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HS10, TW100H/Yamaha LPX-500, or something else?

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by Mr. Wilby, May 20, 2003.

  1. Mr. Wilby

    Mr. Wilby
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    Hello all,

    [Warning: this might be a long and incoherant post!]

    I've been trying to make a call between all the deferent LCD PJ's on the market for some months now but I am still undecided. I thought it might be worth jotting down my requirements, ramblings and other random thoughts in a posting just in case somebody can push me off the fence and into my first PJ purchase.

    Firstly, let me say, I am buying blind. I live in Finland and I just can't find anywhere local in the city I live that sells non-data projectors. [Probably its because I'm a foreigner and don't know where to look, but that's another story! Voi voi as the Finns would say!]. I have of course, seen data projectors so I know what I am in for in terms of screen door/FPN and the like.

    I have also just moved into a house and I have the following space constraints:

    a) I will be seated max of 3.5m from the front of the screen. Nothing I can do about this. I figure I just have to make the projected image small(er) if I can't take it all in at this distance.

    b) The PJ can be up to 4.8m from back wall to front of screen, or, if I have the PJ mounted in my kitchen somewhere (opens onto my lounge) potentially say another 20-40cms. Personally, I'd prefer not to go down the kitchen route. My other half is understanding, but I am not sure how popular I would be with her if I did this...

    Various other thoughts, in no particular order:

    1. Cost
    - My criteria for purchasing are numerous but no single projector satisfies them all, therefore my dilemma has been trying to pick the single best projector that satisfies most of them without costing the earth. I figure that 3k is the absolute max I can justify on a PJ. Its not that I can't afford more, but anything over that would just be silly. This is just a PJ after all! :D

    2. Screen & Size
    - I'm cheaping out on the screen and going with an Ikea black out blind for the time being. I figure that I can get a decent screen once I've worked out exactly what it is I want in a screen. Right now I just don't know. The Ikea blind might just be enough.

    Size-wise, I'm after, I think, a max of 2m, since this is the width of the Ikea blind (I think - its in the garage and I'm too lazy to go and check). I'm worried that at 2m, and 3.5m back I'm a) going to see screen door (below) and b) too close for such a large image.

    Q1: What do peeps think about this?

    EDIT: Here's the screen metrics from PJCentral. I went with 4.4m to play it safe allowing for size of PJ case etc. Hopefully that's about accurate.


    Manufacturer: Yamaha LPX-500
    Distance to Screen: 4.4 m
    Diagonal Range: 258 - 371 cm
    Height Range: 127 - 182 cm
    Width Range: 225 - 323 cm

    Manufacturer: Sony VPL-HS10
    Distance to Screen: 4.4 m
    Diagonal Range: 238 - 300 cm
    Height Range: 117 - 147 cm
    Width Range: 208 - 261 cm


    3. Screen Door
    - Obviously I don't want to see any. I think at 1.5x the screen width back (seated) from the screen I ought to be okay with either of the PJ's in my subject line. I keep reading conflicting reports about screen door on the Yam/Epson. Some people say its on-par with the HS10 and other say its terrible (some of the reviews in AVS spring to mind). Also, there are comments I've read about smeary pictures with these two that also bother me. I'm not spending 3k (or 2k even!) to get smears/streaking:

    Q2: Particularly to Neil, and WebLoader - you've owned or own TW100 and LPX-500 respectively. Did (do) you notice any of this so called streaking or banding? I'm not talking about screen door but some other vertical pixilation every few cms or so? Is this a common problem with LCD PJ's or just these two (TW100/LPX) in particular?

    4. Noise (audible!)
    - I've just built my first HTPC (using LMP case, plug plug ;-)) and its FANtastic :)rotfl: somebody :suicide: me...). I've spent a lot of money and effort trying to make this thing quiet so I do not want to go and shoot that all down in flames by mounting a vacuum cleaner to my ceiling. HS10 really really worries me here. I think I'd probably have bought it already were it not for this single point.

