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Secondhand CRT or HT200/HT200 DM

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by Operandi, Jun 27, 2001.

  1. Operandi

    Operandi
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    Being new to this excellent forum, you may have discussed this topic endlessly before. If so, sorry...!

    I'm setting up a dedicated home cinema in a 12'x12' room and looking for a suitable projector. Can anybody help, as I'm starting to get confused?

    Projectors seen and findings so far:

    HT 200 no Iscan, low software revision number - No rainbow effect, reasonably good picture.

    HT 200 with Iscan and latest software - no rainbow effect and superb picture.

    Sony 10T - bad demo so cannot tell its quality - but seemed good.

    Secondhand Seleco 400 CRT - good picture, but too noisy. Cost approx £3500

    Secondhand Barco 808 with 1500 hours - fantastic picture but its physical size is probably too big for the room (my wife will need a lot of convincing otherwise!). Cost approx £3000.

    Whilst the budget will just about stretch to a HT200 with Iscan, possibly even HT200DM with Iscan, the secondhand CRT's seem incredibly good value in comparison and I could use the Iscan with these also. Whilst I and my wife have not seen the rainbow effect so far I am worried that our friend or family might.

    Any thoughts ie should I be looking more seriously at LCD projectors or is a secondhand CRT the way to go?

    Thanks
     
  2. meva

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    I would bear in mind that the crt's will give a bigger picture.12ft is quite small for the throw dist on the Seleco_Only buy a Sony if you can get it a really low price (sub £3500) as it's replacement is out soon.I'd probably go for the Barco(I like a big picture).The Seleco (IMHO) is really overpriced, £6000 for an svga dlp is outrageous.Later this year (hopefully) new projectors from Plus and Infocus will do a similar job for sub £4000 (sorry Owl)
     
  3. Phil Hinton

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    Having a lot of Experts here at hcc towers BB you will get varied and excellent advice.

    I suppose the real thing here is what looks best for you and your circumstances. At the end of the day it is you and you alone who will have to live with your choice, so getting as many demos as possible and as much advice as people here can give and then make up your mind.

    I dont have a problem with the wife (i.e. i dont have one) so the soon to be had Barco 800 although very large, will do me fine as I think the hassle will be worth it.

    I have seen the HT200 and hated it, i have also seen the Sony 10ht in a very good dem room and could live with it quite happily, but i know crt is the way to go for the best picture. So I decided to go the CRT route, but if i had a wife and family to think about and couldnt get away with such a large projector, i would quite happily settle for the Sony.

    I'm sure many others will impart some thoughts and give you some pointers as to which way to go.

    Good Luck! :D
     
  4. Phil Hinton

    Phil Hinton
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    Oh and forgot to say....."Welcome to the big wide wonderful world of the forums, kiss your woman,the kids and money good buy, There is no escape"

    Welcome on board! :D :D
     
  5. Operandi

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    Thanks for the (very) rapid responses so far... perhaps a 28" TV is the best way to go!

    Seriously though, I agree with Meva that the HT200 does seem incredibly expensive, especially when compared to a used CRT. I recognise that we could only get a 5' picture size with it also.

    I am interested that THX hated the HT200 so much - why (other than cost, of course)?. Are you getting the 800 professionally installed and configured? I would dread the thought of those 68kgs hanging over my head without being sure about how well it is bolted to the rafters.

    Good and useful thoughts so far - thanks!
     
  6. Phil Hinton

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    I had written a nice long reply, but when i clicked enter the board crashed and it was lost :mad:

    Anyway, I'm busy trying to find someone to bolt the Barco (when it arrives) to my ceiling. I dont fancy 76kgs falling on me head (although it might knock some sense into me and i'll find a life). :D

    As for the HT 200 i was very disapointed with it. It is so expensive and all through the demo i could see the rainbow effect that bad i was just waiting for bungle zippy and george walking into the dem room.
    For £6000 you could have a used barco with very low hrs and such a large picture, instead of the expensive and flawed Sim.

    Just my thoughts :D :D
     
  7. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    OK I sell S/H crt's and as a dealer we sell some Seleco and Sony stuff.

    HT200, VPL10, s/h CRT....they are application specific devices alot of the time. The new HT200DM is, I believe, going to be pretty exceptional if you want a projector you can hide at the back of the room.

    VPL10 when set up well works flawlessly, is great with a 16:9 aspect ratio screen and doesn't have obvious pixel structure.


    S/H CRT when set up well can offer amazing quality for the money.


