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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My NEC LT150 arrived yesterday and I spent most of the day avoiding my responsibilities and played with it.... I actually did something very stupid and bought one sight unseen! Was it a good move? Read on.....


At first I was sort of underwhelmed. I began to play with all of the settings which convert it from business use to video use -- things like gamma correction, white segment on/off, color temp calibration, individual R-G-B contrast and brightness, HDTV color settings, etc. Once properly configured with Video Essentials, I was totally *amazed* at what you can get for ~$3K. You can see this thing was designed for HDTV from the start as all the settings are there.


Its not as bright as the Sanyo PLV-60 I demo'd last week (which was in a dedicated HT dark room), but seems to have much better blacks (no suprise since brightness/black level/contrast are all related). However, it has a much more film like quality as you can't see the pixels at all. I found the Sanyo screen door bothersome. The LT150 internal scaler for svideo is passable, as my new JVC 723 progressive DVD player arrived about 4 hours after the NEC so I spent a few hours playing with svid settings. Its actually not bad at all for regular video. I still think its better for 480i than the LP350, which I demo'd for a week. The scaler may not be *quite* as good as on the LP350, but the picture quality (colors, black level, gamma settings, etc) is MUCH better. Progressive scan 480p DVD is amazing though. It rocks, I prefer it to the Sanyo as I particularly don't like the pixelation. I sat and watched most of 5th element, bugs life, and chicken run. Its truly awesome.


It does have a slight light "halo" but its minimal and a small black border will cure it. I'm going to upgrade screens so that won't be a problem. I currently use an 80x60 Dalite Spectra 1.5 gain screen.


The damn thing is so small and light you could ceiling mount it with thumbtacks and some fishing line :) ...not that I would.


The only negatives I can see for it are:

- No zoom (not a problem since I'll have a fixed mount)

- Bulb life and cost (But $400 is not as bad as $1200 for new CRTs on my Zenith Pro881x!)

- Only 1 set of VGA/component inputs

- Needs a semi darkened room, but it was fine with some indirect lighting turned on.


So in other words, after looking very closely at the LP350, Sony 10HT, and Sanyo PLV-60, I'm glad I got the LT150 and saved a lot of $$$$. I got it from PCNation.com for $3258, got it the next day, and had a very pleasant experience with them.


NOW FOR OTHER LT150 OWNERS:


- What gamma setting do you typically use?

- What color matrix do you use?

- Should noise reduction be off?

- What video filter setting?

- Have you changed the white balance for R,G,B?

- Any "killer" settings I need to change besides white segment?

- Anyone ceiling mount it? If so, how?


Anyways, thanks for Grant and all the rest who convinced me to get one. I'm extremely happy with it, and even my wife thought it was worth the money!


-Dave


OH yeah. I forgot to add.... I am not susceptible to the rainbow effect unless I shake my head violently (which I haven't done since the NHL playoffs ended).


And, the LT150 remote stinks, but that'll be replaced my a pronto soon enough.


[This message has been edited by Dave E in TX (edited 06-27-2001).]
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Dave E in TX:
The only thing in 16:9 I watch is from DVD, which would be 480p, and 1024x768 native seems to be very good for 480p (doesn't that work out to 1024x576? which is pretty close to ideal for 480p?)
That is correct as for the resolution. It's also absolutely perfect for PAL which is 576p - I'm very curious if the LT150 is able to handle 576p through the component inputs. I'm going to pair it with my Skyworth DVD player and if progressive PAL works through the component that would make me able to do the anamorphic stretch for no loss of resolution. Alternately I can use a HTPC, but I really don't want to do that unless I have to. My paycheck comes in next week so anyone have a really good reason for me _not_ to get the LT150 better speak up real fast cause I'm going to order one http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


------------------

/frode


[This message has been edited by Frode (edited 06-27-2001).]
 

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Has anyone visually verified that the NEC is really different from the PLUS unit it is based on? I'm curious if Vortex is just clever marketeering.


I have to agree that the LT150 is a very nice unit. Best blacks I've personally seen from DLP yet.


If the Z version was to have a better scaler, perhaps a sage chip, I would have to strongly consider purchasing one. As it is, the LCOS Hitachi has my attention.


