Is buying a Projector a backwards step??

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by Bristol Pete, Mar 6, 2003.

  1. Bristol Pete

    Bristol Pete
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    Basically, I want a PJ. However, my budget is a max of £1500 - £2000, including a good screen.
    However, I am concerned. Every time I browse this forum there seems to be a lot of av entusiasts having problem after problem with a PJ or its susbsequent set up.

    I realise that they take considerably more effort than a TV, which I am happy to commit to. Its just that I dont wanna end up dissapointed.
    DVD images a a decent flat screen TV can look pins sharp, with decent black levels and contrast.

    Can a PJ really offer me this or do I compromise this for pure picture size.

    I suppose I am looking for reassurance form other dg'ers who debated a PJ purchase before buying. Like everthing AV, there are pro's and con's but am i worring too much or is it becasue regular posters here a simply more vocal and will not tolerate sub standard gear.

    For instance three models I have short listed have all had problems discussed here.

    PTAE100 - Blowing up power supply and screen door
    Sanyo Z1 - Excessive dust blobs
    Sony HS10 - Excessive fan noise ( more of a rattle !!)

    I fully intend to visit nexnix for a demo or two, but any advice accepted at this juncture. I am currently turning a spare room into a 13 foot cinema room, but at present, my heart says PJ, my head says TV.

    Thanks,

    Captain benefit (slightly uptight about it all).
     
  2. theritz

    theritz
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    Captain Benefit,

    When I started lurking here (for about three months before I got a PJ and registered), I was in much the same position as you are now - I was a bit thrown by AE100 failures, and hung up on getting the best quality picture I could on a very restricted budget - basically buying the PJ was it !!

    The bottom line here is that very few LCD PJ's (if any at all) will rival the picture quality from a TV - the whole point of it tho' is that it's NOT a TV - movie watching on the PJ is far more immersive etc, than watching DVD on TV - I just wouldn't go back.

    As for AE100 power supply failure - yes its a known problem, but browse recent reports and you'll see that they all get fixed and some recent one's with a swift turnaround. As for screendoor, yes it too is there with AE100, but sensible screen size and 1.5 - 2x screeenwidth seating distance really makes it a non-issue for me. A touch of de-focus and it really isn't visible - it depends on what you want to watch - the movie or the projector ! Also consider that there are 130 declared AE100 owners on the Forum, and IIRC about 40 people have replied to Kramers recent thread seeking reports on the PJ - and only a percentage of those had probs. This isn't scientific by any means, but people aren't goping to post regularly saying everything is fine and they're happy - inevitable posts come from people who hit snags, or who're trying to wring that last 1% of performance from their setup.

    As for issues with other PJs, Z1, HS10, I reckon all PJs have issues of one kind or another - the nature of us here on the forum is that we're striving for the best possible picture quality from the technology, and the technology is not perfect. Because of this, reading here exposes the weaknesses - you will have seen, for instance, Comer post technical descriptions of the weaknesses of his last PJ (Toshiba) while saying at the same time that while he could see them, anyone who saw it in action thought it was perfect.

    I can see the limitations of the AE100, and they don't bother me - I've got a fine big image in a room similar in size to the one you describe, and its brill. Vexorg got a demo from me last week, and he won't mind me saying that he was blown away, and that was a four hour session, complete with well detailed examples of the limitations of the PJ. (He's no stranger to technology, and not the kind to be fooled).

    In honesty, I'm pretty sure that if you saw the same demo, any doubts you have about picture quality etc would fade to nil - you might well go for a different projector , there's lots to choose from, depending on your budget, but the overall impact has to be experienced before you can really make you'r mind up.

    Are you uptight about this ? Yes, and thats perfectly understandable. Is a PJ a step backward ? I don't think anyone here would say yes to that, I certainly wouldn't.

    I recommend you get demo's of them in action - I have no idea what Nexnix's setup is like, but try also putting a call out on the forum here for anyone in your area to give you a look at their setup. You're far more likely to get a better idea of what it might be like in your own house.

    Lastly, try not to get hung up on this - if you see them in action and you aren't satisfied with picture quality/whatever - then its not for you and that's fine.

    Hope this helps,


    All the best,

    Sean G.
     
  3. Kramer

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    Hi Captain Benefit.

    As you may know, I'm kinda picky about ALL my gear - PC, PJ, TV, etc.....ad infinitum.