    5. 1:1 mapping via HTPC
    - Probably one of the biggest issues so I'm not sure why I left this down at number 6. It absolutely has to have 1:1 and I am still not entirely clear on whether this is possible with the TW100/LPX-500. I *think* it is from what I've read on AVS, but nobody, at least for the LPX, has said outright that it is. More research needed there I think. Seems like a non-issue for HS10, though I'm worried about judders on the pans because of the 56hz thing (IIRC). Kramer will no doubt pop by and tell me I'm worrying about nothing in this respect!

    6. General Ramblings :)
    - If it weren't partially for the throw, and mainly because of the noise I think the HS10 would fit the bill perfectly here, and at a good price. But the noise thing really worries me. As I said, I can't audition it and several people have either complained about the noise or gone as far as returning their PJ because of it. The Epson or Yammy on the other hand don't have this problem and they also have a more reasonable (controllable) throw.

    - TW100/LPX-500 don't have HDCP though, and that does *slightly* bother me in terms of future proofing...

    Can anybody convince me what to do!?!? Somebody? Please? ;-)

    I've been around these forums for months now trying to work out which one to get and its an absolute nightmare.

    I've thought about waiting for a new batch of PJ's to appear but then you can wait and wait forever and end up with nothing. As I said, this whole process is a compromise and therefore ...

    There has to be something out there that I'll be happy with....

    Thanks for reading. Sorry its so long. I've just re-read the above and there's only two questions in there.... sorry... feel free to share your collective thoughts and experience with this wavering newbie!
     
  2. Messiah

    Messiah
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    Well, if you are not susceptible to rainbows then I would not go for either :)

    As to vertical banding, yes the TW100 had then VERY faintly and only on light constant coloured areas like sky. I have to say it really didn't worry me once I accepted that it is an inherent 'feature' of LCD panels and to be honest no one else who saw it noticed them or was bothered by them.

    The TW100 is a fantastic pj with amazing colours, detail and punch (brightness helps here along with vibrant, realistic colours). Don't forget the new version is now available with (supposedly) even better blacks.

    I said I wasn't going to say it again but for me I would go with the HT1000 for it's silky smooth image, colour and detail on a par with the TW100 and brightness very very close behind. I just found it a much nicer (more CRT like) image. Oh, and it's fan is whisper quiet.

    Don't know if that helps but hope it has.
     
  3. Mr. Wilby

    Mr. Wilby
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    Hi Neil,

    Did you notice any banding on the HS10? The thing about DLP is that even if me and the good lady aren't susceptible to rainbows, one of our friends might be and that is enough to rule out DLP for me right now. Maybe in a couple of years when the technology has moved on. I had a chat with the other half and she agreed that it would be a bit too much to risk, esp as I can't just sling it back in the post if I have problems.

    Heart is set on Yam-500 but head says HS10 is probably enough. Will no doubt ummm and aaaah a bit longer. If the right offer comes along I think I'll jump though.

    Cheers

    Alex
     
  4. dunkyboy

    dunkyboy
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    There are ways of making rainbows go away... My friend has the Sharp PG-M20X, and with its 3X colour wheel, rainbows are only noticeable occasionally (when a particularly shiny object appears in a relatively dark background) in low power mode. But when you slap on a neutral density filter and darken the image somewhat, the rainbows all but disappear.

    Now, I don't know about the NEC HT1000, but seeing as it's got a 4X (equivalent) colour wheel, I expect it should be very good for rainbows. It's lumen output isn't much compared to the Sharp (which has like 1900 ANSI!) so I don't know if a filter would be feasible...

    But just wanted to let you know that there are options for rainbows. As a matter of fact, I'm couting on it - as I'm getting myself a shiny new NEC LT240 from the States in the coming weeks! :D I'm fairly susceptible to rainbows, and the 240 only has a 2X colour wheel, so I'm rather worried about how bad it's going to be... But the image on my friend's Sharp is sooooo nice, and the NEC is meant to be even nicer, so I'm planning to grit my teeth and, through a combination of tweakery and stoic perseverance ("rainbows? what rainbows?"), just get by one way or another.

    Seriously, there's something about DLPs, or at least, the current generation of DLPs... The new LCD models (I've only seen the Sanyo Z1, but from what I hear, it's pretty well representative of the current crop) are very good for LCD, but they just can't match the smoothness, beautiful blacks/shadows, and just general beauty of a good DLP. The Sharp is stunning (pity about its reliability...), and I can only imagine what the HT1000 is like. Unfortunately I can't stretch my budget to that one, so I'm going with its little brother, the LT240, and hoping for the best...

