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Are cheap projectors like this a bad idea?

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dec_lan

New Member
First of all, I'm sorry if this isn't in the right forum, feel free to move it.

So I want to buy a projector for my dorm's common room. It would be used for watching movies and tv shows off a laptop, or an xbox 360, and ideally playing some video games on the xbox.

So I searched around on craigslist a bunch, but couldn't find anything. New ones from legitimate companies seem to be many hundreds or even thousands of bucks. So I went to ebay and found these:

TinyURL.com - shorten that long URL into a tiny URL

TinyURL.com - shorten that long URL into a tiny URL

Here is a more official page of the one, I think: Digital Galaxy Projectors: Digital Galaxy Dream Land DG-737 3 LCD projector

Now, they're <$300, which is a great price, and have what I need, and even come with the cables and such. And the seller even has 100% positive feedback, so it seems like he hasn't screwed anyone.

But it's still from China, seems cheap, the webpage is pretty ghetto, and it seems a little too good to be true. Can anyone help me? Would this be a bad idea?

Thanks guys!
 

mneary

New Member
640 x 480 native resolution is barely as good as standard-def (NTSC) TV.

As a computer monitor, it would only support DOS.
 

dec_lan

New Member
So basically, I shouldn't buy this?

Can anyone suggest what a good idea would be? I don't want to break the bank, but I want something that won't suck.
 

Sceadwian

Banned
Not sure the contrast ratio is that bad. The static contrast ratio on my monitor is only 700:1. The dynamic contrast ratio is 2000:1 though, and my monitor is quiet nice to look at. If that 700:1 ratio is the dynamic ratio it's gonna look horribly washed out. Your best bet would be to go to a local big box electronics store and see if you can find some projectors to look at, cause you really can't go based soley off the specs.
640x480 does suck though. Unless it's a handheld device I wouldn't touch anything less than 1024x768. My monitor is 1440x900 and I sometimes wish I had a little but more.
 

3v0

Coop Build Coordinator
Forum Supporter
A big thing with projects is the price of the replacement bulbs. We have at least one projector at school (panasonic I think) where the bulb costs about the same as a new projector.

I hear with some it is possible to buy the bulb and replace it instead of the entire buld carrier assembly. Do not know which they are.

3v0
 
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DirtyLude

Well-Known Member
If your dorms common room has natural light (windows), then don't even bother with a projector. They are washed out easily. I have a nice projector in my basement and we have a small window that I have to block off totally if it's sunny out. It's a common issue with projectors.

One thing that people tend to forget about as well is the projector screen. You can get some cheap ones but they are generally a few hundred dollars added expense.

In a dark basement and a nice screen, it's pretty awesome to watch though. We throw up some Wii games on it from time to time as well.
 

dec_lan

New Member
Hmmm. Well I can get the common room pretty pitch dark.

So this kind of thing would probably suck playing halo 3 on?
 

Sceadwian

Banned
If you like playing games in 640x480.. As has alreayd been said that's not much better than standard def TV. Hardly going to be eye popping, though it'll fill a wall.
 

mneary

New Member
Hmmm. Well I can get the common room pretty pitch dark.

So this kind of thing would probably suck playing halo 3 on?
If you project an image 5ft tall, each pixel will be a 1/8"x1/8" square :eek:. Suck doesn't even begin to describe it. :p
 

Sceadwian

Banned
Hopefully the optics are blurry enough to blend it well =)
 

sconroy

New Member
I found this forum looking for information about the same projector. I'm going to put the specs on here so I can ask the question I need to ask. It says in the specs that it supports 1024X768 resolution (below). Am I missing something? Doesn't this mean that it has higher resolution than everyone on here is saying or do I not understand something? I'm a total neophyte to this stuff I will admit. I work at a non-profit and we have a really low and tight budget. I will be using this to show presentations in a fairly dark room. Is 2000 lumens a good thing as well? Thanks.
Projection System RGB LCD Projection System
Projection Schemes Front/Suspension
LCD Panel 5" TFT LCD Panel
Resolution Support 1080i/720i/576P/576i/480i,640*480(support 1024*768)
Brightness(PeakValue) 2000Lumens
Contrast ratio 600 : 1
Lamp 150W
Colors 1.67 million
Aspect Ratio 4:3 or 16:9
Optical Lens Manual focus
Projection Distance 1.76 – 5.51 meters
Image Size 50 – 150 inches (in Diagonal)
Interface Video, Y/PB/PR, S-video, VGA, TV, HDMI
Video System PAL /NTSC
Audio Output 2 built-in speakers, RCA ×2
TV Signal Input 75Ω Radio Frequency Signal Input (RF Input)
TV Signal System PAL /NTSC/SECAM
Mechanical: Dimension(excluding lens and feet)
320mm(Length) ×249mm(Width) ×95mm(Height)
 

crutschow

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
I believe the native resolution is 640*480, which is basically standard def TV. It borders on false advertising but when they say it supports 1080i/720i/576P/576i/480i, that just means it will down-convert the signal to 640*480 and display it. The native resolution specification is the important one as that determines the actual displayed resolution.

2000 lumens is probably sufficient brightness for a darkened room, but the 600:1 contrast ratio is rather low. The blacks in the picture will probably look rather grey.
 

mneary

New Member
I went to the mfrs web site and its LCD is indeed 640*480. Almost as good as standard def TV.

Today's computer monitors are more than twice this resolution, so you'll have to make some serious compromises in preparing your presentations.
 
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