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projectors,plasmas,rears and all !

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by tiberious, Oct 27, 2000.

  1. tiberious

    tiberious
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    I have been trying to get together a home cinema set up (converting the Loft !)for the last month or so. In that time I have considered CRT, Rear Projection and Plasma.
    All have pros and cons.I have not to date considered front projection because I believed the picture would not be of a comparable standard to the others - but now I`m not too sure.

    I need a widescreen picture , 50 inch minimum.Any thoughts on the subject would be appreciated. For the record -

    CRT -just not big enough

    Rear Projection - (Sony Grand Wega)no progressive scan, questions over longevity of lamps (and cost).Smearing + artefacts.

    Plasma - Pioneer 502 - Expensive, but excellent resolution, tv and video pictures poor resolution may be highlighted too much.

    So, would a front projector allow me to watch all my old videos, and tv pictures without tearing out my hair ?. Would the pictures be better than the rear projectors or the Plasma ?.Would it benefit from Progressive scan output from DVD ?How long would the projector last ?(Iwas told the lamps needed replacing every 1000 hours ?).

    God, am I confused !
     
  2. LV426

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    IMHO the best front projected image I've seen is the Sony VPL-VW10HT. You can have any image size you like up to 300 inch. Min'e about 110 inch diagonal.

    The LCD assemby, AFAIK, is the same one as used in the Grand Wega (which I thought was stupendous, BTW).
     
  3. HT Dude

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    Nigel, you should take a demo of the Ellie. It would blow the Sony away.
     
  4. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    A well set up front projection system in an enviroment where you can control the light ( ie your loft) will easily outperform a plasma, rear projection or normal tubeD tv for cinematic effect


    The Ellie is an option, but not if you want a 16:9 screen and to be able to re-size a 4:3 image to fit it. The Sony LCD can do this trick as can many other CRT's and the occasional DLP.

    The best advice is to find some dealers near you, or far away!, and have a look at some to see just what sort of performance you require to enjoy watching your films

    All the best,

    Gordon

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  5. tiberious

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    Thanks for the input guys - I took the advice and had a demo of the Sony on Saturday - gorgeous ,I`m converted , well almost !.

    Unfortunately , the dealer was unable to demo the projector with VCR or TV pictures, only with DVD.It looked great with DVD and will be able to take advantage of progressive scan output I`m told , which I guess will improve the picture even more.

    Question, do any of you guys watch much TV or Video using this projectorc- if so, any probs ?

    Also, this projector has been around a while I believe - is it due for a makeover/replacement ?

    Also, what type of screen would be best (cost ?) - I could get a 100 inch diagonal(about 7 foot wide) screen quite happily, and it would be fixed (the dealer I saw Saturday said about £700 ??)

    Thanks again guys - this forum is a Godsend !!
     
  6. HT Dude

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    If you possibly can, take a demo of the Ellie before you commit.
    You refer to progressive scan. Would you use a HCPC for this?
    If so, then you can install a WinTV card (in the region of £30) and free software - dTV (http://deinterlace.sourceforge.net/distributions/dTV200exe.zip) which processes the incoming video signal(usually composite) and outputs a progressive scan signal of very high quality. Problem solved !!
     
  7. Gordon @ Convergent AV

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    Watching TV through the Sony is good. I haven't really used much Video on one though.

    When choosing your fixed frame screen I would suggest you get one that isn't made from standard box section material. Instead spend the extra to get one with a frame that is bevelled so that the part of the frame nearest the screen material is very close to the material itself. ie, it'll look like it's made from skirting board material. Also it's a good idea to get a frame that is covered in black velvet. This soaks up the overscan image to create a very sharp delineated edge to the picture. Frames like this also look really cool with the lights UP!

    The reason you don't want a standard box section is that when the projector is firing up or down to the screen (depending on ceiling or floor mount) you'll find that when you overscan on to the frame the front of it will cast a shadow on to the screen material so it'll look like you aren't using the full screen height. The thicker the box section the worse it is. You might not find it annoying but I do.

    Stewart (luxus, delux,screenwall) and Vu-tec(vision xwf) both do frames like this. Draper also do one but it is not available with a black velvet cover AFAIK.

    I hope this helps a little.

