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Well as I had to leave early I guess I get to post the first impressions of the meet.


Mandarax and his helpers had obviously spent a long time organizing and preparing. He made screens, prepared the rooms, arranged for food and the works. THANKS! I had a good time and took a number of pictures which I will have to figure out where to post. I will send them to Mandarax as well.


Here are my whirlwind impressions:


Screens in order of my personal preference:

CRT mix of GOO was my number one

Light digital grey GOO was number two (better off axis performance than other grey screens)

Stewart Greyhawk

Dalite HCCV

and a long way down the list Celtic cloth


I didn't stay around long enough to see the others


Projectors in no particular order:

JVX SX21 DILA - lovely smooth image, surprisingly bright, colors needed adjustment but I am sure they are good in Andy's personal setup

SE 20HD LCD - nice colors, pretty smooth image, some light banding, bright

TW100H LCD - a little less depth or punchiness, more obvious banding

NEC 260 DLP - lots of rainbows, colors a bit washed but fairly good contrast, more obvious pixel structure than the others


I liked the DILA best but in spite of my comments above all of them put out a pretty good picture.


Overall impressions. HTPCs are a lot of work! We used Andy's HTPC but really he would have to create individual settings for each pj to make a fair comparison. The whole meet was fun and it was really great to put faces to a lot of names I've seen around here for the year or so I've been hanging around. The only significant surprise for me was Ken's GOO, (KBK). It was much better in a full size screen than I expected after having received the samples he sent out previously. I was very impressed, especially after Mandrax shared that it only took him about a 1/2 hour to spray the screen.


Oh yeah, Ken is a lot more entertaining in person. ;)
 

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Hi Peter,


Ken was there with his Goo 0.5 and it's a modified X1 with very good contrast and black level. We compared it to an X1 and his projector is darker as the lumen output is less. We looked at Fifth Element as the reference between the two and there is a significant difference in the blacks between the two. My view is that a white screen ( GOO CRT white or the Dalite Hipower) worked the best with the 0.5 as the contrast was quite good.


John
 

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I just found out about all of these projectors....wow! Previously had only considered RPTC or a large direct view HDTV.

I plan on buying a x1. ($1799 Canadian!! - $150 rebate)

I got to see one locally and it really impressed me. I still have some reservations about the rainbows but it seems from my reading that the better the source the less likely the rainbows? Also the larger the screen the more likely to notice?

I'm dying to hear how it stacked up against some of these other projectors.

Hopefully some people come home and post soon!

What's this about a modified X1? Can you point me to the thread explaining it?


Thanks!
 

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Are you guys interested in what some of us CRT people thought? :)
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Jesse S
Are you guys interested in what some of us CRT people thought? :)
Most definately!


Please also mention the model of CRT you use at home for comparison purposes.


Cheers :)


Russ
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by dvdvideo
I just found out about all of these projectors....wow! Previously had only considered RPTC or a large direct view HDTV.

I plan on buying a x1. ($1799 Canadian!! - $150 rebate)

I got to see one locally and it really impressed me. I still have some reservations about the rainbows but it seems from my reading that the better the source the less likely the rainbows? Also the larger the screen the more likely to notice?

I'm dying to hear how it stacked up against some of these other projectors.

Hopefully some people come home and post soon!

What's this about a modified X1? Can you point me to the thread explaining it?


Thanks!
Dvdvideo,


I was at the Canuck shootout today and the X1 stacked up pretty well against some more expensive competition. In fact, the difference in digital picture quality is becoming more subtle as the technology improves. I definitely felt the JVC SX21 had the best picture overall but it also was the most expensive projector there. Yet the picture the X1 produces is also very pleasing to my eyes. Are there rainbows? I saw very few but I did see them. I saw many more rainbows with the NEC LT260. But I could also train myself not to see them.


KBK's GOO 0.5 is a dimmer projector than the X1 and needs to have the correct screen type (as all projectors do) to bring out the outstanding blacks and contrast. I would also limit the size of the screen to provide an acceptable lumens output per square foot. Ken was not providing much in the way of what changes he made to the 0.5 projector. But if you are looking for that additional level of detail in the blacks this projector can provide it and an affordable cost.


My personal view is that INFOCUS is revolutionizing the FP home theater market. I was astounded by the picture quality this puppy can put out, both in modified and unmodified form. The price point at where you can get this picture quality is what's going to bring this to the mass audience. For the price of the JVC DILA machine I can buy 7 X1's. Is the JVC picture that much better? Not for me. I was glad to be able to view such a wide spectrum of FPs; LCDs, DLPs and the DILA. I think the consumer is going to enjoy the next few years as projector prices continue to plummet while picture quality continues to improve significantly.


