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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am considering the purchase of a front projector, although I would like to be able to watch tv and dvds with some ambient light. Clearly increased lumens will be able to counteract some of the ambient light, but how important is contrast ratio? For example, the Infocus 7200 is rated at 1000 lumens and 1400:1 contrast ratio. The Sanyo PLV-70 is rated at 2200 lumens but only 900:1 contrast. Is the Sanyo clearly better at battling ambient light due to increased lumens, or is the increased contrast ratio of Infocus a significant component of this equation as well? Is getting a front projector just a bad idea if I want to watch tv with some ambient light?


A second related question concerns screen choice. It sounds like the choice of screens can make a dramatic difference, although there seem to be different recommendations floating for which screens are best for dealing with ambient light. I have seen recommendations for low gain gray screens, and recommendations for high gain screens. It seems like there ought to be a pretty straightforward answer to this question.


Thanks in advance,

Kevin
 

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"...seems like there ought to be a pretty straightforward answer to this question"


:) I wish this was true.

First of all contrast ratio is only relevant in totally light controlled environments.

Even a 300:1 contrast ratio data projector at 1700 lumens would have more punch and perceived contrast than the far superior Infocus 7200 if the room was normally lit.

Therefore I would say brightness out weighs contrast specs in this situation.


Here are my observations based on a PLV-70 with a gray screen which may help.

Sunny day in a normal room, curtains open will give you a horrible washed out image period.

Control most of the daylight coming in and you can get good images with bright high contrasty video such as sports programs. DVD movies with any dark scenes will still suck big time.

In a light controlled room with downlights shining away from the screen you can have good reading conditions and a terrific movie/television experience.

I often watch sports or other TV programs with lights on (4x40watt halogen lamps). I sometimes watch movies with lights on but only if I am struggling to find the popcorn :)


How about I make it easy for you. Buy a PLV-70 and a gray screen and enjoy !!
 

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Your first post! Welcome to the forum!


And with the difference in price, get a great audio system to go with it... unless you have one already, in which case you can then add an extensive DVD collection...


I'm going to get Steve Smallcombe's SMART tweak sometime next year. His review has intrigued me. Might as well try to get the best picture, and I can hardly believe it can get better, but I'll trust the experts here. Let's just say you can sit back and enjoy the picture right out of the box...


BUT if blacks are your be all, end all criteria for a good picture, then 900:1 won't be enough for you. In other words, if black has to be there totally, absolutely black, and you'll give up more money, and brightness, and want to accept the other limitations of the other technologies, then the PLV-70 isn't for you. We can watch football with some daylight, but we enjoy movies in the dark, with just a small lamp on when we have guests. It's a wonderful picture and experience, every time I watch it, and it's the most I'd ever want to pay for a projector. YMMV.


Just keep reading, and get out and see a few projectors, at least two different technologies. Regular LCD can't be compared to LCD with MLA, especially with the 1366 X 768 pixel count, so try to find a Boxlight 13 or XP21N or another that has MLA, and that will help you see what is possible to reduce screen-door effect. It looks great to me. It would be really good for you to see a PLV-70. Where are you? Perhaps you are close enough to someone who has one. Let us know your location, and that may help.


It would be very nice if we could all get samples of full-size screens to try out before we bought one, then there'd be less discussion needed to decide on the best one. I think the PLV-70 is so versatile that we're getting recommendations across the spectrum. If you go with that projector, just decide which issue is more important, try to find someone with the screen you want, and take your pj over there to try it out! Yeah, well, it won't work for me, either, so I've just settled on what we have because I can't find fault with it ... yet. :D Oh, I remember my sales lady saying, when I was first asking about the Epson TW100, "You want a projector with a high contrast, better than 600:1, and you want more lumens. Those two specs are very important." When I called to order the PLV-70, she said, "We just got to see it, and I can't believe its picture. It's a tremendous projector. We are just blown away with it." (Okay, words to that effect!) No lectures about the contrast not being good enough that time! :) Read Evan Powell's review at projectorcentral.com, and read Steve Smallcombe's review. There are lots of happy owners, some who tweak, and some who don't. Good luck!


From one who has made the decision and is glad the process is over... and doesn't have buyer's remorse. :) )
 

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One can calculate contrast ratio based on ambient. I've measured it with my JVC G1000 and find that most of the time CR is determined by ambient.


If one does this, one finds that only cave bats give a damn about CR. In the presence of minimal ambient, i.e. 1-5 lux, ambient begins to dominate.


A projector with 2K lumens and >500:1 CR really makes a huge difference. This is the main reason for the popularity of the Sanyo PLV-70HT.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by Dawn
Your first post! Welcome to the forum!

