Do i have an HD projector?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by David Varela, Apr 6, 2004.

  1. David Varela

    David Varela Auditioning

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    OKay so I just bought a brand new Panasonic PT-LC56U lcd projector.It was such a good deal I didnt even think twice about it. I went reading thru the manual like you do, And im totally confused about the true output. Before I bought it I did some research on Projectorcentral.com
    It says there(aswell as the manuel) the native resoultion is 800x600 x 3 panels. Then the book says its capable of pushing 525p (480p),625i (576i),750p(720p), 1125i (1080i).
    HUH?

    I hooked up my Phillips Q50 progressive scan DVD player via a HD db15 cable, Shot it on a perfect matte white wall , and was blown away at the 70" picture. Yeee Haa!

    But now im curious since im soooo new to fp How come the signal says im only getting 525p on the input display. I thought I would be getting more from a DVD player that has Faroujda and progressive output.

    and also Is this projector really HD? Im ordering the HD cable box soon from TimE Warner so i need to know.
    Either way this whole projector thing is really fun, Why would I ever go back to TV!
    [​IMG]


    heres the specs:
    MSRP (USD) : $ 1,599
    Brightness (Lumens) : 1600 ANSI
    Contrast: ANSI:
    **
    Full On/Off: 400:1
    Weight: 4.9 lbs.
    Size (inches) (HxWxD) : 2.8 x 11.7 x 8.2
    Throw Dist (feet) : 4.6 - 30.2
    Image Size (inches) : 40.0 - 300.0
    Lens: Focus:
    Manual
    Zoom: Manual, 1.20:1
    Optional Lenses: Yes
    Digital Zoom: Yes
    Keystone Correction: Digital
    Lens Shift: No
    Compatibility: HDTV:
    1080i, 720p, 525i, 525p, 625i
    EDTV/480p: Yes
    SDTV/480i: Yes
    Component Video: Yes
    Video: Yes
    Digital Input: DVI
    Personal Computers: Yes
    Networking: Wired:
    No
    Wireless: No
    Warranty: 3 Years
    Lamp: Type:
    160W UHM
    Life: 2000 hours
    Quantity: 1
    Display: Type:
    0.7" PolySi LCD (3)
    Native: 800x600 Pixels
    Maximum: 1280x1024 Pixels
    Aspect Ratio: 4:3 (SVGA)
    Performance:
    H-Sync Range: 15.0 - 91.0kHz
    V-Sync Range: 50 - 85Hz
    Pixel Clock: **
    Speakers: 2.0W Mono
    Max Power: 220W
    Voltage: 100V - 240V
    FCC Class: **
    Audible Noise: **
    Special: Short-focus Lens
    Status: Shipping
    First Ship: Apr 2003
     
  2. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    Nick So
    Its capable of accepting HD resolutions, where it will scale it down to 600... though it is HD COMPATIBLE, its not an 'HD' projector
     
  3. David Varela

    David Varela Auditioning

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    so then why does it say HD compatible? Whats the point if you cant see the resolution that its stating. Is this all marketing B.S.? Im so confused now.
     
  4. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    I'll tell you a secret: VERY few displays are capable of displaying the full resolution of 1080i HDTV, although some come closer to it than others. That doesn't mean they're useless or just marketing BS. They do give you a better picture than a 480i display.
     
  5. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Robert is correct, but that piece of advice re 1080i has to do with CRT based devices, not digitals.

    digital displays, such as your LCD, have a fixed number of pixels, exactly 800by 600. Everything will get scaled to that resolution. The resolution it accepts is not the same of what it can resolve, it can only resolve the 800x600 pixels that it has.

    There is a hugely distinct difference between resolving (i.e. displaying properly) a resolution, and accepting an input of that resolution.

    FYI, there aren't any digitals that can do 1080 below $20-30K to my knowledge.
     
  6. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    clarification, YOUR LCD has 800x600, didn't mean to sound as if all were like that.
     
  7. David Varela

    David Varela Auditioning

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    So then is this a good Projector for my first one? What would you guys class this one as, fair,good,or great?
    I dont see any panasonics like mine on this form so im hoping i did ok buying this one. Thanks for all your help. Im still happy with the quality of this unit, its sleek and its been a hit at the last party I had, but im wondering If Im going to outgrow this one in a year and go with a DLP HD one.

    crap I think I now have buyers remorse.
     
