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The next Austin meet.

Discussion in 'Home Theater Forum Meets' started by Colin Dunn, Oct 26, 2003.

  1. Nils Luehrmann

    Nils Luehrmann Producer

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    I spoke with Dale today and there are some changes in the projector lineup.

    Unfortunately my source for the Sony HS20 is now unavailable [​IMG]

    So if any of you with a Panny L300 could possibly bring your projector for tomorrow that would be great! Otherwise there will be no LCD at the meet.

    Another downer is that the BR-7 from Accurate Imaging Technologies will not arrive in time for the meet. I was REALLY looking forward to seeing this projector. [​IMG]

    So the projectors that will be available for comparison tomorrow night are:

    CRT = Vidikron VPH 50HDX
    LCD = (maybe an L300?)
    DLP = InFocus Screenplay 7200
    LCoS = JVC DLA-SX21
    LCoS = TAW Evolution

    I suspect that the TAW's remarkable Evolution LCoS will be the most interesting to see in operation. At $25,000 they aren't easy to come by and I am told they are one of the best performing LCoS projectors available today. This will be the first time I have gotten to see it in person so I too am anxious to see how it performs.

    I suggest that some of you bring your favorite video test material, and for those who wish to assist Dale in calibrating these projectors, please feel free to contact him tomorrow. I am going to try and get there early, but my schedule may prohibit me from being able to do that.

    You can reach him at his office (244-9311) or on his mobile (423-9868).

    The shop is located at:

    Dale Johnson Systems
    2110 Aster Way
    Round Rock, TX 78664

    I hope to see many of you there (and at poker afterwards)!
     
  2. Jonathan DA

    Jonathan DA Screenwriter

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    No HS20 [​IMG] Oh well, I guess it was too good to be true.

    Nils, can you bring your poker supplies? I have a nice empty room to set up in.

    If I pick up the Denon tomorrow at Ultimate we'll set up the 5.1 sound upstairs. If not, we'll probably just do all the listening downstairs on the big speakers in stereo.

    Scott, I didn't make it over to Brian's today, would you mind bringing your carbon fiber brush?

    See everyone tomorrow.

    (And you lurkers need to show up!)
     
  3. Scott Oliver

    Scott Oliver Screenwriter

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    No problem, I'll bring the box of vinyl goodies back.

    I'll add loads of vinyl and some CD's and DVD's as well.

    I will also plan on pulling out my DVD player, and we can use it upstairs if needed or downstairs in place of your 10 yr old Cd deck.

    With him not getting the Accurate PJ in in time, maybe we can haggle with him to be able to borrow that projector in the future for another meet someplace else in the spring. It was one I was really hoping to see as well.[​IMG]

    Colin you should bring your poker supplies as well, don't they need to be broken in?[​IMG] (Hint,hint, stay and join us for poker)

    Also since no one dissented, we are meeting for lunch at Ross' Old Austin Cafe at 11800 N. Lamar. Very close to your place actually.
     
  4. Jeff Meininger

    Jeff Meininger Second Unit

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    I changed my email address, so I didn't get the mail-out. [​IMG] Can you update my address as...

    jeff
    -at-
    boxybutgood
    D0T
    com

    ...and send me the schedule / directions?

    (yes, my spam paranoia is off the deep end)

    I'm not sure what portions of the event I'll be attending. I don't want to kill the whole day, but I'd like to play poker. [​IMG] Taking the L300U off of the ceiling is a PITA, but if the PJ shootout schedule is right, I might be able to hit the tail end of it if Jonathan brings that mickey-mouse / 3-leaf-clover style power cord from last time at his place.

    Scott: I'd still like to borrow Jazz at the Pawn Shop if that's cool. [​IMG]
     
  5. Jonathan DA

    Jonathan DA Screenwriter

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    Jeff, I'll bring along the power cord.

    Scott, Thanks!
     
  6. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    Guys, I'm resting up after the second concert in as many days. Ray Sasaki (trumpet prof. at UT) did a great job as our soloist.

