Infocus 4800

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Yogi, May 24, 2004.

  1. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    Hi Videophiles,

    I am in the market to find a budget DLP projector and came across the Infocus 4800 @ Costco for $1100. Is that a good deal? Is the Infocus 4800 a good projector? Any suggestions in the sub 1.5K DLP or LCD projectors that are better than the 4800? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Regards,
     
  2. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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    The Infocus Screenplay 4800 is essentially the same projector as the Infocus X1 which, if you hurry, you can still find at many retailers (Circuit City, Best Buy, etailers) for $899.00.

    The only difference between the two projectors is the "power-up defaults" which can be easily overridden via the on-screen menu options. For example, the 4800 initially powers-up in 16:9 "film" mode while the X1 initially powers-up in 4:3 "presentation" mode. Both feature identical specs: Native SVGA 4:3 DLP chip with a 16:9 mode; 2x 4-segment color wheel (reverts to 3-segment in "film" or "video" mode for better color purity); 2000:1 contrast ratio, 1150 lumens (650 in "film" or "video" mode), built-in Faroudja DCDi de-interlacing.

    If you can no longer find an X1, the SVGA BenQ 6100 ($899) or XGA BenQ 6200 are good alternatives. Both feature a 3x color wheel, but neither includes Faroudja DCDi circuitry. If your DVD player is progressive scan, you may not need a good deinterlacer in the projector.

    The Infocus 4805 should be available in a matter of weeks. It features a 4x, 6-segment, color wheel optimized for home theater use, and a brand new SVGA native 16:9 DLP chip for improved contrast ratio. It also features an improved version of the Faroudja DCDi chip. It will MAP for $1499.00.

    EDIT: By the way, if you come across the new Infocus X2 ($999), you don't want it. The X2 has been optimized for business presentation work.
     
  3. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    Thanks for the input Joseph. I am researching both and the other options you mentioned. BTW the Costco deal includes a (supposedly $300) 100" screen. Are the screens usually that expensive? Also what is the best way to hookup the projector? Do you use the S-video and utilize the projectors scaler (is it the same as deinterlacer?) or do you utilize the conponent in and use the DVD players progressive scan capabilities? I might have these things mixed up so any insight into the best way to hookup for best image would be greatly appreciated.

    Regards,
     
  4. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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    The "$300 value" for a 100" screen sounds reasonable to me. Ideally, with the 4800, you'll want a matte white screen with a gain of 1.0 to 1.3. Since the 4800 has a 2000:1 contrast ratio, but only provides around 650 lumens in its HT modes, I've found that you're better off with a white screen than a grey screen for this pj. (If the gain is too high, though, it will be easier to notice the "rainbow" artifact that some people are able to detect due to the 2x color wheel; so you wouldn't want the gain to be much higher than 1.3.)

    The included Faroudja chip in the 4800 provides de-interlacing and excellent 3:2 pulldown conversion for movie DVD's. You would therefore want to plug your DVD player into the pj's s-video input. (This will both bypass the DVD player's deinterlacing if it's a progressive scan player and activate the projector's Faroudja "magic".) The scaling on the 4800 is provided by a Pixelworks chip. It doesn't need to scale 16:9 anamorphic DVD's since the 4800 has been designed to be pixel-to-pixel compatible with that source. It will scale 720p and 1080i HD sources down and does an excellent job with those sources.

    If you opt for either of the BenQ projectors (which lack Faroudja chips), then you'll need a progressive scan DVD player; and you'll want to plug the player into the component inputs of those pj's. BTW, the BenQ projectors do, of course, provide both de-interlacing and scaling (all projectors do); it's just that the de-interlacing chip in the progressive scan DVD player will probably be of a higher quality than the one built-in to the BenQs.
     
