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Sharp DT-200 DLP Projector

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Raul A, Apr 12, 2003.

  1. Raul A

    Raul A Well-Known Member

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    I currently have an HDTV Toshiba 50inch RPTV, and I love it, but I've been thinking of upgrading. I was going to move to the HDTV Toshiba 65inch RPTV but then stumbled across a DLP projector that costs the same as that TV, the above mentioned Sharp DT-200. My question is, although I've read complimentary reviews of it, what do the experts think of this projector? Pros/Cons? Thank you kindly.
     
  2. Max Leung

    Max Leung Well-Known Member

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    Well, I'm not really an expert, but I have seen a DT-200, projected on a 65" 16:9 Firehawk screen (the screen is probably worth half the value of the projector!). Wow, very nice picture. With the 5x speed color wheel, rainbows were not noticeable except on white text and very fast movement/camera pans. Colors are nicely saturated and balanced, and shadow detail is very good (better than most of the cheaper RPTVs).

    I found the projector very quiet too, when I demoed it at a local A/V store.

    Cons:

    4x3 aspect ratio, 800x600. You will see pixel structure until you sit 1.5x screen distance away. Because of the 4x3 aspect ratio, DVDs that are widescreen and anamorphic material have to be scaled down to 800x450, so you actually lose some resolution, as DVDs are 480 lines! If you're very critical, you will notice the loss in resolution, as I did. But, the picture is very nice and smooth at 2x distance, and you forget about it.

    Reds are very nice, and not orange like the older DLPs. Although I'm sure they are not quite as red as a good CRT or the very recent LCD and DLP projectors.

    I like this projector, although I would rather prefer resolution of 1024x768 (4:3) or even 960x540 (16:9). The extra resolution reduces the pixellation, and will allow you to sit a bit closer. Unfortunately for me, I can see DLP rainbows rather badly, even on the excellent NEC HT1000 DLP projector (About $1000-1500 US more than the DT-200 street).

    If possible, I'd find a demo of the NEC HT1000. It is superior to the DT-200 in nearly every respect, except for fan noise and slightly slower color wheel (4x).
     
  3. Raul A

    Raul A Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately I'm limited as to what I can buy to what Best Buy offers because of a product replacement plan, and their selection is quite limited. I only wish I could get something like the HT1000!

    There is another option for me, so I ask, how would you compare the DT-200 to the Optoma EzPro 737? I've seen it compared to the Dell 3200MP and it seems that people are divided on that one, half love half hate.

    Any help is appreciated.
     
  4. Max Leung

    Max Leung Well-Known Member

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    I haven't seen any Optoma projector. However, I have an NEC LT240 ($3500 US MSRP). The DT-200 has better color accuracy and a much faster wheel compared to the LT240's 2x RGBW wheel, but the LT240 has 1024x768. The LT240 puts out a dazzling picture because of its higher brightness. Is the Dell 3200MP 1024x768 and have a 2x RGBW color wheel?

    I'm pretty sure the DT-200 has a better scaler than both projectors you listed. Also, the DT-200 uses a 6 segment (RGBRGB) wheel, so color accuracy will generally be better than any of the other projectors listed here.

    Either way, I'd make sure you demo the projectors that only have 2x color wheels before you buy, to see if you are anyone in your family is prone to the dreaded rainbow effect. The DT-200's rainbows should be barely noticeable.
     
  5. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Well-Known Member

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    How much are we taling about Raul? $$$
     
  6. Raul A

    Raul A Well-Known Member

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    Max : The 3200 is 1024x768 and can stretch to 1280x1024. I heard somewhere that it had a 3x color wheel, but I havent been able to verify that. As for demo'ing the projectors, I havent had any luck finding any place in the SF Bay Area (North Bay specifically) where I can go see these things, lord knows I'm going to keep looking.

    Neil : My TV cost $1800, the Sharp DT200 will cost me $2200 and the EzPro will cost me Roughly the same price.
     
  7. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Well-Known Member

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  8. Raul A

    Raul A Well-Known Member

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    Again, I am limited only to what BestBuy sells, and the Sharp and Optoma are the best of that group. If the Panasonic were an option I'm sure this decision would be much easier. [​IMG]
     
  9. Max Leung

    Max Leung Well-Known Member

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    I take it you're only considering Best Buy because you have access to an employee discount? If not, why limit yourself to what Best Buy offers?

    Also, my understanding is that Best Buy sells the Infocus X1 (800x600, 2x color wheel, $1200 US roughly). It is extremely popular.

    I assume your budget is $2500 and less...here's a list of pjs that you may be interested in, that Best Buy probably won't have:

    NEC LT240 ($2500 on the internet...good luck finding one to demo though, unless the online retailer allows you to try it out for 10 days before returning it). 1024x768, DLP, 2x color wheel. Comparable to the 3200MP. A bit pricey considering the slow wheel. Grrrr.

    Panasonic L300U, as already mentioned. 960x540, 16x9, LCD, has Smoothscreen feature to reduce screendoor. Not HTPC friendly though (can't do 1:1 pixel mapping). $1700+?

    Sanyo PLV-Z1, LCD, 960x540, 16x9. $1500 US or less. Very quiet. Nifty lens shift feature. Screendoor visible, but slight defocus helps. Comparable to the Panasonic L300U.
     
