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Novice ?'s on projectors...


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12 replies to this topic

#1 of 13 Dan M~

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Posted July 31 2002 - 09:03 AM

As I try to convince my wife on a large screen TV, I continually convince myself that a projector is a better way to go. But I have some questions...

First my thoughts, I am looking to setup a DVD (only) 16:9 HT. I am not looking for HDTV at this time and would like to buy (used if possible) a projector to use with my existing equipment. I'm trying to keep it cheap (price wise) and enjoy the big screen.

Can you connect a DVD player directly to the projector (and reciever) to play movies or is (are?) additional equipment required?

What projector resolution is equivalent to progressive DVD output(720P?) or what is the minimum projector resolution required to play maximum DVD resolutions?

I have an old roll-up "3M Wall Screen", 68"X68", is this an acceptable screen if I mask it to 16:9, roughly a 64"X36" screen?

How far would the projector need to be from the screen?

How about the viewer?

I will be able to control ALL light in the viewing area, what is an acceptable minimum contrast level?

What other basic info do I need?

So what is the least expensive projector to meet my simple demands?

Thanks for getting me started down the path...
-Dan M~

 

 


#2 of 13 Gabriel_Lam

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Posted July 31 2002 - 10:18 AM

Yes, you can connect a DVD player directly to most projectors. Some business type projectors have BNC type connectors, but you can get BNC to RCA connectors for a few dollars.

DVD's output 720x480 resolution, with non-square pixels. When you convert that to square pixels, you get a minimum required resolution of 854x480.

That screen is acceptable, but you'll probably have much better luck with a 5' x 10' parkland plastic screen (<$50, you would need to cut it down just a bit) or some other do-it-yourself kind of panel. If you're willing to do a little work, there are some great paints made for digital projection.

The distance from the screen depends on the individual projector. They have different throw distances.

With complete light control, your minimum required lumens (brightness, not contrast) still depends on screen size, screen gain, and your own preferences. Start with your ideal screen size and we can work from there.

There's a refurbished Sharp PG-C20XU (1024x768 native, 1000 lumens, 500:1 contrast, 5.7 lbs) at projector central for $1495. You can probably negotiate a bit.
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#3 of 13 Joseph Bolus

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Posted July 31 2002 - 10:56 AM

Dan:

Some of the current "hot" projectors for economical HT use include :

Plus Piano Avanti HE-3200 (which will not start shipping until August):

Posted Image
http://www.projector....m?part_id=1721

And the HP xb31:
Posted Image
http://www.projector....m?part_id=1611

Don't be scared off by the prices indicated on those links; the actual internet price will typically be $500 or more lower than MSRP.

Both of the above projectors are one-chip DLP-based. These kind of projectors provide generally good contrast ratio and relatively low "screendoor" effect. However, some people will detect the so-called "rainbow" effect in white areas of the projected image due to the internal spinning color wheel which is required to produce color images from the one DLP chip. (A three-chip DLP projector, like those found in commercial theaters, don't have to worry with spinning color wheels, but they're currently too expensive for HT use.)

A low cost alternative would be a 3-chip LCD based projector.

The much-hyped 16:9 based Panasonic AE-100 is an example of that kind of projector; but many are finding that it has too many limitations to be enjoyable on a long-term basis. Plus, Panasonic is now indicating that it may not be shipped in quantity to the U.S.

A better alternative might be the Panasonic PT-LC55U:
Posted Image
http://www.projector....m?part_id=1571

You can purchase a FL-D lens filter at any camera store that will both "punch-up" the contrast ratio on this projector, while simultanously reducing the "screendoor" effect. Such a filter typically costs less than $40.00.

Here's some articles to read to get you started over at projectorcentral.com:

LCD vs. DLP:
http://www.projector...com/lcd_dlp.htm

4:3 vs. 16:9
http://www.projector...com/formats.htm

Big Screen RPTV vs. FPTV:
http://www.projector..._screen_tvs.htm

Hope this helps!
Joseph
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#4 of 13 Chris PC

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Posted August 01 2002 - 09:20 AM

Quote:
The much-hyped 16:9 based Panasonic AE-100 is an example of that kind of projector; but many are finding that it has too many limitations to be enjoyable on a long-term basis.

Just curious, but what limitations are you talking about? So far there is a large group of people over at AVS who have been enjoying their AE100's for 4 or 5 months now with no sign of problems. Dial-in your setup and minimize screen door according to your preference and away you go. I'm not being a smarty-pants, I just wonder if you know something I don't. I know there were a few reliability problems, but they weren't universal by any means.
Going from projector to flatscreen for a while.... :P

#5 of 13 Dan M~

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Posted August 01 2002 - 01:23 PM

Thanks all for the help.

