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Studio Exp. Cinema 20HD User Reviews

Studio Exp. Cinema 20HD Projector

Studio Experience Cinema 20HD

WXGA (1366x768), 2200 ANSI Lumens,
17.4 lbs, $7,999 (MSRP)
View Specs
4.6 out of 5
12 User Ratings
Image Quality 4.8
Features 4.9
Construction 4.7
Ease of Use 4.8
Reliability 4.2
Value for Money 4.3
Sony VPL-FHZ75B
WUXGA Conference Room Projector

User Reviews

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Review by psron

I've had this since new in 2004. We've gone through 3 lamps, and it has been an incredibly enjoyable "Studio Experience" ;-) As with others, keeping the filters clean, and the occasional internal cleaning (easily a DIY thing) are part of life with the unit. However, it will let you know if you wait too long... as the fan will speed up and make enough noise for you to know "It's Time". Personally, I use a pre-filter... a single layer of white nylon stocking, stretched and attached over the entire filter-side of the unit, with the carrying handle extended to make a little "tent" shaped filter. It is a HUGE help, and if you keep THAT clean, eliminates 90% of your filter and internal cleanings. If you can be strict about this, the old "pay for the lamp by the movie" approach works well... put $0.50 in a can every time you watch a movie, and you will have enough for a new lamp when the time comes. I recommend NOT using 3rd party lamps though, unless you can get a real good warranty, and read lots of positive feedback on the supplier/rebuilder. This comes from personal, first-hand experience where I work, as I am responsible for maintaining quite a few video projectors... as well as tons of other electronics gear.

Any Problems: No real "problems", other than the previously mentioned filter cleanliness. Note - as with ALL arc-lamp based projectors... do NOT short-cycle them, as this is HARD on lamp life! Don't have it ON for less than 20-30 minutes (the lamp NEEDS to reach full operating temperature of around 1500-2000°F), and once it's OFF, let it cool down no less than the same amount of time. If you need to go away for a while and will be coming back to it, LEAVE IT ON, but blank the screen (or a screen saver). Leaving it ON for a couple hours can actually extend the lamp life. (Note - there is an optional automatic OFF timer when there is no detected input, so make sure if this is enabled, don't let your input signal "go away" as a computer will do when it goes to sleep... use screen savers, and looooong "sleep" timers) Each time an arc lamp is ignited, you use up several hours of lamp life... as the initial spark ablates some of the electrode metal, depositing it inside the lamp globe. This eventually clouds the lamp, decreases the light output, and causes over-heating... and failure. Each "strike" causes the gap between the electrodes to increase, making it harder for the lamp to ignite... and at some point it will stop igniting.

Review by B Russell

Had this projector for almost 3 years now, excellent, no issues. Knock on wood no dead pixels. I clean the filters once a week, and find that the projector needs cleaning maybe once every 6 months, which, and you did not hear it from me, can be done by yourself. I still feel this is one of the best pictures, all things considered for under $8,000.

Any Problems: none

Review by roarkb

I have been using this projector for over 2 years in a home theater. We love it. Great picture even in room with lights on. Works well with computer and with HDTV inputs.

Any Problems: None to date.

Review by Big B

I have been using this projector for more than 1 year and can not complain. Everything about it exceeds expectations. I have friends who have smaller HD TV sets and they state that the 20 HD outperforms their sets by a mile. This is set up in our home theatre and we often times have the lights on. Not a problem with this set. I have not had to change the bulb and have lost no pixels. Overall, I highly recommend this projector for the serious home theatre.

Any Problems: No problems have been encountered.

Review by CMHargrove

I have been using this projector for several months now. Everything has been incredible. DVD is great, video games are great, but honestly, HD programming is the main reason I purchased this projector and it does not let me down. I now watch Sunday football on CBS and FOX in HD, and Monday night football on ABC is the best. Shows like ER and other evening programs look very lifelike. My wife actually uses this thing more than I do, and she hates my gadgets. I have checked my filters every few weeks, but there is no significant accumulation of dust or particles. There has been no sign of any problems with the image. To this point, I can give a heartefelt thumbs up. BTW - I have also taken many trips to local dealers of high end video projection equipment to compare my purchase and I would still choose this system over all of the others I have seen. I was comparing to models from InFocus, Sharp, and Marantz costing around $10,000, and i paid less than half that for this unit.

