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-- DIY Cheap Projector Guide
-- Price: ~$200.00 USD
-- 11.24.2002
-- By: snow_veil
-- Page: 1 2 3 4

   There's no doubt that most people looking at this have come across a video projector before. Maybe it was at a business meeting, or maybe it was during a high school or college class. If you're anything like me, you probably thought of the gaming possibilities of the projector instead of it being used for boring PowerPoint presentations. I decided to look further into projectors and found a very interesting niche in the technology that lets you build (don't get scared! There are no tools involved!) a quality projector for under $200.

   The niche I am referring to is in a technology called Projection Panels. Before LCD projectors were being manufactured many major presentation-based companies (3m, dukane, infocus, nView, etc) created LCD panels to sit on top of a standard overhead projector. Many people have seen these in math classes used with a teacherís graphic calculator. This is the same idea, only with higher quality LCDs that support VGA input.

   There are a few main steps that will be discussed in this guide. They are:

  • Space Requirements
  • Choosing a panel
  • Choosing an overhead projector

   OK, so you've got the desire and the money to have a projector. What next? Well, first off you need to make sure you'll have ample space for it. Keep in mind that you will need a white wall to project your movies/games/TV/internet surfing onto. If your walls are painted, covered in wallpaper, or textured, don't fret! Before we go any further, let me apologize in advance for the low quality of the pictures. I assure you that they just donít do any justice!

   I was lucky enough to have plain white walls in my room, so creating a screen was not an issue for me. However, if you need to make one, head down to the local crafts store and purchase some large sheets of white poster board and make a screen out of these. At Dollar General these sheets go for 3 for $1 I believe, so for probably $4 or so (9 sheets plus $1 for scotch tape of course) you can make an inexpensive screen. If you want this to look halfway decent with your home decor, projection screens can be purchased online and at office supply stores. Keep in mind that screens can be rather expensive.

   Once you've verified that you have enough surface area on your wall that you'll be projecting onto, make sure you have enough distance away from it to place the projector. Different lenses provide different ratios of course, but for example my 6' diagonal image needs about 10-15ft of space away from the wall. The size of the screen on your panel will also affect the size -to-distance ratio.

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