I have a theater just no projector.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by StevenFranklin, Jun 27, 2001.

  1. StevenFranklin

    StevenFranklin Auditioning

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    My wife and I recently bought a home that has the perfect room for a home theater, we just need a projector. Never being faced with this situation before I don't know where to begin looking to buy a projector. What are some specialty places that sell projectors? I have been to Circuit City and no such luck. Please help!
     
  2. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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    If you have a store like "Hi-Fi Buys" in your area, you should be able to see some in-store demos of some overpriced LCD SharpVision projectors. The only real advantage to going with something like this is that the store can recommend a contractor and/or will provide the labor needed itself to install and configure the projector in your room.
    Other than that, most other B&M stores selling LCD and DLP projectors cater only to the "Presentation" crowd and probably won't be able to demo a projector in its Home Theater Mode, while many "Video Specialty Stores" usually deal with projectors exclusively in the $10,000 and up range.
    The big trend these days is to simply purchase a good LCD and/or DLP projector on the Internet.
    You can get a "pretty good" new projector on the Net for around $2500-$600O. While these projectors have been optimized for computer presentation work, many now come with line doublers/scalers that are good enough for Home Theater.
    The Projector Central site, www.projectorcentral.com is a good place to start to obtain information on which of these kinds of projectors can be utilized for Home Theater right out of the box.
    In particular, check out these articles :
    http://www.projectorcentral.com/cons...i=home_theater
    http://www.projectorcentral.com/cons...cfm?ci=lcd_dlp
    http://www.projectorcentral.com/cons...infocus_optoma
    Hope this at least gets you started in the right direction!
    Joseph
     
  3. KeithR

    KeithR Second Unit

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    Yes, i agree with the first poster---you have to decide DLP vs. LCD and then there are a lot of options. Here are the ones I decided against....
    DLP-
    NEC LT150
    Infocus 350/530
    Plus Piano
    LCD-
    Sony 10HT
    Sanyo PLV-60
    please checkwww.avsforum.com for much more projector oriented discussion....they have reams of posts to search through....but once you are done, having an FP is so much more "cinema-like" than an RPTV...."we measure screens in wfeet---not inches"...
     
  4. TimG

    TimG Second Unit

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    Don't forget there are amazing deals on crt projectors now. I agree with the previous poster about checking out avsforum.
    Tim
     
  5. StevenFranklin

    StevenFranklin Auditioning

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    Thanks for the links, they were a huge help. I just have one question. Why are projectors so expensive? It seems you could buy the biggest and best 16:9 rear projection tv for about the same price and get better picture. By the time you pay for the cables to go with a projector, the screen and of course the home theater projector you are spending $5000. Are there cheaper home theater projectors than I am seeing. [​IMG]
     
  6. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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    quote: Why are projectors so expensive? [/quote]
    Well, actually ... they're a lot cheaper now than they were just two years ago, I can assure you!
    The main reason Projectors are so expensive (and the reason you can't find any to purchase at CC) is due to the fact that they still service a "nich" group for the most part. You won't find anywhere near even a 15% penetration of projectors used for HT in this country. The only reason decent projectors have fallen to the $2500 level is due to the Computer Presentation market where they're almost universally accepted as a tool of the trade.
    The allure of the projector is obvious : The large picture that you can achieve with even a 2.35:1 transfer in the home.
    In order to take 480 lines of interlaced resolution (or 480p in the case of progressive players or even 730 lines with anamorphic DVD) and make it look decent on a 110" screen, a lot of serious leading edge processing has to be going on. THE BOTTOM LINE is that with today's technology, you will have to spend around $5000-$6000 in order to obtain a 110" picture that looks "almost as good" as the typical $3000 Widescreen 16:9 "HDTV-ready" 65" RPTV set. And the projector will contain dust filters that will have to be cleaned periodically and bulbs that cost around $300.00 that will have to be replaced every year or so. If you're not ready to make that kind of commitment, then you're probably better off with a RPTV set at this time.
    I think there will come a day, in the very near future, when you'll be able to purchase a very good projector optimized for HT for around $1500. And in about five years or so you'll probably be able to purchase a "hang-on-the-wall" 70" 16:9 screen for about the same price. But that represents the future.
    Anyway, before you run off to purchase your 16:9 RPTV, here's one more article from Projector Central that you should peruse:
    http://www.projectorcentral.com/cons...big_screen_tvs
    Joseph
     
