DVD & Home Theater Gear Discuss DVD and Home Theater Equipment.

best sub-$450 projector for watching movies

Old 04-26-14, 04:44 PM
  #1  
TGM
DVD Talk Legend
Thread Starter
 
TGM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 15,683
best sub-$450 projector for watching movies

opinions?
TGM is offline  
Old 04-28-14, 06:43 PM
  #2  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Mpls, MN
Posts: 6,831
Re: best sub-$450 projector for watching movies

Well, you aren't getting any answers. I think most here have gone the midrange route, which is about $1000-3000, I've owned 3. Maybe that's why. I know I haven't used one in your price range except in a conference room, so it's hard to say much, certainly not with authority or expertise.

In that range I guess I would recommend an 800x600, but again, not an expert opinion. You could also go 1024x768 which might make HD look slightly better, but that almost could look worse for DVD depending on the quality of the conversion (most don't have much of a video processor). So, what would you use it for?

I would say the resolution is less important at this point, and it doesn't sound like you'll have 2 rooms with PJs to compare, so if you get used to something, you'll like the 90-144" screen, regardless. A friend just bought a Mitsubishi 800x600 DLP at $300 or less and he's pretty happy. Buying on brightness and ability to adjust the pic for home theater use would be higher on my feature priority list. All that said, here is one slightly above your range that is HD res, and we do like HD.

Keep in mind that one of the big issues with projectors is the lamp. They usually cost around $150-200 for this range PJ ($300 for higher cost PJs), so even with a low priced model, you will have this expense down the road.
Spiky is offline  
Old 04-28-14, 08:49 PM
  #3  
Moderator
 
Giles's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Washington DC
Posts: 33,494
Re: best sub-$450 projector for watching movies

are you looking for 1080p or 720p projection? I recently got an Optoma DX326 XGA 3D Projector (which is the latter) for $300 from Amazon - I'm liking it.
Giles is offline  
Old 04-29-14, 02:08 AM
  #4  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
davidlynchfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 3,039
Re: best sub-$450 projector for watching movies

Do you have a small room with 10 feet or less to work with? Throw distance might be the most important factor if you do and not all PJs are created equal in that dept.
davidlynchfan is offline  
Old 04-29-14, 11:47 AM
  #5  
TGM
DVD Talk Legend
Thread Starter
 
TGM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 15,683
Re: best sub-$450 projector for watching movies

I appreciate the responses.

Basically I am building a 12x16 addition on the back of my house. I haven't decided which dimension would be best to mount a projector and a screen. I was thinking a 100" screen. 720p would be fine...

I was looking at the Optoma DX326 vs. the ViewSonic PJD5134 and now the recently recommended BenQ MW523.

The room will have a lot of windows, but also will have blinds/shades to darken things. I wouldn't mind going up to $500 or so if it really made a significant performance difference. $1000 price range for a projector is a bit much, IMO. I'm not expecting the 1080p quality of my 56" LED DLP, or any of the LCD TV's I have in the house, but obviously I would like the image to be as sharp as it could be, as big as the screen is, with a good color palette.
TGM is offline  
Old 04-29-14, 04:03 PM
  #6  
Moderator
 
Giles's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Washington DC
Posts: 33,494
Re: best sub-$450 projector for watching movies

Originally Posted by TGM View Post
I appreciate the responses.

Basically I am building a 12x16 addition on the back of my house. I haven't decided which dimension would be best to mount a projector and a screen. I was thinking a 100" screen. 720p would be fine...

I was looking at the Optoma DX326 vs. the ViewSonic PJD5134 and now the recently recommended BenQ MW523.

The room will have a lot of windows, but also will have blinds/shades to darken things. I wouldn't mind going up to $500 or so if it really made a significant performance difference. $1000 price range for a projector is a bit much, IMO. I'm not expecting the 1080p quality of my 56" LED DLP, or any of the LCD TV's I have in the house, but obviously I would like the image to be as sharp as it could be, as big as the screen is, with a good color palette.
I saw a BenQ at a restaurant of all places - and asked one of the managers why the image looked really good - his response was the image was being projected onto a glass screen (!?) - the brightness and sharpness had tremendous pop... very impressive.
Giles is offline  
Old 04-30-14, 11:43 AM
  #7  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Mpls, MN
Posts: 6,831
Re: best sub-$450 projector for watching movies

Originally Posted by Giles View Post
I saw a BenQ at a restaurant of all places - and asked one of the managers why the image looked really good - his response was the image was being projected onto a glass screen (!?) - the brightness and sharpness had tremendous pop... very impressive.
Interesting. I read about some glass screens years ago. You paint one side, or both, and it does give a unique look, sounded very cool. Seems odd for a restaurant, I thought I recalled that one caveat was a narrower viewing angle due to the thickness of the glass, it not being exactly a normal projection surface. You'd think a restaurant would want as wide as possible, but maybe they made it a different way.
Spiky is offline  
Old 04-30-14, 01:58 PM
  #8  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 38,985
Re: best sub-$450 projector for watching movies

I have a glass beaded screen, it's nice and bright when you're in-line with it, but has weak viewing angles since the screen tends to return the light toward the source (the projector). That and hot-spotting are general flaws with bright projectors on glass or glass beaded screens.

I have a $750 Optoma projector I bought last fall, pretty happy with it. Extremely bright, 1080p, excellent 3D (and there are some very affordable, well built glasses available for it), sharp image. It does have a little DLP rainbow effect on high constrast (white on black scenes) but honestly the pros outweigh that con a lot (I use the projector in my living room).

http://www.amazon.com/Optoma-HD131Xe.../dp/B00E4JEDWE

For your price range, I think the Acer H5380BD (review: http://www.projectorcentral.com/acer...tor_review.htm ) is your best bet. It's 720p (I had a 720p through the end of last year and it still looks fantastic). It has been on sale for < $400 a few times. The BenQ MW523 should also do you well.

A big factor to pay attention to is Throw Distance (distance from projector to screen). I was originally planning to buy a BenQ projector but the short throw lense on it didn't fit with my room so I had to skip that. Also, you may want to check eBay for refurbished ones.

I can't find any for the H5380 but here are some demo shots from the BenQ and a review (foreign): http://www.forodvd.com/tema/135668-b...on-importante/ and http://youtu.be/q9tHbghTTIU?t=2m35s

I strongly recommend you stick with a 720p/1080p projector over anything with a slightly off, PC resolution.

Last edited by RichC2; 04-30-14 at 02:28 PM.
RichC2 is online now  
Old 05-30-14, 02:12 PM
  #9  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Paul_SD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Hiking the Sisyphian trail
Posts: 6,341
Re: best sub-$450 projector for watching movies

Would you be willing to go used? 1st generation JVC and Sony 1080p's (RS-1 and VW50, respectively) might be in your price range and they would still, despite being 8 yrs older, probably be a better value in terms of features and PQ compared to a new low cost pj.
Paul_SD is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.