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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking at getting my first CRT projector and I know that EM focus is better than ES focus but is it worth paying double the price for?


Example


Barco Graphics 800 $900US

NEC PG 9 XTRA $1800US


How much of a difference does this really make? Is it like the difference between Cable and DVD? Or is it more like Satilight vs DVD? Or is it Cable vs HDTV. Do you get where I am going with this. Just a comparison that I would know the difference between. Lets assume that both projectors are calibrated equally.


Also people that have the ES Focus are you happy with the picture quality you are getting or are you wishing that you had saved more and got the EM Focus?


Thanks,


Rheal
 

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Depends how you feel personally about sharpness.

To me, YES most definitely its worth the extra cost. I couldn't bear to watch an ES machine. I've had them, and some look just fine *most* of the time, but personally, I would never own one as a main projector. Maybe in a retro cabinet or something, but not as the jewel in my HT(basement really, but HT looks so much cooler.) IMHO a good comparison you might be familiar with is its the difference between a REALLY good DVD transfer, and one of those cheap reissues. You know when you're watching a DVD and you think "I wish it was a little sharper", thats how I always felt with an ES focus machine.
 

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If you watch true HD content or computer desktop or video games or anything really sharp an EM rocks. If you're driving them with your 1983 goldstar vcr, or something really bad like digital cable there's much less to notice. A good ES machine will produce a fantastic picture, but an EM machine does it sharper with higher optimum resolutions.


If it's in the budget go EM and you won't regret it, but great deals can be had for ES if you want to get in for less or need to spend money on other things.


I've had several of each... I set my brother up with an ES and he's happy as a clam, but then again I have yet to show him what my EM machines can do because I don't want to ruin some of the fun for him yet until he can afford more.


Either will make jaws drop and eyes pop when set up well with good sources, and yes the ES can still do HD very very well.


Troy
 

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I have an ES machine (Barco BG800) and I'm VERY happy with it. To me the picture looks very nice. At 1280x720 it's not sharp enough to show scan lines but it is sharp enough to show very small details. It's up to you really. Are you VERY picky about your image? Are you willing to pay twice as much for a few percent increase image quality? I would say the difference between the two is like watching HDTV on a RPTV and a CRTTV. Or like the difference between a nice flat (Sony WEGA) TV and a high end curved face TV. Side by side you will notice a difference but alone much harder to tell. If you go smaller screen you'll see less difference. I'm watching on a 4'x8' screen and as I said earlier, I'm VERY happy. I'd say save the money for something else. Either way it will look as good as a RPTV only 4-8 times larger picture area! Oh, and you NEED a HTPC or line doubler/scaler.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
OK it sounds like if you have never seen a EM focus then you will be totally happy with ES focus does that sound about right?


Here is what I am getting at. I am looking at getting a projector (obviously) and I was looking at CRT's and the price for EM focus projectors is around $3000 to my door (I live in canada and that is a canadian price for an $1800US projector roughly).


So now I see the Infocus X1 and think man it is only $1500 Plus tax so about $1750 Canadian.


Now I am looking at Barco Graphics 800 for about $1500 - $2000 with shipping.


OK I know you guys are all die hard CRT fans but I will ask anyway. What would you go with for my $2000 Canadian: The Barco Graphics 800 CRT or the Infocus X1 DLP?


I have scene the X1 and did not notice any rainbows so don't go there. I just want to know about picture quality.


BTW I will be using a HTPC as the source.


IT will be used 95% for watching DVD movies. I don't have HDTV and currently cannot even get it. So that is not a concern.


My screen size will be 6 feet wide. Not huge but better than the 32" TV I have currently.


Hey DPB do you have any screen shots?


Thanks again.


Rheal.
 

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G'day Rheal,


if you're looking for a couple of screen shots ( for what they are worth ) check out this and this . They were taken about a year ago from my 6PG Xtra and should give you an indication of the sharpness those projectors can achieve. One is taken from the PAL version of TFE ( non superbit ) and the other was a sample shot from a new digital camera I was interested in at the time and thought it might look nice being projected.


