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I was just about to pull the trigger and get this projector. But all the latest talk about rainbows, dithering, etc. is making me a bit nervous. To say the very least, I am "projection tv" challenged. I can walk the talk about audio but know next to nothing about lcd/dlp/crt's. I understand there may be a trade-off between screendoor problems with a lcd or rainbows with a dlp. Or should I say some people may see one but not the other. I'm not sure which is more prevelant? I would hate to have people over to watch a movie but then have them bothered by one of these problems. Just because I don't see it doesn't mean they won't. There are not any dealers in town where I can check the projectors out to see what a screendoor or rainbow is and most importantly how bothersome it "really" can be? My room is 30 x 62 so I can sit back as far as needed. But I imagine like most people, I would prefer to sit as close as possible. You know the eyesight is the first to go with age. My projector will be used mostly for dvd playback. And possibly some hdtv programs like the Super Bowl, etc. Within reason, I am most concerned about picture quality. I would probably sacrifice seeing a few rainbows each movie if the picture was substantially better on the NEC 150 vs. say the NEC 540. That is taking into consideration that a rainbow only last a few seconds(which I am not sure)? I am looking to spend no more than $3k. I have not necessarily narrowed the field down to; but am mostly considering the NEC 150, NEC 85, NEC 540, Panasonic 711u(heard some good things about them lately). Any additional models worth considering? Sorry for being so winded, with so many questions. Thanks in advance and I appreciate the advice. Regards, Jeff
 

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If that's your budget, you have two choices:


LT150

CRT


There are a number of 8" CRT's in that price range. Sounds like you certainly have the space.


I've had about 10 people over to see my rather poor set up of the LT150, and everyone has been really enthusiastic about it. Unless they have their own private cinema, I'm sure they'll be so impressed by the sheer size and basic color fidelity that the gremlins will be the last things on their minds.


Kelly
 

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Rainbows do not last a few seconds, they only last a fraction of a second. From my experience, as soon as your brain realizes that you see one, it's gone. It's that fast, just a flash.
 

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I would never ask a lady's age but I will say that both my wife and myself saw no hint of rainbows with an LT150 on a one nite trial. However, my daughter who is by no means a videophile immediately described "color smears" and "color streaks" she was seeing in rapid movement, high contrast scenes (light spaceships against black space as I recall). Her eyes are about 22 years younger than ours.


I got to thinking about this and went with the VT540 LCD machine, which was brighter, had better color saturation, and was quieter than the LT150. If I sit closer than 1.5 screen widths, I see the "screendoor", which limits me to one row of seating in my very small room. In your much larger room, several rows of seating could be put into place back behind this limit.


My first projector was a CRT which I freely admit was better - as long as you have dark walls, dark ceiling and dark floors, like a cave or a dedicated home theater space. But for my living room, with it's off-white walls, biege carpet, and light colored furniture, the LCD projector was the best choice.


Gary
 

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Jeff,

I recently got the LT150 with a high gain screen. I was also a newbie to projection TV.


In the 50 odd hours I put on the LT150..the experience has been very very positive. Yes I do see the rainbows sometimes..lasting a fraction of a second..but it doesn't bother me the least bit. To give a persective..the sum total of the rainbow occurence time would have been about 2-3 SECONDS in the 50 hours.

My wife ..who rarely gets impressed by any HT stuff started calling all her friends and telling them how good our HT is now.

videophiles may have noticed a number of flaws in the projector..but being a projection newbie..LT150 has been a revelation for me.

as far as comparisons with other projectors..i don't have any experience in this regards
 

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I guess I'm confused when you say there aren't any dealers in your town. Wasn't CEDIA just in your town? I would have loved to go to that show. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


Anyway, look for business projector dealers, not home theater dealers. You should be able to search most web sites (like NEC , Panasonic , etc.) and find local business projector dealers. These dealers WILL set up demos for you. However, they may charge for the demo (since you may turn around and buy the projector somewhere else) and apply the charge to the final selling price if you go with them.