    They all have their places in Home Cinema land. If your only criteria is performance then you've answered it already yourself. My only comment would be that an 808 really needs more than an Iscan if you don't want to see line structure. An HTPC or scaler will give superior results but would add to the cost.


    Gordon
     
  8. Operandi

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    Gordon

    Thanks for this info. Following a discussion with my wife last night about the 808, it is obvious that this exceeds her acceptance threshold - she feels that it is too big and heavy for the room and has this mental picture of it bringing the roof/house down, even when professionally installed.

    If we go the s/h CRT route (which is probably my favourite for price/performance reasons) then the best projector that meets WAF will be a Barco 7 series. I would therefore be in the market for one of these s/h and would probably enhance it with an Iscan or, if I can find one (and depending on the price of the 7 series), a s/h or ex demo Quadscan. So if you have some suitable s/h kit available then I'd be grateful if you could email me, although I wonder how your team could install it as I live in Essex!

    The one potential problem about the 7 series, although I have not yet seen one in action, is that the specs seem to indicate that they have higher fan noise than the 8 series and as the projector would be directly overhead in a smallish room, fan noise is an important criteria. I'd be grateful for your thoughts about this.

    My concerns about the LCD projectors centre around the poor blacks, dust and fan noise issues, although the Sony 10HT is very quiet and I can correct the blacks with a grey screen. I wonder if the dust incursion issue is actually not a problem in everyday static use, but it would be a pain to have to keep taking the projector down from either a ceiling mount or shelf to keep cleaning the filters.

    In the size/performance/ease of living stakes, the HT200/DM wins hands down (in theory at least) and is probably the one my wife would want us to go for. It is the fact that the costs seem very high for lesser performance than a s/h CRT and I am also concerned about investing in "bleeding edge" products in a rapidly evolving market ie will depreciation be crippling as new and better DLP products are launched.

    It seems to be a difficult purchase, but the thoughts have offered so far have been excellent - thanks.

    One more quick thought, though.. Perhaps if I spend all my spare time discussing projectors on this forum, I will not have the time to watch DVD's so perhaps this forum could save me the money/hassle!
     
  9. tiberious

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    Everyone knows I have an HT200 ,and love it.Coupled to a Skyworth Dvd player, the image is nothing short of exceptional.Try as I might, I have been unable to see rainbows,nor has my wife,or anyone else who has viewed my setup.God I wish I could see it,so I could see what the fuss is about!!.Anyway, it must be awful for people to feel so strongly about it.

    That said - I don`t think it would be right in your circumstances.A 5 ft picture may be fine, but in a 12ft room ,I would guess you would be sitting 8-9 ft from the screen, and I think at less than 2x screen width you would notice the pixel (mirror)structure. I am at 2.2x in my set up, and I would not want to be closer (certainly not `til my panamorph turns up anyway ! )

    Hope this helps.
     
  10. Chris Frost

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    I would just like to respond to a couple of points raised by BB members regarding the HT200.

    meva wrote "The Seleco (IMHO) is really overpriced,£6000 for an svga dlp is outrageous."

    Firstly, the quoted price is wrong. The HT200 has a retail price of £5500. We hit our volume targets which enabled us to reduce production costs. The new price has been in force since the end of May.

    I come across the price reaction a lot from people who simply compare the basic specs of DLP projectors. However, what is often overlooked are the unique features of the Sim2 HT200 and the fact that it was designed from the ground up as an enthusiasts' projector just for the Home Theatre market.

    Much of our competition is based on presentation products where brightness, small size and low cost take precedence over video image quality.

    You may not know, but the Sim2 HT range are the only single lens projectors that are sealed against dust, smoke and nicotine - so no annoying dust spots projected on your screen. Of course this also means we don't need the dust filters that other DLP and LCD projectors need. (Remember, filters need regular cleaning to allow good airflow for cooling.)

    The lens and optical system in our projectors is all glass - there are no plastic/acrylic elements. Glass costs substantially more but gives significantly better performance than the cheaper acrylic alternatives we could have used.

    We are the only manufacturer to use an internal scaler capable of giving CRT type picture size adjustments for height and width. This means you can watch any video or PC image in any aspect ratio you choose. This is perfect for creating custom ratios to deal with 1.66:1 (a ratio favoured by European film makers, also used by Disney in Geri's Game on the Bugs Life DVD) or zooming up extreme wide format films such as Ben Hur (2.76:1), or something as simple as stretching the width of a 4:3 format a little so it fills more of your 16:9 screen.

    The Optical Lens Shift System provides keystone correction without introducing the image distortion that electronic keystone systems induce. Again, this means brighter and better quality images.

