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Thread: The DM Knowledge Sharing Portal

  1. #9
    Registered User Haroon's Avatar
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    Ok .... so continuing from where we left off. The SC-1 is a big ass projector. You can find the details on Runco's official website. Runco was formed by Sam and his wife Lori Runco. It is a relatively young company. Last year Runco sold his company to a giant company called PLANAR. Planar is responsible for some of the world's most common commercial screens you see at the airports, railway stations, offices like NASA etc. They were more of a commercial company but they had the financial clout to purchase Runco.

    Going further back a bit .... Runco was a pioneer in driving the direction of home theatre! Runco has a reputation for being very expensive. They used to make really expensive products. The brand still exists today but the parent company is Planar instead of Runco being a proprietary business now.

    Oddly enough, the SC-1 is still Runco's flagship projector but the VX-44 is the newer model which is about 100K and quite a projector for sure!

    Runco is well renowned for its world class customer service. They treat you like a king especially if you are a customer of one of their higher end models (i.e. 30K+ purchase). The world's best installers still prefer Runco which is a testament. Remember the Vidikron I mentioned? Well, Vidikron sadly went downhill after the advent of digital PJs and the company was all but dead! Runco purchased Vidikron to keep it afloat! Rivals in the past became teammates.

    I don't remember the exact figures but Runco was sold for a good sum and Sam made a good fortune out of a company that was sadly finding it hard to survive with so many low cost but good value digital PJs coming out from Sony, JVC, BenQ, Optoma and the lot etc. More on that as we progress on this interesting journey.

    The word 'rebadged' is used a lot in high end electronics. What rebadged basically means is that Runco takes a ready made projector from a company like Christie Digital, keeps the things it likes, tweaks the chassis, adds some of its custom software and features, makes it more user-friendly, changes the body for its own branding and then sells it to the end consumer for a premium i.e. for a more expensive price which in some cases is exorbitant! The Christie for example costs 100 K but Runco sells it for 250!!! And some guys even buy it because they can afford it. Heck, you can have a 20 feet wide screen with the SC-1!! The critics say that you can have the same with a 100K projector as well and they are right to an extent!
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  2. #10
    Registered User Haroon's Avatar
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    Default High Definition

    Now, lets start off from LCD projectors which are the cheapest and easiest way to enter into Home Theatre so that you can start enjoying 8-10 feet wide screens!!

    10 years ago there were quite a few problems with LCD PJs. You had a screendoor effect. A screendoor effect is like fine mesh seen on the screen which lacks clarity. Another problem was that dust blobs would gather in front of the lens which could be seen on the screen. Those were annoying negatives!

    The technology has progressed very very nicely I must say. For a beginner the awesomeness is there. It's shock and awe in a very good way.

    The leaders in LCD are Panasonic IMO. There is very stiff competition coming from Epson whose latest projector (1800) is very good!!

    For something like $1,500 you can get a pretty decent projector. Did I mention a high definition projector? Yes ... you can enjoy high definition playback ... i.e. 720p or even 1080p and for $2,000 you can be there!

    The standard DVDs we used to see were 576i for PAL signals NTSC was less at 480i I believe. The 'i' means interlaced while 'p' means progressive. The difference is simple.

    When 'i' is there it means that the projector or TV receives the signal from the source and then picks all the odd number lines first i.e. line 1, 3, 5, 7 etc. Think of your computer monitor screen and imagine line 1 to be at the very top going across from left to right. Line 2 would be right below it but the naked eye is unable to detect these fine lines.

    So in i all the odd lines are picked up first and in nanoseconds the all the even lines are picked up and then the image is joined together.

    In p it is different in such a way that the lines are picked up in one smooth motion from 1 to 2 to 3 and so on. So, P is better and should be preferred.

    1080i = 720p

    1080p is the highest definition of source material available currently from blu-ray movies or the defunct HD-DVD movie format. Some games for the 360 or PS3 are also 1080p but most are 720p.

