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Brand new meet thread - Austin

Discussion in 'Home Theater Forum Meets' started by Scott Oliver, Mar 11, 2005.

  1. Jay.H

    Jay.H Stunt Coordinator

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    Hank,
    Sorry for the duplication of info. I didn't see your last one until after I posted. :b
     
  2. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    Jay, Scott may have just been kidding, but who knows, he may just show up with a snake oil power cord and make believers out of us.
    Two guys are coming early, but if we only have one insta-theater (or two for that matter), then there's not a whole lot of work to do. Do you need directions?
     
  3. James Phung

    James Phung Second Unit

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    I think Frederick mentioned he had a screen that he could bring and that he would be available. I guess we need confirmation from him. Frederick?

    I would like to see any projector anyone can bring. I want to see some differences in projectors available.

    I think the super speedway test that is used to test film mode and detail is on the HQV Benchmark dvd. I will bring an additional copy(s) of this dvd. There's quite a good deal of tests on this dvd. More info on this dvd here: http://www.hqv.com/benchmark.cfm
     
  4. Jay.H

    Jay.H Stunt Coordinator

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    Okay Hank. Looks like this can be set up as people arrive with the equipment.
    I sent you an e-mail a couple of days ago with my contact info. I do need directions to your place.
     
  5. Rich_Ave

    Rich_Ave Stunt Coordinator

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    Hank,

    I have an Inday external 4x1 Component Video switch I can bring if you like. Let me know if you think it will be useful

    Rich
     
  6. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    Jay: I just sent you a PM with directions to my house.

    Rich: Bring it on - better to have a bit too much equipment than not enough.
     
  7. Jonathan DA

    Jonathan DA Screenwriter

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    I'll be there. Are we still starting at 8:00?
     
  8. Frederick_Falk

    Frederick_Falk Second Unit

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    I am planning on being there and will bring the screen and hopefully my wife. I can bring my Sony DVP-S9000ES DVD/SACD player if you want me to.

    Hank, give me a call or send me an email and let me know if I need to bring the DVD player. Also are you planning on doing fajaitas tonight? Do we need to bring anything; food wise?

    I was getting updates to this thread and then they stopped. I thought this wasn't going anywhere and just checked this morning to see if this was still on and saw all of the new posts. Oh well, I am still here and still planning on attending.

    See ya'll tonight.
     
  9. Humphrey

    Humphrey Stunt Coordinator

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    As mentioned before I'll be there tonight at 8.

    What I'm bringing:
    DVD's: Basic, LOTR : Fellowship & Star Wars Ep II
    Projector: 12SF
    DVD Player: Oppo
    Cords: DVI to HDMI cords (x2)
    A couple of straight DVI - DVI cables

    I do not have the proper DVI cable for my 12SF so we'll need to use component. Unless someone has some DVI adapters laying around.

    I will not be bringing my screen because it hangs on the wall, which Hank finds undesirable. Can't say I'd want more holes in my walls either. I also have a Sony S7700 DVD player but you need to let me know if I need to bring it. Someone mentioned a lower end dvd player, which in its day this wasn't but by todays standards it is now. I replaced it due to clear macroblocking when I got my 70" Grand Wega. It's about 10 years old and still going strong though.
     
  10. mike_frontier

    mike_frontier Supporting Actor

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    Humphrey,

    How do you like that OPPO dvd player? Any bugs that make it lock up, freeze or pauses time to time? I read that there was a new firmware update, but I have not really kept up with it since I do not own one.

    Also do you know if there is a region-free hack for it?

    For a low price of 200.00 and the chipset in it. It just sucks that I had to miss this meet or at least I could of seen it in action. [​IMG]
     
  11. mike_frontier

    mike_frontier Supporting Actor

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    .................well how was it all?? The good and the bad ??
    -Just kidding about the bad.
     
  12. James Phung

    James Phung Second Unit

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    I would like to start off by thanking Hank for hosting the event. It's been a year since I've joined HTF and I'm glad to finally meet some people in the Austin HTF group.

    Some observations from the meet.

    Monster cables suck. [​IMG]

    It's not a good idea to forget your remote.

    We could probably use some better variety of screens and maybe get a way to demo HD content.

    Not much love for sin city, though I like it. [​IMG]

    We basically ran through a few scenes from LOTR:FOTR, Basic, Star Wars Ep II, and Once Upon A Time in the West. We first tested them on the Humphrey's 12SF, my Infocus 4805, and then Jay's Panny AE700.

    I must first note, we did not spend any time to really properly calibrating any projector, so my impressions may mean nothing with after proper calibration. I don't think we really wanted to waste any time to dial in the correct settings for each display, so we just jumped into demoing them. Though I know my 4805 is calibrated right for my screen, it may not be right for the one at the meet.

