New DLP vs used CRT?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Tom Sims, Mar 11, 2002.

  1. Tom Sims

    Tom Sims Auditioning

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    I'm considering purchasing a projector on a tight budget. (wife says I have too many toys) I'm trying to stay under $3,000 for the projector.

    I have seen many used CRT projectors such as the Sony 12XX series for what seem like reasonable prices but I have no idea what to watch out for when purchasing used equipment.

    I saw a demo for a Plus Piano and was not impressed with the image. The demonstrator said that a line doubler would clean up the image but he wasn't clear as to how much cleaner it would be. Anyway, with the line doubler it would be over my budget.

    I keep hearing of the NEC LT150 but can't find anywhere to demo one.

    With all that, I have two questions.

    Can anyone tell me how the LT150 compares with a Plus Piano?

    Should I be considering a used CRT versus something like an LT150?
     
  2. Dave Morton

    Dave Morton Supporting Actor

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    I'm not sure if this will answer all your questions but with a CRT, you will need a doubler or scaler. Another thing to consider is that a CRT is over 100 lbs. Also consider the height of your ceiling too. I was thinking crt but I have a 7 foot tall ceiling in my basement family room and a crt would take over the entire room. Also, crt's can make a fair amount of noise, which may or may not be an issue if you play everything at reference volume.

    I have heard good things about the plus piano. I would make sure that the projector was calibrated properly. Also, the piano cannot accept HD which the LT150 can.

    You may want to wait a couple months for the HD2 chip to come out. Then you can probably get a good HD1 chip machine for a good price. That is my game plan. But if you need one now then get the best one you can affort. Also, check out avsforum.com . There are a ton of discussions going on over there about what you seek.
     
  3. Kevin Coleman

    Kevin Coleman Second Unit

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    Dave,
    You forgot to mention another thing about CRT's, they have a better picture.
    Kevin C. [​IMG]
     
  4. Dave Morton

    Dave Morton Supporting Actor

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    Good point Kevin,

    CRT's have a better picture,black level, but you need controlled lighting in the room.

    Actually, I meant to say that the HD2 chips coming out soon will be cheaper than the HD1 chips so I'm going to wait until that time.
     
  5. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    Kevin,
    That's true, CRTs can have better pictures provided you:
    • Have total light control
    • Get the convergence adjusted.
    • Get mechanical focus adjusted.
    • Get electrostatic focus adjusted.
    • Have sufficient floor space (or ceiling height and support) to mount the cabinet
    • Purchase a line doubler/tripler/quadrupler
    I'm not anti-CRT, but the size, weight and other considerations often tip the scales in favor of digital projectors. Digital projectors bring the gap between the two technologies a little closer every year.
    In my case, I didn't have the physical space to go with a CRT based solution, and wound up with the diminutive NEC LT-150.
    Regards,
     
  6. Kevin Coleman

    Kevin Coleman Second Unit

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    John,
    I agree completely there are compromises either way. Picture quality just happened to be the most important to me. The original poster didn't mention anything about having to make compromises for his room.
    Kevin C. [​IMG]
     
  7. Tom Sims

    Tom Sims Auditioning

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    I'm currently remodeling a room. It's 18 X 16 and has complete light controll.

    Regardless of the type that I get, I was going to encase and vent it to eliminate (or greatly reduce) fan noise.

    My number one consideration is picture quality. I don't care if I have to do a lot of tweaking to get it just right. That's part of the fun, I hope.

    The greatest concern I have is purchasing a used CRT. I would hate to shell out a couple thousand dollars and find out that I didn't ask the right questions before I bought it.
     
  8. Kevin Coleman

    Kevin Coleman Second Unit

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    Tom,
    That is a perfectly valid point. I remember when I bought my used CRT I was very afraid of getting a lemon. Luckily I lived close enough to the person where I could check it out myself where I bought it. CRT's can be a bit intimidating to people that may not have much experience with them. Like me just a year ago. I now can almost see scan lines with my 7" CRT at 720P!
    A good place to learn about CRT's beside here is here:
    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forum...?s=&forumid=16
    Do a name search for Curt Palme in that CRT forum. He sells alot of quality used CRT's and I have yet to hear anything negative about his service. I think he even offers some sort of service warranty on some of the units he sells.
    You can now buy a reasonbly low hour 8" CRT for about 3K if you do a little looking around.
    Kevin C. [​IMG]
     
  9. VicRuiz

    VicRuiz Second Unit

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    If you're willing to do some tweaking and the size doesn't bother you, then a used CRT is perfect for you. You need to make sure that you buy it from a reputable dealer (stay away from Ebay unless you can get references for the seller or it's close enought that you can inspect the unit yourself). There are several well respected dealers that especialize in selling used CRTs in good working condition. I bought mine from Curt Palme at the AVS Forum CRT Projectors and I couldn't be happier.

    I have to also say that the tweaking and maintenance needed for CRTs has been greatly exaggerated everywhere people comment about them. The critical part is the initial mechanical setup. Proper positioning is critical in order to minimize the stress on the electronics that causes drift. When setup properly, a CRT system needs minimal maintenance, a convergence touchup every few months at the most. I know I haven't touched the convergence on mine since it was setup by Chuck Williams in June of last year. A professional initial setup is ideal, but you can do it yourself if you read enough and are willing to learn.

    You also don't necessarily need a dedicated scaler for it, if you can buy or build an HTPC. An HTPC will give you better performance than high end scalers costing many thousands more, for only a fraction of the price (even less if you already have a suitable PC). I use my HTPC for DVDs, and an HDTV receiver for HD and everything else, and the results are great.
     
  10. Guy Kuo

    Guy Kuo Supporting Actor

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    Edit: I changed my mind. I will leave some thoughts on your choice.

    Good new DLP vs 7 inch CRT, I'd choose the DLP for its super easy setup and image competetive with 7 inch CRT. That assumes the DLP is already optimized for home theater or is one known to be modifiable for a better picture.

    BTW HDTV is pretty impressive looking on my LT150Z if that is an issue and the DLP you are looking at doesn't have HD compatibility.

    Good DLP vs 8 inch EMF or larger CRT, I'd choose CRT if the tubes are new or nearly new condition and someone can go over the machine setup with you. Lot of work, but you can end up with a very good picture.

    e-bay CRT - I'd choose the corner three card Monty dealer for a safer bet.

    CRT from a known good servicer - MUCH MUCH better way to go if you are choosing CRT.

    Don't forget the scaler. You'll need one with DLP and most definitely for CRT to get great image quality.

    ---------

    I'll give you the happy warning.

    Once you travel down the road of front projection, you will never be be happy with anything else. Do this only if you are willing to risk making yourself react to the biggest RPTV on display in a store and smile to yourself, "That is a little, awful picture."
     

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