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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First off I must state a few tidbits so you can understand where I am coming from. My apologies beforehand for the length.


I have never owned a projector before. Nor do I personally know anyone who has. I have looked at the possibilities for a couple of years on this and am continually torn by all my display options. This was made more complex by the falling prices and confusing situations regarding "HDTV ready" direct view sets. I am not a moron when it comes to the various differences between DLP, LCD, D-ILA, CRT, direct view, back projection, etc. The information I find often seems to contradict itself making what knowledge I do possess, and the stale nature of some of it, suspect.


My objective seemed simple until I started doing some shopping. Simply put, this fall I will have a new display of some type. I am tired of waiting for the technology to come around.


What's going to be hooked up?


The Xbox game system comes out this fall. It will support resolutions up to 1080i and 720p. I plan to have this on launch day. It also includes a progressive scan DVD player. You just buy a remote for 30$ and you get a PScan DVD player. The High-Def pack that you can purchase has component outputs and DD 5.1 sound. The only other DVD I have is part of my one working computer at the moment. Which brings me to this as well. I would like to be able to hook up at least one computer as well. Beyond that the ol' VCR of course and probably a digital cable box - note: not HDTV, just digital.


My options?


A straight-forward large screen direct-view set. The problem here to me has always been that paying, at least, 500$ for something that is basically nothing more than a clean picture in standard NTSC seem a bit much.


An HDTV , direct-view set. Price is a concern here, I don't wish to pay more than about 3000$ overall. When you start looking at the options here I just get annoyed. Rarely does a manufacturer spec sheet list the compression of the higher (1080i,720p) resolutions into a 480p or 480i format. Getting that information can be like pulling teeth. If you want 16x9 ratio, watch the price sky-rocket.


A projector. These have tantalized me for years. If I understand correctly the following would be general trade-offs between CRT or "other" projection types. Please keep in mind that I will probably buy a used/reconditioned demo model if I can find one. I think they are referred to as B-stock.


CRT


pro

better color, at least this was true in the recent past

better lamp life

lower cost - this may no longer be true


con

weight and overall size - doesn't matter in my case

brightness - poor luminosity when comparing to DLP and the like

setup - you better know what you are doing or be prepared to fiddle with it, maybe buy some tools to help you and if that doesn't work get a book or a professional installer



DLP/LCD/D-ILA


pro

excellent brightness

weight and size, portable in most cases

setup is often not even a factor


con

color washout

expense

lamp life and expensive bulbs



note- my understanding is that any projector which can natively show 1024x768 will display up to 720p without down converting.


If i have anything incorrect in the above assumption, please let me know. Now here is where my problem hits.


I can control the ambient light for the room I have in mind. If there are any problems with ambient light I will just have to put foil over the window. Yes I am that weird. Can anyone suggest a few models for projectors that would fit my needs? I can put up with a bit of color washout or the weight of a CRT. I cannot deal with a VERY dark image like those associated with older CRT's or spending 1k$/year on lamps. I need something that will do 1024x768 (assuming my information on being able to utilize a 720p HDTV signal w/o significant degradation holds).


Any suggestions on models to look at or failures in my above information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks guys.


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"America: def. Just 200 million used car salesmen with all the money we need to bu guns and no qualms about killing anyone who tries to make us uncomfortable.


[This message has been edited by deSade (edited 07-21-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Did I break a forum rule, written or unwritten, or just ask a really stupid ?


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"America: def. Just 200 million used car salesmen with all the money we need to bu guns and no qualms about killing anyone who tries to make us uncomfortable.
 

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I'm no "pro" but I'll try to give you some ideas.


I'd argue that you might not want an all in one solution.


It sounds like you're primarily concerned with playing video games (specifically the X-box) and watching tv. Given this I'd suggest a direct view set. I feel that you'll get the best picture with a direct view set for these applications. Maybe a sony 32xbr400. Or perhaps even consider not getting an hdtv capabale monitor (depending on your needs).


If you're a movie buff and plan to watch DVDs, I'd get a projector dedicated to doing just this. You could even go with an inexpensive 800x600. Recently I've seen some great buys on used Davis DL-450 clones. Seems like people are asking between $1500 - $2000.


This way the movie experience is always just that, an "experience." You don't get used to he big picture with everyday viewing and it makes it that much more fun.


Tim
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It's kind of hard for me to separate them. Like everyone else, I am now looking at the LT-150. As far as the Xbox goes, that is mostly a matter of it being playable. I played an N64 system on an old rear-projection cabinet and it was problematic to say the least. The lighting conditions didn't help matters, but the screen was so dark, especially at the edges, that it produced problems. Whatever I buy doesn't have to be cutting edge. So long as it is bright enough to be playable in a game situation and doesn't kill the colors I'll be happy. The resolutuon settings for the computer aspects are more of a curiosity than anything else. I'll do that just for fun and I'm a nerd at heart. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


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"America: def. Just 200 million used car salesmen with all the money we need to bu guns and no qualms about killing anyone who tries to make us uncomfortable.
 

