Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Is a cheap computer LCD projector good enough for a budget home theater?

  1. #1

    Is a cheap computer LCD projector good enough for a budget home theater?

    I need a new TV and have been thinking about getting a projector instead, and getting a tv tuner for my old laptop which I can keep beside it on the coffee table. The projectors I see at the store are mostly high end stuff, HDTV quality, and all over a thousand dollars, sometimes two or three thousand. But then I saw a simple projector used for like 200-300. Its just one of those basic ones that people use at conferences to show power-point slides.

    My needs are pretty basic. I just need it to show a good, say, 27"-42" picture from maybe 4 feet away. It's a small room and I don't have the space to get a really big picture anyway. It doesn't have to be perfect, just watchable.

    So what I'm wondering is, is that good enough? If the resolution is good enough to display a computer screen on it, it should be good enough to display any dvd or tv signal played on it too, right? Or will I wind up wishing I had just bought a real tv for twice the money?

  2. #2
    NYC Newbie Slayer Prey521's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Humble, Tx
    Posts
    34,934
    Good enough is subjective really. Would it be good enough for me? No, but I'm an HD Junkie. Would it be good enough for someone that's willing to sacrifice quality and save some $$$? Sure. I've hooked up a plane jane projector to a laptop and watched a DVD before and it wasn't bad at all. Do you know the make/model of the projector?
    Have your feelings been hurt by a random act of E-Thuggery? If so, call 1-800-Waaaaahmbulance, we're here 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week, to take your call, you could be due a large monetary settlement, don't delay, call now.

    "Please be careful prior to entering the world wide web, the internet is serious business"


  3. #3
    Advanced Member tr87526's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Tulsa, OK
    Posts
    621
    Woot.com Today's deal - Olens Technology Personal Entertainment Projector
    $179.99

  4. #4
    Thanks Tr, that's exactly what I was looking for.

    JBrazen, I guess that would be the sort of model I'd be looking at
    http://www.olenstechnology.com/

    It only broadcasts in VGA (640x480) but that seems pretty good....

    What resolution is HDTV? If I get an HDTV tuner of some kind for my laptop in the future, will that be enough to display it? Will still be better than the old NTSC resolution, even if its still nowhere near as good as a pro projector or flatscreen TV?

  5. #5
    Senior Member nightowl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    ottawa, canada (ROCKS)
    Posts
    7,405
    the only problem with LCD projectors is that the bulb only lasts 4000 hours and are expensive to replace. The second problem is that you need a dark environment to watch it, if your room has a window, good luck watching anything on the projector.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zilog B
    Loading the dishwasher at brembo's house means bringing the fiancee a sixpack home.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by nightowl View Post
    the only problem with LCD projectors is that the bulb only lasts 4000 hours and are expensive to replace. The second problem is that you need a dark environment to watch it, if your room has a window, good luck watching anything on the projector.
    actually this Olens projector's bulb only lasts 300 hours. Though they only cost 30 dollars each, and you get a second one free.

    and its only 300 lumas or something, which I guess means the room has to be REALLY dark. I have two windows in there and I'd have to buy new blinds. My sister's one cost 1500, and its 2200 lumas (good enough for the afternoon)

    But for $170? Damn, thats pretty cheap for something that can project a 40-70" screen.

  7. #7
    Resident Atheist Dan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Orangevale ,Ca
    Posts
    18,682
    Quote Originally Posted by tr87526 View Post
    Woot.com Today's deal - Olens Technology Personal Entertainment Projector
    $179.99
    thats not a LCD projector ,is it ?
    aren't lcd projectors much more $ ??

  8. #8
    I think it is LCD. But its only 300 lumens. Apparently the minimum for being able to see a projector screen with the lights on is 1000

    Brightness is the other significant component in the quality equation. Light disperses over distance: The farther your projector will be from the screen, and the larger the image you are trying to project, the brighter the projector you'll want to be using.

    The ideal is a projector bright enough to throw visuals that are sharp and easy to see in normal ambient lighting conditions - in other words, your audience can see your visuals without having to have the lights turned down to improve brightness and contrast.

    ANSI lumens provide a common scale for determining a projector's brightness. Generally speaking, 1,000 lumens is a minimum for leaving the lights up in a small meeting room - but 2,000 or higher is desirable in smaller presentation venues, and 3,500 and up is a good threshold for larger rooms, or if you're projecting visuals where fine detail is involved.

    Don't rely solely on the lumens rating in specifying a projector. The same image projected from two projectors with the same lumens rating can appear markedly different depending on the type of lamp involved (UHP, UHE, metal halide or halogen). Projection lamps dim with age, so brightness declines over the life of the bulb. At 1,000 hours, a lamp rated for 2,000 hours of use might be projecting an image about half as bright as when it was new. At 2,000 hours, newer evolutions of the technology (UHP and UHE) will still retain about 80 percent of their brightness.
    lumen guide- http://www.projectorpeople.com/resou...umen-guide.asp

  9. #9
    Resident Atheist Dan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Orangevale ,Ca
    Posts
    18,682
    ya,I see now "LCD Projector" is used pretty loosely "In practice, the term "LCD Projector" is often used as a catch-all for any type of computer projector, regardless of the technology being used."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LCD_projector

  10. #10
    Resident Atheist Dan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Orangevale ,Ca
    Posts
    18,682

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •