please help me with a projector

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arthur

please help me with a projector
« on: 13 Apr 2003, 09:36 pm »
could someone please help me make a decision?

i'm not much of an ht buff but i do like watching dvd’s. because of imaging issues i don't want to put a tv between my speakers, therefore i'm considering getting a front projector. i figured that this is a decent choice since i have a very dark room and don’t care much for TV (… and would not mind a 6’ screen).

my question is, if i'm trying to get a picture that is at least as clear/sharp as a $700 sony or toshiba TV how good of a projector do i need? for example, ignoring screen size, how does the picture quality of Sharp XG-H400U compare with that of a $700 flat screen sony/toshiba TV?

also, would you advise against getting a used projector? i think that i can get the sharp for $500 used. would that be a good deal?

i would greatly appreciate ANY input.
thank you!

arthur

projector
« Reply #1 on: 13 Apr 2003, 09:47 pm »
oh and i would also appreciate it if any of you could approximate how cheap of a projector can i get before it'll have a pictrue inferior to that of the $700 sony or toshiba tv.

THANK YOU!

Woodsea

please help me with a projector
« Reply #2 on: 13 Apr 2003, 09:54 pm »
I would try at this site http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=68 They are HT fanatics rather than than the few (Brian) that are more 2channel oriented.  Good luck buying used.  From my reading the Sony HS-10 is the projector to get, but it is $2500.  I noticed an AE-100 for sale used.  This was favored last year....good luck.
Just saw you last statement...for 700 you can get a very crisp tube picture.  You would be hard pressed to get a screen, cables and projector to come close.

Rob Babcock

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please help me with a projector
« Reply #3 on: 14 Apr 2003, 03:58 am »
Arthur, you might want to check out the Plus Piano.  I've been using one in my system for about some time, and it definately rocks.  It's not true hi def; that starts at about twice the price of the Plus.  But the picture you get with DVDs, particularly a good SuperBit version, is amazing.  I feel it compared pretty well to the Sharp (naturally at 480p res only).

One nice feature of the Plus is the Sil 503 deinterlacer- this is the same chip found in most of the better model prog scan DVD players.  This means not only do you not need a prog scan DVD deck, but that all sources also processed.  This makes TV, video games, etc all look great.

The price of the Plus is about $2700 for the base model and $3300 for the deluxe Piano Avanti.  At that price there isn't much competition in DLP, although Sharp has a new one that's about $3500 (I haven't seen it yet, though).

One big "plus" :wink:  of DLP is it's immunity to burn in-where CRT and plasma can be permanently damaged by stationary images over time (eg the CNN logo/bug) this won't occur with DLP.

I can also tell you that replacing my 55" RPTV with a Da-Lite screen did wonders for the sound in my room.  Now the speakers have room to breath, and the center channel is placed on a stand on the floor right under the screen.  Ditching the big hollow box will definately improve your sound, too.

bubba966

Re: please help me with a projector
« Reply #4 on: 14 Apr 2003, 08:33 am »
Quote from: arthur
for example, ignoring screen size, how does the picture quality of Sharp XG-H400U compare with that of a $700 flat screen sony/toshiba TV?


What are some of the specs on that particular projector?

I couldn't find mention of it on Sharp's site. Which leads me to believe that it's an older projector that's most likely a 4:3 LCD unit.

And if that's what it is I highly doubt the quality would be better than a good direct view CRT set (Sony/Tosh)

If you're mainly watching DVD's, then you'll want a projector that will run a 16:9 image.

How much are you looking to spend? If you're talking in the $700 range you're probably better off buying a 32" Tosh or 27" Sony.

Also, what video problems/quirks bother you? A projector isn't going to give you quite as sharp of a picture as a good direct view CRT will. But the CRT will have some picture quirks that a projector won't.

Take this example for instance. I've got a 32" Toshiba Cinema Series set from 3 years ago. Very, very nice analog CRT tube. One of the best pictures I've seen on a analog CRT tube. Very sharp picture. But you can see the grid of the Invar Shadow Mask, and on rare occasions you can see the scan line overlap. Those two things bother me, but not most people as they can't recognize those faults.

