TW100 Picture just got better!

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by nelson, Oct 15, 2002.

  1. nelson

    nelson
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    My already excellent TW100 picture just got even better still and I am extremely happy!

    This is the simplest of tweaks, but unfortunately it doesn't work for all available DVD's, but please read on anyway, as I guess it works for the majority of projectors too, whether LCD, DLP, LCOS or whatever.

    First of all though, just a bit of background info on how I arrived at the TW100. For those of you who are not interested in my history, feel free to skip to the end (line split).

    This is my first venture into HT and I spent over two years studying comments in this and other forums before buying. I spent time viewing different projectors whenever I had the opportunity to do so, but it has been difficult to find dealers that firstly had anything worth seeing and then the demos were mostly rubbish. The informed opinions of forum members from around the globe are worth far more than any dealer demo (with apologies to those few dealers who do take their business seriously).

    Choosing a projector is a real headache, especially for those of us with limited budgets who need to get it right first time. At first I was won over by the technology behind DLP, just the thought of all those little mirrors flipping backwards and forwards, what an amazing bit of micro engineering! Given the promise of no screendoor and deep black levels, I was sure this was the way to go.

    At this point, I had only seen a couple of Davis DLP's and the Sony VW10HT. LCD looked very grey indeed and poor by comparison, but the Davis units didn't inspire me enough to part with money. Anyway, from what I saw at these initial viewings and the more I read of favourable comparisons of DLP against LCD, I decided to follow the holy grail towards the eventual purchase of a DLP projector. Whilst I gradually accumulated funds for the big day, I restricted my enthusiasm to reading the forums and to downloading user manuals from manufacturers websites, dreaming of what the future held for me.

    Then came the moment when I very nearly purchased my first projector. Grant Smyth posted his excitement at finding the NEC LT150 and it sounded near perfect apart from a few minor reservations that Grant had about the image quality. So off I went and downloaded the manual to read through. What I discovered down in the menus was about to raise Grant's excitement to another level, the option to switch the 'White Segment On/Off'. I hurriedly posted a reply to Grant asking him to try comparing the difference between the two settings. He did so and it instantly solved the issues that had been bothering Grant. Suddenly this unit became the main talk of the forums. Grant's enthusiasm for this unit grabbed everyone's attention and I'm sure he was responsible for bringing many people into this HT obsession.

    I decided to hold off buying for a while as I was in the process of having a lot of building work done on my house and there was going to be lots of dust floating about for some time. This gave me the opportunity to look around at a few more projectors in the meantime, although I still didn't see anything to make me go "Wow, I must have one right now!".

    Unfortunately I couldn't find the LT150 to demo, so I was about to buy blind. Then came lots of talk about DLP rainbows and I decided I needed to investigate further. I spotted the rainbows! Hell, I couldn't cope with this!

    I later saw SIM2 demo the prototype HT300 at an exhibition. The picture was great, I couldn't detect any rainbows, but the image just didn't seem very bright and they were using a totally light controlled room, not to mention the fact that it cost way over my budget. By comparison, demos of LCD units were much brighter and colours were strong, but the downside was screendoor and greyness. I began to think that maybe I should pursue a different interest.

    Then came the next great talking point, the Panasonic AE100. I saw a dealer demo of one, wasn't over impressed with what I saw, but thought that maybe I could just about live with it for the price and the fact that 'real' users were claiming great results. I desperately wanted my own projector!

    Shortly afterwards, Epson announced the TW100. It specs looked promising and it's price was near the upper limit of my budget. I had to see one somewhere. Another lucky break, a fellow enthusiast here in the UK (Mark Goldie), arranged a shootout of the AE100 and a loaned TW100 (kindly arranged by Matt at AV-Sales in UK). I saw enough at that session to convince me to buy the Epson, (to be fair the AE100 in skilled hands also put up a good showing this time too).

    I have had my projector for about three months now. I think this unit is excellent straight out of the box, although a little adjustment can improve matters. I have zero dead pixels, no dust blobs, no screendoor at 2 x screen width (92"), no vertical banding, great black levels, great colours and plenty of brightness.

    I have tried using HTPC DVI and perhaps my HTPC setup isn't ideal, but I don't think it compares any better than my DVD player feed (Toshiba SD510e with progressive component out). I am very happy with my viewing, although I know it can only get better with future products, but for now this unit will do me fine.

    There are times when the displayed image shows minor imperfections which I assumed were a result of the limitations of the projectors capabilities, although they weren't serious enough to detract from the overall viewing pleasure. I certainly don't wish to be forever tweaking settings and analysing what I am watching on screen. The sole purpose of this game is to enjoy movies on the big screen!

