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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am about to dive in a buy a projector. As everyone knows, this is a big purchase that takes a lot of research. After reading all of the praise and complaints about the Sharp PG-M20X, I have one question: Are there more owners happy with their purchase or unhappy with their purchase?
 

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I've toggled around a bit. A couple of weeks ago I was getting frustrated with it. I've measured about 750:1 contrast after calibrating it, but I was having big problems with dark scenes. I've watched chapter 30 from the regular version of LOTR about 50 times on different projectors and settings (this is just after the cave troll). I just couldn't make out the details in the dark scenes. I was using a Panasonic RP82 and PowerDVD on my HTPC. About a week ago I installed TheaterTek and I can't believe the difference. I could finally tell everything that was going on in that chapter. Tonight I got a grey screen and watched it again. It had been a few days since I had watched anything, but I have a feeling that the grey screen did help some, although I think TheaterTek was a bigger jump. I think I noticed more depth after viewing for a little while than I remember seeing with my matte white screen. I couldn't see anything in that chapter tonight that needed improvement. I'm back to being amazed at what this thing can do. Especially for the price.


Now I didn't have another projector displaying next to it and I have a feeling that something like the HT1000 at over $4k would do a better job with the colors, but as it stands my current image is pretty incredible. It did take me a while to find some settings with reasonable reds on the M20x and I'm sure the HT1000 would be better for true reds.


I'm going to mark happy, since I'm still planning on getting a more expensive projector (maybe $6k-$8k) with more pixels for using on my 116" wide Hi-Power screen that I have in my living room. I'll probably keep the M20x as a 2nd projector that I can use as a computer monitor, take to other people's houses, use when my parents want to come over and watch something that would bore me to death, etc.


I don't see other DLPs in the price range that are better (for me). I don't tend to be rainbow prone, but they bothered me on the 260, although I thought the colors were a little better on the 260. The contrast ratio did measure lower than my M20x, though. If you get a chance to see a 240 and aren't bothered by the image at all, then that might be a good choice, also.


Other people that I've showed things to think I'm insane for even thinking that I want something better.


--Darin
 

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I've been very happy with the M20X, and have had no reliability problems at over 500 hours now. I'm viewing using an HTPC via the RGB input on a 9' wide Firehawk screen and the image ranges from good to impressive, depending in the DVD. Contrast is great and sometimes even stunning, and the thing puts out plenty of light. Only real complaint is color accuracy; its not terrible, but its not perfect either.


I've said it before in many other posts, but I still feel that the M20X has the best price/performance ratio of anything on the market right now. The HT1000 would have taken that honor if it was brighter. The LT260, if it had a faster wheel.


The specs on the M20X are still pretty unbeatable at its price point:


1024x768 res

12 degree DDR DMD

1900 lumens

1000:1 contrast ratio

3x RGBW wheel

37db fan

8"x11"x3" 5.8lbs

2000hr lamp

$4399 list

$2500 street


By comparison,


* the LT240/260 have a slower wheel

* the HT1000 is too dim (800 lumens); awesome CR though (3000:1!!)

* the HS10 is LCD based and therefore has a inferior CR (700:1) and black level

* the Z90U is lower res and too dim (600 lumens)


(I pasted the above from one of my prior posts; thought I'd put it here for posterity)



I have similar plans to Darin's; I see the M20X as an iterim PJ until I can get a native 16:9 DLP with specs similar to M20X and also with an 5x RGBRGB wheel, for around $5K list (so about $3K street). I still firmly believe we'll see something like that on the market within a year; things are moving so quickly.


I was planning on buying the Z9000 before I saw the M20X. I saw both in action before I made my choice. I really think the high end manufacturers are living on borrowed time; the Sim2s and Runcos are trying to hold their $10K+ price point, but if you do the math they offer very little advantages over PJs like the M20X, save the RGBRGB wheel and the native HDTV panel. I really doubt the wheel and panel add $7K to the cost of the unit, so someone like Piano or NEC will undercut them with a $5K PJ that covers all the same bases. Its really just a matter of time.


Anyway, I still think the M20X is a contender. I'd give it some serious consideration.


