NEC HT1000 price reduction!

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Parker Clack, Jul 3, 2003.

  1. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    I just noticed that the price of the NEC HT1000 has been reduced to some really low levels. Projector People has it for $4,199 and NEC has increased the rebate to $500 or an animorphic lens ($1,895US value). The offer on the rebate is from 7/2/2003 through 9/30/2003.

    To read more about this offer go here.

    Parker
     
  2. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    So - what would anyone go for - the $500 rebate or the anamorphic lens? I think I'd spring for the lens.

    And thanks for pointing this out - I think. One more thing to drive me nuts trying to decide whether I should buy or not.
     
  3. Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Producer
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    Infocus just droped the price of the X1 down to $999 if you are looking for a entry level projector?
     
  4. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    Dave:

    The price on the Infocus X1 has been $999 for some time now.

    Alan:

    I don't know. That $500 off sounds pretty tempting to me.

    Parker
     
  5. Craig John

    Craig John Auditioning

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  6. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    The thing about the anamorphic lens is that it allows you to have your cake and eat it too. You don't have to compromise the widescreen performance just because you're using a 4:3 projector. But, what I'd like to know, aside from the hassle of installing and using an anamorphic lens, what are the drawbacks?
     
  7. Talal

    Talal Stunt Coordinator

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    Apprently, the lens adds even more of an offset to the image, so make sure your celings are high enough depending on your room dimension/screen size.
    darinp over on avsforum gave specific numbers on the offset caused so you might want to check on there.
     
  8. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    not necc.
    you are still limited to 1080 pixels across the width of the image.
    you are already using all of those when in 16:9 mode.
    what you pick up are 200 odd pixels vertically.

    if i blow up widescreen movies (which i do in my set up) for a constant height, i think i will still miss having the extra pixels that a 16:9 chip would give me.

    of course, no way i can afford those HD2 pjs, and i CAN afford the HT1000 now, with the rebate.

    but what happens in 3 months when NEC announces a 16:9 version?
    i don't have any inside info this is the case,
    but it seems a third party solution to address what WILL be an improvement in their next generation pj, wouldn't be a long term solution-
    hence- the 16:9 is coming soon, i would think.

    when that happens, whos still going to want to buy a 4:3 pj, even WITH a lens, and what would these have to be priced at to move in that kind of market?


    just some things that are on my mind right now.
    i would love to upgrade to the HT1000, and the time is right to sell my old pj, and won't be a few weeks from now.
    but these questions weigh heavily on my mind.
     
  9. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    Paul: I quite understand that the pixel gain is all vertical. But that's what I want. I don't want a 16:9 projector! Full screen material is just as important as widescreen to me and I don't want to compromise either if there's a way around it. The anamorphic lens seems to be that way, at least as I understand how it works. I get full use of all the pixels in both modes. That is, if the lens can be moved out of the way when I'm viewing 4:3 stuff - I absolutely do not want the lens mounted in such a way that it can't be moved. Is this practical? Does anyone move the lens according to what is being watched? I'd sure like to hear from users of anamorphic lens on this matter.
     
  10. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    i've heard that there are 'sliding' versions of the panamorphs.
    i'm assuming they rest on a rail and you slide them to the right or left when using 4:3 material.

    the HT1000 has a front vent for heat, so i doubt that that is what they are going to be offering for the rebate though.
    i wish i could see an HT1000 in action and preferably with this lens before i committed to it.

    i'm ready to buy, but these nagging questions are holding me back.
     
  11. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    Paul:

    Well, Projector People has just dropped the price on the HT1000 to $3,999 before the $500 rebate or the panamorph. So there are at least 200 more reasons now. [​IMG]

    Parker
     
  12. Rob Tomlin

    Rob Tomlin Producer

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    Just to let everyone know, part of the reason for the price reduction is probably due to the fact that NEC just announced the release of the HT1100, their new 16:9 HD DLP projector.

    Price still undetermined.
     
  13. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    i don't think they've officially announced it yet.
    some NEC-related vendors at a trade show in LA this weekend were talking about it.
    supposedly NEC will announce or release it in Sept.
    these vendors were saying that it should be priced about $1500 more than the HT1000.
    msrp would make it probably just under $7K.
    that is of course, if the ht1000 maintains its current $5500 msrp.
    i just don't see why it would.
    i'm betting that the HTs msrp is reduced to close under $5k, and that its basic street price now becomes $3500 with probably another $150-200 rebate.

    i would expect the HT1100 to street in the mid $5Ks at the most, and could easily see some dealers offering it at $4999- which, if it was as good as the 1000, would make it a monster deal.

    still, i can afford $3500 alot easier than i can even $5000, so it will still be out of my range for a little while (i expect to see it in my price range next fall).

