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Philips Garbo projectors

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by dcullen302, Mar 5, 2003.

  1. dcullen302

    dcullen302
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    hi folks

    just wondering if anyone has had the opportunity to check out the Philips Garbo line of projectors? they look very good.

    cheers

    dermot
     
  2. John_N

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    I saw a review (which I've been unable to find since) which said that the original Philips Garbo was pretty dire.

    The Matchline series is supposed to be much improved - but I would image that their appeal lies with the bulb life since the Garbo Matchline has a 6000hr lamp life AFAIK and when I was looking last month it was about £1800.

    I don't remember the resolution and contrast figures being very good though. I think you can do better (wasn't the contrast only 400:1 or 500:1 ?)

    In my opinion, the Philips Garbo Matchline is no match (excuse the pun) for the Panasonic AE300 or the Sony HS10 and I would seriously audition at least these models as well as the Philips.

    I know Chris Frost who posts on here will be upset to hear that but it's what I think..... :)
    John
     
  3. RTFM

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    Not as good as the Z1
     
  4. Chris Frost

    Chris Frost
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    Not at all.:) It's your opinion, some will agree, others won't. It's all fair game.:smoke:

    I think the only UK review is in one of the PC magazines :suicide: . Said the Garbo wasn't good for computer work (no surprise there), but was easily the best for movies out of a peer group with some machines costing several hundred £'s more.

    Like all things the Garbo and Garbo Matchline are designed with a certain type of client in mind - someone looking for a projector that can be used in higher ambient lighting conditions, which has prog scan, can accept all signal formats without expensive adapter cables, is the quietest in the industry even at full power and has the longest lamp life. Perhaps they're a little less "cinema only" focussed than some other products, but I don't think that's a bad thing. They fit neatly between than Sanyo at £1300 and the Sony at £2200.

    The show I did in Manchester was interesting. I used the Garbo in a room with a lot of light and played film, animation, TV and games via an X-Box. The boys from Owl were there too showing the Sanyo Z1 and Sim 300+, and CSE were showing the Infocus Screen Play projector. Both were shown in cinema darked conditions.

    We got a really good response and a lot of positive comments about the Garbo from those who had seen all four projectors. A couple of visitors put us to the test with the dungeon scenes in Gladiator, but they must have been happy with what they saw because they both bought on the day and those weren't my only sales for the dealer I was supporting.

    I got a chance to go head to head with a standard Garbo against the Sony HS10 a couple of months ago. We can't compete with the Sonys higher resolution, but the dealer said ours was a more watchable picture compared to a standard HS10. I thought that was quite a nice compliment. :)

    Dermot, all the models discussed in this thread are good. Try and get a dem from a decent retailer who knows what they're doing and I thing you'll be impressed by them all. :)
     
  5. John_N

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    Hi Chris - appreciate what you say -

    but given that the Garbo has 1000 ANSI and 400:1 contrast ratio and the matchline has 1100 ANSI and 500:1 contrast, I'm not sure what qualifies this machine as more watchable under ambient light than say an HS10 with 1200 ANSI and 700:1 contrast ratio. The figures don't seem to make sense.

    The HS10 as comes out of the box needs tweaking and tuning to make it appear it's best. Once you have a properly calibrated HS10, it would blow the pants off a Garbo with no question about it.

    I would rate the contrast ratio as not very good to be honest. The original Garbo with 400:1 is pretty poor and philips obviously recognised this with the matchline with a quoted increase in CR although how much this has to do with actual engineering improvements and how much it has to do with number fiddling remains to be seen.

    Obviously the garbo can not compete in terms of resolution - it has 858 * 484 resoloution compared to 1368 *768 on the HS10 and 960 * 540 for the panasonic.

    I would not judge the resolution of the philips enough for PAL DVD viewing because a PAL DVD has 576 active lines and you are losing quite a lot of detail on the philips to allow it to "fit" onto the LCD panel. This is not a trivial point - you are throwing away 96 lines - 16% of the picture detail straight away.

    All I'm saying is that for the price of the garbo matchline, I would seriously consider looking at the Panasonic AE300 and Sony HS10.

    Not sure about noise levels. The one fault with the HS10 is the fan noise which is just a little intrusive sometimes.

    As Chris says, listen to the arguments and maybe put it on your shortlist but if you're looking in the £1000 - £2000 bracket and maybe a bit higher for the HS10 I would look at:

    Panasonic AE300
    Sanyo Z1
    Sony HS10
    Optoma H50 (DLP based - if you can watch DLP)
    as well as the philips. Just make sure you get the "matchline" and not just the "garbo" because of the spec improvement.
    John
     
  6. RTFM

    RTFM
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    Check out the Infocus X1 and the Plus Piano Avanti as well.
     
