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InFocus SP 4800 User Reviews

InFocus SP 4800 Projector

InFocus Home SP 4800

SVGA (800x600), 1100 ANSI Lumens,
6.8 lbs, $1,299 (MSRP)
View Specs
4.5 out of 5
38 User Ratings
Image Quality 4.5
Features 4.3
Construction 4.4
Ease of Use 4.7
Reliability 4.7
Value for Money 4.8

User Reviews

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Review by wimedtypr

I bought this projector as my entry level first time projector after reading many reviews on the internet and knowing I did not have much money to spend. I bought mine at Sams Club and it came with a screen and I paid I believe at the time (2 years ago) 900-1000. We absolutely love it. One important thing to remember to check in projector is the inputs and we checked and this one had one for audio so we could hook up our 1000 watt speaker and subwoofer system to it. I mean it feels like we are at the theater. My teen has all her friends come over and they have movie nights. We still have the same bulb we started with but we only use it for movies not sports, tv or gaming. The only thing is we had to buy an extension and connectors because the cord that went from the projector out to the stereo/DVD was really short which meant the projector was right up close the screen and like the size of a regular TV, so just buy that right away, its really cheap. It does get hot if you sit around it but ours was behind us with the extension cord we bought and we never notice that. We never notice the fan running as others mentioned probably cuz we have the 1000 watt stereo system and subwoofer and we cant hear anything over that sound and our projector is behind us. It is easy to use and hook up. We had a pizza delivered last weekend while we were watching a movie and the delivery guy was so amazed at how great the movie looked. We take this on vacation and to friend's houses and everyone likes it.

Any Problems: just the cord problem mentioned above.

Review by Matt-Austin

To this day, the Infocus X1/4800 projector remains one of the finest values on the market. I picked my SP4800 up - I paid $390.42 including S&H. The lamp has 126 hours on it- few enough to be considered almost new but enough to be believable. Watch out for sellers claiming <10 hours, because they oftentimes just reset the counter. I acutally bought a BenQ PB6100 as well, because I wasnt sure which one I wanted. So I decided to do my own side-by-side comparisons. Out of the box, the SP4800 cleans BenQ's clock as far as color accuracy, and saturation. Brightness-Wise, the 4800 boasts 1100 lumens in presentation mode, the BenQ 1500 lumens. I was testing in a completely light-controlled dark room, so the BenQ actually hurt my eyes it was so bright. For Home Theatre, the SP4800 wins in my book. The unit operates very quietly, when watching a movie you realy have to listen in order to hear it. The lamp is rated at 4,000 hours, making it nearly the lowest cost of ownership around. That's 7.5 cents per hour to run the lamp! (based on a $299 replacement lamp form infocus). What else, I use a pull-down projection screen from a local high school that was having a yard-sale. colors look very vivid.

Any Problems: Even with 2000:1 contrast ratio, in dark scenes (I was watching episodes of 24 that took place after many of the scenes are dark, since its nighttime on the show) the blacks wash out together, and you find it difficult to see certain things. But it is FAR better than any LCD's out there, and even the BenQ exhibited this problem, so I can't complain too much.

Review by dave

I am weriting this review using the unit projecting on a white textured wall in my livingroom...I can't wait to see how it will look on an actual screen. I have had it outside in the back yard and projected it on a sheet hanging on the house had neighbors over, it was like a drive in. refurbed 514.oo shipped.

Review by RJL1

Okay, I admit it, I was skeptical when I placed my order for the InFocus 4800. I mean really skeptical, come on it's a projector, you view 35mm slides with projectors, but TV and movies??? Boy was I shocked. The first night I hooked it up to the DVD player and (without a screen) decided to display the image on a wall. I think it took all of 5 seconds for my jaw to drop. It was amazing. Absolutely vivid color, outstanding clarity, incredible brightness, and a picture that was immensely larger (at that point 145" diagnal size) than what I'd been used to watching. Despite the enormous size, the color, clarity, and brightness still far exceeded any CRT TV in my house. And the darker the room got, the better the picture was. Suddenly my living room was every bit a high-end theater. I have since purchased a Dazian screen (bought just the material and framed and stretched it myself) and that has even further improved the picture. And guests who come over and see the quality are immediately asking where they can buy one (and I know several of them have indeed done so after seeing my 4800 in action). So, by far the image quality is well above top notch. Likewise at under $700, it is extremely affordable (my Sony 50" cost me more than $2 grand and this InFocus displays at more than 3 times the size). It is incredibly simple to set up and works with anything, VCR, DVD, Computer, Video Game machine, etc. And is very portable. While I use it as my main TV at home, it is lightweight and small enough (including coming with a travel bag) that I take it with me on trips so that I can always have a high quality big screen TV no matter where I am. Now, are there some things I would like to see improved? You bet. For instance, the sound. If you are just using the projector for sound (as I have to in a hotel or at someone else's home who doesn't have a home theatre stereo system) this projector only has mono sound. Blah... At least they could improve by giving it stereo, better yet they should partner with Bose and get some real sound. Next, how about a TV tuner. Right now if you are going to watch TV, you run your coaxial or digital cable wire through your DVD/VCR player for a tuner. With as cheap and as small as a TV tuner is, they well could afford to put one in the projector and then expand the remote to change stations. And thinking of the remote too, it does not have volume controls on it, so you can only change volume by the keypad on the machine. Finally, the housing is plastic, a dismal gray plastic and not very sleek looking but molded, rounded, standard, such that the unit looks like a air cleaner or something. If I were to design it I'd have given it a more sleek, polished look, maybe even a brushed aluminum look. Okay, with all that out of the way, let me reiterate, yes, I think there is always some room for improvements to be made on anything, but make no mistake about it, the 4800 delivers an absolutely incredible picture no matter the video source, is very simple to set-up and operate, really has great features, is compact, lightweight, and portable, and delivers a picture that easily rivals my Sony Wega 50" LCD, yet does so at a fraction of the cost.

