video projector suggestions?

I think my projector is about to die. It's doing this weird flickery thing, and sometimes looks like it's rendering in 8-bit mode -- and it does this even when there's no video signal plugged in, so it's not cabling or something.

So I suspect I'll be in the market for a new one soon. What do you suggest?

Currently I have an NEC LT-260, and I've been pretty satisifed with it, though I wish it were a lot brighter and the bulbs lasted longer. It's 2100 lumens.

I don't have any HD gear, but I do use component video.

I've had extremely bad luck with InFocus gear in the past, so those are pre-vetoed.

Intended uses: DirecTivo, PS2 games, DVDs, in roughly that order.

Placement: 16' from the projector to the screen; screen is 80"×58" (4:3, 100" diagonal.)

Though if I could use a new projector as an excuse to upgrade to a wider screen (e.g., 16:9 = 100"×58", or 1.85:1 = 107"×58") that would be... compelling.

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22 Responses:

  1. sjn says:

    Personally I do not know too much about them. My dad on the other hand has been "hopping" for a new one for about 2 years, and keeps holding off for one that "will be out soon". He swears by this place:

    It has to be one of the ugliest sites on the web. But the people who post there typically really know what they are talking about. I used it when I was shopping for my TV, and also when trying to figure out how to calibrate a LCD tv to use as a color accurate monitor here at work.

    Not so much good for looking for choosing models etc. Hoever very good once you have narrowed it down. If there is a flaw these folks will have found it, and possibly come up with a fix.

  2. pleaseremove says:

    i would like to second the veto of the infocus gear, as all the ones i have used are useless, or have failed more than they should.

    what sort of thing do you use it for? and what sort of range does it have to project?

  3. injector says:

    I like Panasonic's pro gear, but they may be cost prohibitive. The PT-L785U is nice and has component BNC connectors, it is HD ready if you do make the move up. Though it is an LCD projector. I really do prefer DLP, but they cost twice as much, of course there are the 3 DLP models that start at double the price again.

  4. lanikei says:

    depending on how high-end you are looking for and how much you use it... best buy sells some (they're geared more towards office stuff, but the website may have better ones) and now they sell service plans on projectors again and the service plans cover the bulb which is nice

    at least something to look into

    • jwz says:

      You know, the day I walk into Best Buy and proclaim "please rape me with your service plan" is the day I should just dive off a damned bridge instead.

      • lanikei says:

        well i work there as one of the people that does the repairs, and yes, they suck. but stuff like replacement bulbs and batteries actually aren't half bad b/c they just send you a replacement.

  5. guyver3 says:

    I'm ready to junk my NoFocus and just go with a Sharp. Relatively inexpensive, and will support my existing svideo/composite/computer setup. We have an 1100 lumen Sharp at work, that is bright as hell in all flourescent settings.

    I'm looking at this,.

    1100 is probably too low for your preferences, but with possible 4000 hours on the lamp (presumably in eco-mode which is 940 lumens, and still roughly 500 lumens brighter than my 450 lumen NoFocus), and a decent contrast ratio, it will delay that lamp purchase by a few years.

  6. hawke666 says:

    In case you were thinking about it, don't get anything with a rgb colorwheel thing. (single-chip DLP seems to be the one that does that)

    • injector says:

      That used to be the case with the 1st generation single DLPs. There would be noticeable color smearing as the wheel turned from one color to the next and the DLP chip was flipping to the right position at the same time. But the newer models have high speed wheels that change multiple times per frame. The color smears are a thing of the past, yet the continue to be sighted as a problem with DLP projectors--much like the myth of short lived plasma screens.

      • zarex says:

        I disagree. I bought one of the most recent BENQ DLP projectors, and the "rainbow effect" drove me nuts. The issue was diminished compared to previous projectors, but anything high-contrast (light, sun, candle, etc.) made very clear rainbows. Stay away!!

        I ended up buying a NEC VT670, which I strongly recommend. Projection distance is around 12 feet if I recall, and the screen is around 15 feet wide. I use mine mostly for movies, TV, and occasional games.

  7. evan says:

    If you do figure this out, I'd like to hear what you end up with. I'd like one for pretty much the same reasons.

  8. robcallahan says:

    We used Proximas at my last corporate job and they seemed to do the trick.

    You can snare older models and spare bulbs for cheap on Ebay.

    Hope that helps.

    • guyver3 says:

      Alas, Proxima is upscale InFocus, so probably out the door by association.

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