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28 posts

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# 208052 24-Jan-2017 22:55
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Projector newbie here, looking to set up a movie den at the crib (bach for North Islanders). The Financial Controller has agreed to the release of limited funds so I'd like to maximise the experience without having to spend Big-TV prices. So that means staying in the sub-$K range.  Ceiling- or wall-mounted, room size approx 4x5m, probably screen rather than just painted block wall.

 

Looking on some of the Sino sites* such as Aliexpress the prices range from $60 to $800 for units that seem to have minimal differences.  So what are the things to focus (so to speak) on?

 

  • Lumens?
  • ANSI Lumens?
  • Contrast?
  • Native resolution?
  • Supported resolution?
  • Source light wattage?
  • Other traps/pitfalls?
  • Wifi?
  • LCD vs DLP?

... or is the price/performance not at that level yet and I should flag it and go with a 60" LCD from the Red Shed?

 

Cheers,

 

G.

 

*I'd like to buy local but a brief look seemed to indicate prices of $web250-300 = $local800-900 which is too large a difference to ignore.

 

 


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  # 1709080 24-Jan-2017 23:14
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You may feel differently if you need a warranty claim on a projector!

 

While you are doing research make sure you understand bulb costs. 

 

Projectors, esp in your price range are very susceptible to ambient light. Unless you can control that really well, I wouldn't even consider a projector in that price range. Secondly a good screen could cost you $500-1000 easily and a bad place to throw your image would make your picture even less attractive.

 

If I were spending $1K on a TV right now, I'd get a smaller better quality one with better picture. Forget the smarts if they cost extra, you can add an upgradable box to cope with that if required.

 

I'd even consider a second-hand LED/LCD potentially, though you need to be a little careful and savvy. New has some nice benefits.


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  # 1709087 24-Jan-2017 23:46
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Absolutely go secondhand for that money. Something like a Panasonic AE200 should probably be available at some stage in that range and it's a very good 720P projector, even by today's standards.

 

 

 

Cheers - N

 

 





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Please note all comments are the product of my own brain and don't necessarily represent the position or opinions of my employer, previous employers, colleagues, friends or pets.


 
 
 
 


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  # 1709091 24-Jan-2017 23:53
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I meant AX200 I think (Or the AX100)

 

Like these...

 

http://www.trademe.co.nz/electronics-photography/projectors-screens/projectors/auction-1247542992.htm

 

http://www.trademe.co.nz/electronics-photography/projectors-screens/projectors/auction-1248415390.htm

 

Second one with brand new spare bulb is a good deal, provided the bulb is genuinely genuine, AND factory sealed.

 

The one thing that CAN possibly go wrong with these models is the LCDs can get some level or burn which manifests as a little bit of shadow around the edge of the frame, sometimes a slight brown tinge. It's not that common though.

 

Search for the factory mode and ask the sellers to use that to get the unresettable number of hours from the unit. It's it's under 4000 then I would think there's just about no danger of the burn I describe - and if you have a chance to look at it, you can see for yourself.

 

I had one of the PT-AX200s a while ago and it was great - I upgraded to a 1080P Panasonic.

 

Cheers - N

 

 





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Please note all comments are the product of my own brain and don't necessarily represent the position or opinions of my employer, previous employers, colleagues, friends or pets.


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  # 1709102 25-Jan-2017 04:30
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I have an Acer h5370bd (720p native, ~2000 lumens) - the price was around 400USD a few years back, came with a free 100" screen that had a MRSP of '100'USD but could probably be bought for 50. A pioneer HTIB and AWG-16 speaker wires complete the build.

 

Is it a top end unit? No, not even close.  Does it impress everyone who sees it? Yep (Interestingly, no one has had a problem with any rainbowing). I am sure someone with a high-end set up wouldn't be impressed, but I don't have any of those people coming around to my house.

 

Does it require attention to ambient light? Yes, but it still looks pretty good even when there is a reasonable amount of light in the room (the second half of the lounge just has thin curtains and thin slat blinds).  Blackout/thermal curtains, a solid door and you should be sweet.

 

Do I think it was worth it? We do, no buyers remorse here at all. I'm glad we didn't go the TV route. We had a budget and bought what we could afford. I figure if we are in a place to upgrade we can always swap the bulb out and pass on the projector to a family member. Same with the HTIB.

 

The main thing I would say is that you should check out projectorcentral.com to calculate the screen size you can get from the size of your room (mine takes a ~3.5m throw to get to 100" screen).


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  # 1709120 25-Jan-2017 07:47
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Talkiet:

 

Absolutely go secondhand for that money. Something like a Panasonic AE200 should probably be available at some stage in that range and it's a very good 720P projector, even by today's standards.

 

 

 

Cheers - N

 

 

 

 

Yeah my AX200 is still working after 8 years of use (Only 1 repair under warranty ie. known light harmonizer issue.)

 

I think brightness has faded - but it just wont die! - which would provide justification for an upgrade :)

 

For a 720p projector it is great and EVERYTHING looks better on a 106 inch screen : )

 

So definitely recommend as a low cost option.




