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Considering buying a DLP Projector intead of Wall mounted TV
Old 10-03-2012, 08:04 PM   #1
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Considering buying a DLP Projector intead of Wall mounted TV

I purchased another house and it has a miserable layout for TV placement in Family room or Living room. This got me thinking and looking into DLP Projectors. I know they have some pretty nice ones out today capable of 1080 if you want it. Even 3D, if your into that.

A DLP rr LCD Projector, for those who don't know is a small projector device that projects the image from either your TV Cable box, or OTA, Netflix, Computer, or DVD up onto a large screen. Typical sizes of picture in most family room settings are between 100" to 120". Many projectors can not rival the picture from a Plasma TV, only much bigger. But you need to invest in the screen, speakers if you don't have them.

Anyone have one?
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Old 10-03-2012, 10:02 PM   #2
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I have one. 100" screen with 1080p. I buy the brand optoma. I started with a 480p in 2005 then went to 720p in 2007 and bought a 1080p this past summer.

I have a dedicated home theater room in my basement. Complete control of light is a must. If you have any questions just ask.
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:06 AM   #3
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My suggestion is to check out the reviews and threads on the AVS forum and ask any questions there. They have some real experts on all types of home theaters that are regulars there.

AVS Forum
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:42 AM   #4
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I am waiting for my next bulb to die befor I upgrade. I have a 1080i Panasonic with a 120" screen in my bonus room.

www.projectorcentral.com is another site that does some nice reviews along with the technical data.

I would be concerned about ambient light in a living room.
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:10 AM   #5
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Go for it. And, as noted above, use the AVS forum to learn.

We have had LCD since 2003 in two different houses and love it (haven't been to a movie theater since 2003).

Finding house with basement after moving to new area was the hardest part. I built dedicated room in basement with in wall/ceiling wiring and simple staged seating. Also skipped expensive screen via painting 9' wide white rectangle on wall (see many threads at avs forum on this). Some of the savings from that went to sound system.

Prices weren't bad then, and have come way down. Like a wine cellar, it is a very affordable and easy DIY project if you focus on function rather than bling.
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:47 AM   #6
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From what I have read, and of course I can be way wrong, the picture is not as bright as a regular TV...

So, if you do not have a media room or some place where the light can be dim, you might not like what you see....
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:54 AM   #7
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DS and his roomies bought a used one for their house - it was far cheaper than a big-screen TV and they can play their video games and watch sports on a huge screen. They are very happy with the decision (then again, they weren't going for high quality).
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:03 AM   #8
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I don't have a basement. No basements in FL and NV. I sure wish I did. You could make it really great then. I'm afraid I have to go a different route. I have been reading over on the AVS forum and also on another projector forum.

Just thought I'd like to hear from some non-tech geeks what your experiences have been. They really get into the nitty gritty over there.
They have some machines out now that are much brighter and more suitable for family rooms (ambient light). My viewing will be confined mostly to evening time. I have TV in my bedroom (regular LCD) if I want to see anything during day.

I can't of course (or rather won't) paint my ceilings and walls black, but might consider black out drape material sewn behind regular drape material to help with outside light if it wasn't totally dark out.

I was really curious how much you use yours, and if you feel you made the right decision going that route. I'm sure those of you who have dedicated basement rooms also have TV's upstairs. In my current home I have a 32" LCD in my bedroom, and a really nice 55" Panasonic Viera plasma in the living room. The one in the living room, between the picture quality and size is much more enjoyable to watch. (size does seem to matter) Will be leaving that TV at the Florida house for now.

In my case, I was thinking of forgoing buying a larger plasma (will have viewing angle problems in this house with the only wall I can put a wall
TV on.) Which is what led me into looking for another solution.

The regular DLP's made for "man caves" are not suitable for a family room for the most part. I do understand that. But baring all that. Was it worth the effort, cost, etc. for you? Do you use them on a regular bases and get a significant added enjoyment from your watching experience? I don't know how costly running wires up the wall and accross the ceiling to get to projector and also speakers will be. Not something I'm capable of doing. It's a single story house though, which makes it more doable.

Also, some of you mention you upgraded from a 720 to the 1080. Did you see a significant difference? Anyone have 3D? Though I'm sure it would be a hoot to watch something in 3D, I don't know if I'd like wearing those 3D glasses while relaxing, and I'm not sure how many 3D movies I'd want to spend the money for. My viewing experience will be limited to OTA TV passed through a HTPC computer, Netflix, and DVD's. So, I'm not a total audio/video geek type.

