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I'm still very new to home theater and have not seen in person a properly ISF calibrated RPTV or FP. My image size and viewing distance requirements are pretty small compared to most other people. In looking at the various throw distance charts, recommended viewing distance formulas, etc. I am looking at a maximum of a 55" wide image viewed from a distance of 84".


Given only this criteria (discarding audio concerns, size of RPTV, maintenance, etc.) I'm wondering if some of the more seasoned veterans who have seen both types of systems in action can advise me as to whether there will be a noticeable difference in image quality between a properly calibrated 55" RPTV and a properly calibrated FP throwing only a 55" wide image.


If there is a noticeable difference between the two (and I'm assuming FP would be the better of the two) what size of CRT tube is needed to achieve the advantage? Can only a 7" tube CRT produce a noticeable difference?


Thanks in advance for any help and info. If there is any kind of a FAQ or buyer's guide someone can direct me to for CRT it would be greatly appreciated.


Dan
 

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Hi Dan,


While a good rear screen will yield a worthwhile picture, the best alternative for you will be front screen, due to the real estate required by a RPTV. You're already on borrowed space, so to speak, and you won't lose anything by going FPTV, but will lose a big chunk with a 25" deep (or more) floor hog. Actually, you're an excellent candidate for Plasma. You might put those on your audition list as you check out the possibilities for your room. Good luck.
 

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Hi Dan,


I had a Toshiba 65" widescreen HD RPTV, had it ISF calibrated, and then i replaced it with a Marquee 8501LC front projection setup. So that puts me kinda in the position where i can answer your question at least i think :)


I saw a difference between the two setups, of course :)


First of all, the RPTV had a pretty darn good picture. It was a pleasure to watch, and everybody who saw the picture was very impressed by it. I had it paired up with a true progressive scan DVD player (Toshiba SD-6200), hooked up via component video, and that combination produced a very good looking picture. I think that 99% of the people out there would be thrilled to have a picture of that quality in their home. It's nothing to be unsatisfied with.


That said, there were some small things that kept bothering me, me being the perfectionist that i am :) The picture just had some artifacts that bugged me.


The projected image that i have now with the FP is not as bright (because i have a much bigger screen now), but it's more like film to me. The picture is more "solid", "smoother". I also think that pans are smoother now. And since i use a HTPC to blow it up to a higher resolution and project such a big image, i notice things in the scenes that i didn't notice before. When i first watched Gladiator on this new FP setup, it was like watching a different movie to me. The picture just looked more like a picture than video.


If you were to project such a relatively small image, i would imagine that if you feed the projector a high res source (using a HTPC for example), the picture would look stunning compared to a RPTV. You'd have high brightness picture (because of the small size), likely a higher resolution than the RPTV will do (RPTVs typically do 480p and 1080i, but with a good FP you can do things like 720p, or even 1080p or 1200p, which means you have an even more solid picture. But that's all speculation.


If you have the necessary environment to do FP, i'd go for FP if i were you, even if the picture you're projecting is "only" 55" wide. You can have a good FP for the same amount of money you'd spend on a RPTV, but the FP would be easier to move into your house, take up less space, give you the option at least of having a bigger picture later on when you get the room for it, and i think the picture will look better overall.


But, it's all subjective. The best thing to do would be to go see the things in action yourself if you can. Maybe there's a high-end home theater store in your area where you can see one or both of the setups (RP and FP). Often those stores have their sets setup correctly, ISFed and all, so you should be able to see a difference.


Good luck with your quest :)


Gertjan
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by M NEWMAN
Hi Dan,


While a good rear screen will yield a worthwhile picture, the best alternative for you will be front screen, due to the real estate required by a RPTV. You're already on borrowed space, so to speak, and you won't lose anything by going FPTV, but will lose a big chunk with a 25" deep (or more) floor hog. Actually, you're an excellent candidate for Plasma. You might put those on your audition list as you check out the possibilities for your room. Good luck.
I have to agree about plasma in your situation. Downsides are high price (budget approximately $10K for 50") and noisy blacks during dark scenes. (Contrast ratio in the newest plasmas is quite satisfactory, however).


The upsides are _perfect_ geometry and _perfect_ convergence with no screwing around, an incredibly sharp, detailed picture, and very efficient use of space in your room.


Plus, given that the things are basically fancy flourescent lamps, they're ready to go within 30 seconds of being powered on--no warmup required. A plasma is about the least "tweaky" high-end display one can buy, and, when you're ready to kick back and watch a movie, there's something to be said for plasma's "turn on the power and go" convenience.


I own both a 16:9 plasma and a 4:3 CRT rear projector, and I find myself watching the rear projector on broadcast television, SVHS tapes, etc., where the CRT's softer, more forgiving picture is a plus. But DVDs and high definition look amazing on the plasma.
 
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