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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i've been lurking here for several months, and the information displayed is staggering. sometimes too staggering as i still don't have a good grasp on the basic concepts of front projectors. I purchased a Sony 53" HS10 in Jan. This was my first rptv, and so far, i have been happy with it. but seeing a few FP demos in shops around here has me craving a true theater experience. the relatively smaller tv size just doesn't kick as much as it did.


i've only seen two FPs in action. the sony V10HT and the Runco VX1c.


i liked the the flexibility of the sony ($7000 locally) a lot, but the picture going thru an alleged prog scan player, displayed either jaggies or artifacts i assume were from compression on various discs. the screen however was several feet bigger than i would ever be using so i'm sure the large size only magnified these problems.




then i saw a Runco VX1C. ($17000 locally) i was really blown away, although i finally saw this rainbow effect everyone talks about. For few minutes i saw of Gladiator , this was a consistent attribute. the salesguy of course couldn't see it. a few minutes didn't bother me, but over the course of hours of consistent viewing, i'm not sure this would wear well with me. the great thing about a large screen is, your eye gets a chance to roam across the canvas. since the rainbow effect is tied to this eye action, that seems like it will be a big annoyance. they wanted $17000 for the runco. i also noticed the light spill.


so i came here to research the Runco a little more and found what seems to be the Bose of projectors. the more i read, the more it seemed that i could get close to the same quality for significantly less, and after reading of the drop in price of the LT 150 and Grants glowing testimonials, i've become very, very curious.


since this is only a few hundred more than what i paid for my rptv, i'm very close to jumping over and selling off my set, even though its performed with no complaints so far (except for the size which isn't a fault of the set).


but i still don't understand a few points of FP's and the LT150 in general, so i hope some one can be kind enough to point me in the right direction for answers




1) i assume the LT150 projects just one fixed 4 x 3 image, so that 1:33 material will still be considerably bigger than 2:35.


-would i be able to work around this by laying 'dolly-track' to move the projector closer to the screen for 1:33 material? i don't mind having to spend a few minutes re-focusing, etc. and would much prefer to view everything w/ the same vertical height. this was one very cool attribute of the 10HT.




2) would this projector work well close to the floor? ceiling mounts look to be out of the question.




3) how common are these bulbs? is there a chance they won't be making them by the time i use the first one up?




4) the walls in the room are medium shade wood paneling, the carpet is grey and the ceiling tiles white, is this gonna be a problem with reflected light?


the only windows are very small and actual light in the room is easily controllable, but i haven't projected anything in this room.




5) whats the cost to have an upper-mid level HTPC put together solely for dvd viewing?


where would i get htis done?




6) under $3500 for a good projecter seems to good to be true. when i saw the Runco set up, except for the niggling aspect of the rainbow effect, i would have thought i was in a multi-plex. i can't believe how this stuff has progressed since i would go into Laserdisc Enterprises in Atlanta and see The $6k Sharp projector showing laserdiscs.




i can live with 53" pretty easily now and wait another year for even more advances to be made, but with a $3500 entry level price tag (not counting the screen i realize), i could also just as easily jump in now and sell my set. is this gonna to be a big trade-off in picture quality for size ...will there be much of any trade-off?




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ckolchakins @hotmail.com


www.realitycrash.com/dvd.htm


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

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Since my name was mentioned in your post I guess I'll have to step up to plate.


First let me say that I am surprised that you saw motion artifacts with the Sony hooked into a progressive scan DVD player. I suspect it wasn't a progressive scan DVD player -the Sony should and does look very good with a prog. scan DVD player, if calibrated properly and you're back 15 feet or more. Don't write this projector off - the price is dropping!


Now the LT150 can be mounted very close to the floor (on the floor will give you an image starting about 15" above the floor. The projector will properly squeeze (or unsqueeze depending how you look at it) anamorphic DVDs and show letter boxed DVDs (and anamorphic DVDs) in the middle of a 4:3 screen or just use a 16:9 screen. You won't retain all of the resolution that the Sony or new Sanyo will have, but IMO you won't notice the lose, and you will have a very smooth picture.


The lamps for the LT150 are very expensive considering they are only good for 1000 hours (about $440.00 U.S.) and there is no zoom so you have to either move your projector into place or place it and then position your screen so the projected image fits. I don't think there will be a problem with supply of this particular lamp.


I've just finished looking several different screen materials and I still think the Da-lite Hipower is by far the best with this projector and others I have viewed in my HT. For floor mounting it should work well.


In my opinion the negative comments on this forum about Runco products has to do with their price. The Runco projector I demoed (aganst the Sony) was very good, but I was disappointed with its overhyped processing. I definitely have a DLP bias, maybe because I don't see the dreaded "rainbow".


