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First review of new Sharp Projector?

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by maj74, Jul 27, 2002.

  1. maj74

    maj74
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    Hi everyone,

    I have just bought a Sharp M20XA off ebay, thereby ending the incredibly long (7 month) saga of trying to replace my original projector.

    This model has been kicking up a storm in the states over the last month, and it appears that I may be able to pull off a bit of a coup here and post the first UK review of this machine!!!!

    So here goes:

    1: To be clear, this is the M20XA model. The story goes something like this: the early units had problems with bulbs not performing properly, so they ship the machines with lower power bulbs (1500 lumens rather than 1900). The machines are FULLY guaranteed and perfectly operational. It really boils down to a small spec. difference and that's it.

    2: This small spec difference makes the projector significantly cheaper!!!!!:D

    3: New DMD 12 degree chip gives 1000:1 contrast ratio.

    4: In many ways this machine seems to be almost a presentation style Sharp XV-Z9000. Now before everyone jumps up and says 'no it isn't', what I mean is that nearly ALL of the features of the 9000 are present here and really the only real change is the brighter bulb, and a standard XGA panel rather than the WXGA. Oh well never mind!!!

    5: Progressive 2:2 and 3:2 caters for both NTSC AND PAL sources unlike some earlier projectors.

    So onto the performance:D

    WOW:D :D :D

    This is a great machine.

    It has: great contrast. All the shadow details are clearly visible.

    Super amounts of light. The M20XA's 1500 Lumens produces a real punch in it's images.(In all honesty 1900 lumens would be too much in a living room. All it would do is damage the background black level)

    Great scaler. So far I've only been able to run from interlaced composite, and the scaler in the Sharp is doing a great job. The odd glitch, sure, but I'm waiting for a DVI-VGA-Component cable which should improve things even more:) :)

    Medium throw lens which means at last a machine I can put on the back wall.

    Ok, now for the buts:

    Black level: while the contrast is very good, (by that I mean the ability to resolve shadow detail) the background black is rather grey still. But hey, this is kicking out 1500 lumens. That's probably why. I have now painted an Icestorm 5 screen and it makes a hell of a difference. The 1500 lumens keeps the whites nice and bright and the grey screen gives the colours a better punch too.

    Noise: It's not the quietest machine around. could do with a hush box, but that's something to sort out later, cooling will be an issue as these things run hot.

    These are minor niggles and one of them is already sorted. This is one hell of a machine. I don't know how much it'll cost retail when they eventually release it in this country, i suspect that it'll make the price off ebay offensive:D :D but even at a significantly higher price this is a impressive machine.

    So there you go. If you're I suspect this is going to be a 'big' projector over the next few months. I just feel very lucky to be able to be one of the first in this country to enjoy it.
    If anyone wants to know any further details, please ask and I'll try and answer any questions.

    Regards,

    Martin Jarvis
     
  2. GearHead

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    What sort of price did you pay and what would you expect the retail price in the UK to be ?

    Have you tried watching this projector in a totally light-controlled room ? If so, did you find the 1500 lumens output a bit of a strain on the eyes in very bright scenes ?

    If you wanted to eliminate the gray blacks, it sounds like you have plenty of scope there for putting a neutral density filter over the lens, cutting the brightness a bit but darkening the blacks.

    That DLP chip you mentioned, is that the 4:3 equivalent to the HD2 chip ? I didn't think any projectors were available with that yet. The Z9000 uses a HD1.

    Allan
     
  3. GearHead

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    Warm and friendly, warm and friendly !
     
  4. maj74

    maj74
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    Sorry for the delay, been a busy few days!

    I paid just under £2000 for the Sharp M20X, I suspect, given its specs, that when released in this country it will retail, including VAT at about the £3000 mark.

    I've thought about a filter, though I'm not sure with the grey screen that this might not be TOO much to take off the whites.

    If I did, anyone know which sort of filter I should use? (make, part number etc?)

    The room is light controlled and therefore the pj produces a very powerful picture, but not too much. You put the TV on below the screen and think, 'WOW almost as solid' and it's not often you can say a pj picture looks as solid as a tv picture!!

    I'm not sure if the chip in the M20x is an HD2 chip. I now it's the new chip where the mirrors tilt to a wider angle (12 degrees I think) , hence the improved contrast. If this is the HD2 chip then yes, it has the new HD2 chip!!:D :D

    Regards,

    Martin
     
  5. maj74

    maj74
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    bump
     
  6. DynamoDoug

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    I'm interested in which neutral density filter as I have a 2000 Lumen projector which most tries to burn your retinas on full white.

    I think the Hoya FLD alters the red spectrum.

    thanks
    Doug
     
  7. Spacecat

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    Any rainbows on this projector?
     
  8. maj74

    maj74
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    I've now been using this projector for nearly a month. Not surprisingly it's been used a lot recently:)

    I am glad to say I have not seen a single rainbow on it at all, even when trying to..(like a hyperactive tennis spectator!!!)

    Also for the benefit of something asked earlier, the DMD is one of the new 12 degree mirror tilt chips as mentioned earlier, however it is not an HD2 chip, since these will be 16:9 chips (as far as I understand it anyway.)

    It really is an awsome projector. I've now seen it advertised for sale in the UK and for a price that makes the £1800 I paid for mine really quite wonderful:D :D
     

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