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Entry-Level CRT Projectors

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Entry-level CRT projectors are perfect for the individual that wants to add high quality video to their home theater but doesn't necessarily want to break the bank with the latest and greatest CRT projector.  Entry-Level CRT projectors offer the following features:

  • 7" and 8" tube sizes with light output usually in the 600-800 lumen range
  • Electrostatic focus
  • Analog or digital convergence (depending on model)
  • Capable of displaying 1080i (HDTV) resolution (Video grade units excluded), some will do 720p as well
  • Most are smaller in size to the Intermediate/High Performance counterparts

More information on these features and what they mean is available in the CRT Primer, including our Hooking it all up FAQ.

All of these projectors are perfectly suited for home theater use (satellite/cable TV and DVD playback), and most will display 1080i high definition TV (HDTV) as well. All have been thoroughly tested and many have had modifications done to them to increase reliability.

Be forewarned that the words 'Entry-Level' can be a bit misleading!  These projectors are tagged as 'Entry-Level' simply because newer and better models are available. These are all commercial/professional grade projectors that often originally sold for $10K and up!

For some example screenshots of one of these 'entry-level' projectors, please visit this post in our forum.  They were taken by the webmaster on his 26K hour (yes, 26,000 hours) Barco 800 bought from me back in 2000.

Curious how a CRT projector you're considering purchasing stacks up against others? Check out our Projector Rankings page to see exactly how the different units compare in terms of performance in a home theater environment!

Barco 'Special'

  Manuals     Setup Tips     Specifications     Ranking  


These are older 7" ES focusing sets with analog convergence. These sets were originally installed into Boeing jets for the in-flight movies in the 80s. I normally don’t sell these sets due to the tubes being bad, but these two appear to have very little use on them as the tubes are perfect with good light emission and decent focus. They are video only sets and are best suited for a 72” screen or similar, don’t expect to peel the wallpaper off the walls with these sets, but as a set to play with or for the kids to play videogames on, this is a good little set. I figure these are rated at 450 lumens or so, they have analog convergence and are video only sets. They are small, lightweight and quiet. I’ll give minimal support for this set due to the age and price, but the set works and shows a decent image. This new one (I sold both Vstars) needs the coolant flushed on all tubes. It’s got gunk in it. The gunk is loose and floating, so a simple flush and coolant refill will fix this. Three prices: $50.00 as is, you flush the coolant out. $75.00 and I’ll supply enough coolant to do the tubes. $100.00 and I’ll flush the coolant for you. Note that this set has dual focus lenses as opposed to the Vstars, so it has better focusing than the Vstars.

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Sony 10xx series

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Sony made a whole bunch of these projectors from about 1984 to 1996 or so. More info can be found in the CRT Primer. Generally these are video and S-video only sets, the 1031 can take line doublers with a custom cable, and can (barely) do 1080i. These sets are small, quiet and reliable. Spare parts are plentiful and the popular SD 187 tubes can be found in many other projectors out there. I’ll include ceiling brackets for these at no extra charge!

The Sony 10XX series are great little entry level sets. They feature 7" Sony tubes that are very reliable, and offer 600 or 750 lumens depending on whether you're getting the early or late version tubes. Analog convergence, very quiet operation and a small physical size make for a great pub unit for gaming for the kids or as an entry level set to see what the hype is all about with CRT projectors. In general, these sets are very reliable and are easy to set up. The Sony 1031 projectors can accept line doublers and 1080i HDTV signals, the rest have video and some have S-video input jacks depending on the model. The 1001 model is somewhat unique in that it is a late model (1996)10XX series with a wireless remote control. On screen menus and the brighter tubes make for a bit sharper picture than the other 10XX series.

I've got sets with near mint cases and some with cracks. Again, I've got enough tubes and parts so that I can more or less build you a set to suit based on your needs and budget. If you're building the set into a coffee table, then a cracked case isn't really an issue. If it's a set for the kids Xbox or Nintendo, then a bit of tube wear won't matter.

