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Help a first time DLP buyer choose

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by plo, Feb 3, 2002.

  1. plo

    plo
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    Hello,

    I've searched through past threads on my shortlist of DLP projectors. Before I take the plunge and spend a fair chunk of change on one, I'd like some opinions.

    This will be my first projector...apart from a Sony Cineza VPL-HS1 which I sent back because I was not at all impressed with it (mainly due to its lack of contrast amoung other things). I have these prices from www.big-screen.de (Note 1 UK pound = 1.62 euro)

    InFocus LS 110 5.059,- EUR (£3125) (2 year Infocus warranty)

    Toshiba TDP MT 5 4.690,- EUR (£2895) (1 year Toshiba warranty)

    Sharp XV-Z 9000 E 8.950,- EUR (£5525) (Still a bit too expensive for me)


    From www.plasmapan.org

    Sim2 HT200DM 5700 EUR + VAT (Italian VAT @20%) = £4225


    From www.hardtoget.de

    Plus Piano 3499 euros (£2160)

    According to the Plus Piano US site http://www.plushometheater.com/en/service.htm the unit comes with a 2 year warranty. Does anyone know if a Plus Piano bought in Europe will also have a 2 year warranty? Also, is it a worldwide warranty?

    So is it worth paying the extra for the Infocus LS110 over the Toshiba TDP-MT5? I guess this depends on the reliability of these DLP units? Will I need the 2 year warranty? Lamp life is 2000 hours (whereas the Piano's is 1000 hours .. albeit the lamps are cheaper for the Piano). The increased brightness of the Tosh/Infocus units could be useful? Also the manual zoom is a big plus in the Infocus/Toshiba units.

    I've seen a demo of the SIM2 and was quite impressed. Even though the HT200DM has power focus/zoom plus sealed optics (and great colours)...it is said that the HT200DM's internal line doubler is not as good as that in the Infocus LS110/Tosh MT5 or the Plus Piano's for that matter.

    The main problem that I have heard of regarding the Infocus LS110 and its clones is that the picture quality can suffer when panning (whereas its excellent with still shots)...does anyone know if this is a widespread problem with the Infocus/Toshiba. Also, does this affect all DLP's (Does the Plus Piano suffer from this?).

    I plan to watch region 1 and 2 dvd's in a reasonably dark room. I guess their must be a few people out there that have included the above projectors in their short lists. I'd like to hear from them what projector they finally picked and why. Also what screen are you using with your Infocus LS110 / Toshiba TDP-MT5 / Plus Piano ?

    Ideally I'd love to demo these units, however the Infocus won't be available in the UK until March ( according to www.ivojo.co.uk ), and I've no idea when the Plus Piano will be available, so it looks like I may have to buy without a demo unfortunately.

    Any comments gratefully received.

    Cheers

    Paul
     
  2. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Paul,

    Not all DLP's are the same as I think you are finding out. The Sharp for instance uses a different colour wheel and completely different DMD array to the others. This eliminates the Halo effect, gives superior black level performance and, to me at least, gets rid of the rainbow effect.

    The Plus Piano uses the same DMD array as the SIM2 but a different colour wheel. It doesn't have a zoom lens or sealed light path. It does have the excellent Silicon Images de-interlacing chipset as found in the Iscan. So it does somethings better than HT200DM and some worse.

    The Toshiba and Infocus I await viewing. The Toshiba is likely to make its way through our doors as we have a good relationship with one of the UK suppliers for Toshiba product.

    I was speaking only last week with the UK distributor for Plus about the Piano as I want to have a look see when it hits these shores.

    You've seen one of the better DLP's in the HT200DM. I think you need to try and see some of the other contenders before spending the money. None of us can tell you which unit has the mix of performance and features you require but it will be interesting to hear folks reasoning behind their purchases.

    Make sure you let us know how you get on and where you view them.


    All the best,

    Gordon
     
  3. nickane

    nickane
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    Sorry to go off the topic, but I was wondering, Gordon, if the Plus distributor gave you any idea about release date for the Piano. I have heard word from two sources, neither of them rock-solid, that it will be with us within the next two weeks. One was just a salesman in one of the bigger shops on the TCR who claimed he (or the shop owner) had been approached by Plus to be one of the authorised dealers, the other is kind of a long story that I don't have the time to go into but sounded genuine enough.

