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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,


I have been lurcking for some time here and am very close to making my purchase for my basement HT.


Some specs on my room:

10'x23'x7' (drop ceiling) (wood planking on walls)

Decided on 92" 16:9 electric screen (due to obstructions and location of stairs)

will view DVD movies, OTA HDTV, digital cable (mostly Nascar/Football)

Light controllable (2 small windows and 1 door-will have room darkening blinds)


That being said, my two big questions are how much to spend on a screen and on a PJ. Before you ask, money is not an issue, BUT I do like to get the best bang for my hard earned bucks!


I have demo'd the Sharp XV10000 on a Da-lite screen (Da-mat I think). That is it so far. I was VERY impressed! I have not looked at so called "budget" models yet.


Should a newbie like myself jump into a high end PJ or start out with a sub 5K PJ? My concerns are two fold. One, I do not want to be disappointed with an HD1 chip, and second I do not want to "overpay" for bleeding edge technology if I can get the same or similar quality for less. Is there a happy medium?


Should I invest in a Firehawk (seems to be highly recommended here) or a Da-Lite? Both should be tensioned and electric (which adds cost, I am aware of that). Same concerns as above.


I am new to this forum, so please take it easy on me.


Thanks,


Chuck
 

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My 1/50th of a dollar:


A projector isn't something you're gonna upgrade every year, unless you're well-off and like to have the absolute latest every time. Since you mentioned that money is not an object, but that you do like to get the best bang for the buck, I'd recommend purchasing one of the higher-end projectors. It'll be something you can live with for years and enjoy it even as new technologies emerge. Go for one of the HD2 DLPs, or an LCOS/D-ILA machine.


Welcome to the madhouse, btw :D
 

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I went "low-end first". I am an upgraded and find all existing projectors somewhat wanting. I figured even if I got an HD2, single-chip now, I'd want something better next year.


So I went super downscale and got the Z1, figuring I'd get my feet wet and lose very little on depreciation.


For someone in your situation, Chuck, I'd recommend a Panasonic L300 or maybe the Sharp 20 if you are willing to consider an upgrade. If not, find the best ~$10,000 HD2 you can now and enjoy it for years to come.
 

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I felt there was a bigger down-side in going cheap. You will always be thinking, this is OK, what am i missing?


After comparing HD2 pj's, I bought a Marantz S2. It was a tough choice, most are excellent, but the S2 is a choice that I won't be thinking, should I have waited.


i thought the HD1's were not there. Blacks were so-so, not high enough contrast etc. I went a little further and it was way worth it. Since buying the S2, I have never regreted one minute of it!
 

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Ernie- I thought the Marantz was the best picture quality I saw of all the projectors, in any category. However, it was quite a bit more expensive to implement in my room than the others. I voted the Dwin as a better bang for the buck because it offered better integration into(my) home theater environment with more I/O and a two box configuration.

Considering the PQ, I think you will be stuck with that projector for a long time :) and you will be very hard pressed to find any other that will beat it for awhile. At any rate you may be looking to add an outboard scaler to have better connectivity in the future, feeding just one cable to the Marantz. The Dwin comes already equipped so it wins in that respect ovewr the Marantz in my booK.
 

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JVC RS500U, 2.35:1 125" screen, Marantz AV7705, 11.2 Def Tech speakers, Sunfire Theater Grand 400x7
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Yeah, but at less than 1/2 the price of most 720 HD2, you can get the NEC HT1000 and the PSO lens. There's no better digital CR out there and there's no need to calibrate either. Best price performer on the market, if you don't have any DLP issues. You can always spend more, but why?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
When you guys mention "calibration", is this something that I can do myself with a little reading and proper calibration CD's? Or do you need months of training, special equipment, and a keen eye?


Will all the HD2's look great out of the box, or is calibration REQUIRED?


Chuck
 

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chuck,

I am of the opinion that you will replace your projector within in 3 years (or even sooner) regardless of the price you pay for a projector today. That being said, it all depends how much of a videophile you are. I am not as much of a videophile as many are here so I can live without having the absolute best picture I can get for a few years...


