New TV or Replace Projector?

scubalab
scubalab Posts: 3,100
We've been running an Epson HC 8350 for quite a while now. It gets a LOT of use as it's our main TV viewing room. I've replaced the lamp 4 or 5 times to the tune of $275 a pop since we got it about 8 or 9 years ago. It's been amazing, and is in need of a new lamp again. As I do every time I've changed the lamp, I'm considering either upgrading the projector, or going with a large screen TV. We currently have a 92" screen and that's as big of a screen that we can fit in this theater. So, I'm considering either upgrading the projector to a new 4k LED or Laser PJ, or just getting an 85" TV.

We're leaning towards a TV since the cables in the ceiling to the PJ mount are dated and I'd have to rip into the ceiling to run new cables if necessary to get the most out of a new PJ. Also tired of the new lamp every 1.5-2 years. I know the Laser PJs have long life and the LED, even longer, so that's still an option.

Budget is around $2000, and I know that limits things. Looking for recommendations.

Selection of projectors is limited within that budget - laser PJs are more than LED. Seems like LED would work fine for us (longer life, but lower lumen levels). We have a light controlled room, so lumen levels are not that critical. Found this one, but reviews are mixed...

https://lg.com/us/home-video/lg-hu70la

As for TVs, it looks like we can get quite a few different brands/technologies in that price range. I think OLED would be out of budget, but QLED (Samsung) might not. I know Sony was recommended a couple years ago when we were considering changing to a TV. Is there a TV that stands out among others in the 85" size?

Two options I looked at briefly:

https://bestbuy.com/site/samsung-85-class-q70a-series-qled-4k-uhd-smart-tizen-tv/6452061.p?skuId=6452061&ref=212&loc=1&gclid=Cj0KCQjwpImTBhCmARIsAKr58cxG1exFUzILL-Dig9j5zk0opKETt8cOa5Iwx9-5C_movrYX5jq5RmMaAur4EALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

https://amazon.com/dp/B08XLDLRBH?tag=track-ect-usa-51847-20&linkCode=osi&th=1

Room is 10x20 with 7.2 surround, fully light controlled. Most viewing is done from 15-20 feet away. Front wall is reinforced for a TV mount and right above AV equipment, so routing wires will be simple if we go with a TV.

"Smart" capabilities are not necessary, although it looks like most new TVs come that way.

So, what should we do?

Comments

  • Emlyn
    Emlyn Posts: 4,335
    I was looking into projectors a few weeks ago and noticed that the good 4K ones are up around $4K and up and most of them are backordered or out of stock.

    If the right for you 85" class TV is available in the $2K range I'd go for that since you have the mount in place and it's not too far off the max projector screen size you have. It may be worth it to go up a class in panel quality though.
  • pitdogg2
    pitdogg2 Posts: 24,323
    edited April 2022
    85" and 2K that is a tough nut to crack. My Sony 950 was $1800.00 and the larger was closer to 3k.

    I'd still look into Sony they have been pretty consistently in the top 3. I've not been a fan of the Samsung's they look way too cartoony for my viewing pleasure.
    Not too long ago the Sams clubs were blowing out the top of the line Vizio P series 75" because of the new. Might be worth a look to compare. BB has carried the OLED Vizio and I thought they look pretty stellar but then again they all look better in the store :smile:

    Vizio P-Series Quantum X

    Only available in a massive 85-inch screen size, the P-Series Quantum X will make its triumphant return in 2021. The highlights of the screen this year are the higher peak brightness and wider color gamut of 3,000 nits and 85% of REC2020, plus the 792 local dimming zones. Once again the LED-LCD TV will use the IQ Ultra Processor and will support the latest game consoles at 4K/120. There's Dolby Vision HDR as well as HDR10, HDR10+ and HLG, and the TV comes with the new voice remote.
  • scubalab
    scubalab Posts: 3,100
    Yeah, I know the budget restricts things. I am finding some TVs and PJs in that range, but obviously would want to get the best bang for the buck.

