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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone had the opportunity to see both the Hitachi 5500 and the Sony HS10? I will get to demo a 5500 next week and I would like to see the Sony also but it does not sound like people are finding any in my area.


Price aside which one do you think is better?


I have only seen 3 or so projectors and none of them seemed to be setup properly. The best one was a Sony that cost about $7,000 1yr ago and it looked ok but nothing special.


As you can tell I’m still very new to this and anything I should lookout for or settings I should try when I have the 5500 would be greatly appreciated.


Also my current DVD player is a Toshiba SD-1200. Should I pickup a new one for the demo or will my Toshiba work ok?
 

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Hi


I have the Hitachi 5500.

I looked at a lot of PJ's before buying it, and it was the best of the bunch (in my price range) at the time. Compared to the others that I looked at (Toshiba MT7 etc), the Hitachi had incredible vibrant colours, and the picture was (and still is!) a pleasure onthe eye. The SXGA resolution is awesome, and it's impossible to see any 'screen door' unless you are within about 3-4 feet of the screen, which you will never be!

It'a also bright, meaning that it was practical for my needs (sports during the daytime in a room with poor control of ambient light), however the contrast level is excellent for watching DVD's at night.

I keep hearing lots of good things about the Marantz S2 DLP projector, however it's a little more pricey.

Make sure you use a good progressive scan DVD player, to make sure that you are seeing th potential of the PJ. It will also look good through a Home Theater PC on the RGB connection, however I understand that there are some issues using the 5500's DVI interface for HTPC. This should be fixed with a firmware upgrade from Hitachi in the near'ish future.

I did have some issues with 'dead pixels', so I would recommend that you use the PJ for 5-10 hours before buying, just to make sure that it doesn't have any. Put the PJ on 'blank' screens using different colour backgrounds, and examine the screen very carefully for dead pixels, which are usually bright blue 'dots' on the screen.

The LCOS panel has over 1.3 million pixels, so you might find a couple that are dead, however if they are very pale then you are fine. I have one on mine, which can only be seen if I put on a black, blank background, ad get up REAL close. In terms of watching movies, HDTV it is completely unnoticeable. I have excellent eyesight incidentally!

I'm happy with my purchase, and of course if I had the money and the inclination right now I might go with the new Marantz. However, I don't and the result of the 5500 is stunning (IMO), so why bother?

I will be investing in a slighter higher gain screen - gray screen with 1.1 gain to help with black levels and ambient light during the day.

Aside from that, I'm happy!


Good luck with your purchase!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the response walker. What size screen are you running? I will be using an 80in. screen since thats all that fits in my bedroom.


I would also like to use it for the superbowl game but will be using an sd ota antenna. What should I use for a tuner? I have a panasonic vcr but the tuner in it is very week comapred to my tv's it just doesnt pull in the stations very well.


I was going to buy the panny rp82 but it seems to have disappeared from all the local stores. Do any other Panasonics have the faroudja chip?
 

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Hitachi has made no announcements regarding a fix for the tearing/judder issue on the RGB and DVI ports, so don't purchase it expecting to use an HTPC. They also have a disclaimer on their site now about this problem, so you'll be stuck with it.


I just upgraded my Toshiba SD-9200 to a Panny RP82. Let me take this opportunity to recall all of the things I said about the 5500's lousy image through the component input. I now know that it was my lousy DVD player and not the projector. The image quality of the RP82 is so close to my HTPC as to make the differences negligible. Order it online if you have to. HDTV also looks amazing.


SD looks like crap for the most part, but that's not the fault of the projector. You won't enjoy the Super Bowl very much that way.


Know that it will take a lot of tweaking in the service menu as well in order to get the 5500 looking it's best. The default gamma settings from the factory are way off. I'd say get Dilard, but I gave up on waiting for it myself.
 

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macssuck, I think the RP56 has the faroudja chip also. May want to try doing a search in the DVD Forum.


