rather than passing through them. LCoS is essentially an LCD panel on top of a reflective substrate. Currently, the most popular LCoS projectors are made by Sony (who call it SXRD) and JVC (who call it D-ILA). You won't see LCoS projectors very often for less than $2,000, but they perform very well and avoid some of the pitfalls of both LCD and DLP. How and why they do that is a bit beyond the scope of this intro.

Each technology has its advantages, but none is perfect. A whole lot of words have been written about the differences, many of them bullshit, but I won't bother to get into it here.

So can I get a projector to replace my TV?

Maybe.

Your TV works in your living room because it is a sealed box and the light comes shining out of it. Since projectors shine light onto a screen which then reflects that light back towards you, they are a lot more susceptible to ambient light. You can buy very bright projectors or special screens to make the picture look better in a bright room, but they cost more.

That said, projectors and TVs are not really used for the same thing, and as such they aren't interchangeable most of the time. Here's a brief rundown of the advantages and disadvantages of a projector versus a television.

Advantages of Projectors

  • Big Picture. Projectors can give you a giant image. While extra large TVs do exist, you still can't beat a projector if you want a super large screen. A 100" diagonal image is considered modest these days.

  • Less expensive. Compared to a similarly-sized TV, projectors end up with a much lower cost per inch for large screen sizes. A good entry-level home theater projector can be purchased for less than $1000 these days, and you can run that projector at a 140" diagonal if you want to. Throw in another $2000 for a screen, basic audio system, cabling, and accessories, and you’re at $3K total for a huge theater-like picture. An equivalent TV would cost much, much more.

  • Adjustable image size. So you bought a giant TV — awesome! Then you moved to a tiny apartment. Where are you going to put your big-rear end TV? Though they are best at big screen sizes, projectors can also run at 60” or 80” diagonal if your new place isn’t amenable to a really giant screen.

  • Lightweight. A 100” diagonal televison is a lot heavier than a 100” diagonal projector screen. The projector itself is probably less than 20 pounds.

  • Portable. Portable projectors are a thing. Many vendors now sell "home entertainment" models which are smaller, brighter, and include speakers and (sometimes) carrying cases, giving you a portable 1080p display system. New models also include MHL, so you can plug in a Roku stick or Chromecast or whatever and skip the cabling mess.

  • Concealable. A big TV is always going to be there. But if you want a room that isn't 100% projector all the time, you can buy a retractable screen. Projector lifts are also available, but a ceiling-mounted projector isn’t much of an eyesore to begin with.

Limitations of Projectors

  • No audio/bad audio Televisions have speakers. Projectors usually don't. Those that do tend to have really lovely ones, and when you're watching a movie on your 150" screen, that cheesy 10W mono speaker isn't going to cut it. Plan on buying a decent stereo system, at minimum.

  • Cheap projectors suck. You can get a really nice projector for a little less than $1,000, but there’s not much worth owning below that point. Inexpensive projectors aren't built for movies and TV, they're built for business use. You can buy a decent-sized small television for much less than you'd pay for a decent projector. This is the opposite end of the size advantage — at small screen sizes, projectors cost more than TVs do.

  • Viewing environment. With a TV, you don't need to worry so much about room lighting, but a projector's image will become washed out very quickly if there's too much light in the room. This kills contrast and makes the image look like poo poo. To avoid this, you need opaque curtains on your windows at the very least. For serious home theater, or any projector that costs more than about $2,000, you should also consider non-reflective surfaces in the room and walls/ceiling that are a color other than white.

  • Tricky installation. TVs are simple to install because it’s all one piece. Projectors are a two-piece system: you install the projector, then you install the screen (or vice versa, but that’s a whole different topic). While each of those pieces is relatively easy to install, it can still be more work than putting a TV on top of your media console and calling it a day. It can also be a pain in the rear end to aim the projector such that it’s perfectly square to the screen, especially because none of your walls are square or level, at least if your house is anything like mine.

What should I buy?

If you're looking for a recommendation, please include the following info:

  • What's your budget?
  • Intended sources -- what are you going to watch/play/do?
  • How big of a picture do you want? "I don't care/Big" is an acceptable answer
  • Are you going to use a screen? (if you already own a screen, how big/what kind/what gain, if known?)
  • What are the restrictions, if any, on placement?

