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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone


I'm new to the forum. I'm looking to get a used crt projector as my first projector and have noticed there's quite a few on Ebay. Does anyone have any opinions on the Barco 1208. I have a small room (around 20' depth) with quite a bit of ambient light. I watch mostly widescreen dvd's, and would like to project the image on a 16x9 screen about 56"x96"


Thanks in advance.
 

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I love my 1208 projector. But I would be a little concerned about the ambient light. I run mine in a basement theater with one window and I have to cover that window pretty carefully during the day. (A good set of drapes works fine.)


The picture is still watchable with some ambient light, but patterns of light on the screen are very distracting to me.
 

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Welcome to the forum!


The 1208 is one of the brigher CRT projectors out there at 1250 peak lumens. It is certainly usable on the screen size you are looking at.


I have a 1208/2 that I like a great deal. It is bright, sharp and not overly difficult to set up, it has its quirks, namely the requirement for negative sync when using port 5 RGB connections.


ANY front projection system will be hard pressed to produce a good image with much ambient light at all. Even a bit really kills the contrast ratio. If you can improve the light control in your room, you will be much more satisfied with your picture quality.
 

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My room is 30' x 15'. I am using a 92x52 (16:9) screen. I have 3 large windows with blackout at the windows. I live in the NW and it's light until 9PM already. My 1208 does fine. It does better when it's all dark but I am very pleased with my picture with this light control.

Though these numbers are relative indicators:

Brightness (black level) 38

Contrast (peak white) 45

I attempting to show I am not driving the projector to the max for my image.

I think all agree, the better light control the better the picture. I use Greek style blinds (cloth blinds that fold made of black cloth with an outer rail) and drapery at the windows pulled over the blinds to block the evil daylight.

Lastly, I am having an affair with 1208. It's true love. It's stable, centered (converged), and giving. Everything I look for in a mate.

Enough. . .
 

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I have a Barco 1208 in a completely light controlled room. It is difficult to see your hand in front of your face when the lights are turned off and at that point they are visible only because of the light given off by the pilot lights on the Cable TV box and other equipment. (I'd like to cover them, but then is is more difficult to tune the cable box)


I too am concerned about the high level of ambient light you described.


Think of it this way, the blackest black your projector can produce on your screen is when it is producing NO output at all (in other words, all CRTs turned off) You can simulate this "black-level" by not using ANY projector at all, or turning yours off if you do have one.


Now, take a look at your screen in the daytime, with no projector shining on it. Can you see the screen? If so, what color is it? Now... That is, for all intents and purposes, your "black" color.


If you see a white screen, then you will be compromising your contrast ratio as the blackest black in your movies will really be the "white" (or if you are lucky, some shade of "poorly illuminated white" (gray?)) you saw.

That is why we CRT owners mostly have light controled rooms. When I watch the movie "Pitch Black" and the lights go off in a scene in the movie, the black on my screen is really "black."


Now, all TV sets work this way. The blackest black is the color of the picture tube with the set turned off. Our eyes see "relative" light levels and can be fooled into seeing "black" when it really is not. The difference is in the ratio of the light level of "black" to "white" (the contrast ratio)


If you are truly limited in your ability to control the ambient light level, then you will want to maximize the "white" level and probably a higher output DLP or LCD projector is a better choice. Users of DLP and LCD projectors often use a "grey" screen to help with their contrast ratio (because they cannot truly be turned off to produce a true black) but they have a much brighter "white" to make up for it. That helps also when ambient light is present.


If you can provide a more light controlled environment with light blocking drapes, blinds, etc... then the Barco 1208 will look wonderful.


Joe L.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks to everyone for your comments.


The more I look at it, the more the ambient light becomes a problem.

The kids and their friends also will want to use it during the day, and completely covering the windows and sliding glass doors during the summer is not really a good option. This is a 1st floor room and it gets real hot in the summer, and we don't have air conditioning.


Although I prefer anything analog over digital, the light situation may force me to look at the higher output digital projectors. I guess I may have to compromise somewhat on picture quality. UGH!


Joe L - you mentioned "higher output lcd or dlp projectors". Do you have any knowledge of the Sanyo plv-70 (aka Boxlight 20hd)?


I've been doing a lot of reading on the board, and most of the "digital" guys like that projector.


Joe
 

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Joe,


I do not have any firsthand knowledge of LCD or DLP projectors other than a few I have seen demonstrated.


One that I saw last year and liked was the InFocus 7200. When used with a Stewart FireHawk, the image looked really nice. The Firehawk screen is very good at rejecting ambient light and made a ton of difference. I know the combination I described is high priced compared to a used 1208, but I expect that the lower priced LCD and DLP projectors would be able to provide a satisfactory image in your situation if combined with a Firehawk.


Good luck... You might wander over to the Non-CRT forums and spend some time reading.


Joe L.
 
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