PC Gaming on an L500u? Many questions.

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Max:P, Mar 21, 2004.

  1. Max:P

    Max:P Auditioning

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    I'm considering purchasing the PT-L500u as my first projector along with a relatively cheap 100-120" 4:3 pulldown screen to be hooked up to my gaming/HTPC.

    While widescreen movies are a main buying point of the projector, I'm very intrigued by the possibility of playing the latest 3d first person shooters and racing games on a huge screen.

    I'm wondering how well this projector will work with DirectX games. What will be the maximum resolution I'll be able to play them at? The spec sheet for the L500 claims a max res. of 1920x1080, so I should set my games for 1280x1024 since its the closest standard resolution, correct? At 1280x1024 what would the maximum refresh rate be, and what would that limit the displayable framerate to?Will the various image quality enhancements available on the newer video cards such as Anti-Aliasing make a difference? Anisotropic filtering?

    Can anyone comment on how pc games look on projectors in general? I'm not really looking for info about console systems since they don't display in nearly as high of resolution as pc games are capable of. I would imagine they look comparable to or better than hdtv quality images (except at a different aspect ratio of course) but would like clarification.

    Sorry about all the questions but I've never even SEEN a home theater quality front projector in person, let alone used one, so its safe to say I know very little about what they can do. Would there be a better choice than the L500u if it will be used heavily for gaming? I would still like to be able to watch DVD's and even upcoming HD-DVD movies in the ideal resolution, which is why i'm opting for a 16:9 rather than 4:3.
     
  2. Steve F M

    Steve F M Screenwriter

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    Why would you buy a 4:3 screen? The projector is native 16x9 and your main reason of buying is for Widescreen Movie watching. By the way I just bought this projector and it is incredible. I got it at Onecall.com for $1750 shipped.

    Are you set on a Pull Down screen. Most people will do a Do It Yourself screen that hangs on the wall like a picture for $50. E-mail me if you have any questions.
     
  3. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Not familiar with this particular projector as I don't follow most of the digital models (too many to keep track of), but you have to be very careful to distinguish between what resolution you can FEED to it, and what it will DISPLAY. You need to look at the native panel resolution of the projector.

    projector central tells me that this is a Native: 1280x720 projector, which means that this is the maximum resolution that it is capable of displaying. You can feed it more than this, but it will get scaled down to the native panel resolution. Using a computer is helpful for higher-quality video, as you can set your computer (with powerstrip) to exactly 1280x720, thereby bypassing all the scaling in the projector, and let your computer handle the video processing.

    There are no digital projectors on the market yet that do 1920x1080. 9inch CRTs can adequately resolve 1080 if setup carefully. For the highest resolution for gaming, you're better off going with a big computer monitor, but for movies, definitely FP is the way to go. Even though CRTs provide the highest current resolving capabilies (and the highest overall PQ), I would not use one for gaming as they are 1) expensive 2)not to be wasted on gaming. [​IMG]

    Also, you should try gaming on such a setup, as it isn't really that cool, as an x-gamer, it's very difficult and nauseating to play on a big screen. It's much much better for movies.
     
  4. Max:P

    Max:P Auditioning

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    In response to Steve:

    That really has nothing to do with what I asked, but I'll explain anyway. Even if I did get a 16:9 screen I would still have bars at the top and bottom with 90% of widescreen content, so its not going to bother me that those bars are a little bit bigger. It could really go either way, I could get a 120" 4:3 screen and be limited to using 110" of that for 16:9, or I could go for a 120" 16:9 screen and be limited to 99" for 4:3. I see a bigger difference in the latter choice, so I will go for a 4:3 screen [​IMG] Also I'm pretty sure the 120" 16:9 would cost more.

    Why don't a build my own screen? I'd love to actually... I would love to build a screen with motorized blackouts so I wouldnt even have to worry about the aspect ratio problem, But I need portability. I live in an apartment right now, and I'll probably be moving multiple times in the coming years, which is one major reason I'm opting for a FP rather than a RPTV.
     
  5. DuWayne

    DuWayne Stunt Coordinator

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    Not true...at all. Since about 2 years ago most Widscreen DVDs are anaphamorphic (sp). and scaled at either 1:85 or 1:72(I think that is the right one). You will only get Black Bars on WS DVDs scaled to 2:35 (or around that) when played on a 16:9 display.

    I would agree with Steve..it would be a waste to with a 4:3 screen with a 16:9 FP.
     
  6. Max:P

    Max:P Auditioning

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    Thanks for the response Chris, it was very helpful [​IMG]

    It would be great to get a big computer monitor for playing games but unfortunately the price on CRT monitor goes up exponentially after 21". I wouldn't even be able to get a monitor half the size I want for twice what I would pay for the L500 [​IMG]

    I wasn't really all that worried about achieving a super high resolution, just wondering how high I could go. I knew about being able to set desktop resolution using powerstrip, but does it work for in-game resolution as well?

    I could definitely understand how it could become nauseating on a large enough screen, however I don't plan on mounting the projector in any way, but instead putting it on a rolling cart so I could adjust the size to however small I want it. Its really going to be sort of a ghetto rig since I live in a cramped apartment right now, nothing clean or professional looking, but still beautiful video [​IMG]
     
  7. Max:P

    Max:P Auditioning

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    Well damn I must have misread the article at Projectorcentral than. I may have to reconsider my choice now. Although none of the sites I have looked at are selling 16:9 pulldown screen around 100-120", I guess I'll have to look harder. However if they're significantly more expensive I'll still go for the 4:3, I've already doubled my budget within the last few months and don't want to push it further.
     
  8. Steve F M

    Steve F M Screenwriter

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  9. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Yeah, lots of cheap DIY screens that are very cheap to make, a simple blackout cloth will work ok to start, or paint it with some ultra-white paint, and you're good to go, or you can see the screens forum at AVS and read up on some of the gray screen DIY ideas for digital projectors. Very cheap. And there is absolutely no point in getting a 4:3 screen with a 16:9 projector, because you would want to mask down to at least 16:9 anyway. Ideally you'd want to have some variable masking for wider AR too, as the gray bars are especially distracting with a digital projector.
     
  10. Max:P

    Max:P Auditioning

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    So even if I was displaying a 4:3 dvd I wouldn't be able to move the projector back a few feet until it fills the whole 4:3 screen?



    I've checked out a few different DIY screens before making the choice to get a pulldown. I have yet to see one that is portable/collapsible. I don't have the room or tools to build a wooden frame like that anyway... nor would I put the time/effort into it [​IMG] If I can't get a cheap pulldown i'll probably just tack a sheet to the wall or something.
     
  11. LaMarcus

    LaMarcus Screenwriter

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    Good directions on how to build a screen Steve. I think I'll use that when I build mine.
     

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