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I'm looking for advice on whether to use a digital FP or RPTV for the home theater I'm planning in my family room. I have 16' front to back wall and could have a 7' wide 16x9 screen. As this is not a dedicated room, the system will be used for regular TV watching during the day as well as films in the eve. No direct sunlight on the screen, but the room cannot be blacked-out either.


So does this group recommend a digital FP (which) or a RPTV (I'm leaning towards the Pioneer Elite Pro710HD)?
 

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During the day with ambient light your RPTV image will be a little washed out. To overcome that you might have to drive it harder thus risking burn-ins etc cuz most TV programming is still 4:3.


With a lamp PJ, you still have to have some control over lighting, else you have to go for something in excess of 1100 lumens which means an expensive PJ with greater fan noise and to achieve an acceptable picture, you'd have to drive it harder, the bulb will give in much earlier than it's rated hours resulting in increased recurring costs.


so pick your poison.


I'd suggest controlling ambient light first.


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Buyer's Guide to HTPC for Newbiess>c>
 

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After one day with my new "used" projector i am plesently supprised to be able to watch it in mid day with very little light control on a painted white wall. Sure the colors are washed out, but at least i can see the entire image. When watching in the same lighting conditions on our direct view set the glare in some spots on the screen makes it impossible to watch. The same is true of most rear projection sets and the anti glare screens significanty cut down the viewing angle. I think that at the price of the pioneer set you should be able to find a bright projector with at least enough money left over to buy a replacement lamp.


A significant issue that you might want to think about, and what most of us home theater nerds usually forget about is ease of use. Its not nearly as easy to use a projector for a quick check of the weather forcast as a direct view or rear projection set. Also, to get the best results usually requires a external scaler or PC, both of which can significantly reduce the ease of use of the system.


I think the wow factor, and the reduced footprint, along with the higher resolution are enough to make me a front projection fan, but i havn't thrown out any of the other TV's in the house yet, and i have no plans to.


Marc
 

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If you're considering the Pioneer Elite 710, then you should be able to look at some of the DLP projectors with higher lumen ratings -- over 1500, which would help with the ambient light problem. I've been able to greatly improve the ambient light situation in my living room HT by just doing things like putting mini blinds or roll down vinyl covers behind curtains on the windows, and putting up a drape that can be drawn across a doorway into the room that lets in a lot of light. The room certainly isn't blacked out but it's dark enough that there's no problem watching my 800 lumen LT150 (which was doing moderately well before the additional light control).


Obviously this depends a lot on your particular needs and wants. The Elite RPTV will take up a *big* chunk of floor space, and it ain't something you can tuck out of the way. That's one of the really sweet things about about DLP or LCD projectors. OTOH you need somewhere to place the projector, which can mean a different set of problems and room considerations. You'll probably still want a regular TV for watching some programming that doesn't call out for the large widescreen, unless you have another area for that.



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Just a suggestion:


buy a cheap analog 27-36" tv to use during the day and for nightime 'junk'viewing and channel surfing

and get a projector for 'movie-time'.


the benefit is, you won't waste hours on your bulb watching a lot of nonsense, regular direct view set will be more viewable in regular room light, it's more wife and kid friendly,

and most important, imo, it preserves the 'specialness' of watching good material on a biiiiig screen.


using either a pull down screen, roll away cart (for the tube), or both, you would probably be easily able to acommodate both.

the thing to remember is- once you spring for a big screen rptv, your really stuck with it. you may find you & your familys viewing habits drastically changing after you start logging time on it.


another thing to consider; suppose whatever you get, you find out ayear, or six months later you really wish you'd gone the other route.

a FP is far easier to sell, ship, and retains more of it's value,

whereas a rptv will be harder to sell (you can probably only unload it locally), and will depreciate FAR more rapidly.

also- the rp size may look like a giant step up now from what you have been using, but you will quickly get used to it and soon after begin craving a still larger display.


i know. this is just what happened to me.



i think we've already reached the point anyway, where the display device is of a drasticaly higher quality than most of the material it is used to view (and i'm not talking about software quality...i'm talking about the quality of the dramatic content)


[This message has been edited by ckolchak (edited 09-07-2001).]


[This message has been edited by ckolchak (edited 09-07-2001).]
 

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I have to agree with ckolchak. RPTV and FP are two very different animals and should be used for different purposes. RPTV for normal, everyday viewing and the FP for movies and/or special events (like the Super Bowl).


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Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.
 
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