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Hitachi TX10, Epson TW10 - budget best buys?

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by johnk, Jan 31, 2004.

  1. johnk

    johnk
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    Firstly, what a great forum! Like many people, I have watched the recent, rapid changes in the projector market with interest, and have now abandoned my plan to buy a plasma TV in favour of a 16:9 projector. I have learned a huge amount in just a few days reading this forum. A very friendly and knowledgeable bunch.

    I'm already drawing up a shortlist. I started with the Hitachi TX10, Epson TW10, Panasonic AE200/300 and Sanyo Z1. I'm now edging towards the Hitachi or Epson.

    Although I am as interested in the best image quality as anyone else, my main concerns are practical and mundane. From what I've read, the quality differences at modest magnifications (5ft screen) between the new generation of £1,000 machines are so small, that it's other factors that really come into play, such as....

    1. Fan noise. It may seem bizarre, but this is probably the most important factor for me. I want a machine that is as quiet as possible. Preferably inaudible in "quiet mode". I'll be sitting within a couple of feet of the projector. All the reviews I have read suggest the Hitachi wins on that score? This is where the Sanyo Z1 fell down. From what I have read, it appears to be the loudest of the new generation of "quiet" machines?

    2. A small room, so...short throw and lens flexibility are important. The Epson and Hitachi seem to have a shorter throw than the Panasonic AE200/300 and Sanyo Z1 , but the Hitachi seems to win again because of its lens adjustment capability?

    3. Cost of ownership. The Epson three-year guarantee and the cheap bulbs earn major points here.

    4. Domestic harmony. Projector will be on coffee table, and I will have to use a portable screen, maximum 60". Can I presume that, at this modest size, screendoor will not be an issue with any machine (sitting about 9ft away)?

    I know I should answer all these questions myself by demo-ing them. But is it remotely feasible to expect to find a dealer that will stock both machines (or even all four, if you include the AE300/Z1) and enable you to replicate your domestic set-up (in terms of screen size, distances etc)? Projectors still seem to be a minority sport compared to other areas of AV. And as I'm a newbie in the world of projectors, I know I'll miss key factors anyway.

    For example, should I only buy through a dealer that carries out a dead pixel check? Or will they all accept machines back if there are dead pixels? So many questions!

    So if anyone has any thoughts on the Epson and Hitachi (particularly anyone who has compared them directly), or anyone who thinks I'd be making a big mistake and should go for one of this forum's usual suspects (AE300/Z1), I'd appreciate your views.

    JohnK
     
  2. PATRICKDORAN

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    hi ,
    i bought a hitachi tx10 , i project from about 10ft away and the image size can be almost 9, 10 ft wide , but the picture isnt as
    good compared with say and 6ft wide , i actualli had to send it bak as a white line appeared on the top of the screen , im considering trading up to a xga projector , mayb sanyo z2 because while the picture was good it was a little pixely
    o yeah and i have found it v quiet but i have it on a shelf about 4ft above my head .
     
  3. ren

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    Hi, 2 weeks ago I bought the Epson tw-10 (with free 60" screen) and I'm very pleased with it. The colors and contrast are very good. On www.projectorcentral.com you'll find a distance calculator which is very convenient. The epson is very quiet when you run it on "cinema black mode" which is also the best setting. The screendoor effect will be different for every person but sitting 10 feet away will minimize the effect. You can also set the lens slightly out of focus. It won't effect the sharpness of the picture but the screendoor effect will be much softer.
    Remember it's a entrance level projector, so don't expect it to be perfect. But the quality amazes me every day and I'm very glad to have it. Try to see it for yourself (under good conditions = dark room)
     
  4. johnk

    johnk
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    Many thanks for the replies.

    Spent this evening wandering around my living room with a measuring tape! Made it even more obvious how valuable lens shift and a wide zoom are when space is cramped, so for those reasons I'm leaning towards the Hitachi TX10.

    I will be using RGB from my DVD player (no component on my player). The Hitachi's spec says the component inputs are switchable to RGB. Anyone used RGB input on the TX10 via the component ports? Any comment on quality Vs component feed?