  10. Raul A

    Raul A Well-Known Member

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    Max : Two reasons. Yes, employee discount definitely factors into it. But the main reason is that I bought my RPTV there with a 4 year service plan and now that it is dying on me, they are going to replace it. As a replacement they will allow me to upgrade to a DLP projector and all I have to do is pay the difference, which will be minimal because of the discount. [​IMG]

    But I digress, that makes the following list my only options.



    Projector
    Price
    Resolution
    Aspect Ratio
    Color Wheel
    Contrast Ratio
    ANSI Lumens


    Sharp DT-200
    $2,999.99
    800 x 600
    4:3 & 16:9
    5x
    1200:1
    600


    Optoma EzPro 737
    $2,599.99
    1024 x 768
    4:3
    2x (?)
    1800:1
    1500


    InFocus X1
    $1,499.99
    800 x 600
    4:3
    2x
    2000:1
    1100


    Optoma H50
    $2,799.99
    800 x 600
    4:3
    2x (?)
    800:1
    2100


    InFocus LP70
    $2,499.99
    1024 x 768
    4:3
    2x (?)
    800:1
    1100



    The projector selection is limited as hell, but these are the top five, the rest have contrast ratios below 800:1 so I didnt include them. As for the prices, they don't factor into my decision because of the afore mentioned discount.

    So these are the projectors I am trying to decide between. looking at them all side by side it seems that the EP737 is the best all around value. But, and I think you'll understand, I want to make sure I make the right decision.

    All of them are HDTV compatable (except for the Sharp which is EDTV) but with the exception of the Sharp, they are all 4:3. This may sound silly, but I really wanted to build a 16x9 screen and I'm assuming that with one of the 4:3 projectors I will have to have a 4:3 screen.

    To clear things up a bit, I use my HT mostly for DVD movies and TV, but I also play PS2 and GameCube games and plan to hook up an HTPC with an HDTV decoder card (within the next 6 months).

    With all that said would you still recommend the DT-200? And anyone else out there reading this, what would you recommend? Anyone have direct experience with these? Thanks everyone for your input, I may drone on and on but I appreciate it greatly.
     
  11. Max Leung

    Max Leung Well-Known Member

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    Given your choices, I would definitely pick up the DT-200. Out of the box, the picture quality is extremely good, and the 5x color wheel will minimize the rainbow effect (particularly with video games!).

    The DT-200 also has a 6 segment color wheel (RGBRGB), so the contrast ratio is actually better than the X1, which relies on the white segment of its RGBW wheel to "fake" a higher contrast ratio. You'd need to turn off the white segment on the X1 for the best color accuracy and saturation, but you sacrifice the contrast. There is also white spill, even with the white segment disabled. The DT-200 should be better than the X1. This also applies to the other DLP projectors with 2x or 3x color wheels.

    Sure, the DT-200 is only 4:3 at 800x600 (16x9 mode would result using only part of the image, 800x450), but resolution isn't everything. The DT-200 I saw really impressed me. As for HDTV, you'd really need to get the much more expensive 16x9 projectors (or buy a Panamorph anamorphic lens for your 4x3 projector -- $1200 US ouch), and that would at least double your budget unless you go for the cheaper LCD 16x9 projectors. However, HDTV will look great on any of those projectors, especially if your HTPC does all the scaling for you.
     
  12. PaulHeroy

    PaulHeroy Well-Known Member

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    Raul, it seems to me that one critical part of the choice here is whether you are sensitive to rainbows. Is there a way you can try any of these projectors with something like Dark City (or even better a B&W movie) which are a rainbow torture test? If you find that the 2x color wheels bother you, your decision is simple: get the Sharp. If they don't bother you, it's more complicated. (They still might bother you down the road once you've had more experience, but by the same token I've found that I have become LESS bothered by rainbows on my NEC LT150 because I've "trained" myself on how to watch. Only one friend has ever noticed them and he wasn't really bothered by them.)

    I'd be very curious about the Optoma 737; aside from the 2x color wheel, and without knowing anything about its color accuracy it looks good on paper (or electrons [​IMG] ).
     
  13. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Well-Known Member

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    all things being equal, i would go for a projector with a minimum resolution of 1024 x768.

    i also have an LT150 and besides noise, the thing that i find the most annoying is screendoor.
    i can't even imagine having an lcd at this point.

    i generally sit a little closer than 1.5 screen width, and on some material it is noticable and some material it is invisible.
    i think it definitely depends on the source.
    on the movie Will Penny (1.85 AR) it was quite noticeable.
    on Quest For Fire (2.35) i could almost never see it.
    what was even odder, i was projecting Quest for Fire much larger than WP, so if anything the screendoor should have been more evident.
    when it is a problem, there is only so far you can defocus before the softness starts to become just as annoying.

    Like the previous Paul, rainbows were very evident when ifirst got the pj ( i thought i was going to have a big problem here) but in time they became a non-issue.
    it's very rare that i am ever concious of them now.


    also, my pj is 4:3 and i buit a screen and masking system that would let me obtain a constant height/variable width.
    i don't know if this will be possible for your room, but i would highly recommend it.

    if you want i can try to post a low-res shot of my set up.

    i agree, on paper the EZpro looks the best, but i've found especially with pjs, prices and specs can be misleading.
     

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