DLP Projection at home


Well-Known Member
Have any of you ever thought about buying an LCD or DLP projector for home use? Well I bought an InFocus X1a from Best Buy about a week ago and it is awesome! From about 11' the image size is 88" (in my bedroom) and the quality is amazing. and AND it supports HDTV. I would definately recommend something like that for your next big... (really big) purchase. PS I am not a salesman lol. But it is really cool. I am waiting on some screen material from ebay. I guess I'm just going to stretch it over a wooden frame like a broadway flat and put a black border around it. I guess I've proven to my friends that I'm the most impractical person when it comes to money that they know. Next up, Martin Lighting System...Haha I wish!
LoL sweet!!! yes I have thought about this several times, but as you hint, it does come down to the $$. Popular Science Magazine has done an article or two about doing this, but there doesnt look to be anything too tricky about it. Infact, I have basicly done the same thing a couple dozen times with the projectors at school and the classroom's built in sound system. It's just a matter of pulling an RCA cable from my backpack (yes, i carry them arround) and pluging it between the VCR (all we can afford @ school) and the projector and the amp (if you can even call it that).
We just started finishing our basement. The screen wil l be about 110" diagonal, with seating for 12 on three levels (floor, 2 risers).

And all my old dj lights (Martin 218, 518, etc.) will be going down there, since I couldn't get enough money to make it worthwhile selling them.
Right now its just projecting onto a wall and it looks pretty good but I can't wait until I have the proper projection surface in place. I have it connected to my DVD player with a 27' VGA monster cable, and the DVD player is connected to the Sony Reciever. The sound is awesome with 5.1 surround. I'm thinking about putting the sub under my bed. (the best seat in the house). I just need to find a longer cable for it and hope there isn't too much distortion in the bass. Also, the projector is just sitting on my night stand. I hope to build a shelf and mount it about half way up the wall. It's a work in progress. The projector wasn's as expensive as I had thought. (about $850. before the $50. mail-in rebate.) For this price, it is a very impressive machine.
My school has a really nice projection, and the entire tech crew has been tempted to take it home and set up a giant screen TV somewhere in there houses and playing video games on it. In fact, we currently have a dream cast hooked up to it in our booth. (We don't have a screen to project onto though :()

Question: do you find that in walking around the room, you get in the through of the projector and get a shadow on the screen? Or that you loose a lot of "seating space" because of the beam of the projector? I had originally assumed that you mounted the projector on your ceiling somehow.

And Peter, there is nothing wrong with carrying RCA around with you, right. I always have 2 c-wrenches, a GAM check, RCA cable, multi-tools and about 20 other things with me whenever I'm at school (or a theater working). There's nothing wrong with that, right? please say right?
Ah thank you Zac, that is abit reassuring!

I wouldnt think that alot of room space would be taken up if you thought out where you placed the projector and didnt put it in the path of any of your seats.

In my school, EVERY classroom has a projector mounted on the ceiling tied into the teacher's computer and a "Elmo" type overhead video camera that can show what the teacher is writing.

If I were to take home the Auditorium's projecor to play video games, I think i would burn a hole in the wall. The projector in our booth is huge and very powerful b/c of the weird angle we have to shoot at ($13,000 just for the special lenze, not the mention the cost of the projector).
My School last year got a BIG screen probably one of the nicest things in our auditourum at school but no projector . . . . . but the media center has them so we just rent them from there . . . . but out school dosn't even have a booth for sound and out lighting is a cage but i woudl love a permament mout of ra projector
I would mount my projector directly to the ceiling but I have a ceiling fan, and that would get in the way. Also, since its such a short throw (~11') The 20 degree keystone correction isn't enough. You will see a shadow if you walk directly infront of the projector but I expect I'll be the only one using it so it shouldn't really matter. The DLP projector is actually recommended for connecting to computer, dvd, x box, cable, etc... What's great about DLP is that there is no "screen door effect" or pixelation. Also, you would never have to worry about colors fading or images 'burning' into the screen as you would LCD projectors or CRT projectors. The only downfall with DLP is the 'rainbow' effect. This only appears when you have a display like white letters on a black background. such as movie credits. What happens is when you dart your eyes around the screen, you can actually see RGB in the letters, but only out of the corner of your eye. Some people aren't sensitive to it though. It just depends on how fast your eyes are, because with DLP, you are actually seeing a series of RBG in any given fraction of a second. It's pretty cool though. I believe the screen size can range from 25" to 25' diagonal. It is 1100 Lumens with a 4,000 hour lamp life, which is good because the lamp is valued at about $250.00. sheeesh
Peter said:
In my school, EVERY classroom has a projector mounted on the ceiling tied into the teacher's computer and a "Elmo" type overhead video camera that can show what the teacher is writing.
I have a similiar setup. Those elmo's are a waste of money in my experience. We bought them on an as requested basis for classrooms. They get used during that new toy factor the first week or two an dhten get pushed into the corner.
Lester said:
27' VGA monster cable

I don't understand why people buy these things. They are a total rip. Easiest way to pull long run VGA is often to put a component breakout on onte source end and a break in on the receving end. You can then pull a five pack of bnc cable, or get a multicable. Twisting and bending VGA cable through a conduit can be a pain in the rear.

