Projector advice.

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by Wiseguy, Apr 10, 2001.

  1. Wiseguy

    Wiseguy
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    I am soon going to be investing in my first projector and I would like a bit of advice from some of you experts out there. I began looking last year and had set my sights on a Sony VPL-VW10HT, however having read various reviews and opinions on the SIM2 HT200 that looks like to be a superior machine (obviously I will want to see both in action). My budget has increased now and I have about £10,000 to spend, is this enough to get a decent CRT projector or should I stick with one of the two I have mentioned? I would rather have a top of the range LCD/DLP projector with money to spare, and then a few years down the line upgrade to a top end CRT than blow the lot on a bottom of the range CRT now. Thoughts please!
     
  2. GarryF

    GarryF
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    Well, you should decide which factors are most important, image quality, ease of use, size, noise, ambient light etc.
    Also decide on what type of screen you want, 16x9 or 4x3, fixed or roll down, electric or manual, some projectors are better suited to one than another.
    Then depending on your choices above the type of projector you would like becomes a lot clearer.
    If I had £10,000 I would probably be looking at a stewart 16x9 screen at £1500, Rock scaler at £4000 then trying to find the best condition second hand data grade projector and installation I could with the remaining cash.
    CRT is not for everyone though, best you go look yourself and see if you can live with the images produced by digital projectors.
     
  3. Wiseguy

    Wiseguy
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    I am after the best quality image I can (purely for R1 DVD playback).The room I am using is not a dedicated theatre room, so the question of ambient light I guess is important (I am not new to HC, but I am very new to projectors!) the room is very large so I can have any screen size really, I was thinking of about a 7-8ft 16x9 screen (motorised). From your comments about a second hand CRT, I take it that my budget will not buy me a good one from new, as I said if this is the case I am tempted to spend less for the time being (I could use the spare £3,000 - £4,000 I would save) and then upgrade to a full top end CRT system when finances allow in a few years time. Being new to this sort of thing does put me off second hand a bit as I do not know too much about CRT. Also do you know how the picture from an HT200 or VPL-VW10HT compares to that of a 32" widescreen TV for example? (I have an old 50" LCD Sony rear projection so anything beats that!!!)
     
  4. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker
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    Hi Wiseguy,

    If you don't mind using a computer as your display, I think you'll be suprised at the quality of image that you can attain from a Davis (or similar) DLP projector (450, DLS8 etc).

    For £2550 you can get a DLS8 (about £2200 for the 450), and £600+ will get you a pc capable of high quality images using the 800 x 600 panel. An Isco lens or new (soon to be produced) Panamorph lens will opticaly adjust the 800 x600 anamorphic image to 16:9 or 2.35:1 so you will be using the full resolution of the panel, without loss of lumens. The lens will cost approx £1000 (not sure of the Isco). I'm just using the DLS8 and HCPC and I'm very happy with the quality of the images. :)

    I think it is an excellent bang for buck home cinema setup.

    I can only suggest you get a demo with someone who knows this solution so you can get a proper evaluation of what these projectors can do.

    I think most projectors require some form of external processing to produce excellent results, and I've seen the difference a DVDO and Quadscan can make to stand-alone DVD players. IMHO HCPC does a better job.

    For tv and video playback, a pc with WinTv or Pinnacle Studio Rave, plus dTV will give you a scaled and de-interlaced image better than you will get from s-video or composit inputs from sattalite or video.

    Ultimately, you must see for yourself before you buy. A single demo is worth a thousand words. :)

    All the best.

    Gary
     
  5. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Wiseguy:

    I think the most important thing you can do just now is go and have a look at the alternatives.

    Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately not everyone has the same standards. So what I think is of poor performance others may love and vice versa. Ideally the first thing you need to find is the minimum performance level you will be happy to watch. Spending £5000 on any projector is futile if you find the picture too poor to gain any long term enjoyment. Doubly so at £10,000

    From a technical point of view 7-8ft wide is suitably small to allow a great picture from CRT. New, the models to look at are the Ellie, possibly a Barco Cine7 and of course the Seleco420 and Seleco500 (the latter without its internal line doubler but with an Iscan pro doubler instead).

    You should also take the time to look at superior units to these in order to check that there is an upgrade path which does offer superior performance should you require it. There aren't many new CRT's above these though. Seleco800 and Barco Cine8 and CineMax are a few or you could try and seek out some Runco's (usually based on Barco and NEC chassis). If you are feeling really flush find a dealer with a Vidikron Vision1 or a Madrigal unit.

    Make sure you see the HT200 and the Sony LCD in reputable dealers. The set up of both these units is very important to their performance. I'd expect that any dealer with a CRT in the shop should have the competence to set it up so they should all, hopefully, be pretty representative.

    All projection technology will benefit from having a light controlled room. Due to the lower light output of the CRT's it can be more important if you wan tot watch in daylight or non-blackout situations.

    There are re-sellers of s/h CRT's who give warranties with their machines so that shouldn't be too much of a detterent. There are also very good bargains to be had that are so low you could just throw the thing out and buy another if it failed. With the S/H route the possibility is there to buy a great scaler and screen and a cheapy data projector then chuck it out when its done and buy that new all singing and dancing unit you wanted in the first place.

    Oh, I'd also try and see a D'iLA and a 3 Chip DLP as well at some point.

    All the best,

    Gordon
     
  6. Wiseguy

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    Gordon, thanks for your comments they have been very helpful. I shall have a good look at a number of units and see what I think of their respective performances. One thing I should mention is that the screen will be in front of a window, and therefore except when it is dark outside when I want to use my projector in the daytime I will have to put up with the light that the curtains do not shut out. Having given more consideration I am leaning more towards LCD/DLP because I really could do with spending less at the moment, but as I said I will see them in action before I make up my mind.
     

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