John:)
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by dvdvideo
I just found out about all of these projectors....wow! Previously had only considered RPTC or a large direct view HDTV.

I plan on buying a x1. ($1799 Canadian!! - $150 rebate)

I got to see one locally and it really impressed me. I still have some reservations about the rainbows but it seems from my reading that the better the source the less likely the rainbows? Also the larger the screen the more likely to notice?

I'm dying to hear how it stacked up against some of these other projectors.

Hopefully some people come home and post soon!

What's this about a modified X1? Can you point me to the thread explaining it?


Thanks!
Dvdvideo,


I was at the Canuck shootout today and the X1 stacked up pretty well against some more expensive competition. In fact, the difference in digital picture quality is becoming more subtle as the technology improves. I definitely felt the JVC SX21 had the best picture overall but it also was the most expensive projector there. Yet the picture the X1 produces is also very pleasing to my eyes. Are there rainbows? I saw very few but I did see them. I saw many more rainbows with the NEC LT260. But I could also train myself not to see them.


KBK's GOO 0.5 is a dimmer projector than the X1 and needs to have the correct screen type (as all projectors do) to bring out the outstanding blacks and contrast. I would also limit the size of the screen to provide an acceptable lumens output per square foot. Ken was not providing much in the way of what changes he made to the 0.5 projector. But if you are looking for that additional level of detail in the blacks this projector can provide it and at an affordable cost.


My personal view is that the INFOCUS X1 is revolutionizing the FP home theater market. I was astounded by the picture quality this puppy can put out, both in modified and unmodified form. The price point at where you can get this picture quality is what's going to bring this to the mass audience. For the price of the JVC DILA machine I can buy 7 X1's. Is the JVC picture that much better? Not for me. I was glad to be able to view such a wide spectrum of FPs; LCDs, DLPs and the DILA. I think the consumer is going to enjoy the next few years as projector prices continue to plummet while picture quality continues to improve significantly.


John:)
 

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dvdvideo: I was not expecting much from the X1, because it was the least expensive projector there. But I was amazed at what you can get for under $1800 CDN! Although there were many better projectors at the shootout, I think the X1 was very clearly the best bang for the buck.


/FP
 

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Thanks for the info guys! I'm hyped to buy it even more now......the price is truely amazing.....weights 6lb, user choosable aspect ratio and screen size, no burn in issues........wow! I was so stuck for so long as to what to buy and wether it should be 16:9 or 4:3. (I still play a lot of 4:3 video games)

Any thoughts on how true HDTV looked on it? I realize it's not a true HDTV projector but by all accounts when HD is input it still manages to look considerably better than dvd and close to a true HD set.......is this true?
 

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Thanks to Rob for making this happen. Fantastic setup. :)


At $1800CDN, the X1 is a fantastic bargain. The PQ is excellent with the caveat of noticable pixelation... prospective buyers will need to keep the screen size down somewhat (or more farther away).


The contrast of KBK's Goo X1 was amazing, but screen selection will be critical to getting back some lost brightness.


The LT260 had a surprisingly punchy image... although it's bright output resulted in lots of rainbow. I would have loved to see the fast colour wheel equipped HT1000.



My favorite was the JVC DILA. Pixel free image that even the HS10 and SE20 couldn't touch. It produced a bright and uniform picture that was extremely pleasing to my eye. Huge ouch on the price tag.



Unfortunately, the Z1 & AE300 didn't show up, as I think many were hoping to see them (as was I).
 

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Firstly thanks to mandarax and all the presenters for a great and educational day. Here is what I came away with (disclaimer: complete HT newbie):


This was the first time I had really seen front projectors presented, and I was stunned by the picture quality of all of them. To be honest, I could hardly tell the difference between them all. The X1 is what I was most interested in seeing, and to me it looked just fantastic.


I would previously have planned to spend as little as possible on a screen, even hoping I could just project against a wall. The screen demos really opened my eyes though, and I'm now convinced of the value of spending the extra $$ for a good one, and also of getting the right one to match the specific projector. The X1 + Da-lite High Power looked like a great combo to me. (But would a pull-down High Power look as good as the regular fixed screen?)


Rainbows. I was most nervous about this, but in the end I never saw them on any projector during normal viewing. My wife saw them, but said it did not bother her. However the LT260 gave me a severe headache. I had assumed headaches were caused by rainbows but clearly that is not the case. Strangely I didn't get the headache with the X1 though. I think X1+HighPower is the way to go for me, but I'll try to get the 10 day trial on the X1 if I can just to be sure headaches are not a problem with extended viewing.


Thanks again to all concerned.
 

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First a huge thanks to Rob for organizing this event. Also to Ken for his enthusiastic presentations, as well as to all of the people and organizations who contributed projectors and screens!


