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Hi Gang:


It's been a while and I have been out of the loop. I currently use a Sony 1271Q CRT, but I'm looking to get a projector for under $2000.00 I would like at least 720p native widescreen (more would be nice!). Nice rich blacks would be great to!


Can anyone recommend a project to fit the bill? What is the latest and greatest? Any help would be appreciated.


Thank you, Glenn
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghoniba /forum/post/0


Hi Gang:


It's been a while and I have been out of the loop. I currently use a Sony 1271Q CRT, but I'm looking to get a projector for under $2000.00 I would like at least 720p native widescreen (more would be nice!). Nice rich blacks would be great to!


Can anyone recommend a project to fit the bill? What is the latest and greatest? Any help would be appreciated.


Thank you, Glenn

There are far too many options to list. Take a look through the threads and go and check out some of the on-line retailers to try to narrow down your search. In the meantime, it does help if you provide some specific information about the room that you'll be using the PJ (e.g. dimensions, light control, limitations, etc) in and what size your display will be.
 

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Thanks guyz:


My room is about 17' long by 11' wide with a basement ceiling height of about 7'. My current screen is about 9' wide.


I might be opening a can of worms, but DLP or LCD any big differences here? I do know the last time I looked at these projectors years agoi I was turned off the grey looking blacks and some color artifacts on quick moving objects.


Thank you, Glenn
 

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Mitsubishi HC3000U or Optoma HD73 (new darkchip 3 unit) are your best bets if you're coming from a CRT. The blacks won't be close to a well setup 1271Q though (especially if you are gamma correcting), so prepare for that, but they'll be closer than some other units. They can do a decent enough black though.


Darin estimated that a gamma manipulated CRT like the G70 has about 700,000:1 on/off contrast. So, there is still a world of difference when it comes to black in dark scenes.


DLP has better native contrast and blacks than LCD. LCD uses iris tricks to get better blacks in certain scenes. You may or may not be able to detect the iris in action. LCDs generally offer lens shift instead of a fixed offset which makes setup a lot easier for some. DLPs generally have fairly large fixed offsets which annoys those with shorter ceilings.


Since you have a fairly short ceiling LCD might be the best option (depending on how large your screen will be).


BTW, what units did you look at last year?
 

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The Sharp DT-500 has caught my eye as of late. I have read all good stuff about it and it's now in your price point. It has what they call a 15:9 AR and has a full 768 vertical lines. That come in handy if you still do XGA also. Plus I have read it works better in the low ceiling settings.


Like I said I haven't seen one in action yet but own and love its XGA cousin the XR10X.

http://www.projectorcentral.com/SharpVision-DT-500.htm
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghoniba /forum/post/0


Hi Gang:


It's been a while and I have been out of the loop. I currently use a Sony 1271Q CRT, but I'm looking to get a projector for under $2000.00 I would like at least 720p native widescreen (more would be nice!). Nice rich blacks would be great to!


Can anyone recommend a project to fit the bill? What is the latest and greatest? Any help would be appreciated.


Thank you, Glenn

If your CRTs are not in a good condition or have to move on the only pjs that would have less of digital pj annoyances are Sony Pearl and HS51a/60. There is a new JVC but it is not reviewed yet. I would stay away from those which have white segment in their colorwheel and or too much offset if you are not looking for a budget PJ.

With 7' ceiling hight (like mine) you will need to buy a PJ with lens shift or low offset or with image shift if you can find one and only more costly DLP's offer a limited lens shift.

With majority of these PJ with on/off ratio for contrast ratio of under 3000 you will be watching a lot of gray screen with darker movies. Be aware of that when shopping for a digital PJ. Look for pj's that are rated at least 10k:1 contrast ratio or you will be missing half of the show IMO.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaspianM /forum/post/0


If your CRTs are not in a good condition or have to move on the only pjs that would have less of digital pj annoyances are Sony Pearl and HS51a/60. There is a new JVC but it is not reviewed yet. I would stay away from those which have white segment in their colorwheel and or too much offset if you are not looking for a budget PJ.

With 7' ceiling hight (like mine) you will need to buy a PJ with lens shift or low offset or with image shift if you can find one and only more costly DLP's offer a limited lens shift.

With majority of these PJ with on/off ratio for contrast ratio of under 3000 you will be watching a lot of gray screen with darker movies. Be aware of that when shopping for a digital PJ. Look for pj's that are rated at least 10k:1 contrast ratio or you will be missing half of the show IMO.

S/he has a budget of under $2k. There is a PJ that can do 10k:1 for that?


Missing half the show? I'm a new Panny 100 owner and that statement is way over the top. Do you stare at bricks on the buildings when you watch or do you watch the movie?


Just a satisfied newbies observation.


Regards
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewed /forum/post/0


Missing half the show? I'm a new Panny 100 owner and that statement is way over the top. Do you stare at bricks on the buildings when you watch or do you watch the movie?


