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Discussion Starter #1
I have been researching projectors for quite sometime, and my search as finally led me to the home theater shack. I was hoping that someone could help me find a good alternative for a back yard home theater that would be cheap and effective, and portable. The summer nights in southern california are perfect for it & I travel often so I feel like a portable one would be benefit both personal and business end. I already have some 5.1 speakers and a good size wall, but the projector itself is what is causing me some grief. I'm trying to stay south of $400 bc I already spent big money on the in house.

I found that optoma, 3m, aaxa tech, and benq make good portable projectors.
 

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The hardest part with outdoor projection is dealing with light (same with indoors). You need a PJ that is pretty bright. I also want to do an outdoor system for in the summer.
 

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If I could control light in my yard I would happily set up my main projector to be easily moved outdoors for a movie...but then its an lcd and has a great brightness to begin with. Decent performance outdoors is even more problematic than indoors, I think you need to forego your plans until you can afford $1k.
 

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Lighting is the toughest part of any out door setup but I was only going to use it at night, with good weather conditions, of course. That helps eliminate many of the lighting condition problems. I haven't found many micro projectors if any that are packed with lumens. They mostly range around 100sih, which isn't anything. But it seems that some companies use RGB LED and phatlite to help compensate for the low lumens. The truth of this is to be determined of course. I will try to find some review/pics.

The best options I'm looking into are the aaxa tech m2 and the benq joybee gp1. Both around the same lumens, joybee $100 more, and the m2 has native 1024x768, but most importantly joybee uses dlp while m2 uses lcos...
 

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I am not sure about the brightness, but i know Epson has a couple of portables with built in players, my brother has been considering this same thing. I think it would be great to enjoy a movie in the outdoors.
 

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Can you give us more detail about the intended setup? For example:

  1. Screen size.
  2. Screen (wall) color.
  3. Projector location (distance to screen).
  4. Discription of any artificial lighting beyond your control which will spill onto your screen (i.e., neighbors flood lights, street lights, etc.).

Regards,
sga2
 

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I actually have a PJ that I use for backyard projection. I forget how many lumens it is - something like 1500.

I thought that the problem would be brightness....... but in reality, I think that maybe gets too much emphasis.

Ironically.... keeping cabling manageable, a good platform for the PJ and keeping it loud without bugging the neighbors all prove to be bigger concerns.

I bet a PJ over 1000 lumens would work - as long as things are relatively dark. The problem isn't even natural light - it's ambient artificial light that can be more of a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
1. Screen Size, hoping to get close to 75 inches inches
2. It'll be a pure white sheet, that will go over the wall.
3. The distance will be about 10 feet
4. Not too much lighting issues in the back yard. No street lighting issues & neighbors surprisingly don't have outdoor lights on at night.

But I would give the neighbors a heads up about my movie watching so they don't get too annoyed about the sound. Maybe ill just invite them over :)
 

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I don't think you'll have too much trouble getting a 75 inch image with minimal ambient light. Now the trick is going to be getting something, anything, under $400. VisualApex.com only has a few projectors that are less than $500:
Epson MovieMate 62 $499
Epson VS200$429
Vivitek D510 $415

There are several more listed without any price when you filter to "under $1000". You may want to call V-A for some guidance.

Regards,
sga2
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the advice!

I'm going to do some more research and then make my final decision. In the mean time i'll probably start setting up the back yard, the wiring is going to be a pain =\
 

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Just a thought...

Today I bought a mitsubishi hc3000 with 1400 hours on the original bulb for $275 (no shipping or tax), found it on craigslist. Its dlp so its not going to be as bright as an lcd, but you have great light control in your situation so it would be perfect. This is a great 720p projector that can be had for cheap and be within your budget. You wont find a bad review on this projector, its a little limited on placement but should still work good for you...

Heres one on ebay, they dont list what the projector has for overall hours (you might want to write him and ask), but it does have a brand new lamp (replacement lamps are about $160)...not a bad deal for $450 and free shipping.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Mitsubishi-HC30...ultDomain_0&hash=item41551c7db5#ht_500wt_1156
 
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