Strangely, my favorite projector was the SE20. Perhaps this is because it was the first projector we looked at. Still its silky smooth image impressed me as something I could watch all day long.


No doubt the X1 is a stunning performer for the price. I would very much liked to have compared it to a native 16x9 projector such as the Z1 or AE300. Alas, these were not available.


Like Yabby, I was very impressed by the importance of screens. I think this was perhaps the most outstanding aspect of this shootout: the demonstration of multiple screens. From Stewart's GreyHawk, to Ken's Goos, to MissisippiMan's Home Depot special and more Rob and Ken dutifully carried screen after screen in front of projector after projector. Entertaining in itself.


It was amazing how bright images appeared on dark screens. For example, MississippiMan's screen was a very dark grey, but when at the end of the day it was lit up with the SE20 whites appeared to be perfectly white and colors to be natural and fully saturated.


I think the main lesson was that the screen needed to be matched to the projector. For example, I thought the JVC D-ILA projector was far too bright on the lighter screens and benefited greatly from the darker screens such as the GreyHawk. Unfortunately it appears to be difficult to figure out the best screen even for a given projector because this seems to depend in part the brightness which in turn depends on the size of the image.


I guess one option is to buy a projector and screen together after looking at them in the exact configuration you will use them in. Another option is to buy a projector and use a neutral (and inexpensive) screen at first. Then add a screen to tune the image based on your viewing in your environment. (After this shootout I picked up some Goo to apply to my blackout-fabric screen. I figure this is the best price/performance upgrade for my AE100 at this time).


Finally, I would again like to thank Rob and Ken and MississippiMan and all the others for their great efforts. More than anything else, the day was fun. And that is what this hobby is all about.
 

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I was attending also. Many thanks to Mandarax for a well planned event.



I too was expecting to hate the X1, with all the bad press it has received about rainbows. While I could see some if I strained my eyes and darted them about, I did not see one in normal viewing. On KBKs modified X1, I could hardly see them, even if I tried hard. I must say this is surely a nice price/performance PJ. I second the fact you should remain at least 2.0X (2.5X is better) from the screen.


NEC lt260 was a real bad rainbow experience for me. They showed up in normal viewing, without straining. Not good. Too bad, because I liked the resolution, and the colors were quite good. I bet the HT1000 is a real winner.


I was disappointed with the HS-10. Resolution, yes, but black level and orange reds ruined it for me. Not that bright without the filter. And it needs it.


JVC was amazing. Smoooth. Great color. If anything, it needs a little darker blacks. Thanks to Mr. Lammer for bringing his baby over.


SE 20 (or PLV-70) is big, and fairly loud. But hey, it drives a 12 foot greyhawk, no problems. Extra resolution adds to 3D effect, just like on the JVC. Plenty of light.


Epson tw100 gave a good showing. I guess its nice, but I did not think it was worth the premium over a panny ae300 for example.
 

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I just did Roseville to Kingston in 2:10-2:15 hrs. (347km)


Up to my usual tricks.


With the last 150km......in dense fog. That's where I made most of my gains. Pay close attention! Don't try this at home!


They can't catch you.. if they can't get close.


Oh yes, for those of you considering this vehicle, the governor kicks in on a 2003 Intrepid at about 185km/h.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by KBK
I just did Roseville to Kingston in 2:10-2:15 hrs. (347km)
I knew you'd get around to upgrading that car! :p


No thanks to you... when I got home and watch the Floston arrival scene on my AE100, all the reds were orange. I'll be expecting a free brain OS patch when you get it developed.


Nice job on the Goo X1 by the way. Excellent contrast and a beautiful picture.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by yabby
(But would a pull-down High Power look as good as the regular fixed screen?)
I think Glenn can speak better to this issue. If you are going to go with a pull-down screen... you should really make sure it's a tab-tensioned one. This keeps the screen material taut. It's very important to have a flat screen surface not a wavey one. Problem is that tab tensioned pull downs are VERY expensive ($2k CDN+).
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by dvdvideo
I just found out about all of these projectors....wow! Previously had only considered RPTC or a large direct view HDTV.

I plan on buying a x1. ($1799 Canadian!! - $150 rebate)

I got to see one locally and it really impressed me. I still have some reservations about the rainbows but it seems from my reading that the better the source the less likely the rainbows? Also the larger the screen the more likely to notice?

I'm dying to hear how it stacked up against some of these other projectors.

Hopefully some people come home and post soon!

What's this about a modified X1? Can you point me to the thread explaining it?


Thanks!
Dvdvideo,


I was at the Canuck shootout today and the X1 stacked up pretty well against some more expensive competition. In fact, the difference in digital picture quality is becoming more subtle as the technology improves. I definitely felt the JVC SX21 had the best picture overall but it also was the most expensive projector there. Yet the picture the X1 produces is also very pleasing to my eyes. Are there rainbows? I saw very few but I did see them. I saw many more rainbows with the NEC LT260. But I could also train myself not to see them.


