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What am I about to do wrong?

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by AndrewB, Jan 6, 2004.

  1. AndrewB

    AndrewB
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    First of all, thank you to all of the people who have contributed to this forum and made it so informative. I have spent many hours "lurking" and learning.

    I have a fancy (Naim) hi-fi to which I added a Denon 3801 AV amp and centre/surround speakers a couple of years ago. I use the hi-fi amp and speakers for the front L&R channels, and I have a REL Strata sub that does double duty on the .1 channel and "underneath" the mains. It all sounds really good but the visuals are only being provided by a 28" Philips 16:9 TV which doesn't have the necessary screen "real estate" - although it is already considered too bulky by some members of my family! In fact the whole setup is in my living room which means it needs to co-exist with the wife and 3 small kids.

    I want to get into front projection reasonably cheaply (ie around £1.5k) and am thinking of buying a Sanyo Z2 with a 92" diagonal white matt 16:9 manual screen from DRH. I'll be watching from 10.5 feet which gives me the optimum THX viewing angle of 36 degrees, apparently. We will mostly watch widescreen DVDs with some kids' 4:3 videos. My DVD player is a cheap and oldish Pioneer DV535 which I have been connecting to my TV with an RGB SCART input although it also has S-video (no component or DVI though). The picture seems good on the TV.

    Questions for the wise:
    1. Is this the right projector choice? Any alternatives I should view?

    2. Would the matt white screen be the right one? I see in the Projector Central review they recommend a grey one for the Z2 but most people here seem to use white as far as I can tell.

    3. How much better would the picture be if I upgraded to a DVD player with component or DVI outputs? I guess I would have to otherwise use the S-video input with my current player.

    4. How annoying is it watching 4:3 videos on a 16:9 matt screen? I realise they will be smaller and the surrounds may be greyish at the sides but given that it will mainly be poorer quality video signals or TV (not SKY) then is it a real issue?

    5. For WAF reasons I may not be able to ceiling mount. There is a handy sideboard behind the viewing sofa so I am planning to stick the projector on that (might need to be raised slightly since the sideboard is at 110cm from the floor whereas the midpoint of the screen would be at 155cm). Of course this would mean setting it up each time I/we want to watch. How much of a pain is that? Do I just need to plug in the leads and focus the thing (with a bit of tilt to make sure the image is in the centre of the screen)? Or is there more of a black art to it which means I'll spend 10 minutes fiddling with adjustments before I can watch anything?

    6. What is the point of an electrically operated screen other than the fact you look like a Bond villain when it remotely operates? I can see that really tall ceilings (or not so tall people) may require it but for an 8ft ceiling is it really worth the cost?

    Any other (polite) comments and advice would be welcome!

    Thanks

    Andrew
     
  2. Woz!

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    I'm biased as I have a Z2, so I won't answer this :D

    I've got matt white, and with my light coloured room, I can appreciate that there is some argument for a grey screen to enhance the black levels. That said, I wouldn't change mine now and I don't know if it's because I've got it set up better, or I'm getting used to it, but the blacks are good enough for me.


    I've got mine through component, and it looks stunning. Not had a chance to try DVI, but you might want to look into the specs for how long a DVI cable should run before you go down that route.


    The alternative of a 4x3 screen with your widescreen dvds is a worse option in my opinion.
    It's certainly not a show stopper watching 4x3 on a widescreen, but personally I find it makes the contrast look worse for some reason.

    Mine's ceiling mounted, so I can't comment on this really.
    A perm mount is the way to go if you can manage it.
    I've got a 2 year old and a 5 year old - the ceiling mount keeps it nice and out of their reach!
    edit : it also means that they can run around while you're watching a film and they don't get in the way of the screen or the projector :D

    I got one so that I could hide it : http://homepage.ntlworld.com/warren.alexander/ht/ht.html

    I also get the feeling that because you don't pull it from the bottom in the middle, it's less likely to ripple over time.
     
