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HDTV vs HD Projectors

Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA regular
edited August 2007 in Games and Technology
So, a guy at work has been extolling the virtues of his HD projector system, and sent me a link to projectorpeople.com. There's a lot of information on that site though, so I thought I'd come here and get some informed opinions here to help narrow my scope a little.

What he says is he got a DLP projector for around $800, and can get a 100" screen at a 4:3 ratio at high definitions (it can be switched to widescreen). Considering I was looking at $1700-2000 for a 40-50 inch screen, he obviously got my attention.

Is this a realistic price range I could be looking at for an HD projector? What are some of the pros and cons of this versus a LCD/Plasma/DLP television set? People that have projectors, how do you like it? How is it for gaming? What projector do you have, and would you prefer an actual television after using it?

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    ViscountalphaViscountalpha The pen is mightier than the sword http://youtu.be/G_sBOsh-vyIRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    So, a guy at work has been extolling the virtues of his HD projector system, and sent me a link to projectorpeople.com. There's a lot of information on that site though, so I thought I'd come here and get some informed opinions here to help narrow my scope a little.

    What he says is he got a DLP projector for around $800, and can get a 100" screen at a 4:3 ratio at high definitions (it can be switched to widescreen). Considering I was looking at $1700-2000 for a 40-50 inch screen, he obviously got my attention.

    Is this a realistic price range I could be looking at for an HD projector? What are some of the pros and cons of this versus a LCD/Plasma/DLP television set? People that have projectors, how do you like it? How is it for gaming? What projector do you have, and would you prefer an actual television after using it?

    I've looked at projectors and they have one major flaw-- Bulbs. If this wasn't an issue cost wise for myself, I would of bought a projector by now. I'm still waiting a bit given that I have a 29inch crt and a 22inch LCD that accepts my 360's vga input for my high def needs as a stop gap solution.

    Viscountalpha on
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    taliosfalcontaliosfalcon Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    For a good quality native 1080P res projector your probably looking at spending at least 2000$, more likely 2500-3000$. Almost all sub 1500$ projectors marketed as 1080P are actually 720P, but they take 1080P signals and downconvert them to 720P, they aren't true 1080. When you consider you can get a 50" 1080P DLP for 1300$ they arent that great a deal IMO

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    Mega PlayboyMega Playboy Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    The one thing I hate about projector is light control. For me the only room that I could really mount is the living room. The east wall is 2/3 glass and I cant really convince the house to put up heavy duty curtains.

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    TSRTSR Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    The downside to projectors -

    - Bulb life (approximately 2000 hours)
    - Convenience of use (you have to leave them off for a certain amount of time before "re-striking" (turning on) the bulb)
    - Necessity of an external sound system, since no worthwhile projectors have their own speakers
    - Room control (you need to use them in relatively dark places where no light can shine on the screen in order to have a good viewing experience)

    If you can overcome these hurdles, you will discover that projectors -

    - Offer a larger screen size than any other type of display device
    - Do so at a cost that is extraordinarily cheaper than any other kind of display on the market
    - Offer comparable picture quality to a good DLP cabinet display (or better, depending on how well calibrated your projector is and how well it's placed in the room)

    The choice is yours, but I've been very happy with my Optoma HD70. I've been gaming on it for months and I can tell you that there's nothing quite like playing Bioshock, in a dark room at night, on a 92 inch screen.:)

    TSR on
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    SumDeusSumDeus Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Look at the Optoma HD80, a fantastic 1080P projector with a contrast ratio that could make many HDTVs look pitiful. Most Optoma and InFocus projectors UPSCALE very well. 720P projectors start around $1K and will top out around $2.5k and 1080P start around $2K and go up from there. What should determine TV vs. projector should be your room where you will have. If you have lots of ambient light you should consider the TV option. Otherwise you probably should really consider the projector. Remember you will need to (most likely) figure in the cost of a screen as well.

    Edit: In regards to the above post, I too have an HD70 and it is fantastic (720P for $1k).

    Edit Edit: InFocus often sells refurbs on their site, I have a friend who got the IN72 for $350, its a 480P projector that looks very good for being 480P... in fact for the smallish room it is in it looks fantastic.

    SumDeus on
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    Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited August 2007
    Can you describe "ambient" light? I have french-style doors, but even during bright days, the curtains can block out a decent amount of light. Where I'm thinking of placing the screen would get difused light from the curtains, but no direct sunlight.

    Also, what are some options for de-interlacers? I have a lot of older consoles (and play a good amount of VC titles). How compatible would these be with a projector (I'm seriously eyeing that HD70)? Would I just be better off leaving the non-HD consoles on an SDTV?

    Edit: It's 8 o'clock at night, so this isn't a good example, but here are my blinds closed right now (Link).
    For comparison, here's how bright it is outside (Link).

    During a bright sunny day, with everything closed up, it's still bright enough to read a book (barely), but still quite dark.

    Bionic Monkey on
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    Doc HollidayDoc Holliday Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Another problem I've had with projectors in the past is the noise and heat issues. We had it in a small-ish room and it got rather hot rather quickly. The noise was also a bit annoying, but that's probably because we hung the projector above our heads since the room was, as I said, small-ish.

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    SumDeusSumDeus Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    You should be fine with that amount of light. The lumen rating of each projector is the lumen rating of the bulb itself. NOT how much makes it out of the projector, but it still gives you a general idea of how bright a projector is. Most projectors these days also have several different light settings; in order to conserve bulb life when you dont need it at bright as it can go.

    <1000 lumens shouldnt be used in a room where ambient light can get in
    1000 to 2000 can work in moderate ambient light (Most blinds closed)
    >2000 can be used in the day with some blinds open (just as long as it is not direct on the screen light)


    As for sound, I have never had a problem with my projector making sound. In fact for the most part it is dead quiet (HD70 as is my friends IN72).

    SumDeus on
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    megabytemegabyte Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Not to discourage you from asking fellow PA'ers for recommendations on AV equipment, but theres a seriously good resource you should check out if you're weighing these two options.

    http://www.avsforum.com

    It's like the library at Alexandria except with pictures and electricity and no parchment or risk of burning.

    megabyte on
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    Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited August 2007
    Any experience with interlaced signals on these projectors?

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    mntorankusumntorankusu I'm not sure how to use this thing.... Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Any experience with interlaced signals on these projectors?
    Just check the input capability of whatever projector you're looking at. Most of them work fine with interlaced signals as well as progressive, through a built in deinterlacer (just like HDTVs).

    If it says it supports NTSC or 480i, then it should be fine.

    Edit: In this case, the HD70 says it supports the following input resolutions: 480i, 480p, 576i, 576p, 720p, 1080i (NTSC, PAL, SECAM and HDTV).

    mntorankusu on
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    Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited August 2007
    I think I'm getting kinda tingly here...

    Bionic Monkey on
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