Many $1,000-$2,000 projector's will blow RPTV out of the water, I know my Infocus X-1 will because I have both. RPTV's of that size are a waste of money IMHO. I would not get to hung-up on DVI...bunch of hype.
I would have to agree about DVI --- I had it hooked up to my Hitachi and frankly I thought the component video connection gave a better picture. If you stay with RPTV take a look at Hitachi, I don't have a clue what type of projector to look at.
Best of Luck
Pioneer Elite HD630 or HD730. I have an HD530. The cabinet is a piano-grade gloss black. The picture is outstanding. What sets Pioneer above other brands is its ability to realistically stretch 4:3 pictures. This is a key feature, since most programming, and many DVDs, need to be stretched to fill the 16:9 screen. In addition, the Pioneer excels at cable and over the air broadcasts, which some other brands are terrible at. Also, the Pioneer, at least in my experience, can be placed right next to a window and in a room with bright lights with with no glare/reflections on the screen from outdoor or indoor light. Try running a projector in a bright room : )
In sum, you should take into consideration not only picture quality, but also stretch modes, cable and over the air capability, and whether the screen can keep away glare/reflections.
I personally went with the Samsung DLP. It's much faster than the Sony's (LCD's - ever wonder why computer gamers don't use LCD's?????? The refresh rate is usually why!) I got my 61" DLP for just about $5000, but that was from a local dealer ad with extending warranty. I've seen them on line for about the $4K you're looking for.
I watched it side by side with the Sony's and my wife even agreed it was better. FWTW.
I still have trouble getting used to a High Definition TV that has a picture tube. I suppose it is a bit like Solid State vs. tube: all of the specs say Solid State; most of us humans go for tubes.
I think that a really good projector is the way to go, followed by plasma.
Forget the rear projector. Also, I agree that DVI is the an essential as you will always have the option to use this or component.
Go to CNET.COM for great reviews and user opinions...If you can go with a projector, you won't have to spend much to get the '' at the movies'' effect. I have a very ordinary Epson projector (bought it for presentations) and the kids will take a James bond movie on a 100'' screen any day over the best 60'' tv you will put it up against. There is really something magical about projecting something over a whole wall...If you really wish to get a 60 inch'er, I think that the Sony LCD screens are incredible for the money, although they will not provide the deepest blacks....the picture is still very, very good. I was watching an HD broadcast on PBS the other day, just amazed at the resolution and detail of this Sony...
I also decided that the Samsung DLP / DVD combo through DVI was the least "compromised" choice out there. After ISF calibration, PQ is stunning. Standard Def sucks on all bigger screens, just a fact of life. The HLN 61 can be found for less than $4K as the HLP sets are coming out in the next quarter...
I must respond to Sogood51's comment regarding the Infocus X-1, as stating it "blows RPTV out of the water!"
I used to temporarily own the X1, and that would be rather subjective. Actually, rainbows and lack of good black level, not to mention DEFINITE EYE STRAIN, would keep me from ever making that statement! (and I'm rather subjective and open to view's). No projector I've seen yet under $5k has as good of a black level and as accurate of a picture potential as a properly calibrated (good quality) CRT based RPTV!!! And still, I'm a huge front projector fan and advocate!...gotta love the large screen image!
Still, let's be reasonable, there are some excellent RPTV's out there at 60". The Pioneers, Mits's (not as 3d as some), Tosh's, Sony's and many others offer some superb, even world class picture potentials at 60"! For all practical purposes, doing 1080i or 480P at this size is adequate. some will do 720P, even better.
Still I would say your choices arn't as critical as you're inquiring for! A PROPERLY CALIBRATED QUALITY tv is what you're after! (light control in room is a huge plus as well) calibrated right, there are a ton of simply stellar RPTV images to be had from many! I wouldn't limit your thinking to the thought that you need to find "that one special unit!"..seriously!
Find one that has a good rep, good reviews in the Hifi mag's, and get it calibrated! You'll never look back.
The only real thought you might have is whether or not you might have considered a front projector and separate screen set up for that money!!! a $5K faroudja DLP and screen would potentially get you an image that overall rivals what you might get from a smaller RPTV for overall impact! But, that's subjective. I do find that once you take that plunge, you'll never likely want to go back! This stuff's getting better and cheeper all the time!
Infact, that said, I wouldn't pay $4k for an RPTV at this point, as you can get more than superb for around $2500 at this size new! Again, a properly calibrated "decent RPTV" will look worlds better than an improperly calibrated world class Elite, XBR, or whatever TV! That's the truth.
Take a look at AVSFORUM.com; you will get a load of options in this price range and opinions. Just a warning, Samsung is coming out with an upgraded DLP (H2+) in June /July and Sony just announced new sets in your price range. Panasonic is also coming out with new sets. I am waiting till the end of the year till I can see everything that is coming out. Plus the sets of today will drop in price. Samsung says they will have out the 1920x1440 chip from TI and it should be amazing.
Thazula's point is well made and very accurate. So, a lot depends on your viewing habits--Most everybody with HD sets whine about SD reception.So,what channels you watch;and when--day or night or both does matter. I have a pioneer elite that has been calibrated. ---I also have a front projector; the Sim 300extra h. (2+ chip & 8000 hr. bulb) I have a sm. 92 diag screen. The pioneer is for less serious / or daytime vewing. On 'HD-Net,they had a 1hr. show from ces the other day. Sharp is comming out with some 'plasma-chalenger', huge,half the weght, LCD tvs.---We'll see.
