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What-Hi Fi (Dec)

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by digisocialist, Dec 1, 2004.

  1. digisocialist

    digisocialist
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    Being as it is that my world has turned on it's head, now that the evil of vertical offset is challenging me and the sp4805 (my preffered PJ choice) may now be completely out of the running, I quickly jumped into this months What Hi-Fi? to look at my options.

    Of the PJ's listed (and I must stress not all front runners used by forum members are listed..so it's not a completely balanced view), DLP come on top!

    Of the 35 PJ's listed, 26 are DLP and 9 are LCD. Only one LCD get's 5 stars and that's the Hitachi TX100. 15 DLP's get 5 stars but of these, though I must stress only 7 of these are in the what I would consider to be the Budget catagory i.e. <2.5K. I must also stress that some of the popular LCD's are not listed e.g. Not one Panny, the Z3 is not in, no Sony either...

    Virtually the entire Screenplay Range get's lavished with 5 stars, which just rubs it in further for me. Themescene also do well on the H30 & 56 models (both 5 stars) but I have still to find out of it can lens shift or rather whether I can minimise the Vertical Offset margin.

    On a final note (and not entirely relevant to this thread) the Denon AVR-2805 is best in it's catagory test and the Denon 1910 does well, though considered average if DVI is not exploited. Great news for me as both are top of my AV list. The Castle Richmond 3i's also feature and do well with 4 stars (not quite tipping the Quad11L) but also good news for me as they are on my shortlist alongside their Compacts for my speaker package. :D

    Overall I feel I am now on the right track with my choices, though the issue with vertical offset has now completely foxed me :confused:
     
  2. windfall

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    Whats the chances that Infocus Sponsored the review with a xmas party contribution!
    Funny how more of the likely candidates were not there!

    Tone
     
  3. Nick_UK

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    What features were judged to get the star rating ?
     
  4. digisocialist

    digisocialist
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    tonetrainer... could have a point there!

    Nick UK.. I was just looking in the buying guide section, this wasn't a best in catagory super test thing like they sometimes do. The features they look at are:Aspect Ratio, Max Screen (in), Thrwo Ratio, Progressive (Pal & NTSC), RGB Scart, Composite, Component, S-Vid, DVI-D, HDMI, Weight.. and of course they list Cost & Type.
     
  5. Oakleyspatz

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    The thing with DLP and it's a pretty big thing, is that you can have beautiful contrast, superb resolution, fantastic colours and still have rainbows!!...This can ruin the whole experience and once you've seen them, you see them more and more. I cannot see how they can lavish 5 stars on so many DLP projectors when rainbows are a major fault with all but the very highest end of the market. I have a Screenplay 4805 which was reviewed by What Hi-FI as being the muts nuts and rainbows were not an issue. Well, for the first week or so of use, I saw none. Then I watched Van Helsing and saw loads and now every film I watch I keep catching glimpses and it is serverely distracting to say the least.
    This is a fine PJ, but the problem of rainbows goes against the whole technology of the lower end DLP market for me to warrant 5 stars in any review.
    If anyone is thinking of going DLP, then AUDITION, AUDITION AND AUDITION before parting with your hard earned thousands !!!
     
  6. rscott4563

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    Just thought I'd add that in Decembers HiFi News (a publication which I have much more faith in when it comes to reviews than most of the other AV/HiFi magazines out there) they have the Marantz VP-12S3 (£8000) as the best display device of 2004 and the Infocus Screenplay 5700 (£3000) as a runner up and editors choice...

    Ryan :smashin:
     
  7. rickyd

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    digisocialist
    I am in the same boat as you, i too want to ceiling mount the 4805, but this lense thingy problem has got me baffled, Just projectors online say that i can ceiling mount the pj and then tweak the keystone correction !! To be fare to them, they also said that if i bought it and i didnt like it once it is set up i could return it, so i might go for that.
    kinza
     
  8. digisocialist

    digisocialist
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    Kinza, that sounds like an offer I might explore when I near purchase date. I'm not sure what Keystone Correction actually does, but from some reviews I have read it appears that Lens Shift is what is required to irradicate the limitations caused by Vertical Offset.

    ...still waiting to find out if the H57 requires adjustment to accomodate the VO.

    I've demo'd the 4805 twice and rainbows have't been an 'issue' for me. I have a 3rd demo lined up for tomorrow. I want to start looking at LCD options but it seems the issues with LCD are reportedly far more common and borad than with DLP. Rainbows are always mentioned with DLP but very little else, with LCD however I read many types of problem (a no brianer to me). I do accept however, irrispective of the technology, there will be other issues to account for dependant on 'model'. The 4805 for example is native 4:3 and I really want to go 16:9, the VO and it's size are all downers I'm starting to open my eyes to. Other than the Hs50, which is reported to be as yet unavailable for demo, I've not yet heard of an LCD without some issue or another. I demo'd the Z2 a few weeks back and it simply didn't compare to the 4805 for PQ. Still, should I really have such high expectations of a sub 2K PJ?
     