    I'm a little confused (actually, haven't researched deeply enough) over the differences between the 'series' of Sony TVs. I.E. the X85J, X91J, X95J, etc. Looks like there are different first and last letters too! Also noticed the 900 and 950 series appear to be 2020 models? So confusing!
  • pitdogg2
    pitdogg2 Posts: 24,323
    Mine was XBR950G So the next year would have been H and so on J could be current year. In My year I believe it went 850, 900, 950 then you jumper into the master series.
    So what you listed could be current year and they dropped the zero. My XBR950G was the TOTL of the XBR series then you jumper to the Master series which was a different panel all together and the very TOTL they made. The very TOTL will be the OLED panels today. Word of warning on the OLED from Sony. They do have burn in issues and it is not always a static image ( example station logos or games that have a banner that never changes). I've seen red areas within the image and other distortions from just watching regular TV. Those historically have not been covered under warranty.
  • Emlyn
    Emlyn Posts: 4,335
    True on the OLED displays and potential screen burn in. I only use my OLED panel for watching widescreen movies. For that the picture quality can't be beat. They also start to dim after years of use.
    Traditional LED tech is best for general sports/news/TV watching. I don't mind leaving those running all day long.
  • scubalab
    scubalab Posts: 3,100
    Would love OLED, but cannot spend that much! Plus, this TV is mainly used for TV, sports, streaming tv/movies, and Blu ray movies. So, sounds like traditional LED would be fine for us. Looks like both the Sony (X91J) and Samsung (Q70A) are full array. The Sony looks like it is the better of these two (has local dimming and gets a little better reviews/ratings) and might be worth the extra $200... I do trust the Sony name a bit more than Samsung. Yes, the Samsungs I've seen do seem to be a little fake looking (cartoon-y).

    Hoping the slightly smaller screen won't make that much of a difference. That's the only hold-back in nixing the PJ...
  • AsSiMiLaTeD
    AsSiMiLaTeD Posts: 11,722
    If it were me I wouldn’t pick now as the time to upgrade if you have a choice. I think we’re a couple years away from OLED being widely available at low prices, and once you see OLED it’s really hard to go back to anything else.

    The burn in issues with OLED are mostly overblown, and really not a major issue on current generation products from LG and Sony.

    If you like what you have now my vote would be to replace the bulb and wait a couple years for the tech to come down in price.
  • scubalab
    scubalab Posts: 3,100
    edited April 2022
    Yeah, part of me agrees with that, but with that mindset, and how quickly technology changes, We’ll put it off forever! We did that the last time we replaced the lamp 2-3 years ago. 4k (and giant screen) was the expensive tech and we waited until that came down in price. Now it’s 8k and OLED. In another couple years, it’ll be something like 16k and XLED, LOL. Just when you think the picture quality can’t get any better, it does.
  • audioluvr
    audioluvr Posts: 5,392
    I have the Samsung. At first the picture looked "fake" or cartoonish but I got used to it and now prefer it, ever since 2020 everything looks fake anyway. One thing that bugs me though is the auto dimming feature.
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  • pitdogg2
    pitdogg2 Posts: 24,323
    edited April 2022
    audioluvr wrote: »
    One thing that bugs me though is the auto dimming feature.

    Turn it off.




    Al I wouldn't worry too much about 8k. It will be a long time before that is anywhere near common except for maybe gamers.

    After watching some 4k discs filmed in 4k60 fps, I don't think my eyes see better than that. It almost looked too good.(crazy how you see skin structure like a microscope) Even 4k120fps is only in a few games from what my son tells me. I know of no movies that have in on the disc.


  • AsSiMiLaTeD
    AsSiMiLaTeD Posts: 11,722
    Agreed, I don’t think 8k makes any sense for 99% of people. OLED really is a game changer though, once you see it hard to go back. LG has 4k120 sets out now, those will definitely get cheaper in a couple years.
  • PSOVLSK
    PSOVLSK Posts: 4,977
    I had a 110” screen with my projector and now have an 85” Sony. I know there’s a pretty big difference in our screen sizes, but I’d love to have a projector again.
    Things work out best for those who make the best of the way things work out.-John Wooden
  • Irrenhaus
    Irrenhaus Posts: 1,082
    I currently upgraded to an Optoma P2 on 120" screen from a Epson 4010 on a 100" screen. I don't know if I can go back to a TV. It looks amazing. Check out Amazon they put big discounts on the Optoma last one was for 2199.00 if I remember correctly.
    HTAVR-Pioneer SC99XPA-DR3 Differential Reference AmpPolk R-700Rear- RT150Side- RT150Center-CSi5Sub-Rythmik audio F25Player- Panasonic DP-UB9000Projector- Optoma CinemaX P2Screen- Silver Ticket Products STR Series 6 120"Audio Room 2ch rig.Cary AE-3, Onkyo M-504, Marantz SA8005, Azur 851NWharfedale - Linton, SVS SB12-NSDMinis Forum PC (streamer) and Panamax MX5105Headphone rig;Schiit JOTUNHEIM and different headphones.Samsung 42" flat screen TV.
  • scubalab
    scubalab Posts: 3,100
    Danny - yeah, I'm not in any extreme hurry, but likely will replace in the next 1-6 months. I'm sure in a year or two, OLEDs will come down quite a bit, I doubt they'll come down enough to afford in the size we needin the next 6 months. We'll milk the lamp in our current projector for every last hour! But, I fear it's going to go (and as in 'go', I mean pop) any day now. It is flashing 'replace lamp' and overheats regularly. We got another 1000 hours out of the last lamp once the 'replace lamp' light came on before it finally died. It is noticeably not as bright, but we have a fully light-controlled room, so it's not that big of a deal. We can certainly live with it for a few more months.

