FP and NHL

Discussion in 'Displays' started by StephenD, Dec 24, 2003.

  1. StephenD

    StephenD Auditioning

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    I am researching FP for use in my family room. Our current set is a Mits RPTV (50") which is seven years old. The room is 25' by 14' and the current RPTV location is in a corner. I am analyzing the best placement for a FP unit to move towards a much larger picture combined with a film like experience. The room has significant light during the day but I expect to use the FP unit primarily in the evenings. I will eventually replace the current RPTV with a corner armoir with a smaller tube set for day-to-day viewing. Based on the room setup I will be able to place the projector 14' from the location of the screen. The screen can be placed above the fireplace with the bottom of the viewing area about 5' from the floor. The room has a cathedral ceiling. I have two questions before I begin with 'construction' to setup the wiring and projector box.

    1. Which screen should I buy? I am looking at Stewart Luxus "Model A" with a 4:3 size of 72" x 96" and the Grayhawk material. I spoke to the mfg's wholesaler and he said the MSRP is around $3,500 US for this model. I have also looked at Da-Lite and they have a comparable model (Tensioned Contour Electrol) for around $2,000 on ProjectorCentral.Com.

    2. Which FP unit would best handle NHL games on cable, satellite and HD? I had originally been looking at DLP based projectors but I am concerned with performance during the NHL broadcasts. I have now started to research LCD based units. The units which are receiving the most play right now seem to be the Sanyo PLV-Z1, Epson PowerLite Home 10 and the Sony HS-20 (soon to be released).

    My primary concern is the performance of the NHL broadcasts. Any help or experience in extensive viewing of the NHL with a FP LCD or DLP would be great.
     
  2. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Projector comes first, then decide on a matching screen. Once you decide what your budget for the projector is then you can narrow the list down. Try to get a projector that is fairly bright if you intend to do lots of game watching on it, so you don't have to darken the room down completely to watch "the big game". The Sony HS20 looks like a really good digital lcd for the record. A Firehawk screen would be a good match for it. Are you looking for a fixed screen or a retractable, motorized?
     
  3. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    I watch a fair few NHL games on my Studio Expericence 1HD projector (Z1 clone) and the image is usually quite good. I don't yet have HD so I can't comment on that unfortunatly but what I do notice is that a lot of the games appear fairly washed out compared to other shows and DVD's on my ExpressVu dish which is dissapointing...I guess there just isn't a lot of contrast with large white ice surfaces etc.
     
  4. StephenD

    StephenD Auditioning

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    I am looking for a motorized screen. The screen housing would be mounted on a wall above some artwork. I would then expect to use a remote to lower the screen over the artwork. I plan to encase the housing in a drapery setup (colors to be chosen by my wife...) to mimic a theater. The drapes would 'encase' the artwork when the screen is not lowered. I am trying to keep the total budget to around 5k USD for the screen and projector. The total spend will likely hover around 8k - 10k when I add in an upgrade for speakers and other assorted stuff (cables, master remote etc...).
     
  5. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Run a 12V trigger from the screen to the projector so that the screen will lower automatically once the projector is turned on.
     
  6. StephenD

    StephenD Auditioning

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    Today I took the 'plunge'...I ordered a Sony VPL-HS20 from OneCall.Com. It is shipping overnight and will be here on Saturday (1/3/04). Since my last post our Mits RPTV has been relocated to the basement and replaced with an oak corner entertainment center with a 27" CRT for day to day viewing. The look of the new setup is great from an aesthetics standpoint although the 27" CRT is much too small for an enjoyable viewing experience. The Sony FP will certainly solve that problem for both movies and the NHL. I will be documenting the process in pictures for those who are interested (link to be posted later).

    I will post again tomorrow once the projector is setup and the first viewing experience has occurred. Initially I will be viewing on the wall to ensure the size is correct before I order a screen. Tomorrow is Hockey Night in Canada on NHL Center Ice so I will be able to give direct feedback on NHL digital cable television feed (not HD) through the VPL-HS20.
     
  7. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    We wait with baited breath.
     
  8. Kevin-W

    Kevin-W Auditioning

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    What happened to StephenD? I'm picking up a FP and hockey viewing is a real time sink for me... Wish I knew how it turned out... [​IMG]
     
  9. BenS

    BenS Stunt Coordinator

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    StephenD have you had time to check out the projector and had time to compose your thoughts?
     
