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1080p Front Projectors

CEDIA 2005-2007

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#41 of 109 Tim Glover

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Posted September 19 2006 - 10:16 AM

I've been looking at plasmas in the 50 inch range....considering you'll pay about $2500 on the low end for these (not counting Vizio Posted Image )....this is still about $1000 to $1200 more than a 720p projector that will throw a HUGE image. I realize that's not counting the screen but there are deals/bargains and other means to do this economically and still have a stellar image.

I have a REAL hard time throwing down that kind of money for a flat panel model when I can have a real cinema experience for way less.

#42 of 109 Nikki M

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Posted September 19 2006 - 10:28 AM

Thanks Tim for the info. I'll read the article & hopefully understand it...at least the parts that might pertain to us! I am anxious to see the Ruby and I hope that the salesman can talk to me about what the differences w/ the Pearl will be.

#43 of 109 Parker Clack

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Posted September 19 2006 - 10:29 AM

NikKi:

What I can tell you about the Sony is to wait and see one in action. The picture is fantastic. And a great steal at the price point they are offering it at.

Having said that I really thought a lot of the 720p projectors that we saw (Infocus, Panasonic, Optoma) that were several thousand less had a great image too. This gives you room to buy a great screen, HD-DVD or Blu-Ray player and several titles at the same price for just the Sony and a good screen to go with it.

Another great screen company to look into is Carada Projection Screens. Give David a call at Carada and talk to him about what you are wanting to do an he will give you the best price on the best screen for your room and projector.

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#44 of 109 Nikki M

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Posted September 19 2006 - 10:34 AM

Have to admit that I came to the same conclusion about the plasmas. My husband wanted to do a projector all along, and I wanted to just buy a REALLY big tv. But after looking at both options, it seems to make more sense to me to go the route of the projector, too.

The only problem is that we tend to go overboard researching things and drive ourselves crazy in the process. That's why I'm on this forum...the search has just begun. I do want to try to keep the process to a minimum, though, so that we can watch college football this season!

#45 of 109 Tim Glover

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Posted September 19 2006 - 11:12 AM

It's easy for us HT people to over analyze and over research. I do it ALL the time Posted Image I believe that wherever each of us are in the tax bracket, we all want the best quality at minimum out of pocket $$.

Researching some does provide that information....but can also bring up other ideas or products to confuse the decision. Posted Image

Parker is EXACTLY right. One reason I want a new 720p projector is certainly price but the performance is great too. And, I'll be able to add the things I need to make my theater all it can be. Already own a HD-DVD player and great sub, but will need everything else. Posted Image

Enjoy the process....if possible stick to your budget or go less if you can. There will ALWAYS be something better with A/V gear. If not now, give it about 6 months. Posted Image This can drive one crazy.

Enjoy what you decide on and please report back your thoughts and of course we would love pictures of your setup! Posted Image

#46 of 109 Nikki M

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Posted September 19 2006 - 11:34 AM

Thanks guys...will report back w/ decisions (and questions!)
Nikki

#47 of 109 Nikki M

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Posted September 19 2006 - 05:17 PM

Here's an update.

We got to view the Sharp 12000 Mark II and the Sony Ruby set up in the same room,going back & forth. We saw a HD DirecTV feed, DVD (SD) & HBO HD. The overall image quality of both was great, we couldn't tell a difference as far as the 1080p/720 (Sony/Sharp). Perhaps that would have been different if we had seen an HD-DVD fed into both? I don't know...does anyone else? The store didn't have an HD-DVD player set up in the room.

The differences we did see: the color on the Sony looked more vibrant, saturated and warmer. The color on the Sharp was cooler, but we wondered how much of that was just how the Sharp was set up. Unfortunately, the guy at the store didn't know enough to be able to tell us. I'm sorry that I don't know all the technical terms, but as far as detail, ie: the image holding up during fast movement(cars crashing, people running) & camera pans, both projectors were identical and great. It was interesting that the color differences between the two seemed accentuated depending on the shot...interior shots on the Sharp were even cooler, but outdoor shots on the Sharp looked more realistic than the Sony (well, slightly. and you had to be actively switching back & forth to really see a difference)

So, w/ the quality on both outstanding, the only question that remains...720 or 1080? Is it short sighted to buy a 720 when 1080 is coming, or is true 1080 far enough away that it really doesn't matter? Because at this point, I think we are both leaning toward the Sharp. But I don't want to be kicking myself in a year for not going for the 1080.

I know no one can predict the future, but from what I've read online, it does seem that there was a lot of surprise (from those who follow these things) at the volume of 1080p products introduced at Cedia. Or am I making a mountain out of a molehill?

Any opinions?

Thanks,
Nikki

#48 of 109 Tim Glover

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Posted September 19 2006 - 07:34 PM

Remember though for your budget, the Sony Pearl will be right there and will deliver you 1080p. Might have to wait a month, but if you're planning on paying about 5K for a projector, then I would most definitely make sure has the best resolution and more future ready too.

