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Best Front Projector DLP LCOS LCD

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Anonymous
July 26, 2004 7:28:32 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

Now that I have a reasonable receiver I need a front projector to go
with it. Anyone have info?

What about this one.

http://www.hometheatermag.com/frontprojectors/604panaso...

or this one

http://ecoustics.pricegrabber.com/rating_getprodrev.php...
Anonymous
July 26, 2004 7:54:48 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

Bob Miller <robmx@earthlink.net> wrote:

>Now that I have a reasonable receiver I need a front projector to go
>with it. Anyone have info?
>
>What about this one.
>
>http://www.hometheatermag.com/frontprojectors/604panaso...
>
>or this one
>
>http://ecoustics.pricegrabber.com/rating_getprodrev.php...

I don't know about either of these, but I can mention some general
things to consider, with a few specific comments about the one I chose
(Sony VPL-HS20, an LCD).

First, you won't find a projector that satisfies you fully. Nobody
makes the projector I want at any price, and if I waited until they
did I'd never buy. All except CRTs use a lamp that lasts maybe a year
in normal use and costs a few hundred dollars to replace. The Sony is
a compromise, but I'm generally pleased with it.

High contrast ratio is important, maybe more so than accurate colors.
Ideally the darkest elements should go to black, not gray, but the
only projectors that do that are CRTs, and they're just not bright
enough unless you can eliminate all ambient light. DLPs are next
best, but if you consider one be sure to try it out to make sure you
aren't bothered by a rainbow effect caused by the color wheel most of
them use. While watching the picture, dart your eyes around to
different parts of the screen or off of it. With some DLPs you'll see
a momentary blast of separate colors. They've improved with higher
speed wheels, but the only DLP I'd accept would use three panels and
no wheel, and they're expensive.

The Sony looks great on well-lit scenes, but the gray is noticeable on
darker ones. No, the black level isn't shifting; the eye fools you.
I'm using the high gain beaded screen I needed for my previous CRT
projector, and the Sony is really too bright for it. I could improve
matters with a high contrast gray screen. But movie theaters don't do
true black either.

Look for lots of inputs. You'll probably have several sources (one or
more tuners, DVD, maybe a computer or D-VHS, and of course legacy
NTSC). Due in part to the ridiculous DVI and HDMI standards the
industry chose and the added complications due to HDCP, HD switches
are uncommon and expensive. So you need to use the projector as your
switch. Speaking of HDCP, you want to be sure the projector supports
it, but I expect all recent ones do.

The Sony has inputs for DVI, HDMI, component, composite and S-Video,
plus a proprietary connector with supplied cable that splits out to a
second set of component, composite and S-Video inputs. It doesn't
have a VGA input, but adapters are available, and for a home theater
PC you'd want a video card with DVI out anyway. It also doesn't have
a Firewire input, needed for some D-VHS players (your tuner might act
as a go-between there). There's a USB input, but that's for
fine-tweaking things with a computer and a program you can download
from Sony.

LCDs can show more screen-door effect than the alternatives, but with
mine I never see it unless I'm up close to the screen. NTSC may not
be sharp at that size, but at least the scan lines are gone. That
always annoyed me with my old CRT. I think the Sony does as well with
NTSC as can be expected.

The Sony's DVI input can be set for "Video GBR" (digital TV) or
"Computer." "Video GBR" is limited to the common DTV scan rates.
"Computer" handles most anything my video card can throw at it, within
reason, but it forces pillarboxed 4:3 and doesn't allow zoom. So for
HTPC you have to get creative with the video card's timings.

Most all good projectors can correct electronically for the
trapezoidal image you get when the projector isn't positioned exactly
right with respect to the screen, but it's better to do it optically
if possible, to preserve the 1:1 relationship between the electronic
pixels and the physical ones. It's called lens shift. The Sony
doesn't have it, but I can't see any picture impairment due to the
electronic adjustment.

You should also make sure you can mount the projector where it can
just fill the screen. Many have a zoom, but often not much. Specs
should include maximum and minimum distances for various sizes. The
Sony's zoom is only 1.3x.

You can and should set up your projector with a reference such as
Digital Video Essentials or Avia, but that just sets one input and
you'll find that many sources aren't set to specs as well as they
should be, so you'll want to tweak to improve the picture. The Sony
can store 3 setups for each input, which I find pretty handy.

