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Need reassurance about SIM2 HT200

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by Brian Kendig, Jul 13, 2001.

  1. Brian Kendig

    Brian Kendig
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    I'm having a new home built, and I've contracted a local company to put a projector and a screen into my living room (which has a two-story-high ceiling). They recommended a Seleco SIM2 HT200 projector, and a Greyhawk screen (16x9, 85" wide, 18' from the projector). They ran two wires through my walls to use as an S-Video connection from my A/V receiver to the projector. I'm going to use this to watch NTSC television, DVD's, and video games.

    I chose the HT200 because DLP images I've seen before (like in a nearby DLP movie theater!) are VERY crisp and clear, and at $8000 this projector is less expensive than similar Runco projectors. However, I've never seen a Seleco projector in operation -- the A/V dealer here in Orlando (Florida) doesn't have one on display.

    At first I could find only great press about the HT200... but more and more now, I'm reading negative comments about it, and I'd like to see some positive comments before the projector is installed and it's too late to return it to the local company.

    (1) What causes the 'rainbow effect'? How can it be minimized? Do all HT200 projectors cause it, or just some? Is there a photo online somewhere of what this effect looks like? Is my S-Video connection to the projector going to make the rainbow effect worse?

    (2) I've never used a projector like this before. How does it know when to display at 4x3 image and when to display a 16x9 image? Will the 16x9 image quality be really poorly pixellated because it's magnified to fill the width and because it drops scan lines?

    All in all, will I be sorely disappointed with the image quality from this projector in my living room?
     
  2. minimivic

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    Hi Brian,

    First off the SIM2 HT200 is a superb projector with many advantages over its cheeper rivals. The Stewart Greyhawk screen is also suited to LCD and DLP type projectors.
    I would choose the latest HT200DM because of SIM2's effort to eliminate the rainbow effect. The DM model has a 6 segment colour wheel rather than the normal 4 segment. It also appears to have more accurate colours.
    The rainbow effect cannot be photographed because its an optical illusion caused by the rotation of the colours on the colour wheel.
    S-Video wouldn't be the best connector for this projector. I would specify component to the projector as well. this will give you the option to use Progressive DVD or an Iscan pro scaler or similar to improve the picture quality.
    With the size screen you are intending to use you shouldn't get any problems with lack or resolution. You will have to swith the projector over between 4:3 and 16:9 but most people will leave them in 16:9 mode all the time.
    Go for it its a great projectror :)
     
  3. LV426

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    Just to explain a little more about the rainbow effect.

    Single chip DLP projectors like the SIM produce a colour image by feeding the DLP chip, in sequence, with the the three primary colours - i.e. one after the other. To coincide with this, a wheel with coloured filters on it spins in front of the chip. So, when the chip is fed with the green component, the green filter is in front of it.

    So, the picture projected is all green, followed by all red, followed by all blue, followed by all green etc.... (Maybe not in this sequence).

    It all happens so quickly that your brain mixes the colours together and you get the perception of a colour picture.

    However, depending on your own visual acuity, on fast moving objects, or as you scan your own eyes around the picture area, you may see evidence of the three colours around contrasty edges. That is the rainbow effect.

    Clearly, the faster the sequence of colours changes, the less likely you are to see it happening. Which is why the later models have twice as may segments on the wheel, and the chip is "fed" twice as often.
     
  4. Metric

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    and i guess the local dlp youve seen has is a 3 chip?
     
  5. lmccauley

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    Brian,

    I would not get a DLP projector without you, your wife, kids, etc and anyone that's going to watch it having a demo. The reason is that some people are more or less susceptible to the rainbow effect. After a demo, I know that I could not live with it. I was seeing it every couple of seconds and it was too distracting. My wife, on the other hand only saw it once during about half an hour.

    I would also go with Sharky's advice and consider the HT200DM rather than the HT200. Even if none of your immediate family are affected by rainbow, what if you have mates over to watch a movie or sports event and one of them suffers badly from it?

    Cheers,
    Liam
     
  6. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Brian,

    May I add further to the excellent advice you've been recieving on this subject.

    As mentioned E-cinema DLP's and in home single chip ones are NOT the same beasts. There is no possibility of "rainbowing" from an e-cinema 3 chip DLP. The technology deosn't allow it. So thi sis not a valid comparison.

    If you've seen a single chip Runco though then you will have had the possibility of seeing it. I have seen both the single chip Runco's an d would comment that I saw Rainbowing more on them than an HT200 and it's not even an issue for me with the new HT200DM.

    However the Runco's use their own proprietry de-interlacer box to minimise artifacts when scaling and de-interlacing. These work very well. To achieve the sam etrick with the HT200 or HT200DM you should consider getting an external scaler or video processor.

    I would also suggets that it is somewhat re-miss of your installer to not run extra 75 ohm multi core cables from the equipment location to the projector in case you decide to add such a device. Ask them to run a 5 core RGBHV cable in addition to their S-video lead. Usually it's easier to do it during construction rather than after.

