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H30 vs H56.... a comparison!

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by Tonmeistermat, Jul 29, 2004.

  1. Tonmeistermat

    Tonmeistermat
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    Over the past few weeks I've mentioned in various threads that I'm looking to get either a 30 or a 56 and was going to do an A/B demo at home: several people have asked that I post my 'results' once the test was done, and for what it's worth here they are!

    The 30 has a larger image, but that's its only advantage. I wasn't really aware of rainbows on either machine, but then I could be one of the lucky ones who doesn't see them. That said, the other differences between the two machines are HUGE. I can’t stress enough how much better the 56 is than the 30. It’s easily worth the extra 500 quid, if not significantly more. More to the point, I wouldn’t say that the 30 is worth a grand, no way.

    I found myself watching the 30, and wandering what all the little white blobs were that I could easily see: so clearly in fact that I could see the little black dots in the middle of them. I realised with horror that they where the pixels, and the black dots where part of the mirror mechanism! :eek: This was all viewable from the watching position (ie approx 2 times the screen size), but obviously was more visible close up. I found the 30 totally unwatchable, and would advise anyone to demo before committing more than a grand on something that in my opinion isn’t watchable.

    It seems that even though the source (DVD) only has a resolution of 625 lines, having a projector that only displays this resolution means you can see the pixelation of the projector, which on the higher resolution 56 is much less visible. I would say that you can still see the artefacts of the mirror array on the 56, but only if you freeze frame and search for them in a particularly bright scene. I would assume that going even higher in resolution would make this less of a problem. I did not see any evidence of the source pixelation.

    I’m very surprised that I found the 30 so bad, particularly since it’s had so much praise and good feedback on these forums and elsewhere. I was expecting better, but I suppose that it’s horses for courses – this is an example of words like ‘fantastic’ and ‘crisp’ and ‘depth of colour’ meaning different things to different people!

    My advice is: DO NOT buy an H30 and spend a further 400 quid on a screen: you’d be MUCH better off with an H56 projected on a matte white wall, which costs more or less the same, but will give you a higher resolution image that is significantly better quality. :lesson:

    I can’t stress enough… try before you buy and make your own discoveries - with something as unquantifiable as your eyes, you simply can't make a decision blind (so to speak)!

    Mat

    ps - thanks to John at Admiral for bullying Optoma into the demo... stirling work and much appreciated... without it I could have made a costly mistake! :smashin:
     
  2. Ekko Star

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    Words of wisdom. Would defo recommend demo of this PJ before you even consider buying it.

    However, I was completely underwhelmed by the H56, 'crisp' & 'depth', are not words that sprung to mind after my demo. 'cr*p' and 'drab' were more like it.....I dread to think what the H30 must be like.
     
  3. ShinObiWAN

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    Agreed for me the Benq 7800, 8700+ and Optoma H77 are the 'budget' DLP machines to look at.

    Or if you only have £1500 or less to spend then definitely a cutting edge LCD.
     
  4. Gorshin

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    What about the infocus 4805. It's said to be brilliant.
     
  5. booth1976

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    I'm not seeing this on my unit dude :eek:

    I'm 2 times the screen-size away and can't make out pixel structure. I can see scanlines on my tv from 4 x the tv screen-size away if I look closely though. Everyone who has seen the unit is blown-away.
     
  6. Zag

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    I have been using an H30 for a couple of months now and every single person who I have given a Demo to have been blown away by it.

    2 of my mates have since bought one, rather than spending silly money on Plasmas.

    How far away from the screen were you? What size picture were you viewing?

    Black dots & white blobs never seen any.

    No offense intended Mat, but your eyes must indeed be ' unquantifiable ' .
     
  7. bobbetts

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    Would have to agree with booth1976 and Zag, have had an H30 for a while and never caught glimpse of white blobs etc. and sitting less than 2x width.

    I guess this is even more reason to demo. Don't be put off by one persons view and don't buy on anothers praise.... :)
     
  8. JohnDeighton

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    Another happy customer, thanks Tonmeistermat for the good comments, happy to have helped.

    Here are some other interesting reviews:

    http://www.projectorcentral.com/optoma_h56.htm
    http://www.projectorcentral.com/optoma_h30.htm

    I go most years to Infocomm in the US, for us in the AV Industry, it's the Mecca to see the latest technologies and new products soon to hit our shores. It's always interesting to see so many projectors all set up so perfectly, often with High Definition sources, this really doesn't reflect though the real world, with the day to day sources that we plug in at home, such as SKY decoders whom most people leave to output composite video quality etc. (You can get component quality via RGB, see Picture Settings in your SKY decoder Setup menu).

    Our of all the projectors we sell, and believe me I have access to a huge percentage of some of the best models available, I decided upon the Optoma (Themescene) H56 for myself too. I find the picture quality very comparable on many of the models in this segment, indeed like ProjectorCentral.com's review above, it's often difficult to see much difference from a unit costing 3 times the amount of the H56.

