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Just got HT1000 and seeing rainbows

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by dogastus, Mar 7, 2003.

  1. dogastus

    dogastus
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    I've just taken delivery of an NEC HT1000 and got it hastily hooked up and pointed it at an old slide projector screen I have. The screen is only 36" wide so the picture is a fair bit smaller than what I finally intend.

    My first impressions are that it produces a nice sharp, bright and contrasty picture. I am, however, aware of the dreaded rainbow effect. I find it a lot less on NTSC material and think I can live with it on that, but I don't think I could put up with it on PAL.

    What are people's experiences with DLP and rainbows? If you see it initially, does the effect get worse, stay the same, or get less? I find I am "testing" the effect whenever I see a highlight by flicking my eyes backwards and forwards across the screen - if I could stop that habit, it would look a lot better!

    I stress that these are my first impressions having only received the projector today, but I would be interested to hear other people's experiences of their HT1000 and other DLP projectors. Do you only buy NTSC DVD's now?

    Nigel
     
  2. ian_guinan

    ian_guinan
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    Hi Dogastus,

    Glad to hear you took the plunge!

    I am VERY sensitive to rainbows (i see them on CRT projectors fer chrissakes..) and I usually find DLPs are at their worst when you get them out the box and give them a quick spin. I'm usually walking around the room setting them up, and bobbing up and down, occasionally getting glimpses of the lens..and seeing rainbows all over the place. It's only when the projector is finally set up, you relax, and you're engrossed in a movie you love that you should judge if you are seeing rainbows.

    I saw them all over the place to start with on my MT8 but now I'm tweaking less I'm noticing them less and less. I'm still projecting onto a wall with the projector on a coffee table so expect things will get even better when it is mounted and I've got my screen.

    60Hz is definitely better than 50Hz but not enough to make up for the loss of scan lines with the NTSC disks I think. HTPC is better for some reason too (not sure why?)

    So chill out and enjoy some movies and you should find that things only get better.

    Regards,
    Ian Guinan
     
  3. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    Rainbows can often seem worse on a higher gain screen, so the cine film screen you're using may be making the situation worse.

    I'm using blackout cloth stretched and stapled over a wooden frame, and that still gives a great picture despte being only around unity gain.

    It cost me £28 to make (including wood, blackout cloth, screws and staples), so for that money, you can't go wrong - especialy if it helps reduce the rainbows. My screen is 16:9 and 84" wide BTW - pics on my website if you're interested. I also have an HT1000.

    I've also heard of people who initialy suffered from rainbows say that they eventualy got used to them after a few hours viewing, and now don't see them at all. The same may happen to you, so give it a few hours and see how it goes.

    HTH

    Gary.
     
  4. dogastus

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    Thanks for your words of encouragement Ian and Gary.

    Ian: I think the HTPC might be better because of the refresh rate. My PC is currently running at 1024X768 with a screen refresh rate of 85Hz. I tried feeding that into the HT1000 and it took it fine, and the rainbows didn't look so bad.

    Gary: Thanks for your comments, I have visited your website before and seen details of your homemade screen and it looks pretty good. Where did you get the blackout cloth from?

    When I buy something new my brain is always set to "maximum gain" looking for faults, so I guess I'll see how things settle down. In every other respect, I think the HT1000 is excellent. When I had my PC feeding it, I tried viewing "slides" that I had taken with my digital stills camera and I thought the pictures looked superb.

    Regards,
    Nigel.
     
  5. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    Hi dog',

    as far as I know, the HT1000 will convert all pc signals to 50 or 60 hz internaly - that was one of my concerns with htpc use. Unlike my old Davis pj, I don't think you'll hear any changes from the HT1000 except when going from 50 to 60hz or vice versa.

    I got my blackout cloth from Alders - only £5 per yard, and I got 3 yards for mine, but you should be able to get it from any curtain shop or haberdashers. (sp?)

    Have you tried the pj in eco mode and with the iris shut? Did that make any difference?

