Looking at the InFocus X1, but what about the 4805??

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Joe Zemaitis, Feb 25, 2004.

  1. Joe Zemaitis

    Joe Zemaitis Stunt Coordinator

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    Hello!

    I'm new to the home theater thing so bare with me.

    I'm looking at getting the X1 from InFocus. The price of 999.99 can't be beat. I've head alot of good things, but I've also heard some complaints about rainbows. What are your feelings on this? I'm comming from a 36inch non-hidef toshiba. I'm looking to spend $150 or so on a screen also.

    Is there anything I should look out for? Also, what about this 4805 that I've heard so much about.... Is it going to be the same price as the X1?

    Another thing... How can I watch normal TV on it, if there isn't the normal cable port... See I'm new, give me a break :)

    Let me know what your thoughts are. I'm excited to move to a direct view projection.

    Joe
     
  2. brentl

    brentl Cinematographer

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    I suggest you look at the Benq Pb6100. It's $1000 with a $100 rebate, it has a 3x colour wheel, and accepts both interlaced and progressive on in VGA input.

    It's smaller, better looking, and brighter.

    Mine is coming today[​IMG]

    Brent
     
  3. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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    I own and *love* my X1. The picture on this pj really "pops"! The thing actually looks better than my 1997-era Pioneer 55" RPTV, even though I'm projecting a 96" image! Unlike the BenQ 6100, it includes Faroudja DCDi video processing technology, which really "smooths out" the projected images from interlaced sources.

    However, this projector was built to "swing both ways", if you will. It has a four segment color wheel, optimized for computer presentation work. The color wheel reverts to a three segment 2x wheel when utilized in its "Home Theater" mode. (The "white" segment of the wheel is switched off, leaving just the "Red-Blue-Green" segments active. This really helps out with the color purity, but cuts the lumen output of the projector in half.) The bottom line is, if you're sensitive to the DLP "rainbow" effect, then you will notice it with this projector.

    If I were you, I'd hold out for the Infocus 4805 (due in March). It's the "guts" of the X1, but fully optimized for Home Theater.

    For those people sensitive to the DLP "rainbows", it includes a 4x color wheel. (A six segment RGB-RGB rotating at 120 Hz.) This should all but eliminate the problem for about 99% of the population.

    As a true Home Theater projector, it features a native 16:9 DLP chip. Those of us with X1's have had to put up with running our native 4:3 DLP panels in the provided 16:9 mode. While the picture is magnificent, there is quite a bit of "light spill" (not to mention wasted pixels!) to contend with. This problem is eliminated with the 4805.

    The 4805 will also provide more lumens and better contrast ratio than the X1. While the specs seem similar (2000:1 contrast ratio is quoted for both; 750 lumens is quoted for the 4805, 1000 for the X1); it should be remembered that the quoted specs for the X1 are only valid when it's operated in its "Presentation Mode". The lumen output for the X1 when operated in its "Film" or "Video" mode is closer to 500, and the contrast ratio is closer to 1700:1. So the 4805 will easily best the X1 in both of those critical categories.

    The 4805 will MSRP for $1400, but will "probably" be available for quite a bit less at popular e-tailers. It will also be available at discounted prices at places like Best Buy and Circuit City.


    If you run your cable through a provided set top box, I think you'll find s-video and/or composite outputs on the back of the box that you can run into the compatible input on the back of the projector. You can also run the audio out of the back of the box to your receiver. If you're not using a box, then you can simply utilize your VCR's tuner (see? it's still good for something!). I think you'll quickly find, however, that you're going to want at least digital cable from your provider, and that service always comes with a box.
     
  4. LouAR

    LouAR Stunt Coordinator

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    I looked a these projectors too. One thing you must consifer is the throw (distance between projector and screen). The throw of any given projector determines the size (range) of the image you will experience from a given projector distance. You can look up almost any projector at projectorcentral.com and they provide a throw calculator for most of the projectors.

