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Good used/entry-level digital?
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jbltecnicspro



Joined: 23 Apr 2016
Posts: 468



PostLink    Posted: Sat Sep 03, 2016 8:33 pm    Post subject: Good used/entry-level digital? Reply with quote


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Am considering a good entry level digital projector for a friend. No space for a CRT projector and the wife would kill us if we tried to hang one from their ceiling. Smile What's a good used/entry-level digital projector? I figured I'd ask the CRT guys around here because (in general), we share similar tastes in picture quality and I want to know your thoughts and recommendations. Thanks!
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ecrabb
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Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 15909
Location: Utah

TV/Projector: JVC RS40, Epson 5010


PostLink    Posted: Sun Sep 04, 2016 6:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Entry level" means a lot of different things to different people. Do you have an actual target budget?

SC
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jbltecnicspro



Joined: 23 Apr 2016
Posts: 468



PostLink    Posted: Sun Sep 04, 2016 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes! I'm sorry - I thought I posted that. Smile The upper limit is $1000. The more "under" we get, the better, but we can go up to $1000.
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kal
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Joined: 06 Mar 2006
Posts: 15581
Location: Ottawa, Canada

TV/Projector: JVC DLA-RS56


PostLink    Posted: Sun Sep 04, 2016 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some other questions that people will likely ask:

- How big's the screen? What gain?
- What's the room like? What's the usage? Any ambient light?

Reasons for asking is that for best image quality there's likely some used LCOS based units from Sony or JVC that you may be able to get at that price but they're not overly bright (in which case you're likely looking for DLP/LCD).

My 2 cents: If it's for a friend, they won't care at all about image quality. All they'll see is a big picture. So I'd probably go with some very bright DLP/LCD. Not sure of brands/recommendations in the lower end - I'll let others chime in.

Kal

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jbltecnicspro



Joined: 23 Apr 2016
Posts: 468



PostLink    Posted: Sun Sep 04, 2016 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kal wrote:
Some other questions that people will likely ask:

- How big's the screen? What gain?
- What's the room like? What's the usage? Any ambient light?

Reasons for asking is that for best image quality there's likely some used LCOS based units from Sony or JVC that you may be able to get at that price but they're not overly bright (in which case you're likely looking for DLP/LCD).

My 2 cents: If it's for a friend, they won't care at all about image quality. All they'll see is a big picture. So I'd probably go with some very bright DLP/LCD. Not sure of brands/recommendations in the lower end - I'll let others chime in.

Kal


Screen hasn't been picked yet. Usage is just for movies and games. Ambient light should be minimal, as it is in a basement - so light is very easily controlled. Smile

The G70's that I got are my first foray into projectors... So (dumb question) - do people usually pick screens out first? This will be their first projector setup as well, so there isn't a screen yet.

My thought was that since digitals are (mostly) brighter than CRT's - that we would just get a plain old 1.0 gain screen (92 inches or so) and go from there. I was thinking along the lines of a used RS1 or something but if there are better deals out there (and we can keep the screen + projector under $1000) then what would they be?

Are any of the new full-hd DLP projectors (Benq, Optima, Epson, etc) any decent? Provided we can calibrate grayscale and such, they should be okay, right?
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xmob135lc



Joined: 15 Sep 2012
Posts: 80



PostLink    Posted: Mon Sep 05, 2016 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually there's not much of a choice in screens partly because digital projectors are considered bright enough (even against ambient light sometimes) ,and also high gain screens are directional and that's a problem for huge screens , and there isn't an established sweet spot, eg. larger the better, and directionality = curse. So afterall there isn't a "low" lumen count digital with crt-esque picture because you can't choose a high gain screen anymore since da lite high power was phased out , and projector buyers also tend to go big, so digital is considered to have an edge here.

At least they don't have "ABL" .
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Spanky Ham



Joined: 22 Mar 2006
Posts: 5634
Location: Comedy Central


PostLink    Posted: Tue Sep 06, 2016 4:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://hometheaterhifi.com/reviews/video-display/
Check out the reviews. Chris does a good job. While DLP has some good attributes, an Epson might be better if you are watching predominately movies.

