Hitachi Pj-lc2001 - a newbies view

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by stevebrowne, Dec 18, 2001.

  1. stevebrowne

    stevebrowne
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    The other Hitachi Pj-lc2001 thread is getting rather long now, so I thought I'd start a fresh thread, so the details aren't lost.

    Some background. I have been considering a projector for some time now (2 - 3 years), but could never get any buy in from the wife. Just recen;y, I have been able to justify one for my business, so the limitations were that it had to be portable and have VGA input. As long as I could find one with some home cinema functionality as well, then I would be a happy bunny.

    After reading Doug's messages raving over the Hitachi, I did the unexpected and bought one from av-sales.co.uk. I ordered on the Wednesday or Thursday, and it arrived on the following Monday.

    It comes with a carry case about the same size as a notebook carry case, and a multitude of pockets and flaps. Cables were: VGA, svideo, composite, left/right phono to mini stereo jack, euro power lead, uk power lead. The leads are all of a decent length, so that the PJ can be positioned in the middle of a room.

    There is also a slimline remote which talsk to the IR receiver on the back of the projector.

    Any of the opinions below are based on me being a newbie; usually watching things on a Sony 36" standard CRT TV, and NOT having any specially prepared screen or viewing wall. The wall is a light brown/creamy kind of colour, with anaglypta wallpaper. Not the best surface I'm sure you'll agree.

    The first thing I tried was a standard DVD from Pioneer 626 DVD player, over the Svideo cable. As it was the middle of the afternoon, and my youngest daughter (3.5) was around, I had to choose a kid friendly film to try it with. She chose 101 Dalmations (region 2).

    I turned the PJ on, slid the lens-cover across and waited to see what would happen. First of all, I had the angle wrong, so that the setup/welcome picture was hitting some furniture. One thick colouring book later, and the PJ was propped upwards a bit. A quick look through the menus relvealed the Keystone option, which allowed me to straighten up the image.

    All the while, the image was getting brighter and more vibrant, in the defauilt blue of the startup screen.

    Then, a bit of positioning of the PJ and meddle with the zoom and focus rings on the lens, and I had a 6foot wide image on the wall. A few click of the Video button selected the sVideo input, and 101 Dalmations appeared.

    It was then I noticed that the main lights in the room were on, although I hadn't noticed before. The image was still watchable, but became even better when the lights were turned off.

    At this point I haven't played with any brightness or contrast or colour balance controls.

    When the kids went to bed, I tried a laptop at 800x600, and had a great picture from it, but didn't watch a movie, as my missus wanted Eastenders on. So with a bit of quick rewiring of my SCART chain, I wired the composite lead from the Pace Digibox up to the PJ, to see if my wife could see the point of the PJ. the picture was great, although Eastenders at 6 foot wide is probably a little OTT...

    After that we watched Three Kings (region 1), and apart from shine from the anaglypta lumps on the wall, which were only in one part of the image, it looked fantastic! And the black bits did look black! I should maybe watch Pitch Black and see how that works out...

    I am really happy with this projector, and can't wait to try it out with a good footy match on Sky Sports as well.

    Without a proper screen, it's hard to say what the quality is really like, but I can try and take some digital photos to see if anything decent comes out.
     
  2. General Skanky

    General Skanky
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    What about all the usual questions, pixels, chicken wire etc?
    Or is it too early to tell?
    How far from the wall is the PJ?
    How small an image can it make at the same distance?
    How much did you pay all in?
    As a novice, like me, how long did it take to get to grips with it?
    Cheers.
     
  3. NickBull

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    Sounds good. I've just got a CRT and I get quite jealous of the threads talking about , more or less, plug and play projectors.

    I would sugest that some sort of smoth white or sk=lightly off white surface would yield high benefits. There's a few threads about DIY screens on here and the DIY forum.

    Also consider a manual screen or a tripod screen. If you can have a permanent screen then there's various places that will sell you a decent maunual pull down at a reasonable price. I beleive a gain of no more than 1.2 is desireable and a matt finish.

    The main thing I'm trying to do is actually watch the movies rather than be amazed at the picture size and worry about improving the quality any more.

    Have fun

    Nick
     
  4. Guest

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    I was almost weeping at your happiness you lucky sod.

    Maybe you could even claim the VAT back 'cos it was a business purchase!
     
  5. infomatique

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    I am trying to decide between this and the Philips Monroe.
    What is the fan noise like?
     
