Here’s more from Money Magazine’s feature about finding deals, starting with technology. I shared their cell phone shopping tips although I’m not shopping for phones at the moment. However, I’ve been thinking about a new entertainment center for a while. I know I won’t be buying anything until I’m out of this apartment, but I try to keep up with prices.
According to Money Magazine’s feature about home video, the industry says you should pay as much for a television (plasma or LCD) as you paid for your first car.
I’m not so sure about that. Here’s the magazine’s rebuttal:
Flat screens are nice, but the real deal to be found is in projectors. For around $1,000, you can get a portable model (about the size of two Yellow Pages) with a built-in DVD player and built-in speakers (many come with an optional external subwoofer). It will display an image as big as any wall or bedsheet, and you can carry it from house to house for on-the-go screenings.
I’ve found that projectors can have problems displaying great images when there is a lot of ambient light, but perhaps the technology has improved since then.
One of my friends installed a theater in his basement. He owns his own audio business and can get wholesale prices on a variety of professional equipment. When I am ready to upgrade, I’m sure he will be able to provide at the very least advice.
Money Magazine has a few specific product recommendations:
Take a look at DVD-projector combos from RadioShack ($800), Optoma ($1,000) and Epson. The Epson Moviemate 25 ($1,200) is a little larger than the other two, but it gives the biggest picture and best sound at close range.
I like the quality of the projector my friend installed in his basement. If I’m lucky, he’ll write a guest post about putting together his theater.
Updated May 26, 2009 and originally published August 17, 2006.