A million and one questions

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by Steve Kinsey, Apr 11, 2001.

  1. Steve Kinsey

    Steve Kinsey
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    Hi all,

    I'm going to be moving house in 6-8 weeks time and my new house has a totally spare room measuring 15' x 9.5' approx. Naturally it didn't take me long to decide what I could use the room for ;).

    When it comes to projectors though I'm a totally naive newbie so I hope you'll indulge me with a few questions. I'm budgeting for no more than 5K and hopefully a little less. I already have a reasonable speaker / amp setup so the whole budget can go on projector / screen plus accessories?

    I'm hoping that I have enough space at the back of the room to add computer desk, so I may want to use the projector with PC/Playstation. Does this automatically rule out analogue or can you use a PC adequately with an analogue projector.

    Because of the shape of the room I will need to place the screen in front of a full length window. Even if I get blackout curtains does this affect my choice of projector.

    I've read Jenz article on his website about his S/H projector and I'm wondering what everyone’s opinion is on s/h as opposed to say a new Ellie. Would I be better of going S/H given my smallish budget.

    Does anyone know of a reliable installer around the South Wales or Bath/Bristol area that I can visit for a demonstration.

    I'm sure there's a load more but that's all I can think of at the moment. Thanks for indulging me and I await your comments

    :)
     
  2. Arthur.S

    Arthur.S
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    Steve, This was like De Ja Vu reading your post. Your room size & budget are almost exactly the same as mine when I did the Baldyplex. I too, already had the sound part of the setup. If you're going to play PC games you'll need a projector with a VGA input. My 310 doesn't have this. Don't know if the newer versions of it do. Pretty sure the Ellie has. My screen is also in front of a window. My missus made the blinds. Have a look at the pictures page on my site.
    Don't forget to allow for the cost of speaker & video cables, you'll probably be amazed how much you need!
    There's a chappie in Bristol advertises in HCC every month. Always seems to have a projector or 2 on demo. V'Audio. Tel:0117 968 6005.
    Never used them, but worth giving a bell?
    Best of luck with the project, It's something that I'm sure you'll not regret doing.
     
  3. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    I'll leave it to others to answer this query first before I give any advice. Just wanted to add to Arthur that I love those V'Audio adds. Intentionally or otherwise the guy is a laugh!

    Gordon
     
  4. Steve Kinsey

    Steve Kinsey
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    Thanks for the replies guys.

    I like the website Arthur, very informative, and I've just emailed that V'Audio to enquire about some demonstrations.

    One thing that worries me is the fact that although I would love to have my PC in the room, I'm not sure that the room is long enough to pull it off. If I lost the back 5 feet or so of my room to computer desk, etc. would I have to compromise on screen size to compensate.
     
  5. Arthur.S

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    Steve, here goes that De Ja Vu thing again! I originally had my PC squeezed into that room when it was the dining room. There was no way it could stay if I was going to use it as a dedicated HC. Not enough room. Also I was a bit worried about the effects of a sub (I've now got 2) on the PC. My room is slightly longer by 2 feet or so. The screen is 7' wide. I could have just managed an 8'if I'd wanted to, but decided to stick with the 7' so as not to compromise the picture quality. Also, as a rule of thumb, you're looking at a distance of about one & a half times the width of the screen for the positioning of the projector (To the lens of a CRT) By the time you take into account the size of the body of the thing, you're going to be sitting directly underneath it. As I am, as unfortunately the doorway into my room is at the back, right by the seating area, so I can't push the seat right back to the wall. Another rule of thumb, is not to sit in front of the projector, for best quality viewing. This of course will depend on the quality of the M/C you eventually decide on. Mine is bottom of the range video only, (no line doubler) so it's important.
    I also put the equipment rack into a corner of the same wall, as I didn't want anything to distract the eye away from the picture.
    Of course, you could go for LCD or DLP as I believe they can be positioned closer to the screen. IMHO it's an absolute must to get a demo of all 3 projector types to see for yourself the differences in performance. One often forgotten point to check out is the noise level,(fan noise etc) especially as like me you're going to be sitting right underneath it. My 310 is reasonably quiet, but there are times when I wish it was totally silent!
    Gordon, yeah I always look forward to him publishing a new one :) One thing though, he always comes across as a pukka enthusiast.
     
  6. Steve Kinsey

    Steve Kinsey
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    I've just arranged a demo with V'Audio for hopefully this Saturday. He's going to demo a Seleco 350 against a Davis DLP. Have you guys got any advice on anything I should do/ask before or during the demo.
     
