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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This weekend I had the chance to view two projectors in my home. I purchased the Sanyo PLV-60HT, but due to a shipping error, I also received the Boxlight 17SF (which is a copy of the Optima H55). The company knows about the error, so one projector will go back today.


Based upon MSRP, these projectors should probably be on the Over $5,000 board, but since both can be had for street prices below $3,000 I included them here.


Now I know some of you are thinking "these projectors have already been replaced with newer models," and you are absolutely correct. I tried the Z1 and didn't like the resolution, so I wanted to get a PJ with higher resolution. I've read about the Sanyo PLV-70HT and the Optima H56, but these new models are over $5,000 (street price), and a little out of my budget. But the models they replaced are decent, and they could be had for a bargain.


So this review is for those sitting on the fence that want a more expensive projector and can't afford it, so you'll settle for last year's technology. I just can't wait for the DLP HD-2s to get more affordable. In two years the Toshiba MT8 will probably be under $3,000, but thats a whole other story .


The 60HT is an LCD projector with 16:9 native (1366x768) format, 1200 lumens. The 17SF used DLP technology and is 4:3 (1024x768), 1000 lumens. I was reviewing various DVDs with my Toshiba SD9200 DVD player using component cables in progressive and then interlaced modes.


The 60HT is significantly larger and weighs in at a whopping 20 pounds. Not a big deal really, but just significantly larger/heavier than many other PJs, including the 17SF. Picture right out of the box showed the image to have significantly better resolution than the Z1 (and it should at more than twice the price).


You've probably read a couple of my previous messages about problems with the Z1, most noticably the edge jaggies/motion artifacts (scanlines?), which was just a little too much for me to enjoy the projector. I know that others on this board really like the Z1, and I'm jealous because I had to spend a lot more money to get the results I am happy with.


Many have commented on the inability of these "cheaper" (aka under $5,000) projectors cannot produce blacks very well. I can now see where they are coming from. The 60HT suffers from the same fate, but it is certainly acceptable. Mind you I havn't done very much calibrating aside from some quick adjustments to the brightness, contrast and gamma settings. I intend to probably purchase Smart III or Avia, most likely the former. I am projecting on Parkland Plastic for now, but intend to get a real screen which should improve things. I have noticed that using a Polarinzing filter (from my 35mm camera) improves the blacks significantly, so after calibration I may consider purchasing a ND filter.


The Boxlight 17SF produced an image that I thought was very similar in quality to the 60HT. The one difference I noted was that the image from the 17SF seemed to have more punch (mostly in color) than the 60HT, not to say that the 60HT couldn't have been calibrated to look that way. The 17SF did have a tendency towards the red, which I did adjust.


The resolution from the 17SF was very comparible to the 60HT. My wife noticed that the 17SF had more motion artifact (scanlines?) than the 60HT when the camera panned. I personally didn't think so, but she said that it almost made her feels sick to watch, which is what I believe others have said about DLP technology.


Screendoor and Rainbows: two highly reported side effects of projectors. I'm happy to report that I didn't see either artifact in either projector. Most of the time we had a 90" horizontal image viewed at about 14 feet. If you focused maximally and moved in a couple of feet, you could see the pixel structure in both PJs, but at normal viewing distance (for my room) it was not an issue.


I was able to increase the image on the Sanyo 60HT up to about 110 inches horizontally and it looked just as good as the 90". Talk about the theater experience in your home!


Overall, the 60HT and the 17SF have very similar picture quality. Both have pros and cons, but I personally couldn't say one was much better than the other. The 17SF is native 4:3, so we couldn't get a widescreen picture as large as the 60HT, at least not without having the 4:3 image overly large (the top of the 4:3 image ran onto the ceiling).


For those of you still on the fence, consider your viewing material to help you decide (I'm not the first one to come up with this wisdom). If you watch alot of 4:3 (standard television), then get the 17SF. If you watch DVD or HDTV, then get a 16:9 like the 60HT.


A quick note on television viewing. I watched a little DirecTV on both PJs (but more so on the 60HT). For the most part it was really watchable. Some channels are better than others, and probably more accurate it is probably more dependent on the particular program and the way it was recorded. I turned on the beginning of the movie Super Troopers on Showtime last night and the picture (in 4:3) was actually pretty good. I also watched Coupling (a really funny sitcom, better than Friends) on BBC America and got it looking pretty good also after tweaking some settings on the 60HT.


So it's too late to make a long story short, but we decided to keep the Sanyo 60HT. Again, both projectors gave very similar images. One big selling factor for me was the 16:9 format as I plan to watch more widescreen stuff.


Since I decided to keep the 60HT, I did more viewing with this projector last night. I played with the progressive vs. interlaced from the DVD player and the images looked nearly identical. Hence the deinterlacer from the DVD is very similar quality to the onboard deinterlacer on the PJ. I also switched from component to S-Video and again there was very little difference. So for my purpose I could probably go with S-Video all the way and save $180 from needing a 25 foot compenent cable.


Are these projectors perfect? No. You truly get what you pay for. I've seen the $12,000 Marantz S2 and would call that nearly perfect (in MY opinion), but I can't come close to the $10,000-$12,000 price tag. I DID think the 60HT and the 17SF were both better than the Z1.


Anyway, those were my thoughts. If anyone was thinking of going the same route, I think these projectors are quite a deal for the price (as are the Z1 and the X1 in their price range). Now turn down the lights and enjoy the movie!
 

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Thank you....


I have been sitting on the fence, wanting to order the Sanyo, but I am very inexperienced in projectors.


After this and talking to projectorpeople I feel this is the best bang for the buck.


will let you know how it all turns out in about a month..


again, Thanks
 

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"the Optima H56, but these new models are over $5,000 (street price)"


The H56's MSRP is $5K, I believe it streets for less than $4K.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Noah - I wasn't that lucky. The cheapest I could find it on the internet was for $4,999. At sub-$4,000 prices I might have given it a chance.
 

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Hi CoalMiner......Nice to see a fellow Tennessee member on line. You might want to also look at the Studio Experience 13HD .....which is a Sanyo 60HT repackaged by Boxlight. I have had one for almost a year (my 3rd projector by the way.....one a Sharp, one a Sanyo) and find it to be a really nice home theater lcd projector. All LCD pj have limitations but with proper calibration, you can get a fine picture.


If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.....


Jerry
 

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Thanks Jerry, You may regret saying that, as I will ask thousands of questions until I get ours all set.


I settled on the HT 60 and a Da lite 106" screen from projectorpeople.com


*** Hope I made the right move***


all I have read states that this is a good projector, ideal for home theaters

(owner of projectorpeople.com has this projector in his home theater)


Thanks again for everyone that helped me on this


my daughter cant wait to see her Disney dvds on a really big screen
 

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ProjectorPeople are GOOD people....I bought one of my projectors from them. Remember, Disney DVD are ONLY in a 4:3 format, not the native 16:9 widescreen format of the 60HT. You will either get black bars on the sides or a stretched image that my family finds anoying. Good luck and enjoy your pj.


Jerry
 
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