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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a question for you folks. I'm in the decision phase of my DLP projector purchase. I'm not normally a DIY, but my home theater costs are getting out of control and I need to save some money!!!! :)


Understanding the issue surrounding warranties, etc. from an online purchase, my question is about projector setup and configuration. I've never owned a front projector before and am wondering if it really is possible to configure these babies on your own or is it pretty much necessary to have a professional do it? I mean can you pop in one of the DVD's such as AVIA's Guide to Home Theater, or Sound & Vision's Home Theater Tune-Up and successfully pull off a projector setup? Obviously I'm a newbie so stop laughing. I really don't know. Also, do the manuals that come with these projectors give enough information to set them up correctly?


Inquiring minds (and this newbie) wanna know!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
PS - I forgot to mention that I'm considering either the HT300 or the new DWIN Transvision 2, if that's helpful info.
 

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Heres what I was told by a dealer and I beleive him somewhat. He told me when you get a projector you can definately make it better looking than what it was when it came out of the box, but will it ever be perfect? Probably not. Its expensive to have an ISF guy come and tweak your projector though.. I was quoted between 500-1000..


Chris
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by xris2o0o
I was quoted between 500-1000..

Chris
That is insane! Fortunitly for me, one of my neighbors works for InFocus and when I get a projector, I am hoping he has the knowledge to help me out. :p
 

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You shouldn't have to do that much tweaking or maybe even any (beyond Avia and the like) to get a very satisfactory picture with the Dwin or Seleco. I don't consider myself an experienced tweaker, but I managed to set up my G-15 DILA without professional help, also to save some $$, and the DILA requires more work than the good DLP's. The more costly DLP's like the Dwin, Seleco or Sharp seem to be pretty good right out of the box. That's one big advantage of the DLP technology. You can do some additional tweaks if you want by getting information from this forum. Why not set it up yourself first? You can always go for a professional calibration later, but on these projectors, I suspect you will not see the need for that.


As to installation, it's really not that hard with the newer digital projectors, even to do a ceiling mount or whatever. Frankly, it's not much harder than installing one of the newer TV's, only the digital projectors don't weigh a ton. And again, the people on this Forum are so helpful with answers to questions re installation, etc., that you probably could get all the help you need right here.
 

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I would DIY. Ask on the forums here for some starting settings for your particular pj, then adjust from there. I'm not blown away by the utilities on Avia or the like, and without color chips &/or electronic testing equipment, you're still eyeballing it. SOME of the factors involved in a video image include:


Brightness

Contrast

Color Saturation

White Point

Black Point

Black Level

Shadow Detail

Pixel Separation

Pixel Resolution


If you can get a higher end utility, such as Dilard (for D-ILA pj's), then it would be worth it. Otherwise, I'd save the few hundred bucks from the Avia disc, use the basic calibration utilities on X-Men (or another commercial DVD), and put the extra cash into better cables, HTPC, DVD's, etc.


Of course, that's just my opinion.
 

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The Seleco is very good out of the box. Using the calibrations that AVIA has you should have a great picture in no time. Make sure your screen and room size can handle the projector and vice versa. But it really is pretty easy. Alan at AVScience (the sponser of this forum) sells both of these projectors and can help you out. He has very competitive pricing too!


Good Luck....
 

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I had a professional installation of my Sharp 9000 projector (ceiling mount) and Stewart Firehawk screen in April 2002. I am not too mechanically inclined, and thought the installation would be too much for me. I was wrong. I helped the installer and observed his work. Without reservation I will never PAY to have this type of work done again. With the exception of pulling cables thru the ceiling, I could have done everything with the tools I have (minimal) and my 14 year old son to help. Watching these guys cut corners, not read installation manuals and generally goof up the most simple things was just astounding (ie missing the center of the wall for the projector mount by 1 inch, trying to snap a firehawk screen on the frame before the mounting brackets are installed and pilot holes drilled in the wall, trying to use the wrong size bolts - instead of the ones PACKAGED WITH THE SCREEN - I could go on).


My advice is use this forum as your guide. There is infinitely better experience found here than with most dealers. Find a handy man that can read a manual and has a little "common sense." Then, do the job yourself and do it right the 1st time. Luckily I was there and caught the major mistakes. I cringe at the thought of turning those guys loose in my basement while I'm gone.


In terms of adjusting your projector, if you can follow instructions and handle a remote control, Avia, Video Essentials or Sound & Vision theater setup DVD's will be all you need. You will find enormous satisfaction in doing it yourself and knowing you did it right.


Corey J.
 

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The most important thing is getting the brightness and contrast controls set correctly

Always set brightness first then contrast setting.


The brightness control sets the black level of projector. The darkest portion of the input signal should equal the darkest level that the projector can produce. Setting the brightness too high will raise the black level so night time scenes will look foggy. Setting the brightness too low will truncate or "clip" the dark portions of the input signal. This will cause you to loose shadow detail.


After you have set brightness then you can work on contrast. Contrast is a little easier to set. You keep raising it until the whites start to become "crushed". Pictures of snowy mountains work best for this. When you start to lose detail in the snowy highlights then your contrast is too high and you are effectively making things too white.


Brightness and contrast settings are the two things that will vary the most from source to source and there is only one perfect setting for both of them for each source. This is unlike color, gamma, etc. settings which are more or less your personal preference.


Avia and Video essentials will help you a lot in setting your brightness and contrast controls but they will vary from source to source. So unfortuneately if you set b/c perfectly for your DVD player that doesn't mean they will be perfect for you STB or computer, etc. You need to get atuned to knowing what to look for because you won't get test patterns for some of your sources.


-Mr. Wigggles


PS. this is where DVI really helps out. Brightness and Contrast controls are meaningless for DVI. Unless the user wants to deliberately alter the image, the source and display should "out of the box" be able to communicate what is white and what is black perfectly with the default settings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hey everyone THANK YOU VERY MUCH for all the great information! I'm convinced that I can do this on my own now, and Mooneycj is right -- I'll have much more satisfaction knowing that I did it myself. I'm hoping that I'll be able to get my contractor to install the bracket.....or what the heck, I'll do it myself! :)
 

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The nice thing about single lens is that they are very easy to set up, even for the layman. I've done installations professionally for quite a while and as long as you take your time and make correct measurements there's no reason that you can't do this yourself. If you are buying from someone local then pick their brains on doing the install. That's what they are there for.
 

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The nice thing about single lens is that they are very easy to set up, even for the layman. I've done installations professionally for quite a while and as long as you take your time and make correct measurements there's no reason that you can't do this yourself. If you are buying from someone local then pick their brains on doing the install. That's what they are there for.
 

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I have a VP-12S1 and I also happen to have a Photo Research Spectra Scan 650 (color-radiometer). Can anyone give me advice on how to do a more proffesional set-up job than Avia (besides attending ISF training)?


Tim
 

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Mr. Wigggles,


"Pictures of snowy mountains work best for this."


Hmmm. What if at another part in the movie the sun reflects off a chrome bumper? That would then be clipped. Or does film not have that wide a dynamic range?


"Brightness and Contrast controls are meaningless for DVI."


Hmm, I see what you mean, but we're still stuck with huge variations in B/C in source material even when viewed through the same device.


Thanks
 
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