    Anyway, I think you may have a competitor in terms of length/rambliness of posts. :D

    Dunc
     
  5. Messiah

    Messiah
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    Mr Wilby

    I didn't so much notice vertical banding but more vertical streaking. To this day I still don't know what it was but it was with Star Wars AOTC and it was like watching through a dirty window (but tbh it was worse, or more noticeable, than my TW100 which I no longer have so I am not just sticking up for it :) ). So, I preferred the TW100 but there is a £1100 difference as well so that must be considered.

    BTW, between the TW100H and LPX500 I personally would choose the TW100H as it has the newer panels with higher contrast. IIRC the LPX500 is based upon the older TW100 design and panels.
     
  6. Kramer

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    Where to start ;)

    OK - HS10, absolutely no vertical banding whatsoever (for me at least - & I'm pretty picky about VB :eek: ). AE100s' (had 2) VB drove me mad.

    Screendoor....not an issue from 1.5 & greater viewing distance.

    Blacks.....with a CC40R & calibration, in a word...acceptable :) That's probably doing it a dis-service though. Recent viewing has revealed a nigh on pitch dark room during "black" screens....excellent :clap:

    Shadow detail ......via a HCPC (& with all the advantages that brings), great. No problems with dark scenes. Having said that, I imagine there could be inadequecies using a standard DVD player - inability to tweak the input signal & all that.

    Stutter/judder....what stutter? No problems with the 56hz refresh rate. Stutter a plenty with software accelleration, but with hardware accelleration from the Radeon card - perfectly fluid pans (cue Comer to disagree :D ).

    Can't comment on the other PJs, but for me the only issue would be the noise levels from the HS10 in a warm room - it does get going :rolleyes:

    I've removed it from the viewing room - many/most can't.

    Had the HS10 >5 mths now & as happy now as when it arrived. That's unusual for me & says something about the HS10.

    Hope to have more to say later next month when I'll hopefully had a chance to "audition" (equalivent word for viewing would be???) 6 competing LCD/DLP PJs.

    :hiya:
     
  7. WebLoader

    WebLoader
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    I had an Hs10 for about 3 months until it suffered the dreaded lamp bug. I then traded up to an Lpx500. I have only got about 13 hours so far of the Lpx, compared to about 120 hours on the Hs10, so this is very much ‘first impressions’
    I will however add to this thread as I get more information


    Viewing Environment

    Wall mounted about 1.5 metres high (so in ceiling mount mode), the wall is 3.28 metres away from the screen. The screen is essentially a smooth plastered chimney breast, which is 1.48 metres wide, painted with Dulux Ice Storm 6. The image ‘just’ fits on the available width using the zoom control to minimum viewing, with the bracket giving about 0.4m stand off of the wall.


    Source Material

    The Hs10 was fed from Sky+ set top box using SVideo and the supplied 10m multi connector.
    It was also driven using an HTPC set to the native 1:1 resolution via a Radeon 7500 using a Lindy10m DVI

    The Lpx is wired for every conceivable input, using Van Damme 15m cables, Lindy 10m DVI and Lindy 15m gold series VGA

    I have not yet got the Lpx running 1:1 as my HTPC is down at the moment, so currently I am using just the Sky+ SVideo feed. I will though get this up and running soon.


    Case

    The lpx500 is less bulky than the hs10, but the hs10 has cleaner lines, and looks more 'consumer friendly'. These are detail things, such as the illuminated Sony logo, whereas the logos on the lpx are stick on badges, which are upside down when the projector is ceiling mounted.
    The hs10 has a better lens arrangement, with motorised focus and zoom (both manual on the Lpx)
    I want the family to be able to use the projector without having to mess around with lens caps etc. On the Sony, the lens has a permanent shield fitted which is all part of the sealed optics.
    The lpx however has a conventional lens cap, which you must either use all the time and as a result correct the focus (as fitting/removal moves the focus slightly), or do what I do and don’t bother using the cap at all. You can also see PCB through the gap between the adjustment rings and the casing on the lpx. Whether or not dust getting in here can get in the optics (I don’t know!) it just doesn’t seem ‘right’ that this is exposed...
    Advantage:Hs10


