Thoughts on the PE7700

Discussion in 'Displays' started by David Payne, Mar 15, 2006.

  1. David Payne

    David Payne Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi, I'm a first time projector buyer and the one I'm thinking of getting is the BENQ PE7700. The reviews say some good things about this projector, and it's inside my price range, but I was wondering if anyone here who owns or has owned a PE7700 could give me a run down of the good and the bad of this projector?

    Specifically I'm interested in the inputs. Does the European/UK model have a SCART input to allow for RGB component input? If not, is there a way to get component input from a SCART lead using RGB? Or would I have to use S-Video for SD? How does S-Video compare to RGB for this projector, or for projectors in general? And I've noticed from the BENQ site that the supported resolution is smaller than the native resolution: http://benq.co.uk/products/Projector...specifications. What does this mean? Does the projector fully support HD?
     
  2. David Payne

    David Payne Stunt Coordinator

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    I'd be really grateful if someone could help me with this, and the other thread.
     
  3. Joel...Lane

    Joel...Lane Second Unit

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    Hi David,

    First, let me say that I've never owned this pj and I'm no expert on them.

    Second, let me be the first to offer my condolences on having to live in a part of the world that uses Scarts![​IMG]

    I just moved back to America from Ireland and I had never even heard of them before I moved over there. No one I talked to who lives in the UK liked them. Neither did I.

    There are 20 or so contacts on a Scart and they're all sending information down the same cable. You're not going to get near as good quality as using the RGB or HDMI inputs. And they're just clunky beasts!

    Having said that, surprisingly there is no Scart connection on the pj anyway and I say "be grateful."

    The native resolution is 1280 X 720. That equals hidef. The supported resolutions mean that the pj will take it and convert(scale) it to 720, right guys?

    Oh, one other thing, Scart = [​IMG]
     
  4. David Payne

    David Payne Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the info. Although I'm not sure where that leaves me if I can't use the scart lead, as I find the RGB feature very good. I've had more problems with other leads interfering with the scart, rather than the scart interfering with itself! (You know they don't use all the connections all the time, don't you?). But on the clunkiness though, I completely agree - that's something that drives me nuts all the time, but I can live with it.

    Did I misunderstand, or did you say there are non-scart RGB inputs on the projector? Is there a way to still take the RGB signal from the DVD player to use for these inputs?

    Oh, and would I be right in thinking that S-Video is generally inferior to RGB?
     
  5. Joel...Lane

    Joel...Lane Second Unit

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    No you did not misunderstand, there are two options for putting a component feed into that pj. You can either use the RCA connectors or BNC connectors. Both are sending the same information, it's just the connectors which are different.

    BNC connectors are used almost exclusively in professional broadcasting. That's because they lock when inserted and twisted into the terminal and therefore less likely to come out.

    RCA connectors are just pushed onto the terminals.

    More than likely, the back of your DVD player will have RCA terminals, not BNC. But that's fine. Ignore that freakin scart terminal on your player.

    And yes, a component feed is superior to s-video. With component, the signal is split 3 ways. One chrominance and two colors.

    With s-video, the signal is split in two. On smaller displays it probably wouldn't matter but on a pj it will make a big difference.

    Try this link for all the info you'll ever need.

    Good luck and happy St. Patty's Day!![​IMG]

    edit-

    Of course the HDMI connector is the best choice but you're player will need an HDMI out to benefit from it.
     
  6. Arjan S

    Arjan S Agent

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    I have this projector and had a very bad experience with it. I'm not the only one, If you go to avs forum and search benq 7700 you'll see many people with the same problems, there's over a hundred pages dedicated( mostly with compliats)to this projector.

    With me:
    1)the first bulb burned out at 20 hrs. They sent me a new bulb after 5 weeks, saying they had a bad batch of bulbs and have fixed the problem.

    2)The new bulb went out in less then 10 Hrs. I asked for a new projector. They sent me New one in about a month.

    3)The new projector shuts down after an hour because the lamp overheats and I've sent it in again.

