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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been lurking for a couple of months, and have narrowed my search down to a Sanyo XP30 or XP21n. I think that the XP30 will meet my needs better, but I have several questions:
  1. I use several LCD monitors, and have seen that a "DVI-D black" is darker than a "VGA black." Additionally, over a DVI-D connection, there is better definition in dark areas, and less of a problem with dark gray ending up dark green-gray or dark red-gray. Is this the case with the XP30?
  2. I know the XP21n must be mounted upside down if it will be ceiling mounted. Is this the case with an XP30 too? I plan to have it on a high shelf, and it would be easier to mount it right-side up.
  3. Neither my wife nor I are very sensitive to screendoor, but consensus seems to be that the MLA on the XP21n helps a little. Is screendoor a big issue on the XP30, or about like any other LCD?
  4. Does anyone know of somewhere in/around Dallas to see either unit, preferably on a Grayhawk screen?
  5. Are there any other issues I should consider?[/list=a]


    For background, the distance from projector to screen will be 36 feet, seating to screen 15 to 25 feet. The room has good light control, but my wife likes a fair amount of ambient light when watching anything but DVD.


    I plan to purchase a 72 X 96 Grayhawk with horizontal masking, and an add-on long-throw lens for the projector.


    Viewing will be 50% DirectTivo, 20% DVD on HTPC, 20% Computer (WinAmp, Games), 10% Console games (N64, Dreamcast, PS2, Xbox). No HDTV sources are planned for the next couple of years.


    [This message has been edited by saleh (edited 07-24-2001).]
 

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The XP21N outputs 2500 Lumens which is more than enough light output. The XP21N features MLA which DOES minimize the screen door.


I am almost sure that you would have to invert the XP-30 for ceiling projection as the "light cone" is out and upward when upright on a shelf.


I would not spend the extra $ for the 30 over the 21. If anything I would consider the PLV-60.


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The XP30 reportedly has a much better scaler than the XP21N, and having DVI is a nice feature for HTPC use. The XP21N scaler is not so good. I recently got an XP21N and it is truely an awesome projector when fed from a Panasonic RP91 and shown on a greyhawk. Fed with a cable signal (just through a VCR)it was pretty bad. I would spend some extra money for the DVI, better internal scaler, and the extra light output would be a bonus.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
wvrich: I'm not way too concerned about the cost differential. In the scheme of this purchase (projector + lens + electric screen + cabling + speakers for 3 other rooms...) the $1500 or so difference isn't a huge issue. I'd considered a D-ILA, but discounted it more for care-and-feeding issues than for cost. I also considered the PLV-60 and a wide screen with vertical masking. However, after monitoring our viewing habits, we watch a lot of 4:3.

Jonmx: Thanks for bringing up the scaler issue - Sanyo's website uses (I believe) the exact same language to describe the two units. I might, in the future, use DScaler, but will likely run s-video for the DirectTivo and games.


Did you get a chance to see an XP30 before buying the 21N?
 

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I own an XP21N and love it. Due to the 700:1 contrast ratio, the blacks are truly black. It also has MLA which minimizes the pixel effect. Initially I focused the display but could see pixels, but I realized that when it is a bit out of focus the picture is awesome and no pixels are seen.

My XP21N is mounted upside down and my screen is an 11' diagonal 4:3 Da-lite white with a gain of 1.0. I recommend against the Greyhawk, as I originally looked at it too and was discouraged by others. With 2500 ansi light output and the 700:1 contrast ratio and MLA you can't go wrong.

I have not seen the XP30, but I know that the processor in it will not be as good as an external dedicated video processor. That is the route that I will be going, but for now I watch DVD's on my Skyworth. The combination is great.
 

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Saleh,


Have I got thoughts for you!


I originally bought the XP21N (actually the Boxlight 38t clone), then upgraded to the XP30 (actually the Boxlight 40t clone), so I think I can answer some of your questions. BTW, in either case, I'd buy through Hank Nance at studioexperience.com ([email protected]). I did endless shopping around and they're the best. They'll match your best price, have a 30-day, no questions-asked money back guarantee and a 60-day free upgrade policy. They've also got just about all the accessories you might need.


