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I went, mostly just to demo projectors, to a local home theater store and came away disapointed. I was shown the Sony VW10HT that was hooked up to a Farjouda video processor which could not be taken out of the loop (the guy said $8k for the projector and $4k for the processor...you're high!!). I was disapointed that he could not show me the image as I would see it on my system as I am not going to be getting a Farjouda processor.


Also, he decided that I shouldn't even have a front projector system in my 12'x17' room because it wasn't big enough. He wanted to sell me a 73" Mitsubishi RPTV. :mad:


Someone make me feel better, please.


I did come away with the decision that I think I would like the LT150 better. I saw a few LCD's, the Sharp 9000 and a clone of the 150z and had no problem with rainbows on the DLPs, and hated the screendoor on the LCDs.
 

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Wow, sounds like my experience too. Upstate NY is not exacly the hot bed for HT shops. Either the few places that had units fell into 1 of 2 categories. Sony shop or will only order units and demo only after you order at more than MSRP.


Ugh... I just wat to demo a F&*^ DLP projector.. is that too much toask for?
 

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How typical is this story?

i had the exact same experience a little while after i bought my first rptv in Jan. after they rang up the purchase i causually drifted into their front projection room which also had a VW10ht hooked up. no scaler, just a hi-end pioneer progressive player.

At the time there was no way i could swing the $8k for this pj on my Sony charge card so i didn't really critically evaluate it. While i walked away wistfully appreciating the size of the picture. i was confident i was going to be happier with the quality of the picture on my new 53" much more.

long story short- i consider the LT150 a solid upgrade over both those and was considerably less than each. the thing that held back my enthusiasm over the Sony pj, i later found out to be its visible screendoor. it just looked too much like a digital picture blown up. the 150 isn't completely film-like, but its much closer, and i think its entirely within the realm of tweakability.

you're not going to find many Lt150s at Home Theater stores, so i'm really grateful to this forum for bringing me into the loop.
 

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I run into these salesman guys all the time and my response is always the same.


"If I want to watch TV i'll get the TV. But, I want a home theater, so either show me the Projector or show me the door"
 

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Yesterday I was in a local emporuim asking about high gain screens... the salesperson inquired what projector I had. I only managed to get the words" A couple of months ago Dell..." and volia The salesperson looks down his nose at me and says Oh a data projector... needless to say exit stage left for me!


Miles
 

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Read this forum for a few weeks and you'll know more about digital projectors than 90 percent of the salesman you meet in your local HT emporium. In fact, I even fantasized about starting a consulting business, which would involve me doning nothing more than reading this forum and then sitting down with local salesman on a periodic basis to educate them about what is really going on in this business, and what products are available, etc.


I thought of this idea when I went into one well-known store in my area that has supposedly very educated salesman. The guy showed me a Sharp FP and explained how digital projectors were really no good, even with no ambient light. He was right in this instance, but the thing was set up so bad it was funny. I have since seen this same projector set up elsewhere and it was night and day compared to what this guy was showing me. He then explained in response to my question that there were only two types of projector technology: CRT and LCD. He had never heard of DLP or DILA. He said unless I wanted to spend $50K for a CRT, the only way to get a decent picture for a HT was to buy a big RPTV. I've had similar experiences at many other HT shops. My favorite thing is to ask them a basic question about projector technology that virtually everyone on this forum could answer, and then enjoy the blank look on their face.
 

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The worst PJ store setup I have ever seen was at Fry's (a huge electronics store.) They had a Toshiba MT7 set on top of a TV projecting a bad composite TV signal onto a piece of white cardboard under bright flourecent lights. A friend with me looked at the picture and now thinks I'm wacko for wanting a projector :) . I'm hoping they will discount it heavily when it doesn't sell.
 

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This type of attitude seems prevelant in HT and high end audio. When I went to a huge home theater store in San Antonio to demo one of the only 12 channel surround set-up's, I found a similar response.