Looks like I have some reading to do.

Joseph - Thanks for the links. These projectors still seem pricey to match up with a $200 progessive DVD. Is there a projector that can handle 720P, 16:9 on a real budget(Not considering used at this time)? Future upgradeability is not a concern. I'm looking for a good picture without the need to make adjustments all the time.

Maybe this doesn't exist yet, I'm hoping that prices have started to go down on projectors.

Thanks again for the help
-Dan M~

 

 


#6 of 13 Gabriel_Lam

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Posted August 01 2002 - 05:18 PM

Many projectors can handle 720p input. However, fewer of the lower cost projectors can output 720p, which require a native resolution of 1280x720 or higher.

The cheapest is probably the Sony VPL-VW10HT (1366x768 native res) for about $3600. However, it doesn't use MLA technology, so if you're sensitive to screen door, it might bother you. The contrast is also not the best on it. The second cheapest is probably the Sanyo PLV-60HT which also has the same resolution and cost just under $4000.
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#7 of 13 Felipe S

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Posted August 02 2002 - 03:06 AM

what is a FL-D lens filter ?

#8 of 13 Gabriel_Lam

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Posted August 02 2002 - 07:18 AM

The FL-D filter corrects the color (subtracts the excess green + blue/green (cyan) component) when shooting 5500K (Daylight) balanced film under fluorescent light. The Hoya is probably the highest quality reasonably priced one ($18-50 for most projector applications, choose multicoated whenever possible).

However, for projector applications, people use them to cut down the blue and green light, since most UHP bulbs are red deficient. If you can cut out just enough blue and green and you can adjust your color settings to balance all 3 colors, you can improve your contrast at D65.
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#9 of 13 Neil Joseph

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Posted August 02 2002 - 08:08 AM

How about this one...
Posted Image
http://www.projector....m?part_id=1469
or this one...
Posted Image
http://www.projector....m?part_id=1312
Click on above image to enter " T H E . H O L O D E C K "
---------------------------------------------------------
The Holodeck. My DIY Screen. DIY Subwoofer: The MaxCaliber
My humble collection of DVD's. HTF Beginner's Primer and FAQ

#10 of 13 Gabriel_Lam

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Posted August 02 2002 - 08:58 AM

One more one to consider:

The Sharp Notevision PG-M20X:

Specs

1900 ANSI lumens
XGA native (1024x768), 720p & 1080i compatible input, as well as 1600x1200 input
1000:1 full on/off contrast, 800:1 ANSI, thanks to new 12 degree DMD
DVI-I input (DVI, VGA, or component), S-Vid, and Composite
3x colorwheel
Reasonably good scaler/deinterlacer
5.8 lbs, just over 3" thick
37dB of noise
Fujinon 1.2:1 zoom lens
$4395 retail, $2700 street price

Posted Image

This seems to be one of the most popular and talked about models lately, surpassing the XB31 and H55.
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#11 of 13 Joseph Bolus

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Posted August 02 2002 - 11:22 AM

Quote:
Just curious, but what limitations are you talking about? So far there is a large group of people over at AVS who have been enjoying their AE100's for 4 or 5 months now with no sign of problems.

According to what I'm hearing, the "screendoor" effect on this projector is a little worse than average for a SVGA resolution projector; and it gets worse when the manual zoom is utilized to compensate for short throw distances in medium sized rooms. Also, I keep hearing about heat-related problems with the unit; especially when it's ceiling mounted.

But the biggest "problem" with the unit is Panasonic's decision not to export the projector here in quantity. For any expenditure over a thousand dollars I want a domestic warranty. Not being able to get that makes it difficult for me to wholeheartedly recommend the unit.
Joseph
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#12 of 13 Josh P

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Posted August 02 2002 - 03:37 PM

one thing generally, i believe the advisable viewing distance form the screen is 2.5 to 5 times the screen size
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#13 of 13 Gabriel_Lam

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Posted August 02 2002 - 04:16 PM

Quote:
one thing generally, i believe the advisable viewing distance form the screen is 2.5 to 5 times the screen size


Actually, that depends on a lot of things. The fill ratio of the pixels can be anywhere between complete (CRT) down to 60% (old non-MLA LCD's). Individual viewers have different tastes.
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