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RPTV or Projector?

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by Julia, Sep 29, 2002.

  1. Julia

    Julia
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    Initially I wanted to choose a 36" TV, but reading about all the problems, I thought a better idea would be to buy a 57" RPTV (Toshiba 57WT29B).

    Then again, reading about all the good experiences you guys had with projectors, I'm wondering if maybe I should cancel my RPTV order and look instead at a good projector for the same price (about £2,500 or less).

    I'm mainly interested in watching films on it (DVDs and from Sky Movies).

    So what do you think it's best: an RPTV or a projector?

    All replies most wellcome.

    Thanks,

    Julia
    :)
     
  2. RichardH

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    A discussion on this subject happened in this thread

    IMHO, a PJ can't replace a TV, but the combo of a Panny AE100 and a cheap 28" 4:3 telly for daytime viewing works very well.
     
  3. buns

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    I agree, tv cant replace a projector even if it is 57 inch. With your budget you can easily afford a panny or sanya and good screen, and still have plenty over to buy a video processor to enhance things (iscan or quadscan for example).

    A little lcd projection system is also somewhat less intrusive than a massive RPTV!

    Is space a factor? I wont ask if you care for WAF since I doubt you need worry about that! :D If you are just after the best picture, you should pay attention to the crt route, it is bigger and requires somewhat more attention to set it up, but it is generally accepted as the best image. You are near enough to Gordon (of convergent AV) who is a big poster here, he does crt's refurbished at good prices and he could come and install everything for you.

    Hope that helps!

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  4. LV426

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    Agree. Definitely a PJ and a small TV. I would go widescreen for both, however. 4x3 is definitely dead.
     
  5. Bonesy

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    widescreen PJ and cheap TV, absolutely, completely, no doubt...

    actually ae100.. and cheap TV.....
     
  6. Smurfin

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    As a previous owner of a RPTV and now a projector I would STRONGLY suggest you jump straight into projectors.

    RPTVs are great, that is if you dont mind the TV being the centrepiece of the room.

    HOWEVER.....that said, if you buy a RPTV you'll be using it for normal tele as well as movies. Personally I found that after a while, movies tended to lose their impact in terms of image.

    After watching the news/Eastenders/Friends etc etc.....the size just becomes the norm and you will end up thinking....if only the screen was just a little bit bigger!

    So I've taken the plunge.

    I bought a 24" 4:3 TV for normal TV viewing, and when I crank up the PJ the 6' image is a revelation every time.

    Also, my living room looks more "friendly" without a huge RPTV dominating it, and when it's movie time....well out comes the velvet masking, and one wall is suddenly transformed into a cinema.

    Can't beat it!!!!:D :D :D
     
  7. jrwood

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    For your budget of £2500 I would not personally spend it on a RPTV. I would buy a 32" widescreen tv (about £700-£1000 these days for a decent tv set) and get a projector for about £1500. In the coming months there should be quite a choice for budget projectors (philips garbo/sony hs2/hs10/panasonic ae200/ae300/sanyo plv-z1) at a price point of £1300-£2000 or below. If you have a dedicated room for home theatre then seriously look at CRT projectors too.
     
  8. petrolhead

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    Go for inexpensive WS TV and projector. Beko currently do a 28" Widescreen for under £300. Spend the rest on a PJ and screen you will NOT rergret it

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Julia

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    RichardH,
    Thanks for your advice: a small tv and a projector is a very good idea. I'm a big image fan, so probably I'll try a bigger tv as well.

    My only concern here would be that instead of 2 cheap items of a lower quality I would prefer the choice of one more expensive item if it's better picture quality with which I'm going to live from now on for a few years.

    I'm not sure about a projector PQ, because I've never seen a projector "in action": is the picture quality better on a projector comparing it with an RPTV?
    The fact that it's bigger it's certainly a plus from my point of view.

    By the way, does anybody know where I could see a projector demo in the Edinburgh area? (This weekend I've seen 2 projectors displayed at Currys, but they said they don't do demos at all for them: it makes you wonder how do they expect to sell them?!)

    buns,
    Thanks for your advice regarding CRT projectors. Yes, it is picture quality I am after, but I would like something that I'm able to set up and play with myself.

    Yes, the fact that the RPTV is bulky it bothers me a little bit, but I could live with it I think. If I knew that the picture quality is better at a projector I'll go for it.

    nigel, Bonesy,
    Thanks for your vote regarding a TV + projector package.
    To be honest, the more I think about it the more appealing it is...

