What are your thoughts on my proposed Optoma DV10 Home Cinema?

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by Batdog, Aug 8, 2006.

  1. Batdog

    Batdog
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    Hi there

    I’ll cut to the chase – I’m obsessed with getting a projector!! There are reasons why sensibly I should hold off for a few years, however, I may have found a solution and was wondering what you guys thought:

    What I want is a dedicated cinema room of appropriate size. Very dark walls. Situated where I could play the volume as loud as I desire. Room would contain a Hi-Def disc player (HD-DVD or Blu Ray - whichever format emerges victorious from the format war). New amp and speakers capable of decoding and getting the best from the new HD / lossless sound formats that these discs carry. It would also be able to introduce a sound delay to correct lip synch problems, which my current all in one surround system is unable to do. The centerpiece of this set up would be a 1080p projector (LCD or DLP).

    The above is not possible because:

    • I am anywhere from 3 months to 3 years from getting a new place where I could have a cinema room. I presently have a room with surround sound installed, but the shape of the room means that I sit a maximum of 120 inches from where a projection screen would have to be situated.

    • It could be that long before there is a clear choice as to which HD disc format to choose.

    • It could be a while before appropriate amplifiers become available.

    • Whilst 720p projectors are affordable at present and are by all accounts excellent, 1080p should arrive in the near future and be affordable within a couple of years. Due to the rate of improvement it’s hard to see whether to go the LCD or DLP route. Will C2 fine on LCD projectors make them the best choice etc etc………

    So obviously, I should wait 2-3 years to get a projector?

    No!!!!! Because I weant a big picture now!!! Whilst doing my ‘research’ I’ve come across a potential solution:

    The Optoma DV10 Movietime. 480p projector with built in DVD player. This has the following advantages for me:

    Has a very short throw – I reckon that working on sitting 2x the width of the screen away (I’ve seen this recommended for a 480p projector), I would be looking at projecting a 68 inch diagonal image. Due to the extreme short throw on this machine I’d simply be able to stick it on the floor or on a low stool in front of me and get the appropriate screen size. A 60-70" image would be plenty given the distance I would be from the screen.

    The definition should be adequate given that I will have no HD source for 2-3 years, and it has an optical out to feed the surround signal to an external amplifier. My existing all in one surround system has an optical input and so I should be able to play back the sound through my existing surround set up. Plus, if there are lip synch errors as I imagine there will be, I can fit a Felston 540 audio delay box between the Optoma and the amp to correct this.

    I need to make sure I'm not susceptible to the Rainbow Effect and that my home cinema system (JVC THA-75R) would handle the sound – it has Dolby Digital and DTS decoders but this is normally used with the internal DVD player – I’m guessing if I connected the Optoma to it through the optical in (usually used to connect PVR to utilize Dolby Pro Logic 2 decoding for freeview) then it will still recognize and decode these signals.

    I reckon this would be a great stop gap solution until the whole HD thing settles down and I have a better place for a permanent install – should cost no more than £800 with a quality(?) home made screen and a Felston box. Have a few questions though:

    • I’ll only be playing back DVD’s and occasionally freeview – will the resolution be adequate? At 480p it is less than DVD – although it will be progressive whereas my 36” CRT is interlaced?

    • Is sitting twice the screen width away enough to combat screendoor with a 480p projector? Is there anybody with this model that can comment on how susceptible it is to screendoor?

    • Does my idea for piping the sound to my current all in one system seem like a great or terrible plan? The optical in is labelled as STB-in – I’m just guessing that the DTS and Dolby decoders can be accesed from there also – any thoughts?

    • Finally, has there been any news on the grapevine about a replacement for this model – I’d be gutted if a month after I bought it there was a 720p replacement for no extra cost!!!

    Sorry for the long thread – all thoughts are much appreciated.

    Thanks
     
  2. Kadders

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    Some branches of Curries and PC World (probably worth phoning around to check) have DV10 in a small demo booth. The screen is angled above your head in fact, and is very close to you. It's not a huge screen, but is an adequate demo of the DV10's capabilities. No screen door was discernable when I took a peek, but you should expect that with DLP - screen door is more of an issue with LCD. It's quite impressive for the price.

