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Praise for Owl Video

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by popeye, Dec 5, 2002.

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  1. popeye

    popeye
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    Having just sold a Seleco 400 plus I have recently found myself in the CRT wilderness. I new I wasn't prepared to except anything less than another CRT projector, but which one should I consider.
    I was quite surprised when the answer to my quest came in the shape of another CRT from Sim2. I noticed that Owl video Systems the sole distributer of Sim2/Seleco projectors in the UK, where selling off a number of brand new SDG 700 L6 projectors on Ebay for £2350.
    Even though I new one or two things about the Sim2 range I wasn't too familliar with any of the Date/Graffics range.
    I contacted Alan Roser the Technical Director of Owl Video to find out more info. I had previously met Alan a few years back when purchasing my fist projector and I new he would be more than willing to help.
    Alan explained that Owl had aquired a number of 700's direct from Sim2 who were clearing thier stocks. Alan stated that the 700 is a close relative to the SVD 800. Many of the electronic are identical the main difference between the two is that the 800 uses different Sony tubes.
    Alan kindly invited me to visit Owl for a day and see the 700 for my self. An offer I wasn't going to refuse!
    I attended Owl yesterday driving from Leeds to Uckfield. It took just over 6 hours to get there, but it turned out to be worth the journey. I was quickly met by Alan who pointed me in the direction of the demonstration suite and I was supplied hot coffee.
    The demo suite was fiiled with projectors. CRT/DLP/LCD & video walls. I was in projection heaven!
    The 700 was already set up with a Centre Stage 2 scaler and a 7 ft screen. The first thing I noticed was th size of the projector. Its a real collosous of a machine, but not unattractive. The projector was surprisingly quiet for such a big machine. I thought it was quieter than my old 400. So far so good!
    With out any further ado Alan showed me Spiderman Region 1 DVD.
    The web slinger never looked so good. The colours lept off the screen with out been over saturated with beatiful flesh tones and true velvet blacks. The picture was sharp & bright with a cinematic feel displaying a good contrast range.
    Alan stated in his oppinion the 700 was an absolute bargain, considering it had sold for 13k. I wasn't about to disagree with him!
    We spent the next hour or so putting the projector through its paces with a variety of software and even hooked up my own Quadscan scaler. Nothing was too much trouble.
    There was a distinct difference between my own Quadscan and the CS2, but you would expect that.
    In my own humble oppinion the 700 is a fine buy for anyone looking for a quality CRT with a budget. The units are brand new and should give you many years of home cinema enjoyment and represent a real bargain. Alan stated that Owl have around 15 units left and when there gone there gone for good.
    I'd like to thank Alan Roser and all the staff at Owl for a fabulous day. I went home a happy man!

    popeye
    :D
     
  2. Tim Cooper

    Tim Cooper
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    Hi Popeye,
    Yes....&.....did you buy one?
    I must also sing the praises to Alan Roser when i had my 400 he bent over backwards to accomodate me because there was no retail dealer near to where i live, & he is a bloody nice bloke toboot:D
    Wish i'd paid the same price for my original 400 :( the 700 represents a signicant improvement in PQ,(I've seen the 800) so any noob's out there thinking about it.....buy one...NOW!!:D
    Cheers.
    Tim.
     
  3. popeye

    popeye
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    Hi Tim
    Yes I did buy one. I snapped Alan's hand off!
    I had some fun getting it home. It just fitted in the back of a Ford Mondeo & I mean only just!
    Upon returning home it took three of us to carry it up stairs into my H/C.
    At the moment I'm having the H/C rewired and I need a builder to reinforce the joists for the ceiling bracket before Chris Frost installs it for me in the new year.
    I couldn't agree with you more regarding Alan Roser. He's a nice bloke and a real enthusiast like the rest of us. Nothing is ever too much trouble and he really does go out of his way to help.


    popeye
    :)
     
  4. Geoffc10

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    I'd also like to praise Owl video systems when I brought my fixed frame screen. The wrong one got sent to me, but quick as a flash they couriered a new one to me after picking up the wrong screen.
    They really do have a great customer service.
     
  5. chris9682

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    I too have recently purchased the sdg 700 from owl video and Chris Frost has just done an excellent job of setting it up with a quadscan elite "just got to watch some movie now".
     
  6. popeye

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    I'm glad to hear your pleased with the 700. Chris Frost should be installing mine in the near future and I can't wait!
    Have fun watching your DVD's!

    Regards

    popeye:D
     
  7. Messiah

    Messiah
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    Well, it is with regret that I have to say that I cannot share the others views re Owl Video.

    Last week I arranged with Alan Roser to have a demo of the Seleco 700, CentreStage CS-2 and new 7 or 8 ft electric screen as potential replacements for my barco 701s and Quadscan pro. A date and time was agreed for today (Thursday 30th jan) at 2.30pm. I travelled down from Cardiff, some 230 miles with a quick stop at some friends on the way, to arrive at 2.35pm in readiness for the demo.

    Unfortunately, I was greeted by Alan who said due to a delayed flight from Italy he had only been in the office for 30 minutes, had some italian guests and would not be able to conduct the demo.

    No prior telephone call, no e-mail and no replacement staff to make my 460 mile round trip worthwhile. What a disgrace.

    If this is the way they treat their customers, albeit with the intention of spending only c. £6k then, in my opinion, they do not deserve the support of home cinema enthusiasts such as myself.

