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1080p Front Projectors

Discussion in 'CEDIA EXPO 2005-2007' started by Tim Glover, Sep 8, 2006.

  1. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    Jack,

    That's one killer system you are putting together! You won't be disappointed.

    And it's interesting that you note that the "Ruby" can now be had for $6500. I fully expected this to happen because there is no way one can justify it being double the price of the "Pearl." In fact, the buzz at CEDIA was that this is exactly what would happen. I questioned several Sony people and others about the difference in price of the two units and what you got for your money. Naturally, the answers were a little vague. Although I didn't hear too much about the quality of the lenses the pictures produced sure looked comparable. Most of the talk was about the "Ruby" having a Xenon bulb which supposedly has better color fidelity (but I didn't see any obvious differences in the two pictures - although there wasn't any side by side shootout.) Besides, the "Pearl" has two things going for it (in addition to being the newer technology). For one thing the bulbs cost much less (nothing wrong with UHP bulbs - both my other FPs had them). For another, the "Pearl" accepts 1080p/24 and multiples thereof (48,72) whereas the "Ruby" only deals with 1080p/60. While this might be splitting hairs, in theory a native 1080p/24 input holds the promise of the best possible picture from 1080p/24 film source material. Joe Kane has said that the ideal frame rate for FPs is 48 (and for plasmas is 72 as confirmed by Pioneer reps). This handles any "judder" issues that might be important to some.

    As Tom has personally discovered, right out of the box the "Pearl" provides quite an amazing picture. Your pairing of it with a VP50 should provide you with superior images. Your only limitation now is poor source material (and even there, the VP50 will make things more palatable).

    Keep us in the loop as things develop.
     
  2. Chris S

    Chris S Cinematographer

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    You guys are killing me with this stuff! [​IMG] First I'm all set on getting 720p having decided to wait for 1080p to reach the sub $2K level. Then I have to read posts like Toms... now I'm completely convinced I need the Pearl. Gotta love this hobby! [​IMG]

    Seriously, thanks for the early review and please keep the initial impressions coming!
     
  3. Tom Pfarr

    Tom Pfarr Agent

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    Impressions from a second night of viewing on the VW50

    Watched complete episode of House in HDTV OTA. Maybe a little soft compared to NBC/CBS film fair but I think it is filmed in a more natural light than the more over the top high contrast style used in shows like CSI. Overall vey clean and natural.

    Put on the restored version of Vertigo (letterboxed non-anamorphic) DVD using my MCE box to zoom to 16:9. Every flawed piece of film they had to use is clearly visible warts and all. The pristine parts (restaurant and outdoor shots) look lush and timeless. Wonder what an HD-DVD of this would look like?

    Starwars Episode 3 looked fantastic, amazing detail and the space shots with this contrast and blacks look amazing. Lord only knows what this would look like in HD-DVD.

    Star Trek Voyager season 3 - 4:3 film material looks very very clean and natural. I was surprised by the lack of noise. Just great.

    Battlestar Galactica Season 2.5 DVD - This is "filmed" in HDTV video. Sharp as a tack. Huge contrast range in scenes in the hanger deck with very bright backlit scenes. Again what would this look like in a full HD transfer!

    For each of the above varied sources every one exhibited newfound details, Like watching on a "reference" monitor. I guess a good way to describe the performance is "effortless". With this native resolution the detail is there without straining to see it.
     
  4. JediFonger

    JediFonger Producer

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    tom,

    do you have a HD-DVD/BR player?
     
  5. Tom Pfarr

    Tom Pfarr Agent

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    Yes the Toshiba XA1 HD-DVD
     
  6. Tom Pfarr

    Tom Pfarr Agent

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    I had my 10HT for six years. Every year I would see the current crop of projectors and say "Yeah it's better here and there but it's not THAT much better to be worth getting ". And since the 10HT worked perfectly and after recalibrating every 6 months or so always looked great (except for the black levels which never really bother me).

    But I knew when the hardware and software made an order of magnitude leap to 1080x1920 panels and HD-DVD full resolution source material that I had to do it. I waited 1 extra year after the Ruby and could not wait any longer.

    I suspect any of the new crop of 1080p projectors easily outperforms the 720p class. It's time to move up.

    HD-DVD with the Pearl is "beyond classification" in Tour de France speak.
     
  7. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    Just to piggyback on Tom's comments here, I know exactly where he's coming from. I, too, owned a Sony VPL-VW10HT, their first HD (720p) native 16:9 aspect ratio LCD front projector and was very happy with its performance. At the time, with the right environment (ambient light control, screen, calibration, etc.), it did a very, very nice job in providing a picture which was great for the time. The screen door effect was not noticeable, the black levels were fine (especially since perceived black is really the difference between white and black levels and the VW10HT was very bright for its time) and, even at $5800 (list: $8000) in early 2000 the Sony was a nice price/performance unit. I never had any reservations about choosing this projector for my new HT and was a champion of its performance (often in heated discussions with some people at that "other" forum in regard to reality vs. rumor).

