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Front PJ: Yesterday's Top of the Line vs Today's Middle of Line

FrantzM

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#1
Hi

This site has helped me a great deal: I have had to seriously question what what I am getting for my very hard-earned money.
Life matters are perhaps OT and/or subjects for a different website so I'll stick to Audio-Video stuffs (for now :p):

We will talk about Projectors for my soon to be experimental-as-cheap-as-possible yet decent to high performance HT:

Putting aside the reliability thing. a 10 year old electronics is more likely to break than a new item ... Yet I am thinking cheap here :D. I recently found on eBay a Marantz VP12S2 DLP Projector at <$200 !!!

Are today middle of the line front PJs, say a $1500 BenQ HT 2550 comparable to a Sony VW100 I can find on ebay for <$500? or other 2008~2010 Almost TOL Front PJs that were sold at up to $10K?

Good deal? Bad deal ? Better get a BenQ or Epson or Panasonic or ???

Screen is Silverstar 100" 4 K compatible sub $200 many found almost as good as the Stewart Studiotek 130 ...
 

DonH56

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#2
What resolution do you need? Comparing a 4K to a 1080 projector may not matter if you never plan on 4K (or HDR or the other "new" features). Newer projectors also tend to be brighter and have higher contrast ratios than older models. Whether that matters to you depends upon how critically you watch, and of course how large your screen, how bright, and how far away you are, etc.

Video ain't really my thang, however, and I am not a terribly critical videophile.
 

Blumlein 88

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#3
I just saw this. Sorry, don't look at this forum much. So it may be to late to help.

I can say I have a BenQ HT3050 which is $999. It is quite a bit better than some more pricey slightly older projectors. That is the opinion of some who own those other projectors. I think in general projectors have improved enough you'll generally be better off with newer projectors.
 

FrantzM

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#4
Wrapping my head around the fact ....
I have heard the same from some videophiles i respect .. Nostalgia and the sheer cheapness of some of yesterday's great PJ (e.g:Sony Ruby for <$300) had pushed me to consider those.
I would like to stay under $1000 for PJ and screen DIY screen if necesary) , from what I am reading the benQ is a great solution. Any other? Thanks in advance .. People.
 

Blumlein 88

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#5
https://www.amazon.com/BenQ-DLP-Projector-HT2050-All-Glass/dp/B016LEAIJG?th=1

I didn't know the price had dropped to $899 on the 3050.

This model the 2050A (the A is important) is almost the same projector for $749.
https://www.amazon.com/BenQ-HT2050A...TF8&qid=1529789998&sr=1-2&keywords=benq+2050a

The 3050 is Cinema rec 709 calibrated while the 2050A is 96% rec 709. And the 2050A doesn't have any vertical image shift. The 3050 doesn't have much lens shift. The 709 means it has true colors without you needing to calibrate it yourself. Some of the affordable units can't be calibrated enough to get all that close sometimes though things are improving.

Lens shift lets you get a properly square image if the projector is off center. Keystone adjustment can do this too and all projectors have that, but it destroys fine detail in a good quality video image. Lens shift does this in the optics and doesn't harm image quality. If at all possible position the projector so you don't need to adjust keystone.

I've an older expensive projector which has terrific lens shift capability. You can place it right against a side wall in a wide room and get a perfectly squared up image in the center of the room on a screen. That is expensive and normally you don't see it until past the $2k mark or more. Even that projector however has less good accurate color and less brightness than the newer BenQ 3050. Also the 3050 is unusually quiet for projectors which is a nice feature. Not sure how the 2050 compares.
 
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#6
The Sony Ruby was nice, but I have a VPL VW200 with a Zeiss glass lens and much better blacks sitting in a box for a couple of years and I have no idea what pittance I could sell it for (15k projector new). A couple of observations, 4K sampled down to 1080p looks GREAT, better than most 1080p sources. I gather this is because the color depth and detail are better with downsampled 4K. Also, 1080p UPSCALED to 4k also looks fantastic. I have a 4K projector, and like it a lot, but certainly up to 100 diagonal inches, a very good 1080p projector should be fine
 

Blumlein 88

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#7
Thought I would mention something else too. If you've never had a projector of your own, that is an educational experience. Figuring out positioning, spacing, short vs long throw and all that just isn't the same for most people until you've wrestled with it hands on. Its only then you fully get your head wrapped around it. Only then can you make good purchasing decisions. I was lucky someone gifted me an older working projector which is when I started to learn useful things.

So if you've never had one, getting one even an old obsolete one or a super cheap one off of craigslist to mess about with for a month or so would be money and time well spent. You'll make a much better purchase decision then. You might be surprised at what size screen you want if nothing else.

The one I suggest above for instance just may not be suitable at all for the size room and/or acceptable mounting locations at your house. A great picture with the wrong projector is no good deal. The 3050 is a short throw model meaning for instance it can create a 100 inch screen only 8.4 ft from the screen. If that is the wrong place however you may need a long throw projector for your big image coming further back in the room. The short throw option just wouldn't work.
 

Fitzcaraldo215

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#8
Best idea, forget the projector. A good friend just gave me a 70" Sharp Elite 2k TV for free. He got a 77" LG OLED. My 10-year old 60" Sony SXRD rear projector goes to my step son/daughter/grandsons. Charities my friend contacted didn't want it.

