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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
All three of these projectors seem to be selling with in a couple of hundred dollars from each other.

Looking for a projector that is LCD based and bright enough to handle ambient light (I'm aware the picture will suffer with excess light.. but it can't be controlled)


these are specs gathered from projectorcentral.com:


PLC-XP21N:

Lumens:2500

Contrast:700:1

1.3" LCD

Street:$3500-$4500


PLC-XT10:

Lumens:2500

Contrast:700:1

1"LCD

Street:$3200-$4200


PLC-XT15:

Lumens:3200

Contrast:800:1

1"LCD

Street:$3700-$4500


I'm quite happy with the reviews of the PLC-XP21N however I can't seem to find reviews of the PLC-XT10 or XT15... the major diffrence seems to be the LCD size... how much of a diffrence does this make? I'm just concerned since a jump from 2500 to 3200 lumens usualy comes with a rather noticeable price hike however the diffrence between the PLC-XT15 and the PLC-XP21N seems to be a couple hundred $ (and there also seems to be better contrast specs)... has anyone tested either of the XT units? or compared them with the XP21N? Is 3200 Lumens too bright?



Thank you very much in advance for your feedback...

jcurious



edit:should have put a ? instead of a . in the title.. oops
 

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jcurious, I have the XP21N and love it. Recently upgraded with a Firehawk screen which really improved the picture. However, here's the down side--the on-board scaling is not so hot. I combined mine with a Faroudja NRS, so the combo was not so cheap.


Frankly, I'd seriously consider the Studio Experience 20HD as an alternative, because you don't need the extra $2500 Faroudja box. AVS has a hot deal on them right now. I've seen this projector and it almost equals the brightness of mine plus has slightly better contrast. It would definitely benefit from the Firehawk screen as well.


If I were buying today in this price range, this is what I'd do.


Dan


Dan
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by DanHouck


If I were buying today in this price range, this is what I'd do.


Dan
as far as I can find the lowest price I've been able to find on the 20HD or the PLV-70 is about 4800$ I'm trying to stay as close as I can to $3000... convicing myself to go up to 3800$ is rought enough... to go 1000$ above that is not working for me... if you know where I can get one for closer to 3800$ (under warranty -don't care if it's refirbished, case is wrong color, someone drew on the case (not lens mind you)- as long as it is still under at least two years of warranty) PLEASE let me know... from all the reviews I've been able to find the PLV-70/20HD seems like the ideal projector.. I just can't afford that kind of hit to the bank account at the moment ;(
 

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jcurious,


How much ambient light are you talking about and how big a screen? With a Hi-Power you might be okay with a projector that isn't as bright if the screen isn't too big and the light doesn't come from the same direction as the projector. Also, are you going with ceiling mount or table mount?


If you are pushing things that much financially you might want to even consider something like the new NEC VT660. It is 1700 lumens and under $2k, but the spec is only 400:1 CR. It might be a good holdover for a year until you can get an HD20 or something similar for a lot less.


Since you are a new member and this is your first projector I have to ask if you are going with LCD because you have experience with DLPs or because you've been scared off by some of the talk around here? One reason I ask is that I've found that the extra CR of the business DLPs can help overcome some ambient light. These high lumens help too, but it looks to me like a DLP like the Sharp M20x seems to overcome ambient light better than an HS10 to a degree that we didn't think was explained just by it being a little brighter. This was in a side-by-side and we used Cinema mode on the M20x, not Presentation mode where it does an even better job of overcoming ambient light. Also, with ambient light around and/or white walls you are less likely to see rainbows.


I don't know your setup, but you might also want to consider getting something less bright for a lot less money (like an AE300) and then a TV for the times when you have a lot of light coming in.


--Darin
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by darinp
jcurious,


How much ambient light are you talking about and how big a screen?
Depending on the day and what else is going on in the house there could be a little to a lot.. it'll be in the living room there are lots of windows that are properly covered... and due to the design of the house light can leak in from all over the house... I plan to add some division to this but thats a ways off...

Quote:


Also, are you going with ceiling mount or table mount?
actualy it's going to be mounted in a deep cupboard in the kitchen (the kitchen overlooks the living room) with fans and all ;) (I've had a layout in my head of how everything is going to look since November)

Quote:


It might be a good holdover for a year until you can get an HD20 or something similar for a lot less.
Is the 700:1 vs. 900:1 contrast and improved scaler worth the $1000+ diffrence (street) between the XP21 and the 20HD (I don't realy "need" WXGA since 80% of my viewing will be 4:3 based)? are there other factors?

