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SD DVD material-How much pj is too much?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Sorry if the title is misleading but I have no desire to go BR and have 100's of SD DVDs. I use my current toy PT100 (20/50lm) pj in the office 10' away from the wall to project a 65" diagonal picture over my computer desk but plan on upgrading to a better pj sometime in the near future. I've been checking off and on for a few months but have been too busy with work,etc to close the deal lately.

My main question is when watching SD DVD material, is a 720p pj a waste of money? For the forseeable future, I'll probably stick with a 65-85" image (size depending on what I get).

For some time I've been considering the Acer K11 which would probably be bright enough since my office has heavy plantation window blinds and has a similar size picture as the PT100, but being the same resolution as my PT100 is it worth it? I ask because lately with SD material at 65", I don't know if it's the low lumens or what, but I find myself refocusing the pj constantly thinking it's out of focus or that my eyes are blurring but the lack of detail is bugging me. Is there a certain size that you shouldn't exceed with 480p material or is it just the PT100 itself?

I'm a little confused as the PT100 has a resolution of 800x600, or at least on par with SD. Would a 1024x768 or 720p pj help with upscaling the picture, is SD just not detailed enough for larger images or am I just nuts?
post #2 of 14
Will you be watching any HD sources on the new FP? If not, I'm not really sure if there's much point in upgrading. Sure, the newer unit should be brighter, have better contrast ratio, etc...but SD material just doesn't have enough resolution when you blow it up to the large image sizes. Personally I can't even watch SD material any more...but like most of the posters here my image size is over 100". Perhaps it would be more tolerable at 75"...but for me if it's not HD it's dead to me. lol
post #3 of 14
Niceguy, 2 things you need to do...

1. Replace projector: There are plenty of great quality projectors 720p and 1080p that start WELL below $1000.

2. Move up to HD material: I hear you on not wanting to go Blu-ray because of how large your DVD collection is but facts are DVD just does not have the resolution that your looking for anymore. Blu-ray players start at around $69 now and movies can be found starting at less than $5!! There's no good reason why not to go Blu-ray and replace your existing collection with their HD counterparts.

BTW... upscaling DVD players, devices, anything is not going to help. The lack of detail you're experiencing that is forcing you to try and focus your current pj is due to the lack of resolution in the DVD's themselves.

I too have a VERY LARGE collection of DVD. About 1000 movies to be exact!! My Blu-ray collection however is now growing very fast as I've been replacing the DVD's with the Blu-ray version. Just last month, I replaced 25 DVD's with Blu-ray for less than $100!!
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input and that raises one other question for me: I realize that you can't add what isn't there in making SD DVDs better looking but my 3 year old Panny Plasma 720p TV has done an excellent job in making SD DVDs look decent, watchable. It's not a 70" image, but still, could a 720p pj not do something similar to at least improve the pq?

I guess I can't help but think of when 480p pjs were still highly praised. Was the picture crappy then when all you had was SD material but people didn't care or notice since that's all they had?

And fwiw, I appreciate the input from you guys and am just looking for a little more feedback on this...

Thanks guys
post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by niceguy88 View Post

detail is bugging me..... is SD just not detailed enough for larger images

Pretty much this, and how much detail you can stand to be without. Blowing up SD content to large screens just isn't ideal. I just replaced an older HS20, 768p and it was ok, heck I kept it for over 6 yrs. Sitting 15' from a 126" screen, most SD material became hard to watch, especially after watching content in HD. My new 1080p Epson looks so much better with the extra pixels and the improved quality of color, blacks, etc.
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Yeah, and it's funny because I don't consider myself a videophile at all but even a few years back on at least a few films at the local Malco cinema, the motion judder and blurry images in a lot of scenes really bugged me. I don't know what type of pj Malcos use but I was a little surprised. Of course the large picture tends to suck you in and make you forget a little of that lol....

I mean, if there is zero way that a 720p pj (was considering the Acer 5360) will help/improve the pq and detail even some, then there's no point in going after it, at least for the near future. But if it could help even a little (ie upscaling), I'd be down for it...

And you're right, it comes down to how much you can stand undoubtedly but at this point, I'm going to stick with something that can handle and if possible, slightly improve SD DVD material...
post #7 of 14
I do consider myself a "videophile" (well as much as I can be based on available budgets). I also have well over 1500 DVDs in my library and occasionally even watch some of them. We have an 8-foot screen with an Optoma 1080p PJ shooting on it. Using a Blu-Ray player that upconverts (They all do), we get a very satisfying image from many of those DVDs. Not HD by any means, but certainly an improvement from 480p. Remember too, that the quality of the image you ultimately get is also determined by the quality of the source material. Some DVDs just look bad, others can be very good. In the end, an upgraded PJ and a BR player would be worth the investment if you can handle it. That said, I'd go for a 1080p PJ, no matter what.
post #8 of 14
I think it's one of those things that if you do start to watch 1080p stuff or higher def stuff , it is hard to go back to lower resolution stuff.
Like when color TV came out, it was hard to watch the news in black and white.
Or now that many people have hdtv's it's hard to watch on a tube TV low resolution.
I don't know how old you are, but do you REALLY want to be one of those guys that is stuck at OLD Tech Level.
I'm joking with you , a little, because I have lots of stuff still SD quality, but guy if you are gonna buy a NEW PJ, why would you get anything less that 1080p and Future proof yourself. Also, once in a while, wouldn't it be nice to watch sports or play 360 game in high def on Big Screen or wouldn't a romantic movie in high def with girlfriend be nice too. You know how guys are, bigger is better when it comes to screen sizes and football with the guys over is not as good in 480i.
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by niceguy88 View Post

Thanks for the input and that raises one other question for me: I realize that you can't add what isn't there in making SD DVDs better looking but my 3 year old Panny Plasma 720p TV has done an excellent job in making SD DVDs look decent, watchable. It's not a 70" image, but still, could a 720p pj not do something similar to at least improve the pq?

