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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Finally My Dell 2100MP arrived yesterday! :)


I did not have any kind of 'test' equipment ready for it.

So here are the facts about the setup:


1. I have ordered 106" screen and it will arrive sometime soon. So I had to project it on my basement wall, which is not white. It is very very light violet color - so not the perfect surface to for testing a pj.


2. I have my Panny CP72 connected to my HDTV on the first floor and I did not want to disturb that setup yesterday - so I used my cheapo Apex 1200, which is not a progressive player. I used s-video to connect it to the projector.


Quick fact about the projector:


1. 800X600 DLP , 4:3 with 16:9 and 1:1 modes. It also has built in de-interlacer - don't know which one.


2. It does not have audio/speaker. So I had to run and get my laptop and connect Apex's analog audio o/p to it, to get Audio. I wanted some kind of audio for testing and it was sufficient.


3. It does not have lens shift feature and there is no size adjustment for the picture at a given distance. So only way to get the desired picture size is to move the projector. So if I decide to keep this puppy, I will certainly have hard time fixing it on to the ceiling while making sure it covers the screen. May be Dell ceiling mount allows some adjustments.

The projector was kept on carpeted floor and it was projecting approx. 100 inch (4:3) diagonal image on the wall. No keystone correction was required.


3. I put the projector in 16:9 video mode.Also, projector was in Movie mode. It also allows 1:1 but I did not test it.

No other settings were changed. I need to calibrate it soon. I'll do it after I get the screen.


I used following DVDs for testing

1. Lord of the Rings FOTR Extended Edition - one of the best DVDs I have in all aspects

2. Monster Inc. - Eye candy DVD


These two DVDs are tested before (several times) on my Panny CP72 and 43" Sony HDTV monitor.


First Impression:


1. NO RAINBOW at all !! That was a big relief for me and my wife. We tried all possible things to see the rainbow -sorry folks! :)


2. Colors look really vibrant and saturated. I compared it with what I see on on 43 inch HDTV and no difference there.


3. No visible scan lines / dots etc.


Having described all the good things let me proceed to tell you the biggest problem I'm seeing with this pj: :(


4. I' seeing motion artifacts. Basically when there are motion sequences like war sequences or people running around or camera panning (LOTR).


It is very hard to describe what exactly I saw, but I'll try.


When the drama is going on everything looks great. When action starts or or camera starts moving fast from left to right - boy it is hard to look at the moving objects. They seem to go out of focus - may be that's not the right word - out of focus, but actually it's hard to focus your eyes on the moving objects.

This effect kind of became less noticeable when the screen size was reduced by 10" or so. (By pushing the pj toward the wall)

Therefore I don't know whether it has some thing to do with the screen size. But with approx 100" - 110" screen size I was sitting at 18 feet so I don't see any problem there.

I have seen something similar in theaters but it is not as noticeable as I have seen it on my pj.


So my questions are :


1. Has anyone seen similar problem with their Dell pj or any other pj?

I saw one thread describing similar problem using Z1. But I think that

person returned the PJ.


2. Could the cheapo DVD player be the source of the problem?


3. Could it be the wall or the screen size used?


Tonight I'll connect my panny CP72 and update on #2 above.


More testing to be performed:


DVDs to be tested in future:


1. A black and white DVD ( for rainbow effect testing) form top of my head I don't remember whether I have any. I have to probably used VHS of 12 angry men


2. A 4:3 DVD


3. letter boxed DVD


Modes to be tested:


1:1 mode for all types of DVDs


If all the people who have Dell 2100MP could post their experience and /or suggestions - we can make this a very informative thread.
 

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I have the Dell ceiling mount. It only allows you to adjust the height (distance from the ceiling) and the angle of the projector. You cannot move the projector closer to or further from the screen once mounted, nor can you move it left or right.


Personally, I don't find that to be a problem.


Also, I believe the answer to Question #2 is yes.
 

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I received my Dell 2100 MP yesterday, so I haven't had much time to test it. However, watching LOTR I did not see any motion artifact. DVD player is Panasonic RP62. I did see some rainbows, usually when there was a flash of something light in a dark scene. Overall, I think the experience (rainbows, sharpness, color, contrast) was similar to what I remember seeing with the X1 (although I last saw that projector a couple of months ago)
 

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It could be the inexpensive deinterlacing / scaling electronics that cause the artifacts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
OK guys - here is an update:


I connected CP72 last night to 2100MP and now it looks much better. Motion artifacts, which I described earlier are reduced a lot.


But I discovered some more problems with this projector.


1. In 16:9 mode when you watch 4:3 material with progressive scan i/p (I did not try anything else) , it compresses 4:3 material to fir 16:9 ! so every looks 'fat'. So in order to view 4:3 material you have to change to 4:3 mode - this will prevent me use of a 16:9 screen!!


Has anyone having this projector tried 16:9 mode ? This is a potential problem. Infocus X1 does it the right way. It displays side black bars while displaying 4:3 material in 16:9 mode.


2. 1:1 mode is totally useless for anamorphic DVDs. It does not stretch those DVDs. So again this mode cannot be used.


Again infocus X1 does better job here


3. I have no idea what 16:9U mode means. It looks exactly same as 1:1. Manual does not explain what it is.


I have send email to Dell support about this and waiting for their reply.

I'll update once I hear from them. Meanwhile if anyone has any other experience, please post.
 

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You can use a 16:9 screen for 4:3 material if you use a HTPC and dScaler, why you wouldn't use a HTPC I don't know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quote:
You can use a 16:9 screen for 4:3 material if you use a HTPC and dScaler, why you wouldn't use a HTPC I don't know.
Are you suggesting that I should use HTPC and dScaler (instead of DVD player) to correct this problem ?