    The 12SF is an older generation DLP and it shows, though I felt it still looks good, but the blacks and contrast was not nearly as good as the 4805 IMO. The blacks were not as deep and the depth and 3d like feel was not there due to contrast. There was a lot of light spill coming from the projector. With good calibration, I think the 12SF would still be decent. We were only feeding it a 480i signal from the Oppo, but I noticed the DCDi logo on the 12SF so it is still being processed by Faroudja internally in the projector and gave a decent picture. I've never seen rainbows on DLP, but many people mentioned that they saw them on the 12SF including Frederick.

    Can't say too much about the 4805 since it's mine and I'm biased. [​IMG] I felt the 4805 was able to hold its own against the AE700 because we were ony showing DVD content. Contrast and blacks was the best of the 3. Since it's only a 854x480 native projector, it does show a little more screen door than the ae700. We tested Once upon a time in the west for a panning shot and looked for some edge enhancement that was tested in another shootout. I believe Jonathen stated DLPs usually had problems with the panning shot at the beginning of the movie, but the 4805 didn't have any problems with that particular scene.

    The ae700 was next. Being 720p, its main advantage in viewing dvd content is extra resolution that would show less screen door. Watching dvd on the ae700 vs the 4805, there seems to be something like an extra layer of noise around the whole image or something in my observation of the ae700. Though it wasn't vertical banding, I'm not sure if it came from the smoothscreen used by the Panny or some setting that was off (perhaps it was fixed panel noise of lcds). In watching Star Wars and Basic, blacks were noticeably more gray but the details were still good. Obviously, HD content would probably shine more on the ae700 and thats what it might be better with.

    After the shootout, some of the guys started talking about building the MAME designs before we headed out. I didn't take much part in this, I'm not much of a DIY person. I'm fine with MAME on my pc with gamepad. [​IMG]
     
  13. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    James: excellent overview of the evening. I agree that there wasn't much patience for calibrating, but, it was a fun event and there was lots of lively discussion. I'm with Doc in looking for good blacks in PJ's. As I said last night, a well-designed PJ with excellent video processing circuitry doesn't need to have greater than 480p resolution to do a fine job on DVD's.

    This MAME thing is spreading. Jay had some CAD file drawings of a cabinet that is quite complex (a four-player console, no less).

    If one of our next meets is based on video, I'll try to get a variety of screens for us to put through their paces.

    SO, when's the next meet, and what's the subject??
    Come on, let's create some interest.[​IMG]
     
  14. Jonathan DA

    Jonathan DA Screenwriter

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    Next meet? Let's close in my loft and redo the acoustics from the ground up.

    I'll post a full review later, but let me just say that $700 for a refurbed 4805 is TOTALLY worth it.

    Edit:

    Okay, here is my full $0.02. Having seen both the 12sf and the ae700 numerous times before on other screens, I know for a fact both can look better than they did last night. Which then also leads me to believe that the 4805 could look better too, which is great news.

    ae700: I've been a big fan of this projector ever since I saw Nils' early demo machine. Unfortunately, this projector does not show well with a high gain screen like the instatheater (2.1-ish gain). Shadow detail was great, but blacks were quite elevated and color saturation had a washed out look. We were using Low lamp power with AI on and Cinema1 settings. If remember right, we AVIA'd the Cinema1 settings at my place a couple of months ago, but that was on a 1.0 gain screen. The thing that really jumped out at me on the high gain screen (aside from the brightness) were the "peak-a-boo" lines effect from the smooth screen technology. When were watching the Sin City clip for the first time, I thought the 4805 was in use because of what looked like screen door effect. When I turned around, though, I realized the ae700 was the machine doing the projecting. I was shocked. In the early tests I had done on the demo ae700 (see my review on AVS) I didn't notice any peak-a-boo lines. That was on my lower gain screen at home. I'm guessing the higher gain screen and the ultra contrasty scenes in Sin City made it pop out. I did notice it when we watched Chronicles of Riddick somewhat at my place though, so maybe this machine is just in need of the flicker tweak. The other thing I noticed was that there was additional noise in the picture compared to the 4805. I didn't check to see what input we were using; was it HDMI or 480i component? If it was component, then it could have been a scaling artifact from the ae700's internal scaler. Maybe the pj was adding some sharpness? Odd. Regardless of the above comments, most of which can probably be tweaked out or reduced with the right screen, I still think this is a great pojector and continue to recommend it to people in this price range.

    InFocus 4805: I've been wanting to see this pj for a long time, so mucho thanks to James for bringing it along. Similar comments here as others have made. A lower gain screen would probably make the rainbows much less noticable. Even with the higher gain, though, the rainbows are of the blink and it's gone variety. After a week you wouldn't even notice them. Black levels were pretty impressive for a digital box, probably as good as my low end CRT if you were using a gray screen. Shadow detail was not as good as the 700, but I think that's calibration/screen issue. Colors were great, though the 700's red was richer. Comparing the 4805's screen door to the 12sf shows just how far TI has come over the past few years. These two projectors have almost the same resolution in 16x9 mode, but the screen door and pixelation was less noticeable on the 4805. I think the fill factor is a little higher and you don't notice the dimples on the 4805 like you do on the 12sf. This made a 1.5x viewing distance completely usable for the 4805, though screen door did rear its ugly head on bright scenes and anything with a straight line (move to 1.7-ish to reduce the problem). For instance, I found the wood deck that the gunfighters were walking on at train station in Once Upon a Time in the West to look better on the 700 than on the 4805 because of the 700's high resolution being used to smooth out the jagged edges of the slats by the scaler. On the 4805 it bugged me a little. However, on natural lines and curves, i.e. faces and nature scenery, there was little difference between the two and I found myself liking the 4805 better in most respects, on this screen at least.

