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Discussion Starter #1
I have been searching projector for a reasonable price with decent quality for home theater for more than two years. In Hong Kong, people only knows about big brand name products eg. Sony etc.


Having been a reader of this forum for over a year. I've figured out that probably the Sanyo XP18 will be my candidate. ( NB. I've audition of almost over 10 different brand names of projectors that can be available in Hong Kong. Most of them are OK if the input feeding in is DVD with high contrast picture.


It's just a coincidental finding that when I watch the DVD film U571 in various show rooms demonstrating various models eg. Sony VW10HT, Sony CX-10, Infocus LP340, LP350, Nec VT440/540, etc and also in my own home ( I've owned a Panasonic PT-L701 for all around purpose), none of these projectors can produce an acceptable screen pictures. I have owned a Japanese made screen specailly designed for LCD/DLP/DILA projector, the Kikuchi Theater Grey. The pictures are all just like wash out by some grey colour ink. No contrast at all.


Finally the Sanyo XP18 arrived at my home today. When I feed it with plain component signal with my aging Panasonic DVD player (of course no progressive output), the pictures that come out this projector are just unbelievable. Very good contrast and highly saturated colour. The Sanyo XP18 is all along using the default setting.


Herein are some pictures of the XP18: http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/image_up...5-2544_IMG.JPG
http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/image_up...5-2548_IMG.JPG
http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/image_up...5-2549_IMG.JPG
http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/image_up...5-2553_IMG.JPG


I haven't taken pictures for the U571 because it is getting too late now. I'll definitely post that up.


I think with the relative low cost of the Sanyo XP18 ( under US$4000 in Hong Kong and that's the reason why I choose XP18 rather than XP21), there shouldn't be any competitors in the market. With the Kikuchi Theater Grey screen the picture quality is easily surpassing any 7" CRT projectors eg. the Sony D50, Seleco, or even Barco.


Of course I am not meaning that it is the best in the market but definitely a must candidate in the selection process for Home Theater Projector. Sanyo definitely has done a lot of homework in this area!!





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Speaking of Progressive, will this projector accept a progressive signal and/or does this projector have an internal 'line doubler'? I don't know much about these things but I'm guessing that if the projector WILL accept a progressive signal, that a line doubler is not necessary.
 

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Great pictures. Wow, what color. Thank you very much for posting this.


Now, would you share the details of your setup, please? How big is the screen, how far back is the projector, how far back are you sitting?


Any dead pixels?


Right now, the XP21-N is my top choice. Mainly, I'm awaiting reviews on the PLV-60. The advantage of the latter is that it is true 16:9, which would allow me to use my Panamorph for 2.35:1 aspect ratio. So I am very interested in your experiences.


Thank you! http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


Dan Houck
 

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Right now, I own an NEC MT1040 and a DILA G1000. The DILA has a better image


I've got a Panamorph coming. I'm going to evaluate it with an XP21N (if possible) and even money says that the XP21N and the Panamorph will be my next projector combo.


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Ken Elliott


[This message has been edited by kelliot (edited 05-26-2001).]
 

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Ken:

DEFINITELY looking forward to your review! My only concerns with this projector are (1), how much screen door at 13' seating distance, 120" diag. 16:9 screen; and (2), dead pixels?


Dan


[This message has been edited by DanHouck (edited 05-26-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Talking about progreesive input from progressive DVD, I think there is a slight improvement in picture quality in comparison with interlaced component output. I forgot to mention that I, in fact, has tried to input the component interlaced DVD signal from my old Panasonic DVD player to Iscan DVDO Pro and then to the XP18 by VGA. Honestly I preferred the projector internal scaler than the Iscan DVDO Pro. May be it's a matter of mix and match but I don't think the internal scaler of the Sanyo XP18 is worse than those line doubler.


One thing that most of us will tend to overlook is the video decoder ciruitry inside a projector and of course the gamma calibration set by the manufacturer. I do honestly think that the high contrast ratio of the Sanyo may be the result of the outstanding video decoder circuitry. And, BTW, even if we are feeding interlaced video signal to the projector, it is still upconverted to progressive signal as all those fixed pixel technology will be best performed in that mode.