    Airflow

    Both projectors draw air from the underside, and vent out the front. The lpx is superior though because the exhaust is some distance away from the lens, and is also angled so that the hot air does not interfere with the light path. This avoids the heat haze affect that can sometimes be seen on the hs10 picture.
    Advantage:Lpx


    Noise

    Much has been written about the fan noise of the hs10. This may or may not be an issue to you depending on how you use your projector, your seating in relationship to it etc. for me, I use the projector daily for a mixture of big screen TV, console gaming and films. The seating arrangements mean that the projector is wall mounted, with the main seats directly underneath.
    I always used to run the hs10 in cinema mode, as the full brightness mode was too loud unless you had a lot of background noise (lots of people in the room for example)
    With the hs10 you could hear the fans (which would change pitch depending on ambient temp), and the noise of the fan motors was clearly audible over the airflow noise.

    The lpx does not have separated hi/lo brightness modes. The fan runs at a constant pitch, and is much quieter than the hs10. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that the fans are almost silent, rather that they are much less intrusive - the noise you can mainly hear is the airflow.
    The noise from the lpx seems to drop off faster as you move away from it; again I guess it is due to the 'white noise' nature of the fans, where the hs10 was a definite 'machine' noise that you could hear. The pitch changes of the hs10 fans would also really draw your attention to the noise, increasing the irritation as you start trying to figure out how to solve it rather than watching the picture!!
    If you want to use your projector late in the evening with low listening volume levels then the lpx is *definitely* ahead here.
    Advantage:Lpx

    Disclaimer - I remember in a previous post about noise on the hs10 I stated that it wasn’t a problem. In my defence that was while I had the hs10 set up temporarily in my office about 2m away from my seating position. However once fitted in my lounge about 2 feet above my head then I was planning to build a hush box due to the noise.


    Usability
    Menus:
    The lpx menus are better because they give you more configurability without needing to access the service menu. This has been well covered in other review so I wont repeat it here.

    Remote:
    Both remotes are illuminated. Again, the hs10 remote is more ‘designer’, but is not as usable as the lpx. The lpx remote works really well, with better physical buttons, and complements the lpx’s superior menu layout perfectly. It also has discrete source buttons and therefore should be easy to build macros in learning remotes such as the Pronto.

    Start-up speed:
    The hs10 takes what seems like an age to start. the cineza logo comes on, and then eventually the selected source is displayed when the bulb has reached the correct brightness. The lpx comes on much faster, and displays the source as the brightness is building (like an old CRT TV set!). This is more convenient particularly if you are using your projector for TV

    Shutdown speed:
    The hs10 is faster, the fans on the lpx seem to take 2 or 3 times as long to shutdown after power off. Does this matter? Not for me, but I guess if you did not have a permanently fixed installation and were waiting to put the lpx away after a movie then I would recommend that you go an put the kettle on while you wait ?
    Advantage:Lpx


    Connectivity

    The lpx supports dvi, vga, rgb, composite, SVideo and component. I have compared the output of my sky+ box using RGB+composite sync against Svideo, and I have to say that I have not yet been able to see much of a difference(though these have been very quick tests)
    The lpx also has rs232 and trigger outputs. The rs232 lets you control the projector from a pc or dedicated controller. This isn’t documented well at all but I contacted Yamaha and they emailed me a couple of pages of rs232 codes. I haven’t used this feature yet but plan to do so.

    The hs10 has dvi, SVideo, composite, and component. It does not support vga out of the box, you need a special cable from Sony.
    Advantage:Lpx


    Value

    The cheapest that the lpx in the UK is nearly twice the price of the HS10. The HS10 is much better value - no contest really on this one!
    If however you are prepared to import yourself then the prices are much closer, or if you are prepared to go for the revised Epson TW100 (which is slightly down spec compared to the lpx) then the prices are not so far apart.
    Advantage:Hs10


    Picture

    It is a really tough one to call here. I have been disappointed and pleased at the same time with both units.

