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Viewsonic PJ400

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by matisamd, Feb 24, 2005.

  1. matisamd

    matisamd
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    Hi all i am getting a PJ400 from viewsonic (£450 from new) and i see the bulbs are about £300 now i know everyone must have tried a variation on this so i am asking. :D

    Specifically to viewsonic products, does any one know if bulbs of there other units fit this unit, i see the pj510 is 1200 lumins (opposed to 1600 of the pj400) would the bulb fit? i assume that going from 1600 to 1200 would make a little difference but how much?

    Or is there some kind of cheap generic alternative bulb?

    Totally new to projectors really and apart from the bulb cost / lifespan they seem like a very good toy :) my 32" tele just gave up on me and i live on a top floor flat and i couldnt take lugging another one up there lol.

    PS if there are any major issues with this manufacturer or model pls let me know.

    also the pj400 has a "whisper mode" supposed to stretch life span to 4k hours, which i work out for me is about a years worth of life ( or is that half life?)

    thanks for any info

    Mat. :smashin:
     
  2. matisamd

    matisamd
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    so no one got nothing to say about this manufacturer, nothing to say about this model no help for some completely new to pj's? come on must be one of you wants to impart the stuff they leanred.
     
  3. MikeRJ

    MikeRJ
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    It's not a very common brand of projector for home cinema use to be honest, I've not seen it mentioned before on here. Looking at the specifications on ProectorCentral, it is a 4:3 aspect projector, native resolution of 800x600, brightness of 1600Lumens and a contrast ratio of only 300:1. Those specifications mean that the projector is really intended for data use, e.g. presentations with powerpoint etc. rather than for home cinema. The biggest problem is the contrast ratio, with only 300:1 you will find that you will tend to have very "grey" blacks, and details in shadows etc. tend to get lost.

    Anyway, regarding the lamps, you are unlikely to be able to fit a different lamp, have a search of the forum for previous lamp pricing rants regarding this. £300 is about middle of the road for a projector lamp to be honest, they tend to range from £150 to £450 or so.

    Also remember that you are not guaranteed to get the hours on the lamp that the manufacturer states. Those numbers mean that IF the lamp lasts that long, it's brightness will have deteriorated to the point where replacement is required by those hours. You may be lucky and reach those hours, or the lamp may fail before that time. Check the guarantee on the projector, you will likely find that whilst the projector itself has a decent length of guarantee, the lamp is either excluded or only covered for a few months.

    Sorry if this sounds a little negative, but it's not an ideal projector for home cinema use. If you have the chance to cancel the order, there are some far better projectors available for very little extra money such as the Epson TW10.
     
  4. matisamd

    matisamd
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    Thanks for yuor reply, actually you confirmed all i have learnt from these forums & google :) since i posted this.

    Though i think there must be an alternative lamp theres is a viewsonic pj510 very similar but 1200 ansi so maybe that might do it and as its about 220 as opposed to 350 might be worth it.

    well the 300:1 ratio how bad is that i have watched many a film ware no matter how far yuo pushed contrast or brightness etc the detail in the shadows was still lost. which always hurts my head as i keep straining to see whats going on, i guess i'll try and see if i open the box careful enough i can send it back if its too bad.

    My plan is to use it as a general TV / PC monitor it seems to have good enough specs for the price, but would you or any one recomend another PJ for the same money over this. I also plan to use it in varying light levels not very likely to ever meet the ideal. AKA the film buff nightmare user lol.

    Well any way thanks. If this goes well i'll probably sell the projector when the bulb goes and upgrade to a nicer one.

    My little rant - why dont they all use genric bulbs, main reaon they wanna make more money ware they dont need to, and just think if they were more generic, we could all chip in and buy in bulk oh well - rant off. :hiya:
     
  5. MikeRJ

    MikeRJ
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    Yep, the price of the lamps is outrageous (IMO), and there is no technical reason that a range of standard fitments could not be developed...but it would lose manufacturers money.

    Consider using the projector with a grey screen, this will help the black levels somewhat, and the projector is more than bright enough already. Also make sure your room is as dark as possible when using the projector.
     
  6. matisamd

    matisamd
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    Well i have only used it about 6 hours now but i am very happy with it so far only tried it on Sky TV but It seems to be the perfect solution to my Media habbits and is actually still decently economical, as i have an attic room in a flats its lovely and portable to and heck its just coool.

    As of yet i havent tried my long term PC habbit of planetside MMOfps gotta rearrange my room to get the right wall visable so i can have it as big as it gets but i hooked my 5.1 and sat there all evening feeling very smug :D

    I was thinking of just painting that part of the wall grey you think that would be ok? would mat or gloss work better you think, i am using it on an a off white gloss and its fine, yet to try it in day light yet as am on night shifts but with my lamps and room lighton its was still fine.
     
  7. MikeRJ

    MikeRJ
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    You really need to use a matt paint if you are projecting directly onto a wall. A gloss finish gives an effect called "hotspotting" where you can get distracting glare from areas of the screen. Do a search for "icestorm" on the forum, it's a range of grey paints made by Dulux that many people have used for budget screens. You can get it mixed up at B&Q etc.

    Glad you are happy with the performance though, welcome to the addictive world of big screen home cinema ;)
     
  8. matisamd

    matisamd
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    thanks mike for all yuor help, the deluxe is a great tip thanks.

    Only problem now is that i've got it 80" diag ( max is said to be 200" is i got that right) or so :thumbsup: its native 800x600 isnt great for gaming but it was still pretty awsome and i think i can live with it ;) until i saved enough for WXGA one :eek:

    Actually as i am asking ;) whats the cheapest WXGA or UXGA ones, i can always sell this one ;) specailly after i get a few friends round to see it.
     
