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There are many different brands of home theater projectors, and some are more popular than others. However, most name brands will have what you are looking for to make a great home projector experience. The home theater projectors that are not as popular as others will probably offer the same benefits a more popular brand might, but at a less expensive price. Leading Brands: Mitsubishi, Toshiba and Sanyo projectors.
If you are looking for a dramatically large movie screen for your home theatre, you need to look beyond plasma screens. Look to home theater projectors. LCD and DLP projectors are capable of turning your home theatre room into a true cinema-like environment. Plasma screens today are topping out at a little over 60 inches diagonal.
With a home theatre projector, you can project twice that large and more! If you have a large enough room that you can put your LCD or DLP projector further back, you can project an image as large as your living room wall!
If you're new to projectors and are on a budget, consider the TDP-MT200 for a well rounded product offering valuable features, but not too many to make you overwhelmed. This Toshiba projector is easy to use as well. If you have a little more money to spend you may want to go for the TDP-MT500 because of the added features, although it is meant for advanced users. If you're a home theater guru and money is of no concern, you're going to want the TDP-MT800 for maximum features and performance. It doesn't get any better than this.
Component cables look similar to RCA or Composite cables, however the signal improvement with component cables is substantial. Home Theater component cables divide the image from the system into three separate colors for the best possible picture, where as composite cables are the yellow (video) and red, white (audio) connections that come standard with game systems these days. Component video improves the picture quality by not only separating the color from the black-and-white portions of the picture but by further splitting the color information into two color-difference signals. When the home theater projector signal is split up in this way, you get an unfiltered, uninterrupted image, with better resolution and greatly improved color saturation. This is why component video is the predominant method of hookup from HDTV set-top decoders to HDTVs.
Other things to consider once you have chosen a fabric are styles of screens. You can get a permanent wall mounted screen, a manual pull down screen, or electric screen or even a portable screen that would allow you to have a mobile home theatre (which is great way to keep friends from moving in to your house permanently!). Here is a look at what screens will work with which fabrics:
In order to use a high contrast screen fabric or some of the fabrics that increase gain, you have to have a permanently mounted screen or tab-tensioned electric. The reason for this is these materials are very spongy and need to be pulled taught in every direction to be most effective.
For those of you who are looking to utilize a living room for a home theatre and therefore do not want a screen open on the wall all the time should look at manual and electric screens.
The next step in a retractable screen is the electric. Electric screens hard wire into your home and work on a three position wall switch (up, down, and stop). Tab tensioned electric screens allow a perfectly flat image by having the screen pulled taught, both vertically and horizontally.
Large screen TV's are a great step into the world of bigger home theater, but like all things they have a few drawbacks. Pricing hasn't changed much on big screen TVs in the last few years, though formats have. Now there are flat screen TV's that are in both Widescreen format as well as standard TV style 4:3. With each new technology that surfaces, big screen TVs are trying to become more like home theater projectors.
The major downfall to large screen TVs is the sheer magnitude of the set itself. This makes rearranging a room difficult and moving a huge chore. But what if your home theater consisted of a much larger screen, and a much smaller box? That's the beauty of home theater projectors. Front projection home theaters are the size of a laptop computer, but can project a movie the size of your living room wall. Find out why a home theater projector should be the cornerstone of your home theater.
Screen gain is how much light the screen will reflect back to the viewer. Home theater screens with higher screen gain will actually give the appearance of a brighter image.
For example: a High Power Screen with a 2.3 gain will take an 800 lumen projector and make it appear as if it is actually 1,840 lumens. Sounds perfect, right? Don't get too excited yet.
It is important to know that when you increase the gain of the screen, you also decrease the viewing angle. This means that the more you cross a 45 degree angle, the darker the image will get. Depending on how your home theater projector and home theater seating area is arranged, you could get a brilliant video image or lackluster one.
There are some screens on the market that actually have a screen gain less than 1.0. A screen that has a gain of less than 1.0 is called a High Contrast Fabric screen. These screens are great for darkening up the contrast ratio (or black levels) to give a more cinematic effect.
Today you are capable of the purest video using Digital Video Interface (DVI) cables. However, DVI home theater cables are still in development and there is no universal standard for the DVI cable. Under ideal circumstances, the DVI home theater cable creates a ‘digital to digital' connection between video or data source and the home theater projector. There are, however, only limited situations when this ideal circumstance occurs.
