LCD or CRT? - also center speaker placement

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dave Getson, Jun 20, 2002.

  1. Dave Getson

    Dave Getson Stunt Coordinator

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    I know there are many variables that could contribute to one's final decision in purchasing a projector: lighting, budget, screen size, room size, etc... Let's just assume the room is a dedicated HT room somewhere between 10x15 and 20x30, a 106" screen and a budget of $7500.

    Which type of projector would you buy? LCD or CRT? Which model?

    I'm trying to decide for the future. I've read a few articles and have learned a bit about each. What is your opinion?

    Also, I was wondering, with a that 106" screen, where would you great people suggest placing the center speaker? Above the screen? Below the screen? Or behind the screen?

    Thanks for the help!

    Dave.
     
  2. Jim FC

    Jim FC Stunt Coordinator

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    Dave,
    If your budget is indeed $7500 and assuming you are shooting for an HD projector, I think you'd be pretty hard pressed to find a CRT projector at that price range -- if anyone knows of one please feel free to contradict me. [​IMG] LCD and DLP projectors are smaller, FAR easier to install, and don't require convergence adjustments as they age, although there is a bulb replacement you need to factor in every couple of years. Does that budget include sound as well?
    Typically the bottom of your screen will be 2-3 feet from the floor, and most put the center speaker on a little stand right there below the screen. You can get acoustically transparent screens and put the speaker behind the screen, but other than cleaning up the floor there isn't really a practical purpose for this.
    Anyway, at $7500 you should be able to find a nice LCD proj. A bit more and you can get into DLP, which I think looks better than LCD, but opinions vary. Good luck!
     
  3. Dave Getson

    Dave Getson Stunt Coordinator

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  4. Dave Getson

    Dave Getson Stunt Coordinator

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    Oops...I kinda made a mistake in my post. I forgot to include DLP projectors.

    What's the difference between that and LCD (other than the smoothness of the image) How much do THEY normally cost?
     
  5. Jim FC

    Jim FC Stunt Coordinator

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    A DLP projector uses a micro-mirror device made by Texas Instruments to produce the image rather than an LCD display. Both DLP and LCD are single-lens projectors which have the bulb that needs replacement, they just produce the image in different ways. Early DLPs were prone to a "rainbow effect" -- a little burst of unintended color noticeable when you turn your head too fast while looking at the screen -- but is not an issue on the current DLPs I have seen.

    DLPs are a bit more than LCD right now, but worth it in my opinion; DLPs just look more film-like to my eye than LCD. The best thing to do is visit a store with both a DLP and a LCD set up in the same room, and switch between them both and see which you prefer. Sharp makes a great 16:9 DLP projector for 10 grand, and there are others out there, all which use the same 16:9 TI chip.
     
  6. PhilS

    PhilS Stunt Coordinator

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    Dave, you've got a lot of research to do, and there is a lot of information that could be posted to respond to the issues you raise. But the search for the projector that is right for you is almost as fun as when you own it. Here's a few things to consider:

    1. A good place to read about all of the projector technologies is on the AVS Forum at avsforum.com. They have two forums devoted to digital projectors and one to CRT's. There is a wealth of information to be found there.

    2. You can probably get a used CRT within your price range, so I would not rule out CRT just based on the price factor alone. In some cases, you might be able to get a used CRT cheaper than a new digital projector. Many people love CRT's and believe a used CRT provides an excellent picture and a great value.

    3. Every projector and projector technology has it advantages and disadvantages, which you will only fully appreciate once you've read the many posts here and on AVS Forum re the various technologies, and once you've seen the projectors in person. LCD's suffer from the screen door effect, which can be minimized with some effort. You can get a very good LCD, though, for around $5K, and you get a bright picture and a very ease to use projector. DLP's have a negligible screen door effect, but the rainbow problem has not been entirely eliminated. They also cost a bit more. Some of the newer DLP's, though, such as the Sharp 9000 and the Seleco and Marantz, are getting very good reviews. DLP's, IMO, tend not to be as bright as LCD's, though. Another digital technology is LCOS, which is found in the JVC D-ILA's. The consensus is that these offer the best picture available from a digital projector - bright, colorful picture with no rainbows or screen door - but they are a bit more noisy than other projectors, and many feel the need to use a hushbox with them. CRT's offer a very good picture, with excellent blacks, but they can be inconvenient in many ways (they require convergance and a little touch up now and then), and there may be more of a limit on the size of the screen that is practicable in comparison with digital projectors.