I was watching something I'm very familiar with (Resident Evil S.B.) on a very expensive setup yesterday. The projector was a $110,000 3 chip DLP, a $40,000+ video processor, and a $8,000 DVDP. All that was being run in 1080p on a 15' Stewart GreyHawk screen w/Electrimask.

In some aspects the 32" Tosh CRT running 480i was better than the 3 chip TI DLP running at 1080p as the Tosh had a sharper picture and better blacks. But the DLP setup didn't have the scan line problem or the grid problem.

Most people would say that the $170,000 DLP setup smokes the CRT setup. And on most aspects it does. But it doesn't outperform the CRT on every level. And on that particular disc, I'd rather watch it on my Tosh as it's got the picture advantage (IMO) in that instance.

So you need to know what bothers you first. Then you need to figure out a price range. Then you can start looking for an LCD, DLP, or CRT projector IF the quirks of front projection don't bother you.

Rob Babcock

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please help me with a projector
« Reply #5 on: 14 Apr 2003, 08:53 am »
I don't wanna make this McDonalds vs Spago, but Bubba has pretty high standards for video.  In real terms, I come down on the side that thinks to some degree size compensates for quality diffs.  Except maybe in a bedroom I could never live with a TV that little (ie 36" or smaller-my brother calls such tvs "Puny-Vision" :lol: )

There, I've said it! :wink:   Now I'll qualify & explain that.  With the lack of overlapping scan lines, DLP for instance looks extremely sharp & detailed.  Yeah, in some ways a CRT is better, and each technology has it's own strength.

I can't stand LCD; I've never seen one at any price that I could live with; the "screen door" drives me F'in nuts, and all LCDs have this prob regardless of price.  But some folks love em.  Likewise, some people are very succeptible to the "Rainbow Effect" of DLP;  I can't really see it, or rather am not vulnerable to the effect it can cause.  However, if it bothers you, you'll actually get headaches from it.  The only way it to watch and see.

The one thing that only has upside and no downside it getting the Black Box outta your living/theatre room.  I think TVs look crappy when they're not on, and sound wise it's amazing how much it imroves things to get rid of it.  Depending on the screen you use, you can roll it up or take it down when you're not watching it, or pull a curtain over it.

Bubba is right, but if you're not a conniseur to the degree he is I doubt you'll be that critical.  Hell, maybe I'm not that critical, at least compared to Brian.

I definately recommend you seek out a demo of a good DLP projector and see if it suites you.  Same for DLP.  Depending on where you live it should be easy to find one.

bubba966

please help me with a projector
« Reply #6 on: 14 Apr 2003, 09:03 am »
Well, my 32" set IS in my bedroom! (note, I did have a 36" set for a week or so, took it back as it was too large for my viewing distance)

Rob brings up a good point about single chip DLP units that I'd forgotten about. Some people react to the color wheel in a bad way. And it will give them headaches. But it's not a problem with 3 chip DLP's as they don't use color wheels. I can't say myself if the single chip models give me headaches as I've usually watched a 3 chip DLP.

As Rob says, you need to look at the differect projector technologies to see what you like, and what bothers you...

Rob Babcock

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please help me with a projector
« Reply #7 on: 14 Apr 2003, 09:10 am »
So far the 3 chip models are pretty steep, but maybe when I win the lotto! :lol:

arthur

projector
« Reply #8 on: 14 Apr 2003, 10:04 pm »
actually i was looking to spend not much more than $600 on a used projector, but the trouble is that i don't have ANY experience with them - as i noted above the only reason why i decided not to go with just a regular TV is for sound quality. Therefore, my only reference points are mid priced tv's which look just fine to me (especially Toshibas)... but yeah a larger screen and a movie theatre feel of the bright light shooting across a dark room would be nice too  :wink:    ... but i only watch movies about once a week so as long as the picture quality can compare to mid priced tv's that's OK with me.

on the used market i keep seeing projectors that are MSRP $2k-$5k that run around $500-$800 which is pretty significant depreciation in resale value.  Therefore, this raises a concern in me weather the depreciation is due to a limited market or problems with the longevity of the product.

the stats on the sharp can be found at http://www.projectorcentral.com/projector_details.cfm?part_id=424
as you can see it's MSRP is $4,500 but it seems that i can get it used for $750  ... although it does not have component inputs and has a short bulb life so I don’t think I’m going to go for it.

