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Discussion Starter #1
Recently I found out about people using these so called “presentation projectors†for home theatre. I thought you were all nuts. Seeing that I am at least one beer short of a six pack, I decided to check this out. Two days ago I called for a demo LP350 unit. They shipped it out next day. I found this site last nite and noticed a number of posts on this projector. I noticed mixed reviews from the thread headers so I decided not to read them until I formed my own opinions.


I have nothing to compare this projector to, so I will detail my initial impressions. I plan on reviewing the NEC,Sanyo, and Sony as well. Anyway here goes…


Hardware/Setup:

Infocus LP350.

Portable Panasonic DVD LV70

DSS Satellite Receiver.

S-Video connection.

Projected on a bare wall in a very dark room.


I setup the LP350 about 17 feet from the wall. It painted a wide screen image measuring 8’ wide by 4.5’ high (sweet!). I popped in the first DVD – El Dorado, and me and my 5 yr old little girl watched it. She said “Wow! – that’s cool†and then she remained fixated on the “cool wall movie†until it was over. I thought it was pretty cool too, but it was an animated movie and I needed to test more. After that I watched most of Armageddon and Sixth Sense with my wife. We also watched some satellite tv as well


Review/Comments

I was pretty impressed. I was very skeptical that a projector would be able to produce an acceptable image. This one did. My wife also thought it looked very good. The animated movie looked excellent to me and I thought the other movies looked very good as well. I noticed light outside of the picture. There were clear lines that the video fit in, but it looked like typical “extra light†around the image that projectors make. The colors are not obviously as vibrant as my picture tube tv, however, there were very true reds, greens, and blues. I wouldn’t say that the image was muddy or dull. I shouldn’t really comment too much on color because this is being displayed on my bare wall painted a yellowish eggshell color. I suppose a screen would help the colors. The picture was amazingly clear. It was a little less clear watching satellite tv, but still acceptable. The LP350 really peaks my interest in projectors and I would love to see the difference with a screen.


After reading some other comments on the forum I would have to make these comments…


Black is not black: There was not an instance during the time we watched the movies that either of us thought “gee, that black is not really black enoughâ€. After re-reviewing it is true you will not find a pure black, but you wouldn’t really think about it unless you were looking for it.


Crawlies: Yes. Certain scenes/colors show a wavy/crawly thing going on with the image. It is not really persistent or annoying.


Screen door effect: here is a quick fix – MOVE MORE THAN 3 FEET FROM THE IMAGE! My wife and I were watching the movies from 12-15 ft away on a 8’x4.5’ image and could not see any screen door effect, and its not our eyes. (I had laser surgery and tested 20/20 a month ago.) I had to fire the projector up to look for it. I slowly stepped in and saw it about 3 or 4 feet from the wall. Other than that, it all blends in nice.


Rainbow: No. I did not see it.


Halo: Yes. I described some of that above.


Overall

The LP350 is probably not the best thing since sliced bread, however, it did surprise me that it looked very acceptable. It was fun to watch such a large image with good clarity. I can wait to test other units. Then I will be able to compare them to each other. Does anyone know how much better it would look with a screen? Anyway, you ba$tards got me sucked in.


Hope this helps someone.

Take care,


Mike
 

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Mike,


-- nice first post, thanks - you keep things in perspective well.


-- To add to your comments about 'black' and 'crawlies'...


Last week I had a chance to see what I consider one of my best cinematic experiences - a fresh 70mm print of 2001: A Space Odyssey on the Seattle Cinerama's 96 foot curved screen.


It was breathtaking.


It also had:


-- 'grayish' blacks when compared to the surrounding curtains

-- visible grain in some scenes

-- 'judder' on horizontal pans


At time 'vidiots' like I can be too critical of our projectors... I ran right home and watched my DVD of 2001 on my LP530 and found NOTHING to complain about. Particularly since I know I spent a lot less then Paul Allen spent on the Cinerama (is that his 'Home Theatre'?)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
JasG,


Thanks.


And true - even the best setups have flaws. I think you guys are way too critical (pulling out the color wheels while watching a movie and whatnot). This was my first look at a projector, and I know right now that there is no way in hell that I am ever going to consider a rptv.


For those of you who have fp - sit back and enjoy that wall-full of tv and stop second guessing. Like my wife says, "Its really not how you use it, its about how big it is!!!"


I can't wait to fire up the LP350 for the Hot Network tonite on DTV. My wife will probably find me humping the wall!


Mike
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by video-ho
My wife will probably find me humping the wall!


Mike
Your friggin killin me Mike :D
 

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Your review was excellent and will hold a lot of weight with me in considering a purchase of an Infocus projector.


I have seen many posts regarding some new HT projectors from Infocus and have seen a Toshiba (who Infocus has recently announced a partnership with) model listed on a German Toshiba site called the TDP-MT5 which looks just like the Infocus LP500 series projectors.


From the outside it looks like they will be offering 2 projectors, one a W-SVGA model and another an XGA model which will be priced in the $3K and $5K ranges respectively. Not sure about the brightness (I believe > 1000 lumens) or the contrast ratio's on these machines but both will be capable of projecting a 16:9 widescreen images.


As an add-on to these projectors it appears to have a connection box which can be located closer to your video sources while being tethered by a single cable (possibly DVI).


If anyone else has a better read on these projectors your response would be welcomed.


Perhaps you should wait and see what these models may have to offer you as it looks like we may be a few weeks away from seeing these projectors.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks Bulldogs.

I liked it enough to put the Infocus 530 on my test list.

When I contacted an Infocus reseller, they told me that they were setting up a home theatre dept. It seems that there is more attention being aimed at HT.

This industry will keep spinning and there will always be something newer/better/smaller/longer-lasting in the future.


FP technology for these machines still need some work, however, they can still put a respectable 100" image on a wall for a lot less money now.
 

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Infocus does seem to want to enter the HT market. I have a proxima x350 ( proxima is owned by infocus) and my family and myself love it. Since I am in the process of buying a new house ( I am going to sell everything in my HT), I am waiting to see what infocus has in store for HT. After talking to 5 or 6 reps at infocus on upcoming products, their response is to wait until the official press release comes out. The reason for this is that the engineers seem to like to change their minds twice a week on specs. If they decide on a 16:9 1280 X 720 projector, I would probably buy it. 4:3 is great for watching regular NTSC signals, but for DVD and HD (which is all my family watches in the HT) then the added resolution on a true 16:9 screen would be out of this world. As for the connections (IMHO the biggest setback for presentation projectors) the boxes that will allow single cable connectivity are not cheap. Proxima's is $1500. For that price I've come up with a solution that is probably better. I purchased an extron VGA switch (for my HTPC and RCA DTC-100 sat receiver) and for all other signals I purchased a run of the mill 4 port video (composite and svideo) switch. I then run the output of this switch to a video capture card on my PC. The PC has dScaler on it that processes the video and outputs through my VGA card. If you have been reading this forum then you would know that dScaler does a great job (if not better than outboard processors) of processing video. And the VGA card does a great job of scaling to your projectors native format.
 
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