    All the best,

    Gordon

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  8. tiberious

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    Thanks guys.

    Progressive scan would be from the new Pioneer 737.

    As the Ellie isn`t true 16:9 ,would this not lose out to the Sony for Widescreen Movies ?
    (does it just "stretch" a 4:3 image ?).

    Certainly the Ellie is cheaper (quoted £4700 for Sony) - but I just want the best widescreen picture possible.

    Gordon , how long do you think the lamp would last before it would need replacing (I assume it gradually falls in output, rather than going like a lightbulb !) - and is replacement a diy job or service.Also , the dealer told me he was not worried about dust and that there should be no "dead pixels". I note from this forum that both subjects have been mentioned as problems.

    For the record, because of the room characteristics, the projector would be floor mounted.

    Thanks guys
     
  9. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Tiberious: The Sony bulb should last around 2000hrs in "cinema black" mode, according to the manufacturer. We've not had anyone use theirs long enough to check this though. However, we put one on an oil platform where it's used all the time so I guess they'll let us know soon enough how long they last.

    It's a user replaceable part. The type of lamp used in the Sony is one which will drop of slightly, (around 10%) I think, in light output after the first 100 or so hrs then it'll stay consistent until it just wont come on. This is unlike the 400(it's predecessor) whose lamp would dim significantly over time.

    I think you also suggested this was an old model. Quite the opposite. It's a relatively new model and I don't see it being replaced in the near future.

    Will the Ellie offer superior performance to the Sony on widescreen DVD's? I can't comment having not seen an Ellie. You need to view one yourself to work that one out. How the Ellie would cope with anamorphic DVD's is to compress the image vertically, thereby using the full vertical resolution of the information on the disc.

    Hope this helps

    Gordon

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  10. Boris Blank

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    Tiberious,
    Got my Sony from PRC (authorised dealers) for £4400. Tel. 0208 470 3499, ask for Joe. The £300 saving is worth making the effort!

    Good service.

    Paul
     
  11. PhilipH

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    Hi Guys,

    I've been looking at all these units over the last week - especially the Ellie and the Sony 10HT. The two projectors offer quite different performance but I wouldn't want to say that either is definitely better or worse than the other.

    The Sony has a very bright image in comparison to the CRT based Ellie and is obviously far easier to set up but of the two I actually prefered the Ellie as I found that the black level performance of the Sony was pretty much non-existent.

    The Ellie certainly seemed to be able to handle 16:9 anamorphic projection so that isn't a problem *however* you should use it on a 4:3 screen for viewing 4:3 images as it doesn't have the sizing adjustment that would allow a 4:3 image to be dropped into the centre of a 16:9 screen.

    If I was making the choice between the two then I think I'd have to go for the Ellie for its better image quality (in respect to shaddow and low level detail performance), I wouldn't be happy with the Sony but only because it doesn't do a good black ...

    Only my two-penn'orth.

    Phil
     
  12. polo

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    Hi Tiberious, where abouts did you get your demo from
    cheers polo
     
  13. Black 5

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    Most projectors seem to give widely differing performances depending on the care that is given to their setting up - I can get wildly different pictures by setting the Sony up in different ways, so even dealer demos can be deceptive.

    Where the Sony scores in my opinion is in the ability for the user to easily make adjustments to contrast/brightness/colour saturation etc by using a test disc and accessing the service menus - a simple task explained as part of an FAQ downloadable from thebigpicturedvd.com site - and for those settings to remain good over a period of time. While convergence is often an issue with CRT projectors this is a parameter requiring no adjustment in an LCD.

    Ease of installation and adjustment were important factors to me in making my decision, so just my own thoughts.

    5
     
  14. tiberious

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    Polo - I got the demo at Infidelity in Kingston in Surrey.

    Ease of use is important, I`d like my wife to be able to use it to entertain my 6 year old ! , but having said that, it sounds like an Ellie demo wouldn`t go amiss, my only concern is that with a floor mounted projector, and a 6 year old running around, if the projector were to get a knock, the convergence on a CRT maybe shot - I don`t think could take having to spend hours sorting it out, or worse , having to get someone in to reset it.Having said that, Is it widely available, or only via ScreensUk ?.

    Spent some time last night trawling some of the US forums on the subject - lots of good info both good and bad - but all useful !.

