First projector advice

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by gwilymb, Aug 10, 2004.

  1. gwilymb

    gwilymb
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    I'm buying my very first projector and having looked around for ages, and not knowing too much about it all, I've managed to get myself completely confused!

    One that stood out as a good buy was the Hitachi PJ-TX10. Does anyone have any experience of this projector, is it any good?

    Does anyone have any advice on whether this is a good choice, or if there is anything better out there for similar money?
     
  2. UrbanT

    UrbanT
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    My first questions would be
    . what budget have you set?
    . where is the PJ going to be located?
    . what screen will you be using, and what size width?
    . how far will the PJ be from the screen?
     
  3. gwilymb

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    My budget is up to about £1000 (just for the projector).
    Location? In my living room (which can never be completely blacked out unless it's night), possibly hanging from the ceiling, and can be anywhere from 3 to 6M away from the screen.
    I will be buying a screen to match whatever projector that I buy.
     
  4. LV426

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    ...and....

    - is it to be a permanent mounting (never, ever moved)(eg on a ceiling) or something less stable?

    - what do you intend to watch - widescreen DVDs and/or digital TV or old movies and TV shows and/or games?
     
  5. gwilymb

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    I'm not sure about the mounting yet, possibly ceiling mounted, so just go with that for now.
    It will mostly be used for watching DVD movies and sometimes digital TV when there's a good game on... ;)
     
  6. LV426

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    Some pointers, then:

    1: For this type of material you should choose a 16x9 projector and screen.

    2: You need to select a technology. There are three primary types

    3 tube CRT Must be firmly and permanently fixed, and so must the screen. Arguably produce the best picture if properly set up. May need tweaking to continue giving its best.

    One-chip DLP Next best picture; fixed mounting and screen not an issue; don't need ongoing tweaking; may cause you discomfort due to rainbow effect - you can only tell by demoing for a long period; and take your family with you to see if they are affected. Budget to buy a new lamp after 2-3000 hours use.

    LCD Probably the most popular choice. Fixed mounting and screen not an issue; don't need ongoing tweaking. The major drawback is relatively poor black levels (black = dark grey). Failed pixels are also an issue, but usually only when new - they rarely fail in use. Budget to buy a new lamp after 2-3000 hours use.

    That's just a very very brief summary to get you thinking.
     
  7. gwilymb

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    Yeah, that's pretty much as far as I've got. I've narrowed it down to either a DLP or LCD simply for ease of use and portability. From the reviews I've read though, it seems a little difficult to get a good DLP in the £1000 area, whereas the Hitachi PJ-TX10 LCD has had great reviews.

    Are there any DLP's in that are as good as the TX10?
     
  8. leedavies

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    What I have seen of LCD installations various friends have done (PJ-TX10 and Sony), I've seen enough to steer well clear of LCD with its wonderful "let's show this movie through a wire fence" display.

    IMHO, DLP is the way if you have the budget.

    The lower-end Screenplay 4805 (not the older 4800) can be had for up to £1200. From what I've read/heard, quality should be considerably better than the PJ-TX10 - so long as you don't suffer rainbows.

    The key to the whole thing is to see some demos for yourself. Reviews are helpful, but always subjective. See for yourself at a good dealer and you won't go too wrong.

    After spending months researching, I'm having my first PJ installed next Wed - a Screenplay 5700 with 7' electric screen.

    Lee
     
  9. UrbanT

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    Thats the beauty of this hobby, the wealth of varying opinions.

    Firstly I assume we are talking about the TX100, not the TX10 mentioned above? The TX100 is Hitachi's new projector that can be bought for C£1000. I've just changed from a Sanyo Z2 to the TX100, and I'm delighted with the decision.

    As for DLP vs LCD, my opinion is the reverse of Lee's. I don't suffer rainbows well, having seen a fair few projectors. I was convinced to have a demo of the new 4805 by a dealer who said this is far better than older DLP's. I managed to watch around 10 minutes before the headache started, the flashing rainbows being horrendous. Interestingly, I took a friend who doesn't own a projector and doesn't know what a rainbow is, he also started to see them after a few minutes.