    The fact is that of the dozens of peeps who've seen both my AE100 & HS10, not one has critized ANYTHING about the picture.

    IMHO, if you've not viewed a PJ before, then the AE100 @ < £800 is astounding VFM. Sure, it's not perfect, but what is?

    You're not remortgaging your house or anything here.

    Once you've viewed a 7" or greater image, a plain ole 28/32" widescreen TV just don't cut the mustard.

    Join the FP club. I'm sure you won't regret it.

    :smoke:
     
  4. severnsource

    severnsource
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    AOL.

    The large image and improved geometry outweigh the grey blacks and the slightly substandard colourimetry for me.

    No dust blobs on my Z1 yet, only 70 hours though. Dust blobs are not confined to the Z1, (see the AVS forums) but I believe that they can be removed fairly easily if you do get them.

    I would expect the power supply problem to be a one off design problem. Most modern electronics are very reliable.

    Fan noise is subjective. I normally object to any unwanted noise, but when I'm watching TV I soon forget about it, even though the projector is quite close to where I sit.

    The screen door effect is overemphasised. Any modern TV tube has much worse 'screendoor' than a projector. The shadowmask has a much coarser vertical grid than a projector and if it is focused they horizontal scan line grid will be the same as affordable projectors. Look at your tv from the same viewing distance ratio that you will be watching your projector from - for instance about 45 inches from a 28 inch widescreen TV. If the vertical lines don't offend you too much you'll be very happy with a projector.

    Any of these low end projectors will be sharper than a TV in terms of frequency response, although apparent sharpness is a combination of factors, including contrast ratio and image size. A TV viewed from 10 times the screen height with a contrasty image will seem to be sharper than a large image from a projector with gray blacks.

    Its a personal choice, but I don't regret buying my projector.

    Bill
     
  5. BoG

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    I guess it really depends on your perception of what you are viewing. I always wanted a true "cinema" experience for watching film and a big TV or plasma whilst attractive doesn't do it for me. At the start of the year I tested the Panasonic AE100, the Sanyo Z1 and another new model just released - the Sahrp XV-Z90E. The Panasonic was very good for the money and I was aware of the screendoor effect but I felt that if I just allowed myself to watch the film and not the display this diminished. The Sanyo was slightly better from this respect and I felt was probably worth the slightly higher price. Then the dealer wheeled out the Sharp - WOW! is all I can say. It was twice the price of the Panasonic but worth the extra in my opinion (and my wife's interestingly).

    This is not to denegrate the other projectors as if as Kramer has said the Panasonic is now available for <£800 then this is increadible value for money. The Sharp can also be had now for <£1800 (I paid £1950). I would urge you to get a demo of these projectors at a good dealers and make up your own mind.
     
  6. John_N

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    Hi

    No I don't regret buying my HS10 either. The experience is more immersive with the larger picture.

    If I was you though, if you could manage it, maybe you could audition something like the Panasonic AE300 which I believe is about £1800 and leave the screen until later.

    You should be able to get a reasonable image if you paint a matte white rectangle on the wall. This should last you for 6 months until you can afford a screen.

    I gather than Sanyo Z1 is a better unit than the AE100 although it is slightly more expensive, and like I said, the AE300 is better still and I understand that quite a few people prefer it to the Sony HS10 (I have an HS10)...

    Basically I would audition at least three of the above units to see if you can tell the differences - even if it means sacrificing the screen until later.

    You can also look at making your own fixed screen out of blackout material or using a painted wall as a temporary measure. If you do a good job of painting a wall it really doesn't look all that bad!

    J
     
  7. ashbash

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    If you want an image that you can watch with the lights on, any time of day or night without blacking out the windows, then buy a TV or plasma.

    If you want no fuss or hassle then buy a TV or plasma.

    If you want a big screen then buy a projector. It's as simple as that really.

    I have a Z1, but this is *not* a replacement for the TV. It is an addition. I could not live with just the PJ, as I do not have full light control.

    But as a "special occasion", ie watching a DVD and getting some porpcorn out, it sure as hell beats the TV.

    Ashley
     
  8. ji_

    ji_
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    I have an AE100 and a JVC 32" Widescreen TV - love them both and they both cost about the same. If I had to lose one of them, it would be the TV!

    Simple answer is perhaps to buy a reasonable TV with a smaller screen size than you might otherwise have gone for (for 'basic' viewing etc) and a projector. with your budget this should be just baout manageable.
     

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