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For Anyone considering an RPTV purchase soon-

Old 09-06-01, 01:45 PM
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For Anyone considering an RPTV purchase soon-

if you are budgeting $2-3000 for a new digital rptv, especially a widescreen set, i would urge anyone to strongly investigate getting a budget Front Projector instead.
In January i bought a Sony 53HS10 and for several months was ecstacially happy with it, but i soon found out how little use i had for network programming (apart from Buffy TVS) and quickly the set became a DVD delivery device. especially since dvd quality blew away cable output. never bought the HD decoder.
about the only thing lacking was the size of the picture. i couldn't fit a 61" down the stairs, and really would have stretched the budget too much to even consider it.
i thought though, with the wonderful PQ from the sony set, that i was fixed, but while i was researching rp's i ran across a forum pretty much dedicated to front projection systems and would read the posts there with wistful interest. the only projector i had seen was the SonyVW10HT and at $7000 retail, that really wasn't an option ( and to tell the truth, seeing it in person didn't make me pine away for it).
to cut to the chase, i became aware of many positive posts on a business class projector (NEC LT150) which had just dropped in price making it close to a 61" rp purchase. i was interested, but not being able to see it in person, disregarded it.
then wandering around another HT store i saw a $17000 Runco DLP projector, and brother, did i seriously start getting a case of unrequited infatuation. the quality of the picture was so close to 'theater-like' that i was tearing my hair out trying to figure out how old i would be before i could finally afford something like that.
well, a couple months later Dell computer goofs on their pricing of the the NEC LT150 and i couldn't resist.
let me tell you, honestly, the quality of this sub-$2k business projector easisly equals what i saw with the $17000 runco.
it's not perfect, to be sure, but i've since gone back to circuit city and best buy and given all the digital rp's a thourough look over (even the pioneer elites) and i can say without a doubt this projector puts out an equivilent image...except for the fact that i can fill a whole wall up with the movie!
i just sold off my Sony, and have reconfigured the room a bit and finally set up the sound system and it is UNREAL!
everything so far i have needed to buy or make to go with the projector (i.e. screen, real theater seats, a prog dvd player, curtains, etc) has actually totaled out to be LESS than what i spent on the HS10 alone!

Front projectors are not for everybody. the biggest thing is that you really need to have total control of ambient light.
but , then again, i would never watch the rp with the lights on either.
you can still find this particular projector thru some sources for around $2500...and compared to the price of a new digital rp, it's really a steal. they've just dicontinued this model and the next one should be imore in the $4-5000 range.

my advice for anyone salivating for a new big screen tv- buy a cheap little 19" to do your regualr tv veiwing on, and buy a front projector for you serious dvd and movie viewing.

trust me, once you see your favorite film splashed across an 8' wide screen, you'll never want it any other way!
Old 09-06-01, 03:39 PM
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Re: For Anyone considering an RPTV purchase soon-

Originally posted by ckolchak
then wandering around another HT store i saw a $17000 Runco DLP projector, and brother, did i seriously start getting a case of unrequited infatuation. the quality of the picture was so close to 'theater-like' that i was tearing my hair out trying to figure out how old i would be before i could finally afford something like that.

well, a couple months later Dell computer goofs on their pricing of the the NEC LT150 and i couldn't resist.
let me tell you, honestly, the quality of this sub-$2k business projector easisly equals what i saw with the $17000 runco.
Yep, Runco's DLP sure is something, definitely makes the credit
card finger itch.

Do you have an iScan processor hooked up to the NEC, or
is it straight output?

Sure wish I had the space now for a FP.
Old 09-06-01, 04:48 PM
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Yeah, that's my dream to have a setup like you have with a front projector. I ended up getting a 65" widescreen to tide me over till I actually buy a house that will have a dedicated home theater room. I really thought long and hard about a projector for my current situation (I'm just renting a small house), but didn't think it would be practical for a living room setup.

Does the image from your projector look much different than your Sony RPTV looked? Obviously it's WAY bigger which is VERY important for home theater IMO, but is it as bright? Also, just how big could you make your screen without losing brightness and resolution? 8' sounds awesome, but would it still look nice at 12' or 13'? Heck, if the prices keep coming down on 'em I may try to pick one up and come up with some type of make-shift setup even before I buy my own home. I love hearing about front projector setups. I don't think I'd ever want to go to the local Cineplex ever again!
Old 09-06-01, 05:36 PM
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I just bought a Sony 1271Q with low hours and no wear/burn on the tubes. I got it at a very, very reasonable price (under a grand). It's my first projector and I can't wait for it to get here so I can see how it looks.

