Polaroid Polaview 90 User Reviews
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I bought my Polaroid Polaview 90 for around $100.00 . I have a CTX EZPRO 550 which has a higher pixel resolution but the Polaview is brighter and reproduces color better. Although at 640x480 it is a bit pixely. All in all, a nice sturdy, inexpensive unit. Great for DVD's or weekend quarterbacks.
Any Problems: None so far.
I bought this little gem for about 100 bucks, and I love it. You can get bulbs (model FXL or FXL-5) from projectorlampcentral.com for 7 bucks for the 50 hour or 8.50 for the 200 hour bulbs. The picture quality is pretty good considering the unit's age, though you will have to accept that with 640x480 there's gonna be a visible pixel grid. It takes regular vido or S-Video input, and can project either on the ceiling or the wall depending on the mirror orientation. It has mountings inside for 2 bulbs, so if one goes dead in the middle of a movie you can flip a switch and be right back in business without having to stop everything to change bulbs. The regular bulbs (model FXL) last around 50 hours, but there's another kind called FXL-5 which last much much longer and only cost about 1.50 more. The inexpensive bulbs are really the icing on the cake for this unit. Changing the bulbs is easy and fast. It has great portability, and in case you take it somewhere without your home theater audio, it has built in speakers as well.. they aren't exactly theater quality but they serve their purpose well on the road.
Any Problems: The only problem I've noticed with this unit is the odd smell for the first few hours of using a new bulb. I'm not sure if this is dust, or finger grease burning off the bulb's reflector's outer surface from when I put it in, or what... but almost every time I start a new bulb in the machine, for the first couple hours whatever room the unit is in will smell like burning peanuts. However, even just a ceiling fan on low is enough to disperse that. The contrast ratio is a little on the dark side, but that's to be expected from any single-LCD unit. It is not a major drawback. The unit has a tendency to collect dust behind the lens due to its design. A can of pressurized air is good for getting rid of it.
I paid very little for it and I think it performs outstanding for the price I paid. The price of the bulb I was able to find for $8.92 on the internet for the high luminance mad by Sylvania and the Osram standard. This alone compare to newer brands with higher luminance amd perhaps DLP produce better images for a Dark room is very good for video and Presentations you could still see ok with light but darker is best.
Any Problems: The only problem I did not get a Manual and I haven't found one yet. I don't know how to be able to use with my computer it has a 25 Pin output and a both RS 232 both know as serial cable for data transfer and printers. I don't know if they have a special cable to be able to use this projector as a VGA witch will insure the be possible video intake. If anyone know this answers please post them. thanks.
I don't find the lack of zoom a big problem. Is a heavy but reliable construction and placement of the lens and the mirror on the front is a genius finding that i havn't seen with other projectors: you can project perfect on the sealing, wich is perfect to look movies in bed! The lams of Osram run 75hours while the General Electric (GE) lamps run onlz 50hours. The price is the same. They are about 15euro per piece. This is great, you can easily switch when one burns out and you don't have a big problem if your 500dollar lamp gives up like with other beamers. Using it in a place where it has to work all day is out of the question. Than the lamps go to quick. But for a cheap home video it is nice. The contrast is not verry high, but that is not to be expected from a beamer that is build in 1995.
Any Problems: The resolution is quite low now days. Also it has a problem with interlaced signal, like from VCR DVD players on the composite or S-VIDEO input. Because recalculates it to progressive scan and you see dirty edges by quick movements. Also the 310lines from PAL interfere with the native resolution. It workes perfect with a VGA computer connection! If you connect it this way on a resolution of 640x480 with 50 to 70Hz it works perfect and has the best picture you will ever get out of it. Movies don't have the interlaced problem and lines are sharp. I did make the RGB VGA cable (+2 extra wires for line and screen switch) by my self and it works perfect. When i got it (for free) it was broken. It would only work for a few seconds and then swiched off. The problem was the powersuply the had a too low output voltage, a little adjustment to a screw did the job and it worked now already for a few hundred hours more.
Very reliable and easy to transport. Exceptionally easy to use. Have logged high hours on the bulbs, yet have never needed to replaced one (neither the primary or the backup). Excellent for late night movie presentations and life-size game play.
Any Problems: Without a zoom, you are locked into a display size based off the distance the projector is away from the screen. This tends to be a VERY LARGE display and can sometimes present a problem if space is an issue.
The Polaroid 90 or equiv. was not very good in performance. Good for someone no seriously into home theater. Make a pass if your thinking about it. Proxima made a simular projector. Look out. Very entry level.
Any Problems: One thing is it has no zoom. Zoom is very important when purchasing a projector. If you have no zoom your kindof stuck with the size of the picture where you place to projector. This projector had dead pixels, right in the middle of the screen. There are two bulbs. One for back up because you only get about 50hrs. on the bulb. That is about only 10 movies per bulb. Yes bulbs are inexpensive but who wants to change bulbs all the time. The projector is bulky and heavy. Picture is grainy because of its 640x480dpi. The picture is like having an old old big screen tv. Thank you.