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Hey Austin Texas Buddies? Can anyone help me out?


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#41 of 975 OFFLINE   Hank Frankenberg

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Posted February 04 2003 - 12:10 AM

Mike, for me, my Samsung RPTV is fine for another year or so, as there will be product improvement by then and maybe LCOS will show up in FP's in enough volume to be at a decent price level. It's a personal situation thing. If you keep your RPTV, do you have a family member or friend who would be interested in buying it in a year or so? In the interim, you could upgrade other aspects of your HT.
We can't answer this for you. The answer is either:
1. Enjoy what you have today and don't look back and second guess your decision, OR
2. You and your family really want a large movie image, so go ahead and invest some time investigating every current FP in your price range and then buy one.

#42 of 975 OFFLINE   Jonathan DA

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Posted February 04 2003 - 02:50 AM

Dave, if you go with option 2 for speaker placement, which we all strongly suggest, you might consider a speaker design like the Thiel PowerPoint:
Posted Image

Based the products discussed in this thread, I imagine that the Thiel's are outside your budget, but there are a few DIYers in Austin who might be interested in building something similar, maybe using some TangBand drivers.

My 2 Hz on the video dilemma, return the RPTV, save a few more pennies and get an XGA DLP projector like the Dell MP3200.

#43 of 975 OFFLINE   Dave Elliott

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Posted February 04 2003 - 03:23 AM

Mike,

Nils is right, that review reeks. Some comments from my own experience:

- The Sanyo PLV70 is VERY bright but with a relatively low contrast (700:1 I think) the absolute black levels are pretty poor. Any decent DLP/LCoS looks better.

- 800:1 contrast is the bare minimum to get in the game these days. But I think the Z1 is probably a good projector for the $$$.

- Plasma the pinnacle? Heeeheee.... Well, he's right. they absolutely look the best when they're turned off. No question. The cool factor is undeniable.

- Sony making DLP? Yeah, and I heard they're making Xbox games now too!

- I have an 800 lumen projector and I use a Dalite high power high-gain (2.8) screen. I wouldn't want a grey screen unless I had 2000+ lumens to burn. Lumens are frequently inaccurate. The amount of light put out gets spread across the size of the screen, so a more appropriate measurement is ft-lamberts -- which is dependent on the install and screen.

- I still think an XGA projector will handle SDTV (480i), DVD (480p) and 720p HDTV as well as any of the so called "1/4 HDTV" projectors. Read the other thread here where I did the scaling comparison. For 1080i you might see a bit better scaling on the 1/4 HD models, but I doubt its noticeable. If having a perfect multiple/divisible was that critical to scaling, you'd never see Sony sell the 1365x768 resolution models, as that introduces some wierd scales. Yet it looks fine. However, I still think a 1920x1080 projector is the holy grail.

And Mike: Listen to Jonathan. If I wanted $2K to spend I'd have a Dell 3200MP on the way for a 30 day trial. Either make your own screen or get one from CousinsAV. You can get a nice pull down Dalite for around $150.

-Dave

#44 of 975 OFFLINE   Dave Elliott

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Posted February 04 2003 - 03:46 AM

Nils-

I appreciate the offer to try out the CSWs. I'd certainly snag a pair if I liked them better for movies than my direct firing Pinnacles. The Newtown S300 I think has all three modes switchable (dipole/bipole/direct). Thats pretty slick. I have a set of Newtons in the bedroom theater and I like them. After I get everything wired this weekend I'll see if we can set up another gathering for a multipole vs. direct comparison for 7.1.

Also, I've been talking with Jeff Meineger about burning a CD with lots of different frequency samples on it. I used to design and install competition car audio setups (back in the IASCA days my Rx7 owned the 50-100w class in the midwest) and the best tuning tool was a frequency response meter. Well, not having one I figure the next best thing is to sample the decibels at various points and plot it out -- just to see if there are any drops/peaks. Not sure how I'd tune them out without a pre-EQ but it would be interesting. It would also help me set channel volumes. I wish I still had some of my old autosound test CDs.

