Help - New to projectors, Don't know where to start!

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by veryexcellent, Sep 19, 2007.

  1. veryexcellent

    veryexcellent
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    Hey!

    Been happy with my current kit for a while now but the upgrade bug has bitten again! The next step seems to be towards a projector! The problems being i know very little about them, most of what i know has been gained from reading these forums for the past few days.

    Use will be mainly dvd's and HD-DVD which will follow shortly after the projector (or probably before). Have a 360 which will prob be used at some point also.

    Approx screen size I'm looking for is about 1.7x1.0m. The bottom would be about 1m from the floor. Would like to place projector at the back of the room, roughly 3.5m away from the screen.

    So now to the questions!

    - Does the rough setup above seem feasible?
    - What things do i need to consider/look for?
    - What sort of noise levels do they produce? Got enough stuff buzzing away already!
    - Can someone recommend some to get me started! Budget is around 500, realistically it seems I'm looking at more and this is possible for the right kit.

    Bound to think of some more q's as soon as i post but think that'll do for now, just need somewhere to start really!

    Thanks
    Gary
     
  2. plasma_novice

    plasma_novice
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    Hi there

    Was in the same boat as you a couple of months back and through continued research, here and elsewhere, took the plunge a couple of weeks ago.

    I opted for the Panasonic AX-100 projector as it's had nothing but good reviews and was also a 'low' budget entry into the world of projectors. The projector's about to be updated and replaced by the AX-200, but from what I've read there doesn't seem to be a massive difference between the 2. Obviously the fact that it's about to be superceded will give you some good deals on the AX-100, but you'll need to be quick as stock seems to be running out fast. Although it's a bit above your budget, you can pick the projector up for @ £700 (www.digitaldirect.co.uk seem to still have some - I ordered mine from www.pixmania.com and paid £725 + ceiling mount).

    As for screens, I found very little information on these, but after speaking to a few people, I opted for a Grandview screen, as the consensus is that these seem to help produce a better picture than many of the other budget screens out there. Got mine from www.walterstewart.com and went for a 92" diagonal.

    My setup is also not too dissimilar. I'm projecting from about 3.3m away and the bottom of my screen is about 1m above the floor. Have got my projector ceiling mounted (bought the Vogel mount, which again seemed to be a favourite). Have got PS3 (for games, dvd & blu-ray) and X-box 360 hooked up with some Mark Grant cables and can honestly say that I'm blown away by it all, even without the room in total darkness. When it is, then it just gets better. Although it's not a 1080p projector, it can accept a 1080p signal and downscale to 720p. The results really are astounding.

    My advice is:

    - research a little, but not too much otherwise you'll never get round to buying
    - go for as big a screen as you can allow. To calculate the biggest you should go for, measure from your seating position to where the screen will be and divide this by 1.5 - e.g. if you're sitting 3m away then screen shouldn't be bigger than 2m diagonal otherwise it'll be like sitting in the front row of the cinema!
    - if you can afford it, spend a little extra than your budget as this will give you big improvements. £500 won't give you an HD projector (not new anyway), but £700 will.
    - don't forget to put some good cables into your shopping basket. A chain's only as strong as it's weakest link and bad quality cables can easily be a weak link.

    My budget was £1,000 - I spent:

    £725 on projector
    £60 on ceiling mount
    £125 on screen
    £160 on cables
    £50 on component signal splitter (1 input 2 output - allows me to hook up Xbox 360 to plasma & projector @ the same time :thumbsup:)
    £375 on PS3 (kind of blew the budget! :oops:)

    Hope it helps.
     
  3. Fangorn

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    I have been watching these forums for 2 years and still haven't made the plundge! May I ask what cables you wnet for and where?
     
  4. veryexcellent

    veryexcellent
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    Thanks for reply, Some good points to consider there.

    Still a way to go i feel, but one step closer!

    One thing i forgot to mention, I'm aware that the lamps are rather expensive, most seem to have 2000 hours or a similar figure, am i gonna be replacing these every few months or are we talking years? I know its dependent on usage but am after a rough idea.
     
  5. plasma_novice

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    Bought a 9m HDMI cable and 9m Component cable from www.markgrantcables.co.uk. They're cheaper than the better known brand names (IXOS, QED) and of a comparable quality (if not better!)
     
  6. plasma_novice

    plasma_novice
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    You're right, it does vary upon usage. I mainly intend to watch films on it, so I'm guessing 2 or 3 films a week, so let's go high and say 10hrs a week - at that rate a bulb should last at least 4 years. If I double that I should still get 2 years out of it. Also, depends on how bright you run the bulb - a lot of people run their projectors on ECO mode so this can extend the life from 2000h to approx. 3000h.

    I think bulbs for the AX-100 are approx £250 at the moment. My view/guess is that as projectors become better and more commonplace (how many people had a plasma 3 years ago?) then the price of consumables will also come down in line with the price of the projector. Even if they don't then £250 for 2 years (£10 a month) to run a cinema at home isn't expensive in my eyes.
     
  7. veryexcellent

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    I'll be mainly watching films too, I'll keep the LCD for watching tv and i rarely use the 360 at the moment, so thats reassuring. As you say £10 a month quite an acceptable figure! Prob could of done that maths if I'd thought about it but myself but thats! Just needed to know that what they quoted was actually a realistic number really.

    Thanks Again!
     
  8. davee

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    With your budget I'd go for a second hand pj (forums classified is your best bet) forget the screen and project on to a flat painted wall. Depending on where you want to put it suggest you allow for a ceiling mount, (ditto classifieds) it keeps it perfectly positioned ready for action. Add a componant cable and you should just about do it for £500. Sit back and enjoy, oh, and stop reading these forums for 6 months otherwise youll be upgrading after Christmas when all the new toys are around. :devil:
     
  9. penny1jordan23

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    Hi all,

    This is my first post. I'm so glad to find this forum. Anyway, I am still setting up my home theater, but I've done quite a bit of research for screens. You could probably get a cheap screen from mytheaterideas.com
    I just got a 92" fixed frame from them. I'm happy about it.
    :D

    Penny
     
  10. veryexcellent

    veryexcellent
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    Well, after i worryingly short time researching i took the plunge! Usually spend ages on these type of things! I too went for the ax-100, as mentioned it had some great reviews and seemed just what i was after. Ordered from digital direct who then canceled the order as they were unable to source from their supplier or something, so ordered from komplett who I've had good experience with before and it should be arriving today :thumbsup:

    Got a 77" screen from cvsmedia for under £50, arrived yesterday and looks good, will find out when i fire up the pj i guess! Was reluctant to spent a lot on the screen at the moment as its very likely i will be moving my setup soon and not sure what screen i will require, so its highly likely this will be swapped for a better one at some point.

    Also arrived yest was an ixos hdmi cable of typical ixos quality, so just waiting for the pj at the moment!

    No doubt i'll be on here asking for help or hopefully saying how amazing it all is soon!
     

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