AVS Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
733 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It has, to say the least, been somewhat disconcerting to discover that some members of this forum have had less than optimum results with some of the products and/or combination of products I have recommended! Luckily for me, others have had a good deal of success!


For example, I have been very excited about HTPC use with front projectors. I have a turnkey HTPC -- yes it may seem expensive, but in relative terms I consider it a steal. It is dedicated for HT use -- period! My success with it, I believe, is the fact that it is dedicated - only programmes to enhance DVD use, no other files to gum things up. I use a wireless keyboard with a built in mouse - very simple and very easy to use -- it must be because I have had great success! There's another intangible here -- Brian. Brian works with AVS putting these things together and he's an expert! He tests them before shipping them out. Together with his expertise (product support) and patience you have a complete package. He showed enough confidence in me to recommend that I upgrade my GeForce 2 video card to the new Radeon -- and guess what? A neophyte like me could do the installation, under his tutelage. Considering everything, this was a rather painless operation and I am delighted with the results.


The GeForce 2 provided a stellar image that I would estimate has been improved by approximately 10% with the Radeon. Expectations? I really didn't believe it would be possible to produce much of an improvement over what I was seeing -- 10% or there abouts is really impressive -- the image seems a little more defined with some palpable improvement to the gray scale. I would say the picture is a little softer, more of a CRT look and glassy smooth. This is the best image I have seen, short of HDTV -- and to be honest, I really don't crave an HDTV image that much because of what I already have.


What about DLPs? Seems some have expectations that they can replace their RPTVs with a FP and use it in a similar fashion -- in other words to watch a Saturday afternoon football game in the livingroom with normal lighting! Where did this expectation come from? Let me be the first to disabuse you of this notion. No single chip DLP that I am aware of (same goes for LCDs, with the exception of a couple of Sanyo products and some very expensive presentation light cannons) can be used in this manner with success! There is, at this time, a paucity of such products. Yes, in an aphotic setting you can turn on dim lighting (placed behind the viewer) and retain a watchable image. That way you can read or ambulate, but why? I thought the whole idea was to watch DVDs of interest, not soporific TV programming! If you want something on in the background, stick to the RPTV and if you have a projector, save your expensive bulb!


How about screens? Well, I didn't have any real expectation when I bought my first screen - except that it would reflect the image in an accurate manner and be wrinkle and roll free! I bought a pull down and was very disappointed! I had some major rolls that wouldn't go away. I replaced it with another pull down -- same problem. It was suggested to me that I could remove the screen and glue it to plywood and then hang it. Sounded like a major undertaking with a lot of variables so I just removed the screen and thumbtacked it flat to my wall with great results! There is something to simplicity.


After all of this, I wasn't completely happy -- not bright enough. I had read some glowing reviews of the Da-lite Hipower (2.8 gain) screen and decided to give it a shot. I have used this screen, with great success, I might add, with DLP and LCD projectors, ranging in light output from 700 ANNSI lumens to 1800! The LCD with 1800 was the only one that looked like a giant RPTV when the lights (moderate lighting) were on.


Gray Screens? I had read a lot of positive comments about these screens on this forum and this piqued my interest. I had an opportunity to view two DLPs shown on a gray screen, an Infocus LP350 and a Davis. I was quite disappointed -- seemed like all the punch had been expunged! I have since tried the Da-lite high contrast sample taped to my Hipower screen (not a perfect comparison to be sure) and I am not impressed! Maybe they work for LCDs, but I am very sceptical about their use with DLPs. I would like to see a shootout between a good higain screen and a Grayhawk, for example. I really believe that, if you were to a/b these two screens, you would see what I have seen. If I am wrong, I'll be the first to admit it. Perhaps a Hipower gray screen!


What about the LT150? I had no expectations when I first viewed it. There were certainly several negatives, which have been discussed ad nauseam on this forum. I have given it my endorsement (and I realize this counts for about zero) because, set up in the particular way I have described, it produces the best picture I have seen from any HT digital projector for a fraction of the cost of a comparable HT system! Those who have followed my suggestions seem very happy, judging from my e-mail. I didn't expect that everyone would like it -- is there a product that's universally accepted? I have always added the caveat - try before you buy.


There have been criticisms concerning the use of the LT150 with a progressive scan DVD player -- that there are motion artifacts etc. I have used a progressive scan DVD player with HDTVs, LCDs and DLPs with great success. The resason, I believe, is that a good progressive scan DVD player simply has a better line doubling capability than the majority of projectors, or TVs for that matter! The only thing that could be causing motion artifacts when using a DVD player such as this, I think, would be the scaler. I have found the scaler in the LT150 to be very good, albeit I don't use it very often, since all the scaling is done via the HTPC.


Please don't take umbrage, but the expectation from the teacher part of me is that once readers have read my and other's posts, they would do a search of past postings before posing questions that have been dealt with and answered many times before.


The expectation from the lawyer part of me is that readers will examine my posts carefully to garner all the information that is actually there and then assess it in a fair and impartial manner.


As always, those living in the Kingston, Ottawa or Toronto areas (or anywhere else) are welcome to come and see for themselves.