    The H56 for me was especially quiet with an awesome picture quality. Last weekend, I had a few friends round and hosted a marathon Lord of the Rings trilogy evening, till 6am! (First two DVD's were the extended versions, we must have been mad). I guess watching the amazing landscapes on the DLP H56 as seen in LOTR just blows me away, I have a 42" High Def Fujitsu Plasma, but always watch movies on the H56, obviously it's a bigger 100" image, but the colours are more natural.

    If anyone is interested in discussing this further, happy to try and help before you buy. Anyone who still buys LCD for home cinema is mad! DLP is the only logical way forward.
     
  9. ShinObiWAN

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    Its like watching lego moving around the screen when you compare it to the 1280x720 or higher machines.

    In my book I would never consider this machine and others should demo before buying.

    I've demoed virtuallly every top draw machine under £1500 and non of the DLP's this price bracket have resolution thats worth a damn.
     
  10. theritz

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    John,

    Hi and Welcome to the Forums.

    I take it froom your post that you're a retailer. Given that you've posted your work contact details, perhaps you check the rules / PM Spectre about your title/seg - there are newish rules on the forum about retailers/people in the trade identifying themselves clearly. You will, no doubt, appreciate that people in the trade who wish to advertise their goods/services on the Forum have the opportunity of doing so through forum sponsorship.

    Lots of interesting comments on this thread.................. those in need should collect their flame-proof suits from Kramer... :smashin:

    While people are entitled to their opinions, sweeping statements such as

    .. tend to irritate rather than inform (and there's nothing like irritating potential customers... :suicide: )

    All projector technologies have their advantages and disadvantages, as well as budget restrictions. Someone who is prone to Rainbows, or who gets fatigue/headache/nausea from slow wheel speed dlp might consider the current crop of 1280x720 LCD projectors far better and be far less concerned about FPN or VB (many just don't see it, which is great.)

    Members here have changed from hi-res LCD to CRT (Godfather) from CRT to DLP (Fulabeer) and been through practically every projector under the sun (Messiah :hiya: :clap: ) while many of us who got into this 2/3 years ago are now looking for suitable upgrade paths.

    The key advice that is most often given on the forum is to go and see projectors for yourself, preferably in decent demo conditions.


    Sean G.
     
  11. Ekko Star

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    Well said theritz.

    I think I'll agree with Shinobiwan, although it's generalising a bit, but upto £1500 'ish LCD seems to give you the better bang for buck.

    I would not comment on a PJ until I had seen it in action, sometimes it's fair to say, owners get a bit carried away with the reviews of their own product.

    Having seen the H56 in top flight conditions and partnered equipment I can truly say, don't waste your money. I would suggest viewing this product comprehensively with a view to either spending less money on something better value or spending a lot more and getting a far better product.

    LOTR are fantastic movies that look awesome on most display devices, I have rarely seen it look worse than on a H56.
     
  12. matthewk

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    Ekko Star how would you say it compares with the Toshiba MT500, i've heard good things, although looking at the specs of both the H56 and the MT500 the h56 looks like it comes out on top, although i'm no expert...
     
  13. Ekko Star

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    Sorry, but haven't seen the Toshiba in action so cannot comment on that one.

    Do not discount the H56 on the back of my comments, nor praise it on what others have said. I would suggest viewing it with an unbiased mind. Reviews and recommendations can be dodgy at the best of times, see what you think for yourself, but one thing for sure DO NOT buy the H56 blind.
     
  14. Tonmeistermat

    Tonmeistermat
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    Hi guys (and girls!)

    It's interesting seeing what people have to say, and there are some points I'd like to pick up on.

    Sinobiwan, how can the H77 a 'budget' projector - it's more than 3 grand, and in my book should be a 'mid-range' machine at the least! I guess it depends on the scale of your budget... if you're talking compared to a 35mm cinema film projector, that's cheap... compared to a 14 inch black and white telly, that's huge!

    Zag, the viewing position is about 4 meters from the wall, and the pj directly above, giving a picture of just under 2 meters wide. Well within the recomended position.

    Ekko star, what don't you like about the H56, I'm curious to know! Mine's on it's way, and I have to say I'm looking forward to some serious movie watching! The quality is more than good enough for my purposes - I'd prefer the image to be a little larger, but that's not a major issue.

    This all points to my main point....

    What ever you do, don't rely on other people's opinions when making this kind of purchase!!! By all means use them to inform yourself about what options there are, but make the final call yourself.

    Mat
     
  15. Zag

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    Mat

    Thanks for the updated info. 4M from the wall to a 2M width is more or less identical to my set up. Still can not see any blobs though, but then again I have not directly compared the H30 with anything else under the same conditions.

