22 August 2008

Portable Home Theatre

High tech homes may come with home theatre, but most of us put the pieces together one at a time, to our benefit. A data projector that is portable can display movies on the living room wall but also travel to vacation locations. (One holiday at a resort, we projected the image of a Christmas tree on the wall.)

A serviceable projector costs $600. Professional quality display will more likely be more than $1000. The sort that is highly visible in a day-lit room will be more than $2000. (Compare lumens.) I have a preference among current technology, for DLP projectors, but I remind myself that we will see these products continuously improve and it's not smart to marry any one variety.

Replacement lamps are expensive. Mine cost almost $400 and still hasn't been used in 4 years. (It does provide great peace of mind but if you don't have a concern about quick replacement, this is a purchase than can be pushed off.) The cost you won't be able to avoid is the computer to provide images for the projector. I have a particular laptop I like for this purpose because it has easy-to-set-up speakers.

Before you buy a projection screen, take the projector home and try it out on various walls. (I actually prefer display on a white or off-white wall, even with the occasional light switch as part of the movie.) Even if you later decide to purchase a screen, you can use the try-out period to determine what dimensions will suit you best. Then, you can shop on the Internet for great prices.

I had help from my friend The Artist in locating a widescreen version through a supplier specializing in sales to churches. The supplier didn't mind a bit that I wasn't a church. I use that screen only outside my home (presenting seminars) because I really do prefer to watch home movies on my home wall.

Little appreciated factoid about data projectors:
In winter, they warm the room for you.

© 2008 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

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