Honestly, I don’t even know any stores in Los Angeles where they demo projectors for me to experience the difference between an LCD and a DLP with any number of chips, which is why I decided to turn to the trusty ACers and ask you gals and guys for advice.

So far from all of the responses what I’m getting is that in picture quality low end DLP projectors compete well with tv’s if they don’t give you a headache and depending on my taste I might even like an LCD…. Which, for the love of my guests pushes me more toward LCD projectors.

Rob Babcock

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please help me with a projector
« Reply #9 on: 15 Apr 2003, 03:49 am »
I should add, Arthur, that the rainbow problems with color wheels has been greatly alleviated by the faster, multisegmented wheels that newer projectors use.  I've never met or spoken with anyone that has a rainbow problem with the Plus or other very new machine.  The rainbow effect is caused by color separation artifacts; old wheels were slower & had less color panels, so this was more common then.

No one who's watched the DLP in my system has ever noticed, or at least never mentioned it to me.  And I usually ask.

bubba966

please help me with a projector
« Reply #10 on: 15 Apr 2003, 09:13 am »
What Rob says about the older DLP's being the ones that bother people makes some sense to me. The only time I ever heard of the color smear bothering someone was on an older InFocus 4:3 DLP. I've not heard of  anyone having problems on the newer 16:9 DLP's. I only saw that particular model InFocus for a short period and wasn't bothered by it myself (it's really not that common for someone to be bothered by). All of the other DLP's I've checked out (Runco, Sharp, Dwin, etc) were all 16:9 DLP's and I've not been bothered by any of them.

bubba966

Re: projector
« Reply #11 on: 15 Apr 2003, 09:40 am »
Quote from: arthur
the stats on the sharp can be found at http://www.projectorcentral.com/projector_details.cfm?part_id=424
as you can see it's MSRP is $4,500 but it seems that i can get it used for $750  ... although it does not have component inputs and has a short bulb life so I don’t think I’m going to go for it.


After checking the stats on that model Sharp, I can tell you you'll be unhappy with it in comparison to a $800 Tosh or Sony tube.

That model Sharp appears to be suited more towards presentation use rather than video use. And it appears that Sharp bulbs run $400-$800. Not terribly good for a projector that needs then every 1,000 hours. So I think your idea to pass on this particular model Sharp is a good idea.

If you still want to go the cheap/semi-cheap LCD route, I'd pick up one of these. http://www.projectorcentral.com/projector_details.cfm?part_id=111 I know someone that's got one.

It's a pretty decent projector. Will do HD & 16:9 images. Runs PAL signals great too. It wasn't quite up to the Runco & Vidikron CRT's I've seen. But those are $45,000+ projectors. I was actually surprised that it was an LCD projector the first time I saw it in action as most other LCD's I'd seen weren't so acceptable.

I don't look at projectors much on Agon, but I recall seeing one sell for about $1,100 almost a year ago. I'm sure they come up frequently enough as i've come across them more often than any other Sony projector.

Brandon B

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please help me with a projector
« Reply #12 on: 16 Apr 2003, 02:36 pm »
What the F?

I had posted a whole response to this thread yesterday, but it doesn't seem to be here.

I agree with Rob's comments (except I am in the opposite camp, can stand screen door, but not rainbows).  I went with LCD for brightness.  Got crappy light control.  If you are really only doing a 6 foot screen (why?), and have light control, almost any pj will have plenty of brightness though.

The Sharp is not really the way to go.  The Sony Bubba mentions is probably the best of the older used PJs you will find.  The Panasonic (AE100) is also very good, and will probably have better internal scaling/de-interlacing than the older Sony.

Where in L.A. are you?

BB