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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With my Panamorph now nearly a reality and the money I need on the way, it's time to climb down off the fence and get rid of that dinky 50" RPTV I've been watching. Here are the details of my proposed installation:


The room: 18' x 21' with some ambient light. Very high vaulted ceiling, cannot hang projector from it.


Sanyo XP21N Projector (front of lens) can be no closer than 16', allowing sufficient room (1 foot) for a Panamorph. It will be sitting on a pedestal (ceiling is too high for overhead mount) Seating distance is 14' back.


Screen: Would like to use a fixed Grayhawk with wide border. According to the screen calculator over at ProjectorCentral, a 6' high x 8' wide 4:3 is right in the middle of the minimum/maximum for this projector at 16 feet. This calculates to 120" diagonal 4;3. When watching 16:9 through the Panamorph on this screen, picture size would be 110"diagonal. Somewhat concerned about excessive screendoor with the size of the screen and seating distance but have no problem with defocusing slightly to reduce it.


Would pair this with a latest generation progressive scan DVD player with Faroudja or Sage chip. Would prefer to avoid use of outboard scaler to start with but not at great cost in picture quality on this pretty big screen.


NTSC source is digital cable. I plan to put the DVD player, scaler (if any), and digital cable box in the pedestal box with the projector and send the audio signal back to the main amp, a Denon AVR5700. Audio cable length will be 25'


Panamorph will be in front of projector, on slide mount. The DVD player will need to be able to output the 16:9 anamorphic picture as 4:3 so the Pannie can resqueeze it.


Would consider HTPC, also located back with the projector, but am not wild about the idea. If so, I would need to buy a fully assembled and set up unit--I am a computer USER not a designer.


Considered and rejected PLV60 on the basis of the reviews and comparisons I read. Also, need the 2500 lumens because of ambient and because wife likes to sometimes stitch under a small light while watching movies.


Might switch to XP30 if it has much better scaler and MLA.


Comments please?


Dan
 

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Looks like you thought everything through fairly well already. I don't think the Sanyo 30 has MLA, but I really don't think MLA helps screen door. At 14' back with 110" 16:9 diagonal, screen door won't be an issue even without defocusing. The Panasonic RP-91 (prog. DVD) and Greyhawk are a perfect match for the Sanyo XP-21N, except a DVD player doesn't address NTSC material. I haven't got NTSC material to look good yet with my XP-21N, but I haven't tried much yet except its internal scaler (No scaler or no HTPC).


I think if the extra cash isn't an issue, I would go with the XP30. The extra brightness for watchin TV in daylight is well worth it, as well as the DVI connection. And the scaler has been reported to be better. DVI in the future could/maybe/hopefull not become vital as the DVD encryption may require a DVI connection for viewing.
 

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Dan,


Your setup looks wonderful! It's good to see that you're (finally) jumping in. I remember thinking that you were nuts buying the Panamorph when you didn't even have a projector, but it's all coming together now.


With your proposed setup, you shouldn't have any problems with screen door or rainbow (of course), and will have very good black levels if you used a fixed Grayhawk, plenty of brightness and very good contrast.


The only thing that you might need to worry about is how you are going to do the Panamorphic stretch. If your DVD player does that, great! Make sure that you can do it with any sources that you will need it with. I would still consider an HTPC, but they certainly are not for everyone. If you do go that route, pre-built from AVS or DC is a must.


In a nutshell, I'd say that you have a winning combination.


Welcome aboard!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the quick feedback. It's taken a lot of research to get to this point.


To be honest, I'm concerned the XP30 may be too bright for night-time watching and may do less well in black/contrast as a result. I'd just as soon not have the additional 50W of bulb and heat if it can be avoided.


Assuming 75 percent efficiency (allowing for tweaking and bulb aging)and 95 percent gain, the XP21 puts a very nice 37 lumens per square foot on the screen. That's brighter than some RPTVs.


And there have been a number of reports that MLA does reduce screendoor. These stem from comparisons of the XP18N versus the 21 (identical except 21 has MLA), and several which compared the PLV60 to the 21. Projector Central, which compared the 18 to the 21 was pretty definite the MLA reduced screendoor


Is your NTSC over the air? Are you using the svideo input?


