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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've never seen a front projector home theater in person and there basically aren't any places around here where i could demo one. I was curious on how the picture quality would differ between a $2,000-$3,000 front projector (like the panasonic 300u or the sony hs10) and a decent quality hdtv rptv in the same price category. Do these projectors offer any improvements in image quality on dvd or hdtv? Or does the picture quality suffer in exchange for the large size. I've seen some screenshots on here of the front projectors and they either look fantastic or horrible, don't know if it's just bad camera work on the bad screenshots. Right now i have a toshiba 50h82 but i was wondering if i could get a noticeable improvement in picture quality by getting a hs10 and that bravo dvd player. It would be in a basement theater so light would not be a problem, but i may be a little limited by the screen size i could use (possibly 80"). Basically what i'm asking is would it be worth the extra $1000 or so to go with the fp+hd-dvd player even if i would only be increasing the image size by 20-30 inches at the moment? BTW, i can still return the toshiba for a full refund as i haven't had it very long.
 

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I would say that the only area in which the picture quality of an LCD or DLP front projector can be inferior to a decent (and well-calibrated!) CRT RPTV is the absolute black level, and possibly shadow details. If you do not really have a local AV dealer where you can watch a projector in action, closely examining the image quality of the latest LCD- and DLP-based RPTVs will give you some idea.


Anyway, the obvious WOW factor from the large image size is not the only advantage of the front projection. It will produce inherently more "film-like" image as compared with direct view TVs or RPTVs -- after all, what you watch in the movie theater is a front-projected image! :D The whole "experience" is very difficult to be reproduced by a big-box TV...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've only seen 2 or 3 lcd/dlp based rptv's at a couple chain stores. First of all i can only assume that these tv's were poorly setup. The lcd tv's i have seen look HORRIBLE, and i am not exaggerating here. It must be pure ignorance on the part of best buy employees on how to calibrate these lcd sets. I don't think i have ever seen a tv set that looked worse than these sets. I have also seen 2 of the samsung dlp's and i thought that while the picture was noticeably sharper and reds were truer than the toshiba the black levels were very disappointing. I did have a bad angle at the set though (it was on a shelf about 7 feet high) so i never got a direct view of it and that could possibly have made the image worse. But the dark images basically looked light grey, almost like smoke was inside the set (i would've considered this set.....if it wasn't $4,000). How much of a problem would lower black levels be on a front projector if i can have it set up in a completely dark room?
 

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I love FP much more then any RPTV. I owned an 42" RPTV 16:9 Samsung and it was nice but I hated the price I paid for it. Plus it being CRT and if the GUNS goes out that cost big bucks. Love the FP being portable is great and my FP versus my recent rptv it weights about 105lbs less ;)


I will never ever go back to RPTV.

Not even if it was for free :D
 

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I just switched from a Toshiba RPTV to the Panasonic L300U front projector.


As noted, blacks are not as good on the front projector, also you need more light control. And, at least with the Pansonic, there are issues with scan lines being visible on vertical pans sometimes.


And although the Panasonic is touted for being among the most quiet of front projectors, it is not silent as the RPTV was. I do frequently notice the sound of its fan during quiet moments and find it a bit distracting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It would definitely be an advantage in having something small and portable. Fan noise and light control would not be an issue to me. Basically what i'm asking is if it's worth it to make the switch even if i can't increase the size of the screen. If you had to choose between a 50" rptv and a 50"- 60" front projection for $1,000 more what would you take?
 

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I had purchased a 57" Hitachi TWX and upon delivery it got stuck in the stairway so they took it back. Man am I glad that happened. The movie experience I get with my new Panny 300 can kicks ass! :p
 

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D4,,


I say yes. One major big thing I hate about an RPTV is you need an sweet spot. For an FP I do not need that.


The 1000.00 you are talking about is that for an RPTV @ 60"??


