LCD Projectors...

Discussion in 'Community' started by eclipse525, Mar 16, 2004.

  1. eclipse525 macrumors 6502a

    eclipse525

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2003
    Location:
    USA, New York
    #1
    I'm in the market for an LCD Projector but these things cost an arm and a leg. Do anybody have any recommendations or experience with any projectors under $1000. Thanks!

    FYI- It will be used for small room meetings, not large conference rooms or halls.

    ~e
     
  2. FriarTuck macrumors 6502

    FriarTuck

    Joined:
    May 26, 2003
    Location:
    Chicago area
    #2
    I have an Epson PowerLite S1 and I'm very satisfied with it. I use it in a fully lighted room, and as long as I don't position the screen directly below a light the image is plenty strong.

    The PowerLite S1 is pretty much idiot proof, with every method of hookup you can think of, less expensive replacement bulbs ("only" $199, versus $399 for the BenQ, $349 for the Sharp, etc.), a nice carrying case included, and intuitive set-up. Shutdown is only 20 seconds.

    I have used it with my Powerbook, a DVD player, a VCR, and a GameCube, and it's done pretty darned well with all of them. Of course, it's an entry level machine, and you will have to live with SVGA resolution. But Keynote runs fine under SVGA for general presentation purposes such as those you describe.

    Best wishes on your search.
     
  3. eclipse525 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    eclipse525

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2003
    Location:
    USA, New York
    #3
    Would you know of a source that explains the differences between these resolutions(SVGA, etc.). Thank you for your input. The Epson seems like a good choice.


    ~e
     
  4. FriarTuck macrumors 6502

    FriarTuck

    Joined:
    May 26, 2003
    Location:
    Chicago area
    #4
    Try projectorcentral.com for reviews of many projectors.

    ProjectorPeople.com is a sales site, but they have a pretty thorough selection so you can get a feel for what's out there.

    SVGA
    Super Video Graphics Array
    800x600

    XGA
    Extended Graphics Array
    1024x768

    W-XGA
    Wide Extended Graphics Array
    1366x768

    SXGA
    Super Extended Graphics Array
    1280x1024

    UXGA
    Ultra Extended Graphics Array
    1600x1200

    W-UXGA, WUXGA
    Wide Ultra Extended Graphics Array
    1920x1200
     
  5. idkew macrumors 68020

    idkew

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2001
    Location:
    where the concrete to dirt ratio is better
    #5
    Fast forward 20 years:

    SH-GUMGA
    Super Huge Gigantic Ultra Mega Graphics Array
    14000x11000
     
  6. saabmp3 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    #6
    Get a CRT projector. My Barco can do up to 2500x2000 resolution to some insane freq.

    Look on apple's site for projectors, they have some good stuff up there.

    BEN
     
  7. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Location:
    Reality
    #7
    If you're going to hook it up to a computer, don't go for anything less than 1024x768 resolution. An SVGA resolution projector will scale down your graphics, making them look bad. And if you have multiple presenters, everyone would have to reconfigure their computer's resolution to match the SVGA resolution, every time they wanted to hook up to the projector.
     
  8. FriarTuck macrumors 6502

    FriarTuck

    Joined:
    May 26, 2003
    Location:
    Chicago area
    #8
    This response assumes the project was created in a different resolution, and that "everyone" else would have created their project at a higher resolution as well.

    Of course, the higher resolution you can afford, the better.

    But to suggest an SVGA projector is going to mess around with all graphics and all presentations is FUD, in my opinion.

    In the real world, people have to work within budgets. And the Epson PowerLite S1 is a fine budget projector that will suit general presentation needs (as well as home use) just fine for many, many people.

    One more thing I didn't mention... the speaker on the S1, while not brilliant, is at least clear and powerful enough to be useful, unlike some of the others I tested. One thing the newer micro projectors don't have is a decent speaker.
     
  9. eclipse525 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    eclipse525

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2003
    Location:
    USA, New York
    #9
    Thanks for the site and the explination.

    Would you say that I should go with a projector that is XGA oppose to SVGA, if I'm using a computer for the presentations or video?