I've even considered buying a cheap one they sell on Amazon for $329 (Oops. Just went up in price now) http://www.amazon.com/ViewSonic-PJD5...=dlp+projector and putting it in my sons room, which is much smaller for his games and TV, and see what I think about it. I know the picture quality would not be nearly as good as found in the more expensive units $1,000 plus, but I'm sure he would like it, and it would give me a taste for the whole thing. People give excellent reviews for them on Amazon. But I know, everything is relative, and even going to an inexpensive DPL from a regular tV must be an experience. But anyone used to the quality of a much better machine, would poo poo the cheap one and think it's awful.
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:36 AM   #9
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modhatter,

Our usage is strange, I fear. I don't watch OTA or cable TV, unless over my wife's shoulder--but she DVRs 10 shows a week. She mainly watches those shows on a little LCD in our room, just cuz it is comfy. (and in the same room where I am buried in a book)

The big screen has no tuner card or Cable/satellite TV feed; I might hook up a media computer to it someday, but haven't felt the need. Thus, just internet and DVD. (The boys used to do occasional gaming on it when they had time; seemed to be great for that.)

We have 1080 and blue ray is a little sharper than standard DVD, but I (unlike wife) probably wouldn't notice if not comparing in close proximity.

I probably watch on the projector no more than 3-4 hours a week on average, with wife watching 1-3 more. But we truly enjoy movies (and premium TV network shows from netflix) when we do. Nature shows are mindboggling, as are modern animated films. Plus, if you are a sports fan, games are really cool. (Based on internet streaming of world cup and NFL playoffs last year.) For us, with internet shopping for the components and all labor DIY, it has been easily worth the investment.

I think AVS folks cover this often, but don't overlook the value of a good sound system. This was/is as big a factor for us as the large screen and was a major driver for a dedicated room, rather than in the main living area.

If I were in your shoes, without a dedicated room, I'd have to think hard about how to arrange things and if it would be worth the hassle and money. Ceiling mount of projector may be out of the question for you, which increases the intrusion of system into the living space. Plus, speaker runs would involve some extra work--particularly if you (like me) aren't good at drywall finishing. Screen would likely be an issue as well. All of this can be resolved with $$, but . . .
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:22 AM   #10
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I saw an 80" Sharpe LCD set in Costco the other day. Might be an alternative to a projector if your room is not condusive to a projector/screen setup due to lighting.
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:39 AM   #11
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modhatter,

Our usage is strange, I fear. I don't watch OTA or cable TV, unless over my wife's shoulder--but she DVRs 10 shows a week. She mainly watches those shows on a little LCD in our room, just cuz it is comfy. (and in the same room where I am buried in a book)

The big screen has no tuner card or Cable/satellite TV feed; I might hook up a media computer to it someday, but haven't felt the need. Thus, just internet and DVD. (The boys used to do occasional gaming on it when they had time; seemed to be great for that.)

We have 1080 and blue ray is a little sharper than standard DVD, but I (unlike wife) probably wouldn't notice if not comparing in close proximity.

I probably watch on the projector no more than 3-4 hours a week on average, with wife watching 1-3 more. But we truly enjoy movies (and premium TV network shows from netflix) when we do. Nature shows are mindboggling, as are modern animated films. Plus, if you are a sports fan, games are really cool. (Based on internet streaming of world cup and NFL playoffs last year.) For us, with internet shopping for the components and all labor DIY, it has been easily worth the investment.

I think AVS folks cover this often, but don't overlook the value of a good sound system. This was/is as big a factor for us as the large screen and was a major driver for a dedicated room, rather than in the main living area.

If I were in your shoes, without a dedicated room, I'd have to think hard about how to arrange things and if it would be worth the hassle and money. Ceiling mount of projector may be out of the question for you, which increases the intrusion of system into the living space. Plus, speaker runs would involve some extra work--particularly if you (like me) aren't good at drywall finishing. Screen would likely be an issue as well. All of this can be resolved with $$, but . . .
Thanks TN Steve. Your right about the esthetics of the speakers, screen etc. The screen would have to be an electric installed on a wall protruding out a bit as it is over sliding glass doors and drapes.( and my ceiling it cathedral) I can also frame it in with a crown molding making it less obnoxious $$. Speakers would have to mounted on wall (ugly) and $$. so, all this is part of consideration. I do have a separate living room, but it really adjoins the family room so it's not like I can hide it. I don't like the idea of the projector on the ceiling. That is really an eye sore, so I would like to have it on a table. I can't put it on a shelf behind me, as the kitchen is behind me. Like I said, very bad logistics for everything. But if I had a larger TV, I'd have to mount it above fireplace to be able to view it, and that in itself creates problems and I don't like how high it would be.

If it were simple and esthetically pleasing, I'd just do it. Hence, all the deliberation and agony over decision.
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:21 PM   #12
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I ran one for years. Unless you get a high lumen model, you'll have to darken the room. I never bothered with the screen, blasting it right onto a white texture painted wall looked alright, but you could either paint the wall with a specific light gray paint (see avsforum for what kind/color) to improve things, or use a piece of blackout cloth stretched over a frame. Way cheaper than a screen.