If you're not particularly price-sensitive, go with the XP30 (Boxlight MP-40t). See this link http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/Forum10/HTML/007013.html for some of my impressions/comparisons.


Let me try to address your questions:


Quote:
I use several LCD monitors, and have seen that a "DVI-D black" is darker than a "VGA black." Additionally, over a DVI-D connection, there is better definition in dark areas, and less of a problem with dark gray ending up dark green-gray or dark red-gray. Is this the case with the XP30?
Haven't yet hooked up the DVI but if you believe, as I do, that DVI will become more and more widely-accepted, you'll want to have the DVI input either for yourself or to increase the resale value when and if you sell. To me this alone is reason enough to get the XP30/40t.

Quote:
I know the XP21n must be mounted upside down if it will be ceiling mounted. Is this the case with an XP30 too? I plan to have it on a high shelf, and it would be easier to mount it right-side up.
There's an important difference between the two models here. The XP30 has a motorized, vertical lens shift. Depending upon how high your going to have the projector in relation to the screen you may have to mount your projector upside down. But, you'll have a much better chance of not having to do so with the XP30 and its lens shift.

Quote:
Neither my wife nor I are very sensitive to screendoor, but consensus seems to be that the MLA on the XP21n helps a little. Is screendoor a big issue on the XP30, or about like any other LCD?
Screen door is there to be sure. My seating distance is about 14-15 feet and slight defocusing gets rid of it. At the distance your talking about it shouldn't be an issue, especially if you're not particularly sensitive. Unless you want to go the DLP route with lesser colors and rainbow or D-ILA, screen door is going to be possible.

Quote:
Does anyone know of somewhere in/around Dallas to see either unit, preferably on a Grayhawk screen?
Well, here I can't help you. Going to be in the NYC metro area anytime soon? But, this is one of the reasons to buy from Studio Experience. If you don't like it, send it back or upgrade. BTW, I'm using a Da-Lite, High Contrast (that means "gray") DaMat Screen. I can't speak to the Grayhawk, but the DaLite is great at a much lower cost. Got it through S/E, too.

Quote:
Are there any other issues I should consider?
Well, definitely take a look at the thread I noted earlier. But, since I see you watch a lot of DirecTV/Tivo (as I do) let me give you my experience with deinterlacing/scaling. The internal deinterlacing and scaling on the XP30/40t is quite good. You know, I assume, that Tivo outputs a non-standard s-video signal, so often the composite video will give you better quality.


Having said that, there's one design characteristic of both the XP21N and the XP30 that I don't like. Although the projectors offer component, s-video and composite inputs for video (plus the 15-pin, DVI and BNC RGBHV for computer/vga) the projector will not automatically select the active input. You need to toggle back and forth between computer and video and with the three video alternatives, priority is given to component over s-video and s-video over composite if anything is plugged into those inputs, active or not. If you're not going to use the component input (and it seems you may not since your DVD player is in an HTPC and you're not going to do HDTV) this may not be an issue. However even if you're just going to use s-video and composite, you'll have to toggle.


What I've done is this: First I used an iScan Pro, which does the switching of component/s-video/composite for me and will output either RGB through a 15-pin output or Y,Pr,Pb using a vga -> component breakout cable. The quality of the IScan is quite good, a bit better than the internal deinterlacing of the projector. they go for around $600 now.


Never being satisfied, though, with having any money left in my pocket, I bought a Faroudja NR. You can get one through AVS (just email Jason for a quote) or Studio Experience (or email me for more info). Of course mine is set to XGA resolution. I have to say that if you watch as much DSS as you say this is the only way to go. The quality of the picture is far and away the best I've ever seen for DSS and I've owned an HDTV RPTV and a direct-view HDTV before this projector. Jaggies and artifacts are virtually eliminated. There's only so much you can do with DirecTV's overly-compressed signal, so the picture is still a bit soft but great. The combination of Faroudja's proprietary deinterlacing and scaling, it's legendary color rendition with the vibrant colors of the XP30/40t make for a great experience, even in a family room, such as mine, with a fair amount of ambient light. I have to admit I was hoping the difference would not be that great, so I could sell the Faroudja to get back some cash and just go with the iScan, but I'm hooked. You'll also be interested to know that I've put together a rudimentary HTPC with an ATI All-In-Wonder card and, for TV viewing, there's just no comparison at all.