Darian reports that HDTV through the component input of the LT150 is extremely good! DVDs should be played through at least a good progressive scan DVD player - this is now inexpensive and you will get an absolutely outstanding image. There are lots of user friendly settings to play with if you're so inclined.


Rainbow - well its up to you as to what is acceptable. A good HTPC might help here, but now the cost goes up. If you want a turnkey one then you'll pay close to $2,000.00 U.S. for a midlevel one. If you're on a restricted budget then the progressive scan DVD player is the way to go - not only for this projector, but for any projector! A good scaler is another option - cost will be in between the prog. scan DVD player and HTPC (at least, or a whole lot more if you want to spend it!).


DLP Halo - you'll need to place dark borders around the outside of the 4:3 image to soak this up. Another problem endemic to DLPs. Some have made cut outs to block this at the lens with good results. I use black curtains and black borders above and below my 4:3 screen.


I have a 61 inch Toshiba RPTV - I use it for T.V. The projector is for movies and HDTV, when I get it. Read the posts about what others have said about this projector.


Here's the rational - for $3,300.00 you can buy the LT150 and run it through a good progressive scan DVD player (maybe $500.00 U.S.) and show it on a Da-lite Hipower screen ($300.00 or less U.S.) - you'll have a great picture and please click off the white segment (advanced menu under projector setup, page 4) and try the natural 2 gamma setting! In a couple of years when the projector world has changed radically (or not) you can sell it for $1,500.00 and lose $1,800.00. Alternatively you can purchase a HT projector and sell it in a couple of years and kiss four or five times this goodbye. Me, I just bought a new lamp (got a good deal) so obviously I'm planning on keeping mine for a couple more years - doesn't mean I won't buy another projector anyway!


Hope this helps.


Grant Smyth

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Grant: Thanks for stepping up and answering some of my questions. It's your enthusiasm for this projector that has made me stop and think and think about it. even though i don't know you from Adam, when i find a good deal that nobody seems to be talking about, i just want to get on every board and shout it, so i can easily imagine someone else doing the same.

the value at re-sale on th LT150 is something that i feel is one of the strongest assets here. and the buy-in is definately within the realm of possibility whereas $5K and up projectors will still remain a pipe dream for me for a while. the new Sanyo PLV60 is supposed to be great, but at more than twice the cost of this NEC, i feel like i'm in the same situation when i was shopping for the RPTV...the low-end pioneer that had the better picture was $2k more than the sony i ended up with. but this sony will be paid off soon and i can look into upgrading much sooner. But as an entry-level RP, this one worked out very well. thats the same way i'd like to go with a FP. Not neccesarily the best one , but one that is a strong value.

my problem now is in the room dimensions. 15" off the ground would work great, but floor to ceiling i only have 7' to work with. also because we have a post smack dab in the middle of the room, i only have about 12' to position it in and have the screen fairly centered. for the wall dimension availble,this would seem to be sufficent.

$440 for the bulb is about what i was expecting...at the rate of about 4 movies a week, that would still give me a couple years for each bulb...i could live with that.

is the LT150 a more 'tweakable ' projector than the LP350?

i don't like the lack of component connections with that one, and it sounds like its pretty fixed as for adjustments.

if placed on the floor, will i need to worry about keystone adjustment?

thanks again Grant, i greatly appreciate your willingness to share your experiences and knowledge.


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ckolchakins @hotmail.com

www.realitycrash.com/dvd.htm
 

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ckolchakins,


You might wait for the new Sony 11HT or the Sanyo PLV-60 which are about to be released.


No matter what your choice, expect the price to erode by at least 20%/year. I agree with Grant that the cost of the LT150 is hard to beat.


I personally prefer brightness, so I tend to be an advocate of bright LCDs.



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Ken Elliott
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Ken,

i sttill haven't totally dismissed the 10HT. the one dealer here who (had) it took me thru some of the various things that could be adjusted and it's flexibility and the plug and play factor is a HUGE plus.

and i like sony. i haven't had a problem with any of their products in the past (am i due for a let down?) i've very been satisfied with the reliability of their equipment.

the Runco dealer here went on a long rant about how much he hates sony, which basically came down to their profit margins being too small. The $17K Runco looked great (except for the rainbows) but if i can get 80% of the quality for less than 1/3 of the price, i'm in.

i just re-read Alan Gougers words of praise for the 10HT and all the following posts both pro & con.

i also just realized that, while i would be able to pony up cash for the NEC, i think i may be able to charge the Sony on my Sony charge card and get 12 months no interest financing ( which i did for my HS10). This would be a big plus for going w/ the sony.

the only problem with the Sony now is the new model coming out which i assume should be better, but not as affordable for me for a while yet, and i have heard that the Sanyo "blows away" the 10HT. at just under $7k it will take a few years of 20% price drops before i could afford that one.

another plus is an already large customer base that has experience w/ the 10HT. Many, Many people seem happy and satisfied with this projector and their combined experience would be a great resource.

also it looks like i could get by w/ just a good prog scan player for quite a while.

apart from the great value the NEC seems to be right now, i'm very cautious about the rainbows. i've seen what they are now and they could really impair my enjoyment of an otherwise excellant image.

because of the financing issue, and the fact that Alan and others seem to have found tweaks to bring the black/contrast up to par, i may actually be leaning more towords the sony at this point.

if i don't purchase something over the summer, the next window i see is a Jan 2002 purchase, so i'll be keeping an eye on what develops


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ckolchakins @hotmail.com
www.realitycrash.com/dvd.htm


[This message has been edited by ckolchak (edited 05-27-2001).]
 