    Both are high definition but 1080p has many more pixels forming the image so it is visibly clear when you see it on a larger screen.


    It is incredible that 1080p is affordable nowadays, even more so in Europe and America with great deals. This is a beautiful hobby I tell you. Once you're pulled in, there's no going back! Take my advice ... don't fret too much like Gaylliani on the money spent because you will drown a lot of it as technology progresses! But it is thousand times better than spending on cigarettes and booze! That's obviously your business. Not mine.


    Ok .... back to HD .... you can get 720p from a COMPONENT connection. A component connection uses three RCA type connectors for video and 2 for audio when using a TV. But you can use an optical digital lead for 5.1 surround sound or a coaxial digital lead for 5.1 surround sound.

    You must have heard of HDMI. HDMI actually stands for High-Definition Multimedia Interface. It is protected and a pain in the proverbial to stop piracy. That is what this new connection is. To make matters worse now there are versions of HDMI. The latest one going on is HDMI 1.3. It doesn't matter if it is HDMI 1.3a or 1.3b. If you have a projector or TV with HDMI (irrespective of version) you can enjoy full high definition (1080p) and you can enjoy lossless sound.

    1080p is SIX TIMES the resolution of standard TV!! And it really is 'that' clear! Don't go for the bollocks shown in multiple showrooms. Rarely if ever do the guys know the technicalities involved and rarely do you see a well set-up system unless you are going to a specialist. When I am in a naughty mood, I ask naughty questions to which I know there will be no answer and the guy will scratch his head!!! Sometimes a smart-ass will respond with the best bollocks which should be a candidate for the guinness book!! I really have a hard time controlling my laughter. I can't help it as I am naughty by nature.
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  3. #11
    Registered User Haroon's Avatar
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    Default HD Video Basics

    HD Video
    ======

    Blu-Ray Movies = 1080p default (see the back cover to confirm as well)

    Every movie is full high definition. It doesn't matter if you have a 720P TV set or projector. You can still enjoy high definition of 1080p. It's only that the resolution will be slightly less. Whenever checking out a TV or projector always see the panel resolution

    It should be:

    a) 1280 x 720 [720p native panel .. i.e. matched pixel for pixel]

    b) 1920 x 1080 [1080p native panel .. i.e. matched pixel for pixel]


    I really wouldn't suggest a 1366 x 768 panel. That is actually a queer panel. It is neither here or there. It is closer to 720p in reality but it can support 1080p. This is something that manufacturers have done in the past, do in the present and will continue to do in the future so that consumers continue to upgrade and therefore earn money for the manufacturers. It is wrong but great marketing earns good money for the company because a lot of people are taken for a ride not knowing the core realities.


    Every blu-ray movie is recorded at 24 fps (frames per second). It is actually 23.97 but 24 is fair enough. Every blu-ray movie is 1080p video. What this means is that you should be looking for a TV or projector that has the ability to natively accept and play 24 fps video.

    It can also have the ability to be 48 Hz which is just a multiple of 24. Even 96 or 120Hz will do. Usually the expensive TVs (LCD / Plasmas) have the ability to play 24 fps which ERADICATES video jitter (this term means slight judder in the video). However the newer and cheaper projectors have the ability to play 24 fps because technology is advancing so quickly!

    Don't go by the marketing mumbo of a 50Hz or 100Hz TV. As an example I have a Samsung A650 TV. It is 100Hz which is fine but it can actually read the 24 fps so there is no video jitter. It is a full HD 1080p set so in summary the picture is the dog's bollocks and even for a perfectionist like me, the jaw does drop a few times when viewing a movie on it. It is that good!

    My advice ... go for full HD and go for a TV that can play 24 fps natively. It is a feature which will be specifically highlighted by the manufacturer. If in doubt, I am here to assist. Just give me the model number and leave the rest to me.