  9. PJTX100

    PJTX100
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    When I was looking the cheapest WXGA was the Hitachi PJTX100 at £1K, which is one of the reasons why I bought it...PJ
     
  10. matisamd

    matisamd
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    thanks for the recomendation help and advice :smashin: .
    I am looking for anotherone now lol though as i have this one i am not as hurried i baught this one because my tv broke and i needed somthing asap after all my happiness is very important to me ;).

    So plan is to brake out the ebay sellers account and shift some of the stuff round my house get some good money together and find me an uber PJ for non uber prices probably end up with £2000'ish but what i am hoping for is a 1600x1200 i assume native as any thing else is compresion based, i dont know if you can get that res tbh is why i stuck with crt so long..

    The things i have noticed with mine is you can see the lcd panels, i am guessing this is whats reffered to as the chicken wire effect?, i slightly defocussed to softn the image but i only found it annoying when the room was lit, i am guessing this is because i am projecting onto a white background, and a darker background dosnt show it up as much but tbh its about the same as my old 32" as i usually sat to near it ;).

    i'm now also thinking if picture in picture is an option ( i dont see y this should be hard ) as i primarily play PC/ watch tele then settle into a film, it would be great to play pc main window with a little box for tv down in the right corner or somthing.

    also is there any kind of horizontal key stoneing? ie when the projectors not facing the screen but its turned. As my room is very odd shape and i can get a bigger image if i can angle it about 15 degree's or so, and could i maybe use a mirror for this i guess, gonna end up feeling like the lab at uni though if i start placing mirrors :p

    This thing is awsome its amazing to feel at the cinema while lying in bed :D

    well thanks for everything i will keep searching forums are interesting so on i go ;)
     
  11. MikeRJ

    MikeRJ
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    You are going to have to lower your sights somewhat, AFAIK there is no such thing as a 1600x1200 native resolution projector for £2000. If you can raise around ten times that money you might be in with a shout! OTOH I don't know of any CRT TV's that are capable of that kind of resolution either.

    You also need to consider if you really want a 4:3 aspect ratio projector. If you are going to be watching films on it, then a 16:9 projector would make a lot more sense, and most home cinema projectors use this aspect ratio anyway. For £2000 you have a reasonable choice of home cinema WXGA (1280x720) projectors, both LCD and DLP based.

    It sounds like you are refering to the "chicken wire" or "screen door" effect with your projector. This isn't usualy a big problem unless you have the image too large for the distance between you and the screen. Normaly you want to be sitting at least 1.5 times the screen size away, and more like 2x with an LCD projector.

    You may have noticed that the image is significantly degraded by having a light on in the room as well, idealy you should get the room as dark as possible to get the best picture quality.

    Keystone correction is available on most of the higher end projectors, but note that digital keystone correction will degrade picture quality as part of the picture is resized into a smaller part of the imaging device (i.e. LCD or DLP), essential reducing the resolution of the picture. A straight projection path will always give the best results.
     
  12. matisamd

    matisamd
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    lol, i meant crt monitors with a nice hdtv card in.

    Well it takes me a while to settle, but the major thing i find is the screen door effect, and i am not sure i can sit 2x the width of the screen without the screen becoming very small.

    Could my pj be exagerating the screen door effect due to its cheapness? after defocussing it enough to amke the image seem more as a whole and not a collection of dots it was great except its out of focus lol.

    on the darkness of the room, tbh i find that having dim light and pitch black to not be much different the picture in the dark dosnt look all that different to the light i think this is due to the low contrast ratio 300:1.

    I have spoken to the shop and they are willing to let me return it, but before i do i need to know that i can get a real improvement for less then 1k.

    Main problems for me currently are the screen door effect maybe a different throw ratio and / or a higher resolution will reduce this, and of course a better contrast ratio.

    On the resolution i am torn between getting an xga, or plumbing more for ignorring what ratio it is in terms of PC gaming and just going for the best picture quality.

    i guess its alot to ask on such a low budget but if you think any pj's other then the two mentioned in this thread would fit the bill let me know.

    suggestions :- Epson TW10, PJTX100,

    HITACHI PJ-TX100 ILLUMINA Projector WXSGA 1,098.63 - 1600x 900 native interesting :)

    ED: I will really need a long bulb life and a good warranty as i am intending to use it about 8 hours a day or so.

    Thanks again you guys have been great.


    mat :)
     
  13. MikeRJ

    MikeRJ
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    For 1k I would be very tempted by the TX100. In fact I AM tempted by it and would probably blow a load of cash on it if it weren't for the imminent patter of tiny feet in our house and the resulting earache I would get from the wife.
     
  14. matisamd

    matisamd
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    how do i know if a PJ is using 16bit or 24bit

    i am thinking that this pj is 16 bit as when viewing scenes it you dont see smoth variation between light levels on a PC this would be because i am in 16 bit and not 32 bit, so i am thinking this is a 16bit and as none of the specifications for this PJ seem to indicate at all what it is this makes me think it more. Or could this be due to a low contrast ratio?

    best example is a torch light in the dark you get donuts of light rather then a smooth fade from white to black.

    basically i took the sharpness up from 3 to five max, suddenly realised this was the clarity i wanted but everything looked like it was vcd or divx encoding ie nasty picture.

    i am thinking of getting the epsom tw10 but i dont want to end up with somthing that looks basically the same, i was looking at the AE700 and TX100 but the lumins are so low, i want to be able to watch tele in the day and evening with a reasonable ambiant light level only turning light off for the odd movie.

    Am confused and want it yesterday :rolleyes:

    PJ distance between 1.5m to 3m
    screen size :- upto about 70"
    needs to work ok in reasonable light levels
    bulbs to be cheap
    probably want 16:9 unless high enough res at 4:3 to do 16:9 without pixel loss.



    thanks

    mat.
     

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