Drop Down Screen or Big RPTV?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Tom Boucher, Oct 30, 2001.

  1. Tom Boucher

    Tom Boucher Second Unit

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    All things being equal, which is better ?
    My room is 12' wide, 24' long. TV will be against the 12' wide section for depth, building a stand to put chairs in a 'stadium' style seating.
    The plan is this.
    Either:
    Sony VH10T Projector, and screen that comes out of the ceiling and has masks for different ARs.
    or
    Sony 65" XBR HDTV ready top of the line RPTV.
    I don't want to say 'cost isn't an issue', it is. I mean I don't want to buy the VH10T and then discover I need another $5000 worth of 'line doublers' or other things for it to look half as good as the $6000 RPTV. But with only 12' to work with, the 65" RPTV looks like it won't be an easy fit. Also It has to go up a flight of stairs.
    Any suggestions?
    Thanks
    Tom
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  2. andrew

    andrew Auditioning

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    Tom,
    I would say without a doubt the front projector is the way to go. For the true theatre experience only a front projector can truly deliver. Also there is a space issue, a roll up screen take basically zero space, a large tv takes quite a lot of space (this has worked out really well for me, my ht can be used as entertaining space in about 10 minutes). Even the largest TV's dont come close to the wow factor of an 8' or wider screen.
    my 2 cents
    Andrew
     
  3. Geno

    Geno Supporting Actor

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    Well what you need to ask yourself is how big do you want your screen. About four years ago when living in Lawrence, my roommate brought home an Epson projector from work for the weekend. NEVER had I encountered anything so cool. Well he took it back and I didnt think much of it until one day a client of mine mentioned that he had an Epson projector for sale, brand new. The guy even financed me for 6 months and it was all done with a handshake. OK im rambling, but I love my projector. Currently I have about a 14' deep room and I use a wall for the screen. I get aproximately 9' diagonal on the wall. Because it has a double digi comb filter, the resolution is fine. Heck, I even hook my computer up to it to work on sometimes, its also cool to watch programs such as Fractint on the wall.
    I did my research. Make sure that the projector has everything that you want or at least everything that the rear proj. TV can do. I was disapointed to fond out that I couldnt get 16:9 ratio or HDTV but hey when its that big? I really dont care. It does come with Picture in picture and the like.
    BIGGEST DRAWBACK OF PROJECTORS!!!!>LAMPS BURN OUT!!!LAMPS COST MONEY!!!MY REPLACEMENT LAMP IS $400 RETAIL!!!
    DO YOUR RESEARCH. Find out how big of an image you will get with 12' of depth or less[the projector takes up room too].
     
  4. Geno

    Geno Supporting Actor

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    PS TOM, I saw someone from KC selling theater seating with Bass shakes advertised somewhere in this forum.
     
  5. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    I feel qualified to answer this question since I have both Front and rear projectors in my HT. Without a doubt the Front Projection System is the way to go for most sources. I happen to own the Sony VW10HT system you mention and if you want a true home "theater" (and not just a "home media viewing room") this is the only way to go. No question.
    A few points of clarification.
    First of all, you have to have the space (you do!) to do it properly.
    Secondly, although I still contend that the SONY is one of the finest cost effective solutions to provide stellar front projection, you do have the growing choice of several brands and types of FP's at many different price points. Let your pocketbook, and most importantly, your EYES be the determining factor. More $$$ does not always get you better performance.
    And, finally, please note that I mentioned "most sources" in my original paragraph. Don't be misled into thinking that everything looks great on a front projector, regardless of brand or cost. This is a true case of GIGO (garbage in, garbage out). DVD's, HDTV, etc. looks STUNNING on my FP. LD's look pretty good. However, unless you have some of the finest TV sources in the world (very rare if there at all) I would not count on watching "regular" TV on a very large screen for any length of time unless your standards are very low (and I suspect this is not the case based on what you are striving for.) Can you watch TV on a HUGE screen? Yes. But remember, the larger the screen, the more source defects show up. With me, VHS (even S-VHS) and regular TV sources is below the threshhold for my viewing preferences on the FP. That's why I chose to put a Rear Projection Monitor (my 12 year old Pioneer Elite - still going strong) in the theater as well. It looks great for non-theatrical sources and those items (DVD's of some PBS stuff like Fawlty Towers, etc.) that I prefer to watch in their original format - on TV not in a theater.
    For more information and illustrations check out my HT site.
    Happy hunting and good luck with your project. It's definintely an interesting and rewarding ride that you have ahead of you. Fasten your seat belt!
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    RAF
    [Demented Video Dude since 1997]
    [Computer Maven since 1956]
    ["PITA" since 1942]
    My HT (latest update 02/05/01)
     
