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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want a projector to drive a 10' or 11' 16x9 wide gray screen (possibly perforated - either Firehawk or Greyhawk) in a properly dark room without compromises regarding brightness. Obviously, on other dimensions (color, blacks, other features) I'd like it to be as good as possible (recognizing that there are trade-offs).


I am obviously looking for suggestions!


While I don't want to be stupid (i.e., when I asked a related poorly worded question a few days ago I got one recommendation for a 250K projector), I am willing to spend on this. So, don't hold back (within reason)!


Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by Brandon B
Marantz S2 would get my vote today. You need the Firehawk at that size though.


BB


Thanks, do you think there is significant downside to the Firehawk vs. the Greyhawk?


Also, are there PJs that could drive a 10' - 11' Greyhawk?
 

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Whoa,

A Marantz S2 calibrated to D65 is going to be putting out some pretty low ft-lamberts with that size of screen even if it is a FireHawk. The best choice for a HD2 projector would seem to be an InFocus 7200/Toshiba MT-8 mated with a FireHawk. Other good choices would include a Sanyo PLV-70 with a GrayHawk, or a JVC SX-21 and an anamorphic lens with a FireHawk or GrayHawk. None of these projectors should exhibit noticeable moire artificats with a microperforated screen 10-11' wide.
 

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I called the manufacturer eight months ago about the difference between a greyhawk and firehawk and they basically said that the screens were made for different lighting situations and should give the same basic picture overall. I chose a greyhawk for my 107 inch screen because I got the PLV-70.


I put my hometheater together myself and by your question, I think you might be doing the same so below I will write some of the stuff I went through / learned during the process as my situation was similar to yours (you want to have "the best home theater in the world" at a 100-200k price. Feel free to ignore the stuff I am writing below as it is somewhat long :)


First, be honest with yourself about how much of an audiophile and videophile you are. Even though, you say you don't have a budget and you want the best of both, you are discovering how expensive this stuff really can be, so you do in fact, have a budget. If you don't need the world's best picture, you can get away with a modest projector (5-10 thousand) and spend the rest on an audio system if you are an audiophile or vice versa. Don't spend money for differences you cant perceive or do not really care about. Make your ht for you and not for someone else's approval.


That being said, you need to be aware that projectors and dvd players are evolving rapidly, and no matter how much you spend on a projector or dvd player today, there is a good chance you will really want to get a new one in three years because of HD. You are going to want to have a digital transmission of an HD signal to your projector and if you spend $30,000 on a projector today without the correct future inputs, and the projector is not upgradeable, you will be out of luck.


These are the reasons why I got the plv-70 today ($5,000 and does big screens well) and plan to upgrade my projector in 3 years despite being in the fortunate enough position to be able to spend more on a better projector today.


Other issues you may need to think about are screen size. Here is a good link -- http://www.dolby.com/movies/m.in.0009.screensize.html. Another limiting factor to your screen size may be your audio system. In general, you need to have a 50-60 degree angle between your main speakers and your seated position to get the best imaging out of them (they should also be placed 3'-6' away from the front wall for the same reason).


The speakers you purchase may be tall, which depending on your room, and whether you want the best possible performance from your speakers or not, you may have to raise your screen to a height which is uncomfortable to look at from your seated position. The best way to test this is to actually borrow a projector, and sit in the seats you are going to use for your HT and project a blank screen on the wall and move it to the maximum height where you are comfortable looking at the screen.


There is a bunch of other stuff I learned in the process of making my ht which I would be more than happy to share if you want to private message me.
 

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tpigeon, I had a Grayhawk with a Sanyo XP21N (about 2200 lumens) and tested a Firehawk with a high output projector like this for Stewart. I found a very noticeable improvement in contrast and black regardless of whether there was ambient light or not.


I had observed this same phenomenon at CES where two exhibitors had mated the Firehawk with the PLV70. That's why I decided to test it on my own system. Don't worry about too much brightness with the gain of the Firehawk--remember a number of Forum members have actually used this projector with higher gain screens and reported good results.


If you still have time to switch, I strongly recommend the Firehawk over the Grayhawk even for the high lumen Sanyos. Everyone who has seen my setup before and after has commented on the improvement, including several who didn't know a change was made but noticed the better image immediately.


Dan
 

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Dan, thanks for the tip.


I was told from the stewart guys I would get brightspots. But now that I think about it, I purchased one of the first batches of PLV-70's so it was an entirely theoretical discussion as I called them months before the projector came out in order to have my screen arrive simultaneously. Fortunately, I purchased a fixed screen with none of the bells and whistles so my screen was not too expensive.


