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When I moved into my new penthouse I painted one of the far walls in the lounge white with the purpose of using it as a screen onto which I would later, after purchase of suitable equipment, be able to project movies and still image slide presentations. I bought the Acer XD1150 DLP Projector with this purpose in mind. I chose Acer because I had recently purchased a budget monitor for my new computer and I was highly satisfied with its performance given the price I paid.
The Acer XD1150 is regarded by the industry as an entry-level digital projector, With this projector you have the capacity to play games and watch movies as well as projects enlargements of from your digital photo library. Movies are displayed vividly, in larger-than-life size thanks to an optimal 5 -segment colour wheel, 1800 ANSI Lumens brightness and 2200:1 contrast. Even in daylight the projected image remains fairly bright. The high contrast ratio ensure a crisp, bright and well defined image.
You can also watch normal TV on it - by projecting an enlarged image in this way it makes you think twice about the need to buy a large screen TV which would probably use up a lot of electricity. I've often wondered what is the point of forking out a couple of grand on a giant plasma screen when you can get similar results for a fraction of the price.
The projection distance ranges from one to 12 metres which should be sufficient for most home environments. I use it at a distance of about three meters and the results are more than satisfactory. The maximum resolution of the projector is 800 x 600 but you can convert into a compressed wider screen of 1280 x 1024. The projector comes complete with a wireless remote control which is fairly straightforward to use.
You will find this projector compatible with the following computers: IBM PC and Compatibles, Apple Macintosh, iMac, and VESA Standards SXGA, XGA and VGA (resizing) and includes the following interfaces:
* 1 x VGA input - 15 pin HD D-Sub (HD-15)
* 1 x component video input - RCA x 3
* 1 x composite video input - RCA
* 1 x S-video input - 4 PIN mini-DIN
One possible drawback that might put off some is that the projector has no DVI port which is the preferred connection for gamers (so they tell me) but as I don't play games that much I personally don't find this much of a problem. Also if you want to mount the projector from the ceiling then you will have to by a bracket which is not included in the box and can be expensive to purchase separately. However, with a bit of innovation it's not that impossible to make a home made one - although I've not got round to that yet!
I would highly recommend this projector as a means of adding something more to your home entertainment. It's not too noisy - a common complaint with such devices and at around £350 you can't really go wrong. The projection is crystal clear and the contrast is more than satisfactory with near true blacks and vibrant colours. If you really want to get the best image however, I do recommend buying a proper projector screen. I am happy to project onto a wall but I know the picture would be more vibrant on a screen. But whatever you project, don't forget to draw the curtains.
Other Useful Technical Information
Analogue Video Format: NTSC, SECAM, PAL
Analogue Video Signal: RGB, S-Video, composite video, component video