    JohnK
     
  5. AMc

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    Sorry to jump on the thread - I'm particularly interested in the Epson TW-10 because the tech specs seem to suggest it will cope with a long throw/small image combination?

    My plan is to wall mount the PJ and temporarily fix a screen over my existing TV bench for movies. My set up would need to deal with a 4-4.5 m throw to a screen of only 1.7m diagonal.

    The specs here suggest there is a telephoto option on the Epson may be able to cope with this - does that look possible?
    http://www.av-sales.com/projectors/Epson-emptw10.pdf
     
  6. ren

    ren
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    Andy,

    unless a 2 meter diagonal image from 2 meter distance is a small picture according to you... :D This is a short throw projector. Read about the distance calculator in my earlier reply.

    Rudy
     
  7. PATRICKDORAN

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    Ive used the hitachi wthe a component via component and it
    was very easy to adjust things as my dvd player had to switch the output via componet r rgb , although jus yesterday i
    changed my hitachi for a sanyo z2 , a lot more xpensive
    and onli slightly better , mayb i shuda kept my hitachi
    nexnix.co.uk are the cheapest i think
     
  8. Mr Sparkle

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    Johnk,
    I also have the Hitachi PJ-TX10 (purchased last November). The x2 zoom and the vertical/horizontal lens shift do give extreme flexibility in the projector positioning particularly if it has to live in a non-dedicated HC room ie the family lounge.

    I am currently running my TX10 with component video from a Tosh SD330E DVD player via a Denon AVR1803 A/V amp.

    The optical performance has exceeded my pre-purchase expectations and I would definitely recommend it as an ideal entry point to front projection.

    Hope this helps.

    Mr Sparkle
     
  9. Ninjaman

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    " but the Hitachi seems to win again because of its lens adjustment capability?" Can someone explain this feature please?


    On a more general point, how long does the bulb last, how much is the replacement? PTAE 500.


    Any good whilst playing xbox games?
     
  10. johnk

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    Mr Sparkle,

    Many thanks for your response. I've gone for the TX10 - awaiting delivery. In the end, lens shift was a deciding factor. An invaluable feature in a small living room.


    JohnK
     
  11. Pete Delaney

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    Hi John,

    Lots of people do not have a dedicated home cinema room (like me for instance). The Hitatchi seems an ideal solution for flexibility (a real get it out of the cupboard and pick a wall to light up with a movie). I am interested in this product and I suspect like myself, you have never owned a PJ. Therefore, it would be great if you could give an unbiased review as your opinion will not be 'tainted' due to previous PJ ownership/experience. It's really easy to get bogged down in a which machine is better, all I want is an 'I got it out of the box switched it on and thought.....great/yuk/wow/waste of cash/bargain etc.. I hope you get my drift and are willing to participate!

    Cheers,
    Pete.
     
  12. johnk

    johnk
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    Pete,

    Yes, it'll be my first PJ. Once I've had a few days to give the machine a decent trial (it hasn't arrived yet), I'll post my thoughts.


    JohnK
     
  13. Matt Horne

    Matt Horne
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    I'm all ears as well.. I have a living room with a bay window area calling out for a screen.. it would be a 69" image and like you I would be putting the projector on a table and I would be interested to hear what you think.

    I would be using a progsacn image from my DV88+ on component cables..

    thanks

    Matt
     
  14. Mr Sparkle

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  15. johnk

    johnk
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    Okay, as promised, my review of the Hitachi PJ-TX10. A newbie review.

    Although I am a projector newbie, I'm pretty fussy about video and audio quality, so I apply pretty high standards. But bear in mind that my opinions will be affected by the WOW factor of having my first PJ at home. I will try to be objective.

    In short, the TX10 has exceeded my expectations. Most importantly, the projected image (on a 5ft wide screen, viewing from 9-10ft) is bright and vivid with excellent colour rendition (just make sure you feed it a component or RGB feed). The image is quite cinematic, if that makes sense.

