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Barco Graphics 801s

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by Boris Blank, Mar 26, 2001.

  1. Boris Blank

    Boris Blank
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    Brief update (my home computer died on Friday night so I'm having to use the one at work).

    Converged the thing on saturday morning using Svideo input and finally managed to get it to sync to a 1024 x 768 72hz display via the RGBHV connectors. Tubes are definately new which were my biggest concern and the electronics seem perfect. Haven't bothered to focus it properly as yet but my impressions (based on a 5ft wide picture projected onto a white tablecloth) are;

    Excellent colours, very rich and deep.
    Black is black!
    Very nice 3D film-like image.
    The RGB input needs tweeking but otherwise its perfect.
    Svideo is very good, far better than I expected it to be.
    Very easy to set up, just takes patients.
    Very quiet.
    Its very, very big and extremely heavy - buyers beware!

    For only £300, I feel like I've won the lottery! As an ex. LCD owner, I must say that CRT is a lot better but I miss the convenience of LCD!

    Have to think about a scaler but like I said before I'll leave this until a)Jenz reports on his Rock and b) I move house.

    I'll give a more detailed report later on what I've done and how I did it for anyone looking to get a used CRT.
    Paul

     
  2. uncle eric

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    Paul,
    Talk about bang for buck. You've done very very well indeed. The 801 is a super CRT. Happy veiwing.
    Eric
     
  3. uncle eric

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    Neil,
    What screen did you get? What sort of gain etc?
    Eric
     
  4. Jenz

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    Uncle E,

    Went with the 8ft 4:3 that I should have bought in the first place (I watch a lot of 4:3 so this was important to me). 1.0 Gain (does that really count as gain?)

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  5. Boris Blank

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    Eric,
    Yes, a real bargain! All the more so for being totally unexpected. Can't believe I'mn now a full member of the CRT club!

    How's the Cinematrix doing? I'm pondering getting a Cinematrix - I mainly watch DVD's so it would probably be ideal but I'm keeping a beady eye on Jenz's ROCK. Cinematrix is cheaper but obviously you can't hook up other pieces of equipment. Still, I'm in the process of selling/buying a house so any deceision will have to wait until then.

    Hi Jenz,
    Yep, everything seems fine. Got a near perfect convergence and focus is excellent on Svideo. Input from the computer doesn't look as sharp, but until I have time to fiddle with it a bit more its difficult to tell. Next I'll set the contrast/colours etc. Can't offer any advice on the 808, like I said its blooming big and I intend floor mounting my 801 (Eric - is yours on the ceiling or floor?).

    I must say, convergence etc. has been far easier than expected - maybe I've been lucky, no electrical or mechanical problems and certainly haven't had to adjust any of the "pots" on the inside. Simply followed the manual and it looks grand!

    Talking of screens, I have a 9ft wide 16x9 Da-lite 2.0 gain (originally bought for my Sony LCD). I'm really not sure which gain is best for a CRT - it probably depends on your room size, projector throw, ambient light etc. I suspect 2.0 will be a bit high but unless I get blinded by the whites I'll not be too bothered.

    Anyway, back to work,
    Regards,
    Paul

     
  6. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Paul,

    There are lots of things that affect what choice of screen gain you should use.

    According to my quick calculations with a Barco808 you still won't really have enough light output on a screen the size you are using. Reality is that it probably still looks great though.

    Convergence on the Barco's deos seem to be relatively pain free. Carrying out the adjustments Eric talks about will make it much better, especially with an off board scaler or such like.

    All the best,

    Gordon


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  7. Jenz

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    Paul,

    Good to know you've got it sorted. I'm still figuring out my idea setup now.

    Just got the 8ft screen today, Rock is ordered and paid for coming first week of April at the mo', still waiting on the news of the 808s.

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  8. Mr A

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    Paul,

    you know those chance comments that may or may not lead somewhere. Well I have just spoken with our Graphics people and they said that the conference centre over the raod has an old barco machine that they dont use anymore. They are going to speak to the technician and see.

    Wonder if I will be as fortunate as you. I will keep you posted.

    What should I look for on the tubes, but if its free I wont look I will remove and try.

     
  9. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Get a bright torch and look inside the lens at the face of each tube. If you can see a 4:3 section on the tube face where there is obviously discolouration then that is sign of burn in. Also look for things like Windows "start" buttons or taskbars burnt in to tube face.