--Les
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Frode:
My paycheck comes in next week so anyone have a really good reason for me _not_ to get the LT150 better speak up real fast cause I'm going to order one http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif
[Devil's Advocate]


No Zoom - Could be a pain to place


Upcoming Z model on the way - Maybe should wait to see what it has to offer besides zoom


Tends to Green - Like the LP350 and other DLPs from what I hear, yellow tends toward green.


Internal Scaler could be better - LP530 has faroudja sage chip


HDTV not panamorph ready - Is vaporware important?


Native mode put image at bottom of 4:3 image - Though I never was able to check whether it could be moved.


Remote is awful - I think it's made by Mattell


Low light output - Only 800 lumens


Lamp life only 1000 hours - Boooooooooooooo.


[/Devil's Advocate]


--Les


[This message has been edited by arrow (edited 06-27-2001).]
 

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Yellow toward green? Looks pretty yellow to me. I admit that there may be a tinge of green, but you would have to be looking for it. I've never had anyone say,"Boy, your Yellows sure look Green". If you are looking for perfection you will be looking from now on. I waiting for the perfect projector also, but I'm glad I have the LT150 in the meantime.


A zoom would be better but the projector only weighs 3 lbs. If it is not permanently mounted this is not a problem. I have mine on a coffee table.


I agree about the remote but don't use mine much, I set either natural 1, or natural 2 and the aspect ratio and leave it alone. I only use it for watching DVDs through a progressive scan player so the rest doesn't matter. There is an optional full size remote available.


Welcome to the club Dave I know you will love this little projector. Take Grant's advice and spend some of the money you saved on the HiPower Screen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Arrow,


I agree with some of the shortcomings you mention, but they really don't impact me much.


I have a fixed mount position thats flexible, so the zoom isn't much use to me.


It was quite green with the default settings but after playing with the green/white balance, hue, color temp settings and calibrating it via the colorbar on video essentials, I challenge anyone to say the yellow is anything but taxicab yellow!


I won't be using the scaler since I have a progressive DVD and will be upgrading to a HDTV satellite receiver (dish 6K I think).


Brightness? Well, I compared it to the Sanyo, Infocus, and Sony, all of which have brighter ratings. The Sanyo has a similar contrast ratio, but still couldn't touch the blacks on the LT150.


Remote? Any cheap programmable fixes that issue. There are really only a few buttons you'd ever use.


Lamp life and cost? That was my biggest concern. But, seeing as compared to the Sanyo I could afford to buy 6 extra lamps with the difference, its still a no brainer.


Panamorph and native 16:9 positioning I haven't gotten to yet...but I'd have to agree with you on those.


Randall,


My remote will soon be replaced by a few Pronto macros to control gamma and aspect ratio. Plus, I think you can reconfigure the menu any way you like.


Anyone ever set up a startup screen using a PCCard? A nice .JPG image of a movie marquis sign saying "Dave's Theater" would be a nice touch :)


And, I plan on ordering a dalite electrol high-power in 80x60 so the screen disappears automatically. I found it at cousinsvideo.com for ~$750. Imagine a great HDTV projector and electronic screen for under $4K!


-Dave (waiting until I get home to play with the new toy!)
 

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When I post about the LT150 it is not my intention to put anyone else's projector down - I love projectors!!! If you're happy with your projector then I am happy that you are and encourage you to tweak the hell out of it and your room. Let's help each other get the most out of what we have!


Being a bit of a SDer I can't help but pour gasoline onto the fire and say - If you haven't seen the LT150 with the Da-lite Hipower, well you haven't seen the LT150!! http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


Cheers,


Grant
 

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I never said it wasn't there Les. I said it's not that bad.

I saw it after you mentioned it in your review. It really doesn't bother me and I've never tried to dial it out, but it sounds like it can be done. With any projector that I know of compromises have to be made and this is an easy one to live with. The hardest thing to live with in the LT150 for me is the rainbow. I don't think I see them as much as some people, but I had rather not see them at all. Still for $3250 this projector can compete with the Big boys in picture quality.
 

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Grant,


How politically correct of you. Ken_Lennon you're not. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif


Have you ever seen the LT150 on the Grayhawk yourself? Just curious, because I was so impressed with the LT150 blacks on the Grayhawk, that I wonder what happens to them when compared against the da-lite.