    now the question for me is, do i bide my time with a 1000, or just hang on to my LT150?
    i ordered a 1000 Fri, and will finally get a chanc to see it this week.
    i'm only allowed 4 hours on the bulb, if i want to return it with no re-stocking fee (but i do have to pay shipping which should come out to about $80...maybe more).

    i realize i won't be gaining any resolution, so the areas i'm going to concentrate on in my evaluation are
    -black levels and contrast: do they make that much of a difference for me ('cause personally, i find the black levels on the 150 to be fine)
    -noise: will i finally be able to appreciate the audio upgrades i made last year [​IMG]
    -scaling: everyone has said that the only thing that the 150 lacked was a decent scaler. supposedly the 1000's faroudja is a significant leap, so i'll see if i can actually tell a difference, or if it just amounts to bragging rights.
    -contrast relating to screendoor/pixel structure: i've heard some negative aspects to the wonderful contast the pj attains, is that it also exacerbates the evidence of screendoor/pixel structure, making it much more apparent than it is on the 150.
    this would probably be the deal breaker for me.
    the one thing i most wanted in my next pj was resolution.
    i would put up with all the same inconvineces i have now, if i could get a good WXGA for a bargin price.
    barring that, i do not want to take a step backward in this area just to get a few other benefits.



    there are other things that would be nice to have like sealed optics, zoom lens, a dvi input, etc, but noticeable advantages in the three areas above are the only way i can see justifying an interm purchase like this.
     
  14. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    Paul:

    Let us know what you think of the unit when you get it. With a price $3,499 after rebate this is an excellent buy.

    Parker
     
  15. Paul Gere

    Paul Gere Second Unit

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    Paul,
    I echo Parker's request. Please let us know what you think when you've had a chance to review!

    Thanks!
     
  16. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    i went ahead and changed the bulb on my LT150.
    i was planning to keep it un-used as an incentive if/when i went to sell it, but i want to be sure to give the 1000 a fair appraisal, and the other one was noticeably starting to dim.
    the picture from the LT150 still impresses me. on good 1.85 material especially, the image is wonderfully clear and detailed, the colors rich & vibrant (even on a $40 diy screen), and the image usually quite smooth and filmlike.

    i would like to be able to see a little more definition in some dark scenes (one scene i will be looking at closely is when Magneto levitates up to the torch at the climax to X-Men. the dark greys of his costume really don't make the figure delineate well against the black(dark grey) night sky.)
    it will be interesting to see if the HT1000 really does make much of a difference here.

    i put on the superbit to Fifth Element and after adjustments (which crushed the blacks somewhat ) i felt the trade off was worth it, and the result was a pretty damned amazing picture.
    i ended up losing some detail in the blacks, but the picture on the whole was spectacular- vivid colors, inky dark blacks, which resulted in more dimension & depth.
    after 2 years, i'm still quite impressed with what this pj can do.
     
  17. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    ok,
    i played around with it a little bit Fri morning and then again today for about an hour or so.

    very dynamic.
    out of the box, i thought the picture was pretty ugly on most of the material i demoed, but with a little calibration there is the potential to create some very striking images.
    no doubt about that.
    the first hour, i could see dithering, and/or mosquito noise in the dark areas.
    i never noticed this before on my LT150, and was disappointed to see it here.
    didn't notice the mosquito noise today, but i did see dithering in some panning shots.
    disappointing, but not a deal breaker.

    scaling, on the other hand, was very, very good, and i can really see now why people have always cited the scaler in the LT150 as the only weak link.
    SW:AOTC was a revelation in this regard.
    on the 150, there were many scenes that i thought were too soft, ill-resolved, and so lacking in detail that the screendoor was easily noticeable, whereas with other films projected the same size i couldn't see it.
    i now realize what i was seeing was scaling artifacts.
    the pixel structure would be visible in very bright elements, like much of the interiors on Kamino for instance.
    w/ the HT1000, these were now rock solid- no pixel structure at all and edges going from the live actors to the cgi. backgounds were nicely, smoothly diffused.

    the first day, with just a hairs width of defocusing, i found screendoor/pixel structure to be not a problem at all from viewing between 1.25- 1.5 screen widths.
    today, however, i found it more common and more noticeable, and a little harder to defocus it without quickly losing fine detail.
    i was sure yesterday that i would never have a need for a 16:9 WXGA pj in my current room, today i'm not so sure it wouldn't be worth waiting four or five months for the HT1100.

    noise level was spectacular.
    whisper quiet.
    the pj was on the floor right next to my chair, and yet i was still able to hear wonderful subleties in the sound mixes i've never heard before.
    probably my favorite 'feature' about this pj.

    the zoom worked very well, and optics seemed to be first rate.

    it worked incredibly well with PAL material from my Malata, especially in progressive mode.

    all in all, for the net cost of $3500 right now, this really is an amazingly lush, full featured piece of home theater equipment.
    just about everything i've been reading seems to be true.
    unless laser projectors knock everybody on their ass right out of the gate, i would think that the 1100 is going to be hard to beat this year.


    easy to see why it has garnered as much attention as it has.
    but i can't help but look at the enormous potential for tweaking so many settings as both a blessing and a curse.
    while the potential is there to fine tune the picture to an incredible level, i also see the potential there for having a picture that will never, ever completely satisfy you.
    when there are sooooooo many options available to alter the way the picture looks, the impulse to try to tweak to perfection with every new movie is hard to resist.
    and then you inevitably find yourself tweaking from scene to scene within movies.
    not good.
     