B/C my FP cost me 1400.00 and it was 400.00 less then my RPTV
 

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Another thing to consider, go to the CRT forum. I was big on the idea of an LCD fp device, however this is a weird time for CRT. Normally a CRT pj costs upwards of $15k. However digital is driving the price of used CRTs way down. A $1,000 CRT pj will blow away any digital projector as far as picture quality an black levels.


There are two drawbacks to CRT devices though, VERY bulky and heavy(130lbs to 250 depending on the model), and they aren't as bright as LCD, which means you need near perfect light control.


In any case, steer clear of RPTVs, they are junk as far as I'm concerned. I hate that you have be DIRECTLY in front of it for an optimal image, and they just don't even look as sharp as projectors.
 

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A front projector is KING if you have a dedicated room and total control over lighting, it also works well in non-dedicated rooms as long as you have resonable control over lighting.
 

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Ya know, RPTVs don't do much better with ambient light come to think of it.
 

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Remember Upgrade Path. Once the room is setup for a PJ all you have to do is swap PJ's. Much easier to stay on the upgrade path.


Originally I was designing my room around a RPTV. Then I realized that I was building a room in my house around a piece of equipment that was obsolete when I was putting it in. So I went the PJ route. Now the room stays the same no matter what path I choose to upgrade.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by sushi
It will produce inherently more "film-like" image as compared with direct view TVs or RPTVs -- after all, what you watch in the movie theater is a front-projected image! :D The whole "experience" is very difficult to be reproduced by a big-box TV...
Funny you should mention this because I just today did a side by side with a Mitsubishi 73"RPTV and a Seleco DLP PJ. In the same room on at the same time with the same source.


The salesman was very nice and quite willing to demo everything, but unfortunately seemed to be very biased toward the RPTV and not knowledeable on the DLP. The Mitsubishi Diamond Series RPTV's are very nice, even completely miscalibrated as they all are in the stores, which I am sure the Seleco was too. Anyway, there are 2 things I really really really noticed. First, the DLP pj was incredibly filmlike and the RPTV was not. Second, ambient light made a HUGE difference in the DLP picture quality. The RPTV was almost uneffected by ambient light while the pj picture was very degraded with the introduction of ambient light. No rocket science here, but i just thought i'd point it out.


I watch movies at night so the light is not an issue. ON the rare occasions I watch during the day I close the blinds and hang up blankets and it gets dark enough.


BTW...I am a huge fan of DLP, and...sure as hell, you can see an occaisional Rainbow from the Seleco.....but you REALLY have to try....darting your eyes and head till u get a headache to see an occaisional rainbow seems kinda silly, but I guess it bothers some people immeasureably.


Get what works best for you....taking all factors into consideration. ANother comment I thought was a good one from the salesman was, "The DLP pj is not an everyday viewing device. He's right IMO.


MQ
 

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d4,


The screen size is certainly an important factor. To me, an 80"-diagonal versus only 50"-60"-diagonal would be a make-or-break difference...
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
shift: the rptv is a 50" and cost me close to $1,000 less than it would cost me to get an hs10 and the bravo dvd player.


The room i have isn't 100% dedicated to home theater because i also have the computer in there too, but other than that it's all theater. It's a basement room about 13'W x 22'L x 7'H (but a staircase that cut's the useable space to about 13' x 19') it is fairly well sound proofed and light can easily be cut out 100%. I do have a few limitations as well. Unfortunately i cannot mount the projector to the ceiling plus i cannot mount a screen to the wall at all for the time being. I was planning on maybe getting a skirted tripod or some other kind of freestanding screen. I was also thinking i would put the projector high up (about 5-6') on some kind of bookcase or shelving unit near the back wall (depending where i put the screen it would be about 15-17' away or on some kind of stand closer to the screen (10-12'). I've somewhat settled on the sony hs10 because the 300u exhausts out the back and isn't dvi-hdcp and the x1 doesn't have dvi at all. I have seen screenshots of the 300u and they looked beautiful and i would probably go with it if not for the no hdcp thing. I wouldn't consider a crt at all simply because of the size and weight of the thing. One thing that scares me is that i've never really seen a fp in person and i've seen some screenshots that made them look horrible even on really expensive ones (hopefully it's the fault of the camera). I'd really like to see one in person though. Anyone know of any places i could see a lcd/dlp front projector in the syracuse/central new york area? Also another question, do front projectors suffer from burn in problems like rptv's do? Thanks for the input everyone.
 

