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Considering getting a front projector questions??

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10 replies to this topic

#1 of 11 OFFLINE   Ian B

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Posted May 14 2006 - 04:03 PM

Hi gang; Now that I got an HD DVD player and a blu-ray player on order, I am considering getting a front projector under 3K. I would like it to be 720p/1080i native, DLP and HDTV ready with DHMI connection. I mostly watch Time Warner HDTV DVR recorded programs(60%). If it is 4x3 , I stretch the image, some video gaming(10%) and widescreen dvds(30%). Room size: 11' wide by 13' long Light fully controlled Projector mounted from 9" ceiling dead center at the back of the room Screen size: Not decided yet but, will appreciate any size and aspect ratio recommendations. May build my own with info. Possible projector: InFocus 76 Can I get a quick definition of 720p and 1080i native resolution and how that will impact watching HD content? Thanks, Ian B
Ian B.

#2 of 11 OFFLINE   Jonathan DA

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Posted May 15 2006 - 11:16 AM


A good rundown of what the different resolutions mean is at http://www.hdtvinfop...Resolution.html

The short of it is that all digital projectors (LCD, DLP, LCOS, SXRD) are fixed pixel displays, meaning they can only display one resolution. Any other resolution fed to them will be scaled to the native res of the projector. So, in the case of an IN76 its native res is 1280x720 (aka 720p in this case); if you are to feed the IN76 a 1080i or 1080p (1920x1080 pixels) signal, the IN76's scaler will automatically downscale the 1080i/p signal to a 720p signal. There are nuances involved including the method of downscaling, but for this discussion that's probably all you need to know.

The same thing applies in reverse as well. If you feed the IN76 a DVD signal, which is native 720x480, it is going to be automatically upscaled to 1280x720 by the projector's scaler.

There is a special case, called pass-thru, in which some projectors allow you to do a 1:1 pixel map between the source and display, and in most of those cases you either have unused pixels on your panel, or you loose picture information because the native image is larger than the res of the panel. Usually only HTPC users are concerned about pass thru modes. They use the pass thru modes to get an exact match between the source and the display. Hence the 1:1 part. You probably don't need to worry about this scenario.

If you're going to mount the projector all the way at the back of the room, make sure you check the projector's throw range to insure that it will actually work. ProjectorCentral has a nifty calculator for most projectors.

The IN76 is a nice unit. I'm considering the same unit, as well the Panasonic AE900. The IN76 will have a better picture, but the Panny is $800 cheaper.

EDIT: Forgot to mention that under $9k the leading digital projectors are 720p native units at this time. If you're looking to stay in the budget class, then your concern shouldn't be about resolution, it should be about total picture quality, i.e. color accuracy, contrast, black levels, scaling quality, etc.

#3 of 11 OFFLINE   Ian B

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Posted May 15 2006 - 02:18 PM

Damn Jonathan that is a lot of good information to digest. Let me read up some more on that Infocus 76 projector and check the website for throwing distance. Thanks again, Ian B
Ian B.

#4 of 11 OFFLINE   James Phung

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Posted May 16 2006 - 05:37 AM

One of the advantages that the IN76 has over other projectors under $3k is that it will deinterlace 1080i to 1080p before downscaling to 720p. One of the advantages with Infocus projectors is they are precalibrated very well out of the box while other projectors can be off a little bit and will need a good amount of tweaking. Lucky for us there's the internet and people share their adjustments to get these projectors dialed in better like the Infocus.