    Last night was the first chance I had to sit down and watch a film with the machine properly set up (watched Lost in Translation, R1). Stunning. The PJ achieved the one thing I was hoping for - to allow me to become utterly absorbed in a film, in a way that you can never achieve at home with a normal CRT TV.

    Do you see the "chicken wire"? Of course, if you sit close enough and go looking for it. But frankly, if you're interested in watching movies rather than forensic examination of your screen image, it's not an issue. Maybe it's more of an issue on 7ft/8ft screens, I don't know (although logically it should only depend on the ratio of sitting distance to screen size). If you're spotting chicken wire, you're watching a very boring movie.

    As to noise, I think the "whisper" mode is a little bit louder than I would expect (only because "whisper" suggests something a bit quieter than the TX10 achieves). Yes, sitting a few feet away, you'll hear the PJ during quiet bits of the movie. But although I'm really fussy about room noise during films, I didn't find it distracting. You very quickly get used to it.

    The menus allow for a lot of tweaking, and I found it did need quite a lot of adjustment to get the image to best quality. You can memorise different set-ups, which is another good feature. A feed from a Sky set-top box does appear to need a different set up from DVDs, at least in my case.

    I must say, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the Sky feed (again, RGB, of course). But I had very low expectations. I was expecting the image to be heavily degraded, but it's watchable on the channels with decent feeds.

    The lens shift was, for me, one of the deciding factors in buying this unit. If you have limited space, it is very useful. Subjectively, there does appear to be some slight softening of the image when you push the shift to its limits. But I guess this is only to be expected, and the manual does make it clear that quality might suffer as you apply the lens shift. Still a great feature though.

    In summary, for all those sitting on the fence because they are put off by all the if and buts in this forum: just go and buy it. I cannot imagine anyone being disappointed by the experience (if it's your first PJ). And I can imagine many people being exhilarated (as I was). It will take the pleasure you get from movies at home to a new level, and that's what it is all about. Just make sure you've a good 5.1 audio system as well. It's just as important. And try to use a PJ dealer that will offer a dead pixel check. I wouldn't buy one without it.

    If anyone has any other questions, just ask. I'm happy to try to answer them.

    JohnK

    PS: My screen? I built my own, using blackout lining. Thanks to Gary Lightfoot and others in these forums who have given detailed instructions on this.

    PPS: Small annoyance: The TX10 accepts an RGB feed through its component sockets. If you're feeding it a Scart RGB feed, as I am, you'll need to buy an adapter. Although the PJ10 includes a Scart adapter, it was not (as I expected) a Scart -> RGB/composite sync adapter, just a composite sync/audio adapter, which is quite useless. So you either have to buy the relevant Scart adapter (Lektropacks sell them, £8) or buy a dedicated Scart lead (i.e. Scart -> 4 phono or 6 phono, with RGB, composite (for sync), and in the case of the 6 phono cables, stereo audio)
     
  16. Pete Delaney

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    Thanks for the review John,

    It's just a question of taking 'the credit card plunge' now!:laugh:

    From what I have learned so far I think all the latest £1000 pjs will not dissapoint, I was personally thinking the Hitatchi would not produce the goods.....I have been reading far too many reviews lately:suicide:

    All I wanted was an impartial first timers review and you delivered just that..:smoke:

    Thanks again John,

    Pete...
     
  17. AMc

    AMc
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    Thanks for the review johnk - can I ask again does the projector have a telephoto mode as well as normal throw?

    I contacted Epsom who provided a link to their own projection calculator program. They say the PowerLite-TW100 has the same optics but I'd love an owners opinion.

    Thanks if you can help answer my question hope you enjoy your new PJ!
     
  18. johnk

    johnk
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    Not sure what you mean by "telephoto mode". The zoom has quite a wide range. You can download the manual at the Hitachi web site which has a table giving all the throw stats.

    JohnK
     
  19. AMc

    AMc
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    Ignore me I've become cross eyed with model numbers - doh!
     

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