Front Projectors a waste?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by William_L, Jan 17, 2002.

  1. William_L

    William_L Extra

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    Having only been working on gutting my basement for the past few weeks, I'm still a long way off on getting a RPTV or front projector. I was really leaning towards a front projector, but then yesterday I stopped into a local Home Theater store. I asked to see some front projectors and he told me they don't carry them, becasue they aren't worth the money and can't come close to the picture quality of a RPTV (right then I didn't trust this guy)
    I told him I was interested in getting the new Sony VPL-VW11HT. With that, he said I would be spending about $10,000 for projector and screen, and I could get a top of the line Toshiba widescreen for about $3,500.
    Was this all just a line of bull, because he didn't sell projectors, or is there some truth to this. I'm still leaning towards the FP, and if I start thinking otherwise, I just go look at Robert Fowkes site http://home.att.net/~rfowkes1/HT.html and then I know what I want [​IMG]
     
  2. Deane Johnson

    Deane Johnson Supporting Actor

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    William:
    Yes, it's a line of bull because he doesn't sell projectors.
    The one issue that must be considered is that front projection requires some light control while rear projection requires less.
    Front projection usually can cost a little more than rear, but the results are night and day different. The good news is that prices on front projectors are dropping a great deal while the quality has been jumping.
    There aren't any reviews out yet, but there was some excitment at the recently completed CES in Vegas over the new InFocus Screenplay 110, a DLP projectgor optimized for DVD reproduction with a retail price of $4995.
    The projectors that are at the top of many short lists in the $10,000 or less range (in addition to the Sony you mention), are the Sanyo PLC-XP21N (LCD) and the SharpVision XV-29000U. The SharpVision is thought by many to be the best projector on the market at about $10,000 or a little less. The good thing is that there are now some choices.
    If you haven't been to Projector Central treat yourself to a trip.
    http://www.projectorcentral.com/
    The AV Sciences forum has great information and very knowledgeable people on the front projection topic. You can go to the DLP,LCD, D-ILA forum for some good information.
    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/
    Whether front projection is for you is just something you'll have to do some research on, but I would discount what the dealer told you.
    By the way, I live in a rental home, have big windows all over the place, with the only space available for home theater being in the living room that also has to house two offices. Here's what we did with front projection.
    http://www.kathiejohnson.com/HomeTheater.html
    Deane
     
  3. William_L

    William_L Extra

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    Deane,
    Thanks for the reply. I kind of thought the HT salesman was a little sleazy, worried more about his profits than the customer.
    The light control you mention will not be a problem, as the room I'm doing has no windows, so no outside light. Another reason I like the FP is that I don't think I'll be able to fit a FPTV down the stairs!
    I will look into those other projectors you mentioned. I really can't see me getting a projector any sooner than 6 months, as I have a TON of work to complete first, so hopefully by then, there will be more price reductions.
    (And for those of you holding off getting a projector, I'm sure that weeks after I do purchase one, ther will be huge price drops, it never fails after I make a major purchase [​IMG]
    Oh, one other thing the dealer mentioned. I said about how I found the Sony much cheaper online than the $8,000 he said it would cost, he said there are NO authorized dealers online, and the warranty would no be void. I had heard Ebay sellers were not authorized, but I can't believe that ALL online dealers are un-authorized dealers [​IMG]
     
  4. Deane Johnson

    Deane Johnson Supporting Actor

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    I don't know if there are any authorized dealers for the Sony on-line or not.

    My own opinion is that it's better to buy from a local dealer if you can so that you get the service (assuming the local dealer is a good one). My second thought is that you should buy from an authorized dealer, even if you're buying on line. Believe me, you want a warranty.

    One thing you should be aware of is that LCD projectors can have dead pixels. If these occur in the middle of your picture, it's pretty undesirable. My recollection is that Sony's policy of replacing the LCD panel is not real good. Another good reason to buy from a local dealer if you can. Just tell him you want to see the projector perfrom before you accept it.

    I would encourage you not to fall into the trap of just wanting the cheapest source. What I think you should want is the cheapest source that delivers everything you need which is not only the projector, but peace of mind that you're adequetly protected and can get good advice and backup.

    I think you can get some good answers over at the AVS forum on these subjects.

    Deane
     
  5. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    The 11HT with a typical 16x9 screen will probably run you more like US$5500. Find somewhere that has them and get a demo. It's a nice unit.
     
  6. Michael Lee

    Michael Lee Supporting Actor

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    The SharpVision XV-Z9000U is great projector and well worth the relatively low price (for a front projector). It replaced a Sony 10HT in my house and it was a major upgrade. I hear the 11HT has made improvements over its predecessor, but it was poorly displayed at CEDIA.
    The Plus Piano is a $3000 tiny projector with a great picture from DVD. It uses the same chip as the Seleco 200DM and holds its own against it quite admirably. The downside is that it does not accept an HD signal. The news at CES was that in a few months there will be a new model that will be able to though.
     
  7. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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  8. Stacy Huff

    Stacy Huff Second Unit

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    There are also people on these boards who make a living refurbishing CRT projectors pulled from colleges and businesses. Sometimes you can find a projector that cost $20,000 new for $2,000-3,000, with low hours on the tubes. A CRT front projector is much larger, and would take somebody with experience to set up, but it could give a great picture and, even with screen, still cost less than $10,000.00. Just another option to consider.
     