E. Ogden <eoyymm@nycap.rr.com>
where yymm is the current year and month
Anonymous
July 26, 2004 8:35:40 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

E. Ogden wrote:

> Bob Miller <robmx@earthlink.net> wrote:
>
>
>>Now that I have a reasonable receiver I need a front projector to go
>>with it. Anyone have info?
>>
>>What about this one.
>>
>>http://www.hometheatermag.com/frontprojectors/604panaso...
>>
>>or this one
>>
>>http://ecoustics.pricegrabber.com/rating_getprodrev.php...
>
>
> I don't know about either of these, but I can mention some general
> things to consider, with a few specific comments about the one I chose
> (Sony VPL-HS20, an LCD).
>
> First, you won't find a projector that satisfies you fully. Nobody
> makes the projector I want at any price, and if I waited until they
> did I'd never buy. All except CRTs use a lamp that lasts maybe a year
> in normal use and costs a few hundred dollars to replace. The Sony is
> a compromise, but I'm generally pleased with it.
>
> High contrast ratio is important, maybe more so than accurate colors.
> Ideally the darkest elements should go to black, not gray, but the
> only projectors that do that are CRTs, and they're just not bright
> enough unless you can eliminate all ambient light. DLPs are next
> best, but if you consider one be sure to try it out to make sure you
> aren't bothered by a rainbow effect caused by the color wheel most of
> them use. While watching the picture, dart your eyes around to
> different parts of the screen or off of it. With some DLPs you'll see
> a momentary blast of separate colors. They've improved with higher
> speed wheels, but the only DLP I'd accept would use three panels and
> no wheel, and they're expensive.
>
> The Sony looks great on well-lit scenes, but the gray is noticeable on
> darker ones. No, the black level isn't shifting; the eye fools you.
> I'm using the high gain beaded screen I needed for my previous CRT
> projector, and the Sony is really too bright for it. I could improve
> matters with a high contrast gray screen. But movie theaters don't do
> true black either.
>
> Look for lots of inputs. You'll probably have several sources (one or
> more tuners, DVD, maybe a computer or D-VHS, and of course legacy
> NTSC). Due in part to the ridiculous DVI and HDMI standards the
> industry chose and the added complications due to HDCP, HD switches
> are uncommon and expensive. So you need to use the projector as your
> switch. Speaking of HDCP, you want to be sure the projector supports
> it, but I expect all recent ones do.
>
> The Sony has inputs for DVI, HDMI, component, composite and S-Video,
> plus a proprietary connector with supplied cable that splits out to a
> second set of component, composite and S-Video inputs. It doesn't
> have a VGA input, but adapters are available, and for a home theater
> PC you'd want a video card with DVI out anyway. It also doesn't have
> a Firewire input, needed for some D-VHS players (your tuner might act
> as a go-between there). There's a USB input, but that's for
> fine-tweaking things with a computer and a program you can download
> from Sony.
>
> LCDs can show more screen-door effect than the alternatives, but with
> mine I never see it unless I'm up close to the screen. NTSC may not
> be sharp at that size, but at least the scan lines are gone. That
> always annoyed me with my old CRT. I think the Sony does as well with
> NTSC as can be expected.
>
> The Sony's DVI input can be set for "Video GBR" (digital TV) or
> "Computer." "Video GBR" is limited to the common DTV scan rates.
> "Computer" handles most anything my video card can throw at it, within
> reason, but it forces pillarboxed 4:3 and doesn't allow zoom. So for
> HTPC you have to get creative with the video card's timings.
>
> Most all good projectors can correct electronically for the
> trapezoidal image you get when the projector isn't positioned exactly
> right with respect to the screen, but it's better to do it optically
> if possible, to preserve the 1:1 relationship between the electronic
> pixels and the physical ones. It's called lens shift. The Sony
> doesn't have it, but I can't see any picture impairment due to the
> electronic adjustment.
>
> You should also make sure you can mount the projector where it can
> just fill the screen. Many have a zoom, but often not much. Specs
> should include maximum and minimum distances for various sizes. The
> Sony's zoom is only 1.3x.
>
> You can and should set up your projector with a reference such as
> Digital Video Essentials or Avia, but that just sets one input and
> you'll find that many sources aren't set to specs as well as they
> should be, so you'll want to tweak to improve the picture. The Sony
> can store 3 setups for each input, which I find pretty handy.
>
> E. Ogden <eoyymm@nycap.rr.com>
> where yymm is the current year and month

Thank you. I am going to print this out and keep it handy. You cover a
lot of points here.

Bob Miller
Anonymous
July 28, 2004 10:59:12 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

"Bob Miller" <robmx@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:wpaNc.17078$Qu5.5246@newsread2.news.pas.earthlink.net...
> Thank you. I am going to print this out and keep it handy. You cover a
> lot of points here.

I too own a Sony VPL-HS20 and I'm very happy with the PQ. Unlike E. Ogden,
I'm using a light gray contrast screen and the images definitely show good
blacks...not pure blacks but good enough to not be obvious grays. I also
made sure that HDTV and DVD connections were digital, using both the DVI and
HDMI ports on the HS20. The PQ is much improved over Component Video
connections.

borromini
!