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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My leap into the projector craze.


At the suggestion of some of those on the board, I made the great leap this week into the realm of the front projector. The Canon LV-5100 (same as the Sanyo SW10 I believe) arrived yesterday. I ordered it from thenerds.net, who charged a fair price for the projector but an arm and a leg for shipping. I chose thenerds.net because they have a 30 day no questions asked return policy. Less than 1900 with overnight shipping included, not too bad for a new projector.


Being a total neophyte, I went with a new projector rather than combing ebay, etc., because I figured I would need customer service at some point.


Anyway, I set the thing up on my coffee table until I can figure out a way to mount it. I have my VCR plugged into a Denon AV receiver, with composite cable to the projector with a makeshift run (I didn't realize the monster S video cable I purchased for the projector apparently does no good unless the source component is S Video as well -- oops). My DVD player for now is a Playstation 2 (which I can buy an S video cable for). I have yet to buy a screen, so I project onto the wall.


Observations:


1) Out of the box, the picture looks pretty good. Not spectactular, but good from 14 feet away. I have no idea how to calibrate the video on this thing.

2) Fan noise is loud, louder than I realized it would be. Kind of distracting when movies get quiet.

3) It's not a great substitute for a TV, having to power up the AV receiver, VCR, AND of course the projector. You definitely don't have a feeling of instant on/instant off like you do with a TV.

4) There is no comparison between a projector and a projection TV for watching movies (or games, though the games look a tad fuzzy -- maybe I'm sitting too close, or the composite cable isn't very good). Widescreen is riveting with this thing. Playstation2 games are wild, though the picture is a tad fuzzy -- maybe the S video cable can clean this up.

5) I have no idea how I'm going to mount this thing in the wall. Very nervous about this.

6) I have no idea what screen I should buy.

7) Can people carry on a conversation with the projector on?

8) When going widescreen, is there a way to clean up the dark dark grey on the top and bottom?


Overall, I lost some sleep last night worrying about whether I should keep it for 30 days. I did enjoy the NBA finals (even with regular cable). I'll eventually probably switch to DSS to clear up the TV image.


The jury is still out with the girlfriend.


Any comments, questions, or suggestions to calm my projectorus nervosa is immensely appreciated.
 

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Well it sounds like you are not too thrilled with it right now. Do some research as to how you can make your picture quality better. Try those tweaks out and if they don't satisfy, return it.


Good luck.


Cameron


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-- Well I have really blown my budget now. --
 

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Though I'm not familliar with the projector I would say source material does make a lot of difference to digital projectors.


I personally think that if you want a more wow factor plug and play projector, you will have to spend more. For 1900 you get a bottom to mid level rear projection TV. I know someone who bought a proxima for 2500. With the projector next to his head, he still says it's quiet.
 

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bc -

I have only had my first projector for about 2 weeks - so I might me able to offer some suggestions:

you might want to reconsider the used market, especially because you have the no-questions return policy. For about the same amount of money you spent for a 800*600 LCD you should be able to find a used 1024*768 DLP.


From all of the great pub around here on the PLUS UP-1100, I decided to go that route and found one for just under 2K shipped. There were a bunch of people that got the same unit a while ago for only $1700. I bought from a real retailer (not ebay) with a credit card so I felt pretty safe in case I had any problems.


Personally, from the demos that I did before getting the PLUS I think that an XGA DLP projector is just light years beyond and SVGA LCD unit like the LV-5100. Pixels and SIGNIFICANTLY smaller (if not totally gone) than a 8x6 panasonic that I borrowed from work (pixel size is BIG factor for me and the major reason for going with a DLP unit over LCD.) . Also, there is room to grow with the PLUS unit as funds allow - at some point (hopefully soon), I am definitely going to get the THUMPER modifications which will improve black level, reduce halo, and improve color accuracy, etc. (at least as I understand the highlights...) also you can get another boost in performance if you add a pc as a source for DVD and also to scale other sources to the projectors native resolution (also applicable to you projector - this would make a huge difference in sharpness over composite video).


for the short term, you should get a copy of avia (or video essentials) and go thru the video calibration procedure - this can make a big difference in picture quality. Also, you should get a S-video or even better a Component video connector for your PS2. Not sure if you need some sort of breakout cable for the component video though. anyway, good luck with your projector and if you decide to keep it, just make sure to have fun.

(you might also want to do a search for info in the screen area or here for DYI mounting tips)
 

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I've had a similar Sanyo model and there are much better solutions out there for less. New, the Sharp PGM10S can be had for $1800 or so.


Used, an NEC LT100/Plus UP1100 is about the same price.


You will need an IScan ($300 used) with either of these.



Steve


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Absolutely and positively get an S-video cable for your PS2.


S-video from a DVD player has complete Y/C separation. This eliminates all kinds of horrible artifacts that occur when you use composite. The fact is that it is pretty much impossible to separate Y/C into luminance and color in a clean way. The S-video connector is the only way to go.

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
rlsmith,


You are so right! I got the monster cable S video connection for the PS2, ran S video to the projector, and the difference is HUGE. The picture is now so much crisper. It is not subtle. Now to figure out how to get S video from a TV signal...


Watched the first movie on it, Air Force One in Widescreen. We really enjoyed watching it on the projector, even though we'd both seen the movie several times. Yes, there is some pixelation (more like lines across the screen) at times, it seems particularly when there is more movement. (?) I can't decide if it bothers me enough to worry about yet.


Still projecting on a wall. The girlfriend is now totally sold after watching the movie. She's ready to cut a hole in the back wall to mount the projector through the closet on the other side of the wall.

 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks guys for all the help!


