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I read Bob Turner's article in Video Systems about DV VCRs(August 2003). I am setting up a studio on a limited budget. I will beusing Final Cut Pro 4 on a G5 and a Canon GL2. I also have some tapesrecorded on the Panasonic PV-GS70, but will mostly be using the GL2. Ineed a DV VCR (VTR? I don't know the difference) that will give me thebest-quality source video without a lot of bells and whistles. I don'teven need it to record well, but of course, it would be nice. I amlooking for something around $1,400 to $1,800.

I have looked at the Panasonic AG-DV2500 and DV2000 and JVCSR-VS10U. I am new to this field and want to make the wisest buy.
Stacy Gorton

Bob Turner responds:First, a VTR is a video tape recorderand a VCR is video cassette recorder. I guess you could say a VCR is asubset of VTR. If you will be using FCP4 on a G5 and a Canon GL2, youwill be using MiniDV format only, correct?

The first order of business (as stated in the article) iscompatibility with the system you want to connect the unit to. While Ipersonally like the AG-DV2500, I see that it is not on the list ofcompatible VCRs on the Apple site. (The list is available AG-DV2000 is. Have you already inquired at an Apple center ordealer to see if the DV2500 is compatible and is not listed? If not, Ithink your decision is made. The DV2000 will be a good source VCR forFCP on the G5.

If both are compatible, both are good choices. At this pricerange you must make a few compromises. If it is compatible, I wouldtend to go with the less expensive AG-DV2500 because of its RS-422controller, and because it can serve as a recordable portable forrecording large cassettes when you need longer recording times. On theother hand, the DV2500 does not have a jog controller, which many finduseful in controlling tapes.

The AG-DV2000 is a well-built VCR. It uses the same chassis asthe higher-end devices, and does feature a jog capability.

I am not sure the JVC SR-VS10U is still available. Furthermore,the things it is best at are not what you need. Also, it is not on theApple list of compatible units.

HD compatible, 16:9

I just finished reading Pete Putman's article on video projectors. Iam currently shopping around for a 16:9 projector with HDTVcompatibility and was wondering if he had any advice for me. I do notwant to go high end — I'm looking for more of a mid-budget unit.I have been looking at the Panasonic PT-AE200, Sanyo PLV-Z1, andBoxlight Cinema 12SF.

Also, what about the 2,000- to 3,000-hour bulb life of a projectorvs. the 20,000- to 30,000-hour life of a big screen? How do you justifyprojector bulb replacement costs?
Todd Serenko

Pete Putman responds:The Sanyo PLV-Z1 is ahigh-resolution, but not true high-definition projector. It uses“1/4 HD” LCD panels that have a pixel count of 964×544(16:9). This product was recently reviewed for Video Systems (August2003) and can be found on the Web at new PLV-Z2 has 1280×720 pixel resolution and costs about$1,000 more.

I have not reviewed the Panasonic PT-AE200, but there is a newermodel, the PT-AE300, with 960×540-pixel LCD panels. This sells forabout the same price as the Sanyo PLV-Z2, although it doesn't have trueHD imaging, only “1/4 HD.”

The Boxlight Cinema 12SF is $1,000 more than either the Panasonicor Sanyo, and has even lower resolution — 848×480 (WideVGA). It is a single-chip DLP design with color wheel. I have nottested this model either, but prefer the Matterhorn equippedprojectors. The Matterhorn DLP chip has a resolution of 1024×576and a bit better pixel density with HD and widescreen DVDprograms.

You should also check out the Epson Home 10. It uses three .55in.LCD panels with 852Ļ480 pixel resolution (again, not true HD), butthe price is reasonable at $1,299. The panels are also 16:9.

Lamp half-life is about 1,500 to 2,500 hours for UHP-type bulbs.1,500 hours annually is about four hours a day of viewing, seven days aweek, 52 weeks a year. You will have to amortize the lamp on an annualbasis. I checked on the Internet and found a 132W UHE lamp for about$340. Your cost per hour to operate this lamp would be less than aquarter if you got 1,500 hours out of it.

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