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June HT tour in Austin.

Discussion in 'Home Theater Forum Meets' started by Colin Dunn, May 13, 2004.

  1. Mark J

    Mark J Extra

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    Sure. Just shoot me a PM. I have most of the weekend free. You can also tell if your picture problems are in the projector or something outside of the projector.

    --Mark
     
  2. Jeff Meininger

    Jeff Meininger Second Unit

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    Jonathan: I recently helped my stepdad choose a FP, and we ended up settling on the BenQ 6200. He lives in Houston, and I haven't had more than an hour or so to tinker with it. Here are my impressions:

    - It's pretty quiet. It uses multiple large, low-rpm fans. Not as quiet as the L300U, but really darn close, and the character of the noise itself is lower-pitched and less intrusive, so I might even rate it better than the Panny for noise distraction factor.

    - Rainbow city. After my experience with Mark's M20X, I thought the 3x wheel would be fine. That wasn't the case... Darlene and I saw rainbows as we usually do with DLP's. About 15 minutes into the movie, I overheard my sister and her boyfriend (who have no idea what 'rainbows' are) asking eachother if they were seeing the same weird "rainbow colors", and how they didn't remember seeing that when they first watched this movie in the multiplex. They concluded that "it must be the DVD". After the movie, they commented that the effect was "kinda annoying". At that point, I explained what they were and offered up the hope that they will eventually become accustomed to the rainbows and not notice them anymore. That's what other DLP owners tell me, anyway. I'm still not 100% convinced... particularly if you're not using the PJ as your every-day TV watching machine. [​IMG] Neither my mom nor my stepdad saw rainbows. Whew.

    - I had read posts on AVS that said you couldn't put the BenQ into a mode that would center a 4:3 image on a 16:9 screen. I had also read replies that said "nonsense, of course you can". Well, the original complaint was correct. My folks' layout is such that only a 16:9 screen will fit, so we built a 16:9 screen. Even with the PJ set to "16:9", 4:3 material is displayed using the whole chip. Luckily, they have no way to permanently install the PJ, and the coffee table on which it sits is long enough that the PJ can be moved forward and backward for 16:9 or 4:3 material. But still... this is an extremely common 4:3 PJ feature that I feel has no reason to be missing. Maybe I just didn't find the magic setting or something.

    - The menu systems are pretty dumbed-down. For example, I could not find a "white intensity" or "white segment" control. This was disconcerting to me, and I could only assume that putting the PJ into the Eco mode Cinema setting took care of that for me. I'd rather have control of it myself, or have some sort of positive confirmation that it was turned off. Maybe some of my gripes with the settings could be resolved by finding the service menu... but I didn't have time to go looking.

    - The PJ seemed very bright. Much brighter than my L300U, even in Eco mode and hastily calibrated for decent black levels. Bright scenes were vivid and punchy. A bright sky or a sunset were very imposing (in a good way).

    - I did not get a good feeling about the black levels. Point of reference: At one point, Dave Elliott and I demoed a Dell 3200MP (AVIA calibrated) in my living room back-to-back with the L300U. I got the same feeling then as I did with the BenQ... the DLP is supposed to have better black levels than the LCD, but I did not find that to be the case. I found the 3200MP portrayed a noticably grayer black than the panny. I haven't viewed the BenQ 6200 back-to-back in the same room with the L300U, but the screen size and gain (1.0) were the same, and the impression I got from the 6200 is that my Panny could out-black it. Perhaps not out-shadow-detail it, but out-black it.

    I think some of these bright DLPs designed primarily for presentations have great contrast specs because the whites are so bright, but the black level isn't actually leagues ahead of the competition. On the other hand, I've seen many DLPs that kick the Panny's butt for black level, as they well should. I haven't found that it's something you can take for granted, though.


    Anyway, if I had it to do over again, I might have steered him towards the M20X. The reliability concerns got to me, though, because he WILL be using this for business presentations, and having it fail in front of an audience would suck bigtime. Plus, the BenQ came with a free replacement lamp. [​IMG] If some firmware upgrade comes along in the future that fixes the 4:3 in 16:9 mode quirk, I'll be satisfied that the 6200 was the right choice for my stepdad. But I think it might not be the right choice for you, Jonathan.
     
  3. Dave Elliott

    Dave Elliott Stunt Coordinator

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    Jeff:

    I agree the Dell 3200mp just didn't have the black levels it should. It wasn't nearly as good as Jeff's L300U. I think it is due to the "dual purpose" projectors still catering to businesses, and that means brightness rules, and absolute black level suffers even with a good contrast ratio.