I'm totally new to HTPC - well I'm not new to a PC I have two and laptop at home but they are underpowered for HTPC use. Best I have is 660MHz Dell P3.

What is dScaler and what it does to 4:3 material? Is it a software based scaler?
 

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Quote:
Are you suggesting that I should use HTPC and dScaler (instead of DVD player) to correct this problem ?
Yes and no, yes use dcaler for any of your 4:3 material, no don't use it for DVD material.

Quote:
What is dScaler and what it does to 4:3 material? Is it a software based scaler?
Yes it is a software scaler. It can also position any where on the screen its output. So you can use a 16:9 screen and then position 4:3 material in the center of the screen. I works with video capture cards like the excellent FlyVideo 2000 http://shop.store.yahoo.com/lifeview...video2000.html or the FlyVideo 300 http://shop.store.yahoo.com/lifeview...deo3000fm.html . For DVD playback on the HTPC use TheaterTek.
 

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So you're suggesting he resolve his problem by buying a +$1000 Home Theatre PC? He didn't spend that much on the projector... Better off suggesting he return it and buy the X1.


Personally I'd live with it's shortcomings for the price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
LOL :D


I exactly thought on the same lines when I saw the reply. I'm going to use th pj for DVDs only - no TV. BUT i have few DVDs - 15% which are 4:3 and I need to watch them on 16:9 screen.

I think it is a major flaw with dell. I hope they have some sort of firmware upgrade to do what Infocus X1 does.


I don't know how other people are dealing with this problem. (other than using HTPC and 4:3 screen)
 

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A decent HTPC using a radeon and a PIII 700 or so is not going to cost $1,000, try $375-$400. Projectors for the most part beg to fed the best source; which right now is a HTPC.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I think you are right. You can get dell 2.2 GHz for 360 plus tax. with 17inch monitor. I actually don't need monitor or any other things. I think I should look for good motherboard and replace my old shelved P1 130 Mhz.

I don't know what else you specially for HTPC. In what respect it is different from a regular PC other than speed and good video/audio cards.


Actuall I tried my dell P3 600 Mhz with WinDVD yesterday with 2100MP. Picture looked quite decent. I had to put PC in 800X600 mode and PJ in 1:1 mode to get the best picture. I won't comment on comparison between DVD player and PC since screen size was smaller when I used PC (from basement to office). May be winDVD is not a good sw but I noticed that picture froze when I changed chapters. I don't even know whether it was doing any 3:2 pulldown either.


Question is : when you use it in 800X600 and pj is also 800X600 - that's the best you can get. How does in your opinion it will improve PQ with SVGA projector? If you increase PC's resolution to XGA, pj is going to scale it back to SVGA and you may lose some PQ there. I understand with XGA pj may be you can get better PQ.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by SRR
You can use a 16:9 screen for 4:3 material if you use a HTPC and dScaler, why you wouldn't use a HTPC I don't know.
An HTPC sounds like a good solution in this case, but you don't know why someone wouldn't use an HTPC? :rolleyes: money? time? noise? convenience? I work with PCs for a living and I don't use an HTPC. I have a pc hooked up to my X1, but haven't spent much time trying to play DVDs on it.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by SRR
A decent HTPC using a radeon and a PIII 700 or so is not going to cost $1,000, try $375-$400. Projectors for the most part beg to fed the best source; which right now is a HTPC.
maybe not -- see:
http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volum...re-3-2003.html


it put me off my desire to build a HTPC; I'll probably wait until the state of the art in linux HTPCs is a little more advanced. at least if something doesn't work right, I can fix it.


Mark
 

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That reveiw isn't all that, and even he says in the conclusion this:


"For instance, if you are like me and use a high resolution CRT projector where image scaling is required, the $250 progressive player is not of any benefit, and I would be better off getting a good interlaced player and a combination deinterlacer and scaler. However, a combo deinterlacer/scaler that tests substantially better than the players above costs thousands of dollars and is beyond my budget."


In other words the HTPC is not out done without spending thousands of dollars and even then its debateable whether the HTPC wins or mega buck scalers win. Read that review with a grain of salt. Better yet post over in the HTPC forum here on AVS and ask the simple question of "I just got a projector, whats the best way to play back dvd's?", 9.9 times out of ten they are going to answer a HTPC.
 

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If I post that question in the HTPC forum, it wouldn't surprise me to hear that most recommend an HTPC ... but that doesn't make them right.


I'll buy that an HTPC is the way to go for a projector which doesn' t have its own scaler -- but even if it's the only inexpensive option does 't mean it's good, merely necessary.


for the Dell, maybe the HTPC is the only convenient solution to handling 16:9 and 4:3 material; to me it sounds like the Dell was designed to sell to 2 different markets: 16:9 DVD watchers and 4:3 computer presenters -- and dell didn't allow for dual use.


if the Dell works for you, great. my point is that most other digital projectors in this price range have more scaling options and can handle 16:9 and 4:3 and so don't need an HTPC which works less well than a $200 dvd player. and given the scores for the software dvd players, 'works less well' might be charitable.


and maybe this will all fall by the wayside, if windows ever gets a better real-time scheduler. [it just shouldn't require a 1GHz processor only to handle video and a little audio.]


I actually think the future is a combination of HTPC-like functionality, DVD burner/player and PVR. it'll run a real-time O/S, have scaling options and be able to record programming and burn DVDs. whether it'll have a keyboard & monitor will mostly be up to the folks in marketing, and will only be a question of appearance.


maybe that future will get here sooner than we think,

stay tuned,


Mark
 
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