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Newbie Thoughts: Gen advice please and LCD Issues

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by Tempest, Jan 11, 2002.

  1. Tempest

    Tempest
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    I've been wondering around stores looking at 28, 32 & 36" Widescreen TV's and I'm sorry, but they just don't DO IT for me.
    I want my DVD film to be a BIG thing, like seeing it at the cinema, and the only way seems to be a front projector in a darkened room.

    The room I would use is only about 11 feet deep, and I'd like a screen about 7 feet wide. I realise this might be asking a LOT though. (given you will loose about 1 foot distance for the projector itself)

    I'm not thinking of getting a TUBE projector due to cost/size mainly but also because my mate has had 2 of them and to be honest I'm not impressed.
    He has just spent £3000+ on the special promotion of the new (bad spelling "ellie") model everyone was saying how good it was, but even though it was set up by the shop, to me it just looks very blurry, and colours poor also.

    I admit, I have been watching DVDs on my 21" Trinitron monitor, but putting say Bugs Life on his, was (to me) a dissapointment.

    Anyhow, that aside I have heard issues with DLP models, about strange colour effects/colour shimmering etc. Though not seen one myself.

    So that takes me to LCD's.
    I want Widescreen so that rules a lot of them out, I also want cheap :D (don't we all)

    Nice strong colour, and crisp sharpness (I hate blurryness)

    I've heard LCD's can be TOO sharp which I don't understand, as I thought sharp was good, and as they can handle computer data screens I guess they must be clear and not blurry.

    Anyhow, My main worry about a LCD is this chicken wire effect I have heard about. About seeing the pixels with black lines around each pixel on screen.

    I've not really seen many LCD's and never a good home cinema one, so can anyone please tell me just how bad this effect is.

    I could understand, say on a fast moving film your would not notice it, but on say a slow love film with bright closeups of say a womans face (clear complection) Does it look bad (like a grid) or are todays models good in this regard ?

    Lastly Black level. How Black is Black supposed to be ?
    Do we have say Star Trek in a grey space ?????

    Comments/opinions please about any aspects of LCD projectors.
    Many thanks
     
  2. MartinCo

    MartinCo
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    Tempest - same as at thedvdforums?

    we meet again!

    the panasonic I mentioned has a decent thread going here,
    the musical images link suggest a max of 7ft x 4ft screen at 10-12ft... pretty good and matching what you are after...

    black level of most LCDs is okay now, and can be improved with your screen... if you make one yourself you can do it with grey paint or similar which will improve the levels. probably cost you £15-25 for paint & materials at B&Q for the lot.

    the chicken wire problem can affect some LCDs depending on how near you are...(some people have mentioned it on the Sony HS-1, others havent been bothered). really depends on how picky you are.

    It may be improved by the quality of the signal... s-video, component etc. I haven't seen anyone using the HS-1 yet with a progressive scan dvd player which may stop the problem completely... worth asking a HS-1 owner.

    at least make sure the projector will do progressive input via component for DVD, and VGA if you decided to go via the PC route.
    that should future proof your purchase for most things coming.
     
  3. Tempest

    Tempest
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    Yes, It's that Tempest :D
    The Panasonic has sparked my interest in a projector and I WANT to get something this year (been looking for over a year now! and need something nice to play my DVD's on and go with my new Videologic Digitheatre DTS which is still in it's box after a week)

    Bit puzzled about your black level comment.
    On reading some home cinema areas I got the impression the best option was one of these fancy screens with the glass beads in them for great reflection/brightness. Are you saying that's wrong for a LCD ? Won't a dull screen produce a dull picture ?

    I think I need to see a good LCD (or a photo of one) to see how bad the chicken wire effect is.
    I'd be sitting about 8-9 feet away from a 7 foot screen.

    I'd or course want to run RGB and would get a DVD player that outputted the best for the projector and Digitheatre sound too.

    Lastly (silly question) can you briefly explain in english:D what progressive scan actually is/does.
     
  4. MartinCo

    MartinCo
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    I'm also looking the Panasonic.. been thinking about buying for the last 6 months or so myself... you should find all the experts here (not me) to answer most questions but I'll give you my two-penneth, others I'm sure will set me straight.

    you could still buy a standard projector screen if you want, fixed, pull down electric whatever... all fine... though a lot are still designed for CRT or office PC projection and not optimised for LCDs unless you pay $$.

    however... if you wanted to do a DIY job you could make your own screen... lots of threads on this previously using pieces of 8x4 ft wood or similar.. or maybe a frame and then grey/blackout material.

