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Topic: Looking for quiet medium-throw projector to use in music studio
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Joined: Sep 10, 2023
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I like to jam/record music with friends, and for inspiration I like to project weird videos on the wall (eg, from archive.org & UBU Web). I'm working on building a dedicated studio and I'd like to up my game. The studio will be 15 feet wide, so a center mounted projector would have a throw distance of 7.5', but I could offset the projectors to increase that to about 10'.

I currently have a Hitachi CP-X1200 (https://www.projectorcentral.com/Hitachi-CP-X1200.htm) that I got used. Works pretty well, still has a fair amount of lamp life left, but it's big & heavy.

I'm thinking about getting 4 projectors to blanket the walls, and driving them with something like a Shuttle DH02U (https://us.shuttle.com/products/dh02u/) which has 4xHDMI 2.0 outs, running VLC (http://www.videolan.org/).

Ideally I'd like a machine with *no* audio ability, but that seems very rare; other general specs are: throw ratio ~1.5 or less; at least 3500 lumens; HDMI input; cost up to $1000 (I'd consider used).

I came up with 14 candidates via https://www.projectorcentral.com/projectors.cfm?g=2&br=3500&br=10000<g=101&p=500&p=1000&exp3=1&cn=9&sort=rev#list...

The Casio XJ-V110W (https://www.projectorcentral.com/Casio-XJ-V110W.htm) looks pretty reasonable...only 8.4lb, but the audible noise of 39/35db seems a little high. That's not a deal breaker though...if I actually need silence I could turn some/all projectors off.

Are there any projectors on that list (or not) that the collective wisdom here would recommend? Thanks!
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Joined: Mar 28, 2005
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The biggest issue with what you're looking at is that these single chip DLP projectors have HORRENDOUS color accuracy at their full brightness and once calibrated are far less bright than what they advertise. More in the range of about 1/3 of their peak potential brightness. This is important to keep in mind if you are looking at DLP models vs. LCD models.

In fairness, you are looking at smaller models, and the reality is that when you get LCD projectors of actual 3,500+ lumens in brightness, the size goes up a fair bit. Same with DLP projectors which actually deliver on their claimed brightness specifications.

Larger projectors aren't necessarily noisier. The larger fans can spin slower, or at high brightness, they tend to emit a lower tone than smaller fans in smaller projectors which can have somewhat whiny fans.

That said, the Casio models aren't horrible. They just aren't built very well which is why they no longer make projectors...
https://www.casio-intl.com/asia/en/projector/

I would avoid them.

Frankly, some of the best deals can be found on eBay on used business class WUXGA projectors. Yes, they use lamps instead of being solid state (most of them) but you can pick up 5,000 lumen WUXGA projectors for under $500 that are in good working condition.

Going a bit higher in budget also nets you some very solid LCD projectors that I'd look at over the DLP models...
https://www.projectorcentral.com/projectors.cfm?g=2&br=3500&br=10000&ar=Wide+%2816%3A9-10%29<g=101&dt=1.0.0&p=500&p=1500&exp3=1&oop=3&sort=%24#list

This model specifically jumped out at me as it is really bright and hits all the marks pretty well. It's also 1920x1080 resolution, which is a nice bump up from the mostly 1280x800 models on the list.
https://www.projectorcentral.com/Epson-Pro_EX11000.htm

Be aware of your throw distance (lens to screen) and if you need a model with shorter throw or some other specific feature to hit your target screen size...
https://www.projectorcentral.com/Epson-Pro_EX11000-projection-calculator-pro.htm

If looking at used stuff, Panasonic has a fair number of models they have had on the market for a number of years now...
https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_nkw=panasonic+laser+projector&_sacat=0&_sop=15
AV Integrated - Theater, whole house audio, and technology consultation during the build and installation process in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.
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(sorry, had to reregister...could no longer log in with first account)

That you much for the awesome information! The Epson Pro EX11000 *does* look good, but it is indeed a bit above my desired price range. Will see if I can maybe find a slightly used one

I was also looking at the Epson Powerlite U50... https://www.projectorcentral.com/Epson-PowerLite_U50.htm...still a bit expensive, but they carry them at Full Compass who I've done a lot of business with. That one's also been available for a few years, so more likely to find a used one.

There's a lot still to digest in your response...thanks again!
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In my mind, I'd go used almost all the time in this type of situation. The resolution of 1920x1200 has been around for a good decade (or more) with projectors that are quite capable and look quite good. The ability to pick them up for not a serious amount of money is crazy.

You don't get the warranty of a brand new model, but you get them for half (or less) the price of something new.

Be aware, projectors bumped up against one another do struggle to match their color exactly. This is far more difficult to do than people believe. When displays are NOT side by side, you'd swear they all look the same, but when they are put side by side by side you easily see how completely different the exact same model of projector looks.
AV Integrated - Theater, whole house audio, and technology consultation during the build and installation process in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.