DLP vs LCD for Projector type home theater

James R Seaq

Auditioning
Joined
Apr 3, 2003
Messages
2
I have just got three proposals for my basement home theater project. My basement is 15' X 20', no windows or outside light. I intend to use the system mostly for DVD and sports viewing, but could use computer and for music listening.

First Quote: Sony VPLHS10 LCD Projector, 92" Firehawk screen, Sony STRDA1ES Receiver, Sony DVPNS715P DVD Player, NHT SB1 Front Speakers, NHT SC1 Center, NHT SW10II Sub, Niles Intellicontrol System Controller & Install
$ 10,544.00

Second Quote: Sharp DT200 DLP Projector 4:3, Dalite 100" 4:3 Fixed screen, Pioneer Elite VSX-43TX Receiver, Pioneer Elite DV45A DVD Player, Definitive Technology BP2006TL Front Speakers, Defin. Tech. CLR2300 Center, Defin. Tech. BP2X Bi-Polar Rears & Install
$ 9442.00

Third Quote: Marantz VP-12S2 DLP Projector 16:9, Dalite 119" Fixed screen Da-snap HDTV format Pearlescent, Denon DEN-AVR3803 Receiver, Denon DVD 2800MKII, B & W DM604-S# Front Speakers, B&W LCR 60 Center, 4 B&W DS6 Surrounds, Denon RC-8000 Touchscreen Remote & charger, Panamax PM-Max1000 Line conditioner, Velodyne CHT 15 Subwoofer
$ 22,000.00

I am looking for a very useful system with great picture but I do not have 20/10 vision. Please Help!
 

JasonGarrett

Agent
Joined
Jan 7, 2003
Messages
35
I would strongly suggest unbundling your decision. Choose the projector in your price range that you like best, buy it, and don't let that decision determine which receiver or speakers you buy. Don't feel like you have to buy everything at the same store.
 

Chris Moe

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Have you looked into CRT projectors? It sounds like you have the perfect room for one, and it will give you the best picture quality.
 

Max Leung

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As Jason already asked, don't limit yourself to the bundles! It sounds like you asked a few stores what they thought was best for you, and they just came up with whatever they felt like.

Do you have anything more specific in mind? Those bundles are all over the map. Have you auditioned all of them? Do you have a preference over one speaker system over the other? Does one projector catch your eye compared to the other?

Are you aware of the weaknesses of the differing projector technologies? Have you seen a CRT projector?

Here are some projectors you should seek out to demo:

DLP:
Sharp 10000 (16:9) (similar to the Marantz 12S2)
HT1000 (4:3) (superb black level and contrast, great price/performance ratio)
Infocus 7200 (16:9)

LCD:
Sanyo PLV-70 (2000 lumens, 16:9. A true light cannon...super bright, great for sports together with friends)
Panasonic 300U or AE300 (as already mentioned)

Also, different projectors look better/worse on different screens.

Is this your first foray into home theater?
 

Craig W

Second Unit
Joined
Jul 28, 1999
Messages
445
James,

I agree with the rest here. Don't feel obligated to buy from one store. What you like in projectors in one place may not have the best audio system for you.

As far as DLP vs. LCD goes take time with each of the projectors you mentioned along with some others. Some people claim headaches and nauseating feelings watching DLP. DLP will give you better blacks than LCD. LCDs use three chips to make one color image so overall color may be better on some units, but some DLPs put out a gorgeous image. The best thing to do is for you to sit down and watch each projector you are considering for a minimum of 30 minutes in an environment that matches your environment.

I recently viewed a Sharp 10000(similar to the Marantz), I was unimpressed due to the environment. Too much light was coming in from the main sales floor.

There is a big gap in the prices you mentioned. The HS10 is roughly $10000 less in MSRP compared to the Marantz S2. The NEC HT1000 (DLP) although a 4:3 device, is a bargain in its price range, but it has a hard image projection offset that could make setup difficult.

Some other things to consider is what you pay for when you move up the price range in projectors. One thing that I believe should be standard and hopefully will be in the near future is sealed light engines. This prevents dust from interfering with image creation and makes projector maintainance less demanding. The S2 has this and so does the 4:3 HT 1000, but it is unusual for its price range. Another thing to consider is panel resolution and screen size. If you are going to be projecting a 100+ inch diagonal image you may want to spend more to get a higher resolution projector. The current common resolutions are WXGA 16:9 (1363*768, 1280*720), 4:3 XGA(1024*768), 16:9 WSVGA(960*540), and 4:3 SVGA(800*600). If you are going with a smaller screen and are going to be sitting at least 2x back of the screen width a lower resolution may be fine. If you are going to view a lot of HDTV then you may want to go with a higher resolution panel regardless of screen size, but if it is primarily a DVD theater then resolution won't make that much of a difference because DVD is limited to 480 horizontal lines.

One other thing is that if you are going to be viewing HDTV you should be concerned about DVI. DVI comes in many different varieties, but the primary on to be concerned about is HDCP. It is a copy projection that broadcasters and content providers may use to limit the display devices ability to display at its highest possible resolution. So if you buy a projector without it even though it may be capable of 720p, the device sending the signal to the projector will downconvert the signal to say 480p due to the lack of HDCP.

It appears you are very interested in front projection and home theater in general with those quotes you have from above, but my advice is to take time and do some more research so in the end you are happy with your system.
 

Scot Kight

Grip
Joined
Nov 29, 1999
Messages
16
Definitely unbundle. Just to help out with creating my oen bit of the confusion...
my suggestion is to spend as much money as possible on the fronts, amps, processor and projector. The rest of the HT system can come later.