    Its been a good 2-3 weeks since I finished raising the money to buy this pj and I would really like at the very least a chance to see it working for my troubles.
     
  4. meva

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    Paul,
    I'm sure you are aware of the www.avsforum.com and have had a look around. One thing that strikes me is that all the projectors you mention have had posts (from owners) grumbling about one thing or another ( z9000 lip sync, ls110 light spill,panning,etc ) except the Plus Piano. All the actual owners of this unit who have posted seem to be thrilled. Also I haven't seen one report of a stuck mirror. Also due to Plus' price policy the European price is similar to the U.S price. It has also had unanimously good reviews in the U.S home theater press.
    My only hope is that that isn't released in the U.K with a £3000 price tag **!!?**

    ( O.K I know there haven't been any issues with the Sim2 but it is so much more expensive )
     
  5. plo

    plo
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    Gordon...

    I demo'd the SIM2 HT200DM in Sevenoaks Glasgow. I know a few people have been less than impressed with them, but I can honestly say the guys there where extremely helpful. I watched about 20 minutes of "Withnail And I" & 20 minutes of "The Godfather". I choose these because they both contained quite a lot of dark scenes (which the Sony Cineza VPL-HS1 didn't cope with too well). All in all (and bearing in mind this was the first projector that I'd seen - apart from the Cineza) I was impressed.

    I was then given as demo of a Sanyo PLV-30. Well the difference between the SIM2 HT200DM and the Sanyo PLV-30 was stark. The SIM2 was miles better (although twice the price). Had I seen the PLV-30 first I may have thought it was pretty good (certainly to my eyes it was still better than the Cineza).

    I believe the Toshiba TDP-M5 is available from www.dabs.co.uk (£3,198.35 total). I believe the 1 year warranty on the Tosh is valid throughout the EU.

    nickane/meva

    I am really keen on the Piano. The fact that its not available in the UK yet is not too much of a problem (unless you must see a demo first - which is probably a good idea, provided that its a good demo (totally dark etc)). I think the price of 3499 euros (plus 10 -20 euros for delivery to UK) is OK. Certainly I'm confident that when the Piano goes on sale in the UK, the UK price will not be cheaper!

    meva, you make a good point about stuck mirrors.....I'd never really considered this. I mean I've heard lots about dead pixels on LCD devices (one of the reasons I have for discounting LCD's - contrast the other reason).

    Also, as you say their ain't many people out there complaining about the Plus Piano. My only misgivings with the Piano are the 450 lumens output and the lack of zoom. I do prefer to watch DVD's in complete darkness but it would be good to have some extra lumen in reserve.

    Still the Piano is over £700 cheaper than the Toshiba TDP-MT5 (which has 1 year EU warranty) and over £900 cheaper then the Infocus LS110 (which has 2 years warranty). As far as I know the warranty on the Piano is worldwide (I assume its 2 years -anybody know for sure???).

    I guess it won't do any harm to wait a while before buying. I'd really like to see these projectors in action before I decide. Unfortunately I think I will struggle to find somewhere in or around Glasgow that will demo these projectors (when they eventually become available that is).

    And yes I've been spending a bit of time in www.avsforum.com - generally Piano owners seem well happy. Also, it seems our US pals are (or where up to a couple of weeks before the Superbowl) allowed a 10 day sale or return deal on the Piano. Word is Plus in the US will reinstate this deal after the Superbowl.

    Thanks folks for your comments so far.

    Cheers

    Paul
     
  6. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Paul:

    I could try and organise getting them all together for you but as you seem to be interested in best price and we may be unable to get close to some of these units internet pricing I would charge for my time in arranging, set up and demonstration.

    Rapesko, the Plus distributor didn't give me the impression that they could give any date when the Piano would be here. Pretty much that they were expecting it imminently but that they had been expecting that for weeks....

    I wouldn't get too concerened about such low light output unless you are going to be using a large screen. In a very dark room with a 5-6ft screen you'll get good enough perceived contrast ratio to get a nice image I'd think.

