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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Picked up my first CRT (good condition ECP 4500) over the weekend! After a frustrating couple of hours I finally got the thing ceiling mounted, sure is a lot heavier than my X1. As I was putting the last of the bolts in I was cursing the day I stumbled upon this forum but kept reassuring myself that it's going to be worth it and it better be!!!


Anyway, it's up there now and is at a throw of about 1.5x screen width. I went through the help guide and did a quick setup (focus and convergence) but want to know how to achieve the best image possible. I'm feeding it with an HTPC equipped with a Radeon 7500 video card. Right now the image lacks details and punch!!


I'll go through Guy's focus tutorial but had a few 'newbie' questions to ensure I've done the basic setup correctly, I don't know closely one needs to stay within a CRT's acceptable ranges:


What is a reasonable range to set the contrast and brightness without doing any damage? Right now I have contrast at around 3/10 and brightness at about 5/10.


Will running a minor constant keystone adjustment (3/10) damage the tubes?


Will adjusting vertical and horizontal size affect tube life (right now I'm at 3-10 for vertical and 5/10 for horizontal)?


What is the best thing to do when watching wide aspect movies (1.78 to 2.35 aspect ratio)? Leave the sizing alone and let the image run in the middle of the tubes? Use vertical blanking?


Haven't touched the 'pots', not sure what they do exactly? Do I need to be playing around with them to ensure the best possible image?


Any help is much appreciated. I'm looking forward to devoting much of my waking life to this wonderfully frustrating yet I'm sure fulfilling hobby!
 

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Search for ECP SETUP with a "slow" search. Anything with Mr.Newmans input is valuble!

You'll want to make sure that you've done Stig and flare before doing the focus adjustments.

None of the adjustments that you mention will push the PJ to hard. You'll just want to make sure that for Vsize and HSize that you don't wrap the image over the side of the tube.

If you watch mainly 16:9 mat'l you may want to consider "squishing" the raster down with the Vlin pot. This will move the scan lines closer together for you. If you watch a lot of 4:3 mat'l then you'll want to leave it alone. Me, I have my HTPC set up with powerstrip to run at 540x960. The DVD software (TheaterTek) takes care of changing the formats. 4:3 movies are letter boxed vertically. 16:9 are full screen and 2.35:1 ahve small bars top and bottom.

You can also set up a different memory slot for 4:3 and 16:9 and simply swap the memory configs with the "recall" function. Make sure that you use the higher resolution for the Stig/flare etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Chris...


BTW, nice HT! You've done a great job! I've got a similar scenario in terms of room size and screen / speaker placement but man yours looks amazing!


How do you like your ECP?
 

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The ECP is a good entry level CRT. I think it puts out a very nice picture however, I "think" I might have a bad capacitor in the supply as sometimes I can see a little noise in bright scenes.

P.S thanks for the compliment! :)
 

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A 4500 puts out a great image!


Don't worry about your H and V size settings, just make sure you're raster is centered on the tube face and taking up as much of it as possible without going off of the edge of the tube.


It depends upon your source of course (voltage levels at the input of the PJ) among other things, but I ran my 4500 at 3.5 contrast and 5.5 brightness, so you're in the ballpark anyway. It's different for everyone though.


There's lots to do, but everything is here on the forum if you look for it. There's probably more ECP knowledge than anything else. You'll want to research a basic setup for the ECP; raster centering, astig and flare, optical focus and scheimpflug (sp), mechanical toe-in, electronic focus, color adjustment (G2 pots and neck board brightness tracking), geometry, and convergence. Sounds kind of daunting when you list it all out but it's really easy, you just have some learning to do. :)


Cary
 

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Guys!


1.5 sounds like waaay too far from the screen; if your H Size is not just filling the screen at 9 to 9.5 then it is time to relocate closer! Punch and definition are all about using the optimal phosphor area of each tube face at just the right throw distance.
 

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Congratulations on picking the right entry level CRT. I have an ECP4500 and I have to say it's a great projector. As you get used to tinkering with it you'll find you can really push the beast.


I have different geometry and convergence settings for anamorphic and 4:3 viewing. I view everything through an HTPC but I mess with the scan frequency for TV so the projector automatically selects the right settings.


I use a 3dFusion as my graphics card, it's old, your card will outpeform your PJ quite a bit. My feeling is that the image is best based on color, stability etc, at 800x600. If you do decide to go up in resolution for anamorphic material, you may want to play with 48Hz output. This can't be done on my card but you can control that via powerstrip.