Best,

Mike
 

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I voted that I was extrememly happy even though a few days ago I expirenced the picture flickering.


It's a great little projector packed with a lot of nice features. People who have watched movies over at my place are blown away by it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank all of you for the votes and opinions about your M20X projectors. After receiving an overwhelming group of positive responses despite some of the reliability issues, I tooks the plunge and ordered a Sharp PG-M20X from avmall.com that comes with a free progressive scan DVD player. With a voucher code from Projector Central, I think that I got an incredible deal. I should get the projector next week and will be able to review it for myself.


Thanks for the help!!!
 

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DHX,

If you don't mind me asking, what is a voucher code?


On a side note I had the M20x and sent it back to try out the LT260. I really liked the M20x I just hadn't compared it to anything so I thought I'd give the 260 a shot. I wish I had just kept the M20x. Too many rainbows. If nothing better comes out beginning of year then I really probably buy the 20X.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
On Projector Central's site, if you look up a particular projector, you can then look and current dealer's prices. For avmall, they had a voucher code that you enter at checkout and it knocked almost $200 off the price! It's like an electronic coupon.


DHX
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
:D


Well, as a result of the information shared on AVSForum and the poll I posted earlier, I made the leap of faith and purchased the Sharp PG-M20X. It came right before Christmas and I have a quick analysis:


For all of those who have posted all of the minor complaints and nit-picking critiques, you are all on crack!


I quickly set up the Sharp and projected it against a light-yellow textured wall with just a composite input and I was more than pleased. The brightness was excellent in a room that does not have a lot of light control and the picture quality was more than adequate. When I hooked it up via the DVI-Component cable, I was blown away. The colors jumped out and I did not have the contrast complaints that a lot of people have. I haven't even tweaked any of the settings!


I understand the desire for perfection of anything device you spend a lot of money for, but not at the expense of being able to sit back and enjoy a movie. I think I will be getting a lot of enjoyment out of this baby.


DHXavier
 

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DHXavier,


Glad you are enjoying the M20X. I'm at 650 hours and going strong. Had a bunch of people over for a Christmas party last week. Threw on Episode II and before I knew it, everyone was crowded in my HT checking out the movie. Noone complained about rainbows, got headaches/sickness or any of the other standard DLP complaints. Everyone seemed pretty blown away by what this little PJ can do. They asked me to throw on Spiderman afterward and a good portion sat through the whole film. Needless to say, the HT and the M20X were a huge hit!


Mike
 

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I have narrowed down my search to the M20X and the X1.


Has anyone seen both and can comment?


I plan on an 80" wide screen with viewing from about 12' away in a non-light controlled room. My daughter may even wish to watch in daylight the occasional movie. Comments?


What would the best screen be for this type of application- Firehawk?

A perforated screen would be best for my room.


Finally, how does the M20X handle HD sat. programming? I'm becoming increasingly addicted to HBO.


Thanks in advance for your comments.
 

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The X1 has a slower 2X color wheel and I saw rainbows. The 20X is a 3X wheel and I didn't see any. The picture was also much brighter. The 20X is higher resolution. I'd get the 20X if not for the non-starting and flickering issues. I'm still on the fence.
 

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Ritter, long story short the M20X has been reported to suffer from reliability problems. Many people on this board who own one have had to replace theirs at least once, usually before they hit 100 hours on the bulb.


Sharp is said to be very good about getting loaner units and replacements out to people as soon as possible, but nonetheless this reliability issue continues to plague the M20X.


With the NEC LT-240 out there in the same price range and with similar specs and performance, I don't understand how anyone could continue to recommend the M20X until Sharp fixes this problem once and for all. I mean, rainbow sensitivity is one thing, but the lamp not firing up seems to me like it would be a little more distracting.
 

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Ouch.

Has Sharp acknowledged the problem?

You're right that there is too much competition out there for them not to do something and quickly. Even a statement to current owners would be reassuring to those of us looking.


BTW- I haven't been looking long but I can see from the various threads people dithering (even anguishing) and I can see why. With no obvious choice (or even two or three) people are obsessing over the benefits and trade offs.