    Gary.
     
  6. dogastus

    dogastus
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    Hi Gary,

    Thanks for your comments. Yes, I'm using the projector in eco mode as I find it plenty bright enough. I find the iris fairly subtle, but prefer it open. Thanks for putting me right on 50/60 Hz, I guess an HTPC would still help in playing back PAL disks, but I'm not sure if there would be 'beat' effects then. I can't say I noticed any when I briefly hooked up the pj to my pc. What also works well is the Nebula DigiTV digital terrestrial PCI card for viewing off-air broadcasts/recordings, I would highly recommend it if you need such a thing.

    Regards,
    Nigel.
     
  7. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    Hi Dog',

    I still use htpc occasionaly, and unlike the early models, there is no tearing using 75 or 72hz for PAL/NTSC, which is good because I think that helps the HT1000 process the signal and not have any stuttering in pans - at least that's the impression I get. It also saves having to use Powerstrip to generate 50hz for PAL.

    Even so, I've often heard it said that htpc can help reduce rainbows, but I assume that's because the pj will actualy run at the higher refresh rates which (in the case of my old Davis pj) means that the colour wheel will run faster.

    The HT1000 doesn't have a clear sextion in the colour wheel, and this also helps reduce rainbows, and the colour wheel runs at 4 x so that should also reuce them. If you're prone to rainbows however, you may still see them.

    I run the Iris closed myself, and I used Avia to recalibrate the white and black level (a must in my opinion), so things still look OK to my eye. Of course, opening the iris means a brighter image, and the black level detail you may lose is minimal anyway - I think it comes into its own more when you have a very dark scene than when you have a scene with light and dark areas.

    I was using a Pinnacle PCTV Rave card with DScaler, but I might look into the card you mention - I tend to watch just DVDs on the pj, so that I still appreciate the large image. I was thinking that by watching too much tv (sports is differemnt though I would think), you could lessen the impact of the big screen for movies, especialy if you have a 4:3 screen. Thanks for the recommendatuion - I'll have a lok at that card. :)

    I hope the rainbows soon go and you can really start to enjoy the HT1000.

    GAry.
     
  8. BoG

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    I have a Sharp XV-Z90E which has a 5x colour wheel but can still see rainbows (I have to try hard though by moving my eyes rapidly side to side). This doesn't detract from my viewing pleasure however as I usually just concentrate on the film and am not aware of it.

    Of all of my friends who have come to see films not one has commented on the rainbow effect and I haven't mentioned to them so I can only assume that it is not a big thing.

    I demoed a Mitsubishi DLP projector at home before I bought the Sharp and I could see the rainbows on that quite clearly but again if I just relaxed and concentrated on the film it was no problem.
     
  9. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    I have to say that moving my eyes around rapidly during a film does spoil the movie for me too, but I don't see rainbows. :)

    I think we can all see rainbows if we look for them, but under normal conditions, it would seem that less than 2% of people actualy see them.

    Like you, nobody who has watched a movie on either my old Davis DLS8 or newer HT1000 has ever mentioned rainbows, so that seems to bear out the figures, along with the occasional poll I've seen over at avs.

    Gary.
     
  10. dogastus

    dogastus
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    Thanks again for your comments, BoG, Gary.

    Gary, yes I ought to stop flicking my eyes around and see if that helps :rolleyes: :D

    Regarding the TV card, you can see it at: http://www.nebula-electronics.com/products/products.asp?class=DigiTV

    Their customer support is excellent, with responses to emails usually in a couple of hours - even in the evenings and weekends. The product works extremely well, the only thing I would say is that you need a fairly fast PC. I only have an 800MHz pentium and it drops a few frames, resulting in occasionally juddery motion. This is because of all the MPEG decoding it is having to do in software.

    Nigel.
     
