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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sorry for the newbie questions but I've never really looked into front projection much before. I've been thinking about a used Sony 12xx series CRTs to go in a small theater I'm starting to build in my basement. Any suggestions for good used sources of the Sonys?


Screen size will probably be 80-100 inches with a viewing distance of about 10' and the room will have total light control. I'm not sure on the exact screen size yet as I'm working out that section of the room. The projector will most likely be ceiling mounted and I should have the flexibility to put it where ever it needs to be for the proper throw distance.


I assume in that price range the Sony's should give a better picture then a comparably priced LCD projector?


Sources will be DVD + LD pretty much exclusively. I don't know what screen I'll be going with yet... any suggestions?


How is the picture without any additional video processing? Down the road does it make more sense to go with a scaler (Crystal maybe?) instead of a plain line doubler. As I understand it the scalers advantage is you can keep the image size the same... correct?


Thanks,


Shawn
 

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For the most flexibility I'd go with an HTPC. It can replace a lot of different components and rounds out a projector nicely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
"For the most flexibility I'd go with an HTPC. It can replace a lot of different components and rounds out a projector nicely."


I don't think a HTPC would fit into my system very well. If I just used it as a DVD source (with video processing) it leaves out my other 3 DVD players and LD player. I think a line doubler or scaler would be a better fit for the rest of my system.


Thanks,


Shawn
 

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Image processing is an absolute must.


The real advantage of a scaler is it will allow you to take full advantage of your CRT projector's capabilities (assuming you buy a projector which can handle a greater-than-line-doubled image). A line doubled NTSC signal will still have discernable scan lines on any 8 or 9 inch CRT, and most likely will on any 7 inch model, too. With a scaler you can match the horizontal resolution of the image signal to your projectors beam width so that the horizontal lines just touch each other without overlapping, resulting in the seamless, fluid, 'film like' image everyone always talks about. This seamless image (along with the ability to resolve true black) is what makes a CRT 'better' in most of our minds than any digital projector which can't do either of the above.


How you do your image processing seems to be a question of both budget and willingness to tweak. If you want a black-box solution then on the cheap end you could get an iScan doubler for about $350.00, and prices just go up (fast) from there. If you want to run more than one resolution with a set-top scaler you are looking at thousands of dollars.


For maximum versatility / tweakability / and cost-effectiveness, you would have to go with a HTPC. HTPC's are cheap and give you total control of your resolutions and refresh rates, allowing you to experiment with your particular installation to see what results in the most satisfying image for you. They are relatively easy to set up, but definately not plug-and-play. Personally, I think if you are competent enough to install, align, and maintain your own CRT projector then you can handle setting up and running a HTPC.


Just watching DVD on a HTPC is pretty straightforward; adding laserdisc deinterlacing complicates it a bit because now you need a video capture card and software (dScaler) to process the captured image. It can work extremely well, however.


Read up on the HTPC section of the forum to get an idea of the advantages and disadvantages of going this route as well as what you need.


As for where to get a projector there are a lot of options. Several forum members are in the business of reconditioning CRT's and re-selling them. They have great reputations and can stand behind their sales with both technical support as well as for parts. As someone new to CRT I'd go that way, because you have some guarentee that you are getting a projector which will work as advertised out of the box, which is most definately NOT the case with eBay (aforementioned forum member's auctions excepted), government surplus sales, or other bulk electronics re-sellers. You hear horror stories all the time...


If you e-mail this guy [email protected] and ask to be on his mailing list you'll get a good idea of what you can get for your budget (he's one of the highly-regarded tech / resellers on the forum).


There's also a supply of new Zenith peojectors out there for around $3500.00 (which is really cheap for a new CRT) right now but they will probably dry up soon. Zenith stopped making them and dumped them on the market cheap, but a reconditioned unit with better specs and probably as much useful life can also be had for at or less than that price...


Sorry to ramble on - I got started on the image processing thing and thought I'd try and actually answer some of your questions. I'm sure others will chime in as well.


Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
"Image processing is an absolute must. "


OK, I kinda figured that was going to be the case.