    I chose a different projector, Hitachi Home 1, because I needed a longer throw. My projector needs to be located no less than 15 feet from my screen and I want a 45"x80" (92" diag.). I actually ordered a larger screen so that I could pull the projector further back to utilize the full 45" available screen height (and get a wider image) when viewing 2.35:1 DVDs. This projector, while lower lumens (700) and contrast (800:1), is extremely well reviewed by both Projector Central: http://www.projectorcentral.com/hitachi_home_1.htm and Home Theater HiFI: http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volum...r-12-2003.html

    Another projector with specs similar to the 4805 is the BenQ 6200 although I am not sure about the color wheel.

    Hope something in here is helpful to you.
    ~Lou~
     
  5. Joe Zemaitis

    Joe Zemaitis Stunt Coordinator

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    When is the 4805 coming out? I couldn't find a date.... And I'm ready to buy... and I will buy something within 30 days. I'm wondering if I'd even notice any rainbowing. I've never really watched a projection screen before, so I tihnk I'll be alright. I don't think I could tell any difference between the two projectors... Do you think? Does anyone have a date on this projector? Also, should I get a 16:9 or a 4:3 screen? 16:9 sure looks great. Also, does the projector work well in lite rooms? What brand/model screen do you suggest? I'd like a pull down wall or ceiling mount
     
  6. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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    Joe:

    As far as the "rainbows": Some people are sensitive to them and some are not. There is no way to tell in advance if they'll be disturbing to you. What is certain is that the faster the color wheel the less likely that you'll be able to detect the effect. That's one of the reasons you might want to wait a week or two for the Infocus 4805 with its 4x wheel. If you purchase either the X1 or the 4805 at Best Buy or Circuit City, you'll be able to try out the machine for 14 days to see if you're one of the ones that can detect them.

    By the way, since you're new to all this, it might be worth your while to check out some of the articles and reviews over at the Projectorcentral.com site.

    Here's some links to get you started:

    http://www.projectorcentral.com/lcd_dlp.htm

    http://www.projectorcentral.com/screen_size.htm

    http://www.projectorcentral.com/infocus_x1.htm

    http://www.projectorcentral.com/news_story_642.htm
     
  7. DaveGTP

    DaveGTP Cinematographer

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    I've got an X1. I am highly subject to rainbows badly on any high contrast scenes (black on white, white on black). Anime (exempting space scenes on sci-fi) and most videogames are practically rainbow free (or minimal at worst). You might not see anything (like my fiancee's parents and one of my friends), or be only a little subject to them (like my fiancee).

    I have a 4805 pre-ordered from Crutchfield. Release date is still fuzzy, word from Infocus CSRs is March, perhaps April before places have it in stock to ship. Retail is most likely $1299 (that's what Crutchfield charged for pre-order and press release hinted at).

    I was going to return the X1 to CC but I can't give it up and go back to 27". Plus, I rearranged everything and don't want to put it all back. Instead, I will ebay it off or sell it here on HTF and bite the couple of hundred bucks I'll loose. I'll use that money against the price of the 4805. Honestly, we watch so much 4:3 anime and videogames I debate dealing with rainbows over the smaller screen size of a 16:9 projector. But, rainbows all over Fellowship of the Ring (being my favorite movie ever) tell me to trade up to the higher wheel.


    And I called and talked to a Circuit City CSR (albeit in India). They confirmed the return window is 30 days on projectors.


    Test one of the suckers out. I was dead set on my 42" Panny plasma, but went with the X1 for budgetary concerns. The size is worth dealing with the light issues. I will eventually set up my 27" as a backup for daylight viewing of movies.
     
  8. Ryan G Smith

    Ryan G Smith Extra

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    I recently got the X1 and I'm using it with a glass beaded screen. I never see rainbows nor do any of my family and friends in normal movie or TV viewing. The only time I think I've seen the effect is when a test pattern or something similar is on the screen with a lot of black and white contrasting lines. Then it makes kind of a weird effect.