  11. MarkHudds

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    For zero rainbows you could have always gone for a VPL-VW12HT! :p

    Seriously, when I was checking out DLP a few months back I was really surprised as to have much I suffered from rainbows ... considering the 12HTs picture I'm glad I stuck with LCD

    As everyone else says ... you'll probably get used to it once you relax and don't look for the rainbows!
     
  12. dogastus

    dogastus
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    Mark,

    Yes maybe I should have, but I notice the VPL-VW12HT is a bit more expensive. I think the rainbows are getting less, I am still fiddling around right now so when it is properly installed I'm sure it will be a lot better.

    Gary,

    I'm interested in making a screen like the one you have. Can you tell me how you made the frame, did you use mitre joints at the corners and glued and screwed them? I'm not much of a carpenter, so any hints would be gratefully received!

    I noticed in a previous thread you're using a Philips 963 DVD player, how do you find it? Do you use a component connection to the PJ? I have an oldish Pioneer DVD player which works well, but doesn'r have component out. An Svideo connection to the PJ from the player works well. I tried using RGB via the scart and had variable results, the PJ would sometimes have sync problems and on some DVD's there would be a bright "data" line at the top of the frame. I'm not sure if it's the "PAL tearing" problem that was reported because I see the effect on NTSC discs as well. How do I check the firmware version?

    Nigel.
     
  13. John_N

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    How would you rate the picture on the nebula card?

    I live near Newbury - by the way - and I've got a Sony HS10 which is replacing the TV now. At the moment, I'm using a video recorder (yuck) as a tuner and feeding in the signal via composite to get the TV picture.... Looks bad...

    What sort of picture quality should I expect with the newbula card? And does it need a really good signal? Are you using a rooftop aerial with it? or a portable aerial?

    Cheers
    John
     
  14. dogastus

    dogastus
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    John,

    I would say the picture quality of the Nebula card is excellent. I am not aware of any de-interlacing artifacts - i.e. combing effects you get on cheap cards sometimes during picture movement. I use a loft aerial, but I am more or less line of sight of the Hannington transmitter.

    If you want to call round for a demo some time, you would be most welcome.

    Nigel.
     
  15. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    Hi Dog,

    I didn't bother mitreing the screen, though it mighty be easier perhaps. All I did was cut two pieces of 70 x 18mm wood to 84" long (both were placed on top of each other and cut at the same time in a mitre saw so they would both be straight and the same length).

    I then measured them and subtracted that from 47.25" so that I knew how long the 3 middles pieces should be, and cut those in the same way - all three at once.

    I then drilled through the top and bottom lengths, and then drilled again about half way down with a bigger drill so that the 3" screws would screw about 1.5" into the middle pieces of wood - the screws weren't long enough to go through, so had to be countersunk. I glued and screwed them.

    When it was dry, my girlfriend and I stretched and stapled the blackout cloth over the frame. There's a bit of a knack to it - work from the middle out, with one of you pulling at the sides while the other stretches and staples the material on the top and bottom lengths.

    I have to say that I also think the picture via s-video is outstanding on the HT1000.

    My 963 arrived yesterday, and the component input looks about the same as the RGB input, except you have all the options for adjusting colour, sharpness etc which RGB doesn't allow.

    The effect you can see seems to be Macrovision interference - although many players disable it, it doesn't remove it from the RGB output. Try playing a non-macrovision disk and you won't get any intereference. This may be something that NEC can fix with a firmware update (it's done via the pcmcia memory card slot).

    The PAL tearing was always visible when getting the pj to squeeze the anamorphic 4:3 image down to 16:9. If you bought a new machine this year, then it should be fixed.

    To find the firware version you have to go into the service menu:

    • Press the [HELP] key of the remote control more than 3 times in the state of Power ON.

    • Press the [ENTER] and [MENU] keys in this order, and display the [Passcode] menu.

    • Press the select keys of [DOWN], [UP],
    , [UP], and [ENTER] in this order.

    • Press the [MENU] key to display a menu, and confirm that the “Service Menu” has been acquired.