Quote:


I have to ask if you are going with LCD because you have experience with DLPs or because you've been scared off by some of the talk around here?
I don't have a lot of experince with DLP projectors.. in fact I'm only seen one (at a myer emco) it was a sharpvision something... (it had a realy nice picture btw) I didn't see rainbows in fact the myer emco guy got REALY fussy when I brought it up.. said that there is no such thing.. all lies and such... even though I didn't see rainbows my eyes strained a bit.. though reflecting on it later it was proly more due to going from bright out doors to a dark room with a bright picture... it was enough to make me nervous though... if I do go DLP I'll proly go with the NEC LT260 if for no other reason then it's the one that jwz bought ( www.jwz.org ) :p . Also we use BarcoReality 6300 projectors at work and the "screen door effect" don't bother me at all (btw they also handle ambient light realy well).


Quote:


consider getting something less bright for a lot less money (like an AE300) and then a TV for the times when you have a lot of light coming in.
Unfortunatly it'll be rare that I won't have some light in the room ;(


$3000 is pretty much what I've set aside (I can definatly go more then that if needed) hopefuly this helps explain my setupish and what I'm looking for... thank you very much for your insights so far from everyone.. and everyone who provides more ;) this forum is FAR more plesent and useful then a Myer Emco guy telling me that I HAVE to have a room that is nearly pitch black and that rainbows are a lie... I understand that ambient light is bad for the picture and most people aren't affected by rainbows... but you'd never know it talking to this guy...


btw if anyone knows where I could see an LT260 in the DC area.. let me know


thanks,

jcurious
 

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jcurious:


Believe me when I tell you this--you won't like the results you get from the XP21N without the extra video processor. And the cheap ones really don't do that well. Been there, done that.


Let me also share that my initial thinking about ambient was very much like yours. What I found was that once I had viewed the projector without ambient, I was simply not satisfied with having much ambient even though in theory the projector can overcome it. I will say the Firehawk greatly expanded the tolerable range of ambient. But that's another $1700 or so.


We told you this hobby wasn't cheap! :D


So you may want to revisit this ambient issue because you may find it a lot cheaper to eliminate the ambient, which will open up a lot of other possibilities for you. Otherwise, I see only two choices--don't watch during the day; or get the 20HD and a Firehawk. I've seen this combo in a lot of light at CES and it definitely worked.


Good luck.


Dan


P.S. You might contact Jason at AVS and see if he has any refurbs or might be able to get you one. Also contact Hank at Studio Experience with the same question. The link is in the ad block at the top of every forum page.
 

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Well I might disagree slightly with what Dan say. The XP21N does have a crappy internal scaler, but the XP21N looks very good with a quality progressive scan DVD player. If you plan on watching non-HD TV/cable that is another story. On a few of my channels with the best quality signals, I get pretty good TV viewing using the XP21N and an HTPC running DScaler. Many of the poorer channels are unwatchable. I haven't tried digital cable or satelite yet, I think Dan has satelite. If you can get a high quality signal to the XP21N it produces an awesome image that competes against the better projectors of today. But more recent highend models do have better scaling, 16:9 native resolutions, slightly better blacks, and DVI inputs.
 

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I also recently just bought my first FP and it was a PLV 70. Trust me I realize the insanity of spending over $5k on watching movies. But here's the issue...even spending $3800 is a tidy some of cash, and you want to be happy with your purchase years down the line. Think of it as a long term investment. For a bright LCD projector in this price range, nothing compares to the 20HD/plv70. My advice, either stomach the extra cash now or wait 6 months as the price will inevitably drop and buy it then. $3800 is still $3800 and you want to be really happy with your purchase. The last thing you want to do is spend that kind of money and then think to yourself a year from now "man, if I only spent that extra $1K I wouldn't have to deal with all this screen door ... ". Or a year from now when you order Direct TV in HD and you want to use that DVI input. Or maybe you decide to hook your computer up to the projector and use the DVI for the full 1368 x 768 resolution.


Now, if you were say, limiting your budget to $2K , that would be a different story, but you really are quite close in the price range to pick up the 20HD...or just wait for its price to fall. And, I agree with DanHouck....AVS or studio exp is the way to go.


