The OFFICIAL BenQ 8700+ thread. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 953 Old 10-16-2004, 08:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello guys,

Apparently there isn't an "Official BenQ 8700+" (or 8700 for that matter) thread yet like there is for the Optoma H77, Optoma H30, Infocus 4805...etc. I think it would be a great idea to have one chief thread to visit for all 8700+/8700 questions/info/comments. So hopefully we'll all start posting them here. Screenshots included...

Thanks guys!!
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post #2 of 953 Old 10-16-2004, 02:35 PM
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Great idea. how do we start one?
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post #3 of 953 Old 10-16-2004, 05:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:


Originally posted by clubfoot
Great idea. how do we start one?

Heh! Wait for people to start posting messages? I'm sure when some one does a search for the "BenQ 8700+" (or 8700) they'll run across this thread. It only makes sense to group all related question/comments/info in this one thread.

Do you own a 8700+ ?

Brampton huh....heh...
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post #4 of 953 Old 10-16-2004, 05:23 PM
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| love my 8700. All the other threads from January until now have solved all the problems I have had. What a thread. I love the projector for the money.

DaViD, Carl Holt, etc...
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post #5 of 953 Old 10-16-2004, 08:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:


Originally posted by MrRob
| love my 8700. All the other threads from January until now have solved all the problems I have had. What a thread. I love the projector for the money.

DaViD, Carl Holt, etc...

Hello MrRob,

Good to hear! How long has it been since your problems were solved? And everything's been honky dory since?

OuBthisSN,

What's up with your comment/attitude? "yeah, this thread is dumb..."?? While I agree that there should have been such a thread long ago when the 8700+ was released...the fact is there wasn't...so now that we have one why not support it? Having such a thread created can only be beneficial IMHO. How about inputing something useful and positive in the future instead of this negativity? AVS is a place for people to learn and ask questions in a friendly and open maner.

If only we could consolidate all the other 8700/8700+ threads as was done for another projector. Ideas any one?

Lighten up OuBthisSN!
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post #6 of 953 Old 10-17-2004, 12:30 AM
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It may be dumb that this thread was not started when the 8700 was first released, but that does not make this thread dumb.

I just purchased the 8700+, which makes this thread a welcome addition.

Thanks
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post #7 of 953 Old 10-17-2004, 07:10 AM
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I'm also awaiting my 8700 next week to replace my old XGA DLP unit. I've been searching and searching - I still think it's ok to start this thread for us new users. My questions are for now:

1. How is the 8700 with a qualityscreen greyline (2.14m=84" screen width). Is the unit bright enough ?

2. Is dithering a problem (my old XGA is terrible) ?

3. How is the Denon 3910 with DVI compared to as good HTPC with DVI and TheaterTek ?

4. Does the 8700 create "hot spotting" on a firehawk screen (Is firehawk a good choice).

/ Thanks
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post #8 of 953 Old 10-17-2004, 07:31 AM
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thank goodness there wasn't an "official 8700" thread.

have you tried to navigate and/or find anything in one of those official posts with 3500 posting... they are a disaster in my opinion, like a book without a table of contents or index.
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post #9 of 953 Old 10-17-2004, 08:20 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by hli
I'm also awaiting my 8700 next week to replace my old XGA DLP unit. I've been searching and searching - I still think it's ok to start this thread for us new users. My questions are for now:

1. How is the 8700 with a qualityscreen greyline (2.14m=84" screen width). Is the unit bright enough ?

2. Is dithering a problem (my old XGA is terrible) ?

3. How is the Denon 3910 with DVI compared to as good HTPC with DVI and TheaterTek ?

4. Does the 8700 create "hot spotting" on a firehawk screen (Is firehawk a good choice).

/ Thanks

1. Yes it is bright enough even to 100" wide in a light-controlled room.
2. Very little dithering
3. Probably better or similar in PQ and more reliable than HTPC
4. The FireHawk has some hotspotting but the output of the 8700 isn't as bright as some short-throw LCD PJ's where this could be an issue.

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post #10 of 953 Old 10-17-2004, 09:42 AM
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Hey great thread! I just got a 8700+ in and I am trying to configure it. So far the picture is pretty good!

However, this unit is replacing a NEC XG85 CRT so I am really worried about one thing....black levels. I never realized how great CRT black levels were until I got this unit in. And yes, I know that NOTHING will touch a CRT black right now for any price (except another CRT). But the best I can manage with my AVIA adjustments on the projetor is a very dark grey.

