Author Topic: Projector to replace TV?  (Read 1307 times)

Alchemisst

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Projector to replace TV?
« on: December 22, 2020, 09:05:39 PM »
Just looking for a projector to replace my tv, any recommendations? I don't know too much about projectors so not sure what would be suitable, short throw, long throw, which brands etc?

Roots&Wings

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Re: Projector to replace TV?
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2020, 12:27:51 PM »
Following, this is on my list to figure out too. Are you looking for internet TV only or movies/dvd player too?

Daley

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Re: Projector to replace TV?
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2020, 01:59:46 PM »
How big of a screen are you looking to project?
Are you just looking to watch TV/movies, or play games as well?
How far back are you looking to sit, and how many people to watch?
How big is the room, and how far back can you place the projector?
Does the room have windows, and if so, do you have light blocking curtains and ways to make it dark?
Do you already have the necessary stereo receiver and speaker equipment?
Do you want a wireless setup?
Do you want something portable?
How much are you looking to spend?

To get even a half-way decent setup without knowing specifics, I'd guess that you'd probably need a short throw projector for a room with windows and no blackout curtains which means 3500+ lumen... and you're probably not going to try and get the picture much bigger than 90-100".

Realistically, it's important to understand with projectors that your blacks will only be as black as your room is dark. Got a bright room and you're projecting onto a white wall? Yeah, your black is going to be as bright as that wall.

The cheap projectors are basically disposable, and the good projectors aren't cheap to purchase, run or maintain.

Here's the thing, when you add in all the extras... the projector, the stereo equipment, the curtains, a projector screen, the extra power consumption, bulb replacement costs, research learning how to set all this stuff up yourself (given you're having to ask to begin with - there's a reason why there are specialists people hire for this)... even at the low-end barebones setup of around $1000-1500 where most of the money is spent on the projector itself (at least $500, you get what you pay for) for the money, this setup will look worse than even the cheapest 75-86" LCD TV. Given you can get a 75" Samsung 4K UHD television for under $800 new, an 82" Samsung 4K UHD television for under $1300 new, and you can get good smart TVs, scratch and dent, open box, and clearance for way cheaper that uses a fraction of the electricity... never mind the prices on straight up used TVs. Unless you're just desperate to recreate the "full" cinema experience at home... why?

I'm not a big fan of giant televisions in the first place (we use a 36" TV 14' away), and I don't understand the mindset that can justify spending hundreds to thousands of dollars on television in the first place, but when you're getting that ridiculous large but still under 100" and sitting less than 10 foot from it, is an extra 18-24" really that important? It's just a TV, and this is the MMM forums.

Are there some situations where a projector might still make sense? Yes. Given how cheap decent giant LCD TVs have gotten for the money versus the cost of a projector these days? It really doesn't start to make much "financial sense" (and I use that term loosely given where we are) until you're needing 100" or much larger these days and you have the budget and the equipment and the knowledge to do it yourself.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2020, 02:54:53 PM by Daley »

uniwelder

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Re: Projector to replace TV?
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2020, 02:16:22 PM »
I'd like to learn about this too.  There's a state university near me that auctions old equipment every 6 weeks and there are usually at least 10 projectors being sold at any given time.  For $20-40, it could be worthwhile.

nalor511

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Re: Projector to replace TV?
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2020, 02:37:55 PM »
Love my short throw LG LED, bulb lasts 20k+hours, cheap, QUIET, cool to the touch, and I can set it on a dresser next to my wall.

Hated my DLP, <2000hr $300 bulbs, annoyingly middle throw that required a stand right in the center of the room, loud, and put out a lot of hot air

Daley

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Re: Projector to replace TV?
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2020, 02:42:48 PM »
I'd like to learn about this too.  There's a state university near me that auctions old equipment every 6 weeks and there are usually at least 10 projectors being sold at any given time.  For $20-40, it could be worthwhile.

I assure you that if they're selling the projectors for that cheap, it's gonna cost a lot to keep 'em going. Note Nalor's comment.