    I wonder if people who complain about rainbows aren't just looking at test patterns and such and complaining. Again, in normal viewing I have yet to find someone that can notice anything. And with 10 percent off at Dell the X1 is only $899 free shipping. That price I'm going to keep it for a while, if I ever do see rainbows I'll trade up. But to me the picture is incredible. One thing though, plan on making your room pretty dark to see it well, it doesn't have very good lumen output. But in a dark or fairly dark room the picture is perfect. If you find a good deal go ahead and get it, people make way way to big a deal out of the rainbows. Do you really think if it was such a problem TI would even make a 2X color wheel?
     
  9. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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    That's pretty much been my experience as well. I'm projecting onto a 96" DIY gray screen with the primary seating area about nine feet back, and hardly ever see the rainbow effect. (And that includes LOTR:FOTR which remains in regular rotation in my theater.) However, one of my co-workers purchased an X1 and he and his wife were both bothered by the rainbow artifacts. I think a lot of it has to do with the way the projector is set up. Some people may be trying to project an image that's too big and too bright. If you have to move your head from side-to-side to view the entire image you will most probably see the effect. If that's the case then the screen size is too big for your room! Go with a smaller screen (say, 65-70") and you'll see far less "rainbows", plus you'll gain additional contrast and brightness all in one fell swoop! (After I visited my co-worker's setup, it was obvious what the problem was: a 110" 16:9 screen, just seven feet away from his primary seating area!)
     
  10. Joe Zemaitis

    Joe Zemaitis Stunt Coordinator

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    I'd like to sit fairly close to the screen, but being a little further away would be allowed. Right now I'd probably be sitting about 7-10 feet from the screen. How large should I project? Whats the best screen for the price... that will minimize rainbows?

    Joe
     
  11. Eric Hahn

    Eric Hahn Agent

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    the consensis I get is you should sit 2x the screen width,
    check projector central and thier throw distance calculator, it can tell you the size screen compaired to the distance,

    for the x1, at 10 ft I am thinking of a 73 " screen, 10 ft is my seating and projector placement.

    I just have to decide if it is woth the money to go from a 48" mits to the 73 x1, 4805,(pb6100 does not give the same screen size)but the 6200 will, but the optoma h30 does.

    I am, waiting top see the 4805, seems like just what I am looking for if I want to spent the cash.
     
  12. Joe Zemaitis

    Joe Zemaitis Stunt Coordinator

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    So, does Circuit City have one on demo for me to see? What is the best screen to get for the X1? I'm going to be watching mainly DVD's.
     
  13. DaveGTP

    DaveGTP Cinematographer

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    Because it's an older design. There's a reason that last year was a 6-segment 5x wheel in the Samsung DLP RPTVs, and it is being upgraded to a 7-segment this year. A significant portion sees the rainbows, less and less as the speed goes up.

    And no, it isn't based on setup, or brightness, or any of that. Seriously, people that can't see the rainbows insist that it's the way it is set up, or people are "watching to hard", or something like that (I've seen it in the AVSforum rainbow thread).

    That's just not true. Some people's brains process differently than others. I know quite a few people can't see anything. I see rainbows galore in any high contrast scenes. My fiancee sees a few in such scenes, but not enough/not frequently enough to be bothered as significantly as me. My experience with having people over is about 70% see no rainbows except for credits/etc, and the other 30% see rainbows at other times as well.


    No place beyond a HT shop seems to have FP set up. Pick up the X1 at Circuit City, take it home, and toss it up on a wall to see. You can always take it back for a full refund (CC doesn't have a restock fee like Best Buy).
     
  14. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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    Dave, you may be right about that. I'm one of the ones that can't see them, so I have no real point of reference on this. I do know that my co-worker did see fewer rainbow artifacts once he decreased the size of his screen and sat further back.
     
  15. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    Also, its good to know many people (Me included) have found that after seeing rainbows initially, after viewing it for awhile the rainbows went away to barely noticeable.

