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New Budget King In Digital Front Projection - $999 720p DLP w/DarkChip2, 4000:1 CR

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New Budget King In Digital Front Projection - $999 720p DLP w/DarkChip2, 4000:1 CR

Old 09-08-06, 09:16 AM
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New Budget King In Digital Front Projection - $999 720p DLP w/DarkChip2, 4000:1 CR

http://www.visualapex.com/LCDproject...D70&MFR=Optoma

Even the AE900 and Z4 720p LCDs can't match this price. The DLP has DarkChip2, Brilliant Color & Image AI.

I didn't think I would see a 720p DLP with such features to hit a grand for at least a year.

It's pretty amazing that you can now have an 8-10'+ wide HD DLP display for such a low price, especially when you see the prices of those overpriced tiny "big screen" TVs.

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Old 09-08-06, 11:13 AM
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Wow, didn't expect this before announcements of 1080p in the <$3K range. Most impressive. Only 4x wheel, but does have 7 segments. I wonder if this will suffer from the recent, "only offer bizarre placement options in low-priced DLP" difficulty.
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Old 09-08-06, 01:08 PM
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Very nice...however like Spiky placement is a major issue. But my current set up is pretty straight forward. However flexible set means helping with "future proofing".

I may start upgrading around Christmas...maybe...
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Old 09-13-06, 03:05 PM
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www.projectorcentral.com has a positive review of it up now. How can the non C2Fine/non 1080p LCDs survive? I heard the new 720p Panasonic was announced at around $2200. I can't believe the highend LCDs went from providing bang for you buck to being overpriced. Not all that long ago DLP was commanding $1,000-$2000+ more for 720p models. LCDs one big advantage was price and now that is not only gone, but the prices isn't that close anymore. DLP has zoomed past LCD price/performance ratio.

Unless they fire back with a $799 720p LCD at the same level as the AE900/Z4 (at least) their sales should be destroyed. If they do not, their savior will have to be cheap 1080p.
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Old 09-13-06, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Slayer2005
www.projectorcentral.com has a positive review of it up now. How can the non C2Fine/non 1080p LCDs survive? I heard the new 720p Panasonic was announced at around $2200. I can't believe the highend LCDs went from providing bang for you buck to being overpriced. Not all that long ago DLP was commanding $1,000-$2000+ more for 720p models. LCDs one big advantage was price and now that is not only gone, but the prices isn't that close anymore. DLP has zoomed past LCD price/performance ratio.

Unless they fire back with a $799 720p LCD at the same level as the AE900/Z4 (at least) their sales should be destroyed. If they do not, their savior will have to be cheap 1080p.
Well this is just one PJ. And with no lens shift...Right now I still have the AE900 on the top of my upgrade list. But lets see what happens after the electronics show. Who knows the AE900 & Z4 may have another round of price reductions.

Having said that, is your general felling that DLP "overall" has a better picture the the LCD? The other night I was watching CSI: Miami on my X1 with OTA HD, and it was awe inspiring. Now it appears that CSI itself is a "pumped up" colors show (like watching a Pixar flic) but still, I was amazed at the detail, the color, etc. I just can't image it getting better. But the one thing I don't want to happen is to loose anything by going from the DLP of the X1 to the LCD of say the AE900.
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Old 09-13-06, 03:21 PM
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There will probably always be a market for LCD until DLP gets rid of the rainbow effect.

I'm wondering whether I'll ever get another DLP. It doesn't give me headaches but it's distracting at times.
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Old 09-13-06, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Sdallnct
Well this is just one PJ. And with no lens shift...Right now I still have the AE900 on the top of my upgrade list. But lets see what happens after the electronics show. Who knows the AE900 & Z4 may have another round of price reductions.

Having said that, is your general felling that DLP "overall" has a better picture the the LCD? The other night I was watching CSI: Miami on my X1 with OTA HD, and it was awe inspiring. Now it appears that CSI itself is a "pumped up" colors show (like watching a Pixar flic) but still, I was amazed at the detail, the color, etc. I just can't image it getting better. But the one thing I don't want to happen is to loose anything by going from the DLP of the X1 to the LCD of say the AE900.
Yes, I find that DLP is overall superior in image quality. Better, blacks, better native contrast, less screen door than the Z4, sharper than the AE900 and better shadow detail than LCDs. However, I am referring to newer DLPs. The AE900 is better than the X1 in most areas. The X1 only has about 800:1 native contrast when calibrated. The 4805 reaches 2200:1. The AE900 I believe is around 800:1-1200:1 before the iris go into action. They can claim 5500:1 because of the way their irises work, but in reality it looks more like 1300:1-1500:1.

