So, when should you consider a "crossover" business projector for home theater viewing? Here are a few possible situations.
For the reason's above, last year's most popular "crossover" projector, NEC's LT240K, which offers 2000 lumens, no longer has a big home theater following. Quite simply, higher resolution, less expensive and true 16:9 home theater projectors, like Sanyo Z3 projector, or Panasonic's AE700U home theater projector, for most, will be far better choices. That's not so say that the dedicated home theater projectors are, in every way, better, however, overall they do provide a much better home theater experience.
So this year, you can probably find a true home theater projector to light up your screen, in your price range. Good shopping!
Now that cost differences are not significant, the big difference is in brightness. As mentioned, virtually all home theater projectors are designed to operate in really dark rooms (500 - 1200 lumens). This works fine for movie watchers, but, some folks want to watch sports with friends, or do some gaming, and don't want to be in a almost pitch black room!
Keep in mind, a 2000 or even 3000 lumen projector is much brighter than a 1000 lumen model, but the difference is not "night and day". In fact, if you have a fairly bright room, the dark scenes will be washed out even with the much brighter projector. Still, for sports, the extra "horsepower", will allow some reasonable lighting.
Be warned! If you are looking for that extra brightness, coming from a business projector, remember that business DLP projectors are not well known for color accuracy. In fact most perform poorly on reds and yellows, when at full power. Kick one of those business DLP into video mode, and voila', excellent color, but the brightness drops way down. My point: Don't expect a significant increase in brightness when watching video if you go from a 1000 lumen HT projector to a 2000 lumen DLP business projector. For the extra "horsepower" you are looking for, you'll do better with LCD, where colors are accurate - at full power.
To illustrate, in one of our reviews (NEC LT170), to get the accurate color you would demand for watching, the projector's output dropped over 50%, turning a 1500 lumen model into a 705 lumen model by the time it looked great.
If you want brighter in your home, you'll need lots of lumens, and probably LCD technology in your "home" business projector.