    Colour Corrected colour wheel (within EBU and SMPTE standards). Accurate colour reproduction plays a vital role in reproducing a film like image. High-end CRT projectors use colour corrected lenses to achieve true red green and blue primary colours. Our DLP products achieve the same result with a specially designed colour wheel unique to Sim2. The result is exceptional colour accuracy.

    4000 hour lamp life, which means reduced running costs.

    The HT200 is one of four Sim2 DLP projectors. Recent additions to the range include the HT200DM and a Super Wide Angle lens version called HT200SWA. This will give an 8ft wide image at a throw of just 6ft 5".


    Operandi wrote "...the HT200 does seem incredibly expensive, especially when compared to a used CRT."

    Of course it is! Someone else has taken the depreciation hit on the CRT so you can buy it cheap. If I were buying a car it would be a similar story: New Ford Mondeo £16K, or 5yr old Audi A8 with 3 litre engine, cruise control, leather, air con and electric everything that someone paid £40,000 for when new.

    As Gordon said the DLP, LCD and CRT projectors are often application specific. Some people like our products; others have different preferences. Overall, I prefer CRT, but the Sim2 DLPs come pretty close to the performance of good CRT in several key areas.

    Information from bulletin boards like this and the help of good dealers is so important when choosing a projector, but you should always make the final judgement with your own eyes.

    Regards
     
  11. meva

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    Chris,I do accept that a price premium is in order for the Sim2 for the very reasons you mention.I also know that all the projectors in your range are fantastic products.If I was incredibly wealthy I would already have one,but,when you can buy an svga dlp for sub £2000,£5500 just seems like too much.£4000 or thereabouts would seem a fair price.However I must admit that I still haven't seen a Sim2 in action (Cornwall is pretty remote in home cinema terms) and when I do I'm wondering if the difference in quality will make me eat my words and damage my bank balance severely.
    Operandi,my advice to you is,if you want the projector now and you were impressed by the Sim2,if you can afford it and your wife approves,go for it.If you can wait a few months I think it is still worth waiting to see what the Plus Piano and Infocus HT can do.
    I hope Chris doesn't slag me off for commenting on the Sim2 without having seen it
    but I think it is a fair point about the price.(I also thought it only fair to mention that I hadn't seen it).
     
  12. Operandi

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    I agree with Chris's comments about the depreciation issue. When comparing a new Sim2 with a new Barco with equivalent image quality the Sim2 wins hands down on a price/performance comparison.

    I cannot afford a new Barco (and I think there is probably no need to anyway), however the value of the advice that I have been given in this thread is that people who have owned the Sim2 have advised that it is probably not suitable for my room conditions anyway, however good it is technically. This is advice that I had not found elsewhere.
     
  13. tiberious

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    Didn`t know about the wide angle lens option - this would put it back in play big style from a"throw" perspective - Chris, is this the same price as the normal HT200 ?
     
  14. Chris Frost

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    meva wrote: "I hope Chris doesn't slag me off for commenting on the Sim2 without having seen it"

    Not at all! You haven't seen our products, so of course it is difficult for you to visualise the benefits of the Sim2 over other DLP projectors.

    However, it is useful to remember that just because two product appear similar on the surface it doesn't follow that they will perform the same.

    An good example would be sub/sat speaker packages. In basic terms they're all the same - 5 small speakers plus a sub woofer. Yet there are systems selling for less than £300 whilst others sell for over £5000. Although they do the same job, you would expect the higher price product to perform better.

    Now, whether YOU would pay the difference is a totally different issue. That becomes a personal choice based on your expectations and the budget you have available.

    Regards
     
  15. squid

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    sounds good .nice to see a pj with a throw dist like that finaly coming on to the market . still a bit steep though . but if the pic is as good as chris is saying then good on em

    may give an option for those without the room (pro -screen)

    anything to get a pj in more peoples rooms is a good idear in myop

    i will personaly stick with my crt . well untill this sort of thing comes well down in price .(you never know by the time resonably priced 3 chip dlp pjs are avalable i may have the dosh for one) :D :D :D
     
  16. meva

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    Chris,is that diagonal or horizontal screen width,also the ht200swa presumably doesn't have the rgbrgb colour wheel.
     
  17. Chris Frost

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    tiberious,

    The retail price of the HT200SWA is still under negotitation with the Sim2 factory. Early indications are that it will be somewhere around £6300 - £6500, but these are only educated guesses at the moment.