The general rule with DVI cables is that 5m (16ft) is the maximum length for trouble-free operation. Some have been able to use inexpensive cables for slightly longer runs, but they are the exception -- not the rule.
HDCP over DVI is a recent development in the world of consumer electronics. The new HDCP content protection standard has expanded the use of DVI in high definition DVD players and HDTV set top boxes.
Want to find out which cable is best for your home theater projector?
Plasma screens are a fantastic technology both for video projectors and data. It allows very bright true images and takes up very little space since it hangs from your wall.
So what are the drawbacks? There are actually a few drawbacks to this technology that might make you want to consider a home theater projector over a plasma screen. First, they are incredibly expensive. A 60" diagonal plasma will run over $8,000.00 and can weigh over 100 lbs. This means you must have a special plasma mount hung on a reinforced beam for it to not come crashing down on your floor and turning into the most expensive paperweight ever made.
Want to compare plasma screens to home theater projectors? Home theater projectors are becoming increasingly affordable. Ranging in price from less than a thousand dollars to $6000 for a phenomenal home theater projector, you'll still have enough money to buy a premium sound system with the money you save over buying a plasma screen.
When you think of home theater, what comes to mind? Sitting on a big comfortable couch with a bowl full of popcorn the size of you head (that didn't cost $9.00 at a concession stand) and watching a movie the size of your entire wall.
Home Theater means BIG images, BIG sound and a HUGE experience. Some people will say that a 50" big screen TV and a good sound system will give the true home theater experience. Truthfully, these people have never watched a movie 8' tall by 10' wide, with earth shaking sound.
A home theater projector is your answer to true home theater. Once you watch your first movie projected
from a front projection home theater, your big screen TV will find a new home in the in-law suite. Check out why every home theater should have a home theater projector as its main component. Your friends and neighbors will thank you.
How much should you pay for a home theater projector? You should be able to find a home projector with acceptable SVGA or more-acceptable XGA resolution for under $2,000. Any of the projectors you find at this price point will offer all the features needed to make your den into your own private screening room.
Producing the sharpest video possible takes more than a good home theatre projector and a quality, progressive scan DVD player. The link between the two devices is also critical. The cables you choose for your home theatre can mean the difference between a spectacular image and a lackluster one.
The BNC cable is one cable that home theatre enthusiasts often rely on. It is simply a more secure RCA cable. This home theatre cable is the same as the RCA home theatre cable, except for the connecting ends. Each end of the BNC cable features a connector that attaches to the projector and locks with a twist. BNC cables are a possible solution in environments where there is considerable interference, or where running new twisted pair wire is not feasible.
Screens make a difference for home theater projectors. Everything from quality, resolution, brightness and glare will be affected. You also want to keep durability in mind. Here are some tips for purchasing a home cinema projector screens:
* If you've invested in a widescreen format projector, you need to get a widescreen screen, too.
* If space is limited, consider a portable projection screen that rolls into the screen case, or a traditional tri-pod screen that can be folded up and put away.
* Consider screen gain – how much light your screen can capture – especially if you're going to be dealing with ambient light in the room.
* Consider a gray screen for improved contrast.
Wiring is probably the most difficult issue to overcome with your home theater projector. The projector is behind you and usually mounted to the ceiling and your sound system, cable box, DVD or any other electronics will most likely be in front of you. Because of this, many wires need to be connected and hidden. You'll want to hide the wires inside your walls if possible, but that can be time consuming and expensive. An alternative is to use wall stripping which will cover the wires on your walls and camouflage with the wall color, these strippings cost only a few dollars. Keep this in mind when purchasing your new home theater projector and make sure you ask if there are any other options recommended by the manufacturer before purchasing.
Projector lamps for your home theater projector will be something you need to keep in mind as they are expensive. They can run you anywhere from $200 to $1000, with an average price of about $350. Life span can be anywhere from 1,000 hours up to 4,000 hours. When you make the purchase for your new home theater projector make sure you are aware of the life and cost of the lamp your new system will use. This may actually become a determining factor in the choice you make, since the replacement cost for lamps are all part of the overall investment for your projector.