My question is what are people doing with their 8700's to increase perceived black levels. I am projecting onto a Carada 120" brilliant white screen (1.3 gain) in a completely light controlled theater. Are people using grey screens? How about ND filters on the lenses.

Also, is DLP still ahead of the LCD's in the black level department...I hear great things about the Panasonic 700 and the HS-51.

Thanks,
-Alex-
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post #11 of 953 Old 10-17-2004, 10:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey guys!

Would just like to thank everyone for posting quetions/answers and comments (qxlxp too). Nice to see that there are people that can appreciate such a thread. I do. Even if there is no "table of contents".

Keep on posting!
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post #12 of 953 Old 10-17-2004, 11:11 AM
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[quote]Originally posted by bairda
[b]Hey great thread! I just got a 8700+ in and I am trying to configure it. So far the picture is pretty good!

Also, is DLP still ahead of the LCD's in the black level department...I hear great things about the Panasonic 700 and the HS-51.
QUOTE]

Although LCD is coming along quite well, I don't think they would yet match the contrast possible on the 8700+ or similar DLPs. I was at a friends last night who owns a Panny 500. Although contrast/black level on that unit is quite good for LCD, it is very noticeably worse than my 8700+. My wife commented to me several times that the dark areas were noticeably gray compared to our setup. I have also seen the Epson 500 and its black level, although even better than the Panny 500 (I would guess comparable to or slightly worse than the Panny 700 in a calibrated environment), wasn't anywhere near as good as the 8700+.

Keep in mind that the Panny 700 is spec'd at 2000:1 and probably won't actually reach that in a properly calibrated environment. I just read a review in the other thread that in Cinema mode (which is recommended for various reasons including color) the 700 gets to 950:1. I have seen reviews of the 8700+ that measure a calibrated contrast over 2200:1.

Gray screens are great for increasing contrast but the two I have seen personally seem to cause problems with color to my eyes. I think that a white screen with some gain (like your 1.3) is probably close to ideal.
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post #13 of 953 Old 10-17-2004, 12:42 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by bairda
Hey great thread! I just got a 8700+ in and I am trying to configure it. So far the picture is pretty good!

However, this unit is replacing a NEC XG85 CRT so I am really worried about one thing....black levels. I never realized how great CRT black levels were until I got this unit in. And yes, I know that NOTHING will touch a CRT black right now for any price (except another CRT). But the best I can manage with my AVIA adjustments on the projetor is a very dark grey.

I think you'd appreciate an ISF calibration for the 8700 coming from a CRT reference point. I know that the 8700 I have didn't have enough range with the user picture level settings for HD Component Video. Plus the gray scale does need some help as well.

I'd definitely invest in DVI source devices too, the 8700 likes them better.

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post #14 of 953 Old 10-17-2004, 12:50 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by Jim Noyd
1. Yes it is bright enough even to 100" wide in a light-controlled room.
2. Very little dithering
3. Probably better or similar in PQ and more reliable than HTPC
4. The FireHawk has some hotspotting but the output of the 8700 isn't as bright as some short-throw LCD PJ's where this could be an issue.

Thanks Jim.

I used to put a ND filter on my old DLP (600:1 Contrast, 1100 lumen), But after I got my grey screen it was just to dark, so I removed the filter. If I was to re-buy I would probably get some good white screen and then use filters for optimizing the black level. Which leads me to a new question: Has anyone use an ND filter on their 8700 ??.

/ HLI
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post #15 of 953 Old 10-17-2004, 12:55 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by hli
Thanks Jim.

I used to put a ND filter on my old DLP (600:1 Contrast, 1100 lumen), But after I got my grey screen it was just to dark, so I removed the filter. If I was to re-buy I would probably get some good white screen and then use filters for optimizing the black level. Which leads me to a new question: Has anyone use an ND filter on their 8700 ??.

Not with a gray screen. It will have rich dark blacks. The single chip DLP's want more light output help more than they need for better black levels IMO.

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post #16 of 953 Old 10-17-2004, 07:54 PM
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As far as black levels go, try setting brightness under "DLP" in the service menu to -2 after you have set it using DVE or AVIA. THX Optimizer is very good for setting contrast on this projector, as it shows crushed whites very easily.
As far as screen size I use an 106" Da-Lite Cinema Contour 1.3 gain and PQ is great!
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post #17 of 953 Old 10-17-2004, 08:25 PM
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It's true the search function can be frustrating. I'll list three threads that might be useful.