Have you actually seen a NEC HT1000? I'm dying to take a look. I'd probably be $4K lighter though. Hopefully a 720p native DLP or LCoS will hit that price range in a year or so.


Jonathan: The Thiels aren't necessarily out of my price range, thats flexible. But a wholesale speaker upgrade might be in the future so I don't want to start acquiring those until I decide which brand/model line I like (B&W 600's? Paradigm Studios?) or if I'll just stick with mine -- which sound very good but look very cheap.


-Dave

#45 of 975 OFFLINE   Jonathan DA

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Posted February 04 2003 - 04:31 AM

If you have a PC with a decent full duplex soundcard, you can use CoolEdit to make in room freq response measurements. You can also use Audua's free speaker design software Speakerworkshop, or Liberty Audio's Praxis software running in free mode to do RTA measurments.

If a wholesale speaker replacement is in the works then I'd agree, stick with whatever's handy for now. I won't make any suggestions on speaker brands, I think everyone knows my preference Posted Image

#46 of 975 OFFLINE   Jeff Meininger

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Posted February 04 2003 - 07:19 AM

I found a tool that generates good sine waves, and also allows sweeps over arbitrary frequency ranges for an arbitrary amount of time. It's free (CoolEdit is not, I don't think), but it's a linux tool. Convenient for me since linux is my OS of choice, but I had planned to burn a tone CD for Dave in 1/4th or 1/8th octave increments rather than trying to boot his system from a CD and hoping against hope that I could get his sound hardware recognized and configured.

Jonathan: Since I bought LspCAD, I haven't really paid much attention to SpeakerWorkshop. I used WinISD a bit when playing with sub alignments, but that doesn't have the cone excursion chart (muy importante). It CAN produce test tones, but I wondered about SPL regularity since you produce them by dragging your cursor on a chart containing a line that is not necessarily flat. Posted Image

I got a Praxis CD with LspCAD, but I haven't popped it in yet. I opened JustMLS to see if I could create test tones with it, but all I found how to do was make the short MLS burst and see the resultant graph. Neato. Way over my head at the moment... I need to RTFM.

I'm unfamiliar with RTA, and uncertain what tasks and measurements it facilitates. Would Praxis or Speaker Workshop be able to AUTOMATICALLY chart Dave's system's in-room frequency response without messing with test tone CDs, SPL meters, and Excel files?

#47 of 975 OFFLINE   Hank Frankenberg

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Posted February 04 2003 - 09:24 AM

Jonathan, I understand that LSPCAD and Speakerworkshop will come out with significant upgrades later this year. Then, it'll be interesting to see the differences.

Jeff: If you're buying one of everything, I envy your budgetPosted Image. TrueRTA and ETF5 are the room measurement tools that I've read about. I believe both have calibration files for both the RS SPL meter and the inexpensive Behringer mic. I'm probably going to buy one of them. Also, I have the Stryke Test CD if it'll help you.

Regarding:
but I wondered about SPL regularity

I'd suggest a mild laxative.Posted Image

#48 of 975 OFFLINE   Jonathan DA

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Posted February 04 2003 - 09:44 AM

My suggestions were for free tools that would work as alternatives to test tones and an SPL meter. If we want to talk stuff that can automatically make all the measurements and display the results, then we're talking big bucks. You'd better off to just hire me to come over and do it all for you Posted Image

Speakerworkshop would have to make some serious upgrades to compete with LspCAD. I don't follow too much freeware stuff anymore, is there any word as to what the upgrades are going to be?

Just MLS can make room measurements, you just include the full length MLS in the time window and you'll see the impact the room has on the frequency response. Personally I've never spent much time with JustMLS as LAUD's capabilities far exceed it. It is a useful tool for those on a budget though.

RTA = Real time analyzer. Basically it produces broadband noise and displays the results in 1/3, 1/6, 1/12, etc. octave increments from 20Hz to 20KHz. Kinda like doing doing dozens do test tones simultaneously. Very useful for in room/car measurements. Praxis will do this for free. Make sure you have a calibration file for your mic though, otherwise you can't trust the results. That goes for any measurement, not just RTA.