If DanG is still out there, what have you learned about scalers and the XP21N, particularly for NTSC? With the new generation of DVD players do you still think I need a scaler?


Thanks.


DanH

 

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sounds pretty nice. One thing I discovered is that digital cable looks pretty poor on the analog channels when magnified to that size. I live in New York City and I have a fuzz on all of the none digital channels that the cable company claims is how it is sent to them. I think I will end up watching most NTSC on another TV. Good luck to you.
 

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Still here, just quite busy.

The quality of the Sat feed is not cool direct through the Sanyo, not if you plan ondoing any significant NTSC viewing.

Of course, the easiest experiemtn is totry it once yours arrives before you buy a scaler, but IMO the Quadscan I own was essential to making the package outstanding.

Without the QS I would be a little wishy washy about the whole deal for $6k.

With the QS I am ecstatic about the deal for $7k.


IF you are spending this kinda money on a package and you watch NTSC I think a good scaler is fairly essential, as is proper power conditioning for the projector.

I would recommend you get an Elgar laboratory line conditioner. It takes juice from your wall and outputs a clean sine at 115V 60Hz, with very low HD.

It made a significant improvement with my projector. Image became smoother, colors richer, screen door less distinct (I dunno why on this last one!).

You can find them at surplus warehouses for (hopefully much) less than $400 often- drop me a line if you are interested, a dealer I know has some units.

Dan G
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ah, heard from two of my favorite folks already!


Mark, I obviously have computers and use them but when I read the HTPC threads it just seems there are still a bunch of problems. I don't mind tweaking but I don't want to fool with glitchy boards and software. To your knowledge is there a stable, predictable and reasonably user-friendly HTPC setup out there now?


As for the Panamorph pre-purchase, I figured I could always resell it. If you recall some of earlier threads where 16:9 vs 4:3 was debated, I took the position that 4:3 is going to be with us a long, long time. And, as 16:9 projectors come in the price of really good 4:3 has dropped drastically (look at the price of the XP21N for example). so the Pannie lets me watch native 4:3, convert it to (in effect) native 16:9 for DVD watching, and pay a lot less for the projector too.


I'm not in the class of the Sultan of Cheap, but I do my best anyway! http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/biggrin.gif


DanG, since you've already tried it both ways it's clear you know what you're talking about with the Quadscan. Which one did you use and where did you get it?


DanG or Jonmx, any comments on the brightness issue?


Thanks.


DanH
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Joe:

I'm not sure it will or won't. The way (as I understand it) one uses the Panamorph is to have the DVD player output the 16:9 anamorphic image as 4:3 to the projector. The projector simply passes it along, outputting a 4:3 image using all the pixels through the front of its own lens. Then the Panamorph translates it back to 16:9 and you end up with a correct ratio picture using ALL the pixels and hence there are no pixels being used for "black" bars.


As I understand it, some projectors can also do this squeeze but it is preferable to do it at the DVD player. Since you don't have a Panamorph, I wouldn't worry about it. All indications are the RP91 is a really good DVD player.


I'm really impressed you like the projector. I'm almost certain this is the way I'll go. Not going to worry about DVI since current DVI setups may be worthless anyway.


Dan


[This message has been edited by DanHouck (edited 07-27-2001).]
 

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DanH,


You are correct. With the RP91+Panamorph on a 4:3 projector, it's just exactly as if you had a 16:9 projector. Tell the RP91 your set is 16:9 and then do all aspect ratio switching on the player. Everything will be properly "anamorphosized".


re: HTPC's. I've had my Digital Connections "RAD" HTPC for several months and it's been completely trouble free. DC preconfigures it with all of the various tweaks and audio and video settings, so you can just plug it in and go. AVScience also sells a comparably configured machine, I believe.
 

