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home cinema projector

Discussion in 'Televisions' started by p5yco, May 14, 2005.

  1. p5yco

    p5yco Guest

    do you think a projector sitting on a low coffee table 2 1/2ft from the floor will be too low. i was hoping to be behind the projector.
     
  2. Oriphus

    Oriphus Senior member

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    Behind the projector...might work ok. The height isnt to much of an issue. Just tilt the projector screen downwards from the top slightly to counter the angle it projects at. Remember there may be more noise and/or heat from behind the projector as most projectors vent the heat from the rear or side. Some newer ones vent from the front as well, bookshelf compatible lol.

    Chris
     
  3. p5yco

    p5yco Guest

    cheers, again!
     
  4. Oriphus

    Oriphus Senior member

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    No probs, having viewing...

    Chris
     
  5. p5yco

    p5yco Guest

    leaning towards a screenplay 4805, what do you think?
     
  6. p5yco

    p5yco Guest

    oriphus, just had a demo of screenplay 4805 and was told by the sales assistant the projector needs to be run in (50 hrs) before it will start to perform at its best - is this true? ie. the picture will sharpen up slightly.
     
  7. Oriphus

    Oriphus Senior member

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    Its a good projector mate. The DLP chip it uses is pretty sweet for getting a good contrast:

    - TI DarkChip2T 480p 12° DDR DMD

    Only problem for me would be the resolution and the lumens. At 750 Lumens max, its output is quite low, and for a DLP projector 750 is pretty low, though it would be fine in a dark room. Also, the WVGA resolution of 854 x 480 (16:9) is ok, but your talking around £1000 for the projector, so why not look at this one:

    Panasonic PT-AE700:
    http://www.av-sales.com/projectors/html/panasonic_pt-ae700.html

    Its £500 more and iv no doubt you'd love it.

    Chris
     
  8. p5yco

    p5yco Guest

    do you have any thoughts on the themescene h30a? is it better than the 4805? both are in my price range, however i did think 4805 had a soft image and would be excellent if only slightly sharper.
     
  9. p5yco

    p5yco Guest

    i had a look at the panny, however at that price it is pushing my budget too far as i have to get a screen as well. looking at £1500 for projector and 7-8ft screen. screen probably from beamax.
     
  10. bri9

    bri9 Member

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    i picked up an infocus x1a for about $800. so far so good!
    this seems to be more of an entry level unit. however,bulb life
    rating is good and dlp to boot!!!
     
  11. Oriphus

    Oriphus Senior member

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    I would definitely go for the Themescene H30a, not that im saying that the Infocus one isnt good, but i have seen a Optoma H31 working and it was very good. See if you can get a H31 for similar money (i think its about £200 more)? I think the contrast is around 3000:1 Full on as well, though realistictly you are more likely to get around 2200:1.

    Here is a review on it that shows just what a good projector it is, its from end of April last year:

    Also, read this article after you have read the stuff below on the H30, it explains about effects of DLP on your viewing - things like Vertical banding are covered i think:
    http://www.projectorcentral.com/banding_rainbows.htm

    The new Optoma H30 is currently one of the strongest competitors in the economy class home theater projector market. It is one of the lowest priced DLP-based video projectors, and certainly the first one under $1500, to feature a six-segment color wheel with a 4x rotation speed. It has received a lot of attention for this feature alone. After putting it through its paces in the lab, we find this unit to be a superb value for the money. It will be the right choice for many first time home theater enthusiasts.

    Product Overview

    Specifications. 800 ANSI lumens, 2000:1 contrast, 800x600 native resolution, native 4:3 aspect ratio, single-chip DLP with 6-segment, 4x wheel rotation speed.

    Compatibility. HDTV 1080i, 720p, 576p, 576i, 480p, 480i, and computer resolutions up to SXGA (1280x1024). NTSC, PAL, SECAM.

    Lens and throw distance. Manual zoom and focus with a moderate 1.2x zoom range. A 100" diagonal 4:3 image is obtained in the range of about 12 to 14 feet. If you opt for a 16:9 screen format, a 100" 16:9 screen can be filled from a distance of about 13 to 15 feet.

