Best High Def Projector

Discussion in 'Displays' started by JerryPowell, Dec 21, 2003.

  1. JerryPowell

    JerryPowell Auditioning

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    I'm building a Home Theater and I'm saving a good chunk of my budget for a nice High Def projector. My budget is $10,000. Can anyone recommend such a projector up to that amount?

    Jerry
    Omaha
     
  2. ChadLB

    ChadLB Screenwriter

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  3. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Those are all digitals.

    IMO, go CRT. You can get pretty much the ultimate in displays with something like a 9500lc, fully MP modded, driven by an HTPC near that price. And if you don't want to deal with setup, etc you can easily fit a tech setup into such a budget.

    10k buys you some SERIOUS CRT. You'd have to at LEAST double/triple your budget to touch that performance with a digital. If you've got the light-controlled dedicated space for hanging one, and have the will to go all out for PQ, it's the only way to go.
     
  4. Thomas Willard

    Thomas Willard Stunt Coordinator

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    Spending $10K on a front projector is foolish. The reason I say that is that the technology for front projectors is changing so rapidly, that anything your purchase today will be replaced with a model with better specs in a year or so. Going with a heavy and expensive CRT FP with the digital models available today IMO is not a wise use of your money.

    For example the Sanyo Z2 or the Panasonic PT-L500U are or will be available shortly and are selling in the $2K range. Spend the $2K now for one of these projectors and put the remaining $8K in the bank. In two or three years you will be able to purchase an even better (most likely 1080p) digital FP and still have a good portion of your remaining $8k unspent.

    What are stable technologies, where you should spend on the best model you can afford? Speakers followed by receivers or separate pre amps and amps. Permanent dynamic speakers won't be replaced with anything better sounding in the near (or actually far) future. Some of my speakers are over 30 years old. Dolby 5.1 and DTS are stable standards. Top of the line receivers come with 6.1 and 7.1 capability if you should every want to add the extra speakers.

    Do make sure when wiring your home theater, you allow for easy cable replacement, since today's analog signal cables will be replaced with digital in a couple of years.
     
  5. Irv Kelman

    Irv Kelman Extra

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    Can anyone recommend such a projector up to that amount?

    Hi Jerry,

    I am partial to D-ILA projectors for their picture quality. The prices for new and used D-ILA's have droped to a point most everyone can afford one with a good scaler.

    I have a JVC G11 + A Faroudja NRS in my demo theater and the HD picture is breathtaking.
     
  6. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    I wholeheartedly disagree with thomas.

    While I like the idea of getting a decent digital now, and saving money for a better one later, this only underlines the significant improvements going on right now in digital displays in trying to beat CRTs. And they are getting very close indeed, but not ANYWHERE near the price of a good CRT.



    The most stable workhorse out there would be a CRT. VERY long-lasting, fixable, and throws the best picture. You can get a top-of the line 9in CRT for 10k.

    For instance I just got Terry's list this morning, and he's got some mint Barco 808 for 3.5K. Or a big sony 1292 9incher for 4.5k. OR a nec XG110LC for 5K.

    Find any digital under 15K to beat those.

    Curt has his list coming out soon, he's got like a 100...

    I'd peruse the crt forum at AVS, IMO this is a wonderful option that people don't often realize.
     
  7. DougM

    DougM Auditioning

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    Hi Jerry,
    I just built my first theater and installed my first projector. After reading as much as I could, I decided to go with the Sanyo PLV-70. Digital HDTV 16:9 and colors, sharpness, and brightness are just blowing me away for $4600.

    -DougM
     
  8. Gabriel_Lam

    Gabriel_Lam Screenwriter

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    How's your room setup? Viewing distance?
     
  9. Thomas Willard

    Thomas Willard Stunt Coordinator

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    Jerry, I am sure that Chris is correct when he states that a CRT FP will give you a great image. But then a class A or AB tube amplifier will also give you great sound. The reason why solid state replaced tubes was not because of better sound, but because of size and cost. Many still feel that tube based amplification is better than solid state, and they might be correct. But is the size and cost worth it? A CRT FP will give you a great image, but in an A/B comparison test, I think even a modestly priced digital FP will be so close to CRT (and brighter as well) that the advantages in size and cost will carry the day.

    Depending upon the size of your home theater, a CRT FP may not be practical. Even if you have the room for such an installation, the CRT FP will be more intrusive than a six or eight pound digital.

    In one of our classrooms at work we have an Electrohome CRT FP that has not been turned on in several years. Sitting on a table below it is a Panasonic LCD FP that is used on a regular basis.

    If you want a CRT FP get one now, for as the tube amplifier has disappeared so will the CRT FP.
     
  10. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    Neither has disappeared. You can buy both new.
     
  11. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Indeed. A "moderately-priced" digital that will approach a good CRT will cost at LEAST 15k.

    Between 2-5k, and 15-100k, i think I'd be willing to sacrifice a little more effort in mounting than shell out that kind of cash for that kind of PQ, or settle for some crap entry LCD projector....
     
  12. Gabriel_Lam

    Gabriel_Lam Screenwriter

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    Much of it depends on your setup. If you have ambient light, CRT is out. Even 9" CRT's cannot throw the amount of light a little 5lb digital can. Same goes with really big screens. With CRT, you have to add the cost/hassle of calibration, constant recalibration, ceiling mounting (including reinforcements, etc), warm up time before color temp stabilizes, etc. If you like to have superbowl parties, CRT is probably out too, unless you like to have em in the dark.

    Optimal performance in a completely dark room on a relatively small screen is only 1 part of the entire performance equation. If that's what's important to JerryPowell, then CRT's will be ideal for him. If not, something else might work better in his situation.
     