  7. Steve Kinsey

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    Thanks for the advice gordon. It will be important to view 4:3 material as I would want to watch my 4:3 DVD's as well as Sky Digital etc.

    This Link, is for my DVD Collection. If anyone can see any good titles for testing in there let me know. I guess I should take a mix of Region 1, Region 2, Anamorphic and Non-Anamorphic.

    [ 17-04-2001: Message edited by: Steve Kinsey ]
     
  8. Jenz

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    Steve,

    My choice from your lot would be:

    1) Abyss R1 for Black Levels and Detail for non-Anamorphic Material. Suggest Michael Biehn fight and death sequence and of course the Abyss drop by Ed Harris.

    2) Armageddon R2 for Blacks and Anamorphic Material. Suggest landing on Asteroid scenes.

    3) Hollow Man R1 for detail because this is a truly stunning print. Suggest Gorilla Restore scene.

    4) Gladiator R1 Chapter 2 Unleash Hell for sharpness, blacks and a natural look. Quite a complex scene visually (akin to SPR opening).

    5) Starship Troopers R1 for Blacks and Anamorphic. Suggest dropship scenes and destruction of large spaceships.

    6) Toy Story 1 and 2. Suggest Army Guys moving out to spy on Andys B'day presents. Pay particular attention to clarity of textures in the background. A good image to break poor kit.

    7) Walking with Dinosaurs R2 - A fine presentation for all round visual quality.

    and finally...

    Go buy a R1 copy of Dark City. This is the *ballbreaker* of projectors. The opening scenes have such high black levels and stark black/white joins they really show up the differences between kit. £15 is not a lot to help distinguish ;)

    Finally don't be swayed into seeing demos of Animation, Bug's Life et al. Animation has a tendency to look great on even poorly set up kit, and will also appeal to any Wife/Kids with you. You need to watch films with specific imagery like those outlined above. Perhaps add two more films that You personally know well.

    and really finally if the Dealer is unwilling to let you demo 10 DVDs to help you decide... walk away.

    Let us know how you get on.

    Regards Neil.
    p.s. Davids Mother R2 would give you a fair indication how the better Sky channels would look.
     
  9. Steve Kinsey

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    Thanks for the recommendations Jenz.

    Does Sky Digital really look as bad as David's Mother DVD on a Projector. I remember my misses bought this DVD for like $4.99 from Macro and I couldn't believe how bad the picture was.
     
  10. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Just to clear up one point. All these projectors will be capable of showing 4:3 material on a 4:3 screen. The only issue ois whether you need or want to use a more cinematic aspect ratio screen.

    Gordon
     
  11. Jenz

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    I'm afraid that you will not get a *great* picture from Sky Digital on a truly large screen like these. It is watchable though. You'll need a decent Scaler to get the best out of it :(
     
  12. mjwhitehouse

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    Just to add, another good disc to use for reviewing Projectors is either Charlie Angels or Mission to Mars. Both of these discs feature cuts from dark scenes to full white (in the tunnel before the mainframe in Charlies Angels and in the Face in Mission to Mars). If the projector cannot cope with these after adjustment then forget them. :cool:
     
  13. uncle eric

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    Hi Gordon,
    I love that V audio guy. He once placed an add saying that it would be his last as people were just ringing him to pick his brain and buying at discount stores (discount stores in the UK????)
    Luckily he still gives us our monthly read. I think the guy sounds really genuine and comes across as if he has a great love for his trade.


    Steve,
    Try chapter 3 (the monkey scene) of Dinasour (R1).
    The layers of contrast, tones and colours is astounding.

    Eric
     
  14. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    I'd take along some Pal software as well as NTSC region 1 DVD's. Even if you only watch Region 1 discs you may put your TV and VCR through these units and the rainbow effect exhibited by DLP is more obvious on PAL sources.

    I'm sure others will suggest suitable discs to watch which will highlight each technolgies benefits and failings.

    You should also be aware that if you wish to have a 16:9 shaped screen and view a 4:3 image inside it neither of these units are capable of this. They are able to carry out anamorphic squeeze though I believe.

    The Seleco is also not capable of being upgraded with external video processors. To increase its performance means replacing it with a higher spec unit. It should give you a very good idea of what CRT can do.