Any Problems: None to date.

Review by teesew

I intended to order a screenplay 4500. After setting the 4000 up I was like wow what a picture ! After a few minor adjustments I couldn't believe the quality. I cant really speak for reliability or value for money because I've only had it for a few days. I would definetely recommend this to anyone considering a projector and they have a limited budget.

Any Problems: The picture was fuzzy at frist, until I realized I could manually adjust the lens. Once I did that the image was beautiful.

Review by ATCS1983

I've owned my SP4800 for five months after obtaining it used with a reported 425 hours on the bulb and will continue to project onto a wall from a ceiling mount. The black felt border idea seems to have merit for contrast purposes, but I view some TV at 4:3, HDTV at 16:9 and some DVDs at even wider aspects. It seems I'd need three screens with felt to accomodate them. DVD is excellent when set to progressive output, and HDTV, especially Discovery HD and INHD, is outstanding. I can't imagine an HD projector producing that much more resolution. The fan is a little noisy, but it fades into the background as the programming unfolds. Be sure to set up a good surround sound system to complement the projected image. The sounds of the clouds of arrows fired from behind the camera and flying over the viewers' heads in "Hero" were very effective. I find this projector an excellent value.

Any Problems: None.

Review by Tom

I have had mine for 2 weeks. I love the picture, it is much better quality than my tube TV. Amazing considering I am projecting a size over twice the size of my TV, yet it is a crisper and cleaner picture. The sharpness is very good. I am very happy I made this purchase.

Any Problems: None so far. Some lower quality sources, like VHS tapes don't look that great at 110". Also, lighting control is a must. Projector is at its best in a dark room. Curtains are a must for daytime viewing, and a gray screen helps too. But it is perfect at night.

Review by tito

i bought this projector at this store for $500.00 dollars at this store where they sell opened items - everything was seal only the box was torn.

Any Problems: not now.

Review by Getndrty

Really disappointed with the lamp. Find I need to be in a dark room to get clear pictures and even then some scenes are of poor quality. I have owned this machine since it came out, almost 2 years and am on my second lamp.

Any Problems: Lamp looses brightness before it burns out and makes viewing difficult. Actual lamp life around 1200 hours. Very expensive TV at $350 US to replace.

Review by joe mama

This has got to be the best projector out right now for the money. I got mine for $799, already had firmware v1.6 loaded on it so i should get 4000 hours from the bulb! I made a screen myself with screen material i found for $30. It made a huge difference over the white sheet i used while waiting for the screen material to come in. (I also fabbed my own ceiling mount bracket, saving myself even more money!) Rainbow effect: It is there, but not bothersome to me. I noticed it in the first 5 minutes, but i dont notice it anymore. I have never seen it around subtitles, only when I move my eyes around the screen rapidly. Only wish: would be for more inputs (but not too big a deal). I got Digi cable via s-video, DVD via the RGB/component to VGA adapter, and PS2 via composite video.

Any Problems: none

Review by Cat5

Incredible after you do the following. First, order a Hi-Power screen from DaLite. It is only a couple hundred dollars, and directs all light directly back at the viewer (not the room). then mask the edges of the screen with black felt. I used double sticky foam tape, and stretched the felt tight. THe screen and felt increase the apparent brightness by a factor of 2...really! Now my projector looks better than others I have seen in HT displays for over $6,000! I sit 16 feet away from a 106" diagonal widescreen. Don't forget the Hi=Power and the felt - Those who find this projector lacking are simply missing these two key components!

Any Problems: Over 1200 hours on the original bulb and it is still kicking. I didn't clean the filter until 1100 hours (didn't know I needed to) but I guess I got lucky. Brightness is limited when ambient light id present, but teh Hi-Power screen and black felt really helped enormously!

Review by Matt

I've been using this projector for 5 months. It is outstanding. The picture quality is unbelievable. My techy friends don't believe that it is SVGA, and my non-tech friends all have the same amazed reaction. I have it hooked up to HDTV, SDTV, DVD, Playstation, GameCube and XBOX. All are unbelievable. The HDTV looks like an enormous window on another world. I have never witnessed a "rainbow" effect on it, and neither has anyone over complained.

