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This has been around for a while now, but a friend of mine was just bit by it and I feel I should rehash the warning for everyone.;)

Visionmax Projectors are popping up in Home Depot parking lots and grocery store lots in Calgary and area, I assume elsewhere.

Someone (or a pair of guys) will approach you in a, you guessed it, rented white van. They may offer to sell you an amazing item, in this case a projector, at a blowout price compared to the msrp. They will usually claim it is an overstock item and it slipped through the cracks. My buddy was told it was sent extra by mistake and they had already "installed" the 3 units they needed to place that day. The package was convincing and included a small manual, warranty card and spec sheet. All bogus by the way.

He bought the HD-2K model with a 72" pulldown screen for 1000$:mad: Both parties were thrilled with the deal...... Being the AV geek I am, I knew the scam instantly when he called me with his exciting news. 6 months later he finally cooled down enough to invite me over to help him savage whatever performance he could out of it.

Here is what I encountered specifically with the Visionmax HD-2K model.

The cheezy 3-ish lb. projector was broken. We took the outer housing off to find the Keystone correction lens had jumped it's mounts and was jammed between some controller boards and the TFT LCD panel. The design is obviously stolen from the Lumenlab DIY projection forums and exploited on an industrial scale. It is a straight shot projector with a pair of fresnel lenses sandwiched around a roughly 600x400 LCD panel. We put the lens back in it's mounts then re-assembled and carried on with testing.

Of the HDMI (not certified by the way), Component, VGA, Composite and S-Video connections only the composite worked. The other inputs gave a "NO SYNC" error. The lens is fixed at roughly 0.9:1 ratio, meaning at 90" from the wall the image was roughly 100" diagonal. The screen included was a 72" pulldown that doesn't stay locked down on it's own. Get where this is going....:rolleyes: To fit on the screen provided the projector lens was set at approx 6' away from the screen in front of the seating area on a coffee table. The onboard fan was very loud, Image quality was mired by ridiculous screen door effect and black level was a joke. Due to the crazy short throw, and lens keystone correction of not more than 15 degrees we were not able to do better than a trapezoidal shape from the coffee table. Forcing square corners blurred the bottom of the image beyond a hope of watching. Not an ideal home theatre experience at an msrp of thousands of dollars.:eek: Ceiling mounting would have been a near impossibility.

In the end he was happy we were able to salvage some meager use out of it. It turns on, off and does technically make a low resolution projection on a cheap screen. None of the claims about performance further than that are true. I urged him not to install it on a mount because it would probably eat itself within 6 months or so. If anything else, it is a lesson learned and something others can learn from. Be warned. Good watching.:cool:
 

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People still buy stuff from the white-van scammers these days?
 

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White van, parking lot, dead give-aways. And it's not just for projectors. They do this with speakers a lot too.
 

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White-van type scammers are in abundance. The stuff they sell (I've personally experienced):

Speakers (most common)
Stereo / HTiB
Projectors
"Designer" clothing
"Overstock" blu-ray
 

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For that price he could have gotten an Optoma HD66 or Acer 5360 with a warranty and a screen..

those guys made out like kings that day
 

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Closing. I think it goes without saying. If someone in a van or truck approaches you in a parking lot and tries to sell you consumer electronics then ignore them.
 
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