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Need some Advice - Front Projection or RPTV

Discussion in 'Displays' started by DipulP, Mar 27, 2004.

  1. DipulP

    DipulP Auditioning

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    Hello Everyone,

    I am thinking about upgrading the equipment in my living room. The room is 20X20, with a vaulted ceiling, (at its lowest point, the ceiling is 9 feet high, and the viewing distance from the couch to the television is 12-16 feet based on positioning.

    This room has sky lights, and many windows, and is very bright during the day, and it will be very hard to make it dark during the day. I believe, that becuase of this front projection is not an option [​IMG].

    The tv is used, primarily for watching satellite tv, and dvd's, with a 20%/80% split respectively. Now, we dont usually watch tv when its bright out, other than the weekends, so thats the only reason i still consider front projection.

    Im hoping to keep the projector/screen or the RPTV cost, under 10K.

    I would like a screen that fits my room well, and from what i understand, i think a screen that is bigger than 70 inches will be the ideal choice for my room. My main concerns are quality of the picture, and the product, becuase I dont plan on replacing this tv for many years to come.

    I don't plan on buying the TV for another 6-10 months, so if you guys know of any new models that are coming out in the near future, I would like to know about them.

    Thank you very much!
     
  2. brentl

    brentl Cinematographer

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    I'd look at both for that money.

    Get yourself a midlevel Toshiba for $3000 for day to day use, and a projector light a Sony HS20 for $3000 and spend $1500 on a screen.

    With wiring and installation(ceiling mount ETC).

    you should still be under the $10 000cap.

    I'd suggest higher end FPTVs, but I was looking at the low end stuff for myself so I haven't studied up.

    Brent
     
  3. LouAR

    LouAR Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree with Brent. For that money, you can have both and probably be very happy. There is a new generation of DLP RPTVs coming out this year including a very sexy looking new Samsung line. I just went to the Samsung site and could not find a link to show you. It was shown in an ad at the top of this forum for a long time. The screen (55"?) is mounted atop a column stand and looks beautiful. Found the link for the Samsung HLP5685W (on this site): http://www.tvauthority.com/DLP-TV-HD...cat=&prod=1453 The newer technology will hopefully be a vast improvement over what is now on the market. The predictions for LCD bypassing plasma seems worth "monitoring" [​IMG]

    I wrestled with the issue and concluded that the technology is changing too fast. The aspect ratio of broadcast television signal is moving towards HDTV but is simply not there enough for me to commit yet and almost non-existent where I live.

    My living room is similar to yours. I have a Sony Wega 36" with Onkyo DTS receiver driving Bose Accoustimass 10 speaker system for over two years. I just added a FP. My FP use is strictly DVD as the cable company here is small and still using somewhat archaic channel box with only composite connections. I use the FP at night when ambient light is not an issue. My living room is part of a greater space opening into dining room, office and kitchen. Consequently, there were install issues. I put in a Dalite Cosmopolitan Electrol Screen (92"x52") behind the valance spanning main bay window across from seating area. I bought a well reviewed entry level LCD projector to learn with and have the intent to upgrade in a few years. The projector I keep in a closet until ready for use and then put on a stand and drop the screen. Two minutes to set-up and another two minutes to take down. Invisible when not in use. Total cost of FP addition was around $2,000. I think I made the right choice.

    I did not like any of the RPTVs given the various pros and cons. The cons, especially given aspect ratio of most broadcast television, and compared to my Sony Wega 36" picture quality just tipped the scales for me. So, I watch broadcast on the Sony and DVDs on the big screen.

    Projector technology and TV technology, for me, is simply changing too fast. Home theater is exploding. I strongly recommend you consider the possibility of an interim compromise because a few years from now this industry may look very different. And if you are ready to do it now, there is loads to choose from (giving you the advantage of both displays) and still stay under that budget.

    Hope something here is helpful to you.
    ~ Lou ~
     
  4. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    You can enjoy both, yes.

    An alternative to a $1500 screen is to make your own screen as many here have already done and divert an extra $1400 to a better projector.

    If you decide to go that route then we can help you to build the screen to match with the model of projector you choose.
     