    To recap, the 200SWA has a 0.8:1 throw ratio. This means Screen Width x 0.8 = Throw Distance. This calculation works for BOTH 4:3 AND 16:9 screens.

    e.g. 2m screen width x 0.8 = 1.6m throw.

    Regards
     
  18. Chris Frost

    Chris Frost
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    meva,
    It is screen width, not screen diagonal.

    I don't know why other companies insist on quoting screen diagonal any more - other than it results in a bigger (more impressive?) number. It just creates a lot of confusion for the consumer.

    Screen width is a far more useful starting point. It is easier to calculate picture height from the width rather than the diagonal.

    The HT200SWA uses the colour wheel/chip assembly from the standard HT200. The factory can also fit the wide angle lens to the HT250 (1024x768 resolution, a.k.a. 768p in HDTV language) as a special order item.

    Before anyone asks; the wide angle lens replaces the standard zoom lens. It is not a bolt-on or aftermarket addition and it cannot be retro-fitted by customers to their existing Sim2 projectors. It is only available on new projectors.

    Future developments may include a wide angle lensed version of the 200DM.

    Regards
     
  19. Operandi

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    Chris

    The plans for the HT200 show that what is already a highly capable projector will soon evolve into a true CRT killer with the sort of user flexibility (wide angle, long throw, high resolution etc) that will meet many varied requirements. That's very good news, but what puzzles me is why is it so intrinsically expensive?

    I recognise that the R&D, design and glass lens costs all contribute, but surely as your product gets better, you will win greater market share and thus reduce unit production costs. You are already doing this, as you say, with the price of the HT200 being reduced to £5.5k. Without killing your immediate market stone dead with the promise of further cost reductions, could you shed some light on this please.

    Thanks
     
  20. meva

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    I think one of the reasons the Sim2's always seem so much more expensive is that(in this country anyway)they are always sold at,or close to,msrp.None of the cheap internet sellers carry them.Presumably Owl and Sim2 won't let them sell them.You can always get data projectors at lower than msrp(often much lower).
     
  21. Chris Frost

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    Operandi,
    Round up most of the projectors sold into the HT market and you'll see very few were built as dedicated machines for playing movies.

    The vast majority are really for computer presentation use. Many are clones; an example is the Plus 880, which is badged by Philips, Mitsubishi, Proxima, Anders & Kern, Hitachi and others. Many more DLP designs use exactly the same light engine from Texas Instruments. Making clones saves money.

    As a manufacturer, you can buy the chip/colour-wheel/optical assembly and lens as a complete unit and simply add your own power supply, a few processing cards then wrap the whole lot in a shell. Hey presto, new projector with minimal R&D - hence low cost.


    In terms of volume, home theatre accounts for less than 5% of the projectors sold in the UK. When you then consider that as much 80% of the projectors sold for HT use are really business machines, it leaves a very small fraction for dedicated home theatre product.

    I would estimate that 1 out of every hundred projectors sold in the UK total market is a dedicated HT projector. This tiny number has to account for all the CRT (Barco, Sony, Seleco, Ellie), LCD (Sanyo PLV30, PLV60, Sony VW10) and DLP (Sim2) sold by UK home theatre dealers.

    It would have been easy for Sim2 to just badge a product. But that would have severely compromised performance. In fact, when we approached Texas Instruments with the plans for the HT200, TI's reaction was one of amazement. We were the only manufacturer to request colour accuracy, contrast range and optical accuracy and a sealed light engine design instead of purely brightness.

    We remain the only manufacturer in the market today to offer this unique mix of features.

    Why don't Internet dealers sell our products?

    It's because we insist that dealers have showrooms and their staff attend training so that the product can be demonstrated and sold properly. Discount companies don't want to make this investment.

    Why can't we make it substantially cheaper?

    Firstly, before any product is manufactured, a lot of research is done in to the market, competition and distribution. There is no point launching a product if it won't sell. Customers may not immediately understand why there is a price difference, but that is a marketing issue.

    To reduce production costs to the level of budget DLPs, we would have to increase sales 50 fold. That just isn't going to happen. The business market wants a small, light, cheap DLP where video performance is unimportant. This isn't what the Sim2 product was designed for, and the HT market just isn't big enough to sustain that sort of growth.

    Seleco/Sim2 has pioneered better performance at lower prices. Our SVP400, 350 and SVD800 CRT products set new benchmarks when introduced. The HT200 has done the same, but the market perception of DLP as a cheap business tool obscures the fact.