    Its optical output should contain 5.1 information, so your receiver should cope with it OK! In fact it shows connection to a receiver on page 15 of the manual (link below). There is no mention of DTS in the user guide, so the DVD player is probably not DTS capable. So you might only have Dolby Digital 5.1 available. The spec only mentions DD too. I'm sure they would push DTS if they could do it!

    If you want to investigate further, here's a link to its user manual:
    http://www.optoma.co.uk/optoma/uploads/manuals/DV10-M-en-gb.pdf

    ... and product flyer:
    http://www.optoma.co.uk/optoma/uploads/brochures/DV10-B-en-gb.pdf

    By the way, the demo booth I saw was in Nottingham, but as it's a standard Optoma demo booth setup, I guess they are in all the major stores.

    Re your last point... I doubt whether they will bring out an 'all-in-one' such as this with higher definition, because the market is limited. This is a low cost, entry level (and portable) machine so they'll want to keep it cheap, I feel.
     
  3. Batdog

    Batdog
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    Thanks a lot for the reply.

    As I understood it, the dolby and dts signals are on the DVD and can be read by any dvd player - although whether there is an appropriate decoder on board to make any sense of it is another matter!! I may be wrong though - very confusing!! I've done a quick web search and various sources such as this review by Home Cinema Choice (http://www.homecinemachoice.com/cgi-bin/outputpdf.php?file=WVTV/300/068_WV_300.pdf) seem to suggest that it can output a DTS bitstream to an external decoder. It's not clear though is it?!?!?

    Regarding screendoor I apologise as I don't think I was very clear - I appreciate that screendoor / the chicken wire effect is more associated with LCD, it's just that I've read that a similar though far less noticeable phenomena is sometimes seen on DLP where the physical space between the mirrors is visible? Sorry for not being more clear.

    Do you think that DVD will look noticeably worse at 480p than on a 720p projector - particularly at the screen size I'm talking about?

    Another point i've just thought of - does anybody know if this projector is covered by Optoma's zero dead pixels (mirrors) policy?
     
  4. Kadders

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    You are probably right - just that they do not crow about it on their data sheet. It does output SPDIF RAW, so it should be sending DTS as-is. But I would expect a DTS logo on it as a minumum!
    No, on the demo I saw (screen only 1m wide though) the picture was very good. Current DMDs have extremely small inter-mirror gaps. As you are no doubt aware, LCD gaps have to be bigger to accommodate the tracks (wiring) on the chip. DMD wiring is under the mirrors. I also did not see any RBE, but I am not too susceptible to that (thankfully). It does depend on material to a large extent - they were showing Shrek, and it looked way better than the tellies near by.
    I really doubt it. You'd definitely notice the difference in a side-by-side comparison, but having it on its own with nothing to compare it to, it is impressive.
    Not sure, but these guys will know: http://www.discounttv.co.uk/product/Optoma_DV10_DLP_Movetime.html
     
  5. ROne

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    I've had the dv10 for a couple of weeks now, along side my z4.

    The dv10 is quite a bit better than the z4 in standard def. Colours and contrast are a good leap forward when calibrated. The only issue I struggle with is it's not rainbow free.

    The dvd player is clean and close on a HTPC in terms of pixel mapping. See my little write up.

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=375098&highlight=dv10

    It's my bargain of the year; the speakers aren't bad either when you couple with a sub.

    My z4 is going to be shelved for the meantime.
     
  6. Batdog

    Batdog
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    Cheers for your thoughts Rone

    Have you been outputting the sound to an external amp? Just wondering whether you have managed to play back a DTS signal? Any other owners managed it?

    Another thought has occurred to me - one of my Home Cinema mags shows that the DVD is not progressive scan. I'm guessing that this is completely irrelevant as there is a direct digital path between the DVD and the projector and the projector will reform the signal into a progressive one and scale to 480 lines before outputting it? So it really doesn't matter whether the DVD or the projector does this stage?

    Actually, whilst I'm thinking about it, are DVD's encoded at 576i or 576p? I know that HD-DVD is 1080p, not sure about DVD though?

    I'm glad you're enjoying it - just hoping that I'm not susceptible to rainbows!!!
     
  7. ROne

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    I've sent the sound out to an active sub. It's no replacement for a full system, but it does add much needed depth.