  5. DaveGTP

    DaveGTP Cinematographer

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    I agree with the suggestion to do both. If I had that kind of cash I would pick up one unit to cover daylight (say a 36" HD CRT, or a 42" ED Plasma) and then do a search for a quality projector.

    As always, when it comes to Front Projection, your first step should be evaluating a DLP in the showroom. Generally DLP has better contrast & blacks, but the rainbows are a killer for some people. My brain has tuned out the minimal rainbows but black on white is still a problem on my X1. Most of the LCD FP folks go with them because the rainbows drive them nuts, or they are afraid of maybe seeing them. Demo to find out!!



    With the kind of money you've got to spend, you could make sure to pick up a 4x wheeled DLP projector (thus minimizing rainbows).

    You should try to find a local HT store - I demoed a 5x DLP there and found I couldn't see any rainbows compared to my 2x Infocus X1. Otherwise, there's some very good LCD projectors out there (or so I hear, I don't like the black levels on LCD myself).



    Required reading: www.projectorcentral.com
     
  6. DipulP

    DipulP Auditioning

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    Hey guys,

    Thanks for the great replies. However, as usual the more reading I do the more I realize that I know nothing [​IMG].

    I'm curious, about drop down screens. I would like to make my own screen to save cost, but the problem with the room that I will be using, is that the day time TV, would have to be behind the screen, so im not sure what the best course of action is regarding this problem, so any opinions would be great.

    Also, from everything I've read about the VPL-HS20, is that its amazing for HDTV, but its DVD quality is nothing spectacular, is this true from any of your experiences?

    How about the Panasonic PT-500, it seems that I can get this one for almost 1,300 dollars LESS than the Sony, is the price difference justified? (feel free to squash any ignorant assessments I've made [​IMG]) I notice that the Panasonic isn't nearly as bright, but if I plan on using this projector at night, that point should be moot - right?


    I appreciate everyones comments greatly!

    Thanks again!

    Dipul
     
  7. LouAR

    LouAR Stunt Coordinator

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    Dipul,
    I mentioned above which screen I chose. I went with the High Contrast Matte White material as I have an entry level LCD projector (Hitachi Home 1) and that material was recommended by the merchant and the manufacturer for my logistics and specifications.

    There certainly are more expensive ones, including "tensioned". This is a feature that helps keep the material taught. I do not have the "tensioned" feature and frankly do not miss it. I do notice a slight wave or two in the screen material when the projector is not on but once projection begins, I cannot see them at all. There are also screens with masking features (another option I chose to do without and do not miss). Some would never dream of not masking. I have a screen material that is slightly gray and my LCD has gray "black bars" (I have a screen larger than standard throw to permit zoom for alternate aspect ratio images). The combination of gray "black bars" and the gray screen material make the extra material appear masked to my eye. It is probably not perfect but I cannot see how the difference would be worth the extra money and/or effort to adjust for each alternate aspect ratio movie.

    Overall, I suggest a weighted average approach to choosing your budget for each component. If you wish to continue with your original stated budget: first decide some priorities and that will help you allocate your budget to components (remember to leave some for cables). If broadcast is only 20% and DVD is 80% (as you indicated above) you might consider a bit less for a decent CRT television. For example (and I am not pushing this model) My Sony Wega 36" has a great image. There are/were 5 versions of this set ranging from $1100 to $2700 (2 yrs ago). I chose the least expensive because I did not need or want the other features. I did not care about the better speakers because I would never send any audio to the TV, all my audio goes to and through receiver. Similarly, I wrote off the other features. This choice gave me more of my budget to spend on other components.

    If you follow this example, you have your TV and still have 90% of your budget for audio, PJ, screen, cables, and install (if you do not do that yourself). personally, audio in movies is very important to me. While I know that Bose is not the very best, it certainly gave me a lot of bang for my buck and it is a very easy install with small direction-able speakers. I went to the Bose store and listened and chose a speaker system and then chose the receiver that Bose was using to show-off that speaker system. It turned out to be a very reasonable priced Onkyo DTS receiver.