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I have the Boxlight 38t clone of the 21, Toshiba 6200 and DTC-100. I'm at 15' for both seating and throw. Had the LP350. When I get really close to the screen(1') and examine the screen door it is different from DLP but somehow more diffuse and tiny. Just about non-existent. I really doubt that I am seeing any screen door from my seating area because the pixels and separations are so darn small. However, I do see occasional stair-stepping and apparent "pilexization" on some DVD's in some places. I didn't before, but before I was watching the 6200's interlaced output through the s-video deinterlacing of the LP350. Now I am de-interlacing in the 6200 and watching it's progressive scan output through the component inputs of the 38t. So my conclusion is the deinterlacer on the 6200 isn't as good as the LP350's was. Hence I should be receiving my Panasonic RP91 today. Hope it helps. However, I must say I watched "What Women Want" last night with the family and it couldn't have looked better. No artifacts at all (except on the menu screen). Just incredible clarity.


As to NTSC, DSS through S-Video looks good enough to watch most of the time, but I have gotten used to expecting much less with DSS than I get with DVD's (except in HD, and DVD's still look better than HD most of the time (except those parts of the demo loop which look incredible). Therefore the internal scaler isn't as bad for DSS as you might expect from what you read.


I seriously doubt you will need more brightness, given your use of the panamorph. It should easily offset what you lose with the Grayhawk. I don't have the Grayhawk, and I love how bright the picture is. And my blacks are so much blacker than what I was used to with the LP350 that I am still surprised and quite satisfied.


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Joe (Boy am I sick of reregistering!)
 

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I have a related requestion. When using 4:3 projectors, we have to use 2 panamorph lens to achieve 16:9 and 2.35:1 if we use the whole LCD Panel. When using 16:9 projectors, only need one panamorph to get 4:3 and 2.35:1? Am I right? Really confused.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi Joe, thanks for the feedback! Would appreciate an update either here or direct to my email when you get the Panny. But as I understand it, the Panny will not do the 4:3 squeeze I need to use the Panamorph.


I glean there are several really important things in looking at a progressive scan DVD player:


Chroma error

Ability to do 4:3 squeeze

3:2 pulldown handling


Anything else you can think of?


I'm really glad to hear you are so happy with the projector. The price has fallen drastically and is in the range of cost and quality where I'll be happy with it for at least 4 years. By that time, we'll have DLPs with 12 degree mirrors, native 16:9, spiral color wheels and a whole lot more brightness. Until then, this looks like the best combo of price, brightness, color, contrast, ease of use (heat, noise, power consumption) and reasonable bulb cost. Is that your conclusion?


Dan


P.S: aa. With a 4:3 projector, the Panamorph squeezes to 16:9. 2:35 would not use all the pixels, but would look on a 16:9 screen rather like 16:9 looks on a 4:3 screen. I figure when I finally switch to 16:9 I can use the Panamorph to "full pixel" 2:35 stuff.



[This message has been edited by DanHouck (edited 07-27-2001).]
 

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Do you mean the RP91 won't allow you to send anamorphic movies in their non-vertically compressed (skinny faced) native mode to the projector so the projector will do the compressing? Surely it will do that. That is what is required for any 16:9 display device isn't it?


As to nonanamorphic material, I can't imagine how 4:3 material (whether letterboxed or not) could be vertically stretched to allow the panamorph to reverse that process. Wouldn't the picture need to have blackout bars on the sides to allow the stretched picture to fit onto the chip? What display would do this? I'm still not getting it. Isn't the panamorph only good for anamorphic disks?


As to the projector, it was all about brightness and contrast. That's what I was after. I was tired of dim and lack of shadow detail. I was tired of some movies looking good while others were totally unsatisfying. So I went for the combination of contrast ratio and lumens that were only now available. I was completely surprised by the added bonus of vivid colors (so there really is something to all that bragging about superior colors on LCD machines). Those three factors of brightness, contrast and color allow details to be seen for the first time. It's a wall size picture that looks like you would expect a picture tube that size to look. Everything else became pretty trivial when I got it set up.


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Joe (Boy am I sick of reregistering!)


[This message has been edited by JHouse (edited 07-27-2001).]
 
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