Whatever the case may be, monster cables are a rip and not worth your money. It's up there with the gold plated connector bs they pull at radio shack. You'll see some noticeable difference if you take a piddly ass rca cable - think abou the diameter of 16awg wire vs a cable the diameter of 12awg or 10awg. Even then so, without a video monitor, unlikely your TV/projector is showing real video colors anyway so you won't notice.
my parents have a really old LCD projector that has really low rez, and is very big....they used it alot for presentations or something many years ago and now it is actually usd sometimes by the church they go to (I go to a different church) . I've used it for somethings, like one event i worked with at my church,we showed the superbowl this year on three screens--three projectors, and it was sweet! I'm sure that by the time I have my own house they will have moved on beyond simple projectors.....they might have lcd or dlp walls by then.....or something cool like that. otherweise, i think a projector in your room is about as cool a tv as you can get :)
Yes, I agree about the Elmos The Science department uses them ALOT (that one teacher who's bulb blew uses his all the time). But then again, the science department has the really good ones and the other classrooms have a much cheaper model which is very annoying to use. All of my teachers do use them on occasion, maybe once every 2 weeks, with the exception being my science classes where they are used every day.

Brian, do you have a Link to the type of breakout you are talking about? I think I have an idea, but I am not sure. Thanks

Something like that.

You use a different model elmo than we have in the classrooms here - no lamps in them. The only one I have with lamps is in the video conferencing room - Elmo HV-7000SX High Resolution Visual Presenter I believe is the model. All the classrooms I can't find the model - the little gray fold up ones where the camera hangs out over the legs.
I know our Wisi Wig area uses a projector and it's re-lamping charges are cost prohivitive even at dealer costs. Even at a honest markup for retail, it's often not something you want to use short of having a high budget. In time or perhaps you have other than LCD expensive lamp versions and there are hundreds of fixtures and lamps out there - I have a huge chart alone for them alone in clueing it all out the lamp/fixture combinations.

Much less the time Hard Rock Chicago in having one brand of fixture was caught at a time the manufacturer was switching lamp versions but discontinued the older one while still developing the new one. A common thread amongst vendors. Prices on the remaining old replacement lamps went instantly thru the roof as if the stock market, and thean there were no more.

Had to personally theaten the company making the fixture that if they did not find me some lamp for this fixture and I mean right now, that all Hard Rock Cafe's - specifically stating the recognizable name, would be taking these fixtures out of all their stores - even if implied and I only represented one. Funny, I suddenly got a replacement lamp, and even at a discounted price. Part of my job in a continuing thread while type "B" personality is at times getting hot with supplies or acting as if I am. Than a no-gut's no glory in getting the job done and letting the ill will fall where it will as necessary. Want me to get the lamp, yes I will because no is not an option.

If LCD and other high technology, always have a spare lamp in stock and budget for the next one because every year they also until such a point it becomes a high volume type of thing will also every year go up in price. I'll stick with my 25" TV thank you for now.
Ah ok, thanks for that link. That is what I was thinking of but wanted to be sure. It sounds like you have the same cheap elmos that most of my school has. The science department has fancy ones that have lights to light them from underneath or overhead, and have all kinds of bells & whistles like color invert, polarizing filters, zoom, focus, a swiveling head that can be aimed in any direction, and there is a rumor that you can switch out the camera for an X-Ray camera, although I am not sure about that one. I would get you links, but the elmo website doesnt seem to be working for me right now (grrr... families... dont know how to keep viruses off the family computer running the network.... :) )

I actually am thinking about picking up a USB TV tuner for my laptop and just watching TV through that. I really dont watch much TV (Cable wont come to my house, and we have never bothered with satellite, so i have about 4 chanels) and I am thinking that it would be a nice space saver @ college next year. Does anyone have any experience with these? It seems to me that with one of these on a computer with a DVD player, a good sound card (could be the same one you record with :) ) and a projector you could have a good home theator.
I wouldn't call em cheap elmo's $600 a pop or somethign alogn that line. Cheap in the grand scheme of things, yes. They're well manufactured and hold up fine. Have more trouble with the RCA cables that make great additions to people's home theaters.

The USB tv tuners work. Make sure you're good on RAM. You should look at MS' Media Center Edition version fo Windows. It's only OEM - Gatewall, Dell, and HPQ all have one, amongst other brands. Would prolly go with the Dell in this market myself. It is a home theater pc, though. You can certianly build oen cheaper than these, but, where you get a copy of the XP Media Center build is your business given its OEM (and maybe select as well) only.
I bought the monster cable because it's what they had at Best Buy and recommended for the run. I am no expert on A/V cables, nor do I aspire to be. The thing works great. That's all I want. And for the price of lamps... I would not recommend a system like this for normal TV viewing. I only use it for movie watching. I have a 27" Sony Trinitron for the normal stuff.
Yar. THe lamps are goign to put you in the hole. The consumer grade projectors are what I would call cheap to lamp. Go get a nice large one that has four lamps to operate and you can be close to five digits to replace all four of em.

Buying cables at best buy is usually a poor idea - if it looks "snazzy" and is rather expensive, I'd take that as a good clue to go elsewhere given no other expert knowledge of what you're buying. Radio shack would likely have a better deal. Someone liek Abt Electronics in suburban Chicago is going to be the same rip as Best Buy.

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