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Seleco 400- change to Seleco 500 or DLP?

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by simon1967, Apr 2, 2003.

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  1. simon1967

    simon1967
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    I am in the process of upgrading my system and have had my mind changed so many times in the past week. Anway, my tale:

    I have a ceiling mounted Seleco 400HT with a 7ft (diagonal) screen. Very happy with the picture quality but I have since moved house and am debating whether to change for a number of reasons:

    1. I find the picture great for movies but soft when it comes to watching football on sky. Is this sky or the nature of small people on a big screen?

    2. The screen dims momentarily whenever captions come on screen i.e titles, sub-titles etc. It is very subtle but now I notice it all the time.

    3. It is very large and due to the larger room size it will now go in, the throw ratio means that it will be right in the middle of the ceiling. Previously, it was to the rear of the room near a back wall so was less imposing.

    4. Ease of set-up with DLP's. I am pretty familiar with setting up my Seleco but the plug and play of the DLPs does appeal.

    QUESTIONS FOR THE JURY:

    a. Anybody moved from CRT to DLP and how happy are they?

    b. DLP is expensive for a relatively new technology. Should I wait and make do or upgrade to a better CRT?

    c. I have been offered a Seleco 500 CRT to replace my 400. How much improvement will I see?

    d. Upscalers have also been mentioned which improve picture quality of ALL sources. Is this correct? Would this sharpen up the football matches on the 400 or would the 500 be a lot sharper? How much do these cost?

    e. Throw ratio problems. Perhaps have the CRT in a coffee table housing? Anyone done this and how much does it cost. BTW, I also have a 5 month old baby so can a glass cover be placed over the front of the tubes for safety reasons?

    f. Any other projectors (CRT or DLPs) I should look at that are going to a SIGNIFICANT improvement over my 400. BTW, they must be quiet.

    g. I am now looking at going for an 8ft wide screen so are there any ceiling mounted CRTs that will throw across 18-20 ft?

    I know there are a lot of questions but I started off this week convinced about getting a DLP but the more people I speak to say it isn't DLP isn't really there yet. I don't mind the look of a CRT but I don't want it in the middle of the ceiling hence the long throw.

    Thanks for any pointers out there.

    Simon
     
  2. ziggypop

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    :eek:

    I have a Seleco 350 which I am happy with.

    To take a quantum leap in picture quality, you would need to go to a Barco 8" at least. The Seleco 500 is similar in chassis design to the 400, there is not much in it except for the lenses. The picture should be sharper with the 500. I think the 500 came with glass hybrid rather than the plastic and with Sony tubes as opposed to the Toshibas in the others. Sony tubes are expensive compared to toshibas. (At least in Australia)

    You should ocmpare a DLP directly with your Seleco. I know you will stay with the Seleco CRT. There is no comparison. Even with the Seleco DLPs.

    You can paint the Seleco case the same colour as your ceiling and you will not notice it. Also the Selecos are the smallest footprint CRT projectors on the market. You might go and have a look at the new Barco Cine 7LT, the picture is quite wonderful and in OZ are only $13.5k retail. I am going to save my pennies for a Barco soon as we cannot get sense out of most Seleco dealers. Two have gone broke over here and only interested in selling the box.

    Scalers are useful, but you could try progressive DVD as an alternative.

    Watching TV is a problem sometimes as you can see scan lines. But with PAL it is les of a problem than NTSC or SECAM.

    cheers

    Bill from OZ
     
  3. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Changing the lenses on the 400 will give you an, as near as dammit, 500. Having someone like Chris Frost set it up will then get you the best picture quality it can achieve. Using an external scaler will remove lots of on screen artifacts and will give you greater percieved resolution.

    Will all this make it do what you want? Will it be better than a fixed pixel device like a DLP? To answer that you need to decide on your priorities and then go look at some DLP's. You will have to view DLP's with at least 1024 x 768 or 1280 x720 resolution panels...or perhaps the Epson and Sony widescreen LCD projectors.

    Lastly I would not discount a s/h 8" Electro Magnetic Focus CRT projector with a scaler like the Lumagen's I sel. That combination, if you can fit it in the room, would be HUGELY better than your current CRT, or indeed any SIM2 CRT.

    Gordon
     
  4. Roland @ B4

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    Good post almost too many questions.
    Changing the lenses on your 400 should go hand in hand with a scaller or line doubler or at least progressive scan. but you will see a good improvement.

