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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy,


I had an interesting weekend this past weekend. I had all but decided upon buying the JVC D'Ahlia rear-projection TV. Here's an HD RPTV with a digital projection engine (D-ILA) so no convergence or burn-in problems, and it also has a DVI/HDCP connection for future copy protected HD content. What could be better?


Well. The day before looking at the D'Ahlia, I saw the Sharp XV-Z9000 demoed, and I was absolutely floored. It was shown on a DaLite high-gain white 106" screen, and was simply stunning. STUNNING! Then I saw the D'Ahlia and found it absolutely unwatchable due to incredible color inaccuracy. I think the D'Ahlia may have been broken or something, but the Sharp was so good that I went back and watched it for another 2 hours (see my thread here ).


So, now I'm thinking about buying a front projector, even though I would have to do some light control work in my room for daytime viewing to be feasible.


BUT, the Sharp doesn't have the all-important DVI/HDCP connection. From what I've heard, it's likely to be next year before such a connection is available. Meantime, my venerable Sony NTSC RPTV is beginning to fail, and I have a Dish 6000 with all that HD content just itching to be free. I can't justify in my mind spending $10k (or $8.5 or so on the net) for the Sharp if the copy protection issue could shoot it down. If the copy protection weren't an issue, it'd be a done deal.


So, I've started to think about an interim solution. I could buy the screen I would use with the Sharp, do all the re-layout of the viewing room and the light control... and buy an NEC LT150. I've seen these in the $2400-$2500 ballpark, and that's a price I could easily live with. Use it for a year, then eBay it to somebody who either doesn't care about DVI or who needs a business projector. Buy the best DVI-equipped 16:9 DLP available then.


So, am I mad? This is where I'd appreciate your opinions.


Obviously, this projector would not deliver the same performance as the 9000. On 16:9 content, it wouldn't be using the whole element. The lack of a zoom lens makes for less flexible setup, and you lose the option to zoom to smaller screen size for NTSC viewing (less artifacting visible) and brighter conditions.


What else? It occurs to me that I might not be able to re-use the screen, as the 150 would want a 4:3 screen rather than a 16:9. Correct? We watch a lot of TV in my house, so I'm probably looking at a minimum of two bulb replacements in a year if the life is really 1000 hours. That's a big expense too.


Anyway, your thoughts would be much appreciated.


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Mike Kobb

(Formerly "ReplayMike", but no longer affiliated with the company; these opinions are mine alone.)
 

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For an interim solution you may want to go with a LT85 which is LT150 with SVGA resolution for $1700. That way it won't hurt so bad if you have to sell it next year. Bulb cost will be the same as LT150 just cheaper starting out. Heck for 1 year your 1000 hour bulb may be adquate. Sell it when the bulb is ready to be switched. Most people don't thinkg about bulb replacement cost when they buy from Ebay :). LT150 could use 16:9 screen too (letterboxed) so I would not pick 4:3 screen just because of LT150. Do what looks good to you and your family. Masking can enhancing any screen. For longer bulb life the LT154 XGA LCD for similar pricing to LT150 is well-received with 2000 hr bulb. Good luck.


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Huey ;-]
 

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Mike, I read your review of the Sharp and based mostly on that went to my local shop to take a look. And was I surprised. What a fantastic picture. Even on a 3 year old Da-lite 4:3 screen it was still one of the best pictures I've seen.


I'm pretty much sold on it. But I'm concerned with the DVI/HDCP connection you keep mentioning. I'm not that familiar with it, just what I've read in a few posts, could someone please fill me in? How concerned should I be if I'll only be using the projector for DVD playback?


Thanks,


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Matt
Our Home Theater
 

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O.K., here I go again! Thanks for another opportunity to proselytize concerning the Da-lite Hipower screen. You used the word "stunning" and that is how I would describe how the da-lite hipower and LT150 match and I bet most DLPs - assuming you're using a good source (at least a good proscan dvd player and better yet a dedicated HTPC, like the ones Brian puts together for AVS - mine takes a licking and keeps on ticking!).