    48 Hz / 96 Hz / 120 Hz playback capability is a smart move. What happens is that the display receives the signal from the blu-ray which is in 1080p and recorded at 24 Hz. It then doubles (48), triples (96) or quadruples (120) the image in one second. The effect is such that the image becomes ridiculously clear ... it's like watching a soap opera with those cams. You know how some of the soap operas are recorded with pristine picture quality. It is different. It is not like film.

    The above feature is a luxury. You either like it or don't like it. So it will be at your disposal to switch it on of off. I'm a purist so I don't use it even though the 100Hz feature I have does the same thing but it has video jitter because 24 is not divisible by 100. It can be great for games though. You will look like this when playing FIFA ->

    There are three basic things you need to look at when purchasing a TV

    1. 1080p set i.e. 1920 x 1080 panel/chip
    2. 24 fps native playback capability
    3. HDMI 1.3 connection (this would be default if the above 2 are there as the above two would be on relatively newer sets)

    Frame interpolation (frame doubling etc.) is a luxury feature. It will be there but do check it out as some guys just love it and some like me don't as that is not how the director intended it to be seen. For me it is a no no for watching an entire movie. For some scenes it is OK just to check it out.
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  4. #12
    Registered User Haroon's Avatar
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    Default HD Sound Basics

    When you sit to watch blu-ray in its full capacity I assure you, there will be a wide smile on your face as you appreciate how technology has progressed so rapidly in the last 10 years! It is awesome.

    See 'CARS' and your jaw will drop for sure. The transfer of Kung Fu Panda is equally stunning. The animated movies just leap out of the picture. It is so 3D. The Dark Knight on Blu-Ray has quite a few scenes shot with IMAX cameras. There were 3 in the world but one of them broke during shooting of the film. The IMAX cameras are very big and very loud. The IMAX scenes on TDK are clearer than the HD footage! The difference is clear. But shooting an entire movie like that is nigh impossible and quite expensive. The budget would be prohibitive.

    I've heard that WANTED is reference quality as is Wall.E but I don't own them so I can't say. Pirates of the Caribbean has equally stunning picture quality. Even though Fool's Gold is not master reference quality but seeing Kate Hudson in FULL HD on the beach will make you appreciate high-definition. She sure as hell looks great in HD.

    --------------

    Not only has HD video arrived but HD sound has arrived. Let's go back to the good old days of the 80s.

    Dolby Stereo
    ========
    2 channels


    Dolby Pro-Logic
    ==========
    4 channel extraction from two channels (simulating a surround channel at the back and 3 channels up front. All the sounds were matrixed i.e. simulated intelligently.

    Dolby Digital [5.1 channels]
    =================

    Discrete 5.1 channels i.e.


    ---------------- Left ------------- Centre -------------------- Right

    --- Sub-woofer


    ----- Surround Left ----------------------------------- Surround Right ----


    Each channel separately recorded on the Laser Disc and then DVDs when they were introduced. LDs were the first format to have DD.


    DTS
    ===

    Similar to the above but had more resolution. i.e. More storage space was used to record DTS soundtracks. Jurassic Park was the first Laser Disc to have DTS in 1993. DTS sounded better than Dolby Digital because of more info stored on the disc.



    Dolby Digital EX / DTS ES
    ================

    Discrete 6.1 channels i.e.


    ---------------- Left ------------- Centre -------------------- Right

    --- Sub-woofer


    ----- Surround Left ----------------------------------- Surround Right ----

    ------------------------------- Surround Back ------------------------


    This surround format had an additional dedicated surround channel at the back. Gladiator was the first release that had DTS-ES. It was on DVD. People who had receivers capable of handling 7.1 channels could use two surrounds at the back and split the surround back channel information into SBL (surround back left) and SBR (surround back right). A total enveloping effect was there.


    When I saw King Kong (the one with the lovely Naomi Watts) the first time... trust me when I say this ... in the start when Kong is about to enter from the jungle there was lots of information in the surround channels and I literally had to turn my head back and see whether Kong was actually coming from behind!! Great experience I must say.