    Very few people move from CRT to DLP the technology is still not really up to scratch from a quality point of view. (nice small bright box I agree but shear picture quality depth in the blacks and whites no)
    Sadly no long throw lenses for CRT base you calcultions on about 1.4 times the screen width then, refer to the maufactures tables.
    The screen is diming when you get peak whites like the subtitles because the beam curent limiter is cutting in. I high grade projector would suffer from this less.
    Football always looks sharper on a smaller image the issue is with the cameras and broadcast rather than your projector. Improving your setup will help but don't expect too much on live action sports.
    Having gone through the small child syndrome and out the other side I would not go for floor mount. children seem to want to stare down the lenses when its on. ( like moths to the porch light)

    Most people agree that once the projector has been up for a while you just don't notice it is there. Like Bill says paint it and it will disapear into the ceiling.
     
  5. Anders_UK

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    To make your mind up as this is a very subjective decision, is to go and see a GOOD DLP pj most are XGA but some now are SXGA and a few even are HDTV native!

    Screen size can be adjusted to suit, but every DLP have a fixed lens shift factor so this would effect the position of the picture on your screen. Also if you really want the projector at the back of the room this will lead to a higher risk of shadowing by anybody walking into the room.

    Personally I would go DLP, providing it is a good one. CRT's are good for black level and picture distortion, but absolutly naff for brighness, convergence, noise, heat ...well everything really. I use a mixture of Barco 909's and Galaxy's, Mirage's etc.. so am exposed to the best projectors out there but will still go DLP...preferably 3 chip, but single chip is OK.
     
  6. ziggypop

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    Simon,

    Roland and Gordon have fortunately repsonded and together with my very humble observations you should be able to make some decision pointers. Since you have already stated that you are familiar with stting up your Seleco, why change? The jury is still out regarding the depth of picture available with other than CRT. It is that simple. Unless you go to realms of 3 chip DLP or D-Ila I am afraid you are not going to see anything better than CRT. Not for a long while.

    The best Seleco is the SDG 900 however, Barco currently make CRT PJs well under the new price of the 900 and simply are better.

    Unfortunately there are very few makes of CRT available new, however Roland and Gordon can point you to pre-loved CRT PJ which would blow away most of the stuff available.

    These two guys (since I have been lurking on this board) have a depth of knowledge and experience which I can only wish we had in Australia. However the market down here for CRT PJ is very limited and we have very few guys with the experience to set up these beasts. That said, I am learning to do the set up and tweaking as I will be moving the PJ to another area and techos are very few and far from me. The nearest city with any techos is 250km from where I live.

    Don't get me wrong, Seleco PJ is good although overpriced sometimes. Some of the pre-loved units may be just the ticket and correctly st up will blow you away.

    And don't worry about the size, just use your imagination about disguising the unti if it upsets you. Ask on this board and you will get heaps of ideas as well as the equivalent forum across the pond.

    cheers and enjoy

    Bill
     
  7. simon1967

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    Thanks everyone for their responses.

    The more I look into changing the pj, the more I move away from the DLP route. Why the change in tune? Several reasons:

    1. Cost v performance - 3 chip DLPs are a minimum of 6.5K. Not a huge amount when compared to the older CRTs but for a technology still in its infancy - perhaps not the way to go. I have seen Sim2 200's and 300's and whilst the 300 picture was stunning, the fan noise was way too obtrusive. For 9K, this should be silent.

    2. My Seleco works fine so perhaps I am putting too much blame on the projector rather than the source i.e Sky football. Would external line doublers/converters help with this?

    3. As it is with all technologies, new (DLP) is always seen as better. As someone already stated, I am familiar with tweaking CRTs so perhaps I should stick with what I know. Am I really going to see a £7000 improvement in picture quality between my Seleco and a Sim2 300+ - most probably not.

    So having convinced me to stick with CRT's for the forseeable future, where do I go from here?

    There is an RSJ across the width of the room (16ft) which will be approx 9 inches down from the ceiling. This is about 7 ft from the screen which may result in the projector having to be mounted about 5 ft from the RSJ. My thinking is that this positioning so close to the RSJ may cause cause alignment problems in the angle in which it has to clear the RSJ. Any installers willing to do some rough calculations on whether this will be a problem. It all makes sense when you look at my room plan (how do I attach this?)

    If ceiling mounting is not an option, with an 8ft screen, the pj would most probably work quite well as a coffee table. Can anyone make these cabinets - perhaps the lenses can be covered by a hinge mechanism door for protection?

    What are my options with upgrading my Seleco and how much will it all cost?

    1. Keep the 400 and upgrade to glass lenses. The small fan underneath the pj is quite noisy but I understand that this can be swapped over by Owl - costs on these options?

    2. I have an option on a 500 for approx £3750. I don't know much about the unit other than it is lightly used. What am I likely to get for my Seleco 400?

    3. Scalers and converters have been mentioned. My picture is already line doubled so what would be the benefit of these devices. Again, how much are we talking here and canb they be used with my existing projector.