    As for going with a new PJ or a TV, I'm still on the fence. The new 85"-86" TVs would only be 6"-7" smaller than our 92" screen now. I doubt it would be that big of a difference. Paul, sounds like you have a little regret going with a smaller TV, but that was over a 2' reduction!

    @Irrenhaus - That Optoma P2 seems like a good deal and sounds like you really like the picture. A few questions on it...
    1. Can it be ceiling mounted? I cannot put the PJ below the screen as my rack is built into the wall and we can't put anything in front of it.
    2. If it can be ceiling mounted, how far "down" would the top of the screen need to be? I have low ceilings in the theater (around 88-90 inches, I think) and cannot lower the screen at all. The top of the screen (less the frame) is within 3" of the ceiling!
    3. Can it project a 92" diagonal image (i.e. is there a zoom to reduce the size)? I think it can. I just looked at a throw distance calculator and looks like it can go down to 85"
    4. Do I need a special screen? Since it's throwing the light at such a great angle, a lot of folks say normal screens can reflect the light onto the floor or ceiling. I've seen recommendations for a ALR/CLR screen. That could add significantly to the cost...

  • Irrenhaus
    Irrenhaus Posts: 1,082
    scubalab wrote: »
    Danny - yeah, I'm not in any extreme hurry, but likely will replace in the next 1-6 months. I'm sure in a year or two, OLEDs will come down quite a bit, I doubt they'll come down enough to afford in the size we needin the next 6 months. We'll milk the lamp in our current projector for every last hour! But, I fear it's going to go (and as in 'go', I mean pop) any day now. It is flashing 'replace lamp' and overheats regularly. We got another 1000 hours out of the last lamp once the 'replace lamp' light came on before it finally died. It is noticeably not as bright, but we have a fully light-controlled room, so it's not that big of a deal. We can certainly live with it for a few more months.

    As for going with a new PJ or a TV, I'm still on the fence. The new 85"-86" TVs would only be 6"-7" smaller than our 92" screen now. I doubt it would be that big of a difference. Paul, sounds like you have a little regret going with a smaller TV, but that was over a 2' reduction!

    @Irrenhaus - That Optoma P2 seems like a good deal and sounds like you really like the picture. A few questions on it...
    1. Can it be ceiling mounted? I cannot put the PJ below the screen as my rack is built into the wall and we can't put anything in front of it.
    2. If it can be ceiling mounted, how far "down" would the top of the screen need to be? I have low ceilings in the theater (around 88-90 inches, I think) and cannot lower the screen at all. The top of the screen (less the frame) is within 3" of the ceiling!
    3. Can it project a 92" diagonal image (i.e. is there a zoom to reduce the size)? I think it can. I just looked at a throw distance calculator and looks like it can go down to 85"
    4. Do I need a special screen? Since it's throwing the light at such a great angle, a lot of folks say normal screens can reflect the light onto the floor or ceiling. I've seen recommendations for a ALR/CLR screen. That could add significantly to the cost...

    Hi,

    It cannot be ceiling mounted. Only in front or back of the screen.

    It can display on screens from 85" to 120" it will depend how close or far is from the screen.

    I installed a fixed screed form Silver Ticket, I had a pull down but it not work correctly the screen has to be flat. It does throw some light towards the ceiling but not so much.

