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Anovoca
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Projectors - need advice

Mon Aug 14, 2017 7:30 am

So, I don't consider myself anywhere near competent when it comes to my knowledge about projectors. I feel like I know enough basics to buy something in the ballpark of what I need functionally and with in budget, but trying to look at one projector vs another to tell which is the better buy goes way beyond me. For that reason I turned to several different review websites to try and figure out the best projector to buy for a movie room in the basement which will use roku stick to connect to plex and have a raspi running emulation station for some old school gaming fun. The general concensus on most sites is that the Optoma HD 142X is the best bang for the buck if you want near panel TV quality without breaking the bank. I was all set on picking one of these up this weekend after payday but I see today that Newegg has the Acer H6502BD up as a Shell Shocker for $390.

This, presumably, is a great deal on a projector in the same ballpark as the Optoma, but this model never came up on any of the review sites I visited so I am not sure how it compares. I am hoping you guys can give me some solid advice here. Should I jump on this shellshocker deal and save myself the $170, or wait until the end of the week and stick with the plan by getting the Optoma?

Use case:
Basement (solidly dark all day)
Casting surface is a 20ft X 9ft cement foundation wall coated in 3 layers of white primer.
Projector will be mounted above vent in rafter, max 20 ft from surface.
Will need 1 HDMI/MHL for Roku stick, plus a 2nd video in and usb power out for raspi (ill buy hdmi to vga converter if needed)
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Re: Projectors - need advice

Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:13 am

I haven't looked recently, but if i had to buy a new projector, one absolute would be audio out for easy use with Chromecast and the like. It wasn't a thing back than. Both yours have it.

The other issue was that because of the plastic case, the exact "good focus" setting was always different. Not something noticeable if you only watch videos, but if you use a PC, the text on desktop would get slightly out of focus depending on how the heat expansion had moved stuff. Cat and mouse. Again, not something that mattered while viewing videos, just reading crisp PC text, not big screen fonts. I only noticed as back then, i used PC and Netflix and when i would come out of watching an episode or movie, the desktop would be slightly out of focus.

Anyway, look for that, if you're concerned about quality. Check if it slightly loses focus after watching a movie.

Projector also puts out a decent bit of heat. You need air flow or cooling in that basement if you don't want it to get hot after a while. Just like large TVs(especially plasma).

Also, for most projectors, your setup is the best way. The projector is bouncing the light down off wall into your seated position eyes. A noticeable difference when i tried my projector on coffee table and bouncing the light up to ceiling.

You wont notice your wall is not perfectly flat/straight/level until you project onto it, if it is(edit: level,...), you may be perfectly fine with it, like I was. There is some bleeding effect of other surface's colors onto your screen. So you may want to buy some cheap black felt cloth to put around projection area and walls and ceiling if there is something way off with your setup.
 
Chrispy_
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Re: Projectors - need advice

Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:56 am

We don't have many projectors but I can wholeheartedly recommend you use LED-lamp projectors if your room is dark enough - simply from a noise and cooling perspective.

Basement sounds nice and dark and I honestly wouldn't ever recommend a conventional mercury arc lamp projector to anyone ever again unless you absolutely need those extra lumens (LED projectors are usually only half the brightness of similar-price mercury lamp models).

The only problem is that LED projectors don't go particularly "high end" so if you want a top-notch triple-DLP 4K projector, you'll not find anything with an LED lamp. There are loads of 1080p midrange LED models though (Optoma, Dell, LG are the ones I've used) and they're half the size of mercury lamps with less noise and triple or quadruple the bulb life.
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Anovoca
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Re: Projectors - need advice

Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:47 am

Yeah quality and some actually well written reviews and comparisons are a bit lacking for LED projectors. Most of the ones I see are tiny short throw units as well. If I knew how to get something in the quality, latency, and throw range of the Optoma HD 142x but with an LED bulb for under 1g I would be all over it.


EDIT: Alright Chrispy_, doing some more searching, this time on Amazon and not Newegg, I found this guy here

The resolution seems just a hair worse than the Optoma, higher lumes, and 1/4 the contrast. I am not sure how much I am going to notice the contrast with the naked eye or how much I will care. TBH I have a very nis ISP LED 4k TV in my living room so if I really want deep colors and high res I can always watch movies there. This is more for parties, Packer games, UFC PPVs, and playing NES/SNES/PSX on Ultra large screens. But, at $100 cheaper than the Optoma, plus the longevity of the LED Bulb, And android OS which would eliminate the need to buy the Roku stick, this could be a huge financial savings in the end.

Thoughts?

Edit x2: That led projector smells fishy. Don't see any reviews from reputable sources, Android OS seems suspect (probably a custom job with no play store capability and not enough RAM to buffer streaming media anyways). I may just stick to my guns on this. I am probably in the market 2-3 years too early to find what im looking for in an LED projector.
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Chrispy_
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Re: Projectors - need advice

Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:27 am

Sorry I don't have more experience to share.