    Smurfin,
    Thanks for your advice not to lose any time with RPTVs and move on to projectors. What RPTV did you own? Is the projector image better or about the same?

    jrwood,
    Thanks for your information about the new projectors. I wish I had a dedicated room for Home Cinema, but for now it will be the livingroom.
    I'm very interested to know which projector from you choice (philips garbo/sony hs2/hs10/panasonic ae200/ae300/sanyo plv-z1) you'd think it's the best choice? Which do you think will offer the best picture?

    Thanks for your postings and please let me know of any other ideas.

    Julia
    :)
     
  10. Julia

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    Petrolhead,

    Thanks for your advice: this seems to be the most popular option.
    I'm really impressed that from 7 replies so far, nobody was voting for RPTV.

    I wish I'd see a projector demo.

    Thanks,

    Julia:)
     
  11. buns

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    The quality of projectors, even at the low end is amazing. In my experience, every bit as good as a rptv can manage and possibly better. Dont let an image you see from a projector in curry's put you off, these guys know nothing about them and would surely have the machine set up terribly!

    I cant comment on the difference between a cheaper projector and one at £2500 since i know very little of projectors in that price band. I assume that to mean that this isnt much of a movement, I think you need to go a bit higher before you would get worthwhile gains, at least that is how i see it.

    It is perfectly possible to set up a crt and play with it on your own, piles of members do it!

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  12. RichardH

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    Must admit, that even though I mentioned a 28" 4:3 tv, we do also have a 32" widescreen in the living room - great for kids' daytime viewings of Monsters Inc etc. It's a non "flat" Panasonic (DK1), and great for £500. If I were you, I'd certainly get something similar to that, and save the money from not buying a "flat" widescreen and put it towards a decent PJ screen, or a prog scan DVD player.
    I assume you already have a surround system, as remember you don't get any sound from a PJ (well, except fan noise, that is!!) :) If not, then you'll need to budget for that too!
     
  13. jrwood

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    Im personally looking at the Sony VPL-HS10, although I suspect it will be just out of your price range. Out of the other projectors listed I would personally look at the Panasonic AE300 and the Sanyo PLV-Z1 which should come in at a good price point in the UK. www.pricejapan.com will give you an idea of the price differences between these new projectors, although in the UK some manufacturers are guilty of having variable prices. The main reason why I would look at the AE300/Z1 & HS10 is because they have a higher resolution/pixel density to create the projected image. Every projector has its pro's/con's but at the end of the day its what you see with your own eyes which should make the final choice.

    Some things to bear in mind when buying a projector are

    1) Distance from where you plan to have your projector (table top mounted or ceiling mounted?) to the screen. Every projector has a different throw ratio, some projectors can project a 7 foot picture from a very short distance, while others may need 13 feet. www.projectorcentral.com has an online calculator for the various projector models, although as new projectors are announced the manufacturers specifically state the throw distance dimensions.

    2) The type of screen you want in the living room, I think most people have a 7 foot wide screen (about 114" diagonal), some people prefer fixed screens, others prefer manual screens while others go for motorised screens for ease of use. Some prefer DIY screens, if you do a search on the forum for blind or mdf you will find people discussing their home made screens. If my radiator in the living room was in a different position I would have the end wall painted with Dulux Icestorm 6 matt paint and use that as my screen.

    3) How do you plan to drive the projector?, some people prefer the ease of use of a consumer progressive scan dvd player while others prefer the myriad of tweaks a HTPC/HCPC (home theatre/cinema pc) can offer. A HTPC is just a standard PC with a DVD-ROM player but its usually made virtually silent (thanks to places like www.quietpc.com), usually controlled by infrared for ease of use, and can be used in conjunction with a PC capture card and a free program like www.dscaler.org to give very good picture quality from standard television broadcasts. A HTPC isnt for everyone and many prefer the ease of use of a decent progressive scan dvd player. The important thing to know is that some projectors have very good built-in scalers and others do not. The Sony VPL-HS10 for example is built for HTPC and its basically a stripped down Sony 11HT at half the price without the decent internal scaler. The Toshiba MT7 for example is quite well known for having good inputs comp/svideo but it isnt HTPC friendly.

    4) When you go to view the projectors take along a range of DVD's. Its a good idea to take along films which have scenes which some projectors have difficulty handling. If you do a search I think someone else mentioned some good DVD's to test out an LCD projector. Im sure someone like Chris Frost/Gordon/Roland would be able to point out the best scenes to test an LCD projector with!. LCD technology isnt perfect, the main things to bear in mind when purchasing/choosing a projector are...