    All the best,

    Gordon

    Off for two days now so I'll check back tomorrow if I get a chance.
     
  7. plo

    plo
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    Thanks Gordon.

    As you say I am interested in getting a competitive price (like most folk) for whatever projector I decide on. However, price isn't my sole consideration. I would be willing to pay some more cash if someone took the time and trouble to demo these projectors (I think that’s fair enough).

    Having said that, I couldn't justify paying £2000 more to Sevenoaks for the SIM2 HT200DM, no matter how helpful they were when I demo'd this projector.

    If the projector market in the EU is anything like the new car market, then I think even box shifters like Dabs etc will struggle to compete with most German high street retailers.

    LS110 PAL Issues?

    Last night I was having a look through the avsforum and came across this thread "LS110 PAL Issues?".

    This relates to problem I mentioned in my original post. MDudois describes it better than I can -

    "The current version of the LS110 (and clones) have real difficulties in reproducing lateral movement during movies. As soon as there's a lateral movement, the picture looses an important part of its quality : contrast, definition, etc"

    Apparently Infocus are recalling all EU stock and modifying the colour wheel plus updating the software to help rectify this problem. The problem does not occur (as far as I know) with NTSC DVD's.

    See this thread.

    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?threadid=113702

    No such problems (in fact no problems at all, that I can find on the net) with the Plus Piano.


    Cheers

    Paul
     
  8. meva

    meva
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    Gordon,
    Did Rapesco tell you the U.K price for the Piano ?
    Thanks
     
  9. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    No price set for Paino.

    If you would like me to try and get these things let me know. As I say I understand that £2000 is a big difference. It's also one that is impossible for a UK dealer to compete with unless parrallel importing.

    So if you wish the service of demoing the units it's going to cost.

    You know where I am if you wish to take me up on my offer and discuss this further.

    Gordon
     
  10. plo

    plo
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    Thanks for the offer (and your advice so far).

    Regarding the PAL issues with the Infocus LS110 (and clones). I have emailed Infocus and Toshiba to ask for more details of the colour wheel mod and firmware update.

    Toshiba Technical UK replied that they have not heard of this problem and say their are no plans to change the colour wheel and/or firmware. So this rules this projector out for me (I have a 50/50 mix of NTSC Region1 and PAL Region 2 DVD's - so I'd prefer not to have picture quality issues with PAL).

    Infocus Replied "Our engineers are currently working on fixing the PAL issue with this unit. I'm not sure when the final fix will be released, but once it is, if you have one of the units which is experiencing problems, we would definitely fix that under warranty. If you're going to wait until the issue is completely resolved, I'd recommend that you just check back with us periodically. The LS-110 is currently available in the UK, but please note that the name has been changed from the LS-110 to the ScreenPlay 110"

    I may as well check the web one last time for unhappy Plus Piano users (I've not even found one so far). I may order one from Germany this week.

    Cheers

    Paul
     
  11. weebroonieuk

    weebroonieuk
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    just looking for the cheapest hdtv compatable projector with hdtv input and good widescreen quality as it will be used for the new xbox when we get it and some dvd viewing and maybe some pc viewing

    should have component for the xbox preferably

    would even buy second hand price and performance is the key as its just for kids entertainment
     
  12. weebroonieuk

    weebroonieuk
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    hmm just realised i posted that in a thread instead of a new thread lol :suicide:
     
  13. St Landrew

    St Landrew
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    You've almost certainly purchased your projector by now, but I can't let this enquiry pass by [for others maybe] without commenting on the Targa PD-2810 WDLP projector a relative of mine owns. I know a very limited amount about projectors, but I am aware of the short comings of DLP technology. All the same, purchased at £399 [about 3 months ago] with a 3 year guarantee from his local store, it must be considered a bargain. I've watched a couple of movies on it with an admittedly hurriedly setup screen of sorts, and it projects very well indeed with minimal rainbow effect. The controls and features are far more than one would expect at the price, and the whole unit has a quality feel about it. I note that, as of this time he plans to suspend it upside down from his ceiling so that the main controls on the unit can be reached if he temporarily looses the remote control, and of course it is perfectly positioned for projection purposes [in future posts maybe I should just put PPFPP :D ] and out of harm's way too!
     

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