The main problem is is that its all being done vicariously- me asking someone else what it looks like and asking them to make objective statements in clearly a subjective area.

"Look with your eyes and tell me what I see".


Very few dealers have even one of the latest and greatest manufacturers and models (they change weekly it seems) let alone two or three so first person comparative shopping is all but impossible.


Thats why I'm tempted to just jump in with the X1 as my learning model. Its cheap and cheerful as the British say, warts and all. I thought the same about the M20x. Being international, reliability is very important. Guess I need to look again at it and the NEC.
 

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I've had my m20x now for about 3 weeks. It's at 44 hours and I havn't had any problems. But I have been a bit sick after seeing the specs of the Sony HS10. I'm 23, and just dropped $2600 for this, which is a lot for me. I have a 16:9 screen and so I never use 25% of the pixels on the m20x. I was also convinced that DLP was the way to go because "A single bad pixel on LCD is enough to never want to have one" and then there is the "screen door" effect, but is that not much of an issue for a higher resolution projector like the HS10? It's also true a DLP can get a bad mirror, but it is suppost to be very rare, and warenteed better than bad LCD pixels. I got my projector from AVMall, and they say if you're not happy they may be able to work with you to get you into one you would be happy with. So what do I do? The 1355x768 is about double the pixels that I currently use (1024x576). I plan on watching HDTV, but I can't afford a HDTV tuner yet, and the 1355x768 could do a better job at 720P. Another issue is I had to build a framed mirror to reflect back to the screen because I'm 2 feet short of projecting to a 120" diag screen. The HS-10 has a shorter throw, and I wouldn't have to use a mirror. Another thing that's worried me is the M20X only has composite, svideo, and dvi. So I had to buy a component->DVI cable, but now what happens when I get a HDTV tuner? They provided a 15pin->dvi, but I'm already using the dvi slot, and a dvi switch box is $500. Then now I guess there's some talk about copyright management and the m20x doesn't support it, but the HS10 does, so in the future I may not be able to watch some HDTV?


The HS10 is suppost to have worse black levels (But many people report it really isn't bad at all), and only 700:1 contrast ratio, but for most people it sounds like they have only gotten between ~420 to 743 contrast ratio on the m20x anyway. And then the HS10 is lower lumens, but also 3000 hour lamp life instead of 2000 on the m20x.


So after all this? How sick am I going to be for making this choice?


What should I do? did I make the right choice? I've saved for 3 years to get this, and didn't even consider LCD because of the "bad pixel, lower black levels and contrast ratio". :(


Help? :( :( :(
 

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We need a way to adjust the gamma table of the M20X. Maybe there is a way of copying the ROM to the PC, edit it and copy it back ??
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by ritter
I have narrowed down my search to the M20X and the X1.


Has anyone seen both and can comment?


I plan on an 80" wide screen with viewing from about 12' away in a non-light controlled room. My daughter may even wish to watch in daylight the occasional movie. Comments?


What would the best screen be for this type of application- Firehawk?

A perforated screen would be best for my room.


Finally, how does the M20X handle HD sat. programming? I'm becoming increasingly addicted to HBO.


Thanks in advance for your comments.
Lots of people saw both when Darin hosted the shootout last weekend. You might want to look through the Seattle Shootout threads. The M20X is a step up in price from the X1. It's more of a matter of what your budget is. From what I saw at the shootout, all the projectors there performed well for their price range. The more you spend, the fewer sacrifices you have to make.


That being said, I'm happy with my X1 and the money it saved me.
 

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I read thoroughly the SSO thread.

The X1 seemed to fair poorly (no consideration of price was mentioned as I recall) on a relative basis and given the rainbows most all tried very hard, it seems, to see.


I would now say that the HS-10 and the M20X would be my leading contenders but am gravely concerned about reliability problems with the M20X. The SSO seemed to confirm problems in this area.


Perhaps that leaves the HS-10 then . . . would it work well enough with dvd and reg/HD sat. on a 100" perforated screen in a darkness challenged room (some ambient light) with principal sitting distance of +2x screen?


Any HS-10 owners willing to opine?
 
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