Build your own high-def video projector
By James Grahame
I love projected movies, especially real film. It's just not realistic to expect modern movies on film so I've been forced to consider video projection. Commercial HD-quality video projectors can easily run $2000 and replacement bulbs usually cost a few hundred bucks.
Being a cheapskate, I decided to investigate the wonderful world of do-it-yourself video projection. It turns out that you can build a quite respectable unit for only a few hundred bucks. The trick is to base your projector on a scavenged 15-inch (or larger) LCD panel.
Basically, the rest of the device consists of a powerful 400W light source, a couple of fresnel lenses, a sheet of safety glass, a lens and a quiet cooling fan or two. One great bonus is that the HID lamp can be replaced for less than $50 -- far less than you'll lay out for a commercial projection lamp.
Of course, the downsides of building a unit yourself are that the quality won't be quite as good as a $2000 system and it won't look as sexy, although you can achieve startlingly respectable results for under $500. You'll need a few woodworking and electrical chops to pull off this project, but the results will pleasantly surprise you!