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Discussion Starter #1
Tonight Noah, KC, and Tom came over and we gave the LT150 a heck of a run through. The session lasted from about 8pm to midnight.


Tom brought over his HTPC with Radeon card and HiPix and we had the pleasure of doing some viewing on it.


**Let's start with HDTV:


o HDTV looked amazing through the HiPix.

o We couldn't get the LT150 to sync at 1080i from the HiPix, but had success when we set it to output 720p.

o Component out from the Dish 6000 at 720p was equivalent to the HTPC in picture quality.

o Component out from the Dish 6000 at 720p was sharper than RGB out at 720p

o RGB out from the Dish 6000 at 1080i was fuzzier than both 720p with both RGB and component outs.


**HDTV Conclusions:


o Send 720p to your LT150 rather than 1080i.

o Use Component rather than RGB.

o The picture looks great with both Dish and HiPix output.


** DVD Performance


o The Radeon HTPC blew us away with Super Speedway. I've never seen an HTPC other than my laptop and the Radeon HTPC was everything people have been cracking it up to be. It looked very "HDTV like" in my opinion.

o I purchased a Panasonic RP56 so we'd have a progressive scan player to compare with. I thought it did a heck of a job. Maybe 90% of the HTPC. Noah and KC thought it was only 2/3(!!) the performance of the HTPC with the HTPC being much sharper with fewer artifacts. Regardless we all agreed (Tom had left by then) that the HTPC with Radeon was the clear winner into the HTPC.

o 480i from DSS and the RP56 via SVideo or component looked pretty fuzzy. The LT150 does not do a good job with 480i.

o Twister looked pretty ppor for a while through the RP56 with progressive signal. It looked better after awhile, so we weren't sure if this was source material, the fact that we had just watched HDTV and hadn't adjusted, or the RP56.


** DVD Conclusions

o If you want the best possible picture, get an HTPC with a Radeon card.

o Progressive DVD from a cheapo ($250) player is pretty darn decent.

o Stay away from SVideo input and 480i.



**General Comments:


o There is a stray light coming out of the LT150 at about a 45 degree angle. It's quite noticeable in dark scenes and hurt the black level a little because it lights up the room. Hopefully this is something Thumper can take care of in his mods.

o From doing shadow tests, it is obvious that blacks still have a way to go in the DLP world. The black level is what I'll call "many levels" above reference black (what the screen looks like with no light projected). Hopefully this is also something Thumper will be able to improve with his mods. Still, these are the best blacks *I* have seen from DLP/LCD.

o The Greyhawk performed well. I did buy blackout fabric so we could contrast the two and we did a short test with me holding it up. Surprise! We thought the brights were brighter and the blacks were worse. I still think this projector could be well served with a slightly higher gain screen (1.3 maybe). When Thumper does his magic though, the Greyhawk might be the winner again.

o Rainbows - Nobody saw any in the DVD and HDTV material. I still think rainbow viewing is exasperated by high gain screens and too high contrast settings. But hopefully someone will come over and show me a rainbow someday (or maybe hopefully not).

o BIGGEST DISSAPOINTMENT (for me anyway) - No Native Mode when feeding 480p component into the LT150. This sucks. Really sucks for those of us who want to scale DSS and 4:3 material to 480p and have 16:9 screens. So basically right now I'm watching Friends in cinema mode (16:9). Boooo to the LT150 for missing this one feature.


Hopefully, the other guys will share their thoughts and correct my blatant lies. It was a blast having you guys over. Thanks.


--Les


[This message has been edited by arrow (edited 08-13-2001).]
 

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I have seen many posts regarding using the LT150 with 4:3 material on a 16:9 screen. If run through a DVDO Pro, which is good idea for 480i sources, can't you just hit that squeeze swich to center the image in the 16:9 window? The manufacturer of the DVDO put it there for older 16:9 RPTV's that default to 16:9 mode when viewing progressive signals. I read the instruction manual and think this will work and should be worth the money if you do alot of TV viewing. I plan to buy one sometime in the future.
 

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Arrow,


shahram72 hit the nail on the head. An iScan Pro works perfectly for this application. Just leave the LT150 in Cinema mode and flip the switch on the iscan for either black or grey bars. The LT150 may loose sync briefly but it works just fine.


shahram72,


Good tip. I forgot to mention that when Chris asked a similar question.


Lastrange.. add this to the tips site under...

4:3 material with a 16:9 screen.
 

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Thanks for the great info Les! This question is sort of OT, but I'll ask it anyway. Why do people buy 16:9 screens for projectors with 4:3 panels? The only reason I can see is to avoid masking the "letterbox" effect on a 4:3 screen. I mean, the size of a widescreen picture on a 16:9 screen is the same as on a 4:3 screen, no? Sorry, I'm just really trying hard to understand so that I can purchase my first screen. Thanks!
 

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Thanks for the review Les, especially re: HDTV.


Don, I think people buy 16:9 screens if the bulk of their viewing is movies or HDTV. You point out the obvious benefit for those sources when you state no masking (or relatively little) is required. I happen to have a 90" 4:3 screen, and just this weekend built some masking panels to use when viewing movies. It is a huge improvement!


Kirk


[This message has been edited by Kirk (edited 08-13-2001).]
 

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Don B.


Great question. You'll be surprised by the answer to this too... It's because it looks really cool!


I think it's an incredible waste to toss out 25% of a perfecly good LCD/DLP/DILA panel. I'm a practical guy & I hate waste. Okay let's keep the Panny out of this sice they nearly cost as much as an LT150. I love my 10' wide 4:3 screen. We normally sit about 20' back. The other night we watched a 4:3 movie (pretty rare 'cept for the IMAX stuff) from about 8' away. It was great! Don't knock it till you try it. This is the whole reason why we all want a big picture anyway. Btw, I have DILA so the res & the pixel gap don't affect me.