  18. Sanjay Gupta

    Sanjay Gupta Supporting Actor

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  19. Guy Kuo

    Guy Kuo Supporting Actor

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    HT1000 is definitely a good performer, in probably 95% of scenes mine outperforms my very well set up NEC XG135LC 8 inch CRT. The little DLP creates a sharper and yet still smooth image which I can safely bet the majority of viewers will say is better than my CRT. HOWEVER, I've done some things which most people won't and together the three maneuvers are what allow my HT1000 to create a truely dimensional and sharp image that will usually beat a CRT.

    1. I don't shoot as large an image with it as with my CRT. The 1024 pixel resolution is too low to avoid visible pixel structure at 30 degrees subtended (13 feet viewing distance on 80 inch wide screen). This is a very different maneuver from shooting large and defocusing the image. Reduce the picture size to 60 inches wide and there is a marked increase in picture smoothness because the pixel count goes below the visual threshold. Unlike defocusing the lens, smoothness gain of shooting a smaller picture doesn't come at the price of sharpness. The picture structure becomes very solid, fluid and sharp. It also hides dithering noise of the DLP element. I have my projector at about 85 inches from the screen. Most HT1000 owners are going to be greedy and chose a much larger screen. Really consider going smaller. It's the difference between an jaw dropping, through the mirror experience and a larger but lower fidelity image. Going smaller buys a huge step up in realism once step 2 & 3 are also applied.

    The closely placed projector boosts light availability. It will have more than enough light even with the iris close all the way down. Actually it's too bright. As you know, slosing the iris increases contrast ratio. You want as large an contrast ratio as possible. In step 3 I boost the contrast ratio even more so I get black to be as black as possible and deliver the right amount of light to the screen. Simply putting the projector closer to the screen is not enough. You'll end up with an image which is glaringly too bright and black will also look too bright. Onward to step 3.

    2. Not really a separate step, but easier to discuss separately. I further increase contrast ratio by letting the green and blue DLP elements run further open (green and blue contrast turned up). Normally, you have to restrict the green and blue output to compensate for the blue-green light which the lamp produces. That correction to D65 robs the projector of about 30 to 40% of its actual potential contrast range. By letting the green and blue contrast run higher than will produce D65 I allow the DLP modulation to have a larger difference between its on state for 100 IRE and its off state. More contrast is achieved and but grayscale becomes blue green. Here's is where the magic of step 3 comes into play.

    3. Add a Hoya FL Day filter in front of the projector. This cuts green and blue back down to allow D65 to be achieved with the green and blue DLP gains to be wider open. The overall light output is also dropped by the filter, but there is plenty of light anyway. The combination of FLD filter + recalibration to d65 with the filter in place drastically darkens blacks and bootst contrast ratio. There may be other filters which more efficiently white balance the lamp, but this is the one I am using. I taped it to the front of the lens, but tilt the top of the filter out to allow air circulation.


    After that, a lot of work needs to be done to calibrate the projector. I'm still working on my own. The correct settings will vary from unit to unit. Fed via S-video I am using the following.

    User Setting based on Movie
    Picture
    brightness -18
    contrast 30
    color 38
    hue 30
    sharpness 9

    Gamma correction : Dynamic

    Color correction:
    red 0, green 0, blue -1, yellow 6, magenta 0, cyan 0, color gain -4

    White balance
    Brightness red -14, green -1, blue 0
    Contrast red 158, green 128, blue 149

    Picture Enhancements
    SweetVision Low
    Black Expansion 3
    Contrast Enhancment Off



    Mind you, these settings will only work with a Hoya FLD filter and on my particular unit. Yours will vary, particularly the white balance settings.

    At any rate, the HT1000 now produces an image which is very dimensional, sharp, fluid and convincing. I attribute that to choosing a screen size approriate to its resolution and boosting its contrast ratio (and droppig black level) using a Hoya FLD filter. It makes the picture when I turn the CRT projector on look well..... disappointing.
     
  20. Rob Tomlin

    Rob Tomlin Producer

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    Wow! Nice post Guy.

    Even at a smaller screen size, to say that the HT1000 is even comparable to the NEC XG135LC is saying a lot!

    Here's hoping that the HT1100 will improve on what the great little HT1000 does.
     

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