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Are XGA PJs worth so much more than SVGA?

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by dancingmatt, May 12, 2005.

  1. dancingmatt

    dancingmatt
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    Hi all

    I'm looking to buy my first PJ next week and have done a lot of reading of reviews, mags, this forum, other websites :confused: and can someone please just tell me what to do?!

    My PJ is going to connect solely to my PC for about 50% gaming and 50% watching PAL DVDs, a tiny bit of just general application or internet use from the sofa and in future watching a very little bit of telly from a DVB card. I wanted a PJ with a native resolution of 1024x768 for the games and to avoid downscaling PAL DVDs, plus it will surely mean any LCD chicken wire effect is less noticeable? I've pretty much decided against DLPs as I have noticed the rainbow effect on the 2 or 3 DLP PJs and TVs I've looked at. Obviously I want to 1:1 pixel map. It needs a good short throw distance as my room is narrow - it's going to be projecting about 1.7m from the wall and I'll be sat a little behind it.

    However, I only have about £500 to spend at the moment :( so here's my thinking...

    I could just buy an 854x480 PJ: This is a lower resolution than I have ever used on my PC, which worries me for games and is too low for watching PAL DVDs without scaling them down, but I could get the Toshiba ET1 for about £390 and I was impressed with the picture quality of that for the brief time I demoed it in a shop (although that was off a DVD player not a PC).

    Alternatively I could spend a bit more and get another SVGA like the Epson TW-10H for about £550, better picture quality? Although is it really worth £170-ish more?

    Any PJ of XGA resolution that I wanted is going to cost a lot more than that -I've looked into models like the Sharp PLV-Z3 (about £880), Hitachi TX100, Epson EMP-74, NEC VT540 or VT570, ViewSonic PJ500 - it's going to cost a big step up to around £700-£850 and I could pay that if I had to, but definitely no more.

    If I go 854x480 then I know I'm watching downscaled DVDs and lower res games... If I go 1024x768 then it'll be more future proof (and it's got to last years) and better resolution, but the ones I can afford will be the cheapest of the XGA range (and so possibly poorer picture quality?) and still cost me a hell of a lot more than I wanted to spend...

    I guess I'm trying to convince myself that I should pay out a lot more than I wanted to and get an XGA, but is it worth so much extra? IThis is where you come in - how would you spend my money?!?! £400 Toshiba, £880-ish XGA, somewhere inbetween? :lease:

    Thanks for reading the (long) post and any thoughts you can share

    DM
     
  2. PJTX100

    PJTX100
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    If your main viewing was SD DVD's I'd say resolution isn't the most crucial aspect. Games may be another matter though, others will be able to advise better.

    If you've seen the Tosh ET1 and like it then it's a bargain and meets your budget. On some sites (eg projectorpoint) it's priced more than the Epson TW10H.

    More expensive PJ's will give you more res and more connectivity eg DVI/HDMI which may or may not be important to you...PJ
     
  3. dancingmatt

    dancingmatt
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    "SD" DVDs? Wassat?

    Surely even watching normal region 2 PAL DVDs in anything vertically less than 576 pixels is going to reduce the quality? Seems like a lot of emphasis is placed on contrast level and so on, but I've never seen a scaled picture look good on a normal TV so this is partly why I am surprised that resolution isn't more important?

    And for the foreseeable future it's only going to be connected to my PC, which has both VGA and DVI outputs from my Ti4200 card, so ideally I want a PJ that can connect digitally to the DVI output - I think? I'm not expecting to buy any Hi def kit...

    Thanks PJTX100 (your namesake is one I'm considering)

    DM
     
  4. PJTX100

    PJTX100
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    Sorry, SD = Standard Definition

    If you want to feed DVI into the PJ then that's what will drive the price up I think.

    TX100 was the cheapest WXGA machine around when I was looking hence why I bought it.

    ...PJ :)
     
  5. dancingmatt

    dancingmatt
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    I read a magazine review today of a 1024x768 PJ, and the reviewer marked it down because it was 4:3 not 16:9 and so "watching widescreen movies would only use some of its pixels". Even went so far as to say it was "flawed" because of this.

    Eh? :confused: Surely it's better, as it has all the pixels of a 1024x576 PJ and shows DVDs in the same resolution as that would, but has more pixels for any other 4:3 sources like old films, games, etc. In other words it does the same as the 16:9 PJ, plus has more flexibility?
     
  6. PJTX100

    PJTX100
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    Well, I wouldn't say they were flawed - they are that they are, designed for applications where 4:3 is more appropriate.

    But for DVD viewing 16:9 is the only way to go....PJ :)
     
  7. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    Couldn't agree more Dancingmatt. :)

    I had an NEC HT1000 which is 4:3, yet in 16:9 mode you'd never know it was using a 4:3 chip. Fantastic picture quality that would give many other true widescreen only projectors a run for their money - especialy the 854 x 480 res pjs. It's all in the application and anyone who disregards a pj because it's 4:3 could be missing out on superior image quality.

    Gary.
     
  8. PJTX100

    PJTX100
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    I'm guessing but I'd assume in the not too distant past 4:3 machines were the majority, but now with so many 16:9 options (often specifically aimed at the HC market) I don't see why anyone would want to complicate the equation further... unless there was a major price differential involved...PJ
     
  9. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    I don't see how it complicates things - I went on image quality and facilities not the shape of the chip - another advantage was the 16:9 image shift within the 4:3 area - it was like a digital lens shift so was very useful. Compared to the 16:9 Infocus that was also being demo'd at the time, there was no comparison in image quality. I've recently seen a cheap 854 x 480 Targa DLP and the HT1000 provides a better image in all respects - colour, image processing, black level, contrast ratio etc etc. That's why I say don't discount it just because it has a 4:3 chip - there is much more to consider IMHO..

    Gary.
     
  10. theritz

    theritz
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    Gary is speaking from top class experience here - the HT1000 still produces a picture performance which is bettered only by machines in a substantially higher price category.



    S.
     
  11. PJTX100

    PJTX100
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    WRT 4:3 machines in 16:9 mode...
    Can you use a 16:9 screen without any "light spill"?
    Or do you always need to use a 4:3 screen?
    ...PJ
     
  12. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    I used a 16:9 screen and the light spill was only ever (barely) visible in black scenes, and even then you had to look for it with peripheral vision. A dark wall and black screen border would make it a non issue IMHO, and was never visible when watching a movie.

    A 4:3 screen might help to hide the overspill because it's kept within the screen area, so would be less noticable perhaps. I couldn't say how other 4:3 pjs would perform in that respect though, only the HT1000.

    Gary.
     

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