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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I am in the middle of planing my first home theater and am looking at getting a HD-RPTV 50"-53" my budget will be about $4-5000 (Canadian) give or take. about $3000 American.


My question is can I get a good projector for that price? It will mainly be for DVD, but if I get a projector I will use it for some games and computer too, but mainly

DVD, no HD source yet.


The room will be 13'3"x8'6" and ceiling height is 7'1".


Can anyone list some of the pros and cons of each such as burn in for a RPTV and bulb life on a projector.


What would you recommend? viewing distance will be about 7' and 10 feet for a TV and about 9' and 12' for a projector, I will most likely use a DIY screen.


Thanks.


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[This message has been edited by a1rabbit (edited 08-10-2001).]
 

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I am in the same boat. I was all set to order the Toshiba 65h80 for about $3,300 including shipping (an extra in my case) and then I read a post on another forum about the NEC LT-150 (is everybody sick of that phrase yet)on another forum. I inquired and was directed to this site.


After spending quite a bit of time on this over the last ten days, I have come up with the following conclusions which are steering me toward a FP rather than RPTV.


First there is the ambient light question. Will you/yours be watching during the daytime and how much can you control the light. The RPTV will probably do a little better but not really all that much. Where I live I have a lot of windows and sunshine. I am solving the problem by closing the curtains if I need to watch a sporting event and the like...to me picture quality is not the biggest issue here and I use my 27" Sony for a quick shot of the news, Bloomberg and the like. In your case it is not the worst for games either. The real benefit here is that your bulb life will be extended for probably twice as long if you only use the FP half as much since the primary use is a for the occasional nighttime movie or other nocturnal viewing.


I don't know in which direction in your room you will be sitting but I will assume lengthwise, 13+'. If this is correct you will be able to take advantage of most of the 92" (80x45, I think) diagonal Stewart Grayhawk screen which is about the largest recommended for this 800 lumen projector. If viewing in the other direction, visit your optometrist often.


The cabling is really minimal and this is basically a plug and play unit once the correct distances, heights, zooms, and various Video Essentials/Avia guided settings have been made. The picture would probably be improved with a quality outboard scaler/de-interlacer unit or HTPC and I was thinking about the PC route but for now and probably some time to come (cost considerations amongst space, noise and changing technologies - I wouldn't be surprised to see some quality equipment other than PC in the <$1,000 catagory in the next couple of years).


No CRTs to burn/replace, no screen burn, portability. For me this projector is the right choice....obviously and understandably not for everyone. I hope this has been helpful and good luck.


I like the inherent flexibility of being mobile
 

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Please note that in paragraph 3 above where I mentioned quality was not a primary consideration, I was referring only to normal tv programming, not DVD nor HDTV viewing. Rest assured I expect excellent reproduction from those sources.


I also neglected cost. You should be able to put this together for less than your $3,000 budget.
 

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ok, here's my experiences so far, hope it may help.

decided in Jan. that i wanted to create a good enviornment for movie watching in the basement. we were nursing an ill relative and they pretty much dominated the upstairs tv, so i figured now would be a great time to create a space to go and relax and watch my movies in comfort.

i knew that i wanted a BIG screen. anything over 36" i considered big, but had questions of how a big set would dominate the room. i decided on getting a 53" sony after putting several brands thru their paces in the store.

all the brands seemed to handel digital signals well, and of course looked great playing dvds of digital animation.

the sony took over on lower grade signals like vcrs, cable, etc.

although i was getting the tv primarily for movies (and most are widescreen), i wanted to supplement my viewing so as to avoid crt burn-in from the lbx bars. since i would be getting bars either way i went (16:9 or 4:3) i went with a 4:3 Sony 53HS10 which gave me a 48" 16:9 and a 53" 4:3 picture. and saved me money from going with a 16:9 set which were considerably more at the time.

I loved the sony. after becoming relaxed to the little imperfections of RP (halos, glare on the screen saver if there is ambient light in the room, + a bit softer pic on the sony as compared to other brands) and after a few tweaks (making mattes was the best bang for the buck and made the perception of the picture on widescreen movies increase dramatically) i was extremely happy(!) with the set.

the ONLY thing i didn't like was going from a very large 4:3 picture to a still large, but much smaller 2:35 widescreen image. the 'special' feeling that kind of movie is meant to inspire at that ratio was kind of lost.

i also realized soon, how drastically my viewing habits changed. once i saw the spectacular picture from dvds thru anamorphic mode (you almost didn't need a progressive scan player w/ this set), cable and vcr just looked really unfulfilling.

i would end up leaving the tv on a 4:3 feed and just leave the room for a few hours to balance things out since i watched so many letterboxed films the rest of the time.


to make a really long story short.