This is the bare minimum of information I need to make a good personalized recommendation. Your answer might be different from the answer I give someone else depending on the particulars of your room, screen, et cetera.

Why should I listen to you? I have been reviewing projectors professionally since 2005 and I have first-hand experience with hundreds of projector models.

TOO MANY WORDS, TELL ME WHAT BUY. BenQ W1070.


I intend to add to this OP as I go, but in the meantime let's get started.

King Hotpants fucked around with this message at 23:49 on Oct 16, 2015

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King Hotpants
Apr 11, 2005

Clint.
Fucking.
Eastwood.


FAQ

Screens

Do I need a screen? Technically no. However, screens are engineered to reflect evenly without imparting color bias, and the good ones have an obvious visible benefit to image quality. If you're buying anything above an entry-level projector and you aren't using a screen, you are wasting your money. Buy a cheaper projector and a better screen.

What kind of screen should I get? This is a two-part question.

Fabric: If you have a room that's been properly treated (no ambient light), you should probably get a white screen with a gain between 1.1 and 1.3. This will give you the most neutral, "pure" picture you're going to get. If you have ambient light or a projector with so-so black levels, consider a gray screen instead.

Frame: now that you have the fabric figured out, you need some way to hang it up. The only options you should consider are fixed frame (mounted to your wall, does not move) and tab-tensioned (retractable, either manual or motorized). Regular non-tensioned pulldown screens develop waves and ripples and quickly become useless.

The absolute best screens (Stewart, Draper, Screen Innovations, etc.) cost between $2-3000 depending on size. There are much less expensive brands available, but anything below $400 for a 100" diagonal screen is probably junk. On the upside, a good screen will last through several projectors. My screen at home (Stewart StudioTek 130) is over 10 years old but still looks great.

How big should the screen be? This is largely a matter of personal preference, but there is a rule of thumb:

Measure the distance between where you're going to sit and where the screen is going to go. Take 2/3 of that number, and that's your screen's width. But screens are sold by their diagonal measurement, so you'll have to convert.

Or just mark a rectangular outline on your wall using tape and adjust it until it looks right, then measure it and buy a screen around that size. This isn't rocket science.


Calibration


Does your projector look like crap? Have you noticed that your monitor, TV, and projector all look different, even when watching the same movie? Congratulations, you've discovered why calibration exists.

Display Calibration is the practice of adjusting a monitor, TV, or projector so that it will accurately reproduce whatever you're watching. Basic calibration is easy, and you can (and should) do it yourself. Advanced calibration requires special equipment, but if you're serious about it, you can get a decent setup running for less than $300.

Basic calibration

If you have a calibration disc, you can adjust several settings on your projector to make the picture look a little more accurate. You should make sure to run the test patterns through whatever device you normally use to play movies. In other words, don’t use your laptop to display patterns if you normally watch movies through a Blu-ray player.

You can adjust brightness, contrast, and sharpness just using your eyes. To adjust color and tint, you’ll need a blue filter, which is exactly what it sounds like: a transparent piece of blue plastic. Some (usually higher-end) projectors have a “blue only” mode, which turns off the red and green channels. If your projector has this, you don’t need a blue filter.

Examples of Calibration Discs

For basic calibration, you'll need a calibration disc. These discs contain test patterns that you can use to adjust the settings on your projector. We use test patterns instead of movies because test patterns are a known quantity - black is black, white is white, et cetera. A lot of movies have flaws in them, like an incorrect black level, or too much sharpening, or a color bias. If you try to calibrate using a tainted source, you'll end up with bad results.

  • Disney WOW - haven’t used it myself, but a lot of people like it. And it’s cheap. However, I’m not sure if it includes a blue filter, so you might have to buy one separately.
  • Digital Video Essentials: HD Basics - DVE is the product of Joe Kane, crazy video genius, who knows more about video than just about anyone else. He was a huge figure in A/V in the late 90s and early 2000s, but he’s sort of dropped off the map since then. However, this disc is a great resource. Includes color filters. There is a DVD version as well for scrubs and/or poors who aren’t using Blu-ray.
  • Spears & Munsil HD Benchmark, 2nd Edition - probably the most comprehensive of the bunch. Also includes 3D test patterns, which none of the other discs do. Not sure if this includes a blue filter, but my copy arrives on Monday and I’ll find out.
  • AVSHD 709 - A free pattern set from the crazies at AVS Forum. You will need to burn these patterns to disc or play them from a compatible HD media player. Obviously does not include a blue filter, but hey: it’s free.

