Choosing the perfect projector for my needs is hard - please assist

jclivingston

Standard Member
Hi All,

I decided over a year ago that a projector would be a great addition to my home entertainment set up. This coincided with a substantial home renovation project that is now nearly at an end.

In the meantime I have been lurking on the forum and avidly reading the threads in order to educate myself. Now that the time has come to plonk down the cash for a projector I realise that the more I have read the less I feel like I know. As such some guidance would be much appreciated.

I will try to provide as much information as possible.

- The projector will be installed in my lounge which is 8m x 4m.
- The screen is 92" diagonal and already fitted (I perhaps rashly bought a cheap electric screen from Amazon almost a year ago. And no, there was not scope for a larger screen due to a door and a large inglenook fireplace)
- The throw distance will be 3.3m (constrained by the location of the largest gap between the ceiling joists and the fact that the cabling is now installed)
- The viewing position will be about 4.5 m from the screen
- The projector will be ceiling mounted (eventually in some sort of DIY lift to conceal in when not in use)

The room is absolutely not a bat cave and realistically the chosen projector will need to perform in an environment with reflective surfaces (white ceiling and panelling). I am considering the use of some sort of arrangement of drapes to get half way to a bat cave however this will be for special occasions only - There is no way the missus will tolerate me putting up drapes all over the lounge on a regular basis.

I am not interested in 3d - tried it in showrooms and at the cinema - didn't like it.

Given everything that I have read about the rainbow effect of DLP projectors I will be ruling out this technology irrespective of whether myself or the immediate family are susceptible. I expect to have family and friends to visit and I don't see the point in installing something that has a good chance of being irritating for a proportion of the audience.


So by my reckoning I need a projector that can be bright and has enough zoom & lens shift to support the physical constraints outlined above.

My budget is circa £1000 but would stretch this for the right unit as I would rather get the right projector and keep it for some years.

Current front runners are:
Epson 3200 - looks like a bargain but could I get something better for a few more quid?
Panasonic ae4000 - will I see the benefit from the increased cost?


I have seen all of the rave comments about the JVC range and find this very tempting however I am concerned that my room will not be dark enough to warrant the expense (and they are too big - I would need to start cutting and fixing joists in order to install as at the moment I only have 450mm depth when retracted into the ceiling - I am prepared to do so but not for marginal benefit on PQ in my environment)

What else should I be looking at given the constraints above?
I am particularly interested in the options for older projectors from the second hand market)



All comments and suggestions welcome

Thanks, John

EDIT: Added Picture of room into which the projector will be installed
 

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SteveCritten

Distinguished Member
I cannot see any speakers or an AV receiver in that picture, have you got the sound covered or will that be from a seperate budget?
 

jclivingston

Standard Member
Good point however...

There are speakers behind the screen as I have a TV and speakers recessed into a false wall; two surrounds are in the ceiling and two rears built into the rear wall. The receiver and sources are all in an adjacent room with cables buried.

I appreciate that it is not ideal to put the speaker behind the screen however this is part of the "wife acceptance factor". Depending on how we like the foray into projectors I will look into an acoustically transparent screen.
 

SteveCritten

Distinguished Member
If it wass me mate, but you may have different priorities but I would get the new Optoma HD33 and then you are future proofed for 3D. I know there is not a lot of 3D content out there but I only get the PJ out once or twice a week at the most anyway so I wouldn't mind having the facility for 3D for the occassional film. Plus it is supposed to be quite a good 1080p 2D machine.
 

Member 518284

Distinguished Member
Steve

the last thing he should buy is the Optoma as he`s ruling out DLP due to rainbow effect

my money would have to go on the epson 3200, it has to be the best out their for 2d in this price area

or a used JVC 350

Allan
 

bravogolf

Active Member
I can't offer much more beyond what the others have said, or will say, but your fireplace is awesome! My own 2 cents is to make sure if you're thinking of a particular point for the projector on the ceiling that's off to one side that you have allowed for sufficient lens shift. Shouldn't be a problem, I would imagine, most projectors have sufficient lens shift I should think. But there you go :)
 

jclivingston

Standard Member
Thanks for the comments - re. the Optoma HD33 I am concerned about rainbow effects. Concerning 3d more generally - Steve I take your point about future proofing however is the current 3d technology mature enough to be a safe investment. I know very little about it but it appears to me that there are too many competing standards. Any thoughts?

I am particularly interested in anyone's thoughts on the merits of getting a more upscale projector than the epson 3200 given that I will often not have total control over the ambient light or reflections?
 

jclivingston

Standard Member
Thanks for the comments - re. the Optoma HD33 I am concerned about rainbow effects. Concerning 3d more generally - Steve I take your point about future proofing however is the current 3d technology mature enough to be a safe investment. I know very little about it but it appears to me that there are too many competing standards. Any thoughts?

I am particularly interested in anyone's thoughts on the merits of getting a more upscale projector than the epson 3200 given that I will often not have total control over the ambient light or reflections?
 

Trikky

Active Member
Have a look at the projector screens topic - there is a thread in there about ambient light rejecting screens, sounds to me like you'd be better off with a Black Diamond 2 or ReaACT II screen... Allan at Ideal AV sells 'em. :)

Projector wise, JVC D-ILAs are great but I, personally, can't deal with the poor motion of the projected image - I'm selling mine due to this issue I have. I've gone for a DLP without even auditioning one :eek:
 

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