A couple of cautionary statements are warranted. First, specific numbers given for settings may not apply to your particular setup. Second, you do need a calibration setup to do a lot of what's described.

Here's a thread about the service menu:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...ight=drapp1952

And another thread about calibration with ColorFacts using AVIA as source:

http://archive2.avsforum.com/avs-vb/...ight=drapp1952

This thread describes the option of attempting to squeeze more contrast and improve black level using a CC20R or HOYA FLD filter to take advantage of gain riding on the 8700, and check out the threads I refer to in the first post of that thread. This can be considered where the picture is already quite bright as with a smaller screen and/or with a high gain screen (BTW, one might consider a CC10R for lower gain screen, larger picture, or older bulbs):

http://archive2.avsforum.com/avs-vb/...ight=drapp1952


Dan
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post #18 of 953 Old 10-18-2004, 08:44 AM
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Thanks for all the help and links. I changed the settings for the projector via the service menu per the discussed colorfacts settings and this improved the picture by a magnitude of degree.

I am debating whether to try the ND filters that some have tried. I get the feeling that the improvements with these filters are modest at best. Anyone else what to elaborate on their experience with filters and the 8700?

Thanks,
-Alex-
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post #19 of 953 Old 10-18-2004, 09:30 AM
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Check this out.

Using a CC10R or CC20R or a Hoya FLD will allow you to increase blue and green output, resulting in greater dynamic range. Contrast ratio and black level are improved, to some degree. Whether these improvements are worth the hit in brightness is likely due to how much brightness you've got to spare now. I found the incremental improvements in black level and CR worth it with a bright, new bulb. But, I have a 104" wide picture and as the bulb dimmed the brightness dropped to an unacceptable point so I removed the Hoya FLD I was using and recalibrated. I might experiment with a CC10R that could serve as a compromise filter now that my bulb is dimming more slowly.

Dan
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post #20 of 953 Old 10-18-2004, 09:31 AM
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Hello all. Great thread.

This is a great projector (especially for the price) and I guess I'll throw in my two cents about set up, based on my experiences both before and after an ISF calibration.

Screen- I would not, in any situation with a screen over 80" (which is probably all of us) get a grey screen. This is not a bright projector, once properly calibrated. The white screen is essential. For instance, on a 92" DaLite CinemaVision (1.3 white) the BenQ creates an image with 10.5-12 ft. lamberts, which is about right for a home theater, but could never be called very bright. This is, I remind you, at about 100 hours. Near the end of the bulb life, you might be looking at 8. Grey is a no no.

ND filters-With proper calibration, absolutly unnecessary.

Blacks- When I first set up my BenQ, I did a thourough AVIA and THX calibration, which by this time I have become very suffienct with. The picture was noticably improved from pre-calibration, however, the blacks still left much to be desired. I then had my ISF calibrator come out and spend a day with the projector, and now it is very hard to find any problems with the image. The blacks are so much richer and the dynamic range is just awesome. There is simply no way to self calibrate a unit without the proper equipment.

Anyway, I'm really enjoying mine, and good luck to everyone else!
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post #21 of 953 Old 10-18-2004, 11:50 AM
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Hey Grant

Glad to hear your happy with your 8700. who did you get to calibrate it, what did it cost you. could you supply me with this info as i have close to 200 hours on mine now and about ready to have it calibrated.

muncey
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post #22 of 953 Old 10-18-2004, 12:09 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by GrantMeThePower
Hello all. Great thread.......
... I then had my ISF calibrator come out and spend a day with the projector... There is simply no way to self calibrate a unit without the proper equipment....

Thanks, interesting. I have the DVE DVD and it's not trivial to use it. Anyways, I'll give it a try. An ISF calibrator a full day !! - here in EU (if possible) would cost you the same as a decent DVD player :-). I'm looking forward to see the 8700 combined with my Denon 3910 + DVI and qualityscreen greyline. I'm not using my pj that much. My 3 year old DLP has less than 350 hours. I hope my 8700 will stay bright until next generation arrives.

/ Regards
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post #23 of 953 Old 10-18-2004, 02:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello guys,

Thanks again for the good posts!

My question to you is...I was told that it is "common" (10% of the time)...for bulbs to explode at the 200 hrs mark. Have any of you experienced that? Heard of freinds to whom that has happened to?
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post #24 of 953 Old 10-18-2004, 05:25 PM
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Haven't read about it here.