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They do not suffer from burn in at all, either LCD or DLP. With regard to cost of ownership, you should factor in about $400 per 1500-3000 hours of use (depending on specific model) for the replacement bulbs.
 

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I am going front projection for about 50" right now. It is getting me into the technology, costing less than a rear projection TV, has less of a "sweet spot" problem, allows me to upgrade projector and/or screen later, doesn't weight 200 lbs. etc. etc.


It's a win-win-win for me. Obviously, ambient light is an issue, but it would be with an RPTV, too. And the burn-in proof RPTVs are expensive anyway.


Mark
 

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Since with either RPTV or fp one end of my room was going to be dominated by a screen. The 57"-65" RPTVs I was looking at were about 2.5 feet deep. With my fp, the picture is 0 inches off the wall. I now have 2+ feet of usable room length I didn't have before.
 

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I too was originally looking at buying a RPTV. I install for a cable company so I see almost every RPTV out there. I never really found one that made me say yes this is it. While I'm sure 95% are never calibrated properly. It was the size and limited viewing angles that bothered me. I found this forum and eventually the idea of a FP was is my sites. I settled on the 300u and I'm building a HTPC for the ultimate picture quality. I very glad I went this route.


I mounted it to the ceiling for about $20 (see mounting the 300u thread)


I built a simple 48 by 82.5 screen with 1 by 3 and that cheap smooth wall board used in bathrooms. Lightly sanded and framed with flat black trim. It's very light and hangs on the wall like a very large Picture. It's painted with Goo paint via wagner sprayer. Goo is a very good product and is easy to apply and very forgiving!


I made a component cable with 3 RG6 coax cables cut to exactly the same lenght with F to Phone adapters.


I am very pleased with the overall outcome. Every one is amazed when they see it. Ever regular analog looks great through a SA3100 cable box.


I have a total of about $2400 (PJ,DVD,screen,mounting) in this so far not including the HTPC.


This is much less than a high quality RPTV of 60"+size, and the Picture quaility is way better, and bigger. This is very apparent when you compare analog channels from RPTV.


Get a FP, get out a few tools and have some fun. I few weeks from now you'll be sitting in your big chair, with a big smile, watching your favorite flick.

:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Would not being able to mount it to the ceiling or mount a permanent wall screen noticeably decrease the picture quality? I would probably get a good quality tripod screen or something like that. What has scared me off recently has been some of the screenshots i have seen. I know seeing a picture of a screen is nothing like experiencing it in person and the camera could be the source of the problem. But, it's not really the bad screenshots that bothered me, it's the way people in here and other forums reacted to them saying how great they looked. I see some like these that look amazing:

http://jimtreats.crosswinds.net/MyTr...tv%20demo1.tif
http://kotisivu.dnainternet.net/anttimie/Milla.jpg (incredible)
http://kotisivu.dnainternet.net/anttimie/screeni.jpg
http://members.rogers.com/evil-ned/pjshots/pj1.jpg


but then i see others that really make me question it: (sorry if i'm pointing out peoples systems, no offense meant)

http://frank18202.tripod.com//sitebu...enshots008.jpg
http://frank18202.tripod.com//sitebu...enshots009.jpg
http://frank18202.tripod.com//sitebu...res/sw2012.jpg
http://www.sweetnancy.com/images/Hom...FrodoHiRes.jpg
http://www.sweetnancy.com/images/Hom...ShPigHiRes.jpg


(last two are from a much more expensive setup than i'm considering)



So what does it really look like, the top pictures or the bottom pictures?
 
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