    Our product is expensive compared to budget DLPs, then again, a Ford Fiesta is cheaper than an Aston Martin. Each product fills a niche in the market. Not everyone can afford an Aston Martin, but not everybody wants to drive a Ford Fiesta. We deliver a quality product with unique features to a very specific niche market.

    The very fact that other manufacturers now have plans to introduce dedicated HT products with some of the features of the Sim2 product is proof that we were right all along.
    I hope this helps you see things more clearly.

    Regards
     
  22. Operandi

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    Chris, thanks for such a well considered and useful reply. It is a rare priviledge to be able to ask a munfacturer the question that I posed, and rarer still to receive such a civil and detailed answer.

    You said :
    "Customers may not immediately understand why there is a price difference, but that is a marketing issue."

    Your detailed insight into the comparative market sizes and the distribution tactics that you are employing will, I am sure help many of understand the pricing premium, if but only on this forum.

    One point, though, having designed such a good projector for HT, cannot this now be sold into the presentation market as a professioanl multi media projector, thus increasing your market size?

    Your point about the Ford Fiesta make me smile as only this morning I drove past a Ford garage and happened to see a new Fiesta priced at £6700. This puts into perspective the value we Home Cinema enthusiasts place on our hobby when we some of us are prepared to pay the same for a projector as a new car (not that I would want a Fiesta). This is not a criticism of the HT200 price, only a rye observation about comparative values in the real world!

    Thanks, once again
     
  23. The Spaniard

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    Hi Chris,

    You may recall that I have been waiting for the Sanyo widescreen to be released due to my specific requirements regarding widescreen and short throw distance. This and the rainbow effect meant that the sim dlp units were never an option for me. I am a little disappointed at some of the reviews so far on the|Sanyo, and in particular regarding the grainy image, purple haze and picture drop out. After waiting so long for what you feel is going to be the answer to your particular problems I am currently feeling slightly depressed and not sure where to go next. The new Sony is not going to be suitable due to the same throw spec as the existing model and I am wondering how long it is going to be before I actually get a b*****d thing installed. Your earlier response regarding a new lens has given me some hope! As I have not really followed in detail the developments with the sim apart from being aware of the problems with the rainbow effect and restricted throw spec what would you suggest I have a look at. I want widescreen, the ability to work with progressive scan dvd player(pioneer 737), playstation and sky digital, the best picture possible and the ability to generate a 6ft wide picture from about 11ft 3inches from lens to screen.

    I also dont want to be bothered by rainbow but am I right in thinking that this has now been solved?

    Many thanks for yours and anyone elses comments!

    Regards

    The Spaniard

    I have not yet been able to actually see the new Sanyo so I may be jumping the gun a little in my immediate negativity...anyone know better?
     
  24. Metric

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    i hear the dm has a 6 color wheel? rgbWrgbW to remove the rainbow...but if it does this i dont know. My current dlp is not used due to the rainbow.

    Ive been watching the plv60 closely, a few probs but it seems the dust is in manufacture so after the first clean its ok, the purple haze can be resolved in the service menu and the drop out appears to be from certain dvd players like the tosh.

    If i do take the plunge and get one, your welcome to come round and have a demo of it, i live in the midlands too.

    Mike
     
  25. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    I believe the Rainbow is largely solved with the DM. I can't see it at all on our dem unit but have seen it on every DLP previously. We had a rep in who claimed to see it but only when looking at 90 degrees to the screen and flicking his head around......which isn't likley to be a worry when you're watching a film, unless it's the Exorcist......

    Gordon
     
  26. Chris Frost

    Chris Frost
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    Operandi,
    I am pleased you found my reply useful.

    To answer your question "...having designed such a good projector for HT, cannot this now be sold into the presentation market..."
    I'll refer you back to my previous post: "The business market wants a small, light, cheap DLP where video performance is unimportant. This isn't what the Sim2 product was designed for."

    The business market is only interested in the cheapest, lightest, high resolution projector for use with a lap top PC. For the same cost as a HT200, a business customer could buy a Sanyo that is 4x brighter, or 3 cheap portables at the equivalent lamp power.

    We are looking at how to develop the market potential of the Sim2 products, but right now they are very specific specialist applications that wont make a big impact on the numbers sold.

    Regards
     
  27. Chris Frost

    Chris Frost
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    Its late and I'm out of time. I'll get to deal with the other replys in the next couple of days.

    Regards
     
  28. Chris Frost

    Chris Frost
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    Metric,
    The 200DM does indeed use a 6 segment colour wheel - RGBRGB.

    You'll notice that there are no White (clear) sections. We are now able to achieve sufficient light output without the boost from a white segment.

    Regards
     

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