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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First, I want to say thanks to alot of you guys for posting excellent information about how setup a HT. I recently purchased an Infocus X1 based on some of the suggestions in forum. Unfortunately I suffer from the wonderful rainbow syndrome and have since sent it back. I've been reading alot about these 2 LCD projectors and I'm leaning towards the L300U, but I have a few questions. I will mainly be using this projector for DVD movies and watching sporting events (football, boxing, etc.) thru my DirecTV satellite. This projector will be used in a basement area, which is 13 ft wide by 22 ft long and I have complete control of ambient light.


1) Is it worth the extra cash to get the L300U over the Z1? I was kinda hoping I could use the extra cash to put towards a Denon 1803 AV receiver if I purchase the Z1. But I also don't want to sacrifice image quality. Also the 1 year warranty on the L300U scares me alittle.


2) Will these LCD projectors project a good image for watching TV using my DirecTV satellite? My friend has the X1 and we watched a few Digital Cable stations thru his X1 and it looked excellent. So I'm missing something, because I see alot of people talk about how bad 4:3 SDTV broadcasts look on a FP. Is the reason the X1 looks so good is because it is a native 4:3 projector?


3) What would be a good DIY screen for these projectors? I've been thinking about either using a Parkland screen or the GooSystems paint.


Thanks again for any help or suggestions!
 

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Some of these questions may be able to be answered with a search but I'll give it my best shot. I should say that I just got an L300 a few weeks ago, and that I have never seen the Z1 so I can't give you any more than what I have heard.


1) this depends on a number of factors one being how big you are thinking the screen will be and how far back from the screen your seating area is. If you are about 1.5x the screen width back you should be ok. I am under the impression that the screen door effect is more pronounced at this ratio than the L300, I own an L300 I can confirm that there is no screendoor from where I am sitting, I actually have to go a few feet closer than 1.5 to see the screen door. Maybe a z1 owner can tell you more about how that projector is with it.


2)I haven't hooked up cable to mine, I just use a normal TV for TV watching


3) there is a lot of info over in the Screens Forum in this same section, but I personally would go with the parkland first as it is substantially cheaper...see if it is satifactory and if not you can go with Goo or some other type of screen paint (I think you could even paint the parkland plastic) Goo is also a bit expensive and you have to make sure you have the capability to paint it as even as possible, I don't know how hard that actually is. you wouldn't want to mess up.


Personally I went with some tensionable matte white screen material from dazian.com its quite cheap, and the is going to be pretty simple hopefully, I get the material this week so I could tell you more about it later. the screens forum should be able to answer any other questions you have about framing/mounting etc. Also check out the Screen Review by Tyrq he does a side by side comparison of a bunch of different screen materials, quite helpful.
 

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Do note that the visibility of screen door is directly related to focus of the picture, with the sharpest focus the screen door with Z1 is more visible than with even a one millimeter's turn of defocus. The slight defocus should also be done to get the image more film like, and should be done for AE300 for that matter and that goes for all digital pj's anyway.

My distance from screen is 1.5 times it's width, and the screen door does not bother me a bit, the DVD's resolution and poor performance of some DVD's does bother however. I don't have glasses either and my sight is good however the "sensitivity" for screen door can and is a personal issue, but in my opinion it's weight shouldn't be over exaggerated.


I haven't seen the AE300's picture so can't comment on its image quality, but what i've read from this forum someone claimed that both of these pj's use the same panels, and they do share the equal specifications as well.


I should think one gets satisfying image with either one, the strong points being for ae300 the non existing screen door and for Z1 the manual lens shift feature which enables the pj to be placed quite freely anywhere without any loss of image quality. Also Z1 has got 1:1 pixel mapping for HTPC usage which AE300 doesn't have.

Z1 carries three year warranty and Ae300 has one year, I think?


As for my self, even with my personal criticism for the A/V equipment I've purchased, I can honestly say I'm a one happy puppy with the current setup of Skyworth 1050D and Z1 via VGA connection, also Hoya Fl-D filter for reducing black and noise since I can't use a gray screen. I can also guarantee that I would have changed my PJ to another if there would've been any major issues with it.
 

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Lare, what size are the lens threads on the Z1? Also, with the Fl-D filter, how did you recalibrate the projecor to get correct color balance?


Also, would screendoor be visible on an 84" image at a viewing distance of 8 feet?


Thanks!
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by maxleung
Lare, what size are the lens threads on the Z1? Also, with the Fl-D filter, how did you recalibrate the projecor to get correct color balance?


Also, would screendoor be visible on an 84" image at a viewing distance of 8 feet?
Hi, 52mm FL-D will fit perfectly. I have 55mm because the 52mm's were out. The 55mm fits good too, I used a drop of "blue-tack"(don't know the word in English, anyway it's elastic, rubbery compound) to secure the other half, the other half snaps perfectly into place with the focus ring.


The FL-D gives a reddish touch to color temp so I reduced the red for one point from RGB settings. A neutral density filter is another option, it only reduces the amount of light put thru thus giving better blacks but won't affect any other colors. FL-D is said to give better contrast, more natural colors, reduce the noise and about anything but the kitchen sink ;)

I haven't seriously compared the image with and without FL-D, but what is obvious is that the black levels get better and the brightest white doesn't get that much affected. So I'm happy.


As for the screen door visibility with your setup -- I honestly can't say. My girlfriend says she sees the pixel structure, but since I don't have a way to verify that I can't say ;)

I believe the sensitivity and visibility of the screen door is personal, and you should try and check it out yourself. Should you be annoyed by it or even see it at all.

Personally I am very much more concerned about the actual image quality, colors, shadow details etc. than the small amount of screen door, which I think is under control with the modern hometheater pj's.