Anyway, I thought I'd give an update (with more observations). I've decided to keep the projector for now, and explain my situation as I go.


First, I decided to try to do an inwall mounting job on the back wall. This solution would allow me to increase the throw distance and greatly reduce the fan noise issue. The back wall is adjacent to a room with a closet, and an area that has some ventilation pipes running behind the wall. My dad and I cut a hole on the side of the closet and built a platform to rest the projector on so that it could be in the center of the room (I wish I had a digital camera to explain this). However, the studs are arranged so that the ONLY projector that could work in this room is one 8" 1/2 by 12, or the size of the projector (odd). Thus, a lot of the models everyone suggested wouldn't work in that space (and ceiling mount won't work because I have a pitched ceiling).


OK, so then I used a member's idea of finishing off the hole with a recessed lighting fixture, which worked and looked great (I actually just used the ring, and 6" to get the eye for the remote through). It really gives a space age feel, because my back surrounds are inwall circular Klipsch's, which give it a certain symmetry.


I have ordered the video essentials DVD to help with calibration. I don't have it set quite right with no screen, but it looks decent right now (for a beginner, anyway). And given the space limitations of my hole, and the fact that I need some good keystoning features, I decided to stick with this projector for now.


My two main problems are (1) ambient light is too great during the daytime (I thought the room was dark, but an 800 lumen projector really needs almost pitch black to me to look right); and (2) Pixelation is a little bothersome.


Where do I go from here? The first and easiest thing will be to black out the window in the room. Dark curtains in there aren't enough, I"ll get some blackout curtains to make it look right. I may also build a frame with aluminum foil to further reduce light if it's a problem (and something I can remove if company comes over) (Query -- does a reduction in ambient light help with pixelation?). Here are my other purchases that need to follow:


1) SCREEN -- I'm looking into the Draper 2500 fixed. It should help with my light situation (if blackout curtains don't totally fix things), and is supposedly good for LCD projectors with high or ceiling mounts. I hope they have the vertical streaking problems fixed, but I plan to buy from a dealer who'll make things right if they aren't. Does a screen help any with pixelation?


2) DVD Player -- The PS2 isn't a bad DVD player, but I've heard a progressive scan player really helps the picture quality, and may reduce pixelation. While Matrix looked really good, my setup had problems with Crouching Tiger, particularly the forest scenes. I'm looking hard at the new Panasonic DVD-RP91k, with the 12-bit Video D/A Converter. It looks like a tremendous value.


3) Component Video -- I currently have S video, but I'll need component throughout to take advantage of the progressive scan capability of the DVD player (?) I guess I'll use a Y adaptor to allow both composite (VCR?) and component video into the projector. This should also boost picture quality.


4) Directv - cable looks dreadful, particularly since I have to run composite video to the projector.


5) Cygnus Imager? -- If pixelation is still too bothersome, I may check out a Cygnus product. I've read positive things on this forum, but the cost is high compared to the projector. Some have suggested a slight out of focus on the projector to get a similar effect.


OK, there you have it. I am very pleased with the audio side right now; I'm running a denon AVR3300 into some JM Reynaud Trentes for the front, Dahlquist center channel, and Klipsch surrounds, which I'm pleased with. DTS is awesome (particularly the Gladiator DVD, wow). I may get a subwoofer eventually, but as of now, I really don't miss it.


Thanks for all the help in the past, it really means a lot. I am really having fun with all of this, and see things only getting better. Anyone who has seen the potential of the projector is blown away, even though I still have a ways to go. The girlfriend will NOT allow me to return it!


If you have any further suggestions or observations, any help is always appreciated.

 

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I am glad that things are working out for you for the most part. A couple of comments regarding your post above.


Remember if you get a high gain screen, you will also get more ambient light reflected back from that screen so it can make an ambient light problem worse in some situations.


Sometimes the high gain screens have a limited viewing angle and/or hotspotting too so make sure that your particular screen wouldn't exhibit such problems.


I am not sure what you mean by pixellization, but in a darker room, you will be able to see the picture better which would probably make you see the pixelization better.


I have seen the PS2 DVD output and I personally think that it is very poor compared to stand alone DVD players in general. I am not sure how good the deinterlacing/scaler is in your particular projector, but I am sure that with a good progressive scan DVD player, you will get a much better picture than with your current setup.


Your satellite picture is going to look awful blown up in most cases. They just don't send enough good information in that highly compressed signal unless you have an HDTV feed which is a whole other story. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


Other than that, I have heard good things about the Cygnus IMX product for removing the Screen Door effect, but I guess we need a better description of what you are saying when you say pixelization.


Good luck!


Cameron


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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Cameron, thanks for the info. I see getting the PS2 out of the loop. In certain scenes and colors (particularly whites and flesh tones), the picture can look like it's being shown through a screen door. For instance, this only showed up in "The Matrix" on Keanu's face. Is this pixelation?
 

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Well in light scenes, that "Screen Door" that you are looking at is most likely a limitation of the projector. LCD panels have a nice big thick border around every pixel. DLP projectors have a very small one and the DILA projectors are even smaller.


Several ways to cope with the dreaded screen door effect are...


1.) Watch the image from farther away.


2.) Shrink the image size (no fun)


3.) Slightly defocus the projector (some potential loss of image quality.)


4.) Buy a Cygnus image processor.


Hope this helps.


Cameron


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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks, Cameron. Yes, 1 and 2 were my first try, but I've got the viewing area (the sofa) all the way to the back wall, and the projector's lens is set to the smallest viewing size. So I hope that #3 will not be too bad of a compromise (once I have everything calibrated and the screen up); if not, probably #4 may have to be the solution if it still bothers me (though the cost is high compared to the projector).
 
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