Here is a way of saving money and getting more with less if you are considering buying a big screen TV.
I have found a way to get excellent picture quality on a huge screen for much less than you would expect to pay. My screen size is a whopping 90 inches! LCD TVs in the 65 inch range run around $2500 – $3000. How much did I pay for having the largest screen in my neighbourhood? $500.00!
Quite simply, I bought a data projector and a projection screen. Yes, I know that some of you TV afficionados may be rolling your eyes right now; “But the picture quality is just not the same”, “You can’t use it except in a very dark room”, “that sucks”. Hold your horses afficionados. If you feel that strongly about your opinion, then be my guest; spend $3000 on a TV. At least here me out.
I do not have cable and watch only a few shows or movies per week. I am not an afficionado. I am just a casual TV watcher who wanted to find a better option for watching my favourite movies. I considered a large-screen TV, but found the costs (even though prices continue to get significantly better and better all the time) to be unjustifiable based upon my needs. I just don’t watch that much TV. I just wanted to enjoy the few shows and movies that I do watch just a bit more.
I saw a Viewsonic PJD5112 along with a 90 inch pull down screen by Elite Screens bundle for $500 bucks at Future Shop. This price was one of the really great prices that do come out occasionally if you wait and look through your fliers religiously. For that price, I figured, why not give it a shot. I have not been disappointed.
I have attached my XBOX 360 to the projector and can show DVDs directly with it and avi files with an external hard drive that connects to the XBOX 360. You do need to have something that can read the file before it is sent to the data projector. Most gaming systems will do it no problem. You can also choose from a variety of multimedia players made by Western Digital and the like. The system works seamlessly in this regard.
The projector is bright and I have no problems playing it in moderate ambient light in my living room. Yes, I can watch stuff in the middle of the day as long as my blinds are at least mostly closed (NOTE TO SELF: I should write a review about this projector).
The screen is a beauty and it is mounted directly onto my wall. It is a pull up screen so I can raise it when I am not watching it. This is another of the key advantages of this approach; there is no floor space being used. This is a big plus if you do not like the look of a huge TV taking up prominent or limited living space. You simply roll up the screen when you are not using it.
The only unresolved question is the cost of the replacement bulb when the one that I have burns out. Most bulbs are rated at around 2000 hours. If I watch one movie per night (365 x 2 = 730 hours), I should expect my bulb to last approximately three years. Even if I have to buy a new $200 bulb at that point, I am still way below the cost of buying a comparable-in-size smaller-screened LCD or Plasma TV (roughly $2500 – $3000 USD) at current prices. Maybe the prices will be so low at that point that I might reconsider buying an actual TV.
This is one of the best purchases that I have made recently. My friends have commented on how great the picture looks and what a great idea it was (although I am certain that I am not the first person to think of this). I would recommend this frugal approach. I hope you consider it. Enjoy your savings.
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