I too was considering a Toshiba 65" but it wouldn't fit through the door of my apartment (yes I am renting). I am not mounting the projector to the ceiling. I still think you can have one even without a dedicated room although I agree that is an awesome dream for down the road.

I just missed out on the NEC LT-150 craze, and while I did consider the DLP unit (even at $2350+ that it can be found at) I decided to go for the CRT instead for my first time out of the gate.

If you look around you can find some nice used CRT's at well below a RPTV price (and most will do HDTV too if that's your bag). I am mainly concerned with DVD viewing at this point.

If you have a decent-sized room and want to experience some of what a true home theater can be, I'd say take the plunge.
Old 09-07-01, 01:11 AM
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Originally posted by Xytraguptorh
Yeah, that's my dream to have a setup like you have with a front projector. I ended up getting a 65" widescreen to tide me over till I actually buy a house that will have a dedicated home theater room. I really thought long and hard about a projector for my current situation (I'm just renting a small house), but didn't think it would be practical for a living room setup.
if you have room for a beheamoth 65" appliance, believe me, you have more than enouth room for
1) a screen. i made mine myself at a cost of about $40. it constructed very similarly to stretched artists canvas and hangs on the wall with a few nails. there are also pull down ones that snap back up like a window shade when not in use.
so going front projection just ADDS about 2' of depth to your tv area
2) most digital projectors are not much bigger than the average 13" tv. the particular projector i have is about the size of your typical Hardback Bestseller. no kidding! the thing only weighs 3.3 lbs.

"Does the image from your projector look much different than your Sony RPTV looked? Obviously it's WAY bigger which is VERY important for home theater IMO, but is it as bright? Also, just how big could you make your screen without losing brightness and resolution? 8' sounds awesome, but would it still look nice at 12' or 13'?"

let me put it this way.
brightness is not a concern unless you need ambient light for the other people in the room who may not want to watch it.
for pure movie watching, in a darkened room, i have a hard time believing it could get much better. in fact i could envision some pj's being too bright and creating eye fatigue.
the way it looks to me is just right.
i LOVED the picture quality from the Sony. i looked long and hard at all the digital sets out there and ended up with that one because PQ was best all around on different sources. All the digiatal tv's i looked at looked great playing A Bug's Life.
Is the sony brighter or sharper or does it have more accurate colors than the projector?
Actually, i can't really tell, because i never move the projector in close enough to view a 53" image (or even a 48" 16:9 ratio image).
i'm being a little sarcastic here, but i really don't know ( though i strongly suspect) that if i did want to get the same size image from the pj, it would look very, very close to what i saw on the sony.
blown up to 8' (thats wide...diag is more like 100"+) there is probably a little trade off, but once i first started watching things on this pj, i never bothered plugging the sony back in, and only looked at it briefly before we packed it back on the truck, just to make sure it was still working properly.
but the fact is, as much a us weak ego'd men hate to here it, size counts for QUITE a bit.
i have a setup where i move the pj in closer for 4:3 movies and move it back progressivly for wider screen films. This gives me a constant height/ expanding width...just like a real cinema. and NO BLACK BARS...EVER! unlike a 16:9 set where 'epic' movies (anything over 1:85) will still be displayed with letterbox bars.
what's really funny is, it's like i steped up to that 61" set (the height i have gives me a 61" diag picture for 4:3 material),
but now, when i watch a widescreen movie, instead of the picture getting slighlty smaller, it's like i've blown the sides off
the fact is, if youre cramped for space, you can still get that 61", 65" or whatever size...you don't have to go superhuge.
but when youre ready to or finally have the space, you CAN. without having to make a new expensive purchase.
one person in the other forum just posted pictures of his make-shift drive-in. they set this pj on the dash of a car and projected it onto the side of a house for a 25' image. he said it looked great!

Last edited by ckolchak; 09-07-01 at 01:23 AM.
Old 09-07-01, 01:36 AM
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Re: Re: For Anyone considering an RPTV purchase soon-

Originally posted by M i c h a e l


Yep, Runco's DLP sure is something, definitely makes the credit
card finger itch.

Do you have an iScan processor hooked up to the NEC, or
is it straight output?

