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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First up, I know this forum is probably 90% stupid newbies asking dumb questions like this, so I apologize up front for cluttering the place up with even more threads of this nature. That said, I've been doing my research and just thought that some real advice from actual human beings might be better than just reading spec sheets and product reviews all evening long.


I currently have an ancient Epson ELP-3500 that I got for literally nothing ages ago. I loved it, having never seen anything else I could compare it to other than my cheapo 20 inch TV set. About a year ago I bought an IScanPro for it, as I heard it could improve the image quality. It did, and I was all smiles. Now I've seen a couple newer projectors and this one, well, is starting to look to like it would to you guys: way past its prime.


As for primary use, I use the projector for the rare TV show, DVDs maybe once a month, and mostly for video games. I have component output from both my gamecube and PS2 fed into the IScanPro, and VGA/Progscan output from it to the projector. The two things I have started to notice that my projector isn't as good at are the "screendoor" effect and "jaggies." The brightness of this unit (650 ANSI lumens) is just fine for my basement room, but I wouldn't want to go any lower. The contrast is 350:1 so the blacks are constantly washed out.


So, the time has come to look into getting a replacement. My budget is 1-2k, but something closer to 1k would be better, of course. :) A couple questions I've had are:
  • Should I go widescreen or fullscreen ratio? How does each handle the other?
  • How important is resolution? Should I rule out WVGA/VGA in favor of SVGA or XGA? (My current projector is VGA)
  • How big of a difference is going from 350:1 to say, 700:1. Am I really going to notice twice the contrast?
  • What are some projectors I should be looking at?

As for the last one, I've been looking at the AE200/300 as the leading contender. Would either of those address my concerns and show noticeable improvement over my current projector? And, is the extra res on the AE300 worth the extra 500 USD or so over the price of the AE200. Is there another brand/model I should look at?


I look forward to anything you guys have to say, it'll make the purchase a lot easier to make, rather than just basing it off spec sheets and not on real-world experience.
 

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Patience, you'll get some feedback. Probably not as many since most on this forum are primarily interested in "home theatre" applications as opposed to your mainly game use. That said either the Infocus X1 (DLP) or Sanyo Z1 (LCD) would be significant upgrade for you and are in the $1500 range.

You might prefer LCD for games due to better color saturation, but for HT the DLPs generally come out better.

That said, either of the 2 I mention should be a huge upgrade for you. Read some of the threads on both. There are 100's of posts here.

Marvin
 

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You need to decide whether you want 4:3 or 16:9 aspect ratio.


I've got a 16:9 AE100 and most GC/PS2 games look great at 16:9. 16:9 is probably preferrable for DVD viewing also.


ANy of the current projectors will be superior to an older VGA projector. Superior in screendoor, lumen and contrast. You will notice a doubling of contrast. You have to pick your price point and pick one. The AE300 is getting good reviews for minimal screendoor even with a WVGA panel. I'd probably lean toward the Sanyo Z1 in that price range.... it's closer in price to the AE200 but has improved resolution.



Video games are problematic on big screens. I'm constantly amazed at how poor they are with jaggies and artifacts....even with 480P. Search the forum for other posts on these topics. Suffice it to say that if you are seeing artifacts with an iScan Pro... upgrading the projector won't get rid of them.


I've recently gone to an HTPC as processor (instead of an iScan) to attempt better deinterlacing control for my GC & PS2. Neither console can touch the impressive defunct Dreamcast with it's VGA box. The Xbox is probably the best current console available.
 

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going from 300:1 to 700/800:1 contrast will be HUGE. Going from the 500:1 Ae100 to the 800:1 Sanyo Z1 has been huge. I was somewhat surprised it was as big a difference as it is.


Forget the ae200. Look at the Sanyo PLV-Z1 instead of it. The ae300 sounds like it is a great pj as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for your input, guys. I was just a little worried this thread had "stupid newbie" written all over it in giant red letters. I appreciate the advice and suggestions, very much so.


Edit: Woah, I just realized this forum is using the spellchecker I programmed! That's :cool:
 

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XBOX XBOX XBOX XBOX


Get one!
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by xamphear
I just realized this forum is using the spellchecker I programmed! That's :cool:
You wrote the checker??? I think it is one of the best I have incounteres :D
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by mrmucko
XBOX XBOX XBOX XBOX


Get one!
Yeah I second that. If you don't want to get a 3rd system then dump the PS2 for it. The PS2 is a piece of crap compared to the xbox.:) The only thing that currently saves the ps2 from being useless are the GTA games. :D Most other good games on it are out on the xbox as well.