    Screen Door: I prefer calling it the chicken wire effect!, because it looks like you are looking through some chicken wire. If you walk about 4 feet up to a projector screen you will see the individual pixels that make up the projected image. In theory the more pixels (resolution) which make up the projected image you will notice less screendoor. The general concensus on WVGA projectors (848x480 resolution) is to defocus the lens on the projector by a small amount, this usually reduces screendoor to an acceptable level for most people (about 9 feet from the screen). Another idea which reduces screendoor is to use a very light grey screen (which is one of the reasons why Dulux IceStorm 6 matt paint is so popular). On a WXGA projector screendoor can sometimes be seen from 7 feet although some people dont see it within 4 feet. Its the same with RPTV I believe, if you get really close to a RPTV set you will see the gaps. The AE300/Z1/HS10 should have pretty minimal screendoor hopefully. Its a good idea to work out your seating distance from the screen, so you can take screendoor into consideration, although some people are less susceptible to it than others. Im not sure what projector shops are near you, but some loan out the projector for the weekend so that you decide if its the model you want.

    Noise: A few years ago most projectors were quite noisy, around 34db-36db. I would personally aim for 28db-30db, most new home cinema projectors fit into this category today. Usually Home Cinema projectors have a 'cinema' mode where the lamp decreases in brightness in order for the projector to remain fairly noiseless. In this mode you usually increase the life of the bulb by 50%-100%.

    Bulb life: Most projectors have a bulb life of 2000 hours, although recently 4000 to 6000 hours in 'cinema mode' are becoming quite common. The new Philips and Panasonics have a very long bulb life (4000-6000 hours in cinema mode). At first you think that 2000 hours isnt much, in fact 4000 or 6000 hours doesnt seem like much, but if you work it out 2000 hours or more does last you a long time!. You could watch your projector for just under 3 hours each day, every day for 2 years and only clock up just over 2000 hours. Bulbs vary in price from about £190 to £350 depending on projector model/make.

    Lumens: The higher the lumen, the brighter the projected image will be. However this is very subjective, as I have noticed that quite a few manufacturers tend to exaggerate their lumen ratings. I would personally go for a projector in the 700-1000 lumen rating. Recently Sanyo have brought out the PLV-70 which is probably the first projector where you could reasonably watch a movie in the daytime, I think it produces 2100 lumens, no doubt its probably quite noisy and the bulb replacement cost is going to be high.

    Dead Pixels: Some people are lucky in that they suffer no dead pixels, but its inevitable that some will. Its a good idea to make sure wherever you buy your projector from is that they state their dead pixel policy. I think most manufacturers selling home cinema projectors tolerate a few dead pixels in the corner of the projected image, but if the dead pixels are in the centre of the screen then usually the unit will be repaired under warranty. A dead pixel is quite self explanatory, although its not just a case of tiny spec on the screen from not being displayed because a projector is made up of a RED, GREEN, and BLUE LCD panel. If you suffer a dead BLUE pixel in the centre of the screen then obviously when the projector displays a white image then that particular spot (pixel) would be yellow. From your viewing distance you probably wouldnt notice one dead pixel, unless your vision is 20/20 :D



    The new projectors should be released shortly. No doubt the forums will be filled with people reviewing their new/loaned projectors and giving the low down on whats good and whats bad about them. Once you have an idea of what you want, get a demo of the projector (preferably in your own home) and see if its right for you. I was looking at RPTV's a few years ago and to be honest LCD projection is far superior for watching your DVD's and those special TV shows that have to be seen at 7 foot wide!. If someone came to me and offered me either a 50" Plasma or a 32" TV and up to £2000 for a projector I would choose the latter any day of the week, let alone a RPTV!.

    /James
     
  14. micks_address

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    Hi there,

    I can't really comment on RPTv but last week i got my hands on a secondhand Sony HS1 projector for 850 quid. I also have a 28" widescreen tv. I've been really pleased with the projector so far. It was quick and easy to set up - just plugged it into my dvd player with s-video lead a plumped it on a lamp table and projected it onto a white wall. The picture size really is what blew me away. To get the best results with the projector the room has to be almost dark. I had sky connected up to it for the weekend and i think you'd get very tired watching tv in a darkened room all the time but its nice all the same..... The convenience of the projector is great. I'm moving house in a few weeks and rather than having to get a fork lift to move a big widescreen the pj is very portable.....
     