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I'd say you have a definite problem with the combination of uses and price.


I would have recommended a used CRT projector based on the implied hours you will be putting on it -- X-Box plus TV and DVD viewing will add up to a lot of hours. For the initial expense, a used CRT projector will provide the best image in a light-controlled room.


Also, bulb replacement costs for any digital projector will be significant but so will CRT tube replacement. CRT tubes last anywhere from 5K to 10K hours, but are more expensive than any bulb.


The deal killer is that a CRT projector will not survive prolonged gaming without burn-in from the typical static images in games. That will leave you with serious ghost images when doing anything else.


This is not a factor with digital projectors. Also, digital projectors vary widely in color saturation, so your belief that LCD/DLP/DILA projectors have washed out color is too general a statement. My DILA has excellent color saturation. Probably your best compromise will be to find a digital projector with bulb life and replacement cost being a major criteria. The LT150 for example has only a 1000hr bulb life while others like the Proxima DX3 have 2000hr. Maybe replacement cost on the bulb for the LT150 is half as much as th DX3 bulb. Maybe not. It will take some research to identify what your ongoing cost will be.


I'd recommend going to ProjectorCentral and doing searches with the various criteria. At a $3k price point -- which will have to include not just projector, but screen and possibly scaler -- you may not be able to have image quality as your primary concern.


Here is a link to a search I just ran at ProjectorCentral.
http://www.projectorcentral.com/proj...&old=on&trig=1


Any of these would probably satisfy your basic requirements. Pay no attention to original MSRP since you will probably be buying used. But notice the "Lamp Life" column and "Display" type as well as "Lumens". So the resulting table gives you the basic info you need to put together a short-list of projectors to research.


You can also search this forum at AVS and look for a title like "Recommmend" or something like that, but ProjectorCentral will allow you to search for only projectors that are HDTV capable among other criteria. Sounds like for the X-Box you will definitely want one that can take a 1080i input.


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Kirk Ellis

G1000 D-ILA, HTPC, Panamorph (soon I hope),

Dish 6000 (HBOHD,SHOHD,CBS,NBC,ABC,WB,FOX,UPN, KCET -- does it get any better ?)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I've been there on and off. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif Thanks for the link. I keep running into a serious difference in the contrast. Most list 400 while the LT-150 goes 800. That's quite a difference. The Proxima you mentioned goes 600. Does have the 2000 hour lamp though.


I do wonder about the burn-in. I know what you are talking about, it was an old problem with monitors, but I'm not sure that will really apply to games. There isn't much I would consider static in the games I play.


Someone mentioned 500$ for the replacement bulb in the LT-150. That seemed a bit much. Have to go check on that one. And now I have to go figure out what a scaler is and why I need one. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


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"America: def. Just 200 million used car salesmen with all the money we need to bu guns and no qualms about killing anyone who tries to make us uncomfortable.
 

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First off, you have grouped DILA/DLP/LCD as one group, which is a mistake in itself. Each one has its own differences, qualities and idosynchrasies.


With LCD, you must deal with screen door effect and dead pixels. With DLP, YOU MUST!!! determine if you are sensitive to the rainbow effect. If you are, then you may have to wait for the newer models coming out now, or think of something else. DILA has high lamp cost and low hour of operation, and they are loud. Even I have generalized here, but you must go deeper to determine what is best for you. I am glad someone mentioned CRTs and Videogames, cuz that would be a fatal (ie. $$$) error.


As was also said, your generalization about colour capability was also somewhat stereotypical, as newer digital devices produce outstanding colours.


If you are gonna play games, stick to DLP/LCD...unless you can afford the cost of the DILA light bulb.


To be honest, I would wait. There is such changes occuring right now with DLP, including the growing use of the newer, better colour wheels, that I am almostinclined to suggest buying a cheap Direct Viiew for now, and buy later.


If you aren't sussceptible to the rainbow effect, than do consider the LT150, as it's continual drop in price is remarkable. You should note that this is due to the imminent release of their model which included zoom. Note that the LT150 does not this feature yet, so do consider it.


If at all possible, do not buy sight-unseen. Regardless if it is $1000 or $10,000, it is an investement, so make a good one.


Ok, just read one of your own responses. If you think $500 is to much for lamp replacement, you are also limiting your range as well.


What games do you play? Any type of score counter, HUD, or what not will lead to burn in on a CRT projector. It is no joke. Just read the manual for any of your console games and one of the first thing they say is to not use them on projection television sets.





