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Good projector

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6 replies to this topic

#1 of 7 OFFLINE   mofet_n



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Posted April 23 2003 - 02:29 AM

Hey hey! Would someone please help me? I need to buy a projector in between 7500$ - 10000$. I have no clue what brand to go for, and what specs to look for. I would also like to know what screen to go for, and under what price range.

ps: Does anyone have a website that explains everything about projectors?


#2 of 7 OFFLINE   Neil Joseph

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Posted April 23 2003 - 03:15 AM

Posted Image

Is that $US numbers or Canadian?

Give us some information on the room where it will be going. This will give you a start with the basics... Front Projection - How do I select one for my needs?
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#3 of 7 OFFLINE   jimmy~e



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Posted April 23 2003 - 04:23 AM

Surf on over to the Projectorcentral.com website and read both professional reviews and user reviews of many projectors. Also visit another forum like this one called AVSCIENCE forum and read the sections under "display devices" that are for both "under $5000" projectors and "over $5000 projectors."
That being said, I recommend that you buy the $5400 manufacturers list price NEC HT1000(available on the street for well under $5000) and then add a $3000 Stewart Grayhawk screen and save yourself some money while enjoying a wonderful projector and screen!

#4 of 7 OFFLINE   DaViD Boulet

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Posted April 23 2003 - 08:15 AM

Jimmy is right...go over and surf around avscience.com in the digital projectors forums (the > 5K forum) and you'll learn lots and lots.

But I'll tell you anyway since I love to talk about it Posted Image

There are 3 basic types of digital projectors: LCD, DLP, and LCOS (sony is about to come out with SXRD which is like LOCS).


LCD is usually the cheapest all things being equal. With LCD light from a white light blub is split into 3 parts each passing through a Red,Green, or blue color filter and then shines "through" 3 small LCD chips...sortof like light shining through a film-strip in a slide projector. Each chip handles one of the 3 RGB colors and all 3 colors shine on top of each other on the screen at the same time in a constant "on" state...LCD projector have no visible flicker.

You can get a Sony HS10 LCD projector that is 16x9, has HD resolution, and looks fantastic for less than $4K! Problem? Blacks are only "dark gray" at best and if you get closer than 1.75 screen-widths away you can see the "screen door" effect from the LCD structure. Sony and Sanyo also make more expensive LCD projectors that do better blacks. Of the 3 digital projectors, LCD's 2 weaknesses (in general) are it's black level and visible screen-door structure. Plus's include some projectors that are really bright, don't cost much $$, and don't have any "rainbow" artifacts which you'll read about next...


Next up is DLP which is based on light reflecting off a tiny micro-chip covered in little mirrors that pivot on/off to refelct light or not reflect light (so instead of light passing *through* the chip like with LCD...it's reflected off the chip). Expensive professional projectors use 3 chips with the white light filtered through RGB color filters similar to the LCD design I talked about earlier, but to keep costs down most consumer DLP units use a single chip that alternates colors in a RGBRGBRGBRGB...pattern. Usually this is accomplished by a color-wheel that spins in between the light bulb and the chip...and computer software alternates what color information that the chip should be processing/displaying each time a new color "passes over" the chip from the color-wheel. DLP chips can switch on/off fast enough that this can be done...LCDs are too slow to produce in "single chip" form where they would have to alternate from one color to the next.

The problem with this is that sometimes, especially in dark scenes with something bright like a candle...if your eyes dart across the screen the white image of the candle flame suddenly "breaks up" into a red-green-blue strobe light effect. the new DLP projectors have very fast color-wheels so this isn't a problem for most people...but some notice it still.

If you're interested in DLP for home theater...go with a native 16x9 device based on the new "HD2" chip.
2 models to consider are the Infocus 7200 and Sharp 10000 though there are many others that are similar based on the same chip. The infocus is bright, but the blacks are not very black IMO and I personally see "rainbows" on it to a distracting degree (the brightness enhances this artifact). The Sharp 10000 is a truely awesome machine...smooth film-like images from a standard DVD player that rival projected film (really that good) and good blacks. I didn't find rainbows to be a problem for me on the Sharp 10000 (and I'm sensitive to that).

Screen-door is also present for DLP projectors but to much less degree than LCD (in general). If you sit at least 1.5 screen widths away from a 16x9 screen you should not see the pixel-structure in any distracting way, though you *might* notice it if you tried to see it.

Only other downside is that all current 16x9 consumer DLP units are 1280 x 720 and *not* full 1920 x 1080 HD. Don't be fooled though...720P HD is astonishingly detailed and you wouldn't find anything to fault in the image (though full 1080 would be even better...naturally).

DLP tends to be the "blackest" of the digital projection technologies at present.


This is the most underdeveloped technology IMO but also one of the coolest. It uses an LCD technology that *reflects* light like DLP. Most projectors are based on a 3-chip design so there are no rainbow issues to speak of.

LCOS weakeness is that it's still black-challenged like LCD but several companies promise to have new projectors out soon that they say will compete or beat out DLP in the black-level department. LCOS strengths are that it has virtually no visible "screen door" artifact bcs it's pixels are so close togehter. This can produce the most silky-smooth film-like pictures (though that sharp 10000 comes mighty close!).

The biggest problem with LOCS is that it hasn't been implimented well. JVC has their "DILA" version but continues to only make HT projectors that are based on a 4x3 chip while their RP sets use the 1080 16x9 chip. Can you say "Duh!"? Also...the scaling in many LCOS projectors is not as sophisticated as that in the new HD2 DLP machines. Not a fault of the technology...just those making the projectors.

Sony has announced that they plan to bring to market in the next year their version of LCOS called "SXRD" which they say will beat out DLP in black level and contrast and be a full 1920 x 1080 16x9 chip. Personally, I can't wait to see it!!!
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#5 of 7 OFFLINE   mofet_n



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Posted April 23 2003 - 01:17 PM

Wowwwww! I just can't thank you enough. David, thank you so much! I think you've put all the information that I needed in the best possible manner. I'll be sure to check both avscience.com and Projectorcentral.com.
And Neil, my room size is about L 22f X 9.5f. Is this large or mid? Anyways, I would like to know if I'll be able to set my speakers behide a stewart screen.

Thanks guys.

#6 of 7 OFFLINE   Chris Moe

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Posted April 23 2003 - 04:05 PM

Do yourself a favor and check out the CRT section over at AVS at well. With that kind of money you could pick up the NEC XG-135LC or a Sony G70 for 5-6k. Budget $1,500 for a scaler or a HTPC (home theater computer used for scaling)and another $500-$1000 (tops unless you go electric) and have an image that in my opinion would put any digital unit to shame.

#7 of 7 OFFLINE   DaViD Boulet

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Posted April 24 2003 - 12:39 AM


Good point. It may take a little more know-how to set up and calibrate, but a CRT projector in a dedicated (dark) room can do wonders with that budget...
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