Thanks! I appreciate the detailed response. This forum seems like a great way to get information in the absence of being able to actually see projectors side by side (among other benefits), which I am finding to be a bit of a challenge..


And with the difference in price, get a great audio system to go with it... unless you have one already, in which case you can then add an extensive DVD collection...


I'm going to get Steve Smallcombe's SMART tweak sometime next year. His review has intrigued me. Might as well try to get the best picture, and I can hardly believe it can get better, but I'll trust the experts here. Let's just say you can sit back and enjoy the picture right out of the box...


BUT if blacks are your be all, end all criteria for a good picture, then 900:1 won't be enough for you.

Blacks are not the be-all end-all for me. I was just curious as to whether CR in the projector would be a good way to combat ambient light. It sounds like lumens is more important.



In other words, if black has to be there totally, absolutely black, and you'll give up more money, and brightness, and want to accept the other limitations of the other technologies, then the PLV-70 isn't for you. We can watch football with some daylight, but we enjoy movies in the dark, with just a small lamp on when we have guests. It's a wonderful picture and experience, every time I watch it, and it's the most I'd ever want to pay for a projector. YMMV.


Just keep reading, and get out and see a few projectors, at least two different technologies. Regular LCD can't be compared to LCD with MLA, especially with the 1366 X 768 pixel count, so try to find a Boxlight 13 or XP21N or another that has MLA, and that will help you see what is possible to reduce screen-door effect. It looks great to me. It would be really good for you to see a PLV-70. Where are you? Perhaps you are close enough to someone who has one. Let us know your location, and that may help.

I am in the Seattle area. I actually did see a Boxlight 13HD at a local dealer, but I could not find anyone who could show me the 20HD other than Boxlight themselves. This is a bit of a haul for me and currently they only have a beta unit to display - they are selling all available units to paying customers. As for the 13HD, I noticed some screendoor, but the thing that bothered me the most was the so called "fixed pattern noise" effect. Does the Boxlight 20HD/PLV-70 still have that problem to the same degree as the 13HD? I don't need it to be perfect, but I thikn it would need to be better than the 13. On the other hand, I have experienced a significant amount of eye fatigue with all of the DLP projectors I have seen except for the Runco VX1000c which was spectacular (compared to the Sharp 9000 and Marantz VPS1), and brighter than the rest but 17K (no thanks). I saw the DWIN TV2 and it is closer to acceptable in that regard, but still wasn't really able to match the Runco in my admittedly novice opinion. I still experienced some eye fatigue and the picture seemed a little fuzzy, though the colors were great and all 3 sources (DSS, DVD, hidef) looked great. (Note this may be a little unfair as I didn't see these projectors side by side - and certainly didn't tweak them - though I did see most repeatedly on several occasions and at different dealers). I am eager to see the new Infocus to see how close it is to the Runco. The Runco seemed bright enough to me even with some ambient light in the display room.


It would be very nice if we could all get samples of full-size screens to try out before we bought one, then there'd be less discussion needed to decide on the best one. I think the PLV-70 is so versatile that we're getting recommendations across the spectrum. If you go with that projector, just decide which issue is more important, try to find someone with the screen you want, and take your pj over there to try it out! Yeah, well, it won't work for me, either, so I've just settled on what we have because I can't find fault with it ... yet. :D Oh, I remember my sales lady saying, when I was first asking about the Epson TW100, "You want a projector with a high contrast, better than 600:1, and you want more lumens. Those two specs are very important." When I called to order the PLV-70, she said, "We just got to see it, and I can't believe its picture. It's a tremendous projector. We are just blown away with it." (Okay, words to that effect!) No lectures about the contrast not being good enough that time! :) Read Evan Powell's review at projectorcentral.com, and read Steve Smallcombe's review. There are lots of happy owners, some who tweak, and some who don't. Good luck!


From one who has made the decision and is glad the process is over... and doesn't have buyer's remorse. :) )

It's great that you are so passionate about your choice. It is clear that there are quite a few satisifed customers of the plv-70 on this forum.



Thanks to everyone for the responses. I would like to see both projectors in action, optimally side by side. Unfortunately dealers for the Sanyo/Boxlight seem few and far between, at least in the Seattle area, and there probably isn't one that carries both the plv70/20HD and the infocus 7200 as well. Generally speaking, dealers for quite a few of the projectors on this forum seem hard to come by. I am also curious to see the sony hs10 when it comes out, and the JVC x21, both of which purportedly have more than 1000 lumens and similar resolutions, but so far I haven't found dealers for the sony or the jvc. I am finding the lack of "bricks and mortar" dealers to be a pretty big hurdle for buying a projector.


-Kevin
 
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