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Please be kind...........................

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by disco, Mar 11, 2002.

  1. disco

    disco
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    I have managed to purchase a second-hand projector (an ASK) more on a whim than desire for a home cinema. I'm currently projecting an image onto my living room wall using my PS2 as a DVD (and playing games) and running the sound through my stereo.
    I'm actually happy with the image quality (some DVD's appear better than others) but have a couple of queries.

    1: Would using a stand alone DVD produce a better quality image (across a broad range of DVD's)?

    2: What is the picture quality like generally if running straight out of Sky box into the PJ?

    3: Does a screen (either DIY or purchased) make a huge difference to picture quality?
     
  2. mysphyt

    mysphyt
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    You've stumbled on to the likely best possible source for your projector, the PC. In fact there is a whole Home Cinema PC (HCPC) section in the forum. The reason why the PC is usually the best choice for digital projectors is that they can match the projector's native display resolution. The scaler/deinterlacer that most projectors have to convert a normal video input to the resolution of the projector are generally not that great (some exceptions). Using a stand alone DVD player is quite likely to decrease your picture quality.

    A will help, at the very least it will "frame up" the image. Lots of DIY screen ideas around, most can be built quite inexpensively.
     
  3. Chris Frost

    Chris Frost
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    Looks like you've been ignored disco. Lets see if I can help.

    1: Would using a stand alone DVD produce a better quality image (across a broad range of DVD's)?

    In most cases, Yes.

    2: What is the picture quality like generally if running straight out of Sky box into the PJ?

    OK if you can get the RGB Video feed from the Sky box into your projector. This can be tricky though as many LCD/DLP projectors can't lock on to an RGB signal lower than 32kHz @ 60Hz refresh rate. Video RGB is about 15kHz @ 50Hz refresh.

    Composite video (Scart to single phono plug for video picture) looks poor by comparison. Image lacks detail and suffers with colour bleed.

    Best solution if RGB isn't possible, use an RGB to S convertor. This will give a much better signal than composite, without the hassles of dealing with RGB.

    3: Does a screen (either DIY or purchased) make a huge difference to picture quality?

    Err...how long is a piece of string.

    The effect of a proper screen with black borders is to frame the image. It gives the eye a point of reference.

    Projecting on to the wall or wallpaper you'll lose this reference along with some brightness, focus and colour accuracy as the reflected image is tinted because the surface doesn't reflect all colours of light equally. A high quality screen (say £500+) will give a brighter, sharper image with less change in its colour balance.

    Cheap screens (say under £200) make compromises somewhere along the line. Still better than the wall, but difficult to say how much better.

    Grey DIY screens have become popular with high power (1000+ ANSI lumen) projectors. IMO focus and colour accuracy won't be as good, but for just 10% of the cost of something more professional I think most enthusiasts can live with the compromise.

    I don't like the results from DIY white screens. Gloss or Satin paints can produce distracting hot spots with anything over 400 ANSI. Matt paints absorb too much light and rob the image of some vibrancy. Focus also suffers.

    If you are considering DIY then you are probably thinking about a permanent screen hanging on a wall like a giant picture. If you are going for white then you should ring a few screen suppliers to see who sells just the material. You'll be able to buy through your local dealer. Its easy to make a frame and add black borders. This will give you the best quality image at the lowest price.

    IMO, cheap roll down screens are a false economy. They rarely have borders. Many are square format (we use 4:3 for video), and the surfaces tend to be so thin they ripple too easily.

    Electric screens are better value. Look in the classifieds for S/H screens by Owl, Da-lite & Bretford.

    Avoid ex-pub screens. Other than the stink of nicotine, breweries tend to go for cheap over quality. Similar problems to manual screens.

    So, lot of info there. Probably more than you need. Good luck.
     
  4. Chris Frost

    Chris Frost
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    Disco is using a Play Station II console for DVD playback, not a computer.

    PCs can give astonishing results with projectors. From that point of view mysphyt is quite correct. Check out the HCPC forum section for more info.
     
  5. mysphyt

    mysphyt
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    Oops...

    Yep, missed that one alright. Compared with a PS (not a PC), a decent stand alone player would be an improvement, but not as dramatic as going to a HCPC.

    Thanks for keeping me straight!
     
  6. Timh

    Timh
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    Yes, but if Disco is on a budget he could use the PS2 connected by componant, it's in the options to set it to rgb/componant.

    There will soon be a way of connecting your Sky digital box via componant, www.rgbtosvideo.co.uk are working on a rgb/componant convertor, it will not be cheap though, about £140.
     

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