    This will give you access to various bits and bobs - the version is near the bottom:

    • Display of [Help] - [Information] - [Page4] - [Version]

    hth

    Gary.​
     
  16. dogastus

    dogastus
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    Hi Gary,

    Thank you for taking the trouble to send me such a detailed reply, it is much appreciated. I have been to B&Q and picked up hopefully all I need to make this frame now. I'm hoping that I can arrange for it to hang off a couple of hooks on a wall in the lounge so that it can be removed whenever I'm not using it. Thanks for the tips on stretching the blackout fabric over the frame, sounds like fun!

    They don't want you to accidentally go into the service menu do they :nono: Well my versions are as follows:

    Bios Ver1.00
    Firmware Ver1.05
    Data Ver1.08
    Sub-CPU Ver0.00

    I wonder how that ties in with what you have?

    I'm keeping an eye on what people are saying about the Philips 963a. It seems that the only critisism is the issue of keeping the angle menu up on multiple angle disks. I think I only have one of those at present so don't regard it as that much of a problem.

    Best regards,
    Nigel.
     
  17. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    Hi dog',

    you have the latest firmware!

    I'm sure you'll be pleased with the screen when it's done - I certainly was, so let me know how you get on.

    I screwed two pieces of wood onto my wall to hang the screen onto, and it weighs next to nothing, so two hooks will be more than adequate.

    I've only had a short time with my 963, and so far, I'm not overly impressed with the Philips. Some posterisation in peoples faces with interlaced, and progressive only seems marginaly better.

    I have heard that the 963 suffers from ghosting and vertical banding in progressive mode on some players (as well as the angle icon thingy), so wait a while before taking the plunge...

    I'll try some other settings with it tomorrow, and see how I get on, but I think I would have been just as well off getting a Toshiba 220 or 520. :(

    Gary.
     
  18. dogastus

    dogastus
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    Hi Gary,

    Sorry to hear of your problems with the 963. Did you consider the higher end of the Pioneer range? I think these still have the chroma bug whereas I believe the 963 doesn't. I did try to see if I could see the chroma bug by freezing a vertical chroma transition on my old Pioneer player, but I couldn't really see it. If it is that difficult to spot, I'm wondering how much of an issue it is.

    I can't wait for the high definition DVD to become a reality, seeing pictures from my digital stills camera on the PJ give a foretaste on what could be possible!

    Nigel.
     
  19. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    One of my first considrrations was the Pioneer range as Richer Sounds do them, and aren't far from me.

    I'd heard that progressive gave a marginaly better picture, so I plumped for the Philips.

    I've still got some testing to do with it, so hopefully by the w/e I'll know if it's a lemon or not.. :)

    Gary.
     
  20. John_N

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    Hi 'dog

    Are you still suffering from rainbows on your HT1000?

    I'm keeping an eye on it just in case my new HS10 is faulty as well (the story is that my HS10 was faulty, been returned, new replacement due, but if this one suffers from the lamp bug then I'm going to press for a replacement by a different manufacturer and pay the difference).

    Other units in the firing line include the Epson TW100, NEC HT1000, Sony VPL-VW12HT. Of course my new HS10 might be perfect... fingers crossed...
     
  21. dogastus

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    Hi John,

    Well I'm still at the "setting it all up" stage right now and have yet to watch a DVD in it's entirety. I would say, though, sitting down and watching it on a reasonably sensible screen and not trying to see rainbows was a better experience. I will be able to comment more accurately in due course when I have everything in place.

    I'm sorry to hear of your probs with the HS10. The Epson TW100 seems to be quite highly regarded if the HT1000 rainbow issue bothers you.

    Best regards,
    Nigel.
     
  22. Tibbsy

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    Hi Dogastus, Look forward to hearing from you going forward regarding the HT1000 performance and 'rainbow effect' problem.

