Projector

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by crazycat, Apr 22, 2006.

  1. crazycat macrumors 65816

    crazycat

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    #1
    I would like to buy a projector so that i can hook it up to my Mac and watch movies or play games on it. I would like a very good modle that has high res and would look amazing when watching movies or playing PS2/PC games on it. Thanks.

    I have 0 knowlage about projectors and anything you can say would help me a lot thanks.
     
  2. esaleris macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2005
    #2
    I recently got a projector for this very purpose. I'll give you a quick rundown:

    Pros
    The screen is as big as you make it. You can zoom it in for a tight, 42" display, or take it back out and make it 100" or more, depending on the size of your room. This allows you to sit on your chair and comfortably use a desktop on it, with bluetooth keyboards, etc. A 42" LCD is big for movies, but when using as a desktop, you really have to move up, and that makes setting it up somewhat weird. If you get a mid-range one, you can get 720p, which is 1280x720 - you can usually hack computer resolutions to make this work at native resolution. It's a bit shorter than the usual x768, but a beauty to use from the sofa.

    Cons
    The biggest drawback is ambient light. During the daytime, unless you really make an effort to black out your room, the image will not be good. During night, it's fantastic. You might also need to mount a screen to help out - putting an image up on a wall is not always going to give you a good image. Mounting and placing may be a problem, given that you need to find a bookshelf or ceiling mount to make it work. I found a cheap solution at IKEA to take care of my needs, but it may not be for everyone. Also, your entire setup needs to be changed; i.e. the components need to be close to the projector in the back of your room. This may pose a challenge.

    Models
    There are pretty much two types of projectors to look at: those with 4:3 screen ratios, and those with 16:9. If your focus is entertainment, I'd look seriously at at the 16:9; otherwise, computer displays work on 4:3 and I'd stick with that if that is your predominent mode. Even so, you can get a 16:9 projector and throw up a desktop like I do.

    There are two models that provide pretty decent resolution for the price. I have a Panasonic PE-900U (around $1400 after rebate) and the InFocus SP 5000 is apparently also pretty decent (around $900 after rebate)

    Comments
    I use mine for PS2, DVD, and my future Mac mini (I'm using an old G4 tower now). I'm able to type and answer e-mails at a comfortable distance, use the computer has an iTunes jukebox and switch to PS2 or DVDs pretty easily. It'll also work at the high-resolution 720p with an Xbox360, which means you're seeing all the details (maximum) that the console provides.

    Overall, it's a bit pricy, but I think it offers a lot of versatility versus a plasma or LCD display. And for the screen-to-price ratio, nothing beats it.
     
  3. crazycat thread starter macrumors 65816

    crazycat

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    #3
    Thanks for the great reply, i will check out the modles you told me about and i will drop you a PM telling you how things went. Thanks again.
     
  4. esaleris macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2005
    #4
  5. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #5
    I really lust after getting one and doing something like that... but I think another important issue to consider is bulb life and replacement cost. Upkeep on a projector is more significant than it is on a lot of other technologies....
     
  6. esaleris macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2005
    #6
    Yeah, I weighed against that. I think the fact that I can use the huge wall as my desktop made me think it was worth the $150 a year upkeep. The PT-900U bulb lasts 3,000 hours, and conservatively that's 2 years for $300 each. I don't know, we'll see. I might be cursing at myself later for that!
     
  7. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #7
    I think you should do it. :D

    One thing I never understood...when you use a projector that does XGA in 4:3 mode, but is "mixed use" and is also good for entertainment applications, for instance, and you switch it to 16x9 mode...what is the actual resolution? Is it just XGA letterboxed, or is it better? Or do you pretty much have to buy a "widescreen" projector?
     
  8. gman71882 macrumors 6502

    gman71882

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    Location:
    Houston, Tx
    #8
    From my research ive found that the Sanyo PLV-Z4 seems to be a great buy... Found it for around 1995 from dealers, but ive seen it online for as little as 1600 with rebates.
    Great thing about it is the Three year warranty the best i have found for a projector!!! Check out this site for some great reviews and feedback:
    Projector Central
    :) :rolleyes: :cool: :D ;) :eek:
     

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