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I hate these forums (:grin:)

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by Messiah, Aug 19, 2002.

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  1. Messiah

    Messiah
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    There I was thinking I was happy with my new projector (3 week old Epson TW100 LCD) until I ventured into this forum (which should be classed as the 'forbidden land' for any LCD owners :D )

    Reading all the posts about CRT picture quality etc I have taken the plunge and sold my new baby (not literally, I mean the TW100) and am going down the route of CRT. I won't be looking to buy for a couple of months as I am going to prepare an existing 1st floor conversion (22'x17') for the 'cinema'. As a complete CRT newbie I have a few burning initial questions which I would be grateful for any advice on.

    Q. Should I be considering buying new or secondhand?

    Q. Are there any particular things I should be looking for (line doublers/triplers, screen ratio, connection types, etc)?

    Q. Am I doing the right thing going from LCD to CRT and will the picture quality difference be 'enormous'?

    I did dem a CRT unit (not intentionally but it was running in the dem room when I was looking for the new LCD/DLP) and remember thinking it was a fantastic picture but that was in a dem room with no windows etc. Think it was a Barco 500 or something like that. I'm just hoping I've not been too hasty (but then that's me all over :eek: ).

    Any other advice anyone can provide to a newbie would be most welcome. Thanks.
     
  2. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    1: New or s/h?

    Well there are always pro's and cons to buying anything s/h....or new. Usual things though. S/H usually means more performance for your money but with associated problems of service and back up. This can be minimised if you buy from folk with a good pedigree in this sort of thing.
    New means warranty and hopefully longevity

    2: Associated devices?

    Well just work out all the sources you need to feed to it. Then see if it has enough inputs. It's likely though that you'll be looking at a device that will require at least line doubling. If you're looking at a 16:9 screen then you'll probably also want to look at a device that can do aspect ratio control to fit letterbox and 4:3 material in it(that would mean a scaler) If you do have a higher resolution device that requires scaling or doubling then make sure the video processor has enough inputs for all your sources. Think about the future too. Will you add hi-def later? If so will it require to be de-interlaced or will it go direct to CRT? If direct how?

    3 Will it be big improvement?

    Well that depends on what device you buy, how it is installed and the ancillary equipment you use with it. I'd hope that you'll end up happy though!:D

    Gordon


    p.s. All your LCD will belong to us!
     
  3. meep

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    Messiah,

    you are me 6 months ago!!!

    You are fortunate that you have some time before taking the plunge. Read as much as you possibly can. i cannot stress this enough. search through the archives here and at avsforum. There are some very knowledgable people on-line and almost everything you need to know will have come up before.

    You will get a wide range of opinions and a depth of technical information you were not expecting. Don't worry if you feel swamped - take a step back and ask questions if you're completely lost. Everyone is very friendly.

    With regard to your specific questions;

    ***1. new or second hand?***

    I bought second hand for a number of reasons.;

    a) I got a CRT that cost many many thousands of pounds new for a lot lot less than even a modest LCD.

    b) I bought a relatively basic (Sony 1271) projector on the basis that I would not sink a lot of money into a technology I was unsure of. There is LOTS of talk about how difficult CRTs are to set up and maintain. I figured I could experiment with a low cost model and not worry TOO much if I managed to blow it up. I consider my current projector a learning model. After 6 months, I'm hooked and will be upgrading to a more expensive and better quality projector in the future.

    c) I needed the rest of the money to buy all the other bits and pieces!

    My cinema set-up strategy was to buy basic but good and upgrade gradually if things worked out. Things have worked out and I love it (new hobby!). i'm now setting about upgrading my bundle 5.1 amp/speaker package with a higher end THX set-up. (I don't consider it money wasted as the amp & speakers are being recycled into a whole-house audio system I'm putting together)



    ***2. Things to look out for***

    Where to start! This is really where you will be learning from online resources. It's also worth buying some of the Home Cinema magazines. While they deal with current hardware and always seem to recomend "flavour of the month" you get a good understanding of the basics, see current costs and drool over VERY high end installations.

    (you then can have great satisfaction when your own HT is built to similar specifications for a fraction of the price!!!)

    Anyway, I looked into scalers etc. but in the end went for a HTPC (home theatre PC - there are entire forums dedicated to these!). one box will play DVDs and allow infinite flexibility in scaling and de-interlacing Composite or s-video sources such as your game console or digital TV. My CRT/PC throws an EXCELLENT television image and PSII at 9' has to be seen to be believed.