If you like the color saturation of your X1 you are going to be blown away by today's units. I learned that one of the X1's problems is actually somewhat washed out colors occasionally. Sounds crazy until you see for yourself. My CRT was the first to show me how muted the X1's colors could be at times. Huge difference in saturation and color depth. The 4805 and most other units today are also a pretty big improvement over the X1 in that regard and many other areas as well. Of course my CRT also obliterated the X1's black level so badly it's hard to even describe the difference. Checking out Underworld was like looking at different film and I thought it looked very good on the X1 for a dark film. I couldn't believe I had this level of image quality in my house. The newer affordable DLPs offer a decent black level improvement in dark scenes, but still are far behind CRT in that regard. One thing that can make up for less than inky blacks in dark scenes is good shadow detail. Units like the HC3000U have much better shadow detail than the X1. The H70 should be an improvement in that area too.

The $1449 HC3000U is still a superb deal. It's about as close as you can get to DarkChip3 quality without getting a DC3 unit and it costs about a grand or more less.

The AE900, overall will blow away the X1, but better can be had for the same price or less (HC3000U, HD70, for example).
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Old 09-13-06, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Slayer2005
Yes, I find that DLP is overall superior in image quality. Better, blacks, better native contrast, less screen door than the Z4, sharper than the AE900 and better shadow detail than LCDs. However, I am referring to newer DLPs. The AE900 is better than the X1 in most areas. The X1 only has about 800:1 native contrast when calibrated. The 4805 reaches 2200:1. The AE900 I believe is around 800:1-1200:1 before the iris go into action. They can claim 5500:1 because of the way their irises work, but in reality it looks more like 1300:1-1500:1.

If you like the color saturation of your X1 you are going to be blown away by today's units. I learned that one of the X1's problems is actually somewhat washed out colors occasionally. Sounds crazy until you see for yourself. My CRT was the first to show me how muted the X1's colors could be at times. Huge difference in saturation and color depth. The 4805 and most other units today are also a pretty big improvement over the X1 in that regard and many other areas as well. Of course my CRT also obliterated the X1's black level so badly it's hard to even describe the difference. Checking out Underworld was like looking at different film and I thought it looked very good on the X1 for a dark film. I couldn't believe I had this level of image quality in my house. The newer affordable DLPs offer a decent black level improvement in dark scenes, but still are far behind CRT in that regard. One thing that can make up for less than inky blacks in dark scenes is good shadow detail. Units like the HC3000U have much better shadow detail than the X1. The H70 should be an improvement in that area too.

The $1449 HC3000U is still a superb deal. It's about as close as you can get to DarkChip3 quality without getting a DC3 unit and it costs about a grand or more less.

The AE900, overall will blow away the X1, but better can be had for the same price or less (HC3000U, HD70, for example).
Great information...thanks so much...

Well the one thing I can't seem to asjust is I have noticed is I can't seem to get my X1 to not crush white ON CERTAIN HD stuff. Mainly like football, but a few other shows as well. Now for example, Leno and Letterman, CSI's all good. But in particular during Sundays football games I lost serious detail in the whites. Tho this may be more of factor of the source, then the X1. Or if it might be my screen should have a little more grey in it.

I'd definatly keeping my options open. I don't know exactly when I'll make the move. I trying to keep a short list of units in mind in case I see a smoking deal.
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Old 09-13-06, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Sdallnct
Great information...thanks so much...

Well the one thing I can't seem to asjust is I have noticed is I can't seem to get my X1 to not crush white ON CERTAIN HD stuff. Mainly like football, but a few other shows as well. Now for example, Leno and Letterman, CSI's all good. But in particular during Sundays football games I lost serious detail in the whites. Tho this may be more of factor of the source, then the X1. Or if it might be my screen should have a little more grey in it.

I'd definatly keeping my options open. I don't know exactly when I'll make the move. I trying to keep a short list of units in mind in case I see a smoking deal.
Have you tried lowering the contrast and/or color controls. If the color controls are set too high they will make whites clip. Same goes for contrast. It may need a different setting than your dvd player. You may be able to improve it, but you won't get the level of white detail that you can get with higher end projectors.

BTW, if the HD70 is not a smoking deal for a digital projector I do not know what is.
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Old 09-13-06, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Slayer2005
Have you tried lowering the contrast and/or color controls. If the color controls are set too high they will make whites clip. Same goes for contrast. It may need a different setting than your dvd player. You may be able to improve it, but you won't get the level of white detail that you can get with higher end projectors.

