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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yesterday I received my Boxlight MP-38t which is the Sanyo PLC-XP21N clone. I plugged that baby in, turned it on and boy was I impressed. It was still daylight and lots of ambient light but the image was very watchable, the colors were brilliant and fairly accurate right out of the box.


I had recently purchase an Infocus LP350 which I had since returned. I was not happy with the LP350 color accuracy and it did not have enough brightness for my environment, I have a need to keep some lights on. Mind you that the LP350 is a very good projector and I would have kept it if nothing better existed or could not afford the extra 2.5K it cost to purchase the Boxlight.


My main worry about the Boxlight was the screen door effect. I have a DIY 92" diagnonal screen made of blackout fabric material and I have seating positions between 8 and 14 feet away. It is noticeable even at 14 feet away on bright backgrounds if you strain your eyes to look for it, the LP350 was cinema like in comparison. It really is a matter of preference and does not bother me at all. I would much rather have the benefit of excellent color and brightness than the film like DLP look. Besides if you are unaware of what to look for you will probably never notice it, my wife never did, she concentrated on the content.


As for any dust blobs or dead pixels, currently none are visible though I have not yet specifically looked for any.


The scalar/line doubler is good. As compared to the LP350 I would say it is comparable, I would probably give the LP350 a 5% better edge watching a satellite picture. This is all I have to compare it to but I have a Quadscan Pro on order and will see how that compares to both. At $1000 it better do a good job.


I still have not decided about a screen yet and do not want to spend that much on one for the time being. I am considering a 100" diagonal Da-Lite Model B with a 1.1 gain even though I think the GreyHawk would do a much better job considering the brightness of the projector.


My initial impression of this projector is very positive and it looks like at the moment I will not be using my 30 day money back guarantee option.


Peter
 

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Thanks for the review. I am about to make the plunge on the Sanyo XP-21N, and was wondering how the Boxlight compares in price. The cheapest I could find anyone willing to sell the Sanyo is just under $6K off a bid requested from Projectorcentral. BTW, where did you get it. With the Sanyo XP-21N, I was thinking of using a High Contrast screen from Da-lite. The Greyhawk is the best choice, but it costs a bit more ($1200 vs. $500).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

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Hi Peter,


Sounds like you found a winner! I agree that the Sanyo LCD projectors have very good color accuracy and brightness. They beat out the DLPs that cost twice as much in the Infocomm projector shoot-out, IMHO.


There are still some great things happening with LCD, and this is one of them.
 

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I just purchased a Boxlight 38, Quadscan Pro "B" stock, and a Grayhawk screen and will have it up and running in about a week. I will post my impressions then. Thanks for everyone's help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Jamie,


Thanks for the excellent review. My opinions are very similar to yours and you did a much better job of conveying them across.


I watch a lot of DSS via the svideo input. How would you rate the improved quality of the external deinterlacer vs the internal one? Where did you purchase your iScan Pro?


One minor problem I am having is with my HTPC. The projector is not Plug and Play, at least neither Windows ME or Windows 2000 recognize it as such. With a computer screen resolution of 1024*768 using small fonts text on the screen does not look focused and clear. I experimented around with different options but have not yet found a solution. I think I need to try and find the proper monitor type on my PC. If I change to large fonts or a lower resolution then it works perfectly.


BTW how do you turn the scaler off in the projector. I changed resolutions on my PC to 800*600 and tried to watch it in native mode but could not an option to do so?


Peter





[This message has been edited by phussary (edited 06-24-2001).]
 

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Peter,


If I remember correctly, I believe the only way to get "native" mode, is by using the video inputs. There is no native mode for RGB.


I had no problem connecting at 1024x768. Could your refresh rate be causing a problem?


Oh! And my reference point is the XP21N. So I suppose the boxlight could be different.


Jamie, I thought some people would like my car analogy. When I tested the XP21N, the screen door was quite noticeable and distracting from 18' away. Text from my computer was also pixelated and hard to read. My recommendation (albeit in the minority) for potential Sanyo buyers is to wait 3 months for the Hitachi LCOS or Sharpvision DLP, or go now with a scaler/LT150 or audition the new Infocus LP530.


