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Author Topic: Best Value Projectors for Weekend Warrior - Under $2k per projector  (Read 470 times)

Phil Lewandowski

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Hi All!

So I read all the threads I could find on this topic here and nothing applied close enough or they were old threads.

I am looking to invest in a pair of decent projectors for general work. Looking to simply get the most for our money. Most will be used for projecting video, lyrics, and presentations for house of worship type work, but I will also be showing videos at some benefits coming up. So image quality and not simply brightness is important to me; I don't want to compromise image quality for brightness too much.

I am thinking I would want at least 5000 lumens. I would love 1080p/WUXGA (1920x1200) native resolution, but I could be persuaded that if it won't matter much in this line of work and to get better color and/or brightness for the money by just going WXGA (1200x800).
Screen sizes I will be projecting on would be 8.5'-12.5' horizontal widescreen.
I would love to keep it under $2000 per projector.

Thoughts on what might be the best value projectors to look at?

Thanks!
« Last Edit: February 18, 2019, 02:11:40 pm by Phil Lewandowski »
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Taylor Hall

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Re: Best Value Projectors for Weekend Warrior - Under $2k per projector
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2019, 03:10:40 pm »

We've been using the Panasonic PT-VX600U (now replaced by the PT-VX610U) for several years now. 5500 lumens, $1200, great lamp life. While they aren't 1080p native, we run HD/widescreen content on them all the time and they support a wide range of resolutions. Never had them reject input from a device including ultra finicky Macs. We've run them direct wired with VGA/HDMI or through baluns with no issues. Super adjustable 4-corner digital keystoning and a dedicated manual vertical adjustment knob for fine tuning height. They're also Crestron enabled if you're into that. The newer model has a higher contrast ratio (16000:1) and some kinda ambient light sensing that will adapt the brightness and halftones to be more visible (but I'd most likely leave it turned off). We almost entirely use them for rear projection on 10-15' screens (and even a mammoth 20' screen when a client's supplied Christie went tits up) and never gotten any complaints about visibility or clarity.

All that being said, what kinda ambient light are you going to be looking at in your room? 5000ish lumens may be enough for a small/medium breakout with dim lights, but a larger HoW scenario may require higher lamp output or a high quality screen with a good gain rating if the ambient light will be higher.

Good hunting.
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Phil Lewandowski

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Re: Best Value Projectors for Weekend Warrior - Under $2k per projector
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2019, 03:19:37 pm »

Thanks Taylor!

One that did catch my eye also was the NEC NP-P554U 5500-Lumen WUXGA LCD Projector. Looks like you can get it for about $1600 new:

https://www.projectorcentral.com/NEC-P554U.htm
https://www.amazon.com/NEC-Professional-Video-Projector-NP-P554U/dp/B074V4QLXB
« Last Edit: February 18, 2019, 03:31:22 pm by Phil Lewandowski »
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Phil Lewandowski

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Re: Best Value Projectors for Weekend Warrior - Under $2k per projector
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2019, 03:29:10 pm »



All that being said, what kinda ambient light are you going to be looking at in your room? 5000ish lumens may be enough for a small/medium breakout with dim lights, but a larger HoW scenario may require higher lamp output or a high quality screen with a good gain rating if the ambient light will be higher.

Good hunting.

Ambient light will vary all over the place as this will just be a general workhorse projector.  Obviously, I will try to keep it as low as possible, but with the knowledge that because of my price point, there are just some rooms that this will not be able to handle.
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Best Value Projectors for Weekend Warrior - Under $2k per projector
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2019, 11:21:52 am »

Ambient light will vary all over the place as this will just be a general workhorse projector.  Obviously, I will try to keep it as low as possible, but with the knowledge that because of my price point, there are just some rooms that this will not be able to handle.
Hi Phil.  I use a couple Panasonic 4500 lumen 1280x800 projectors that cost about $1300 each 3 or 4 years ago with 12' x 7' screens, almost always rear projection.  I would consider them passable in a lot of situations where a weekend warrior like you or me would have a chance to do a show.  5500 lumens would be obviously better, but might be a small difference compared to the 4500s I'm using.

At church we just put in Panasonic 6200 lumen laser projectors (WAY more than your budget) and they seem brighter than the numbers would indicate compared to the 4500 conventional lamp projectors I have.

No specific model recommendations but wanted to share my subjective experience.
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