And lastly, if you're going to stick with the test tone method, I suggest using warble tones instead of pure sine waves.

#49 of 975 OFFLINE   Jeff Meininger

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Posted February 05 2003 - 01:11 AM

Hank: heh... LspCAD is the only software tool I've purchased. JustMLS comes for free with LspCAD. WinISD is free online. Since I bought LspCAD from Liberty Instruments, they sent along a free Praxis demo CD in the hopes the I'd be hooked and have to buy the full version.

Jonathan: I don't understand... if SpeakerWorkshop or Praxis in free mode is a viable alternative to test tones and an SPL meter, doesnt that qualify as "something that can automatically make all the measurements and display the results" without costing big bucks? Or will these tools just be an easier way to generate test tones one at a time and view the result?

Dave: the program I have doesn't make warble tones. I guess you'd have to use Jonathan's suggestion of CoolEdit and generate your own wavs for a CD, unless of course I can bring a Praxis/SpeakerWorkshop box over to your place and use that. I'll (obviously) need to learn a bit more about those apps before trying to measure anything reliably, though.

#50 of 975 OFFLINE   Jonathan DA

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Posted February 05 2003 - 03:12 AM

Jonathan: I don't understand... if SpeakerWorkshop or Praxis in free mode is a viable alternative to test tones and an SPL meter, doesnt that qualify as "something that can automatically make all the measurements and display the results" without costing big bucks?


Guess that depends on your definition of automatic. An RTA will make and record all your measurements in one shot, so yes, in that sense it automates the test tone method. Regardless of which system you use though, there's still going to be a lot of manual work involved because you'll have to take a large number of measurements all over the room and plot them out if you really want to know what's going on. I believe there are some systems out there that will do this automatically, you just plop the mic down hit a button and move to the next location. When you're all done you get a 3D pressure map of the room. I use a combination of LAUD and CARA to arrive at this same info, but there is a steep learning curve and it is time consuming. It's all a matter of knowing what extreme you want to go to. For the average room tuning experiment, JustMLS and Praxis' RTA should work just fine.

#51 of 975 OFFLINE   mike_frontier

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Posted February 06 2003 - 12:21 AM

Posted Image

All,

I just wanted to say thank you for all(s) your feedback on helping me decide what the pros and cons are from a RPTV vs FP and helping me understand it a little more about FP.

I have decided to get an FP and already have one on order that will be here on Monday, so I can't wait Posted Image !!

Thanks!
Mike
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http://www.dvdaficio...San&id=mikeysan

#52 of 975 OFFLINE   Jonathan DA

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Posted February 06 2003 - 01:47 AM

Well don't keep us in suspense, what'd you get?!

#53 of 975 OFFLINE   mike_frontier

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Posted February 06 2003 - 02:44 AM

Jonathan,

I got the Infocus X1. I got an hell of an deal on it. I could not pass it up.

I might have some questions down the road like I notice that the infocus inputs has an video, S-video but I do not see composite (so i can run my progressive dvd player) unless it uses some kind of adapter to s-video. I am sure you guys know what I am talking about. But monday is the day I get it.

The wife has no idea what I am doing. I hope once I got it all setup and done she will be surprised. I bet she'll flip once she sees no TV or stereo equipment on the front wall (only except my center and towers). but once I hit the power on the FP then she might not be so upset. Then again shes 8-months pregnant--doh!!!
Oh well I gotta have my toyZ!!
Mike AkA-Frontier
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http://www.dvdaficio...San&id=mikeysan

#54 of 975 OFFLINE   Nils Luehrmann

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Posted February 06 2003 - 03:16 AM

Mike,

Congrats on the acquisition.

As to your question about inputs, I believe you meant to say "component", and not "composite". The X1 does have a composite input, but you don't want to use that. It does accept a component input via its S-Video connection (has the extra two prongs), but you will need a component RCA S-Video adapter (which I would hope InFocus would provide).