    The hs10 has no screen door. It has very little panel noise. The resolution is fantastic. The inbuilt scaler delivers pin sharp images when fed s-video via sky satellite.

    The lpx has slight screen door, and some panel noise, and the resolution is not as good. The picture seems softer than the hs10

    However, the lpx has much better blacks/greys. With the hs10 I was always looking at the black areas of the screen and being annoyed by the fact that they were either pink or blue, depending on the filter and the settings, but never black!
    The lpx is much better, I don’t worry about the black areas of the picture, and I haven’t touched a single setting on it yet!

    The picture (so far) seems more 'watchable'. I know that this is a hopeless, soft, meaningless term, but it just is.
    I should say at this point that I have don’t good light control, so a lot of my viewing so far has been done with ambient light.
    Again, I would say that the lpx is better here than the hs10 as i used to run the hs10 in cinema mode to cut the noise, which killed the brightness, which washed out the picture in ambient light.

    But, on the lpx the panel noise seems more evident. I have spent time adjusting the sharpness, but I can see more of this noise than I remember on the hs10.

    ..however. on the test pattern (grey scales) on the lpx the pattern noise is barely visible, so I suspect that when I get it driven via DVI then this will be less of an issue.
    Advantage: - depends on your environment!


    Reliability / warranty

    The hs10 start-up issues are well documented. They do however seem to be improving, as people have new bulbs etc fitted.
    The lpx to my knowledge doesn’t have any well documented recurring faults. It also has a 2yr warranty versus 1 year of the hs10. Interestingly though the lpx manual describes how startup failures are a characteristic of the type of bulb, and do not indicate a fault!
    Advantage:Lpx


    Conclusion

    Which one is best?
    Well, it depends as always on your requirements. I think if you can control your lighting, and can control the projector noise (either by a hush box or mounting it away from the audience) then the hs10 is better overall for a dedicated HT setup. I say this because with light control and filters/calibration you can get a fantastic picture out of the hs10, and if you can mount it out of the room then even better.
    If on the other hand your projector is going to be in a non dedicated environment (standard living room), so light control is a problem, or if you cannot control the noise of projector, then the lpx makes a better TV replacement due to its superior colours, brightness, black levels and low noise.

    happy viewing...
     
  8. Mr. Wilby

    Mr. Wilby
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    WebLoader - Fantastic post!. Still trying to digest all of it.

    I don't suppose you have the ability to take any photos of the screen door at various distances on the LPX?

    I think I am going to wait until you get your DVI 1:1 mapping setup before I order either way so please do let us know your findings. I am literally hanging off every word here ;-)

    Many many thanks

    Alex
     
  9. WebLoader

    WebLoader
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    mr w
    no probs - it took longer than i hoped to get round to it but better late than never :)
    i will try to get some pics at some point..however looking at the layout of your room in your other post then i think the lpx would suit you better...just my opinion!
     
  10. Mr. Wilby

    Mr. Wilby
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    WebLoader... couple of quick questions (I also sent you a private message).

    1 - did you have any joy with your 1:1 mapping via DVI? I saw your post on the American forums but just wondered how that was going.

    2 - any luck with the pictures?

    Am very very close to buying LPX-500 now and just need the final push :)

    Many thanks,

    Alex
     
  11. WebLoader

    WebLoader
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    hi mr w
    sorry i didnt see your pm - i must get that auto notification thing switched on..

    anyway, i still have the issue with the values being shown on the lpx menu screen showing a different res than that being reported by powerstrip.
    i have to admit, i HATE the whole powerstrip/radeon combination, they are unreliable and as badly designed as anything i have ever seen...

    aside from that, my latest feeling is that the panel noise issue is in some way due to the faroudja scaler and the resolution of the panel not working well together with Sky sat sources. i have noticed that there is much less (if any) noise when feeding in dvi pc images.

    i have a motherboard problem with my htpc and am going to rebuild it from scratch, so it will be a while until i am able to drive the lpx with the best possible source to see what it can do. i then plan to try sky via svideo and dscaler vs sky via svideo using faroudja dcdi, then finally sky via rgbs using faroudja dcdi.

    cheers
     

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