    IMHO the H30 way exceeds my own expectations for the price. I do see the occasional rainbow but it doesn't concern me.

    The Ritz is right though the best advice is to demo a range of projectors in your budget and go with what suits your own expections and eyes the best.

    We all have different budgets, and what to me looks absolutely stunning may look to someone else as blocks of lego chugging around the screen.
     
  16. Ekko Star

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    Well I demo'd it in a Linn Demo room, hooked upto a £3.5k Linn Unidisk as source and running ROTK onto only a 6ft screen.

    Suffice to say, no excuses would be allowed.

    I was expecting a crisp, colourful, snappy and dimensional picture i.e. sense of depth. The scene I usually use is Chapter 51 Mount Doom. This is great for me, it is dark, the colourful mount erupting in the background, close up of the faces, pretty much tests everything all round. You will notice as he carries Frodo on his back, the digitised mist in the forefront of the picture, then you see the characters, then you see the set of the mountain they are standing on, then you notice the sky in the background. As the camera pans around all of these planes move independently and with the eruptions/wind and camera shake you will feel the depth or the 3-dimensionality of the image. How good a PJ handles it the more immersed you will feel. It was a non-event with the H56, flat as a pancake.

    The general picture lacked crispness and sharpness however much we tweaked it. Some people may like a softer image which is fair enough but I prefer sharp. Colours looked a bit washed out. Personally I don't do things by halves and am quite demanding of the picture, so we even changed the lamp and stuck a new one in there to see if that made a difference. Not a jot.

    Some people may like this PJ, I accept that, I categorically DO NOT, cos it's simply not what it's cracked out to be.
     
  17. booth1976

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    Isn't the H30 a newer pj than the H56. I heard in benefited from new technology.

    For the £1089 I paid for it, it really does the business (H30). I don't see any blobs and the only thing that looks blocky are graphics on the menus, so I see no lego bricks 'in-movie' (I think you mean you can see the pixel structure). It even makes my lesser authored DVDs look better for some reason. Colour is good.

    If I have a gripe, it's with DVD compression. Personally I won't be upgrading for a while, unless I get a cash windfall, but when I do it'll be when we have HD material (hd-dvd, blu ray or whatever the standard is) and true 3chip HD pjs in the home. Until then I'm happy to watch my 'lego bricks' :D
     
  18. Tonmeistermat

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    The 30 is indeed a newer projector, but I think the improvement is that you get some of the technology on more expensive projectors for less money. In doing my research I found out that the 56 used to be MUCH more expensive (more than the 77!), but that the price has dropped to recognise the release of the 30. To my eye though, the lower resolution of the 30 negates any benefits of newer technology. It's like having 500 quid a meter speaker wire on your Alba midi system (or 900 quid mains IEC leads - but that's another story).

    I agree about the HD thing though. By the time that HD is established in the home environment, I expect that 3 chip DLP pjs will be easily and much more cheaply available. It's easy to forget that home projection for the masses is a very new an emerging technology and it is moving VERY fast.

    Ekko star, now that you describe your test I have a vague memory of you talking about it on another thread! I agree that it's all subjective, and therefore it's each to his own.
     
  19. Tonmeistermat

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    I've put up some pictures that compare the resolution of the H30 and the H56 on my website gallery....

    http://81.6.236.223/gallery/view_album.php?set_albumName=homecinema

    You should click on the thumnail and then on the image itself to see it full size. If you view them in the scaled down to fit in the gallery viewer it defeats the purpose! Unfortunately my camera ran out of battery before I could get an 'H56 close' to match the 'H30 close' image, but you can clearly see the difference on the overlayed close image.

    Will be putting some more up when I get a chance!

    Mat

    I've also posted this message in another thread called H56 lovely... but wanted to put it here too so that subscribers to this thread could see it!
     
  20. MikeD

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    Hi Tonmeistermat

    I would expect to see a difference in close up shots due to the resolution differences but the distance shots arent exactly night and day by any stretch of the imagination.

    The distance shots must be the important ones as theyre closer to normall viewing distances.

    What were the distances from the screen and what is the screen size as this info is very important to get the shots into perspective.

    Regards, MikeD
     
  21. Tonmeistermat

    Tonmeistermat
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    you're right Mike... I posted the pics late last night, and didn't really look at them properly: my bandwidth saving plan failed! I scaled down the photos to make them easier to upload, but it's lost most of the resolution on the wider shots. The point I was trying to make was that the close up shots illustrate the resolution differences that you can see in the room from the viewing location, but that the wide photos don't show it sharply because of the scaling! What I'll do, when I get a chance, is replace the reduced wide shots with the full scale ones on which the differences are much more obvious.

    Viewing distance is about 3.5 meters, with both pj's on maximum zoom, and viewing location directly under the pj.
     

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