  8. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    It should be a fine unit. If you enjoy the PQ, enjoy!

    It depends how "educated" you are about PQ, how nice units you've seen and expect, and how picky you are. I *can* be fairly picky, but honestly, it doesn't take much for me to enjoy the picture. I've seen a variety of extremely high-end displays, and compared to those of course, an entry level LCD won't cut it. But like I said, unless you want to drop 30times what you paid for your unit, you won't get that in a digital projector.

    You could in a CRT though.
     
  9. David Varela

    David Varela Auditioning

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    but are'nt CRT's bulky and cumbersome?
    I have to admit, I went with the Panasonic because its the size of a ream of paper, and I live in apartment. but your right, I do love the picture and Ignorance is bliss. So do you think I should still get the HD cable box?
     
  10. Brent Hutto

    Brent Hutto Supporting Actor

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    Your projector will display pretty much whatever format you throw at it by upconverting or downconverted to 800x600 (SVGA) as needed. However, since it is not a home-theater projector, it will probably not acquit itself very well with interlaced soruces so you might want to use it with a progressive-scan DVD player for instance.

    The contrast will be much lower than home-theater type projectors. You'll need to calibrate it with something like an Avia DVD, turning the brightness and contrast way down from their defaults. The color decoding may not be perfect but you can calibrate a lot of that away, as well.

    For about the same amount of money you could buy an entry-level DLP or LCP technology projector intended for home theater use that will have much better contrast and color accuracy. That projector is meant for displaying computer stuff in business meeting. But it will no doubt throw up a fine picture from a DVD or HD-cable box once you get it calibrated.

    I'd expect something like a Hitachi Home-1, Epson Home-10 (both LCD), InFocus X1 or Optoma H30 (both DLP) to provide much better picture quality than a low-contrast SVGA business projector. At the next level in cost ($2,000) are the Sanyo Z2 and Panasonic 500u projectors which are 1280x720 resolution LCD's and will knock your socks off with a HD-cable feed.
     
  11. Aaron Gilbert

    Aaron Gilbert Second Unit

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    I have a couple points to make here, seeing how I just got a Panasonic LCD projector myself, which to my knowledge, is not a home theater specific model. Mine is the PTL711XU, an XGA machine, so 1024 x 768. While it's not perfect, a comparatively equippped/specified home theater specific machine would have probably cost me at least twice as much money. I don't find fault with the color at all, quite the opposite, and the grey blacks are not bothersome to me, as I thought they might be.

    Regarding Chris' comment as to how digital displays scale the input signal to their native resolution, that is correct most of the time. I just wanted to point out that my Panasonic, and thus perhaps David's as well, has a mode in which the projector does NOT scale the input. Now, if I understand the manual correctly, it simply takes the input and maps it pixel for pixel in the center of the LCD panel. In the case of DVD of course, this means that you get a smaller image than you would if the projector were scaling, so you'd have to move the projector back to maintain the same image size. I believe some of the Sharp machines can also can do this, even with signals of a greater resolution than the panel. I haven't tried the latter on my Panasonic yet.

    Now as to whether you'd actually want to do this, I don't really advise it unless your projector doesn't have a 16:9 mode. Mine does, so even though it's a 4:3 projector, I set the DVD player to 16:9 for anamorphic films, then set the projector also to 16:9, which squeezes the image vertically back to what it should be. This looks noticeably better than setting the player to 4:3 letterbox and the projector to 4:3. If you have this option on your Panasonic David, use it!

    Congratulations and welcome to front projection, David!


    Aaron Gilbert
     
  12. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Yes. Yes they are. And ungodly heavy compared to your digital. Ah but the picture! [​IMG]

    "has a mode in which the projector does NOT scale the input. Now, if I understand the manual correctly, it simply takes the input and maps it pixel for pixel in the center of the LCD panel."

    Interesting. Still, the resolution limitation is fixed by the pixels on the panel. You can't ever go beyond that, while you can with CRT, which was the 1080i versus 480 thing mentioned before. Because you're not dealing with fixed limitations, you can go beyond the resolving capability of your setup, by pushing 1080, and it may still look better, even though it is not, technically, resolving all that. It's a little easier to think about w/regards to digitals because things are fixed. You CAN'T try to display more than the panel has pixels on a digital.
     