BTW, if the HD70 is not a smoking deal for a digital projector I do not know what is.
Yes, it seems it is. I'm a little concerned that it has no lens shift, but looking at the calculator I should be able to make it work in my current set up.

My only other complaint with my X1 is the noise. It is pretty loud IMHO. The HD70 shows 28db which would be 9 db less then the X1. Course the Z4 is a very quiet 22db and the Panny comes in at a very nice 25db. With only eight foot ceilings and the PJ mounted above but between the two rows of seating, noise is a concern.
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Old 09-13-06, 10:56 PM
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Anything under 30db should be good. I think my Tosh was rated at 27 or 28. I never noticed it with any sort of volume at all. Panny is even quieter, although it has an annoying pitch at first. But that goes away in a few minutes.
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Old 09-13-06, 11:48 PM
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Wow, 33% outside of image area for the vertical offset according to the review. They are getting farther away from the screen, not closer!! This would literally have to be above the floor above me to hit my screen properly in a ceiling-mounted orientation. Or be below the level of my butt when I'm sitting down for a table-mounted position.
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Old 09-14-06, 07:35 AM
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Someone on AVS who was interested in the HD70 had only one negative thing to say about it: "As for the HD70, I wish it had a bit more lumens, but that's about it.". What is funny about that is he owns an X1 and despite the X1's ratings even my 4805 at low lamp mode (where I keep it) blows ithe X1's brightness out of the water with movies and the HD70 is quite a bit brighter than the 4805, especially in high lamp mode (which is 2.16x brighter than the 4805 in low lamp mode).

I am going to be selling my 4805 soon, but I was playing with it to go as large as possible on my very pale grey wall (looks white unless there is something pure white on the wall, like a light switch, then there is a clear difference). I ended up at about 14' wide (there is an upright broom in the screenshot so you can get an idea of the size). The shot was taken with a camcorder that couldn't really capture the actual brightness they eye sees and it was taken in ambient light (readable environment), but i shaded the light heavily to keep all direct rays off of the image area.





You know what's odd? I notice more SDE sitting 2x the width at 8' wide on my Torus than I do at 14' wide from about 15' away (except when I bring up the menus). It must be the low gain and/or slight textured of the wall.

One good thing about being at this size is that blacks are 1/4th as bright as they would be on a 7' wide screen (though a fade to black is still very surprisingly bright).

I'd love to go this large with an HD unit. That would rock hard. The only thing that would need to be changed aside from less offset is that I would make a DIY medium silver screen for increased contrast in shaded ambient light. I tested a shiny silver fabric sheet on the screen during a dark scene of Pitch Black with my shaded light and the black level/contrast increase in that condition was great. The only problem is the sheet actually absorbs and passes some light through. So, I'm thinking of trying dark Silver latex shined up with silicone spray. This way I should at least reach the brightness of the wall while black would look about 50x darker in shaded ambient light. Basically, I want a very large image that is also watchabel in ambient light (shaded though). Seems doable.

I'll post a shot of what I'm talking about later.
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Old 09-14-06, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Spiky
Anything under 30db should be good. I think my Tosh was rated at 27 or 28. I never noticed it with any sort of volume at all. Panny is even quieter, although it has an annoying pitch at first. But that goes away in a few minutes.
Still liking your AE900?
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Old 09-14-06, 12:20 PM
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You bet. Can't hear the thing unless I turn off volume and listen for it. I've had pretty good luck with fans, even though I have at least 5 within 5' of my ears. The 900 is silent, my 2 Tivos are very quiet, and the 2 fans for my HTPC are usually not noticeable. My receiver might have one, too.

I need to get a filter for the 900, my old one doesn't fit on this lens. Not sure if I want a CC filter or another ND filter. But everyday watching is great. If I look for things to pick on, they are there. But RBE is not, of course, and that was a pain with my DLP. Just as bright as my DLP was, I use it on the low setting most of the time. Nice unit.

Still waiting for my rebate. And watching for 1080.

Oh, forgot. I can hear the dynamic iris if it is on. Esp when I'm surfing the net or something like that: quiet, with very dark and very light onscreen. So I generally leave that off, it is annoying.

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Old 09-15-06, 02:30 AM
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Word has it the keystone has no noticeable effect on image quality with the HD70. Infact, after hearing some people complain about the offset saying they would have to go to LCD because of it I decided to try out my 4805's keystone for the first time with a DVD to see what all the fuss was about.