    Lamp. 180W P-VIP lamp with 2000-hour lamp life. Replacement lamp is $399 retail, which is typical for this class of product.

    Connection panel. Located on the rear of the unit. Compared to projectors specifically designed for home theater, connectivity on this unit is limited. There is one 15-pin VGA port through which all component and HDTV signals are fed, one S-video port, and one composite video jack. An adapter is included with the unit that lets you interface a standard 3 RCA component video cable to the VGA port.

    Warranty. Two years.

    Performance

    The Optoma H30 is a compact, 4.6 lb. video projector that is a variation on the design of Optoma's EzPro 731 portable data projector. It uses the same basic chassis and connector panel as the 731. And like the 731, the H30 is limited to one VGA port for component/HDTV/data input. Meanwhile it duplicates the 731's VGA output for monitor loop through--a great feature for the education market, but not relevant for home theater. We would have preferred to see a component or DVI input instead of the VGA output. However this would no doubt have driven the price of the product up as well. Such are the trade-offs in using common design and parts for both commercial and home theater markets. The good news is that by using some of the same components, the unit cost to manufacture is lowered. Thus the consumer wins by getting a very low-priced DLP projector with a 6-segment, 4x color wheel.

    By going to a 6-segment (RGB-RGB) color wheel, brightness is reduced (compared to the commercial design) since there is no white segment in the wheel. As is true with most digital video projectors, the 800 ANSI lumen rating is a best case scenario, and not relevant for optimum video use. After selecting the most advantageous settings for video, the real lumen output is closer to 450--not an unusual drop, percentagewise, from the theoretical rating.

    The H30 is an SVGA, 800x600 resolution projector, which is native 4:3 aspect ratio. However you have the option to run the H30 as a native 16:9 projector in 800x450 as well, and set it up to fill a 16:9 screen. Set up this way, a 4:3 image can be centered in the middle of the 16:9 screen frame with black bars on either side. On the other hand, if you are using a 4:3 screen, you can opt to view 4:3 material in full 800x600 resolution. Accordingly, 16:9 material will be viewed with black bars at top and bottom. It should be noted that the first H30s to be shipped did not have all of this functionality. However, it is all available with the latest firmware upgrade. If you own an H30 with the early firmware release, you can get it upgraded at no charge (other than one-way shipping) by calling Optoma Customer Service at 1-888-289-6786.
    Therefore you have more viewing format flexibility with this projector than you do with the so-called "cross-over" projectors in this price class that are used for both business and home entertainment. Optoma has for the most part designed this particular projector to address the needs of the home theater market exclusively.

    SVGA resolution means you will have more visible pixelation than you would on a comparable XGA model. Pixelation on digital projectors, which is mostly visible in white text and subtitles, disappears as you move away from the screen. On the H30 it disappears at a viewing distance of about 1.9 times the screen width. If you are bothered by visible pixel structure in text, subtitles, and credits, and you plan to sit closer than 1.9 times the screen width, you may want to consider an XGA projector instead.

    Out of the box, the color balance on our test unit was poor. Factory presets on red, green, and blue contrast and brightness, when defaulted to zero, yield an image heavily biased toward the green. However this can be corrected easily. In the advanced settings there are independent controls over brightness and contrast for red, green, and blue. On our test unit, we boosted red and blue contrast to +15, reduced green contrast to -8, raised red and blue brightness to +11 and reduced green brightness to -11. With these adjustments, the color balance on our H30 was beautiful. (These settings are quoted to give an indication of the direction and magnitude of correction required for our test unit; they are not meant to suggest that they are the optimum for every individual unit.)

    Brightness uniformity is not a strong suit of the H30. We found brightness to fall off by as much as 40% from center to the corners. Viewing a 100 IRE white screen, the unevenness of the illumination is apparent without a meter. However once video subject matter is in play, the unevenness of illumination is not noticeable unless you intentionally look for it. In typical viewing one is not aware of the issue.

    For DVD play, progressive scan input is preferred to interlace. Not only is a progressive scan image sharper, but it is also about 17% brighter which is an important factor on this unit.

