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Video (LCD?) Projectors


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#1 Tony Brown

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Posted 10 March 2007 - 07:15 AM

I want to buy one for projecting fx onto walls / faces ect. Needs plently of punch but sharpness isn't that important

Any recommendations under $1000 ??
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#2 Tony Brown

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Posted 10 March 2007 - 07:29 AM

And.......

Will a video projector project any image from my desktop / laptop or only certain file types? No idea how these things work.

Where do they take their feed from the computer from? USB?
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#3 Troy Warr

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Posted 10 March 2007 - 11:48 AM

Hi Tony,

By "punch," do you mean brightness, color intensity, or something else?

A digital projector is an output device just like a computer monitor or TV. Most decent ones will at least have RCA composite, RCA component, S-Video, and D-Sub (analog computer monitor) inputs. They'll also list in the specifications what type of video input that they accept.

File type is unimportant, since the projector isn't decoding anything, just displaying the video output. In your case it sounds like you'll want to connect the projector to your laptop via D-Sub (your external monitor connection), so the projector will display your laptop screen exactly as you normally see it. You'll just play the video that you need and maximize it full-screen.
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#4 Tony Brown

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Posted 10 March 2007 - 12:26 PM

Thanks for that.... yes I'd need maximum exposure, colour intensity is probably less important than contrast
Any recommendations?
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#5 Troy Warr

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Posted 10 March 2007 - 01:57 PM

There's not much that I can recommend based on personal experience, as I've only ever owned an Infocus X1. It was great for my needs but that was for a different purpose - home theater.

Based on your needs, though - budget, light output, contrast - from my experience researching brands/products I would probably recommend first looking at one of the newer offerings from from Infocus or Optoma. They're the better bang-for-the-buck manufacturers out today, at least for home theater projectors (although it sounds like you might need something more optimized for multimedia/presentation needs). Look for something with relatively high lumen output and a good contrast ratio. The latter can be difficult to judge without seeing the projector firsthand, as different manufacturers seem to use different ratings and probably tend to fudge those a bit as well.

Back when I was researching the X1, LCD projectors generally offered higher light output but lower contrast than DLP. I'm not sure if that's still the case today, but I would suspect that the technologies still have similar limitations. Since it sounds like you're going to be recording the projector's output, you might need to do some research into any potential flicker issues depending on your recording format. DLP, for example, creates images using a spinning color wheel, and at least in projectors 3-5 years ago, this could produce slightly noticeable visual color artifacts that may or may not be picked up on video/film.

Also, what resolution will your video source(s) be - I'm guessing the native resolution of your laptop screen?

Just looking quickly at B&H Photo, there's an Optoma model that outputs 2500 lumens at 1024x768 - that's pretty bright, and a good resolution for 4:3 video from a laptop.
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#6 chuck colburn

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Posted 10 March 2007 - 03:37 PM

You might also consider one that has interchangeable lenses. This would help with the brightness factor if you are trying to project and image the size of someones face as you could use a longer focal length lens to project a given image to a smaller size area. It would also allow you to not have to put the projector so close to your subject.
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