Basic Picture Controls (and what they do):

IMPORTANT: Before you touch any settings, find your display’s “video optimized” mode. This is usually called Cinema, Movie, Reference, THX, Rec709, et cetera. Starting from this mode will save you a lot of work.

Brightness - Sometimes called Bias or Offset. Adjusts black level. Set too low, it will “crush” shadow detail, making dark gray look like black. Set too high, it makes black look like dark gray, reducing overall contrast ratio.

Contrast - Sometimes called Gain. Adjusts white level. Too low and the picture looks dingy; too high and highlights are “blown out” as the display makes almost-white objects look white. You want white (255) to look white, but the next shade down (254) should be visibly different.

Make sure Brightness and Contrast are correct before you touch anything else.

Color - Sometimes called Saturation. Adjusts global color saturation. In a component video (YCbCr) signal, it is used to balance the output of the brightness (luma) and color (chroma) channels. Requires a blue filter to set correctly.

Tint - Sometimes called Hue. Adjusts the balance between the two chroma channels (Cb and Cr). Moving the control too far one way will make the picture look greenish. Moving it too far the other way will make it look magenta. Requires a blue filter to set correctly.

Sharpness - Adjusts edge enhancement. Higher settings do not make the picture sharper, they increase the amount of edge enhancement. This will appear as white rings around edges in the picture. The proper setting for this control is typically 0, but you should turn it down until the white rings go away.

Color Temperature - Sometimes called White Balance, White Point, Grayscale, et cetera. Adjusts the relative balance of red and blue in the projector’s grayscale. If your projector has preset color temperatures (High/Med/Low or Warm/Normal/Cool, etc.), feel free to switch between them until you get a pleasing approximation of white that is neither too red nor too blue. If you instead see a submenu with one or more adjustments each for Red / Green / Blue, run away. You need a meter.


Picture Controls you shouldn’t touch without a meter:

Gamma - Brightness and contrast control white and black. Gamma controls all the shades of gray between them. Gamma adjustment requires very precise measurement of brightness, so it’s not something you can do without a meter.

Color Temperature - As above, if you have to adjust individual RGB levels, it requires a meter. This control is a good thing to have, as it will allow you to get closer to 6500K, but you can’t really eyeball it.

Color Management - Sometimes called CMS, RGBCMY, or all kinds of silly proprietary names. These controls adjust the color gamut, which are the exact positions on the CIE diagram of the primary and secondary colors your projector uses to make all the other colors.

Some people have a hard time with the difference between color temperature and color gamut, so I’ll try to explain:

You’re painting your house but run out of paint halfway. So you go back to the store and tell them that your fancy-pants off-white paint is exactly 34% red, 34% green, and 32% blue. But since the last time you came in, the store switched paint brands, and their new red is more orange than the red you used the first time. At this point, you’re screwed — there’s nothing you can do to make that red match the one you used last time, and it’s impossible to exactly recreate the paint you’ve been using.

This is true for video as well. Your projector is trying to recreate the colors used in a movie. The DVD or Blu-ray (or whatever) sends color information to your projector as a string of numbers dictating the percentages of red, green, and blue. But even though the disc knows the exact mix, the projector has to start with the same base colors or the picture won’t look right. Color gamut adjusts those base colors. Color temperature defines the mix used for a neutral white or gray. This is an oversimplification, but that's the gist.

King Hotpants fucked around with this message at 19:43 on Jan 9, 2015

Fatal
Jul 29, 2004

I'm gunna kill you BITCH!!!


Yay, it begins!

Do you see anything on the horizon for consumer 4k projectors?

etatoby
Feb 12, 2003

China makes me cry

I'm inclined to follow your advice and get the BenQ. But didn't DLP projectors notoriously suffer from rainbow effects, due to the rotating wheel? Are they really better than a triple LCD like the Epsons?

Do I really have to install a screen? Can't I just use the white wall? Ok, I'll get a screen. I guess I need a low (1.0) gain, since people will be viewing it from a wide angle, right? Are there any other parameters that I should look for in a screen?