    Overall, after calibration adjustments the picture quality on the H30 is stunning, and certainly one of the best (if not THE best) you can find in this price range. Blacks are solid black, shadow detail is very good, color saturation is excellent. Furthermore, the 4x color wheel will substantially reduce or eliminate DLP rainbow artifacts for those sensitive to them (more on this below).

    The Optoma H30 is a perfect solution for those who want optimum picture quality and who have a completely light controlled environment. If you go for a 90" diagonal picture (still much larger than big-screen TVs), the H30 will deliver extraordinary results. And at this size, pixelation becomes much less of an issue as well. Under these conditions, the H30 can produce outstanding picture quality. You can go larger if you wish, but we encourage users not to go too large. Overextending the image size will make pixelation more apparent and reduce contrast and color saturation.

    Competition: Optoma H30 vs. BenQ PB6100

    The most popular competitor to the Optoma H30 in the "under $1500" category at this time is the BenQ PB6100 (see review).

    These are both native 800x600 resolution projectors. The PB6100 is almost double the brightness and it sells for several hundred dollars less. However the PB6100 does not have a native 16:9 operating mode that allows a 4:3 image to be centered in the middle of a 16:9 screen like the H30 does. Nor does it have the H30's ability to independently adjust red, green and blue contrast and brightness. And the PB6100 has a longer throw distance, which means that the H30 will deliver a larger image in a smaller room. The H30 has a 4x speed color wheel compared to the PB6100's 3x speed wheel.

    [Correction: On 12/8/04 BenQ informed us that their previously quoted specifications pertaining to 3x wheel speeds on the PB6100 and other models are incorrect. The actual rotation speed on these models is 2x. Thus the BenQ 6100 has no advantage in reducing rainbow artifacts over competitive units with 2x color wheels. The Optoma H30, with its 4x rotation speed, has a significant advantage over the 6100 in this regard. EP]

    Budding videophiles will prefer the H30 for several reasons. First and foremost, color accuracy and saturation are notably better on the H30 than they are on the PB6100. Second, those sensitive to DLP rainbow artifacts will see less of them on the H30 due to its faster refresh rate. Third, the H30 offers more flexibility in how you set up the display of 16:9 and 4:3 material. Fourth, fan noise on the H30 is slightly quieter and more stable than it is on the PB6100. Fifth, the lower lumen output of the H30 will not be a problem for the videophile since viewing in a dark room is ideal for maximum image quality no matter what projector you use. The videophile will usually take steps to ensure that the viewing space is dark. For all of these reasons, the videophile's incremental investment in the H30 is well worth the money. If you want a projector that delivers maximum image quality for the money, the H30 is it.

    On the other hand, there are many who will prefer the PB6100. First, if you have a hard limit of no more than $1000 that you want to spend on a projector, the PB6100 delivers the best image we've seen so far in that budget range. Second, if you have more of a home/family entertainment orientation and prefer to view with some limited ambient light in the room, you will want the PB6100 for its additional brightness. The presence of ambient light will largely eliminate the H30's advantage in color saturation. Furthermore the PB6100's extra lumen output will make the image somewhat more resistant to wash out in low ambient light. Of course both of them will wash out in full room light. So we are talking only about a modest amount of indirect ambient light that the PB6100 will tolerate better than the H30.

    DLP Rainbow Artifacts

    For readers unfamiliar with the issue, let's focus a bit on DLP rainbow problems and how these two units compare. First, every single chip DLP projector uses a spinning color wheel with red, green, blue, and sometimes white (clear) segments. Color information on the screen is updated sequentially as the wheel spins. Because of this some people can see the colors separate in what is often described as a rainbow effect. Most can't see it. But for those who can, the visual distraction is enough to eliminate any enjoyment of the material being displayed. And even for some who cannot see the rainbows, the sequential refreshing can produce eyestrain, visual fatigue and headaches.