I was playing a DVD at about 13' wide. I saw zero difference on the DVD image or the Infocus menu options box while adjusting. I guess a projector just needs a good scaler/deinterlacer.
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Old 09-15-06, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Slayer2005
Word has it the keystone has no noticeable effect on image quality with the HD70. Infact, after hearing some people complain about the offset saying they would have to go to LCD because of it I decided to try out my 4805's keystone for the first time with a DVD to see what all the fuss was about.

I was playing a DVD at about 13' wide. I saw zero difference on the DVD image or the Infocus menu options box while adjusting. I guess a projector just needs a good scaler/deinterlacer.
To get my X1 perfect, dead on square (really I was the only that could notice and only if I specifically was looking for it), I have to adjust keystone one setting I think it is. I guess 0 keystoning is 50 and I'm using 52. But switching between the two even on HD, I can't see any difference. Doesn't mean it is not there, but I can't see it.

That is one reason I'd like a PJ with a small lens shift so, if I decide to move my screen up or down whatever, I have plenty of options.
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Old 09-15-06, 10:25 AM
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Doesn't keystone use up some resolution? The farther it goes, the lower the resolution can be. 1 or 2 notches has generally not been a problem with any PJ.
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Old 09-15-06, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Slayer2005
Word has it the keystone has no noticeable effect on image quality with the HD70. Infact, after hearing some people complain about the offset saying they would have to go to LCD because of it I decided to try out my 4805's keystone for the first time with a DVD to see what all the fuss was about.

I was playing a DVD at about 13' wide. I saw zero difference on the DVD image or the Infocus menu options box while adjusting. I guess a projector just needs a good scaler/deinterlacer.
I think you lose the perfect pixel-mapping when you use keystone, like going from native to 16:9 mode. That probably isn't very noticeable with DVD images. You might try it with a desktop and see how text looks.
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Old 09-15-06, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Spiky
Doesn't keystone use up some resolution? The farther it goes, the lower the resolution can be. 1 or 2 notches has generally not been a problem with any PJ.
That is what I heard and at extreme keystoning you lose brightness on some PJ's.
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Old 09-16-06, 02:19 AM
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I've been eyeing the details up over at avsforum as they come in. This looks like our X1 replacement. We've got 3200 hours on our X1 bulb, and infrequently the buzzsaw light engine problem. Upgrade time!

Last thing I'm waiting for is someone with some game consoles to test it. I'm concerned about de-interlacing lag.
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Old 09-16-06, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by GreenMonkey
I've been eyeing the details up over at avsforum as they come in. This looks like our X1 replacement. We've got 3200 hours on our X1 bulb, and infrequently the buzzsaw light engine problem. Upgrade time!

Last thing I'm waiting for is someone with some game consoles to test it. I'm concerned about de-interlacing lag.

Based on the review I read it has near flawless Faroudja quality deinterlacing.

Quote from the PJC review:

"Deinterlacing was better than expected for such a budget projector. The HD70 was able to deinterlace 480i material from our DVD player with near-flawless precision. We saw very few artifacts, all told. Quality was comparable to that of one of our in-house DVD players with Faroudja DCDi processing, and flipping between them yielded few differences."

I don't see why it would be any different for games, but who knows.
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Old 09-16-06, 07:26 PM
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Well, a display can have a good deinterlacer, but it could still be slow. Too many ms of lag can be problematic.

Reports that it's doing a close-to-faroudja like job are reassuring, though. Most likely it's pretty good.
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Old 09-16-06, 07:35 PM
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I'm really considering this projector despite my love for CRT. I'm trying to decide between the NEC XG-75 on Ebay for a measly $500 (great freakin deal btw). I just don't know exactly what condition it is. The screenshot looks decent though.

If I get this pj I plan to go 13' wide with 16:9 and use a horizontal expansion anamorphic lens for 2.35:1 HD-DVDs. The size would be about 17.16' in width, but my wall is only 16' 7", so I'll either have to minimize the image a bit or let a small piece of each edge spill onto the black area so I can retain the full height about 7.3').

The horizontal expansion lens makes the image slightly bow inward, which means I can use a high gain torus screen to actually correct the bowing.

I'm obsessing over the thought of a screen that big with HD.
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Old 09-20-06, 12:59 PM
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This projector has me all kinds of excited. First, the specs are close enough to the HC3000 I have been pining after for so long, and the price is with the limits of convincing my wife this is a necessity. Plus, the reviews are glowing! I hope to pick one of these up shortly! Now I have to go talk to my wife.....
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