    Can't comment on the DTS, though I did run a film through the internal speakers the other day and DTS was on by default and nothing came from the speakers, so maybe it doesn't decode it - but It should pass it.

    As for the interlaced element of the DVD - who knows, like you say largely irrelevent because the de-interlacing circuitary exists somewhere between the projector and the player. As the projector can take outside sources I would imagine the signal is de-interlaced late in the stage after the DVD player.

    DVDs are generally encoded in interlaced, though DVD - MPEG2 (576i for PAL countries) does have provision for progressive encoding - i've never purchased a retail item, but I have produced one myself using my own progressive camcorder (Hidef HVX200) & Edius editing platform.
     
  8. spylab

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    I would buy a cheap 720 lcd with 92'' screen.

    HD is very fine with 720 and HD discs are coming soon
    for you to start with SD PJ now........
     
  9. Kadders

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    I would certainly expect that. The player does not have a DTS decoder, so you will hear nothing.

    It should be outputting the DTS stream through the SPDIF optical port. But like I said before, I would expect them to mention that it is DTS capable. The old DVD player I have has got a DTS logo on the front. But again, the only way to hear it is through a 5.1 receiver. The DV10 has no logos, nor is DTS specifically mentioned in their literature.

    The reason I am concerned is that the following sentence (with my highlighting) comes from www.dts.com:
    so it is probable that the player has to do something to output the stream correctly.
     
  10. ROne

    ROne
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    Sorry I've not been taking much interest of the DTS thing ... So what you're saying is you need someone to hook up the Dv10 to a DTS capable amp and see what happens?
     
  11. ROne

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    Well you have a point, but how I get around this (and this is someone who works with HD and has a small collection) - buy what you require for now, and then upgrade when you are ready to source hi-def, if that happens to be now then don't bother with the DV10.
     
  12. Batdog

    Batdog
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    Thanks for the replies

    Spylab, I appreciate your thoughts, I had been planning to hold off buying until HD arrives. However, I'm guessing HD-DVD will arrive at about £500 or so. Personally, even though they have been deeply impressive so far, I wouldn't consider taking the risk on one at this price whilst a format war may rule it obscelete. Plus I prefer to leave these things a year or two for any early glitches in the whole HD issue to be ironed out.

    The beauty of the DV10 is that I can be fully set up for £800 or less, using my existing surround set up. If i go for a 720p I will need a new amp, HD-DVD player, speakers etc and will probably set myself back a good £2,000 or so. My room at present also favours the DV10 as it is only soemthing like 12 feet from the back wall to where the screen will be - it will be better for me to have the DV10 plonked on the floor with it's short throw lens.

    Given that I won't have HD for a few years at least the DV10 presents a cheap and convenient way for me to get a BIG 70" image (well it should seem big sitting 10 feet away anyway!!). In a couple of years I should be able to sell it on for a few hundred squid and get a 1080p projector and HD player and the whole kaboodle to go with it. No doubt there will be something better being touted by then!!!
     
  13. Batdog

    Batdog
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    Hi Rone

    Yup, if somebody could hook there's up to a DTS capable amp and check it out that would be great. Not the end of the world if it can't though, I always listen to it if it's there but Dolby Digital tracks are just fine to my ears. It's just nice to know I can listen to it if I want to!!
     
  14. Kadders

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    True enough - it ain't the end of the world. But I do have some great AUDIO DTS disks - will not play without it. DTS Movies do seem to have a DD option as well.
     
  15. Batdog

    Batdog
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    I think that it's part of the DVD spec that all DVD's must have a Dolby soundtrack, whether it's 5.1, stereo, mono or whatever. DTS is just an optional soundtrack that some films carry also.

    I do have some films with great DTS tracks (Gladiator, Blade, LOTR 1-3) but the original Star Wars Trilogy and Batman Begins both have truly amazing Dolby Digital soundtracks - I guess a lot is just down to how well they are mixed.
     
  16. spylab

    spylab
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    But why you will need a new amp-speakers-DVD ??

    Do you have the space for a bigger screen?
     