Everyone talks about the Grayhawk, however, it costs considerably more than the Hipower, and I do mean considerably more! I have experimented with grayscreens and from what I have seen they do increase black level, however, they detrack from the overall punch of the image and put almost a veil over the colours. I haven't seen the Grayhawk yet, so I can't say how it compares to the Hipower for overall image quality - I would love to see one though! The hipower, IMO, brings a DLP to life! I know there are several highly regarded members of this forum that disagree with me, and I respect their opinion. Somehow though, I think your reality and mine are somewhat similar, since you like what you see with the Hipower.


If you control ambient light, calibrate your room (mask your screen and control reflected light from walls, floor and ceiling) you will IMO obtain great contrast and really good blacks, not perfect, but very convincing. Go with the largest 4:3 screen possible and mask it to the size you require. If you need bigger for 4:3 DVDs (lots of music ones) you've got it.


I too have been thinking of purchasing a 16:9 projector like the Sharp, but the image I am getting for the cost plus all the possible changes coming in the next year or two have made me reconsider. Instead I have purchased an anamorphic lens to satisfy my itch for a new toy and maybe with luck it will give me an even better picture from what I am now seeing.


I haven't seen anything that comes close to the LT150 + Hipower + HTPC combination for the money, or even for quite a bit more. I certainly haven't seen everything. For $250.00 U.S. you could start with the Panasonic RP56 DVD player - this kind of performance for so little money was unheard of only a couple of months ago. I think your timing is perfect.


Better check out any DLP you're interested in for rainbow. Also, as I have said before and will say again - don't believe a word I say - this post is for entertainment purposes only. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif You need to check all of these things out for yourself!


Cheers,


Grant
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies so far!


Matt, regarding DVI and such, if you haven't done so already, go have a look at the thread I linked under "copy protection issue" above. If you still have questions, post again and I'll try to outline the issues.


Huey, you said that the LT150 can use a 16:9 screen. How would I do that? What if I want to show 4:3 content? Thanks for the suggestion about the LT85.


Can somebody point me to a chart or something that shows what distances you need for the LT150/LT85 for various screen sizes?


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Mike Kobb

(Formerly "ReplayMike", but no longer affiliated with the company; these opinions are mine alone.)
 

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LT85 and LT150 have "native" resolution mode that'll shrink image inside the 16:9 screen for you. You can always move projector closer :) If you use HTPC, software can shrink image too. Projectors have cinema mode that will squish 4:3 content into 16:9 though be it a little short and fat :)


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Huey ;-]
 

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AVS has B-stock (no Instacare but still full 2 year parts/labor warranty) for $1995. This is a great deal as bulb is new and all should be good. It may take a little-longer to repair if it breaks (rare) and no loaner but still may be worth it.


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Huey ;-]
 

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Mike, thanks after posting I looked again and found a lot more information on it. I'll spill it back to see if I've got it down. Keep in mind its in layman terms.


With this new digital format the component, lets say a DVD player, will encrypt the signal, or has it already been encrypted?, send it out the digital port to the project to be unencrypted and displayed. Now this "new" standard will not effect current DVD, just new HD broadcasts correct? So if I'm going to only by purchasing and watching DVD its only going to effect me it I want to rent a new HD-DVD or watch an HD show over the air. And even then I'll probable still be able to view the show out an analog port just not see the show in its "full" glory. Or am I complete off the mark here?


Thanks,


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Matt
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Here is a link to the throw distance document from the NEC site.


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Huck
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks Huck and Huey!


Matt, yes, I believe your summary is basically correct. Standard-def DVD and *most* true HD content will be unaffected. However, there's the possibility that HD PPV or even HD HBO/Showtime might end up encrypted someday.


In my (really long) posting over on the HDTV Hardware Forum, I said that I *hoped* that the studios and networks would use the image constraint stuff very sparingly. I do hope that. However, I would be very sad indeed if I couldn't rent 1080i movies on D-VHS and watch them full-res. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/frown.gif


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Mike Kobb

(Formerly "ReplayMike", but no longer affiliated with the company; these opinions are mine alone.)
 
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