Vote Proposal - Budget for a new meeting area projector

Hello all,

I brought this up at the meeting last night. I meant to send out an email immediately but... well, I didn't. Anywho.

Proposal: An $800 dollar budget for the purchase of a new projector for the meeting area and whatever is needed to suspend it from the ceiling.

Rationale: We are using the projector more lately for displaying meeting minutes, tuesday talks, etc. Therefore it would behoove us to acquire a new projector which meets the following criteria:
A. Isn't humongous.
B. Has a display resolution consistent with this century.
C. Isn't pointlessly taking up floor space.
D. Doesn't blind an entire row of seats in our meeting area.

The approximate cost of a decent new 1080p DLP projector seems to be $600. I will be exploring cheaper options (UC Surplus, etc.) so the full budget will likely not be necessary. I included a fair amount of wiggle room in the budget to account for the fact that I don't know exactly how we will be suspending it from the ceiling yet.

Side note: I am also thinking it would be a good idea to attach a Raspberry Pi to the projector which is set up for for basic presentation capabilities (powerpoint, webpages, etc.). We also have a Chromecast (lent/donated by Ian W. if I recall correctly) sitting around doing nothing at the moment... just saying.

Ian B.

Why A. ? We aren’t limited for space. Especially if you’re going to hang it out of the way, who cares how big it is as long as it’s clear and effective? Might open some options in terms of inexpensive units that others would pass up for physical size. We don’t really need mobility as it’s used entirely in the same spot.

Why D. ? Don’t we want a projector that is bright enough to be visible in daylight? If anything, I’d think we’d want something with MORE lumens than our current projector rather than less so that dimming the lights in the whole space wouldn’t be necessary to use the projector.

I like the idea of a better projector. It will make many things much better.

A is sort of irrelevant. You don’t see a lot of newer projectors that size anyway. Ours is just humorously large. I’m certainly not looking for anything tiny. Just normal sized.

D wasn’t intended as a comment on the brightness but rather the placement. It is currently placed such that nearly half of our main meeting area seats are in the path of the beam. I agree entirely that brighter is better which is why I settled on DLP rather than LED.

  • Ian B.

A. awesome
D. double awesome.

Do you know the lumen specs on our current projector? It’s not half bad. Also, are DLP projectors still using a bulb for a light source or have they switched to an ultrabright 100W LED or other such nonsense before bouncing it through the mirrors? (If my memory of DLP technology is totally off, disregard.) I only bring this up because of the expected lifespan of projector bulbs used to be a concern.


I don’t know what the brightness of our current projector is. I’ll look for a model number next time I’m down there and see if I can find out. I think lifespan of bulbs is still an issue, but I’m not sure it’s a huge deal for us as we will likely only be using it a couple hours a week on average anyway. I don’t have a lot of specific knowledge on this subject, but I’ll check out replacement bulb prices for different models/brands and see if there is any appreciable difference.

  • Ian B.

I personally would rather spend hive funds fixing things that are problems as opposed to just upgrading things that are mildly annoying. Also just ceiling mounting the current projector makes items A, C, and D all no longer issues.

I would be all for a ceiling mount as that makes since and they are typically (fairly) universal and could be used on a new projector when the time comes that it needs to be replaced. I believe we have two more of this same projector(or at least we did, there was a lot of stuff that went into purgatory).

Also are you volunteering (or voluntelling someone else) to install said projector mount?

Could you prepare an itemized list for the projector mounting?

  • Cables
  • Mounts
  • Connectors
  • etc

I would stay away from buying new projectors unless really needed for some reason. Bulbs and filters (if applicable) are $350 and up. For the same price as a DLP projector you can get a large flat screen TV and not have to worry about bulbs and fans and heat.

As long as this projector is still functional I can think of many things I’d rather spend $800 on. Once the bulb burns out (holy crap it’s STILL running?!) that’s a totally different matter. I’d totally support the expenses and help with labor for hanging it from the ceiling on a platform that makes it easy to swap in a brand new projector when the time comes.

As I remember, we disassembled a similar projector and it is long since gone at this point. I think I have maybe one or, uh, two more similar models someplace… Old school UC surplus was fun.

Just curious at this point, please remind me - does the projector have a label with a email address of mine on it? It’s probably on the cart for it too.

Not seeing a good rational for this one. The projector we have appears to work decently and most of the problems appear to be fixable with a ceiling mount, which should be more in the $100 range.

Combining replies here:


I’m not sure where to draw the line between something that’s annoying and something that’s a problem, but if we have the money why not fix both? And I am volunteering to install the ceiling mount for a new projector, but I would certainly not turn down assistance.

While true that ceiling mounting the current projector would solve a few of the the problems it would still leave us with a fairly crappy display resolution. If someone else would like to mount the current projector they are welcome to it. I have no intention of hoisting that behemoth onto the ceiling. If I am going to go through the trouble of doing the mounting it’ll need to be for a much nicer piece of hardware.