    I wouldn't stop at those two units though I'd try and see some of the other contenders that get mentioned here as well. Noteably the Tosh, Sanyo and s/h CRT route.

    Gordon
     
  15. Steve Kinsey

    Steve Kinsey
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    Well I had my demo with the V'Audio guy yesterday. As this was the first time I had seen a projector outside a Pub environment, I was really blown away at how good it can look. If I had any doubts about heading in this direction before yesterday then I don't anymore.

    After my initial surprise though i did find problems with both products. I found that the line structure was quite visible on the Seleco CRT. I guess this is why you guys install extra kit like line doublers etc. Apart from the line stucture though, it was a very nice picture.

    Initially I really liked the output from the Davis DLP. It was very bright and sharp and no line structure problems like the CRT. To my (very untrained) eye blacks seemed to be OK. However as soon as he put U571 DVD on, I started noticing the 'rainbow' effect that you guys talk about. The misses didn't see it at all, but I found it very off putting.

    So I think my next step is to see some more CRT's and see what can be done about the line structure problem. The V'Audio guy said I should also check out the new Sim2 HT200 because it has a faster colour wheel and I might not get the 'rainbow' effect from it.

    I'm going to try and get a demo of the 'Ellie' next I think. I'd also like to see the Sony VPL-W10HT, to see what LCD is like, but I'm not sure if I can find somewhere around my area to arrange this.

    P.S. What's the difference between a Scaler and a Line Doubler and does anyone know of a website that explains this kind of kit in detail?
     
  16. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Steve,

    I think you're going to be very happy when you see Jim at Ellie.....Definately see an HT200 as well though. It is much better than the Davis models and the rainbow effect is vastly improved. In fact, the last HT200 I saw had so little rainbow effect that I only noticed it once and I see it easily.

    If you find the Ellie to solve your CRT line structure problems you might also want to consider Seleco's 420 model and an Iscan. Not sure if anyone has one on dem yet but it'll be a very good option I think.

    The line doubler question should be posed on the other forum I guess. Here's a brief answer.

    Doublers generally de-interlace the signal. ie they turn an NTSCS disc with 480 lines from 2 fields of 240 lines to one field of 480lines.

    Scalers do this as well but also allow you to change the resolution output form the devcice. ie Feed in an interlaced NTSC signal of 480i and output it as a computer resolution of 1024 x 768 (768P).

    There's more to it than this of course. Best to go over to the progressive scan web site. I think it's at www.progressivescan.co.uk and see the stuff there.

    Gordon
     
  17. Steve Kinsey

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    Thanks for the info Gordon, that web site was very usefull and informative. I've spoken to Screens UK and will be arranging a demo soon.

    I've also just arranged a demo of the HT200 with Sevenoaks in Swansea for this saturday. To be honest the HT200 is stretching my budget a little but I think it's worth looking at anyway.
     
  18. Steve Kinsey

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    I thought I'd update this thread as I've now demo'd both the SIM2 HT200 and the Ellie.

    I really liked the picture on the SIM2, it was very bright and detailed. It was quite watchable even with a few lights on. Unfortunately I noticed the rainbow effect straight away on U571 and Abyss. It wasn't as severe as the Davis I looked at but it was still very offputting.

    I also noticed that the projector was very far back in the room. With a seven foot 16:9 screen it must have been at least 20 foot back. I'm not sure if that's the way it needs to be set up, but if it is then this would be no use in my room as it's only 16ft long. The other thing I want to mention is that Sevenoaks seem to get a bad rap on these forums, but the guys in Swansea were very helpfull. They had a nice demo room set up and they were more than willing to sit through all the disks I wanted to try.

    Onto the Ellie. Of the four projectors I've seen so far, this was definately the best yet. As far as I could see there was no line structure visible and the colours looked very strong. It also seemed to cope better with non-anamorphic disks than the SIM2 did. The picture was definately softer than on the SIM2 and I'm not sure if this is a good thing or not yet. On the one hand I think it looked more filmlike but on the other hand I liked the sharpness of the SIM2.

    If I was to see no more projectors then I think I would have to go with the Ellie as it was the best all round and fit's nicely into my budget.

    [ 18-05-2001: Message edited by: Steve Kinsey ]
     
  19. Arthur.S

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    Steve, as an experiment; did you try switching off the Ellie's line doubler? That's probably what was giving the 'soft' look. You could always switch to an external scaler at a later date. (when you've saved up your hard earned :rolleyes: )
     

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