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Brent came over last night so he could see the new gray screen that I just got and I think we ended up with a nice discovery. I'll give the conclusion first. I think the best combination for the M20x if you don't have a giant screen is to use a filter, settings that make nice reds, and a Hi-Power screen. I had figured out nice color settings before, but they cost me brightness, so I ended up going without a filter and just finding the best balance I could. Here is my theory. When you try to increase the brightness (or reds) with the M20x it ends up bleeding greens into the reds. But, the colors on the M20x are nice if it doesn't try to go too far. Therefore, if you use the screen to add brightness, you can have a nice combination of colors and brightness.

Basically, I got a portable 67" wide Hi-Power last week when I got my gray screen, so I went to show Brent how things looked on there. We were playing a DVD of "Beauty and the Beast" at the time. I think both of us were surprised at how nice the image looked on the Hi-Power screen. The colors were nice and bright and I think Brent mentioned that I should try my filtered settings. I did that and I thought it looked incredible. The yellows and gold in one scene there were awesome, the greens in Shrek looked incredible and we verified how good the reds looked with "Pee Wee's Playhouse". I had been at a Hi-Fi shop the other day and just loved the images on the plasma screens. At 67" wide from about 10 feet away this looked just like the plasmas to me. I figure I was probably getting about 70 ft-lamberts, so it was brighter than I would be comfortable with for a while, but I'm going to get a 92" wide Hi-Power and try it out. I'm figuring I'll get to about 30 ft-lamberts when I'm done.

The throw ratio on the M20x is pretty much perfect for my 18' long room, so I can place it on a wire shelf upside down. The Hi-Power is retro-reflective, so the biggest gain is with your eye at projector level. I'll be a little below that, but still in a pretty good spot. Also, there are disadvantages to the 4x3 panel at times, but one advantage for 16x9 material is that it can be moved up or down, pretty much simulating a lens shift function. So, I will be able to figure out the right height for the projector.

I posted some settings for good reds before here. Here are the ones I was using last night with a Hoya FL-D and lamp high power mode:

Contrast: -5

Brightness: +5

Red: -30

Blue: -26

Clr Temp: 0

I'm sure I'll end up playing with the contrast and brightness settings once I get a 92" wide Hi-Power masked to 16x9. I may also try low power mode now that I can use the screen for brightness. I think the low power mode should help the top end reds even more.

With the extra brightness I was able to adjust things somewhat for black level and I was surprised that the black level didn't seem to suffer a lot. It actually looked very good on the bright image. My test of chapter 30 from LOTR looked better than ever.

Also, we tried turning on some low lights and it really didn't have much affect on the image at all.

As I mentioned, these might not be the best if you have a huge screen. On my 116" wide Hi-Power in my white living room I don't feel like I have enough brightness to spare. So, I'll probably still go without the filter there.

Also, extra brightness will bring out artifacts in low quality material, so that is something to always keep in mind no matter what projector you have. I'm fortunate to get quite a bit of HD stuff.


I wish I could show you these colors. It would be interesting to hear what you think. I'm still not claiming that the individual colors are better than or as good as your AE100 (I haven't seen it), but I think Brent can vouch for how good they looked.

Of course, all this was my first impression, so I will be looking at things more critically and trying to find more improvements. It's hard to do that when your back to the "Wow" stage.

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