  17. Batdog

    Batdog
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    My experience of all digital technology is that lip synch errors are fairly common yet quite unpredictable. I owned a plasma for a week and prior to purchase had heard nothing of lip synch errors - yet to my horror when i fired it up I started noticing it all the time. Across a selection of DVD's, none of which showed any issues when viewed on my old CRT, several were all over the place watched on the plasma, whilst others were still fine, and others varied throughout the film. Watching Predator was like watching a badly dubbed foreign film!!! I understand that this is caused by the amount of picture processing being performed by modern digital displays, and i've read also that projectors can be some of the worst offenders. I sent the plasma back pronto and bought a 36" CRT instead, and saved £900 into the bargain!!!

    I have no way to introduce a sound delay into my current all in one cinema system as the DVD player and amp is housed within a single unit. Hence, with a standard projector I'm assuming that there would be a good chance that I would have to buy a new DVD player and amp with a built in audio delay - could set me back £400 or so for a decent set up. Admittedly I could just use my existing speakers which I find OK but are really a little weedy - but I'd probably feel obliged to upgrade them if I had a fancy new amp. The beauty of the DV10 is that if there were lip synch issues then I could add a Felston 540 audio delay box at far less expense between the projector and my current system where I'll be feeding the sound via an optical cable, and therefore could solve the problem this way.

    I'm limiting myself to a 70" screen as I will be sitting about twice the screen width away from it - from what I've read I will need to be about this far away to avoid seeing a screen door type effect around the dlp mirrors. I'm going to make a DIY screen so will get the projector first and experiment on a white sheet as to which size of screen suits me best - the 70" I've quoted is really just my best estimate based on what I've read on t'internet!!
     
  18. Kadders

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    That's probably true for films. Not so for Audio, though some of mine do carry DVD-A tracks (which my system cannot play) as well as DTS. They sound great (or don't sound at all without a DTS system!). For academic interest only, here are some examples:
    http://www.dts.com/entertainment/catalogue/music.php
    or one of my favourites
    http://www.play.com/Music/DVDAudio/4-/137022/-/Product.html?searchstring=Henley

    OK, totally irrelevant to projectors - but we did get on to DTS!
     
  19. spylab

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    stuartbrown i dont have any lip synch problems with Optoma 72i.
    (with DVD player and htpc)

    You mast try out a cheap 720 LCD , i still think it is a pity to go
    for a SD PJ now .

    If you go for a DLP rainbows may be a problem (demo first)

    If you have a PC or laptop you can already start with some HD clips
    to see how it is.

    As for the screen if you have the space plan for a bigger one because
    i use to think the same and now i have 106'' with viewing from 3.8 meters.
     
  20. robzter

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    i simply must comment as ive been the proud owner of this unit for months now,and as ive mentioned elsewhere here i got it by fluke and am chuffed to bits with it. i wanted the Z4 and was planning on a purchase this Xmas however i found out a chap about to rent out our house in spain worked in AV so i e-mailed asking about pj's and we came to a fantastic deal where he got a free weeks holiday and i got the DV10 for £150 BARGAIN !!
    all i can say is how superb the picture quality is.ive been ignored in all my previous posts and screenshots as this unit being a combi unit is poo pooed by most people on here as theres simply nothing to twiddle with it really is plug n play at its finest and in my opinion is perfect for what you are looking for in the interim.
    im by far an expert but i know what i like and the picture quality from this unit is smashing.i simply unzip the bugger (Oh Matron) and place it on a small side table and watch a 9ft by 5ft image on my living room wall.friends are amazed at the image quality and i see no RBE or chicken wire till you get real close.
    this unit has so many advantages in that its portable.perfect for showing off to your friends in their house!! or simply to be able to take it anywhere in the house.
    linked up to sky the picture is real good.and some films look out of this world (King Kong and In Her Shoes an odd choice and not a special effect in sight but a simply brilliant transfer) watched all 3 star wars over the weekend and it didnt falter for one sec.
    i really cannot find one fault with it.... and the Z4 may not be purchased this xmas.....
    And i dont think its ugly either as some have mentioned :thumbsup:
     
  21. robzter

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    however any tips tweaks and tricks are most welcome :D i notice with some films (final destination 3 ) that an icon shaped like a projector pops up for a minute or so and i cant seem to find the button to remove it.
     
  22. spylab

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  23. Batdog

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    Robzter & Spylab, thanks to both of you for your advice.

