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NEC VT540 - what next?

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by coldfact, Dec 28, 2003.

  1. coldfact

    coldfact
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    I am the proud owner of a NEC vt540k that has given me many hours of quality home cinema and big-screen gaming. Is has worked fine from day one with very few disapointments. The XGA resolution is great for DVD and gaming, and the brightness and color reproduction are very pleasing.

    However, 2 things have eventually promted me to consider trading this baby in. The first is the lack of good black levels and contrast and the second is the fine screen door effect that can be sometimes be visable. Can I have some advise on where to go from here, considering how spoilt I have already been. There are a few sub £1000 home projectors out there now like the epson TW10, the Optoma ep-732, and the infocus X1. Any suggestions? What about older models that better the vt540? If i settled for DLP and SVGA, would I miss XGA? I know it sounds vague but the lack of an demo rooms makes choosing very difficult.

    thanks!
     
  2. buns

    buns
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    The problem you have...... black levels havent really improved that much, well not with lcd..... i have jumped from a sanyo plv30 to a Z2 (2 generations upward) and really cant claim the black to be better.

    So if black is your poison, then you have to look at dlp or crt. Have you ever seen dlp? If not, you HAVE to demo because you may see rainbows which could yield the image unwatchable for you.

    Resolution...... you might miss it, but you might not. Remember that higher res means more pixels meaning they are smaller and thus should be less visible so reducing screen door..... in theory.....

    ad
     
  3. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    There is a Philips Bogart Matchline (DLP) model which looks excellent value at just under £1600. It's xga as well, but has a better fill ratio of pixels compared to LCD (88% to 60% IIRC), so the screendoor will be reduced:

    http://www.ivojo.co.uk/philips-bogart-matchline.htm

    Similar to the NEC HT1000 in some respects, but about half the price.

    I've no idea where you can get a demo, but it's something that may suit you provided it's not out of your budget, and you don't see rainbows. Getting a demo of an Infocus X1 may be a good guide for you regarding rainbows - it has a slow colour wheel and a white segment, so if you don't see them on that, there's a good chance that you won't see them on a higher speed pj like the Philips. It's not a guarentee though.

    Alternatively, maybe an on-line retailer will allow you to buy the pj, try it and return it for a full refund provided you don't exceed a certain amount of hours (2 or 4 come to mind). I'm sure someone here did that, though I can't remember what retailer it was with.

    If you sell your old pj, that could go toward the new one. There's always someone new to front projection who would like something cheap to get them started until they can afford something better.

    Gary.
     
  4. Quatermass

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    I highly rate the Z2 although you might have to wait a few months for the price to get near £1000. Screen door is a non-issue on the Z2 unless you want to sit 8 inches from the screen!

    To me black levels on the Z2 via component are pretty good. This is backed up by the projector central review at http://www.projectorcentral.com/sanyo_plv_z2.htm (which also presumably used component) “The Z2's black levels, while not as deep as they can be on the current DLP projectors, are sufficiently solid to give the image great snap and sparkle” I would agree with this although buns experiences with dvi are somewhat different!!

    Another good DLP in the same price range as the Z2 seems to be the Sharp XV-Z91.
     
  5. BestGear

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    Hi there...

    I too had a NEC VT 540 some time ago, and have now gone for a z2...

    I agree tha the NEC was great for its brightness but really did lack contrast.

    With 1100 lumens and (ISTR) 300:1 contrast (perhaps 400:1!) the blacks were murky greys.

    I did look at DLp but the rainbows were ever present - its a no-no for me. Dont buy DLP without seeing 2-3 movies on it with your own eyes.

    After looking around, the Z2 - from Ivojo really is a major upgrade you will not be dissapointed with! I personally think you would be hard pushed to get better for the money.

    David
     
  6. coldfact

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    Thanks for that, but the Sanyo z2 is still a little out of my price range. I have been looking at the Optoma 750 series with some interest because of the 1600 Lumens and 600:1 contrast ratio. Does anyone have anything to say about these? You hear very little about them.... I was wondering what the colors and black levels were like? Also these dont have the new DDR chips, what is the rainbow effect like?

    thanks
     
  7. BestGear

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    Hi

    I personally would wait a few months to let the funds grow a bit and the Z2 prices fall.

    The Z2 really does have performance well over the price point, so it is worth waiting for. You should try to go see one in action - you will realise how much of an upgrade it will be for you.

    As for specs, I would really put that much weight in your decision - the Z2 is not as bright as the NEC but the contrast (1300:1 ISTR) compaired to the NEC's 300-400 really does look outstanding. You will find the contrast enhances the picture much more than brightness - of course I am assuming you are not viewing in straight daylight.

    I was very lucky - I sold my NEC VT540 for a grand.... you should give ebay a go... or Loot - whatever...

    Why not put a posting on here to see if any Z2 owner is near to you? I
    m sure most HC fans would love to demo it to you!!

    I also would add that if you get a Z2 I doubt if you would be looking for an upgrade for a very long time. So many 1st time FP users with Z2's just dont realise how lucky they are!!!

    As for rainbows - do a search on them - if you see them, your DLP projector will be for sale the next day - they appear (at least they do to me...) as bright flashes of rainbow colours when I move my eyes across the projected image... very annoying. They say only 10% of people see them - everyone I know (and has an interest in Home Cinema) sees them!

    Do you have any DLP projector at work? Could you borrow one for an evening? Might be a good idea... Please dont think I am being too general here - many faster wheel DLP projectors dont suffer rainbows so badly. I would dissagree however that all fast wheel DLPs dont have rainbows - many sellers do claim that.

    David
     
  8. coldfact

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    Hi djblack, thanks for the recomendation ala Z2. I've taken a look and it does seem very popular, and also read former vt540 owners describe the Z2 as "head and shoulders" above the NEC. However, I would really miss the brightness of the vt540... I don't want to miss anything! I want to have everything I have now and more! :) Is that asking too much? I see that Epson have released the TW200 (which is the TW100 with more light output.) It's slightly more expensive though at about £1300 but seems like it has very nice specs. I may take a look, any owners here?
    thanks
     

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