Cheers,


Grant
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
589 Posts
Grant,

I would appreciate details of your opinion between the Da-lite high contrast sample and your Hipower screen.


- Difference in black level (after adjustments for each screen)?


- Contrast difference?


- Color?


- "Punch"?


- Anything else you can share.



------------------

Jim Story

Live long and Prosper
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,077 Posts
Grant:

A very entertaining and informative essay! http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


My wife and I just had the pleasure of seeing a Sony HT10 setup courtesy of a forum member who lives in the same town we do. My overwhelming impression is this projector is a lot better than many give it credit for. Not perfect by any means but damn decent. I wonder if this projector is somewhat of a victim of excessive "great expectations"?


I would comment on gray screens. I had the opportunity at CES to see two Yamaha DPX1s nearly side by side, one on a Grayhawk and one on a 1.3 gain studiotek (I think). The gray screen was the clear winner.


I think when you get down to lumen levels below 500, you just can't use a gray screen, period, even though it might improve contrast and black level. There just isn't enough light to avoid washing out. On the other hand, it should work like a champ with these bright new Sanyo LCDs.


Anyway, I very much enjoy your thought-provoking commentary on this board. Keep those cards and letters coming! http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/biggrin.gif


Dan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
574 Posts
Grant,


Nice writeup.


I have a question like someone earlier - I currently have a DaLite Highpower screen and must say that I am very happy with it. It has no wrinkles, very bright clear and excellent color. I do wish to try a Grayhawk but I don't know how much I could handle the drastic drop in light output from my JVC D-ILA G11u with the Grayhawk. Do you or others think that the benefits of the Grayhawk outweigh the loss of light??


Thanks, Brian




------------------

Our Home Theater - http://www.fatbulldog.com

Last updated 5/25/01
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
733 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Jim,


To be fair to Da-lite the representative told me that he didn't think the Hi-contrast gray screen would work with an 800 ANNSI lumens DLP - and IMO he was right!


I placed four samples on my Hipower screen including a Hipower, Pearlescent, Glass Beaded and DA-Mat. For me the Hipower out shone (excuse the pun) the others.


The Hi-contrast is medium gray with a low gain of 0.8. That part of the picture it reflected virtually disappeared compared to the others - way too dark! Perhaps if I had recalibrated my projector I could have extracted more punch from this material. If you're planning on using it with a Sanyo 18 or 21 then it might be quite good, but I think you're going to need some real horsepower to get this screen up to speed. It reminded me of the gray screen I had seen the LP350 and Davis with. To be fair, I am used to the Hipower and it has tremendous punch! I like the look - more like the brightness of a RPTV (in a light controlled environment of course) as opposed to a dark theatre look.


The Grayhawk is considerably lighter in colour (lighter grey) and has a slightly higher gain so it might work better with my projectors. A lot of forum memebers swear by these screens so there must be something to them - I just haven't seen it yet. I may buy the Da-lite Hi contrast material (full sized screen) just so I can do an a/b comparison - this is the only way to really tell (at least for me).


If you're looking for an inexpensive white screen I would try the lighter of the blockout (blackout) materials from a material shop. A couple of forum members that I respect have recommended it and it's so cheap that there's little risk. I am going to buy some and do a shootout with the Hipower. I have seen this material and it looks really nice. Makes you wonder why the "real" screens are so expensive in comparison!


What I am really saying about the gray screens is to be careful - if the vendor will let you try it before committing then go ahead, but make sure you see other screens (white ones) with your projector so you have a reference by which to judge it by.


Phone Da-lite at 1-800-622-3737 and order some free samples and see for yourself.


I hope this helps!


Cheers,


Grant
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
733 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Brain,


Looks like Alan Gouger has answered your question concerning D-ILAs and grey screens. Before investing in a Grayhawk I would buy some Blackout material and paint it a light grey just to get an idea. You can go from there and try different shades. This way you can a/b it with your Hipower. Don't throw your Hipower away!


Alan has inspired me - he's in this for the love of it. I have had several conversations with him and he is very unbiased. I am going to start experimenting and if the blackout material shows promise (as a grey screen) I am going to order a new Hipower and paint my old one grey and then a/b it with the new one. I just wish Da-lite would do it for me and introduce a Hipower gray screen.


Dan, you're right! I think the projectors mentioned on this forum are much better than what most of us believe. It takes work and experimentation to get the most out of a projector. We often go on to a tangent and start bashing and trashing rather than making constructive suggestions to help the owner extract the last measure of performance from his projector. I'd rather have suggestions on how to improve the performance of my projectors - not someone stating that they've seen it somewhere and it looked too green or washed out or whatever.


Cheers,


Grant

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,077 Posts
Grant, I wasn't so much referring to "bashing and trashing" http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif as I was to the fact that many here set the standard so high it is hard to achieve. I just noticed my perception of the 10HT was a lot better than it often gets credit for around here.


This is not a criticism folks, just an observation. We have here a collection of serious HT experts and hobbyists and it is natural for such a group to be very hard to please. At the same time, a group like this really knows how to get the best out of these projectors and has been very unstinting in sharing that expertise. That's what makes this far and away the best HT board in existence!


For darn sure, if this crowd likes a projector one can be sure it will be a world beater!


Dan
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top