    Hope this helps.

    Gordon
    P.S. The HT200 is great DLP unit. All DLP's suffer from the negative things folk mention about it. It's just it's popular so gets a lot of press.
     
  7. dc007

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    Love my HT200. Had it 6 months, and no one who's watched has seen the mythical rainbow effect. I'm beginning to suspect you only see/notice it if you go in actively looking for it... !

    However, as the previous replies have mentioned, a demo is essential, and a component feed would be preferable.
     
  8. lmccauley

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    Er, no, if you're susceptible, then you notice it without having to look for it! When I first saw a HT200 I had heard of the rainbow effect, but I didn't know what it looked like. I just sat down and watched the film in a normal manner (no shaking of head or flicking fingers in front of eyes to try and "find" the RE) and after a few seconds wondered what those bright flashes that happened every couple of seconds were.

    Like I say, my wife noticed it once during the whole demo, so it seems that most, but not all, people are fortunate enough not to be affected by it.

    If I were invited round to someone's house who had a HT200 to watch a film then I would have to decline as it would be pointless with the constant distraction of the RE.

    However, other than that and the poor de-interlacing/scaling in the early version of the software, I have to say that I was very impressed with it and I can certainly understand why you are.

    Cheers,
    Liam
     
  9. tiberious

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    Brian,

    I`ve had an HT200 for about 8 months - it`s a diamond !!!.

    However, on top of the other great advice, as you are having your house built - and I presume it may be some time before you move in - you may wish to think about the new DLP`S due to street in August (I think).Both Sharp and Marantz are due to release XGA dlp`S which use the latest 16:9 dmd`s and which use similar New colour wheels to reduce rainbows (I believe the Marantz may also be using the sage chipset for de-interlacing).Just a thought - if time is on your side, you may want to wait a little.Some initial info on these is available on avsforum.com.

    If you choose the HT200 , I`m sure you`ll love it - rainbows seem less problematic with NTSC as well.

    Let us know how you get on.
     
  10. LV426

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    When I first saw a HT200, I knew NOTHING about how it worked, or about Rainbows.

    I just saw them, right there on the screen. The whole thing might just as well have been flashing in dayglo yellow at me. So I asked, and found out how and why. I'd not have been able to tolerate what I saw.

    I can't speak at all, however, for the updated model.

    I must have "fast" eyes or something. I find 50hz TVs almost unbearable, and I get eye strain using a PC monitor at less than 75hz refresh.

    Like lmccauley said - make sure EVERYONE who's going to be using it has chance to preview before you buy - even if you don't see the problem, they might do. It would be a shame to have a member of your family unable to comfortably share your cinema with you, wouldn't it?
     
  11. rdg

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    This issue of refresh rate is clearly important in relation to rainbows, and with my NEC LT150, NTSC discs hardly give rise to rainbows, but with PAL they can be more frequent - depending on other factors too.
    Not entirely relevant here, but I would like to know which scalers allow one to alter refresh rate?
     
  12. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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  13. Rob

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    one drawback of DLP technology not discussed much is the screen door effect. When I saw one, I didn't notice the rainbow, but from time to time I noticed , what looked like a very fine black grid over the screen. This is, apparenly because pixels are not 100% efficient. Imagine a pixel being square, and the area projected in each pixel being rounded, you have an area around the edge that doesn't get filled. Of course this is very small, over a large area, but I certainly noticed it.

    Regards Rob.
     
  14. Chris Frost

    Chris Frost
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    Brian,
    The rainbow (a.k.a. colour wheel) effect is greatly reduced on the standard HT200 DLP projector compared to most ordinary single chip DLPs. This is because the HT200 uses a double speed colour wheel.

    Under certain circumstances, the effect can be seen. However, with correct set-up (contrast set correctly, screen size appropriate for the viewing distance) this can be minimised.

    The HT200DM model uses a new chip and colour wheel combination to take advantage of progressive scan sources such as PS DVD players or standard video sources played through line doubler/scalers.

    Another benefit of this new chip technology is that the DM model images 4x faster than conventional DLP projectors.

    Most peoples experience will echo what Gordon wrote:
    "Rainbowing....it's not even an issue for me with the new HT200DM."


    I would like to clarify one other point; Rob wrote:
    "one drawback of DLP technology ...is the screen door effect."

    Actually, screen door is LESS noticeable on DLP technology than LCD. This is because the pixel gap is much smaller and so less noticeable compared to LCD of an equivalent or higher resolution.

    For more info on this go to www.ti.com/ and look for links to Digital Light Processing

    Regards
     
  15. Brian Kendig

    Brian Kendig
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    Chris, thank you for the information. A few more specific questions:

    - How much more expensive is the HT200DM over the HT200? What are the prices of each?

    - Is an NTSC signal really less susceptible to rainbowing than a PAL signal? If so, why is this? (I'm in the United States, so I'll be dealing exclusively with NTSC signals.)

