Hi, Im New Here - Looking for Projector Advice

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Michal_Zak, Jan 4, 2004.

  1. Michal_Zak

    Michal_Zak Extra

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    Hi All.

    My name is Mike and Im from Perth, Western Australia.

    Im moving into my home in a few months, and decided that instead of buying a TV which would cost me $1500 and I would have something within the 68cm range, or a Rear Projection TV for about $5000-$8000 or even a Plasma Screen for about the $12K price - I have decided to get myself a Home Theatre Movie Projector and have it hooked up to a HDDigital TV box...
    Here these projectors range from $1500 up to $10000 but I am interested in the $2000 - $4000 range.

    I have done some reading, and talking to people - in regards to the ANSI factors, the contrast and size Ratios.... BUT i would like to hear your advice... what do you guys consider to be something that I need to look for, or stuff I need to Steer Clear off...

    I have seen a Hitachi Projector and a Sony Projector on display, Hitachi with 800ANSI and 800:1 Contrast Ratio, the Sony with 1200ANSI and about same contrast - but the price is $6000, whereas the Hitachi one is $2500.

    Someone has actually recomended the Panasonic PT-AE300 to me - has anyone come accross this one? whatz it like? is it worth AU$4000?

    Also : if I didn't want a screen - only projection onto a dark wall - what do I need to do?

    Many thanks

    Mike
     
  2. Todd Terwilliger

    Todd Terwilliger Screenwriter

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    I've heard very good things about the Panasonic you mentioned and also the Sanyo Z2. I can't comment on the Sony or Hitachi because I don't know the product numbers.

    As for the wall, projecting directly onto a dark surface isn't recommended. If you want to go without a screen, and if you are able, I would paint the wall where you'll be projecting the screen. The darkest you'd want the screen area is a light gray (useful with some projectors to enhance blacks).
     
  3. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    First off, what is the currency exchange rate from US$ to Au$? [​IMG]

    The Panasonic L500, Sony HS20 and Sanyo Z2 are three very nice looking digital projectors in the US$2-3K range. They all have c.r. specs above 1000:1 and are native 16x9 wxga class projectors (1366x768 in the Sony's case and 1280x720 for the other two).
     
  4. Andrew Sleight

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    oh no!

    I just typed a 50 line response to this post and it got cut by the forum software.[​IMG]

    Mike,

    I am in Melbourne and have just bought a new setup from Harvey Norman. This is my first HT and I chose the LG projector model RD-JT30. It has 1400 lumins and a contrast ratio of 1100:1

    For AUD$5000 (approx US$3600) I got:
    Projector LG RD-JT30
    Receiver Prioneer VSXD712
    Speakers 5.1 JBL SCS138B
    DVD Player Sony (forgot the model #)
    Monster 8m S-Video Cable
    Monster 1.4m S-Video Cable
    Monster Digital Audio Cable
    Monstor Speaker Cable 50m

    More than happy with the projector works great in daylight (dim room no direct sunlight on the "screen") and is awsome at night time. I am not using a screen just an off white painted wall. I have the image size zoomed out to 2.5m (100") diagonal. The maximum image size is approx 220" diagonal but that's way too big for my room.

    You can get the manual from the lge website search on google for lge and RD-JT30

    Starting rec retail for this kit was over AUD$7000 so you need to haggle. Also watch out for the cable whammy at the end of the sale. The cables can be very expensive.

    I only have the projector and DVD player installed at the moment as the rest are on back order due in tomorrow. Spent the whole of Sunday building a ceiling mount system as they wanted $300 for a real one, as the unit only weighs 1.8kg's you don't need much.

    If you want more info or a review on the whole setup next week, let me know,

    Good luck

    Andrew
     
  5. Michal_Zak

    Michal_Zak Extra

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    Hi Guys,

    thanks for the replies... really appreciate it.

    TOD : thanks - I yet have to see the Panasonic working. The reason why I ask about the black screen is because I saw a projector (apparently the panasonic one) projecting a movie onto a very dark wall and it looked absolutely normal...

    NEIL : thanks, the exchange rate is about AU75c for every US$1.
    I will have to have a look at the projectors you suggested: whats meant by Native? is that 4:3 but runs 16:9 or straight 16:9

    So far I have seen the Hitachi work (AU$4000 - US$3000) and I was impressed but that was the first projector i saw. Then I saw a Sony for about AU$6000 - US$4500 - which is a little out of my budget... and that was good too... yesterday I saw a NEC and also a Sharp XV-Z390E/91E working and i liked both - the Sharp - had strangely hehe - A SHARP pic... nice colours - running of a Digital Box.
    Today - I saw a Infocus ScreenPlay 4800 at work - the stats blew me away - DLP (not a LCD), 1100ANSI, 2000:1 Contrast ratio... and only AU$3000 (US$2250). But what I didn't like is that it projects at 4:3 and I don't like the dark lines you get at the bottom off the screen when running 16:9 [​IMG]

    I have decided I wanna get a pure 16:9 projector... run everything in 16:9 and when something is in 4:3 you get black lines vertically - and thats mainly only with adverts anyway. What does everyone think?