We have a similar dimemna in that our current TV is a Sony 51" floor standing HD capable RPTV; great picture but we do not use the amps/speakers in the thing so all we require is a moniter. We don't like the idea that a plasma is very fragile and has a finite life and then gets thrown away.
After looking at the various options available we decided a projecter with a screen is the best option but also the most expensive and difficult to install. The simplest option is a rear projection DLP TV; they are about 16" in depth and the table top models make it easy to stow all the associated electronics underneath the TV in a simply type coffee table type stand.
Prices are from 3000 to 5000 depending on the screen size. Hitachi, Panasonic, Samsung, and Sony all have nice looking models. But, I would listen to the guy that says wait for at the second generation as these are the leading edge models for rear DLP sets.
My business partner recently purchased a projector. I don't know what make / model it was, but he suffered from much the same effect that Exertfluffer stated above. That is, he was seeing "rainbows", suffered from eye fatigue and got headaches while watching it. Needless to say, he didn't keep it for long. Sean
I'm about as far from a video expert as one can get, I could care less about black levels and all the rest. Interesting that an old friend stopped by today, he saw my ($40) screen on the wall and asked me about it..I fired up "Lord of the Rings" on the X-1 to show him my somewhat new toy, he was BLOWN AWAY by the experence in every sense of the phrase as are most people.
I used the X-1 as an example only and do have a large Hi-Def RPTV in the other room..NO ONE would rather watch a DVD on the much more costly RPTV. I'll have to stick by my "Blows out of the water post" based on user opinions in my world.
That said, the X-1 is a $1,000 unit, To heck with all that VIDEOPHILE stuff, It's only a movie IMO.
I spent months at the avsfouum..some of them spend the whole movie time looking for bad pixels!!! The first words out of my friends mouth today, "I can't get over how good that picture looks". Just think how good my black levels would have been had I spent the kind of money I spent on my large Hi-Def RPTV? I rest my case and raise you two pixels!!!
No problem Dave. I respect your enjoyment of the X1.
I at first enjoyed my unit for it's large picture on a home made screen as well! (soon realized NO HOME MADE Avsforum-recipied screen can match a Stwart Firehawk, or even grayhawk)
I owned the X1 personally, and sent it back within 2 day's to Best Buy! The rainbows and headaches finally got me. I hope it's different for you. I really wanted my X1 to work out. But couldnt' get past the pain and visual irritations. I actually settled in with the Panasonic Z1 LCD, with other issues, but no pain! And yes, I'm in love with projected images that have high contrast, good black levels, etc. I've wateched too many dark-moire movies that are unacceptable in black level (Spiderman, Hulk, LOTR's, Minority report, BladeII, etc) on these lesser projectors however. I need more these day's...but I'm picky. I't's hard to get used to the superb world class black level and accuracy of a good CRT image,only to go "down hill there" with newer technology. Still, yes, big is good!...but quality is better to me. And yet, I need big too. So I "feel ya"!
I am looking foreward to better technology and projectors with blacks at least as good as what HD2 chips offer, and LCoS based SXRD stuff offers.
I'm in the market for others right now, for my new HT room.
To each his own...
I just checked with my business partner and the model he had was the X-1. Evidently, some people are more susceptable to "video fatigue" than others. For sake of comparison, he normally runs a 36" Sony Wega, but wanted something bigger without devoting half the room to his TV. The X-1 looked like a perfect solution, but it didn't work out for him. I guess that anybody buying one of these should check them out quite extensively right away so that they can return them if fatigue comes into play. Sean
Yes, the two types of cheap digital projectors on the market can cause problems for some people I have read.
One is called "screen door effect" and the other is called the "rainbow effect". The X-1 can produce one of these effects, "rainbow". This is caused by the spinning of the color wheel. Very few people have any problem with this but if your one of those very few people..thats of little comfort. No one in my family has a problem with this effect.
I have to agree whith Sogood, the x1 is bettter overall than any rptv I have seen up to 4k.
I did see the rainbows at first when looking for them but this seems to not happen much if at all after a few weeks.
Nobody else in my family sees the rainbows or gets fatigued in any way watching the 110 inch widescreen movies.
You do need a decent dvd player to get the best out of the x1.
I went from a Toshiba cinema series f90 35in reference[better than xbr when new] monitor and the x1 holds its own on a much bigger veiwing area,
The best part about a projector is it does not get in the way of your 2 channel sonics like an rptv does.
Having said that, I will probably upgrade to an even better pj whith dvi,4x color wheel ect in the next couple months.
Dave & Greg: This was my business partner that experienced the rainbow effect with resulting headaches. I never saw or experienced this as he returned the unit within a few days. Other than that, there are multiple benefits to a projector installation. The most obvious are the savings of space with less to intrude into the sonic presentation of the speakers. Sean
I have gone the projector route too, for many of the reasons expressed above. Additionally it means I do not have a horrible piece of plastic and glass between the speakers and ruining the aesthetics of the room. I went for LCD simply because I could not stand the DLPs I tried. You may not suffer from rainbow effects, but if you do it is way more intrusive than a screen door effect. Even if you do not see the rainbows, then the reason is your brain is managing to process the images fast enough for you not to to be distracted by them. All that effort by your brain turns into fatigue, and for my kids it turns into migraines after about an hour of viewing. Regardless of anything you might say that is negative about an LCD, it is so gentle on the eye and brain that you can watch one for hours without any sense of fatigue.
exertfluffer..if I may what crt do you have or recommend as I am in the used market for one of these with about $4000 usd to spend..thanks