KBK's GOO 0.5 is a dimmer projector than the X1 and needs to have the correct screen type (as all projectors do) to bring out the outstanding blacks and contrast. I would also limit the size of the screen to provide an acceptable lumens output per square foot. Ken was not providing much in the way of what changes he made to the 0.5 projector. But if you are looking for that additional level of detail in the blacks this projector can provide it and at an affordable cost.


My personal view is that the INFOCUS X1 is revolutionizing the FP home theater market. I was astounded by the picture quality this puppy can put out, both in modified and unmodified form. The price point at where you can get this picture quality is what's going to bring this to the mass audience. For the price of the JVC DILA machine I can buy 7 X1's. Is the JVC picture that much better? Not for me. I was glad to be able to view such a wide spectrum of FPs; LCDs, DLPs and the DILA. I think the consumer is going to enjoy the next few years as projector prices continue to plummet while picture quality continues to improve significantly.


John:)
 

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These were my impressions of the projectors at the shootout.


Color - all but the regular infocus/goo mod had tons of yellow push, especially the D-ILA. Scenes in 5th Element that weren't supposed to be yellow at all had yellow-cast to them and scenes that did like when ruby rod appears in the yellow hallway were quite off. This yellow push may also explain the orangey-reds in the scene where they leave the shuttle and the yellow tinge in the Shire in LOTR. I checked my CRT when I got home and these scenes look quite different here.


Black level- Hrm, how to put this nicely :) None of the units seemed to be able to go below about 7-10 IRE in any black scene. The shadow detail was also pretty much masked on all but the modified Infocus (Goo) X1. The Goo .5 did reveal some shadow detail but nothing like a CRT pj. I didn't find the grey screens particularly effective at improving black level.


Contrast- All of the units were certainly bright enough, the HS-10 was a tad dim but the bulb was apparently old. Without deep blacks I don't think any of the units stood out here particularly.


Detail- all of the units had good detail but I noticed that only the last few pj's (nec 260, hs-10, infocus) revealed the film grain in the 5th Element blue sky scene. The other units seemed to just smooth over this grain. It's clearly visible on my CRT and shouldn't be masked regardless of whether you like grain or not.


screen door- not really an issue with most of the units since we were all sitting a tad too far. The infocus/goo .5 had more pixel structure than I could live with. You could mask it by moving farther away but then the relative picture size wasn't big enough for my taste.


dlp rainbows- Yikes. Upon seeing the first DLP unit at this shootout I got my first taste of this effect. On the NEC 260 with a 1x wheel the rainbows were easily and often visible. Just following quick action onscreen revealed them and darting your eyes from the left side to the right made them appear too. The 2x wheel on the infocus/goo certainly reduced the rainbows but I could still see them as soon as there was fast motion and/or bright areas. 3-chip DLP is really going to be a must for home units.


Noise- even the "noisy" units were well below most CRT's. The "noisy" one dropped to near silence in its economy mode. I could certainly go for less fan noise on my CRT pj.


Setup- Certainly a no brainer here. All were obviously very easy to use and configure. Keystone, focus and minor picture adjustments were all that were needed for any of them.



That's my honest opinion. I really could care less if CRT / DLP / LCD give the best picture, for me CRT is currently the best so that's what I use. If the digitals match or surpass CRT I'll drop it like a bad habit. Having said this, I would probably still get one of these digital units rather than a RPTV or plasma display. Recreating the theater experience demands a big picture and only a front projector can do it. I also realize that CRT is just not viable for many people. They are big, heavy, noisy, *hard* to setup, require a scaler or HTPC, and need full light control. I can't blame anyone who finds the steep requirements of a CRT unworkable for their home theater.
 

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Ok, Ok, Ok..I was kidding about the drive. I just -think- I'm Mario Andretti... I don't get to be him. :p


As for the Goo .5 PJ, no special attempt was made in any fashion whatsoever to set it up critically. The reality is, that most people will do their best with a PJ,and won't get it set up much better than you saw there. Initially at least. Different screens where tried,and I barely made any attempt at all to get the brightness right for the differing grey levels, etc. The most telling thing of all, was when the brightness/contrast was played with...the depth of image remained solid. that's called 'range',and it's hard to find in digital gear, period. CRT has it. With CRT projection, thre is roomfor you to adjust to your eyes, because you know the image is coming out of the PJ. With digital, you fight to get the best you can from it. This one just happens to be a bit different.......


And...in the other Room, the Same PJ (.5) was playing on my custom HTPC, and it looked -noticeably- more interesting.
 
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