Sure wish I had the space now for a FP.
for the first 36 hours i put on the bulb, i had it hooked up to a tosh 2109 via s-video. at times the picture looked quite good (using a great disc with an excellant transfer, naturally) and some times it looked less so. i've since hooked it up to a 5109 progressive and in some cases ( the aforementioned great transfers) the quality difference is hard to see. it is there, but its very subtle and something you're more likely to realize once you go back to interlaced.
but on some discs (Planet of the Apes, Liscence to Kill...just to name two) the improvement is a little bit more obvious.
most people with this pj recommend getting an HTPC to drive it, but i don't want the hassle of introducing windows into my HT, or want to spend the couple of grand a decent 'turn-key' system would cost me.
the progressive scan dvd player looks like it will be the best option for me all the way around.
i don't know how it would compare to an iscan, but may investigat one in the futer so that i can finally make use of my LD collection before i sell it or it rots out...whichever comes first
Old 09-07-01, 10:10 PM
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ckolchak, that's great advice. Because I am SO itchy to get a new 73" mits RPTV for $6000 because in all honesty, I've never thought front projectors were in that price range.
Can you or anyone tell me where to buy a good one like the one you have? And what else do I need to buy besides it and the screen?

Also, is it practical to to use this in my living room with windows and an opening into the kitchen? If I turn off the lights & close my blinds, it's pretty dark... especially at night.

Also, do I have to mount this on my ceiling (which seems difficult to me)?

Also, is it practical to keep my older 61" tv for tv viewing & have a screen for the projector in front of the 61" tv that I can slide up or down when I need to? thanks guys!
Old 09-07-01, 10:59 PM
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A lukewarm deal on the NEC LT150, $2,595.00 here:

http://www.jensenav.com/home.cfm

This projector is only 3.3 pounds and no you don't have to ceiling mount it.

You may want to consider buying a HTPC.
Old 09-07-01, 11:10 PM
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Whats an HTPC? And how much for it?
Old 09-07-01, 11:15 PM
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Originally posted by babka
Whats an HTPC? And how much for it?
Home
Theater
Personal
Computer

Just a normal PC with a DVD drive and a really sweet video card. $1000 should get you one. Try the HTPC Forum at:

http://www.avsforum.com
Old 09-08-01, 02:33 AM
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Skar (and anyone else interested for that matter)
that lukewarm deal is quite a bit hotter than you think.
1) you may be hard pressed to find a pj of equivilent quality for $2600. this thing has gotten near unanimous raves when it was priced at $5000. it was a 'sleeper' bargin when the price dropped to $3250 a few months ago. at this price, i urge everyone even remotely interested to SNAP IT UP....NOW!
because
2) it's been discontinued. they've stopped making this model and are gearing up to introduce it's next generation the LT150z. the z stands for zoom, which would definately come in handy, but i guarantee you, they won't have a sub- $3000 price. also, some say zoom lens assembleys are a step down, optically, from a fixed lens. i don't know if its true or what percentage the image is 'less fine', but i tend to believe it since advances usually mean trade-offs. i doubt it would be a significant difference. unlike the new price you'll see attatched to it.

i'm not a projector expert. far from it. i've only seen 3 pjs set up locally in the last couple years.
the sony vw10ht
the runco vx1c
and a Dreamvision.

the lowest price was the DV at $6000, and the runco had a whopping $17000 price tag.
this little (now)$2600 unit bests 2 of those and looked , to my eyes, to at least equal the the runcos picture.
keep in mind that $17000 price includes a stand alone scaler. if that $5000 scaler were hooked up to LT150...
i'm sure there will be even better pjs coming down the pike in the coming months and years, but at this point in time, and for quite a while i would expect, this pj is the BEST VALUE in ht gear.


i hadn't planned to trumpet this particular pj as vociferously as i have, i just wanted to get the word out since i bet there a lot of people in the situation i was, who wanted to create a really invigorating home theater and totally disregarded Front projection thinking it was only the province of people with 6 and 7 figure incomes.
that's just not so.
look around, read and ask questions before you take the plunge and throw down several thousands dollars on 'just' a big tv.
as i posted to someone else recently in another forum, once you get it you're pretty much stuck with it.
no matter what size you get, you will eventually grow used to it and crave a larger screen.
RPs also depreciate much more drastically, far quicker, and severly limit you if you ever try to resell them.
if you find youre disenchanted with a projector, on the other hand, or its just not working out for you, it will retain more of its value far longer, & be much easier to put up for sale (are you really going to ebay & ship a 300lb rp?).
Old 09-08-01, 02:46 AM
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Originally posted by babka
ckolchak, that's great advice. Because I am SO itchy to get a new 73" mits RPTV for $6000 because in all honesty, I've never thought front projectors were in that price range.
Can you or anyone tell me where to buy a good one like the one you have? And what else do I need to buy besides it and the screen?