Once you do get it dialed in, it can take you a while, be patient, be very patient, you'll find you have a fabulous image.


Another quick tip, cut the grilles off the intake fans. It'll drop the PJ noise considerably. The beats of the fan blades against the flat metal grilles are responsible for the loud drone that you hear on the PJ.


The ACON unit is rumoured to go for under $300 but I've heard it doesn't help much.


The ECP also has a detailed set up mode that walks you through the setup procedure step by step, pretty carefully.


Oh, and make sure you converge with the source connected and scanning at the right rate and save the settings or you'll drive yourself crazy!


R-S
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by raoul
Congratulations on picking the right entry level CRT. I have an ECP4500 and I have to say it's a great projector. As you get used to tinkering with it you'll find you can really push the beast.


I have different geometry and convergence settings for anamorphic and 4:3 viewing. I view everything through an HTPC but I mess with the scan frequency for TV so the projector automatically selects the right settings.


I use a 3dFusion as my graphics card, it's old, your card will outpeform your PJ quite a bit. My feeling is that the image is best based on color, stability etc, at 800x600. If you do decide to go up in resolution for anamorphic material, you may want to play with 48Hz output. This can't be done on my card but you can control that via powerstrip.


Once you do get it dialed in, it can take you a while, be patient, be very patient, you'll find you have a fabulous image.


Another quick tip, cut the grilles off the intake fans. It'll drop the PJ noise considerably. The beats of the fan blades against the flat metal grilles are responsible for the loud drone that you hear on the PJ.


The ACON unit is rumoured to go for under $300 but I've heard it doesn't help much.


The ECP also has a detailed set up mode that walks you through the setup procedure step by step, pretty carefully.


Oh, and make sure you converge with the source connected and scanning at the right rate and save the settings or you'll drive yourself crazy!


I agree with Tim about yoru screen distance, it's a bit too far away for PUNCH etc, however I still think at that size you'll get a better picture than your X1 (by far). You should try moving the beast closer the image is actually better.


R-S
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the input, a question around throw distance, I'm at 1.5x screen width which is closer than the suggested throw at "1.515x screen width + 9 inches" in the pj's manual.


If I am to understand some of the comments, the idea is to use as much of the phosphor surface as possible with as much concentratin as possible? Why not just leave the PJ where it is and increase the V & H size to use as much of the tube as possible? My screen is 80" wide, I really don't want to go much smaller if I can help it. Can I fill an 80 inch wide screen at a throw of 9 feet?


Raoul... why does 48hz result in a better image?


thanks much...
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by truthseeker

Raoul... why does 48hz result in a better image?


thanks much... [/b]
Do a search for 48Hz on the forum for good discussions. Basically, you can run a higher resolution with a more solid image, since the screen doesn't refresh as often. This is for FILM sources since 48Hz is equivalent to showing each frame twice. Native film is 24fps.


If you have a totally light controlled room you won't have too much trouble with 1.5 x the width of your screen although I think it may be a little dimmer and color less vivid.


R-S
 

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The ECP is a good "little" PJ, but its a Electrostatic focus machine with 5.5 inch tubes. I think overall once properly setup it will handily beat the X1 you have, but it will likely never have the sharp focus or brightness of the X1. But there are many other factors that make up image quality. Overall, even the entry level CRT wins.
 

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Hi Aj


How is the projector treating you?


Did you get it all set up? BTW you will always strive to get a better picture from the unit as I know from personal experience. I'm always tweeking and modding mine.


Laz
 

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Hey Laz...


The projector's doing well, finally have my room all set-up. How's your Marquee? You're so right about the constant tweaking but I think that's half the fun (or frustration) of this hobby...I look forward to coming home and trying to squeeze out the best possible picture...


James...


CRT vs. the X1


CRT pros:


- Much improved black levels (add depth to the image that wasn't there with the X1)

- Lack of pixelation (at 1.5 x screen width the X1 had a lot of pixels especially in bright scenes)

- No more rainbows, for some reason the more I watched the X1 the more I saw rainbows (I know others on the forum have experienced the opposite)

- No motion artifacts


X1 pros:

- Better focus and sharpness (my CRT is ES focus and doesn't get as detailed as the X1, the image is softer and more 'film-like', which is good and bad I guess)

- Obviously the X1 is brighter (but with additional lumens come crushed blacks)

- Very little tweaking, no focus issues, no convergence issue (but this is what makes CRTs interesting and gives them their 'charm')


...hope that helps...


...gotta get back to tweaking my image...cheers...
 
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