I had the projector sitting on a table with a 25' cable run under a throw rug. Took it down when Gabe was born as it can get extremely hot and its still sitting in a box, since although I live in a huge house, there isnt a single wall where I could throw a 100" picture and arrange seating.
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:23 PM   #13
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I have a small portable LED 720P projector that I transport between 2 homes. It is useless for day viewing but great (IMO) for night viewing. I choose LED because I don't want to spend $$ to replace burnt out bulbs every couple of years.

It is not mounted. I place it on a shelf under a lamp table.

I don't use a screen. It is projected on a wall that is not white.
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Old 10-04-2012, 03:50 PM   #14
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I have a small portable LED 720P projector that I transport between 2 homes. It is useless for day viewing but great (IMO) for night viewing. I choose LED because I don't want to spend $$ to replace burnt out bulbs every couple of years.

It is not mounted. I place it on a shelf under a lamp table.

I don't use a screen. It is projected on a wall that is not white.

Nice picture KingB. Lookks like it's about 9 or 10' wide. What projector do you have, and how far back is it from the wall? I was thinking of one of the "short distance" projectors" (that's not the right name) so I could have it on a coffee table or table between two recliners. I know what you mean about the bulbs. $200-$250 for a bulb kinda hurts. I wish I had a wall, but the only wall I have in the room is where furniture must go, so I have to have a pull down screen. Night time is really all I really want it for. Does the 720 give you a clear enough picture? What a great way to bring your TV with you if you go back and forth. Never though about that.

DFW, I don't have 80" over the fireplace. Maybe only 60". Not there to measure now. So, I'd have to buy another 52-55" wall tv, and frankly I'd like the experience of the larger screen (I think) I can get a screen even motorized for about $260, and a projector for $1,000 or less. Not much more than a new plasma. (but then there's all the wiring and the speakers) Trying to ignore those extras, so I can justify it!

I understand they have wireless speakers too. Don't really know much about them. Have not researched them yet.
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Old 10-04-2012, 04:36 PM   #15
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I know what you mean about the bulbs. $200-250 for a bulb kinda hurts.
Must be an unusual model, because all the DLP bulbs I've put in tv's and projectors cost about $75 and last about 5 or 6 years before they need replacing. In fact, on all but one projector I did put a bulb in, by the time the bulb popped the product was outdated and I wanted a newer one. Sold the old ones without a working bulb for a surprising amount.
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Old 10-04-2012, 06:37 PM   #16
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Nice picture KingB. Lookks like it's about 9 or 10' wide. What projector do you have, and how far back is it from the wall? I was thinking of one of the "short distance" projectors" (that's not the right name) so I could have it on a coffee table or table between two recliners. I know what you mean about the bulbs. $200-$250 for a bulb kinda hurts. I wish I had a wall, but the only wall I have in the room is where furniture must go, so I have to have a pull down screen. Night time is really all I really want it for. Does the 720 give you a clear enough picture? What a great way to bring your TV with you if you go back and forth. Never though about that.
It is model HX350T made by LG bought at Amazon. The projected picture is 10' wide at a throw distance of 13.5 feet. The 720P is clear enough for me. My viewing is not that critical and I can not discern any difference between 1080 and 720p on a regular TV.
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:09 PM   #17
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We use a 110" screen and older Sharp DLP projector as our main TV, hours a day. Light control is essential, but you don't need to be perfect with it. The thing is, the screen is white. Look at it with the projector off. That is as black as your picture is going to get. If the projector isn't bright enough, the colors can look dull. Our walls are white and you can tell when a bright picture reflects off the walls and washes out the screen a little bit. The grey screens can help a bit.

Watch out for noise from the projector. Especially if you mount it somewhere like right above your head. Ours is behind a wall.

The lamps are expensive, $250 for a fake version that is less bright and fails early. $500 for the real thing. Ours last 2000 hours before it wants you to replace them. LED's aren't quite there yet.

Don't want to make it sound terrible. We love it and wouldn't have anything else. The picture is great and our sound is great. But if you can't deal with these problems than it's probably not for you.
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:52 AM   #18
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DFW, I don't have 80" over the fireplace. Maybe only 60". Not there to measure now. So, I'd have to buy another 52-55" wall tv, and frankly I'd like the experience of the larger screen (I think) I can get a screen even motorized for about $260, and a projector for $1,000 or less. Not much more than a new plasma. (but then there's all the wiring and the speakers) Trying to ignore those extras, so I can justify it!

I understand they have wireless speakers too. Don't really know much about them. Have not researched them yet.
I hear ya. I currently have a 52" LCD Samsung in a playroom above the garage and have thought about adding a screen and projector, but considering we may be downsizing in the next year or two, I have not pursued it.

The one thing I will say, IMHO, the sound system is what makes for a great experience. I only have a 5.1 setup, but with the Definitive Tech speakers, it sounds much better than a movie theater to me.
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