  6. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    I second choosing a FPTV setup over a RPTV setup as well. I find that no matter how good the RPTV image is, it still looks like you are watching a TV. With front projection, the cinema experience is duplicated. I have seen the Sony VPLVW11HT hooke up directly to the DVD player with s-video (ie. no external line doublers etc) and the picture was phenomenal.
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    [Edited last by Neil Joseph on October 31, 2001 at 11:26 AM]
     
  7. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    Neil,
    A quick question. Why an S-Video connection from the DVD player to the 11HT instead of component video?
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    RAF
    [Demented Video Dude since 1997]
    [Computer Maven since 1956]
    ["PITA" since 1942]
    My HT (latest update 02/05/01)
     
  8. Michael Lee

    Michael Lee Supporting Actor

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    I feel that I am well-qualified to answer this also. I, like RAF, have two setups. I have a 65" RPTV in one room which I love. And I have a Sony 10HT with an electric drop-down 9' screen in the other. I absolutely prefer the front projector with no hesitation. I have the same reservations as RAF. We only watch HD and DVD on this screen. I haven't hooked up my LD yet, but I can imagine it will be pretty soft at that size.
    Weighing out having a giant box in one room, versus having a drop-down screen that disappears during the day in the other....the space-savings is huge, and the theatrical experience makes this a no-brainer decision.
    Click on my site for my HT in progress.
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    My Home Theater Pics
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  9. Michael Lee

    Michael Lee Supporting Actor

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    By the way, masks for the different aspect ratios for the drop down screens are pretty limited, in my opinion. From my research, I found you choose the actual screen-size, then drop down vertical bars for 1.33:1. Since I rarely watch DVDs or HD in 1.33, it made little sense for me to go that way. I want masking for the horizontal plane, which I think is very rare for dropdown. I have only seen these for fixed screens--and they are tres cool.
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    My Home Theater Pics
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  10. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    RAF - That's the way they had it hooked up in the store I saw it demo'd in. Anyway, I agree that the PQ will be slightly better with the component hookup for sure. If it looked that good hooked directly to the dvd player with s-video, I could imagine how much better it could look.
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  11. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    Neil,
    I understand. And not only is the picture quality better with component video but you must use component with a progressive scan player. And in my experience the use of a progressive scan picture with the 10HT and a large screen is the way to get the best picture possible.
    I've noticed some discussions where people are claiming that they don't notice a significant difference between progressive and interlaced pictures. My feeling is that this is usually related to the type of monitor and size of the screen. True, on a RPM it might be hard to differentiate, but on my 110" screen with the FP the difference is easily seen and appreciated, especially with motion artifacts (or lack thereof.)
    Take care.
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    RAF
    [Demented Video Dude since 1997]
    [Computer Maven since 1956]
    ["PITA" since 1942]
    My HT (latest update 02/05/01)
     