    4:3 burn may not be that big a problem, it just depends how bad it is and you probably have to turn it on to work that out. If it's not that bad you can just use a smaller raster size and not go outwith the part already used. You'll get less light output and have to put the projector further away for a given size of screen but it'll work and if it's free who cares!

    If it's ceiling mounted and you can't look in then get them to turn it on and check what the settings for brightness and contrast are at. If they are both set near max then you can guess that they've been driving the crap out of it and it is likely to be a bit rough.

    Also cross your fingers and hope it's an 800 series or above..... 600's like the one ReTrO has are tricky for first timers compared to their digital convergence cousins.


    Hope this helps a bit,

    Gordon

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  10. Boris Blank

    Boris Blank
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    Gordon,
    I'll give it a try at some point but if need be I'll reduce the size and mask off the sides/top/bottom. Its a small price to pay!

    Mr. A,
    Figures crossed for you! If its cheap, and as Gordon says, if you can get a picture out of it then buy it!

    Let us know how you get on.
    Paul

     
  11. Boris Blank

    Boris Blank
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    So Jenz, you are going for the 808! This must be the quickest CRT upgrade by a member of this forum ever!

    When you've got the bug it just doesn't let you go!

    Uncle Eric,
    Does the Cinematrix mod have a fixed scan rate (i.e. 50/60 hz) or is it user selectable? I'm sure its fixed but that the PSM2 will have a higher selectable scan?
    Paul
     
  12. cussycod

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    jenz
    whats this "rock" that you are waiting for?
    havent got a clue what you are talking about

    please enlighten me.
    cod
     
  13. Jenz

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    The Rock is a Video Processor manufactured by TAW in the USA.

    Heres the link: http://208.56.221.120/rock_vp.htm

    The 808s ismoving a long its still not a committed deal yet though, no fixed price and I have to make sure tonight it'll do my 96inch Image.
     
  14. cussycod

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    jenz

    so what purpose has it got,will you have to hook your hcpc to it or a dvd player.


    or am i being thick

    cod
     
  15. Jenz

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    Its a Video Processor to Scale the image up and make it look better on a Projector basically.
     
  16. Gordon @ Convergent AV

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    Cussy: The Rock de-interlaces an interlaced signal to progressive scan then scales it to the output most suitable for the display device it is atached to.

    With a fixed panel display like an LCD this may be 800 x 600 (SVGA+600P) or perhaps 1024 x 768 (768P)...With CRT it's more likely to be line tripled(ntsc)720P or quadrupled 960P(ntsc)

    Hope this helps

    Gordon

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  17. Boris Blank

    Boris Blank
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    Gordon,
    I was going to hook up my DVD player via the scart to RGB but on looking at the cables in a the store, they only had scart to 4 BNC. Would this work on the 801s given its negative sync? (This is temporary only, just a fiddle about to compare Svideo with RGB both direct from the player).

    HTPC is ok but I've not played DVD through it yet - I'll leave that for the weekend but I wanted to try straight stand-alone player to projector RGB.
    Thanks
    Paul
     
  18. cussycod

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    thanks for that gordon

    see im learning slowly but suerly

    cod
     
  19. uncle eric

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    Paul,
    The refresh rate of the Cinematrix is 60hz but with 3/2 pulldown to make it compatable for film sourced (24 fps) material.
    The scaling rate is variable. It can do anything from 480p to 1200p(if your crt has a high enough horizontal scan rate) A good 7 incher such as the Dwin or Sony D50 can do 720p (triple) with no problems.
    Some 8" crts like the Sony G70 and Barco 808s can do 960p if they are set up very well. If not, then overlap will occur.
    Eric
     
  20. Boris Blank

    Boris Blank
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    1024 x 768 72hz - WOOOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!

    Using WinDVD, fantastic, never thought it could be this good! Gordon's favourite scene in The Fifth Element looks incredible, so much new detail!

    The biz!
    Paul
     
  21. Boris Blank

    Boris Blank
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    Its a good day indeed! Just been told that they have the remote for it! No more fiddling round the back!
    Paul
     
  22. Boris Blank

    Boris Blank
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    Mr A,
    Well, at least there is still a chance - fingers crossed!
    Regards,
    Paul
     
  23. Jenz

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    PaulB,

    Congrats with the Barco. I'd be interested in seeing your comments on Fifth Element R1 vs R2 if you get the chance [​IMG]

    Mr.A you hang in there, once you get one you'll never look back or at a normal TV again!

    Regards Neil.
    P.s. See my Upgrades thread [​IMG]

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  24. Mr A

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    thanks for the encouragement. I will hang in. Think a reminder visit in a couple of weeks plus find out what it is may be in order, dont want to push it just oil the wheels.