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Ckolchat,


Your room dimensions sound O.K. if you're going to use an eight foot wide (or maybe slightly smaller) 16:9 screen. For this size of sceen you'll need the projector back about 13 to 14 feet.


To run a progressive component feed you will need a component to RGB cable (Nec sells them and so do some others). Read "For Your Eyes Only" carefully - there's lots of information about this and setup possibilities. Yes it is versatile, but has only a few inputs.


When used with the Da-lite Hipower screen it has lots of punch. Projectors like the Sanyo 18 and 21 come into their own when ambient light is a problem (1800 to 2200 ANSI lmens).


You saw the Runco - great picture right! Well the LT150 is similar with better colour and a more solid image(IMO), provided you use a progressive scan DVD player or HTPC.


The new Sanyo and Sony will undoubtly be great units, but I suspect some will still find the screendoor objectionable.


You need to see for yourself or buy from a vendor who will let you return it if you're not happy. Remember the LT150 only comes into its own when you bypass its internal line doubler - if you're only going to use the s-video input for DVD playback then look at something else. If budget is an issue I would take a serious look at the Nec Lt85 - same everything, but lower resolution which shouldn't effect DVD playback much - for about $2,800.00 U.S. or less.


I think that projector technology is going to change dramatically over the next 2 to 3 years and to pay big money for a HT projector now is not advisable, especially when there are units available as good as and inexpensive as the LT150.


Cheers,


Grant Smyth
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Grant:

Better colors than the Runco, huh? i thought the colors on the Runco were stellar. Ditto for the stability of the image.

if the NEC can achieve 80% of that and the rainbows aren't a problem, then that's it-game over.

the Runco was being fed from a Pioneer 38. i'm only gonna be budgeting $600-700 for a prog player, but i'll be taking my time getting that, so hopefully by then, what i can afford will offer an image close to par with that unit...at least i'd like to think.


right now the cheapest i've seen the LT150 is $3250. this place doesn't except returns on opened products and even w/ unopened items there is a 20% re-stocking fee.

one dealer who will accept returns on this, "no questions asked", is selling it for $4800.


here's my game plan (which is changing by the minute):

audition one player first (as of now, the LT150) that is strongly recommended and costs significantly less ( $1000< ) than the Sony 10HT.

if this player, once set-up and and adjusted, can yield a picture that i can enjoy with what i have, that's it. search over. eventually adding an HTPC would only be icing on the cake.

But if i have problems with any aspects of it that seem like they may exacerbate over time, i'll then order the Sony and audition them side by side and make my decision from there.

i don't expect to have the same degree of...precise expectation that a lot of people here would have. the only experience i have with front projs are the 15 minutes i spent in a poor light controlled alcove w/ a non-tweaked 10HT, and the 15 mins i spent in a pitch black room with the Runco. i'm not going to be basing my satisfaction against a dozen state of the art projectors i saw set up at CES or what i;ve seen in a friends house, 'cause no one i know owns one. visual satisfaction will be based against the 53" rptv. And in this case, i'm sure sheer size alone will score points for the wow factor. after that, all the image really has to be is not un-acceptable.

i feel like i'm in a great position since i DON'T know whats out there. whatever i audition has less to live up to.

as it is in love, so it is with Home Theater http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif




[This message has been edited by ckolchak (edited 05-27-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
BTW: i won't be able to put the projector back any more than 11' and most likely it will only be about 9-10' from the end of the lens to the surface of the screen.

this is if i set it up where i'm hoping to. i may squeeze another 1' 1/2 if i go cross-ways, which i'd rather not.

anything over 6' wide would be a good screen size for me ...it doesn't have to be super huge to be more impressive than what i have now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'll be goingto NYC in a few weeks to work, so i may get a chance to see some of these machines in action. Buffalo isn't really a hotbed of HT-centric shops.

watched some movies last night and had a fine old time. i'm looking forward to jumping over to FP, but until i do, i'll have no complaints, which means i can take my time.

the plan is, this hour, to pay the RP off and start seriously looking into FPs in the late fall, after my season ends.