  9. MikeK

    MikeK
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    The 4805 is native 16:9 (854x480) - it's predecessor, the 4800, is 4:3 (800x600) but they are different PJs despite the model name similarity (and use of the same case :) )

    As I posted in the 4805 article/review thread, the new NEC 510/410 models are the only budget DLPs with lens shift that I know of.

    Keystone alters the trapezoidal image distortion which occurs when you tilt the projector away from perpendicular to the screen (in order to alter the vertical offset)
    Most budget models only offer vertical keystone adjustment, but as you move up the price scale, some offer horizontal too (for use when the PJ is not at right angles to the screen) - in either case, for optimum image, it's probably best avoided unless absolutely necessary - that's where lens shift comes in.
     
  10. Louis Mazzini

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    Two words for you: Eyestrain & headaches. It's such a shame, for me, because whilst DLP can offer a fabulous picture, the whole technology (apart from three-chippers) is rendered useless by being too uncomfortable to watch.

    I believe that rainbows, whilst annoying, are NOT the main problem; they're a symptom of a bigger issue. I'd be interested to know how many people who are plagued by rainbows on all single chip machines also suffer from some level of discomfort caused, I assume,by the fundamental nature of the colour-wheel technology.

    "It's got a six-segment high-speed colour wheel, so rainbows won't be a problem!" the magazines cheerfully tell us. Don't believe it. Magazines' agendas are to sell product, and specifically product of manufacturers with whom they have "special relationships" (e.g. advertising space). I've not seen it but, from the description, this edition of What Hi-Fi is ludicrously biased and, frankly, misleading (as I believe they all are when it comes to DLP).

    As mentioned above, demo a DLP VERY extensively - and with your partner & kids - before buying. Hell, demo EVERYTHING rather than buying on a magazine's recommendation...
     
  11. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    The rainbow effect can be more pronounced for some people than for others. I have a Benq 6200, which is a fairly low-buget model which is supposed to have a colour wheel which rotates faster than the likes of the Infocus X1. However, I do see the effect to the extent that I'm sometimes aware that it's there, but it does not make me feel queasy, and it does not spoil my enjoyment of the movie. My wife has never seen the effect.

    Having said that, I would not like to use a PJ for everyday viewing. I have a 42" plasma for that. 80% of the progs on TV are not worth the 10-20p an hour that the lamp costs to run ! I will still get the PJ out for the occasional epic movie, though !
     
  12. Saxon

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    Just a comment as a freelance writer for HI-Fi News magazine that the notion that regular sweeteners are offered by manufacturers to magazine contributors is frankly untrue. The Infocus Screenplay range are frankly pretty unbeatable at their prospective price points at the moment.

    Until recently I was using an Infocus LP530 XGA 4x3 projector for home cinema and really loved it. Unfortunately it was damaged by my wife so I decided the time had come to change. When I looked at the marketplace two models stood out for me: NEC HT1100 and the Screenplay 5700. They offer similar quality presentations but the Screenplay is around £1000 cheaper retail so that's what I bought. My use of Screenplay projectors is because it was the best projector I could get at the price and certainly not because they offered inducements. I'm sure most reviewers would say the same. It's a significant investment but I'm delighted with it so far.

    If it was that easy to get free kit we'd all be using £50k systems!!

    Right I'm off to watch my Empire Strikes Back DVD on that wonderful screen!

    Jonathan Gorse
     
  13. rscott4563

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    HiFi News along with a very few others, is a lot more believeable and unbiased than some of the so called AV or HiFi magazines. Many reviews I've read in the best selling mags quite frankly astound me, they continually miss obvious points regarding the equipment they use and half the time I doubt they bother to calibrate their setups properly before use or spend any real period of time testing...

    Ryan
     
  14. DEANO-B

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    Most magazines (not all) around today review everything from DVD players to PJs, and to say that these people are experts is a joke! :laugh: Some reviewers, say for example home cinema choice, do go into technical detail about products to a certain degree, whilst others are downright disgraceful. Someone has mentioned 'backhanders' earlier in this thread, and I totally agree! (Well it's either that or they are very bad at their jobs).It seems amazing how reviewers fail to mention 'rainbows' on DLPs or 'VB' on LCD PJs. Surley if you do a proper unbiased review you would mention flaws in each sytem and use some sort of testing, such as the AVIA DVD!
     
  15. rscott4563

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    Totally agree.... :thumbsup:
     
  16. DEANO-B

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    Please read below my in depth review of the best projector of all time!!

    The machines we have to review are:-
    Panasonic AE100
    Panasonic AE200
    Panasonic AE300
    Panasonic AE500
    Panasonic AE700
    The old PJ from your school
    The old PJ your ma and pa used for holiday snaps

    After extensive :beer: :beer: :beer: research at the pub - err - in the office we have found that:-
    The picture on all Panny PJs are really good and there is no VB- not ever - no!! The end
    P.S. The others are crap!!