If AE300 has even less screen door - that's great, but I wouldn't be over excited about that.
 

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I can't speak for the 300u but as a Z1 owner I think for one component of your primary viewing motivation you're going to be somewhat disappointed. For basic tv (satellite) viewing the X1 with a faroudja scaler does a much much better job at scaling and rendering a low quality signal.


Svideo in on my Z1 from my tivo renders a soft phuzzy picture. However I've since injected an HTPC into my setup with dscaler and the picture quality looks very comparable / if not better than what I've seen on the X1.


For dvd playback I'd say that the Z1 puts up a great picture and for HDTV this projector is just phenomenal.


-shehryar
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the replies guys! This helps alot. I'm probably going with the Z1, but I'm alittle disappointed that I won't be able to watch DirecTV broadcasts without building a HTPC. I was really planning on using it about a 1/3 of the time to watch football and other sporting events. I was kinda of afraid this might be an issue, but thanks again for the help.
 

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I'm a big sports guy and had the same question about watching sporting events via satellite on a projector..


Knowing the repercussions of NTSC broadcast's on the Z1, The Z1 was still my FP of choice and I can add that watching these events without some sort of doubler/scaling device was not impressive at all..in fact the display was overall crappy..


I initially was going to purchase a AVT-3700 line scaler, but for that price I could build a HTPC that could do the job with more flexibility.. I'm glad that I went the HTPC route.. now the image is much more appealing..but again, it all matters on what affliate channels these events are being viewed on, some look good, some still look like crap.. The bigger affliates (MSG,TBS,FoxSports) all look cool.. the smaller affliates are hard to deal with sometime...


Now thats just the sports broadcast's.. the movie channels look really good now opposed to what I was watching before the HTPC...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
BreakStuff,

This could be a big issue for me, but after thinking about it. I think I can build a very inexpensive HTPC. I've been building custom built PCs for about 10 years now. So, I feel comfortable setting up PCs. Now I just have to research what I need. I've been doing some initial reading at www.hometheaterhifi.com on building a HTPC. I would only use the HTPC to descale my DirecTV source, play video games and maybe surf the net. I would not uses it to play DVDs, because I will be purchasing a good progressive scan DVD player. I'm assuming I would only need:


1ghz CPU or greater

256mb ram

20gb hard drive

Decent video card like a Geforce 4 Ti4200 or ATI 8500

Descaler software

Cheap motherboard

Case

IR keyboard and mouse


Will Descaler software run on all video cards?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by maxleung
Lare, what size are the lens threads on the Z1? Also, with the Fl-D filter, how did you recalibrate the projecor to get correct color balance?


Also, would screendoor be visible on an 84" image at a viewing distance of 8 feet?


Thanks!
84" (7 foot screen) from 8 feet away? You do realize that's 1.15x the screen width, right? It's going to be like sitting in the front row of the theatre. I'd push my seating back to at least 10 feet, or reduce the screen size to 64" (1.5x)


- Cryo
 

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I've considered that. I could reduce the screen size another foot (72"), and sit at 9 feet. I am pretty sure I will need to defocus as well.


If that doesn't work, I will need to remount my wall-mounted speakers further back, although I will probably need to do that anyways if I squeeze in more seats!


At less than 72", you'd think I'd be better off with a 65" tv, but dammit 65" RPTVs are pricey. And, they wouldn't fit down the stairs anyways. :D
 

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mtwilliamson54 -


Some points to consider..


Make sure the video/tuner/capture card is compatible with Dscaler, I use an XCapture(input for dish) and a Radeon 9000 Pro(out to Z1)...


My display sometimes "stutters" at native rez of 964x544, could be the cpu or possibly a WinXP issue.. I prefer to use 800x600 because the smaller resolution gives me a cleaner NTSC signal, screen size is somewhere around 65"x 50" and looks fine for me.. If needed I can adjust display size via the Z1 remote at a touch of a button...


If you already have the 1ghz cpu in hand, then give it a try...however you may want to consider a little more horsepower to get the most out Dscaler..Your mileage may vary..


I too am a firm believer in the cheaper mobo's.. I used to be an avid Abit user, but it didn't make sense spending the extra $$ when I was upgrading once a year.. ECS mobo's are a great price and handle anything I throw at them..


Be prepared to spend a little time tweaking everything.. it gets frustrating at times, but the overall outcome will be worth the effort... :)


btw, my htpc specs are..

AMD XP1800

XCapture

Radeon 128mb 9000 Pro

ECS K7S5A Pro Motherboard

256 megs DDR

6.4 gig Quantum Fireball HD :p
 

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forgot to mention..


Consider using "powerstrip" to achieve optimum timings and custom resolutions as well....
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
BreakStuff,

Thanks for the info. It's funny you should say use something over 1ghz. I have a AMD XP1700 (1.466ghz) lying around. I just recently upgraded to the XP2100 (1.733ghz), which I'm currently overclocking to 2.233ghz. If I use the XP1700 I would not overclock it, but it should do the trick. The ECS K7S5A Pro Motherboard is an excellent inexpensive motherboard. Couple questions:


1) I'm thinking about using the TV LEADTEK WINFAST "DELUXE" TV2000XP

video/tuner/capture card. Where is there a list of compatible cards for Descaler?


2) What would be the cheapest video card I could use? I think I'm just going to use the HTPC for descaling my DirecTV source only. So, I wouldn't need a good gaming card.


Also a tip for you stuttering issue. I noticed you are using 256mb with WinXP. You might be able to eliminate the stuttering by adding another 256mb. You can find another stick of PC2100 really cheap ($30 or less). WinXP really runs better with 512mb of ram. Thanks again for the help.
 
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