Any Problems: none as of yet.

Review by wruss64

A followup posting, have used projector over 6 months now, still love it. A couple of little dust blobs beginning to show again, but only when a near totally dark scene is being displayed, which is almost never. High Definition is just incredible!!!! Especially sports, it is really like being there. I clean the filters about once a week, which is normal. I am still quite satisfied with the sound output levels, and colors and contrasts are great!!! I am still very convinced I made the right decision.

Review by wruss64

I have had this projector for 2 weeks now, spent much time with it. I liked it right out of the box. Easy to setup, great picture without tweaking. I have used Avia disk to tweak, wasn't too far off to begin with. I have played with ambient light and this to me is not much of an issue. It does fine. To me the projector is so bright it produces enough ambient light off the screen for comfortable viewing without any rooms lights. I love the electronic zoom, lens shift and keystone, makes it very easy for DIY screen builders. HD is incredible. Normal satellite 480 is what I would expect with any projector, bigger the image more faults you see. But the 4 programmable preset buttons allows for custom settings to be remembered and used easily for these different signal qualities. NO DEAD PIXELS yet. I do have some dust blobs, only show up on black or dark grey image on screen. I have called tech support, very helpful and easy to get to, they are issuing an RMA to take the projector in and clean it and ship back to me overnite under warranty. To me this very acceptable customer service. Buying and LCD you have to know that there is a chance of dead pixels or some dust blobs showing up, just the nature of the technology. To date as I mentioned no dead pixels. I first used blackout cloth material unpainted, picture was very good. I then sprayed a light grey on the material and it did improve, better blacks and overall cleaner picture. I may buy some Da lite screen material and replace blackout cloth. Too me this is the best value for the money and features in this price range. I looked at $10k Runco DLP, sharp and sony. Only the Sony cineza 10 was close, but I wanted the better contrast which I get with the projector. I spent much time debating on which projector to buy, I am convinced that I made the right decision.

Any Problems: Just some internal dust on LCD's, which can be expected with the technology. Customer support was helpful and more than willing to take projector back, clean it, check it out and overnite back to me. About a 3 to 4 day turnaround they said.

Review by Nick Triantos

Great image quality, excellent color reproduction, amazingly bright, good black levels, much better pixel aperture fill % than most other projectors I've seen. I'd recommend a Greyhawk or equivalent dark screen with this projector.

Any Problems: 1. Occasional glitches in the internal scaler when interlaced video is fed to the projector 2. UI is awkward to automate with a remote such as a Philips Pronto because of lack of discrete codes

Review by Alan Hutchinson

I own this projector as well as sell it and have had good results including using with lights on in the room. The projector is extremely bright high resolution projector and it shines with hdtv sources. The black levels are also very good.

Any Problems: Some dusting issues that can be corrected easily, it will shut off if it overheats which only happens when dust clogs the vents. The easy fix is to just pull the two dust filters out clean them and replace them.

Review by oliver

Great picture quality, easy ceiling mounting, great remote and easy menus. Pretty bright, but not there yet for daytime viewing. After 30 days it shuts down after 10 minutes of use, probably a malfunctioning cooling realy. Will call customer service tomorrow.

Any Problems: Shuts down after 10 minutes of use, dust on lens as well.

Review by Muzaffar Hussain

A great projector, but has serious reliability issues. Within the first week I had to send the projector to have the lens cleaned for dust particles and burnt pixels.

Any Problems: Three year warranty does not include cost of shipping projector for repairs. Turn around time for repairs is over two weeks. The super picture quality is not enough to offset the reliability issue. Would not recommend this projector. Distributor cannot gurantee problem will come back again. By the time I ship the projector back and forth I could have easily more than I planned to spend on the projector.

Review by Peter

Excellent picture quality--probably the best in the LCD class right now. Bright, bold images. Decent black level. Screen-door is a non-issue. Looks great on my 110" FireHawk screen. Luckily no dead pixels or dust blobs. Best value for the money.

Any Problems: None so far.