The game is about contrast and screen door in my opinion and the LT150, for all its shortcomings, has great contrast with amazing blacks and virtually no screen door. My opinion is that anyone auditioning the PLV-60/XP21N should be looking at the LT150 as an alternative. Unless, of course, they want to watch in full daylight. In that case, see Sony RPTV.


A heck of a find the LT150. But still could be better =P


--Les

 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Les,


I agree, there seem to be 1 or 2 different things with each projector which prohibit it from being the Home Theater slam dunk and getting the unqualified recommendation.


If they could take the LT150z, make it about 1300-1500 lumens, w/2000hr lamp life and replacement bulbs ~$250, and fix the DLP issues of color and rainbows -- it would be darn near perfect.


Or, make an LCD with better blacks and no screen door....


Or take an LP350 and give it better contrast, component and HDTV input, and more video adjustability...


etc.... I'm sure now that I spent $3300, the perfect one will be released next week. :)


I'm going to play with the color calibration a bit more tonight and see if I notice any greenness to the yellows or any tinting of other shades when I set yellow to optimal.


But, I have to agree with you on the blacks/contrast. Nothing I've seen so far comes close! (save a $25K CRT at the local HT snob store).


Anyways, thanks to all (Les, Grant, Randall, etc) for your help the last few weeks.


-Dave
 

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Hey Les,


I haven't seen the LT150 on the Grayhawk, only on a homemade grey screen - and yes I would have to say the blacks were "blacker", but it's all relative, the colour wasn't nearly as good and the picture lacked punch.


I have some pretty good (I think) pictures from Space Cowboys that show excellent blacks on the Hipower, but I can't seem to get them downloaded onto my harddrive. I now have to take both my camera and PC into the camera shop and they will see what the problem is. They told me that my type of camera had never had that problem before and I told them there was always a first time. Anyway we compromised and the PC and camera go in for a look - this story is for another time, but great example of how salespeople should handle customers.


We now need to direct your expertise and energy towards doing a shootout between screens and progressive scan DVD players - now I would pay admission for that!


Cheera,


Grant
 

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Hey Les,


I haven't seen the LT150 on the Grayhawk, only on a homemade grey screen - and yes I would have to say the blacks were "blacker", but it's all relative, the colour wasn't nearly as good and the picture lacked punch.


I have some pretty good (I think) pictures from Space Cowboys that show excellent blacks on the Hipower, but I can't seem to get them downloaded onto my harddrive. I now have to take both my camera and PC into the camera shop and they will see what the problem is. They told me that my type of camera had never had that problem before and I told them there was always a first time. Anyway we compromised and the PC and camera go in for a look - this story is for another time, but great example of how salespeople should handle customers.


We now need to direct your expertise and energy towards doing a shootout between screens and progressive scan DVD players - now I would pay admission for that!


Cheers,


Grant
 

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Grant,


You dare compare your homemade screen to the master Don Stewart????


I'm teasing, of course, but Don does work some magic with his grayhawk. Worth a look if you ever get the opportunity.


--Les
 

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Dave, you've discovered what many others are now aware of - this little "mighty mouse" is a real "giant" killer. It will be with me until one of the new 16:9 DLPs meets my rather exacting and picky needs. Something great that's inexpensive is the fun way to wait for the new breed that's coming.


I have played with settings and adjust only the contrast for individual colours and brightness slightly - that's it (white segment off of course). I use natural 1 gamma setting for animation and natural 2 for just about everything else. If you have "enhanced black" level on your DVD player try it for amazing contrast and shadow detail.


Match this with the Da-lite Hipower and black curtains and masking system and lookout!!


NEC, where's my commission?


Cheers,


Grant
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Grant,


I think at $3250 NEC is probably losing money on these only to clear them out prior to the LT150Z's arrival (which will probably be back in the $4500 range). So, your comission might be pretty slim :)


As for 16:9, I'm sure we'll see native 16:9 DLP units soon. But for me, with very little HDTV programming on, a 4:3 native format is still better. The only thing in 16:9 I watch is from DVD, which would be 480p, and 1024x768 native seems to be very good for 480p (doesn't that work out to 1024x576? which is pretty close to ideal for 480p?)


