I love movies, and I particularly love a full theater experience, but being somewhat of a minimalist (and near broke), a big screen TV was out of the question. I was going to save up for a projector, but unfortunately my little TV blew up and I needed to figure out what to do until I could afford a projector.
On my birthday in 1998, my problem was solved. I was driving to work right past a company that liquidates hotel inventory. Sitting right out front was an old Sony three beam projector, much like the one my computer lab had used. These beasts were powerful and reliable, and had cost many thousands of dollars. I had to ask. The conversation went something like this:
Dave: Does the projector work?
Dave: How much?
According to the manual, the maximum screen size is just under 24 feet.
Considering it cost the same as my old 20" TV did, and it has two hundred times as big a screen, I'm pretty happy.
What's particularly fun is putting on news broadcasts and staring up the reporters nostrils.
I've since learned that around 1996, one of these used could fetch
$4500, and that they originally sold for something like $16,000.
Here's a french page with info
On movie nights, my cat operates the projector
Replacing a tube on the Sony 1040 Projector
My notes: Lots of good info and projectors for sale at ExtremeProjections, where I got this fantastic projector FAQ. I also found copies of the manuals at ProjectorSpecs: 1040.Install.pdf, 1042.Install.pdf, 1042.Owners.pdf Sony Three Beam projector (not LCD) Model VPH-1040Q Ser# 5003273 Resolution: 900 TV lines (RGB) / 550 TV lines (video) - 320x240? :( Brightness: 600 lumens Image size: 72-250" diagonal Sony Customer Info: 800 222-7669 (voice) FOR EXCELLENT TECHNICAL ANSWERS: Broadcast & Professional: 800 686-SONY (7669) RGB Sync inputs is '1575' (standard?) Parts: 800 538-7550 New tubes: $520 each - blue is $800?! Yikes! Here are some pictures I've found on the web of the projector: 1040.jpg 1041.jpg 1042q.jpg Panel1 - the switch labelling Panel2 - the switch labelling Panel3 - the switch labelling How to flip the image