  6. stevebrowne

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    OK, watching a movie over the Svideo, I couldn't see any pixellation at all. The notebook image was very clearly defined pixels - exactly as you would want. But I haven't tried a DVD from the notebook yet, so it may end up being *too* clear. I couldn't see any chciken wire or any other lines at all.

    I guess I had it positioned about 3m away from the wall, angled upwards slightly, so that the image started at about 1m from the floor. The image was at least 6 foot across, and roughly 5 foot top to bottom (although difficult to gauge due to anamorphic image etc.) It was big though..

    I can't remember; but with the zoom and moving it closer to the wall, I got a very clear image that was just like the 36" TV set.

    Total cost was £1440+VAT = £1692

    All of about 5 minutes. And most of that was me making sure that the right light sequence was showing, so I didn't blow my bulb up :) Now I know what the lights are meant to be doing, I would say 2 minutes, most of which is warm up time and positioning.
     
  7. stevebrowne

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    Oh I fully intend to; this is a business purchase, for presentations etc. I'm just testing it to make sure that I know how it works, so as not to make a monkey of myself at a client site.
     
  8. stevebrowne

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    Not having had a PJ before, I hadn't thought about the fan. Basically, watching Eastenders I noticed it, but filtered it out. Watching Three Kings with 5.1 sound, I didn't hear it at all.

    The real barometer is that my wife didn't notice/didn't mention it at all, so she either wanted to keep me happy, or really didn't notice.
     
  9. stevebrowne

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    We're moving house in Feb/March, so I was going to leave the screen until then, and see what size/position etc would work best. I don't thikn my wife would like a big tripod screen in the living room while we're showing people the house :)

    I agree; the image is just sooo watchable, that I don't feel the need to tweak anything at all. But give me time.... ;-)
     
  10. jrwood

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    Is it XGA or SVGA native resolution?. When your using a PC with it always use the same resolution as the projectors native resolution so that you bypass the crummy internal scalers that 99% of projectors have!.

    I think the only projector which people think has a reasonable internal scaler is the Sharp 9000 but that costs £6000-£12000 depending where you import/buy from :eek:

    This projector sounds really good, could you put up some pictures I'm always interested in budget projectors and how they perform.

    James
     
  11. stevebrowne

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    It's SVGA, so I set the notebook to 800x600, and got a great image from it. The Svideo must be scaling somewhere internally, but I haven't yet compared RGB DVD to svideo DVD.
    Yes, I will try and get some pictures taken next time it's running.
     
  12. chic

    chic
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    did your unit have any dead pixels?
     
  13. stevebrowne

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    I haven't noticed any dead pixels - what's the best way? an 800x600 white VGA image and look for the missing pixels?
     
  14. Timh

    Timh
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    I'm Jealous! yes! very jealous. :(
    But I may be bringing my purchase forward to Febuary :D
    Why not try your digi box in rgb, I believe the Hitachi comes with the appropriate lead, should be better than composite.
    a dead pixel shoudnt look to bad, its an open pixel which can look bad, either red green or blue. Just get close to the screen an open pixel will soon show up.
    But maybe its best not to look for it, just watch and enjoy, if you find one it may bug you ;)
    Is there an option to adjust gamma?
    Get of your pc and enjoy your new toy ;)
     
  15. Walter mitty

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    Thanx stevebrown your a star. I`m glad I didn`t buy the tosh now. Think I`ll order mine now, price seems right and it sounds great. I hope you keep posting more as you learn because this is a very interesting PJ and yes I`m jealous too thanx again
     
  16. stevebrowne

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    OK, I watched Close Encounters tonight, again, straight from the Pioneer 626 DVD player. It's a region 1 disc, so obviously hass less lines than an R2 DVD, but the picture is still stunning.

    I looked real close, and had the focus almost perfect, and up close you can see each pixel. Sitting back even 2m away from the wall, I couldn't see the picels at all.

    I can see how an XGA would be better in this respect, but for the price difference currently...

    I looked more for the black levels tonight as well, and the blacks in the image were dark next to the vibrant, bright colours. They may not have been perfect blacks, but, hey, I'm new to PJs, so I can get excited anyway :)

    I will have to try an R2 anmorphic DVD later this week, to see what difference a R2 gives. I was thinking of Fifth Element, which is supposed to be a good enocde. I've also bought myself T2: Ultimate for Christmas, so I'll try that too when I'm allowed to have it.
     
