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what can I expect with a decent projector?

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by ROne, Dec 21, 2000.

  1. ROne

    ROne
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    I have viewed with interest the complexities of choosing a projector. I have mild experiend of old crt projectors with video (betacam) but have never seen any of the notorious ones (seleco HT200, ellie, sony VHT).
    My mind is working over time trying to swallow some of the opinions on this board, and I will audition the projectors when I get round to it. But.... And its a big but.

    I'm picky, and I am concerned that these projectors will not be as good as i think they are. Are they really cinematic? (after all DVD is still fairly poor specification, its only pretty good when you compare it to VHS)

    I work with Tv stuff in the Day and the spec is higher than DVD and I have been working with this for a few years, but you've got to be a realist and for now DVD as a consumer format is a breath of fresh air. Though what plagues me is that I've got an image of a big screen cinema in my home house - and I feel that I will be let down, and this is down to subjectivity I know, but can any honestly say that their kit gives them the same satisfaction as watching at the cinema or have you just got it cause its the best you can get at the moment?

    Do these projectors come across like big televisions or are they truly 'cinematic' in their interpretation.

    If somebody can offer some advice I would be grateful and will probably get round to trying the ellie. However if the answer is "don't bother, they're nothing like the cinema" then I will wait a while.

    I'm happy with my 32" tele and wharfy but I get the impression blowing the picture up will expose weaknessess.

    Thanks.

    [This message has been edited by ROne (edited 21-12-2000).]

    [This message has been edited by ROne (edited 21-12-2000).]
     
  2. Guest

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    ROne,

    You obviously want high end kit. The big question is, can you (or will you) pay for it? There are a number of factors involved to make the 'ideal' home cinema when using a CRT or LCD/ DLP projector apart from just the projector itself. Your room should be decorated (ceiling included) in dark neutral colours with no ornaments, mirrors etc to reflect light around. For the best contrast, a rear projection setup is preferable apparantly- although you'll need a bloody big room to accomodate that sort of setup.
    As an idea, my affordable 'dream' setup would be a used Barco 808 or 1208 which have electrostatic focus (to get all four corners of the screen in perfect focus as well as the top/bottom/middle, a decent line doubler, a permanent rear projection tensioned screen (not sure which make or model), and a high end multiregion DVD player with RGB or component output- Sony 7700 springs to mind.
    Of course there's the sound system to whatever your budget taste...
    If you were to watch DVD films with a decent anamorphic transfer on that little lot, I'm sure you'd be more than impressed!!

    There is the LCD/DLP route too, but I'm not convinced personally- although there is MUCH LESS faff than with a CRT setup, there just aren't the same number of tweaks available.

    The choice is yours!

    Simon www.si-tec.co.uk
     
  3. ROne

    ROne
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    Barco-Man

    Thanks for the prompt reply and you have given me some interesting considerations, and I do have a freshly plastered room at my disposal.

    However the point I was really trying to make, is - it seems like hi-fi there are diminishing returns, you can spend money on a really good projector and a top dvd player instead of a budget one but you are still within restrictive parameters of current resolutions and compressions. And although you want to extract that last bit out of your home cinema kit, will it really substitute a cinema? Or will I say "that's pretty good, but it's still video..."

    Like when you ride a powerful motorbike for the first time, say a 600 it blows you away ... get on a 750 and there is a difference but not as marked as going from a car to a 600. Diminshing returns, I think once you have got your DVD player, rgb to a decent television you are virtually there.

    I have seen some expensive projectors in the commercial sector (£40,000 worth) and they were good with BETACAM SP, but I would say they were also exposing every weakness going.

    And I thought you just can't blow video up like this, it needs more bandwith. And looking at DVD I still feel the same.

     
  4. charles

    charles
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    Rone,
    If you have the space crt is the way to go,contrary to popular belief,once they have been set-up and the convergence saved-you have no more hassle than an lcd or dlp owner.
    I auditioned practically everything out there before i bought.
    I bought the ellie because it has a line doubler made by barco built in,its black level is brilliant,it has gamma,peaking,ntsc matrix,colour temp.remote convergence.comb filter...10 different picture memories you can store...etc etc..BUT..most importantly.there was no loss of detail with the line doubler-but no visible line structure either-even with your nose pressed to the screen -no line structure was apparent...in short the only one i saw that was cinematic....what really blew me away though,was the quality of picture from sky digital!!(dvd was brilliant of course..).....my previous projector was a philips 4600 lcd-and though fair with dvd-it was appaling with sky...now this lcd i had bought 3 years ago after demoing every crt out there(..and even now its a hairs breath aaway from the sony lcd.)...but miles away from the ellie.

    The seleco ht200 aint bad-but again,not as good as the ellie-and 2k more!!!
     