    Each time they told me it'll take about a week to fix it but it takes about a month and each time they say they have located the problem and have a fix. Last time they told me there is a software uppdate that will fix the problem. So, we'll see.

    If you go to avs forum you'll see many people with the same problems.In fact benq has issued a recall saying the bulbs blow out in some environments and they have a software update to fix it.

    I would wait 6 months to see if they have fixed the problem or buy something else.
     
  7. David Payne

    David Payne Stunt Coordinator

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    ^That does sound worrying. But is it a problem with the projector itself, or more a manufacturing problem, that will be okay once it gets itself sorted?
     
  8. David Payne

    David Payne Stunt Coordinator

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    Joel...Lane, regarding your last post. Has the projector got an RGB input at all? The only option I have at the moment is to use the RGB output from my DVD players scart lead. How could I manage that with this projector?
     
  9. Joel...Lane

    Joel...Lane Second Unit

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    yes...it has two.

    Your player SHOULD have at least a Scart out, S-video out and RGB component out. Use the component.
     
  10. David Payne

    David Payne Stunt Coordinator

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    It has two RGB inputs? [​IMG] Unfortunately though, my player doesn't have a seperate component or RGB output - only through the scart lead. You'll find that's pretty common with European equipment (except for projectors). Not that there's anything wrong with that. I've never had any trouble with the scart RGB. But searching the net, this seems to be a common problem for projector owners in Europe. It looks like whatever projector I have, I've a choice of using S-Video, or forking out for a scart RGB to RGBHV/VGA converter. [​IMG]
     
  11. Joel...Lane

    Joel...Lane Second Unit

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    Sorry to hear that. Maybe you could try to purchase a player from outside the UK with RGB outs that has switchable voltage and is region free.
     
  12. David Payne

    David Payne Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, I don't think that would be necessary, since when I replace my DVD player it will be a HD one that would presumably have HDMI outputs, anyway. [​IMG] But as I said, I think it's a common problem for people in Europe, and doesn't have a simple solution. I've actually started another thread about this, since it seems to go way beyond the topic being discussed here.

    It's a real shame though, since I've found the scart RGB to be very good, and I've always been glad we've got such an easy way to enjoy very high quality images in Europe. I guess manufacturers don't see the need to make sperate projector models for Europe, as they do with other equipment - and that means we have to go down to the next best picture quality. [​IMG]
     
  13. Shane Harg

    Shane Harg Second Unit

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    What I can't understand, is why you are so dead-set on getting the 7700 (especially since it has well-documented issues) AND on using SCART. You obviously aren't going to be able to have your cake and eat it too with these two options, so you may as well compromise and either get a DVD player which has the corresponding outputs for the projector you want, or get a projector, which utilizes SCART.

    The Panasonic PT-AE900 UK model, for instance, has a SCART input and is definitely on par with the 7700, LCD though it may be. I saw a demo of this model and was so blown away that I was instantly sold. There are no documented issues, as far as I know, with this model, either. All reviews I've read (and that' quite a few) are glowing.

    In any case, you'll either need to bend a little and begin considering some different options, or put this issue to rest. I don't think anybody here can help you if you are unwilling to even look at a more compatible option.
     
  14. David Payne

    David Payne Stunt Coordinator

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    There's no need for the attitude you know!

    I have looked at other projectors and I've generally found that scart inputs are very rare, and I'd be limiting my choices greatly. If there was a projector indentical to the pe7700 in every way including price, but had a scart input, I'd go for it. But there isn't. Meantime, I'm not going to let connectivity be such a large consideration when choosing a projector because I don't feel that it's one of the most important performance criteria, and it's only a temporary issue since I'll be upgrading my DVDplayer to HD one day anyway! (But I'm not going to buy a new DVD player straight away just because of a small, perhaps solvable connectivity issue).

    At any rate, I just find the whole thing irritating since scart is so common in Europe and a lot of people seem to have this issue, while the manufacturers seem to be ingoring it. And converting fro scart RGB and RGBHV is only a friggin sync issue at the end of the day! How hard can it be?
     