  10. StephenD

    StephenD Auditioning

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    Sorry for the delay ... I was waiting until I had completed most of the setup to try and give a full report. It took some time for me to get the screen setup and mounted and the new surround speakers wired.

    The projector is mounted on a shelf in a pantry 14 feet across from my viewing wall. The screen is mounted above my fireplace with the bottom of the screen about 5' off the floor. I was somewhat nervous about this being too high but the location has been fine. The viewing room does not have significant light control since it is our family room with several windows. The picture is bright and strong during afternoon but during mornings when the sunshine is bright the picture is hardly visible. I will be adding light blocking blinds when I get a chance. It is not a major impact on our family since we watch mostly at night when the conditions are fine.

    My setup is as follows:

    Da-Lite Motorized Screen - 52" x 92" (From AVS - Thanks, Daniel)
    VPL HS20 using component video for input
    Scientific Atlanta Explorer 3100HD Cable Box
    Pioneer DVR-810H with Tivo and DVD Recorder
    Yamaha RXV800 Receiver
    Axiom Audio Epic Home Theater Speakers
    Component Video Switcher
    Charter Cable

    I find the projector itself to be very easy to use. Initially I attempted to tweak the video settings manually (which is possible via the remote and can be linked to a custom button) but I have since found the three factory settings (Dynamic, Standard and Cinema) do the job based on our viewing habits. I will be attempting to use the Video Essentials DVD to try and maximize the performance. Here is a perspective based on each input (from good to amazing):

    Cable (Analog): Good...The picture is generally grainy but certainly very watchable. The projector automatically adjusts to the correct 4:3 aspect ratio. In our area any channels on cable from 2-99 are not of great quality due to the transmission itself

    Cable (Digital): Better...Much better performance here. All of the movie channels are in the quality range. Most of the content is also 4:3. I would compare the performance to a large LCD panel.

    DVD (Progressive): Wow...DVD performance is excellent (I have a Pioneer DVR 810 with the Faroujda chip). Our family now has minimal interest in going to a movie theater since the comfort, image and sound of our own private theater is a wonderful experience.

    Cable (High Definition): AMAZING!!! As can likely be expected when HD is viewed the capabilities of the projector really shine. Fortunately the SuperBowl was in HD and available on our cable system...It was an incredible experience to view a football game in HD. We find we have the Discovery HD channel on almost as background since the experience is so compelling. I am anxiously waiting for more channels to move to this capability.

    Hockey: As for hockey...I have found significant variation depending on the location of the game. I am not sure why this is but it seems to be linked to the cameras and the transmission between me and the sender. The games do look somewhat washed out and not as sharp as they could be (most transmissions are in Cable analog or digital). Even so, the size of the image compensates for the lack of clarity. In most sport broadcasts, I have found 'long' camera shots to be problematic and generally create video artifacts (blurring, feathering etc...). When the camera is a close-up many of the artifacts do not occur. Unfortunately I have been unable to see an NHL broadcast in HD since my cable provider hasn't signed up any of those feeds yet...I am considering switching to DirecTV to increase the number of HD channels. Football on HD was great as I mentioned earlier...I would expect hockey to be just as impressive.

    As of today our family has used the projector for about 100 hours in two months and we are extremely happy. I have recommended this type of setup to many of my friends who are considering plasma or lcd screens. Based on my experience I expect several to take the plunge. Although the effort is greater than just placing a TV in an entertainment unit the final result cannot be matched (and the cost can be much less).

    As for HTF (and AVS Forum)...I am very appreciative for the help. Much of it was achieved simply by reading existing posts and reviews. As you can see from my equipment list I did support several of the advertisers so you can certainly give feedback to them that the advertising works. I will be trying to put up a small website to document the process I went through...if it can help others that would be great.
     
  11. StephenD

    StephenD Auditioning

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    Update...I just finished watching the Soprano's on HBO HiDef. The difference is incredible between the regular HBO and the HiDef. The widescreen is completely filled and the also seems to be better as well. Definitely a theater like experience...
     
  12. Kevin-W

    Kevin-W Auditioning

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    Awesome... I've been very happy with Empire Sports Networks broadcasts of Buffalo Sabres games on my little Epson 10 on a DIY screen. Located in the basement (finished), so there is no light unless I turn it on. I have switched everything down here to dimmer switches, so I can control it very well.

    I have the same HD cable box, and LOVE PBS and the Discovery Channel on it, especially shows on ocean life. The blues are incredible....
     

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