The cost for projectors for under 100" screen size situations used to make more sense even five years ago against the cost of LCD flat panel TVs, but that's not the case anymore. Save your money.

uniwelder

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Re: Projector to replace TV?
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2020, 04:00:52 PM »
I'd like to learn about this too.  There's a state university near me that auctions old equipment every 6 weeks and there are usually at least 10 projectors being sold at any given time.  For $20-40, it could be worthwhile.

I assure you that if they're selling the projectors for that cheap, it's gonna cost a lot to keep 'em going. Note Nalor's comment.

The cost for projectors for under 100" screen size situations used to make more sense even five years ago against the cost of LCD flat panel TVs, but that's not the case anymore. Save your money.

In my case, because I'm pretty ignorant about projectors and my situation is a little different than the OP, I'm not sure how relevant this all is.  For our house, we thought a projector could be nice for the living room where we don't want a tv taking up permanent space against the wall and can potentially do this cheap.  This would mostly be used for movie nights, so it might run 4 hours per week at the most.  I don't think we'd spring for it if it were to run more than $100 total--- screen, projector, cable.

@Daley -- I'm a bit reluctant to take your advice too much to heart as you seem like someone who insists only the best is acceptable.  Particularly when you talk about adding in the cost of stereo equipment.  Maybe that was also just your way of dissuading the OP from projectors to just buying a tv.  Also regarding the auction--- you'd be quite surprised how much items can sell for.  It all depends on who happens to show up that day and whether its a consumer or specialty item.

@nalor511 -- Can you give some details about your projector and setup?  When I look up LG LED projector, I see prices in the $700-1,200 range.  What are you doing with this thing?  Why don't you just have a tv instead?

edited to add -- I was just looking at the listing of the past auction.  There were 8 projectors that sold for $40-80.  Pricing for two that I saw new are about $900-1,200 I think. 
« Last Edit: December 24, 2020, 04:30:05 PM by uniwelder »

Daley

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Re: Projector to replace TV?
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2020, 05:45:39 PM »
In my case, because I'm pretty ignorant about projectors and my situation is a little different than the OP, I'm not sure how relevant this all is.  For our house, we thought a projector could be nice for the living room where we don't want a tv taking up permanent space against the wall and can potentially do this cheap.  This would mostly be used for movie nights, so it might run 4 hours per week at the most.  I don't think we'd spring for it if it were to run more than $100 total--- screen, projector, cable.
[snip]
edited to add -- I was just looking at the listing of the past auction.  There were 8 projectors that sold for $40-80.  Pricing for two that I saw new are about $900-1,200 I think.

Think about this logically. The university IT department is auctioning off $900-1200 projectors for $40-80. Most projectors have replacement bulbs that cost well north of $200, and many of the high wattage models also have proprietary fan filters that have to be replaced on a regular basis that frequently cost $50 or more that'll last for maybe 1000-2000 hours. Equipment gets replaced for one of two reasons: 1) there's excess money in the budget, 2) the technology has changed enough that it's more expensive to service and maintain what's there than to replace it. I know for a fact that 2020 has been a hard year fiscally for colleges and universities due to the pandemic. I also know a lot of projectors have expensive consumables, and they're expensive to repair and keep running. I also know that with stuff like this, if it's being auctioned off because it's cheaper to sell it off for a couple bucks to replace it, there's likely a major maintenance cycle coming up on the thing.

Feel free to research on your own and don't take my word for it... but I'd look up bulb life, filter life, and replacement parts costs for those projectors before even considering auction, and look up specs and throw distance. Even if you're only intending to use it "lightly"...

@Daley -- I'm a bit reluctant to take your advice too much to heart as you seem like someone who insists only the best is acceptable.  Particularly when you talk about adding in the cost of stereo equipment.

Hardly. If you've ever seen any of my other computer/technology/phone recommendations, you'll find that I'm a huge proponent of cheap and refurbished business and enterprise equipment and living on the long tail of mid-grade hardware and DIY support and maintenance. I'm not a "only the best is acceptable" kind of guy by any stretch of the imagination. This said, I also firmly believe and live by a philosophy that a poor man can't afford to buy garbage, and a rich man doesn't remain rich buying garbage, either. Optics and light source are the two most expensive parts with a projector, and boy howdy do you get what you pay for. I tend to be a very hard-line pragmatist with this sort of stuff, and frankly question why anybody would even want this sort of setup to begin with... but with that said? Never half-ass two things, whole-ass one thing. If you're going to spend the money to do it at all, spend enough to do it right.