    Regarding screens, I did not understand this fully until I actually went and bulit my install. I use my HT mostly (80%) for watching DVD movies. I installed a 9', 16:9 (1.78) aspect ration screen and it's really a compromise. I streach 5:4 TV material to fill the screen so i end up with slightly fat people (this you get used to, I have a ws TV which does this already and so have no problems adjusting). however, it's not often you find a 16:9 DVD, most are much wider than they are tall. You still end up with black horizontal bars top and bottom. If using a HTPC it's possible to adjust the aspect ratio to fill more vertical screen space but then you're distoring the movie as originally filmed.

    If I were doing it again, I would seriously consider a much wider screen and live with black side bars on 4:3 and 16:9 content. But then you are into issues of under-utilising your CRT (it's all ahead of you!).

    You're fortunate that you have not yet embarked on your renovation - you have a chance to design your cabling. Put lost good quality speaker cables in your walls, CAT 5 is good to run everywhere for future control systems (lighting, audio control) etc. Lots and lots of power sockets. Also consider power and video cables to your projector. Can you build these in now or at least build cable runs under floor or in ceiling with string for use in future cable pulling.

    Regarding light control, you really need a dark room to make the most of the projector. I put up black out blinds on my three velux windows and my viewing pleasure increased dramatically. Any stray light will contribute to a washed out screen appearance. You can boost your projector brightness and contrast to combat this but that will but greater stress on the system in the longer term (apparently!).

    You need to consider if you will ceiling mount your projector or keep it on the floor. If ceiling mounted, you need to ensure proper strength in your ceiling joists and you need to figure out a way of getting it up there. Also, you need to be pretty good with your positioning calculations as moving it about will be difficult. In addition, if you don't have a detached remote for adjustment/convergence, you're going to spend a lot of time feeling like Michaelangelo painting the Cistine ceiling.

    On the other hand, floor mounting is more flexible from a set up point of view but the projector then occupies the best seating position (sonically as well as visually!)


    ***3 LCD vs CRT****

    there's more than enough on this already. I considered LCD but reading these forums and looking at cost comparisons, bang for buck, as our US cousins say, you can't beat a good CRT. I'm more than happy with mine. As Gordon says, depending on the unit, installation and environmental conditions. It's certainly not plug and play but a little common sense goes a long way and if you have any degree of technical know how (program a VCR?) you will be able to learn at least the basics.



    WOW. That's a lot. It's just that there is so much to know, learn, compare, discount, re-learn etc. use your time and get it all in your head. Ask here, people will not put you wrong. I've found that even those with a commercial interest are fair and very informative (sometimes the most!).

    Have a look at my site (linked below) which documents my ongoing build. You should get a good sense of the stages, though I do need to add more on mistakes and what I've learned.

    Have a look at member photos on avsforum for ideas and inspiration.

    Enjoy the journey and don't be afraid to ask questions!

    Peter
     
  4. Messiah

    Messiah
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    Thanks Peter. Have sent you mail.
     
  5. Roland @ B4

    Roland @ B4
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    For once there is nothing I can add other than to say once you have seen a properly set up CRT projector there is no going back to LCD.
    You have made the correct decision.
     
  6. BadAss

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    But isnt DLP taking over? With all the advantages of LCD with the performance of CRT.
     
  7. ReTrO

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    It's not there yet. And it will never have the satisfaction of CRT.

    Will you ever see a DLP projector in a trunk sized box, covered in little dials to twiddle with?

    I think not!:)
     
  8. Messiah

    Messiah
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    Well, I'll make sure I check out the current crop of DLPs when it's time to purchase a new one. Certainly the Sharp and Marantz top models are getting some excellent reviews. Just need the prices to drop a little which I am sure they will before long.
     
  9. lmccauley

    lmccauley
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    Still has some way to go before DLP reaches the performance of CRT. Saw a Sharp 9000 DLP and Sony 9" CRT a couple of weekends ago (in the same room with the same material), and the Sony clearly looked better.

    Cheers,
    Liam
     
  10. BadAss

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    What was the price difference?

    You wouldnt need £300-£500 to have some one set up a DLP for you, usefull if you move house or start using a different room, like a loft conversion.
     
  11. Matinee

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    No, the performance still isnt there.

    There's also the issue of DLP rainbows unless a high end 3 chip projector is chosen, and those are somewhat more expensive than a second hand CRT.

    They are a lot smaller than CRT projectors though.

    PK
     
  12. meep

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    Not if you learn how to do it yourself. It's really not that difficult if you have a very small degree of technical know how and can follow a manual.

    In addition, you can pick up ridiculously priced used CRTs which do a very good job whereas GOOD digital projectors are in the very epensive range.

    As matinee says though, CRT size is an issue and, for some, their non play and play naure is also a hindrance.

    Peter
     
  13. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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