CRT Projector options

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Robin Smith, Jan 30, 2002.

  1. Robin Smith

    Robin Smith Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi,

    I may be able to get an older style CRT projector for dirt cheap (like under $500)

    Anyone have info on what my potential with this thing is. It is of the style that would be used in executive board rooms a few years back.

    Is there much I can do to have a decent front projector to tide me over until I can get something better? I wan't to invest as little as possible into it.

    Any opinions or help would be appreciated

    Thanks

    Robin Smith
     
  2. GeorgeHolland

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    What manufacturer and model is the projector? How many hours are on the tubes? What kind of shape are the tubes in? What is the scan rate? These are some of the key considerations to understand before anyone can answer your question. Most CRT projectors were designed for commercial applications. This doesn't mean they can't work beautifully in a Home Theater. In fact CRT projectors are still considered by most as the best possible display device available. Also, in order to get the most out of a Front CRT projector you will need to calibrate it, add a Video Processor, and buy a screen or paint a wall to project the image on. Most projectors also require a room with total light control. Other then space, time, and money, CRT Front projectors are as good as it gets.
     
  3. Robin Smith

    Robin Smith Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the reply

    The answers to most of your questions are: I don't know.

    The deal is, I know a guy in the corporate multimedia business who is forever upgrading client site with newer brighter "modern" projectors and getting rid of the 3 buld crts (which for the corporate world is probably good).

    Even if it cost me a few hundred buck andthen Ihad to buy new bulbs, the bulbs are cheaper than the current lcd projector bulbs so I would still be under $1,000 for investment.

    Calibration as in professional? Or something I can do with my copy of DVD Essentials?

    What is a video processor? How much is one? What are some good brands/models to check out?

    The screen and light situation is no problem as I have an unfinished basement in my new house 14' * 22' of which is earmarked as "home theatre". I plan on building my own screen and masks with some melamine and paint. I have a friend who did this and for under $100 it looks pretty awesome with his Sony VW10HT projector (which is they way I was planning to go). If I can get something pretty good for $1500 less (including all necessary addl purchases to make it work) I would be happy.

    Is there anywhere I can go to research what is required to ake this work or can some give me more detailed info.

    Thanks

    Robin Smith

    Also, I had the builder take out the windows so I would have complete ligthing control and I even have a row of 4 ht seats from amovie theatre that I bought of a guy in Michigan (they are awesome!).
     
  4. Robin Smith

    Robin Smith Stunt Coordinator

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    By video processor do you mean one of those Faroujda things? Aren't they expensive? The one I saw was listed at $4,000. Is there any cheaper solution?

    What about a HTPC set-up with one of these.

    Thanks again

    Rob
     
  5. Drew Eckhardt

    Drew Eckhardt Stunt Coordinator

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    I decided that I needed a projector for my birthday. Having visited The Expensive Room at my favorite local high-end shop (looks like film) but still being a cheap bastard (the economics of corporations ditching their CRTs in favor of digital projectors really appeal to me) I sucumbed to the used CRT temptation, although I'm waiting on delivery from Curt so this is still pretty theoretical to me and the following is pretty much my summary of what all the experienced guys have said.
    Several points first:
    - You _really_ want to visit the CRT and HTPC forums at www.avsforum.com.
    - You want to check out a properly setup CRT. It's like a fresh film print. The difference between CRT and LCD is night and day. DLP is close, although the detail in the shadows isn't there, there's light spill, and I got a headache (but didn't see the rainbows which plague other people). You will believe.
    - It's not point-and-shoot. At work, we can plop our LCD projector on the table, focus, and be good to go. The instruction manual for CRT installation is substantial. This may or may not be an issue for you.
    - Size may be substantial (15" x 30" x 40") and weight will be (100-200 pounds. There's a theme here : CRTs probably aren't for everyone)
    I thought about some of the same things you are, and what I learned is as follows (again, I've written the checks but haven't played with this yet):
    1. They're not bulbs, they're CRTs - like your computer monitor. As with projectors, tubes are priced all over the place - starting at $500 each for rebuilt parts, running on up past $750 for used tube in decent condition, and with new tubes topping out in the $2-$3K each range. Those numbers don't include installation. Given prices on good used projectors in the < $1000-$5000 range (IOW, less than a set of new tubes without installation) it's in your best interest to get something with neither the burn (damage) nor wear which tubes suffer from. Along those lines Curt Palme ([email protected]) and Eric Lange (www.projectorspecs.com) have excellent reputations in providing low-hour/rebuilt projectors at a good price (read as for almost any budget).
    2. The effective input requirements depend on the projector itself. Projectors which focus finer electronically and have bigger CRTs need more resolution to avoid visible picture structure (scan lines) and to keep the entire CRT face illuminated so you get a bright image (the model I ordered is spec'd as being 75% brighter with a maximum resolution. Even if you don't need a bright image, this will let you drive the tubes less hard so you don't need to worry about wear). Entry level projectors seem fine with a line-doubled image (480 lines), models with 8-9" electromagnetically focussed CRTs allegedly need a tripled (720 lines) or quadrupled (960) image. Processors do this, with the progressive scan DVD player/iSCAN DVDO doing 480p for a reasonable price, Quadscans tripling and quadrupling (on the low side of $1000 in used form, $1500 new, $3K retail). If you can deal with it (I'm a geek) a PC with the right hardware & software dedicated to the endeavor can allegedly do a better job than all but the most expensive (five figures) scalers. Personally, I'm throwing an ATI Radeon 7200 graphics board ($60) and M-Audio 2496 ($160) sound card into one of my spare PCs to use for DVD playback, with some form of Bt848 input for dscaler. You really want to check out the AVS HTPC forum. There are also potential problems with VGA video outputs having insufficient voltage to properly drive a projector; these can be fixed with an interface box from a variety of sources (Barco, Extron) that are available used for a reasonable price ($150 for my Extron box).
    3. Calibration consists of getting the images centered on the CRTs, mechanical convergance, mechanical focus, electronic convergance, electronic focus, beam shape correction, and getting the picture sized for the screen. Most of those categories have multiple flavors, like mechanical focus which involves center focus, edge focus, and lens-flapping to get the entire screen focussed. I read a few installation manuals and wasn't scared off; although I've created Toyota/Chevy hybrids, home-brew tubed audio gear, and am somewhat mechanically inclined. That failing, professional setup is not cheap.
    As a foot-note, fan volume varies radically. The projector I choose (based on reputation for resolution, color) is supposed to sound like a hover craft and require a properly ventilated hush-box. Things like this may influence your projector choice.
    Have fun!
     

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