If it is light controlled, then go for a white screen. If you don't want to paint a wall, then try Sintra sign board. For a manufacturer, try Elite.

Dalite may have discontinued the high power, but there is a new retro screen out of China for $60. It is 3 meters by 1.5 meters. Gain falls off quickly though.
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WanMan



Joined: 19 Mar 2006
Posts: 10261



PostLink    Posted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 2:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There was a thread on another forum asking about a good middle of the road (in costs) projector that he should get and his budget was $500-700. I called him on his notion of 'middle of the road' considering the most expensive--that i know of--of 'home cinema' projector was from Sony and goes for $60,000. Again, this was their home product.

Somehow the notion that $500-700 was in the middle somewhere puzzled me to death so I asked him to explain. He didn't.

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jbltecnicspro



Joined: 23 Apr 2016
Posts: 468



PostLink    Posted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 2:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spanky Ham wrote:
http://hometheaterhifi.com/reviews/video-display/
Check out the reviews. Chris does a good job. While DLP has some good attributes, an Epson might be better if you are watching predominately movies.

If it is light controlled, then go for a white screen. If you don't want to paint a wall, then try Sintra sign board. For a manufacturer, try Elite.

Dalite may have discontinued the high power, but there is a new retro screen out of China for $60. It is 3 meters by 1.5 meters. Gain falls off quickly though.


Thanks for the link. Good reading!
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greg9518lc



Joined: 19 Apr 2016
Posts: 360



PostLink    Posted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.ebay.com/itm/JVC-DLA-HD750-/291865610891?hash=item43f48bca8b:g:Ce8AAOSw65FXwaUZ
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xmob135lc



Joined: 15 Sep 2012
Posts: 80



PostLink    Posted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

greg9518lc wrote:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/JVC-DLA-HD750-/291865610891?hash=item43f48bca8b:g:Ce8AAOSw65FXwaUZ

Quote:

has been an eBay member since Aug 20, 2016
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greg9518lc



Joined: 19 Apr 2016
Posts: 360



PostLink    Posted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes he has or this one http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vivitek-H5080-1080p-DLP-Home-Theater-Projector-Black-New-Sealed-/172157563986?hash=item281563f452:g:x4YAAOSwJQdXAyeY

Just throwing out goog projectors I would personally go with the vivitek

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cmjohnson



Joined: 03 Apr 2006
Posts: 5180
Location: Buried under G90s


PostLink    Posted: Sun Dec 18, 2016 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A few basic questions to ask that help qualify your choices:

What is your budget? Set a max price.

Will you be happy with 1080P as the max the PJ can display, or will you want 4K capability? (Immediate price increase.)

How tolerant are you of black levels that are less than BLACK? Modern digitals do dark grey very well, but true "power failure in a coal mine" black levels is something they don't do very well.
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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 06 Mar 2006
Posts: 15581
Location: Ottawa, Canada

TV/Projector: JVC DLA-RS56


PostLink    Posted: Sun Dec 18, 2016 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cmjohnson wrote:
A few basic questions to ask that help qualify your choices:

What is your budget? Set a max price.

He mentioned $1000 max. See above.

Quote:
Will you be happy with 1080P as the max the PJ can display, or will you want 4K capability? (Immediate price increase.)

He mentions wanting a "good entry level" projector so that would be 1080p. 4K is not entry level.

Quote:
How tolerant are you of black levels that are less than BLACK? Modern digitals do dark grey very well, but true "power failure in a coal mine" black levels is something they don't do very well.

I would flip this around and ask "how tolerant are you of crushed blacks or not seeing low level black detail?". Unless you've got some good advanced (Radiance-like) gamma curve control most CRT projectors you're likely going to lose some close to black detail *unless* you turn up the brightness. This of course raises the whole black floor making blacks very dark grey on the CRT projector.

On my digital JVC RS56 my near black detail is considerably better than what I've had on my CRT projectors (last one was a Barco Cine 8 Onyx clone). Yes, that's right. Better. Why? I can get darker with the RS56 without losing low level detail. On the Zenith 1200 (gamma set to around 2.2 or 2.3 with an RTC2200 box) I have to turn brightness up slightly to avoid losing close to black detail. With a Radiance or something more advanced that provides 20-point gamma adjustment, I may have been able to keep black lower on the CRT without crushing close to black detail. So while I say the RS56 has better blacks on my setup, both are fantastic. You don't notice elevated blacks on either. I was worried about black level on the RS56 digital but my fears were unfounded.

