Advice on projector for conference rooms

tazz85

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Aug 25, 2011
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Hi, I'm relatively new to projectors. I work in one hotel with one big and couple of small rooms. I'd prefer short-throw projectors. Projecting screens are 150x150 and 200x200. For now I've decided on these models:

BenQ MS521P This the cheapest and has all required inputs/outputs, but I don't know will it be good enough?

NEC V260X
BenQ MX620ST
BenQ MW621ST

I've heard that Mitsubishi are better than NEC, off-course more-expensive, but they've recently stopped production.
Mitsubishi EX241U

Mitsubishi EX321U-ST

I see that on ebay there are replacement lamps which for mitsubishi are 50-150 USD, which is afforable. Somebody told me that after couple of years - maybe 5 it has to be replaced or I need to buy a new projector??? I'm not sure

Thank you.
 

jFiveNYC

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Mar 28, 2014
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All the above manufacturers you listed make excellent projectors. Sharp is another brand to consider. A call to a provider of in-house A/V to hotel properties would not help. They may be a dealer or could strike a deal for a used piece. PSAV, PRG and Alliance are massive, nationwide providers of corporate and event AV production. These companies specialize in providing hotel in-house services and, if in your area, would be available for contact work that may be budget friendly. They'll also provide a technical staff that is very familiar with A/V equipment should something go awry. And if something dies, they will replace or repair the item. Remember, you will forward the expense to the client.

A little projector theory...

The distance needed for a projector's lens to fill the necessary space of your intended screen size is refereed to as the "throw distance" or "throw ratio." This will be measured in feet or meters and is the minimum distance required to completely fill the screen. This factor is a function of the lens affixed or attached to the projector. A projector lens with the shortest "throw" possible with be your best friend in a hotel. For example, a projector will have a throw distance of 12 feet to fill a 6' x 8' screen. So the projector will need a minimum of 12 feet from the front of the projection screen to fill said 6x8 screen. Here's a site with lots of numbers and math. It's from the US government agency NOAA, and we know thu guvrmint aLwayz lyke gutz stuf write.
- http://sos.noaa.gov/Support/Projector_Throw_Distance_For_SOS.html

Projectors on the professional level frequently feature interchangeable lenses depending on the application. A short throw lens for a small conference room can be swapped to a long throw lens where placement in close proximity to the screen is not possible. Here is a link with a super handy, web-based throw distance calculator:
- http://www.christiedigital.com/en-us/product-support/throw-distance-calculator/pages/default.aspx
- iPhone App: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/projector-throw-ratio/id515838024?mt=8

So this means you have a little homework to do before moving further. You'll need to determine the possible placement(s) of the projector relative to the screens in your hotel. Keeping in mind the probable table, podium and chair layouts. Once you have these numbers, you can proceed on making a decision on which projector fits your budget, has the appropriate input connectors, an acceptable built-in speaker if necessary and a projector that has a lens capable of meeting your required needs.

The life of a projector lamp will be based on "use hours" and the operating environment, i.e. temperature. The latter is not a factor since you're in an office with a controlled environment. Most projectors will have a section of the menu that will list the hours of operation. Often times allowing you to reset the hours when you replace a lamp.

Often times with lower end projectors, the cost of a replacement lamp will be very close to the price of a replacement projector.

Something to note regarding your screen sizes. You noted screen sizes of 150" x 150" and 200" x 200". Are these portable screens or permanently installed in the wall? You may want to consider purchasing screens that are 16:9 or widescreen and not the square screens with a 1:1 ratio. While you won't necessarily always fill a 16:9 screen, it's better that projecting a widescreen video feed beyond the 1:1 screen. Just sayin' dawg. You ain't mad bro?
 
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