  7. Luis Gabriel Gerena

    Luis Gabriel Gerena Second Unit

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    IMHO you can outperform a RPTV with a FPTV at the same size image for less money...of course when you go bigger there are some compromises but that is part of the game. The theater image is not as sharp as your RPTV (probably) but it is a lot more involving. In my case I tested different screen sizes and then selected the best compromise between size and image quality. I can't see myself going back to a RPTV as even the biggest 65" or more seem very small compared to my image. I do understand that it is not for everybody since you should have a dedicated room and thus is a bit more complicated but to me well worth it.
    Regards
     
  8. John-D

    John-D Stunt Coordinator

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    quote: It seems you could buy the biggest and best 16:9 rear projection tv for about the same price and get better picture[/quote]
    Steve, that will only hold true if you're talking about Digital projectors (save the top of the line D-ILA projectors).. and do you know why?? Most RPTV's which we are discussing here are CRT based!
    This alone should be enough clue for you to start investigating CRT based FP's. A moderately used 8" CRT FP converged correctly will BLOW away ANY RPTV you have ever seen for almost half the price! And it'll be AS sharp and accurate as any RPTV, in fact even more because CRT FP's support much higher resolutions with higher scan rates. RPTV's have fixed scan rates which are much lower than most FP's.
    Nothing says "Theater" more than a Large Screen. If you need to scrimp, buy regular cables or a modest sub, but go for a large screen!
    That said, if all you want for your HT is to have a lightweight unit that you can flip on to watch the occasional movie without being too critical about the inherent artifcats or have to bother about tweaking it on a regular basis, a new SVGA or XGA DLP or LCD projector would be great. Infocus makes some good DLP projectors. Sharp also has some interesting models. SONY is refreshing it's VPL-VW10HT with a newer model which is still regarded as the best native 16:9 resolution LCD projector for HT use. The used 10HTs might hit the market soon. They sold new for around $6000.
    Visit http://www.avsforums.com
    Then go into the CRT FP area and tell them you have seen a Digital Projector Demo and wish to spend $x on it. See them try to 'rescue' you from the 'blacks-are-grey' side!
    Good Luck
    ------------------
    The things we own end up owning us
     
  9. KeithR

    KeithR Second Unit

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    Now John, let's be a little more honest here. While FP CRTs are very good, and you can get a great deal for under 5k, they must be professionally installed, calibrated, and run under total dark conditions. The installation and calibration alone can cost up to 1k, so while I agree they still give the best picture, the maintenance cost and hassle is much larger. 150-200 lumens just won't cut it in a lot of setups. Not to mention burn-in and other issues....If i had a dedicated room, i would go CRT, but in a normal house a DLP/LCD/DILA is a much better choice as people can install themselves, and they provide much higher light output. CRTs also are limited on screen size...That said, crts are the only way to provide true blacks. Although, my new dlp is so close, i can't honestly tell the difference.
    Also, to the previous poster, it is a bit unfair to compare 2500 fps to 2500 rptv...(which is really like 3k because of isf calibration necessary for rptvs..) I think a properly tuned fp can be BETTER than rptvs at the same price. My seleco i just received has a clearer and more color saturated picture than any RPTV i have seen. Even my roommate (not a videophile by any means) pointed out the huge difference. I paid less than what it costs for a 53" Pioneer Elite (the only rptv that i feel is outstanding). Not to mention it weighs 300 lbs less, and doesn't require a forklift to move. It also takes up no literally no space...oh yeah, i can project well over 100" diagonals.
    I guess it just boils down to tradeoffs---i would rather have an Infocus LP340 than a Mitsu 55807 (2500 level) for the screen size, even though i may compromise in other areas. No projector is perfect, as is no rptv, so I would try a projector first, and if unsatisfied go with an rptv. There are many places to order projectors with guaranteed return policies (ie. no restocking).
     
