buying a projector, where to start?

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Looking at buying a projector but there are too many choices?

Buyers must be very careful when looking at buying products like projectors as they can be misled very easily by a few common specifications such as ansi lumens and not look deeper into what these specs really mean. There are always positive and negative effects the particular rating can mean as specs like high ansi lumen ratings can cause major drops in contrast levels. So even though the projector may be bright it may also suffer from very poor black levels and not have a good depth of image.

Globe life is another consideration and it pays to really understand just how long the "average life" of the particular brand of projector brand really is before rushing in. Some of the better machines are now running between 3000 - 5000 hours from the globes and they are only around $500 for a replacement. When you break it down further it works out something like this- if you watch the projector for 3 hours every day of the year then it would work out to 1095 hours a year. This would then mean that you would acheive around 3 years on the average for your projector globe or about 60 cents a day. 

It would cost you more to hire the movie than it would to watch it. 

Outdoor entertainment zones are flourishing and with a projector it is possible to simple and easily move the projector from one part of the home to another, so the next time you want to entertain in summer it may be outside around your pool watching sport or a movie on the big screen.

Another issue that must be raised is the abundance of  so called new machines on offer that have a  International Warranty, be very wary of any international warranty offered as what they usually mean is that the products were not bought in Australia by the authorised distributor and have no spare parts or warranty available in this country. If you were to experience any difficulties or require spares you would have to return the product to an overseas source and pray that the unit is not only repaired properly but also whether you ever see it again and how much the freight is going to cost of it does all work out. All of this just to save a few bucks, sometimes it can be foolish to go only with the price and model number when hunting down a "bargain". 

There are so many things to consider when buying a projector that it really does pay to take into consideration the following points,

1. The type of room it is being used in has a very direct influence on its performance, is it dark/light, high ceilings, how big is the room?

2. Throw distance needs to be considered because every projector seems to have different focal lengths and things like lights and ceiling fans etc could cause problems with mounting the projector.

3. How much are globes and how long do they last, new projectors especially DLP models now are very cheap to run with globe life now exceeding 3000 hours on most models and globes now about half the price they were a few years ago.

4. Are you going to run the projector for many hours at a time, if so then be careful of buying LCD models as they really are not designed to run for extended periods of more than a couple of hours without considerable problems with globes and lcd panel degradation.

5. Do you need a screen, generally speaking the projector will only perform at its peak when used with a good screen or surface and there are many options such as screen paint that can be applied to an existing wall or can be used to make a custom built DIY screen, there are also fixed frame, pull down and motorised models. Some are higher performing than others whilst others offer portability and discreet installations.

6. High Quality image is obviously the main purpose but why do so many people look at specs and then buy blind, specs can be dangerous if they are the only point of reference. i have seen some very highly specified projectors that look great on graphics but very average on video image. Look at the blacks in the images and see if they are deep black or more of a greenish/grey colour, also check out the reds and ensure they dont look like they are bleeding.

Personally i think you should seek some proper specialist advice when considering the best projector for you needs and remember that just because five internet forums have raved about one particular model does not make it the best choice for your home. Why not contact a repair agent that repairs projectors and ask them for some advice, at least they arent trying to sell you one.

Good luck and happy viewing, aussiehifi

If you would like to know more then feel free to contact Aussie hi fi on 07 3823 1111 and we would be more than happy to assist.

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