Also, is it practical to to use this in my living room with windows and an opening into the kitchen? If I turn off the lights & close my blinds, it's pretty dark... especially at night.

Also, do I have to mount this on my ceiling (which seems difficult to me)?

Also, is it practical to keep my older 61" tv for tv viewing & have a screen for the projector in front of the 61" tv that I can slide up or down when I need to? thanks guys!
i'm not sure, but for that budget i'd bet you have a decent variety very nice projectors to choose from. if you increase the budget a couple grand or also look for used pjs, you're 'talent pool' has just increased even more.
your best bet is to hit the AVS forum and ask for recommendations in your price range.
the people there will give you a thourough run-down on all the associated benefits and trade-offs for the four main types of projectors.

just my opinion, but i'd say get rid of that tv. i loved the novelty of it while i had mine, but not having it down there anymore, really frees the room up. its not dominated anymore by this large grey box, and the extra open space is like a breath of fresh air.
Old 09-09-01, 07:43 AM
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Originally posted by ckolchak




just my opinion, but i'd say get rid of that tv. i loved the novelty of it while i had mine, but not having it down there anymore, really frees the room up. its not dominated anymore by this large grey box, and the extra open space is like a breath of fresh air.
If I get rid of it, can I still watch tv on a projector with some external device thats not expensive?
Old 09-09-01, 12:58 PM
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Be aware that the replacement cost of the bulb in a projector is very high. Your viewing can end up costing about $1 per hour.
Old 09-09-01, 02:31 PM
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X is right.
the bulb for my projector, in particular, is only rated for 1000 hrs and costs $500.
this is the reason i don't recommend you fire it up just to channel surf.
even just gettin a small tv will still free up a lot of space and you wheel it in and out of place rather easily.
if you must, there are ways of watching tv, i think the most common is with a computer.
don't ask me how, as i don't know anything about this area at all.

even with the high bulb costs, you guys realize that eventually you have to replace the tubes in a rp?
from what i gathered they were more than $500 and there were 3 of them to replace.


btw: watched Memento last night and it was stunning! rich colors, dark darks and a very smooth appearence.
i also poped in a movie from my youth that had a pretty awful mastering job (poor compression, etc) and yet it was still a wonderful experience. took me back, like nothing else has, to when i was a 9 yr old, watching it in the theater.
wow.
i'm now consumed with thoughts of taking my own advice and snagging another while the price is still (relatively) low & before they completely dry up.
Old 09-10-01, 01:23 AM
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Wow... $500 bulbs for 1000 hours of viewing, & $1 per hour just for viewing seems alot for me.
I bet rear projection tvs last longer than 1000 hours of viewing before having to spurt out $500 .
Old 09-10-01, 01:29 AM
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Originally posted by babka
Wow... $500 bulbs for 1000 hours of viewing, & $1 per hour just for viewing seems alot for me.
I bet rear projection tvs last longer than 1000 hours of viewing before having to spurt out $500 .
The $1 per hour cost I quoted was a medium to high average for bulbs. $500 for 1000 hours would be $.50 per hour, but still not insignificant. The cost of a screen has to be factored in too. A wall can be used, but it won't provide the quality of a screen which can cost many hundreds of dollars.
Old 09-10-01, 03:05 AM
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my screen is a do-it-yourselfer, with some 1x2's from Home Depot and Blackout fabric from Joanns.
total cost was under $40 and time spent putting it together was about 1 1/2 hours...at the most.
the colors, contrast, black levels, etc that i see with this simple solution have me quite satisfied and i won't be ordering a pro screen for a long, long time.
one thing i'm really digging about fp, is the diy aspect. i realize this is something that won't appeal to everybody, but half the fun for me has been designing how the various elements of the theater will look, building the screen and the frame around the screen...etc.
i'm really jonesin to take some pics of the set-up, cause i love the way it all came together and am quite proud of what i've been able to accomplish on a skinflint budget.
i just picked up some blue velvet today, to set of the black velvet masking the perimeter, and with a coupon from the sunday paper, it came to $16.
putting it together...in bits and pieces at a time, is a blast.

as far as bulb cost, whenever i do have to pony up for a new one, it will be a bit of a drag, which is why i'm trying not to burn thru it willy-nilly. i'll be putting some hours on it in the next few days as i demo some different progressive players to mate with it ( so far the JVC 65GD looks like a decent sub $250 solution). once thats done i'll only use it to watch a movie ( or two) every other night or so.
like i said, i really want to keep the experience of watching things on it special, so veging out in front of it 7hrs a days channel surfing is not in the game plan.
if thats what your looking for, the rp is most likely what you'll really want.

