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Discussion Starter #1
Well, I have narrowed my decision about which projector to buy to two - the NEC LT150 or the Infocus LP350. But I can't decide which. Many of you might suggest that I try to see the two together. This is not possible in Australia, since no one stocks both brands. So, I'm looking for your help. Please help me members - this is a lot of money to spend, and if the wife (boss) isn't happy with the results, I'll be sleeping with the projector out on the street.


So, I'm building a dedicated home theatre in my new home, with tiered seating and all. I want to project onto a 130-140" screen, and as such will need a snappy picture.


From all that I've read on the forum, for many the LT150 is the only choice for sharp picture (800:1 contrast ratio I assume). But, a sensational picture seems only able to be achieved with a HTPC. Whilst I'm not necessarily opposed to building a HTPC, it will still add considerably to the cost (remember the boss please everyone). I'm also concerned about remote control issues related with the HTPC and may not be comfortable 'tweaking' all the time as many of you seem to.


I'm also concerned with the fan noise of the LT150. It will be ceiling mounted (yes even noisier according to views on the forum) directly above where we will be sitting. Yes I can build a hush-box, but would be concerned with how professional it would look. I'm also concerned about the relatively short lamp life.


Now, it may seem that I'm leaning toward the Infocus LP350, but this is not necessarily the case. I've seen views on the forum and reviews on ProjectorCentral.com that state that due to the excellent scaler on the LP350, one only needs an S-video feed from a good progressive scan DVD player to achieve an excellent picture. I only have an interlaced DVD player (Pioneer DV-525) at the moment, so would have to update that anyway. Although, I have read on the Microsoft X-Box site that the optional High Definition AV adaptor will allow one to play NTSC DVD's progressively. This may be a cheaper (not cheap) solution to a progressive DVD player plus an awesome games console at the same time. Any views ?


On the subject of the X-Box, I'm awaiting an email reply from Microsoft (yes I know I'll be old and grey before it arrives but I had to try) regarding my question of the "dashboard" of the X-Box. Apparently one can adjust video, audio etc., but I wanted to find out whether one could adjust refresh rates, given that it essentially is a PC in a box. Any views or news ?


I've read about some of the drawbacks of the Infocus as well. Apparently it produces a considerable amount of heat. This isn't an issue since the theatre wil have ducted air-conditioning. I have also read that it has some light leakage out the front, reducing the contrast ratio. I know I can install a small 'curtain' close (but not too close as to block the hot air coming out of the machine) to reduce this leakage. I have also read that because the Infocus lacks controls for each colour, that it's picture is not so sharp. Would one of those new progressive DVD players which allow one to control sharpness, gamma, contrast etc. go some way to overcoming this ?


I have also considered buying a Grandtec interlace video to progresive video converter which produces 3:2 pulldown for video, instead of buying a progressive scan DVD player. This way I get to keep my current DVD player which I am perfectly happy with, and can de-interlace all signals (DVD, TV, VCR, Satellite) going to the projector so that I have a good picture no matter what format I'm watching. It will also act as a good switcher with its automatic source detection and remote control. Views anyone ?


I am also concerned that the Infocus doesn't have a component input, only composite, S-video and DVI. If I go DVI, I'll need a HTPC, and then I may as well go with the LT150 ? Does the Grandtec even have an S-video out, or is it component only ? Anyone seen or use one ?


Anyway, back to the pressing issue. I need a DLP machine (has to be DLP because I literally cannot stand screendoor) that can comfortably project a 130-140" screen (hence the screendoor issue), with minimal fuss and add-ons. I will watch mainly PAL DVD's (I live in Australia remember), standard definition TV and Satellite TV. I would appreciate any advice that may help me make an informed decision. I know that this is a rather long posting, but I desperately need help, and wanted to cover all the issues I'm considering.
 

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The LP350 DVI input is analog & digital, so you wouldn't need an HTPC. There are cables that go from VGA to DVI analog on the other end reasobably priced. If you used an iScan scaler it outputs VGA anyways so in that case it wouldn't be a problem. The problem would be that I don't think it takes 480p! Not sure though...


I'd grab the LT150 myself but I'm very noise sensitive. It would be out the windows within a matter of days.


Good Luck.
 

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I probably should have also mentioned the InFocus LS110 and the Toshiba MT5 (LS110 clone.) They should be out within a couple weeks. They're DLP and have a great built in scaler, so you could just plug in that S-Video and get a nice picture until you're ready to go progressive. It has component etc. too of course
 

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I have seen them both extensively. A friend of mine bought the LP350 and I demo'd it extensively for a week in my house. Now, I have an LT150.


Some observations.....


- The LT150 looks very good with a progressive DVD player or any progressive (480p or HDTV) source. It does not require an HTPC as many here suggest. Although an HTPC is an improvement, I find it not worth the effort. Thus, it should work fine with the XBox and your deinterlacer.


- Not sure what they cost down there, but a decent progressive scan DVD play can be had for $250 US.


- For Svideo, the LP350 has better deinterlacing, but that doesn't mean a better picture. I simply bought a cheap ($200) used DVDO line doubler which more than made up the difference. However, because the LP350 doesn't accept component input, you may have difficulty upgrading to any high-definition progressive source.