I have a Panasonic L300u firing against a 119" hccv screen. If you are in the USA, THAT is the model mumber for the panasonic unit. If you are out of america the model number could also be the AE300. If you hear references to the AE300, it seems to be functionally equiv to the L300u, with different terminals on the back (dterm for japan for instance.)

I have seen the HS10, the L300u, and the X1 side by side. All 3 generate amazingly nice images, but the hs10 is more expensive than the l300, and the x1 gave me headaches. I hedged my bets and got the l300u. I believe we are just now entering a time of tech advancement on LCD/DLP technology and should see some AMAZING products in 2-3 years.

If you want to use a computer, the hs10 wins today.

If you want DLP, today, expect to spend at least 4k on the unit. All of the less expensive models use a 2x color wheel. Rather than have a dlp panel (dmd) for each color, all of the
 

Rob Tomlin

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The quality of a good crt setup blows away lcd and dlp,
I don't think that is an accurate statement any longer. The current High Def (HD-2) DLP Projectors have enough contrast that they are now starting to rival that of CRT projectors, including black levels.

I agree with others. Unbundle. Get out and look at some of these pj's yourself and decide whether the extra money for the HD DLP's are worth it to you. I think they are!
 

mark_maclean

Auditioning
Joined
Apr 6, 2003
Messages
1
I would resonate with unbundling, especially the display from the audio. I find that most people are opinionated about both, and there are real differences in displays and speakers.

Pick a display, then chose the audio setup you prefer!
 

Scot Kight

Grip
Joined
Nov 29, 1999
Messages
16
Sorry, shoulda been a bit more clear. For the equipment cost, CRT still wins. At the higher end its definitely converging, and DLP/LCOS etc are, in general, much brighter.

Scot
 

Chris Moe

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I don't think that is an accurate statement any longer. The current High Def (HD-2) DLP Projectors have enough contrast that they are now starting to rival that of CRT projectors, including black levels.
While digital is constantly getting better, it is still nowhere close to CRT for contrast ratio or black level. I am not real up to date with DLP contrast ratio's but I just did a quick search on the HD2 chips and I am seeing contrast ratio's around 2600:1. Barco just announced there new line of CRT's the contrast ratio is listed as 30,000 : 1 which is more than 10X that of any digital projector.

Digital has it's place and I think many people would be quite happy with it, but CRT is still king if you desire the best picture quality.
 

Rob Tomlin

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While digital is constantly getting better, it is still nowhere close to CRT for contrast ratio or black level. I am not real up to date with DLP contrast ratio's but I just did a quick search on the HD2 chips and I am seeing contrast ratio's around 2600:1. Barco just announced there new line of CRT's the contrast ratio is listed as 30,000 : 1 which is more than 10X that of any digital projector.
That comparison of 10X the contrast is almost meaningless. Let's say that CRT had a contast ratio of 500,000 : 1. It doesn't mean anything, as you will never actually see those numbers on the screen while watching a movie.

I think once the CR gets to around 6000:1, there will be very, very little, if any, noticeable difference in image quality in terms of CR between a DLP and CRT.

Also note that I am not denying that CRT currently has somewhat better CR and black levels than DLP. My original post said that I disagreed with the statement that "CRT blows away DLP". That simply is not true, and even Scot seems to agree.
 

Chris Moe

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For now lets just agree to disagree. To my eyes CRT still blows away DLP and LCD (I am susceptible to rainbows though, so some DLP's drive me nuts). None of the digital technologies can actually make black, until they can I will have a CRT in my theater. Watching something like LOTR or Dark City with a digital really shows the weakness of them.

Digital is great for some people/rooms. If you don't have light control, want to put the PJ away when you aren't using it and have it setup in minutes, want a REALLY big screen, portability, want a small PJ, want to buy new, or if don't want to do some maintence then digital is for you.

The original poster didn't list CRT's and I just wanted to make sure he checked out all his options which is why I brought up CRT in the first place. You can get into CRTs for real cheap. Get yourself a Sony 1031Q for around $500, many people think this projector is better than any digital. I can't comment though I have never seen a 1031 in action.

To the original poster, look at as many technologies as you can and decide which one you like better.
 

Chris Moe

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Ill get an answer in as soon as you start playing mine.

It aint dying, it just smells funny.
 

Max Leung

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I have an NEC HT1000 DLP projector. It is as good as my RPTV in shadow detail and black level, and blows it away in picture detail.

Sure, it won't beat a good CRT front projector, but for people who are used to middle-grade RPTVs (not the Pioneer Elites), the newer DLPs are just as good, and even better with the higher resolution chips. DLP projectors are great for the average consumer, who don't want a 100 pound heat generator (
)hanging from their ceiling, yet still have the quality of their old RPTV.

However, DLP rainbows and eyestrain is still an issue for many people, including myself.

I'm a tweaker by heart though, so I may lurk on ebay or sales forums for bargain CRTs.



James, where are you? Have you settled on a solution yet?
 

ChrisTheg

Agent
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Mar 1, 2003
Messages
28
James, do yourself a favor and take it one step at a time. Do not feel that you have to decide on everything to decide on one thing. If you have the money then you have all the options in the world. Obviously you are looking for something between 9,000 and 22,000. There is a lot of options and much to consider. Often the easiest thing to decide on is the TV so I would put that at the end and first look at the Audio portion of your system. Just by looking at the three proposals that you have, either you told the sales person that you wanted something different every time you went shopping or they didn't qualify you correctly. The audio components have more differences in them then similarities. Focus on what it is that you want to get out of your system rather then what you need to get it. I don't know enough about your room and design to tell you what to get but if you would like to know what I think, just tell me more.
 

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