  3. Family Guy

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    Hi Andrew,
    welcome to the forum. I'm sure you'll be very much at home here when you've parted with your cash...

    I can't answer all your questions I'm afraid - I'll leave that to the experts like Kramer and the ritz, however, I'll do what I can...

    It certainly seem's to be a favourite on these forums at this particular time. I've never seen one in operation so can't comment personally. However, there dosen't seem to be much bad written about it.
    The current Panasonic range (200 upwards) also seems to be popular.

    I'm not 100% sure the Z2 accepts a DVI output...:confused: Someone will correct me I'm sure. However, just upgrading to a player with component outputs will improve your picture greatly. Upgrading to one with component outputs AND progressive scan will improve it dramatically. Have a look at the Sony 730 which outputs Pal & NTSC PS and can be had rather cheaply on the net...

    It doen't really matter whether a screen is electrically operated or not IMO. However, some PJ's have a 12 volt trigger that you connect to the screen. When you switch the PJ on, the screen comes down. Does look good. Mine however, dosen't. It's electric but the PJ dosen't have a 12 volt trigger...

    Hope this started you on your way. Sure the "big boys" will be along soon and steer you in the right direction...:smashin:
     
  4. Woz!

    Woz!
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    It does - it's actually got a DVI-I input port, which will allow it to accept a range of analogue and digital standards into the same port.
    This is in addition to the composite, component and svideo ports.
     
  5. inzaman

    inzaman
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    1 - For a first time projector i thinks its great, it is my first projector and i am amazed by it still. For the price it has a great spec but there would also be others to consider i.e panasonic, the thing that sold the Z2 to me was the lens shift which is really helpful and the price from ivojo not to mention service.

    2- I have made my own screen with thanks from Gary Lightfoots web page, first it was white as that was the colour of the black out material but because i have cream ceilings and cream above the picture rails black just looked too washed out and the picture seemed to glow like there was a light behind it so i painted it a mix of icestorm grey 5/6 and it is far far better, it just looks so cinematic.

    3 - DVI would make a massive difference but only with the right source material imo. I have a 935 and for some material the picture via dvi looks stunning and just so sharp but for other material there is far too much 'noise', but you can then run this via your component, i use my 757 for this material. This may be a fault of the material or the 935 i am not sure.

    4 - Not tried this yet so cannot comment

    5 - Z2 is very easy to set up due to the lens adjustment, i imagine you may need to focus and alter the lens shift if it is not exactly in the right place each time you move it but you are talking seconds not minutes imo. Mine is on an av rack and not ceiling mounted and it is perfectly fine, didnt want to ceiling mount due to tall celings and not wanting to ruin them as they are quite ornate

    6 - I made a fixed screen due to this point, my ceilings are about 9ft high :eek: so i have a frame hanging from the picture rails to try and have it in keeping with the period of house, but then again victorians didnt have projectors did they :D

    Just go for the front projection route you will not regret it and there is no going back once you cross that fence :D
     
  6. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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  7. coffee break

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    Andrew

    I don't actually have a Z2 but this seems like a good choice to me.

    My PJ is ceiling mounted now but used not to be - had to go the coffee table route until I got the time to take up the bedroom floor! I find it far more convenient not having to set it up each time but, having said that, it only took a couple of minutes at the most - must be getting lazy in my old age!!

    Have you checked how the image is thrown from a z2? - I think you might find that the PJ should be level with the bottom of the screen and not the middle which would mean no need to raise it on your sideboard (all you lucky z2 owners can now correct me on this!!) and I think the z2 has optical lens shift so you make small adjustments without the need for keystone.

    Hope this helps you make up your mind:smashin:
     
  8. Woz!

    Woz!
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    You can make huge adjustments with the lens shift on a Z2.
    With mine ceiling mounted, I can place the image right at the top of the wall, or within about a foot from the bottom, without moving the Z2 one inch.
     
