Pre-Order a Samsung Dual-Format Player – $785

Samsung DVD Hi-Def Duo Player for just $785! at onsale.com. The price shows up as $999. Click on “Click Here for Our Lowest Price” and the price drops to $785. The player is expected to launch before Holiday season this year and is the first full featured Combo HD-DVD and Blue Ray Player.

I’m hoping the street price falls under $500 by next year. Samsung also announced a Blue-Ray Home Theater in a Box this year and they will probably announce a HTIB for the BDP-UP5000 next year too. I’ll post here if I find any good deals on any of those.

Panasonic PT-AX100U First Impression


Got the projector Friday and saw two movies over the weekend – Deja Vu and Ghost Rider. I am never going to the theater again and dealing with noisy people, tall people in front (which wouldn’t be a problem if theaters in the US were designed nicely) amongst other things. End Rant. Back to Review.

We saw Deja Vu at a distance of about 12 feet from the screen (projection distance of 10 feet) and screen size about 100″ at max zoom. Brightness was excellent. However in “Dynamic mode”, jaggies were very visible in some scenes. Changing to “Natural Mode”, jaggies were less visible and after a few minutes they were forgotten. The screen is visible clearly and brightly with excellent contrast even with some amount of brightness.

Ghost Rider was at about 25 feet, projection from about 20 feet, screen size about 180″ and projection was fantastic. There were some visible jagged edges but they were not at all disturbing. I found them less annoying than the noise in theater film. Picture was bright with excellent contrast and great color even in daylight with curtains (not opaque) closed and at night it was as good as a theater.

Both movies were anmorphic widescreen so they did not make use of the entire projection area. The black bands above and below the films were invisible on the walls we projected on (yes the clarity was so nice on the wall that I don’t think a screen is required). I have not tried zooming in, will do in the next movie.

This is my first projector and I don’t have comparisons with other projectors (except the Sharp XR-10XL which was I would say equally good in brightness and clarity but was not widescreen or native HD). We used regular DVDs without HDMI for now. Hopefully the HDDVD/BlueRay battles will end sometime in the near future with one format winning or a cheap dual format player and I’ll be able to make use of the HD.

Also, the projector was extremely silent. We were sitting right next to it and could hear no audible sound regardless of the brightness. The vertical lens movement (and the excellent 2x zoom) was very helpful in placing the screen exactly where we wanted without keystone correction.

Update: I noticed that the DVD Player was outputting 480i, not 480p by default. I switched that to Progressive Scan and all visible jaggies are gone and I am no longer looking for any upconverting player or HD player for the time time being 🙂

Projector Hunting..



Here is 10% off 199 (until 08/31/07) at Circuit City for you to make this even cheaper!

After hunting for a week, reading reviews etc. for a good affordable projector, my choice boiled down to two:

Cheaper Option: Mitsubishi HD1000U:
Currently $899 at Projector People
Advantages:

  • Cheap
  • 1500 Lumens (brighter than other more expensive projectors)
  • Native 720p
  • Good Reviews

Disadvantages:

  • No lens shift – needs to be on table or ceiling mounted
    (no rear shelf mount – which is what I was considering)
  • Small Zoom – At the 10 foot distance I plan to mount at I
    couldn’t get a 100″ screen
  • Only One Yr Warranty

Selected Option: Panasonic PT-AX100U:
Currently $1699 at projector people – 400 rebate from Panasonic

Advantages:

  • Brightest in it’s class with 2000 Lumens
  • Cheap for the features
  • 2X Zoom (best in class)
  • Throw at Lens Level with H+V Adjusment i.e. mount in any way
  • Excellent reviews (5* in all categories at Projector Central)

Disadvantages

  • I hate dealing with rebates!
  • Only 1 Yr Warranty

Honorable mentions:

Sanyo PLV-Z5,
Optoma HD70,
Optoma HD72,
Mitsubishi HC3000U

Hopefully I should get the Projector in a week.
Keep a watch for my review.

Blue Ray/HD-DVD Combo Dual-Format Player!!


LG BH100 Blue Ray HD DVD dual format playerFinally I saw one of these available on Amazon – LG BH100 High-Definition HD DVD/Blue-ray Player. Cost $1099 = I am not getting one yet. I will buy an HD projector, however, when I get one so that I don’t have to replace it when I eventually get one of these players. Keep a watch on this blog for my hunt for an affordable HD projector. So far my criteria are: Native 720p minimum, under 1000$, 2000 lumens minimum. I’m hoping that combination is possible in this year.

LG’s player is the first to hit the market but rumors are that Samsung is going to launch one soon. Hopefully this will drive down costs.

Here is 10% off 199 (until 08/31/07) at Circuit City for you to make this cheaper!