I used consultants to get a 5-projector videowall going at a work install and they recommended Optomas too (different model) but my experience with a few of their models has been very good.

Contrast matters more the darker the room is, and you're talking about occasional use that sounds like a bit of fan noise and shorter lamp life won't matter, so I don't see any reason not to go for the highly-rated Optoma you linked.
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Anovoca
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Re: Projectors - need advice

Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:54 am

I finished doing some research and I may end up spending more and getting an LG PF1500 I am not certain what the LG Smart TV app selection is like or if it has PLEX or UFC TV, but the built in TV Tuner plus the low noise, and LED Bulb shelf life are big enough wins.
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Anovoca
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Re: Projectors - need advice

Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:25 am

Chrispy_ wrote:
you're talking about occasional use that sounds like a bit of fan noise and shorter lamp life won't matter, so I don't see any reason not to go for the highly-rated Optoma you linked.


Very true. And looking into the LG smart app store it doesnt look like it supports plex so there isnt any money saved going with that route. It is a shame though that they dont have better smart projectors on the market with built in apple tv or roku.
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blahsaysblah
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Re: Projectors - need advice

Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:48 am

I bought a more expensive 1080p projector back in day, why its still in use today. One thing that's kept it viable over the years, is the horizontal/vertical lens shift so it can be deployed in less than optimal locations, as i've moved or wanted it used in different location. Also, another basic key, is besides the lamp fan, there is the iris thingy, that also makes noise and can be annoying during quiet scenes as scenery changes from dark to light,... Mine is not bad. You should definitely check out a movie with no sound on to simulate a quiet scene and see if any noises are too annoying.

Anyway, if this is just for parties, anything decent that can put out good picture at high lumens(so you can have some weaker lights on) should be ok. So the dirt cheap stuff sounds ok. Amazon's Choice.

Id check avsforum's projector section, thats how i decided on what to get last time. Though maybe biased above the really cheap stuff. Sanyo PLV-Z2000. Yes, its ancient by tech standards, but the native 1080p output is still very nice. Still actively used.
 
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Re: Projectors - need advice

Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:20 am

I have a bit of experience with projectors.

You mention latency as a feature you want, and well you're going to get it, lots of it. Latency is typically very high on a projector vs. LCD display due to additional scalar electronics. It can handle simple things like front/rear and table/ceiling mount image flipping all the way to bezier curve image distortion in case you wanted to project onto a sphere. Any sort of gaming that requires twitch-like reflexes will put you at a disadvantage using a projector. Games that don't necessarily require such responsiveness can be impressive on such a large surface.

Optoma's are a good brand and the company I work for tends to get these through a rental agency for travel gigs. I haven't used that particular model personally but other's were easy to setup and had good picture quality. Oddly enough, we don't use them for installation in our campuses as we're currently sticking with Epson units. Main reason is due to Epson's management software for large deployments and the ease/expense of lamps. Speaking of lamps, I would look up the price of that HD142X lamp and factor that into your buying decisions.

Consumer LED and laser projectors tend to exaggerate their brightness but considering your use case (basement, dark etc.), this shouldn't be too much of an issue.

In general, I would recommend taking a visit to Projector Central's throw distance calculator even though it requires flash.
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Re: Projectors - need advice

Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:25 pm

One of the things that is coming into mid-range projectors is interpolation. I'm mildly in the market for a new projector and I wouldn't buy one without. The Epson 2040 is tops on my list.
Currently rocking the BenQ 1100 and had a 720p BenQ before that. That is basically our only TV in the house.

You mentioned that you were going to plug in directly? Any reason for that instead of going through a receiver?
 
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Re: Projectors - need advice

Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:19 pm

A buddy of mine who's been sent to China for work is all over the XGIMI H1.
It's a LED-lit android-powered smart projector, and the image quality is awesome, purportedly.
DCI-P3 colorspace, and it's super bright at 5000 lumens. Being LED, lamp life is also at 20k+ hours.
 
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Re: Projectors - need advice

Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:17 pm

So I clicked the XGIMI H1 link and it looks truly horrific.

Claiming it has 27 certified image enhancements is not good; That's 27 deviations from the ideal picture quality.

You can clearly see from the video that when there is a large amount of one colour in the source video it cranks up the saturation for that colour to make it pop, at the expense of the rest of the image quality. It would be bad enough if it did that without lag, but it appears to lag so everything looks cold and blue for a second or two after a blue scene until normal colour balance is restored, and the vibrancy colour pop doesn't kick in immediately in a scene, so it's going to be absolutely terrible for anything other than animated pixar/disney films and cartoons.

I'd blame the iPhone 6 for trying to compensate and white-balance under low-light conditions, but I've used a 6 and it doesn't do that. This is just a rubbish projector.
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Re: Projectors - need advice

Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:35 pm

Whoa, Chrispy_ ... I thought maybe you were exaggerating, but the color-enhancement takes almost a full second to update. Yikes.

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