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Short Throw Projector

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by sneaky, Dec 15, 2003.

  1. sneaky

    sneaky
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    After much reading of material and a couple of demos, I became totally disillusioned with wanting to buy a projector. The more I read the worse it got, I became totally bambozled by reviews and goodness knows what.

    All I want is a good picture from my DVD by component output. The guys on the forum are great, offer lots of help and seem to know the far end of a fart about this stuff.

    But being a new boy I was reading stuff that was too technical and people put the fear of good into me after reading reviews that said the big investment I was about to make was not a good one for some reason or other.

    I thought I had settled for a Sony HS20 but had some discouraging comments, even from a guy at NexNix. I decided to go for original choice of the Sim2 Domino which is quite expensive but I needed it to be right.

    I have since brought home an LCD Data projector from work (some new hitachi model which cost about £1300).

    I have just played LOTR, it obviously wasn't brilliant but I did enjoy and has given me the confidence to buy either LCD or DLP FOR A PRICE BETWEEN 2 ND 3K.

    The problem I now have is that I have a room that is 11.5' and with the two projectors that I have named above I can only get a 5' image at that throw which due to the Hitachi test I think is too small.

    I want a 6' foot image at least.

    Can you please give me advice on short throw projectors that will help me achieve my goal.

    Thanks

    Chris
     
  2. VirusKiller

    VirusKiller
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    Chris,

    There seems to be a dearth of good, current technology PJs in the £2K to £3K price range.

    From the threads on this forum, as long as you've got reasonable light control in your room, it looks like you could do with a Sanyo Z2 (out now) or Panasonic AE500 (out next year in the UK). These both have short throws and are well within your budget (between £1200 and £1500). You could improve things by adding a dedicated scaler such as an iScan Ultra for £500 or so, or invest in an HTPC.

    If you're serious about spending more, the only option I know of is the medium-ish throw NEC HT1000 (native 4:3 chip and 5x colour wheel I think) which would easily give you a 7' wide screen (less if you haven't factored in losing at least a foot from that 11.5' throw distance (calculation from projectocentral.com). Unless you get one ex-demo though, you're looking at over £3K for "last year's technology" and that's assuming you don't see rainbows on it.

    For what it's worth, if I had £3K to blow on a short-throw PJ, I'd buy a Z2 (£1450) , nice electric screen (£500), maybe an scaler (£500), and a whole bunch of DVDs.

    Keep the faith!
    Joel
     
  3. sneaky

    sneaky
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    Thanks Joel,

    What does the scaler do.

    Nexnix said there were issues with dust on the sanyo.

    Chris
     
  4. VirusKiller

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    Chris,

    There are a couple of things that a PJ has to do in order to display an image. One is to "scale" the image to match the native resolution of it's chip/panels. Another is to convert an input signal into progressive scan (de-interlace it) if it isn't already in that format. This is far from a trivial task and all sorts of artifacts can be introduced depending on the quality of the processing, algorithms used, etc.

    The short of it is that every PJ has to perform a whole load of processing of the input image and that the quality of the processing varies from PJ to PJ. Generally, the more you pay, the better the processing. It's one of the things you really can't tell from a spec. No-one can be told about the quality - you have to see it for yourself... (sorry, couldn't resist).

    Many PJs now feature processing from the likes of specialists Faroudja and Silicon Image. Others have their own proprietry de-interlacing and scaling software (e.g. Sony).

    An alternative is to use an external scaler/processor to do the job. I'm fairly certain that something like the iScan Ultra, which uses Silicon Image technology for motion-adaptive de-interlacing, should do a whole lot better than the de-interlacing in Sanyo Z2. However, as it will output an NTSC or PAL scaled image, a Z2 would still be called on to do some scaling of it's own...

    A lot of people on these forums go the home theatre PC (HTPC) route to process and scale the image to the native resolution of the PJ using lots of widely available software (e.g. dscaler) and hardcore graphics cards such as ATI's Radeon series. By providing a progressive scan 1-to-1 pixel mapped image direct from a PC to the PJ, the PJ itself has to do no further processing of the image. There's control freakery for you (and potentially the best possible image).

    However. You do not need an external scaler. Ask all of the happy Z2 owners on this forum. I'm merely interested in them as (i) they're another gadget :D and (ii) they're a useful way of switching differing input signals (PAL via S-Video from digibox, NTSC via component video from DVD, etc.) and cutting down cabling to the PJ.

    Regarding the dust problem on the Z2. Yep, none of the cheaper PJs around at the moment seems to be without some problems whether it's dust or (curable) vertical banding on LCD PJs or rainbows on the cheaper DLPs. As I said earlier, there's a real lack of PJs in the £2-3K band.

    HTH,
    Joel
     
  5. sneaky

    sneaky
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    VK,

    Ive just worked out that I can only have a 5 foot screen, so my choice is limited anyway to Z2, Pan 500(when it arrives), nec 1000ht or hs20.

    Tried all projectors I like on Calulator at pjc.

    Plenty reviews about for Z2 AND PAN but no comparisons with HS20.
     
  6. sneaky

    sneaky
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    OH AND INFOCUS 5700 BUT THESE SEEM TO BE LIKE HENS TEETH.
     
  7. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    Or the new HD digital from OWL but its £7k!!!! Chuffin marvelous though
     
  8. VirusKiller

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    I would imagine that the HS20 will be a very nice projector. The specs look great - similar contrast to the Z2, brighter, and probably better image processing. I plan to demo one at some point even if the throw is probably too long for my room.

    Cheers,
    Joel
     
  9. Peter Baker

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    I have the Infocus 5700, and have been very pleased with its' performance. A major step up from the panny PTAE100 I used to have. NO Screendoor, much better contrast, and watchable in quite light conditions. I got mine from Sevenoaks, and got interest free. Nobody seems to offer discount, but at £3k, it's cheaper than the Sim or NEC anyway.
    Good luck
    Peter
     

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