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Projectors for Normal TV and DVD


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#1 of 25 OFFLINE   Richard Little

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Posted February 05 2004 - 01:14 PM

I currently have a 27" normal tube TV. The upgrade bug has bit me and I've been infected for quite some time. Currently, all of my TV viewing is either standard analog cable TV or DVD's, with not much hope for HD in the near future. What would be a good projector for me to go with? The ability to upgrade to a HD DVD player would be nice but who really knows if any standard today will be the final HD DVD standard tomorrow. The X1 is rather affordable; will normal TV and DVD be acceptable on it?

#2 of 25 OFFLINE   DaveGTP

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Posted February 05 2004 - 02:00 PM

Richard, The important question is how much DVD to you watch as compared to TV? I haven't seen normal TV on my temporary X1 since I don't watch TV. I did see the superbowl in SD upconverted thanks to our sucky local Over-the-air affiliate via my HD receiver. It was tolerable for the most part. I hear normal TV is tolerable as long as the projector has a good scaler (like the Faroudja in the X1). The pixelworks scaler in the Optoma H30 has gotten some decent comments as well. But a projector is actually very good if you watch a lot of DVDs. Remember that normal TV is very low-res and subject to noise (& compression if you are talking Digital cable/satellite). All of this is blown up as the size increases (regardless of the type of device that is showing the image). DVDs are awesome provided you have a good progressive DVD player with Faroudja or the like. My DVD player was certainly still quite good with the X1 scaling up S-video from the player (until I got my hands on the component adapter the X1 needs) but much better via progressive.
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#3 of 25 OFFLINE   Ruben M

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Posted February 05 2004 - 03:10 PM

I am in the same situation. I have a 27" tv and would like to upgrade. Front projection is what i want too. I won't watch much TV on it, i will use it for DVDs every once in a while.... i think it is a waste of lamp life if you want to watch TV news, or any kind of show... but that is my personal choice... i will keep my 27" for TV. I don't really know what projector is the best for my needs. I know it would have to be about $2000. my choices are: SANYO PLV-Z2(LCD), NEC LT240K OR MITSUBISHI SD300U(DLP). LCD or DLP?.... i don't really know...what i know is that i would like to be as close to the screen as posible to get that big screen feeling....

#4 of 25 OFFLINE   DaveGTP

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Posted February 05 2004 - 03:47 PM

DLP is better for bigger imagery because of the screen door effect that is more prevalent on LCDs. The Infocus 4805 is coming out soon - 4x DLP, FAroudja, 16x9 for somewhere between $1300-1400 most likely. No need to spend 2k on an LCD projector until you know if you're sensitive to rainbows (and how much).
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#5 of 25 OFFLINE   Joseph Bolus

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Posted February 05 2004 - 04:49 PM

I agree with Dave. Hold out for the Infocus 4805 (due in March). It's the "guts" of the outstanding Infocus X1 (which I own and love), but fully optimized for Home Theater.

For those people sensitive to the DLP "rainbows", it includes a 4x color wheel. (A six segment RGB-RGB rotating at 120 Hz.) This should all but eliminate the problem for about 99% of the population.

As a true Home Theater projector, it features a native 16:9 DLP chip. Those of us with X1's have had to put up with running our native 4:3 DLP panels in the provided 16:9 mode. While the picture is magnificent, there is quite a bit of "light spill" (not to mention wasted pixels!) to contend with. This problem is eliminated with the 4805.

The 4805 will also provide more lumens and better contrast ratio than the X1. While the specs seem similar (2000:1 contrast ratio is quoted for both; 750 lumens is quoted for the 4805, 1000 for the X1); it should be remembered that the quoted specs for the X1 are only valid when it's operated in its "Presentation Mode". The lumen output for the X1 when operated in its "Film" or "Video" mode is closer to 500, and the contrast ratio is closer to 1700:1. So the 4805 will easily best the X1 in both of those critical categories.

Finally, the 4805 will be the first DLP projector to be sold as a Home Theater Projector in mass retail stores like Best Buy and Circuit City. Both of those stores already sell the X1, but as a "Computer Accessory". The 4805 will be found in the DLP RPTV sections of both stores and should retail for around $1400!