    Hope it pans out!!
     
  25. Mr A

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    Update on Barco projector

    I went to see the contact who may have the Barco. Unfortunately at present it is not avialable but was told that they are having some work done so it may be available in the near future. I left my contact details and await.........

    Oh well at least i will be able to concentrate on selling my house now.

     
  26. Boris Blank

    Boris Blank
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    Manged to get a perfectly gorgeous picture using WinDVD, Powerstrip and YXY, or at least as perfect as far as I can tell 8¬).

    BUT, after a good few hours messing around, the display started to waver and now does so every time YXY and/or Powerstrip runs. Most annouying. Obviously there is a hic-cup somewhere - I haven't changed my settings, it just started wavering in the middle of a movie. Uninstalled Powerstrip and YxY - perfect picture, load them back up, wavy picture! Hmmmmm, the ROCK begins to look seriously tempting.

    Anyhow, let me just say that the process of convergening/focusing/and geometry setup of the CRT have been a doddle. Even went in and started messing with the actual electronics to reduce Blue gain. (Used mark one eyeball for calibration, funnily enough my ad hoc settings are usually quite close to settings in VE/Avia - I usually end up messing with the geometry more than the colour temp).

    For set-up and calibration I just followed the manual, did a bit of seraching online and tried a few things here and there. If anyone is swithering about whether they could calibrate a CRT themselves, I say go for it, it ain't that difficult and as long as you are careful you won't fry yourself in the process! HOWEVER, I'm not saying its as good as a professional job but its more than good enough for me! Also, I don't have any mechanical or electrical problems at all with the projector which may otherwise necessitate digging into the guts of it - if anyone does have a real problem with one of these, back off and get someone in who knows what they are doing.

    Sprayed the plastic cover of the projector a very pale grey - it was a bit tatty looking when I got it but now its good as new. Also been looking at putting together a dedicated HTPC but like I said, the software problems bug me and I'd rather have a hardware solution (even if it is still a PC in all but name!).

    Regards,
    Paul
     
  27. Boris Blank

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    Ok, solved the wavy line problem - it was the vga to BNC cable. The new one, (an el cheapo from Maplins) is a bit wonky, the old one (exact same make but about 5 years old) perfectly well!

    Just a note on sync - the Barco 801s (and I think the whole 800 series) requires a negative sync to diplay a picture from an RGB source. The best way to do this is to use Powerstrip software and set the polarity of your video card to negative or, you can use a BNC Tee connector to take both the H & V cables and combine them into the H sync on the CRT. This won't mean much to most folks but thought I'd slip it in just in case someone gets stuck and does a search on this forum for info.

    I've sort of decided to go the HTPC route - its a lot cheaper than the ROCK but not quite as simple or as flexible. I might go for the Cinematrix PSM-2 at a later date though if as seems likely it adds a few extras over the PSM-1.

    Bit hacked off over the cable thing, had a perfect picture last night and now, after all the fault finding I'll need to re-converge. Doesn't take long but I can't do it until night-time due to ambient light in the room (this thing provides virtually no picture in ambient light - score 1 for LCD!).

    Paul
     
  28. Jenz

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    Paulb,

    It's time to put down the tools and watch at least 8 films before you go back and teak the picture further...

    Otherwise you'll develop Tweakers Syndrome.
     
  29. uncle eric

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    Neil,
    Do you know any good doctors that I can see. I have been diagnosed as having TTS (terminal tweekers syndrome) [​IMG]
    Eric
     
  30. Boris Blank

    Boris Blank
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    Too late Jenz, I've already well past any possible help! Anyway, I've got it sussed, I watch the films as I'm tweaking - hey, how else can you calibrate the colour!

    Nah, this tweaking thing is great fun! I could do this for ever! I know exactly how Uncle Eric feeld when you see someone else's badly set up kit - man, you just HAVE to put it right! Every hotel I've been in I've fiddled with the tv set 'cause sure as fate the blooming thing will have a crap picture!

    Anyway, now piecing together the HTPC from some old and new parts. Just finished de-zoning the DVD drive and about to spray the PC case black. Got one of them new Radeon cards to slot in and I'll buy one of these "Quiet" PSU's tomorrow.

    Total cost should be about £700 (inc. projector) by the time I've finished

    Ha, the search for perfection never ends!
    Paul

    [This message has been edited by PaulB (edited 01-04-2001).]
     

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