AVS Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
81 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, I've been reading some of the threads around here, and I learn more each day, but still feel as though I don't understand all of this stuff. I had been in the market for an RP-HDTV. I had it narrowed (pretty much) to the Mitsubishi Diamond or the Pioneer Elite. The mits was actually winning due to the "upgrade path".


Anyway, after reading another thread here, I'm wondering if a front projector would be a better purchase. I don't mind spending up to about $7-8K on the setup. I think an FP would work well in my room, but I always thought that the RPTV's had better quality. Is this true, or do FP's produce as good or better? Do I have to worry about 16:9 vs 4:3? I guess that I'd need an external line doubler like the DVDO box. Do I have to worry about all the stuff about FireWire and TV's becoming obsolete?


My couch (where my head is) is currently about 11' away from the wall (9' away from my 50" hitachi ultravision screen--which I love). And I can easily go farther if necessary. My cielings are 8' high, so I'm guessing that I'm limited there as well. I can put blinds up on the back door, and the room will be as dark or light as I want.


Anyway, any thoughts here would be greatly appreciated.


Chris
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,033 Posts
The difference in the technology is that a RPTV uses a lenticular (or fresnal) screen to refocus the light towards the viewing area. Compared to a front projector, the image is brighter with a rear projector, due to that refocusing and the total shorter distance the light travels.


However, that lenticular screen funks up the resolution a bit and also causes some rainbowing and whatnot. RPTV's also are plagued by internal reflections. The best (CRT) front projectors produce a higher resolution picture than the best (CRT) RPTV's. A used front projector will also hold its value better than a new rear projector. The main disadvantages of a front projector are that you need a dark room and it's not "plug-n-play" (doesn't include a TV tuner and whatnot.)


For 16:9 and 4:3, yes, you'll need to pay some attention to that. One cool thing available for some front projectors is an external lens to shift to a different aspect ratio. Many others will switch back and forth internally. Using a HTPC will lessen your aspect control problem.



------------------

Abdul
Philips 60PP9601, join the Philips_HDTV discussion group

DirecTV + Sony SVR-2000 TiVo upgraded to 128 hours basic quality

Dish 5000 + HDTV Modulator

HTPC: Duron 750, K7 Master, Radeon LE, AccessDTV, Cybermail, Audiophile

Kenwood VR-407 receiver & subwoofer, nOrh 4.0 marble center speaker
s>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
81 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Abdul,

Thanks for the reply. I am seeing more about HTPC. Can someone explain this to me and what role it should play?


I'm starting to lean towards the FP. Just not sure about DLP or CRT. So much to figure out...


Thanks,

Chris

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33,594 Posts
Chris, I've got a high quality HD RPTV and see absolutely no "rainbowing". Front projectors CAN have higher resolution than RPTVs, but it depends on what size guns each unit has. In other words, a high quality HD RPTV with 9" guns can surpass in resolution a FPTV with 7" guns.


The best advice anyone can give you is to actually SEE both for yourself. Some like the look of FPTV and others don't. I myself fall into the latter category. I've always found the image a bit too dim and lacking in contrast for my liking. There is so much personal preference involved in these decisions, nobody but you should make the decision. YOU must see the different technologies first hand and make your decision, don't take anybody's word for it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,564 Posts
cmalinowski


From all I've seen, the image of a fp crt, dila, lcd, dlp have more in common with each other than they do with a rp tv. The images are MUCH more filmlike than a rptv.


They also require a MUCH darker room. All fptv's have use a white screen. The darkest black can be no "blacker" than what the screen looks when the projector is off. This should give you an idea of how dark you need the room to be.


CRT's (arguably) give the best picture but are also the least bright and most finicky getting set up. Dila's are NOISEY. DLP's suffer from a "rainbow" effect (make sure you AND your family see one to see if you notice it, since if you do it will be unwatchable). LCD's suffer from a "screendoor" effect. No substitute for seeing all of them in action to understand the tradeoffs.


I have an HTPC. Unless you REALLY like futzing with computers, save that for later.

------------------

Alex



[This message has been edited by work permit (edited 07-29-2001).]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,033 Posts
Read Advantages of a HTPC . The main thing is it lets you pump out video at the resolution, aspect ratio, etc. that you want for your display. I used to watch DVD's at 480p using an interlaced DVD player line doubled by a DVDO iScan Pro, but now I watch DVD's played on a PC DVD drive upscaled to 1440x960i with an ATI Radeon card and ATI Player, and I continue to be amazed by how much better the HTPC DVD picture is.



------------------

Abdul
Philips 60PP9601, join the Philips_HDTV discussion group

DirecTV + Sony SVR-2000 TiVo upgraded to 128 hours basic quality

Dish 5000 + HDTV Modulator

HTPC: Duron 750, K7 Master, Radeon LE, AccessDTV, Cybermail, Audiophile

Kenwood VR-407 receiver & subwoofer, nOrh 4.0 marble center speaker
s>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
779 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by Abdul Jalib:


For 16:9 and 4:3, yes, you'll need to pay some attention to that. One cool thing available for some front projectors is an external lens to shift to a different aspect ratio. Many others will switch back and forth internally. Using a HTPC will lessen your aspect control problem.
There are native 16:9 digital projectors which do not require special lenses or HTPC/scalers/video processors and are thus much more user friendly. If ease of use is important to you and you plan on dealing with multiple input devices and aspects you should consider looking into a native 16:9 fp. I use a native 16:9 LCD FP and it is plug and play, e.g. it is just like using a 16:9 DTV sans the tuner.


