New to projectors and I've borrowed one, a little advice please.

jetsetwilly

Standard Member
Hey all.

Up until today I had never considered a projector, I've got a 40" lcd tv and I was perfectly happy. Today I've borrowed a projector from a friend to use for something elsewhere but I thought I would try to plug it to my home cinema setup. I popped it on the shelf at the back of the room, pointed at the convenient large white wall opposite and was up and running in no time. During the daylight hours it was nothing special but once it got dark I was completely blown away. I've used it with the xbox 360, pc and sky hd with great results. So much show that I'm now very much in the market !

No what I want to work out is how what I've got here compares to what I can get for my money now. This projector is a Panasonic PT-AE900E. It's most important feature seems to be the lens shift as I'm limited in where I can place it. I don't want it on the roof and off centre at the back of the room is probably ideal.

So if I go shopping for an my own projector with a budget of £400 - £750, will I be able to find something that's as good ? This model does seem to be quite old but was probably reasonably expensive at the time.

Will a more modern projector do a better job in the daylight hours ?

Will I be able to project to a similar size. This is pretty much perfect for the wall I've got.

Many thanks !
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
The 900 is a 720p projector and as you say a few years old now (5yrs approx).

Things have moved on and current technology is now higher resolution 1080p which has a much better sharper images also better blacks compared to earlier tech.

Obviously you need to feed it the highest quality source to get the better picture so bluray/PS3 is best.

There are no new 720p LCD with lens shift currently on the market so as you need lens shift you will need to go 1080p anyway.

New the best (and cheapest) 1080p LCD pj would be the Epson TW3200 which is £999.This is a little above your top end budget so you have a couple of options.

There has been the odd TW3200 or 3600(next model up) available used on the classifieds here or e-bay for £700-£800 recently so look out for one of those.

The other option is used older model 1080p pj's (1-2yrs old) which would include Epson TW2900 or 3000,Panny AE1000/2000/3000 or Sanyo Z700 all should be £550-£750.

Personally I would only buy used if the pj had low hours usage (less than 500hrs) as bulbs generally last 1500-3000hrs and cost £150-£250 to replace.Therefore any advantage in price buying second hand will be lost if you need to buy a new lamp soon after buying the pj.

Using in broad daylight with curtains open is pretty much a no no with any pj.Close the curtains and things get better,get proper blackout curtains (fairly cheap from Dunelm) and things improve even more.But the best is at night and even better if your room is batcave like, when it gets pure magical.:thumbsup:

You don't say what size screen you want to achieve but most LCD machines can be placed anywhere from 9-10ft from the screen and project an image size between 70-100+ inches by use of the zoom.If the pj is closer the image range will be smaller or larger if the pj is sited further away.
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
Lens shift can be optical or electronic. If you are using optical shift, you might see some minor optical abberations, but the resolution will not suffer.

As soon as you apply electronic shift or keystone, you are losing resolution, as the image has to be made small to accommodate the shift.
 

jetsetwilly

Standard Member
The 900 is a 720p projector and as you say a few years old now (5yrs approx).

Things have moved on and current technology is now higher resolution 1080p which has a much better sharper images also better blacks compared to earlier tech.

Obviously you need to feed it the highest quality source to get the better picture so bluray/PS3 is best.

There are no new 720p LCD with lens shift currently on the market so as you need lens shift you will need to go 1080p anyway.

New the best (and cheapest) 1080p LCD pj would be the Epson TW3200 which is £999.This is a little above your top end budget so you have a couple of options.

There has been the odd TW3200 or 3600(next model up) available used on the classifieds here or e-bay for £700-£800 recently so look out for one of those.

The other option is used older model 1080p pj's (1-2yrs old) which would include Epson TW2900 or 3000,Panny AE1000/2000/3000 or Sanyo Z700 all should be £550-£750.

Personally I would only buy used if the pj had low hours usage (less than 500hrs) as bulbs generally last 1500-3000hrs and cost £150-£250 to replace.Therefore any advantage in price buying second hand will be lost if you need to buy a new lamp soon after buying the pj.