#49 of 109 Chris S

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Posted September 20 2006 - 08:38 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikki M
we couldn't tell a difference as far as the 1080p/720 (Sony/Sharp). Perhaps that would have been different if we had seen an HD-DVD fed into both? I don't know...does anyone else? The store didn't have an HD-DVD player set up in the room.

Most likely not especially if you weren't seeing any difference with the HBO HD. I believe both feed a 1080i picture which would be upconverted on the Sony to 1080p and downconverted to 720p on the Sharp.

There was a small discussion earlier on in this thread about whether any given person can see a clear and distinct difference between 720p and 1080p. I think the overall consensus was that it depended on how close you sat to the screen. Prior to 1080p the standard distance from screen to chair was 1.5 x screenwidith. With 1080p that doesn't appear to be the case any more at least as it relates to issues of image detail and other distracting artifacts of projectors.

If I were in your shoes, and I sort of am since I'm looking to upgrade from a 480p to 720p projector, I would wait. I liken it to buying a car. Why buy last years body style when, for the same amount of money, you can get the brand new body style?

The wait for new technology is always hard. In the past, when I've pulled the trigger too early, I always end up wondering "how much better would this be if...?", and that can be very disappointing and distracting. I really don't want to see you being disappointed in something this expensive. Posted Image 2-3 months isn't forever and the best part is that it will allow you more time to research your purchase. Plus there are some really nice looking 720p projectors also coming in that time frame which I'm confident will be very comparable (if not better than) the Sharp for a lot less money.
DVD & Blu-ray - It's all about the movies!

#50 of 109 Nikki M

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Posted September 20 2006 - 10:24 AM

We've decided to go w/ the Sony Pearl. After discussions here & on other forums, it just seemed silly not to go for the newer technology. Now the next decision will be amp & speakers...

#51 of 109 RAF

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Posted September 20 2006 - 02:26 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikki M
We've decided to go w/ the Sony Pearl. After discussions here & on other forums, it just seemed silly not to go for the newer technology. Now the next decision will be amp & speakers...

I personally think that this is a wise decision. Not only is the Pearl a 1080p unit (accepting 24fps) but it is a three-chip design. I believe that the Sharp is a 720p one-chip DLP design, right? So not only do you have to consider the fact that the Pearl offers more resolution but a three source picture is better than a single source picture. Three chip DLPs are considered better than 1-chip designs since the color wheel and effects perceived by some people (rainbow effect) enter the picture. Just look at the price of 3 chip DLPs (even 720p ones) and you'll see what I mean.

The bottom line is that you are spending around the same amount of money (maybe a little more) for a technology that not only looks as good (I think better) right now but will be able to handle sources that will be coming out during the life of your "Pearl."

I currently have a 1 chip DLP Runco FP and my next projector will be a 3 chip LCoS unit (probably the Pearl). After seeing a lot of projectors at CEDIA I think the Pearl is superior to my current projector and the fact that it handles 1080p/24 becomes important for me when watching film sources that will offer 1080p/24 via Blu-ray and similar.
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#52 of 109 Nikki M

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Posted September 20 2006 - 03:52 PM

Thanks for the validation RAF!

Ordered the Pearl today, but it will be awhile before we actually have it installed & running. (since we have NO other components yet)

The feedback here has been invaluable. I've been on the internet for a long time now, and it never ceases to amaze me what an incredible resource communities like this are.

I'll be lurking around the forums looking for other component info & posting when I have something valuable to say (or when I have a question that is worth the bandwidth!)

When the Pearl is up & running I'll be back to give an update.

Thanks to you all!

Nikki

#53 of 109 Jack Hogoboom

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Posted September 21 2006 - 01:33 PM

I'm probably headed in the same direction as Nikki. The Sony Pearl sounds like the way to go, and I'm very happy to know that Stewart is making a special screen for it.

Now, the question is what amp and speakers to go with it? I listened to the DefTech Mythos 2s yesterday and they seem to fit the bill. The main issue is do I need the 1080p upconverting capability of the Denon 4806CI or can I use a lesser receiver like the Pioneer Elite?

This is a tough hobby to get into. Lots of difficult information to find and parse.

Thanks,

Jack

#54 of 109 Adam Gregorich

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Posted September 21 2006 - 02:18 PM

Get a DVDO VP50 scaler and a Denon 2807.

#55 of 109 RAF

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Posted September 21 2006 - 04:48 PM

Jack,

Adam's advice is very sound. He's our resident Denon guru and keeps up with all the latest models and features. Without knowing all the pricing particulars of the various Denon units (Adam can chime in here), I believe he's telling you that the smart way to go is to use an external video processor (the DVDO iScan VP50) for all your scaling/deinterlacing/etc. needs. You can then go for a cheaper Denon receiver, not needing the scaling,etc. capabilities but still getting the other A/V receiver features. While the VP50 is the current "gold standard" and my personal choice there are also other models (VP30 and VP20) that might provide most of the Video Processing capabilities without hurting the budget too much.