  9. buns

    buns
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    some comments which reiterate on some points

    1) Not necessarily, it is good, but with the panasonic AE500 not far away, i would be tempted to wait and have the choice between them

    2) I use a grey one. My honest feeling is that in a machine which is only calibrated by eye (like95% likely will be) you should use a grey screen because the light output is relatively high, even in low lamp mode. On the other side of the arguement, when fully calibrated, I think it would look better on a white screen because the image is alot dimmer. But alot of this infact will comedown to cost im sure.

    3) With the Z2, I would buy on of the cheap dvi players which will send a native signal to the machine and thus make the most of it.

    4) I was told that there are some funny stretch modes you can employ that actually look not too bad, so you could strtch to fit your screen. lternatively, i dont find watching black barred 4:3 any worse than black barred 2.35:1

    I think the others answered 5 and 6 pretty much as i would have!

    all the best

    ad
     
  10. AndrewB

    AndrewB
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    Thank you to everyone for the helpful responses. I am more or less convinced to go for the Z2. I thought about the Panasonic 500 but in my potentially mobile set-up I think the lens shift capabilities of the Z2 will be useful to me.

    Just need to sort out the permission from the domestic "investment committee" to spend the cash. There are a few other priorities like only having 4.5 dining room chairs and needing new sofas - so I sense a deal needing to be done!

    I guess I will connect using S-video until I get another DVD player. Although I noticed from the manual (which I downloaded) that the DVI-I connection is capable of being fed by an analogue RGB signal if you have an RGB SCART to DVI cable. Is this right? Anyone here tried it?

    RGB should be better than S-video and close to component, I would have thought.

    Best wishes

    Andrew
     
  11. buns

    buns
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    It is right...... i think a few have tried, not me im afraid.

    Make sure your 'deal' works for you twice, persuade the committee into purchasing reclining sofas which will doubt as cinema seating :D

    ad
     
  12. Bristol Pete

    Bristol Pete
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    AndrewB,

    Look like you are almost set mate.

    But why buy 4.5 dining chairs? Why not go for four or even the five, or do you know a midget that may utilise the .5 ? :D :D :D

    Cap:smashin:
     
  13. AndrewB

    AndrewB
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    Hoping to upgrade to 7.1 chairs... ;)

    May have to buy 8 for future proofing. We started with 8 good ones but then we had kids! Now down to 4.5 and counting.

    Andrew
     
  14. dean randle

    dean randle
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    Hi.
    I've been fortunate enough to visit many different projector retailers in many countries over the past two years whilst travelling. I too opted for the PLVZ2, and I can say that I am not disappointed. The difference between the PLVZ1 and 2 is quite significant. The loss of screendoor is fantastic. I know that my partner has always commented on being able to see it when we've seen the other projectors demo'd, however we both think that it looks fantastic. I'm sitting about 15 feet from a 100" wide image and the picture is brilliant. What I would recommend is to wait for a screen until you've got your projector, as you can then measure the image you're happy with/can accomodate before buying and regretting. I'm still to get mine, but was pleasantly surprised that I can get a 100" that looks great.
    With regards to players, I bought the Compacks DVD5000 from Safeway last year for £50 that has component out and progressive scan. Unfortunately there is ghosting as mentioned by other purchasers of this machine. Since this, I have just used my VGA to DVI and connected my laptop, using Zoomplayer. The image is significantly better. Zoomplayer will also play the WM9 HD clips too. The HD image is truly stunning.
    For the lens shift facility, there was a downloadable media player clip of this facility in action at:
    http://www.grobi.tv/scripts/index.cfm
    This does show how the facility works well.
    The only downside to the Sanyo is dust blobs. There have been a few victims (me included), but after following the easy instructions on http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=339154&perpage=20&pagenumber=1
    it was really easy and worked a treat.

    Hope all of this helps,

    Dean.
     

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