    Please post your impressions of the projectors you saw in action. I'd like to know what you looked at (make and model) and what you liked and disliked about each. Please also include the MSRP and current street price if known.

    THANKS!

    When's the next P or HT event or DIY or ...?????? Let's DO something! Or has the Dr. T overcomitted syndrome finally infected all of us? Hmmm...what a topic for a novel...
    (Yes, I know about Chad's 12/6 premier)[​IMG]
     
  7. Jonathan DA

    Jonathan DA Screenwriter

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    Cross posted from AVS...

    The projectors on hand were the T-A-W Evolution, InFocus SP7200, JVC DLA-SX21, and a Vidikron CRT (I didn't catch the model number on it, but it's probably the one AustinTexas references above). The room was approximately 22x22. Walls were a slate blue color and the center area of the ceiling was painted black. There was almost total like control as we were doing the demos after dark. The screen was a 52x92 fixed DaLite (No one mentioned the model or gain). The Evolution and 7200 were ceiling mounted, and the SX21 and CRT were floor mounted. None of the projectors were professionally calibrated beyond what Dale had done himself, which I don't believe was a lot. We fiddled with the brightness and contrast on each projector some, but no additional calibration was done during the demos. Yes, I realize this will invalidate the comparisons for many of you, but we worked with the time we had available, and this was just supposed to be a friendly demo session, not a true shootout.

    Now, on to the projectors...

    T-A-W Evolution
    This was the first pj Dale fired up after we arrived. The Evolution was being run by a DVD player with SDI out to a Rock scaler and the scaler was connectioned to the Evolution via DVI. The first demo was the big brawl scene in Matrix Reloaded. I started out standing at the back of the room, about 18 ft away from the screen. My initial impression was, "Wow, what a film like image!" There was absolutely no visible pixelation to the image at all. However, after a few minutes, I noticed red and green fringes around Agent Smith's collar. I moved up to about a 1.5x viewing distance, and it became apparent that there was some slight panel misalignment that was causing the fringing. No one else mentioned it though, so I don't how big of an issue it would be in regular viewing. I only noticed it in black on white scenes myself. At 1.5x the image was still totally continuous, no pixelation. I had to walk with a few inches of the screen to pick out the pixel structure.

    The next demo piece was Attack of the Clones. We used three scenes from AOTC throughout the demo. The first was Obi Wan hiding in the shadows in Count Duku's lair, the second was when Anakin is holding his mother as she dies, and the third was when Yoda is sitting in the yellow room talking of Anakin's pain. The the Obi Wan scene proved to be a good test of shadow detail, Ankin's mother's face was great for testing resolution and detail, and Yoda in the yellow room was good for color comparisons. When we first watched these scenes on the Evolution, they looked good, but I didn't realize how much we missed till we switched projectors. It became apparent that we were missing a ton of shadow detail on the Evolution in the Obi Wan scene, and the scene with Anakin's mother was much too soft, as was the Yoda scene. It was difficult to discern individual hairs on Yoda's head and the pores on Anakin's mother's face looked like they had been airbrushed away. After some adjusting of contrast and brightness we were able to pull out some of the shadow detail in the Obi Wan scene, however it did slightly impact black level, which wasn't all that great to start with. The softness, however, seemed to be the nature of the machine. I don't know if it was the scaler or the anamorphic lens, but the InFocus and JVC machines displayed more detail. Overall, for $25,000 (including the scaler) I was disappointed in this machine due to the image softness.