Screen in use at the time was the 80" wide DaLite HiPower and both shots taken with a Nikon Coolpix 800 camera. No further changes to camera image other than resizing to suit web requirements.


If you do decide on the 9PG Xtra you will be assured that famous NEC colour rendition that can't be surpassed. You won't regret it.


Good hunting :)


Russ
 

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That is an unfair comparison you got there. Compare the $1800 crt to a $1500 digital but don't forget the $3000 plus in bulbs to even come close to the same lifespan. The first time you shell out $500 for a bulb it will just about kill you. The second third and fourth time, well, it just gets more and more painful. Hundreds of dollars for a stupid light bulb that only last 2000 hours on average.


No, you see the difference with ES as there is always a level of sharpness missing at high resolution. Video doesn't show it so much as other things but it's always there, no matter how much you tweak it is never completely razor sharp at higher resolutions. (over say 800x600 or thereabout.)


Even an ES machine is superior to just bout any digital with a video source.


Lastly, if you buy a crt it has already depreciated in value and that isn't your loss it's the previous owners. If you get a flashlight then you bear that loss and it's value becomes almost zero iin two years.


CRT pj's are likely to be like fine turntables in the future... Hold their value well with a very good potential to go up. (though who knows...just a feeling)


TRoy
 

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I've heard that to take advantage of EM focus you have to have a high resolution source. DVD is not a very high resolution source. EM can resolve sharp details that ES can't. But if you are mainly watching DVDs, those extra fine details aren't there to resolve to begin with. DVD on an ES machine is just fine in my opinion. Is EM focus better? Sure. But slightly better at what cost? This is a value decision. Buy the best projector you can with your budget. It's that simple. :cool:
 

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Rheal-


Are you on Curt Palme's weekly CRT's for sale list? He's in B.C so there are no customs fees to worry about.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yes actually I am on Curt's list. If I buy a CRT (90% sure I will) then I will buy from Curt no question there.


I was just comparing the $1800 crt to a $1500 digital because that is my price range. Not ment as an insult to anything. They are both in my price range so I just wanted peoples opinions on one against the other. I have to agree with the lamp life if DLP or LCD not being to good for the price.


Thanks and keep the comments comming.


Rheal.
 

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I've played with the best of both... Barco 800's, Electrohome ECP's, Sony G90's and Electrohome Marquee's.


The EM will certainly look sharper "out of the box". If you take time, and do some mods to the ES projector, you can get an amazingly sharp picture. Will a modded ES stand up to a stock EM projector? No... but to the average casual viewer they will see the same picture quality.


If you're a REAL videophile, seeking the ultimate, you have to get EM and then mod that ;)
 

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No, I don't have any screen shots. The ones Curt has on his ebay pages are close but you REALLY lose the depth and a lot of detail taking a picture. You'd never see it as good as it does in person. I too have seen the X1. It had rainbows for me, I'm VERY sensitive to them. As for the picture... It wasn't even close. Very "flat". I'm telling you, the Barco BG800 will throw a picture (even at 8' or 96" WIDE, not diagonal) that will suck you in. Use Parkland Plastics for a screen. It literally (to me anyway) sometimes (with a very good transfer) appears like I'm really there, in person, hovering over the action or looking out a window. As someone said earlier, a DVD is only 720x480. You'll NEVER get any better than that out of ANYTHING. If you're going REALLY big, you'll want a higher capability EM machine to project that scaled up image in smaller "blocks" but you'll never get detail better than DVD resolution. Trust me, for the little money you're spending, you'll be VERY happy. EM is great for HD source. But I'm not getting that any time soon either and 1280x720 should look just fine when I do finally get it. My picture is MUCH better than any local movie theater. I got mine from Curt too. There have been a few minor issues but he's taken good care of me. I'd suggest using him too. Just remember, you're NOT getting a machine that you just plug in and watch. It took me a few hours before I had a decent picture. I can now do it from scratch in an hour if I need to. You'll have to let it warm up for 1/2 to an hour and even then MAY need to re-converge SLIGHTLY (1 or 2 clicks) before you're ready to watch something. That takes 10 seconds. I ALWAYS put up the Nokia monitor test before I insert the DVD. For DVDs you really can't go wrong than a CRT and I'd say (barring being a video purist "need the best possible" person, you'll be VERY happy with a Barco 800. I picked it mostly because it's modular and I'm out in nowhere land, so I need to be able to fix it by mail!


