RPTV or FPTV?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by NicB, Nov 25, 2003.

  1. NicB

    NicB Auditioning

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    Hi. After having hell with my 32" Sony HD XBR, I've decided to say goodbye to direct view TV's (when I started, I planned on doing a small HT...nothing big or expensive, but I kinda ended up going the opposite way). Since my TV is fubar'ed (and in the shop right now for the second time), I've decided just to replace it whether it gets fixed or not. The question is, RPTV or FPTV?

    I have an outstanding audio setup (Cabasse Ki) and need something to go along with that. The only catch is the room is pretty small (seating is only about 8-9 feet from the front wall). So, what should I look at? At such a close viewing distance, should FPTV even be an option? Is screen door gonna be bad? I don't want to spend any more than $5k on this. I've looked at Pioneer RPTV's and Yamaha FP's so far. I saw the Yamaha LPX-500 (LCD based) and it looks pretty durn good (also saw the DPX-1000 and holy wow, but too expensive for me). Any suggestions are welcome, except for Sony (please understand my experience with this TV has ruined them for me). Oh, and I'd rather not a FP that doesn't have either 1280x720 or 1366x768 native resolution. Pro's and con's of both would be great. Thanks!
     
  2. Gabriel_Lam

    Gabriel_Lam Screenwriter

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    Much of that depends on your viewing preferences. 8-9 feet is enough for front projection for many people. You should start by seeing what viewing angle is most comfortable for you. For instance, do you prefer the display take up 30% of your view? 25%? 40%?

    THX recommends that optimally, the screen should take up 36% of your view, and a MINIMUM of 26%. Dolby Labs (SMPTE standard EG-18-1994) recommends the display take up a MINIMUM of 30%.

    This is, of course, given high quality source material. In general, the lower the quality of your typical source material, the smaller you want that viewing cone (smaller display), the higher the quality, the bigger the angle (bigger display).

    For me, I've found the THX optimal size to be pretty comfortable. You may find something different. Only you can say what fits you best.

    At 9' back:

    THX Optimal size: 80.5" diagonal 16:9 screen (70.2" wide)
    SMPTE Minimum size: 66.4" diagonal 16:9 screen (57.9" wide)

    Here is a convenient calculator:

    THX & SMPTE viewing distance calculator

    Again, those numbers only give you a good starting point. From there, figure out what you're most comfortable with.

    From your viewing, it seems you prefer DLP to LCD. Do you know what specifically you liked about the DPX-1000 over the LPX-500? Was it the much better contrast? Was it the inky black levels? Shadow detail? Does having a bright, punchy picture matter as much as contrast to you? How about colors? How sensitive are you to reds that are off? Can you see the screen door effect from the LPX-500 projector? Did you get a chance to watch enough of the DLP to see if you're sensitive to rainbows?
     
  3. NicB

    NicB Auditioning

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    Thanks for the info. On the LPX-500, at about 8-9 ft back I could see the screen door, BUT, that was still at the 110" screen size that they have in the room. If I scooted back a few feet, screen door went away. As far as the biggest reason the DPX-1000 looked better...I think was the black level. But, as nice as it was, I don't think black levels are a huge deal to me. I'm more concerned about the screen door problem and future upkeep. I'd like DLP I think, but from what I've seen there isn't a 1280x720 DLP machine for under $5k (I refuse to buy anything that is natively 4:3).
     
  4. Gabriel_Lam

    Gabriel_Lam Screenwriter

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    Hmm. There are a few choices right under $5k that are HD2 (same chip as DPX-1000) DMD's, but they're difficult to find from authorized merchants (something I'd definitely suggest with a purchase of this magnitude).

    How far back are you mounting the projector?
     
  5. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Black level is perhaps the single most important spec of a projector for producing a great picture. That said, you need a short throw projector for your room. With Sony being ruled out and with the size of the room, this seems to eliminate the Sony HS20 from contention. The following is a short list of a few wxga class projectors... http://www.projectorcentral.com/proj...ul=8000&trig=1
    How much can the Infocus 7200 be had for over that side of the border?
     
  6. NicB

    NicB Auditioning

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    Not sure on the Infocus...might have to look into that. Let me reiterate about the black level with the LPX-500...its pretty good (my comments made it sound like it wasn't). The DPX-1000's contrast is just downright amazing. I went and talked with my dealer today and we pretty much agreed front projection is the way to go (both for size and quality). He let me borrow a LPX-500 projector to try for the weekend so we'll see how that goes.

    Oh, and my seating position is 9 ft back from the front wall. If I end up with a FP, it will be mounted so that the lens is about 10 ft back from the front wall.
     
  7. Gabriel_Lam

    Gabriel_Lam Screenwriter

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    Hmm. With the Infocus 7200, a 10' throw distance gives you a picture that is 66" to 92" in size, so it sounds like it would probably work.

    Where are you located?
     

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