Any Problems: Color wheel started to grind at 4.5 months. Infocus customer support was outstanding at resolving the issue.

Review by knife

To mike1005: this infocus screenplay 4800 must be good, but i just can find it in any local store. will you please tell me where can i buy it with the price you said $946? pls email

Review by mike1005

I went with intentions of buying the X1 listed at $799. I notice a sticker for an open box 4800 which was listed for $946. I ask the sales person to have a look and he told me that a customer return it and it was not a display item. I asked the manager to match the price to the X1 and he was happy to do that. I walk out the store a happy man and I was even happier when I hooked it up to my DVD player. The picture was quite amazing. I did not notice any rainbow effects.

Any Problems: None so far

Review by new2hd

Having just left the local electronics superstore and seeing the price tags on the HD plasma and LCD TV's, I'm smiling from ear-to-ear. I've got the 4800 hooked up to my digital cable box set at 720P, and it is as good as anything in the 2k-5k range-better really. I dont see any of the bleeding seen in the LCD's and plasma tvs. And as for brightness, when I sit out on the patio, it looks like lightning coming from inside my home. Also, I bought some standard white canvas(60"x15') at the art store and framed it to produce a custom 70"x50" screen and 4:3 mode fills the screen. Bottom line: It's a great buy with the current market.

Any Problems: Rainbow effects? Yes, at first, but now, I don't see it at all. It needs a darkened room to be seen in stunning detail, but a pair of darkening shades over the patio door suffices. My only real complaint is that the apsect ratio switch is in the menu's and not on the remote as a single function.

Review by Anubis

Diwakar....i wonder if you got a bad one....doesnt seem like you are talking about the same screenplay that have!! maybe your set-up isnt good, my 4800 still blows me away everytime i put it on and i have seen projectors costing twice as much. this projector is worth double than what i paid for it.

Any Problems: noisy fan.......................

Review by Diwakar

This projector is a low end model which should be priced at least $400-$500 below the current street price.

Any Problems: This projector had issues with the light intensity going from bright to dark every 3 to 4 minutes. It also fluctuated from sharp to soft image every 2-3 minutes. When viewing still images, there is a noticable jitter/shake on the image. Worst was the rainbow lines all over the image. Watched one movie and got a bad headache after one hour. Returned the unit the very next day.

Review by Accept2

I run mine on a Stewart Firehawk 100 inch screen in a living room with a ton of ambient light. During the day, I need to close all the blinds, and while the picture is still good, at night is when it shines. Between having a cheap screen and an excellent projector, or having an excellent screen and a cheap projector, I chose the latter, as I will eventually upgrade later when 3 chip DLP becomes affordable, but the screen is there for life. At about 2 feet, you can clearly see pixels, but they arent as bad looking as they are on LCD. I was comparing this projector to the Epson Home 10+, the Panosonic PT-L750U, Epson Powerlite 200, and Screnplay 5700. While some of the others are about 5 times the price, they werent 5 times the quality. Especailly if I bought one and was using a bedsheet as a screen. The cheaper LCDs were really poor compared to this cheap DLP. Even though the 16:9 resolution is small, its still perfect resolution for DVDs. Get a good screen, watch in darkness, and this thing will amaze you for its price. I gave the unit 4 for its performance, because this is not the same quality picture as some others, such as the 5700, but it definately blows away the cheaper LCDs, and at its price point, there isnt anything out there that can touch it.

Any Problems: The fan is quite noisy, but with the surround sound going, it eventually is drowned out, and you dont notice it. The ceiling mount is fairly expensive, but then thats true for all projectors. There seems to be an overscan that shines white light above and below the boundries of the screen. This may be fixable thru the settings, and even if it isnt, you could always place some velvet above and below the screen.

Review by Bruno Melo

Any Problems: The specifications related in the Projector Central site doesn`t match with the Infocus Home site. So now Im in doubt about the true os the specifications chart. Please or correct or explain the reason of this diference, cause I work with projectors and I depends a lot of the information here related. Thanks, best regards. Bruno

Review by B.H. of New Orleans, LA

I'm extremely pleased with my screenplay 4800. I was apprehensive about purchasing the 4800 after experiencing a friends Sony projector the he paid more than $6,000 for. I thought just based on the price alone; there was no way this projector could stack up to it. Boy, was I wrong! I also learned the value of researching your purchases. The 4800 is all that I read about it. Even watching in ambient light, you can experience a good quality picture. But, in a darkened room you can experience the same as the $6,000 Sony. Finally, I have it mounted on my 8ft ceiling in my den, and I've had to point it out to guest because it not intrusive. The best part of it all is my final bill through Sam's club(projector and screen-$1,299)and Infocus(ceiling mount-$149), and thanks to my existing surround sound system, my family and I can get away to the movies anytime we desire to.