When I started this whole front projector quest my number one objective was to make DSS viewing as good as possible and I now feel I've accomplished that goal. In short, go for the XP30/40t, a gray screen and, if you can afford it, the Faroudja NR. Email me with any other questions you may have.


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

Jamie

Boxlight 40t Projector

Da-Lite HC Da-Mat 60x80 Screen

Faroudja NR Processor

Hughes HIRD E-86 HDTV STB

Toshiba SD6200 DVD Player

Sony Tivo PVR

Onkyo TS-787 Receiver

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Wow, Jamie, thanks for the detailed review.


One question, though. You noted you're watching from 15' back on a 60 x 80 screen and still seeing screendoor. I take it then the projector DOES NOT have MLA like the XP21N?


What did you do about the problem of the short throw distance with the Sanyo/Boxlights? For example, to set the projector just 16' back, I would have to use a 110" diagonal screen (still leaving just a little zoom adjustment for refining it). Did you hang it from the ceiling?


Also, you didn't mention what the Faroudja cost.


Thanks! http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


Dan Houck
 

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Dan,


You're quite welcome. I've been feeling that I haven't been generous enough with my comments on the XP30/40t, so this was an opportunity to be more so.

Quote:
Originally posted by DanHouck:
Wow, Jamie, thanks for the detailed review.


One question, though. You noted you're watching from 15' back on a 60 x 80 screen and still seeing screendoor. I take it then the projector DOES NOT have MLA like the XP21N?


What did you do about the problem of the short throw distance with the Sanyo/Boxlights? For example, to set the projector just 16' back, I would have to use a 110" diagonal screen (still leaving just a little zoom adjustment for refining it). Did you hang it from the ceiling?


Also, you didn't mention what the Faroudja cost.


Thanks! http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


Dan Houck
I'm embarrassed to say I don't know if the XP30 has MLA. It's been widely conjectured that more lumens=more screendoor and I believe that may be the case. I'm trying to get someone at Cygnus to respond to me so that I can spend yet more money and get an IMX lens. From what I've seen on this forum (especially the fine review with pictures by Ian Wilson) the IMX does a fantastic job eliminating screen door. But the ethereal nature of Cygnus has also been well documented around here. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


Glad you mentioned the throw issue. I realized that the optimum distance for me was right where I was sitting. So, my alternatives were to hold the projector or get a Peerless ceiling mount. I chose the latter. Now I've got the projector hanging over my head. Sure hope I found those joists! http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/eek.gif


There seems to be a tradition around here about not posting prices, so I adhered to that protocol. But, if you want to email or PM me, perhaps I could be more forthcoming. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif


Any questions?




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Jamie

Boxlight 40t Projector

Da-Lite HC Da-Mat 60x80 Screen

Faroudja NR Processor

Hughes HIRD E-86 HDTV STB

Toshiba SD6200 DVD Player

Sony Tivo PVR

Onkyo TS-787 Receiver

Def Tech Sepakers
 

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"the IMX does a fantastic job eliminating screen door."


It's also been said taht the Panamporh improves it a lot as well. For a little more money, you could get even more lumens and better resolution.


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Noah
 

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Jamie:

I can't find a spec that indicates whether or not the XP30 has MLA. If you note the increase in bulb wattage from 200 250, the brighness increase from 2500 to 3000 (XP21N to XP30) would suggest they both have MLA.


As for pricing, hey they can't be too concerned about it given the huge number of posts about LT150 prices these days.


Noah, I do have a Panamorph on order and I am in the second prebuy. It would be nice if the lens decreased screendoor and, when watching DVDs, the lens would certainly increase resolution and hence decrease screen-door (vertically, you'd be looking at the same number of pixels compressed into a smaller vertical height).