  15. Walter mitty

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    Oh and I`ve noticed that on RP TV`s if you dont sit dead ahead of them the pics not so good. You must be the right hieght as well, it put me right off, and you cant hide the size of them,I`d prefer a normal Tv to one of these any day
     
  16. chips

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  17. Geoffc10

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    or what about a sperate room for watching movies. I converted the second bedroom into the cinema and just have a 28 " widescreen tv downstairs with a 5.1 setup. (ok pro logic!) as i havent got a dvd player downstairs or sky +!
     
  18. ian_guinan

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    Just to put the cat amongst the pigeons...

    Have a look here www.sim2.it
    Famous italian projector maker goes into widescreen RPTVs in a very stylish way! They are using the same innards as their succesful HT300 projectors and are definitely a candidate for what would be in my lounge (as opposed to my personal cinema) should my lottery numbers ever come up.

    Regards,

    Ian Guinan

    (currently using Tosh 28" widescreen and Panny AE100 setup..sounds like this is the one we have all gone for!)
     
  19. Julia

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    Thanks for your postings.

    Last night I've seen a demo using a business projector that is mainly used for presentations (Toshiba TLP-X10E) to try it to see the picture quality with our dvd Tosh SD900E.

    We couldn't manage to connect properly through component (maybe our cable was not working, as we got a green redish image), but the S-video connection was good enough to see that the image was impressive.

    I'm starting to think that for a home cinema the projector is the ideal choice. So much so that this morning I've cancelled my 57" RPTV order and now I'm thinking of a worthy projector.

    I think I'll go for a projector and a sound system (and my old Finlandia 4:3 Tv is still going to reign for a while). A scaler would be nice too...

    Probably as jrwood says, it's best to wait for the new models that are going to come in Oct (although it's so hard to wait!).

    Any projectors suggestions most welcome.

    Does anybody know what are the good sites for buying a projector ?

    Thanks,

    Julia
    :)
     
  20. buns

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    If you keep waiting for the new iminent arrival, you will wait forever! :D

    I dont suppose you are pc capable? If so, you could build a hcpc which would replace a scaler and offer much more performance for your money.

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  21. Julia

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    Buns,

    I would be capable of building a PC. I've read some threads about HCPC, but it's still not clear to me what exactly do I need to put in it.

    All I want is to have the best possible picture (PAL and NTSC prog scan), either from the PC's own DVD drive or from my existing Toshiba SD900E.

    I would like to know if I need a capture card (e.g. H3D?).

    Could you recommend a thread or site that explains clearly how to put togheter an HCPC?

    Thanks,

    Julia
    :)
     
  22. RichardH

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    Basically, you need a straight PC, with decent video card (ATI Radeon) plus sound card capable of outputting the SPDIF to your amp/processor. To make it a bit more liveable, take care to make it quiet - i.e. good quality power supply and CPU cooler fan.
    It can be done for around £400. Capture cards etc are icing on the cake!
    To get it user friendly is the challenge (i.e. controllable by remote, etc), and is what takes the time - I'm currently working on that bit :)
     
  23. buns

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    There are 2 ways of doing it......

    Internal dvd solution: You have your mhcpc which has a buil.t in dvd drive..... this is the better budget option. Im not sure that the cheap capture cards would be able to compete with a software dvd player.

    External dvd: This is what I do. I have the H3D card whicvh I run my dvd player via s-video (what can i say, its the best i got!). Certainly the picture appears very very good to my eyes. Others have commented that the picture through H3D will better a well set up software dvd player.

    I'll post more later.

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  24. Julia

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    RichardH,

    I hope it's not overly complicated to build a hcpc.
    I would like to use an external DVD (my SD900E), so the main components are the video card and the H3D card?

    Does it matter what processor I have?
    Is ATI Rodean best suited for this purpose?


    Buns,

    I quite like the idea of H3D. Does this mean I'll get the prog scan benefits for SKY, VCR etc?

    Looking forward to some more info.

    I've heard that DPL projectors could cause headache. What do you think about this?

    Thanks for your help and please let me know of any suggestions.

    Julia:)
     
  25. RichardH

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    :D - is that the version that has the private education option?:D - sorry couldn't resist....

    Right, back on track, have I understood right - you have the Toshiba SD900E as per the link? Is it prog scan enabled for PAL and NTSC, like that in the link? If so, then you won't get much more out of an HCPC, so maybe you should just run it straight to the projector and save hassle?

    Headaches - it's apparently down to each individual, so you'd need to try and see if you're susceptible - search for "rainbow" on this forum for more - the thing is that even if you're not susceptible, those visiting might be (though they don't need to watch it all the time :) )
     
  26. Julia

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    RichardH,

    That is exactly the SD900E version I have (I bought it last week!).