    12sf: Not going to say much here. Good projector for its day.

    I wish we could have comparied some high def material. I'm sure the 700 would have won that comparison hands down, but I'd like to see just how good a EDTV resolution system like the 4805 can make HD material look.
     
  15. Jay.H

    Jay.H Stunt Coordinator

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    Can't sleep so here's my 2 cents.

    First, let me echo James and thank Hank for hosting this event. [​IMG] (Someone needs to come up with an applause smiley). We had some fun and I was happy to put a few more faces with the names.

    My Observations:


    12SF:
    The main issue I see with this box other than its age is that the light spilling out from the vent on the front of the unit effectively negated some of the contrast and black level capability through the lens. It was good to have it as a reference representative of previous generation PJs.

    4805 and AE700:
    The 4805 performed well overall, but I was often distracted by rainbow effect, particularly with the super high contrast scenes from 'Sin City'. It did have better black levels, but a little less dark scene detail. The addition of the neutral density lens filter to drop the effective lumen output was helpful as the screen was high gain. I can't comment on screen door since I have taken the "I ain't gonna look fer it and prefer to be ignernt 'til I'm ready to upgrade" approach. [​IMG]

    The AE700 had never been calibrated for any screen, so I'm sure that didn't help it. The high lumen output even in low power mode was just too much for the screen. I think James' observation of the "extra layer of noise" was due to blooming caused by the combo of the higher lumen output and high screen gain. The cave scene (ch. 31) in 'Star Wars, Ep II' revealed more detail in the folds of Obe Wan's cloak and texture on the cave wall than the 4805, which had better absolute blacks. The Panny blacks were likely more washed out than I normally see in my set-up due to the high screen gain as well, but this PJ could benefit from the addition of a warming filter to improve contrast and black levels. I can sacrifice a bit of a drop in output for the reported gains. And if ever there is a need for more light (UT football day games, etc.), it can be removed easily enough. And lastly, the fan noise from the AE700 was much lower compared to the 12SF and the 4805.

    My Conclusions:

    1] Hank is a real sport for hosting this PJ shootout. Correct me if i'm wrong, but he doesn't own a FP, but a RPTV.
    2] For PJ comparison, a screen with gain closer to 1 would be better.
    3] Conclusions are harder to come by without calibration of equipment, so we should probably take them with a grain of salt.
    4] Any broken cable sucks, Monster or otherwise. [​IMG]

    I can't say that I am biased because I just am not familiar enough with projection technology. There is a propensity in most of us to want to defend our choices, but I have tried to hold those instincts at bay. I will say that I am very pleased with my Panny and intend to use it for both DVD and HD content. If I were considering a PJ today for viewing DVD content, I likely would not spring for the additional $900 (refurb or new, the price diff is about the same). $700 for a refurb 4805 is a very good price and I have already recommended it to my daughter's boyfriend (he has expressed interest in future HT meets and the MAME project).
     
  16. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    Good comments, guys. BTW, I saw 4805's at Costco today: $999 including a "free" screen.

    Doc, your HT room DIY project sounds very interesting, and I'll try to get some available to help.

    Still no word from Nils. Could he be 'down' because of his recent 40th B-day? [​IMG]
     
  17. Mark Hayenga

    Mark Hayenga Supporting Actor

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    You guys just aren't used to that much light shining on your retinas [​IMG] I do use that screen more for daytime TV viewing and video games than I do films. DVD's always looked better on my DIY gray screen back when I had my theater set up.
     
  18. chris autosound

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    ack! missed another meet and I was in town.
    Ken, gimme a buzz .
     
  19. Rich_Ave

    Rich_Ave Stunt Coordinator

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    Hank,

    Thank you for hosting the meet. I had a great time, and as always, it was a learning experience for me. Although I'm not in the market for a projector, I do need to start thinking about replacing the lamp in my projector. Hmmm... expensive lamp or new projector... Hmmm Thanks again Hank.

    Rich
     
  20. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    Mark: we didn't use your PJ, but THANK YOU for bringing your DaLite InstaTheater over a few days prior - it was the screen we used.

    Rich: I'm always available for rationalizing, so here goes: buy a new projector! Don't spend $350 for a lamp; buy a new PJ with its NEW warranty. Don't take the chance of your PJ having a repair problem in a few months (and it will COST you, believe me). How am I doing here, will your wife buy this?
     

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