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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm curious as to how many of you do most (80% or more) of your regular TV viewing on your projection system? I have been considering a plasma for its low form factor, but lately have been leaning toward a projection system for that extra "wow" factor for films and HDTV. I'll be driving it with a HTPC (GeForce, dScaler for DSS, AccessDTV, etc.).


The obvious concerns are bulb life, ambient light control, and the WAF factor of a permanently mounted screen (of course, an electric retractable would be slick, but the nuisance of lowering it for regular TV viewing would tend to discourage casual viewing -- but maybe that's a good thing?! http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif )


The options appear to be:

1. Plasma only

2. Projection only

3. Projection plus direct view TV (e.g., something like a Sampo SME-34WHD5)


Questions:

-- Is Option 2 realistic? For casual DSS, sports, etc.?

-- My budget is approximately $6,000 for everything, so the combination of Options 1 and 2 is not feasible (at least right away).

-- The drawback, as I see it, of Option 3 is the need to move the TV out of the way when using the projector. The size of the room (10'x16') and its multi-purpose use dictate this.

-- By careful attention to budget, I can probably swing Option 3 for about the cost of Option 1.

-- Light control is not that problematic. It is a basement room that receives little or no direct light through a glass door, which also can be curtained during the day.


I realize that everyone says that once I try FP, I "won't go back." But is FP-only realistic?


BTW -- no kids, and most casual TV viewing is evening network dramas, sitcoms, HBO, and sports.


Any thoughts?


 

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Quote:
Originally posted by K-Wood:
I'm curious as to how many of you do most (80% or more) of your regular TV viewing on your projection system?
I do.


Sitcoms don't look too bad through S-Video or via replaytv at high quality. However, live sports look TERRIBLE.


Live sports through the OTA or via HD mode on the Dish 6000 actually are pretty good though. Definitely comparable to an RPTV in my opinion.


My projector is the infocus LP350.


--Les

 

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I do (my GF has buffy on in the background right now) and to cap it all off I do it with a seriously budget PJ that is lacking in light output...


I use a Viewsonic PLJ 830 (a Davis DL450 clone) and power it with HTPC and use dScaler to scale TV sources (via s-Video into the PC) to the native resolution of the PJ...


The PJ is obviously no good with drapes open in daytime (only 600 lumens max !!) and is kinda washed out as my drapes aren't to good if its a real sunny day but the way I see it, is if its a real sunny day then I shouldn't be watching TV anyway... On an overcast day or evenings / dusk its not too much of a problem (even with just drapes and a fair bit of ambient) and total dark is obviously fine with full vibrant colors etc...


All in all its a trade off... I am very happy to live with the daytime wash out for image size and PJ impact... YMMV


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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Phat --

Another Buffy fan! I'm distraught over the sale to Paramount and the depature of SMG. Oh well, at least we have Angel.


The projector-only option is looking more and more feasible. After upgrading my stereo system to audiophile levels (well, at least entry-level audiophile), I've been listening to alot more music and doing less casual TV viewing. Most of our TV viewing is in the evening when ambient light is not an issue, and our area (Arlington, VA) gets good HDTV reception, so the projector would bring out the best in this.


I may look into a desktop LCD panel for cueing and watching the news, and simply default to the bedroom TV for other non-critical viewing.


Using a retractable screen would also free up some wallspace for artwork ... and would increase the WAF.


- Ken


Additional testimonials are appreciated...
 

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Firstly let me make something VERY clear... I said my GF is watching... And I am here http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/cool.gif !! I am not what you would call a fan but then I only really watch TV with others.. On my own its CNN or the net (MTV on as background)


If you have light control I would say there is no reason not to use a PJ for a main TV...


Sure bulb costs are a consideration but really with the amount we spend on toys is a bulb a year so much to pay for what you end up with...


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If bulb life is a real concern, you could look at a PJ like the NEC VT540 which can get 3000 hours from a bulb in econo-mode (700 lumens), or 2000 in normal mode (1000 lumens). That's 2-3 times the life of most projectors around...


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I used a JVC G1000 as a TV for about 8 few weeks. I found the big screen to be fatiguing when done routinely. I also found sitting in the dark all the time gets old. So I would only recommend it if you have a really bright projector, that looks good with the room lights on.


SM
 

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K-Wood:


Swampfox's experience is pretty much mine. I LOVE front projectors and am desperate for a new one to replace the 400Q I sold a year ago. But for routine viewing, especially with a signal as relatively poor as DirecTV--poor compared to anamorphic DVD--I bought a Toshiba TW56X81 widescreen RPTV. It's a nice set, and I can grade papers (two teaching jobs) with LOTS of lights on. (BTW, the latest Toshiba RPTV's can be had for a song now, if you want to consider the two-TV approach.) Trying to watch anything smaller than a 53" or 56" TV after a couple of glorious hours with a 100" screen may be frustrating. Before I bought the Toshiba I looked at a lot of direct-view sets in the 27"-35" range. No soap for me.


In your room, a pull-down FPTV screen mounted above an affordable wide-screen RPTV would meet your needs well, IMHO, for all kinds of viewing situations.


Mike
 

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I am using a 17" computer monitor connected to a DTC-100 for casual and daytime viewing. I do have drapes for daytime if I want but generally don't bother. I had an old monitor in the garage that found excellent added use this way.

