Out of date HT, looking for PJ upgrade experiances, advice? - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 5 Old 07-24-2009, 03:51 PM - Thread Starter
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I would first like to thank all members, particularly contributing members, for their input to this forum. I have been a member for many years and have gotten much information on many topics from review of this forum without the need to post.

I can add that I have scoured the net and this forum for the subject of this post and did not come away with the information I am looking for. If I missed it apologies in advance and can you please direct me to it.

The purpose of this post is ideally to get some insight from others with far more expertise and experience than I in this venue. I have been out of the loop for quite some time with respect to HT PJ's (see setup info below) and although I have done my homework on what is currently available I feel I lack the overall expertise to narrow the decision as to which PJ would fit my room layout best (see below for details). I am pleased with my current setup and due to my system's age I could use a complete overhaul (mostly audio for HDMI switching) and am very curious if others experience of upgrading from this era PJ to what the market currently offers has been a jaw dropping experience.

Current setup is a NEC LT240, 16x9, 96 dia. screen, 1.4 gain with component to VGA connection. Use is 100% HD material, 50/50 tv-sports/movies. Room is dedicated 11' x 12', white ceiling, walls and sofa (I know). 100% light control, ceiling mount only option, projector horz. centered on screen, vert. CL of lens 7.75" from ceiling, ceiling height 7.75', max distance from lens to screen 11' 2", seating eye approx. 10' from screen, 11.5" from ceiling to top of screen material.

This post is purposly targeted to this forum as I feel there are plenty of PJ's in this street price range that would work for me. I am not confused as to the available technology (lcd vs dlp) and am aware of the pro's and con's of each, except to the extent that others have had a much better experiance with either tech. based on the conditions I have to work with (throw distance, brightness, lens shift etc.). Nor do I have a feel for how far either tech. has come based on current opinions and reviews. Without trying to start a display type war this video adds to my confusion in the current market.



This is the best unbiased comparison I could find but I also realize it is potentially obsolete due to it's age (approx. 1 year). I have gone to dealers to look at PJ's but am truley intrested in unbiased end users opinions based on experiance with similar setups, issues and overall enjoyment away from the sales pressure and ideal/terrible setups of the showroom floor.

I am hopeful that you will share your experiances with me so that I might better understand that an upgrade from my current setup, will with PJ's currently available will blow me away and perhaps gain a consensous from those who have similar room layouts of which PJ has worked best.

Some addition info on my current setup. I am overall pleased with my setup but even watching in a totally darkened room it just doesn't seem bright enough more so on darker scenes, I suspect this has more to due with contrast then lumen output. This is where I need the most help in determing if an upgrade would even be worthwhile based on my room parameters. By spec the projector seems to have a bright enough output but I am not sure how much I am losing based on the 4:3 to 16:9 conversion. I have the projector set on economy, normal is brighter but not enough to offset the additional fan noise. For those familiar with this PJ I use the presentation mode as the other modes, although I can notice the warmth in color, just seems too dark (muddy?) in all programming to make it viewable. In order to fill the screen I have the PJ slightly tilted, virtually full wide angle (?), set to 5% overscan and have a fair amount of keystone (approx. 30% of limits ?) applied.

Sorry for such a long post just want to try and provide enough info to generate some responses and thanks in advance for any replies.
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post #2 of 5 Old 07-24-2009, 04:13 PM
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There are far too many PJ's that are an absolute upgrade to your NEC to simply toss out suggestions without first having an idea on your budget. Posting in this forum sort of suggests up to $3000 but we don't want to assume that is your target price point .

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post #3 of 5 Old 07-24-2009, 04:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Exactly, I realize that their are numerous projectors that have received excellent remarks from both "professional" and end user reviews up through the $3K price point, which I am totally comfortable with and ok granted maybe up to $3,500. I did not want to go into the list of usual suspects that commonly come up (epson, panny, mits, infocus, sanyo) those that have earned very high marks across nearly every applicable web site and forum. Rather I was hoping for some input like I have used 2 other older DLP projectors in the past but installed a Mits 6500 and was totally stunned at the difference in PQ and ease of setup and although I was concerned about dust smudges I have had no issues so far.

Also, I feel my room dimensions could severely limit the options available to me and admittedly do not know to what cost. I have used the projection calculators and it seems that most would not throw the image size within the parameters I have but if you read the users manual I would be within the minimum distance. I would rather not have to do the same configuring that I am currently doing and really was hoping to hear that a particular projector sets up fine in a similar sized space.
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post #4 of 5 Old 07-24-2009, 11:46 PM
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Since you have a 240k, I assume you want a projector that will last many years. If you can go up to 3500 then look for a new jvc rs10/rs1 on ebay.

2500 go with the epson 1080-ub

either of those will last you many years.

if you want a stop gap 720p projector until 1080p prices drop go with the panasonic ax200 or optoma hd65 if it fits your room.
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post #5 of 5 Old 07-25-2009, 03:49 PM
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I had the NEC HT1000 for 3 years (which as you might know was very close to the 240), that I upgraded in 2006 for a Sony VW50 (white Pearl). Just about no contest. There was only one aspect of the entire experience (not just the image, but the 'experience') where the NEC performed better. I had a list of issues with the HT1K I wanted to address with any upgrade
-operational noise
-16:9 native
-higher resolution
-better contrast (or at least on/off contrast)
-more inputs
etc
and Pearl resolved all of them-although it introduced a problem that I never had on the DLPs which was uniformity- specifically white/grey field uniformity.

But if all you want to know is, is it worth it, will you notice a difference- the answer is yes. Absolutely. As far as ANSI contrast, I don't think I gained anything going from the NEC to the Sony, but on/off was a whole other story, and going from XGA to 1080p was a HUGE benefit. Even just for going from a 4:3 to a 16:9 native image, it was worth it. Throw in silent operation (and I mean SILENT), power zoom/focus/, a better array of connections. It was as substantial an upgrade as I'll probably ever experience. From here on out, it will just be refinements- a little better in this area, maybe a little weaker in another.
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