    4. Another CRT altogether. I don't mind ex-demo / 2nd hand units as long as I have warranty or good support. These other names like Electro Magnetic Focus I have never heard of and Barco, I only know as a brand name as opposed to their products.

    5. Who is Chris Frost and what does he do? Is he anywhere near London?

    I guess what I am ultimately after is a new/ slightly used CRT with sharper picture, in a coffee table that I can part-ex my Seleco 400. It also has to be quiet and lessen the 'dimming' effect I mentioned earlier. If the projector could be ceiling mounted then I would prefer it slightly nearer the rear wall rather than slap bang in the centre of the room - I guess a throw ratio closer to 2 rather than 1.4 / 1.5 - do CRTs exist with this throw ratio?

    Thanks again for all your considered replies?
     
  8. simon1967

    simon1967
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    Room plan attached which should make a bit more sense or my ramblings...
     

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  9. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Just a quick reply ona few topics....


    Chris Frost: Forum member who used to work for OWL video. Has set up more SVP400/500's than you can shake a stick at. He is in Northern England though

    Electro Magnetic Focus is a term used to describe one of the methods used to focus the dot drawn on the face of the tube. The other is Electrostatic Focus (as used in your own). EMF is superior allowing tighter control of the size and shape of the dot over the surface of the tube. This give a sharper edge to edge focus.

    Devices using this type of focus worth looking at, that have good service and back up in UK.......
    Barco 808s
    Barco 1209s

    Other devices that are good but not with such great backup.

    SonyG70
    Sony1292
    NEC 9PGEXTRA
    NEC XG85 OR 110 OR 135
    Electrohome Marquee 7500, 8500, 9500

    The line doubler inside your projector is VERY basic on operation. There are devices available nowadays that can do very good job with film and video sourced material. To read a bit more about this topic look at

    www.progressivescan.co.uk

    Hope this is a little use right now.

    Gordon
     
  10. simon1967

    simon1967
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    Sitting here with my mind wandering, I just had another thought in how to move the CRT further back into the room. If I am working on a throw ratio of 1.5 (ish), if I were to have a larger screen, then the throw distance would increase accordingly.

    On my original calculations, I was planning on a 16.9 8ft wide screen. If I upped the screen width to 10 ft wide, the projector would be 15ft from the screen - much less central and nearer to the rear wall. Now my next question is: bearing in mind the room size (20 x 17 with a 9 ft ceiling), will a 10 feet wide projector be too much? Am I better off with an 8 or 9 ft wide version?

    I am never happier than when I have a problem to solve. Unfortunately, this doesn't pay the bills so I had better get back to work :rolleyes:

    Thanks again
     
  11. Chris Frost

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    Hey Simon,
    Re your 400 and plans to change/upgrade:-

    500s have better lense but also use a higher bandwidth tube base which will give a sharper image than your 400.

    Adding an external line doubler (iScan for e.g.) will give a noticable improvement in definition over the internal Seleco line doubler in both 400 & 500 models.

    The dimming is due to the peak limiter being set too low because the Seleco factory were being very conservative. It can be altered but is not really a DIY job.

    Light output is about the same from both 400 & 500 projectors. Going to a larger screen size will reduce image brightness a little.

    I travel most of the UK and work around my day diary for convergence jobs.

    Regards
     
  12. simon1967

    simon1967
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    So assuming I would get £2K (is this realistic) on a sale of the 400 and the 500 costs me £3750, what would be the best option. Change the lenses in the 400 and go for an external line doubler? It then saves me having to sell my old projector unless someone takes my seleco in part-exchange (I really am bad at getting rid of old equipment). What would the peak limiter adjustments and set-up cost. I have no idea of how much parts, labour etc are so I am trying to gauge the best option and value for money.

    BTW, anyone know who are the best sources for screens. I have an automatic ceiling mounted owl screen at the moment and have been happy with the quality. I am looking to get an 8/9/10 ft wide replacement - are owl the best people to approach and can I still use my old 12v triggers and boxes?

    Thanks all


    Simon
     
  13. Chris Frost

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    Adding a line doubler and changing the lenses will improve your 400 but won't make it a 500. The tube bases in the 400 are still the limiting factor.

    On their own, a s/h set of glass lenses cost at least £700, so selling your 400 and getting the 500 looks like good value. If funds are tight you can delay buying an external line doubler. The alternatives are a s/h Barco or Sony from either Gordon or Roland.

    Depending on the model you'll have the option to run higher resolution scan rates, though the projectors will probably be older and you'll need to spend a bit more on a proper scaler capable of resolutions above line doubled from an iScan.

    Adjusting the peak limiter takes about 10 minutes. Any costs would be mostly due to travelling. I would suggest you get it done as part of any convergence work or leave it to whoever buys your 400 projector.

    Regards

    Regards
     
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