  5. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    Thanks a lot Joseph for all your suggestions. I finally decided on the 4800 with the screen. I hooked it up according to the manual and luv the pic. I haven't calibrated the PQ with AVIA or VE, which brings up the question of which do you think is better for calibration. Also even though I luv the PQ and the vibrant colors there is a light background all around the picture when viewing in a completely dark room. This background extends further than the INFOCUS intro screen (the image area). It kinda bothers me but is that normal for FPs or is that some kind of a drawback of this FP?

    Regards,
     
  6. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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    Please be aware that the 4800 is a 4:3 native projector with a 16:9 mode.

    When viewing 16:9 anamorphic DVD's, you should have the system set up this way:

    DVD Player: Set to 16:9 via the Player's SETUP Menu. Actually, you'll want to just leave your player in 16:9 mode from now on.

    Projector: Switch to 16:9 mode. (The projector's onscreen menus will allow you to "map" the "Star" button on your remote to the aspect ratio control for your projector. I strongly recommend that you do this. See your manual for more details.)

    When setup properly, assuming that your screen is in the 4:3 configuration, you will see "black bars" above and below the projected image; but *not* on the sides of the image.

    For non-anamorphic DVD's:

    Same as above, but you should switch your projector's aspect ratio to 4:3. This should fill up your 4:3 screen. Now, if you utilize the projector's "Native" aspect ratio setting, then the 4:3 image will be centered inside the 16:9 area, and you will have "light background all around the picture" as you're describing. You probably don't want to utilize this setting very much if you have a 4:3 screen. (BTW, it sounds as though you're currently running with your DVD player set to 4:3 and the projector set to "Native". This is not at all desirable as you're losing both resolution and picture area.)


    Hope this helps!
     
  7. Jack Gilvey

    Jack Gilvey Producer

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    Nice posts, Joseph. [​IMG]
     
  8. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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    Jack:

    Thanks!

    I know something about this stuff because I've owned an Infocus X1 since October of last year.

    This projector (with about 750 hours on the bulb now) continues to just "blow me away" with the way it displays anamorphic DVDs!

    Just last week we viewed the new LOTR:ROTK movie on it and the "depth" of the picture was just incredible!! For a second or two there we were afraid that spider had crawled into our den!

    I know the 4805 will be better, but I still believe the X1 was the biggest "bang for the buck" in the history of home entertainment!!
     
  9. Jack Gilvey

    Jack Gilvey Producer

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    I'm playing with a 4800 at the moment which I'll return when my pre-ordered 4805 is shipped. Very impressive! 720p XBox stuff is too cool. [​IMG]
     
  10. Ed K

    Ed K Auditioning

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    I bought one of these 4800's also and it is just awesome! I will be selling the 100" screen that came with it and just using the wall for now. That screen does not do it justice! I bought a ceiling mount from a guy on ebay for $65 if you need one. He has free shipping and fast service too.Enjoy!
     
  11. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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    Ed:

    Is the Costco-supplied 100" screen in the 4:3 or 16:9 configuration, and do you happen to know the gain spec?

    Just wondering ...
     
  12. Ed K

    Ed K Auditioning

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    It is the 16:9 config, a manual pull down model. Sorry I cant help with the specs. I dont use the screen for two reasons. 1, The larger Images are really great for the movies and 2, I Have theater style curtains and a vallance across the top to look like a theater spaced about two feet out from the wall (I have the audio gear behind it!) and do not like the look of the pull down screen! Also I do not see any difference looking at the screen vs looking at the image projected on the bare wall! Sorry so long but hope this helps
    Peace!
    Ed K.
     
  13. todbnla

    todbnla Screenwriter

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    Joseph,
    Sounds to me like you like the X1 better?
    PLMK-Thanks!
     
  14. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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    Todd:

    Only if you can still find an X1. (And keep in mind that Infocus has just recently released "X1a" and "X2" iterations of this machine which you don't want. In both cases, the Faroudja chip has been removed.)