Also, do you have any advice about mounting the projector on the opposite wall, in inverted position, close to the ceiling? I can't fix it to my ceiling.

etatoby fucked around with this message at 19:55 on Sep 25, 2014

wolfbiker
Nov 6, 2009


You don't have to but it makes a big difference. I spent more on my screen than I did on my projector (W1070) knowing that the projector will be upgraded in the future but the screen will be with me waaay longer. In the past I did the opposite and had an expensive projector and a $100 piece of laminate on the wall as a screen. It did the job but there's no comparison to an actual screen.

EAB
Jan 18, 2011


So are there LED or laser home theater projectors yet? Or has the industry bandied together with some kind of gentlemen's agreement to keep using ancient bulb technology to put their hand in our pockets but not for a handy!

King Hotpants
Apr 11, 2005

Clint.
Fucking.
Eastwood.


Fatal posted:

Yay, it begins!

Do you see anything on the horizon for consumer 4k projectors?

I assume by "consumer" you mean "affordable by mere mortals" so I'll run with that.

This year's CEDIA show was kind of a bust for projectors. Digital Projection was showing off their 4K stuff, but those are priced well above $100K. Sony still has the VW600 and the VW1100, and they are releasing the VW300 in Europe but not the US.

The biggest 4K news out of CEDIA was Sony's decision to make their FMP-X10 4K media player work on all TVs and projectors. Until this point it had only been usable on Sony's own displays. I had a chance to mess with the previous generation player, the FMP-X1, back when I saw the VW600. They actually had a pretty good amount of content when I used it and I'm sure they have more now.

As for non-native 4K display, Epson has their new LS10000 which will accept 4K sources, but it's native 1080p. They have a process that's similar to JVC's e-Shift to increase resolution, and it looks really good, AND it's going to sell for $8000 or less. But it's not native 4K, so if that's a dealbreaker, it won't work.

So, short answer: Yes, it's coming, but not this year.



etatoby: For people who can't or won't do DLP, my favorite is still the Epson Home Cinema 8350 (though they are retiring it, finally, this year). 1080p, no 3D, low input lag if you care about games, good zoom and lens shift so you can stick it on a shelf in the back of the room instead of flipping it upside down.

With either the W1070 or the Epson 8350 you'll probably want a gray screen to improve black levels. I have more experience with the high-end screen manufacturers (Draper, Screen Innovations, Stewart) but Elite makes a good screen. They used to just be so-so but they're improving.

I assume since you mentioned a white wall that all the walls are white, as is the ceiling. If you want to make your picture look way better, put up some curtains or at least paint (matte, dark color) to cut down on reflections.

King Hotpants fucked around with this message at 20:54 on Sep 25, 2014

King Hotpants
Apr 11, 2005

Clint.
Fucking.
Eastwood.


EAB posted:

So are there LED or laser home theater projectors yet? Or has the industry bandied together with some kind of gentlemen's agreement to keep using ancient bulb technology to put their hand in our pockets but not for a handy!

Drat, you've found my shadowy cabal!

You don't see a lot of LED home theater projectors because it's hard to make them bright enough. The Optoma HD91 and LG PF85U are both LED projectors, and both of them top out around 800 lumens. You also run into some odd color problems. They also cost more and don't look as good as the regular lamp-based models.

My money is on laser (not LED/laser hybrid) being what eventually replaces lamps. Epson's new LS10000 is laser-driven and it looks fantastic. They will also be selling a slightly less expensive model called the LS9600, the only difference being it won't have the 4K shift enhancement thing. Sony also has some laser projectors, including one 4K ultra short throw model that you put up against your wall, but it's going to cost upwards of $30K.

Now that Epson has a laser home theater model available for less than $8K, you can expect the technology to start working its way down into cheaper projectors over the next few years.

EAB
Jan 18, 2011


Interesting. I haven't really looked into projectors for a while but I was turned off because I thought replacement bulbs cost like $500 for 2000 hrs of use, and was waiting for the holy coming of LED or laser projectors. This Benq W1070 is only like 750 dollars, and the bulbs are 200, thats very palatable.

-Googled the w1070 a bit more and see that users report rainbows... something I've experienced on dlp projectors as well, I don't know if I'm highly sensitive to it but anytime I move my eyes I see the rainbows. What projector do you recommend thats rainbow free?

EAB fucked around with this message at 21:22 on Sep 25, 2014

Ur Getting Fatter
Jun 9, 2007

Fast Food Fight



Grimey Drawer

Is there any sort of average life span for bulbs or does it just vary radically per model?