Here's a link to the Press Release:

http://www.projector...s_story_642.htm
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#6 of 25 OFFLINE   Eric Samonte

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Posted February 06 2004 - 01:48 AM

Hmmm...now there's something I might try...DVI, 4x color wheel...and at $1400, it could dethrone a lot of present day pjs. On a side note, I have a Sanyo PLV-Z1 and tried sat TV on it using the Svideo out. I am a bit surprized at the quality, very good compared to most cable feeds. Basing on DVD PQ at 10, I'd says its an 8.

#7 of 25 OFFLINE   DaViD Boulet

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Posted February 06 2004 - 03:20 AM

Sounds like an amazing bargin at 1.5K. I'd like to see it in action when it arrives. Just saw the Sony HS20 the other night (streets bettween 3 and 3.5K) and it was AWESOME. The *slightest* screen door to my eyes at 1.5 screen widths but this was not visible to the other viewer who was with me. Also, the scaling was so good on DVD and even TV sources that the image looked "analog" with NO jaggies or pixel-blocking...just a smooth, smooth picture. The Sony is also bonifide HD res (a little more than 720P resolution) so it's AMAZING with HD material. HD material looks better than DVD even on standard-def projectors like the X1 and forthcoming infocus but to see HD on a 720P or higher machine...ahhh. Oh...there was also a recent price drop on the Infocus 5700 which is now MSRP around $4K if I remember correctly (making it price-wise on par with the Sony HS20 when comparing street price).
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#8 of 25 OFFLINE   DuWayne

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Posted February 06 2004 - 04:41 AM

Go with the Z2. Unlike what was posted earlier, you WILL NOT have a problem with "Screen Door" effects with this LCD projector. In fact, I haven't had a issue with screen door effects on many LCD displays (as of current). I can't say that for DLP. Having own the Z2, I can speak to the fact that at 8' to ~, with a 110" picture, you will not have to worry about the quality of a SD source. BUT, I will say, if you are planning on using S-Video connections only, you will be opening a whole nother can of worms. Everything, including LCOS (I had one), has a potenial to display Rainbow effects when using S-Video. As a mater of fact, I saw this morning, a brief "rainbow effect" on my CRT tube, which is being fed by S-Video from my Tivo.

#9 of 25 OFFLINE   DaViD Boulet

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Posted February 06 2004 - 04:45 AM

Well...the fellow sitting next to me didn't see any SDE...but I did Posted Image

I'd venture to say that different folks have different thresholds of sensitivitiy to it. BTW, I'd *love* to see the Z2. I've heard *great* things about it.
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#10 of 25 OFFLINE   DuWayne

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Posted February 06 2004 - 05:06 AM

I would be more than happy to show you, but it will cost you a $240 ticket on Jetblue from Dulles to Oakland. Posted Image

#11 of 25 OFFLINE   Richard Little

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Posted February 06 2004 - 11:21 AM

I’m going to wait for the Infocus 4805. If it works for standard TV, great, if not, I had planned to suspend the screen above and in front of the 27" TV for easy access to both. Screen up for the news and such and down for DVD's. I hope it works out.

#12 of 25 OFFLINE   Richard Little

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Posted February 08 2004 - 04:47 AM

This bit of reading http://www.projector...deo_signals.htm answers a lot of questions about what someone should be looking for.

#13 of 25 OFFLINE   Ken.Nischan

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Posted February 09 2004 - 05:18 AM

Another alternative to the Z2 is the Panasonic AE-500u. I was originally going to get a Z2 but changed my mind and decided to go with the 500u. They're almost the same, specwise. The spec comparison according to projectorcenteral 500u/Z2 is lumens 850/800, max res 1920x1080 / 1280 x 1024, CR 1300:1 both, digital input DVI-D / DVI-I. The Z2 has a nice lens shift which the 500u doesn't though, but that isn't important to me.

Just throwing out another option Posted Image

#14 of 25 OFFLINE   cabreau

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Posted February 09 2004 - 06:17 AM

I was just about to comment on the projector central article about how projectors will convert a 480i (interlaced) signal to a 480p (progressive) and that it makes the picture 10 times better. Do ALL of these LCD XGA projectors do that? Are the CRT guns affordable yet?
"...He who knows how to live can walk abroad without fear of rhinocerous or tiger. He will not be wounded in battle. For in him rhinoceroses can find no place to thrust their horn, tigers can find no place to use their claws, and weapons no place to pierce. Why is this so? Because he has no...