  7. dcullen302

    dcullen302
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    thanks for the feedback guys.

    the sony HS10 certainly looks interesting, noise could be a problem tho' and the price is a bit more than i'd like

    the Panasonic AE300 apparently is only 800 ANSI - how can this be an alternative? (new to this whole scene, forgive any gaffs).
     
  8. drugarth

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    I own a Garbo Matchline, and I must say I'm very happy with it.
    I think especcialy the colors and noise level are great.
    The only "weakness" I see is the low resolution. The screen door bothers me a little. But no more than a little and I use full zoom to get a bigger picture..(hehe maybe that's the problem).

    I don't understand why everbody keeps comparing it tot the HS10. Where I live (netherlands) they are NOT in the same price range. A Matchline goes for round 3000 euro while a HS10 goes for 5000 Euro...that's quite a difference...
    Well anyhow...just check them both ou...just know that I am happy with the Philips...:)
     
  9. RTFM

    RTFM
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    Drugarth, being from the Nether region I guess it would be treason not to back Philips
     
  10. drugarth

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    hehehe perhaps....but I thought a looong time bout buying a NEC..until I saw some demo's with the Philips....But I was close to treason :)
     
  11. John_N

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    Hi

    Projector manufacturers use all kinds of tricks to inflate their ANSI readings. If you read the review on www.projectorcentral.com for the AE300 you will see what I mean.

    The light output from an HS10, for example, in medium colour temperature and cinema black mode is about 860 lumens or something. Once you have a projector set up properly, the light output is reduced. Basically a well set up HS10 is supposed to have similar light output to an AE300 - maybe a bit higher.
    Bear in mind that the naked eye can't really tell the difference between 800 ANSI and 1000 ANSI lumens,

    In terms of price, the HS10 retails at nexnix for £2100. I think the AE300 retails at £1800 and I think the Philips retails at £1800 as well. In the UK there is therefore only £300 difference between the two.

    John
     
  12. infomatique

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    I 100% agree with your comments.
     
  13. infomatique

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    More than a year ago I purchased the Philips Monroe and I was very pleased with its performance. I use a variety of sources PC, Denon A1 DVD player, etc and it performs very well.

    I was especially impressed by how quiet it was. It bulb life is 6000 which is very good.

    As a result a number of my friends decided to purchase Garbos (standard and matchline) and everyone is very pleased with their purchase. In my opinion the Monroe is better than the Garbo for PC but the Garbo is much better when it comes to DVD

    While many will claim that there are better units available you should organise a demo of the Garbo before you make a decision. If you are based in the UK the price difference between the Garbo and other units may not be great but for me there was a very large difference in price.
     
  14. m666bel

    m666bel
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    Dermot,

    I've just bought the Garbo (unseen) and it seems pretty good to me, although I must be honest and say I'm a newbie to this and haven't seen any other PJ's except the Panny 100.

    Got it out of the box, spun Terminator Two and had a big smile on my face!!!

    Why did I go for the Garbo? Its longer throw ratio (ZI was too short for my room), the quieter fan (and it IS quiet without a doubt), the 3 year guarantee (versus Sony's one year - oh so generous) and the 6000 bulb life (3 times some other suppliers?).

    And another advantage I didn't find until I read the manual - the stated pixel policy for the Garbo is in Philip's words 'severe' - ONE blue pixel allowed only. Beats the Sanyo policy which scared the pants off me (quoted in other threads here although I can't remember the exact details - but it was certainly a lot more than one only). Not that in the end I had any dead/jammed pixels.....

    Oh, and I think it's probably misleading to compare the HS10 to the Garbo - the Garbo's just over £1500, the HS10 a little over £2100. Not the same price bracket.

    Hope this helps.
     
  15. John_N

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    I've looked at the prices on projectorpoint and I see the Garbo being retailed at about £1500 with the matchline at about £1800.
    See the link:

    http://www.projectorpoint.co.uk/Philips_Garbo_Matchline.htm

    I personally would get the matchline version because of the improvements on contrast ratio. IMHO 400:1 contrast is not terribly good for a projector intended for home cinema viewing. This puts your costs up to nearly £1800.

    However, personally, if I was spending £1800 on a projector, I would at projectors all around that figure. Whilst this may rule out the HS10 at £2100 it certainly doesn't rule out the AE300 which I gather sits around the £1800 mark and which has good reviews to rival those of the HS10. The AE300 has 800:1 contrast ratio and I would URGE you to check at least that out, even if you don't move to the HS10.