BTW, I have a PS2 and Xbox and have both hooked up to my PJ. Xbox kills it in every possible way. Sony needs to drop the price of the ps2 to about 150 bucks to make it not such a rip-off.


*The above has been my expressed opinion and I don't expect everyone to agree or take my opinion for fact...even though the xbox is far superior to the ps2 at least hardware wise....there is no debating that*:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by mrmucko
XBOX XBOX XBOX XBOX

Get one!
But it's so big I'm afraid it won't fit in through my basement doors. ;) I would get one if any of the games on it appealed to me, but nothing out now rubs me the right way.
Quote:
Originally posted by blitzkreig
You wrote the checker??? I think it is one of the best I have incounteres :D
Yeah, it's actually an older version, too. I've since fixed the problem with contractions. I PMed the admin to see if he might want to upgrade to my newest version. :)
 

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I write software for a living, and I agree... it is a nice spell-checker. It's unobtrusive, accurate, and behaves exactly the way I would expect such a function to perform. Good work... and welcome to AVS!
 

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XBOX "I would get one if any of the games on it appealed to me..."


You have a point there...the XBOX game list is growing but still not anywhere near PS2.


FYI here's a neat URL to Hi-Def games...

http://144.92.43.200/hdg/hdg.asp?submit=Home
 

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I'd get an Xbox, other than the fact that I'm against Microsoft dominating every industry it sticks it's nose in. What's next... McMicrosoft?


Unfortunately, it's the best hardware solution going (Duh, it's a PC) and I may have to cave.
 

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McMicrosoft doesn't sound so bad ... when you thow in a 6-pack of icy cold Microsoft Lite and a side order of FriesXP. :D


Cave in ... Gates ain't a bad guy ... for a dictator (I should watch my mouth, he could be watching)


And my 2 cents on the projector ... AE300 seems like it may fit the bill.

I wasn't a big fan of the Z1.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by Ericbres
AE300 seems like it may fit the bill.

I wasn't a big fan of the Z1.
I'm worried that I may think the AE300 might be a bit blurry. Having had the ancient Epson with massive screendoor I've gotten so used to it to the point where if I don't see some form of lines around the pixels I think the image is blurry and have to fix the focus. If I didn't live out in the countryside I'd visit a dealer and compare between the two myself. It's a shame there arent online dealers who don't want to charge 15-25% re-stock, but I can understand their position.


Another question: How are these widescreen projectors (AE300 & Z1) going to handle my iScanPro? I run all my devices (ps2,cube,dvd,etc) through it and thusly it outputs everything in 480p. Would I want to output my DVD player directly to the projector in order to have it run in the native widescreen mode? Or would one of the switches on the Iscan handle this? Or does the projector handle it? And how does the projector handle scaling the 480p to its native resolution? Well, I'd hope...


Or should I look more at 4:3 projectors since most of my uses for it will be fullscreen, excepting for the occasional 16:9 dvd or game? I do have to say widescreen appeals to me very much. Do such projectors support stretching a 4:3 image to 16:9? And if so, how does it look?
 

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The projectors will only need to scale the 480P signal from the iScan. Each projector will yield different results, depending on how good the internal scaler is. If it sucks, then you will have to use some type of external scaling solution such as a dedicated scaler(expensive) or a HTPC.
 

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I have a contrary view.


I think that your needs (mostly video games if I understand correctly) are such that you should stay with what you have. The new equipment, especially at the low end, will not enhance your enjoyment enough to merit the expense.


Improvements are mainly in contrast, color, and video processing. You probably don't have a lot of problems with contrast and color, and your Iscan is pretty good.


I would:


-- either step up to something much better

OR

-- wait


My opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by rlsmith
I have a contrary view.


I think that your needs (mostly video games if I understand correctly) are such that you should stay with what you have. The new equipment, especially at the low end, will not enhance your enjoyment enough to merit the expense. [...snip...]
A good and frugal view. It is the saturation and contrast that are at the root of the problem. I was looking recently at some of the photos of the newer units and couldn't believe the contrast. My unit just looks gray and washed out in comparison.


Plus, I think you underestimate what lenghts I'd go to for a better video gaming experience. I'm as hardcore about them as some people are about watching DVDs. ;)
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by xamphear


Plus, I think you underestimate what lenghts I'd go to for a better video gaming experience. I'm as hardcore about them as some people are about watching DVDs. ;)
Then your best bets are to dump the GC&PS2 and get DC, Xbox or PC.
 
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