Big Screen or Projector

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Travis G, Jan 13, 2002.

  1. Travis G

    Travis G Stunt Coordinator

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    I was at Utlimate Electronics today looking at thier projectors and I noticed that the blacks were kind of grey. I really hate when I'm watching Star Trek and space looks grey instead of black. So I asked the salesman if he could fix it and he said that they had already been calibrated. Is this just a drawback of projectors?
     
  2. Marc Rochkind

    Marc Rochkind Second Unit

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    It's true that with projectors black isn't as black as it could be, but the newest projectors do much better. Also, with any front projector, the room must be dark. No ambient light at all.

    For a rear projector, there should be some light in the room, but at most only 10% of the average light. The black and white levels should be set (with a setup disk such as Avia) under the viewing conditions, as the amount of light in the room has a big effect on the calibration.

    It's most unlikely that the viewing conditions in the store were ideal.

    Anyway, for a screen bigger than 40", the only direct-view choice is plasma, and for sizes greater than 40" you will pay a fortune for plasma. So, for sizes bigger than 40" the choices are mostly all projection, with the choice being rear or front.
     
  3. Colin Dunn

    Colin Dunn Supporting Actor

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    LCD and DLP projectors generally do not have a perfect black level. CRT projectors do, but they are expensive, heavy, and require more frequent adjustment.

    If you find the black level on an LCD/DLP unsatisfactory, you're probably best off going for a 65-73" RPTV. Those use CRTs but are cheaper and less finicky than a new CRT projector.

    Sometimes you can get a used CRT front projector for the same or less money than a good RPTV. But you should feel comfortable with doing your own tech support (installation & convergence) and know what you're buying. A used CRT projector with bad tubes (burn-in or worn out) is very expensive to fix, with each tube typically being >$1,000.

    CRT front projectors also have lower light output than LCD or DLP, so you need absolute light control in your viewing room.
     
  4. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    The LCD projectors are the worst at black level and contrast. DLP is already quite respectable in many cases. And of course, CRT has better blacks than film projectors.
     
  5. Sean M

    Sean M Stunt Coordinator

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    I have yet to see a DLP projector with respectable black levels, including the Sharp 9000. Acceptable perhaps, but not respectable, unless you are a fan of digital projection.

    At any rate, a used CRT projector is certainly your best bet for front projection, but you don't have to be comfortable doing your own tech support. It helps a great deal, but is not entirely necessary. Check out avsforum.com, the CRT projector section, and you will find all the info you need, including some very qualified techs that may be in your area, as well as some reputable used CRT dealers. Used CRT's are heavy, and large, but not difficult to get setup if you have a manual and some patience. They certainly aren't piont, focus and watch like a digital, but I think the setup is overblown too often. Depending on which projector you pick up, initial setup can be very time consuming, but the more time you spend on it, the less you'll have to tweak it, and never to the extent of the initial setup. Perhaps some minor tweaking of the convergence.

    All of the above assumes that you can accomodate a bulky CRT in your setup. Not everyone can or will. I've though about buying a digital several times due to size issues, but the picture quality will simply not allow me to do it, since I, like you, watch sci-fi and can't stand grey space. Personally, the way things are, I'd almost prefer a big RPTV to a digital pj. But that's just me.
     
  6. David John

    David John Stunt Coordinator

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    In order to use any Projector with satisfying results, you must be able to control the lighting in your viewing room.

    I pondered getting an LCD projector, but I realized that my room is not easy to black out... too much light from the big windows.

    So just be advised, to really get good performance from a projector, the room should be pretty much void of all light... pitch black.

    just my $.02.
     
  7. NathanP

    NathanP Supporting Actor

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    Actually,

    CRT projector's can be bought dirt cheap on ebay!

    I know people who've bought decent ones for well under $350.

    You just have to be careful who your purchase from, make sure the have a substantial amount of feedback.

    If you get a new crt pj, calibration won't be as difficult.

    Now, an HDTV Crt projector is AWESOME!
     
  8. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    To each his/her own, I guess. If you can control your ambient light then you can get extremely satisfying results from a wide variety of projectors, including LCD's. I went through this decision making process two years ago and settled on the Sony VW10HT LCD projector. I'm more than satisfied with the resulting picture and I'll put it up against a projector costing up to 7-8 times as much. The days of having to spend more than $5000-6000 on a front projector are over.

    To me CRT's are too bulky, too prone to tweaking, and too expensive. Buying a used one is like buying a used car. Trouble waiting to happen. Of course, if you score one for $350 and have lots of time on your hands and are very handy, then that's a project that might be worth all your time. Remember, time is money.

    And black levels? Every time I watch a movie in my HT I wonder what all the black level fuss is about. In the first place, remember that in a movie theater the film is not at the same black level as a CRT, so what's the big deal? In the second place, everyone who's been in my HT understands that this "black level" situation is a non-issue (including the owners of this forum!) Everything is relative, and the most important thing is the difference between the brightest portion of the picture and the darkest portion of the picture. Since my projector is certainly bright enough (I even run it in the 70% brightness mode to extend the life of the bulb) I have absolutely no problem with blacks in the picture.

    Once you get a front projector, there's no turning back.

    My 2 cents....
     

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