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Advice on New Budget Projector
I have finally got the nod to purchase a new projector for our church. Projection has been becoming more and more a part of our services so we would like to upgrade to a new one and hopefully leave our problems behind with our current Sanyo XU73.
As you can see in the picture headroom is very limited so I would like to project in 16:9 format, even though the screen that we have is 4:3, by my calculations I can fit a 92” 16:9 image on that screen. I am not a video guy by any stretch of the imagination, so I was hoping to get some recommendations from you guys. We would like to stay as close to $1,000 as possible if that is possible. Our we have very little natural light to deal with, but stage lighting is a problem, and unfortunately we have no means to address that right now, but our 2,000 lumen Sanyo does fine for lyrics as long as I use high contrast text and backgrounds, but I would definitely like to go brighter. The infrastructure is nothing to brag about either, we just have a 100’ VGA cable and an infrared over cat5 wired remote extender for control.
I was thinking that maybe we could get close to the 4,000 lumen mark, but like many other things. I am sure brightness is only one of many specs to look at. A couple additional questions.
DLP vs LCD?
Is it ok to buy refurbished? (I’ve always bought refurbished power tools, but electronics is a different game)
Brands to look at or stay away from?
Do home theatre projector’s work in church situations?
A quick internet turned up this projector, would it do the job or am I looking at something that is nowhere close to what I need.
shop.benq.us/ProductDetail.aspx?ID=348 (Can't post link yet, copy and paste)
Thanks for your help and please ask any additional questions as I am sure I have left things out.
Though they're more than $1,000 I have been very pleased with our Hitachi CP-WX625 projectors. We have four in our main sanctuary, two in our Children's church and one in our youth building.
And for the future, they also have HDMI inputs, so they're ready if you want to go HD some time down the road.
Mark Petereit - iOS Development Team Leader
Family Worship Center, Florence, South Carolina
Before worrying about things like DLP versus LCD and brands, you probably need to look at factors such as the projector brightness, input compatibility and especially at being able to create the desired image size from the existing projector location.
Verifying that you can get the desired image size, which if 92" diagonal would be roughly 80" wide by 45" high for a 16:9 image, with the throw distance from the existing mount location would seem a critical factor and one that cannot be addressed without knowing distance. From what I can tell, for a 92" diagonal, 16:9 image the throw distance from the screen to the front of the lens for the BenQ projector you linked could be between 9'-4" and 14'. Since your current projector supposedly supports a throw distance of 12' to 14'-5" for the apparent current 100" (80"x60") 4:3 image it looks like that would likely work, but it is something you probably want to verify before making a purchase.
Also related to the mount, if the 16:9 image is shorter than the current 4:3 image and you don't have vertical lens shift then without keystoning and trying to correct for it you may end up with an image that has the top at a height similar to the existing image but with the bottom higher than the existing image. That can be a disadvantage in some applications but based on the picture of your space may be an advantage in your situation.
As far as going 16:9 within the existing 4:3 screen, a 16:9 image is 75% of the height of a 4:3 image of the same width. So if all else remained the same (e.g. the same number of characters, same font size, etc.) then the maximum viewing distance would likely reduce by about 25%. You may also want to consider that any 4:3 images displayed within a 80"x45" 16:9 image would be 60" wide and 45" high compared to the apparent current 80" wide and 60" high.
You may also want to consider the projector resolution. If you are considering 16:9 format to display higher resolution computer or video sources then you probably want a higher resolution projector. However, if resolution is not an issue then the concept of using a 4:3 native projector and letterboxing 16:9 images may be an option.
Home theatre projectors can work fine provided the same considerations as business or professional projectors, however you may want to read the warranty as some consumer product warranties exclude any coverage for professional, commercial or industrial use, or basically use in anything other than a residential application.
Do almost all projectors now support widescreen, is it just that it is not a native resolution on 4:3 projectors. It seems most projectors in my budget are 1024x768 native, if I bought a 1024x768 projector would that cause problems with displaying a 16:9 format. Right now our projector is 1024x768 native, but I set the output display on the PC to 1366x768 to get a widescreen image.
Also isn't there actual limits on what resolution a VGA cable will pass? Will I be limited here?
16:9 on a 1024x768 native projector equates to a 1024x576 resolution image. It does not matter if you send the projector 1366x768, 1080i, 720, 1080p or whatever, what will be displayed will be 1024x576. What does matter is which of those input signals ,and at what scan/refresh rates, the projector can accept and scale to that 1024x576 resolution.
Page 59 of http://www.projectorcentral.com/pdf/...anual_2942.pdf shows the resolutions and scan/refresh rates that are compatible with your current projector. You may indeed find that some newer projectors may be compatible with a greater range of input signals or perhaps with some higher resolution signals.