    Before others start saying my comments aren't fair etc, I recognise others have had great support from Owl but in my experience they shhould be ashamed of themselves. How can you let a customer drive 230 miles (Alan was aware of my travelling distance through the initial conversation) only to call it off at the 12th hour (not the 11th, the 12th!).

    I'm afraid that other than the QS Pro firmware upgrade it is with regret I have to say they have lost any and all potential business from me (but this will of course not make the slightest difference to their business, which must be so good they can treat customers in this way).

    Poor show guys :mad: .
     
  8. popeye

    popeye
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  9. Messiah

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    Hi popeye

    Thanks for your kind offer. I do occasionally get up to Leeds on business and would very much like to take you up on that offer, time permitting.

    And yes, you are right that I have no interest at all in any Owl products at the moment but my anger may well subside in time, although I don't think the bitter taste will ever be gone completely.

    Thanks again and please keep in touch.

    Neil
     
  10. AD Roser

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    Neil,

    What can I say except I am deeply sorry but the situation was simply out of my control.

    Being stranded in Italy with a 8pm flight cancelled at the last minute I had no way of contacting you to reshedule your visit.

    I can understand your anger and frustration after making the effort to come and see us, the offer of the demo still stands but I would understand completely if you were to decline.:(

    Regards


    Alan Roser
    Owl Video Systems Ltd
     
  11. Messiah

    Messiah
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    Alan

    Thank you for taking the time to respond here. I have to say that I am surprised that in this day of technology amd pan-eurpean mobile telephony that you could not find the few minutes required to drop a call to my mobile or indeed request a member of your staff to contact me on your behalf.

    You are absolutely right in that I decline your offer of a rescheduled time and can assure you that I shall not in any way be promoting your company on this forum or any other.
     
  12. popeye

    popeye
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    If your in Leeds your welcome to call round. I've just ceiling mounted the 700 today and I'm now waiting for my CS-2 to arrive from Owl. The problem I have is that due to the size of my H/C I have a shorter throw distance than I would of liked.
    At the moment I have an Owl 6ft screen, however this will be replaced with a Stewart fixed frame delux screen with Studio Tek 130 material. The plan is for Chris Frost to set the 700 up with the CS-2 for a dry run to establish how big an image they can produce. Once this has been done I can go ahead and order a new screen, which will be somewhere between 5 & 6ft wide.

    Hopefully I'll be up & running in the not too distant future!

    Regards

    Darren
    popeye:)
     
  13. AndyFov

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    How does it look when compared to your old 400? Is it *considerably* uglier / bigger? I'm sure the image is bound to be superior, it's just the WAF that I'm worried about. ;)

    They're not that much more expensive than I sold my old 400 for.

    Andy
     
  14. popeye

    popeye
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    The 700 is quite alot bigger than a 400. I think it's around 7 inches longer for a start and weighs an extra 17 kilo's.
    You could be forgiven at first glance to mistake it for an 8 inch unit.
    The 400 has an unobtrusive, sleek elegent presence for a CRT projector, where as the 700 has more of a bulky appearance. Having said all that I don't think its an ugly projector!

    The main reason for buying a 700 of course is for the quality it offers at a bargain price. Where would you buy a brand new unit with a similar spec for well under £2500! & with a 12 month guarantee.


    popeye
     
  15. uncle eric

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    Hi Neil,
    Hope you're ok.
    Sorry to hear about your experience. These things are very rare (especially with OWL) and I'm sad you've been on the end of this experience.

    I have to say that Alan and the boys at OWL are great guys who really know their stuff and hope that you reconsider your stance when things cool down as I'm sure you won't be let down this time.

    Kind Regards
    Eric
     
  16. Messiah

    Messiah
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    Popeye

    Any chance you could tell me what would be the distance from screen to back of projector (including any required clearance for cooling or cover drop off) to give a 7ft horizontal image. I'm loving my Barco 701s at the moment but know that the picture I have is probably only a fractio of what a better CRT could deliver.

    Uncle Eric

    Thanks for your words. Have you got your A1SR yet?

    Any chance you could do the same re the Sony G70 as I am still very tempted by one of those.

    I have just managed to squeeze my 701s onto the ceiling with about 5 inches between the rear of it and the offending RSJ. I have also just managed to increase the sixe of the image (still within the phosphor area - just) to fill my 7'8" wide screen but will be happy to drop to a smaller screen size for better image quality.

    I guess this means I've now really got the CRT bug, and to be honest I enjoy the extra fiddling required. I think I'd be bored with an LCD/DLP :D

    Thanks guys.

    Neil
     
  17. uncle eric

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    Neil,
    Of course, you're welcome anytime. Just drop me a PM and we'll get together.
     
  18. popeye

    popeye
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    Working out the throw distance isn't as striaght for ward as you may think. The 700 should be calculated on 1.5 X screen width, however if your using a scaler and running it at XGA resolutions you will find that the image will reduce in size.

    Sometimes the only way to accuratly work out the throw distance is to have a dry run, and set the projector up on a table top. You can then see how a scaler effects the size of the image before fixing it into place.

    Nothings ever easy!:mad:


    popeye
     
  19. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    The physically trying it method is the best way to work it out. Forget manufacturers throw tables. Not all scalers will give same size screen image on same output resolutions.

    Gordon
     
  20. Roland @ B4

    Roland @ B4
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    The throw is more like 1.35, but use the lens program it's pretty acurate.
    It should be possible to achieve full width at all resolutions using the H size control. If not your power supply needs adjusting

    Wise words saves a whole lot of holes in the ceiling too.
     
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