You appear to have done quite a bit of homework or at least know most of the "hot buttons" of the current, inexpensive, projectors. To reduce your fears, see a demo. In my opinion, buying a projector, without seeing the image it produces, is either reckless or a throw-away purchase.


I currently own two projectors and made sure I saw each one before buying.


Best of luck in your quest.


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Huck
 

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Just buy an LT150 from Dell. If you don't like it, sell it on ebay for a 200 dollar (or less) loss. Do a search on this forum for the 20% off coupon link.


You'd be paying $200 to have a good, long demo, in your own home.


For what it's worth, I have the lt150 and upgraded from the vt540. I prefer the occasional rainbow to screen-door. Others have the opposite preference. Among your guests, you will have the same difference of opinion, if they are even that critical. You ultimately have to please yourself, not your guests.


For me it was no contest. The LT150 is *so* much better, to me.
 

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I think the LT150 has a very good picture and over time I'm seeing fewer rainbows. I am probably retraining the way I watch and that accounts for the diminishing of the rainbow effect. Screendoor bothers me so much more as it is always there and I like to sit close. Rainbows are fleeting.


I agree that you must please yourself and family first.


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John
My HT Picts
 

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Here's the link to Dell's 20% off which means $2160 (plus tax of $130 and ground shipping $6.50): http://dell1.m0.net/m/s.asp?HB4364748322X1093965X76750X

I have an 550 lumens XGA LCD Sony VPL-CX1 and bought this due to all the hype. I have to admit that the hype was correct. This is the best DVD picture you'll get below 4K IF you're using progressive players (HTPC included) as it's deinterlacer/scaler by Svideo or RCA Composite is poor (worst than my $1600 Sony). You can go with USED CRT but it's huge, noisy, and requires maitenance (convergence, tube change, very dark room, etc.) This unit is about the size of a small book, and very cute and portable. Imagine you're on a trip and take this unit with you along with a laptop with DVD player. You can have instant movies on hotel room wall or ceiling. Bob Wood even projected it on a 25 foot wall of his friend's house for a drive-in party (search thread here for photos). Try doing that with a CRT. Plus it'll come in handy in the winter as a space heater :) Go for it, you won't regret it.


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Huey ;-]
 

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Dog-


Don't be intimidated or scared by some of the recent posts describing "dithering" or the "matrix effect". While I'm not disputing that the LT150 can exhibit "dithering", this is not, IMO, a dealbreaker. The bottom line is that dithering-when it does occur-is not perceptible at normal viewing distances. Rainbow, OTOH, is something that you may find objectionable, and therefore if at all possible, you should try to demo the LT150 to see if you are particularly sensitive to it. I see it on occasion, but it does not ruin my viewing experience. None of my guests has yet complained about rainbows. The reality is, unless you describe and point out the effect to them, 99% of infrequent viewers will not notice it.


If rainbows are not a problem for you, the LT150 is a phenomenal projector. I just finished building an HTPC and am enjoying glorious HDTV now on the LT150. DVD playback through an HTPC or progressive scan player is outstanding.


Kirk
 

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LadyDog:

I have tested the LT150 and was very disappointed with it as the rainbows were extremely bad. My wife couldn't handle watching the movie it was that bad.


But, after trying everything suggested I tried projecting on to a light beige eggshell wall and increased the size of my picture from about 5' to 14' and amazingly the rainbows were gone!


It is my belief that rainbows are due to the surface your projecting on. I just guessing here, but I would say the higher gain screen, the better chance of rainbows.


Correct me if I am wrong.


I would say go with the LT150, but your screen will have to be selected with your own eyes as everyone seems to have a different opinion on what is best to reduce rainbows.