Okay, the truth is, and I have to agree, a 1.78 screen definately has a more "theatrical" feel to it and it makes you feel like you're at the movies. Gee, how many flicks have you seen that are 1.78 anyway. Most, the popular ones anyway, are 1.85 to 2.35. You're still gonna have empty space on the top and bottom of you're "widescreen".


Basically it depends on the "feel" you want in your theater and the purpose. I do slideshows too (Ideal would be a square) so 4:3 works best for me.


Hope that helps on the decision process.




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Ken B.
 

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Your comments are really very helpful. Just to confirm, there are no technical reasons to buy a 16:9 screen over a 4:3 screen other than masking? The rest is purely asthetics.


I think I plan on purchasing (for my LT150) a DaLite Model B Tensioned 69" x 92" 4:3 screen initially. And then, if I'm not satified, get a PermWall/Greyhawk 52" x 92" to mount directly underneath it for widescreen fair.


The Model B is pretty much the cheapest thing out there of good quality and should be a nice "first screen."


Can you guys point out any flaws to this reasoning? Thanks again!
 

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Don,


Your reasoning sounds fine to me.


There is an easy way to convert the Model B 92*69 to a wide screen. Don't pull it down all the way!


I've got an LT150 and the 92*69 screen and that is what I do. You don't have the 2" masking at the top but that is pretty lightweight anyway - I've got my own homemade masking system that looks good and works well.


Regarding the greyhawk and the LT150 -- I haven't seen the combo but many people don't think it works very well.


--billy
 

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Don,

i'm guessing a DIY isn't an option for you?

i recind most of the negative things i've said about my Blockout fabric screen responsible for drab colors.

i just popped in the TEN COMMANDMENTS this morning and the technicolor was a joy to behold.

for about $50 you could probably make a generous sized 16:9 AND a 4:3 and determine what shape you like best. both these should tide you over just fine while you make the descision on the 'real' screen.

just a suggestion
 

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ckolchak,


I'm not exactly a craftsman. I'll spring for the extra cash to get something more professional. The Model B is only $250 or so. Thanks for the suggestion though!


My thanks to everyone else. I would still like to hear Les' comments though. =)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Since cinema mode compresses the image by 25% vertically, the iscan would need to essentially stretch the native signal vertically by 33% and horizontally by 0% to put the 4:3 image in the center of a 16:9 screen. Is that what it does? Also, is the iscan switch remote control accessible or manual?


--Les
 

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Les' account is the way I remmeber it. I'm going to start a new thread as I think my comments are of a more general nature.


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Noah
 

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I think all it does is squeeze the image horizontally and puts black or gey bars on the sides. Because left alone on Cinema mode, the 4:3 image would appear stretched wide or squashed flat, this counteracts that effect. Unfortunately, that switch is a toggle on the front. There are no remote controls for the DVDO. Somebody let me know if I am wrong, I don't actually have this stuff, but I am well read on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Don,


A 16:9 screen is the way to go in my opinion. Why? Because when I'm watching a movie on DVD, or a sporting event in HDTV, I want the largest image I can get for my viewing distance.


The alternatives are either a smaller 16:9 image inside a 4:3 screen or a very large 4:3 screen.


Take the following example:


My current 16x9 screen is 110" diag (54x96). I view from 12' away. When masking the sides, the 4:3 image is a still pretty large 90" (54x72) for a 12' viewing distance.


To get the equivalent 16:9 image on a 4:3 screen, I would need a 72x96 screen. Too big for a 12' viewing distance. I'd want closer to 17'.


I could have gone with a 90" 4:3 screen, then cast the 16:9 image inside it at 83" diag (40x72). But I didn't want to give up all that screen space for my 16:9 viewing material. Watching great looking movies at large size is a big part of what attracts most of us to this hobby.


One thing to note is that if you go with a 16:9 screen and a 4:3 projector, you will need a way to automatically project the 4:3 image in the middle of the 16:9 frame. Some projectors have this capability. It can also be done with an outboard scaler.


Hope this helps.


--Les
 

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Gee Les, I'm a little confused? If you wanted "the largest image I can get for my viewing distance" why didn't you stick to the bigger 4:3 screen. After all, like you said, "Watching great looking movies at large size is a big part of what attracts most of us to this hobby".


Guess you missed the part where we view a 150" diag from a mere 8' away. Okay, a little close for some, but 8' wide @ 12' away should be optimal for most.


Just admit that your screen looks cooler than a 4:3 too.


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Ken B.
 

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Les,


It sounds like your screening requirements are more particular than mine. I think I'm going to go with a 4:3 High Power Model B screen.


Has anyone had any problems with the Model B High Power since it isn't tensioned? Waves? Jason at AVS said the "tension bar", which is the only option on the Model B, doesn't work very well.


Thanks1
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Ken,


A bigger 4:3 screen doesn't help because the viewing material is in 16:9. A bigger 4:3 screen just yields big black bars on the top and bottom that need to be masked.


The general consensus is 3x screen height for 4:3 and 1.5x screen width for 16:9. These rules tend to match my viewing preferences.


--Les


[This message has been edited by arrow (edited 08-14-2001).]
 

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Don, I've had my da-lite model B High-power 4:3 60x80 pulldown screen, for about 10 days now. No waves, wrinkles ,or anything. I've used it daily, and raise and lower it with each use. Got it from AVS.
 
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