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post #25 of 953 Old 10-18-2004, 09:23 PM
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Installed my 8700+ today. I had a string of bad luck with my 8700, enough so that this time it was replaced with the newer model instead of trying to repair the original unit. Long story that I will not go into now. I would not say the problems I have had are indicative of the projector. I just seem to be a magnet for Murphy's Law.

I spent a couple of hours setting the unit up and establishing my color settings using DVE and the Gamma setting found in a different thread. After the first 15 minutes the picture cut out and the lamp LED started flashing. Three flashes, pause, then three more. I called customer service and they suggested sending in the unit again. This time I pushed a little harder and the tech suggested that I turn everything off, remove and reset the lamp. This seemed to do the trick. BenQ's support is second to none so I was glad to find out that there was something I could try before deciding to send the unit back.

I am in the unique position though that I can compare the 8700 to the 8700+. First the most obvious, the unit comes in a new box and has a glossy color brochure that includes pictures instead of drawings. If you compare the old and new manual you'll find that the layout is basically the same and that there may be 6 to 10 words that are different.

The projector case is the same. Enough so that unless you read the fine print on the sticker on the back there is no difference. Which is good since it did not occur to me that there could be some minor change in the case that would require a different mount. My existing mount worked just fine.

The 8700+ supports 526p, operates are 300 MHz, has the HD2+ chip, and a higher contract ratio. Accessing the service menu is the same and all the menus look the same.

Once I had the unit set up I put in some sample movies and noticed a slight improvement in the picture quality. My wife said that she did not see motion artifacts. She must be more sensitive to motion artifacts than I am because I have never seen them. She commented tonight that she was not really aware of the artifacts before until she noticed the lack of them on the upgraded unit.

The new unit has the 1.07 firmware. (There is another thread that says it is only available on the new units from the factory so do not even try to find it for download. It is not available.) IMO it appears that the newer firmware does at least two things. First the fan speed is a little higher than the speed of the old unit. It is still quiet but not as quiet as a unit with the 1.04 firmware. My 8700 still changed fan speed if the room got real warm even with the upgraded firmware. It did not cycle on and off like it did before the upgrade but it did change speeds. I did not notice louder fan off hand. My wife pointed it out. For some reason she seems keyed into these things. Once she pointed it out though I do have to agreed that it is a little louder. Maybe 1 or 2 db.

The only other thing that I can tell is different with the 1.07 firmware is that the grid pattern stays on until you turn it off. This was always a little nuisance with my 8700. On my 8700 the grid only stayed on for a few seconds. It never seemed to stay on long enough for me to properly adjust the unit to the screen size.

I guess there is one other item, it handles progressive component inputs better. I have two DVD players hooked up to the projector and will have an HD DirecTV tuner hooked up in the near future. My primary DVD player is a Bravo D1. The picture quality is still amazing if not a little better than before. The second unit is a Pioner Ellette 45A with progressive scan component video out. I primarily use this unit to play DVD-A and SACD. It also handles the non-anamorphic DVD's better than the D1. The 8700+ appears to handle the progressive input better than the 8700. I noticed this improvement right a way. Right after I found that the batteries in the Pioneer's remote had died. This improvement might be from the added ability to receive a native 526p signal, which I think is what the Pioneer unit puts out. At least that is what the 8700+ says on the screen when the unit is switched on.

No screen shots available and in reality would not show anything due to the limitations of digital photography and the size limit that can be posted.

First impression is that the 8700+ is an improvement over the 8700. I would not say it is enough of an improvement to justify upgrading from one to the other. It is enough of an improvement that you do see the difference.

More later once HD D* is up and running.

Carl

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post #26 of 953 Old 10-19-2004, 07:49 AM
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Thanks for the update Carl. What HDMI/DVI switch are you buying when you add the DirecTV HD PVR? I think it has HDMI out. You can convert the HDMI to DVI with an Ultralink adapter.

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post #27 of 953 Old 10-19-2004, 09:23 AM
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I'm actually going with just the HD D* receiver w/o the DVR. could no justify the cost. Also, I don't really want to use the projector as a day to day tv. 2000 hours can add up pretty quick with daily viewing. an HD DVR would only encourage that use. My intent was to only use for high interest programs.

The receiver I have is the Samsung SIR-TS360, which has a DVI output. I was hoping for suggestions on a DVI switch. For now I have the unit connected through my Denon 3801 receiver. The Denon has two component inputs, one from the Samy and one from the Pioneer DVD player. It will output the selected source to the projector.

