Good cheap quiet projector?


#1

So I worked for a dot-com (Quokka.com… man, what a winner… NOT) back in the day. When the place went tits up – nothing like getting your last paycheck and having the CEO tell you, “Walk DIRECTLY out the door and down the street to the bank to cash this check; DO NOT WAIT” – they had a bankruptcy auction. My now-wife and I went, and we bid on an InFocus LP735 projector, which we wound up winning for a $1,600 bid. I now find that the original MSRP was $9,999, so I guess we did pretty well – this was 2002 after all!

After five years of service and one $500 (ouch!) replacement bulb, it just died again – looks like the replacement bulb finally kicked it. We’re not going to buy another bulb for this one because $500 is just too fucking expensive, the thing is 4:3 aspect ratio, and it’s pretty noisy.

So. Once we save up the money, what’s a good, 720p, fairly inexpensive (under $1,500, preferably under $1,000), quiet projector to get? Don’t so much care whether DLP or LCD. >1000 lumens would be nice. There are shitloads of low-end projectors… what’s a winner? And what are some good sites to look for recommendations on?

Thanks y’all!


#2

I love my Panasonic AE900. We have it right behind out heads in a custom shelf and I can only hear it when I’m right up next to it. My favorite feature, though, easily, is the joystick lens adjustment. Makes it so easy to dial in exactly where you want the image with no keystoning.


#3

I second the AE900. I have it on top of a bookshelf that’s right behind my sofa, and I can’t hear it at all.

You might also want to consider Panasonic’s replacement for the AE900, which I believe is the AX100. As I understand it, it’s the AE900 + a bunch of minor tweaks + brighter. Not sure the price difference now, but it might be only a couple hundred.


#4

The avsforum is nice for finding info(reviews, rants) on these kind of things, imo.


#5

Yo…I just bought a new projector…HD…it is a Hitachi PJ-TX100.

It came out 3 years ago at $3,000 and now they are selling them with a $100 rebate for $599. B&H Photo.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=2116&A=details&Q=&sku=416508&is=REG&addedTroughType=categoryNavigation

A lot of guys at AVS Forums have jumped on this deal as have I.

AVS is an excellent place for info…I just make a DIY screen after reading that specific forum…excellent screen for under $100.


#6

Holy shit! TheRock FTW! And the replacement bulbs are only $249. I’m’a BUY that sumbyotch! Especially if they have some kind of return policy…


#7

Mine came today at lunch. I’m gonna try it out tonight…actually the second I get home. Unfortunately, my $300 DVR crapped out so I gotta use a non progressive, 4 year old, dvd player until I can get it fixed. The whole DIY screen bug has really hit me…I’m constantly looking at things in every store I walk through trying to find that perfect screen material.

The return policy states video returns are 7 days and for projectors it says they must show less than 120 minutes of use.


#8

Good Christ man, you don’t have a 360? What the fuck are you going to PLAY on it? Don’t EVEN tell me you don’t HAVE any console systems for it. SHIT BONERZ!


#9

Dreamcast!


#10

Oh for fuck’s sake.

Anyway, I hope you like it, because I ordered one today as well :-)


#11

The unit is a lot bigger than I thought it would be (no problem), the color definitely needs some initial adjustment (no problem), to me it is pretty quiet…one review said it was kind of noisy, the others said it was quiet…I think its pretty quiet (good), my room is too small (bad), my DVD player is too old (bad), adjustments galore (very good), I see the SDE but its a lot less annoying than my parents’ DLP rainbow effect crap and I’m looking at the picture a bit too close as my room is small…doesn’t bother me (good), just watched parts of Serenity and Black Hawk Down…BHD with the spraying dirt and blood looked very good, Serenity had some scenes with major contrast and I need to adjust the player a bit.

Overall, I’m happy and nothing beats a huge picture…I’m sure when it’s all adjusted and setup, things will be even better…xbox360…hmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Hope it works as well for you.


#12

Quick update.

Put up a different screen tonight…a do-able board from Home depot…very nice, the colors look a lot nicer than the blackout cloth I was using before.

The projector is very quiet IMO. The default OOTB picture looks very nice. I have an old non-progressive DVD player and It needs a good progressive and/or upscaling DVD player which I’ll get soon but I watched Terminator 3 and it looks very nice on the 88" screen I have it playing on.

Very nice projector, very good buy.


#13

Totally agreed. It rocks MANY clocks. My wife and I love it.

Fuck, we saved $2,400 on it (maybe more like $2,000 after street price reductions). That’s like EIGHT bulbs! What a WINNER! :-D


#14

So the time has come. For years, we’ve been using a Samsung 23" monitor for our TV viewing, but I’m home alone for the next 3 months and I want something where I can read the text in Torchlight without having to squint.

The Official Wife Requirement is: It Must Be A Projector. She doesn’t want anything we can’t hide/put away. My requirement: Less than $1k, preferably less than $500. (Which probably means 1080p is out.)

I know nothing about such things. Inform me!


#15

You can get an Optoma H20 for $999, 1080p. I have one and it rocks.


#16

You can get it for less at Amazon right now. :)

How’s the brightness in ambient light or lit-up rooms?


#17

We replaced all our projectors at work with the Casio slim LED one. It’s quite nice.

http://www.greenslimprojector.com/


#18

Mine is in the basement, projecting on a home-made 110" screen (cheapo eBay material) and it fine with a few lights on. I use it for watching the hockey while on the PC, and it is very bright. To be honest We don’t use it much during the daytime anyways.


#19

rei, I was sorely tempted by that Casio one, after the Hitachi I bought earlier in this thread (and three years ago) has started to die of Blue Wash Disease, where the blue LCD (which takes the most heat energy) starts to fade, resulting in blue tint to much of the image. SUCKS. So DLP sounds like the next thing to try, and the Casio 20,000-hour “light engine” lifetime is also FTW.

But then I read on avforums.net and projectorcentral.com where people are all “waah waah, the Casio is a business projector, its color fidelity is lame and it has rainbow problems and it’s not for home theater use.” Are they all just monocle-wearing Monster-cable-having sons of bitches, and the damn thing is actually just fine? Or are they on to something? Would you use it at home, or is it really more of a business projector?

Rimbo, 720p is fine. There are a number of 720p models in the $500-$1000 range that are well recommended. The sites I mentioned above are the #1 places to look for more details. Personally I have a watch for “projector” at slickdeals.net and fatwallet.com and I will probably jump on the next good 720p model I see for extra cheap.


#20

I am leaning toward the Epson Home Cinema 8350 after a few friends recommended it. The physical lens tilt shift is a major plus on this model; I am planning on moutning it on top of a bookshelf. I also got a good recommendation for this: hdmi doo-dad. Best feature: The S/PDIF coax output/split. This will be a must-have when I ultimately make my purchase.

Also, the IT director at my job is AWESOME. He has loaned me the company’s 3LCD Epson Presenter to help myself have a benchmark.

My parents offered me to buy me something for Christmas; I said, “Let’s go 50/50 on a projector,” so price is … less of an object. But still, the Epson 8350 would represent the high end. I can swallow the cost of the HDMI switch as well. A screen will unfortunately have to be bought later. (Maybe I can find a black bedsheet to use as a screen until then.)