    Cheers
    HTAVR-Pioneer SC99XPA-DR3 Differential Reference AmpPolk R-700Rear- RT150Side- RT150Center-CSi5Sub-Rythmik audio F25Player- Panasonic DP-UB9000Projector- Optoma CinemaX P2Screen- Silver Ticket Products STR Series 6 120"Audio Room 2ch rig.Cary AE-3, Onkyo M-504, Marantz SA8005, Azur 851NWharfedale - Linton, SVS SB12-NSDMinis Forum PC (streamer) and Panamax MX5105Headphone rig;Schiit JOTUNHEIM and different headphones.Samsung 42" flat screen TV.
  • ZLTFUL
    ZLTFUL Posts: 5,638
    I have a JVC 4K projector (NX7) and am biased towards projectors. But I also got a hell of a deal on mine new before shortages absolutely annihilated the supply.

    That being said, there are plenty of options at 85" and sub-$2k.
    Just a quick search of Best Buy reveals several...

    https://www.bestbuy.com/site/searchpage.jsp?_dyncharset=UTF-8&browsedCategory=pcmcat1571250794220&id=pcat17071&iht=n&ks=960&list=y&qp=verticalresolution_facet=Resolution~4K (2160p)&sc=Global&sp=+currentprice skuidsaas&st=pcmcat1571250794220_categoryid$abcat0101001&type=page&usc=All Categories

    And being that your room is light controlled, you can do some calibration to get the shortfalls of the lower priced 4K 85" TVs minimized quite a bit.

    At the top end of your budget, I would consider these in this order...

    https://www.bestbuy.com/site/sony-85-class-x91j-led-4k-uhd-smart-google-tv/6459302.p?skuId=6459302

    https://www.bestbuy.com/site/samsung-85-class-q70a-series-qled-4k-uhd-smart-tizen-tv/6452061.p?skuId=6452061

    https://www.bestbuy.com/site/lg-86-class-nanocell-90-series-led-4k-uhd-smart-webos-tv/6453313.p?skuId=6453313
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  • kevhed72
    kevhed72 Posts: 4,927
    I have considered ditching our PJ when-the bulb dies. I pic on the 85" Samsung QLEDs looks outstanding.
  • scubalab
    scubalab Posts: 3,100
    Reviving this thread since we've stretched the life of our Projector lamp out and it's still going. Looking into some current sales - don't know if there will be any better in the next two weeks or not. There are a couple 77" LG OLED models under $2500 now. I just don't think we can go from a 92" screen to a 77" OLED... I have the projector set at a 77" diagonal size now, and it's a lot smaller... Unfortunately, the 83" models are still around $3800 minimum. That's just still too far over budget.

    If anyone sees or hears of a great deal on an 83" + TV in the coming weeks, please shoot me a message or post here. I'm looking for the best bang for the buck (OLED, QLED, 4k). I might be able to stretch the budget to $3k but that will be a tough sell with the wife.

    To throw a wrench into things, I'm fearing my Marantz (AV-7702) processor is dying. I lost an HDMI input a while ago and in the past 6-12 months, I've noticed the volume is substantially lower. I haven't tried running the setup again to see if that fixes, but 35 on the dial was comfortable (startup) volume level. Now it's at least 45 or 50... Don't know if it's the processor or the amp, but it's definitely something. Hoping it's an easy fix, but having bought a refurbished unit 7 or 8 years, I'm fearing I may need to replace soon and that'll probably be a minimum $1000... Ugh. It could also be the amp (B&K 200.7)... It's much older and on all the time. I'll try troubleshooting the pre and the amp when I find some extra time to pull things out in the coming weeks/months...
  • scubalab
    scubalab Posts: 3,100
    Well… Looks like all the Black Friday and Cyber Monday “sale” prices on OLED TVs are no cheaper than they’ve been for the past 2-3 weeks. Certainly no “door buster” prices!

    Sometimes patience is a waste of time!
  • stangman67
    stangman67 Posts: 2,166
    I haven’t been impressed by Black Friday in general over the past few years. Black Friday turning into a two week event really has curbed some of the epic deals.

    Be like me, patience be damned, blow your load so to speak!
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  • pitdogg2
    pitdogg2 Posts: 24,323
    stangman67 wrote: »
    I haven’t been impressed by Black Friday in general over the past few years. Black Friday turning into a two week event really has curbed some of the epic deals.

    Truth! It's become a mockery.

  • scubalab
    scubalab Posts: 3,100
    Ended up snagging a local deal too good to pass up on the LG C2 OLED 77". Really digging it. It is a bit smaller than the 92" screen we had, but we're getting used to it. Need to find time to calibrate it and get my surround issues addressed/fixed. We've been using it with just the internal speakers and have been really impressed! Don't get me wrong, they are no match for our dedicated surround setup, but are the best internal speakers I've ever heard on a TV.