If so, what's the BenQ's bulb's average lifespan?

Also, what's the absolute minimum distance wall to wall to have a projection be larger than, say, a 50" TV?

I have a small living room, width-wise, but large TVs put me off for whatever reason.

King Hotpants
Apr 11, 2005

Clint.
Fucking.
Eastwood.


EAB posted:

Interesting. I haven't really looked into projectors for a while but I was turned off because I thought replacement bulbs cost like $500 for 2000 hrs of use, and was waiting for the holy coming of LED or laser projectors. This Benq W1070 is only like 750 dollars, and the bulbs are 200, thats very palatable.

-Googled the w1070 a bit more and see that users report rainbows... something I've experienced on dlp projectors as well, I don't know if I'm highly sensitive to it but anytime I move my eyes I see the rainbows. What projector do you recommend thats rainbow free?

Lamps used to cost a lot more than they do now. Some high-end projectors still use expensive lamps, but most of the cheap models have very affordable lamps now.

Some people are super-sensitive to rainbows. It happens. I see rainbows on a lot of projectors, but the W1070 has a faster color wheel than most of its competitors and I don't see rainbows on it.

The only 100% way to eliminate rainbows is to use a 3-chip projector so there's no color wheel. The Epson 8350 is in the same general price range as the W1070 and you'll never see a rainbow ever.

Ur Getting Fatter posted:

Is there any sort of average life span for bulbs or does it just vary radically per model?

If so, what's the BenQ's bulb's average lifespan?

Also, what's the absolute minimum distance wall to wall to have a projection be larger than, say, a 50" TV?

I have a small living room, width-wise, but large TVs put me off for whatever reason.

The BenQ bulb is supposed to last 3,500 hours at full power or 6,000 hours at low power. I have no idea if it actually does, because when we review projectors we have them for maybe a couple of months tops.

If you want a projector that sits super close to your wall, look for short throw models. There's actually a short-throw version of the W1070 called the W1080ST. You can get a 50" picture from 3' away. Here's the calculator for that model, if you want to play around with it.

Soup in a Bag
Dec 4, 2009


I'm looking for a projector, but not for home theater use. I ref for a roller derby league and we use a projector to show the scoreboard. I'm trying to figure out which projector to buy that is:
- cheap
- uses cheap replacement bulbs

Unfortunately, those are by far the two most important criteria - especially cheap bulbs since that will be an ongoing cost. I'll probably be looking for a used projector. Other criteria are:
- resolution of at least 800x600, from what I've seen of the scoreboard software 4:3 is preferred
- relatively bright since it's used inside a lit (but not well lit) venue; all the text is very large and high contrast so this might not be too important
- not sure how important this is to specify, but we currently use a VGA input so I guess it would be nice to have that as well as DVI/HDMI

We do project on a screen, but I don't know any details about that except that it's 4:3-ish.

Any brands/models in particular I should look for or avoid? Any advice on buying a used projector besides asking how many hours are on the bulb?

King Hotpants
Apr 11, 2005

Clint.
Fucking.
Eastwood.


Don't buy used! Get an Epson VS230 instead. 2400 lumens, SVGA, $99 replacement lamps. Sells for $340 new. Sounds like exactly what you asked for.

TheMadMilkman
Dec 10, 2007



My older brother is intent on buying a Sony VPLHW40ES. He has an irrational affinity for Sony products, and the price isn't an issue for him. Do I talk him into something else or leave it alone?

He doesn't have a screen yet, so grey would be an option. I haven't measured his room, but the screen would likely be between 100" and 120". Will be used for movies and satellite TV. No gaming. The room has a pre-installed projector mount, but we can move it without too much issue, so throw distance isn't a major concern.

King Hotpants
Apr 11, 2005

Clint.
Fucking.
Eastwood.


The HW40ES is actually a fantastic projector and a good value for the money. Yeah, I know, shocker.

TheMadMilkman
Dec 10, 2007



Good to hear. It's tough to get a feel for what projectors are a good value, because very few people actually get experience with more than one or two. And reading owners threads on AVS and other forums is an exercise in frustration. Too many people seem to be trying to convince themselves that they made the right purchase.

In other words, thanks for the thread.

etatoby
Feb 12, 2003

China makes me cry

King Hotpants posted:

With either the W1070 or the Epson 8350 you'll probably want a gray screen to improve black levels. I have more experience with the high-end screen manufacturers (Draper, Screen Innovations, Stewart) but Elite makes a good screen. They used to just be so-so but they're improving.