    On one, someone mentioned that a new model (11HT) was in the pipeline , and that it would be addressing the "black" problem.Another guy from the UK posted that the "trade price " had just been reduced to £3200 - would this suggest a price below £4400 was now possible ? (may also lend weight to the idea of a new model coming along).

    What fun !!

    Thanks guys

    The other thing which came up was building your own screen using "blackout" curtain lining fixed onto MDF. Sounds easy enough - perhaps with mini skirting around the edges covered as you suggested Gordon. What do you all think ?
     
  15. HT Dude

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    I think I'm safe in saying that getting 16:9 in projectors which are 4:3 by default is just a case of squashing the picture.
    16:9 'mode' is just an easily accessible memory bank with the vertical size reduced.
    My Barco 708, for example, is set up in this way and is supurb.
    I have seen the Ellie and DVD via the S-Video input and the built-in line doubler is VERY impressive. Not miles off a progressive scan image. And when you consider it will work with an ordinary DVD player for both PAL and NTSC, the combination of quality and simplicity makes it a very tempting product.
    If I were buying a projector now and a good s/h high end model were not available at the right price, I would go for an Ellie.
     
  16. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    I think you'll find the trade price for the Sony is exluding VAT and the retail price is obviously including VAT.

    CRT projectors are quite heavy so it should be quite difficult to knock one out of alignment. You could build a box around it or secure it in position to stop this of course.

    £4400 is a good price for a 10. We don't sell them that cheap! But then we do make sure they work better than most......If you're a tweaker then you can do all that yourself.

    Building your own screen could be fun. I did it myself. If I did it again, and I might, I'd buy screen material with velcro stitched in to it and then build a frame and attach the other side of the velcro to that. Some judicious stretching and you'll have a cheap screen with a nice looking frame.

    If you want to try this and you can't get material email me and I'll see what I can do.

    There's lots written about the Sony's black levels. If the room isn't extremely dark you're not going to notice any problem. In fact, until you've seen a good crt you'll probably never realise that there is a problem.

    Hope you find something you enjoy anyway.

    All the best,

    Gordon


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  17. LV426

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    Have used my VPL-VW10HT for DVD, laserdisc, and for TV and Tape sourced from a JVC S-VHS machine. To be fair, DVD is much better than the others, but then my picture is 9 foot diagonal. Smaller images show up the limitations of the source to a lesser degree. The JVS S-VHS machines are unquestionably excellent - about as good as analogue video gets. This, and off-air TV (analogue or digital) are quite watchable.

    If you want to save a few quid, you could enquire of www.vsp.de or www.hifi-regler.de. These two firms are in Germany and will sell you a VW10HT for about £4000 or so inc. del (give or take exchange rates fluctuating). Germany is in the EEC so no taxes to pay. But you won't be able to take advantage of Gordon's offer to set it up for you. You're on your own (or maybe you could pay someone to do it for you). Don't dismay. I've been using mine for about 230 hours now, just as it came out of the box. It's fine.

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    [This message has been edited by nigel (edited 01-11-2000).]
     
  18. PhilipH

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    I actually drove up to see Gordon (850 miles round trip) and get a demo of the 10HT at Stereo Stereo after having a very disappointing demo elsewhere. The "tweaking" that Stereo Stereo do to their 10HTs certainly results in more than a minor improvement in performance. In fact we even ended up discussing whether the 10HT that I had seen previously had been badly set up on purpose to try to make a more expensive projector look better.

    I was most suprised by the quality of the image that it produced and really the only downside to this projector was the black level performance.

    If you buy a 10HT and decide to go to somewhere "cheap" then be aware that that £500 or so saving could well be not such a great bargain.

    The Ellie is only available through ScreensUK but the projector can be easily ceiling mounted (I believe the ceiling bracket is included in the price whereas the Sony bracket is about £300 extra) which will sort out the possibility of it being whacked out of alignment by children and they will install it for a reasonable fee (£250 or so depending on location relative to Birmingham). When I went for a demo I thought that it was better than the other CRT projectors that I'd seen at less than £7k.
     
  19. PhilipH

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    Sorry ... hadn't seen the note about the projector being floor mounted.