    ANDREW : Many thanks for your reply. I have been to Harvey Norman here in perth and the model suggested was the hitachi. I haven't come accross any LG models there - but I will have another glance.
    $5000 for that whole setup is excellent considering that the Projector itself retails for $4000. is the LG u are suggesting a 16:9?

    I will have a look at one if I can find one... I have more more shop to visit Surround Sounds and see what they have on offer. I will also try and get that shop that has the panasonic to set it up so I can have a look

    Would you guys get DLP over LCD - taking into consideration its not a 16:9 ratio? its apparently technology for movies?

    Many thanks Again - looking forward to your replies
     
  6. Todd Terwilliger

    Todd Terwilliger Screenwriter

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    Hey Michael,

    One option with 4:3 projectors is to get an anamorphic lens. The down side is the lenses are expensive (~$700US+) but the upside is that they can be used with any projectors (including 16:9 to achieve true 2.35:1).
     
  7. Michal_Zak

    Michal_Zak Extra

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    Hi Tod,

    I think I would rather go for a true 16:9 - I don't like the idea of extra money when i will want to watch most of the programs/movies in 16:9 format anyway - but its definatelly an option for someone who wishes to have a 4:3 right? thanks for that info [​IMG]

    I found a review site: projectorcentral.com - and the reviews of the panasonic PTAE300 are amazing... they give it very good points in terms of reducing the pixelation, fan noice and other things... i think the Panasonic at the moment rates first in my book...

    I hope i will be able to view it sometime...

    What projector do you have Tod?

    thanks

    Mike
     
  8. Michal_Zak

    Michal_Zak Extra

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    Sorry - just one more --

    what does it mean when one refers to a progressive scan DVD player? I have an omni one - but do I have a progressive scan? No Idea!

    can someone explain?

    states that the pic on the PTAE300 is supperb on a Progressive scan DVDl...

    once again! Many thanks!

    Mike
     
  9. Andrew Sleight

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    Michael,

    As a recent starter to this forum please take my answers with a grain of salt[​IMG]

    I have watched DVD's in 16:9 on the projector and also TV on 4:3 both look excellent.

    The menu on the projector states:
    "When in YPBPR, Video and S-Video modes, users have two options for the image ratio: 4:3 and 16:9."

    If you can explain your concern to me more fully I will check it out for you.

    BTW the projector RRP was $3999 on special to $3499 and then the hagling started "20 sheckles for that you must be mad!"[​IMG]

    If you send me your email address I will email you the pdf of the manaul 1.3Mb's

    Cheers
     
  10. TommyL

    TommyL Supporting Actor

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    check out the sanyo Z2, panny 500...those 2 FP's are in the right line for you. Grab a nice carada screen, and you'll be set...under 2500 bucks USD for both. (screen and FP)
     
  11. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Native 4x3 and 16x9 refer to the shape of the default image projected. Think of it like a projector whos image has the same shape as a widescreen TV vs a projector whos native image is the same dimensions as a 4x3 TV.

    For pretty much the same money these days, you can get a native 16x9 projector (1366x768 pixels. Note that some projectors in this class have resolutions of 1280x720 also) as what a native 4x3 projector would cost (at 1024x768 pixels). Notice that both have the same vertical resolution, just that the native 16x9 projector has extra width.

    Pop in Toy Story 2 on both of these projectors and you will have the following results.... 16x9PJ will display Toy Story 2 @ 1366x768 and fill the entire 16x9 screen. 4x3PJ will display Toy Story 2 @ 1024x576 with black bars at the top and bottom of the screen.

    Of course, a movie like Disney's Peter Pan (1.33:1 aspect ratio) will display on the 16x9PJ @ 1024x768 with black bars to the left and right (windowboxed) and on the 4x3PJ also @ 1024x768, filling the 4x3 screen.
     
  12. Michal_Zak

    Michal_Zak Extra

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    Hi Neil,

    So personally which projector would you recommend?

    I haven't found any shops yet that do the Panasonic - but I have found out the cost of some 16:9 fixed screens - they are about AU$1000 so about US$800 or so...
    also the shop had some sony, sharp and optima projectors on display - but suprisingly enough - none of them looked 'great' which I was supprised with after seeing some of the sony projectors at an actual sony store and they looked good.

    Also what had me suprised was the movie 'legally blonde 2' was playing off a sony, on a 16:9 format - it didn't fill the whole screen, and also has weird black bars vertically down the screen on either side of the picture - Im suspecting BAD BAD setup!

    Thanks

    Mike
     
  13. Michal_Zak

    Michal_Zak Extra

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    Just one more quick one...

    went to a shop yesterday - Surround sounds who deal with InFocus projectors and that is pretty much it.

    Now, from what I have read on some websites including projectorcentral, all budget InFocus projectors are 4:3 native ratio.

    when I went into this shop, i was shown a movie on a screen with the 16:9 dimentions and a 4:3 projection, running a movie in 16:9 format. What that creates is two black lines top and bottom which actually overlap the edges of the screen. I asked the guy twice if this was a true 16:9 projector and he told me with guarantee that it was... I didn't want to argue with the guy, but he was very very wrong in my opinion as a 16:9 projector would project an image with the exact 16:9 measurments that would have the picture fit within the screen.... is that correct? I have seen 16:9 projectors that do that....