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David Mendicino

Sharp xv-s55u (Don't laugh) :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
After looking around, I have had to reject CRT projectors. It's just not possible for what i want on my budget. Not just quality of image (needing a certain level to reach high computer resolutions) but throw in needing a line doublers, not knowing what I would really be doing, etc. Just to answer the question, no. None of the games I really ply would have score counters.


I'm off to do more research. If anyone has anything else for me to look out for chime in! Thanks


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"America: def. Just 200 million used car salesmen with all the money we need to bu guns and no qualms about killing anyone who tries to make us uncomfortable.
 

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Allow me to venture a couple of suggestions (and please consider everyone's opinions as just that only you know what suits your eyes, needs, desires, and budget) but I was in exactly your position one year ago and have been very lucky to get through the minefield without too much cost and very acceptable results (again for me... many others may scoff at what I consider impressive)...


CRT is probably the best image available for film material if you can get the viewing conditions right and don't intend to move around (I have lived in 5 countries in 6 years, am often an apartment dweller and so must CRT is just plain impossible) but as other have pointed out game use would probably shorten its lifespan to a degree where it is not practical..


If you are confident that you can get absolute light control many cheaper, lower lumen projectors become practical.. They may be outdated but at the price points concerned become real contenders..


I notice that you want to hook up a PC to you PJ... Have you considered going all HTPC and using it for DVD source, scaled NTSC, even HDTV ?? Many of the cheaper end of the digital projectors have relatively poor scalers and HTPC scaling is very good.. If you have a PC that you wish to use already retro converting it could be <$500... Similarly a screen can be home made (either super cheap with blackout material or even just cheap with screen material bought by the yard)for more than acceptable results... I am never going to argue that a greyhawk or other correctly manufactured screen does not beat this approach but don't be afraid to try... A lot can be done DIY for little money...


IF HTPC (or being able to afford an external scaler) is not out of the question I would say you would do well with one of these LT150's (if the deal really does go through at this price point) or even something like a DL450 at the right price...


Some points about the DL450... At one point it was high on the digital hill but has slipped in recent years as newer technology came along... However the machine is still an excellent little unit that puts out a very acceptable image and works well for DVD, SDTV, Games etc... I use a HTPC to scale everything so it only has one input and even though many will warn of the dreaded rainbow effect I have never seen it on my machine when running at 72Hz... I am sure others will doubt this or claim that I am one of the immune, but I have seen rainbow artifacts on many other DLP units without trying and I can only get a minute hint of it when actually trying on white text on black scenes flicking my eyes like crazy knowing that to look for... 72hz PC based playback on a DL450 make rainbow a non issue for me or anyone who has viewed my PJ...


This is not to say of course that this a perfect machine it is only SVGA (so 'true' HD is not possible) but I find it is just bright enough that it can tolerate some light (especially for non critical TV viewing or gaming) and best of all its cheap and I cant imagine you loosing too much allowing you to get into the game and upgrade later without much loss... The bulbs are 6000 hours for +- $420 and one just went through the classifieds at $1350 .. Keep your eyes open for a bargain like that and you can sell it for same price one year from now when better brighter things are still just around the corner...


Of course if the HTPC scares you off you could look at another old favorite the Sony 400Q... Not bright by todays standards (but still equal to CRT bright) and very much beloved by their owners if you have a fog free one... Again AVS Classifieds has the goods... But as always more $$$ means more performance...


I am quite the advocate of buy cheap, get into the game with something that will not cost you too much and allow you the base from which to learn and grow... Sitting on the fence will always save you money but there is always some great new thing just around the corner... To me HT is not HT with direct view or RPTV, even Plasma does not do it (for me).. To my mind HT is lights off, projector on viewing... Come on in the waters lovely http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/biggrin.gif !!


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HTPC without using windows... GUI Front Ends for Home Theater
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, the good news is that I'm a tech and have built my own pc's for years. So I have zip for fear on that part. Though I am admittedly confused on how this would really work outputting signals to a projector without special software and hardware. I get rather lost when the more experienced on here start talking about various types of image compression (up or down), scaling, etc. That Sony has me a bit intrigued. The inability to accept a P signal confuses me a bit. I don't know if I will notice or not (1080i vs 720p) but I am concerned. I doubt I will notice much of what has people concerned about these various projectors. I am typing this on a Viewsonic 21 PS that is 7 years old and it looks as good to me as anything selling now.


If running the signal through a PC makes it that much better then great. I have to build a couple of new ones soon anyway, so it matters little. I will have plenty of leftovers to build one just for this. Might be a pain to have to use the PC this way though.



Anyway. DVD movies, Xbox games and the NFL this fall are the main targets for this. I have a few months to get set so I can afford to shop around a bit. I just don't want to get something and then freakout at poor image quality. Ambient light means diddly though. Like I said, I'll put foil over the windows if I have to.


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"America: def. Just 200 million used car salesmen with all the money we need to bu guns and no qualms about killing anyone who tries to make us uncomfortable.
 
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