As for the sound equipment specifically... I'm hardly an audio snob. You can get something cheap-ish shopping around, but the point remains that you'll need to get something. Have you ever heard the built-in speakers on a projector? It's like listening to a laptop, or a $75 new LCD television.

There's a lot of hidden costs with projectors that most people don't think about on the surface for set up and cost, especially if you're so naive about the subject that you don't even know enough when asking for advice to know what to ask about, let alone using it for entertainment purposes instead of PowerPoint presentations. Those costs were easier to justify for folks when 56" LCD televisions were still running around $1000. I'm just pointing out that the cost ratio isn't that favorable for projectors with home entertainment anymore if you're wanting a giant screen for you and the family to gather around...

...and if it's just yourself this is for... why!? You don't need a giant wall to watch anything on. Buy a 28" monitor or TV for your computer, sit three feet away from it, and save yourself a few hundred bucks.

Look, my hands-on experience might be a bit dated with projectors specifically, but I am aware of the basics and understand how the technology works. I've dealt with the pre-existing fool things for a couple congregations in my day for the overhead "praise and worship" stuff. You know what I told both congregations when the things started acting up and needed to be repaired or replaced? Go back to the hymnals you already paid for, it's cheaper.

They didn't listen to me, either... but at least you're getting the advice for free instead of paying for it.

Malcat

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Re: Projector to replace TV?
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2020, 07:38:04 PM »
A projector only frees up a wall if you have a pull down screen ($$) otherwise you have to leave the wall blank or plan on moving things from the wall every time you use the projector.

Also, this may not be an issue with new projectors, but when I had a projector, walls were never white enough to act well as screens. We built a screen by building a frame and stretching canvas and then painting it a proper white. It made a HUGE difference, but that alone cost at least $100 at the time.

Blackout curtains are also quite necessary. I found it really hard on my eyes watching such a washed out picture. We had dark curtains, but they just weren't enough. Proper blackout curtains made another huge difference. But again, $$. Curtains aren't cheap.

In terms of picture, once we set it up properly, it was pretty decent, but never as good as a proper tv. My roommates were gamers, so they used the projector room, i usually watched TV on the 40 inch in another room and really preferred it.

Now, my experience is likely dated, but I thought I would share since I saw no real advantage to having it over a regular tv and didn't miss it when the projector owner left the house.

uniwelder

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Re: Projector to replace TV?
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2020, 08:45:26 PM »
I'm really intruding on the OP's question at this point.  There's a difference between my expectations with a projector versus what I think everyone else has in their minds.

@Malcat -- Yes, the idea would be to use a pull down screen.  Price would range from free (take one that is in storage and no longer used) to probably $10 from the surplus auction.  It would be mounted atop a bookshelf.  Cutting down on incoming light isn't a problem either for this situation.

@Daley -- I'll send you a PM with the auction info.  With Covid, everything went to online bidding, so all pics and actual sold-at prices are listed.  I'd be curious what you think of the quality of equipment.  Its possible to inspect the items in person or (sometimes with a little digging) talk to the person who sent it to surplus.

This is a pretty big university and not all resources get shared equally.  The amount of waste can be eye opening, depending on the amount of extra funds a particular department has to play with.  Based on my experience with other items that have been sent to auction, its a total crapshoot why its being released from service.  Quite often, the department just wants something newer.  I never had to buy an office printer (or ink)--- just take one that someone no longer needs, use it until it runs low, then find another that someone is getting rid of.  Same with bicycles--- just wait until the end of the spring semester, take one from the racks around campus, use until something starts fouling up, find another one a year or two later.  My idea with the projector is the same--- buy one for $40, use it until something breaks, determine whether its worthwhile to repair or replace.  With low usage, we might get ten years out of it.  Regarding speakers--- same as the previous examples.  I'm currently using a pretty nice set that came for free because they'd been sitting in storage for several years.

Edited to add ó Daley, I suppose seeing what sold at auction doesnít help with refuting your point that equipment sent there is likely due for expensive maintenance. This is where talking to whoever sent it for auction helps with determining suitability.