    One thing is known for certain--the faster the sequential color refresh rate, the less it is a problem. The percentage of the population that experiences any sort of adverse reaction to a DLP image decreases rapidly as the refresh rate increases. Thus the BenQ PB6100 has become the projector of choice under $1,000 due in part to the fact that its 3x wheel is a full 50% faster than the standard 2x wheels of other DLP products in that price range. [Correction: As of this date, BenQ has informed us that the original spec on this unit quoting a 3x rotation speed was in error. The actual rotation speed is 2x. EP 12/8/04]

    The earliest DLP projectors had wheels rotating 60 times per second. The wheel had a single panel of red, green, blue, and white. So all pixels had color information updated once every 1/60 second. Many people found the rainbow artifacts intolerable at this speed. So on next generation units the wheel speed was increased to 120 cps, which is two rotations per 1/60 second or "2x" rotation speed. This significantly reduced the degree to which people were bothered by rainbow artifacts. Most DLP projectors built for presentation use today use 2x speed wheels.

    Nevertheless, many people still remain sensitive to rainbows even at 2x speed. So BenQ increased the rotation speed to 3x in the PB6100 and other models, thereby taking another significant step in reducing the problem. This contributed to making the low cost PB6100 extremely popular for home entertainment. But it is not a benefit for just home entertainment. The last thing anyone using a projector for business presentation needs is their prospects being distracted from the sales pitch by irritating artifacts on the screen. Teachers do not want to lose the attention of their kids to disturbances on the screen, and they don't want them getting headaches either. So the faster rotation speed has good application across all uses of video and data projectors. We look forward to the day, coming soon no doubt, that the standard rotation speed on all DLP projectors is 3x or greater. At that refresh rate very few folks will be bothered by this artifact and the issue will be put to rest.

    Optoma has incorporated a "4x" wheel into the H30. This wheel still rotates at 120 cps, just as a 2x wheel does. However, the color wheel itself has six segments consisting of two sets of red, green, and blue. So for each rotation of the wheel, the system delivers two full refreshes of red, green, and blue information instead of one. Since the refresh rate is double that of the standard 2x wheel, it is known as a 4x wheel.

    The Optoma H30 is the lowest price DLP projector on the market today that features a 4x wheel. As far as video projectors go, this is a highly desirable feature. Since the H30's wheel has no white segment, lumen output is restricted. But for the videophile looking for the best possible picture for the money, we'd say the H30 is currently in a class by itself. (see Optoma H30 specs and dealers).
     
  12. p5yco

    p5yco Guest

    thats some fantastic information there oriphus, thanks. the info is very useful. i think now, i must book a demo of the h30a. one thing though my local av centre who are an extremely large business over 70 stores reckon the h30a isnt very good. this threw me because it has had good reviews from many mags - do you think they said it to make me buy the 4805, they no longer stock the h30a cos in their opinion its not a good performer. anyone on here own the h30a?
     
  13. Oriphus

    Oriphus Senior member

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    lol - haha - i hate sales men for that particular reason. They talk a load of rubbish. They told you that purely because they probably dont have the H30 in stock and cant get it, and that they have loads of the Infocus. That review was taken from Projector Centrals reviews and they are the leading authority in world-wide projector reviews and info. Have a look at this as their summary of the H30:

    I can certainly assure you that i've seen it and was very very impressed, especially when shown beside some more expensive yet inferior Sony H models (HS10 i think).

    If you can get your hands on one, go for the H31 as it has a much better contrast ratio and will let you see your blacker blacks. It might be an extra £150-£200 or maybe less, but i think definitely worth it.

    If not, without a doubt get a demo on the H30, its amazing mate. Who was it that said it wasnt very good, probably Curry's or Dixon's, those sales guys are still in Nappy's. I asked one about four years ago a few questions about projectors (he was their in house expert) and he hadnt a clue what raindow Effects where, didnt understand colour wheels and what they did and hadnt a notion as to what a screen door effect was. All he knew was that it was expensive and that i should buy one because, and i quote "I've got one fo these myself, their the top of the range" referring of course to a Sony VPL-500, which isnt even a home cinema projector....

    Chris
     
  14. Oriphus

    Oriphus Senior member

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    By the way, dont worry about it not having a very high lumens output on the H30, its not bad and will work in a lit room, probably not well in sunlight though...
     
