Front Projector or Rear Projector

Discussion in 'Displays' started by NghiaTran, Apr 18, 2004.

  1. NghiaTran

    NghiaTran Agent

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    hello again fellas. Ive been shopping around for a new tv for the last 2 months and cannot come to a decision. Choices choices! There are so many to choose from that Im going zonkers and just want to pull all my hair out! To top it all off, my wife and I went to a Home Show today and there was a home theater vendor that was showcasing a 92 inch front projector system. ANd you know what happened? She made my life that much harder and told me thats what she wants. Arghhhhhh!!!

    So, now the WAF is at full force. I have always been curious and considered front projectors but I didnt think she would ever go for it. So thats why Im turning to you guys for help again.

    First of all my budget is about 5 grand for a new tv. I have pretty much ruled LCD and DLP out(except the Loewe DLP, its amazing). So the runners up is front projector or rear projector.

    The one concern that I have with fptv is that the picture might not be as clear as rptvs. Is this true? Could I get a good fptv and a screen with my budget? WOuld the picture even compete with, lets say, a Mitsubishi Diamond or Toshiba HX93?

    What are the downsides if any with fptvs? This is my first forray into this technology and I am ridiculously clueless. There is a huge "wow" factor with them but how do they compare with raw performance? Picture quality? THe room that its going into will be a light controlled environment.

    I do appreciate your time and any comments and/or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Most important thing: what is your room like? You need a fairly dedicated, and light controlled (dark) room for front-projection.

    Second: RPTVs are just projectors in a box, projecting to the rear of a screen. The types of projectors are the same as with front projection, and the tradeoffs between projection technologies (LCD, LCOS, DLP, CRT) are the same between the two. Some other effects are different between FP and RP, though, in general.

    The picture will be much larger with a good FP, and so problems in the quality will be much more apparent, and a good source is more important (IMO). Keep in mind, that FP CRT projectors are probably the best bargain out there when found used, and will give you the best of CRT-based RPTVs PQ, and the size screen of a FP. The downside is effort (they are big, heavy, PITA to set up).

    In my opinion, in that budget, I'd go for a CRT-based FP, or a CRT-based RPTV. But this is my own set of preferences, and really, yours is likely to be quite different. Seeing well-done setups is hard, but that's the best way to go about it.
     
  3. Bruce McDermott

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    Another FP fan here. A 92-inch diagonal is roughly the size of a 16x9 image on a 4x3 100 inch screen. If you want to watch SD, or pan and scan (shudder), on the screen as well as DVDs and HD in 16x9, that's a pretty standard screen size. I have such a screen, but if I had to do it again (and I will some day), it will be 16x9 all the way...

    Anyway, in general, Chris has got it exactly right--IF you have a nice, dedicated room, FP is the way to go. And IF you have good light control, and a $5,000 budget, and IF PQ is king for you, CRT FP is the way to go. You can build a system that will knock your socks off for that dough, or close to it--maybe $2500 for the projector, a grand for a scaler, $500 for cabling, $750 for a screen, the rest for sundries.

    Realistically, I'd budget about $1000 more, because if you're going to go the CRT route, unless you have a lot of patience and time, you're going to want some expert help on set-up and calibration.

    If isn't clear already, nothing about FP CRT is plug and play. But if it's done right, all you'll need is a bit of electronic convergence you can easily do yourself every 6 months or so. And in your range, the best PQ is really pretty clearly CRT (especially for a "cinematic" experience).

    And this is from someone who was quite leery of the whole thing before I took the leap.

    My one set-up is a dedicated, light controlled room with a Sony HS10 CRT RPTV on the ground, and a Baisey-tweaked NEC XG75A on the ceiling, with a drop down screen in front of the TV. I'll probably have an RPTV for a good while yet, and may even pull the trigger on a 1080p set down the pike, but for the true theater experience, the FP cannot be beat.

    Go to the AVS Forum and lurk in the CRT projectors board. Your life won't ever be quite the same [​IMG].
     
  4. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Bruce, you aren't related to Jim are you?

    Looks like NHT found his way to teh CRT world. Of course, maybe that's not always a good thing... [​IMG]
     
  5. Bruce McDermott

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    Nope. No politicans in my family.

    As far as "converts", that's how we take over (or take back) the world--one viewer at a time. Heh heh.
     
  6. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    If you do decide to go with CRT front projection then save the money you would have spent for a screen. Simply paint the screen area flat-white and frame with a black border of your choosing (there are various finishes but a nice black felt would do nicely). You could channel that extra dough to a better projector or scaler.

    Get some demo's done of the various FP technologies as well from reputable dealers that have properly setup/calibrated displays.
     
  7. NghiaTran

    NghiaTran Agent

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    Ive been calling a few home theater setup places today and the prices they want are insane! From what they are saying, a decent setup will cost well over my budget. Why the heck are the screens so expensive? Can I make one myself that performs just as well? On second thought, Im not much of a DIY-er so we'll cancel that idea.

    Maybe I should reconsider a CRT RPTV again. It was a nice fantasy but I dont think my room size will warrant the ability to get a FPTV. So what RPTV would you guys suggest. I guess I will have to lower my budget now because I would not want to spend that much on a CRT RPTV. My viewing distance would be about 10-12 ft. What screen size should I get? 57 or 65?
     
  8. Ralph B

    Ralph B Supporting Actor

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    this really is a no brainer! [​IMG]
     
  9. Bruce McDermott

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    Dude--of course they want insane prices! That's the way the system works--there's enough money floating around this country that industries develop around different pockets of it, and "high-end" home theater is one such pocket.

    Those are not the places you're being advised to check for your budget. The point that's being made is that you can get superb PQ in a light-controlled room that's your size if you're willing to venture off the beaten path a bit. And even that path has been pretty well beaten: used CRT projectors sold by reputable dealers, like Curt Palme or Churchuf, for example, on the AVS forum.

    And, in a place like Houston, I'm sure there are quality set-up/calibrators around. In fact, I think I recall having one offer his services to you in a nearly identical thread you posted over at AVS.

    Screens are so expensive because enough people will spend that kind of dough on one that an industry has built itself up around those people. But you sure as heck don't have to spend like that to get excellent PQ....

    But, no amount of cajoling is going to get you to do something you don't want to do. So, if you're gong to go CRT RPTV, I'd go with a Mits or Hitachi 65" (I'd pick Mits, personally), and get it calibrated.
     

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