« Last Edit: December 25, 2020, 12:09:56 AM by uniwelder »

Alchemisst

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Re: Projector to replace TV?
« Reply #10 on: December 25, 2020, 01:31:19 AM »
Love my short throw LG LED, bulb lasts 20k+hours, cheap, QUIET, cool to the touch, and I can set it on a dresser next to my wall.

Hated my DLP, <2000hr $300 bulbs, annoyingly middle throw that required a stand right in the center of the room, loud, and put out a lot of hot air

Which model is the short throw LG?

Daley

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Re: Projector to replace TV?
« Reply #11 on: December 25, 2020, 08:02:32 AM »
Now, my experience is likely dated, but I thought I would share since I saw no real advantage to having it over a regular tv and didn't miss it when the projector owner left the house.

Nope, all your complaints are inherent to the very medium of the technology itself.



Love my short throw LG LED, bulb lasts 20k+hours, cheap, QUIET, cool to the touch, and I can set it on a dresser next to my wall.

Hated my DLP, <2000hr $300 bulbs, annoyingly middle throw that required a stand right in the center of the room, loud, and put out a lot of hot air

Which model is the short throw LG?

Probably one of the $400-500+ CineBeam models with a cheap speaker, TV tuner, webOS, sub 1080p display, and a sub 1000 lumen projector bulb. Given the physics involved to get a decent image out of it at any considerable size, and the fact that Best Buy has open box 75" LG 4k UHD TVs for around $550, and CraigsList has working 50" LCD TVs for around $100....



This is a pretty big university and not all resources get shared equally.  The amount of waste can be eye opening, depending on the amount of extra funds a particular department has to play with.  Based on my experience with other items that have been sent to auction, its a total crapshoot why its being released from service.  Quite often, the department just wants something newer.  I never had to buy an office printer (or ink)--- just take one that someone no longer needs, use it until it runs low, then find another that someone is getting rid of.  Same with bicycles--- just wait until the end of the spring semester, take one from the racks around campus, use until something starts fouling up, find another one a year or two later.  My idea with the projector is the same--- buy one for $40, use it until something breaks, determine whether its worthwhile to repair or replace.  With low usage, we might get ten years out of it.  Regarding speakers--- same as the previous examples.  I'm currently using a pretty nice set that came for free because they'd been sitting in storage for several years.

You're still stuck on the consumer sukka treadmill, you've just figured out how to drive even more of it for a fraction of the cost and reinforce the wasteful spending you see to keep up with others while still letting your possessions dictate how you spend and consume. I mean, throwing out perfectly useful technology just because the consumables ran out? This isn't being frugal, it's being cheap and wasteful, even on the used end. If you genuinely think that this philosophy is in line with the heart of Pete's message and this community, I don't know what to tell you.

uniwelder

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Re: Projector to replace TV?
« Reply #12 on: December 25, 2020, 08:18:36 AM »

This is a pretty big university and not all resources get shared equally.  The amount of waste can be eye opening, depending on the amount of extra funds a particular department has to play with.  Based on my experience with other items that have been sent to auction, its a total crapshoot why its being released from service.  Quite often, the department just wants something newer.  I never had to buy an office printer (or ink)--- just take one that someone no longer needs, use it until it runs low, then find another that someone is getting rid of.  Same with bicycles--- just wait until the end of the spring semester, take one from the racks around campus, use until something starts fouling up, find another one a year or two later.  My idea with the projector is the same--- buy one for $40, use it until something breaks, determine whether its worthwhile to repair or replace.  With low usage, we might get ten years out of it.  Regarding speakers--- same as the previous examples.  I'm currently using a pretty nice set that came for free because they'd been sitting in storage for several years.

You're still stuck on the consumer sukka treadmill, you've just figured out how to drive even more of it for a fraction of the cost and reinforce the wasteful spending you see to keep up with others while still letting your possessions dictate how you spend and consume. I mean, throwing out perfectly useful technology just because the consumables ran out? This isn't being frugal, it's being cheap and wasteful, even on the used end. If you genuinely think that this philosophy is in line with the heart of Pete's message and this community, I don't know what to tell you.