Talking about the screen selection. I must say that the Kikuchi Theater Grey quality is no worse than the Greyhawk. But they have different target groups. The Kikuchi THG screen has gain ratio of 1.60 and if you brwose through the catalogue, there is no screen with size larger than 120". That means no design for really large home theater. (May be that's commonplace in Japan, just a joke!) So I think the Kikuchi is mainly for projector with light output around 1000 ansi lumens. For the Sanyo XP18 or 21 alike, I think the Grayhawk should do a better job. However, I can only stick with the Kikuchi for the time being as it is originally there.


BTW My current position is about 12' from the screen, really not much screedoor effect detected (I think you need a Hawkeye to do so)


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Discussion Starter #7
Talking about progreesive input from progressive DVD, I think there is a slight improvement in picture quality in comparison with interlaced component output. I forgot to mention that I, in fact, has tried to input the component interlaced DVD signal from my old Panasonic DVD player to Iscan DVDO Pro and then to the XP18 by VGA. Honestly I preferred the projector internal scaler than the Iscan DVDO Pro. May be it's a matter of mix and match but I don't think the internal scaler of the Sanyo XP18 is worse than those line doubler.

One thing that most of us will tend to overlook is the video decoder ciruitry inside a projector and of course the gamma calibration set by the manufacturer. I do honestly think that the high contrast ratio of the Sanyo may be the result of the outstanding video decoder circuitry. And, BTW, even if we are feeding interlaced video signal to the projector, it is still upconverted to progressive signal as all those fixed pixel technology will be best performed in that mode.


Talking about the screen selection. I must say that the Kikuchi Theater Grey quality is no worse than the Greyhawk. But they have different target groups. The Kikuchi THG screen has gain ratio of 1.60 and if you brwose through the catalogue, there is no screen with size larger than 120". That means no design for really large home theater. (May be that's commonplace in Japan, just a joke!) So I think the Kikuchi is mainly for projector with light output around 1000 ansi lumens. For the Sanyo XP18 or 21 alike, I think the Grayhawk should do a better job. However, I can only stick with the Kikuchi for the time being as it is originally there.


BTW My current position is about 12' from the screen, really not much screendoor effect detected (I think you need a Hawkeye to do so)


I am thinking of upload pictures from the DVD U571 which I think is one of the most demanding DVD source fro digital projector. Please be patience!


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Gizmo:

Also saw your pictures on the other thread. To repeat questions: How big is your screen? Have you noticed any dead pixels?


Thanks!


Ken: I'm planning to use my Panamorph as well, still trying to decide whether to go with PLV60, allowing use of Panamorph for 2.35:1; or stick with XP21-N and get those incredible 2000 lumens! Also getting the sense PLV60 may be more plug and play. We should be seeing some reviews on this next week.


Dan


Dan
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Dan:

I think I have mentioned that the screen I am using is my original Kikuchi Theater Grey Screen that I used for my other projector (Panasonic PT701). The size is 80 inches diagonal.

If I can have a choice, you probably can figure out that's quite not possible for the time being, I would go straight forward to a larger Grayhawk screen (probably 120 inches either 4:3 or 16:9).

BTW about dead pixel issue, I would say that's quite unusual for XGA grade Polysilicon LCD panel. We are talking something about 1.3 inches XGA LCD panel. I recalled that from some japanese site ( the exact URL I can't remember) it had mentioned that the Sanyo is using the Sony LCD panel with their own electronics. But the property for the LCD panel is similar. It had mentioned that the polysilicon structure has a intrinsic advantage that they are aligned in a somewhat overlapping fashion. That means a few dead pixels will be illuminated by the adjacent one so that it is very difficult to see it by naked eyes. Of course, you can still have a chance of seeing dead pixels if you are not lucky enough because the overlapping polysilicon structure can't compensate for an excessive area of dead pixels.

My advice is that everyone of us, when buying the projector, should check the projector before the delivery.


I hope my information is correct.


Also about whether 16:9 or 4:3 panels that really depends very much on the materials you are watching. For my case, in Hong Kong, the only readily available high quality video source is DVD, No HD broadcast or things like that. So thta's the reason why I choose the 4:3 one. The usual black (or most of us calling that grey) bars above and below some anamorphic DVD is really close to black in the case of Sanyo. Whereas the other projectors that I've the chance to audition are much paler in colour. So that's really not bothering me as you can see the pictures I posted up. Some pictures are 4:3 aspect while some are anamorphic. I must clearly state that all these picutres are unaltered but reduced in file size for posting purpose.


Gizmo


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Thank you, Gizmo. Man, you're up pretty late over there!