#5 of 11 OFFLINE   Nils Luehrmann

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Posted May 20 2006 - 02:50 AM

Ian, good to see you are still hanging out, its been too long. I would agree with what Doc & James suggest regarding a front projection system. However, considering the size of the room, and that you already have a HD DVD player and are planning on getting one of the first BD players, I would strongly suggest you consider a 1920x1080 rear projection TV. You really do not need a +70” screen in that size room to begin with, so you’ll get a great deal more bang for the buck with a RPTV. In some ways you may even get a better picture than any FP due to the design characteristics of rear projection that allows for superior contrast and black levels, as well as being able to see a much better picture with plenty of ambient light. Like watching sports or playing video games. Of all the 1920x1080 RP sets I've seen the two that appear head and shoulders above all others are the 60" Sony SXRD (LCoS) and the 64” Samsung DLP. The Samsung models even accept a 1080p input, where as the Sony, like most displays will only accept a 1080i signal which it then uses its deinterlacer to reconstruct the progressive signal. In the case of the Sony, it does a magnificent job so you should not be able to tell the difference, but it is worth keeping that in mind when making a decision. If you are interested, I’d be happy to show you some of the latest 1920x1080 displays and point out some of the differences that I’ve found, and some of things that should be coming up in the near future. Regardless, its great hearing from you again, and don’t be a stranger. Give me a call sometime.

#6 of 11 OFFLINE   JayTHO



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Posted June 19 2006 - 05:10 AM

I just joined this forum as I'm in the process of building my HT. This thread has been very helpful. I'm leaning towards buying the IN76 and was wondering about screens. I'm looking for a 92" diagonal. Does anyone have any suggestions for a good screen to go with the IN76? Thanks

#7 of 11 OFFLINE   Nils Luehrmann

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Posted June 19 2006 - 07:39 AM

Howdy Jay,

I'd recommend that once you have picked out the projector, get it first before picking a screen. Once it is in the location you want, and you know what size screen, you will want/need, then start looking for screens. There are several very good and relatively easy to do DIY projection screen designs that could save you a good chunk of change, but do require some basic skills and o course time and effort.

As for manufactured screens, the best value IMO is still Da-Lite's High-Contrast Cinema Vision screens. If you stick with a manufacturer’s precut sizes instead of custom cuts, you'll also save some money.

Within the Austin HTF group, there are quite a lot of different designed screens, so if you are interested in seeing how your projector might look on them I'd suggest posting an inquiry in the following thread:

Hey Austin Texas Buddies? Can anyone help me out?

If you are interested in DIY screen designs you may want to make some inquiries in the following thread:

Austin DIY HT Projects

Another great resource for DIY screen designs is over at AVS forum.

Nice to meet you, and don't be a stranger, there's definetely room for more HT minded folks in our Austin group.

#8 of 11 OFFLINE   James Phung

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Posted June 20 2006 - 11:28 AM

Jay, I'm getting ready to move out of Austin. I might need to get rid of my 92" Da-Lite High Contrast Matte White (1.1 gain) Model B with CSR. It is pretty much the pull down version of the High Contrast Cinema Vision. Though it's a pull down, I've had it down 99% of the time, never rolling it up so it doesn't have any waves that are problems found in some pulldowns. PM me if you're interested.

#9 of 11 OFFLINE   David-Wright


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Posted June 20 2006 - 03:55 PM

I disagree. A RPTV will take up some of that 13' of space forcing you to sit even closer. I have had rooms smaller than that and had pictures as big as 100". (with a low res projector by today's standards). 720P will look great on a screen the size you would be able to throw in that room. (maybe 100-120 diagonal in 16x9). With the Sanyo Z4 you could throw a picture up to 118", with a 2X zoom lens so you have lots of options to go smaller. Also I wouldn't automatically rule out LCD projectors. And at that price point you might look at projectors with power zoom. That way you can make the picture larger to adjust for aspect ratio. Try that with a RPTV. $3,000 is an excellent price point for projectors, you have lots of good ones to choose from. BTW my projector is a Sony HS10. 1366 x 768. In a room 17' deep I throw a picture that is 12 feet wide and looks great. (paid $1200 for the projector at a Sony outlet store)

#10 of 11 OFFLINE   TicoTVA


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Posted June 22 2006 - 03:20 PM

The DLP in the 2-3 thousand dollar range really arent known for their throw distance. LCDs have more control on in the same catagory.

I'd suggest:

Sanyo Z4
Panasonic AE900U
Infocus IN76
Optoma HD72



#11 of 11 OFFLINE   JediFonger



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Posted June 22 2006 - 04:33 PM


^another good resource.

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