Regards,

Anthony :cool:
 

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macssuck,


I have the 5500 and will second these other posts. It's a very nice display, especially at $5K. It's tough to find fault with a LCOS PJ. The only issues with the 5500 are poorer blacks/CR compared to DLP and CRT (but not LCD). However, LCOS has many strengths that surpass these other technologies. Not to say that CR is terrible, just that it could be better. Screen, mask, filter, calibration, etc. can all help with this.


The other issue, as Thirdkind pointed out, is with the DVI/RGB. Not much to say about that except we're all waiting on Hitachi, but not counting on it. For that reason and the fact that I could bank about $3200, I'm very interested in seeing the Sony HS10 for myself. I expect the CR/blacks to be as good or better than the 5500 based on the specs and 16:9 aspect (no light spill). The DVI with HDCP is a very positive benefit. The lumens are close. There are other features like power zoom, etc. that are an advantage. The one issue that I'm concerned with is screendoor. The 5500 virtually has none, while LCD has the worst fill factor. I need to see this firsthand, but so far, posts have been encouraging concerning this issue on the HS10. For me, it may be worth saving the money, etc. with the HS10 and use it buy a 1920x1080p LCOS with 1200:1 CR for under $6K down the road. I'm talking a several years, but the HS10 should hold me just fine until then. And the depreciation won't be nearly as hard to take.


As soon as I see one, I'll post here. I've offered to bring my 5500 for an A/B comparison, but may just have to wait until they show up at dealers.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by thirdkind
I just upgraded my Toshiba SD-9200 to a Panny RP82. Let me take this opportunity to recall all of the things I said about the 5500's lousy image through the component input. I now know that it was my lousy DVD player and not the projector. The image quality of the RP82 is so close to my HTPC as to make the differences negligible. Order it online if you have to. HDTV also looks amazing.


SD looks like crap for the most part, but that's not the fault of the projector. You won't enjoy the Super Bowl very much that way.
Thirdkind,


Glad to see you finally broke down and picked up the RP82. Definitely a nice DVD player to go with the 5500 or just about any other PJ including the HS10. $200 well spent.


HDTV does look awesome of course, but I wish my STB has DCDi for the rest of the SD broadcasts. I really wanted to get the Immersive H3D for 480i material, but haven't with the RGB/DVI problem on the 5500. I guess that a CS-1 or 2 would work via component for the 5500. However, I figure if Hitachi doesn't come through very soon, the HS10 will provide a lot more options. I'll could order the H3D card, Assimilator, or HD-Leeza with the $3200 saved. ;)


Just one more reason to consider the HS10.
 

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The reason I got an RP82 was to go with my HD Leeza. I ordered one from these guys with an SDI modification, in addition to a region switch mod. I only hooked it up via component as a goof so I could see if there was a difference. I was pleasantly surprised by how good it looks. It's a bit softer than DVI, but still very good. Leagues beyond my Toshiba. I'd say that for the average user, the extra cost, maintenance, and hassle associated with HTPC usage just aren't worth the improvement. However, I still have a bunch of LDs that need to be scaled, so I'll stick with the HD Leeza anyway. I'm also guessing that the superior MPEG decoder of the RP82 is responsible for some of the improvement as well. I also can't wait to see what improvements the SDI output will provide. If it makes available the clarity and perfection of an HTPC with DVI combined with the silky-smooth pans of the RP82, I'll be most pleased.


You've also got me wondering about the HS10. Hopefully a retailer that provides no questions asked return policies will offer it for sale soon. I'd order it just to try it out, and if it proved sufficient I'd get rid of my Hitachi in a second and use the money I saved to pay off the Leeza.
 

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As screen door is viasble on plv70 I do not expect the sony to be any better
 

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Thanks for the warning. Obviously they'll be some screendoor with LCD. The question remains how bad is it from my seating distance and can I live with it at a substantial cost savings. At $2250, I'll be saving $3200 (assuming they honor their full refund promise), plus have a functioning DVI with HDCP. I can either bank that money, waiting 3-4 years for the "perfect" PJ to come along at a decent price, or use it toward an HD processor.


The way I see it, I'm left with three choices:


1) Live with the Hitachi and hope that they eventually fix the DVI. Perhaps getting an upgrade to the 5600, perhaps not. Its December and their silence in deafening.


