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Fellow Albuquerque resident, Pete Williams, graciously invited my wife and I over this morning to see his HT setup, consisting of the Sony HT10, Rotel amps and B&W speakers.


Pete has the projector located a little over 11’ back, the same distance as the seating area. He is presently projecting onto a white, lightly textured wall until he can get a Grayhawk screen. Current diagonal size is 102" and he will be replacing that with a 100†Grayhawk.


Pete has his DVD player hooked up into the S video inputs, and his Satellite TV (DTV) hooked up into the component ins of the projector. He operates the projector in Cinema Black mode normally. The projector is inverted and attached to a very neat mounting bracket Pete built in his shop. It has about 350 hours on it at this point.


For demo, we ran Toy Story 2 and Fifth Element. TS2 was amazing! No lack of clarity and contrast/black level was more than adequate. Fifth element did show that contrast and black level could be better, but neither my wife or I felt that it was so lacking it detracted from the picture. In general, colors were rich and saturated and there was decent contrast and black level when compared to our current 50†RPTV.


Interestingly, we found the “grey fog†problem was no worse than on our VE and ISF calibrated RPTV. In fact, it really resembled the background light situation you see in the average movie theater. Not wonderful, but not a deal killer either. And pixels were just not an issue at the 11 foot seating distance, period! Nor was fan noise even though the projector was directly above our heads.


I think the Grayhawk is going to make a very substantial improvement in both contrast and black level for the 10HT in Pete’s setup as has been reported by others. And that is starting from a decent level already!


Pete then demonstrated DTV and local network channels which he gets over the air. DTV has some HD channels which were pretty impressive, particularly when compared to the NTSC over the air. Frankly, the latter were so poor they were almost unwatchable! Garbage in, garbage out, unfortunately, but not the fault of the projector or Pete’s setup.


Recognizing this projector may no longer be state of the art in LCD, it is nevertheless no slouch! Menus and operations are really nicely laid out and easy to use. Pete has done a really good job setting up and tweaking this projector for maximum effect. Those who are thinking about using this projector as an interim solution will not be disappointed!


We came away very impressed with LCD and pretty much thinking we would go with the new Sanyo PLV 60, a very good progressive DVD player and, of course, a Grayhawk from AVS. Given how good the 10HT is, the improved black level and contrast of the Sanyo are bound to satisfy! And we loved the great colors and lack of motion artifacts of the LCD projector.


Pete’s sound system is first-rate and really demonstrates the value of the abundance of clean power available from the Rotel amps. After listening to his setup, it became obvious ours would benefit from greater power than our current Denon AVR 5700 can deliver to our front channels consisting of Kef Reference 3s and a 200C center. These are great speakers but they are definitely power hogs!


Not only did we enjoy Pete’s system and his hospitality greatly, we both learned a lot. The 10HT impressed the heck out of us as did Pete’s application of it.


Thanks both to Pete Williams and the AVS forum for making this possible! http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif
 
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