  13. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    Yes, if optimum setup and best picture quality are secondary (or even tertiary) to you, then don't go with CRT.
     
  14. Bret Pritchett

    Bret Pritchett Stunt Coordinator

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    Chris-
    why do you keep referring to "digital projectors" in contrast to "CRT projectors"? Aren't CRT projectors digital? I thought "non-digital" projector implies that it is film based. Like a 35mm projector at your local theater would certainly not be a digital projector - it creates the image by shining light throught film. But a CRT, LCD, and DLP do not use film - they take a video signal and create the image without film. How is CRT not a digital projector?
     
  15. Thomas Willard

    Thomas Willard Stunt Coordinator

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    Bret:

    Chris is referring to a CRT based projector as an analog device as opposed to an LCD or DLP projector as being digital since both use digital circuits to process the signal. I believe at some point LCD projectors do convert the digital signal back to analog but the DLP keep the signal digital all the way to the display. That is the reason that many are finding that DVD players using a DVI output provide a better image through a DLP projector.

    Actually LCD and DLP projectors are more similar to a 35mm film projector than a CRT device since both use a light source (a bulb)that is always on. A CRT is not and hence the ability to provide a better contrast ratio. However any ambient light in the room would lower that, since unlike a direct view CRT, a CRT projector is bouncing light off of a screen. Ambient light falling on that screen will decrease the contrast ratio.
     
  16. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    I'll take a stab at answering for Chris. I think digital projectors are referred to as such because they have a fixed number of picture elements that correspond to digital data sent by the projector's electronics. CRTs are different. The scanning electron beam that makes up the picture is more analog in nature.
     
  17. Jason_Els

    Jason_Els Screenwriter

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    No. The analog/digital comparison here is describing how the signal is processed by the projector to place a picture on your screen. Analog signals arriving to an analog projector go through no digital-to-analog conversion in the projector. Digital projectors can take an analog signal, convert it to digital, then display it. Source signals can be analog or digital but in a digital projector the picture always has to be digitized to generate the image as the panels or chips are themselves digital (each pixel/DMD has 2 states, on or off) and digital devices require a signal composed of a bitstream where the bits represent either 0 or 1 to create an image. Analog projectors require a radio frequency signal of variable amplitude to create an image. CRT projectors do not use pixels or DMDs. Instead they have 3 electron guns which sweep the screen at 60Hz (in the US) to draw an image. There is a fundamental difference.

    CRTs have a number of advantages over digital projectors. Those with 9 inch diameter or higher CRTs have the ability to display 1080i with no loss of resolution, they are able to display true black; there is no screen door effect, rainbows, or banding; and high-action scenes don't lose smooth-movement. LCD projectors, as they are now, have problems with pixel response time (how quickly a pixel can go from off to on to off again), frequently have dead or stuck-on pixels out of the box, screen door effect (seeing the spaces between the pixels making it appear as though you were viewing the film through a screen door), vertical banding (in some instances), the inability to display true black, and poorer relative contrast than CRTs. DLP projectors don't use LCDs. They use small mirrors and a fast-spinning color wheel (in all but the high-end models) to display an image. They have better contrast than LCDs, have no screen door effect, are usually brighter, but the spinning wheel can cause rainbows in action scenes causing headaches in the people who see them (not everyone does), and they cost more than LCDs of similar quality.

    DLP and LCD are the two main digital projection technologies out there though D-ILA, LCOS, and (we can hope) OLED are around in limited models.

    So you might ask, if CRTs do so much so well then why not use one? Well, the best are very expensive, they need periodic adjustment, they lose brightness over time, are subject to burn-in of stationary images, are big and bulky compared to most digital projectors, and they just aren't as bright. In short, they require more attention and expense after purchase to continue to enjoy them to the best of their ability.

    Digital projectors can look very good for much less money. They weigh less, are easy to setup, don't require periodic maintenance other than dust cleaning (usually has to be returned to the manufacturer for that) and bulb replacement ($400. a bulb in some cases), and give you a brighter picture better suited to rooms with ambient light. They're terrific if you live in a rental space or don't plan on living someplace for a long time. Digital projectors also have the mystique of 1:1 pixel mapping and no digital to analog conversion. This means that every pixel generated by a digital display source with a completely digital connection from the source to the projector, stays in the digital domain and so doesn't suffer from the degradation in quality that comes from converting from digital to analog, sometimes several times, in the journey from a DVD or other digital source to the screen. 1:1 pixel mapping means that for HD sources displayed in either 720p or 1080i, that every pixel from a source has a corresponding pixel on the screen and so no dithering takes place resulting in a sharper, cleaner picture which can look pretty damn awesome in even a $1800 projector.

    Film does not enter into the equation at all either in CRTs or digital projectors. I'm not sure what you mean by it.

    Hope this helps!
     
  18. Bret Pritchett

    Bret Pritchett Stunt Coordinator

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    wow
    quick responses. I didn't realize that was how CRT worked. thanks
     
  19. Tom Camlioglu

    Tom Camlioglu Stunt Coordinator

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    You may want to re-think that ... DLP's "do" have a screen door effect ... but no ... they are not usually brighter. You could have also mentioned that color accuracy in LCD-based projector's is also generally better than DLP.

    ../TC
     
  20. Mike Darksyde

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    Did I read right that 9" CRT's have a problem doing more than 100 inch diagional? Is that correct? What is the reason for this?

    What is the throw distance for 100 Inch diagional?

    How does one get a screen over 100 inches if this is a problem?
     

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