    I don't know how some sales men can call themselves 'knowledgable' about projectors if they try and convince me that a 4:3 projector is a 16:9 projector when I can see the black lines outside the screen. In a sence it is a 16:9 because its capable of doing that - but its not a Native 16:9 - right?

    Many thanks again!
     
  14. Larry Talbot

    Larry Talbot Second Unit

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    I'm confused. You say you were "shown a movie on a screen with the 16:9 dimentions and a 4:3 projection, running a movie in 16:9 format?"

    If it is a native 16:9 projector, running a 16:9 formatted DVD, why would this be a "4:3 projection?" There is something wrong with that description right of the bat. There should be no 4:3 projection of 16:9 material with a 16:9 projector.

    Did you see black bars on the sides as well as the top and bottom? This would indicate either 4:3 material or a 4:3 projector.

    If you only saw bars on the top and bottom remember that some widescreen movies will still have top and bottom bars even on 16:9.

    "I don't know how some sales men can call themselves 'knowledgable' about projectors if they try and convince me that a 4:3 projector is a 16:9 projector when I can see the black lines outside the screen."

    I'm not sure where the black lines are that you are talking about. Top and bottom? The sides? Both? From my limited experience, HT salesmen at the big chain stores and even some of the specialty shops know next to nothing about FP. One benefit of this is the projector you see at such a store will probably project a much better image once you take it home and calibrate it with the proper conditions...

    You might want to think about buying an FP online as you are likely to save quite a bit of money doing so, though I don't know about Australia, exactly.
     
  15. Michal_Zak

    Michal_Zak Extra

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    Hi Larry,

    sorry - i wrote the sentence incorrectly. what I meant to say is that i was shown a 16:9 movie on a 4:3 PROJECTOR... and displayed on a 16:9 screen - if that makes sense?

    basically I was seeing black lines top and bottom outside of the 16:9 screen...

    you're right - the sales men don't know much - they are only trying to push their own product and convince the 'unknowing' customer for something that's not really true. I over heard in one of the stores how a sales man was talking about the great benefits of buying a high ANSI lumen numbers and Contrast ratios high $$$... but the projected image was really in my opinion worse than some of the cheaper projectors.

    Is the image also relative to the actual projector screen quality - as I have seen some movies come really pixelated at short throw, good projectors - but yeah - bad quality... is a more expensive screen better, what should I look for?

    also someone said that a grey screen isn't as good as a white one - because it makes the white colours grey and dark colours nearly black.

    Paul : as for internet buying - there aren't many if any companies in OZ that offer online projector buying... im suprised at the differences in prices between places tho - definatelly pays to shop around!

    If I bought the PTAE300 before xmas for $3500 - i would have got an older model projector. All i have to do is wait till mid february and get the PTAE500 for thesame money - or maybe less if I buy the projector and screen and cabling and bracket off thesame place.

    we will see... thanks for the reply...

    Mike
     
  16. Larry Talbot

    Larry Talbot Second Unit

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    "Is the image also relative to the actual projector screen quality - as I have seen some movies come really pixelated at short throw, good projectors - but yeah - bad quality... is a more expensive screen better, what should I look for?"

    If you have a lot of money to burn, then there are a number of pro screens to consider, but you'll have to ask someone else about them, because I don't have a lot of money to burn so I didn't consider them. I went with what a lot of first time FP owners go for, which is to say a Parkland Plastic screen. Parkland Plastic is actually a plastic sheet used for lining showers. Parkland Plastic is the company name and the products it makes that you would want to try are either Poly-Wall or Do-able. It is about an eight foot wide sheet of white plastic that is easy to roll up and carry home. It provides a very good image for about $15 U.S.

    "also someone said that a grey screen isn't as good as a white one - because it makes the white colours grey and dark colours nearly black."

    This is a matter of opinion. Both have benefits. Yes, whites aren't as bright with a gray screen, but blacks are much darker. Part of the problem with affordable LCD projectors is the blacks tend to be a little weak and washed out - more dark gray than black. A gray screen is said to greatly improve this, at the cost of brighter whites. Whites on my Z1 tend to be pretty bright to begin with, so I'm not sure this would be a problem for me.

    I myself have just a plain Parkland, but am debating on whether or not to paint it gray to improve the blacks.

    I'm going to PM you a link to another forum which has a ton of information (not all of it reliable) on DIY screens.
     
  17. Rob||Kur||

    Rob||Kur|| Stunt Coordinator

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    Don't worry too much about the contrast ratio. More than likely most newest gen LCD and DLP projectors (DLP moreso, but with the rainbow effect visible by some folks) will have adequate contrast.

    My Z1 at 800:1 seems very bright.

    Given what I've seen, I would suggest the new Sanyo Z2. A very nice and inexpensive unit indeed. I think you'd be hard pressed to find anything comparable at that price. The Projector Central review was absolutely glowing.
     
  18. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Recommendations? I like the Sony HS20 which is well within the $4K budget.
     

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