    To me, even if I couldn't see rainbows, I would be reluctant to buy DLP on the basis any of my friends/family would be unable to watch a film because of it.

    Watching a 7ft wide screen from 11ft distance, I can't see any chicken wire at all. I can occasionally see vertical banding, but this is far more desirable than rainbows.

    I'm really hoping for some big advances over the next couple of years in PJ technology that will eliminate all these problems, in the meantime, you have to demo and make your choice.

    If its any help, you can see a couple of screenshots from my TX100 here, www.f-directions.co.uk, and I have a much smaller file (365kb) of 11 screenshots that will be posted within the next few week, however I can email them to you if you want to see them now :)
     
  10. LV426

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    leedavies' comment about "wire fence" is valid to a point. And that point is:

    1: The more pixels an LCD has, the smaller (and therefore less visible) is the grid.

    2: Newish model LCD projectors from the mainstream manufacturers have no shortage of pixels. The Panasonic AE500, Sanyo Z2 (have I got that one right?) both have 1280x720; Sony's HS10 has 1366x768. At these matrix sizes, the grid structure will be undetectable from any viewing distance over (say) 1.5 x the screen width.

    3: At the very least, Panasonic (and perhaps others) have used an optical technique to further blur the appearance of the grid, making the AE500 very DLP-like in this respect.

    In short - it isn't a worry, unless you go real bargain-basement, low resolution. As I say, the only arguably "real" issue with LCD is the greyness of black. Even this is much less evident in newer devices.

    What you DO get with LCD is a completely stable and totally flicker-free image; this is not the case with either of the other main types.

    A quick search on the web for the mentioned Hitachi reveals that it is a 4x3 projector with a resolution of 800x600. If true, then this isn't the right choice IMO. It is too coarse for video use, and is the wrong shape for widescreen viewing.

    Next question for you: You say you intend to ceiling mount. Good - that's the best place for it. Are you going to be able to position the projector and screen, so that

    a) laterally, the projector lens is central to the screen width
    b) vertically, the projector lens is exactly in line with the top of the screen.

    or, will it need to project at an angle in either direction?
     
  11. Promised Land

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    I have owned my LCD PJ for about 4 months now and NEVER seen "chicken wire".Vertical Banding I'll admit to,though not nearly enough to detract from a film.I've only seen a DLP in action once and there were so many rainbows I expected to see George,Bungle and Zippy appear anytime :eek: What I'm trying to say is it's all in the eye of the beholder and you need to demo first.Another consideration is who else will watch on a regular basis?If there is a wife/gf and possibly kids,they need to demo as well,especially for the DLP rainbows.
     
  12. monopole

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    The TX10 is a 16:9 projector (854 x 480 pixels). I'd also have a look at the Optoma H30 DLP projector - although it has a 4:3 panel, it has a 16:9 mode and produces a very cinematic image - definitely up there with the Infocus 4805, and it's around 1000 pounds (about 300 less than the 4805).

    The advantage of the LCD projectors (well, the Sanyo Z1/Z2 and Hitachi models) is that they have a very nifty lens shift system which allows you to move the picture around the screen vertically and horizontally without resorting to keystone correction, which means you maintain picture quality - very handy if you're constantly moving the projector around, though not really an issue if you're going for a fixed projector mount.

    As other people have mentioned, it's best if you can get a demo.
     
  13. booth1976

    booth1976
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    Get a demo of a H30 - if that isn't suitable (I demo'd one with a friend and neither of us saw Rainbows) go demo some LCD models like the TX100.
     
  14. LV426

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    In that case the spec I read was incorrect. It IS the right shape. But it is also too coarse (low resolution). Choose another.

    For mainly widescreen viewing, I would NOT recommend buying any natively 4x3 projector (even if it has a 16x9 mode). This will represent a picture quality compromise that's unnecessary.
     
  15. UrbanT

    UrbanT
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    I think there is some confusion here. The new TX100 can be bought for C£1000, and is a native widescreen 1280 x 720. Unless the budget is less than the original £1000 quoted by Gwilymb', I would forget the old TX10 completely.
     
  16. LV426

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    ....and 1280 x 720 is fine for the purpose.
     

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