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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been looking at a low-end 16:9 projector called the Sanyo Z1 (see link):

http://www.projectorcentral.com/sanyo_plv_z1.htm


In looking for my next projector (want 16:9), I've come across a few adds for used Sony VPL-W400Q 16:9 PJ's for anywhere from $800 to $1200. This puts it smack in the same price range as a used/new Sanyo Z1.


My question is, would the 400Q provide a better overall picture for DVD from my HTPC (VGA connection) and HDTV from my HD sat receiver (component connection).


If so, are the BNC to Component adapter cables for $50-$100 usually adequate, or is some sort of converter needed?


Also, are there any used CRT's with a great picture for HDTV that would have a street price of $800-$1200?


Thanks!!
 

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Eddie


There are plenty of used crts in your price range and if you dont mind the size and have the experience to properly set one up the crt will yield the best image quality for your budget.

If you dont want the hassle and maintenance of a crt than I would go with the Sanyo over the Sony 400. I had the Sony and its a nice little projector but the de interlacing always had annoying artifacts and you could not bypass the internal scaler. I have never seen the Sanyo but it being a newer model I would hope it shows an improvement over the Sony.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm actually pretty UN-familiar with the hassle and maintenence of a CRT. I have an InFocus X1 right now and am just starting to look into a higher-end projector. All I know right now is it has to be 16:9 native.


Thanks Alan.
 

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Have you thought about adding a anamorphic lens to your existing projector. Combined with the HTPC for aspect ratio control it would bread new life into your projector and would be the cheapest solution.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by Alan Gouger
Have you thought about adding a anamorphic lens to your existing projector. Combined with the HTPC for aspect ratio control it would bread new life into your projector and would be the cheapest solution.
Alan, yes I considered that and did some checking for prices on an anamorph lense. I didn't really see anything less than $750 used.


With the plan I have in place now, I'm only out $100-$150 by upgrading from my 4:3 X1 to 16:9 LCD.


Also, adjusting a CRT for optimum picture doesn't scare me. At least not as long as it can be done by a begginner, using a tool such as the Video Essentials disk. I think I'll look for a website that talks about this, so I can get an idea of how much work it is.
 

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i used to own the 400q. i have seen the z1.


if you get the z1 you will like it because it is:


brighter

better contrast

very low fan noise


but you won't like it because:


screendoor (it can be seen from over 2x the screen's width)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Jcebedo1,


I admire your work on the X1 and your ambition when it comes to modifying anything and everything you can. :D


I'll be sitting right at 2x the screen width. I'll be 15' back from a 96" diagonal 16:9 screen.


You didn't mention why I might like the 400q. But if you upgraded from it to an X1 and now your latest PJ, then maybe there is something to be said for the newer low-budget PJ's??


Thanks!
 

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Eddie,


If you do go the CRT route, a Barco 808 would be a good choice. It's about as friendly and easy to set up as any. It makes a very respectable picture. And if you look around enough you can find one with good tubes for no more than $1200.

It big though. You can fit about a dozen X1's inside it. Shoot, most all of them are like living with an elephant in the room. But hey, go for it. Everybody needs to cope with all that misery at least once. It'll make you stronger. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Robert, how about a Barco Data 701s projector? Someone in the town next to me has one for sale. Would this have a better HD picture than new sub-$2000 projectors? :)


It doesn't look like it is a 16:9 PJ, though. :(


edit: did some research and it looks like the 701s has a 20mhz bandwidth. i don't know, but it sounds like that will be a problem for HDTV signals.
 

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Afraid there is no 16:9 CRT front projector.


I've never seen the picture made with a BD701s. Does it have EM focusing?

If not, then it's gonna give you a softer picture than you might want. Especially since you're used to using a digital projector now. Also, I'm assuming it has 7" tubes (not sure though). Since you can get an 8" projector at such bargains now, personally I wouldn't choose anything less. Considering the well regarded second hand 8" pj's, the short list would be the E'home Marquee 8500, the Sony G70, the AmPro 3600 (what I use) or the Barco 808. Of those four, the 808 will be the best combination of performance and friendliness for the amount of money spent. But the paramount consideration, regardless of which projector you choose, is the condition of the tubes. I'd rather have the least of those four with good tubes than the best of those four with less than good tubes. You can learn how to set up a projector that's more difficult than another. But you can't get a decent picture with worn tubes no matter which projector.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks Robert.


I ran a quick price check on each of the PJ's you listed, but only found two for sale (G70 and 8500). The least of the two was selling for $4000.


I guess if I had time to wait, I could find a better deal..
 

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Just make sure it has good tubes. It's like location, location, location in real estate. With CRT it's tubes, tubes and tubes.

It's not hard to determine. If the projector is set up make the seller project a white screen and look for discoloration in the picture. Or even worse a burned-in part of an image.

If it's not set up, you can take a bright flashlight and shine it in through each lens and light up the face of each tube. You're again looking for areas of discoloration in the tube face. When new, a tube face is uniformly the same color over the whole surface. As it ages and gets worn, you start to see a smaller rectangle of discoloration (the raster) within that. Just a teenie weenie bit of discoloration and you still will probably be alright. But anything more than that and you aint gonna be happy with the resulting projected picture.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by CZ Eddie
Jcebedo1,


I admire your work on the X1 and your ambition when it comes to modifying anything and everything you can. :D


I'll be sitting right at 2x the screen width. I'll be 15' back from a 96" diagonal 16:9 screen.


You didn't mention why I might like the 400q. But if you upgraded from it to an X1 and now your latest PJ, then maybe there is something to be said for the newer low-budget PJ's??


Thanks!



the x1 was a step up over the 400q in terms of contrast, brightness, and low fan noise. other than that, the 400q had less screendoor/more res (in 16:9), better colors, no rainbows. so it is a tradeoff


a modifed x1 have even lower black levels than a regular x1.



the dt-200 is a step up above the x1 in practically all aspects of picture quality. it had deeper blacks (than an unmodified x1, a tiny bit better pixel fill factor, better colors, a bit lower fan noise, and almost no rainbows.


I highly recommend using an anamorphic lens for any 800 x 600 projector though, if you are going to watch primarily dvds. I just don't like the idea of wasting pixels when watching 16:9 material and you lose almost half of those pixels in 2.35:1


from what i am seeing, the DT-200/anamorphic lens combo throws a really nice image for dvd's that i almost don't feel like i need to upgrade. and i am a very picky person when it comes to image quality. it is quite close to a sharp 9k if you sit 2x the screen's width (it just won't do native 720p)


and oh yeah, brightness will not be an issue with all (at your screen size) with any of these new digital pjs. the 400q is dim in comparison.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks, jcebedo1. I appreciate your response. Especially the X1 comparison, since I can understand what you're talking about.

For right now I'm planning on getting the Z1, but I have a week to make up my mind. So I'll be doing more research into all this.


At first I thought I could live with the noise, but now I'm remembering that the X1's fan bothers me from time to time. And I'd hope it's alot quieter than the 400Q.
 
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