  13. Aaron Gilbert

    Aaron Gilbert Second Unit

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    David,

    Regarding your followup questions, here's the best advice I can give - Stay off of this forum and the AVS Forum!! Endless reading will eventually convince you that whatever you have, regardless of how much you enjoy it, simply cannot be good enough, and you have to upgrade to a new machine. If you don't, you'll be forever shunned, for having poor eyesight, extremely low standards, and an inability to 'see the light'. [​IMG]

    As Chris mentioned, the bottom line is that if YOU (and your spousal/sibling units) enjoy the picture, that is ALL that matters. Now, you may come to the conclusion that you want an even better picture, on your own, nothing wrong with that! But as a first projector, I bet you could do a lot worse than that Panasonic. For the price you paid, just look at it this way: Even if you buy another projector in a year at a similar price or slightly higher, you still have paid FAR less than an equivalently sized rear projection set (along with it's off-axis viewing problems and montrous bulk). And you can't take that rear projection set outside and project on a 20' screen for backyard theater in the summer. [​IMG]


    Aaron Gilbert
     
  14. Aaron Gilbert

    Aaron Gilbert Second Unit

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    Chris,

    Are you sure about this? The article at Projector Central (quoted below) as well as the owner's manual for the Sharp PGB10S seems to say otherwise. That said, we're probably still in agreement, as I realize you still don't GET more resolution on the screen at any one time, than the LCD panel is capable of. But it would seem at least you can send a higher resolution to the projector without automatic scaling.

    Below taken from the Sharp PB-B10S review at projector central, full review at: http://www.projectorcentral.com/shar...on-pg-b10s.htm




    "Another nicely implemented feature is Resize. When you are viewing a source, you have several options on how the image is viewed. Depending on the signal source, pressing the Resize button allows you to select up to 4 viewing modes including:

    Normal - the full image in its native aspect ratio

    Dot by Dot - native resolution of the image without scaling

    Border - image is sized to 4:3 aspect ratio with a border

    Stretch - image is sized to 16:9 aspect ratio with equal borders top & bottom


    In data mode this gives you the ability to show, for example, an XGA (1024 x 768) image compressed to SVGA or show it in native XGA and use the remote control to slide the image around to viewing the missing parts of the image."



    Aaron Gilbert
     
  15. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    The first part, the dot by dot part, was for lower resolutions, using just part of the panel, which you mentioned previously.

    This second part, is not displaying the entire image. As it mentions, you have to scroll around, parts of the image are not being displayed. Even though each pixel is being mapped as if it were full-resolution, there are not that many pixels, hence the image is essentially bigger than the panel, so you miss parts of it, thus the scrolling around of the image they mention. You *CANNOT* display more than the pixel count, it's simple math. If you have 4 pixels, that's all you've got, and you can't display more than that.

    Now, there is some rumor/noise/possibility about the next generation of DLPs having fewer mirrors than pixels, which would mean using what was previously called a "pixel" to create more than one image pixel. This is not the case here, or anywhere yet that I know of. You cannot display more than one pixel with just one pixel.
     
  16. Aaron Gilbert

    Aaron Gilbert Second Unit

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    Yep, like I said, we are in agreement. I was just pointing out that in some cases you can send a higher resolution to the projector than it's native resolution, without scaling, even though it obviously cannot display all that at the same time. It could come in handy for something, not sure exactly what though. [​IMG] I suppose if you were using a computer, you could think of it as a quick and dirty zoom when sending high resolution pictures to the projector.

    Aaron Gilbert
     
  17. David Varela

    David Varela Auditioning

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    holy cow! lots of info here.

    okay then.... ill stick with my little panasonic. it does a damn good job so far. but i know ill be upgrading like we all do from time to time. Its funny because my girl hated the whole idea of a "projector" in the house. After I ceiling mounted it,set it up,and popped in Shakespear in Love.....She shut up and almost cried with joy. So i guess the lesson here is, No matter what, I win. thanks for all the info. im going to watch a movie now![​IMG]
     

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