  5. Guest

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    I understand exactly where you are coming from with respect to the limitations of various formats (and 'upgrading' motorbikes- I went from a 125 to 350 to 750 and it was whizz-bang every time!) I guess it depends on exactly what you want from your setup. Personally, I prefer to watch a a DVD on my own installation rather than at a cinema. Although I was awstruck when I went to my local THX certified flicks a few months ago, I wasn't keen on the almost ear splitting sound levels (THX specs) and the lack of directional detail from the multiple surround speakers. For me, and I'm sure all who have their own HC, there is a certain personal preference with both sound and vision that is achievable with your own installation- even on a budget.
    I certainly wouldn't say DVD is a poor substitute for a real cinema either. Ok, you might get some sort of line structure visible on a projected DVD image (as on a large TV too, IMHO), but I'm sure you'll still be blown away when you see a first class setup. There are even boxes of tricks to reconstruct the full 24fps movie frame rate- scalars as I recall. Check out a couple of demo rooms at decent AV retailers and see what you think.
    Then again, if a traditionally projected 40' image is still your bag, keep checking your local press for details!

    Cheers
    Seasons greetings to all
    Simon www.si-tec.co.uk
     
  6. Alan Westy

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    Rone

    I have recently set up a Seleco 450 with Quadscan progressive scaler and the picture with both DVD and Sky is much better than you get at most cinema's There is no visible line structure or motion artifacts and everyone who has seen it has said they would prefer to watch a film at my house rather than the cinema. So in answer to your question yes it is possible to achieve cinema performance or better in your own home.

    Alan
     
  7. LV426

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    ROne,

    The only way you're going to get an answer is to see for yourself. All I can genuinely say is that doing so won't be a waste of time. There are inevitable differences between a top flight cinema and what you can sensibly do at home. However, the differences are not that great especially when compared to some of the less well-funded multiplexes and older theatres.

    Irrespective of what Charles says (and he has said much the same thing many times here) you SHOULD go see the Sony VPL-VW10HT. I think it's flawless, but you have to make your own mind up.

    ------------------
    You should not drink and bake.....
     
  8. GarryF

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    I recently purchased a front projection system after 6 months of research, some things I learnt.

    Screen size is something most people consider last, depending on what you are after and your setup it can be very important. Fixed screen or roll up, 16-9 or 4-3 are all factors which will affect your viewing experience. (One note on the ellie is that it has been mentioned on here that it can't scale 4-3 images to a 16-9 screen)

    The smaller the screen size the better quality of picture, CRT is better if you can keep it under 2 metres, LCD are brighter and can be used it you are desperate for a larger screen. Bascially a trade off with trying to get a big enough picture to make you feel like you are at the cinema but small enough to keep brightness etc high enough.

    You need to decide how much you are willing to spend then demo a few projectors in that range to see what you can get.

    If you are after the best picture for your money with no other concerns then a second hand data grade CRT projector with external video processor is probably your best bet, for around £4000-£6000 you are going to get a picture that would cost you £10,000+ in new hardware.

    If you want new/small/easy to use etc etc then there are lots of other choices out there
    http://www.avsforum.com has lots and lots of info which will hopefully help you make up your mind.

    I personally haven't been to the cinema for months now [​IMG]
     
  9. ROne

    ROne
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    Thanks for your insight, everyone.

    I today stumbled across a demo of the seleco Ht200 and was left with mixed feelings ...

    Some of my fears were existent. The first thing I noticed was the aliasing on the diagonals, obviously you increase the size of pixels you increase blockiness. Mainly noticeable in wide shots rather than close-ups. The film was green mile and this is a reasonable disc quality wise.

    The best elements of the picture were the colours, there was a great tonal range and this felt truly cinematic, but after a while I began to watch the film and seemed to go beyond the picture, just the fact it was 8 feet was a whole new feel to home cinema ...

    The rainbow problem did bother me a lot, it is readily apparent whenever you consciously blink your eyes and is very distracting when you first notice it and this is the biggest worry on my, because rather then a quality issue - it becomes a headache and very hallucinogenic, I didn't like this and would rule out a dlp on this alone especially for 6 grand.

    My next stop is the sony, then the ellie. I expect the sony to be not necessarily worse but different in image quality than the seleco.

    If you read the review in what video (they give everything virtually best buy) you will be convinced this thing is faultless but I beg to differ ...

    Regards.
     
  10. tiberious

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    ROne,

    Good luck on your odyssey, I`m sure you will find equal measures of excitement and frustration - just as I have !!.

    Shame about the HT200 demo , I was only able to see the rainbow effect by violently shaking my head (something I tend to avoid doing whilst watching movies !!), so I guess it is fair to say ,by virtue of the way the picture is generated(colourwheel), there will always be a rainbow effect - just that the vast majority of us will not see it, certainly you are the first I have heard have a problem with this on the HT2OO, I know SIM worked very hard to resolve this specific problem when designing the projector.

    My fellow poster gave good advice in steering you to the AVSForum - you will find many interesting postings on DLP/LCD projectors and their relative merits.You can also read about the Panomorph anomorphic lens,which may be of interest to you should you decide on LCD/DLP.This would go someway to addressing some of the problems you found with the HT200.

