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HDTV possible with SVGA projector?  

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
please forgive the rookie question, but i've just begun my search into projection systems for my HT. being somewhat short on space (i live in NYC), it seems that the best solution for me would be a LCD or DLP unit that takes little space and can be easily moved. the unit will be run by an HTPC that will also act as a scaler for LD and TV using dTV. i would like to incorporate HDTV via a HiPix or AccessTV card. now, looking into prices on projectors, i've noticed that a number of SVGA models can be had for the $1-2K range (which is all i can afford, as life in NYC is rather expensive)... including the occasional Davis DL450 (and clones). i have read that these particular units perform extremely well (and are even better when paired up with anamorphic lenses), but, due to my interest in HDTV, i am somewhat concerned by the lower resolution. if i were to purchase an SVGA unit, would HDTV be an option? if so, would my choice of formats (i.e. 540p, 720p, 1080i) be limited? i so, what formats could i hope for?
post #2 of 7
There are two issues: can you get it to sync up, and how does it look?

Many SVGA projectors have problems syncing to 480p/720p/1080i because they just weren't built to do it. If you are using an HTPC to scale to SVGA you may have better luck.

As to how it looks, you clearly are losing a lot of resolution. Factoring in the aspect ratio (i.e., you need to fit a 16x9 picture into the 4x3 screen), you only have about 18% of the resolution needed for full 1080i. XGA has about 28%.

Nevertheless, I find that HDTV on an SVGA projector looks very very good. I am running on an 8foot screen. I can see artifacts that I know would be better with more resolution, but it is still dazzling.

Bottom line: if you can get more resolution, do so. If not, you may still like the results.

Most important: try it!
post #3 of 7
The anamorphic lens idea is a good one. (I was a theatre projectionist in college so the concept seems natural enough.) The Panamorph is not available yet, and is the one I would probably be interested in eventually.

Two of my issues in system design are bang-per-buck, and matching of the components. At this point, I think that spending $1000+ on an anamorphic lens would not be sensible.

Since I detect a note of searching for a good value in your post, I would suggest that the Panamorph would not be a good investment for you. The one thing that is good about it is that the lens can presumably be reused with another 4X3 projector so there is a longevity factor here.

Finally, setup is the key. I have seen many systems containing excellent equipment that were not installed or configured very well and just didn't perform very well. Attention to this factor will repay you handsomely.
post #4 of 7
erliii,

The Panamorph will require a minimum throw distance of
1.65 times the screen width so won't be suitable for you.
Don't know about the ISCO though.

Bob


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~~The Sultan of Cheap~~
post #5 of 7
erlii,

Short answer, YES. I own a NEC LT-84 SVGA DLP projector and regularly display HDTV (1080i) using the RCA-DTC100. The projector will not do 720P though. The image quality is exceptional.

Hope this helps.

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Sergio R.
post #6 of 7
I'm in total agreement. HDTV with my Davis DLP was really
very good. Better than I expected it to be with
the limited display resolution.

If "short on space" also means you are not going to get too big
with your screen size then that's even better when using
an SVGA projector. The screen door will start to rear
it's ugly head pretty quick if you go too big with the image.

Bob Wood

------------------
~~The Sultan of Cheap~~
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
thank you both for the responses! from your comments, it sounds like it is definitely possible... since you both have managed to run HDTV on your SVGA projectors, may i ask if you have tried using an anamorphic lens (such as the ISCO)?

Bob,
yes, my limit in space will mean i won't have much of a throw distance (8-10' max), but that should still produce an image larger than what i can get from my RCA CinemaScreen... not to mention free up a lot of room (the RCA is a beast of a 16:9 direct-view).
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