--Les
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Les,


Thanks for the input. I tried the refresh rate but did not have that many options because of the default monitor type. I need to experiment more and will post my results.


As for the native mode in RGB I was going by Jamie's report where he wrote:

"Sometimes I like to watch DSS in a smaller window, rather than the full 60" x 80"."

I assumed this was through RGB and the Iscan Pro in native mode.


BTW Les, I really think that the XP21N you reviewed in http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/Forum10/HTML/006623.html had something wrong with it. I went to the famous challenging website http://www.masdelatreille.com and checked out the yellow and it looks perfect, exactly like the "original" photo in your review. When I had the LP350 I went to the same website and it looked very greenish just like your photo. Too bad you did not have the opportunity to post the XP21N photo but you wrote that it was a little bit on the red side. On the Boxlight it could not have been more yellow and vibrant.


Peter
 

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I agree that must have been something wrong with the 21 Arrow tried. I would respectfully suggest that his comments regarding this projector be disregarded. I spent part of an evening at Dan G's watching his 21 with a variety of material and I was very impressed. The black level was almost too much and the contrast was amazing. Everything about it was first class. Screendoor is something all LCD's have since only Epson and Sony make them. It really depends on how far back you sit as to whether it is an issue.


Lenny
 

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I also got a Boxlight 38-t from Studio Experience two weeks ago, so I'll post my impressions. I highly recommend dealing with them. They are courteous, professional, came within $100 of the best price I could find on the XP21N and have a 30-day money back guarantee (no restocking fee) and a 60-day upgrade policy.


First, I'm trying to decide whether to upgrade to the 40-t (clone of the Sanyo XP30) for the 500 extra lumens and the DVI connection. Although I don't use DVI right now, I suspect I will in the future. My internal debate has nothing to do with the quality of the 38-t, simply whether to spend a little more for DVI and the extra lumens.


First, quality: Everything was perfect. No dust blobs, dead pixels, etc. As reported by others, colors are great and the projector is just fine with ambient lighting. It's one of the reasons I bought it, since I'm using it as an everyday TV and don't like sitting in the dark (although friends and colleagues often tell me I'm always in the dark already).


Initially, I used a DIY screen using blackout fabric. Cost me $60, including a mitre box and saw from Home Depot. The other day my 60"x80" High Contrast gray screen from Da-Lite arrived (also purchased through Studio Experience). I can't speak for the Greyhawk, but the Da-Lite is terrific (and much less costly). Assembly was easy (I got the Imager), screen looks good aesthetically and the gray helps the contrast and helps keep the light from bouncing all around my lightly-colored walls.


I find the internal processing and scaling extremely good through the component inputs. It's been speculated elsewhere and I find it to be true that deinterlacing is better through component than VGA.


I run HDTV and DVD through the component inputs (courtesy of a component switcher in my av receiver). Of course, deinterlacing and scaling are irrelevant for HD, but they're terrific for DVD. I use a Tosh SD-6200 progressive scan player. The progressive picture is excellent (the player's great; looked terrific on my RPTV, too). When I toggle from progressive to interlaced on the player, the picture is just as good when the projector's deinterlacer kicks in. It's a little different -- more film-like -- using the internal processor, but equally as satisfying. I can't decide which I like better, but it's nice to have the option.


DSS SDTV I run through an iScan Pro, with RGB output into the projector's VGA input. The iScan Pro does a great job deinterlacing and I like the greater scaling flexibility using the Computer input (component input scales automatically to XGA). Sometimes I like to watch DSS in a smaller window, rather than the full 60" x 80".


I, too, tried a Quadscan Pro ("B" Stock, also), but returned it. There were moments when I felt I was getting a better picture with the QS, but the unit is so ^&^%#@!! idiosyncratic that it drove me nuts. If you use Auto input, it doesn't always find the signal. Plus, when you use auto the Contrast, Brightness, Saturation, Hue and Sharpness settings are not available (who's bight idea was that?). Since calibrating those settings using AVIA yielded a better picture, I used manual input selection. The problems were that, first off, half the time the picture wouldn't sync, and the QS Pro's remote signals are the only ones I've found which my MX-500 universal remote can't learn. Plus, there were so many variable (input aspect ratio, output aspect ratio, input HV size and position, output HV size and position, etc.) that finding the exact, "best" combination might have taken me the rest of my life. It was a real pain for MAYBE a marginally better picture.