As for an itemized list of supplies, I don’t know. I can attempt to figure that out but it is not going to happen for a few days at least. Work is keeping me rather busy.


The “screen” size of a projector well exceeds any tv you could buy with that amount of money, which makes it considerably more useful for meetings in which people would need to be able to read text on it from across the room. As for bulb replacement, I’m pretty sure at our level of usage a single bulb will last us a good long time.


Yes the bulb is still running. I am uncertain if it has ever been replaced, but if not that would seem to support my earlier point :). Remember that $800 is an upper limit, there is no requirement to spend all of it. I was proposing a budget based on new prices, but I am going to look for used options as well. I’m not sure about the labels, I won’t be able to get down there for a few days to check.

  • Ian B.

I don’t think resolution is really a big issue considering we mostly use that projector for presentations.

So might I suggest an alternate solution?

What is the possibility of replacing the meeting table projector with the projector from the lounge and buying a newer/better projector for the lounge? I think the lounge would benefit from a newer projector more so than the meeting table would, and mounting the lounge projector would be easy to mount since it already has a mount, and it’s nice and light. The lounge projector also has dvi connection, so it’ll be easier to get adapters for it.

/shrugs i don’t know, just throwing it out there.

Currently the lounge has an xbox, dreamcast, n64 maybe some others as well but I believe the classic xbox has the highest resolution which is maybe 720p, so I could see a better "recreational" use in the lounge than "funtional" use in the meeting area.

However, if we were say putting in a gaming computer, xbox one, ps4, or wiiu(or the one coming out soon) then I'd imagine this would get a lot more use.


$600 for a 60inch 4K Samsung smart tv sounds like a better way to spend the money for the lounge.

The lack of a DVI connector is my only issue with our current project. Dustin’s idea sounds pretty good.

Just tossing my input in here, take or reject as you like.

I know 2600 has lots of issues with the projector for the purposes most laptops no longer go down in resolution to 800x600 ,
presentation looks meck at that resolution if made for something higher usually AKA Ian said B. Has a display resolution consistent with this century.
and as said VGA is not getting any younger. HDMI would be nice just from stand point large variety of adapters are cheap and easy for other versions of input
Also Add sound, for say Movie nights ? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I know from working with TV’s versus monitors though text gets really hard to read at times, NEC does sell refurb monitors though at times at a redicliously nice price, we put in a 60 inch commercial monitor for a display for 150 bucks for 1080p few months ago but I also agree 60 inch isn’t all that large when you get into the size the room can accommodate,

As for presentation and display, I would think reversing the setup direction would take advantage of a lot of pluses, the projector could be nested in or near the switch’s , the speaker could be in the middle of the crowd making said speaker easier to hear around the group ? (when the heater is not running >=) )
Can accommodate many more people being able to see than the u shape around the desk
I know its uncommon but been a time or two I’ve seen meeting turn outs where half the people end up having to be behind or side of the screen.
Course this is from the perspective of evening meetings and Sun long gone when we use it 0=)

So a general opinion, as the lounge warden, the lounge would likely do better with a TV than a projector.

That said, if blah blah expansion blah blah lounge moving blah blah movies blah blah etc. So if the projector in the lounge is better for the meetings. Take it. Like today. Like right the hell now.

For the short term, the lounge would be fine with swapping the TV that is always unused on the shelf in the main space with the projector that is rarely used in the lounge. If blah blah moving etc. we can revisit the idea and get items that are appropriate at that time.

If the projector in the lounge is also garbage, then whatever, just set them all one fire.

How about a shitty desktop PC dedicated to the monster projector? With a low-end version of Linux the whole VGA/low rez problem can be handled for good. If you want to present/play a video, you load it up on the PC. You can use Samba/webdav to make the home directory available for files.

A wireless keyboard with a trackpad could be used for controlling said PC from the meeting area table.

The issue you have is, will said machine barf when a PowerPoint presentation is displayed? Most presentations are in PowerPoint. Like it or not. It is the world we are forced to live in. Same with Keynote, to a lesser extent.

A dedicated computer that plays nicely with monstroprojecto is better than not using it in general. But there will still be problems with that setup. If the lounge projector is free and solves some/most/all of the issues then that is my suggestion.

Also your solution does not set anything on fire, so that is a downside as well.

There is an open office solution to power point as well as other similar solutions(which opens powerpoint files).

I’m with Chris. I’d rather reserve our cash for more hackerspacey purchases.

I like the TV in lounge idea. Then we have two projectors already.

What, beyond powerpoint (yuck) and screencast demos would we use the projector for on a regular basis? 800 x 600 is fine for meeting minutes, text, etc. Frankly, I think shadoxx was the best projector we’ve had.

I’d much rather buy a death ray, or radar, or an animatronic whale.

Having given numerous presentations on all sorts of equipment, the only way
to be certain that your slides look right is to use a PDF rather than
powerpoint or openoffice because windows, apple, and linux can never agree
on what a font looks like, even in the same program :slight_smile: