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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First, I must make it clear that I hold nothing but contempt for Sim2. I had a legitimate problem with my former HT250 (there is a design flaw in that unit which plays havoc during scenes with fast lateral movement), and Sim2 turned its back on me; they would not take any of my calls and refused to answer my e-mail. Out of sheer frustration, I finally sold the unit at a loss.


When I was first invited to a forum member’s home to view his HT200DM, I was immediately impressed. But I forced myself to disregard my feelings and allowed myself to get caught up in the hype over the new Yamaha and Sharp projectors. I was finally brought back to my senses after reading a member’s (Free) post about his visit to an expo in Arizona last week; his findings paralleled my initial feelings about the 200DM. I decided to view the 200DM one more time and then bought one the very next day--and now I couldn’t be happier!


First off, the Grayhawk screen takes away from this projector, and I am not alone in this opinion. I am currently using a 6-year old Stewart medium-gain screen, which is approximately 90†(I have a variable masking system that allows me to tweak the size as needed).



The first revelation is the incredible blacks that this unit is capable of producing. And Seleco designed a masking system that produces black bars directly above and below the image; this dramatically improves overall contrast. My room is dark, but not to the point where one cannot make out the features of peoples’ faces or objects. To produce these blacks on a CRT, I would have to make the room much darker. This observation will probably miff some of our CRT die-hards, but what can I say? The proof is in the pudding.


During a scene from Starship Troopers, my wife commented on how new the soldiers’ black T-shirts appeared. And to further my point one simply has to jump to chapter 14. The fiery explosions against the outer space background are breathtaking!


The new 6-segment color wheel works magic with all colors, but especially those reds and blues! The opening sequence of Tomorrow Never Dies will attest to this. The psychedelic images of various shades of reds and oranges melding into one another is utterly pronounced. I also got goose bumps watching Christine roar across the screen; the sound of the two fours sucking air combined with the gleaming arrest-me-red paint job is a wonder to behold. And as for the blues, the opening sequence of Superman is nothing less than spectacular.


I bought this unit strictly to watch my favorite films on DVD ( I already have more than three hundred DVDs in my fast-growing collection) and find the 16:9 format with 848 x 480 pixels an ideal solution for my progressive scan Toshiba 6200.


Pixels are not an issue with the 200DM. My HT250 incorporated a hi res chip and there were artifacts all over the place. And somehow the concept of watching today’s insipid TV shows in high definition really doesn’t intrigue me, although I’m sure the 200DMs’ overall picture quality would easily make up for any lack of resolution. The bottom line is, numbers don’t always tell the entire story. In my old racing days, I’ve seen small blocks outperform big blocks more times than I can count.


There is a lot more info I can give, so anyone seriously considering this machine should feel free to e-mail me, and I will even send some remarkable screen shots. Happy viewing to all!
 

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I am interested in purchasing the HT200DM, but cannot find any local dealer to demo it - so I have to rely on third party observations. I appreciate your insight on DVDs. In all of the different AVS threads, however, I haven't really seen anyone give an opinion on watching sporting events off of a satellite feed. Have you got any opinion about that?


Also, your comment about the Grayhawk kinda surprised me in that so many others in the other threads seem to swear by it. What, by the way, is the gain on the screen you are using. I had originally planned to get a 90" Grayhawk.


Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi, Phil.

We're sitting between 16 to 18 feet from the screen. My wife likes to sit a little further back, as she does when we go to the cinema.


I've been trying to come up with the actual number for the screen, but on the receipt, which is six years old, all I'm able to glean is: Stuart model: "Video matte 2000."


The screen was originally designed for a Sharp LCD with a 600 lux rating.


If I come across any further info I'll post the specs.


Ciao,

Peter M
 

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The Grayhawk is not always the best choice with low light output projectors. The 200DM apparently does such an outstanding job with contrast and black level that it might be better to use a gain in the 1.3 range to help beef up the brightness for an overall better picture. If you don't really need black level/contrast enhancement anyway, better to enhance brightness IMO. Hard to get enough of that, particularly with the relatively low light output of the 200DM.


Dan


P.S. I would have had one if I could have put it in a totally light controlled environment.
 

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I went to Stewart's web site

Stewart Filmscreen


They do have a screen called the Videomatte 200. If this is the screen it has a gain of 1.8 which seems quite high.


If you are happy with the black level on that screen then I might go with a 1.3 gain on a 100" screen instead of a Greyhawk.


[This message has been edited by Free (edited 08-16-2001).]


[This message has been edited by Free (edited 08-16-2001).]




[This message has been edited by Free (edited 08-16-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hey, Dan, concerning the Greyhawk, you hit the nail right on the head! Bye the way, best of luck with your new projector! I know you're having just as much fun as I am. Maybe some day we'll even sit through a complete movie!


Cheers,

Peter M
 

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Keep in mind that there are two GrayHawks out there. The first shipments were .88 gain; the GrayHawks that are shipping now are .95, or almost Unity Gain. Stewart also makes a material called Datamatte 100 with a gain of 1.1

which might work well with the HT200DM. I have also found that the best results with this projector are obtained when you feed it progressive component.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi, Phil.

I wonder if they are referring to the same model I mentioned? It is six years old. They are quite helpful at Stewart; when I purchased the Sharp LCD, I gave them the specs and they recommended the correct screen.


I intend to repeat this when my new movie room is complete, because that room will allow total darkness.
 