This NEC may even be under $3000 by the time i'm ready, so i will definately be checking it out. if i was buying today, i could pick up the NEC and an HTPC for the price of the 10HT alone. Makes me stop and think, for sure. although i've come to the conclusion the bulbs won't last nearly as long as i thought. i'll prpbably watch on average 8 movies a week. that means slightly over a year out of the LT150 before replacing a bulb vs. 2 years out of the Sony. Not a deal killer, but worth throwing into the mix.

my priority right now and over the course of the next couple of months is to find a good value in a progressive scan player.

i don't know how happy i'd be hooking the LT150 up to 'just' a progressive scan. if i know there's a better solution out there for something i already own, it would eat at me constantly. i know nothing about HTPC so thats another thing to work on learning.

it's gonna be a fun next few months.


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www.realitycrash.com/dvd.htm
 

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I recently purchased a NEC LT154 from Dell computer. I think the normal price is about $3,600. I am extremely pleased with it--the picture quality is extremely good. The only issue is the low contrast ratio which all LCD projectors exhibit. The LT154 does have a zoom lens.


NEC has a $99 msrp on the "component v cable". A high quality VGA monitor cable with bnc connectors works equally as well and can found for under $25. I am using a VGA monitor cable and it works just fine. The NEC intsturtion manual gives the RGB-component correspondence.


The link for information on this projector is: http://www.nec-pj.com/g3_lt154.htm .


I believe Dell has a three warrenty on this unit.
 

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Cholchak,


Eleven feet back from the screen will give you a 100" diagonal image - will that work? If you can't audition the LT150 with a progressive scan DVD player or HTPC then you probably won't be impressed with what you see. Sorry, but that's how it is.


O.K. here is where I am coming from. I would like to see people get the most for their money - Who cares if its the LT150 or something else. I own two Da-lite screens, two projectors, nine (count them) sailboards, six snowboards and so on - he who dies with the most toys wins! I have gone through a lot of saiboards and listened to and read a lot of hype about them. I use only three depending on wind conditions - they work the best, however, I own newer more expensive ones that I don't like as much - live and learn. For me living, learning and experiencing is what's important. At the end of the day I hope I've left things a little better than I found them.


If I can be of help to you - then I will try. You have different expectations and needs than I. That being said we would probably agree fairly closely on what looks good.

I do own an expensive HT projector as well - it cost over twice as much and when properly set up looks very good (especially with a HTPC). I prefer the LT150 and the other gathers dust. The same for the screen - the Hipower simply works and I've seen lots of screens and a/bed lots of different screen materials - why? Because this is what I like to do in my limited spare time. I tend to be somewhat obsessive and fanatical - so what - this is one of my passions and I am very aware that I am only but a visitor to this planet for a finite period of time.


The LT150 is only an example of what is out there if you get lucky and find it. It was a complete fluke that I got to see this projector with a HTPC and the Hipower screen. I bought the Hipower because of my Marantz (700 ANSI lumens) and also the HTPC because the Marantz won't accept 480p. I was given the opportunity by Bill Dalgleish of Ducocom Kingston to conduct a shootout in my HT between several presentation projectors. If I had only had my DVD player and used it with the LT150 (without the special cable I wouldn't have been able to use the progressive scan DVD player) I wouldn't have given the LT150 a second glance. It looks, at best, marginally O.K. through s-video. The image quality takes a quantum leap with the progressive scan DVD player or HTPC. It simply stood out from all the others I looked at, including my Marantz. I invited others to have a look and several forum members took me up on my invitation and came to see for themselves. They agreed with my assessment and literally ran out and purchased this projector! I bought one and I already owned a good HT projector. Even my wife gave it thumbs up??????????????


I have shared and am sharing my experiences with forum members because it may save some of them their hard earned money - I made a mistake when I bought the Marantz - it is good, but way overpriced compared to what you can get if you know what to look for. Life is about learning and I am learning.


From what I've learned so far I recommend that you at least look at the LT150 (and other projectors - its fun), the Hipower screen and try a good turnkey HTPC or a good progressive scan DVD player. Invest your money wisely and it will reap dividends. If you don't like what you see - fine, move on. There are lots of other very good projectors, screens etc. At least you will have experienced something new!


Everyday I go to war for people. HT is one of my escapes and passions - this forum gives me a chance to share my experiences with others and my experience has been that the members of this forum are very nice people who share one of my passions.


For me this projector simply represents very good value - tomorrow I may have found something else and no doubt you'll hear about it. If I rave about another projector it doesn't mean the LT150 is suddenly no good - if its good its good - same goes for the Sony, Seleco, Dwin, Runco and so on! If you enjoy a certain projector, or whatever, then that's what counts, not what I or someone else says - have confidence in yourself! I am hoping to find something that is even of better value. That's who I am - always searching.


The projectors hyped today will be but forgotten memories by tomorrow. That's how it is!


Cheers,


Grant Smyth
 
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