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    So for those of you who are eager for this amazing bit of news on how I vastly improved the image from the TW100, here goes. I simply purchased a SuperBit DVD!

    The Fifth Element in SuperBit is just fantastic on the TW100! It is so sharp and clear compared to standard DVD's and digital artifacts gone. I couldn't believe how good the image now looks! I haven't yet tried any other SuperBit titles, but I sure hope they all look this good!

    I feel that a lot of time is spent on these forums debating problems with various projectors and whether it's the limitations of LCD, DLP, etc. that introduce the imperfections, when in reality the source material is key to many of the highlighted issues. It doesn't matter if you are using a DVD player or an HTPC, you can't put back what isn't already there. Maybe the HTPC sometimes does a better job with certain projectors, but with the TW100 I don't think it's any better than my DVD player feed from SuperBit.

    Having seen what The Fifth Element on SuperBit does for the TW100, I can honestly say that in my opinion, unless you have seen this combination in action, you haven’t seen how well the TW100 can perform! (unless you are lucky enough to receive HDTV transmissions which presumably have an equivalent/better quality source?). I presume this may well apply to other projectors also.

    Why don't we all shout a lot more to persuade the studios to release all DVD's at this quality level. I for one would gladly give up all the 'extras' on disc for this higher quality picture, but even then they could still package the movie in SuperBit and the extras on a separate standard DVD if cost were an issue. Interestingly, I have noticed that SuperBit versions are often cheaper simply because we don't have to pay for the extras. And be honest, how many people really watch the extras more than once if at all.

    To the majority of HT enthusiasts, all we want to do is switch on with the most user friendly of setups and see outstanding picture quality. We don't want to be bothered with constant tweaking, miles of tangled cables connecting multiple input sources (DVD player and DTV source would suit most people). Come on then you die-hard tweakers, rip me apart!

    So congratulations to Epson for a fine projector in the TW100 and congratulations to Columbia Tristar for the SuperBit releases that allow the TW100 (and probably other projectors) to show their true potential.

    Please Columbia Tristar let's have a lot more SuperBit titles released, the current catalogue is a bit thin.

    To all the other studios, "Get your act together!" Don't listen to your marketing gurus, they are so far up themselves that they never hear what the customer really wants!

    What do we want? SuperBit !!!

    When do we want it? Now !!!

    :D
     
  2. Rainfall

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    Hi Nelson I also give the thumbs up for SuperBit. I won an e.bay auction for a SuperBit disc of "The Big Hit" for £9 I have to say that the picture and sound is outstanding and supreme over any of the other 40ish dvds I have gone through since buying my AE100.

    I'm on the lookout for more SuperBit dvds off e.bay (cheap);) or any forum member who would like some Nochex money for them:D

    cheers Steve
     
  3. Messiah

    Messiah
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    Thanks Nelson.

    You're making me miss my TW100 even more now :confused: Still trying to find the time to get my CRT set up :mad:

    Guess you're still enjoying yours then?
     
  4. petrolhead

    petrolhead
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    Hi just PM you on AVS - ignor this now
     
  5. EMH

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    I also went through a 6 month investigation period (easier in France) on projectors, and after having seen an MT5, a W11HT, a sharp 9000, a sim 200/300, a marantz (the costly one) and the epson, I confirm that the TW100 is the one that gives the best ratio price/perf (In fact, I prefer the LCD because of their "natural" image).

    Does anybody knows a good place/web site to buy one ? ( i saw that nomatica had good price but what about the service ?)
     
  6. petrolhead

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    Bought mine from Micro Partners. Recomended by Epson
     
  7. nelson

    nelson
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    Petrolhead - saw the PM over the pond and have cleared it now. Thought I would post in both forums to see what response I got. Interesting that I seem to be getting a pasting from a few over there! Have just posted a reply to them, will check back there tomorrow to see if have upset them further?

    Messiah - what you playing at? Can't believe that CRT's not up and running yet. How are you coping with not buying, selling and upgrading at least three times a week! ;) Hope you get it sorted soon and let us know how it goes!

    All - the purpose of my post was to show that a stunning picture can be obtained without the heartache of lots of tweaking and complicated HTPC setups. It's just a pity that there aren't more quality DVD's like the SuperBit issues on release, then we could all benefit from nice and simple user friendly systems to just sit back and enjoy our viewing.

    Anyone who hasn't yet seen the TW100 in action must give it a try, I still think it's great, but I am not trying to persuade anyone that it's the best thing out there, but it takes some beating for the money!
     
  8. petrolhead

    petrolhead
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    Nelson

    Do you know if there is a site that sells all the superbit DVDs?
     
  9. Messiah

    Messiah
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  10. Duncan Craig

    Duncan Craig
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