    4. Most important, take whatever advice you get on any of the forums with a grain of salt. People tend to push or get defensive about the technology that they own (this is especially true of some CRT proponents, IMO), so the best thing for you to do is look at the projectors you are considering in person. Pick what is best for you, not what someone else says is best. Again, each the techonologies is right for someone, depending on one's preferences.

    If you have more specific questions, we'll try to answer them.
     
  7. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    DLP definitely is/was ahead of LCD as far as image quality. This could possibly change with the unofficial release of the Sony VPL VW12HT.
    click here
     
  8. Drew Eckhardt

    Drew Eckhardt Stunt Coordinator

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    It's pretty easy to find 8 and 9" EM focus CRT projectors for under $7.5K (or $6K assuming that's your total budget and you'll spend $1.5K on a Quadscan CS1 or HTPC (if you don't want a screen that alternatves between lines of image and lines of black, you need something along the lines of 720 to 960p with any EM focus CRT projector)) but they won't be new (although you can get a nice 8" EM focus unit with new NEC tubes or rebuilt MEC tubes in that price range).

    106" diagonal (in which case what aspect ratio?) or 106" wide? 106" wide would result in too little light output for many people's taste with a CRT projector; although a 106" diagonal 16:9 screen would be just 94" wide and not out of the question on an 8 or 9" projector.

    At reasonable seating distances (1.5-2X screen width) in a light controlled room on smaller (< 8' wide) screens, LCD doesn't compare to CRT (screen door is easily visible even on projectors like the 11HT and the blacks are grey). DLP is getting there, but falls short on dark films and gives me headaches (although I don't really notice the rainbow effect). Reflective LCD allegedly suffers from neither of these problems although the choices are limited (basically the JVC DILA projectors and the new Hitachi presentation model). OTOH, CRTs limit screen size, take either time and patience or money to setup, lots of space, must be mounted in a fixed relationship to the screen, and are less tolerant of ambient light for casual viewing - so there isn't an answer that's right for everybody.

    The center channel is best under the screen where it's closer to the main speaker tweeters and the floor which is less reflective than the ceiling. Running it behind the screen will require a perforated screen which will reduce light output, force you to deal with reflections from behind the screen, and cost more.
     
  9. Mark Larson

    Mark Larson Supporting Actor

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    I would definitely recommend a CRT for a dedicated HT. The advantages of digital are moot (easy setup, lightness and portability) if it is going to be installed and left there, and anything less is a compromise because DLP and D-ILA technology is moving very fast and your projector is probably going to be superseded pretty soon. PLUS you probably won't get 16:9 (only a few PJ's have native widescreen panels).
    At your budget you're looking at some serious kit, even including cost of setup by a pro incl ISF, and screen+cables.
     
  10. PhilS

    PhilS Stunt Coordinator

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    "The advantages of digital are moot (easy setup, lightness and portability) if it is going to be installed and left there . . . ."

    I respectfully disagree. Many, if not most, digital projectors are "installed and left there." Also, the inconveniences associated with CRT's remain. I am not suggesting CRT might not be the best option, but I think that many would not agree that the advantages of digital are "moot" under the scenario you refer to.
     
  11. Gabriel_Lam

    Gabriel_Lam Screenwriter

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    Dave,

    How far back do you plan to sit from the screen?
     
  12. Mark Larson

    Mark Larson Supporting Actor

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  13. Dave Getson

    Dave Getson Stunt Coordinator

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    PhilS:
    Thanks for all the great advice!
    Drew:
    106" diagonal most likely.
    Gabriel_APEX:
     

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