- The LP350 does not do blacks anywhere near as well as the LT150 due to the contrast ratio. I thought this would be no big deal, but its a HUGE difference when seen side by side.


- With that big of a screen, you will need a very dark room. The LP350 is rated brighter, but its not that big of a difference....I'm not sure the LP350 is really as bright as it claims.


- The LT150 is noisier, but I don't know that its THAT big a difference. If the LT150 is bothersome, I would think the LP350 might be also. A hushbox is probably worth considering either way.


- The LP350 is more plug and play, with a good deinterlacer and zoom capabilities. But if the LT150 works in your room and it will be fixed mount, then that shouldn't be much of an issue.


- Given all that, my underlying impression is that the LT150 produces a far better picture. And at least here in the US is much cheaper. You can get an LT150, DVDo iscan, and a progressive scan DVD player for less than a new LP350 here.



Hope that helps!


-Dave
 

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Don't forget that LP350 may have problem with premature bulb rupture (
 

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When I did a side by side comparison, the visable rainbows from the infocus where intolerable.


There were bursts of light every few seconds. I was not the only one to make this observation. I do not know if it this one unit or if rainbows from a non progressive source are a BIG problem.


Are you or your wife particularly sensitive to DLP rainbows.


Warren
 

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Note this is my own personal experience that may not be indicative of Infocus products in general, but I went through two LP350s with less than acceptable optics. It was impossible to focus evenly across the entire screen. Not that big of a deal for video, but very obvious when viewing a desktop. When I considered the fact that it was supposed to be a data projector and it's flaws were actually *more* visible were using it for that, it just kind of pissed me off. :) With the LT150 the picture is at least the equal of the LP350, if not better and it was smaller, cheaper, and didn't have any defects.


To Infocus' credit, they did replace my first unit no quesitons asked, but the second one wasn't really any better. I bought the LT150 from Dell and sold my LP350 to a friend to cover the cost of the NEC. Never any regrets.


By the way, even though the LP350 looks pretty good with s-video, it still looks even better with an HTPC.
 

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I've had the LP350 for 6 months now. I don't see the rainbows, nor has anyone complained to me about them (and I don't want to learn how to see them). To my knowledge there aren't any DVD players outputting progressive from sVideo (only thru component). The LP350 uses the Genesis chip for deinterlacing, and does it quite well. I watch only DVD movies from a JVC723GD player via MONSTER 8meter sVideo cable projected onto a Da-Lite High Contrast 92in (80x45in=25sqft 0.80gain) PermWall screen. I believe the 1300 lumens rating is measured with computer inputs (ie using the white section of the color wheel), but when you are inputting video (via sVideo) the White section is turned off, therefore the measured lumens is probably lower (maybe 1000 lumens).

So I am seeing 1000/25*0.80=32 lumens/sqft and that only looks good in a dark room no ambient light. Any daylight washes out the picture.

If you want 130/140 in screen (52sqft+) your projector is 20ft from the screen. And even with the DaMat 1000/52*1.1=21 lumens/sqft.

If I was you for that size and other considerations I would be looking at the newer LP530 which has a 2000/1600 lumens output and also takes the Expansion Module which accepts Component so you could be inputting progressive if you wanted. And then there is the possibility of remote extension of the Module to over by your equipment (just a thought). 1600/52*1.1=33 lumens/sqft.

I have tried at least 10 different DVD players in my system. I A/B the same movie simultaneously switching input from the AV Receiver. There are some big differences out there with the Interlaced sVideo outputs. Since progressive is the big deal now hardly anyone rates the sVideo output anymore. The JVC723GD is the BEST and I've tried Sonys, Pioneers, Phillips, Panasonic, Toshiba, and other JVCs. JVC723GD has GAMMA/Y-delay along with the usual picture controls plus 4 memory settings 2 of which are programmable (that's a big plus) I just watched the new SuperBit 5th Element tonight, and I gotta tell you I haven't seen any picture posts that look any better than what I saw tonight.

I am going to get together with Lenny Eckian who is an ACE with the HTPC and find out what I maybe missing. Research Research it never ends.


Good luck down under, keep us apprised
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks to all the members who replied to my insufferably long posting. I appreciate all of your advice. It does seem like the LT150z, with its new zoom lens, 1000 Lumens and aparently quieter operation in Economy mode, also with extended lamp life in Eco mode (1500 hours - better, but still not brilliant), would be the way to go. I will take your advice and get a progressive scan DVD player to go with it.


I won't be able to deinterlace standard TV, but since we're getting digital TV in January where we live, a set-top box will produce a digital 16:9 progressive picture. Anything on normal TV or Satellite would look bad anyway, even if de-interlaced by the GrandTec.


Has anyone seen or used the GrandTec de-interlacer ?

Could I use it as a de-interlacer and a switcher given that it has a number of inputs and a remote control and that the LT150 only has 1 component input ?


Either way, I will need some sort of component video switcher.


Anyone seen the 'dashboard' of the X-Box yet too ?


Thanks again all. I appreciate your time.
 
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