    InFocus 7200
    This quite popular HD2 DLP machine proved to be a match for the Evolution in a number of ways. It was both brighter than the Evolution and had better black levels. At 1.5x distance I did detect some pixelation, but not enough to bother me, and it may have been the result of the internal scaler and not the panel resolution itself since I really only noticed it in the Yoda scene on solid yellow edges. On the Obi Wan hiding scene, shadow detail was, well, detailed. You could see all the ridges of the cave walls and Obi Wan's clothes in the shadows. Even after adjusting the Evolution, the InFocus was still superior at displaying shadow detail while keeping blacks low. Colors were slightly different than the Evolution, but I could not say which was better, they were just different. On the Anakin's mother scene it really became apparent how much the Evolution was softening the picture. On the InFocus the texture of the leather straps around her wrists was visible as were the pores on her face. In the Yoda scene it was easier to pick out individual hairs on Yoda's head on the 7200, however this scene is also where I noticed the pixelation. The lines on the room's floor weren't as smooth as they were on the Evolution. I also noticed some of the barreling caused by the optics on the pj. Very slight though. I caught glimpses of rainbows from the campfires in AOTC and occasionally when I blinked, but none of it was bad enough to bother me, and I consider myself fairly picky about rainbows. It was also noisier that the Evolution and I could hear the color wheel whine. I would need a hush box if I owned this one. Overall I thought this was great projector, which with the exception of the pixelation I thought it outclassed the Evolution in almost every category.

    We also watched a brief clip from the beginning of The Transporter on DVHS in 1080i on the 7200. Even scaled from 1080i to 720p the image was incredible. I didn't notice any pixelation during this demo, which leads me to believe the pixelation in the Yoda scene may have been a scaling artifact.

    One thing that bugged me about the 7200 while watcing AOTC was that there appeared to be video noise all over the picture. Sort of like mosquito noise, but it was aparrent everywhere. I didn't see this at all while watching the The Transporter though. I can't figure out what caused it, so I'm not sure if it's the projector's fault or was some kind of interference.


    JVC SX21
    This projector surprised me and proved to be my favorite of the bunch. The image was very fluid and continuous, no pixelation was visible, even without an anamorphic lens. It was very bright as well, even brighter than the 7200. Black level, however left something to be desired. In the Obi Wan hiding scene, it displayed all the shadow detail, but everything seemed a tad washed out. After adjusting the brightness down everything snapped into place and looked much better. All the detail of Anakin's mother's face and texture was visible as well. Yoda's hairs stood out, and the there was no pixelation visible on the floor. I also thought that the SX21 made Yoda's skin color look the most correct. This is entirely subjective, as we didn't have a color analyzer available, so I can't say for sure if the SX21's colors were more accurate, but to my eyes they seemed to be. My big complaint, though, is, of course, black levels. Black levels on both the SX21 and the Evolution were no better than a Panasonic L300U. However, unlike the Evolution, the SX21 had lumens to spare, and I think with the addition of a filter you could lower the blacks and still have a bright image. I don't think I'd use a gray screen with the SX21 for fear of messing with the color acuity and shadow detail, but a silver screen with the filter might be the perfect combo.

    Vidikron CRT
    I'm hesitant to write about the CRT, as it really didn't get a fair shake. As most of you probably know, CRT's require a lot of setup to get a good picture from, and the Vidikron had not received much more than a cursory setup from what I could tell. We also didn't give it time to warm up before watching it. The image was considerably softer than any of the other pjs. The textures and facial details in the Anakin's mother scene weren't visible. Shadow detail was good in the Obi Wan scene, the CRT actually made it look like he was in the shadows whereas the FPD pjs just made it look like he was pressed against the wall. Color was very good in the Yoda scene, but the hairs on Yoda's head weren't sharp enough to make out individual strands. An EM focus machine would have faired better here. Light output was also considerably less than they other machines, but still enough to throw a good image. The real insight the CRT gave was just how good black levels could be. None of the others even came close to the black level of the Vidikron. Given proper setup I think this one could have faired better, but the shaprness of the JVC and InFocus would always make me prefer them over the CRT.

    So there you have it. Any of these projectors could satisfy most people, however for my money I think I'd take the SX21 and spend the money I saved over the Evolution on audio gear.
     
  8. Jonathan DA

    Jonathan DA Screenwriter

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    BTW Hank, we just DID something, but you were too overcommited to show up.
     
  9. Humphrey

    Humphrey Stunt Coordinator

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    So with all of you hitting the Ultimate store did anyone get a chance to eyeball the new 70" XBR Grand Wega? Been seeing a lot of hype here and there on it.... I guess I'll have to take a drive up North to see it myself.
     