Eddy


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Marantz SR-19

Marantz DV-7100

Energy Encore II

JVC 32PIP

looking for FP(LT-150)

Digital Cable Box

Aura Bass shakers


Eddy
 

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Just my opinion:


I love my NEC LT154 - Same as the LT150 but LCD. I got it since I just can't stand rainbows, as they are a big problem for me. Contrast is not as good as the LT150, but at 900 lumens it's very bright. I use it in ECO mode for 2000hours lamp life and it's still bright enough for me. Screendoor is not a problem for me, but it is there. There too are tricks to reduce the screendoor, but I NEVER had anyone comment about it when asked about flaws and I'm not telling them. I watch HTPC for DVD's and HDTV with an AccessDTV card. My DirecTIVO plugs in S-video and is not that bad at all. Dell has them for $2,637.95 right now. It has focus AND ZOOM. The zoom is critical in my application since I switch between 4:3 and 16:9 alot..


John
 

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John, what does zoom have to do with switching between 4:3 and 16:9? I have a ceiling mounted Marantz with a zomm and a floor mounted LT150 without a zomm and once positioned correctly (one fixed location)the zoom becomes a nonissue. I don't use the Marantz's zoom or move the LT150 when switching between 4:3 and 16:9. The width always stays the same and 4:3 just fills my 4:3 screen while 16:9 introduces the bars top and bottom, which I mask off.


Cheers,


Grant
 

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Last night I was watching "The Mexican" with Julia Roberts and Brad Pitts on LT150. I asked my wife to join me in comparing it with my Sony VPL-CX1 (XGA LCD), there is NO comparison. The LT150 has much better blacks, smoother image (less pixels, less digital appearing), brighter and more saturated colors than the LCD XGA unit. Noise wise the LT150 is actually slightly softer as long as it's not in high gear (when it gets hot after 2-3 hours running) then it's a little louder than my LCD unit which is rated at 39 db. Thus, hushbox is not a must by any means. I put my hand up to the screen to cast a black shadow (true black) and compared this to black images on screen: most of the time I can't tell my fingers apart as the black blends in so well with the shadow (true) black. The other thing I notice is masking. My LCD unit REQUIRED black masking as the grey letterbox bars were too bright and distracting where as this unit's letterbox bars are pretty dim and not at all distracting. Using 16:9 DIY blackout screen, masking is not necessary although I'm sure it'll improve contrast even more. There is a dim halo around screen but it's very dim and again not distracting at all (masking or darkly painted walls will eliminate this if it bothers you--I'm not bothered so I'll leave it alone). I was bothered by its poor composite and Svideo so I got another VCR and DVD feeding into a 3-ft. high quality RCA composite and Svideo cable to see if it's a bad tuner or cabling on the other ones. It's definitely better (RCA VCR tuner was better than my JVC tuner for cable TV), but still poor compared to my Sony composite and Svideo. Thus, if you plan on watching other sources, you'll need a scaler or deinterlacer so you can run everything through the VGA where image is best (preferably one that has multiple inputs so you can switch between sources like Quadscan or similar). I personally watch TV and VHS on my RPTV (behind my DIY screen) and saves DVD watching via HTPC due to expensive bulb prices ($500 a year for 1000 hours is not that much considering it costs $16 for 2 at the theaters per movie). Heck, cable TV at $40/mo. will run $500/year. I guess it's all about priorities--mine are my family, travel, and movies, and not smoking, drinking, gambling, fancy cars, fancy clothes, etc.


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Huey ;-]
 

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Grant,


I guess my setup is a bit unique. My L/R speakers which are about 4" too tall and I have 8' ceilings, and I need to use the zoom to see the entire 4:3 screen above my speakers. I have my projector ceiling mounted, so the top of the screen is the same but the zoom will raise the bottom up. When I switch to a 16:9 movie, I zoom it out to widen the sides to the full extent of my 80" wide screen.

You are right, as if I had the entire 80"x60" to use I would not need the zoom. But, sometimes WinDVD puts small bars at the left and right side of a widescreen movie depending upon the aspect ratio, so I use the zoom to eliminate them since they bug me. Also, I still think that a zoom is good for small adjustments. It also helps with placement of the projector. Why else would they discontinue the LT150 for the LT150z so quick to add a zoom? Its a good feature to have, but I guess not absolutely necessary.


John
 
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