  15. Shane Harg

    Shane Harg Second Unit

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    No attitude meant.

    I'm just racking my brains trying to figure out why you seem to think that the PE7700 is the best projector for you, when it sounds like it may not be, given everything I have read above. I really am curious to know, especially in light of the following comparison: http://www.projectorcentral.com/ae900_pe7700.htm

    I'm not trying to sell you on a specific projector, but the AE900 does have a SCART interface and is a clear winner over the 7700. Another excellent projector with SCART, in the same price range is the Epson EMP-TW600. Another LCD, but if you believe, for some reason that DLP is somehow better than LCD, that is simply not that case anymore, as shown in the above comparison.

    The only "problem" I see here is the one you seem to be creating for yourself by limiting your options and focusing in (no pun intended) on the one model. There are other models out there WITH SCART, which will do just as good a job for you. Likewise, there are other connections, which will do just as good a job as SCART (e.g. component and HDMI).

    There was another thing you said, which I'm unclear on. You said you will be upgrading to HD-DVD. Do you mean the new HD-DVD format, which will be capable of 1080p? Or do you simply mean a player, which can upscale DVD's native 480i to to 1080i/720p? If you mean the latter, fine. If you mean the former, however, you may as well not waste anymore time looking at the PE7700 or any other projector in that price range, because they are not capable of 1080p. The only projectors I know of which are, is the new Sony VW100 and the Victor HD12. But these will put you back about 10,000 and 18,000 USD respectively. Yikes.
     
  16. David Payne

    David Payne Stunt Coordinator

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    Sorry, it's just that both your posts so far come off as argumentative. I suppose that could be unintentional. [​IMG]

    I haven't set in stone which projector I'm going for, but I've been looking into this for quite a while, and so far the pe7700 is the one that most meets my needs (although I will seriously look at the others you mentioned, as I have done with a lot of projectors of the last few months). As I said, the connection issue is not a dealbreaker, and I think you may have misinterpreted how big a deal it is for me. I've already considered all the major factors that are important to me, and the connectivity is just the last issue standing. The fact is, I just don't yet know whether the pe7700 will accept RGB from a scart at all anyway. I've never had any confirmation to say it doesn't. It's just that I've never seen anything to say it does (so I'm basically trying to prove a negative). But, I definately don't want to be pigeonholed into choosing a particular projector based on the connectivity.

    As for the DVD thing, I was referring to HD DVD's in general (Blu-ray and HD-DVD) and not just the Warner Brothers HD-DVD format. Last I heard they hadn't confirmed whether either format would be 1080p or 1080i/720p, but at any rate I don't want (or have a choice) to spend crazy amounts of money just to get the full resolution the format is capable of. I was already aware the pe7700 was not the highest resolution on the market, but it's certainly big enough for me! I just assume future HD DVD players will be able to downscale to 1080i/720p (I'd be pissed if they didn't). But I'll give myself a headache over that when I come to it.
     
  17. Shane Harg

    Shane Harg Second Unit

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    Thanks for clearing that up. It's not my purchase or my money, of course, but I just hate to see people invest good money in a purchase they may regret or be unhappy with later.

    As a side note, and I may be wrong on this, but I'm fairly convinced that HD-DVD and Blu-Ray are doomed to remain in obscurity to the majority of the buying public, at this point; much like SACD and DVD-A. There are already players which can upscale from 480i to 1080p - a technology which will will be much more practical AND economical to the general public, than completely new formats. Until filming natively in these digital formats becomes a common practice in Hollywood, I doubt native 1080p (or 1080i) is going to look perceivably better than well-upscaled 1080p (or 1080i). This is only my opinion, however, and you can take it for what it's worth.
     
  18. David Payne

    David Payne Stunt Coordinator

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    Moving on to other issues now, does anyone know if the bulb problems have been cleared up? I've done a search on the internet for information on this, and it looks like many people believe the issues have been dealt with. Do any PE7700 owners here agree with that?
     

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