Supersize Your TV for $300: Build Your Own XGA Projector!

Giant Wall Display

Courtesy Artisan/Lightstorm

The well-known auction portal eBay has just about everything. For some time now, several sellers there have offered instructions for building a so-called "multimedia projector", as well as other "bargains" designed to help the customer get a giant screen at home without too much financial outlay. This is how it works: the seller offers a PDF construction guide for $20 in a "buy it now" auction that contains everything the customer needs to know. But does it really work?

The homemade projector in action - here, testing DVD playback. Its screen size is over six feet, and luminous efficiency is 3,500 ANSI lumens. Courtesy Artisan/Lightstorm

These cheap deals were reason enough for us to take a closer look at the construction guides on offer. A sample of the three different sellers shows that for that $20, you don't get what you need: the PDF documents are so poorly produced that the construction project is more likely to end in confusion than success. For the most part, the instruction manuals are produced by self-publishers who combine rather wooden text with their own picture strips taken from private websites in a rather horrible fashion.

Bought on eBay for $20: projector construction manuals with pictures and wooden text - stay away!

While these guides didn't seem like a great deal, they gave us the idea to stage our own "do-it-yourself projector" promotion. In contrast to the eBay offers we briefly examined, you should come away from our tutorial with a good foundation for building your own XGA projector, and of course, there's no charge! In order to offer a realistic impression of the picture quality possible, our new video provides a step-by-step guide to building and operating your own projector.

  • Hi,
    I'm a 12 year old and I just got this projector working. If you live in the bay area then I recommend you go to Weirdstuff that is where I got all my parts for all under $46
  • just looking into this idea and was just wondering what the implications would be to have the lcd screen supported away from the glass of the projector thus aiding the cooling of the screen ?? Say a 2 to 3cm gap? would this affect the picture quality or would the screen still need the same amount of cooling as it does on the screen. As you can tell by the questions i havn't made one but seriously thinking about it. also ... !! woulld there be an option of other video inputs to the screen ie .. Phono jack rather than laptop / pc?
    Cheers for the info if you respond.
  • chinmayj007
    hiiiiiiii im CJ can you tell me please which in this projector plz.......................