    The 4800 is actually a "pretty good deal" as an entry level HT pj. Just be aware of the fact that the 4805 will be at least three times better than the 4800 for a MAP of $1499.00
     
  15. Jack Gilvey

    Jack Gilvey Producer

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    In what ways would you say it'd be 3x better...how is that quantified? I'm using a 4800 now and will return it Monday as my 4805 has shipped according to Crutchfield.
     
  16. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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    Jack:

    Well ... Perhaps I need to add a qualifier to that statement. To wit: "The 4805 should be about three times better than the 4800."

    Here's why:

    * Whereas the X1/4800 was designed to be both a presentation projector and an entry-level HT projector, the 4805 was designed from the ground up for Home Theater.

    * The color wheel in the 4805 is a six segment RGB-RGB wheel with an effective speed of 4x. The 4800's wheel is a four segment RGBW wheel (with the white segment switched off in HT mode) rotating at 2x. As such, it is much more prone to display the "rainbow artifact" for those individuals that are sensitive to it. The color wheel improvements alone should make the 4805 about three times better than the 4800.

    * The 4800 is a native 4:3 projector with a 16:9 mode. The 4805 contains the brand new 16:9 "DarkChip2T" DLP chip. Since the 4805 is native 16:9, there is less "light spill" to deal with when viewing 16:9 anamorphic DVD's and HDTV. Also, while the 4800 claims a contrast ratio of 2000:1, it's only able to approach that spec in its presentation mode. (It achieves a still laudable CR of about 1700:1 in HT mode.) The 4805 actually boasts a calibrated CR spec of 2000:1!

    * The Faroudja chip included with the 4805 is of a much more recent design than the one included with the 4800. Here's its description from the Infocus site: "This chip improves the movie theater experience of front projection with a new 3:2 and 2:2 pull down conversion circuit, and a 48Hz film mode which will display DVD film material at 48 Hz , the same refresh rate as film projectors, eliminating the uneven image stuttering seen with NTSC video."

    With all of that going for it, the 4805 really should be at least three times better than the 4800.

    In any event, you will actually know if this is true when you acquire your 4805!! Please let us know what you think!

    EDIT: I forgot to mention that the 4805 includes a DVI input for compatiblity with future HDTV sources. (This vital input is not included with the 4800.) And it's also about 250 lumens brighter than the 4800.
     
  17. todbnla

    todbnla Screenwriter

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    FWIW-Dell has the X1 for a total of $799 shipped after rebate as of last night. Very tempting...
     
  18. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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    Todd:

    That does sound very tempting!

    I can tell you that, while I'm obviously "looking" at the 4805 (as you can tell from the posts above), I'm still very satisfied with my X1.

    However, I should caution you that I'm one of the ones thats not at all bothered by the "rainbow artifact" that some people are able to detect due to the X1's relatively slow color wheel.

    However, at that price you have virtually nothing to lose. If you find you're bothered by the "rainbows" you can always ebay the pj. The newly-introduced "X1a" and "X2" models are no competition for the X1!
     
  19. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    That price is very tempting and I was able to persuade a friend to pick one up when Dell was running the same deal a couple months ago. Having had a chance to try one out for an extended period, it's definitely not a bad way to go. My main issues with it were the fan noise, and the 4:3 aspect in my predominantly 16:9 environment. I saw rainbows, but they didn't bother me so much after awhile. At almost half the price of a 4805...the issues I have are rather small. More than likely I will wait for the 4805, seeing that 1) I'm not really in a financial position to buy and 2) more than likely I will want to upgrade the X1 sooner than if I were to get a 4805 that has plenty of "headroom."

    If you're looking to spend only 800.00 get on that deal!
     
  20. todbnla

    todbnla Screenwriter

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    Well, I pulled the trigger on the Dell X1 $799.10 (after rebate) deal, got free two day shipping too.[​IMG] I will put it thur the test and post my thoughts, I have been on the plasma fence but think this will suffice until upgrade-i-tis sets in again and the price of plasma's drop further. The fan noise wil not be a problem with 12' ceilings either. I think this is the best bang for the buck currently.

    Thanks Joseph! [​IMG]
     

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