Possible first projector purchase - advise me!


Standard Member
Hey guys,

I'm looking at upgrading my TV system to something a bit bigger/better, and thought it might be time to consider one of these projector things, but I don't really know how suitable they're going to be.

I live in a small flat (one of the many disadvantages of living down south!) and so have quite a tiny living room. The distance from the wall where I would project the image, and where the projector would sit, is only about 4 metres. Am I going to get a half-decent size picture with that little range, or it it only going to work out to be about the size of a 28 inch TV? :)

The other main issue is that the room is quite light, as it has two full-length doors leading onto the balcony at one end. I'm worried that I'm not going to be able to see the image without having to draw the curtains. Is this a valid concern?

Quick ascii diagram of room:

[FONT=courier new]
|           'SCREEN'                       |
|                                          |
|                                          |
|                                          |
-                                          |
B                                          |
A                                          |
L                                          |
C                                          |
O                                          |
N                                          |
Y                                          |
-                                          |
|                                          |
|                                          |
|                                          |
|           PROJECTOR                      |
------------------------------------| DOOR |

Also, as I'm renting, I can't mount the projector on the wall, so it will have to rest on a table (or maybe a speaker stand)? This will mean it is lower than the centre of the image being projected. Do most projectors have the ability to correct the shape distortion this will cause? I'm guessing I'll still have minor focusing issues, whatever I do.

Finally, I will initially be projecting onto a white wall - this is presumably going to give me less light than I would get projecting onto a proper reflective screen. Is this a major issue?

Any recommendations of projectors to get (budget only about £600, but I'm happy to buy second-hand) would be appreciated, too.



Active Member
I've got a similar sized room, and am actually projecting (Sanyo Z1) a distance of about three metres, but this still gives me a 5' width image (without any zoom).

With my Z1, i normally have to draw the curtains, and as i'm not using blackout blinds, I normally have to wait till it's dark as well. To be honest, this isn't much of an issue as i'm usually at work during bright daylight hours.

Most projectors will have an option to adjust keystone, and some like the Z1 also have a horizontal and vertical lens shift which allows the positioning of the image without the need for adjusting keystone (more or less!!)

For projection surface, see what you think about the image that's projected. I'm using a tripod projector screen which i can easily fold up and stick in the cupboard when not required.

I'd have a look at the Z1 for starters, NexNix are doing a very good deal at the moment, Z1 with a DVD/VCR unit for £590 + VAT. You can flog the DVD/VCR unit if not required and get a good price for it.


Standard Member
What's the advantage of the Z1 (a LCD projector, presumably) with say the IBM ILV300 DLP projector?

I'm just looking at the specs on NexNix, and the IBM has 2000:1 contrast ratio and 1000 lumens, compared to the Z1's 800:1 contrast ratio and 700 lumens. With those figures, it sounds like the IBM is a no-brainer, considering the price is almost the same (not taking the DVD/VCR into account).

What are the disadvantages of a DLP projector, other than the 'rainbow' effect?

I really want something I can use on a reasonably bright day (not direct sunshine, but most anything else) without having to close the curtains. It doesn't need to be particularly clear or bright in these circumstances, but it does need to be visible.


Active Member
Gather this IBM is really a rebadged Infocus X1, so it's going for a very good price.

Rainbows are probably the main factor for choosing between the two.

The Z1 has more inputs, which could also be a factor (SVideo, Composite, Component and VGA/RGB vs SVideo/Component, Composite, VGA/Component)

Ultimately it's down to personal choice. Recommend seeing the projectors in action first before making any decision.

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