    LCDs cant put out a true black but can do a very bright white, if you paint the screen off-white (ie. grey) you can improve the black levels without affecting the white... (the Star Trek test you mention).

    do a search on the pj forum for Dulux Icestorm and you should get some pointers.

    much cheaper :D £15-30 quid for screen to try it out.
    lots of people have had very good results, better than the commercial screens with a bit of practice.

    you may get the chicken wire effect some mention from 8-10 ft with a few LCD projectors (HS-1 has been mentioned by some).. think others are viewing from a greater distance... as is, a 7ft screen may be pushing it from the distance you want to.. focussing your eyes properly at that distance maybe difficult (confirm anyone?).

    assuming we are on about the panasonic (proper widescreen pj).
    and you had a 8x4ft piece of material, you could still try it...
    dropping down to 6ft width would still give you an 80" diagonal.. almost 7ft.

    the 4:3 projectors would obviously have to a bigger screen to get the same diagonal ... (since they do 16:9 letterboxed).

    so with the same 4ft high material, you would get a 4:3 screen approx 5.3 ft, approx 80" diagonal in 4:3 but only 70" in 16:9 mode... even less if you were working in smaller dimensions.

    NB. No projectors do RGB a la scart like you do to a TV, you need component input to get that sort of quality to the projector. s-video may okay though on some pjs.

    Progressive scan... (someone is bound to set me right here...) normal pal or ntsc is interlaced (alternate scan lines to get a complete picture), progressive scan means a complete frame every time, rather than one alternate half. similar to PC's monitor basically...

    much more accurate info at http://www.progressivescan.co.uk/ and the forum nearer the bottom of the list here on the same subject.
     
  5. ROne

    ROne
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    tempest have a look at my toshiba mT-7 faq,

    http://www.rone.go-plus.net/faq.htm

    this is an excellent projector with a some tweaks, and if you're after sharpness its the way to go, and as for LCD projectors being too sharp that is probably some CRT fans point of view.

    They are two different viewing experiences, and I find the only advantage of CRT black level, but give me a break, that is one attribute of picture. And anyway the black level of my projector is subjectively a none-issue (not that it can't be bettered).

    I have seen a couple of CRT'S and was not impressed given all the praise they have had.

    You will notice as wel that the LCD crowed generally don't complain about much once they have their systems set-up! which is why I don't really have that much to say in the forums, I very satisfied!
     
  6. 10ht

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    As you may have gathered from my handle I have a Sony VPL-W10HT. Reference the distance to sit from the screen I would recommend a minimum of x2 the horizontal length of the screen. I'll let you work that out. As for the chicken wire effect I think it is less noticeable on close up views, in fact the closer the image the better, when you watch a film like Gladiator with big scenes the picture is not up to it. Black levels are ok especially with a CC20R on the lense. I am not happy with my picture so I am in the process of building a HCPC in an attempt to improve it. But if you want flexibility of inputs the 10ht is excellent.

    Dave
     
  7. MartinCo

    MartinCo
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    cant speak for Tempest, but I was after something a little bit cheaper... would love a Toshiba MT-7 or a Sony VPL-10HT but £3800-4500 is beyond me having just moved house.

    ROne... nice screen shots on the MT-7, what are you projecting onto?
     
  8. Tempest

    Tempest
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    Well, I've just this morning been down to my local (5 miles away) Sony centre and they had all the normal 20 - 36" TV's running, a Plasma, and a VLP-HS1 running on the supplied screen.

    Now, my impressions (remember I've not really seen a LCD Before or rather to take any notice of)

    This was about 5 feet (I guess) away from the screen, and running a DVD.

    Crispness, Clarity and Colour all seemed ok.

    I did look at the chicken wire grid, and yes it's there but I'd say from about 6 feet+ away I don't suppose you'd really see it.

    But (And here is/was my worry) compaired to a Tube TV, it was very washed out, No Punch to the image.

    Now, OK, they did have lights on, but not blinding lights, and was at the back of the store, and as I said the projector was only about 5 feet away.

    This worries me a bit. Would Pulling the projector back to say 10 feet make a massive loss to this already not exactly punchy image ?

    Or would a darkened room make a BIG difference ?

    I was going to ask if perhaps it was on low power mode but being a sat there were just too many people around to have a proper demo etc......

    You see, I have been to a presentation some time ago where they used a projector linked to a PC, and it was VERY bright and Bold, with really bright punchy (as I call it) colours.

    Perhaps it's just not enough lumens unless it's totally dark.

    But even then, it does look like it's going to be nothing like a actual TV.
     
  9. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    The punch comes from having a decent useable cpntrast ratio and having black look black.