2) Wait 3-4 months and spend another $3K more for the Maxx/SX21 with likely no HDCP anyway. How much better is the PJ anyway?


3) Save $3+K and enjoy the HS10 with its working DVI with HDCP. And with WXGA, I can sell the used ISCO II that I bought and easily recover that money.


None of these choices are 1920x1080p with 1000+:1 CR, so I already know that I'd be looking to upgrade down the road. Option 3 seems to me to be the most cost effective now and least painful down the road. Plus with HDCP, I'm assured of future compatibility while I bide my time. The working DVI gives me other options.


If the HS10 looks good and the screendoor isn't horrible, it seems like the best price performer out there and the logical choice for me. I'm tired of waiting on Hitachi. I need to see an HS10 ASAP. YMMV depending on your eyes and wallet.
 

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Gotta go with Steve tycoondog. Those of us without insider contacts have run out of patience and are no longer interested in what Hitachi may or may not have in store for us. My HD Leeza is on the way, and I want to use DVI. That's why I paid for an RP82 with an SDI mod--I want the best. I'm starting to think it's time to take the money and run.


Honestly, the screen door harping is getting a bit old. I think we all know what we're in for and what the tradeoffs are between the different technologies. I can deal with some mild screen door if it means I can get DVI/HDCP capability, decent color/contrast without seemingly endless service menu tweaks, and a 16:9 panel to go with my 16:9 screen. Especially if it means I can keep $3000 and put it into other components in the meantime, or bank it as Steve suggests in anticipation of the "perfect" projector.


Here's a point-blank question for you Simon: should we even care what Hitachi has up their sleeve? Will our patience be rewarded, or is it time to move on, cut our losses, and start enjoying the hobby again?
 

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I think pointing point blank at Simon is a little unfair... He may be a hitachi supporter (so would I if they just worked with us a little) but I dont thik his line of comms is better than any of the rest of us anymore (eg Blair / MM) the muzzle came down on Kato to my knowledge....


What is dissapointing is how close to being a damn fine machine this really is.... Loads of products hit the market with poor Firmware 1st time round, but then the manufacturers work it out.... Some time in Aug / Sept I was told they had a 'Low IRE light leak fix' eg black blacks in FW... Did any of us get to see it ???


Now there is a 5600 out with similar problems !!!! No discalimers posted on that yet....
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by thirdkind


Here's a point-blank question for you Simon: should we even care what Hitachi has up their sleeve? Will our patience be rewarded, or is it time to move on, cut our losses, and start enjoying the hobby again?
Got to say I prefer DVD over component with Hitachi 5500

then LCD with DVI, but that is just my opinion.


Only you can answer the above questions
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I just played the Matrix on it for about 10min and so far it looks better than the units I have seen but the purple monster is definitely present in this unit. Could someone give me some settings to try on my 5500? Colors look ok but the black is well its not black its purple. I’m still using my Toshiba non progressive scan player but will pick up a panny tomorrow or later this evening.


Screen door is only present to my eyes when I’m less than 2 feet from the screen… I will never be able to love an LCD projector again.
 

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As Simon says (pun intended), only we can answer those questions for ourselves. And while that's true, any info that can be provided would be very much appreciated.


Simon, we understand if you can't because of an NDA.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by tycoondog2
As screen door is viasble on plv70 I do not expect the sony to be any better
Don't expect! Look, see, and then conclude!

Its Twinkie Time :p
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by WanMan
Don't expect! Look, see, and then conclude!


Its Twinkie Time :p
There is a guy called burnt you should hang out with, maybe start your own forum
 

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Tycoondoggie you need a brand new projector, warmer climate and just a tiny bit of brandy.


The first of the year is near, what's your pj choice ?

Out with the old========= in with the new what ? Your just too cranky with that 55 :)
 

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Sorry, TD2, I am a little too relaxed. I just came off of a 9-day vacation where much good drinking, good eating, and lots of sitting and watch DVD movies helped me relax. No hard feelings? :)
 

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Jimmy


Thinking about making my own, as non of the manufacturers can get it right
 
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