the Sony has been the best tv i have ever owned. its PQ has been and is still the best i've seen. but it's also 'just' a tv.

the LT150 i now have is not perfect and its flaws can sometimes be very frustrating and as of yet its PQ doesn't really approach the RP,

but i'm trying to sell the RP.

i'm infatuated now w/ the LT, warts and all, because it has added a new dimension to going downstairs to watch a movie.

i'm not watching a movie on a tv anymore. i'm watching a movie projected on a 90" wide screen.

after you balance out all the pluses and minuses, thats the experience i've always wanted at home.

and i'm still optimistic that the image from the projector can be improved with the purchase of a few little acsessories (screen, HTPC, etc).


also- with tax i paid $3000 for the TV.

the cost for the pj + all the material for the screens, velvet for the masking drapes and the purchase of an authentic theater chair, is about $800 LESS.

this absolutely blows my mind.


at the time i bought the tv...the only projector i knew about or saw was the sony VW10HT at $7000.

nothing about it made me crave the prjector experience at that price point and for the quality i saw (of course it wasn't set-up in the most ideal circumstances, but even so...).

your at least several steps ahead of me at this point.

you know there are alternatives available,

its up to you to determine what your viewing habits will be ( these may change anyway), and what the viewing circumstances will be (in regards to ambient light etc).

if these are conducive, and you love movies, go with the FP and buy a cheapo 19" tv to watch cable on.

jmho
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yeah I do love to watch movies, and for the past year I barely watch cable. I have been asking EVERYONE I know what they think would be best, and after I tell them about bulb life on a projector they all say to get the TV, And because I have only ever seen one projector in action, when I was about 7 or so, I don't really know what the PQ is like.


In short I am leaning in a different direction each day, one day its a RP the next is a FP. I think that once I have the cash in my hand, about ~6 months, (I don't like buying with credit for anything under 5-7000) Then I will go and do some demos or rent a FP if I can and see if I like it (I think I will)


How does the PQ of a FP compare to that of a HD-RPTV?.


Thanks again.


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"The RPTV will probably do a little better but not really all that much."


I strongly disagree. A RPTV is watchable in lighting conditions in which a FP picture would be nearly invisible.


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Noah
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yeah the size is what is making me consider it, My only real concern is the bulb life, maybe I am being to picky about it. What do all of you think?


1000hrs is about 500 movies.... that is actually not that bad.


*ponders more*


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if i was grading the picture from my FP now, as it is with a mediocre s-video connection, i'd give it a C+ to B. my sony RP would get an A.

that's JUST picture quality.

you have to understand that sheer size will add its own magical element.

when i first got the FP, i was dissapointed in this 'lower grade' picture and thought i may want to keep the RP after all. but after a week of watching nothing but the projector, i don't want to go back. i haven't gassed up the RP to do a/b comparisons, but i haven't felt like my movie watching experience was missing anything either from this set-up.

on the contrary its gained something else.

don't underestimate the power of size alone.


i know as guys, most of us hate to hear that... http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif
 

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I'm surprised no one has mentionned what I consider one of the biggest drawbacks of almost all RPs - high gain screens. The newer, better ones do a decent job with horizontal viewing angle, but the vertical "hotspotting" is severe. If you put a screen with that much gain with a front PJ, you could watch it in a much brighter room. Another way to look at it is: there is nothing you can do about the small vertical viewing angle in a RP, but with a FP, you at least have the option of making the room dark (assuming you aren't using a ridiculously high gain screen. One other thing, the glass front on most RPs can have an annoying glare problem, depending on where the ambient light is. On FP, light washes out the whole picture more than RP, but glare isn't an issue.



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Steve
 

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I own a 16:9 53" RPTV and have been very happy with it for the past year. That is, of course, a relative term as I've dealt with convergence, geometry, and fear-of-burn-in. If I were shopping today instead of last year, I would almost certainly lean toward one of those nice digital projectors like the LT150 for the same $$ investment as I paid for the TV.


I've decided that I wish my screen was bigger when watching HD or DVDs, but that the picture just isn't good enough with DirecTV to allow for such a big picture. I think I would have been quite happy keeping my 27" for TV and lowering a big screen for movie time.


I live in an apartment and use my 15x15' living room for HT, so I don't have a dedicated setup nor do I have a big budget (otherwise, I'd have a house http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif ). To me, I think $3k would be better spent today to get the best possible HD and DVD picture in the far more mobile platform of a digital projector. I do not relish the thought of moving my 300+ pound TV when I finally do buy that house.


Anyway, I'm glad I bought when I did, as I've been enjoying progressive DVD and HD for most of a year and I think I got the best value available at the time. But when I see all you guys looking at the LT150 and all the great new FPs around the corner, I am just a bit envious. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/rolleyes.gif


jake
 
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