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Christopher Go September 10th, 2003 01:44 AM

Digital Video Projectors
There's been a few excellent threads on projectors, like the one found here, but I thought I'd bring it up again since I am in the market for one now (or hope to be).

After visiting Projector Central, and reading a few articles, I've decided on an Infocus X1 for my first entry level projector.

As for a screen, I intend to move around a lot so I decided to go for a portable Da-Lite one, specifically, an 80" Da-Lite Deluxe Insta-Screen.

What kind of projector and projector screen do you use, if you have one, and any recommendations against/for the setup described above?

I can't wait to watch movies like the Lord of the Rings or Godfather on a projector screen (I know, I know... I wish I could afford a 16:9 setup...)

Chris Hurd September 10th, 2003 08:04 AM

Excellent topic! While I don't have a projector myself yet, I'll be interested in watching this grow. Matter of fact, it's now "stuck" at the top of the forum in order to keep an eye on it. Comments, anyone?

Rob Lohman September 10th, 2003 09:57 AM

I've been wanting to buy one myself for a long time to further
enhance my home cinema. Money has stopped me mostly. The
thing I here is that your better of with a DLP projector than an
LCD one for homecinema needs (blackers blacks etc.).

Rik Sanchez September 10th, 2003 10:41 AM

That X1 is a nice projector. I bought a projector used about 5 years ago for twice that price and it's only half as bright, a Sharp VX-Z 4050. It's a big beast but it has served me well, I long ago made the money I paid for it renting it out to clubs for VJ's to use. Two weeks ago we showed movies outside at my friend's house, it felt like we were at the theater.

The new ones out now are so small and bright, I wish I had the money to upgrade mine, it's always great when I shoot video at a club and use my projector to have it shown for everyone to see.

I've never bought a screen, just show it on my white walls or hang up a sheet, a real screen will really make a difference.

Do you plan on only using it as a home theater? If you do any video work, you could make some extra money if you had it as an option in your video package. But I'd recomend having someone stay near it so people don't knock it over.

Have fun watching movies, if there are any large buildings near your place, try showing them outside, it's great.

John Heskett September 11th, 2003 07:27 AM

I have had both DLP and LCD projectors within the last two years. I made the choice to replace the DLP (Toshiba SV2) because it blew bulbs every 200 hours of use even though it was rated at 2000 hours. At $300 per bulb it was just not worth it. So, I just bought a NEC VT46 LCD for $1000.

Observations on both:
They are rated about the same in lums. The DLP was a little brighter. The contrast is about the same for both, though I think the DLP was lightly better. The DLP did have darker blacks, but muddier yellows and reds. There are some things I liked better about the DLP and some things I like better on the LCD. All in all they are about the same in picture quality. It seemed to me that the DLP lost sharpness over time. The LCD has the screen door effect to some extent but is in my opinion a slightly better picture than the DLP before the last bulb blew.

Christopher Go September 12th, 2003 05:31 AM

Makes me wonder how accurate the lamps are rated for on projectors, especially since this isn't something that's easy to account for in a review (at least I don't think it would be).

But that's a good point, I guess you should keep lamp prices in mind when you shop. I have to read more on the articles, but isn't LCD more expensive?

Rik, I hope to watch a lot of movies with it - I'm thinking of getting a permanent installation sometime down the line - but I also hope to screen some DV shorts for friends and family. That would be great fun, seeing your material on a larger screen like that. I think this is the main reason I'm going for it although the thought of sports events, movies, etc on a portable 100" surface sounds great too. The De La Hoya vs. Mosley fight is this weekend, too bad I didn't already have one.

I'm still searching for a good price so this is probably the hardest part I'm encountering now: I'm unfamiliar with where to buy this kind of gear.

Could anyone recommend a reputable dealer for projectors? Wonder if our sponsors have them along with screens? I've been randomly calling/emailing around but some feedback or reviews of vendors for projectors would be great. None on Reseller Ratings.

Here are two good articles linked right on the home page of Projector Central to consider:

How Big of a Screen?

16:9 or 4:3 for Home-Theater?

I'd still like to get more "important" gear but this is such a fun purchase I couldn't resist...