Last night I watched ToraToraTora, there is a scene where they're at the radar site up on the mountain. I've been to Hawaii (lived there for 4 years) anyway, in the scene where you're looking at the operator there is a long range view across the valley and I could actually see the cars as they traveled along the road (Liki Liki Hwy) some 10 miles away. I've never seen that before. FP is the ONLY way to go.


I hope we've convinced you to go with CRT. I almost went digital. A Sanyo Z1 was in my house. The wife WASN'T impressed (luckily it broke and I just returned it) and I gave up for a few months. I couldn't stay away from the forums and one day got Curts list and said, what the hell, I went for one and I'm SO glad I did. Best $1000 I've spent since buying a lawn tractor to cut the grass!


Good luck...
 

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Here are some screenshots of my BD800 (ES) projector. These shots are displayed 11' wide on white painted drywall from an over the air HD channel local to my area broadcast in 1080i. http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/attac...610&fullpage=1


http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/attac...619&fullpage=1


And the thread I originally posted the shots: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=177258


This BD800 is still in my theater even though I own several 8" EM projectors (808s and 1208 which are in storage). IMO, the small difference in sharpness is not relevant to me right now because the BD800 already exceeds the source quality of video in my area (St. Louis, MO). But in the future that may change (especially as I wear out the tubes) and thats why I am prepared for this. The BD800 also has larger tubes than the 808 and 1208 as well. I know this to be true because I actually have measured the front faces with a tape measure.


The BD800 is flat out, hands down the best bargain of the century right now. The screenshots are really what my projector does. Sure, maybe a NEC PG is better but look at its steep price? The point I make is the Barco 800 is bright, punchy, and believe or not well focused (if the source is HD). And you can pick one up right now for a song and a dance. Whats more to ask of it?


And if my source material in St. Lous, MO, USA is not even enough to challange the BD800 I can well imagine you are not going to find too much better in Canada.
 

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I am a CRT person (Sony 1031Q, NEC 6pG and GP3000) so you can guess what I like, but and that is a big BUT (kinda like Oprah) I digress, ...

If you are not in the least bit a "technophile" then you should go with the X1. For DVD viewing, provided you don't see the rainbows (watch Star Wars), then the X1 is the no brainer - ie requires no brain to operate (no fun in my opinion). Good colour and contrast. Don't go more than 100" on the screen.


Anyone want to buy a NEC GP3000?
 

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Rheal,

Biffidum lives in Canada, so maybe the GP-3000 would fit for you. It is a nice EM machine and usually sells not too high...

I love my two 3000s and if it were not Canada I might take it...

Roland
 

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If you want an ES CRT, go for the sharpest and newest you can find, my personal favorite is the Barco Data 701s or the 708's. They are small in size, relatively quiet and dirt cheap. If you buy a set of HD 144 color filtered lenses of Ebay too, the PQ will be amazing.


pccinema: Operating costs between a new DLP and a used CRT:


X1 ($1000-1500): +3 new bulbs @ about $1000 =12 000 hours

BD 701s ($750-?): +3 new tubes @about $3000 = 10-20 000 hours (number of hours depends on condition of existing tubes)


The numbers speak for themselves.


The lowend digitals now are much cheaper to operate than most any CRT's over time, they make less noice and are WAY easier to live with than CRT's. Digitals gives MUCH more light on the screen with much better uniformity than any CRT, on the newer models such as the Infocus SP 5700, the colors are PERFECTLY calibrated from the factory.


There is only one thing where they are lagging behind, and that is BLACKLEVEL, once you get used to the perfect blacklevel a good CRT can give, there is nothing else that will do the job.


Frode
 
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