HD LCD Projectors - any advice?

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  1. #1
    Mr Cinema

    Question HD LCD Projectors - any advice?

    I'm planning on buying a projector for my home theater for use with DVDs, XBOX 360 and PS2.

    I'm moving to HK on Monday, so in the meantime I've been browsing ebay.com.hk for market examples. It seems that the ebay market is flooded with one particular model, priced between HK$3,700-HK$4,500. Here's a link for reference:

    eBay.com.hk : HD LCD build in Digital TV Projector DVB-T HDMI BHD (item 180382862815 end time Jul-25-09 02:11:13)

    I'm wondering if any of you could give me some buying advice by answering some of my questions and/or chiming in with other relevant info:

    1) Does this ebay item look like a low quality albeit inexpensive option? Why? Why not?

    2) Although I'm new to projectors, HK$3,700-HK$4,500 seems quite low, almost too low. I'm looking for a projector of high enough quality to function trouble-free for at least 3 years, perhaps panasonic, sony, etc. That said, what price range should I be looking at?

    3) From my visits to HK I've noticed abundant electronics shops in Mong Kok. Am I correct to guess that this is the place to go for the best balance of quality, service and price?

    4) Could any of you suggest some specific sellers?

    Many thanks for any and all help!

    Best wishes,

    Nick


  2. #2

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    Looks cheap, and I don't mean the price. Note the misleading specifications (Link to manufacturer): it is advertised as "HD projector", the specs say "HD ready" but the native / physical resolution is only 640x480. So no HD at all, instead higher resolution incl. HD signals will be downscaled.

    You get what you pay for.


    BTW: Not sure if you have seen or already arranged a place to live, but HK apartments are rather small so a projector may be difficult to fit in, if you can't get sufficient distance between the projector and the wall the resulting picture maybe smaller than what you get from a 42" LCD or plasma.


  3. #3
    Mr Cinema

    Yeah, the "HD Ready" line seems misleading. And I didn't realize that resolutions higher than 640x480 would be scaled down.

    What would be a true HD resolution? If not true HD, what would constitute a quality resolution?

    As for my apartment, I haven't chosen my place yet. Of course, my desire to enjoy a quality home theater will be a decisive factor in my apartment selection process. I might just opt for an LCD if I can't find a room with at least a 5 meter distance between the projector/sofa side and the screen side. If I cannot find such an apartment in my budget, I'll opt for an LCD.


  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Cinema:
    I'm looking for a projector of high enough quality to function trouble-free for at least 3 years, perhaps panasonic, sony, etc. That said, what price range should I be looking at?

    3) From my visits to HK I've noticed abundant electronics shops in Mong Kok. Am I correct to guess that this is the place to go for the best balance of quality, service and price?

    4) Could any of you suggest some specific sellers?

    Many thanks for any and all help!

    Best wishes,

    Nick
    I can't really comment on the projector that was advertised on Ebay, but I can share my very happy Sanyo PLV-Z5 ( recently replaced by the PLV-Z60 ) projector experience.

    I have clocked up a little under 500 hours of ( movie watching only ) use since we got it early 2007, and love the razor sharp film like quality of the image at 90 inches diagonal,( 16 x 9 ) the accurate colour + black level reproduction, contrast ratio and the depth of how the image looks. Never tiring on the eyes, always a joy.

    The PLV-Z5 was possibly one of Sanyo's best selling projectors globally, and has a bit of a cult following, it really does perform brilliantly. Projectors, Projector Reviews, LCD Projectors, Home Theater DLP Projectors at ProjectorCentral.com is a very good resource if you want to research one brand against another, all under the one website.

    Once you have gone down the front firing projector route, you will never look back, providing you have the throw distance to get a decent screen size, 80 ~ 100 inch etc, @ around 9-10 feet, lens from screen.

    Spend a little extra, $10,000hkd is where you are going to be looking for the best performance value ratio, if you want to be happy long term.

    I purchased my projector from
    Home Theatre Pro Shop
    2/F Grancastle Commercial Centre
    2T Sai Yeung Choi Street South,
    Mong Kok.
    ph 2388 9394

    You'll be well looked after at the above, they gave me the best price in HK at the time, they also have a spacious demo room, controlled lighting etc and are specialists in this area.

    Good luck

    A video of mine below, to give you an idea.
    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttBY2BlDZns"]YouTube - Sanyo PLV-Z5 oncreen performance[/ame]
    Last edited by Skyhook; 24-07-2009 at 08:16 PM.

  5. #5
    Mr Cinema

    Skyhook - thank you for the detailed and complete reply to my questions. This is what I've been hoping for - a projector veteran with sound, practical HK buying advice.

    Cheers,

    Nick


  6. #6

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    I have just purchased my first projector and am looking forward to getting it installed - hopefully in the next week or so.

    I have installed a ceiling mount and the plan is to project directly onto the wall and not use a screen.

    The room is currently being renovated and painted, but I gave it a test run and the picture looked fantastic.

    However, the (unbiased?) guys in the shop were adamant that I should not project onto the wall, but onto one of their screens. They were quite expensive to match the 100" or so screen size I get on the wall.

    From the test the picture looked very sharp and colourful so I don't think I am missing out - but would be interested to hear from anyone with experience on this. The wall is now being plastered, sanded and painted to get it ultra smooth, so should look better when finished.

    They were also absolutely adamant that I had to spend $4000 on an HDMI cable, nothing less would work, which I really don't believe...

    I also bought the projector from Grancastle, but on the 20th floor, AV Pro I think they were called.

    Last edited by HKNewBi; 25-07-2009 at 05:03 PM.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Cinema:
    Yeah, the "HD Ready" line seems misleading. And I didn't realize that resolutions higher than 640x480 would be scaled down.

    What would be a true HD resolution? If not true HD, what would constitute a quality resolution?
    HD starts at 1280x720 but many TVs now come with 1920x1080 (aka Full-HD). For DVD/Blu-Ray/PC/games console I wouldn't go any lower than 1280x720.

    As for my apartment, I haven't chosen my place yet. Of course, my desire to enjoy a quality home theater will be a decisive factor in my apartment selection process. I might just opt for an LCD if I can't find a room with at least a 5 meter distance between the projector/sofa side and the screen side. If I cannot find such an apartment in my budget, I'll opt for an LCD.
    Good luck with the apartment hunting!

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by HKNewBi:
    They were also absolutely adamant that I had to spend $4000 on an HDMI cable, nothing less would work, which I really don't believe...
    That sounds like a rip-off.

  9. #9

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    IMHO it is!!!

    What about the wall / screen issue? Anyone regret not using a screen?