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I have loved Halloween since I was little and always go as big as we can afford each year and this year is no exception. I want to take our haunt to the next level with a spooky projection either in a window or directly on the house but I know NOTHING about projectors except the fact that they look very expensive. Can anyone please help in teaching me the different type of projectors, brands that are best, and what to look for based on what I need it for? I can't spend more than $200 and honestly that is pushing it. BUT I do want to make this an investment to use for many years and throughout the year for the family to use for movies and such (so we get our money's worth) so if it is impossible to get a good one for $200 please direct me to the good investments that I might save up for next years use. I have looked on ebay and Raleigh's Craigslist site but since I don't know what I'm looking for I can't tell if it's a good deal or not. THANK YOU for your help!!
 

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You don't need an expensive projector to get a good effect. I bought several on ebay and have been quite happy. The prices for new ones is coming down so used should be coming down too. The biggest exposure is having a bulb burn out - the bulbs cost more than a used projector so essentially a used projector is disposable. I use one of the cheap ($50) walmart projectors for my singing pumpkins and it works just fine. You can hang a sheet in a window and rear project a bunch of stuff to get a variety of affect - cute to scary.

To answer your question more accurately - look for 2000 plus lumens and a low amount of bulb hours if listed.

Enjoy, projection is fun. Atmosfear FX has some great DVDs
 

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I bought all 3 of mine over a 3 3yr period off ebay. Just look at the ones ending in a day or so, be sure to see what the bulb life & how many hours used on it. Bulb life clearly shows up on the screen & is important. I never spent over 120 to 150. I have 2 epsons & a hitachi and very satisifed. Also very important to look at photos of projector and it's rear so you can see if it will be compatible with your dvd or laptop.
 

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Man I'm glad I read this thread. I decided to just check it out (I had already bought one projector from there last year) I just landed a 2500 Ansi lumen 1280x1024 native res projector for $61.00. Wooo Hooo!
 

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Any decent projector with 720p or better works great for Halloween projections. I looked for used 'office' or 'classroom' projectors, 'movie' projectors tend to cost more for true HD (never needed HD for halloween, 720p is pretty darn close to a TOT). Lumens depends on ambient light, but 2000 is a good number. Mine was a used Epson with the warning light ON for "replace bulb", but for 3 years now I've used it every Halloween. I've projected my "Madame Leota" and various Pirate movies in their entirety at Halloween on a white shower curtain in my garage with no problems. Reach out with further questions.
 

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Heck yea so many options out with projectors, I bought my first off of craigslist for $65, a Dell, works like a champ! The other two off of Ebay, two Hitachi and man those are awesome, for the three projectors I invested a total of $235 and would not hesitate in doing it again! Those deals are out there, just takes time to find them!
 

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Brand - I have three Epsons and love them. Obviously there are others. When researching projectors, I used Amazon a lot. Type in the make and model you're considering and see what kind of reviews they get. And look for ones with a LOT of reviews. 5 stars sounds great but if it's only the opinion of two people it doesn't tell you much.

Lumens - this depends on your intended use. Singing pumpkins? 200 lumens, maybe less, might get you by. If you want to rear project through a solid shower curtain and fill up a bay window under a street light, I'd follow the advice of AtmosfearFX and try for 2000 lumens or as close as you can get.

Connectivity - what are you connecting to the projector? A DVD player? A laptop? Make sure the projector accepts the same kind of connections that are coming from your source. If the projector has a HDMI input you'll usually pay more, but if you're never going to use it, who cares?

Bulb hours remaining - if the listing doesn't include that information, move on unless you want to contact the seller online. Generally the more hours remaining, the less the projector has been used, the longer it should last, etc. But again, look at your intended use. If you see a projector with only a couple hundred hours left on the bulb it should be a lower price - but if you're only going to use it a few hours a year for Halloween it could last you the rest of your life.

Again, use Amazon as a resource. If the eBay listing doesn't tell you a lot of information, look it up on Amazon. It will usually tell you the rated bulb hours, rated lumens, connectivity, speaker wattage, unique features - all kids of stuff, and usually more and better pictures than what an eBay seller provides.

Less than $200? Goodness me, look at this.....

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Epson-PowerLite-S3-LCD-Projector-low-hours-PLUS-new-OEM-extra-bulb-VERY-NICE-/161440872778?pt=US_Video_Projectors&hash=item2596a0394a
 

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I bought an EyeClops Mini Projector off Amazon Aug of 2013 for $95 which worked just fine for AtmosFEARfx singing pumpkins in front yard.
I bought a Walgreens or CVS (don't remember which store) stage3 Lightblast projector for my front window projections - projector cost less then $50 and works great for the ghosts that are projected on the front window (using a walmart show curtain held in place with pvc frame). You have to shop around and wait for sales!

Overstock has the stage3 lightblast for $74 and the EyeClops ... well it's outrageous the price Amazon is looking to get now, although I did see one for $69.
 

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For me, i've always used price as a primary criteria for choosing projectors. A lot of people on craigslist or ebay are always willing to sell projectors at a very low price- many times lower than what the o.p. is looking for- and are quality reputable business projectors. Since its a prop device, assume that you'll probably fire it up no more than 20hr-30hrs up to and during halloween. Heck you can probably include Xmas also.

As to education, everything can be googled for reviews and recommendations so buying it comes down to low shipping price (whether its UPS or the gas you use to go pick it up).

The cheapest projector I've ever bought was my 1st, actually: A NEC SVGA model with maybe 500hrs left on the lamp for $10. There are always other deals out there. It was the way home from work so gas cost was minimal.

VIctor
 

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I have a tiny poco projector that I run with an iPod. Surprisingly bright. I've used it both inside my haunt and on an exterior window.
 

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We picked up a cheap one off of Amazon for about $80 CDN, and it's pretty good. Only 640x480 native resolution, but it does a decent job. Rated at 80 lumens and seems pretty bright, all things considered. LED light source, too, so not a lot of heat (although they still included a small fan in it, just in case). This is our first foray into this kind of thing, so we didn't want to go too expensive, just in case it didn't work out. :)
 
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