  15. p5yco

    p5yco Guest

    the company in question was actually sevenoaks! im gonna try get demo of h30a soon, ill let you know how i get on.
     
  16. GeorgiaBo

    GeorgiaBo Guest

    As an owner of the Screenplay 4805 I can say that it is a damn fine machine. As far as lumens goes, don't hold too much with that on any projector...lumens are notorious for being rated at the highest when under optimal conditions and generally NO PROJECTOR comes close to delivering its lumens rating in a typical home theater setup. Before I get flamed from videophiles, MOST people have simple home theaters, meaning a home-made or pull down screen, a low/mid grade dvd system, and usaually a converted den/basement for a screening room. Pretty much what I have.
    Just the other day my son watched Poohs Heffalump movie at 3pm with the sun still very much out. No where near dark in the room and the 4805 did an adequate job with the movie. Animated features tend to show up better anyway on any projector system. At night, with comfortable lights on, the picture at 72 inches diag. is as good as alot of theaters. I have projected this unit to will over eight feet diag. onto a off white wall and amazed my brother-in-law with Finding Nemo.
    I will not put down any other projectors, and I'm sure that you "get what you pay for" as with most things, however if you have never had a front projector, the screenplay 4805 has gathered more word-of-mouth over the past year than any other entry level projector. Lamp life on economy mode is 3000+ hours.
    Some of the best features of the Screenplay include its native 16:9 output. Now, I've seen some home shopping networks selling this projector and giving people the impression that it is true HD quality.
    This is not true. The 4805 will only process an HD signal but the output will be dvd quality. Can the average person tell the difference? Not really. Because so few people get HD channels right now.
    Being a native 16:9 projector, say you want to watch an old movie. Now , most of us are going to have a 16:9 screen already set up. So you put in an old movie that was not in widescreen, pre cinemascope days :) The 4805 with one remote click can reformat the image and viola! the old 4:3 box movie is now filling the 16:9 screen. This also works for any tv show.
    Oriphus is more adept at giving you the tech specs of several projectors than I ever could be and that info is superb, but I wanted to throw my oridinary average Joe take on my personal projector, the 4805. There are many better, no doubt, but there are IMHO no other projector for under $1000(US) that is as good at this moment.
    I got mine from Costco Wholesale Store for $1199 w/ free 72 inch screen + a $200 rebate, so my final cost was $1000. And it has been amazing. Anyone need any info on the 4805 I'll do my best to help.
     
  17. Oriphus

    Oriphus Senior member

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    lol - only idiots start flame wars, everyones entitled to their own opinions of course. Your projector is a very good projector and InFocus do have some excellent projectors in their range, but i would still say that the Optoma H30 would be a better choice than the InFocus Screen Play 4805.

    That is true, as with most projectors, they will process HDTV, but not utilise its full potential. As for being able to tell the difference....there is a massive amount of difference, however, since it is extremely hard to get anything to display HDTV quality (1920x1080 pixels) there is little to compare it too. There are a few LCD monitors/screens out there, a projector or two, that can display 1920x1080. There is a big noticeable difference between 854x480 (the infocus 16:9) and 1280x7200 (WXGA Panasonic PTAE700). The Optoma is of course 800x600 so its not a widescreen 16:9 setup from factory, but it does have a mode that allows you to switch to that mode, so the resolution will be the same.

    As GerogioBo says, the Infocus Screenplay 4805 is an excellent model, in fact, it pretty much is the main competitor to the Optoma H30, which is why the H31 came out which takes it up a step from the 4805. The contrast is better on the InFocus, but i think the overall image on the H30 is so good, that i would still tend to go for that.

    As ive said before, have a demo of it, and have a demo of the Screenplay. If you want to read a review on it, click here:

    http://www.projectorcentral.com/infocus_screenplay_4805.htm

    Both are really good, go for the one you like most on the day....

    Chris

    P.S. Suprised at Sevenoaks, would have thought they would know better.
     
  18. p5yco

    p5yco Guest

    thanks for all your replies
     
  19. Oriphus

    Oriphus Senior member

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    p5yco - u have a pm
     
  20. Oriphus

    Oriphus Senior member

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