    It is impossible to project BLACK light. Black is the absence of any light. How black you can get on screen is therefore dependant on how dark the room is with a front projection unit. So, turn off all the lights, put up a black screen image and look at your white screen.....that is how black you are going to get black.

    In a hi-fi we worry about signal to noise ratio and dynamic range. Low noise in a listening room makes a big difference to perception of sound quality. Same with VIDEO. It's just you should think of LIGHT as noise. Making the room dark will make a VASTLY bigger difference than getting a brighter projector. Moving to a screen twice the size will really make the thing look crappy unless you get the room really dark.

    Try and find someone who can give you a proper demonstration of a fixed pixel device.

    Gordon
     
  10. Timh

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    Tempest, I have had a demo of the Sony Hs1, as for chichen wire, it wasnt visible to me on a 7ft screen, but you could see vertical line structure, it had a great picture and good contrast, its just the vertical line structure that put me of.
    I was all setup for ordering an Hitachi pj-lc2001 a 4:3 projector, with good contrast and a short throw lense which I need, but as you may have read it is having some quality issues at the moment, so I have crossed this one from my short list.
    So onto the Toshiba Mt5 a true 16:9 dlp pj, could have been the one for me apart from the £3200 price tag, like you it has to be sub 2k.
    So top of my list now goes to the Panasonic th-ae100 (or is it pt-ae), a true 16:9 pj for £1800 it sounds to good to be true, my Brother is kicking himself, he has recently bought a Sanyo plv-30 4:3 for about the same price.
    The Panasonic has to be the one for me.
    16:9
    500-1 contrast
    700 lumens
    short throw lense
    pal & ntsc progressive scan
    possible 5000 hrs lamp life (eco mode)
    quiet, how quiet I dont know yet.
    componant in.
    I just hope the price we hear is accurate. I wonder who will be the first to buy one. Maybe me come easter.
     
  11. MartinCo

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    Timh - you list that the new panasonic has progressive scan ntsc AND pal... where did you see this?

    I can only see progressive ntsc listed in the specs and asked in the other thread but no-one confirmed it.
     
  12. Timh

    Timh
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    Martin, I was sure I read it somewhere, I will have to look into it.
     
  13. Roland @ B4

    Roland @ B4
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    Just to put the CRT side of the coin.

    It is a technology that requires a high level care and proper installationand set up a skill that the vast majority of shops do not posses. Which is why most of them are plucking for the lamped devices. Which are almost plug and play and an easy sale.

    If you have not seen a properly set up CRT projector with a high grade source you have not yet seen a proper video image.

    There is still not a digital projector (LCD,DLP, Lcos) on the market that comes within spitting distance of a high grade CRT projector for picture quality.

    But you do still have to live with some thing the size of a small wardrobe stuck to your ceiling and unless you have a dedicated room or are very keen then your image may have to be compromised.
     
  14. ROne

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    Martin,

    I am projecting onto a freshly plastered wall with home made screen (ICE STORM 3) which is quite a dark grey, but

    i) I have 95% blackout, with blackout curtains and blinds pinned from the roof to the floor.

    ii) My room is not massive (see my faq for spec.) My picture is extremely vibrant, and those photos don't even begin to do it justice.

    ii) My walls, roof, skirting are dark blue, the room is really dark.


    I would say putting some money aside for you room is a good thing, in the long run, curtains and seats are very important and people carp when I spent £500 on a lazy-boy etc but I don't.

    It can all get quite silly but if you spend your money wisely, you will be paid back for years of entertainment and comfort.

    do it in stages, just work towards some sort of plan.
     
  15. MartinCo

    MartinCo
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    ROne... sounds good, and the way I was thinking of going.

    what did you make the screen out of?

    read about the ice storm already.. 3-5... is 3 darker or lighter?

    my room is 13 x 22ft into a bay, medium dark terracota but with a white ceiling ( maybe a problem?).
    was going fit some blackout blinds behind thick velvet curtains... which should block a good percentage I assume.

    already got my HC kit sorted, and a huge 4 seater sofa on order...
    so only waiting for the right pj to come out.

    probably have £2500 (more if necessary) for pj, screen, curtains and other bits, which I assume limits me to LCDs only... (how much would a 2nd hand CRT setup cost me?)
     
  16. Tempest

    Tempest
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    Many thanks. Your writeup on that projector is excellent. A bit more than I'm hoping to pay though......
    Do you feel the lumens amount 700,800,1000 etc is an issue in a dark room ? Do you really need all those 1000+ of them to get really white whites and a bright picture ?
     

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