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Infocus X1

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by sounddog, Jun 6, 2003.

  1. sounddog

    sounddog
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    Hi ...

    Been considering a projector ... first option was a cheep Panasonic AE100 ... but the problem is that it's throw is too short (want to put it on back wall which is about 4 - 4.5m away from the screen).

    Anyway ... looking around I've found the InFocus X1 projector at almost a suitable price. Just have a few questions not sure if anyone can answer.

    1) It's a 4:3 projector ... but obviously mostly we'll be watching 16:9 stuff. How much of a disadvantage is this. I guess not much (compared to the Panasonic) as it's horizonal resolution is very similar to the Panasonic's. Also I guess with a 4:3 I can move the picture up and down a little rather than having to tilt the unit?

    2) I've used InFocus projectors in work environment ... how much is the X1 just a business projector or has it been quietened, etc. Is the quoted 37dB quiet (considering the projector will be mounted above our head)?

    3) Anyone know where to get one cheep ... have seen £1000 plus VAT quoted for them at Nexnix.

    Edit/Add: 4) Can it do PAL progressive?

    Edit/Add: 5) If I bought a projector (any projector) are there additional expenses I need to consider. We have a Pioneer 757ai DVD player - this is only NTSC progressive but most of our discs are PAL. Other sources are Tivo, a VCR and a LD player. I guess we'd probably want a RGB --> component converter for Tivo, then switch them with the 1066.

    And finally ...

    6) Does anyone know of any other projector around the similar cost - lower rather than higher ideally ... that will do a 2m wide (230cm diagonally) picture from between 4 and 4.5m away.

    Also I understand that as it's a DLP projector we aught to make sure we demo it to check for the "rainbow effect" ... can anyone describe a bit more what that is?

    Thanks
    Vikki
     
  2. dunkyboy

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    1) 4:3 native projectors aren't a big deal, except for the black bars above & below the image when watching widescreen stuff. Some people are more annoyed by this than others, and you can always use some form of blanking or frame to get rid of them. It does, as you say, allow more flexibility with vertical positioning of the screen. Also, some people just have a "thing" about paying for pixels they're not going to use. :p

    2) 37dB is not quiet. I had a Hitachi business PJ listed at 37dB and it was quite annoying. That said, my friend's got a Sharp PG-M20X (mid-range DLP, and very nice one at that) and it's rated at 37dB, but it isn't nearly as annoying as the Hitachi. I guess it's lower in pitch, and thus less irritating. I don't know how irritating the X1's fan is.

    3) Cheapest place to get one BY FAR is the States. It's going for ~$900 now, which is about £550!! Even adding VAT and shipping, it shouldn't be much more than £700! You just have to find a US retailer that'll ship overseas (there are a number of them).

    4) Shouldn't have a problem with PAL prog.

    5) Other considerations are screen (ideally looking at £2-300+, though you can DIY it for considerably less), mount (another easy DIY job, or £100+ for "official" mount), and scaling/deinterlacing. The X1 has very good Faroudja chip on-board, so it's probably not a problem, but you may want to consider something like a Pro-V (?) or an HTPC for scaling/deinterlacing (HTPC, by the way, will produce the best picture by a fair margin, short of VERY expensive high end dedicated kit).

    6) There really isn't ANYTHING out there for £700 that can come close. The Sanyo Z1 is excellent, but fairly short throw, so probably not suitable. The Panasonic AE300 is longer throw, but a fair bit pricier (£1400+). There isn't really anything else short of 2nd hand, which is always a bit risky with projectors.

    And yes, DLP can have a problem with rainbows... Well worth checking it out first to see if you're particularly bothered by them. IME, most people can see them once they know what to look for, but most people aren't HUGELY bothered by them - no more than they're bothered by screendoor or yucky black levels. Don't go looking for them and you probably won't be bothered at all.

    That said, the X1 only has a 2X colour wheel, so rainbows are more of a problem with this than with faster colour wheels. The Sharp I mentioned has a 3X wheel, and using a neutral density filter we can get it so that rainbows are 95% gone (and I'm particularly sensitive to them). However, the Sharp's a fair bit brighter than the X1 (1900 lumens), so a ND filter might make the X1 image too dim (I'd doubt it, but you never know). I don't have experience with a 2X wheel, but I've seen a 1X DLP and the rainbows are horrendous for me.

    Anyway, the next cheapest high-speed colour wheel DLP that I know of is the Sharp XV-Z90/91, which is a fair bit more expensive in this country (~£2000), but it does have VERY good reviews, and a lot of people like it. It's also only SVGA, but the '90 at least has longer throw, reputedly very good colour/image quality, and a 5X colour wheel (which IMO would probably present ZERO rainbows with a little tweaking).

    Anyway, hope that helps. One final caveat - I've never actually seen the X1, so take all of the above with a pinch of salt and go demo one for yourself. :p

    Cheers,

    Dunc
     
  3. theritz

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    Good post, Duncan.......

    Vikki, the X1 is the latest rave over on avsforum.com - it's been available for quite a while but the recent price drop in the States has made it a complete no-brainer there. You should check out some of the threads over there for lots more opinions etc.

    Sean G.
     
  4. Chadman

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    I'm in the US and just purchased an X1. It supports widescreen 16:9 and 4:3 ratio. I do notice the rainbows when watching dvd but they are not too bad. My wife doesn't see them. The fan noise is ok if you are not right beside the projector. For the price it is a good buy, but if you can afford higher end projector with a faster color wheel I would recommend going that route. Hope this helps.
     
  5. senna

    senna
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    10 minutes experience for you.

    Bought an X1, set it up SVHS/DVD and put on 28 Days Later.

    Nearly blacked out through rainbows.

    Might very well be something Im doing wrong but I could not stomach the eye-fook this thing gave me. Great picture though... such and crying shame if you get the acid-eye wavey heebie jeebies from it :(
     
  6. cyberheater

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    Can you not sling the Panny AE100 from your ceiling?

    I just sold my Infocus LP425z DLP projector and got a Panny and have not looked back. Although not as sensitive to rainbow effects as some folk. They still bothered me and distract you from the movie.

    It might be worth seeing if you can relocate the projector.
     
  7. sounddog

    sounddog
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    No can't celling mount any projector. We live in a (rented) 150 year old cottage ... the walls we can drill ... ceeling / beams not.

    Have worked out a way of hanging a screen using clamps though if necessary.

    Vikki
     
  8. Bristol Pete

    Bristol Pete
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    I bought a unicol GK3 ceiling mount and was delighted to find that it can be mounted on a wall by inverting it.

    goto

    www.unicol.co.uk

    It cost a few quid but a worthy investment that saved loads of hassle regarding ceiling mounting as I simply drilled it onto the wall opposite the screen and used the telescopic arm to sort the zoom which happens to be at a minimum.

    Hope this helps.


    Cap:smashin:
     

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