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help for a complete beginer

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by sarahm, Mar 11, 2005.

  1. sarahm

    sarahm
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    Hello all
    I'm currently looking to buy my boyfriend a projector for his birthday buy know absolutly nothing on the subject. Every time i look at shop sites i'm overwhelmed.

    I have about £1500 to spend and I'm looking for a system that he will be able to watch sky football on and dvds. I,ve been told by a friend that i need the projector, and a surround sound system. He pointed me in the direction of this site and said you guys were a fantastic help.

    any advice at all would be really apreciated :lease:
     
  2. hornydragon

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    welcome sarahm we will do what we can to help first a couple of questions, what is the room like? how big where are the windows etc could you post a couple of photos? see here http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=105037 for the sort thing you can expect, and can you change the room around, drill holes etc? and are you looking at a fixed installation or a portable one? sorry for all the questions but its the stuff we need to know to progress.......
     
  3. pixelated

    pixelated
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    (i wish i was your boyfriend)
     
  4. MikeK

    MikeK
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    Sarah

    As you stated you are a complete beginner, there are a few things you should know before considering a projector.

    They aren't really suitable for daytime viewing, or viewing in a brightly lit room (you can get models for this, but home cinema friendly models at around the £1000 mark aren't among them).
    They use a lamp with a finite life - depending on usage, it may last several years or more, but it may blow after 6 months of light use - depending on the model, they are usually around £200-£300 a go.


    That said, if you accept the above, there's no better (or better value for that matter) way to get large screen (and I don't mean those 42" plasma "portables" that Comet/Currys call "large screen" :) :) ) entertainment into the home.

    As your budget has to cover a surround sound system, as well as a screen and cables etc, then you're probably looking at around the £1000 mark or so, for the projector itself. While it's true that more expensive (and in some cases a lot more expensive) models are better, there are some very capable models on the market at this level, so don't worry on that score.

    There are however, a few decisions you need to make before selecting models for a shortlist.

    1. Screen size.
    This is usually determined by the distance you are from the screen when viewing, and is generally accepted to be around 1.5-2.5x the screen width. For instance, if you sit 10ft away from the screen, you'd probably want a screen between c4ft and c6ft wide.
    The reason it's important to decide this before selecting a particular projector model, is that you need to make sure the projector can throw the required screen size from wherever it's mounted/used. EG if you decide in the above example to go for a 6ft wide screen, and you were to be using the projector mounted on a coffee table in front of the sofa (and hence the projector is say 7ft from the screen), then that projector needs to be able to throw a 6ft wide image from 7ft way - many won't do that. No matter how good the projector is on paper and in the reviews, if it will only throw a 3ft image from where you want to use it, then it's unsuitable in this particular instance. I hope you get my drift.
    BTW - it can work the other way too. You may sit 10ft from the screen, but have the projector mounted say 14ft away from the screen, on a wall behind the sofa. The PJ may be incapable of thowing an image small enough this time, from that far away - again, an 8ft wide image would be of little use to you in these circumstances.

    You also need to decide where you are going to mount the projector - the reason being is that most project with an offset - ie they don't project straight ahead, but offset vertically, to assist in mounting - ie there's no point designing a PJ for coffee table use which fires the image staright ahead - half the image will be on the floor, so they offset it vertically upwards. It's this degree of offset you need to take into consideration, so that you can get the image on the screen. Models with adjustable offset (aka lens shift) may help greatly in this regard, but may PJs don't have this.


    So, you need to know

    Viewing distance (viewer to screen)
    Mounting distance (projector to screen)
    Screen size
    Projector mounting height

    Then you can shortlist a few models.
    If you have any trouble with the above, then just post the 4 measurements listed - then people will be able to tell you which models are suitable.


    As to projector models, basically the choice is between DLP and LCD models. I won't go into the DLP vs LCD debate - it's been done many times and articles are easy to find - but if I had to give you a model name to check out, based purely on what you've said so far, it would probably be the Sanyo Z3. It's an LCD model (so no worries on rainbow effect), has a 3yr warranty, reasonably priced lamps, has vertical and horizontal lens shift, can take an RGB signal from Sky (many can't), has a reasonable zoom range (notwithstanding all the above waffle), is quiet in use, and all-in-all has a pretty good reputation from current owners. It may not be perfect, but no model is. You can get it for around £1270 inc a free screen, from the ad at the bottom of this thread (IVOJO)
     
  5. inzaman

    inzaman
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