My recommendation is either don't get an external scaler/deinterlacer (provided you use the component inputs) or save ~$400 and get an iScan Pro for deinterlacing and let the unit do the scaling. I'll wait for awhile and, if I buy anything, I'll go for a much bigger improvement for a much bigger price (e.g., the Rock).


Lastly, screen door. First, there was a post in the thread about the XP30 to the effect that the screen door on the XP21N is big enough to drive a car through. That's just hogwash. Having said that, even though the unit has MLA, screen door is still noticeable at 12 - 14 feet on bright backgrounds. I don't find it terribly objectionable and I can all but eliminate it with a slight defocusing. If I have to make the tradeoff with DLP, I'd much rather deal with a little screen door (and I do mean a little) in exchange for the fantastic colors I'm getting (without even considering rainbow). Of course, it's a matter of taste, so it's just my opinion.


All in all the experience is tremendous. It's hard for me to believe anyone is getting a better picture without spending $10K more. By the way, considering the mixed reviews the PLV-60 is getting (graininess, dust blobs, only about half the lumens, etc.) it's hard for me to understand why anyone would choose the latter over the XP21N/38-t. 16x9 panels just don't make up for all the deficiencies. I don't think it's a coincidence that PLV-60 prices have fallen about 10% in the last week or so. Retailers are realizing that the popularity of the PLV-60 may have been overestimated.


My guess (and it's just a guess) is that the reason there are not a lot of 16x9 panel projectors out there is that the technology still has plenty of bugs and the quality of the picture reflects as much. My recommendation (and again, it's just my opinion) would be to wait another year or two and, in the meantime by a XP30/40-t, XP21N/38-t or the XP18N (which can be had for ~$5K now).


Anyway, just one man's opinions.


------------------

Jamie
 

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I've been told by a Sanyo rep that the XP30 has better aspect ratio control than the XP-21/XP-18.


------------------

Ken Elliott
 

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Maybe I am missing something, but what is the point of getting the Boxlight over the Sanyo for the same price? I realize they are the same projector, but wouldn't the Sanyo name hold its value better?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Jonmx,


Studio Experience was the only place I could purchase the Boxlight from that gave me the lowest price and a 30 day money back guarantee. All Sanyo vendors had restocking fees or jacked up the price, and many would not return the projector if you complained about dead pixels, they claim it is Sanyo's policy.


Refer to my previous post at http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/Forum10/HTML/006812.html for more information.


Peter
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Les,


Click on the "guarantee" link at their home page. It says the following:


"Guarantee / Warranties


Studio Experience wants to make sure that your system fits your needs. All of our products are backed by a one-year parts and labor warranty. We have a 30-day money back guarantee as well as a 60-day upgrade policy on all our products to ensure that your Studio Experience purchase is absolutely right for you."


As explained to me by the sales rep you have 60 days to decide if you would like to upgrade to a different projector, I believe of equal or greater value.


Peter
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by tropicalisland:
Wonder if Boxlight makes a clone for the Sanyo XP-30?
They do. It's the 40-t. See it at www.boxlight.com .


------------------

Jamie
 

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Just opened my 38T last night. I haven't mounted it, tweaked it, adjusted it or anything else, but being impatient with my new toy, i have a question. Just projecting it on a white wall, it looks pretty good. On the left side though, the last columns of pixels are seperated into red, blue and green like on a CRT that isn't converged. Is this normal and will I be able to adjust this on an LCD? I was under the impression that the panels were fixed and couldn't be aligned.
 

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I'd just like to toss in my $.02 here and say that I have been dealing with Studio Experience for almost a year now, and have had nothing but great service.


I'll be upgrading to either their new PLV-60 equivalent or (if for some reason I don't end up liking it) the 38t as soon as the PLV-60 unit (not sure what their model number will be yet) is shipping.


-Mike
 
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