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After reading many threads on this great forum, I decided that the BenQ 6100 was the projector for me. I don’t have a ton of money to set up my home theater, and it was a toss up between the 6100 and the X1. In an ideal world I would have bought the 6200 / 4805, but at double the cost I just didn’t have the money.


On Monday I bought the BenQ 6100 and connected it via S-Video to my 3+ year old non-progressive scan DVD player. It looked great! I was very happy with the picture, both the size and the quality. I also hooked up my (non digital) cable through a VCR, and it looked OK. Not as good as DVD, obviously, but still a nice large picture to watch! I’m projecting it pretty large, about 120 inches wide and 75 inches tall in 4:3 mode. I'm running it in economy mode, since I didn't notice a big difference in "film mode" and being a cheapskate, I'd like to save the bulb! I may try playing around with using a .3 ND filter as suggested in another thread.


On Tuesday, I bought a VGA-> 5BNC monitor cable and three female BNC-> female RCA adapters. I read that connecting through component inputs made quite a difference in quality, so I wanted to give it a try. I couldn’t find a place locally (Toronto, Canada) that sold a dedicated VGA->RGB cable, and to order the one from InFocus was going to cost $20 in shipping, so I just decided to go for the monitor cable. It worked like a charm, connecting to the RGB ends of the monitor cable, and I hooked the player up through component video. The picture quality got even better! What a great purchase!


On Wednesday, I just watched movies! I calibrated the projector using the THX optimizer on Finding Nemo, since I don’t have Digital Video Essentials yet. The added tweaks made the picture look even better.


On Thursday, I ended up buying the LG 7832 (AKA Zenith 318) DVD player, which upscales to 1080i (manufacture date on my player is February 2004.) I read about this on the forum, and how it was supposed to have a very good image processor. I wasn’t disappointed! Now the picture is absolutely AMAZING! I didn’t know if buying this new DVD player would be worth it, or if I should just be happy with what I had, so I was planning to take it back if there wasn’t a significant increase in picture quality. After hooking it up, I knew it wasn’t going back to the store!


Now it’s Friday. My ceiling mount is supposed to be delivered today (I’m tracking it on UPS) I went with a mount from PerfectMounts, since it was inexpensive, and I like the look of it. Hopefully by the end of the weekend I’ll have this set up perfectly!


Since I’m new to this, I’ve got a lot of questions for other owners:


Question #1 – I’m going to get Digital Video Essentials this weekend to calibrate the projector. I notice that there aren’t a ton of individual controls in the projector menu. I’ve read about the service menu, but as a new owner (it’s my first projector) I’m VERY frightened about potentially ruining my projector or screwing something up. Do you need to go into the service menu in order to properly calibrate the colors? As long as I avoid the ADC menu entirely will I be OK to make other adjustments as long as I record all original values? Someone said that even just pressing “down†on the ADC menu could mess up the projector, which I don’t totally understand – how does just accessing a menu change the way it works? Any advice would be appreciated!


Question #2 – When I mount this on the ceiling, it will be upside down and the lens will be about 6 inches down from the ceiling. Should I buy an extension rod for the projector mount, or is it fine to tilt the projector and use the keystoning? A few of the things that I’ve read say that keystoning should be avoided at all costs, though I don’t really know how else I’d be able to get the image square (without having it hanging in the middle of the room) – the ceilings in my apartment are about 10 feet high. I’ll play around with it when I get the mounting bracket. Also relating to mounting is the zoom. Should I put the projector about half-way on the zoom when I mount? Is there a disadvantage to having it completely zoomed out (largest picture possible) or an advantage to having it completely zoomed in (smallest picture possible)? I understand that there should probably be a bit of flex room, just to adjust it for a screen or other masking. Should I mount it with the zoom range set in the middle?


Question #3 – How do you current projector owners handle the cable management? Since I live in an apartment, I can’t really run cables through the wall or anything like that. I’m going to go across the ceiling and down the wall, to the back of the components, but is there any sort of cable covering that someone can recommend so it looks neat? I’ve seen that type of stuff in offices before, kind of like a square plastic tube that runs along the wall. Does anyone know where to buy this stuff? I checked at Business Depot, but all they have is round flexible plastic tubing that doesn’t look too great. Is this something that I could buy at the hardware store?


Question #4 – I don’t have a screen. Right now I’m projecting onto a white wall, and it looks good. Will a screen dramatically increase my picture quality? I’ve been reading the DIY screen section, and there’s a lot of interesting discussions there. I think I might build a frame out of black felt / satin that can absorb the extra light (in the letterbox bars) to mask off the image. Even though my wall is white, would it be beneficial to paint the wall with some of that screen paint? Considering the fact that I’ve upgrade the image quality almost every single day (through cables, and then the new DVD player) I see this as possibly the last thing I could do before my system is “perfectâ€.


Thanks to everyone who’s helped me make these decisions about what to buy! The threads on this message board are very useful! If I can be of any help to other 6100 owners (or people considering the purchase) please let me know.


Bob
 

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#1 There is nothing you can break when not in the service menu. I think there is a factory reset even. When I got the Benq I used Avia, however it was almost as good as it would get with the default settings.


#2 You may need to lower the projector. Why not try it out: Take the Projector into your hands and turn it upside down. See where you can get a square picture. For me that's 15in below the ceiling.

Why not keep it in the middle of the zoom range so you retain some flexibility?


#3 I rent, so I keep it on a coffee table :) In my last apartment I had a white plastic cable channel and painted over but it was still very visible.


#4 No idea really. I have grainy walls :) Plus a $99 Dalite screen isn't that much of an investment
 
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