    In that case I'd say go with the Sony and accept the black level performance that comes with LCD. CRTs really shouldn't be allowed to be knocked and unless you are prepared to build a hefty floor mounted housing (a big coffee table) then are kinda out if you have kids. (I have a four year old who I am sure would just love to smear jam over the lenses of my projector when I get it.)
     
  20. Boris Blank

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    I made a home-made ceil mount for my projector using some mdf and 4 coach bolts to bolt the mdf to the ceiling joists and 3 50mm bolts from the MDF into the projector. Works perfectly, I can even move the projector left/right and up/down to ensure that it aligns with the screen.

    Total cost about £10 plus 2 hours work (mostly spent fimnding where the joists were. It don't look particularly good but then again you can't really see it.
    Paul
     
  21. HT Dude

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    What note about what projector being floor mounted ? I can't see one.
    The Ellie and Sony can either be floor or ceiling mounted depending on what is most convenient.
    If you have kids, put the projector on the ceiling.
     
  22. tiberious

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    Yeah - it has to be floor mounted , because the ceiling will be about 30 inches higher than the top of the wall where the screen will be (sloping roofspace).

    Gordon , tried to email you but mail got returned, could you email me at citymartialarts@yahoo.co.uk with your current email

    thanks again guys - problems with the net my end , will post again
     
  23. tiberious

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    WORKING AGAIN - HURRAH !!

    I was also going to ask opinions on the colour of screen materials - the buzz seems to be that grey screens are preferable to whites, particularly for LCD`S like the Sony, as they improve contrast and help offset the black problem.

    Just another whim - or reason in the madness?
     
  24. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Grey screens wont improve contrast. The contrast level will be the same it's just that the black level achievable will be lower.

    Obviously the maximum brightness will be reduced as well. I'm sure it'll work but I'd want to see it first. We might buy such a screen for the shop once all the manufacturers have this sorted. Just now Da-Lite are the only guys doing something I think and I can't find a distributor in the UK for those products.

    I'll email you now.

    Gordon

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    [This message has been edited by Gordon, StereoStereo (edited 03-11-2000).]
     
  25. tiberious

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    After reading Gordons revue of the new Seleco , I have provisionally (subject to them getting one in !)booked a side by side demo of the Sony and Seleco for this Saturday coming !.

    Any helpful hints as to what to look out for (good and bad) on both models would be appreciated - particularly the Seleco, as it`s so new, I don`t know if the shop will be able to set it up at its best.

    As always, indebted !

     
  26. Gordon @ Convergent AV

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    Tiberious:

    Take along some of the sort of software you're going to watch. IE If you are a sci-fi DVD freak then take that.

    If you want to look for defects my review of the Seleco points out the likely ones for that unit and I'm sure you've read about all the possible faults with the Sony.

    Make sure the rooms is as dark as possible as your attic is going to be dark. The lighter the surroundings in the dem room the less you'll detect any differences in low black level information.

    Just see which one you prefer viewing really. They both have strengths and weaknesses. Just make sure you post your findings here so we can all see how you got on.

    All the best,

    Gordon



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  27. tiberious

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    Watch this space - Hopefully I`ll have something to say on Sunday !!
     
  28. PhilipH

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    Can I suggest taking a copy of "Dark City" if you can get hold of it or you have it in your collection. It's not one of the movies I know best but the section of the movie (Chapter 5 I think) where the main character find out he has telepathic powers was quite a revalation in seeing the difference between the black level performance of LCD and CRT projectors ... basically on an LCD projector (a Sony VW10HT) the image was of the main characters face surrounded by dark grey, on the CRT projector (an NEC P6Extra) the same shot clearly showed the detail of the dark suit that he was wearing and his shoes.

    CRT really does still rule the roost for performance even though the VW10HT that Gordon demo'd for me (after I drove the 900 mile round trip to get up there to see him) was tweaked extremely well by the guys at StereoStereo.

    A demo that I had of the VW10HT elsewhere (no names mentioned but had a good discussion with Gordon as to why this was the case) had the VW10HT looking absolutely disgusting ... if you buy one from a box shifter and just use it as it comes from the factory then you are almost certainly throwing away a very significant and extremely noticable wedge of it's performance.

    Gordon for President!

    Phil
     

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