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Forum Topic: Advice on a projector for a very, very, budget setup

AVForums Classifieds to the rescue

by Mark Hodgkinson Jul 30, 2017 at 8:07 AM

  • We suspect that there are many who would love to enjoy the big screen experience a home cinema projector can provide but are put off by the potential costs. So what if you could get in on the action from a minimal outlay?
    That’s certainly the thinking of AVForums member, Picasuk, who is looking for a very simple projector to sit on a coffee table and project direct on to the wall. Picasuk does realise, that at ultra low prices, they won’t be getting a high contrast output or inky black levels but it will only be for a couple of films a month, maybe.

    Picasuk has seen that on Amazon there are some very cheap, i.e. sub £200 LED PJs. With a 720p output, which would be fine for them, resolution wise. Picasuk reckons the projector would need some kind of keystoning feature, given where it is to be placed and is asking the AVForums members to suggest any models they could recommend. Their needs are fairly modest given they only own a few Blu-rays, so the collection is mostly standard definition DVD and as they can’t get fast broadband, there is no HD streaming option, at present

    Forthright advice came courtesy of fellow enthusiast, jfinnie, who said Picasuk shouldn’t waste their time with the real cheap no-name units on Amazon as they don't come anywhere near meeting any of the specs they claim to.

    You will have a much more enjoyable experience spending the same amount of money on a 2nd hand unit, jfinnie continued, if you get something like a Sony PLV-Z unit (720p could be around £100, 1080p £160-200). For that minor outlay you should get a great lens with lens shift which should mostly avoid quality robbing keystone – he’s definitely right there!

    As jfinnie also correctly points out, the free-to-use AVForums Classifieds can be a great source for second hand projectors, although there are other places you can look. Projectors can age badly however, jfinnie cautions, and if you're unlucky or not careful you might end up with a lemon; he wouldn't buy a used projector if he couldn't get to see it working.

    He did exactly that, in fact, and bought a PLV-Z800 for £160 which gave him months of enjoyment before it was passed on to ‘little bro’ who is still enjoying it 2 years later. Now he’s hooked on the whole projector thing but even his JVC unit has only cost £600, used. There really are some amazing bargains in 2nd hand projector land it would seem.

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