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sub £2000 market

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by nickane, Nov 5, 2001.

  1. nickane

    nickane
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    I was wondering if someone could give me a hand. I am currently saving up £2000 for a projector as I feel the Sharp C1 I bought in Singapore over 2 yrs ago is about to give up the ghost. I have been using it solidly for about 4 hrs a day since I bought it, and I feel my lamp is running on borrowed time. Replacing the lamp would cost about 450 pounds, which is about what I paid for the machine in the first place, so I've decided to get a new projector instead. Besides with only 60000 pixels (at least 50 of them dead), the chicken wire effect isn't worth reinvesting in. So I need an SVGA model, with a 16:9 mode, and hopefully a component input, as my DVD player has an output. I prefer the idea of DLP to LCD mainly because visible line structure is not a foe I'd like to revisit. Besides, from what I hear DLP technology is much better anyway. I would however consider a Sony HS1 (pending HCC's review). I'm also keen on the Phillips UGO S-lite, and analogue-addict's top-secret UK-manufactured model (brand as yet suspensefully unspecified). But since those aren't available yet, I was wondering what people think of the Plus U3-810. The 880 came 2nd in HCC's round-up earlier this year (to the SIM2 HT200), the 810 replaces this, although I have been unable to find reviews of it anywhere. It comes as either a Short Focus or a Zoom model (the fixed throw ratio being a reported "bugbear" in HCC's review of the 880). It has 800 ANSI lumens, and a 650:1 contrast ratioa and AV-sales.com have the zoom model £1762 inc. VAT. I know its primary function is as a data projector, but would it work well in my home cinema setup?

    Please help.

    Thanking you in advance,

    Nickane

    PS Does anyone know if you can adjust brightness, sharpness settings etc. on the Plus model?
     
  2. Chris Frost

    Chris Frost
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    nickane,
    The Philips S-Lite and Plus 880 are based on the same DLP chassis. I can tell you that the brightness and sharpness can be adjusted in the S-Lite. I'd be suprised if they weren't also adjustable on the Plus.

    The Philips lamp used in the S-Lite is designed to give virtually contast brightness throughout the quoted 1000 hrs life, it is also said to have stable colour balance as it ages. Philips give a 3 month warranty on the lamp. If it fails it will be replaced FOC. Plus don't appear to offer the same assurances on their product.

    DLP does seem to be the leading technology in the home cinema market, but LCD has advanced significantly too. You should look at both technologies before making your final choice. For less than £2k there are products from Sanyo/Eike, Panasonic, NEC, Sony and, of course, Philips.

    Good luck in your search
     
  3. ukaudiophile

    ukaudiophile
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    Hello Nick and fellow enthusiasts,

    I have been given permission to spill the beans on this unit now.

    The manufacturer is Dream Vision who are now distributed in the UK via Lenbrook UK Ltd (UK distributors for NAD, PSB speakers etc.) .

    The model will be called the Cine Xone and looks like it is based on the David X One which Davis was showing at various fairs before it was purchased by Dream Vision.

    If you are in the market for a Sub £2K projector which can go to 1024 X 768 then this should be available in the next 2 or 3 weeks now. I would strongly suggest you hold of spending this kind of money until you've seen this projector. It is certainly the one to beat for me at this price level.

    Regards and best wishes,

    Dave
     
  4. Jeff

    Jeff
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    I have a Plus U3-1080 which is very good and only cost £1775 +vat. You do need a scaler or a PC to get the most out of it. This projector and its variuos clones have very good contrast levels, rated at 800:1 but have been measured at 1000:1. Colours are good, but you do need to tweak the white level. Default brightness and contrast are also out and need to be calibrated. Very good HTPC projector.

    Jeff
     
  5. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    Jeff I was quite interested in the nec lt150 that caused all the noise on avs but i've seen reports of tearing and posterisation ( did you post to that effect too ?)

    What do you reckon to the piccy ? I would use an HTPC with it.
     
  6. Jeff

    Jeff
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    Keith,

    The tearing is caused by running at anything other than 60 Hz, it may be possible to get other refresh rates without tearing by using the component input and an ATI 8500, but no one has tried this yet. I have seen positerization on one the the gamma settings (custom) but the others are fine. I do get the effect called motion dithering which give the video a dithered look during some pans or fast motion. From what I can gather most DLP projectors suffer from this. Other than that and rainbows the PQ is probably as good as it gets from a digital projector in the sub £7000 category. In my view you can't go wrong with this projector, even with its faults its a lot of fun. Use it as a learning tool, see what things you like and what drives you mad. Then if your not happy after six months sell it on for a small loss.

    Jeff
     
  7. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    Thanks Jeff

    I think I'll wait and see what transpires over the next couple of months: out of interest have you done any gamma tweaks to your HTPC . I'm assuming the NEC has a linear response as default but the two gamma settings equate to video and photography film gamma: just wondering if you are best of leaving the PJ as default ie gamma 1 and adjusting the output from the HTPC in software to compensate for video.
     
  8. Jeff

    Jeff
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    I have set the gamma on the projector to normal and adjusted the gamma to 6 on my Radeon card. The difference between stock radeon and projector settings and my current tweaked settings is huge. The main things to look at are colour levels, brightness and contrast on the projector and saturation and gamma on the video card. Anyway tweaking is all part of the fun, if it was all perfect to start with I wouldn't have a hobby any more. :)

    Jeff
     
  9. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    Thanks Jeff useful info.
    I've got a geforce2 GTS ( 32M) on my current PC which most likely would not be used for HTPC duties for any length of time anyway.

    One thing thats been bothering me a tad is the gamma issue. My overlay settings do not offer a gamma control : however I havbe found the brightness controll inside windvd to be in actual fact a gamma control so I've been using this and then tweaking the overlay brightness ( whuch is black point and contrast which is a pivot/gradient control rather than white point which I set with the contrast control on the moniotr itself) . However on changing resolutions and refresh and closing the overlay in fact ( ie windvd) I've discovered the overlay settings default to the original values. I've come to the conclusion that I need powerstrip to set-up colour profiles : haven't spent a huge amount of time with it but assume it can handle any adjustments I need ie gamma.

    I notice you mention the radeon has a gamma control: one of the things less than ideal with PC based kit is the lackof hardware gamma control so any gamma adjustments have to happen in software before the frame buffer: does the radeon offer a hardware gamma adjustment or is it dependant on driver/controller software?
     
  10. Jeff

    Jeff
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    Ati have released (actually they haven't yet ;-) ) new drivers for the Radeon that give you access to Brightness, Contrast, Saturation, Hue and Gamma overlay controls. Previously these controls were only available in the ATI DVD Player and to a lesser extent WinDVD. My understanding is that the Radeon is the only card that offers hardware overlay gamma control.

    Jeff
     
  11. ani4ani

    ani4ani
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    PCworld are selling Sony CX1 [yes XGA] for £1299 incl VAT at the moment..this would be a good consideration. I have the CS2 and think at the price point is a great projector.
     

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