    I don't believe it has real PAL prog scan (as I said earlier I've tested a R2 DVD using prog scan with a projector and I just got a redish green image- or maybe the cable was not good...).

    It's supposed to have NTCS prog scan OK (but I haven't tested it yet: I don't have R1 DVDs yet and I don't have a TV which takes prog scan input either).

    I'll need to get some more info, but I feel I quite like the idea of a hcpc (where I could hook up my Sky and VCR maybe).

    Thanks,

    Julia:)
     
  27. buns

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    Hi!

    I have to say i disagree with Richard, I think the benefit of hcpc over a standalone prog scan player is significant. If you dont beleive me, look opinions from Jeff, Gordon..... those guys really know their stuff (as do a few others).

    Building hcpc is fairly easy...... if you can do a pc, its just as easy! Even if you are only a beginner, a couple of weeks hard study and you should have no difficulty! :D

    My pc is just asus tuscl2 motherboard, 256Mb crucial Ram, 'Powered by' Radeon 7500 and H3D. of course for installation a floppy and cdrom/dvd would be useful! Then software, all I have going is the H3D apps and powerstrip running on windows XP home. As you can see, it is completely bare bones. But it works a charm, the components are those which others have found reliable. Easy peasey!

    H3D..... im sure you are aware it is quite costly ($900 plus import nonsense). It has the ability to take input of one svideo, one sdi/composite and one component/3 composites. That is piles for me to be honest, if you were to need more, the daughtercard just released will be $195 and will have a host of other inputs. So the answer is yes, it will do your other sources. (I use it with Laserdisc very sucessfully so far).

    If you want H3D opinions from member on here, Jenz and Couch Potato also are owners.

    I personally recommend H3D, but am aware of cost and dont know how it compares to the latest capture cards. I think that question is on the tip of a lot of tongues!

    Have fun!

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  28. RichardH

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    Sorry, buns, I wasn't suggesting that HCPC is a bad idea - as you know I'm in the HCPC camp myself! However, I can't see the point in having both the Tosh and an HCPC - especially when you've only just bought the Toshiba! Have I missed something?

    Shockabuku's mini shootout eariler in the year seemed to find that the Prog scan Philips 962 was very close to an HCPC, at least when driving an AE100.

    Absolutely agree that building the box is easy - finding a good looking box at a low price is not so easy, though. If you're looking to go H3D etc, then one of those Shuttle mini boxes is out of the question, unfortunately, as they only have 1 PCI slot, and a decent sound card is really worthwhile.

    I reckon my box cost just over £500, and that included an MAudio Delta 410 sound card. I use an AMD Athlon 1600+ processor (not all that power is needed to play a DVD, but if you start looking at H3Ds etc, something like this might be in order), 256Mb DDR RAM, "Powered by" Radeon 7000 (hacked to allow official ATI drivers), and a Sony DVDRom (with the firmware altered to allow multiregion).

    It really depends what you want it to do. Every time I fire up the projector, I rejoice in the image quality I get. However, I'm currently having to organise sending my sound card back as the analogue outputs aren't working properly (I intend to run the PC as preamp with the multi channel capability of the Delta 410, but am making do with the SPDIF out for the moment). So do expect great image quality, but also LOTS of fiddling about to get it all running.

    This one could run and run....
     
  29. buns

    buns
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    running is good! It keeps us all fit doesnt it! :D

    I havent compared a prog scan output of a dvd player to a software player.......but rest assured, if there wasnt a reasonable difference, there wouldnt be so many hcpc addicts! None the less, it is quite a rapid upgrade! :D perhaps the toshiba could be sdi upgraded for the very very best performance?

    H3D itself doesnt need much power. I have a 1.2 celeron and it has no problems at all. dscaler is more intensive, but this is not really necessary. I have only briefly tested dscaler and for now opted for the implicity of the H3D app.

    The availability of nice cases is getting better also, i have a dign case coming soon and am trying to get hold of one of the new batch of antec retrofits! :D

    anyhow, i will wait til Julia returns before writing more that may be inconsequential!

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  30. Julia

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    Buns,

    Reading about the SDi from the threads, I got the impression that you buy the DVD player already modified by the dealer.
    Is it possible to do this as a kit add on at home?

    If you're wondering if I want more information about hcpc I do (the more the merrier!).

    :)

    RichardH,

    Do you mean fiddling to set it up to your satisfaction and then that's it? Or do you need to fiddle with it (almost) every time you see a movie?

    Thanks,

    Julia
    :)
     

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