IF YOU’RE THINKING OF BUYING A BIG FLAT-SCREEN TV, you might consider a projector like this one instead. The sale price is a lot cheaper than a big-screen TV, and it’s a lot more portable, too.

UPDATE: Reader Lee Hutchins writes:

Is true, but many may be disappointed in the image quality of a projector for a number of reasons; unless the room is very, very dark and you’re using a proper projection screen the image will appear to be washed out, especially when compared to an LCD or plasma TV. Additionally the differences between 720p and 1080i become much more obvious with images of 80 inches or more. Focus will become an issue as well, one you don’t have to deal with on a self contained TV.

But yes, for portability and price, it’s a good option.

Yes, you’ve got advantages and disadvantages both ways — it’s probably not as bright and sharp as a top flatscreen, but as the picture shows, you can have outdoor movies in your backyard at night. And it’s cheaper.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Glenn Perreira writes:

Just a comment on the projector thread…

I bought an InFocus X-1 projector a couple of years ago when it was the cheapest (below $1,000) on the market. Although it was far from high end it got good reviews and I have never regretted it buying it. I only wish I had the time to use it more.

Yes, a major drawback for a projector is needing total darkness to get the best image, which is not conducive to hosting events like the Superbowl (unless, of course, your guests are all frisky cheerleaders).

However, being able to watch movies, streaming TV shows, and playing everything from Wii to PC games on an 8’ foot screen is hard to beat, even if it is not the very highest resolution possible. I have also used it to make costumes and large-scale copies of computer graphics by projecting patterns onto paper which I then traced. During Halloween I lug it to my friend’s apartment and show 12’ horror movies on the side of a nearby building.

Well worth the cash IMHO.


MORE: Reader Chris Broussard writes: “I used a middle-of-the-road Dell projector as a TV for several years. Ditto the comments on the darkness issue, and how awesome it is for horror movies. However, the biggest drawback – and the reason I stopped using mine – was the $400 replacement bulb every 6-12 months. The cost of two or three bulbs can buy a pretty decent high-def TV.”