The true downside to CRT projectors is the level of brightness and range of maintenance involved. In terms of brightness, even the top of the line CRT projectors top out at about 500 lumens.
Now in comparison with something like the NEC LT265 DLP projector, which has 2500 lumens of brightness and a much stronger contrast ratio, it begs the question of how important is having no pixels when you can gain so much more from another technology?
Fortunately, today's home theater projectors offer a vast choice of both LCD and DLP projectors that feature enough brightness than you can watch a movie with the lights on!
Discover the difference in DLP projectors and LCD projectors with brightness, great video quality and affordability.
TVs in the 1950s featured composite video inputs. In my opinion, any technology that is over fifty years old will usually not measure-up to the likes of today's technological advances. Yet, composite cables (also known as RCA cables) are still the most widely used cables today since most every piece of video electronics features composite inputs. Typically, RCA cables are color-coded: red, white, and yellow. Red is for right channel audio. White is for left channel audio. Yellow is for video.
For a home theater projector, your goal is to produce great video only – your audio will play through separate speakers, not the projector. Therefore, two of the RCA cables are useless and the entire video signal is transmitted by one cable. It stands to reason that these cables offer the most video degradation producing a poorer video image than one with component video cables. Sophisticated high-resolution displays will show all of the compression artifacts and cross-color (or moiré) blurring that comes with a composite video connection.
There are lots of different home theater projectors available but it can be overwhelming if you've never had one and don't know what you're looking for. Most of them have similar features and your pocket book may decide what system you get, although there are systems designed for newcomers. The Epson PowerLite 76c, the Microtek CX6, the Hitachi CP-RX60, and the Sharp Notevision XR-10X all receive solid reviews with the novice in mind and are priced under $1,000. But remember to check the brightness rating (lumens) as well as the resolution, so that you don't shortchange your viewing experience in exchange for saving a few bucks.
S-Video, which was introduced in the 1980s, solved some of the problems that came with composite video. S-video cables differ from composite video cables in that they split video signal into two different components: luminance and chrominance. The quality of video these produce are a much better and clearer video signal on the screen than the composite video cables. The reason for this fact is due to that with S-Video cables, the video signal is split up into its elementary characteristics of chrominance & luminance. Whereas with the composite video cable, chrominance & luminance values are blended together which results in a little less quality in the video signal. This improvement makes for much better home theater video.
Prices for you home theater projector will vary with the features and quality you're looking for. An introductory projector with the novice in mind can cost under $1,000, but one with solid resolution and brightness will run you around $1800. For those of you with a designated home theater and must have all the features and the best quality available, you find pricing to be at about $3000. But high-end systems go as high as $9,000. Because pricing varies dramatically, you can comparison shop for systems yourself using the Internet as a tool, by visiting comparison and review Web sites.
Also, with rear projection big screen TVs, the image will become darker the more you break a 45-degree angle from the screen. This smaller viewing angle may not be a factor if you have a limited space. However, if your home theatre or living room is set-up with seats at all angles, a home theatre projector is best. You can view a projected image from a front projection home theatre most any angle and the image will not darken or degrade. If viewing angle is a factor in choosing which home theatre technology to use, front projection home theatre is your best choice.
There is a lot that a CRT projector user must know. CRT projectors have three tubes in them, also known as guns. One tube is for red, one for blue and one for green. When one of these tubes dies, you have to replace all three, which tends to get very expensive, not to mention tedious. The next thing to look at is convergence. With a CRT projector there is a lot of work that goes into making sure the image is set right between the three tubes and that they are all firing with the same intensity. Also arranging the horizontal and vertical syncs and calibrating the machine overall, can make for a fun filled Sunday afternoon.
CRT's are not really available new any longer because the call for the technology just isn't there any more since the advent of the newer LCD projectors and DLP projectors. The advantages of
LCD projectors and DLP projectors for home theater are numerous. But for starters, all you need to do to start watching a movie, is turn on the DVD Player and turn on the home theater projector. And maybe make a bowl of popcorn.
Not only do plasma screens burn out over time, an image can also get burned into a plasma screen. Let's say you are a weather junkie. You wake up in cold sweats because you just can't stop watching The Weather Channel. First of all, you have bigger problems than image burn at this point, but I digress. When watching a station such as this, for advertising purposes, the station will leave a logo in one of the upper or lower corners all of the time. When left on this channel for a few hours, The Weather Channel logo will eventually burn right into the plasma screen. This logo could appear no matter what you watch on the plasma screen.