Sorry, but I completely disagree.  Squeezing extra life out of an item that would otherwise be thrown away is completely in line with responsible thinking.  I'm not creating the waste--- that's being done by the person buying a new item to replace something that still has life in it.  These are items that would end up in the trash anyway if I weren't getting a little more use from them.  And its not like I throw everything in the trash heap afterward--- I usually end up giving it to someone that can fix it or scrap the parts.

Daley

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Re: Projector to replace TV?
« Reply #13 on: December 25, 2020, 08:54:27 AM »
Sorry, but I completely disagree.  Squeezing extra life out of an item that would otherwise be thrown away is completely in line with responsible thinking.  I'm not creating the waste--- that's being done by the person buying a new item to replace something that still has life in it.  These are items that would end up in the trash anyway if I weren't getting a little more use from them.  And its not like I throw everything in the trash heap afterward--- I usually end up giving it to someone that can fix it or scrap the parts.

I basically sent you this privately already, but given your public response, I'll post the relevant bit here, too.

ELECTRONICS ARE NOT SUSTAINABLE. The rare earth minerals used to fabricate the electronics are finite in quantity, sometimes quite exotic and rare, and frequently mined through toxic scorched earth methods that destroy the regional environment. The electronics themselves product more toxic environmental waste in manufacturing. Most of the plastics aren't actually recyclable. Most of the metals in the electronics require highly toxic and potentially expensive methods to recover for recycling that also destroys environments. Look up Guiyu, China and Agbogbloshie, Ghana some time.

And I haven't even addressed the slave labor aspects that help artificially suppress the cost of these things.

The only way to truly combat wasteful electronics manufacturing with planned obsolescence is to opt out of the entire cycle to the best of your ability and treat the electronics as a tool with deliberate purchasing. If the demand dries up for the garbage, less will be made. Even the used market impacts this cycle.

We can't entirely opt out of using this stuff in modern society, but we can change our approach to how we spend and consume what does come into our care. By supporting, using and spending money on stuff that's easy to repair and lasts a long time instead of being made to be disposable, we increase demand for those sorts of goods, even from the used end of the spectrum.

Are you familiar with the Sam Vimes Boots Theory of Economic Injustice? The Tragedy of the Commons? This is in the same wheelhouse, and it applies to more than just electronics. Just because you can easily buy garbage, doesn't mean you should. All you can control is yourself. Your life is an example to others. Being mindful of what and how much you consume, and leading by that example benefits more than just yourself.

Be deliberate with the things in your life. If you're going to allocate the money, time and resources towards something in the first place, even if it's frivolous, commit to it. Do it right. Your approach still emphasizes quantity like the rest of the world's been sold. Frugality is about living a quality life on less, and that quality starts with a mindset and perspective shift.

Let me encourage you to be frugal, not cheap. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

After all, a poor man can't afford to buy garbage, and a rich man doesn't stay rich buying garbage, either.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2020, 08:56:43 AM by Daley »

ender

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Re: Projector to replace TV?
« Reply #14 on: December 25, 2020, 11:37:02 AM »
The cost for projectors for under 100" screen size situations used to make more sense even five years ago against the cost of LCD flat panel TVs, but that's not the case anymore. Save your money.

+1


Cadman

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Re: Projector to replace TV?
« Reply #15 on: December 25, 2020, 11:51:38 AM »

This is a pretty big university and not all resources get shared equally.  The amount of waste can be eye opening, depending on the amount of extra funds a particular department has to play with.  Based on my experience with other items that have been sent to auction, its a total crapshoot why its being released from service.  Quite often, the department just wants something newer.  I never had to buy an office printer (or ink)--- just take one that someone no longer needs, use it until it runs low, then find another that someone is getting rid of.  Same with bicycles--- just wait until the end of the spring semester, take one from the racks around campus, use until something starts fouling up, find another one a year or two later.  My idea with the projector is the same--- buy one for $40, use it until something breaks, determine whether its worthwhile to repair or replace.  With low usage, we might get ten years out of it.  Regarding speakers--- same as the previous examples.  I'm currently using a pretty nice set that came for free because they'd been sitting in storage for several years.