    DaveGTP: How long have you had the X1 for, and how much have you used it? Definitely keep using it, maybe this will happen too. Though the 4805 seems like a damn nice PJ [​IMG]
     
  16. Joe Zemaitis

    Joe Zemaitis Stunt Coordinator

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    Hmm... This whole rainbow thing has got me worried. I was looking at getting it from online and probably saving about $100 over getting at CC and paying sales tax. Hmmm... Ahh decisions decisions. So, is it true or not.... Sitting closer then a perdetermined spot will cause rainbows? And having the "wrong screen" will cause them?

    I just want to make sure projecting it on a wall, will give me the same results as what it would on a nice projector screen.

    Joe
     
  17. DaveGTP

    DaveGTP Cinematographer

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    I think my brain tuned out the smaller, minor rainbow edges - I occasionally notice my brain tuning out a tiny one if that's understandable.

    But white on any dark color still shows rainbows, and black on white is the worst. Generally you see them when your eyes track something across the screen (ala actiony stuff), and on scene changes (camera cuts to different angles). When the camera angle changes, your eyes move to where the new center is. That's the biggest one for me.

    But we watch a lot of anime still right now, and rainbows are virtually non-existent - not a lot of black on white (Exempting Bebop space scenes and Crest of the Stars).


    My biggest noteable instance is in Fellowship when Gandalf goes down the stairs of Minas Tirith with the torch to research the ring. The torch (bright on dark background) is one big rainbow instead of white when he's walking down the stairs, or when it's flickering around a lot. Moving shiny swords in dark scenes are another problem area.


    We've had the X1 for about a month. Other rainbow solutions researched on AVS include a darkening camera filter applied to the lens that some people find helps, another guy took the X1 apart and modded it (including blackening out the white segment totally).


    But it really is just a phsysiological issue, not really solveable. Moving farther away from the screen / smaller screen helps, but only that you do less tracking with your eyes. Some tracking is invevitable no matter what using such a big screen. But some people see nothing.


    Seriously, I would try out the X1. It's worth the extra few bucks in sales tax to try it out. If nothing else, if you are rainbow proof, take it back to CC anyway and re-buy it from someone else (Dell has some occasional good deals). If you can give it up for that long [​IMG]
     
  18. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    I havent heard the 'tweak' about sitting closer than normally... Its not having the 'wrong' screen. Having a higher gain screen will make the image brighter, more vibrant, BUT increase rainbows because of the increased brightness.

    If you are wanting to get good results with a wall, try painting the wall... The whiter it is, the brigther the image will be, but lower contrast and possibly higher amt of rainbows. Greyer screens will increase contrast, but decrease brightness and rainbows.
     
  19. Evan M.

    Evan M. Supporting Actor

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    I am no expert but I'll share my experience. I am looking at FP as well. My buddy just bought an X-1 to demo. He is suseptable to rainbows but I did not see to many with the same projectors. After checking out his X-1 it drove me nuts. I think a big part of it is what was mentioned earlier....we were watching the movie "too hard". I will say though that once I saw them they were on my mind and just when I forgot about it up flashed more rainbows. It almost became a game at who could see more!! I personaly would never be able to own and x-1 or anything with a 2X wheel. If you are nervouse still buy one. Set it up how you will be watching it normaly and watch normaly. You may not see rainbows. I disagree with the take it out of the box, throw it on a wall and if you see them take it back, if not keep it. I think you need to set it up realisticaly and watch. I did not see them right away. in fact it took watching a second time to notice them. At that point they drove me nuts. I did not get a headache though. So I would buy one and keep it for the maximum amount of time you can under the return policy. Test it in a "real world environment" and if you like it then great.
    I will say that the picture quality is OUTSTANDING!! I couldn't believe the picture coming out of that thing. good luck to you.
    Does anyone know how many lumens the 4805 is rated for?
     
  20. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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    The 4805 is rated at 750 lumens. That's 250 more than the X1 when it's operated in either it's "Film" or "Video" mode. (As you know, the X1 switches off the white segment of the color wheel for better color purity when operating in one of those modes. That cuts its rated lumen output in half.)
     

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