Mike Butler December 15th, 2003 07:48 PM

Man, these things just keep getting cheaper and better by the minute...just like computers! I keep threatening to buy one for road shows, but just keep holding off to see how low they'll go. Anyway, most of my needs (excepot for the biggest meetings) are met by the company-owned projectors.

As for home theater, I am deterred by the bulb life--at least with meetings and presentations the usage isn't round-the-clock like my TVs at home. Probably gonna settle on Plasma for the upgrade from 36" tube @ home.

Christopher, have you tried B&H? (one of Chris' sponsors) I know they are not the only ones but they are into every category of electronics, inlcuding plasma, surround sound, etc.

Joe Carney December 29th, 2003 02:41 PM

My son got an X1 for Christmas (from his girlfriend) and it's a blast to use for watching DVDs. He has it projecting on a wall in a small room with surround speakers. Excellent item for the money.

Christopher Go December 30th, 2003 10:15 PM

I just got one recently as well, the X1 is great! We've really enjoyed having it especially for the holidays. Mike, I did get it from B&H Photo. Excellent transaction.

I was meaning to post pictures of my setup - I have the Infocus X1 and Da-Lite Insta-Theater 80" - but some DNS changes are taking some time to complete. Won't have the pictures on the server for a bit but expect them soon.

One of the best things about having a projector besides the picture is how much everyone else enjoys watching movies on it or even playing games on the Xbox/Playstation2 (screen size is massive!). Your son's girlfriend picked a really good present - having a projector benefits the whole household.

Mike Butler December 31st, 2003 10:11 AM

What a nice girlfriend!

That X1 looks good with better bulb life than average (3K vs. 2K). It really is fun front-projecting a DVD movie and feeling like you are in a theater.

Dylan Couper December 31st, 2003 07:44 PM

DVinfo sponsor B&H does sell both projectors and screens.
I think the InFocus X1 is $1000. An extremly potent projector in that price range.

Christopher Go January 9th, 2004 07:58 PM

I've uploaded some pictures of the Da-Lite Insta-Theater, Infocus X1, and shots right from the projector. These aren't the greatest photos but then again it's difficult trying to take pictures in the middle of a movie, in the dark, and while everyone is watching ("What are you doing?! Can we get back to the movie now??").

Here are two photos taken right off the projected image on the screen, along with a third showing the size of the screen itself. That is my brother standing in front of the Da-Lite Insta-Theater, a portable model. Total viewing area is 80" diagonally (6 feet 8 inches). We're talking a potential image 4 feet high and 5 feet, 4 inches across depending on how far you have the projector positioned. Check them out here.

The screen itself is a great product in my opinion, able to setup anywhere and in seconds. I highly recommend it if you need to move your setup around a lot like I do. Simply place it on the floor then lift. These pictures show the screen case closed, open, then pulled up to see the pneumatic scissors from the rear. The screen material's held up so far but I can see how it can be damaged if not taken care of or if it should be hit in an accident. Click on this to see.

Finally, here are two pictures of the projector itself. I'll have to get larger images but for now these should suffice. This is the Infocus X1.

Mike Butler January 10th, 2004 06:15 PM

Dang, that screen is cool! Nothing like the pain-in-the @@@ portable screens I am accustomed to, y'know with the little tripod legs and swiveling screen you have to attach to the top of the telescoping rod.

Dan Tolbertson January 11th, 2004 01:17 AM

I recently got one for work. I bought a Panasonic PT-LC76U 1600 ANSI Lumens XGA Projector.

I love it as it is really bright even in a room with the lights on, and man does it have a sharp picture. I mainly use it for work but do show movies with it also when I am home. The best part is I sent the request up to my corp office to purchase it from B&H and it was running $1749. My corp office approved the purchase a couple of weeks later and when I went to purchase it the price had dropped to 1499.00

This is an Excellent projector for the money and I am very happy with it so far.

Mike Butler January 11th, 2004 12:28 PM

This according to Infocus:

"Now the InFocus X1 comes with a 4000 hour lamp! That's a movie every day for five and a half years!"

Not too shabby! And Projector Central's reviewer went wild over the X1 when it was priced at $1600, so now it's even more attractive at $999. Of course, paying $500+ for the Insta-theater kind of makes me gulp, but the combo is still way less than one of the Plasma screens I was thinking about.

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