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Firstly, many thanks to KeithR, who sold me the LT150 used in the following review. We made a deal very early on in the Dell LT150 madness, and being a real gentleman Keith stuck with the deal even though I'm sure he subsequently received better offers.


OK, now to the Two Fools.


Up until this purchase I (Fool No. 1) had a very seriously audio heavy but video challenged HT. So I have no prior hands on FPTV experience. During the Dell LT150 madness I had also arranged to purchase a second LT150 for my dear friend Kris in Kuala Lumpur (Fool No. 2). I received the first LT150 early last week and happened to be heading up to KL for a few days business. Whenever I'm in KL I stay at Kris' place so I decided to take the LT150 for some play time. So I rang Kris and advised him to make the appropriate preparations for cabling, screen etc. Of course I turned up at Kris' factory on Wednesday morning and he had done sweet FA. I was heading up into town and told him that I would pick up a long S-video cable, whilst he had one of his guys knock up a home made screen. We agreed to meet at his place at 7 pm for the event.


First problem - long S-video cable. Fool No. 1 was in one of the largest malls in KL with two huge electrical retailers packed full of DVD players, RPTVs etc. The first one had NO cables at all !! The second one had one lousy 6' cable. Oh well, it will have to do. So grab the cable and back to Fool No. 2's place.


Fool No. 2 was already there with the knock down screen parts. Six lengths of 2"x1" and a huge piece of pure white cotton.


Second problem - how can any self respecting DIY type have no wood screws longer than about 3/4" in the whole house. A rather pathetic attempt was made to countersink the screws far enough to grab both pieces of timber but in the end the saviour of the day was .. you guessed it - duct tape !!


OK - so now we have a roughly 8'x4' frame made from 2"x1". Fool No. 1 commented that the top and bottom timbers were never going to take any tension on the facing without serious bending. Fool No. 2 told Fool No. 1 not to worry.


The Two Fools folded the cotton material in half and started stapling it to the frame. Ten staples or so into this process and the staple gun is empty. Fool No. 2 makes a really bad joke about no more staples before producing a new box. Fool No. 1 lets Fool No. 2 live ... for a while.


Third problem - half way through the stapling process it becomes obvious that the top and bottom timbers are not up to the job. Where had Fool No. 1 heard that before ?? Fool No. 2 disappears for a couple of minutes into the automotive spare parts room downstairs and appears with a length of 1" aluminium tube. It couldn't fit could it ?? Yep, exactly the right length to hold the two timbers apart at mid span. So the aluminium goes in, the stapling is finished (amazingly without either Fool being stapled to the frame) and the screen is ready to go.


It was about now that the pizza and Coke arrived, so a short intermission was taken.


Next task was the wiring. Fool No. 1 dives behind the equipment rack (if you could call that sorry piece of furniture an equipment rack) and plugs the S-video cable into the DVD player.


Fourth problem - no way is 6' of cable enough to get the projector far enough from the intended screen position to give the Fools the image size they want. So the equipment rack (??) is wheeled half way out into the room to get them closer - great.


Fifth problem - what to use to hold up the screen ?? Fool No. 2 grabs a chair and sticks it in front of his Sony 48" RPTV (which incidentally gives a superb 1250i picture using DRC). Both Fools grab the screen and very carefully place it on the chair. But with the equipment rack way out into the room the chair is way off centre so one end of the screen gets propped on top of the sub in the corner. Now the screen sort of magically sits there without falling forward or back.


To the projector, to the projector.


Fool No. 1 grabs the LT150, plugs everything in and fires it up. Fool No. 2 grabs The Matrix and away we go. Fool No. 1 grabs the LT150 and holds it about 18" off the floor to get it centred on the screen.


Sixth problem - what to put the LT150 on. Fool No. 2 disappears only to reappear with a low folding beach chair and an empty Momo steering wheel box - perfect.


Now picture, after all of this foolery, our Two Fools sitting on the lounge watching the lobby - helicopter scene from The Matrix with stupid big grins on their faces. But Fool No. 1 wants to watch something with better colours !! Oh dear ... the DVD rack is behind the screen. So Fool No. 2 grabs the Maglite and shimmies under the screen and starts reading titles.


A whole bunch of scenes from various DVDs were watched in awe by the Two Fools and it was about half an hour into the event when ... the screen collapsed. The Two Fools gasped in disappointment and then as one, gaped in awe at how much better the picture looked on the white wall behind !!!


So a bazillion cables were pulled out of the Sony (Fool No. 2 uses it as a video switcher) and it was wheeled out of the way, the Ferrari and Star Trek posters taken down from the wall and the rest of the night was enjoyed this way. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


*****************************************


Seriously ... neither Kris or I have real hands on experience with FPTVs, but we have both seen plenty under less than optimal conditions at shows. We are certainly not videophiles. For us the LT150 picture was great even using S-video. We are well aware that we are currently standing at the top of a very slippery slope littered with scalers, HTPCs, anamorphic lenses etc. It is great to know that the picture can only get better. Unfortunately absolutely no alcohol was consumed on the evening in question so we can't use that as an excuse for the hilarity. I guess it was our enthusiasm to play with a new toy coupled with a serious lack of time to properly prepare.


Kris has been lurking here for some time and I hope he might drop by to comment or maybe to refute his part in the proceedings. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif I'm currently twisting his arm into a major upgrade for his whole system, including a used DC-1, some demonstrator Thiel 3.6s at half price with full ten year warranty, and maybe a Malata DVD player.


BTW ... our best picture all night was Dinosaur - fantastic.


P.S. I ended up leaving this LT150 with Kris as he said I could only have it back when I prised it from his cold dead hands. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif So the second LT150 which is yet to arrive is now mine.


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Peter M

I calibrate, therefore I am.


[This message has been edited by Peter M (edited 08-19-2001).]
 

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Thanks Peter - very entertaining story. If I had gotten that much resistance for such a small project I would have left it alone and tried again the next day. I know when Murphy hates me it's best to leave things well alone http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


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/frode
 

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Peter, some questions:
Quote:
...and sticks it in front of his Sony 48" RPTV (which incidentally gives a superb 1250i picture using DRC).
How was the LT150 picture in comparison to the 48" Sony RPTV in terms of: screen door/black levels/contrast/brightness/colors/overall impression ?


What was the screen size and your distance from it ?




[This message has been edited by Jones_Rush (edited 08-19-2001).]
 

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Great story! I think I'll print it out and show it to my girlfriend so she'll realize my newly ceiling mounted screen isn't as insane as she's bound to think it is. (Hasn't seen it yet...)


I salute your persistence, Peter!



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Paul Heroy

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Hey, I thought I was fool No.1. Hang on, that's not really a good thing is it? Anyway much as I would like to dispute the above story, sad to say it's accuracy is without reproach. If anything it left out the sheer shoestring and bubblegum feel the entire evening had. And this from two peo... fools who are rumoured to be relatively good at their day jobs. But the end result was truly unbelievable. And this was only realised after our handbuilt patented 'screen' fell over and we saw the image projected of the rear wall! Oh and by the way it was the most fun I had had this side of a race track!
 

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Peter and Krishna,


Great story! And I thought I was the only one who gets a kick out of Hey-Moe-Hey-Larry video science!


And Krishna: Welcome to the club....
 
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