    As an HS10 owner, I'm trying not to be biased towards it; it does produce a very good picture, which I believe is likely to be the best picture out of the AE300, Garbo, Sanyo Z1 etc but I do realise that the HS10 is also the most expensive unit by some margin and at the end of the day that might rule it out on price alone.

    I'm sure the Garbo is a competitive unit for the price, but if you knew you could get a better unit for only slightly more, would you be able to resist? Yes I know it's cheap to run because of long bulb life, but this depends on your usage pattern. No point in buying a unit with 6000h bulb life if it will take you 6 years to replace the bulb. In 6 years, you might be wanting a different unit anyway. I would say that as long as a bulb lasts you about 2-3 years with your usage then that should be acceptable to most people surely? So you need to take your intended usage into consideration. Will it replace the TV? how many hours/week?

    My previous remarks on the Garbo resolution and contrast ratio still hold though. No - I haven't seen it action and therefore I would recommend anyone to take a look at make their minds up but my opinion is still that anyone with a £1800 budget for a projector, plus the money for the screen and ancilliaries, is generally not going to miss another few hundred quid and so you might want to look at a range of machines and see which one works for you.

    I realise that there are lots of satisfied garbo owners out there. Different people have different preferences. If you owned a Garbo and then owned an HS10 for example, you might wonder how you ever put up with the former. Likewise, if you owned a ford and then moved to a mercedes, you may think the same. Some people however are quite happy with a ford and see no reason to change. Different priorities. Shades of grey.

    IMHO at the moment, the best shortlist I can come up with are the old favourites of:

    Sanyo Z1 (LCD) - £1500 ish
    Philip Garbo Matchline (LCD) - £1800 ish
    Panasonic AE300 (LCD) - £1800 ish
    Sony HS10 (LCD) - £2100 ish
    Optoma H50 (DLP) - £2300 ish

    Horses for courses. Best to audition long and hard and then make your decision.

    J
     
  16. Chris Frost

    Chris Frost
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    John, chill out mate :cool:

    Firstly there are two Garbo models. The standard Garbo and a Matchline version which has better quality LCD panels, an improved optical block and better lens to give greater light output and increased CR from the same power lamp.

    No one is knocking the Sony (well I'm not, anyway) but the figures don't tell the whole story. I'll explain why...

    Ambient lighting has a big effect on the CR of any projector. Imaging playing a 800:1 CR projector in a pitch black room. If you were to light a single candle in that room it would knock about 300 points straight off the CR.

    Since much of the work to improve CR figures is acheived by lowering projector brightnesses (and so improving black level) you can see how fragile those gains are. It's easy to wipe them out with just a little light in the room.

    I'd be shocked if the Sony wasn't better. It should be! It costs more money, has a higher resolution panel and is designed purely for home cinema. The differences are there, but to the layman the performance gap isn't as big as you imagine.

    Regards
     
  17. John_N

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    Hi Chris

    ???????? :confused:

    I have mentioned the Garbo and the Garbo Matchline and their performance differences in my previous posts.

    I'm confused about the point that you are making. :confused: since although I agree that lighting a candle or introducing ambient light will reduce the perceived contrast, this holds for ANY projector and does not affect one more than the other (given the same screen of course).

    The point I was making is that I can not see why the Garbo would be particularly good for viewing in ambient light based on the published Contrast ratio and brightness figures. I think this a red herring and admittedly although I haven't seen one, I can't believe that the published figures are all that wrong, otherwise why has the unit not had rave reviews and outsold the other units in this price bracket?

    Reducing the brightness of a projector will lower the black level. It will not necessarily change the contrast ratio at all - although it may. In something like the HS10, where the projector is red-limited, introducing the CC40R filter and recalibrating increases the CR because the green and blue panels can be driven harder as a result to give the same white level with an additional improvement in black level. This therefore increases the CR. Just reducing the light output of your projector will not produce much of an improvement if you have a poor CR to start with.

    I wasn't implying that anyone was knocking the HS10 and to be honest I couldn't care less if they do - it's only a piece of plastic. :laugh:

    All I'm trying to do here is present a balanced view and too suggest that the poster of the thread look at other machines as well as the garbo, because I think that he could possibly do better. As I said in my earlier post, the matchline is £1800 and IMHO that price is getting a little too close to the AE300 and HS10 for it to sit convincingly there.

    Kind Regards
    John
     
  18. Pixalorny

    Pixalorny
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    Sony HS2
    £1300 including free screen.
    Lower resolution than the HS10, but still 1000 lumens and quieter too. Oh, and £800 cheaper.
    For some reason no-one seems to rate it but I am very, very happy.
    Good luck in your decision,

    pixalorny
     

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