#15 of 25 OFFLINE   DaViD Boulet

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Posted February 09 2004 - 07:56 AM

CRT gun projectors are extreemly affordable. You can get a reconditioned CRT 7" projector for a couple of grand or less. You'll need an external scaler or HTPC (or possibly just a progressive-scan DVD player) to get a good image. All digital projectors are inherently "progressive" scan so they all convert interlaced to progressive. The algorithms they use to do this can vary so whether or not the resulting image is "good" or not depends. Most HT-oriented PJs have decent deinterlacing chips these days... Oh...the resulting image isn't "10 times better"...it's just smoother with no jaggies if done right.
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#16 of 25 OFFLINE   Richard Little

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Posted February 09 2004 - 11:42 AM

Oh! I've been doing a lot of reading on this one. It looks quite nice and only about $300 more than the projected price for the 4805. I just don't know... the AE500 has over double the pixels than the 4805 but every one seems so happy with the Faroudja DCDi in the lower pixel count, Infocus's. I just don't know... this is much to stressfull.

#17 of 25 OFFLINE   cabreau

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Posted February 09 2004 - 01:32 PM

I was at a HiFi place recently. They don't "sell" the stuff per se but they install HT's and automatic lighting, remote room control, etc. in expensive homes. They had a CRT gun that was displaying just a normal TV show. The picture HAD to be over 70" easy and it looked better than a movie. It was a $20k CRT though. I'm wondering if the CRT projectors for a few grand or less will do as good a job...or what the best bang for the buck is...I'm so confused. I'm really looking for something that I can watch both normal cable TV 4:3 and DVD movies (widescreen) on...something that will convert the 480i signal into a 480p, and that will plain old look damn good.
"...He who knows how to live can walk abroad without fear of rhinocerous or tiger. He will not be wounded in battle. For in him rhinoceroses can find no place to thrust their horn, tigers can find no place to use their claws, and weapons no place to pierce. Why is this so? Because he has no...

#18 of 25 OFFLINE   cabreau

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Posted February 10 2004 - 12:49 AM

That Infocus X1 looks like a really good deal. Have any of you had issues with the rainbow effect on it?
"...He who knows how to live can walk abroad without fear of rhinocerous or tiger. He will not be wounded in battle. For in him rhinoceroses can find no place to thrust their horn, tigers can find no place to use their claws, and weapons no place to pierce. Why is this so? Because he has no...

#19 of 25 OFFLINE   DaViD Boulet

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Posted February 10 2004 - 01:12 AM

cabreau, If you're willing to work with the hassle (really not that bad) of calibrating and maintaining a CRT projector, yes, they produce better pictures in most ways compared to digital machines. If brightness is an important factor, their advantages may not be as important to you. But if you can do light control and handle a projector that's not uber-bright--and perhaps go with a smaller screen size to compensate (less than 80 inches), then CRT can produce a high-end picture on a shoe-string budget. there are statement CRT PJs that cost quite a lot (as you found out) but there are also smaller 7" gun machines that will about 720P resolution pretty well (not full 1080 res) and really impress you. Lots of reconditioned units out there for less than the price of an HS20.
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#20 of 25 OFFLINE   Rick Guynn

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Posted February 10 2004 - 02:14 AM

I really don't see the 4805 as that big of a deal. Sure, it's 16x9, but at 854x480 it's the same as running the X1 in 16:9 mode. The only 'real' (IMO) plus for the 4805 is the the faster/better color wheel. So essentially, if you're not all that sensitive to rainbows, go ahead and get the X1. If you aer a little sensitive, and still want DLP, then wait for the 4805. As regards to the Z2: the minimum distance I would recommend viewing it from is 1.25x screen width. At that distance, screen door is visible but ignorable unless you want to see it. At 1.5x, screen door is a non-issue unless you have really good eyesight. In regards to the original issue of using the PJ as your primary display device: using 'normal' cable stright out of the box might not be a good idea due to the noise that appears. If you plan on using an HTPC as the source, and run it through DScaler, it would probably be OK. The biggest issue with this kind of application, however, is light control. If you are not going to be watching it in a reasonably dark room, then you need to get a screen that rejects ambient light and has decent gain (read: DaLite HiPower), otherwise you will be forced to watch a pretty washed-out picture most of the time. Sports is more forgiving, but most TV shows aren't really bright enough to overcome the washout decently. RG




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