    However, my little LT150 (when masked a bit) had a much better black level. Of course, it wasn't bright by todays standards. And the BenQ is significantly better still. I still think DLP has much better black levels than LCD, just compare the blacks of Mark's Virtuoso to that of the Panasonic. It wasn't even close. But LCD has a cost advantage at the low end for HD resolutions. For $2K, LCD wins IMHO.

    As for rainbows, I can indeed confirm that some people (myself) do acclimate to rainbows and they will no longer bother that person. I saw tons when I first got my LT150. After a couple of months I saw very few. With the Benq, I see far less. Maybe 1-2 a week. All of Jeff's viewing has been in couple hour spurts. Thats not going to help you acclimate.

    Nils:

    As for the Dive In Theater screen, I'm stuck with landscapers who can't do any work until it dries out for at least 3 days. It should only take them a few days to complete but we've been on hold for 2 weeks now. But I dearly hope everything is ready by August [​IMG]

    John:

    If the car were my primary car, I'd probably go with the MR. But it'll mostly be for Heidi, so its not as big a deal. Now, if you want to sell your car and upgrade to an MR, lets talk. [​IMG]

    Jonathan:

    Thoughts on R32: Great looks, nice interior. But $30K for a golf built on an 8 yr old chassis, with an inferior part-time AWD system (cue Jeff M), 3400lbs of weight (most at the front), and performance that doesn't compare to its competitors? Sorry, but in my book its a nice car but I'd rather have the GTI 20th Anniv edition, or better yet, a Cooper S with a 200hp kit. And a lot of $$$ left over.

    Thoughts on the WRX: New interior is nice. Still butt ugly on the outside. Solid drivetrain. Very good AWD system. Stock WRX is too soft, IMO. But the STi is a beast. Faster than my Porsche for sure (at least in a straight line). I can't get past the looks though. The Evo looks much better.

    -Dave
     
  4. John Prator

    John Prator Stunt Coordinator

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    Jacob,
    Thanks for the idea on how to toe in, I'll give it a try.


    Jonathan,
    Yeah our front wall is black. I still think the entire front wall covered in 4" is too much for M.L.'s. Also, we work for the government and they have a tendency to transfer us quite often so we have to be able to sell our home rather quickly and usually don't have much time to re-do things in the home to get it ready to sell. Seems like this would just make allot of work for us to clean up when the time came, if and when it did. I know what type of fiberglass you are referring to but I doubt that Dana does, I imagine she is picturing the pink stuff. [​IMG] One thing to keep in mind is this room is more of a music room that you can watch movies in verses a HT that you can listen to music in, hence me avoiding the "dead room".

    On the Evo/STI stuff: I test drove the STI and it is a great car also. It has many great points, some being more torque down low than the Evo, a few more h.p. stock, more of a plush ride, Subaru name, fit and finish is a tad bit better, etc. Some of the things I didn't like about it were: Several thousand more than Evo, felt slower, shifter felt weak and soft, seats felt cheap, steering isn't near as precise, hood scoop is HUGE but I guess the most important one is it's just not as fun to drive as the Evo. The STI feels kind of like a Forester on steroids, the Evo is an untamed beast. It's like driving an Indy car on the street, raw and unleashed. I have ran up against several STI's on the street and haven't lost yet but I'm sure I will sooner than later. My Evo is stock but the Evo with just a few aftermarket parts can easily become a 350hp rocket ship, the Subbie doesn't take to well to hop up parts. I have owned quite a few Sports cars and have never had anything like this one. I have never been so impressed with such a car. It set the all time record for braking, Automobile magazines car of the year(and they said it would be car of the decade it they had such a thing), beat the Ferrari 360 Modina, ZO6, etc. through the Slalom. Well enough of me foaming at the mouth about this damn car, can you tell I'm impressed?[​IMG] I don't know too much about the VW, but I do know they are going to need more hp if they want to keep up.


    Mark,
    Thanks for the kind offer, may take you up on it.

    John
     
  5. John Prator

    John Prator Stunt Coordinator

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  6. Humphrey

    Humphrey Stunt Coordinator

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    [​IMG] Too funny, really. So did you order one for the Prator Pavillion Theater?
     
  7. Jonathan DA

    Jonathan DA Screenwriter

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    Covering your front wall in fibreglas won't give you a dead room. The overall "deadness" of a room can be assesed in a number of ways, one of which is an RT60 curve. Covering only your front wall will still put you in the mid to upper range of decay time. Now if you did your front wall and a wainscoating, then you'd have a dead room. Plus, with a screen as big as yours, you're not really covering the whole wall, only about half of it. You're still going to get a lot of reflection off that screen once you toe in your speakers for better imaging. The best way to find out is to just experiment.
     