    - If the image is coming in over an S-Video connection, does this make it more or less suspectible than if the image were coming over component video connections? (I'll be using video games with this projector, and video games offer S-Video, not component. I assume it's pointless to convert an S-Video signal to component video.)

    - Where can I find specific details about other DLP projectors which will be available in the next month or two from other companies, which might be less susceptible to rainbowing and offer additional features?
     
  16. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Brian,

    Yes it's true that NTSC will not show Rianbow as easily as PAL. This is because NTSC is 60Hz and PAL is 50Hz. So with the HT200 colour wheel going at double speed compared to a normal DLP you will get 120 red/green/blue images a second with NTSC compared to 100 with PAL. That's why those who use HTPC's with higher refresh rates like 72Hz etc probably see less rainbowing too.

    The HT200DM has a six segment colour wheel so NTSC is 240 red/green/blue a second, I believe and PAL 200. So it's even harder to see each individual coloured field.

    Shouldn't matter whether it's s-video or component for rainbowing.

    In the UK the difference in retail is £800 between the two I think. £5500 v £6300. Chris will no doubt confirm.

    All the best,

    Gordon
     
  17. Chris Frost

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    Brian,
    Gordon sums up perfectly.

    The price difference between Standard HT200 and DM could be different in the US. I would advise you check this out with your installer and any other suppliers of Sim2 products in your State.

    As for info on other DLP projectors, you could try looking at the AVS forum www.avsforum.com/

    Re-reading your original post, it appears you have committed to the Sim2 HT200. You wrote that the contractor had already run signal cables for it.

    Are you really considering changing your projector at this late stage? If you do, you will probably have to move the cables to suit a new projector mounting point since different manufacturers use shorter throw lenses. Are you prepaired to ask the contractor to rip out the existing cables?

    I suggest you talk to your contractor now, before any further work is done. If you have concerns about rainbowing then go for the HT200DM, the lens throw ratio is close to the HT200 so shouldn't involve any remodelling.

    I hope this doesn't sound too harsh, but you really should be settled on your projector choice BEFORE committing to the installation. In the long run it saves money, time and hassle.

    Regards
     
  18. Brian Kendig

    Brian Kendig
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    Thank you all very much for all your help!

    I'll probably stick with the HT200, since at NTSC 60Hz the rainbowing won't be as bad, and I'll work on finding ways to minimize it further. Moving up the HT200DM would be a price jump from $8000 to $11000, and since I won't be using any of the additional features of the DM, it doesn't make as much sense.

    I've made sure my home theater contractor is dedicated to making sure the projector's output looks good in my home; he won't just ignore me if I've got rainbowing problems.

    Chris, I understand your comments, but don't worry, the constraints I have already dictate a lot of constants for my home theater. I've got to mount the projector on my living room's wall, eighteen feet from the screen, because the room's ceiling is twenty feet high. The HT200 is one of the only projectors that can fit my 85" wide screen at that distance. (The projector can't be mounted on a stand, because traffic goes through the rear of the room.)

    And I'm content to use an S-Video connection to the projector, since the projector's primary use will be to display NTSC TV and S-Video video games; viewing DVD's will be occasional enough that it's not worth it to me to upgrade to a component video DVD player and run component video to the projector. The additional cost doesn't justify the increase in picture quality to me.

    I had committed to the HT200 before the installation began; it's only been recently that I've read about severe rainbowing problems, so I've done my homework and it *looks* like it won't be a big issue for me. The 'final exam' is when they set up my projector for me in their showroom, I have it display a white screen, and I wave my hand in front of it to make sure I don't see rainbows. :)
     
  19. dc007

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    Gotta be honest, this whole business about the HT200DM being introduced just a few months after the HT200 still bugs me.

    I bought the HT200 and am happy with it. I paid £6k coz it was in the early stages (January). If I'd have known I could wait 6 months and get the upgraded version for just £300 more, £6300, I would have waited. I don't suffer from the rainbow effect - but for all I know, visitors to my house might, and I'd have been happy to pay the extra £300 to eliminate this worry.

    We all know when we buy new technology that it will a) become cheaper over time, and b) be superceeded sooner or later. I just think its a bit of a swizz when it takes just a few months for the product to be superceeded BY THE SAME COMPANY !

    It seems to me that the HT200DM is a replacement for the HT200, and not a 'compliment to the range', as has been hinted at.
     
  20. dvdmods

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    Just a shot note to let you guys know i am happy with my HT200DM, but i still see the rainbow effect which i can live with as its only a coulple of times on most movies.
    I could see it on the HT200 every few seconds,so i have to say thanks to SevenOaks for taking it back and and letting me have the DM at just £300 more which is very good of them as the HT200 did drop in price and it was they who lost out. http://uk.photos.yahoo.com/dvdmods

    Many Thanks
    Rob

    [ 29-07-2001: Message edited by: dvdmods ]

    [ 29-07-2001: Message edited by: dvdmods ]
     

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