Two reasons you will change your projector within 3 years:

1) Projectors are advancing as rapidly as personal computers are (compare a $10,000 3 year old digital projector with one today)

2) The inputs are going to change (hdmi?, 1394b?)


Bottom line, check the projectors out, see what kind of picture will give you real enjoyment for a few years and buy the cheapest projector that does it for you. IMO this is the best bang for buck approach.


As far as screens go, it depends on what projector you end up getting.


What are you doing for audio?
 

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My limited experience...


I started out with around 7k to spend. After reading these forums and doing more research it just seemed like a better idea for me to go cheap and plan on an upgrade.


Without doing a side by side comparison, I was impressed with the L300. Of course, when I did a side by side comparison, I saw what I was missing. I went back and forth doing more and more research trying to figure out a bunch of things - are inputs going to be changing soon? Is technology going to be changing soon?


I just figured spend ~2k on the 300 and re-evaluate in a year. I do enjoy researching and looking so it gives me something to look forward to. Not having the TV3 in my house, I am completely satisfied with the 300 for now.


Going cheap also allows me to feel ok about trying out different screens - moving cables and the pj around - just overall flexibility that I needed, since this wasn't goign into a dedicated HT room. If I was putting it in a dedicated room and not selling my house soon, it might be a different story.


-Mike
 

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Under. depecriation of these boxes is extreme. Brian
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
tpigeon2003,


As far as audio goes, thats a whole other story. I have not even started looking through the audio forums yet. Video first...


But since you asked, I have a 5 channel carver amp that still works. But my carver pre-amp is only pro-logic. I was thinking of upgrading the pre-amp and adding a 2-channel amp for a total of 7 channels. I was thinking of the Outlaw pre-amp on the low end and Sunfire or Anthem on the high end.


Then I need all new speakers all around (except a Sub-have Definitive Tech)


Chuck
 

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I would recommend an HD2 something like the 7200 or Toshiba MT8 (same projector) or Sharp 10k. They're the "cheapest" of the HD2 PJs with superb images and lots of extras (DVI with HDCP will be very important to have for the new few years).

Although they retail for $10k, since they're about a 6 month old technology, they can be had for under $6k if you look/wait long enough. That's not too far from your $5k limit.

Go for it and never look back...
 

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I am not as concerned about what speakers you buy as I am of where you plan to put your main speakers. For best results, most speakers should be 3-6 feet off the front (screen) and 2-4 feet off the side wall. If you have to place them in a corner, I would not spend too much on speakers as you will lose all the detail you are paying for by placing them there.


If you have to put your speakers in a corner, you should get speakers designed to operate in close proximity to walls - such as wall mounted speakers - for the best sound.
 

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Chuck,


PJs have been depreciating at about 30%/year and next year is probably going to see a big drop because volume is growing rapidly. I'd go cheap and upgrade in 2 years. Don't worry about DVI until the next PJ. Also go for the 16:9 with at least 720p resolution. Budget for a good screen, it can make a difference and will probably outlast the PJ. Also, get at least 1500 lumens and a CR of at least 600:1.
 

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Kelliot - Don't your specs end up suggesting something other than cheap (i.e., $2K)? 16:9 with 720P is pretty easy to find (e.g., HS10, TW100, LPX500), all of these meet your CR requirement too, but 1500 lumens? Was this a typo? Even the Marantz S2 is only 700 lumens.
 

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Yup, only the HD20/PLV-70 fits the bill. But you can't go wrong there for your $5K.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Uther
Kelliot - Don't your specs end up suggesting something other than cheap (i.e., $2K)? 16:9 with 720P is pretty easy to find (e.g., HS10, TW100, LPX500), all of these meet your CR requirement too, but 1500 lumens? Was this a typo? Even the Marantz S2 is only 700 lumens.
QUOTE]Originally posted by Uther
Yup, only the HD20/PLV-70 fits the bill. But you can't go wrong there for your $5K. [/quote]


Yes, the HD20/PLV-70 retails for less than 5K.

The Sony 12WHT or HS10 aren't as bright as the Sanyo, but would be a good compromise.

I like my Firehawk and it will last forever.

I own a used JVC G1000 and use it with a Panamorph. Still very cost effective, but I'd like more brightness and better CR.
 
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