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JFLNYC:


Unfortunately my XP30 goes back today.


Fortunately I had an opportunity to experience HDTV and DVI with it. There is only one word necessary for this review: AWESOME. I highly recommend you go this route if you can. The only negative is there just isn't enough HDTV programming material.I expect that will change, hopefully in the near future.


Please update us with your impressions after you've had time to play with it.


Brian
 

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JFLNYC


Please let us know how it compares to the 38t/XP21N.


I also bought from Studio Experience and currently have the 38t with an option to upgrade. My experience with them has been very pleasant and I second your recommendation.


Peter


 

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Let us know about aspect ratio control off of 1080i if you have HD. Is it Panamorphable?


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Ken Elliott
 

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A few additional impressions:


The 38t (XP21N) is a great projector, so I didn't expect a tremendous upgrade in video quality. I decided to spend the extra money primarily for the DVI connection since DVI will undoubtedly become more and more prevalent as time passes.


In addition to adding noise reduction on the s-video input, the projector has another cool feature: Lens Shift. In addition to the usual zoom, focus, keystone and digital zoom functions, with the press of a button you can shift the lens up or down, rather than having to raise or lower the entire front of the projector by the feet. I have a ceiling mount ordered and I'm sure this feature will be very helpful once the projector is mounted since I won't have to get the vertical angle absolutely perfect in the mount.


I'm running HDTV and a progressive scan DVD into the component input. The picture is as great as you'd expect. Thanks for reminding me about the aspect control for HDTV. I haven't played with it yet. By the way, another good upgrade from the 38t is that when you send a progressive signal, the 40t automatically detects the signal type, so no more having to change manually from 1080i to 480p. I'm getting artifacts on DVD which I've never seen before, but I'm pretty certain it's not the projector. I also introduced the JVC AV Switcher into the equation today and, despite reviews to the contrary, I suspect the JVC is introducing the artifacts. I also have component switching through my AV receiver, so I'll change to those and see what happens.


Yet another feature the 40t adds is preset image configurations for "Standard" and "Cinema." I did a quick calibration with AVIA, but the two preset modes are good, too.


I'm surprised that no one has asked about screen door. Out of the box, it's definitely there -- perhaps more so than with the 38t. Calibration helps as does a very slight defocusing. With the latter, screen door disappears. My problem is I like the absolute sharpest picture I can get, so more work is in order.


More later. . .Have to go return the 38t!


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Jamie
 

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Jamie,


My question on aspect ratio comes because many of us would love to use the full panel for HD and the Panamorph is expected to reduce screen door.


Does the XP30 autoscale HD or is manual scaling available?


Also, are you using component or RGB inputs for HD? It may be different for each case.




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Ken Elliott
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by kelliot:
Jamie,


My question on aspect ratio comes because many of us would love to use the full panel for HD and the Panamorph is expected to reduce screen door.


Does the XP30 autoscale HD or is manual scaling available?


Also, are you using component or RGB inputs for HD? It may be different for each case.

Ken,


I'm using component for HD (which is just spectacular, by the way) and the projector scales automatically. Interestingly, though, if you choose 480p from the projector's menu, you can watch 1080i output from the STB scaled to 480p (full 4:3 aspect ratio). Does that answer your question (I don't quite get panamorphing, so if you'd care to inform my ignorance, I'd be obliged).


Haven't tried HD through the computer input, but I will. I've got a component to RGB transcoder from Key Digital, so I can do it. Probably won't be tomorrow, though. Got a date!




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Jamie
 

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My Boxlight 40t (clone of Sanyo XP30) arrived this morning. First, let me say again that I've been dealing with Hank Nance at Studio Experience who has been tremendous in this process. I highly recommend both Hank and Studio Experience.


I upgraded from the 38t (clone of the XP21N). Out of box impression is "wow." Colors tremendous in a room with a fair amount of ambient light on a sunny day. So many inputs, I'm still experimenting. Internal processing seems terrific, even through s-video. The latter, by the way includes noise reduction.


I'll keep you all posted as the projector and I get to know each other.


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Jamie
 

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What STB are you using?


Also, scaling to 480p would put a small area in the middle of the screen, not desirable.


Scaling to the full panel resolution is what would be great.(1024x768)


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Ken Elliott
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by kelliot:
What STB are you using?


Also, scaling to 480p would put a small area in the middle of the screen, not desirable.


Scaling to the full panel resolution is what would be great.(1024x768)



Ken,


I'm using the Hughes HIRD E-86 STB. When I switch to 480p on an HDTV signal, the picture fills the entire 80x60 screen.



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Jamie
 

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In 480p, is there over/underscan of the 1080i?


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Ken Elliott
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by kelliot:
In 480p, is there over/underscan of the 1080i?

No.



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Jamie
 

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Ken,


Can you tell me what a Panamorph or ISCO would do to the picture?


Thanks.


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Jamie
 

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Jamie,


How would you compare the 40t to the 38t?


Is the difference in brightness noticable?

Do you still need an external scalar/deinterlacer if the internal processing is better than the 38t.


Have you tried connecting it to a PC and is the text clear and uniform? I seem to have certain areas of the screen that have blurry text while other areas are just fine. On closer examination I found that the blurry area text occupies 2 pixels wide while the good area is 1 pixel wide. I have tried this with 4 different PCs and two different 38Ts with the same results.


Peter

 

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Jamie,


The Panamorph is a prism/lens system add-on made by Cygnus that will squish the picture vertically from a 4:3 aspect ratio to 16:9. It can be moved out of the way if one is watching 4:3 aspect ratio.