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Zenith PRO 851 / Runco 750 HT

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The Zenith PRO 851 (and other similar chassis) are what I consider to be the most popular CRT projector out there. It was cheap, super reliable, and it's convection cooling made it perfect for heavy smoking sports bar environments. You can have as much dust or dirt floating around in the ear (read NICOTINE!), and the sets will continue to function. The Pro 851 is a video only unit with one composite video input. 750 lumens from 7" tubes, modular construction, on screen menus, analog convergence. I've sold about 300 of these since 1985, and worked on 100's of others.

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Ampro 2000

  Manuals     Setup Tips     Specifications     Ranking  

Very similar to the Electrohome ECP, and about the same age as the ECP 4100, these scan to 80 Khz (55Khz if data grade), have a wired remote, and have digital convergence for an easy set up. Very shallow sets, only 10" tall, so these are great for low ceilings. 

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Electrohome ECP series

  Manuals     Setup Tips     Specifications     Ranking  


THE ECP Series of sets are very popular, I've sold lots of them. The 3000 series scans to 55 Khz, the 4000 series to 80 Khz. 600 lumens from 7" Sony tubes. Modular, quiet, easy to set up. Dual RGB input modules come stock with these sets, I've got video and S-video boards as an option. Wireless remotes included.

Note: I've got ACON cameras available for the ECP series for $80.00 USD per camera and PC board. I've got about 6 tested units in stock. I've also got lots of RGB input boards and virtually every other part in stock for these.

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Barco 400 / 600/ Vision / Data

  Manuals     Setup Tips     Specifications     Ranking  

These are older 7" ES focusing sets with analog convergence.

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Barco 800/801

  Manuals     Setup Tips     Specifications     Ranking  

Great 8" set, very easy to set up.  Similar in performance to the Sony 125x/127x series. The data series scans to 58Khz, the Graphics to 92Khz.  Both have digital convergence, and on screen menus.  I always do all of the mods required to these sets to ensure long term reliability. 825 lumens from 8" Sony tubes.

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Sony 125x/127x series

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All projectors have digital convergence, on screen menus, come with a wireless remote, and I back the sets as I do any others. The performance of all 12XX series sets are quite similar, with the 1252 and 1272's being the newest models.

OK, I just got about 10 more of these sets in as listed below. All have good cases and come with a universal remote. I’m blowing these out, see the Tube Conditions below. Note that I do have other good used blue and green tubes that I will drop into the worst ones, and I’ll update this list as I do. I am listing the worn tube units as there might be some of you that have good tubes but a dead set, and that would be an inexpensive way to get a set running.

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Barco 70x series / Runco DTV-947

  Manuals     Setup Tips     Specifications     Ranking  


The 70X series are great little machines, and is one of the smallest case sizes out there for a data grade set. Video, S-video and RGB inputs. Digital convergence, near silent operation, on screen menus, very easy to set up.

The Data 701 scans to 50 Khz, making it good to past line tripling and 750 lumens from Sony 7" tubes.  The Data 701s has the same specs but with 1000 lumen Toshiba tubes and an added component input. 

The 708 is the latest version in the 70X series with some upgrades to the chassis. It's also about 2 years newer than the 701s.

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DWIN 500/700

  Manuals     Setup Tips     Specifications     Ranking  


These use the same tubes and lenses as the Barco 708/Runco DTV 947 above, but are slightly smaller than the 70X chassis and are quieter as they only contain one tiny fan in the power supply that can’t be heard when you're more than 3 feet away from the set, making it essentially silent. 1000 lumens from very sharp P16 tubes, these sets have an RGB input only and lock to 1024p. A great 1080i/720p set.

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Zenith PRO 900x

  Manuals     Setup Tips     Specifications     Ranking  


These are great little data grade projectors. 800 lumens out of 7" Zenith tubes. Video, S-video and RGB inputs. 50 Khz scan rate. Digital convergence, on screen menus, a well written manual to help set the unit up. Very quiet and compact.  

Note: I've gotten really good at repairing these PRO 900x sets. I've got virtually all parts in stock for these units... 

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Sony D50

  Manuals     Setup Tips     Specifications     Ranking  

These are small and quiet 7" sets, 800 lumens, digital convergence, on screen menus, video, s-video and component inputs. 64 Khz scan rate, 1080p and HDTV compatible.  

Add a Moome HDMI input card!

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