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Topic: Are 3000 LCD lumens better than 4000 DLP in church hall with ambient light?
Joined: Sep 11, 2014
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We are a small opera study group that meets weekly (daytime) in our local church hall. This is a rather typical old hall with a stage and auditorium. There are windows down each side of the seating area. There are no facilities to block out their light.

Up to now we have made do with a couple of old television sets and a spaghetti of wires everywhere, but we are now going buying a projector and screen. It goes without saying that we are cash-strapped.

The screen will be put onto the stage so that it does not get direct light, and can be set back a little for even less, but we cannot control the ambient light in the hall. The main visuals are provided by dvds or by speakers bringing their own computers or tablets. The best native format for us is wide-screen (16:9 or 16:10). Cost/benefit tradeoffs bring us to an 80" diagonal screen size.

In reading through the forum posts I have become convinced that brightness is the single most important measure for us in this situation.

I have found an Epson EB-955W (this is the Australian model number) 3000 lumens WXGA (Native aspect 16:10, Contrast 10000:1) at an acceptable price. At around the same price I have also found 2 discontinued Optoma projectors - both WXGA, both 4000 lumens, both DLP (EW762 and EW635). The main difference between the two Optoma projectors seems to be that the 635 is a later version of the 762, the latter has a contrast ratio of 3000:1 and the EW635 has a contrast ratio of 15000:1, other than that they are very similar.

From what I've read here I should discount the contrast ratios anyway, because of the ambient light. Projection distances, throw ratios, zoom etc are very similar for all three models. The main difference is in the lumens and the LCF/DPL issue.

So my real question is - between the two technologies, LCD and DPL, given that LCD almost always appears brighter at the same lumens, do my viewers get extra brightness and 'pop' with 4000 lumens of DPL or does that more or less just bring it to the level of 3000 lumens of LCD?

And a second point is whether there are any real disadvantages to buying discontinued models. One is that replacement lamp costs go from $299 for the EW762 (oldest model) through $199 for the EW635 to $99 for the Epson (still current model). I spoke to the Optoma rep and he assured me that lamps continue to be produced for quite some years after the discontunuance of a model, although they will stay more expensive than lamps for newer models.

This is my first projector purchase so I have no personal experience to guide me. Any comments would be very helpful.