Last night, I attempted to set up my new projector. The presence of the word “attempted” should clue you in that this story doesn’t have a happy ending.
On the way home, I picked up a ceiling mount for the projector, since I knew from my research that the throw angle is fairly limited, and that for it to work up high, the projector would need to be upside-down. Ceiling mounts aren’t cheap, this one was $150.
I got home and unpacked the projector. The day before, piles of cardboard fresh in my mind, I broke down the shipping box it came in (though not the product box). I set up the projector on the shelf for starters, just to confirm, yeah, I was gonna need to mount it upside-down. I got out the mount and started to assemble it.
Before I finished, though, I thought “I could get an idea of the image quality if I just put the projector upside-down on the shelf, with some shims under it.” A rickety setup, but good enough that I could see what the image would look like.
Here I discovered the fatal flaw of this projector. The throw distance is not adjustable enough. Throw distance is the size of the image on the wall relative to the size of your screen. There is a lens adjustment that lets you make the image bigger or smaller, but there are upper and lower bounds of the adjustment, that is the range of your throw distance.
In my case, I was outside that range. At the lower limit of the size, the image was still way too big. Meaning for it to work with my screen, the projector would have to be physically closer to the screen. Not possible in my room, it would either have to dangle from the ceiling from a long pole (from the approximate spot currently occupied by a ceiling fan), or sit on a pedestal directly behind the couch.
Alternatively, I could completely rearrange the room, but moving everything 90Âº has additional issues besides the manual labor, making it unfeasible.
So I have to return the projector and continue researching a suitable replacement. I requested a return from Amazon, but of course I disposed of the shipping box (and all the other boxes in my house). Maybe I can ship it in the product box, or buy a suitable box at the post office.
I did do more research on the condition of my current projector, and I’m pretty sure it’s the blue LCD panel that needs replacing, not the blue polarizer. The optical block is around a $600 part, with $100+ of labor to have it replaced (I’ve heard it compared to heart surgery on the forums, not a user-serviceable part). So at $700 or more to fix, getting a new projector is definitely the way to go.
There is an Epson 1080p projector that has gotten rave reviews, but it’s $2500, kind of above my price range. Hopefully I can find a suitable 720p projector for under $1000.
Tonight I’ll return the projector mount. Hopefully Best Buy won’t charge me a 15% restocking fee because I opened it. =(