From reading other threads I gather there are two or three type of switches available: manual, manual w/remote, and fully automatic. The manual unit requires the user to push a button on the from to select the source. The manual w/remote is the same expect you can use a remote control. The fully automatic detects which input source has an active signal then sends that signal to the projector. I am sure there are loss of signal issues with all of them.

Any suggestions on a decent unit that will not break the bank? I'll check out ultralink and the unit in the Power Buy too. (Power buy may be over by now.)

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post #28 of 953 Old 10-19-2004, 09:27 AM
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You may want to check these out, I just received this release this morning-
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Gefen Upgrades its DVI Solutions for New Generation of DVI and HDMI Standards, Offers Less Expensive DVI-Only Computer Solutions

WOODLAND HILLS, CA -- October 19, 2004 -- To accommodate the evolution taking place within the technology based on DVI and HDMI standards, and more clearly differentiate products designed for HDTV environments (using DVI and HDMI) versus computer systems (using DVI only), Gefen has released several changes to its DVI and HDMI switchers and splitters.

Essentially, Gefen re-engineered its HDTV Switcher, 4x1 HDTV Switcher and HDTV Splitter products to address connection issues between new DVD players and set-top boxes with DVI or HDMI ports and HDTV displays with HDMI inputs. The resulting new products are the HDMI Switcher, the 4x1 HDMI Switcher and the 1:2 HDMI Splitter, each equipped with more sophisticated electronics to best handle the HDCP (high bandwidth digital content protection) and HDMI compliances.

The original HDTV switchers and splitters have been repurposed as less expensive DVI solutions for computer systems. These products, the Mini DVI Switcher, the 4x1 DVI Switcher and the Mini DVI Splitter, solve common computer connectivity problems while supporting DVI standards to the highest resolutions. All of Gefen's reengineered DVI products offer compatibility and interoperability among the computer and display components currently being manufactured.

"It's a natural progression as DVI is currently used primarily in the computer display industry, while HDMI is rapidly gaining momentum in the consumer-based HDTV arena," explained Hagai Gefen, president, Gefen Inc.

HDMI is smaller, backwards compatible with digital and analog interfaces and includes digital audio with the video in the same cable. For HDTV systems that use DVI or HDMI ports, Gefens HDMI switchers and splitters are all fully HDCP compliant and support both DVI and HDMI standards, resulting in a product line that provides greater flexibility among electronics equipment in home theaters or any HDTV system.

Additional DVI products Gefen offers include the DVI Repeater, 2x2 DVI Switcher, 4x4 DVI Matrix and the 4x1 DVI/ADC Switcher, all accommodating DVI plus USB and analog audio as well as being rackmountable. For detailed information on Gefen's upgraded DVI and new HDMI solutions, visit www.gefen.com.

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About Gefen Inc:

Gefen provides computer and electronics connectivity solutions through its ex-tend-it Professional Series, offering multi-platform extension, switching, distribution and conversion technologies. Gefens new HDTV solutions split, switch, convert and extend high definition digital video at its highest resolutions. SDI, HD-SDI, HDMI, fiber optics, DVI, Dual-Link DVI, CAT5 and similar solutions are also available through Gefen as well as a variety of cabling.

For more information:

Linda Morgan
818-889-3970
linda@gefen.com

-Jim Noyd
Noyd Communications Inc.
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post #29 of 953 Old 10-19-2004, 12:02 PM
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I am using a Bravo D2 DVD player. When using the 8700+'s DVI input, will the user controls like brightness and contrast be adjustable? I know some projectors don't allow adjustment of these controls when using the DVI input?

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My equipment: JVC RS55 for 2D, BenQ W7000 for 3D, Carada 40x117 2.925:1 AR BW Criterion screen, Navatar .8 HD conversion lens, Darbee Darblet, region free Oppo BP93, Toshiba HD-A35 HD-DVD, JVC HD-DH5U D-Theater, Mitsubishi HS-HD 20000 DVHS, Pioneer CLD-97 LD player/AC-3 mod, B&K AC3 Demodulator
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post #30 of 953 Old 10-19-2004, 12:05 PM
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The 8700's have contrast, brightness, sharpness and color level controls on DVI. The Bravo D2 and 8700 combo is a very popular combo here on AVS.

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Reply Digital Hi-End Projectors - $3,000+ USD MSRP

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