Practical guide for buying projectors (3LCD or DLP/4K or not?)

First Comment
edited June 2021 in General Discussion

I have been using video projectors for over 15 years. My most recent one was a Mitsubishi WD3300U. I was pretty happy with it until it broke and would like to replace it with something at least as good.

I know that I want at least HD but I wonder if a 4K would even be worth the extra cost. My projection room never gets that dark in the day, so I need one with higher lumens. The 4K you have, Epson Home Cinema 4010 4K UHD 3LCD Projector, only has 2400 lumens. I am comparing this to the Epson Home Cinema 1450 1080p Projector which has 4200 lumens.

I see that you have 2 refurbished Epson Home Cinema 1450 1080p Projectors at your Overland Park store. Can you tell me if those have new bulbs?

I am projecting on a screen that is only 72 inches diagonally. (less for a 16:9 picture) The screen is only 65 inches across. It is important that whatever projector I get can fill that width from approximately a 14 foot throw; so the zoom feature is important.

My most recent projector was DLP. I know there is a different way that DLP and 3LCD use specs for contrast and lumens but I can't remember how that is. I see a DLP, Viewsonic PX701HD 3,500 ANSI Lumens 1080p Projector, that is very reasonably priced. What do I get for the money compared to the more expensive 3LCD projector?

Another thing that is important to me is for the projector to be quiet. I do not see any ratings in your specs for the noise level on your projectors.

I am wanting to buy a projector today at your Overland Park Kansas store. What are your recommendations (and why) for projectors you have available at that store. Obviously, getting an answer to this ASAP is essential, because of that.



  • Ian
    Ian admin
    First Anniversary 5 Insightfuls 5 Likes 5 LOLs
    edited May 2021


    I am sorry our Community staff is not in a store directly.

    You can view the exact items your local Micro Center has on our website. Here is a link to the projectors we would sell:

    To ensure you are seeing stock of Overland Park, select the store at the top of the page by clicking "Change" under My Store.

    If you are looking for a quick way to compare specs of the items I would suggest using the compare tool on our website -

    Just click the "add to compare" boxes next to the items you are interested in and then click on Compare to view a side-by-side comparison of the items.

    For further recommendations, our stores are open to customers to come in and work with a sales associate at any time during store hours, which would be through 9pm today. They would be able to answer any specific questions you have such as the ones regarding the refurbished items. If you would like I can also collect your contact information and pass it over to a sales associate in store, they can typically reach out within 24 hours, but it will vary depending on how busy the store is.

  • logostech

    I am asking for expert recommendations to my questions. I already know how to search your website.

    For my use is 4K worth it, especially considering that they have a much lower lumen rating?

    Having had a DLP will I be happy with a 3LCD?

    What is the audible fan noise on your projectors?

    Microcenter used to have expert sales people. What happened to them?

  • Ian
    Ian admin
    First Anniversary 5 Insightfuls 5 Likes 5 LOLs

    Our sales people are available in store any time during store hours.  If you would like I can also collect your contact information and pass it over to a sales associate in store, they can typically reach out within 24 hours, but it will vary depending on how busy the store is.

  • PowerSpec_MichaelB
    PowerSpec_MichaelB ✭✭✭✭✭
    First Answer 5 Insightfuls First Comment 5 Awesomes

    We still do have expert sales people, but with how busy things have been in-stores, they often do not get the opportunity to participate on the community forum. That said, we do still have those of us here at our corporate office as well as your fellow Micro Center customers that may be able to help answer questions such as these.

    I don't have too much experience with projectors per se, but I am confident in my understanding of pixel density on standard displays that I should be able to help somewhat with these questions.

    When it comes to determining whether a higher resolution will be of use, it depends on a couple different factors. One is going to be the size of the screen (or in this case, projection canvas) as well as your sitting distance from the projected image. You've already addressed the projection canvas size of 72 inches diagonally, so the last determining factor is to determine how closely you and the other viewers will be to the projected image.

    With a 4K projector on a 72 inch canvas, you'd essentially have a pixel density of 61.19 Pixels Per Inch whereas a 1080P projector would have a pixel density of 30.6 Pixels Per Inch, roughly half that of a 4K projector. Whether or not you'll notice the difference in pixel density depends entirely on the sitting distance from the image. If you are sitting close to the image, you'll definitely be able to discern the difference between the density of pixels, but if you are sitting further away from the image, you likely won't notice the difference as the edges of the pixels blur together further away. There is a handy calculator that can help you determine this information: For 1080P at 72 inches, most users with 20/20 vision will begin to notice the difference in pixel density if they sit within 9.5 feet of the projected image. Sitting further away from this distance, users likely won't be able to discern between 1080P and 4K. For a 4K screen, users sitting beyond 4.6 feet will be able to take advantage of the improved pixel density.

    For the question on the bulb being new in a refurbished unit, that is something that I unfortunately do not have the answer for. As Ian mentioned, our staff on this forum are not located in the retail stores but rather our corporate office which is why we are able to assist customers in this medium while those in-store are able to cater to the needs of those physically present. That said, Ian's offer to get your information over to a knowledgeable sales rep would definitely be ideal for a question such as this.

    Lastly, the question involving the difference between DLP and 3LCD is something I can answer a bit on, but I'd still recommend speaking with someone far more knowledgeable in this specific area. That said, what I understand about DLP and 3LCD (or just LCD projectors in general) is that both have their unique advantages and disadvantages. LCD is better suited towards lower power, more portable designs while DLP typically offers better image quality (higher resolutions due to number of mirrors and overall design), better color range (can offer better "true black" values than the washed out gray often produced by LCD projectors) and overall better projection uniformity compared to that of LCD projectors (less shaking, uniform colors across the projected image, etc). LCD projectors are often less expensive and can offer higher lumens for a brighter operating environment, but I'd definitely prefer a DLP personally if cost was not a concern and I could adjust my environment to better accommodate one.

    If you do plan to stop by your local Micro Center store, I am sure you'll be steered in the right direction. If you have any further questions in the meantime, we'll be happy to assist in any way we can.

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