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If you're like me, it will be a few weeks before you stop yelling out, every time a nice red pops onscreen. Here are some of my favorite sequences for showing off the HT200DM:


1) "The Matrix" -- the scene where Morpheus and Neo are in the street simulation and the woman in the red dress walks by. Killer dress color, killer lipstick color.


2) "Shakespeare in Love" -- this has a mostly flat, brown palette for the backgrounds and extras, so the reds really pop when they show up. Check out "Juliet's" dress in the play. Also check out the purple satin shirt on one of the actors. That purple is amazing!


3) "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" -- the indoor swordfight between the two women. This isn't a great movie as a color demo, but during that fight, Michelle Yeoh grabs a spear with a red tassle on the end, and waves it at the camera. Because there is so little pure red in the film, this really gets your attention.


4) "Fifth Element" -- this is probably one of the best color demos for the projector because the overall palette is so intense. But in particular, look at Leelo's orange hair. Also the blue color of the Diva. The opening Egypt sequence is also a terrific demo for the projector's black levels and shadow detail.


5) "Chocolat" -- check out the red hoods worn by Vianne and Anouk.


Concerning the GrayHawk screen, I do think it has one advantage. Because the material is just a tad darker than white, you get a slight boost in the black level of letterboxing on wide aspect ratio movies. Letterboxing produced by a projector never looks black enough to my eyes. Even with a theoretically perfect projector that threw zero light in that letterbox area, the screen material itself is brighter than black, and it's always going to reflect whatever small amount of ambient light is in the room. Screens that are high-gain and designed to grab every available photon and throw it back at your eyes are going to have the brightest letterboxing.


I know the ultimate answer to this is to mask your screen exactly to the aspect ratio. But that's a pain in the butt to do manually, and some of us can't afford auto-masking screens, or have the room to install them. With a GrayHawk, you get a little help in damping down the black level of the letterboxed area on non-masked screens.


There are also no brightness problems with a GrayHawk as long as the screen is in a certain range of size and throw distance. I've got an 82" diagonal model, with a 14' projector throw, and it works just fine. I can't imagine the image looking any better than this.
 

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Hehe, and I thought I was impatient!!


Just couldn't wait eh?!?! http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif


Well, how does the 200DM do with the problem scene from "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" ??


Also I'm going to be sitting very close to an 8 foot screen, so how do the pixels look at about 7 or 8 feet?? (I'm not quite that close but I have 20/15 vision, and "I see pixels..")


Take care, Glad you got a projector you can love, that is the goal for all of us!!


-- Cain

 

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Well, I just took the Plunge and ordered the projector!! I also ordered samples of screen material from Stewart. I wanted to compare the Grayhawk and the Studiotek before I decided which to use.


Now if I can just get my new home theater finished (not to mention my new house) it is now 6 months behind schedule http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/frown.gif
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Congratulations! That is good news, Phil, I know you're going to be delighted with the projector. And you are smart for ordering samples of screen material, after all, your own eyes are the best judge of what works well for your needs.


I watched Aliens last night; what a trip! This weekend I plan to watch Pitch Black as per your suggestion.


Tonight I will spend time viewing various material at close range in search of pixels. I promised Mr. Cain a full report on this subject.


Cheers,

Peter M

 

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Hey Free,


It may not belong in this thread, but how about posting some details of your home and theater project. I'm just starting plans myself and have contracted with Dennis Erskine for the theater design.


I'm trying to keep my projector options open but I find that I have to commit to a few now to size the theater (I want to put the projector behind the back wall). So, I'm focusing in on the 200DM, Sharp Z9000 and maybe the HT300.


Thanks,



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

Jim Lauritzen
 

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..Marine Sniper".. Too cool, I for one appreciate your service to our country.


I plan to have an 8 foot wide screen, and the front row of seats will be approximately 9-10.5 feet back, so I'd say shoot for around 10' is your screen is 8 foot wide, or perhaps a tad closer if it is less.


Terrific news that it handled your "torture test" with no problems, I know you are happy, and your spouse is relieved !! http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif


Take care,


-- Cain



PS I was out of town on business!! I apologize for my tardy reply !!!


 

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Ok, now I'm really confused. I was all set to get that Sharp 9000 now I'm really intrigued by this unit.


I located a place that has the HT200DM but they have it hooked up S-Video with a non-progressive scan DVD player. That bites.


Foldedpath: You mention how glorious the reds and blues are, but what about the greens!! http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


Also, what made you guys dismiss the Yamaha DX-1 in favor of the HT200DM?


(Peter - remind me to stay on your good side http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif )


Jimmy


[This message has been edited by JimmyDaves (edited 08-17-2001).]
 

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Jim,

I took over the home already under construction last fall so the theater room dimensions were already set. The room is 22 wide by 25 long and I plan on putting two rows of two Lazy boy love seats each with the rear seats elevated a foot.


I have a Pioneer Elite Pro-710 which I am building into the front wall with the equipment in cabinetry. The screen will come down in front of the TV. I am planning on an 8 foot wide screen.


Behind the theater room is a kitchenette and I am having the cabinetry built to house the Seleco with the lense shining through a hole in the rear wall. The throw will be around 24 feet so it should be perfect with the 8' screen.


The rest of my equipment is Tag Mclaren AV32R pre and 100x5R amplifier. NHT VT-2 speakers (soon to be upgraded to VT-3's) and I am currently using a Panasonic RP91K DVD player which will drive the projector.


That is basically it. I won't bore you with the speaker cables or power conditioning details http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif
 
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