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Discussion Starter · #1 ·


Hi There,


I'm writing from Australia, where I have the opportunity to buy a Sony VPL-PX20 projector second hand.

Unfortunately it's 10 hour drive to see it in operation, so I'm hoping someone here can fill me in, and maybe save me a trip if it's no good?!


I know that it's XGA, 1400ansi lumens, but am not clear on which of the more widely discussed Projectors it would be comparable too. Or how noticable the screendoor effect is?

Does anyone have any expereince on this one?

The guy selling is asking around $5000 australian, or $2600 (u.s). Which sounds like a real bargain?!


Any help would be much appreciated.

Cheers,


Wayne.


 

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Definitely worth the drive if this guy sounds reliable. www.projectorcentral.com/projector_details.cfm?part_id=752 has its specs and price listing. From perusing the specs, I'm impressed as it can do 480p and 720p for progressive set top box DVD player and HDTV. It's 16# but that's OK for HT. Just watch for dead pixels and color fog on dark screen (turn off source while projector is on to check for any color dots or blotches against grey background--get up close to screen to check). You may want to bring a white sheet if he does not have a screen to test unit on. Bring DVD's (Pitch black or darker movies) to check contrast which can be a limitation of LCD's and Toy Story (I or II) to show off colors. If you have laptop DVD player bring it as it can really show off progressive DVD imaging. Ask him about ceiling mounting and if he'll throw in the hardware or brackets. Ask him to throw in screen if he has one. Ask him for 30 days or at least 7 days return policy in case you find something when you get home. This unit can do component without special adaptor so if you have a progressive DVD player, bring it to check 480p too. I think it can be a good deal if the unit has low hours or new bulb. Check for residual warranty and if it's transferable to second buyer. Just beware that repairs can run you $500-$700 if it's out of warranty. Check for scratches on lens and make sure the image focuses uniformly (bring laptop with a small font documents and read the page to check for out of focus areas. Sounds fun, good luck.


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Huey ;-]
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Huey!


All good advise. He says the lamps only got 230 hrs clocked up so no worries there (hopefully).

Am going to see if I can find a store with a comparable model (any ideas?) to show the wife this weekend which'll hopefully convince her of the need to take this trip.

I'll let you know how we go http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


Wayne.
 

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I have sold tons of PX 20's to both HT people and power point people alike. The PX20 has a very good picture after being tweaked. Especially on DVDs and HDTV. The projector has a HI and LOW power setting for the bulb. (HI is 1400, LOW is around 1000 lumens). The LOW will increase your bulb life by 50% and of course is plenty bright for most home applications.(Sony calls this feature "cinema black" on the 10HT). The PX20 was replaced about 8 months ago with the PX21. The 21 is 1800 lumens vs 1400. Understand that this projector's market is aimed primarily at the business person, hence the increased brightness from model to model. Other than that there is not much difference. (In fact the 21 is about to be replaced).

In order for you to try a progressive DVD or other source, remember to make sure you have 3 BNC to RCA adapters for the RGB connectors. No component rca plugs on this baby. You might have to go into that inputs menu settings and make sure it is set for "component" so that it displays properly. The color temp may also have to be adjusted...the service menu will need to be entered. I have fogotten the codes but I'm sure someone here can fill you in.

Also go with a gray screen if possible (ie Stewart or Dalite) to maximize black levels. Remember also that this projector uses 4/3 panels (1024x768) so set the menu to 16/9 for those 16/9 DVD's. I'm not sure if there is a panamorph lens available for this projector but it sure would look great if it were offered. Interestingly, last year I had a shoot off between the 10HT and the PX20. The 10HT was a little clearer (to be expected since 10HT's panels are native 16/9 (1366x768). However, the 20 had better contrast and coloring. I talked with a Sony engineer type about this. He said that the 20 had a better quality lens than the 10HT...Not sure if that explains it but thats the answer I got???

The PX20 replaced the VPLX1000 back in early 2000. If the warranty is the same down under as it is here in the US, you should get the balance of a 3year warranty. JUST my 2 cents.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hey thanks Video Joe.


I'm nearly sold.

The only thing I'm still a bit unsure on is re: the whole 16:9 vs 4:3 thing.


With this projector being 4:3 would I be restricted to buying a 4:3 screen and when watching most dvd's would it be like watching on my tv? ie: bars on the top and bottom?


OR even though it's not real 16:9 can it fill a 16:9 screen, and switch to 4:3 for regular tv watching, leaving borders to the left and right?


Obviously the 2nd is prefered! Am I making sense?


Thanks,


Wayne.
 

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You could go with either 4:3 or 16:9 screen. If you go with 4:3 screen get the widest one that you can afford as the height can be varied if it's a pull-down model. Essentially the 4:3 pull down can easily be made 16:9 by not pulling it down all the way. You can pull down further if you needed for 4:3 sources. If you go with permanent mounting then masking is important to hide the letter box bars (they'd be dark gray as it's a bright LCD. This masking should be floating so that you can vary the size for 4:3, 16:9, and 2.35:1. If you go with 16:9 screen then you can shrink the image by unzooming or if you use HTPC shrinking the image by YxY software so 4:3 will fit inside the 16:9 screen. It'll have 2 bars on L and R which can be masked if you choose. I personally would go with 4:3 pull-down as it's usually cheaper than 16:9 screen and can be made 16:9 by not pulling it down as far. If you do permanent mounting, the 16:9 will look cooler. Don't forget you can always make a DIY screen (search in screen forums) for a lot less than buying a retail one. This include a gray screen by painting.


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Huey ;-]
 

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I agree with Huey! I'm still curious if a panamorph lens exists for this projector??? Then you could go with a 16/9 screen which like Huey said is way cooler (that's why I like the 10HT).
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·


Hi Guys,


Well the plot thickens on this projector http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif

The latest word from everyone I've talked to locally is the price is too good, it may be hot! New they sold for $14,000 Aussie dollars, and he's asking $5000 when it's only a year old. Hmmmm.


I'm going to check it out on Friday, armed with a blacklight torch and will phone in the serial number to the cops so they can check for me.

If it's all legit (I hope) then I think i'll have picked up a major bargain, otherwise it's too risky. First time it goes in for repair (there's some dust in it apparently) it'd set off alarm bells, and bang - I'm out five grand http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/frown.gif


On the screen thing, It'll be awhile before we move into our new home so I think'll hold off for a while. But if there was a Panamorphic lense available that would be sweet!


Wish me luck. (I'll post back afterwards).


Wayne.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·


Just a quick update and conclusion to my search for a Projector.

As I mentioned the individual selling the *cheap* Sony was kind enought to send it to Melbourne for me to check out.

Which I did Friday night. But try as hard as I could I found no trace of a serial number anywhere. Hmmm


On it's own that was cause enough for concern, but to be honest, in the end I wasn't all that impressed with the picture.


So, to cut a long story short, my wife and I are now the proud parents of a beautiful new NEC VT-540.

I think I must've read every post on the AVS Forum about this great little unit http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif before deciding it was the best one for us. It cost quite a bit more, but was worth every cent!

Thanks to everyone for all the advice.


The End. (Or is it just the beginning?).



Wayne.

 
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