    Regards, Tibbsy
     
  23. dogastus

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    Hi Tibbsy,

    If you are considering getting a projector I would seriously recommend that you try to get a demo of the ones you are thinking of. I think the visability of the 'rainbow effect' varies a lot between different people. From polls done on the American AVSforum it seems like it isn't a problem for the majority of people.

    Nigel.
     
  24. John_N

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    Hi 'dog

    Another question ; if we look at the HT1000 on 16:9 material, I understand that you can make it display the 16:9 image anywhere in the frame.

    I was thinking about using the HT1000 with a 16:9 screen and I was wondering about light overspill. I thought perhaps if I configured an HT1000 to use the very top of the 4:3 panel for the image, thus giving a large black area below (which would be very dark grey I guess due to the imperfect nature of black on a digital projector) and then attenuated this further by using a cardboard mask on the lens, whether we could basically reduce the leaked light to zero. The HT1000 would then effectively be a 16:9 projector with a res of 1024 * 576. How does that sound? Has anyone tried it?

    Cheers
    J
     
  25. dogastus

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    Hi John,

    Well your idea would certainly be quick to try - hold a piece of card up to the lens and see what it looks like.

    There is a blanking option on the HT1000 which I haven't played with yet, I don't know if this gives you blacks which are any blacker than the unused part of the part of the panel.

    Unfortunately I'm away for the next 10 days, so don't think I will be able to experiment and give you answers till I get back.

    Nigel.
     
  26. John_N

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    Thanks.

    Or another idea I guess is to use an Anamorphic lens (I've just seen this on AVSforum) - to basically stretch the 4:3 image to 16:9.

    Of course the cost of an anamorphic lens is about £700 and so once you've got the HT1000 + Anamorphic lens you might as well have bought a toshiba MT8 with a 16:9 panel anyway.. :)

    J
     
  27. dogastus

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    The resolution of the HT1000 already greatly surpasses DVD video. Using it's ability to display stills from a flash card shows what it is capable of. I can't wait for these Blue Wave HD DVD's to become a reality, but I think it's a couple of years off yet.

    The Anamorphic lens works by squeezing the picture vertically. A bi-product of the way it works is to introduce some vertical nonlinearity. It is probably unnoticeable unless you are viewing vertically scrolling credits though.

    Nigel
     
  28. John_N

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    Hi 'dog.

    Are you using a 16:9 screen?

    Are you entirely 100% happy with the way the HT1000 handles 16:9 material? ie - with the picture quality? Is sounds like you are... The main seller for the HT1000 for me is the lack of fan noise in 'eco' mode - spoke to Messiah and he tells me that you simply can't hear it.

    If my HS10 goes toes up as I think it well might, I have a shortlist of units to replace it.

    That list is : NEC HT1000, Epson TW100, Sony VPL-VW12.

    Toshiba MT8 and Sharp Z9000 are too expensive.

    The only thing that puts me off with the NEC a bit is the 4:3 panel which I know is a bit silly when DVD video is only 768 * 576 anyway so it means that in 16:9 mode you're using 1024 * 576 pixels which I guess is more than enough.
     
  29. dogastus

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    John,

    Yes I use a homemade 16:9 (84" X 47.25") screen, it is a copy of what Gary Lightfoot did (thanks Gary!). I am aware of some light from the unused part of the 4:3 panel, but as I said, I haven't played around with the blanking feature yet.

    The projector isn't totally silent, but I would say it is pretty quiet. At the moment I have it sitting on a stool just next to where I am sitting and I'm not aware of the fan noise when the film is running.

    If you want to come round for a demo when I get back, you would be most welcome.

    Nigel.
     
  30. John_N

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    According to Gary, the blanking feature just turns off the mirrors in the relevant bit - would not make the black bars any 'blacker' than they are already since the mirrors are already 'off' in that part.

    This is why I was wondering about the viability of masking the lens to further reduce light leakage.

    Is the leakage annoying when it leaks onto the walls? what colour are your walls?

    PS. Thanks for the offer of a demo. I might take you up on that = I live near Newbury too...
    J
     

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