Although these guys seemed to be far more knowledgable than your typical Tweeters employee, they still let me know that my portable business projector was a poorer excuse than anything they would carry. Granted the $60K Runco with the $20K anamormorphic lens looked great, but when I asked for something under $5K, they too said I should get a RP.


Oh well
 

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The glass-half-full view on this is that it's a great thing to have A/V websites and forums like this.


Without all of this free information, advise, and honest opinions we would be at the mercy of uninformed salespeople.


I see generally two kinds of stores that sell FPTVs and RPTVs. Commodity stores that make their money off selling a lot of equipment with narrow margins, and specialty A/V shops where you get more knowledgable staff, but the profit margins are higher.


Commodity stores tend to have ill-informed staff, and poorly setup equipment, and the high-end stores have well setup HT demo rooms but the sales staff have little patience for people looking for a bargain.


The great part is that online you can find the information to put together a $$$ level HT for a reasonable price.


Life is good. :D


-Dean.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by bergie33


Also, he decided that I shouldn't even have a front projector system in my 12'x17' room because it wasn't big enough. He wanted to sell me a 73" Mitsubishi RPTV. :mad:


Someone make me feel better, please.
My room is going to be smaller than that (around 12'x13')... hey it ain't perfect but some of us have *wives* you know. :)


Trust me, if you want it bad enough you can make almost anything work, and this is place for ideas.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks, guys. I feel a LOT better. I will be ordering the LT150 tomorrow.


Oh, and Dean, I see you live in San Jose. I am sure you have been into Century Stereo. Well, that was the place. I do, however, recommend a visit to their store just for having fun. They have about 8 demo rooms, one of which is totally "accoustically correct" with 2 rows of theater seats and a $60,000 pj.
 

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Bergie33,


Yeah, the demo rooms are nicely done, and the salesmen are mixed. Some are pretty knowlegable and helpful, and a couple are outright snobby.


Interestingly, we had a HT demo tour about a year ago where a dozen of us HT enthusiasts toured Century Stereo and then went over to my place afterwards. The last theater we visited at Century was the big one with the Runco 1100 and matching scaler.


It looked pretty good, but the group said that my G15/ISCO/HTPC setup looked visibly better (happily at a fraction of the cost).


But I have to admit that the convergence on the Runco was off that day, and the screen size is only about 1/4 as big as mine, so it doesn't have the same wow factor.


I forget the name of the guy who showed us around, but he was pretty helpful and friendly.


-Dean.
 

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I am amazed that you have this treatment at your age. At 22, when I go to high end places after class, the disrepect I get from most sales staff at upper end AV stores is enraging. Then I get downright mean, and break out the questions that I know that they cannot answer. So, they disrepect me, I shame them infront of their employers.


As if they have the right to be snobby. When the know enough about the products they sell to stump me, then they can be snobby. Until then, they better have a smile on their face, and be willing to help anyone who comes into their store.


Some of the stores in T.O. no nothing about rainbows, DILA, HTPC..etc..etc...pitifull, considering how much they charge for the things they sell.
 

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The simple fact is that most of these sales people do not know much about the whole market with the exception of what they sell. You go into one of these stores and ask about a NEC LT150, and they'll immediately tell you it's a piece of junk, don't buy that, etc.... Yet I say go ahead and quiz them on it. Ask them something simple like "what is the resolution of the LCD panel on it?" I'll bet that not only will they either make something up or just plain not know, but they'll never catch onto the fact that it is a DLP and not an LCD. Mind games are fun with these guys! I for one, being in the business, am honest with people. If someone asks me to compare a couple of items and I haven't seen one of them, I will honestly tell them I can't give them an accurate comparison. It's an expensive hobbie to have and you don't need to get misinformed by a $$ hungry salesperson who really doesn't know what he's talking about!


Wow. That felt good! :)


Thanks!
 

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That Salesman is way off. My room is 13 X 20 and the relative small size of the room is the exact reason that I bought a front projector in the first place. My projector is mounted behing a rear wall and projects thru a small opening. I gained floor space by going with FP instead having a massive box sitting in the room. PS: That's part of how I pitched the idea to the wife as well.
 