  10. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    Jonathan, you gotta admit, that was a first for me, as opposed to SOME people who are constantly begging off. [​IMG]

    BTW, are the above pj comments pretty much the concensus, or was that just one person's opinion?
     
  11. Ryan Mitchell

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    My experience is nowhere near Jonathan's or the rest, but I really liked the 7200 in the end. I liked the brightness and clarity over the other projectors, especially from a price/value standpoint.

    The one thing I didn't like, as JDA mentioned, is the noise of the color wheel. If I picked up one of those I'd probably have to build a box around it.

    I was really looking forward to seeing the HS20, but it didn't make a showing. Anyone here in Austin have one that they'd be willing to let me take a look at? I'd like to make sure that it isn't enough of a contender to the 7200 to make me think about it, given the noise and the rainbows that I noticed on the 7200 when I blinked.
     
  12. Jonathan DA

    Jonathan DA Screenwriter

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    Humphrey,
    Yeah we saw the 70" Wega. A crowd of people were gathered around it watching the beginning of Finding Nemo. It was being fed by a Pioneer Elite DVD player. I was totally underwhelmed. Scaling artifacts everywhere, horrible picture. The picture was so bad that I don't think it was the TV's fault, something funky was going on there.

    Hank, I am also underwhelmed by your comeback. Where's the dry Texas wit?
     
  13. Scott Oliver

    Scott Oliver Screenwriter

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    Well as to what's next I think it would be tough to fit anything in between now and 12/6 with Thanksgiving and all.

    As I emailed the Yahoogroups-poker, I would like to host something in December. So if you have a suggestions as to what would be a good night, please throw it out.
     
  14. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    Doc: yeah I know - I had a comment, but in a temporary moment of straightforwardness, I didn't do dry this time. I was with ya'll in spirit, though! Didn't you hear a little voice whispering: "Hold off for another year, or at least buy something used in the interim"?[​IMG]
    You know, front projector acquisition could be approached like cars. You could just buy used from now on. My used '01 car is one hell of a lot more/better car than any '03 or '04 new car that I could afford. Buying last year's front projector model may be the way to go.
     
  15. Humphrey

    Humphrey Stunt Coordinator

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  16. Jonathan DA

    Jonathan DA Screenwriter

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    I'd love to buy used, but last year's models just don't cut it for me. My minimum standards are just now being met by this new year's models. I figure I'll shell out two or three grand this year for a Z2 or HS20 and I should be set for the next three years or so. Hopefully by then there will be LCOS or DLP projectors offering better-than-SX21 performance for today's Z2 prices. At that point buying used becomes the way to go.
     
  17. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    After contemplating, I agree Doc. Too many little issues with last year's (affordable) models that would grate on the nerves over time and tend to induce one to sell at a loss.
     
  18. Jonathan DA

    Jonathan DA Screenwriter

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    I'm headed north for Thanksgiving and then off to Vegas for a conference the first half of next week. I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving. In keeping with the spirit of the holiday and this forum, here are just a few things I am thankful for this year:

    1. Raelene (how many men find a woman who likes the home theater, digs vinyl, and wants to tromp around CES looking at audio gear two weeks after their wedding?)

    2. The brilliant Mr. Hinson, my partner in crime at Mirus.

    3. All the electronics manufacturers that make our hobby/obsession possible at reasonable prices. Yeah competition!

    4. And, of course, the Internet and HomeTheaterForum.com for hooking me up with all of you!

    Don't forget to eat too much!
     
  19. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    Doc, I agree with all your points:
    1. Raelene for you - a blessing.
    2. Igor, the chained one.
    3. Affordable stuff keeps us going.
    4. My new friends in Austin and elsewhere across the 'net.
    It's Saturday night and I'm back from my 88 year-old aunt's, visiting with my two sisters from San Antonio, and with my uncle, his wife, and my cousin from Ruidoso, NM. Anyone have any questions regarding politics, high-tech or stereo? Aunt Gene will straighten you out with a VERY direct answer.[​IMG]
     

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