 

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I have gone for the "Option 3" - a FP system and a direct-view TV (Panasonic 27", 4:3).


Reasons for this?

- Light control hard when using FP (multi-purpose room, unfortunately with lots of windows.)

- Projector noise (hushbox construction just starting).

- When watching video tapes with "sentimental value" (read: really crappy quality) the direct-view TV gives better image.

- Can't stand 6 foot news anchor face glaring at me while eating breakfast.
 

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I would recommend a front projector for DVD's with a TV for non movie watching (or "dark" movie watching). I have a LP340 with a 72x50" screen and do not find video other than DVD's good enough for the projector. Even some DVD's are not well suited for the projector("Cast Away" for example).

Until we have 1000:1 contrast ratios for under $4000, we're stuck with compromises.


[This message has been edited by jmrobbins (edited 06-28-2001).]
 

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i use Option 3 (projector + direct view)


for the same reasons mentioned several times above, plus one more:


i like to use the projector to make home bigscreen events more "special" - eg a specific DVD "movie night" or a specific HDTV show on PBS/HBO. Also HD Superbowl, (Non HD) Oscars, etc.


if the projector/bigscreen is ALWAYS on with the regular "500 channels & nothing on", it takes away from the magic... http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif
 

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Go With Option 2


Do not get anything other than the Sanyo XP18 or 21.

You need the lumens, and they have it. I consider my image on the 21 to be brighter than most tube TV's. There is nothing better for your appliation that I know of within your price range.


I watch NTSC via sat 6-8 hours per day on the projector (at least it is on that much in the background).

If you start using a projector than have to use a tube tv you will be very sad or get headaches from squinting.


Get a Da Lite B Snap pull down screen for $150. Works fine, zips away to invisibvility when not in use, weighs 15 lbs so you can mount it on your ceiling with mollies into just drywall. High WAF since it disappears.


Look for the best pricing on the 18 or 21, I think they can be bought for under $6k now. If you have it initially get a Quadscan scaler, they seem to be floating around used in greater quantities now, in the under $700 range.


This is the exact combination I have, with superb results for all NTSC, including sports and anything else.


If you are near Boston, come check it out.


DG
 

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I have option 3, just a 20" TV to watch the noon-news or evening news. Then the projector for everything else, well sometimes we just stick with the TV. This is in a livingroom, not a dedicated theater.
 

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I agree with bossmonkey. When I got my current 61" tosh to replace a 30" tube, I was enthralled by the huge cinematic picture. For about 2 weeks, after which it lost a lot of the initial impact. Watching regular TV/sat on with a smaller picture would preserve the sense impact of the big picture experience.


Now I'm thinking when I get a projector, probably XGA, that I'd want to watch SD material using only 480 of the 768 rows.


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If you have an HTPC, you could go cheap with a 17" or 19" computer monitor, or go unobtrusive with an LCD monitor. Some LCD monitors could be hung on your wall, so the screen could come down with hitting it.

Sony actually sells an LCD TV you can carry aroung with you.



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Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Wow -- another "flaming" post. I'm on a roll. Great suggestions from everyone. Steve, I really like the idea of a LCD panel for everyday viewing. An even cheaper alternative would be a 19" computer monitor, which can be had for less than $300 these days, but a 19" monitor is a pretty ugly thing .... I've been using a 17" monitor to set up my HTPC and have been surprised at how good the picture is on NTSC through dScaler. ASTC (even standard def.) on the AccessDTV is even better. I think it would be very watchable on a 17" LCD or a 19" CRT. One challenge would be in making the HTPC as user-friendly as possible so that it would be amenable to casual viewing. Another challenge would be to find some sort of VGA distribution or switching mechanism to route the HTPC signal to either the monitor or the PJ (or to both simultaneously). How have people solved this problem?


So, it looks like I need to consider Option 3.a. -- FP plus a computer monitor for casual viewing. Time to get that Pronto.


- Ken
 

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I think watching everything on your projector kills the point. If you watch everything from the news to the soaps on a 8'-10'wide screen it will be great at first but eventually you will get used to it;the whole reason for the huge screen in the first place is lost. The WOW factor will soon become lost. I never feel disappointed after the TV has been on for the night (30")and at last it is film time. The lights go down the curtains open and .... well you get the idea. I think the contrast between crap TV (or any TV for that matter)and something you really want to watch "cinema size" is one of the most important factors that keeps this hobby fresh and exciting. It doesn't hurt when HBOHD puts on Gladiator,like it did last night either. Better than being at the theater, and there is no plasma that can do that.
 

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One way I have of getting the most from my PJ and keeping the WOW factor is....


I use a 16x9 screen that fits my DVD / movie watching... I use the same screen to pillarbox my OTA 4:3.. I do not use dScalers AR controls to make it 16x9 just zoom in (so 16x9 content is side boxed and pillarboxed)...


This may seem a little crazy but stay with me here... By doing this I a) have more light output and smaller screen for OTA TV and b) It still feels that little bit more special when it is all zoomed out for 'movie night' and when I am doing this 'critical' viewing there is always little or no ambient so the larger picture is OK...


Works for me http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/biggrin.gif ....


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