Dan
 

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I've got to share this email I got today from Cygnus. I emailed and faxed yesterday (there's not a phone number to be found on the website). Here's the response (along with my editorial comments):


"Jamie,

I tried to send an e-mail to you yesterday but I must have received the wrong address."


Hmmm. . . Wonder how the right email address showed up today. Can you spell, "r-e-p-l-y b-u-t-t-o-n?"


"As for the lens There are way to [sic] many projectors for us to follow as well as screens. . ."


Excuse me? You can't follow the projectors your lenses are designed for? How about when I customer asks about a specific projector for your $900 lens, you do the work and add it to your database???


". . . but our website usually does the trick with a few measurements. the price is also listed at Cgns.com"


Duh! Of course I checked the website before sending the email/fax. If I could have figured it out so easily (and I'm not exactly stupid about these things) I wouldn't have asked for help!!!


"if you need anything else. . ."


"Anything else?" I got nothing in the first place!


"please let me know and hopefully we can get your order in and sent out today!!!.

Thanks for your time,

Shaunie

Office Manager"


I think not, thank you very much -- for nothing.


I have had the good fortune to deal with some terrific salespeople as I've put together my home theater. As a matter of fact, almost all have been great. Now, I'm sure Shaunie is a very nice person, just like all the people at Cygnus (if there are any others), but you just don't tell buyers of high-end equipment: You do all the work and then we'll be happy to take your money."


I know I shouldn't get my knickers in a twist about something like this, but sheesh. . .


P.S. to Dan: I'm not trying to be secretive about prices (what is that madness going on about the LT150's???). Just not looking for trouble.


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

Jamie

Boxlight 40t Projector

Da-Lite HC Da-Mat 60x80 Screen

Faroudja NR Processor

Hughes HIRD E-86 HDTV STB

Toshiba SD6200 DVD Player

Sony Tivo PVR

Onkyo TS-787 Receiver

Def Tech Speakers
 

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Maybe it worth the wait for PLC-XP45. 3500 ANSI Lumen, 800:1 Contrast Ratio. 37dBA,3D digital Prgressive Sacn, 3D Digital Noise reduction, 200W UHP(means less expensive lamps), Detachable Input Panels and USB Input, 18.5lbs.
 

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"If you note the increase in bulb wattage from 200 250, the brighness increase from 2500 to 3000 (XP21N to XP30) would suggest they both have MLA."


Actually, this might indicate that it *doesn't* have MLA. If these bulbs are like incandescent, you get more lumens/watt as the power increases.


I wasn't aware of the XP45. Any idea what "3D digital Prgressive Scan" is?


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Noah
 

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There's also an XP-40 coming. The specs are unknown since Sanyo screwed up their Infocomm brochure.


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Ken Elliott
 

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Noah:


Question is, does it have the same LCD panels as the 21N. . .or the 18N? The former has MLA, the latter does not. Sure seems difficult to get a definitive answer.


Dan
 

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I think the MLA issue is overrated. MLA does increase the brightness, but the XP21N still has a very obvious screen door from close up. Great projector, probably the best line of LCD projectors on the market, but I am not convinced that MLA has much if any effect on screen door. My image on a 16:9 100" Greyhawk looks silky smooth from 12', but at 8' screen door is still noticable.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Jonmx:
I think the MLA issue is overrated. MLA does increase the brightness, but the XP21N still has a very obvious screen door from close up. Great projector, probably the best line of LCD projectors on the market, but I am not convinced that MLA has much if any effect on screen door. My image on a 16:9 100" Greyhawk looks silky smooth from 12', but at 8' screen door is still noticable.
I agree. LCD has screen door. Now, about that IMX lens. . .



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

Jamie

Boxlight 40t Projector

Da-Lite HC Da-Mat 60x80 Screen

Faroudja NR Processor

Hughes HIRD E-86 HDTV STB

Toshiba SD6200 DVD Player

Sony Tivo PVR

Onkyo TS-787 Receiver

Def Tech Speakers
 

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Jonmx:


Where (how far back) do you have the projector located? How do you handle 16:9 viewing with this 4:3 projector?


Thanks


Dan
 
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