Just a satisfied newbies observation.


Regards

And I think your statement " Do you stare at bricks on the buildings when you watch or do you watch the movie?" is also over the top of sarcasm for someone who admittedly is a newbie.


On/off ratio is not about watching a brick or else. If you have a PJ and thrilled to have one such as yours then I am happy for you. But suggesting someone to look for a PJ which offers highest CR for the dollar is something to appreciate rather than eliminate.

Sony HS51a/60 offers the highest CR under $2000 FYI.
 

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My first FP was a NEC 9PG Xtra with low hours (a couple of hundred when I received it and I only watched two or three movies a week while I owned it).


Due to a move and placement/handliing hassles, and on the advice of a close friend in Houston, I purchased a SONY VW-10HT. I eventually added a red filter and changed the screen to a Da-Lite Hi Power retro-reflective screen (106" diagonal).


Those who are familiar with the 10HT know that even with the red filter, black levels are very poor by todays standards and certainly in comparison to CRTs. I have been watching movies on it for over half a decade, and at this point and with certain exceptions, have not been aware of 'missing half the show' (in fairnes to CaspianM, he stated that this was his opinion and the OP mentioned black level as being important).


I demo'ed three units before I found one that worked for me. The first unit had horrible black field uniformity. The second had a fully stuck-on pixel. The one I stayed with had a half stuck on blue pixel that I never notice while watching material and very good black field uniformity. There was no vertical banding to speak of.


Last year, I had a Panny AE900U for a while and the vertical banding on the unit I had drove me nuts. It went back and the dealer claimed the banding was withing spec. I ate the restocking fee. The point here being that I found a six year old LCD projector with horrible black levels far more enjoyable to watch than a newer 'within spec' unit.


OP, given the placment restrictions with DLP in your price range, your are probably going to end up with an LCD unit. I am currently looking for a sub $2K holdover unit as my 10HT is developing some problems. MY biggest concern is that there still seems to be a lot of unit-to-unit variance in many sub $2k LCD models.


The HS60 looks great in many ways, but am I going to end up with a good one (deviation in Shading, Convergence and Vertical Banding - see Cine4Home review)? The Z5 looks nice, but am I going to end up with a unit that has blue corners? And after my experience with the AE900U, am I going to end up with vertical banding that drives me nuts?


I really really don't want to have to go through hassles about the quality of the specific unit I get whatever PJ I decide to get. My conclusion at this point is to wait a couple of more months and live with what I have for the moment. The overall image quality of LCD projectors has come a long way in half a decade, but it appears to be the case that unit-to-unit variance is still significant.


Good luck finding the right PJ and getting a good unit - good blacks and contrast matter a lot, but not if there are other artifacts that drive you nuts and get in the way of a pleasurable viewing experience.
 

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Jacob glad to see some one understand. I have been in FP for a decade and older days black level was a very important parameter and hence my emphasis. Once you live with a PJ that can do 700k:1 as reported by CRT the rest look wrong imo.

I also agree that finding any PJ these days without quality issues is hit and miss and mostly a matter of luck and persuasiveness. Sony HS51a/60 is rated at 10K:1 and it looks like it when I watch. I prefer an image from a PJ that is balanced in all parameters. It seems that now people prefer brightness and sharpness over other aspects. I am trying to help. People get what they like.
 

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CM, I am 50, have been an avid amateur photographer since I was 13 and have been into front projection for nearly a decade. I believe that there is a strong analogy between how some folk are evaluating projectors today and how folk evaluated audio systems in my youth (the early part of it that is :>)


With stereos, an overly bright system will often yield an initially better impression. Only after you live with it a while does it start to seem harsh and grating. Similarly, you can focus on brightness or sharpness (or even contrast) and lose track of the quality of the overall image.


Sharpness alone will not get you a more detailed image if say the contrast is the pits or if the gamma curve is all wrong. If you want better shadow detail, a suitably altered gamma curve will get it for you at the price of a loss of detail elsewhere.


As to brightness, I personally like it to be between what one might expect in a movie theater and what one would get off a direct view CRT. I like the extra apparent detail from the image being brighter than at a movie theater, but find CRT brightness a bit overwhelming. I am certainly not looking for a light cannon and do not understand what folks mean by 'pop' unless they mean an overly bright and contrasty image that will initially impress and later drive one crazy.


This is probably what made the 10HT work for me. Even with the red filter, I get a satisfyingly bright image with the bulb on low. I have a coffee table setup and the gain on the High Power screen (~2.5 as I recall) makes what would otherwise be a very dim projector work quite well (and with no hotspots, in addition the retro-reflective screen increases constrast as it virtually eliminates cross-reflectance on the screen and reduces splashing onto the wall).