  12. Guy Kuo

    Guy Kuo Supporting Actor

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    Light control and whether or not you are using the system during the day time can be a factor. That said you are one of the luck people who have the chance to put in a large front projection screen. Do it. You won't ever want to go back. I'll give one very vital piece of advice which you'll no doubt ignore, but I'll say it anyway....
    Don't rush into a projector and screen choice. I'd give yourself at least a month (yes I know that is forever in home theater enthusiast years) to peruse and ask questions both here and at the AV Science forum www.avsforum.com. You will run into various camps pulling you in their direction for projector choice. Sometimes with religious fervor you'll get bombarded. It boils down to a personal choice in which you will weigh how budget, setup, maintenance, image quality, reliability come together for you. The choice of projector and screen material can make or break the experience. If at all possible preview the projector and screen material so you have an idea of what looks acceptable or good to you. I have my biases and so will everyone else, but I hope this advice is generic enough to help you maximize your voyage.
    You are just starting out with FPTV. It's easy to be intimidated or simply get caught up with how big the picture is. Unfortunately, your eyes WILL become more educated over time, and the cheapest projector might initially look good, but disappoint over the long haul. Neither do you want to get a system touted as giving the absolute best picture only to find its setup is beyond your capabilities. There are a lot of owners of both digital and CRT projection systems which can relate their experiences. Picking between over enthusiasm and good advice is tough.
    Front screen projection is a special world which fundamentally changes the home theater experience. The cinematic feel is something which cannot be as well reproduced on the relatively small bounds of a RPTV - even a seemingly large 65 inch model. Not only is the visual experience change, but so is the audio performance. No longer will you suffer the ill effects of a large object sitting between your main speakers. The absence of that large box also gives back quite a bit of space to the room, especially with a drop screen.
    I heartily encourage you to move forward in to FPTV. Just do it cautiously and without hurry. The last thing we want to see is what should be a wonderful experience go sour because of a hasty, inexperienced choice in equipment. Definitely do front projection, but take your time. Unless you are already experienced, there is no projector deal that you should consider a must decide before tomorrow proposition.
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    Guy Kuo
    www.ovationsw.com
    Ovation Software, the Home of AVIA DVD
     
  13. Luis Gabriel Gerena

    Luis Gabriel Gerena Second Unit

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    Guy Kuo, you hit it right on the money. By all means listen to his comments cause its very true. Also, remember that within the FP comunity there are different technologies, DLP, LCD and CRT. Each has strenghts and weaknesess that only YOU should analyze based on your criteria, cause no matter what people say, you are the one stuck with it after you buy it, so you are the one to please.
    When I was in your position most people told me about the NEC LT150 which was within my price range and I was also looking at the Sony W400Q (old model). Well, the LT150 being newer, DLP has many fans so I was almost driven to buy it without test but then I decided to demo different FP by myself (hard in Puerto Rico since Big TVs are all at rage here, but did it). To my surprise I was in love with the W400Q picture even though it looks a LOT better now after continuous tweakings but even stock I found it better than the LT150 which I couldn't get into because of the Rainbow effect and the color wasn't that good. Of course, other may have a completely different opinion because each indivdual perceives the image in its own way.
    So, simply put, go for FP all the way but don't go crazy and but something that will make you happy for years to come.
    Regards
     
  14. Tom Boucher

    Tom Boucher Second Unit

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    Wow. Thanks guys. Definitely I don't plan on rushing into this. I figured I wanted FP but never hurts to ask.
    Thankfully, I have an excellent local Dealer here in Lawrence, Kief's Audio/Video. Everything I have with the exception of my VCR & Sony Wega TV I got from them. So I plan on talking with them a lot. When I bought my 'desk' stereo for my office I warned the guy I'd be on my way back.
    I have to pay off the Berkline cinema series chairs I just bought, and the accompanying living room set. Boy it's expensive going into a furniture store. Think that's the most money I've spent on one place for something that has no electronics in it.
    But, come next February or so, I'm on the hunt. Unfortunately I'll need to swing into a Progressive DVD player too. My Sony 7700 doesn't do progressive that i know of. Oh well, maybe I can convince someone to buy that when I'm ready to change.
    Thanks folks
    Tom
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