Dear Lazyweb, you have disappointed me once more.

You are often disappointing, but this time? I had assumed that "recommend consumer electronics" would be your core fuckin' competency!

You have let me down again. You have brought dishonor to the internets.

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33 Responses:

  1. Nick Lamb says:

    Not your personal army, it turns out.

  2. fantasygoat says:

    Who the hell uses projectors anymore? You might as well have asked for recommendations on the best Betamax player.

    • Jon says:

      As long as TV screens don't even nearly match the size of a projection (at an affordable price) I don't see the point of your statement. Also a huge TV like that would probably looks stupid in the average living room.

      Only movies that are basically set in the dark (e.g. Pan's Labyrinth) suck on a projector. Concert Videos I wouldn't even want to watch on a TV.

    • Line Noise says:

      How about nearly every cinema in the world?

      When it comes down to dollars per inch you'll want a projector. (That's what she said!)

      • fantasygoat says:

        Jamie's Livingroom != Cinema. C'mon, seriously?

        Most people moved away from projectors once flatscreens became available at reasonable prices. Very few people have the need for a 120" screen, and are happy with the 60"-70" flatscreens you can get at Best Buy, so naturally they'll have nothing to say about projectors.

        The rest of the home theatre crowd seems happy to sit in the dark so anything with 2000 lumens is fine.

        So, he was asking a very long tail question of a group of people unlikely to have an answer, and seems surprised no one had one.

        • jwz says:

          Wow, you know what's even cooler than not getting any useful suggestions?

          Listening to Internet Philosophers like you pontificate on why of course I didn't get any useful suggestions, and why did I bother asking in the first place, because what I want is wrong.

          Cause that's really, really fascinating, and takes "helpfulness" to new and un-plumbed depths of spergedom.

          So thanks for keeping that narrative alive.

        • phuzz says:

          I'm pretty sure Our Gracious Host is looking for a projector for the DNA lounge, not his front room.

          (For a while a friend I was living with used a cheap Acer projector as a TV, it was epic for the odd movie night, but bloody useless for day to day use. Alas, this is pretty much the sum total of my knowledge of projectors: cheap ones are crap.)

  3. piku says:

    Yeah sorry, we fail.

    I can recommend many consumer grade projectors that are complete crap, guaranteed to be washed out by then tiniest amount of sunlight. For those, you'll be wanting an Infocus or cheap Panasonic.

  4. Paul Crowley says:

    Reading the comments, I think you're not giving enough credit to all the people who didn't have useful information to share, and had the good sense to *say nothing*.

    • jwz says:

      You make a fair point. Knowing when not to say anything is not something the lazyweb had historically been good at.

      • In fairness, there isn't really any way to prove that: those of us who don't answer when we don't know the answer don't show up in the relevant data. Because we didn't say anything.

  5. Eric Benson says:

    5000 lumen projectors are not home theater projectors, they are auditorium projectors and not in the category of consumer electronics. They are used in churches and at trade shows and concerts. Very few of us have ever purchased one. The ViewSonic Pro8500 has 3 positive reviews at Amazon, all from people who installed one in a church. Considering what you've spent on your current projector, spending $1500 on this one seems like a good bet. Replacement bulbs are under $300 and the projector has a three-year warranty (not including the bulb of course). It is just as likely to last more than six years as the $7200 projector, which is to say not very likely. You will be happier if you get used to the idea that these are disposable, and that three to five years is an acceptable lifespan for one. You might be happier still if you could settle for "the biggest TV at Costco", with a similar attitude about disposability. You have to weigh that against the sadness of a mere 55" picture instead of the 120" picture.

    • candice says:

      FWIW, I have seen that projector in action and it's very pretty. But they bought it all of a couple of months ago, so nothing has had a chance to die yet. If I hear it breaks quickly after being dragged between classrooms for a semester I'll drop you a line?

  6. Travis Dixon says:

    What are you using for a screen at this point? Would a "brighter" screen make up for having less Lumens?

    • jwz says:

      After a bunch of research, I had the entire wall painted light grey ("Dulux Icestorm6 12632" on drywall) instead of getting a screen. An A/B comparison of this with the previous screen I had been using convinced me that screens are a waste of money.

      • Travis Dixon says:

        There's no right answer, as usual - the light grey paint will in fact do as well as a matte 1.0 gain screen. There are screens out there though that will give you say a 1.4 gain - turning 3,000 lumens into 4,200, but reducing viewing angle somewhat (and costing a bunch more than a couple gallons of good paint). There's even screens with higher gain, but you get into the territory of having to match them very closely with the specific projector - see diminishing returns...

