View Full Version : Best Home Movie Projector?
01-22-2010, 03:43 PM
My brother is looking for:
"Hey, you think you could ask your peeps at that site about the best projector for movies, under $1200, with horizontal and vertical keystone and still looks decent in the light?"
Anyone have any particular recommendations? He lives in Mexico so anything that gets shipped over the border has a 50% chance of never arriving. I'll be hand delivering the projector to him, but it's best if he doesn't need to have replacement parts sent very often, and of course also a good thing if it's decently small.
01-22-2010, 05:00 PM
I have an Optoma H27 that I am very, very happy with, but it's not HD (it's DVD resolution).
01-22-2010, 05:33 PM
gaffa's gotta check in here soon. He researches, buys and installs these things for a living.
01-22-2010, 05:33 PM
The Optoma HD20 is $999, and has 1080p and 1700 lumens. It might be a good choice.
One thing you said about keystone correction - almost all projectors have it, but you don't ever want to use keystone correction, because it degrades image quality. I believe what you're looking for is lens shift, where the lens can be physically angled to allow a square picture at different geometries of projector vs projected image.
Here's Projector Central (http://www.projectorcentral.com/home-theater-multimedia-projectors.htm)'s list of home theater projectors, showing street prices, overal ratings, and specs. You should find what you're looking for there. In the left panel, you can find a link to a 'feature search', where you can enter the features you need like lens shift and price, and it will list all the projectors available. You can then read their reviews on each one. I just did a seach for projectors under $1500 that feature both horizontal and vertical lens shift, and only six projectors came up. The highest rated of the bunch is the Panasonic AX200, but it's 720p. There are a couple of 1080p models, but no reviews. The ViewSonic Pro8100 might make the list - the price is shown as $1445, but I'll bet you can find it on the street in your price range.
One thing you didn't mention, but which could be important, is throw distance. How far back can the projector be mounted, and how big a screen does he want? In some cases, you might need to go to a projector with a short-throw lens, or one with a long-throw lens.
01-22-2010, 05:34 PM
I've had good luck with the Sanyo PLV series. I use my current one (PLV-Z2000) every day in ambient light, and even with the bulb running at low power I still get a great image with a 20' throw.
Rather than keystoning these projectors use lens shifting (I think Sanyo pioneered this, but other manufacturers have it now too) which can move the image -- with zero distortion -- half the screen width both horizontally and vertically. For example, in my environment I have the projector sitting on a 2' high table back in the right corner of the room, using the lens shift at its extreme left/up position to project a perfect 8' tall image on the opposite 10' wall. (I.e., the natural centerline of the lens is actually the lower right corner of the image.)
If you demand keystone adjustment for some other reason this might do you no good, but if you're just trying to avoid mounting the projector dead center in front of your screen, this is the way to go.
Also, what resolution are you looking for? Most high-def projectors will probably exceed your expectation of "small". These Sanyos are almost as big as an old IBM PC XT case. There's a whole slew of "pico" projectors out there (small enough to put in your pocket) but they suffer from low light output and low resolution. Microvision has demoed a laser-based pico projector at trade shows that looks pretty promising, but I don't think it's actually on the market yet.
Check out projectorcentral.com as beowulff suggests, especially the "Projection Calculator" applet linked to each of their reviews. It will let you determine how large/bright of an image you can expect from each projector given your room/screen dimensions.
Herbert Quentin Viola
01-24-2010, 02:40 PM
Thanks for the advice, all.
I think I have decided to go with the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 720 Projector (http://www.projectorcentral.com/Epson-PowerLite_Home_Cinema_720.htm).
It seems to have the right combination of parts I'm seeking.
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