  17. stevebrowne

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    The only leads I got were: svideo, RGB/VGA (standard VGA plug at each end), composite phono cable and a SCART breakout adaptor with scart one side and composite/left audio/right audio on the back. I have a SCART break out like this that also has Svideo on it - is that likely to be better? I didn't get a SCART->VGA cable though. Is that something that can be bought?

    No, just brightness, contrast, hphase, hsize, sharpness, color, tint, color balance r, color balance b. (phase & size for RGB only, sharp, color, tint for composite & svideo only)
     
  18. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    R2 TFE is an appaling transfer, both R1 leave it for dead and the superbit is to die for, sooooo sharp. Look to another R2 anamorphic disc.
     
  19. stevebrowne

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    Ok, I'll pas sover TFE for now then; I haven't got many R2 DVDs, mainly R1. I've got the Alien boxset on R2, so that might be worth trying I guess. Gladiator R1 is worth a try I guess.
     
  20. Guest

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    Steve,
    Glad you have joined the club!!
    Yes,its a great projector-soooo sharp and the black level fantastic!
    But I sure got a dilemma now,because when I upgrade next i`m going to have to spend an awful lot more to significantly better this.
    Soon i`m getting a Nec lt150 as well(for 1400 quid!!)so i`m gonna do a head to head!
    doug
     
  21. Timh

    Timh
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    Steve, Thanks for the settings list. I thought I read somewhere that it comes with a cable with scart to vga D plug, I guess I was wrong. I dont know if this cable can be bought.
    If you are to try The Fifth Element I believe a good scene is when Bruce first gets in his hover car, there is a scene with a cop in a hover car, can you see the 2 cops in the back seat, some projectors struggle with this.
    The Mummy or Mummy Returns are also good testers when in dark tunnels with flame torches lit for a good contrast from dark to bright.
    Alien box set should be a good test, plenty of dark scenes.
    If you have The Phantom Menace, it comes with a THX optimode extra on disc one, for setting picture and sound up correctly.
     
  22. stevebrowne

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    Well it's all thanks to you!

    Are there are 4 head graphics cards for PCs that will control 4 PJs at once, to double up resolution to 1600x1200? Just a thought :)
     
  23. Guest

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    Good stuff Steve!..hey ..you got me thinking now...what if you stacked 2 x Hitachis and fired them at the same screen?..would it double the brightness?
    ...Anyway,I have yet to hook my p.c. through the Hitachi-I cant wait for that picture!
    800 x 600 at 60Hz I guess-is this what your running at?(I wonder if it could handle 1024 x 768 at 72Hz?..)

    P.S. I used to have the dxr3 and upgraded to powerdvd-not much in it...dxr3 sharper picture more noise..powerdvd softer picture -no noise...
    Doug
     
  24. jrwood

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    hey you definetly want to hook it up to a PC at 800x600 native to the projector, simply amazing compared to the svideo input (well on my projector anyway!). Some projectors electronics are'nt very good on the svideo side and I think thats where my CX1 is inferior but my HTPC means I saved money anyway because I dont use the svideo inputs!.

    Can't wait for some feedback/screenshots on the LT150 it will be interesting to read about them. How did you get such a projector for a steal!.

    James
     
  25. Guest

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    In the same issue of HCC that reviewed the PJ-LC2001 (July or August) they also had a mini review of a Cannon, a NEC & the PJ-LC2001 again, as part of a HTPC article.

    In that mini review they stated that Hitachi supply the unit with a Scart to 15 pin VGA to route an RGB signal from a suitable scart to the unit!

    It maybe that the lead is an optional extra from Hitachi, but I would have thought that any computer bits web site would sell them!
     
  26. Guest

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    Doug, you are a greedy fellow!

    Can I have your Hitachi then if you like the NEC better? I here the Hitachi units are crap anyway so I'll be doing you a favour really!
     
  27. Hoglet

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  28. adamhamilton

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    Can the PJ-LC2001 be hung from the ceiling?
    i.e. can you flip the image from the menu?

    Thanks.
     
  29. General Skanky

    General Skanky
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    Meat, there is another thread here that raises a potential problem of firms/manufacturers not actually selling that lead, scart - vga! It seems it may not work!
    That and no componenet input are what are this projector's greatest flaws.
     
  30. Guest

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    Hi,
    I bought the NEC LT150 on an online auction(took a chance..)-but reputable seller.
    I just need to get a u.k.power lead to go from the NEC.
    Regards the Hitachi,the lack of component inputs in my view-though it might be for some-is not a flaw-as I ultimately plan to use with p.c. anyway.
    Doug
     

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