I will probably change my screen again anyway with the next projector I get (1.5-2.5 years from now), but I am glad for info you gave me because if I bought another high lumen projector, I might have just gone with the greyhawk thinking I knew what I was doing so thanks for the advice. I guess this is the price you pay for being on the bleeding edge :).


Most probably I will never buy another projector again until after I hear from other owners here as I am not one of those who feel they need to be on the bleeding edge (not that I am unhappy with my purchase btw). It was just in this case, this was my first projector in an apartment I was moving into and having construction done and I wanted to be operational day one and it just so happened the PLV-70 was just released.
 

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Why dont try the 3-chipper..? AVS Forum have some nice b-stock 3 chip DLP from NEC. Check out the power buy section..


Regards,
 

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tpigeon, you can replace the insert only and use the same frame. That's what I did. Stewart keeps a detailed record of what they built for you.


No hotspots on my setup. At least they are not noticeable.


Dan
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Scott B
Whoa,

A Marantz S2 calibrated to D65 is going to be putting out some pretty low ft-lamberts with that size of screen even if it is a FireHawk. The best choice for a HD2 projector would seem to be an InFocus 7200/Toshiba MT-8 mated with a FireHawk. Other good choices would include a Sanyo PLV-70 with a GrayHawk, or a JVC SX-21 and an anamorphic lens with a FireHawk or GrayHawk. None of these projectors should exhibit noticeable moire artificats with a microperforated screen 10-11' wide.
I have a 20HD and am happy with it. But I've seen the S2, and thought it was definitely nicer, even at the extra expense. I saw it on a greyhawk about 96" diagonal with total light control, and it was not bright enough for that setup. (Although my tastes are obviously at the opposite extreme of brightness, I use my PJ mounted low with a HiPower.)


So I would listen to Scott if he thinks it won't handle that size even with the Firehawk instead. I thought the extra gain might compensate.


BB
 

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InFocus 7200 is an honest 800 lumens at D65, which should be the brightest of the HD2's. Unless there's a specific reason for going with a gray screen, I'd consider white too at the size you're considering. I have a 7200 on a 119" diagonal DaLite Cinema Contour with CinemaVision (white) fabric and I am very happy with it. In fact, I have brightness to spare, so I'm getting ready to try a ND filter to improve the black level. This is a bit of flexibility I might not have had I gone with a gray screen.


Good Luck,

Todd/Indy
 

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Brandon & Grating: The Firehawk was actually developed for the lower-lumen DLPs. Using it for higher lumen LCDs was the result of observations by Don Stewart, myself and others at CES. Don then had me test it on my system. The idea was to see if the combination of a high output projector and this screen would allow satisfactory viewing in relatively high ambient light.


I concluded it would increase the tolerance for ambient but not up to the level one might be able to use with a plasma screen. But more importantly, the screen seems to really bolster LCD weak points of black, contrast and that "green fog" that is so apparent on the "black" bars.


Most of the DLP demos I've seen used either the StudioTech 130 or the Firehawk, both screens with gains in the 1.3 range. The Marantz definitely has the resolution for the size you're talking about, you just need to use a screen that has some gain. I wouldn't recommend the Grayhawk for the Marantz, Yamaha or Sharp. It is marginal for the higher lumen DWIN and Infocus. To be honest, I'm not sure at this point that the Firehawk wouldn't be a replacement for the Grayhawk in most applications of the current generation of digital projectors.


However, I'm hanging on to my Grayhawk insert! :)


tpigeon: Your screen was probably made in Stewart's Ohio plant. One thing, if you do go that way, the snaps on the screen material may not perfectly line up with the snaps on your frame. However, the snaps on the frame can be adjusted by sliding sideways. I found I needed to use a small hammer and flat screw driver to move them sideways. When they are properly adjusted, you should have no significant wrinkling along the border of the screen where the snaps are.


Dan
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Dan -


Can I ask you a question about a specific set-up? I have a 16' x 31' by 9' room that I can make as dark as I like. I am probably going to use a Runco VX-5000ci and a 10' wide 16x9 screen. Off the top of your head, would you


a) Use the Grayhawk

b) Use the Firehawk

c) Neither will work


Furthermore, would the answer above change if you went with a perforated screen?


Finally, outside the confines of my question above, if any thoughts jump out at you about the above set-up, I'd love to hear them.


Thanks.



Quote:
Originally posted by DanHouck
Brandon & Grating: The Firehawk was actually developed for the lower-lumen DLPs. Using it for higher lumen LCDs was the result of observations by Don Stewart, myself and others at CES. Don then had me test it on my system. The idea was to see if the combination of a high output projector and this screen would allow satisfactory viewing in relatively high ambient light.