I assume since you mentioned a white wall that all the walls are white, as is the ceiling. If you want to make your picture look way better, put up some curtains or at least paint (matte, dark color) to cut down on reflections.

Thanks.

The ceiling is matte wood. The walls are white, but I'll put up some curtains. It's a 16x16' room, with seating towards the back. What size screen would you set up for most comfortable viewing? I used the BenQ calculator and if I mount the W1070 to the back wall, upside down, close to the ceiling, the image will be 127-135". Do you think it's too large, or is it ok?

I'd like to avoid the "first row" effect in theaters, where the picture is so big to be uncomfortable.

etatoby fucked around with this message at 06:57 on Sep 26, 2014

King Hotpants
Apr 11, 2005

Clint.
Fucking.
Eastwood.


The rule of thumb is 1.5 times the screen width. It's an old rule and it largely depends on your preferences, but it's also a safe way to avoid the first-row thing.

For a 127" diagonal picture, that's (111*1.5=166.5/12=) about 14 feet. Sitting a little closer will still be okay.

wolfbiker
Nov 6, 2009


If you're Canadian, memoryexpress.com has refurbished W1070s for $599 right now. I bought my refurbished W1070 from them a year ago for $799, which is now the price of a new one on the site.

mAlfunkti0n
May 19, 2004


Fallen Rib

I just placed my order for a W1070 because the Acer H5380BD-3D had horrible RBE for me, but apparently it has a 2X color wheel...

Namlemez
Jul 8, 2003


On DLPs 10 years ago I could see the rainbow effect in about two seconds flat. The newer ones all have those 2X and 3X wheels and the only way I can see it on my W1070 is to shake my head and dart my eyes back and forth. I wouldn't be very worried about it.

King Hotpants
Apr 11, 2005

Clint.
Fucking.
Eastwood.


Most DLP projectors under $1000 use color wheels that are either too slow (2x speed) or use non-RGB segments. A lot use slow wheels and non-RGB segments. Why?

Slow color wheels don't matter in a business/presentation environment because your eyes move a lot less, and a lot of video projectors in this price range are just converted business projectors.

Using CMYW segments in a color wheel gives you more light output with the same lamp wattage. Since a lot of people buy projectors just based on specifications, you can see why that would be attractive.

The W1070 and HT1075 have fast color wheels (4x or 6x depending on the input you use) and have only RGB segments, so you see fewer rainbows and get better color saturation and accuracy. That's the major reason why they are so highly recommended for home theater. The Optoma HD25 and HD30B also had fast RGBRGB wheels, but none of the subsequent models (HD25-LV, HD25e, HD131X, etc) did.

Usually you can tell when a cheap projector has a good color wheel because the manufacturer brags about it. If they don't say anything, there's typically a reason why.


edit: for anyone not in the US, the HT1075 is known in some markets as the W1070+

King Hotpants fucked around with this message at 18:26 on Oct 1, 2014

Aeka 2.0
Nov 16, 2000

Have you seen my apex seals? I seem to have lost them.






Dinosaur Gum

Rumor has it that there will be a US version of the VW300, but it will be called the VW350. Any truth? Also why does the US market get so dicked on price?

King Hotpants
Apr 11, 2005

Clint.
Fucking.
Eastwood.


Aeka 2.0 posted:

Rumor has it that there will be a US version of the VW300, but it will be called the VW350. Any truth?

No idea.

Just in general, since I work in this industry, I'll usually be under NDA when it comes to unreleased and upcoming products. That's the cost for early access to cool stuff. So it's rare that I will be able to answer questions like this with anything other than a wink and a nudge at best.

quote:

Also why does the US market get so dicked on price?

In general? We don't. Most projectors are cheaper here than they are elsewhere. Are you referring to anything specific?

mAlfunkti0n
May 19, 2004


Fallen Rib

I have my W1070 now and LOVE it .. great little projector!

Nostalgia4Dogges
Jun 18, 2004

Only emojis can express my pure, simple stupidity.



Just going to chime in and say the Optoma GT750 short throw projector is amazing. It's only 720p but I can't loving tell. I have the older one here

Well, it's the same but with only 1 HDMI plug. Looks like they have a newer one.