    Dolby TruHD / DTS-HD Master Audio / LPCM
    ============================

    LPCM [Linear Pulse Code Modulation]
    ========================

    Casino Royale on Blu-Ray was one of the first releases along with Pirates of the Caribbean to use LPCM. This is total lossless audio. All the above formats described were 'toned down' surround formats not having all the audio information because of lack of space on DVD and LD. But with Blu-Ray having much more space i.e. 25 GB or 50 GB there was much more space compared to DVD (9 GB on one side tops) therefore getting LOSSLESS sound became a possibility.

    In LPCM a constant data rate of 4.5 Mbps is used for the audio track even if it is dead silent during the scene in the movie. Lossless is just incredible. 640 kps is really miniscule when compared to 4500 kbps+

    DVD was 640. Blu-Ray with lossless tracks is 4.5 Mbps! Each channel is pure and discrete and sent to the audio processer / receiver and it plays louder, cleaner .. much cleaner with incredible punch.


    Dolby TruHD / DTS-HD MA
    =================

    TruHD / DTS-HD is encoding done to LPCM. Basically in IT language it is a zipped file which is decoded and played back. So both require lesser space per se but they are still lossless as they are zipped files.

    What actually happens on the screen is that 4.5 Mbps is actually not dedicated for every scene.

    For dead silence on screen it becomes 0 Mbps and for loud scenes it goes to 4 or 4.2 Mbps etc.


    At the end of the day it doesn't matter if it is TruHD, DTS-HD or LPCM. It is all marvellous. But for the purist LPCM is still preferred. However, there are more movies with the zipped formats.


    Oh and before I forget the data for video is 30 Mbps for Blu-Ray which is a big leap as DVD movies were 2-3 Mbps. Therefore there is a lot more resolution and fine detail in the images as well because a whole lot more data is stored.


    To utilize the above formats we will discuss this in in the receiver / processor section.

    P.S. Forgot to add that these lossless audio formats have the capability of 5.1 or 7.1 discrete channels!

    Left, Centre, Right, Surround back left, Surround Left, Surround Right, Surround back right and the sub-woofer which is considered the 0.1 channel.
    Last edited by Haroon; 7th January 2009 at 20:58.
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  5. #13
    Registered User Haroon's Avatar
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    Default DILA / SXRD PJs

    I was on the LCD PJs and from there I thought to give a brief intro of HD Video and Sound before I moved on to the more complex lines of PJs.

    So LCDs are a great way to get into projection. They are cheap, give really good value for money and the ROI is pretty good IMO. The improvements are pretty good in the last decade. Panasonic and Epson are leading the pack. Look for them.


    This next technology is called DILA / SXRD. Both are similar and both are variants of LCoS described on the previous page. It's just the manner of implementation which is different.

    This technology is relatively young but has made rapid improvements thanks mainly to JVC and Sony.

    JVC (Victor Company of Japan) is the leader in LCoS right now. Their price / performance ratio is incredible. The latest top of the line JVC is $7,495 MSRP. Model is HD-750 and released this month is looking like a killer projector in its category.

    -> 900 lumens at D65 [good enough to drive an 8ft wide 16:9 aspect ratio screen]

    -> 50,000:1 contrast ratio (but the lumens will drop to 400-500 for max CR]

    -> HDMI 1.3 connections

    -> FULL HD panel

    -> Frame Interpolation (120 Hz)

    -> 24 fps native signal acceptance

    all the bells and whistles are there.

    The competing Sony is much more expensive ... VPL-VW200 is $15,000 MSRP. It has all the above but lesser lumens and lesser contrast ratio. Added advantage is that it has a Xenon bulb (whiter light) giving it truer colours. Only very high end PJs have xenon bulbs. Most PJs have UHP based mercury lamps. Xenon is whiter light. You would have noticed them on the newer Audis, Mercs and basically all the mid to high end cars. The gas inside heats up and glows to give out white light.