Very interesting your comment about dead pixels!


Dan
 

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Discussion Starter #11
After viewing my Sanyo XP18 for about a month now I have switched to viewing DVD materials by feeding it from my DIY HTPC. I must say for a relatively low budget I have a very good filmlike screen display now.


Forget about those expensive scan converter or video processor. The DVD display from the HTPC feeding to the Sanyo XP18 is better than that from ordinary progressive DVD players ( I have tried some of them) or even from my own DVDO Iscan Pro.


Now I am mainly using my HTPC for DVD viewing. No more DVD players or video scaler or video processor.


My DIY HTPC is:

Pentium III 800MHZ

Intel motherboard 815DEEA

512 MB PC133Mhz SDRAM

A dual boot system with WinME and Windows 2000 Pro

Panasonic 8x DVD-ROM

GeForce 2 MX with 32 MB RAM

Nightingale Pro6 with CM8738 audio chips with SPDIF out

Intervideo WinDVD 3.0 DTS version


I must say the picture is highly saturated and the color is vibrant with exceptional contrast. Resolution wise the picture has a very sharp appearance. No DVD player can compare to it, no matter progressive or not. I have done the calibration of the picture with Video Essentials. Talking about screen door effect, the picture from the PC is having less screen door effect from DVD player. I don't know the reason but I guess may be the screen resolution is set at 1024x768 pixels with 85 Hz of refresh rate will help (which is the native resolution of the Sanyo XP18)


For the audio part I use the SPDIF output to send out the bitstream to my AV Amp for decoding the 5.1 channels surround sound in the same fashion as most DVD players. The sound quality is also not bad at all. Some of my friends don't even know that they are listening to the sound card SPDIF output until I tell them the truth. If you are picky enough the sound decoded from a sound card is still slightly inferior to an ordinary DVD player in term of sound quality and refinement. On the other hand the sound from a sound card has better surround channels separation. I don't know the reason why a cheap sound card can archieve this.


One thing to note is that for Win2k pro there is no provision in the WDM driver for sound card to pass through the native bitstream of DD/DTS 5.1 to outside decoder but a downmix 2 channels PCM bitstream. Even with a SP2 update patch from Microsoft. That's the reason why I am using a dual boot system. I mainly using the WinME system for HTPC and Win2k Pro for work. In WinME there is no limitation in output of 5.1 bitstream for external decoders via the SPDIF out.


I think there is a huge potential for HTPC when mated to a digital projectors. For my choice I have no regret to my Sanyo XP18 and HTPC combo!


 

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Discussion Starter #12
Forgot to say my HTPC choice of the GeForce 2MX.


I have thought about the ATI Radeon 32DDR, GeForce 2MX 32 SDR and even the onboard 815 display of my Intel 815DEEA motherboard.


I choose GeForce 2 MX mainly because of the reasonable price, not too bad performance in all aspect and ,most important of all, the kind of R&D in Nvidia. Although the ATI Radeon has a better DVD performance with lesser CPU utilization due to intrinsic HWMC & IDCT support. BUT I think that the GeForce 2 Mx can also have HWMC and other better features such as better 3D support and is real cheap. After using it for a while I think I have made a correct decision.


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I just got a Sanyo XP21N a week ago, and my experience with a progressive scan was a bit different. I noticed a substantial improvement going form 480i to 480p using a Panasonic 91. Don't have a screen yet though, just projecting on a wall, but the image still looks filmlike.
 

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What are you guys doing to view 16:9 material? Do you zoom the projector in to have the 16:9 portion of the 4:3 panels on the screen and have the light spill over? Or is there some setting in the 21n to turn off those unused ares of the panels in a 16:9 mode?


Also, if you can zoom in for a 16:9 image (say for a 16:9 screen) can you zoom out enough when viewing 4:3 material that the 4:3 image fits in the same height as the 16:9 screen?


I would seriously consider this projector but I have a 16:9 Stewart Grayhawk. I don't want to mess with lenses or other add-ons. So right now I am looking at the PLV-60 because of the native 16:9 panels.


Robert
 

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Dealing with 16:9 material is really easy. If you have a 4:3 input, you just switch to widescreen mode and the 4:3 image is stretched to 16:9. If you have 16:9 material, the top and bottom is blacked out, although a small amount of light gets through, but it is not noticable unless you look for it. I have a 16:9 greyhawk on order for my XP21N.
 
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