"With a scaler you can match the horizontal resolution of the image signal to your projectors beam width so that the horizontal lines just touch each other without overlapping, resulting in the seamless, fluid, 'film like' image everyone always talks about."


Thank you, that is definitly the look I'm hoping for.


"If you want to run more than one resolution with a set-top scaler you are looking at thousands of dollars. "


OK... I guess the question there is why would I want to run more than one resolution?


"adding laserdisc deinterlacing complicates it a bit because now you need a video capture card and software (dScaler) to process the captured image. "


Any ideas on the processing delay this would add to the signal? I wouldn't want the audio and video to get far out of step with each other. My pre-pro has up to 60ms of A/S sync delay but that is a global setting. The LDs would (I assume) be delayed longer then a DVD straight from the HTPC itself. Ditto my other DVD players into the HTPC as well. That also complicates wiring (and usage) as I have multiple A/V zones setup using all those sources too.


Shawn
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
After doing a lot more reading looks like I'm going with a Sony 1271Q, QuadScan Pro, some form of a DIY screen (maybe using Ken's 1.4 gain material) and probably a DIY mount. I plan to have the filters removed from the QuadScan and to do Chuck's fan mod on the Sony. If that isn't quiet enough then I'll build a hush box.


The screen size I'm considering is 80x45. From the sounds of the archives this is a good size with the 1271 to keep a nice bright picture without stressing anything. The room itself is only going to be about 9' wide so this should still make for a very impressive picture. I believe this is about a 10' throw for the projector.... the version of PJCalc I downloaded (v4.1) didn't have the 1271 listed as an option.


Any flaws or comments on my thinking? Any thoughts on QuadScan settings to work with the Sony?


Thanks,


Shawn
 

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Shawn:

You've made some excellent choices. Earlier on, you asked about good sources of used CRT projectors. Here are some possibilities in addition to the ones already mentioned.


1.) AV Science, the fine folks who operate this forum.

2.) Curt Palme, a reputable supplier of refurbished units.


Since this is your first PJ, avoid Ebay. Even with the finest of sellers, weird things sometimes happen in shipping. Buy from someone who has built a reputation of solid service and support.


I'm sure you'll be very satisfied with the 1272Q / Quadscan Pro combo.


Enjoy,
 

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I don't entirely agree about not purchasing one of the Sony 12xx series crt projectors on E-bay. I purchased my 1271Q from Eric Lang (quaturbo) on E-bay. You can get a great deal. For whatever reason, the first one that I was sent would not stay turned on. I talked to Eric on the phone and he paid for return shipping and sent a different one which still functions perfectly. From what I understand, it is an aberration that the first one was not working. I WOULD recommend only buying from a reputable ebay seller.


His website is www.projectorspecs.com



Sincerely,

Kevin
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Tom,


Thanks, glad to know this will be a good combo. What is going to kill me is my room is still a ways off so I won't hardly be able to use the equipment till it is done. But having it ahead will let me better build it into the room.


I'm trying to figure a way to occasionally use the equipment in my current room but the WAF is killing me. ;)


I'm sure I'll be thrilled with the equipment... the video side of my system is currently pathetic, esp. compared to the audio, so this is going to be a huge upgrade.


Shawn
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Kevin,


"I WOULD recommend only buying from a reputable ebay seller. "


Definitly. I actually ended up buying a 1271Q from HammerHead Tech on e-bay. There were a few posts here talking about their good service (some from a few of the other sources listed) and their feedback on e-bay is great. Additionally, I probably had 10-15 e-mails with them before hand which they answered promptly and they were going to install the proper spacers for my screen size. Fingers crossed but I was comfortable purchasing from them. I should have it in a week or so.


The Quadscan I bought from AVS so there should be no problems there.


Thanks,


Shawn
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
OK.. couple of more questions. The Sony arrived and it looks to be in good shape. Happily it powers up and displays an image.


First really dumb question... in the Sony manuals they talk about screen size but don't specify if it is diagonal or width. Comparing the throw distances to PJCalc it appears they are talking diagonal in the manuals. Can anyone confirm that?