    You shouldn't look beyond these two companies if interested in LCoS. It is a significant step up from LCD in quality and price. Actually not that much in price because you can get the smaller HD-350 for 4,495 as well.


    The CES 2009 is starting in Las Vegas on January 08, 2009 which is today according to PST so the reports of anything new will be coming out soon as well.


    This technology and price bracket is the most appealing to a large number of PJ owners as it is below 10K with a very good picture quality on display. You can call this technology Toyota if you like it. It sells like hot cakes. The disadvantages and advantages are there with each projector, company and technology so a personal preference counts a lot as well but in general this is the most popular because of the price / performance ratio which is acceptable to a large number of people.
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  6. #14
    Registered User Haroon's Avatar
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    Default

    JVC HD-750 [350 is identical looking]




    JVC RS-2 [MSRP 6,500] -- 7 feet wide screens only

    Check out HD - - Projector Reviews official website






    Sony VPL-VW200 [marvellous looking projector]

    downside is that it does lose brightness quickly somewhat but still an excellent PJ. The looks alone should be a seller and a xenon bulb is great to have in a 15K projector. Projectors costing 50K+ have xenon bulbs!

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  7. #15
    Senior Member GattusoKing's Avatar
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    Default

    That's quite the knowledge bank you have there, Haroon! Tis a pity that I can never find informed types such as yourself whenever I go wandering around Dixons and Currys with intent.

    Given the disposable income, a projector would be a wonderful addition to the abode but for the time being, I'd be quite happy with a half-decent HD TV. The question is where to obtain reliable, objective and informed opinion.

    Until now, I've been reliant on customer reviews from Amazon and the like, so if anyone with a degree of expertise could recommend a decent model for around about 500, I'd be uber grateful.

    Grazie!

  8. #16
    Registered User Haroon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GattusoKing View Post
    That's quite the knowledge bank you have there, Haroon! Tis a pity that I can never find informed types such as yourself whenever I go wandering around Dixons and Currys with intent.

    Given the disposable income, a projector would be a wonderful addition to the abode but for the time being, I'd be quite happy with a half-decent HD TV. The question is where to obtain reliable, objective and informed opinion.

    Until now, I've been reliant on customer reviews from Amazon and the like, so if anyone with a degree of expertise could recommend a decent model for around about 500, I'd be uber grateful.

    Grazie!

    Simon,

    You would be watching Sky Sports HD, Sky Movies HD and perhaps blu-ray on your HDTV. In that price range you will have to settle with a good ole' 32 inch widescreen HDTV. The bigger sizes will go out of your budget.

    At that size it doesn't matter if you have a 720p set or a full HD 1080p set. To cut down costs, you could go for a 720p set which will bring your budget down further. However, your budget allows you to go for a FULL HD set ... you are sooooo close.

    I would recommend buying at least a 32 inch TV set. In that size LCD is the way to go.

    So your choices are:

    1. Samsung 5 Series - 32" FULL HD and FreeView - 500

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Samsung-LE32...1359931&sr=1-7

    2. Sony W Series - 32" FULL HD and FreeView - 600

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sony-KDL-32W...1360095&sr=1-3


    The former set is at my aunt's place in a 40" version. Pretty damn good set I will say. Sony is charging a 100 bucks premium for their brand name. Dealers will say lots of mumbo jumbo to make a swift sale. Keep yourself to these two and you will be good. Both are excellent.

    You can get cheaper models like the Samsung Series 4 or the older Sonys. However, go with either of these two. You could get a good deal at Curry's if you look around. CES starts today in Vegas. The prices of these sets will drop further in a month or two. But with either of these two you can get full HD 1080p and 24 fps native playback.

    SKY will eventually broadcast 1080p content and you will be ready for that. Although, I seriously doubt you will be able to pick out the difference on a 32 inch due to its size. I hope this helps. Ask away if in doubt and I will try to answer your questions.
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