HD Projector vs Flat Panel LCD

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Chaszmyr, May 13, 2008.

  1. Chaszmyr macrumors 601


    Aug 9, 2002
    I'm looking into setting up a home theater system and am trying to decide between a projector and a flat panel TV. I've searched online, but I keep finding articles that are 2-4 years old that I fear may not be much help these days.

    Let me first say, I am not concerned about wires going to the projector, I am able to control the light in the room, I realize I need to use freestanding speakers and a receiver box with a projector, and this system will be used almost exclusively for playing video games and watching movies, both in HD.

    On to my concerns: I've never even seen an HD projector used.
    1. I'm worried that the operating (fan) noise of the unit will be too loud, as I'm pretty sensitive to background noise.
    2. I'm worried that the picture quality won't be nearly as good as a comparably priced ~52'' LCD TV.
    3. I'm worried that either the need to operate the projector in the dark, or some other unforeseen hassle of projectors will keep me from using my home theater setup, and instead use my much less expensive LCD TV upstairs.

    I am trying to make this decision because the way the room is shaped makes furniture placement tricky, and having a pull-down projector screen would help matters. But given my concerns, should I go with a projector, or should I stick with the tried and true backlit television?

  2. AviationFan macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    You are asking the right kind of questions. Number 3 you'll have to answer yourself. For the others, I recommend you tune into the discussions on avsforum.com, an excellent source of information for home theaters.

    - Martin
  3. gkarris macrumors 604


    Dec 31, 2004
    "No escape from Reality..."
    I have one - it's awesome if you like that "theater" feel (the light shining from behind onto a screen). To address your concerns:

    Well, my surround sound is louder than the fan so I don't care, even in the quiet parts

    That will depend on the quality of the projector. I just use an XGA one and it's pretty decent.

    Mine is 2000 lumens and is fine with a few room lights on.

    Yes, these things operate pretty hot, so mine is now in the shop for repair after a little over 3 years of almost daily use. I'm using the old 25" regular TV upstairs (at least I just got the DTV converter for it :eek:).

    I guess you have to go to where there's one set up and decide for yourself.
  4. MaddMacs macrumors 6502

    Jan 16, 2008
    Flagstaff, Az
    I've got a Sharp Notevision projector with XGA resolution and 2000 lumens, and I'm loving it! I'm like you where I don't have wall space to hang a flat screen, with out covering a window. I pulled out an old projection screen and mounted it to the ceiling and put a valance around it to obscure it when retracted. Although the projector has a DVI input I used S-Video so it would connect to my amplifier. They have amps with DVIs but they are like $1000. I have a DVI to S-video adapter for my Mac Mini and my cable box has S-Video. The Mini is networked to a gigabit ethernet Air Port Extreme Base station, so I stream video from my Mac Pro and the internet. The projector works well when the lights are on inside, but not too well in full daylight , but I just draw the blinds.

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