    ~e
     
  10. FriarTuck macrumors 6502

    FriarTuck

    Joined:
    May 26, 2003
    Location:
    Chicago area
    #10
    It would be nice to have XGA if you can afford it. But if you have to trade lumens for resolution to stay within your budget... frankly that's something that you'll just have to decide based on your specific circumstances.

    In my case, it was more important that I have a bright image under normal room lighting than to get the higher XGA resolution and have to dim the lights.

    I'll tell you what I did when I was concerned about whether the SVGA resolution was going to be good enough for my needs: I bought at Amazon.com. Why? Generous return policy. More generous than Projector People, at least at the time I made my purchase (last summer).

    My advice is to spend a good amount of time reading the various reviews and articles at projectorcentral.com, and also look at the spaces & situations in which you'll be using the projector, and just give it your best shot by buying at Amazon, with its 30 day return policy. (make sure you buy from them, not from another merchant selling thru Amazon)

    Good luck to you.
     
  11. eclipse525 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    eclipse525

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2003
    Location:
    USA, New York
    #11
    That's great advice. Thanks for all your help!!!

    ~e
     
  12. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Location:
    Reality
    #12
    I just based this recommendation on my real world experience. I worked in a facility that purchased and loaned out LCD projectors for employees to use with either their desktops or laptops, and not once did I find a customer whose computer was set to SVGA. Quite the contrary, if anything some people had their computers set too high even for an XGA projector.

    OTOH, I did see some customers who wanted their own projectors, and who went against our recommendations and bought low-priced SVGAs, and they were usually sorry when they saw the picture quality compared to the projectors we provided.

    You might be able to get away with SVGA is you work someplace like a school or somewhere where all the computers are at least four or five years old, when SVGA was a more commonly-used resolution. But it's still yesterday's technology.

    Video can get tricky too. Standard video is 640x480. Most SVGA and XGA projectors will do video, but not all of them do it well. Here you've got the opposite problem; the projector will scale it up to its native resolution. Some do it fairly well, others do it horribly. If video is going to be a consideration, definitely demo the projector in that mode before buying.

    Also, don't pay a lot of money for very high lumens. No matter what the brightness, turning down the lights is always a good idea. You don't want to dim the room to "movie theater" darkness -- people have to take notes on your presentation, after all -- but too much ambient room lighting ruins your contrast, no matter how bright the projector is. Again, it helps to get demos of projectors at different lumen levels, to see how bright a projector you need with the room lighting you plan to use.
     
  13. eclipse525 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    eclipse525

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2003
    Location:
    USA, New York
    #13

    So, are you saying a unit like the "Epson Powerlite S1" is no good if I hook it up to my Mac or Windows machine?


    ~e
     
  14. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Location:
    Reality
    #14
    Not really. Just prepare to have more jagged edges around the text, due to the 800x600 resolution. Whether that bothers you or not depends on how picky you (and any other users) are. My customers frequently used small text (as in charts) and fairly high-res medical photographs, which didn't always reproduce well at SVGA. But your needs may be more forgiving.

    I checked the specs for the S1, and it does scale down 1024x768 resolution. What that basically means to you is that if your presenter's computer is set to 1024x768, the S1 will still recognize the resolution...it'll just scale it down to 800x600 internally. You'll still have the jaggies, but it'll work. (If your presenters have their resolutions set even higher, though -- say, 1600x1200 -- they'll still have to reset their displays to match your projector. It's fairly rare for people to have their computers set that high, but it does happen. Just so you know.)

    The 1200 lumen brightness on that projector is pretty decent, so you should be okay there.

    Where cost is a concern (and it sounds like that is the case with you), the Epson should be okay. Again, I always recommend XGA projectors where someone can afford it, but if you're on a really tight budget, the Epson sounds like a good, if not ideal, projector.
     
  15. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    with Hamburglar.
    #15
    What the heck is a CRT projector? Last time I checked there were two kinds - DLP and LCD.
     
  16. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Location:
    Reality
    #16
    Cathode Ray Tube. They use essentially the same technology as standard home projection TV systems, though they are usually much higher quality and therefore more expensive. Their advantage is that they don't show individual pixels, as LCD and DLP projectors do, and often have superior contrast ratios and resolution. Their disadvantage (aside from the expense) is that you need to maintain alignment of their three projection lenses (red, green and blue).
     

Share This Page