Mehkai's Place

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Now for the post you have all been waiting for. I like to think that thousands of people are reading my blog rather than the three that I know are actually viewing it. Thanks friends! So I bought an Xbox because of Halo and the future Halo 2 of course. And now I run a weekly Halo club at which I used a Dell 2300mp projection unit. This projector wasn't bad but at the same time it wasn't great. Due to certain events I needed to find a new projection unit. So I began looking for a projector that would be good for gaming. I used the greatest search engine Google. Searching for Xbox and projectors, and I found nothing worthwhile except for a lot of ads. However I kept up the search finally finding some information on a BenQ MP610. So after reading a couple of reviews I decided that the BenQ MP610 was for me so I ordered it from Provantage.com, a very good and inexpensive store to order from. Without further wasting of time lets get on to the review.

First some comparison pictures of my 20" TV to my 94" projection. One thing to note is that the projection was on my wall which is not totally flat so some of the finer details are a little askew.












Above you will see on the left my TV and on the right my projection. I don't know what Blogger did to my pictures but they look horrible click on them to go to flickr to get the real deal. Other than the TV being a little brighter I feel that the image on the projection is perfect, just the right contrast for me, especially for the price tag. This next picture shows the worst possible setup a light directly above your projection area, which in my case is a textured wall. Yes there is some wash out, but not that bad for a 2000 lumen projector. Not to mention who would play with a light on directly above, no one. But this shows that even with the worst light on the projector is still good. So if you have some light in the room no need to worry, as long as your screen isn't directly in the light path.



The next picture (below) shows a lighter picture with the lights on and a flash from my camera. Again there is a little washout of colors and although it looks like it is impossible to play like this it isn't. In fact the hardest part of playing like this is the top part of the screen because the light washes out the radar a little.





Another set of comparisons this time a light image instead of a dark image.















As you can see the image is darker on the projection unit. But it is still very clear. Sorry for my photography skills. I used to be a person who would say that he would rather play on a TV monitor than a projection of any sort. However after my research and purchase I might have to change my tune. Of course the projection is still not as perfect as my TV. It is very excellent and I can easily play on it and have a blast since I have nearly an 8 foot screen. There is little to no blur and I can see people in the background for sniping purposes. This is one of the hardest things to do on a projection is snipe especially in Halo and let me tell you this projector the BenQ MP610 handles the small details in the background like a pro. So the question is whether or not the BenQ MP610 is worth the cost. In my opinion yes, the only major draw back is the lamp which cost $400 to replace. However on economy mode you get 4000 hours of lamp time(verses the 2000 hours in normal mode) so that means it cost about $0.10 an hour to operate, which is still a little higher than most projectors in the $700 price range. However I have used a Dell 2300mp and it did not do as good a job with the contrast and it cost $300 more than the MP610. So the people in Flag at y HALO club and my-self believe that if you want an inexpensive projection unit for gaming, and you want a life size "Chief" this is the projector for you. Yes there are better projectors out there but they cost more, so save your-self the time and agony of getting a lesser projector and get the MP610.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Big Screen

So recently I needed to buy a projection unit. For reasons to many to explain. I went in search of a projection unit that would suit my needs. The room I use it in is moderately lit and I will be using in mainly for gaming. (ie: Halo 2) One of the biggest concerns when looking for a projection unit (at least for most people) is Lumens. Which defined by dictionary.com (click on the word link) is unit of measurement for the amount of light one source puts out. However I beg to differ, I do not think your first or only concern should be Lumens, it should also be contrast. At least that is my opinoin. So I searched for a projection unit that had a high contrast ratio and good lumens.
First lumens since that is what everybody talks about. ANSI sets the standerd for which lumens are measured. In a dark room with absolutely no light you can easily get buy with a 1000 lumen or less system. These run under $500 usually for a basic projection unit. If you have moderate lighting or you need light for notetaking etc.. Then you will need a projector that has 1000-2000 lumens. These can run from $500 to over $2000. The cost depends on features such as weight, functionality, zoom and other features. If you need to project in a room with a lot of light you'll need a projector with at least 3500+ lumens. These can range in the $3000 to a whole lot of money like 15,000 or more. Again features and quality are what push up the cost.
Next contrast is important. The contrast ratio usually expressed as xxxx:1 is the measurement of the difference in light intensity between the brightest white and the darkest black. In other words the higher the contrast numer (the xxxx's), such as 400:1, represents a better color representation (the better the information will appear against a darker background) on the screen than a lower contrast ratio, such as 150:1. Confusing? Yeah, I bet it is. At least it was for me. So lets just accept that the higher the number the better. However pay attention to the method used to measure the contrast ratio. There are two methods used by the projection industry: 1) Full On/Off contrast measures the ratio of the light output of an all white image (full on) and the light output of an all black (full off) image. 2) ANSI contrast is measured with a pattern of 16 alternating black and white rectangles. The average light output from the white rectangles is divided by the average light output of the black rectangles to determine the ANSI contrast ratio. When comparing the contrast ratio of projectors make sure you are comparing the same type of contrast. Full On/Off contrast will always be a larger number than ANSI contrast for the same projector. The ANSI standard method will provide you with more information than the Full on/off method.
What else is there to consider? well resolution and the quality of picture. This article is just a primer. If you want more info check out these sites, http://www.unitedvisual.com/2tips/2tvp101.asp, http://www.nationalprojector.com/HowTo/Choose.htm.

Well, this article turned out to be longer than expected I will post my review of my latest projector purchase in a little while.