Using in broad daylight with curtains open is pretty much a no no with any pj.Close the curtains and things get better,get proper blackout curtains (fairly cheap from Dunelm) and things improve even more.But the best is at night and even better if your room is batcave like, when it gets pure magical.:thumbsup:

You don't say what size screen you want to achieve but most LCD machines can be placed anywhere from 9-10ft from the screen and project an image size between 70-100+ inches by use of the zoom.If the pj is closer the image range will be smaller or larger if the pj is sited further away.


Thanks for the info. Assuming screen measurements are diagonal then it's making about 110cm of glorious picture at the moment. Can I assume that a decent new projector can at least match that from the same distance ?

Do I save a lot of money by doing without lens shift ? I guess I could look at fixing a shelf above with it on but I would prefer the flexibility.
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
Thanks for the info. Assuming screen measurements are diagonal then it's making about 110cm of glorious picture at the moment. Can I assume that a decent new projector can at least match that from the same distance ?

Do I save a lot of money by doing without lens shift ? I guess I could look at fixing a shelf above with it on but I would prefer the flexibility.

110cm is 47", this is small for a projector so have you stated the correct dimension.A projector will go down this small but there would seem little point in having one as a tv can do better at this size.

You asked:

"Can I assume that a decent new projector can at least match that from the same distance ?"

But you have not stated what distance?

LCD's usually have lens shift as previously stated and this adds placement flexibility.All 1080p have it and to the best of my knowledge there is only 1 current 720p lcd (home cinema type pj) left on the market, the Epson TW650 at £650 ish which does not have lens shift anyway.

As previously pointed out you would have to buy used to get down £400-£750 to get an lcd machine with lens shift.

Your only other option is DLP projectors which can be had for new at £400, the Optoma HD600x which is 720p or at £700 for an Optoma HD200x which is a 1080p model.

These being DLP do not have lens shift so are no where near as flexible regarding placement.Also because of their technology they do for some people give of an effect called RBE (rainbow effect) so do a search for the explanation.

Some see it some don't you will only know by getting a demo.
 

jetsetwilly

Standard Member
Sorry I meant 110" !

The projector is about 4.2 metres away from the screen.

Thanks yet again for the advice. Trying to resist the temptation to go over budget !
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
Optoma HD600X Projection Calculator - Throw Distance and Screen Size

110" that's more like it:D

Use the link above to see what image size a projector will give from any distance.Use the sliders to change distances and screen dimensions available.

The two Optomas I mentioned will do 110" from around 4mtrs (just) and pretty much any LCD will as they have a bigger zoom range.

Remember the throw of a pj is from the lens face to the screen face.

You can do it in budget but you are faced with the following:

New
Optoma 600x 720p DLP @£400
There are one or two other models available HD66 or HD67 at under £500 all these are 3D ready if interested (£250 add on box 3DXL needed).

Optoma HD200x 1080p DLP @ £700-£750 occasionally less on special offers.

Second hand £400-£750
Pretty much any LCD or DLP 720p for £300-£400 or a 1080p model from £500+.

Or over budget new LCD from £999 or if you look around some deals have been available for factory refurbs or ebay specials at £750-£850.

The choice is yours so have fun choosing.
 

jetsetwilly

Standard Member
If I went DLP it would have to sit on a shelf at about 5 feet and slightly offset from the centre of the screen. The more I read the more it sounds like that might be a no no for DLP.

Assuming that is the case, and considering the fact that I don't want to ceiling mount, it sounds like I would have to go for a lens shifter or stick a coffee table in the middle of the room ! (that would not be popular with the kids and their Wii)
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
Correct:) I think the lcd route is your best choice.

So now just need to decide new or used.

£500-600 gets a 2 yr old 1080p machine,£600-750 a 1 yr old or less,£999 new or maybe less if you find a deal.:D
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
That is a good deal but pixmania don't have the best reputation.

Also check the warranty as if buying from a Uk source you get a 3 yr warranty on projector and bulb where I think euro suppliers (pix is french I think) you only get a 2yr.
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
Epson EH-TW3200 projector

Projector point are superb to deal with and usually offer the best deals.Many folks on here have purchased from them and they are second to none for their service.

Take a look at their ad and see differences from buying from a euro source.

The main differences are on site warranty rather than back to base and the 3yr warranty on pj and lamp where the euro is 2yr pj 1 yr lamp.

They are giving away over £100 worth of accessories so after you take that into account the pix offer is inferior IMV.
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member

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