So yeah great entry level somewhat portable gaming projector. The short throw aspect is great. I mean yeah if you're looking for something more permanent look elsewhere.

Aeka 2.0
Nov 16, 2000

Have you seen my apex seals? I seem to have lost them.






Dinosaur Gum

King Hotpants posted:

No idea.

Just in general, since I work in this industry, I'll usually be under NDA when it comes to unreleased and upcoming products. That's the cost for early access to cool stuff. So it's rare that I will be able to answer questions like this with anything other than a wink and a nudge at best.


In general? We don't. Most projectors are cheaper here than they are elsewhere. Are you referring to anything specific?

An overseas projector can be had for much cheaper, but I hear the warrenty is invalid.

King Hotpants
Apr 11, 2005

Clint.
Fucking.
Eastwood.


Aeka 2.0 posted:

An overseas projector can be had for much cheaper, but I hear the warrenty is invalid.

Again, can you point to something specific?

You're correct that the warranty would be invalid, so assuming you can find one cheaper and don't get screwed on customs and shipping, you'd better hope it never breaks.

Namlemez
Jul 8, 2003


It varies by manufacturer but that isn't news. I remember a decade ago lots of people (including me) were buying the Panasonic AE-100 from Japan to save a couple hundred bucks. I just looked at PriceJapan.com and they'll sell you a Sony VPL-VW1100ES for about $13K vs $28K I see on Amazon.

I did have mail the AE-100 back to them for warranty service.

mAlfunkti0n
May 19, 2004


Fallen Rib

Why oh why are there so many junk projector mounts out there. So far the only one I've seen with a reasonable price that doesn't completely suck is the Peerless with thumb screw adjustments for tilt/roll/etc. It's very sturdy, while the rest are so jank I don't know how they justify the price.

Aeka 2.0
Nov 16, 2000

Have you seen my apex seals? I seem to have lost them.






Dinosaur Gum

King Hotpants posted:

Again, can you point to something specific?

You're correct that the warranty would be invalid, so assuming you can find one cheaper and don't get screwed on customs and shipping, you'd better hope it never breaks.

Looks like pricing has leveled out as I see the Sony 600/500 are both 10k.

But my HC9000D had an msrp of 10k, a street price of 6k, and could be had for 3k through an eBay importer with stock in the US. I snagged the eBay one. Not real thrilled that I went that route, but it has been working just fine for two years. I'm on the 3rd bulb. I'll be buying US market this time, specifically for the peace of mind.

Menstrual Show
Jun 3, 2004



I'm looking for a recommendation. I've been scouring the internet for information, but am getting conflicting information on what the best projector for my needs are (or if I should just give up on looking for something 'perfect' and just accept that there's nothing that great out there).

What's your budget?
I'd like to keep it under $500 if possible.

Intended sources -- what are you going to watch/play/do?
This is mainly for work. I am in client services at a large software company, and spend a good amount of my time training clients / troubleshooting their issues / presenting to clients. That said, much of this is done while traveling. Since a lot of my meetings are fairly impromptu, getting a room reserved with a projector seems to be a bigger issue for my clients than I'd like. Therefore, I'm looking for a portable projector (I don't need it to be "PICO" or "pocket" sized, just small enough to fit in my backpack without adding a lot of weight; ideally, something i can get a hard case from amazon or something for because I have a tendency to treat my backpack and everything in it like poo poo.

Secondarily I''d love to be able to project on the wall of a hotel room and watch poo poo and play games on my laptop (Diablo 3 currently). I'd be projecting off a Macbook Air for the most part, if it matters.

How big of a picture do you want? "I don't care/Big" is an acceptable answer
As big as I can given the specific nature of my requirements - I get it that I'm not going to get a 3000 lumen projector that can project 2000 inches in a brightly-lit conference room, but bear in mind that I WILL be in conference rooms, and would prefer greatly that I don't have to shut off lights to make it visible.

Are you going to use a screen? (if you already own a screen, how big/what kind/what gain, if known?)
No.

What are the restrictions, if any, on placement?
It'll sit on desks, conference room tablets, beds, etc. I'll get a small gorillapod for it if I find one that I really like (I also bring my camera with me on trips as well so this would server a dual purpose).

I know I'll have to make compromises here and I'm fine with it. Just looking for what is the best possible projector in this (admittedly niche) category, and I'll buy it off of Amazon and take it for a test drive to see how I like it.