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  # 1709249 25-Jan-2017 10:59
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This is the level I was looking at: but the issue is advertised specs vs actual specs, and potential fan noise (no DB level listed)

 

LED96 (Cree lamp)


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  # 1709312 25-Jan-2017 12:39
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Friend looked at importing the cheap projectors a few years back. 

 

Terrible then, no idea if improved. No concept of aspect ratio on them, so 16:9 was displayed at 16:10 or worse with no way to correct it. 

 

The lumans claims are total BS. They give you what the LED is specced to do at its full brightness, which they do not drive them at, and then there is the losses of the coloured filters in the LCD etc which make it a tiny fraction of the claimed number.

 

Worst contrast I have ever seen, massive light spill from the projector as well which lit the room up.





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  # 1709322 25-Jan-2017 12:42
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richms:

 

Friend looked at importing the cheap projectors a few years back. 

 

Terrible then, no idea if improved. No concept of aspect ratio on them, so 16:9 was displayed at 16:10 or worse with no way to correct it. 

 

The lumans claims are total BS. They give you what the LED is specced to do at its full brightness, which they do not drive them at, and then there is the losses of the coloured filters in the LCD etc which make it a tiny fraction of the claimed number.

 

Worst contrast I have ever seen, massive light spill from the projector as well which lit the room up.

 

 

 

 

I 100% agree with this. No way in hell I would consider one of those. A second hand epson, benq, sony, mitsi would be 100% safer better choice. 

 

 


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  # 1709337 25-Jan-2017 12:54
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Go used. Find out what you like but beware of power supply outages at the coast.

 

 

 

Do buy a UPS to shut down the projector correctly in the event of power cut.


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  # 1709446 25-Jan-2017 15:14
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+1 on the AX200E

 

Mine is about 6 years old, just recently clocked over 2000 hours on original bulb and has never given an ounce of trouble. Bit the bullet and have ordered a replacement housing on ebay, 1/3 the cost from the trademe resellers, so worth the risk. Only need another 12 months or so from it and will then look at an upgrade into 4k

 

DVD picture on it looks "ok", tolerable for the most part but you can easily fault the image with pixel structure (screen door effect).

 

Netflix (or Amazon) is better, most modern movies look good enough and image structure is rarely an issue.

 

Blu-ray is best and pixel structure is a non issue on most quality Blu-ray movies.

 

At the time of its release, it was labelled a poor mans "HD" projector as the picture quality rivaled (or bettered) some of the cheap 1080p models at the time.

 

Don't forget the screen!

 

Sen




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  # 1709617 25-Jan-2017 21:06
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Talkiet:

 

I meant AX200 I think (Or the AX100)

 

Like these...

 

http://www.trademe.co.nz/electronics-photography/projectors-screens/projectors/auction-1247542992.htm

 

http://www.trademe.co.nz/electronics-photography/projectors-screens/projectors/auction-1248415390.htm

 

Cheers - N

 

 

Thanks for the links and suggestions.  For the Panasonic AX100E what do you do for sound, especially if hdmi input is used - secondary sound from source?


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  # 1710866 27-Jan-2017 21:40
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GSVNoFixedAbode:

 

 

 

Thanks for the links and suggestions.  For the Panasonic AX100E what do you do for sound, especially if hdmi input is used - secondary sound from source?

 

 

Definitely go the second-hand route. All those "cheap" projectors are a pile of s%#t!

 

Generally you would have an AV receiver for sound. So the source HDMI out goes into the AV receiver which extracts audio signal to use and then passes video (and audio if you like) via it's HDMI out to the projector.

 

What is your sound setup? AV receiver? Has it got HDMI? If not, does your source have another sound option? (ie Optical, Coax, RCA)

 

Back when flat screen TV's cost as much as a car (~$20K) I bought a projector (~$2K) and just ran sound via RCA through my stereo system.




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  # 1711001 28-Jan-2017 12:22
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Thanks all, the advice is much appreciated.  I'll go for the 2nd hand Panasonic AX100E.




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  # 1712681 30-Jan-2017 11:39
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Right, 2nd-hand PT AX100E purchased, now for a replacement bulb given the original is > 2500 hours.

 

Thanks for the advice all.  Much appreciated!


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  # 1712691 30-Jan-2017 12:07
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As above, I'd personally stick with a brand name.

 

 

 

Some basics to consider:

 

 

 

They are image only, so you'll need to provide your own sound.

 

Often they are mounted physically a long way from the source device, so you'll want good quality hdmi cables.

 

As above, you'll want to be able to make it dark.

 

Go too big and it will look washed out.  Projectors are still your best bang for buck for this, but TV's are getting cheaper.  The warehouse did their 4k 65" TV recently at $1,000 for example.

 

You'll need an external tuner for TV.

 

If you ceiling mount, look out for hanging lights in the room, or any other obstruction.  You'll need a ceiling mount to hold it up their too.

 

Bulb replacement can be expensive, so consider that if going 2nd hand.

 

Personally I'd want to go at least 1080P if looking to project big, and feed it with a suitable source also.

 

 


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