  10. John-D

    John-D Stunt Coordinator

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  11. Luis Gabriel Gerena

    Luis Gabriel Gerena Second Unit

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    Don't you love the never ending war between CRT fans and Digital fans? Whatever....I got my baby LCD projector with no screendoor problems and couldn't be happier...blacks aren't really black so. There are so many problems to deal with a CRT that losing some blackness is not a bad choice. Besides, you want better blacks then get a greyhawk.
    Regards
     
  12. Sean M

    Sean M Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, a consensus on whether or not the greyhawk improves absolute black level has not yet been reached. It depends on who you ask. That the Greyhawk improves contrast and shadow detail is far less in doubt (it does, according to most users). The gain of the screen is .95 (up from .85 in the intial production run), which isn't a whole lot better than a matte white screen, it's the optical coatings to improve contrast that make the screen worthwhile.
    CRT FP's certainly to not need professional installation any more than any other display device, depending on the install and the projector. To get an NEC projector to looks its best, if you are an absolute newbie, you probably want to get professional help as the myriad of controls can be confusing to the beginner. A Sony, on the other hand, can be set up by just about anybody, so long as they have the service manual for the projector. A solid initial setup will result in very little convergence drift and tweaking, some people touch up the convergence on their CRT's as little as four times a year, at ten to twenty minutes a session. I have slightly more drift than that, but can go for about six weeks before needing to spend a few minutes (just a few) touching up the projector's convergence. You will have similar maintenance requirements of RPTV's, even if they have an auto convergence feature.
    Let us not forget that most LCD's and DLP's out there have problems with true color. Most DLP's I've seen push towards green, particularly evident in yellow, and this includes the Seleco. LCD's have their own color problems, but are generally less severe. On LCD's however, the screen door effect is a significant consideration depending on the planned viewing distance (anything under 2xscreen width may be problematic, depending on visual acuity). And then there's the granddaddy of all artifacts, the Rainbow Effect of DLP's. If you've never seen it, I won't describe it and hope that you never see (I do), because once you do, you'll never be able to live with a single chip DLP again (that also makes buying one risky as you may notice it one day and never be comfortable with your projector again).
    Bottom line, every projection technology has its drawbacks. Nearly all well setup FP's wil give you more satisfaction that RP (just look at an RP in low light and watch a dark scene with bright objects and watch the ringed halo that follows the object around on another part of the screen). It's just a matter of Best Picture (CRT) vs. Ease of Use/Screen Size (digital).
    ------------------
    "Experience is the one thing you can't get for nothing." - Oscar Wilde
     
  13. StevenFranklin

    StevenFranklin Auditioning

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    John, Where can one get one of these used CRT projectors at a decent price? Just to help me clear things up are the CRT projectors the ones with three different 'cannons'; red, blue, and green? I have never seen this kind of projector in a store but we have a local restaurant that has one to show sporting events on. Also, what do you mean by tweaking it on a regular basis? I might could live with that; I already tweak my speaker system almost every month just to play around with it.
    thanks,
     
  14. Sean M

    Sean M Stunt Coordinator

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    You can find CRT's at decent prices atwww.avscience.com (both the store and the forum classifieds), Hi-Rez projections (www.hometheater1.com),www.projectorspecs.com, www.tawow.com, and you can also look up a few members of the avsforum, Curt Palme and Tim (at E-tech Phoenix). If you look up some of the AV rental places near you, they may have some decent CRT's that they are selling off to make room for the newer digital models. There are other places, simply do a web search, but those are generally the most reliable sources.
    CRT projectors, much like their rear projection counterparts, must have all three tubes converged (aligned) to have a viewable picture. Invariably, this convergence will drift, even a slight misalignment can reduce picture quality, and it must be touched up to bring it back to perfect alignment. How often this is done, and how long it takes to do so, after the intial set up and calibration, are simply a matter of how thorough you are when performing the touch up and how much drift you find to be too much.
    ------------------
    "Experience is the one thing you can't get for nothing." - Oscar Wilde
     

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