The way I see it there are basically two kinds of home theater owners - those who watch the projector even after owning it for years and those who watch movies. I think I fit into the latter category - I get deeply into comparisons when I am in the market for a projector, put considerable effort into setting it up and matching it to the screen, and then watch movies. Life is too short to be neurotic about the equipment.


I am leaning towards either the HS60 or the Z5, but do not look forward to the possibility of having to argue with the dealer or manufacturer if the unit I purchase has a defect. I will be giving up some resolution (the panels on the 10HT are > 1280X720) but will be gaining pretty much everywhere else. SDE on the 10HT isn't a problem for me, but vertical banding or bad white field uniformity could be a deal killer.
 

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Go with a reputable dealer on either of your choices, and you won't have to worry about the hit-or-miss aspect of the individual projector you get. A few of the dealers that sponsor these forums will even test the unit before they send it to you.


I've had my Z5 up and running for a few days now - my first FP, so I'm definitely a newbie here. The unit I got has no apparent problems, and the picture is stunning compared to my 50" lcd Panny RP and my 42" LG Plasma. I have zero regrets on my choice of the Z5 - no blue corners, no vertical banding, no SDE visible from even 1x screen width away or closer for that matter.
 

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Speqtre, I have heard that about the Z5 and am aware of a dealer who will test. I do not know of a dealer who will do the same with theh HS60 (at a competitive price). My concerns with the HS60 would be vertical banding and uniformity.


I am glad to hear that you are happy with your Z5.


OP, you might want to take a look at the postings on the Sharp DT 500. It is a DLP projector with a small offset and some digital vertical image shift. It is in your price range and you can get it from a source that has a 30 day return policy. Hmm.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jstein /forum/post/0


My concerns with the HS60 would be vertical banding and uniformity.

Most likely you are going to get some of each on HS60 and other LCD's. The question is how much!

I have a slight (very slight) VB and uniformity issue. But I can't see them clearly even with white pattern. I don't like DLP because of its sequential nature of color production and other artifact that they produce. Have noticed most DLP look very cheap in built a lot more so than LCD's?

Sharp PJ's are nice. I like their built and low offset.
 

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Don't forget to look at the HS51a. it is exactly the same as the HS60 and may be found for a lower price. I would also look at the epson TW-700 which is the international version of the 810 with an international warranty.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwlaw99 /forum/post/0


Don't forget to look at the HS51a. it is exactly the same as the HS60 and may be found for a lower price. I would also look at the epson TW-700 which is the international version of the 810 with an international warranty.

I had the HS60 and returned it thinking it had an issue but later found that it wasn't the case. Ran into one HS51A at bb at much lower price of going fifteen for HS60 because it was discontinued. There is not really any difference other than networking interface and chrome zoom ring on hs51A rather than black on 60.
 

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CM, I realise that there will be some VB. After I returned the AE900U for VB problems, I realized that my 10HT had some very minor VB that I hadn't seen before after years of use. If the replacement for my 10HT has slightly more VB than my 10HT, but considerably less than the AE900U had, I will be a happy camper.


As to white field uniformity, it has gotten pretty bad over time on the 10HT, but it is not something I notice watching movies, which is what counts. A unit would have to have pretty awful white field uniformity before I would be upset.


I am going to visit my local BB tomorrow on the off chance they might also have an HS51A at a discontinued price. If not, I am going to wait a month or so to buy a Z5 in the hope that Sanyo adjusts its manufacturing process to produce fewer units with the blue corners on black material problem and that the channel is cleared of early production units. Reading the reviews of the HS51a/HS60 and the Z5, I suspect that I would be quite happy with either unit.


I will buy from an AVS sponsor that provides a full refund if there is less than four hours on the bulb. I have already downloaded the manual and studying it should save me from spending a good part of that four hours learning how to use the remote. The blue corner problem should be easy to check for and I know which scenes in Ice Age do a good job of showing vertical banding problems.


The good news is that I have enough experience to have a decent handle on when a defect is minor and will not affect viewing, and when a defect is going to be significant enough to get in the way of viewing.


Glaw99, thanks for the advice. I will probably not go for the Epson partly because I want to keep the price down as I would be expecting to go 1080P in two or three years. I have alreaedy spent over $10K on projectors in the last decade and really want a relatively inexpensive unit to hold me over till I go 1080P.


Ghoniba, sorry to have hijacked your thread. I hope that the posts here will be of help to you in selecting a PJ.


P.S. I was thinking about my experience with the AE900U and suspect that the brightness of the projector, even in its lowest output mode, made the VB more visible. With the gain on the High Power screen material, the image with a new bulb was almost too bright. I wonder if folk who quest for light canons realize that a very bright image may tend to exaggerate certain image defects? In any event, I suspect that the High Power screen material (106" diagonal) is going to be a good match to either the Z5 or the HS60.
 
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