Sharp is out of the TV business, but some have said that this particular Sharp model and the Pioneer Kuro plasma, also defunct, may have been the best of 2k sets.

I am still waiting for 4K to mature and stabilize myself. But, in the mean time, wow, it is really great, a big improvement, and you can't beat the price. Of course, I thank my lucky stars to have such a good friend. Everyone should be so lucky.

I doubt I will ever want or need a front projector, not with 2k. I see no need, though with 4K resolution, bigger may be justifiably better.
 

Blumlein 88

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#9
Best idea, forget the projector. A good friend just gave me a 70" Sharp Elite 2k TV for free. He got a 77" LG OLED. My 10-year old 60" Sony SXRD rear projector goes to my step son/daughter/grandsons. Charities my friend contacted didn't want it.

Sharp is out of the TV business, but some have said that this particular Sharp model and the Pioneer Kuro plasma, also defunct, may have been the best of 2k sets.

I am still waiting for 4K to mature and stabilize myself. But, in the mean time, wow, it is really great, a big improvement, and you can't beat the price. Of course, I thank my lucky stars to have such a good friend. Everyone should be so lucky.

I doubt I will ever want or need a front projector, not with 2k. I see no need, though with 4K resolution, bigger may be justifiably better.
Yes current large LCDs are a heck of a bargain for a darn good picture. But sometimes that 100, 120 or 140 inch picture are nice to have. Rear projectors don't really make sense anymore, if they ever did. There does seem to be a threshold of screen size that puts you into an envelopment mode watching movies.
 
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#10
Yes, projectors still have a charm factor that is hard to describe. Low lights, suggestive impressionistic picture. It still is nicer for most cinema content than large LCD, but maybe that's just nostalgia from an old fart who remembers the technicolor 35mm theaters.
 

FrantzM

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#11
Hi

I had a Ruby back in the days and loved it. Never got to calibrate it completely to ISF but got pretty close. I enjoyed it quite but it cost me quite a bundle then. I have been out of HT for a while and am returning to it. I love movies. Reading that a <$1000 PJ can surpass what I remember seeing from the Ruby is almost cathartic for the engineer/technologist in me. I am forever also annoyed to see how Audio got suckered into a mad spiral of gouging the aficionados. OTOH Video keeps getting better while prices are decreasing ... Audio hasn't followed the same curve path. Or perhaps it has been ignored by the larger population of audiophiles. Sorry about this rambling OT.

On the font PJ thing.. 80 inches diagonal is the threshold of cinematic experience to me. 100 inches wide is what I am aiming at. Difficult to explain but even seating close to a , say 70 inches diagonal TV doesn't match, the experience of watching a 100 inch screen from 10 feet...

The goal is to go cheap but not so cheap as to miss all the fun.The system is to be a learning tool then I'll move from the LSR038 to a, better Audiosystem. Maximizing Return On Investment while chasing maximum performance remains the philosophy. I may go crazy one day and do an all Danley Synergy for the HT ... 5 SM-60 with a serious IB subwoofer + 4 DIY subwoofer in the room, to smooth the response...
4 K PJ with 10 feet screen.... The way things are going with video such can be probably available for circa $5K in a year or so, perhaps right, today ... :cool:
Then a separate 2-ch in a different room...
Thanks guys .. Any other PJ <$1000 worthy of consideration. Out of the box calibrated. High Contrast and brightness
??
I need to keep these discussions open. There is so much to learn from members of this forum. Plus the S/N ratio is high as compared to , say , AVS or the more expensive the better type of fora...

Keep it coming People!!!
 

Fitzcaraldo215

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#12
Yes current large LCDs are a heck of a bargain for a darn good picture. But sometimes that 100, 120 or 140 inch picture are nice to have. Rear projectors don't really make sense anymore, if they ever did. There does seem to be a threshold of screen size that puts you into an envelopment mode watching movies.
Well, yes and no with 2k. It depends on the projector or video processor. And, you can always just sit closer. Now, 4K screams for a big screen, which it generally always handles well, otherwise it might not offer much over 2k. But, I don't really care for the noise and heat, the darkened room with no daylight, etc. of lamp-based front projectors. Maybe laser or other light source projectors will be better, and I am intrigued by the new short-throw projectors such that the projector's fan isn't right over your head.

Yes, rear projectors, like my Sony SXRD, were an interim step in the constant evolution of display technology. I felt that the market rejected them simply because flat screen plasmas and LCDs had a more appealing, wall mount form factor. But, in those pre-Kuro plasma days, reviews and my eyes told me the SXRD had a better picture than anything else at the time, especially in black levels, screen door effect, etc. And, it was much cheaper than plasmas or LCDs of equivalent size then. At only 16" deep, it was also not hard for me to accommodate on my equipment rack 5' from the front wall in line with my speakers. Highly evolved and advanced versions of SXRD or similar LCOS technology are still used by Sony and JVC for their 4K front projectors with excellent results.

But, my gosh. My Sony SXRD is only 10.5 years old. Rear projectors and plasmas are both long dead. LCD, which was mediocre then, has come a long, long way, improving substantially and offering respectable size and sophisticated backlighting. And, we have OLED, micro dots, and who knows what else happening now. Interesting times.
 

soundArgument

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#13
On a visit to Singapore during the spring of 2017, I saw a vintage Barco Reality CRT projector on sale for a substantial sum at the Adelphi Mall. So there is a market for some vintage video equipment, it appears.
 
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