Similiarly on the CRT and lens spacers is that diagonal? What if I'm planning on using a 16:9 screen? (80x45 like I mentioned above) I assume the Sony manuals are talking about a 4:3 screen.


Also I wanted to verify the spacers that are in my unit. Can the CRTs be seen without pulling the lens? I wasn't able to see any marks on it. The lens spacer isn't marked S,M,L like in the manual. The one hole I can see says 200 and the unit is set to the smallest hole.


Thanks,


Shawn
 

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Shawn,


The Sony manuals specify diagonal measurements, and assume a 4:3 screen. The spacer size ranges are also based on diagonal measurements.


For an 80" wide screen, you'll need "M" spacers.


The spacer size is stamped on the face of the spacer and is hard to see. Follow the procedure for changing spacers, pull one, and check it.


In addition to the metal spacers on the red and blue CRT's, there are plastic "Lens Rings" on all three CRT's. These need to be positioned to the "M" setting, which is the with the plastic tab pointing straight up.


Regards,
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Tom,


"The spacer size is stamped on the face of the spacer and is hard to see. Follow the procedure for changing spacers, pull one, and check it. "


OK, will do... thanks!


" there are plastic "Lens Rings" on all three CRT's. These need to be positioned to the "M" setting, which is the with the plastic tab pointing straight up. "


Mine appear to be slightly different as they have numbers instead of letters on them. I'll set them to the middle tab though, currently they are in the smallest hole.


BTW, I was playing with the setup a little last night and the 1271 from Hammerhead looks like it in in very good condition. The fans weren't as loud as I was expecting so that is nice. I'm still planning to do Chuck's mod on them though.


The setup looks fairly straightforward though of course very involved. I made the mistake of watch a little bit of a movie with it not set up very well.. made me really dizzy. Won't do that again. :)


Thanks,


Shawn
 

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Shawn,


Glad to see your PJ is up and running well. You'll find the convergence is really easy to do, just time consuming.


Sony may have changed the design of the lens rings from the 1271 to the 1272, so yours may be different than the ones I'm used to seeing. The only "watch out" on lens rings is, that if the PJ was used for rear projection, it may have a set of rear projection lens rings installed. These are clearly marked "REAR", but you have to pull the lenses to check.


Since you've got some time before the room is done, giving the CRT faces and lenses a thorough cleaning is a great idea anyway. Pulling the lenses is really easy, you'll need a 14" long #2 Phillips or equivalent. I made one out of several 1/4" socket extensions and a #2 Phillips bit from an electric screwdriver.


Enjoy,


Tom
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Tom,


"giving the CRT faces and lenses a thorough cleaning is a great idea anyway. Pulling the lenses is really easy, you'll need a 14" long #2 Phillips or equivalent. I made one out of several 1/4" socket extensions and a #2 Phillips bit from an electric screwdriver. "


Will do. I e-mailed Tim at HammerHead about the spacers. He had misunderstood the screen size I was going for and he had set it up with the smallest CRT spacers so he is shipping me out the 'M' spacers instead.


I did run into one 'interesting' problem last night. The left side screw that holds the power supply in, which it looks like I need to remove to get at some of the bottom lens mounting bolts, is in really tight and partially stripped. I think it is going to need an extractor to get it out. I'll be putting rags *everywhere* around that to make sure nothing gets anywhere it shouldn't.


Thanks,


Shawn
 

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CAUTION!


When cleaning projector lenses use only real lens-cleaning supplies, and do it GENTLY! Most projectors have coated optics and improper cleaning can ruin the coating.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
"When cleaning projector lenses use only real lens-cleaning supplies, and do it GENTLY!"


Thanks for the warning. I used my lens cleaning supplies for my Nikon lens and they worked fine on the lenses.


The CRTs look about perfect too which is good. The only problem is there looks like there is a very tiny air bubble on face of the red tube.


Anyone ever paint the insides of the lens mounts flat black? Seems to me that a little light control inside the projector might help to improve the picture.


Shawn
 
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