PS, I was actually initially looking to only spend $2K on a projector, and then over time as I read the forum, I got sucked in and just kept upping and upping the price. This forum can be a dangerous place in that regard, but I'm also thankful for everyone's advice. Now I have a set up I'll definitely be happy with for years to come.
 

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Quote:
I was actually initially looking to only spend $2K on a projector, and then over time as I read the forum, I got sucked in and just kept upping and upping the price. This forum can be a dangerous place in that regard
Boy, you ain't whistlin Dixie here, Doc! I started out with a budget of $5K and ended up just south of $9K. Yep, I definitely got sucked in by this bunch. . .OUCH! :D


Jonmx may be right about you can get decent DVD from the XP21N with one of the newer Faroudja-equipped progressive scan players. That wasn't an option when I bought several years ago. But he's also right that TV is absolutely crappy on this projector without a video processor. It was unwatchable until I added the Faroudja (no, I don't have satellite, have digital (ha!) cable).


BTW, my spouse and I agree--there's nothing we own that gives more pure pleasure more often, even beating our motorhome by a wide margin. Nothing like curling up with several good movies on a crappy day or when you want to chill out. Do without something else and do this right--the PLV70 and Firehawk.


Dan
 

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Crap, now Dan has me thinking I gotta go change my order and upgrade my screen to a Firehawk. My high contrast cinema vision was only $600....if I could scrape together another thousand....
 

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Jcurious, Oh, and if you do look more into the plv70 don't be scared off by the manufacturers statement that it needs 3 feet behind the projector. Many do with much less, and I just put a small quiet fan behind the projector and was told I could put it as close as 6 inches if I had a small fan behind it. (I say this because of your statement that you plan on putting it inside your kitchen cupboard)
 

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No one seems to be answering your original question so I will give it a try. The Xp21 is old technology. The xt1 and 15 are much newer. They are also much quieter. They all have xga panels but I would go with the newer ones (the xt-10 and 15). The difference between the 10 and the 15 is the micro lens array. Also the larger lcd panels produce brighter images (the xp21 has a smaller panel). The micro lens array is said to offer a brighter image and reduce the screendoor effect--worth the espense IMHO.
 

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thomadasilva -- Have you ever seen the XT10 or XT15? They may be a bit newer (6-12 months?) and have DVI, but I have never seen a thorough review or comparison. I hardly think there is a huge difference in the technology ('old' verses 'new'). BTW, the XP21N has MLA.
 

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You are correct Jonmx. My comments are based upon research I have done thru sanyo (I have a freind who works there). The xt-10 and 15 are quite a bit quieter than the 21. The DVI input on the 10 and 15 is NOT HDCP compatible. I asked if there will be an external DVI adaptor for HDCP protected content (as has been promised for the plv-70) and they did not know. Are not the lcd panels on the 10 and 15 larger than the 21? If so they shold transmit more light. I also believe the contrast ratio for the 10 and 15 is 800:1.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by thomadasilva
Are not the lcd panels on the 10 and 15 larger than the 21? If so they shold transmit more light. I also believe the contrast ratio for the 10 and 15 is 800:1.
the specs above are from projectorcentral.com... do you have any site that says these numbers are wrong?
 

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Quote:
Crap, now Dan has me thinking I gotta go change my order and upgrade my screen to a Firehawk.
Do it Doc, you won't regret it. While we were away last month, our neighbors who feed the cats while we're gone came over and watched a movie. I ran into the husband right after we got back and the first words out of his mouth was, wow, what did you do to your system?


They had recently watched a movie on the system before we switched to the Firehawk. Apparently, they both noticed how much better the picture was after the screen change. This was the only change I made.


BTW, make sure you get the vellum cover on the frame. With these bright projectors, you get a bothersome reflection off the frame if it is uncovered metal, even though painted flat black.


My observation and experience is that the screen is at least as important as the projector. It makes no sense IMHO to spend $5-6 grand on a projector and then not optimize the screen.


Dan
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by DanHouck
BTW, make sure you get the vellum cover on the frame. With these bright projectors, you get a bothersome reflection off the frame if it is uncovered metal, even though painted flat black.
The vellum cover is great, but I didn't get it. There is a cheap DIY solution that fixes these reflections though. I bought some 3" wide felt tape that I put it around the frame. Looks good and the reflections are gone for about $30.
 
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