Get yourself a projector


Active Member
Well I borrowed an old InFocus LitePro 720 projector from work today to try it out in the entertainment room, the projector is about 5 or so years old. I wanted to see how well the lighting control in the room is and to see the largest picture I could comfortably project without getting the 'front row' neck syndrome or eye strain as well as getting a feel for the lumens. I wanted to get the feel for myself because you can only get so much out of reviews and posts.
Here are some specs on the 720
Display Specification
Type: 3 x 1.3-inch polysilicon TFT LCDs, with dichroic optical system for enhanced color accuracy and saturation
Resolution: True 800 x 600 SVGA, with intelligent compression for 1,024 x 768 XGA. Resizing for 640x480 VGA and Mac computer images
Brightness 450 Lumens, ANSI 9-point measurement
Contrast Ratio 300:1
Colors 16.7 Million
Zoom Lens Range 1:1.3 from wide-angle to telephoto. Manual zoom & focus.
Zoom Lens Ratio Wide-angle .76:1
Telephoto .57:1
(Diagonal Image Size:Distance from screen) See LP720/730 Image Size Calculator.

Aspect Ratio 4:3
Focus Range Wide-angle: 30-300" (.76m - 7.62m)
Telephoto: 21-210" (.53m - 5.33m)
Keystone Correction Wide-angle: corrected for 13° projection angle
Telephoto: corrected for 10° projection angle
(angle from center of lens to center of image is 10-13 degrees depending on zoom lens setting).
Lamp 150-watt Metal Halide with 2,000 hrs life. User replaceable.

The lighting control in the room is average and even with the lights in the room on full the picture was still as bright as the TV picture. This gives me hope because the lumens with the newer projectors are at least 750 and even with the 450 lumens of this projector I felt the brightness was adequate.

I watched The Matrix, Alien and The Two Towers all projected to a glorious 63 inches. I feel I could project a picture of about 80 inches comfortably in this room with no risk of neck injury and eye strain. Because of the age and capability of this projector a picture of this size was blurry, pixilated and washed out but at sixty something inches the picture was surprisingly good. The first two movies I choose because they had a lot of dark scenes and they projected and contrasted very well. I don't have a screen yet so it was projected onto the wall, which is painted light beige (Benjamin Moore's Wilmington Tan according to my wife). Even with an old projector, poor lighting control and no screen my wife and I were still impressed with the clarity of the picture. It has just added more to our desire to get a projector of our own and I believe it moved up the purchase date to ASAP.
For those of you who are considering upgrading their entertainment room I seriously suggest forgoing the big screens, LCD's or Plasmas and go for a projector. If you have the means to rent or borrow one for a few days you will be sold.