There's a review of the Plus Piano in the latest (December) issue of Stereophile's guide to home theater that I got in the mail today.
Here's my summary of the review:
Useful keystone feature - that doesn't introduce "jaggies"
Good colors - but not great (limitied hues of red/green)
Fairly quiet (should be at 34db)
No lightspill from projector housing
Still has rainbows - reviewer seems to be very rainbow sensitive though
Severe overscan! "Well over 20 pixels on every side"
If setup to use the full width of the screen in Full mode with an anamorphic DVD, the image is several inches short of filling the screen on both sides when switching to normal letterbox mode. Since there is no zoom on the unit, only option is to accept or phyically move unit.
Contrast was measured to ~600:1 On/Off when tweaked (555:1 default settings)
Doesn't sound like a winner to me! I really hope that the Infocus LS110 will be better in all these areas.
Bummer. One of the ideas of the 800 x 600 vs 848 x 480 DMD was that you could use a fixed width variable height screen without too much trouble. If the overscan makes you have to physically move the machine then any kind of fixed mount is out and the Piano is really not such a Home Theater kind of machine. Add in its lack of brightness, its no HDTV, no 480p, and no return policy and you've got a major dog - a 3K machine that's barely above SVGA resolution.
Maybe back to my original plan of LT150 and hushbox....
I don't see your problems with positioning the projector. I would just position it so that 16:9 mode would fill the screen horizontally and 4:3 mode would fill the screen vertically and live with a little overscan. Better than with a native 4:3-pj anyway. I would use it for 90% 16:9 DVD-movies and 10% 4:3.
The contrast ratio of a measured 600:1 sounds impressive to me.
And where did you get that it doesn't do 480p from. I have seen several places that it does indeed handle 480p. Check out http://www.plushometheater.com
The only worry I have is wether it can be ceiling-mounted or not. It really annoys me when they release a HT-projector that can't be ceiling-mounted, like the SONY Cineza.
For the price this looks like a very good deal to me, as long as it can be ceiling-mounted.
The Piano does do ceiling mount mode. It's mentioned in the review, and I've also confirmed this with Plus myself.
I may not have been very clear in my summary.
The overscan is seperate from the other issue.
There is a 20 pixel on every side overscan in both 16:9 and 4:3 modes. Except in 16:9 mode is only going to be visible on the sides obviously...
The other seperate issue is when you position the projector to display anamorphic material covering the entire screen - when you switch the display mode to show a non anamorphic widescreen movie the projected image will be several inches short on each side. The only way of fixing this is physically moving the projector.
Also, the Piano doesn't accept 480P on it's component inputs - only on the DVI.
I agree, the measured contrast is nice. And overall the reviewer does like the image quality of the projector.
Hope that clears everything up.
Yup, Plus recommends that you use a 1.3 gain screen with it.
This was mentioned both in the review, and when I spoke to a tech at Plus last week. As long as you have complete light control and keep your screen size reasonable it should sufficient appearently.
Just saw a Piano at a dealer. It was showing on a 91 x 51 " Greyhawk at 12 feet. Brightness was just fine in a dark room. Colours were good and saturated, black was black. No jaggies, crawlies or rainbows that I saw (maybe I am immune). There just were not enough pixels to get a sharp image from the 2.35:1 movie they were showing on a screen that size. It is very quiet, small and light. My screen is 46 x 80 and it would be just right for it (I watch only DVD movies and in the dark)
No zoom. Unless , I missed something, you are going to have to be moving this thing back and forth when going from 16x9 to 800 x 600.
In Canada it is sort of being sold through dealers. They demo it, do not stock it and just pass the order on to Plus who ship it. Dealer gets a commission (small according to dealer). So no deals comming here.
This is a good projector and I would have bought it on the spot at Can $3500 or thereabouts. It is just not worth the Can$ 5,000 they are charging for it. At that price, the Piano is not going to be the machine that gets into every living room.
For $5,000, I would be better off with an XGA NEC + DVDO or progressive scan DVD.
HEY PLUS GUYS, CHECK THE ADDS AT DELL AND MICROWAREHOUSE. SVGA PROJECTORS ARE SELLING FOR CAN$2750 to $3500 AND THEY ARE MUCH BRIGHTER AND HAVE FOCUS.
My main gripe is on price. It is very low value for the money, especially as it is being sold directly from Plus.
Hope Infocus will do better. If not them that the next ones.
Check out the Plus U3-880 it is pretty nice and cheaper, it's only $3600 CDN and does 480p on the RGB input. I demoed one and was pretty impressed. But it is not ceiling mount, which is the only real downside.
@dennisT: sorry, but your comment i cant agree. this machine is using the best available technologys. rgbrgb colour wheel, 600 : 1 contrast ration, support 848 x 600 pixel, it`s the first machine with a filmmode chip (sil503), dvi-d input, component, s-video, composite, very very silent (32 db), very compact a 4 size, no light output outside the housing, fantastic colours and you think that this machine is too expensive??? if i compare this machine to the other available machines in the market i see a sim 200 dm with the same chip but double in price, i see a yamaha with a normal rgb colour wheel with more than double the price and i see no more dlp projectors which i can compare. (sharp is nothing to compare
lcd projectors like sony cs 2 or 3 or hs 1 or nec are no direct competition in point of quality.
the piano is since 4 weeks in germany available and he won nearly every test in different magazines. this is for me the first machine for the public, maybe not for "freaks". but this machine is projecting a sharp and clear image. the price will be in europe 3.499 euro incl. local tax.
i agree, that the we miss also the zoom lens, but there is no more longer the need for moving the projector, if you change the formats. piano is now sold with the windowboxing function.
but if you are only focussing on brightness and zoom, than is the piano maybe not the right machine for you. but normaly this are not the main reasons to buy a homecinema projector.
In future, I will make my posts more personal and subjective. As I stated in my post, brightness seemed OK to me when displaying and image that is at 91 inches by 51 inches in a dark room. The image of a 2.35:1 anamorphic movie on a screen that size was not sharp enough for my own personal taste. This may have been a function brighnes and/or not enough pixels.
I thought that the idea of an FP is to give a BIG picture. At this point, SVGA + 48 pixels in not exactly state-of-the-art. Despite all its fine features (good colour, contrast and blacks, SI chip, small, silent and light weight), a 400 lumen, SVGA projector with no zoom is not worth $5000 Canadian dollars to me. It will be worth that to many other people.
I gotta agree with Chappie there... the Piano is not a bad machine at all. I don't think the lack of zoom is a super serious issue (look at all the people with an LT150) and I don't believe the full 800*600 mode will be used by most people (blowing up conventional sources to the full panel doesn't strike me as a high quality image). After all, the Piano should support window-boxing in the 16*9 image (at the native resolution of the 4:3 signal as well).
The 6 segment colour wheel and lack of white section is a *big* plus IMHO. It greatly reduced the rainbow effect a lot for me, and the better colours are great.
$5k is not too bad for a projector that's basically plug-and-play, especially when you consider how much a conventional HDTV-ready RPTV costs. You're right in the ballpark of a 50" - 60" 16*9 with resolution that matches a 7" CRT and a larger image to boot.
I hope that it will appeal to people who would normally buy an RPTV, I don't know about the people on this forum though; SVGA is a pretty big step back for most of us (especially after the LT150 deals).
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