You're still stuck on the consumer sukka treadmill, you've just figured out how to drive even more of it for a fraction of the cost and reinforce the wasteful spending you see to keep up with others while still letting your possessions dictate how you spend and consume. I mean, throwing out perfectly useful technology just because the consumables ran out? This isn't being frugal, it's being cheap and wasteful, even on the used end. If you genuinely think that this philosophy is in line with the heart of Pete's message and this community, I don't know what to tell you.

Sorry, but I completely disagree.  Squeezing extra life out of an item that would otherwise be thrown away is completely in line with responsible thinking.  I'm not creating the waste--- that's being done by the person buying a new item to replace something that still has life in it.  These are items that would end up in the trash anyway if I weren't getting a little more use from them.  And its not like I throw everything in the trash heap afterward--- I usually end up giving it to someone that can fix it or scrap the parts.

Uniwelder, AMEN! I've lived this philosophy my entire life. Far too many consumer goods end up in the landfill just because they're last year's model, a friend is upgrading, the unit needs a simple repair, etc. We also have a local university surplus sale but since it went to an online presence (that's another story), local computer shops and tech flippers have overrun it. It's not unusual to see the same item show up a day or two later on eBay, and sell for shocking money.

Our home projection setup that we use practically nightly, uses a high quality, old fashioned, Da-Lite projection screen from a random school sale ($5?), mounted behind a valance that keeps it concealed when not in use. The projector is also a quality unit purchased used in 2011 off eBay. Pricey (for me, anyway) at the time, but a deep discount compared to the early adopter that bought it new a year prior and was upgrading. It even included a new spare bulb, which, almost 10 years later, we still haven't needed to use. I had originally wanted to mount the unit in a corner, so physical lens shift was important to me, but features like that can drive up cost/limit options.

I'm currently planning an outdoor projection project, where brightness is more important than contrast, and after careful deliberation, opted for a new Epson business-oriented model with 5k ANSI Lumens. These are optimized for common computer screen resolutions rather than home theater, and would be typical of what you'd find at a surplus sale.

For those shopping Amazon, keep in mind advertised brightness on the majority of the <$500 projectors (mostly Chinese offerings) are completely bogus. 

ender

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Re: Projector to replace TV?
« Reply #16 on: December 25, 2020, 11:56:10 AM »
Fan volume is an issue on most projectors too, if that matters to you.

nalor511

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Re: Projector to replace TV?
« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2021, 02:21:46 PM »
Fan volume is an issue on most projectors too, if that matters to you.

LED/Laser projectors typically have no fan noise or heat issues. DLP projectors are super loud, and put out a lot of heat

nalor511

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Re: Projector to replace TV?
« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2021, 02:25:35 PM »

@nalor511 -- Can you give some details about your projector and setup?  When I look up LG LED projector, I see prices in the $700-1,200 range.  What are you doing with this thing?  Why don't you just have a tv instead?
 

We have a projector because it's quieter than the TV, puts out less heat than a TV, and doesn't create a huge black rectangle against the wall when it's off. The bulb lasts forever (30,000 hours). I can move it around all I want (it's less than 3 pounds). We use it to watch streaming services via laptop in the evenings, basically instead of a TV. Love it.

BUT, as I mentioned, we're able to get the light levels low enough, we have a dresser against the wall that the projector/laptop can easily sit on, and we have a wireless keyboard/touchpad combo to act as a remote. Heat, noise, and room ugliness were our big concerns. Plus a short-throw LED projector is cool.

mayhem

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Re: Projector to replace TV?
« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2021, 05:02:43 PM »
Weíve had a pico-projector for 3+ years now and we still love it. Itís an Apeman M4 and has a battery and weighs only a few oz. I like it because not only do we not have the aforementioned black hole in our living space, but you can also tuck the projector away pretty simply. Itís got one HDMI port that we have hooked up to an Apple TV. I think it was around $300 or so. I will say the picture isnít amazing and itís focus is hard to get dialed in so the entire screen is equally focused, but itís done the trick for us. We have both projected it on a wall and a sheet that hangs from a ripped piece of 2x. All said I think weíve spent $50 on setting it up.