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Bergie33


I agree with Paul. The argument about having a small room and RPTV is not making any sense. I also have a small leaving room. When I first start looking at a HT system I was looking to buy a 65" RPTV. I could not convince my self to get something so big in my little leaving room. With my calculation I was going to sit 3 to 4 feets closer to the screen with a RPTV than with a projector. Loosing 3 to 4 feet in length in your leaving room to put a ugly black box is to big of a lost in my book. Instead I bought a Viewsonic. It was less expensive I can get a bigger screen. But the best thing is that it's not ugly at all and my leaving room look bigger. In my mind a projector is the only real choice for a big screen image in a small room. Enjoy your NEC.


Bruno
 

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Smitty - your idea of providing training to sales people seems like a good one. The training they receive now is questionable.


A few months ago a "consultant" for one of the biggest "home theater" manufacturers started posting here at the Forum. He claimed he was an industry guru and trained all the dealers of this "high end product". He started out by insulting everyone here at the Forum by saying that if you have a "data" projector and not a "home theater" projector, you had a piece of *&%$.

He called our presentation projectors "PA Systems" and home theater projectors "hi-fi systems".


Many here pointed out that the manufacturer he consulted for was taking our "data projectors", making modifications, adding an outboard scaler and selling it as their "home theater" projector, (for thousands more of course). He refused to budge from his position.


I still subscribe to Stereophile Guide to Home Theater. (By the way the manufacturer this guy consults for is one of their biggest advertisers.)


So I was surprised to read in this months issue about how you can take a presentation projector, couple it with an HTPC, and end up with a picture that is as good as the "home theater" projectors that sell for three times the price.


Reed.
 

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I have the same problem with these shops that think they've got it all figured out and they're only there to tell the customer how little he actually knows... I actually worked for a high-end A/V store in college part-time and was always at odds with the sales manager because I took time to explain things to people in layman's terms. After a few months, though, he left me alone because I outsold the full-time salesmen most of the time... :)


I stopped by a semi high-end shop last week. They had a Sony 10HT set up (well, it was running anyhow) a few weeks before and I stopped by to take another look, as I'm getting to that point in my HT construction project and haven't quite decided on a projector yet...


They had replaced the 10HT with a Sharp 9000. I asked the guy what he thought of the Sharp vs. the Sony and his answer was: "No comparison. The Sharp has much more resolution. It's High-Definion and the Sony isn't." Needless to say, I had to let this guy know that the 10HT's resolution is even higher than that of the Sharp. He was arrogant to argue again that this wasn't the case. He said he was going to go get the manual and show me, but I told him not to bother.


After checking the (impressive) Sharp out for a while, I asked another salesman to price a 120" Stewart GrayHawk screen for me. Just a standard, fixed 120" GrayHawk. He went to his book and came back with $1850! I told him that's about 3X what I've been hearing people are paying and he didn't belive me. He said he wasn't allowed to move on Steward MSRP prices. When I asked him how many screens they sell there, he said "Well, we've never actually sold a screen here." I wonder why... (They've been there 2 years, btw...)


I decided after leaving that store last week that I'd never waste my time there again...


-Chris
 

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Since many of us ARE having bad experiences with retail HT stores, can I strongly suggest that we compensate those that HAVE helped us out??


Jason and the crew at AVS are very knowledgeable and have been very helpful to many of us. I suggest that we give AVS a strong advantage whenever we are shopping for something new. I think the knowledge that we have all gained is worth a few extra bucks if AVS is close in price to the competition.


I know that this website is not "free" to run and manage and we should help "pay" for this "free" service if we can.
 

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You are absolutely correct. The crew at AVS has been amazing, and sometimes altruistic in the market (ie. taking a hit for the rest of us, or helping another company even against their own stuff).


However :) I believe that if I had heard from Alan, David, or Jason or anyone else at AVS the stuff I have heard from my local AV retailers, they would lose all credibility :) :)

Luckily, this hasen't been the case.
 
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