The Deliverator – Wannabee

So open minded, my thoughts fell out…

The Silver Screen

Posted by Deliverator on September 23rd, 2007

My recent trip to the Toronto International Film Festival, amongst other things, definitely hammered home one point; there are just some movies that demand to be seen on a big screen. While I sometimes relish the experience of going to a movie in a packed theater on opening night, more and more I have become annoyed with traffic, parking hassles, overpriced junk food, crying babies, cell phones, annoying ads and previews I couldn’t give a rats ass about, and thugs watching me pick my nose with “nightvision” flashlights. Unfortunately, my living situation doesn’t let me get away with my brother’s massive 56″ DLP TV and surround sound setup, but watching Blackhawk Down at his place during my recent trip definitely made me think about what I could manage. I did some casual research into current projector offerings which made me think that maybe current projector tech wasn’t such a bad alternative these days.

After returning to Seattle, I worked some late nights getting caught up on the backlog of work induced by my trip to Toronto. A few nights ago, while picking up a hard drive at Best Buy (not my first choice of shopping locations by any means) to replace a failed drive in a point of sale machine, I couldn’t help but check out their projectors. They had the Optoma HD 70, a unit about which I had read rave reviews in my brief research, and at a steal of a price. I picked it up and have gleefully been watching movies from my bed for the last few nights.

So far I really like the HD 70. It offers native 720p resolution (1280×720) at the same price as many 1024×768 entry level projectors, has inputs for every video type imagineable (composite, component, s-video, vga and HDMI), has a well designed, backlit remote and on screen display and is remarkably quiet for the amount of heat it has to dissipate. My one worry about projectors has always been the artificially high cost of replacement bulbs ($275-300 for the HD 70). The manufacturer claims 2-3k hours of use per bulb. If it gets the advertised life, I will consider the bulb replacement cost more than fair trade for the “joys” of seeing a movie outside the home these days. For the present, I am going to try to do the bulk of my movie watching on my own silver screen.