If you haven't checked it out already, look at my Outboard Video Processors thread in this section. In it I've provided basic tutorial regarding the role of video processors and why I think it's a prudent thing to consider when assembling a top notch HT, no matter which display you choose. The VP50 and the Denon 2807 would be an excellent match and would probably outperform the top Denon model as far as the quality of your images is concerned.
RAF
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#56 of 109 Tim Glover

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Posted September 21 2006 - 05:47 PM

Been out the past couple of days...but great news Nikki! Think you made a VERY wise choice. And if it turns out you don't like the Pearl you can send it to me. I'll pay shipping Posted Image

You are going to LOVE it. Posted Image

#57 of 109 Nikki M

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Posted September 22 2006 - 12:20 PM

Hi guys,

Hopefully I won't want to give up my Sony, Tim! But we are a long way from actually getting up & running...

Screen selection is the next hurdle. The guy I'm buying the Sony from says that I should ABSOLUTELY buy the Firehawk SST since it was developed for the Pearl. Others on other forums are debating whether you really have to have the Firehawk. In fact, I remember reading that some who saw the pearl/Firehawk demo at CEDIA thought it could use a brighter screen.

It looks like the screen type should be chosen by room size, ambient light & projector. It seems really complicated & potentially headache inducing. I guess I will start by calling a couple of companies that make screens & start there.

We did get speakers (all Definitive) & the Pioneer elite VSX-84TXSI. That decision was driven by 2 factors: our daughter works at Best Buy (employee discount for parental units being phased out next week) and I really didn't want to spend forever agonizing over speaker/amp combos. (been there/done that when we put together our stereo system) We thought the Defs sounded great & I didn't like how the Denon sounded w/ them. Or I guess I should say that I liked the Pioneer w/ the Defs better.

So that's our update. The last big item is the screen. Then we just need to actually design & put together the whole thing!

Should I be looking at a scaler? I don't even know what that is.

Nikki

#58 of 109 RAF

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Posted September 22 2006 - 03:10 PM

It looks like things are shaping up very nicely for you, Nikki. You are definitely on the right track.

As to screen selections - Stewart makes very nice screens. I saw the Firehawk at CEDIA with the "Pearl." My own personal preference is for the Stewart Studiotek 130 screen because it works well with just about every projector, present and possible for the future. The gain on the Studiotek is 1.3 (a little brighter than the 1.1 Firehawk) and yet not too bright to cause "blooming" of the picture. Several years ago, when I was getting my first FP (a Sony LCD VPL-VW10HT) Joe Kane told me that the Studiotek was a good choice since I'd eventually change my projector and it would save me the trouble and expense of buying a new screen. Sure enough, I moved to a DLP Runco projector and the Studiotek 130 worked just fine. I'm probably going to move to an LCoS (SXRD or D-ILA) 3 chip next and I fully expect the Studiotek to perform well once again. With proper planning, you might have your screen forever, whereas you might change your projector several times over the next couple of decades. Just something to think about.

As to the scaler situation: While scalers are very nice you are in a position with your "Pearl" to use it as is for now. It probably will provide a great picture right out of the box. And the nice thing is that since the "Pearl" accepts the native resolution of the FP (1080p) you can always opt to try a scaler later on. It's not a necessity and I'd wait a bit. I predict that you will love the picture on your Pearl. In a couple of years, if you get the urge, you can look into a video processor such as the DVDO iScan VP50 as an enhancement. I say, stick with your current plans. Scalers are something for the future in your case (if ever.)

Looking forward to hearing your continuing HT story....
RAF
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#59 of 109 Adam Gregorich

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Posted September 23 2006 - 12:02 PM

Quote:
I believe he's telling you that the smart way to go is to use an external video processor (the DVDO iScan VP50) for all your scaling/deinterlacing/etc. needs. You can then go for a cheaper Denon receiver, not needing the scaling,etc. capabilities but still getting the other A/V receiver features.
Yes I am. I don't want to take anything away from the 4806, but I would get a better scaler this year and an "entry" level receiver like the 2807 (which is a great bang for the buck). In the next year or two there will be a lot of changes to receivers with the addition of Dolby and DTS HD processing for use with HD-DVD and BluRay. You can do an upgrade then to what will then be the 4807 or 4808.

#60 of 109 Jack Hogoboom

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Posted September 25 2006 - 07:08 AM

Guys,

That all sounds like great advice. Like Nikki, I was blown away by the Def Tech speakers and will definitely be buying them. I hadn't considered a separate converter, but it makes sense that the stand-alone would work better than an integrated unit and I guess if HDMI 1.3 makes that much difference, the upgrade path is a lot simpler.

I also appreciated the response to Nikki's e-mail on the Stewart screens. I had heard about the SST, but the Studiotek 130 sounds like a better way to go.

I just realized, I may now know more about this than my A/V guy. I sure hope not.

I wish Home Theater would publish a theater rundown that says if your budget is $X, here are the projector, screen, speakers and receiver you should buy. My head is aching trying to figure all this stuff out. I have no desire to be on the bleeding edge.

Thanks again guys.

Jack





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