The digital will have much higher light output as well which results in more image 'pop' on a better digital. At $1000 you may not get there however.

I find the "black level" discussions of digitals in this day and age amusing. There was a time when it was truly horrible but we're almost 10 years past that point. I remember going to local HT meets circa 2000 where the owner had a digital and thinking "that's crap/how can they live with this". I certainly couldn't. These were sometimes in HT's with budgets close to or over $100,000.

But in this day and age (nearly 2017) it's really a non-issue and black level concerns should be ignored with any reasonably performing digital. The idea that *all* digitals have black level issues that nobody can see past like CM seems to insinuate is simply not true. I'm very fussy about image quality (I wrote the guide to greyscale calibration for dummies that's been viewed over 1.5 million times) would still be using CRT if it truly was an issue. That said, I prefer my digital leaps and bounds over CRT. I don't have a budget digital projector however, but something similar can be had these days for about $3K.

Kal

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Last edited by kal on Sun Dec 18, 2016 7:33 pm; edited 1 time in total
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cmjohnson



Joined: 03 Apr 2006
Posts: 5180
Location: Buried under G90s


PostLink    Posted: Sun Dec 18, 2016 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to put thing into context, a friend of mine has had a JVC D-ILA RS45 for a few years now. I've seen many movies on it and
it does do a good job.

He upgraded to an RS500 and now the RS45 is mine. Compared to my Ultra, on the same screen, it has certain technical advantages it has its weaknesses too. Ultimately the Marquee draws me into the movie better. I have no plans to take down the Marquee and replace it with the RS45. The primary reason for that is black levels. If there is a digital projector that is so good at the bottom end of the IRE range that it can match or beat a CRT, I can only say that it's not an RS45.

That being said, I am in no way unhappy with the RS45.

A good used RS45 can be had for about a thousand bucks these days. I would definitely say it's a great choice for entry level, and
much better than entry level digitals were a few years back.
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jbltecnicspro



Joined: 23 Apr 2016
Posts: 468



PostLink    Posted: Sun Dec 18, 2016 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where would you guys recommend finding units like an RS-45? And what kind of "gotchas" can one look out for? For what it's worth I see there are Benq and Epson projectors but holy crap that contrast! A hair over 1000:1 native at best for the DLP and for the LCD that's with the dynamic iris! Native panel contrast for the LCD is around 300:1!

Edit - the buddy in question had to pay for foundation work on the house so the projector is on indefinite hold. But a family member is also intent on getting one as the big screen tv isn't cutting it for her. So this is still good discussion.
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cmjohnson



Joined: 03 Apr 2006
Posts: 5180
Location: Buried under G90s


PostLink    Posted: Sun Dec 18, 2016 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's an RS45 on ebay right now for 1K. Jump on it.
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jbltecnicspro



Joined: 23 Apr 2016
Posts: 468



PostLink    Posted: Sun Dec 18, 2016 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whoa. Demo unit too. Guess I'll ask.
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cmjohnson



Joined: 03 Apr 2006
Posts: 5180
Location: Buried under G90s


PostLink    Posted: Sun Dec 18, 2016 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would suggest snapping it up before someone else does. It's a bargain. Don't hesitate.

I find that I am enjoying mine. It may not be QUITE the match of an Ultra with fresh LUG tubes in some respects, but
I can't find much fault with it. It would satisfy anyone who is not a CRT veteran and something of an elitist snob. (Like me!!! Very Happy )
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jbltecnicspro



Joined: 23 Apr 2016
Posts: 468



PostLink    Posted: Sun Dec 18, 2016 11:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lol! Well that's as good as endorsement as any digital will get around here. Smile CRT elitist snob approved? Check! Unfortunately, it's not my money, and I'm not about to just buy something that I don't have money budgeted for, for a family member (who may not approve). So I totally get you, but unfortunately it's one of those things. Oh well.

Edit: I didn't know you had a digital! How many projectors do you have?
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