On the other hand, home theater projectors do not have this problem of image burn. Pause your video and leave the room for a week and the image will not be burned on the projector or the screen.
One of the most frustrating things about a home theater projector will be the lighting in your home. Sunlight tends to fade the lighting quality and will make blacks look grayer. Keep in mind when purchasing a home theater projector that you'll want to be able to install it in a room which you can control the lighting, whether it be natural or electric lighting. If that's not possible, try using dark blinds or curtains, or projecting away from the light instead of toward it. Of course, higher-gain screens and brighter projectors will make a difference, too. But be prepared to pay more, sometimes a lot more for those features.
The first thing that comes to mind for many people when they think of home theater systems is movies. However, there are many other things that can be enjoyed if you have a home theater system. If you like playing games, your gaming system can be connected to the home theater system, offering great surround sound and picture quality when playing. If you're someone who likes showing slide shows to friends and family members, hooking your computer up to the home theater system is not difficult, and can give you a viewing experience you never knew possible.
Mitsubishi offers two new wide-screen, high-definition home theater projectors. Mitsubishi projectors offer introductory pricing, but offer some high-end features that will make your home theater a true screening room. The HC3000U offers high-definition resolution (WXGA) and 1,000 lumens of brightness for about $2500. Add another $500 for the HD4000U and you can double the brightness to 4,000 lumens.
Casio projectors are geared toward business and educational purposes, but can be adapted for home use. If you're looking for a versatile home theater projector that will offer you the ability to make presentations by day and show movie clips and photo scrapbooks by night, you might consider Casio. Consider the XJ-560 or XJ-360.
Now that you've purchased your home theatre projector what else do you need? Most likely you'll want to mount your projector on the ceiling, but it usually does not come standard with the system so you'll want to buy a separate kit for this. And if you're going to get a home theater projector, surround sound is a must. Investing in a 5.1 digital surround sound system will do wonders for your home theater. You will have to connect it all together so make sure to think about wiring and how to hide those wires using something like wall stripping. With this in mind, you're sure to have a great theater experience.
Plasma screens, just like the lamps in a LCD or DLP projector have a set life to them and will eventually burn out. Most plasma screens have a life of 20,000-30,000 hours. Now this may seem like a lot, but again there are some things you should know. Plasma brightness is identical to the way UHP lamps in projectors work…on half-lives. At 10,000 hours you will be at half the brightness you started with, and at the full 20,000 or 30,0000 hours the image will be so dark and distorted, that it is actually no longer watchable.
In comparison, a home theater projector has a 2,000 hour lamp. Changing a lamp is a fraction of the cost of replacing an entire plasma screen.
One of the main reasons to have a home theater projector is to have the best theater experience possible, to make it feel like you're really at the theater. Most projectors come with an analog speaker built in which will leave you sadly disappointed if this is all you have to work with. If you're going to invest in a home theater projector, then surround sound is a must. You'll want to look into a surround sound system, preferably 7.1 for the best possible sound quality. This means you will need to invest in a stereo receiver that is Dolby digital capable, preferably 7.1. And then you're going to need speakers, which you can purchase as a group or one-by-one, as needed. Of course, this is going to add a lot more to the overall cost of the home theater. But if you want the full experience, it is necessary.
CRT Projectors are big. No even bigger. You may have read about CRT projectors or spoken to a friend that recommends the image quality because there are no visible pixels. What you may not know is that this projector is a beast and can be as large as a coffee table and weigh 150-200 pounds. Do you want a 200 lb object hanging over your head as you watch Ferris Bueller's Day Off? Too large to move, a nightmare to ceiling mount and imagine if you need to take it down to be repaired. The CRT projector is a relic of a projector that produces a good image at a huge price and huge size.
On the other end of the spectrum, DLP projectors and LCD projectors offer all of the benefits of great home theater video quality, and weighing in at a mere fraction of the CRT projectors. Ranging from 3-15 pounds, most DLP and LCD home theater projectors give you the option of setting them on a table, taking them with you to a friend's house, or doubling as your workplace presentation projector.