    Anyway , the important thing is you have been encouraged to look further - I`m sure you will find something you can live with(I`m equally sure you will upgrade within 3 years - no matter what projector you select!!).

    By the way , statement of the obvious I know, but the quality of the source will have a great effect on what you see on the screen - where possible, try to get your demo with a DVD Player you intend to use at home. I`m sure you will want the finest picture possible, which will mean Pro-scan - it mqakes a BIG difference to those paying close attention to the details - and in my experience,few dealers are using them to demo their projectors.

    I`m not sure where you are based, but I can highly recommend OWL - Alan Roser and Chris Frost have both been known to wander through this forum, and are extremely knowledgeable about the HT200/250, and CRT projectors in general (I went down to their demo room in Uckfield - awesome !!, perfect light control,Pro scan Dvd feeds , and some of the finest Projectors on the market - I loved the HT200 it is perfect for me, but they also had a ceiling that looked like a scene from Star Trek - CRT Projectors of all sizes,pointing at differnt walls and different screens - I think even Charles would enjoy it down there !!).

    I also loved the Sony - but if you didn`t like the HT200, I can`t see you going for it - well worth a look though.

    Good luck on your journey - make sure you keep us in touch with your findings (not only on the Projector,but screen/dvd players/av kit etc) - fascinating stuff.

    Merry Xmas
     
  11. Chris Frost

    Chris Frost
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    Moderator,
    I am sensitive to your requirements to keep the forum commercial free. So I hope you will allow my response to ROne’s question; “Is front projection good enough from a standard definition source?” as I can point him in a direction that might answer his question.


    ROne,
    You've got a dilemma. Working with broadcast formats and viewing the pictures on 15" Grade 1 professional monitors is a tough act for consumer grade video to follow.

    However, if you have the budget (projector & screen around £15K) then you should make contact with Jeff Allen at Castle Sound & Vision in Nottingham. Ask him to show you the Newark installation. You might be surprised at how good standard definition video can look with a little help from good display equipment.

    Jeff and I worked together on the installation of a Seleco SVD800 CRT with a line tripler on to a 9ft screen. The cinema/games room is about 20ft x 40ft, the upper floor of a beautiful barn conversion. Sources are DVD, VHS, Satellite and PC.

    For this client budget wasn't an issue. He travelled the UK to evaluate lots of alternative projectors. All the big names were auditioned including some heavyweight contenders from America. I'm very pleased to say he chose our product.

    On the day of my visit he called in to check our progress. I offered to show a couple of clips from DVD as well as off-air TV and Satellite. About an hour later we had to prise him out of his chair so we could finish off the installation! I think he was pleased with the result.

    Contact Jeff Allen on 0115 928 4147.


    ------------------
    Chris Frost
    Regional Sales Manager-N.England & Scotland
    Owl Video Systems Ltd
    www.owl-video.co.uk
     
  12. ROne

    ROne
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    Chris,

    thanks for info, luckily I am local to newark and notts (I live in mansfield)
    so this is perfect.

    I hope I don't come across as elitist, I have just had my
    expectations trounced all the time with things like
    this.

    Regards.

    Tyrone.
     
  13. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
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    Note to Chris Frost - no problem with the post at all since you were up front about it and who you are. You're very welcome in the forum.
     
  14. Chris Frost

    Chris Frost
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    Thanks Spectre.

    Merry Christmas to all!

    ------------------
    Chris Frost
    Regional Sales Manager-N.England & Scotland
    Owl Video Systems Ltd
    www.owl-video.co.uk
     
  15. tiberious

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    Charles

    I am sure you know my comment was made with my tongue firmly in my cheek - I don`t think anyone here doubts your commitment to the cause !(lol !).

    Hope everyone has a great time over Christmas - see you all for some more jousting in the new year !
     
  16. charles

    charles
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    Tiberious,
    I adore the home cinema game and have trekked for miles to see a demo-many times-over the last 20 years-so i`m a little dissapointed you think that i`m ordinarilly the sort of person that wouldnt enjoy this!
    I must also make a statement and say(excepting the ellie)that i would buy the seleco ht200 tomorrow-if it was 3k-but i`d pay no more than that-because as i said in another thread,you are paying a heck of a premium for the newness of the technology,pretty case etc..

    The sony lcd pales in comparison to the seleco-but if portability is not an issue,any crt over 5/6k will-produce the most cinematic picture-my views on the ellie`s quality for 4 k are well known-but ellie or not,if you can -go the crt route...thats not to say that in 10 years time dlp might not be the route to go-i think it will-but not yet...
     
  17. charles

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    Merry xmas everybody from charles and ellie(only joking,,,)
    god bless..
     
  18. LV426

    LV426
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    ROne,

    Now I know where you are, you should get over to Picture Paradise in Lincoln, and get them to show you upstairs.......

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    You should not drink and bake.....
     

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