King Hotpants
Apr 11, 2005

Clint.
Fucking.
Eastwood.


mAlfunkti0n posted:

Why oh why are there so many junk projector mounts out there. So far the only one I've seen with a reasonable price that doesn't completely suck is the Peerless with thumb screw adjustments for tilt/roll/etc. It's very sturdy, while the rest are so jank I don't know how they justify the price.

Well, what's your idea of a reasonable price? Remember that mounts are a lot like screens; you should be able to use the same mount for several projectors, so it's not a bad idea to buy a good one.

I don't deal with a lot of ceiling mounts since I have each projector for like two weeks. I put everything on a rear shelf or a coffee table.

Last time I checked, though, Chief Mounts are pretty good. Their RPAU is less than $150 and seems like it fits most projectors on the market.

King Hotpants
Apr 11, 2005

Clint.
Fucking.
Eastwood.


Call of Cholula posted:

I'm looking for a recommendation.

Okay, so: under $500, bright, widescreen, portable, with an onboard speaker.

You can get the Acer X1373WH for $399 from NewEgg. Like all cheap DLP projectors it has a 2x speed wheel and produces much more white light than color, so if the stuff you're showing is heavy on color it's not going to look like 3,000 lumens. But you should be able to get a decent-sized (60"-80" diagonal?) image up on a conference room wall without needing to turn the lights off no matter what you're using.

Menstrual Show
Jun 3, 2004



King Hotpants posted:

Okay, so: under $500, bright, widescreen, portable, with an onboard speaker.

You can get the Acer X1373WH for $399 from NewEgg. Like all cheap DLP projectors it has a 2x speed wheel and produces much more white light than color, so if the stuff you're showing is heavy on color it's not going to look like 3,000 lumens. But you should be able to get a decent-sized (60"-80" diagonal?) image up on a conference room wall without needing to turn the lights off no matter what you're using.

Thanks for the suggestion! This is still a bit larger than I'm looking for, unfortunately. Is anything under there considered 'PICO'? Also, the onboard sound doesn't need to be in there. I have either sound onboard my MBA or, if I really want to get funky, I can bring along a Jambox as well.

mAlfunkti0n
May 19, 2004


Fallen Rib

King Hotpants posted:

Well, what's your idea of a reasonable price? Remember that mounts are a lot like screens; you should be able to use the same mount for several projectors, so it's not a bad idea to buy a good one.

I don't deal with a lot of ceiling mounts since I have each projector for like two weeks. I put everything on a rear shelf or a coffee table.

Last time I checked, though, Chief Mounts are pretty good. Their RPAU is less than $150 and seems like it fits most projectors on the market.

I already found a good one, I was just surprised that for the same price as the others with terrible adjustment mechanisms that throw off the adjustment when you tighten it, I can get the Peerless with thumb screws for adjustment and nice solid components. Just surprising.

King Hotpants
Apr 11, 2005

Clint.
Fucking.
Eastwood.


Call of Cholula posted:

Thanks for the suggestion! This is still a bit larger than I'm looking for, unfortunately. Is anything under there considered 'PICO'? Also, the onboard sound doesn't need to be in there. I have either sound onboard my MBA or, if I really want to get funky, I can bring along a Jambox as well.

The usage you're describing really needs at least 2,000 lumens, and you're not going to get that out of a pico. You can get smaller projectors with that kind of brightness, but not for $500. Something like the Optoma W304M might be small enough for what you need, and it fits all of your criteria, but it's $800.

Small, bright, cheap: pick two.

Socrates16
Aug 21, 2012

"Mr. Roark, we're alone here. Why don't you tell me what you think of me? In any words you wish. No one will hear us."
"But I don't think of you."

Do you have more specific recommendations for screens? I can 100% light control my room, and am looking at 100 inches. I really need something on a stand, as I cannot drill into my apartment walls.

KillHour
Oct 28, 2007






Socrates16 posted:

Do you have more specific recommendations for screens? I can 100% light control my room, and am looking at 100 inches. I really need something on a stand, as I cannot drill into my apartment walls.

If you're at all handy, you can just build a frame out of 2x4's and mount the screen to that.

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Socrates16
Aug 21, 2012

"Mr. Roark, we're alone here. Why don't you tell me what you think of me? In any words you wish. No one will hear us."
"But I don't think of you."

Sadly, I am not at all handy.

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