I guess I can't help but think of when 480p pjs were still highly praised. Was the picture crappy then when all you had was SD material but people didn't care or notice since that's all they had?

And fwiw, I appreciate the input from you guys and am just looking for a little more feedback on this...

Thanks guys

What's amazing to me is how your perception of what PQ is changes over time - and in particular - as technology changes. 10 years ago 720p and HD video was SOTA. 480i was pretty much the norm and everyone was shooting for 480p and DVI. 1080p was talked about in hushed circles as HDDVD and BD were still visions of the future. At the time, the PQ on my old Sim2 300e was considered pretty darned nice and the price for it reflected it. But now, when compared to some of the PJs and/or TVs that do 1080p for a fraction of the price of the Sim, it's no wonder that the definition of PQ is shifting.

But to answer your question as to whether we noticed the crappiness of the picture back then - I don't think we did. We were just as fussy about it then as we are now and all subject to the cutting edge of technology back then just as we are now. It was always pretty nice when compared to what was there before it - but not so nice when retro-viewed from what was yet to come. Here's a soon to be retro view for ya - Lord help us when OLED quad becomes common-place. We'll be possibly looking at 1080p LCD as old technology and asking ourselves "how did we ever put up with it?"

I like rgtaa's advise - why not get a 1080p PJ? - especially since it won't stop you from viewing SD sources. But it will also give you the freedom to go higher rez if you want to.
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by niceguy88 View Post

I guess I can't help but think of when 480p pjs were still highly praised. Was the picture crappy then when all you had was SD material but people didn't care or notice since that's all they had?

Yeah, I sometimes reflect on how happy I am with my 60hz TV, and yet based on the comments of some folks, how miserable I should be with it, lol. In terms of BD, it can provide technically a higher resolution (contingent on the source material). But there might be some disagreement on the value in terms of enjoyment factor. Since most of my material is DVD grade or below, and since my primary goal in AV is wide access to material, and content quality rather than technical quality, I have not made the jump yet to BD. If your current projector does not have a problem, and you are not interested in going BD, then maybe hold off for a while buying a new projector. Then perhaps if/when you are ready for BD, projectors will be even lower priced, and maybe finally a nice budget LED model (hoping).
post #11 of 14
I loved my Pioneer Plasma 1080i TV when I got it in 2005. But I bought my LED 240Hz, 1080p TV a few months ago and it makes me mad when I watch that old TV in the bedroom.
post #12 of 14
I'm not sure many of us are suggesting 1080p PJ for BR. Yes, BR looks awesome on 1080P PJ. The reason I suggest 1080p is because that is where the competition is and the BEST BANG for the buck. Also, 1080p gives the guy all the current options for viewing content. Think about it the 1080p PJ can play "black and white movies" and all old content as well as the newest content. Also, resell value is better than 720p or 800x600. Also, these PJ's could be used for business, school, patio, bedroom, den, living room to watch Sports, Porn, Gaming, TV, BR, DVD and everything else.
Why in the world would someone TODAY even think about 800x600 PJ to save a few hundred dollars.
post #13 of 14
There is plenty of 720p and 1080p content on Netflix streaming even, so if you can pay $10 month (or whatever it costs these days, I think I pay $18 for some reason), then you can benefit from an HD projector. Not to mention the PC and gaming will look like an utter blobby mess if you try to ever hook it up to your PJ on a NON-HD projector. There are so many reasons to at LEAST get 720p even if you are on a super-budget, but 1080p is the best option for many reasons.

As far as upscaled DVD's from the bluray, there are many factors in the end output. The main factor is (from my experience) the quality of the DVD itself. There are different levels of encoding or something on different DVD's (as well as how they were mastered). If the DVD is very cleanly originally filmed (probably better on films released on SD-DVD after 2009 since they were digitally filmed instead of analog cameras). I have seen a DVD look pretty decent with not too much ringing.

The main side effect to up-scaling IMHO (besides some loss of detail from loss of res) is the RINGING. You see it around text and causes a blurrier image. I have rented SD-DVD's at Redbox and BlockBuster when the bluray wasn't there in order to play on my 1080p projector.

The last one I rented was Episodes 16-20 of the TV Show Fringe on SD-DVD, they looked surprisingly decent without too much upscaled ringing. I also rented "Company Men" from Redbox and it was pretty bad, major ringing in the upscaling but it was bareable to me (just barely). I've heard a lumagen VP can reduce the ringing and scale it better (but that's a $1500 VP). I am not sure what bluray players scale the best.

In my experience, it's a shot in the dark depending on how it will look on what DVD to what projector and what setup:

1) Quality of the original SD-DVD (superbit, overall film quality, amount of noise, filmed in digital vs. analog, mastering type, aspect ratio, etc..)
2) The specific Bluray, VP, or up-scaling player (if you have the bluray doing the upscaling)
3) The specific projector (if you have the PJ doing the upscaling, but even if you don't the specific PJ still matters some)
4) The way you calibrate the HD projector for SD-DVD viewing (getting sharpness and NR and the color just right for SD).

That is about it I guess...
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the comments folks....I forgot to mention that I'm running this office pj setup through a desktop I built that still features an LG BR/HD (yeah, HD lol) combo DVD player so technically I do use a BR player . I've run the video settings both ways, using the PT100 pj settings and the now 4 year old EVGA 9500GT video card....
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