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Recommendations for projector virgin focusing on 2D HD

BrightEyesDavid

Standard Member
Hi all,

I and my girlfriend are looking to treat ourselves to the start of a new home cinema setup on a budget by getting a projector and electric or pull-down screen. I'd appreciate any pointers and recommendations of models of both you could give.

After doing some reading and looking up of prices, I'm looking to keep the cost of projector and screen to about £2k.

Main intended uses

  1. Films
  2. TV programmes
  3. Games
(Sources will include both SD and HD material.)

Our priorities

  • Full HD/1080p, good definition if possible given budget
  • Image quality in general, including nice, dark blacks given budget
  • Image size (big as is practial given budget and room dimensions)
3D is not necessary for us, and we'd rather not spend extra to have this.

Regarding LCD/DLP, I'm generally sensitive to timing-related visual artefacts (but haven't demo'ed any projectors yet so not sure if I see rainbows), but I'd appreciate a nice, natural, solid image without undue chicken wire, too.

Environment

Although I'm a Brit, my girlfriend is German and we're living in Germany, so our living room windows/doors, which let in a lot of light as they are full-height and take up about five metres in length (most of the wall), have those external shutters that are common over here. This means we can easily make the room very dark at any time.

The wallpaper is light-coloured woodchip.

The distance from projector lens to screen ("throw"?) will be about 4m.

I believe the ideal size for the projection would be around 4m in width (this is most of the length of the wall opposite the projector that is available). I believe not all projectors are able to achieve this with a 4m throw distance; if the projection is a bit less that's fine, too.

Two specific questions I have are:

  1. I've seen lots of references to calibration. What's required to do this? I'm not a colour profiling expert, but I used to work in a pre-press studio so have done some colour adjustment, etc.
  2. I watched an AV Forums video about a reference home cinema setup that mentioned industry standards and how they can benefit home cinema enthusiasts. Where should I go to learn about these, and are they of use to people like us who are looking at the budget end?
We don't even have a TV yet - we've been using a laptop while saving up. :) Thanks in advance for any insights and/or recommendations you can give!
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
Well a quality 3 mtr wide tab tensioned screen could cost close to £1k so that only leaves around £1k for a projector.

The best Options in this price point would be:

Epson TW3200 £900 LCD with lens shift,TW5900 3D but a brighter image which will be a help with your light coloured walls.

Mitsubishi HC4000 DLP, Optoma HD300x 3D again but with brighter image both around £900-£1000.

You won't get a 4mtr wide image with these projectors but you should get the biggest image available, maybe just over 3 mtrs wide which if sitting 4mtrs from the screen is about as big as is practical for 1080p material.

Take a look at the calculator below for more accurate sizes available remember the size available is based on teh throw which is the dimension from screen to the lens (front) of the projector..

Epson Europe EH-TW3200 Projection Calculator - Throw Distance and Screen Size

None of these projectors will give you the best blacks for that you will need to go for a JVC which is outside your budget or a higher end Epson (TW4400) also over your budget.

You really need to get a demo anyway so find a retailer who can demo at least a couple of the above to see whether they fit your expectations.
 

BrightEyesDavid

Standard Member
Thanks kbfern. A 3m diagonal/wide image will be great and plenty big enough for our room.

I haven't looked at screens yet - I expect it's better for us not to skimp on the screen as that can be used for a long time, even if we upgrade the projector further down the line.

We'll go for a demo session as you say.

What are the most inexpensive model(s) of JVC that you'd suggest? I'll look up the prices over here in Germany, just in case we reconsider our budget.
 

BrightEyesDavid

Standard Member
I forgot to ask in response to your projector recommendations: does having a 3D-capable projector lessen in any way the 2D quality? I guess not...
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
In the Uk JVC have an older model that they were still selling via 1 retailer (Richers) the HD350 originally a £3500 projector 3 yrs ago and selling now for £1700 but they are down to the last few units.

I understand the X3 (last years model) which is also 3D can be had in very limited quantities for around £2k this was also £3500 at launch.

This years model X30 can be had for £2800 now from retailers,the launch price was £3k.I don't know what any of these units retail for or if available (the HD350/X3) in Germany currently.All these units give exceptional black level performance and even the 3D models give a stellar 2D picture having 3D ability does not effect the 2D quality at all.
 

chienmetallique

Active Member
kbfern said:
I understand the X3 (last years model) which is also 3D can be had in very limited quantities for around £2k this was also £3500 at launch.
£2K, where is this? Could be tempted at this price.
 