Last edited by ckolchak; 09-10-01 at 03:12 AM.
Old 09-10-01, 03:22 AM
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You may want to investigate the use of a home theater computer rather than buying a progressive player. It's extremely versatile and expanding program sources like OTA or cable TV or HDTV merely takes adding a card for a couple hundred dollars at most. All the scaling and doubling can be done with the computer so you won't need external units. I have put together a computer dedicated to that myself although I use it on a RPTV.
Old 09-10-01, 03:35 AM
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x,
i've pretty much ruled out the HTPC option.
the big sticking points for me are
-my unfamiliartity with the windows OS.
i'm strictly a mac user right now, and i don't fancy boneing up on the various permutation of windows just to drive my ht.
couple that with the assorted problems i hear people having with passing audio out thru certain cards, conflicts with players and cards, patches, registrys, and on and on and on...
i know there are definite benefits to be had, but just getting up to a speed where i'll be comfortable using it, is just too much work right now.
a year or so from now, when i'm itching to upgrade something ( ) i'll probably investigate it , but for right now the streamlined approach of a plug and play player trumps any more improvements in PQ.
Besides, the picture experience is so grand right now, i have a hard time believing a PC would make anything more than the most minor of improvements ( tho i'm sure i'm wrong).

Last edited by ckolchak; 09-10-01 at 03:37 AM.
Old 09-10-01, 05:23 AM
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The HTPC solution just doen't work well in some cases. One have to put up with the aggravation of the OS. Also it's not the most wife and kid freindly solution.

You may want to have a look at the Panasonic RP56 if you are looking for a progressive player. It can be found for around $220, and has the Sage chip. It seems to be quite the steal.

Last edited by nekobus; 09-10-01 at 05:29 AM.
Old 09-10-01, 09:42 AM
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so far i've spent about 4 hrs with the JVC and have come to the conclusion that
the deinterlacing absolutely sucks
and
apart from that
the picture it is capable of putting out is otherwise spectacular!
i would say there is no trace of a chroma bug, and now i realize just how bad it was on the 5109.
colors are creamy and stable and the whole picture is noticeably finer.
so dissapointing to see jagged lines, stairsteps, shimmering and moires pop up and distract you away from what is otherwise a 5 star picture.
and the thing is so damn cheap too.
i may have to give the panasonic a look see, if it can match the picture quality i see here and do a better job with the deinterlacing that may be the one.
everything else about the player i adore. picture controls, remote, speed of acsess is blisteringly fast...

aaarrrggghh.
everything is always a tradeoff.
in this case, for the money, i think i may be able to live with that for awhile.
Old 09-11-01, 01:39 AM
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Do you, cholchak or anyone know where to buy the NEC LT-150 front projector?

I saw my first projection today .... a sharp LCD XV-DW100U. It looked nice. However the salesperson said it was his last one retail for $12000. And he was asking $7000.
Old 09-11-01, 02:57 AM
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Babka,
your best bet is to do a price search on cnet.com.
you may have a bit of job finding one, but if you look hard i'm sure you'll run across some place that has some left.
there's always ebay, but one thing i really am high on with this projector ( as if simplicity, size and stunning picture quality wasn't enough) is NEC's exceptional 3 year warranty. the biggest incentive to pay a bit more and try to get it from a dealer.
also, its probably a good idea to order from some place that accepts returns. although if anyone gets one and is dissapointed, i think you'd do better e-baying it off.

it wasn't my intention to promote this particular pj ( although i happen to love mine) and the fact that you can couple it with a $40 screen, a $50 breakout cable , and a $220 progressive player and get a (mostly) spectacular image is just amazing to me.
it's not perfect, but then nothing in this hobby really is. tradeoffs are the name of the game when you go budget shopping. i just think the trade-offs, for what you actually end up with in the long run are pretty easy to swallow.
Old 09-11-01, 03:20 AM
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Originally posted by ckolchak
so far i've spent about 4 hrs with the JVC and have come to the conclusion that
the deinterlacing absolutely sucks
This is were the Panasonic RP56 is going to do much better because of its Sage FLI2200 chip. This is the same chip which is in the more expensive Pannie RP91. That this chip is in a $220 player is amazing. Seems like they may have kept it quiet in order not to cannibalize sales from the RP91.

Check out this thread in the avsforum:

http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/Forum4/HTML/004370.html

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