#55 of 975 OFFLINE   Jonathan DA

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Posted February 06 2003 - 03:41 AM

Mike, have you decided on a screen? Nils and Colin have Plastex screens, I have a blackout fabric screen (hope to spray it with Behr Ultrawhite this weekend) and Mark has a blackout screen with gray paint. I think Colin also has a DaLite pulldown for sale. You're welcome to check out mine anytime, it cost a whopping $30 to make and performs admirably.

#56 of 975 OFFLINE   mike_frontier

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Posted February 06 2003 - 03:59 AM

Nils,

Oppss... Yes thats correct I meant to say component (doh).
I hope infocus will have one side of the box if so -BUT- the only thing I have lacking on my AV receiver (H/K Avr125) is component ins, but I do have S-video on the amp.

Do you think I should just run eveything S-video, since my receiver lacks component inputs? I might get a little worse picture quality in my progressive scan dvd player since I will not run component (right?). Unless there is a secret on hooking up an FP that I am not aware of with my A/V receiver Posted Image .??

---------------
Jonathan,

I have not decided on an screen yet. I read that you can home make one. Also hear thats tehres people that shoot there FP off the white wall and does well Posted Image .

Is there any that you can assist me to or highly recommend that will not bust a hole in my wallet?

Thanks,
Mike
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#57 of 975 OFFLINE   Hank Frankenberg

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Posted February 06 2003 - 04:16 AM

The wife has no idea what I am doing. I hope once I got it all setup and done she will be surprised. I bet she'll flip...

Mike, when she flips, just bring it on over to my house and we'll set it up and you can come over occasionally to watch moviesPosted Image
Cograts on your upcoming big picture!

#58 of 975 OFFLINE   Jonathan DA

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Posted February 06 2003 - 04:31 AM

Mike, I like the blackout screens because they're lite. In my setup I occasionally want the screen out of the way for some serious music-only sessions, and I can just pick my screen up with one hand and move it to the other room. They're also very cheap, $10-40 depending on if you want a painted one or need to buy lumber.

Plastex screens are great too, their texture seems to work very well for FP. The only drawback I see is that they have to be bonded to a substrate to keep them flat, and that makes them heavy. I think the Plastex itself costs about $20 and most people use MDF as the substrate, so add another $16, plus the price of the 3M adhesive to stick it down, another $11. Total is $47 for a basic screen. Ask Colin about the price of a tricked out screen Posted Image

The DaLite screens are great if you need a low cost (around $150) pull down option. These are the same screens you see used in classrooms and boardrooms. A wide array of fabric types and light gains are available which is great for matching to your projector. The drawback is that most of them have a slight waviness to them because they aren't tensioned. I think a lot of the waviness could be removed by gluing a small strip of MDF to back bottom of the fabric as it is held taught, but I've never tried it.

Hope this helps. You can find a ton of screen info in the AVS Screen Forum along with instructions for the DIY screens.

#59 of 975 OFFLINE   mike_frontier

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Posted February 06 2003 - 05:47 AM

Jonathan

Thanks for the link Posted Image .

I saw an setup that I feel in love with and I think I can do about the same due to the same floor plan at this guy did. Check it out:

http://home.1asphost.com/ddogtheater/
Mike AkA-Frontier
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http://www.dvdaficio...San&id=mikeysan

#60 of 975 OFFLINE   Nils Luehrmann

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Posted February 07 2003 - 05:15 AM

Mike,

There is going to be a projector shootout in Austin at the Clariton Hotel on the 15th comparing many of the latest entry level projectors:

Panasonic AE300
Sanyo PLV-Z1
Sony VPL-HS10 Cineza
InFocus X1

There are a few folks that mentioned they might bring their projectors that in the past were quite popular when they were released, like:

NEC LT-150
InFocus Screenplay 110
Sony 10HT

This will give you a chance to get a better idea of the differences in these models. It will also give you an opportunity to learn how to maximize the performance of the X1 should you decide to keep it.

(click here for the link to the discussion regarding the shootout)