KelvinS1965

Distinguished Member
Haven't seen them as low as this myself, they are about £2,399 at Richer Sounds though in white or black. Or £2250 from Projector Point in black only as it's actually an RS40 (same thing but no white option):

JVC DLA-RS40 projector
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
I have not seen any X3 myself at £2k was really repeating what I had seen on the forum although I think if you can find one I am sure you could haggle down to near the £2k mark.
 

BrightEyesDavid

Standard Member
The JVC DLA-HD350 is available at what is apparently a good German retailer for €1,800 (£1,500), so I'm very tempted to just go ahead and order it now without demo'ing. We're happy to spend that bit more. (I've cleared it with the girlfriend!)

Reading the AVForums review now.
 

BrightEyesDavid

Standard Member
I see that the JVC DLA-HD350 does not have a VGA terminal. What's the best way to go from a PC graphics card to the projector in this case?
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member

BrightEyesDavid

Standard Member
It also looks like we can keep the signal entirely digital with this? DVI to HDMI Adaptor (also HDMI: Compatibility with DVI)

Anyway, we should definitely be able to go from PC to HD350 PJ at 1920 x 1080 ?

I think we're almost ready to order. :) Many thanks for your advice.

Do you know anything about the screens they supply?
 

KelvinS1965

Distinguished Member
I can connect my PC to my HD350 at 1920 x 1080p. At first I used a DVI to HDMI cable, then I upgraded my graphics card to one with a HDMI port in it. The projector doesn't 'know' whether it's a PC or BluRay player so it's happy to accept full resolution.

Many full HD displays often won't accept 1920 x 1080p via VGA anyway, so IMHO you're better off using a digitial connection.

No idea about the screens your supplier sells (have you got a link to the website?).

EDIT: Not heard of either of those makes myself, sorry.
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
deLuXx Cinema Elegance Tension 25059 · Motorleinwand 16:9 274x154 | redcoon Deutschland

I have not heard of there screens but the 2.74 wide looks reasonable value for a tab tensioned.It does not say if it is a matte white screen and what gain it has so I would find that out.

I personally would get the projector and put it on a stand/table in the position where you would want it and point it at the opposite wall and see what size it will give you.You can use the zoom control to make the image larger and smaller.

Once you know what size you want you can go ahead and order the screen,many folks have ordered the screen at the time they order the pj and find they need a different size so best wait and be sure.

The bigger the screen (3mtrs and over) you may need a screen with some gain (1.2 or over) you will not know that till you see the projector in your room switched on to see how bright it is with the size image you want to achieve..

I don't know anything about the screen manufacturer you linked to so do some research as this make is unknown to us.
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
Regards calibration you can download REC709 calibration tool and burn to a dvd,This gives you various test patterns to do a basic or more advanced calibration depending on your skills.This will improve the image you can get compared to the out of the box settings.

AVS HD 709 - Blu-ray & MP4 Calibration - AVS Forum
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
Well done you have made a wise decision:thumbsup: once you have it set up without a screen post again for further advice if needed.

I take it you have sound options covered (amp/speakers).
 

BrightEyesDavid

Standard Member
Great, thanks.

To start with we're going to use our little Logitech SqueezeBox. Once we've reduced the room's echo by putting tapestries/rugs on the walls and floor (and saved up a little more) I'll look into sound options properly.
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
Get saving quickly then as a big screen with a little sound is quite underwhelming:)

You don't have to spend a fortune and there is always the second hand route which can save quite a bit.

A decent a/v amp on the classifieds can be had for £200 approx.An example is an onkyo 805 on today for £200 this was a £800+ amp when new 2-3 yrs ago.I have one in my setup and it is a very good amp much better than a cheap newer amp.

Speakers also are a good option second hand as is a quality subwoofer but that can always come a bit later.

Are second hand speakers and amps available easily in Germany or do you get over here regularly by car in which case you could always take something back with you when you have a visit.
 

BrightEyesDavid

Standard Member
Get saving quickly then as a big screen with a little sound is quite underwhelming:)
I'm sure, but I'm just happy I got the gf to agree to the projector at this stage. ;)

My brother and I had a Rotel RA-05/06 (I forget which exactly) + Epos M12.2 speakers which we used for music and films. I had to sell him my part (the amp) when I moved over here. I'd like to get a similar sort of setup again.

We fly when we visit the UK (don't even have a car) so we'll buy here, either new or second hand.
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
So if you have some speakers you are part way there then,I would look at an a/v amp rather than stereo if possible although not as good at stereo performance are much better for movies gaming etc as all source components can be connected by hdmi and you can get all the new HD sound codecs.
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
I just re read your comment again and realise you have no speakers (Epos) so what speakers do you have now.
 

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