  8. Scott Oliver

    Scott Oliver Screenwriter

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    John, also you could do fiberglass panels on the cheap like what Greg had in his where you could just hang them like a picture. All in all probably no different than how you mounted the Real Traps, so dismantling them in a hurry would not be an inconvenience.

    P.S. Just got back from Spider-Man 2 and from someone who wasn't a huge fan of the first, this movie was a terrific summer flick, and a multitude of times better than the first. Well worth the outrageous sum of money they charge these days.
     
  9. Jacob Aaron

    Jacob Aaron Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey guys- Any of you know an audiophile/musician with a golden ear who might be in college or just looking for a sweet job selling some of the best audio/video equipment there is?

    If so, pass them my email.

    Seems wierd to post it here, but I haven't had any luck with the normal routes (advert classified).
     
  10. Colin Dunn

    Colin Dunn Supporting Actor

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    Jonathan -

    I'm still interested in doing acoustic treatment of my theater room. Please E-mail me privately so we can revive the project...
     
  11. Jonathan DA

    Jonathan DA Screenwriter

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    Jeff, thanks for the info on the 6200. It is interesting that you saw rainbows on the BenQ but not so much on the Sharp. If the black levels really are that bad (I use 3200's at work all the time) then it's not an option at all, rainbows or not. I'm not gonna give up a CRT for LCD-like black levels. The 4:3 vs 16:9 issue I could get around with my HTPC. Too bad I can't get a Matterhorn pj or a closeout NEC HT1000 for less than $2K. Why, oh why does life have to be so hard!!!
     
  12. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    I did the first two, and thanks to the couples!

    350 HP just lept off the page and caught my attention. I haven't had 350 PURE HP since my 1972 Z28 (last year of Chevy's 4-bolt main bearings, aluminum intake manifold with Holley carb and solid lifters) and of course I had to apply a set of headers. What is this EVO thing? Hopefully not a rice-burner.
    Jacob: you might want to rethink your college guy idea. The clientele you need (big disposable income figures) don't necessarily warm up to college age salespeople. I grew up in retail and know a bit about it. No, I'm not looking for a job, just trying to help.
    Anyway folks, a nice HT tour and I hope it won't be so long between tours as this past one.
     
  13. Jacob Aaron

    Jacob Aaron Stunt Coordinator

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    Hank- I have a complete staff except for one salesperson and I'd like them to be a musician/golden ear type with a love of audio equipment. I have the videophiles covered. Age doesn't really matter to me, passion for the product does. My staff currently doesn't have anyone under 30, so having one in the store can't hurt.
     
  14. Dave Elliott

    Dave Elliott Stunt Coordinator

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    Hank:

    I worked at Progessive Audio when I was in college (age 22ish, but I looked 16 [​IMG] ) and did quite well selling high-end stuff to the big $$$ folks. I don't think age is an issue so much as demonstrable product knowledge, a passion for A/V, and the willingness to take the time to help.

    I think Jacob will do fine with a good young salesperson.

    -Dave
     
  15. John Prator

    John Prator Stunt Coordinator

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    Hank,
    The Evo is the Mitsubishi Evolution 8, it is their Rally car and its a little Rocket ship. So, yes it is an import but it kicks some serious butt. By the way, that 350hp is to the wheels! Be advised, there are 500hp Evo's out there sneaking around, if you pull up next to one at a stop light......best use caution. (Actually I just had a guy with a Mini S challenge me to a drag race!! Told me he's gona spank my azz, he has even added the performance exhaust.[​IMG] Lunch time......) Right off the showroom floor it is capable of doing the 1/4mi in about 13 seconds(some less, some more depending on the driver). Comes stock with 13" Brembo brakes, complete forged Aluminum suspension, large front mounted intercooler, intercooler sprayer, Custom Recaro seats front and back, Advan damn sticky tires, and more. It's a great little car for a super price. One of them happened to just recently place 3rd in the Cannon Ball Run(I just happen to know the owner). The Subaru WRX STI is also in the same league but it doesn't take to well to modifications, motor go boom! [​IMG]

    Dave,
    Just wanted to let you know that Gillman down south has a brand new Evo(Yellow)with the small fin like mine for $24,900 right now!!
     
  16. Nils Luehrmann

    Nils Luehrmann Producer

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    Too late... I already bought it. [​IMG]
     
  17. John Prator

    John Prator Stunt Coordinator

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    Got smart and got rid of that damn slow Beemer huh!![​IMG]
     
  18. Raelene

    Raelene Agent

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    Please tell me you're kidding.
     
  19. Dave Elliott

    Dave Elliott Stunt Coordinator

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    Nils,

    Too late.

    -Dave
     
  20. John Prator

    John Prator Stunt Coordinator

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    Why, whats wrong with them??
     

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