Before you go native 16:9 CRT RP you will want to consider what your primary aspect will be. If you primarily watch 4:3 content you could experience phosphor burn which may distort picture when you watch widescreen content.


If you are looking at CRT FT you will want to consider how well you can control light. These projectors do no produce many lumens in contrast with digital projectors like LCD/DLP/DILA can. They are also very big and can experience phosphor burn in too. On the other side they do have the blackest blacks and they do not require bulbs every 1000-2000 hours at $400-$1000 a crack.


Regards,


Brian
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33,594 Posts
Abdul,

I really must profess ignorance on the subject of HTPC. If you bought a new computer today with a good video card (either integrated on the motherboard or a seperate card), is that all that's needed to hook up to your HDTV? My Zenith has a VGA connector which I'm assuming would make it easier to connect....true or false?


I always see the issue of "scaling" brought up with the computer DVD output, is that done in the computer display software or is there a seperate outboard scaler necessary?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,564 Posts
Hi ken:


Yes, An HTPC will give you a better picture for dvd playback. It does the scaling of dvd playback itself, no need for an outside processor. I have one and enjoy the picture very much.


It is safest to use an intel based machine that uses an intel based control chip (for example a pentium III with an 815 based "chipset"). You should use at least a geforce card or better yet a radeon card. You will of course need a dvd player and dvd software. You will need a sound card that outputs Dolby digital for your receiver (assume you have one). The audiophile 24/96 card is considered to be the best. There are some issues when using this card with windows me or windows 2000.


When using an HTPC for external sources (vhs, cable, satellite, ota), the advantage of an HTPC over a line doubler are less clear.


If you are not into computers as a hobby (i.e. if you've never reformatted your drive, installed an operating system, updated hardware drivers, edited the windows registry), I'd strongly suggest you buy one preconfigured by AV science or digital connection. Alternatively, an outboard scaler may look just as good to you, and won't be as prickly as a computer can be. Even preconfigured, think of it as hobby, not a consumer electronics piece.


Regarding your zenith, Does it have component inputs? Will the vga sync to to hdtv signals (ie 420p, 720p, 960p, etc)?


------------------

Alex


[This message has been edited by work permit (edited 07-31-2001).]
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,564 Posts
webtv??? I'm glad you didn't mention that on the HTPC forum. I respect your guts and honesty.


------------------

Alex
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,033 Posts
The big ass Zenith RPTV rescales "all" input to 1080i, I think. I'm not sure if it rescales VGA input. Research it. Try to find someone with your RPTV and a HTPC.


You should get a video card capable of doing a good job of 1080i and whatever else your set will accept (some cards are good only for progressive resolutions or only for certain resolutions.) The ATI Radeon LE (or DDR) is the card generally recommended, for its superior scaling to high interlaced resolutions, and it includes the best picture quality DVD player, ATI Player, all for under $80 shipped. (Warning: ATI software and drivers are extremely hard to get working properly. Strike that, actually it is impossible to get working properly.) It's a good idea to overengineer the power supply (350W+) to reduce video noise in the video capture card used by dScaler to line double your S-video sources. And then there are noise considerations if it's not going to be hidden in a closet. Otherwise, pretty much any contemporary DVD-equipped PC will do, but it would be a good idea to run your prospective HTPC configuration by the Home Theater Computers forum before buying. And yes, buying a HTPC from www.avscience.com or www.digitalconnection.com will save you a lot of registry-hacking grief, since they set up the software as well as the hardware.



------------------

Abdul
Philips 60PP9601, join the Philips_HDTV discussion group

DirecTV + Sony SVR-2000 TiVo upgraded to 128 hours basic quality

Dish 5000 + HDTV Modulator

HTPC: Duron 750, K7 Master, Radeon LE, AccessDTV, Cybermail, Audiophile

Kenwood VR-407 receiver & subwoofer, nOrh 4.0 marble center speaker
s>


[This message has been edited by Abdul Jalib (edited 08-01-2001).]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33,594 Posts
Alex & Abdul,

Thanks for the info. I'm a bit confused as to why you would need to mess with the registry. I am familiar with computers and have done some of the things you mention, but I've always understood that if you mess with the registry you are always running the risk of screwing up your computer royally. I currently have a Sony Vaio with a 450 PII that does a very nice job of playing DVDs on the monitor. It's got a Matrox G200 video display. Is that enough to give it a try? I would just like to see the comparison to my dedicated Sony DVD player.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,033 Posts
Since ATI software is so braindamaged, you have to mess with the registry to get it to behave halfway decently. A 450 PII is on the wimpy side, but if it's already doing DVD's well, you could certainly try hooking it up to your RPTV. Again, you run into the question of whether your video card will do 1080i or what happens when you give your RPTV something else. In most cases, a PC is going to do a better job of rescaling the image than a rescaling TV is, but with all the raves the Zenith gets it must have a good 1080i rescaler.



------------------

Abdul
Philips 60PP9601, join the Philips_HDTV discussion group

DirecTV + Sony SVR-2000 TiVo upgraded to 128 hours basic quality

Dish 5000 + HDTV Modulator

HTPC: Duron 750, K7 Master, Radeon LE, AccessDTV, Cybermail, Audiophile

Kenwood VR-407 receiver & subwoofer, nOrh 4.0 marble center speaker
s>
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top