I concluded it would increase the tolerance for ambient but not up to the level one might be able to use with a plasma screen. But more importantly, the screen seems to really bolster LCD weak points of black, contrast and that "green fog" that is so apparent on the "black" bars.


Most of the DLP demos I've seen used either the StudioTech 130 or the Firehawk, both screens with gains in the 1.3 range. The Marantz definitely has the resolution for the size you're talking about, you just need to use a screen that has some gain. I wouldn't recommend the Grayhawk for the Marantz, Yamaha or Sharp. It is marginal for the higher lumen DWIN and Infocus. To be honest, I'm not sure at this point that the Firehawk wouldn't be a replacement for the Grayhawk in most applications of the current generation of digital projectors.


However, I'm hanging on to my Grayhawk insert! :)


tpigeon: Your screen was probably made in Stewart's Ohio plant. One thing, if you do go that way, the snaps on the screen material may not perfectly line up with the snaps on your frame. However, the snaps on the frame can be adjusted by sliding sideways. I found I needed to use a small hammer and flat screw driver to move them sideways. When they are properly adjusted, you should have no significant wrinkling along the border of the screen where the snaps are.


Dan
 

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dan -- thanks for the tip--i have a standard greyhawk screen model so hopefully this may help with any screen replacement issues.


grating- I know you are not asking for my uneducated opinion on this, but I will give it to you anyway, isn't that what internet fourms are for :).


I don't know too much about the runco but I hear that model is awesome. That being said, you may be looking to replace it in 3 years because...

1) it does not do 1080p

2) it does not have an hdmi and/or 1394b input -- sort of related to 1

3) it does not not do hd natively, does only 1280x720 -- this may limit you with computer games today, if you use it for that.


The scenario in which you would be looking to replace this projector within three years is if HD-DVD comes out, is successful, and is 1080p. As long as you are aware of this I say...

1) Go for it

2) I want your job :)


As for comparing it to other hot dlp's, I have no Idea how it compares so I will not speak to it as there is a limit to even my own hubris :).


In any case I would recommend that you wait until the last second to purchase your projector as prices depreciate quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
That is what forums are for, and I appreciate the advice. Thanks.

Quote:
Originally posted by tpigeon2003
dan -- thanks for the tip--i have a standard greyhawk screen model so hopefully this may help with any screen replacement issues.


grating- I know you are not asking for my uneducated opinion on this, but I will give it to you anyway, isn't that what internet fourms are for :).


I don't know too much about the runco but I hear that model is awesome. That being said, you may be looking to replace it in 3 years because...

1) it does not do 1080p

2) it does not have an hdmi and/or 1394b input -- sort of related to 1

3) it does not not do hd natively, does only 1280x720 -- this may limit you with computer games today, if you use it for that.


The scenario in which you would be looking to replace this projector within three years is if HD-DVD comes out, is successful, and is 1080p. As long as you are aware of this I say...

1) Go for it

2) I want your job :)


As for comparing it to other hot dlp's, I have no Idea how it compares so I will not speak to it as there is a limit to even my own hubris :).


In any case I would recommend that you wait until the last second to purchase your projector as prices depreciate quickly.
 

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Grating, assuming you're still talking about the big screen size, I'd go with either the Firehawk or the Studiotech 130, either of which are 1.3 gain screens. Even though the Runco is fairly bright, that big screen area would probably benefit from some gain.


You may want to start a thread addressed specifically to Runco 5000 users and find out what they are all using. I'd also address the question directly to Stewart and Runco.


I seem to recall they demoed the 5000 at the AVS reception at CES on a Firehawk. It was fantastic. But anyone who was there also, please chime in if I am wrong.


The Runco is a great projector, but a lot of bucks for a DLP. Take a look at the Yamaha & Marantz before you buy. One thing with Runco--the service after the sale is total. You have any problems, they will take care of it.


Good luck.


Dan
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Yes, I have a Runco Plasma and they are great to deal with. Thanks for the advice!


Quote:
Originally posted by DanHouck
Grating, assuming you're still talking about the big screen size, I'd go with either the Firehawk or the Studiotech 130, either of which are 1.3 gain screens. Even though the Runco is fairly bright, that big screen area would probably benefit from some gain.


You may want to start a thread addressed specifically to Runco 5000 users and find out what they are all using. I'd also address the question directly to Stewart and Runco.


I seem to recall they demoed the 5000 at the AVS reception at CES on a Firehawk. It was fantastic. But anyone who was there also, please chime in if I am wrong.


The Runco is a great projector, but a lot of bucks for a DLP. Take a look at the Yamaha & Marantz before you buy. One thing with Runco--the service after the sale is total. You have any problems, they will take care of it.


Good luck.


Dan
 
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