    So in my case:
    TV: $1100 - 22%
    Audio (receiver, speakers and DVD): $1500 - 30%
    PJ & screen: $2000 - 40%
    cables: (approx)$400 - 8%
    (* Note: cables include composite for cabletvbox, optical audio for DVD, component for DVD, composite video for cabletvbox to PJ, S-video for secondary DVD/cd, s-video for VCR, plus a couple I am now forgetting like audio for VCR and secondary DVD/CD)

    Once you have decided your relative budget, there are many sources to find highly reviewed and recommended products in those price ranges. For example: projectorcentral.com's "Highly Recommended Projector" list broken down by price range. Each projector is reviewed and has a summary page that includes throw calculator so you can see the image size for any given projector at any given throw distance: http://www.projectorcentral.com/reco...projectors.htm

    Here is a link to another thread with some helpful getting-started info: http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...86#post2121686

    And so on.

    I realize this was long-winded. Sorry for that but I hope it helps you.
    ~ Lou ~
    - Why do I take the time to write all of this? Because others helped me as I was getting started and first posting questions. Just "Paying It Forward"!
     
  8. DipulP

    DipulP Auditioning

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    Hey guys,

    Last night I went and checked out the VPL-HS20, and have some concerns.

    FIrst off, the picture had WAY too much red it in, (someone did mention that the projector needs a red filter), but why would sony ship a product that needed a red filter out of the box?

    Another problem I saw, were vertical lines, which looked as tho someone took gray water color and drew vertically on the picture... very faint, but enough to get on my nerves.

    Other than that, the picture of very clear, and I was very impressed, im praying that this store had the projector set up wrong.

    Have any of you had similar experiences with this projector?

    Also, how about the panasonic PT-500? Its almost half the price of the sony, and the reviews on it seem amazing, any reasons why the sony is better?

    thank you!
     
  9. Brent Avery

    Brent Avery Supporting Actor

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    Hi DipulP

    Regarding the vertical lines - it's called VB or Vertical Banding - and can be a problem with the majority of LCD FPs. Going into a projector's service menu and "tweaking" usually helps - you may even eliminate it, and the red push should be elimnated the same way. I
    have a Panasonic AE500 ( same as PT500 ) setup through DVI along with a DIY 16X9 92" screen and overall it is very good. VB usually shows up at its worse when looking at blue sky or fog scenes. If I may suggest it check out the AVS Forum ( AV Science )- if you already have not - and you can find all your answers there regarding projectors ( LCD & DLP ) , screens , dvd players etc. Also try Projectorcentral. I went with DVI ( digital video interface ) as it offers the best possible picture quality with dvds - although hd-dvd ( blue ray ) is coming before the year is out which will take dvd to a breathtaking level. AVS has all this info on their site. DVI players will be supplied by the mainstream companies later this year but once you read up on this technology you can check out the upcoming Bravo D2 & D3 and others supplied by some smaller outfits. Warning - you may become addicted!![​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]


    Brent
     
  10. DipulP

    DipulP Auditioning

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    Hey Brent,

    thanks for the info man. I was wondering, HD-DVD, that will require me to re-buy all my current disks wont it? [​IMG]

    thanks again!
     
  11. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Just ask yourself if DVD caused you to repurchase many of your favoutite films that you previously had on VHS or Laserdisc.
     
  12. LouAR

    LouAR Stunt Coordinator

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    I replaced SOME VHS with DVD but not all. I think I read (could be wrong about this) that the new platform will be cross compatible. Anyone know about this?
     
  13. JimMAC

    JimMAC Agent

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    Yes, I just got a demo of the VPL-HS20 Sony projector at my ht dealer. They had a demo DVD playing at 480p and while some scenes looked very good, others were quite dim. I asked about the brightness one day, and the sales guy stated that the bulb had a lot of hours on it and needed to be replaced. I returned on another day and asked a different sales guy and guess what, the lamp was brand new (but still dim). The room itself was fairly dark. Unfortunately they did not have a HD material to demo, and I left uninspired.

    Oh and yes lou according to NEC...
    NEC uses two lasers, the blue laser diode and the red laser diode, as the light source, thus enabling both current DVD and HD DVD discs to be played on a single objective lens. They’ve overcome physical format difference between DVD and HD DVD by developing large scale LSI.

    Mac
     

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