    I have heard about the new 720p HD70 before, but I'm really surprised that it is to sell for £795 with a free 92" screen (I assume this is the Gray Wolf screen I've read a lot about). I do wonder though, taking into account the value of the screen they're selling this for about £700 - this makes it an awful lot cheaper than the HD72i. It just makes me wonder what sort of corners they may cut just to appeal to people who must have a 720p. It may be really good though - and what a price!!!

    I do appreciate what you say about HD though - looking at the Black Hawk Down pictures in the HD72i thread - they are simply jaw dropping!!! Truth is though that I'll mainly be watching DVD's - and they will surely only look marginally better on a 720p than a 480p? Could see myself downloading some HD stuff just to drool over but basically proper viewing would be DVD's for the next couple of years I'm certain. Also, if the HD70 has the same sort of throw as the HD72, it would be sitting on my toes just to get a 70" diagonal, whereas the DV10 could be about 60cm further forward. Don't want to go to the hassle of ceiling mounting with all the hassle and cabling, plus it would be pretty much right over my head to get ‘only’ an 80" diagonal!!

    I think with the inherant imperfections in my room, and source material, the DV10 in theory presents a really affordable solution. I don't want to blow the bank at this stage and still be putting up with loads of compromise in image size etc. Provided it passes the demo OK and I can output the sound through my existing system, I should be set up for less than £800 (or less if it turns out I don't need an audio delay box). I really don't want to start nuddging up the price bit by bit - I've done this almost every time i've bought anything - a £300 hi-fi separates set up grew to £1,000 by the time I read a few issues of What Hi-Fi. Gonna make the most of what I have now then upgrade to 1080p and HD-DVD or whatever is 'the dogs' in a few years time, for about a third of what it will cost me now!!! Should still be able to sell the DV10 on at that time for a few hundred squid.

    Luckily I live about 30 mins drive from Roy Jowetts – going to demo the DV10 with a range of DVD's and see what I think – I’m also going to lug my surround system in there too to make sure it all works together OK. I think whilst I'm there I'll have a quick try out with a 720p DLP and a 720p LCD just to see what the difference is with DVD's. So may end up walking out with a HD Ready projector after all!!!

    I've spent 10 minutes today in Comet ogling a 50" rear projection tv and there was not a rainbow to be seen anywhere - not sure if this is a good indicator of whether I will see them with a front projector though? Image was beautiful - was HD of course!! These DLP images are so vibrant to my eyes.

    p.s. Robzter. How far do you sit from the screen and what size (diagonal or width) is the screen – you say you notice no screendoor?
     
  24. sushii

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    Just posting to confirm that I have a DV10 connected to a Sony surround sound system with dolby digital and dts decoders built in, connected through an optical cable and it does output dts.

    Hope this helps!:)

    I just want to echo robzter sentiments about the projector. I also bought the DV10 from PC World for £599, and for the price it does not disappoint.
     
  25. Batdog

    Batdog
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    Cheers Sushii

    DTS is a real bonus!!!!
     
  26. Batdog

    Batdog
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    p.s. Sushii

    Have you had any lip synch issues - if so are you using your Sony amp to delay the audio?
     
  27. ROne

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    I've put some calibration numbers up on my DV10 thread, if anyone wants to play...
     
  28. robzter

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    i sit about 9 or 10 feet from the wall and the image i get depends on what im watching but its usually nearly always 9ft across and 5 ft high.massive really
    and i see no screendoor unless i get real close.and i get DTS via the optical lead fed to my amp.
    i must see im dead chuffed people are finally seeing how good this pj is.i have posted a lot about this pj with no replys but now it seems people are clicking on .
     
  29. Batdog

    Batdog
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    Cheers for the reply Robzter.

    That settles it then - I'm going to give Roy Jowett a call and take a demo next week. From what I've read I think it should produce an image 95% as good as a 720p model when fed DVD or freeview material, should be able to get the sound I want from it too. Really can't see any drawbacks so far. Just hope I don't see rainbows everywhere!!

    Has anybody had any trouble playing burned discs on one of these as I occasionally copy a recording from freeview to my pc then burn to DVD-R?
     
  30. robzter

    robzter
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    ive never had one problem playing anything on it.
     

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