  9. Stan Rozenfeld

    Stan Rozenfeld Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi,

    I am also looking into buying a big screen TV. I have to agree that if you're spending $10000, front projection is the way to go. However, some have said that front projector is only a little bit more expensive than rear-projection TV.

    Right now, I can get a Toshiba 65h81 for $3000 shipped and Pioneer 643SD5 for $3700 shipped, and they'll be new. Then, in two months I'll spend $500 to get one of them callibrated. So the bottom line is that if my budget is under $5000, I can get a perfectly good, new set. On the other hand with front projection, I have to buy not only the projector, but also, the screen and then pay for professional installation, and I am not sure what the callibration would involve. Furthermore, there is also the issue of replacing those DLP 'bulbs'. They're rated for 1000-1500 hours, so if you use your TV not just for movies but for casual watching, you might go through a lot of these bulbs. My understanding is that some of them cost $500.

    Buying used front projector also has its own risks and disadvantages. It's like saying "why buy Toyota Camry when you can buy a two-year old Lexus for the same price". You're comparing apples and oranges.

    Also, can someone explain to me what are the actual advantage of front projection over rear projection aside from size of the image, and ability to manipulate that size? Are there any other ways in which front projection is inherently better?

    Having said all of the above, I want to emphasize that I am not challenging anyone here. If I had $10,000 budget, I would definitely go the front projection route. But with $5000 budget to cover TV, delivery and professional callibration, I just don't see how I could do it. I'll be glad if someone shows me how it can be done.

    Thanks,

    Stan
     
  10. andrew

    andrew Auditioning

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    Here is how,

    I just installed my second system in my bedroom.

    1 new vpl-w400q $1600

    1 new da-lite 16:9 106" screen $200

    some cables and stuff $100

    done for
     
  11. Michael Lee

    Michael Lee Supporting Actor

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  12. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    I saw an 11HT a couple of weeks ago. It was pretty sweet. The picture looked a lot like the 10HT I saw about a year ago but I could not do a side by side comparison. The salesman told me it is more reliable than the 10HT was.
     
  13. PhilS

    PhilS Stunt Coordinator

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    I think I ran into that HT salesman a few years back. He was practicing as a doctor, and I went to him with flu-like symptons, and he told me he could cure me with leeches. Geez, what a numb-nuts.

    RPTV's are cheaper than good FP systems when you include screen and everyting else, but for a real home theater experience that rivals and even exceeds the local movie theater, you cannot beat a FP. Watching an RPTV is like watching TV. Watching a good FP in the right conditions takes you to another place entirely. And don't pay attention to what this alleged HT salesman said about the costs. In 6 months to a year the prices for FP, and the choices, are going to be even better than they are now.

    BTW, AV Science is selling a few calibrated JVC G-11 DILA projectors for around $6K. This is a steal. If I was you, I would read up on DILA projectors on the AVS Forum and consider nabbing one of these, although they may be gone by now. A DILA is the best digital projector, IMO. On the other hand, if you are considering a CRT, then you probably want to do more research and look at all the options and issues. In any event, once you go FP, you'll never look back.
     
  14. Pieter_L

    Pieter_L Guest

    William,

    read Andrew's reply above again.

    that little sony 400 is still one of the best bargains around (and with native 16x9 panels to boot!)

    sure FPTV is not perfect BUT nothing else will give you the home THEATER feel you are looking for!

    (plus, getting this low-cost, (but BIG picture!), setup will allow you to not sweat too much as the MPAA screws with all of us over the next few years to obsolete all our projector's HDTV capabilities)
     
  15. Matt Stryker

    Matt Stryker Screenwriter

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    Stan-
    As someone who came oh-so-close to pulling the trigger on a 65H81 and then went FPTV, I can sympathize. Heres some points to consider.
    The 65h81 is an awesome set, and gives a great picture. The downsides are that you have to get it into your theater room, and then it takes up considerable space once it is in. When I considered the cost of having to pay the shipping company for each step up/down to its final location and the angles/stairs, it was not practical. FPTV is much more manueverable.
    As for price, the Tosh HD sets have come down considerably (and if you wait until they are introducing the new line and clearancing out the old, you can probably save an additional $250-1000) but very good FP solutions can be had for similar money. My LT150 ran me $2400 delivered, and even after spending $150 for a 60x80" screen, I'm well under the $2900 that Onecall wanted for the Toshiba. And the result is that I have a 100" picture that exceeds any RPTV I have seen. ISF technicians can calibrate FP systems just as they can RPTVs, even for the lower price PJs.
    As for bulb life, my PJ gets 1000 hours on each bulb (1 2hr movie every day for a year and a half) and the bulb costs $330 to replace. I spend that much on DVDs every 2 months, easy. Most FPTV owners have a seperate direct-view (or RPTV) set for casual watching.
    As for direct advantages between the two: cinematic feel, space and aesthetic considerations, and size favor FPTV. Ability to function in various degrees of light, ease of initial setup go to RPTV.
    As for HT salesmen: No offense to any of you who sell products for a living, but my experience has been that you cannot blindly trust anything said by someone whose financial well-being depends on buying products like the one you are asking about. Many are honest, some are not, but they almost always recommend what they are selling, because that is their job. Everyone from Circuit City employees pushing DIVX to top-notch CEDIA installers.
    Sorry to go on and on, but its 8AM on a Sunday and work is kinda slllloooooow.
     

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