Anyways, thanks for all your arm twisting. I'm glad I caved and got one. I'm still amazed at the picture from such a dimunitive little unit.


So for everyone else who is looking at $5-8K HT projectors. Check out the LT150 too, and keep in mind what other equipment you could get with the money you save.


If anyone has any questions on the LT150, I'll do my best to answer them as I get to know the unit and set it up properly.


-Dave
 

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Thanks Les for the run down.


- No Zoom. Not important to me.


- Upcoming Z model. No way I can afford it right now. I know price hasn't been mentioned anywhere but I can't see it going below current internet prices for the vanilla LT150.


- Tends to green. Calibration issue mostly. As I understand it the projector has good adjustment capabilites that should allow me to if not completely correct it at least reduce it to an acceptable level.


- Internal Scaler could be better. I'll be using either a Skyworth or a HTPC, so it really doesn't matter.


- HDTV not panamorph ready. I'm not quite sure what you mean by this. Since I don't live in the US I rather doubt HDTV will be a factor for at least several years anyway.


- Native mode at bottom of the image. I doubt I'll ever use native mode.


- Remote is awful. Nitpick http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif . I'm used to projectors without one so this should be a luxury in comparison.


- Low light output 800 lumens. I have full ambient light control so no biggie. Could become a factor later if I decided to move though.


- Lamp life only 1000 hours. It sucks yeah - but it's a price I'm willing to pay.


I can see that some of those factors would be important for other people but for me this seems to be the projector that fits my needs. There are no projectors out there that fit everyone's needs, but the LT150 certainly seems to fit mine at the moment.


------------------

/frode
 

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Not sure what "not panamorph ready" for HDTV means? I posted this question some time ago and Darian responded with a yes! The LT150 retains aspect ratio control over its component to RGB input and perhaps one could input HDTV this way (I think so) use your aspect ration control to unsqueeze it and then squeeze the image with the panamorph no?


Everyone's complaining about the remote, however, you can set it up to go to advanced settings immediately and this saves time and simplifies things considerably - not a great remote for sure, but well thought out settings.


NEC Vortex vs. Plus units? According to Projector Central the Vortex technology really does work and the Nec products that incorporate it have a much better image. Take a look at the article about the Infocus mini projector - there's a discussion there.


All projectors seem to have "issues". I would rather have issues with a $4,000.00 to $7,000.00 projector than a Sony G90 or whatever. I think we're on the verge of a projector revolution and I wouldn't recommend that anyone spend a lot of money on one right now - get something inexpensive (relatively speaking, of course) and acceptable to carry you through. ie. - rainbow issues are being dealt with, 16:9 DLP is coming soon, contrast ratios are going up, blacks are getting better etc.


Watched Unbreakable last night and saw one flash of "rainbow". This was my first experience with rainbow and hopefully my last! This was with a progressive scan DVD player so I will try the same scene with my HTPC - yes I remember the scene!!


If there is one thing that upsets me on this forum it would be when some of the CRT guys come on this section to push the virtues of their choice - I CONSIDER IT A BIG PUTDOWN!!

Hats off to the D-ILA guys for being so considerate of us DLP owners - these guys have class.


Cheers,


Grant

 

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Grant is correct, the LT150 does not look that great with a Grayhawk screen. I tested it and the LT155(LCD) on my Grayhawk and ended up with the 155. Both had their virtues, but as Grant said the picture lacked PUNCH on the 150/Grayhawk combo. If you go with this projector look to diffrerent screens.


Scott
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·


I did play around with the settings again last night and was able to get the yellows pretty good without compromising the other tints. I can get them perfect but then the reds look odd. As I have them set, they don't look green at all, just a bit dim. I have a feeling going to a hipower screen will fix this, as I don't want to crank up the brightness or other settings to compensate. As it is, this is VERY minor nitpicking. It looks as good as the colors on my Zenith CRT.


Also, I played with the custom menu options also. This is a very cool capability. I've taken the most popularly used settings and placed them on the top menu so that they are but a click or two away.


As for screens, I think the 1.5 gain looks fine, but I'll want to see what a higain screen looks like. I think it might give the colors more snap, although they are quite good as it is.


I'll also second everyone and say you need a progressive DVD or external scalar for this unit to really see what it can do.


-Dave


 
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