  7. Devon says:

    I think it's time to rename lazy web to spergy web, and start phrasing the questions in the form of "please tell me why I am wrong in wanting to solve problem X with solution Y". Given the fondness for never answering the question that was asked, you might actually get a real answer to your actual problem.

  8. Jeff says:

    The crap shoot of spending a thousand dollars or more to have a person of dubious ability fix your existing projector seems unwise, given the global yard sale that is eBay appears to have (presumably working) projectors of the same kind for much less.

    Regardless, if you are looking for an entirely different projector, have you considered calling about any theaters you enjoy going to and asking them if a) they have digital projectors and b) what those might be? Perhaps you, like me, are willing to overkill a problem for the promise of never having to solve it again. An "industrial" projector may do that.

    • Adolf Osborne says:

      An "industrial" projector fit for a movie theater will still fail, and will still be difficult to find someone to repair it locally without sending it back to $manufacturer (or having $manufacturer send someone over to fix it). It will also cost a few hundred thousand dollars to buy outright.

      Theater chains get away with this by having spare units and/or leased equipment and/or maintenance contracts and/or resident, payrolled skilled maintenance geek(s) for the chain, and (worst case) spare rooms and somewhat flexible schedules.

      Mere mortals do not have these things: When it dies it's it will be dead until it's fixed. And if that is difficult or expensive, it's worse.

      Scale the size down to a home environment, and the game changes completely because the hardware also changes completely. And at that point, knowing that both Christie and Sony have giant-ass high-resolution 3D-capable 3-chip DLP projectors that nearly need their own electrical service to the street just to make it light up and require an actual engineer to do the setup on, not to mention being noisy as hell and requiring active cooling, is completely fucking meaningless:

      The "small" 5,000-lumens-ish units they offer which might be suitable for a big, bright picture in a house are completely fucking different from those in a theater. The economics are completely fucking different. Everything is completely fucking different, except that it is still Texas Instruments who makes the magical DLP chips which scatter light with uncanny accuracy.

      They're as similar as Mitsubishi heavy trucks are to Mitsubishi compact cars, or a 4-axle Freightliner to a Mercedez-Benz C-class coupe. There's nothing similar between them at all, except that they all generally have wheels and pneumatic rubber tires.

      • Jeff says:

        Your profanity-laden recitation of Wikipedia's entry for digital projection fails to acknowledge the difference between "glorious and gigantic projector used by deep-pocketed cinema chains to fill 30' x 70' screens" and "much more reasonable projector used by independent 'boutique' theaters with screens not much larger than jwz's wall".

        But hey, at least you're angry on the interwebs. That's new!

        • Adolf Osborne says:

          I need a pickup truck. What truck shall I buy?

          *ponder* *ponder* *ponder*

          *lightbulb* I know! I'll call freight company down the road and see what they're using!

  9. John says:

    Looks like part of the problem is that there just aren't that many projectors that compete in that space, let alone ones that go for under five figures. (which I previously associated with a spirit of ridiculous overkill) have one review for a projector over 5,000 lumens that's less than $10,000. Do you think you'd be ok with less lumens or is 5,000 a bare minimum?

  10. Adolf Osborne says:

    Why so bitter?

    Your last one lasted more than twice as long as you expected.

    And, of course, the LazyWeb is no help here. You might as well have said:

    "My Ferrari is dead. [Long story, culminating in despair, omitted.] Please suggest possible replacements," while knowing full-well that nobody here actually has a car of that class. (And, no, none of us drive $7,000 projectors either, but some might like to.)

    My own thoughts, which probably aren't very helpful: I've had mixed luck with ViewSonic. I'm mostly familiar with their computer displays. Not so long ago, I had an awesome (and expensive) 19" ViewSonic with a Trinitron CRT that had positively wonderful colors, geometry, and resolution, but it died an early death. More recently, I've had to repair a 19" LCD from them, due to bad capacitors, which also had previously also lost the EEPROM data for its DVI port (rendering the port useless for a modern commercial OS).

    I used to trust them based on my experience with a very pretty 15" CRT I had from them way back in the day when a proper 15" CRT was still big. It lasted for a really, really long time.

    Lately, though, I'd rather avoid them. It seems all they do lately is glue together parts sourced from other people, with very little of their own (previously good) design thrown in.

    If everyone else's similar products really are twice as much, then just buy one of those instead: At least they're only about half as expensive as your dead Panasonic.

    And...I'd still look into getting the Panasonic fixed. Newer stuff doesn't seem to be any better really, except for actually working. You've already got a supply of lamps for the thing, too.

  11. Matt Knopp says:

    Ugh. I was hoping for at least one reasonable answer.