The result is a brighter picture but more importantly the squishing reduces vertical screen door as if one was about 1.33 times further from the screen.


The net result is a much higher quality, brighter picture. Cygnus is just beginning to ship the lens and ISCO makes a similar product that expands the picture horizontally as opposed to squishing it vertically.




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Ken Elliott
 

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Peter & Ken,


Let me answer Peter's questions first, then I have a couple of my own for Ken.


I wouldn't say the 40t is noticeably brighter than the 38t except in one important respect: In reasonable ambient light there's no longer any trace of wash out.


As for a scaler, I'm currently using an iScan Pro for deinterlacing, with a vga -> component breakout cable into the component inputs on the projector. So, the 40t is scaling internally to XGA. The result is a noticeably artifact-free picture, although it's a little soft for my tastes, but the softness is dye to the (lack of) quality of the compressed DSS signal I'm sure.


I briefly tried going directly into the projector via s-video and the result was also good (although I'll have to try it again to get a better look). The real reason not to do so, however, is that if you're using component input also (as I am) the component input overrides the s-video even if there's no signal from the former. So, in order to see the s-video signal you've either got to go into the projector's on-screen menu and manually change to s-video, or pull out the component plugs. To my way of thinking this is the worst thing about the projector. Of course, that's also one way of saying how good it is.


I haven't hooked up a PC to the projector yet, although I did with the 38t. I didn't notice the blurring you're seeing, so I'll have to check again (Sheesh. . .more homework!)


Ken,


Thanks for answering my question about the Panamorph and ISCO. I've read a lot of posts about them and visited the websites. I'm still not clear on a couple of things, however.


I bought a 4x3 screen, even though I wanted to buy a 16x9. The reason I wanted to go with the 16x9 was the thought (expressed elsewhere in the forum) that if one picture has to be smaller than the screen, better it should be the 4x3 because that's usually DSS, which is the inferior picture. Why blow up the worse picture?


The reason I went with 4x3 (bear with me, I'm getting to my point) was that I was told that, with a 16x9 I'd still have lots of light, albeit black, above and below the 16x9 (or other letterbox) picture because of the projector's 4x3 panels. Even with appropriate masking material, I knew that light would bother me.


If I understand what a Panamorph will do correctly, one thing would be to eliminate that black light above and below the 16x9 picture. Am I right?


My bigger question, though, is what happens to a 4x3 picture? When the Panamorph squishes it vertically into 16x9, is the result horizontally stretched people, as with an RPTV in Standard mode? Is that why one moves the lens out of the way for 4x3 pictures? Or, is the result a 16x9 version of the picture, with objects not being stretched horizontally (that's got to be too good to be true).


Thanks!




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Jamie
 

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I guess it must be syncing to and scaling to the native 1024x768 panel resolution. Good news if it is still HD and artifact free.


Begging for use with a Panamorph or ISCO.


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Ken Elliott
 

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Jamie,


Yes, the Panamorph would remove the black bars in 16:9 mode.


With a Panamorph and a 4:3 aspect ratio, you should have two options.


1) Move the Panamorph aside and use the normal aspect ratio.


2) Use 16:9 and have a pillarboxed display. The un-Panamorphed image should be long and thin with black pillars on each side in this case.


Yes, the softness is due to the broadcast, not the projector. I agree, blow up to 16:9, not 4:3.


In my case I have a DTC100, but have been considering a newer STB if the APG works. The XP21N may work in RGB mode with a Panamorph, but won't in component. The XP30 supposedly has better aspect ratio control.


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Ken Elliott
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by kelliot:
With a Panamorph and a 4:3 aspect ratio, you should have two options.


1) Move the Panamorph aside and use the normal aspect ratio.


2) Use 16:9 and have a pillarboxed display. The un-Panamorphed image should be long and thin with black pillars on each side in this case.


In my case I have a DTC100, but have been considering a newer STB if the APG works. The XP21N may work in RGB mode with a Panamorph, but won't in component. The XP30 supposedly has better aspect ratio control.



Ken,


I recommend the Hughes STB. The APG is fully-integrated for both DSS/Cable and OTA signals. Ironically, though, one of the things I disliked about my DTC100 -- the HDTV VGA output -- now might come in handy. When I'm futzing around now and trying the Hughes through the VGA input, I have to convert its component output to RGB with a transcoder.


If you'll indulge me with one more question about a Panamorph and 4x3: If I were to take your second suggestion from above and use 16x9 (e.g., from the HDTV output), would the Panamorph then unstretch horizontally so that objects no longer appeared fat? If so, would the bars on the pillarbox be black?


Thanks again.



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Jamie
 

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Jamie,


Without the Panamorph, it will be tall and skinny when the aspect ratio is correct for use with a Panamorph.


If the aspect ratio is set correctly, the image with Panamorph should give normal looking 16:9 and normal looking 4:3 with pillar boxed (hopefully black) sides. The exact color and capability depends on the aspect ratio control in the STB.


The DTC100 permits this mode, you just tell it that you have a 16:9 display and want a 4:3 pillarboxed picture. It also lets you have gray or black bars.


I don't know about the Hughes STB but I would hope that it provides the same.


The hard part is getting projectors to fill the panel. In an effort to make projectors "user friendly", manufacturers have made scaling of 1080i to 16:9 automatic. In many cases, not knowing about anamorphic lenses, the automatic aspect ratio control makes the use of anamorphic lenses impossible.


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Ken Elliott
 
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