LCD projector selection help desperately needed
September 20, 2004 10:13 AM   Subscribe

LCD projector selection help desperately needed (see inside for details).

I am on the board of a 501(c)3 organization, and we need to buy an LCD projector for conferences. We have a budget of $2500; we'd like to include a sturdy case inside that budget, too, but we can flex on that. The budget doesn't include additional bulbs/bulb assemblies, so we need to consider the price of those. We care about new and the source (vs used - or eBay), because we need some kind of service agreement and warranty. It will be used in small to medium rooms, with audiences of 30 to 50 people, for presentations (eg, in PowerPoint and browsers; we won't be showing movies). It will be used at quarterly and annual meetings. We've had trouble renting for less than $250 a pop, so even it only lasts for 3 years, the convenience of having it is worth paying a similar price to rentals over time, and knowing it's available makes it easier for us to experiment with adding events to our schedule. We know we need to accommodate Macs and PCs, and have a remote, and we can figure out desirable lumens based on audience size, but there's still, like, a billion models and makers and rebranded projectors out there. I'd love some help understanding what's what and who makes it - and especially what to avoid.
posted by caitlinb to Technology (6 answers total)
We've had very good luck with both InFocus and Toshiba projectors. As far as bulb replacements go, they are very expensive, as you probably know. I usually buy all my projector bulbs from Rayvern but these prices may not be the best (Rayvern InFocus bulbs) and (Rayvern Toshiba bulbs).
posted by Lynsey at 10:39 AM on September 20, 2004

InFocus X1 - $1000
posted by jasondigitized at 12:47 PM on September 20, 2004

i bought a BenQ 6200 a month or two ago and i couldn't be happier. The projector is simple to use, is clearly visible in daylight (well, not strong daylight but a lit room) and is an incredible price for the quality (around $1500, which leaves allot of cash for case and extra lamps). oh, and it makes a great home theatre :)
posted by NGnerd at 10:12 PM on September 20, 2004

[insert exclamatory profanity here] Those are BULB prices!?!?!? How long do these gems last? I lust for a projector at home, but with bulbs at that price, it sounds like the projector isn't the issue!
posted by Goofyy at 11:55 PM on September 20, 2004

I don't actually know the rated bulb life of these products, but I believe they are included in the specs, in teeny tiny print, of various projectors. I have only had to buy one, over the maybe 8 years we've had our 2 InFocus projectors. Good projector use practice seems to includes not leaving the projector on when it's not in use and turning the lamp off and leaving the fan on for a bit before you shut it down.
posted by Lynsey at 9:55 AM on September 21, 2004

Ok, this is too ironic. Right after I posted last, guess what? Yep, our other InFocus LP350 blew its bulb. Having deemed Rayvern way too expensive for LCD bulbs, I shopped around, even talking with a sales rep at InFocus, who told me they were out of stock, but who referred me to one of their resellers, who had the bulb in question at a mere $359 (plus tax and shipping, of course). Note: I do buy all my overhead projector bulbs from Rayvern, whose prices for those are the best I've yet found.
posted by Lynsey at 2:46 PM on September 21, 2004

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