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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm currently considering a front projector for use with my HT and HTPC. I'm wondering how the rainbow effects of a DLP projector will impact the image for FPS games (shooter games with lots of fast motion being pumped out at over 100 frames-per-second by the video card) should I chose to play them on my HT. The projector I'm favoring right now is the InFocus X1 (2x color wheel) because I can get it pretty cheap and it's received some very good reviews. I'm possibly considering 2 other projectors, the Sanyo PLV-Z1 and Panasonic PT-L300U, both of which are LCD Projectors, however they cost quite a bit more for me to get.


Does anyone have any feedback regarding image quality of fps games being played from a pc and displayed via projector? Anything at all would be helpful. I'm specifying PC games in particular because the newer 3d cards can push very high FPS even when playing the newest, most demanding games. I'm pretty sure that consoles don't hit framerates that high.


Thanks.


EDIT: I was just reading another post and saw mention of people using extremely low refresh rates (60Hz). This is much lower than anything I would use for a computer display, is there a reason for this? 60Hz for gaming is bleh...
 

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I've played games on my last projector (DLS8 SVGA 800X600 DLP 2X WHEEL ), but mostly snowboarding games and such. It was very cool. Played at 75 hz, but on the X1 you'd want to play at 62 hz. It should be fine. Yes there are rainbows, but doubtful you will see them much in games, unless you play pong. For me to see rainbows I have to be looking at a pure white on black image/ part of an image and move from side to side with my eyes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the reply peter. On second thought I'd probably be more likely to play driving/sports games in which case i could use controllers or a driving wheel. I'd probably have to build something custom to be able to play FPS games competitely given the requirements of using a keyboard/mouse combo and having enough freedom of movement to play well on a reclining chair heh. It could be fun for occasions when I wasn't so concerned with winning though ;p


Last question, it seems most people use a "low" refresh rate when displaying from their htpc to their projectors. On my PC, anything below 70hz flickers too much to be comfortable for extended, or even short durations (I'm usually at 120hz which is probably overkill but whatever).


Am I missing something when it comes to front projectors? The flicker of conventional CRTs at sub-70hz refresh rates is caused by the way the image is produced. Are front projectors less prone, or immune to, the flicker cause by low refresh rates?
 

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Low Refresh Rates: CRT and DLP/LCD are not equal. Remember that a CRT scans an image into existence by starting at the upper left corner and projecting from left to right, line by line, until it gets to the bottom right, then starts again at the top. Digital displays do not work this way, there is no electron gun/beam, therefore, there is no flicker, regardless of the refresh. The reason that the low refresh rates are used is because of the DLP wheel spinning at a certain rate. For the X1, the fastest, and optimum, speed that the wheel spins is when the refresh is set exactly at 62hz. Higher speeds result in a slower wheel on the X1 and hence more rainbows. To reduce rainbows, set the refresh to 62hz exactly with powerstrip. Anything more is worse, anything less is worse. Forget about flicker, it doesn't exist.
 

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You mentioned being sensitive to flicker on your regular tube monitor. On a regular CRT, the phosphors are "ignited" by the electron beam and then slowly fade until the beam comes around to light it up again. (In 1/120th of a second in your case!)


An LCD projector doesn't work the same way. After a voltage is applied to a pixel it sets how much light is passing through and the bulb provides constant light through the LCD onto the screen. It doesn't keep fading and getting brighter like a CRT, so there isn't any "flicker" to worry about. I suspect it's more important to get the refresh of the game matched to the native "refresh rate" of the projector. That way you don't end up with the top half of the screen as part of frame 1 and the bottom half as part of frame 2. The real concern with LCD is more likely to be them not fading fast enough after power is removed. This gives you "ghosting" on LCD monitors. Does this happen on LCD projectors too?


DLP projectors are somewhere in between. They vibrate the mirrors to set the brightness and/or color of the pixel. So they DO have something similar to flicker on CRTs, but it's more like a 300-3000 hz refresh rate. I haven't heard of anyone here talking about a correlation between sensitivity to DLP rainbows with sensitivity to CRT refresh rates but it seems possible.


(This is a cross between what I've learned here, and my own opinions about how the LCD works. If the LCD panel does cycle on-off and thus generate flicker, somebody let me know!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the responses guys. I'm just gonna go ahead and order an X1 as soon as I move in to my new place on may 1st. The linked thread was the clincher and has eased any worried I had. Bad audio bothers me a lot more than rainbow effects ever would and with the cost of this display, I can spend that much more on the audio side of things.


And tracy, although I haven't done any tests, I would assume that it's quite possible that LCD projectors suffer from the same ghosting as LCD monitors. I've been wanting to ditch CRT monitors for a long time, but there has yet to be an LCD display that is suitable for FPS games, although they're definitely making improvements. Maybe by next year I can be rid of CRTs for good :)
 
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