    If you would like to subscribe to my monthly reviews of stuff, please send £50 of your hard earned cah to www.I-Am-A-Complete_muppet.com OR you could do your research on the internet!!
     
  17. digisocialist

    digisocialist
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    Deano-B.. I'll bear your comments in mind should I need explore the LCD route. Today however I demo'd the 4805 for the 3rd time, this time with the wife in tow. No rainbows for either of us, great news :D , PQ simply get's better everytime I view and the guy in the shop near as damn it guarantee'd he could sort any issues with VO i.e. free installtion and if it's not what I want they take it away! Well, providing he doesn't forget this rather enticing offer following the x-mas party, I'll be taking up the offer in the new year.

    My wife remarked greatly on the superior PQ and she has seen 2 PJ's in action (owned by friend & family) both were LCD and one was a Panny. OK, I know both weren't set up as they should be, but for my wife to make such striking comments to me about any technology is a miracle in itself. To be honest, my wife's view is the most objective of all. She has no axe to grind, she's not emotive about these things, she has no previous experience of the AV world and therefore looks upon things as I would want, with virgin eyes.
     
  18. foghorn

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    Just a thought, what if the reviewer does not suffer from the rainbow effect?

    Foghorn
     
  19. Saxon

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    Foghorn,

    You make a good point re rainbows and I'm pleased to see that Hi-Fi News are regarded as offering reviews with integrity that assist the customer in making informed choices. I personally don't suffer from rainbows although the last LCD projectors I reviewed (Sanyo Z1 amongst them) did have a less cinematic quality and more artificial colour balance than DLP to my eyes. I realise of course that later LCD projectors have addressed much of this criticism, although for me DLP just looks more natural. Perhaps the most any reviewer can hope for is that because they probably see and hear more gear than the average enthusiast they have a broader range of experience of competing models. At the end of the day though it doesn't matter what a review says, if you prefer a particular product and it only got a three star review you should still buy it because it's right for you. It's the variety of opinion in hi-fi/AV that makes it such a fascinating hobby. I hope we never get to a point where there is a unanimous 'best buy' across the market because it will become dull then! I have quite animated discussions with several reviewers and industry types because of my love of Naim amps which some argue are coloured. To me though their amps sound more like live instruments than any others I have heard because of their speed, clarity and dynamics. Debate is a healthy thing.

    Best regards,

    Jonathan
     
  20. Bogeyed

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    Anyone still wondering what a proper Hi fi review should be should dig up a few Hi FI News or The Gramophone from the 1970s. Testing done with proper audio test equipment independtly of the manufacturers specs then backed up by informed comment. Must have cost a fortune in time and test gear but professional and believable.
     
  21. DEANO-B

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    Sorry SAXON but your comments seem biased towards these magazines. As you have stated earlier in this thread, you are a freelance journilast, and seem to be the only person on this thread backing bad reviewing. I agree that the reviewer may not see rainbows, but it doesn't mean they don't exist! (Stevie Wonder has never seen a dog, but ....you get the point! :laugh: ).
    Well said BOGEYED :thumbsup:
     
  22. Saxon

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    Deano-B,

    You're quite right in your assertion I am a journalist but I never ever defended bad reviewing! All I defended was the notion that hi-fi jouno's are the recipients of gear in return for good reviews. Certainly not on Hi-Fi News and not as far as I'm aware on other magazines either. I'm certainly not defending sloppy reviewing but I certainly don't want to bash our rival publications so ducked that one!

    Your Stevie Wonder point is well made. Whoever made the point about declining standards in reviews in all publications was right too. In the 70's reviewers frequently did it as a full time job which is practically impossible now because the rate per word hasn't changed in 20 years. Some journos I spoke to have indicated they can are forced to do 3 reviews in a day which is bound to affect quality.

    Regards,

    Jonathan
     
  23. DEANO-B

    DEANO-B
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    Thanks for the reply SAXON. It is concerning to see some magazines falling behind the standards though. I didn't know some reviewers had so little time to review equipment, and just hope that this will not be the downfall of AV magazines. It is nice to see journalists (like yourself) reading these very informative forums, and keeping ahead of technology in their field. Keep up the good work!

    Regards
    Deano
     
  24. Nick_UK

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    I stopped subscribing to Hi-Fi and PC magazines when the internet came into my life. Why settle for the opinion of one person that has had an item for a few hours, when you can have the opinions of lots of people that use items every day of their lives ? Quite frankly, some of the more niggling aspects of any product are often only found with continued use.

    Which? magazine is just as bad, because they are always looking for "value for money", and we all know that when dealing with anything electronic, a £2000 item is not twice as good as a £1000 item. That's why when Which? reviewed hi-fi systems, the cheapest were always the best :laugh:
     

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