    In late 2002 I was the fortunate winner of a Runco 720p single chip DLP projector on a Home Theater Cruise (I currently have the CL-710 thanks to a very generous Sam Runco) and, of course, this forced my VW10HT into early retirement. [Sidebar: Coincidentally, Tom was on the same cruise.] Unquestionably, the performance of the Runco exceeded the performance of the VW10HT in a couple of areas - blacker blacks and superior optics - so it is now my current projector. However, the difference in the picture, while there, was not great enough to cause me to spend upwards of $12,000 (then the price for the CL-710) because it wouldn't have made sense to me. If it hadn't been for my good fortune on the cruise, I would have been content to stay with the VW10HT as Tom did while incremental increases in FP performance occurred.

    However, with the introduction of the "Ruby" last year at under $10,000 (A 3 chip LCoS configuration) I realized that the seeds for my next projector had been planted. After owning my 1 chip DLP Runco I knew that my next upgrade would be a 1080p 3-chip "something." While 3 chip DLP was attractive, the price was certainly not. The "Ruby" was clearly poised (especially with 1080p native input) to be a replacement for my Runco. In fact, when I saw it at CEDIA in 2005 I commented, "When the price drops to under $5,000 I'll own one of these" and that was my game plan. I repeated this while at the Sony press conference at CEDIA 2006 and my jaw dropped when they announced the "Pearl" at $4999 list.

    Tom was almost bitten by the upgrade bug last year (at $10K) and now he's glad he didn't jump at what must have been a very tempting "Ruby." His early experiences with his "Pearl" show that his decision to wait has paid off handsomely.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  8. David Brown Eyes

    David Brown Eyes Second Unit

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    Off the top of my head I would consider ListenUp. I have purchased my gear from them for years and they are great.
     
  9. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    Jack:

    I can recommend the Carada Brilliant White screen as a substitute for the Steward Studiotek 130. From those people that read that have owned both the Carada gives the same kind of performance and costs about 1/3 the cost of the Stewart. Call David and tell him and sent you over to him and he will get you fixed up. This will help give you in your budget.

    Nikki:

    Get an SV Subwoofer to go with your Def Techs. That is what I am running with mine and you will not be disappointed. Give Tom or Ron a call and they will fix you up with the right sub for your room and at the same time save you a bunch of money.

    I have known a few people that have used Goo for their screens with varying results. Most that I talked to weren't all that happy with the results. There are several threads on the forum from members that have built their own screens using various types of cloth. Personally I just used a flat white paint, put a three inch wide flat black border around it and was very happy with the results.

    Parker
     
  10. Adam Gregorich

    Owner

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    You are welcome. It will do a much better job on the video, plus the 2807 is a real bargin.

    I wouldn't go with the screen you have spec'd. It is a great all around screen, but Stewart built a speical screen to get the best out of that projector. Even if you don't get their screen, find out the specs on it (gain, color, etc) and shop those around. I can second Parkers opinion of Carada.
     
  11. Tim Glover

    Tim Glover Lead Actor

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    Looks like the new Panasonic AX100 ---720p projector you guys saw at CEDIA is a real knockout. Check out this review. Looks unreal.



    Full review here:

    http://www.projectorreviews.com/Manu...100U/index.asp

    The Fall of 2006 has to be the most groundbreaking and a landmark for projectors. Seems like for nearly any budget, room size, resolution, folks can bring the Cinema home for prices simply unheard of.

    Exciting...[​IMG]
     
  12. JediFonger

    JediFonger Producer

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    tim,

    the only problem now is for people to afford the real estate to house these cinemas in [​IMG]. lol. [​IMG]
     
  13. Nikki M

    Nikki M Extra

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    Hi Parker,

    Thanks for the input. The reason we decided to wait on the sub is because the 7002 front towers have subs built in. When we were in the Magnolia demo room, we went back & forth w/ & w/out the stand alone sub. And honestly, the difference was minimal. And that was w/ the 7002s built in subs set at 50%. And we're pretty picky when it comes to sound. ( I guess once you hear really good speakers, there's no going back) Our thought was to get the whole thing put together & then if we feel we need a sub, we can add it. So I will definitely keep the SV in mind.

    Am still up in the air on the screen. The Goo was just one temporary solution. My husband is going to have to build something to go over three windows that are on the wall where the screen will go anyway. This will serve 2 purposes...block the light from the windows & create a flat surface (over the molding) to hang a screen on. I figured we might as well paint it. Although fabric is a possibility too.

    so, we're still noodling.

    Nikki
     
  14. Tom Pfarr

    Tom Pfarr Agent

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    More Pearl viewing....

    Got the HD-DVD of "Grand Prix". This is the new eye candy reference disk if you can believe it. This is the best transfer of a 65mm film you've ever seen. Absolutely clean throughout, it pops off the screen.

    I would die and go to heaven if a 2001:Space Odyssey transfer could look this good.

    Watched "Lost" on ABC 720p HD OTA. Probably the best/most detailed HD production on TV. The outdoor scenes are just gorgeous.

    The HD-DVD for Terminator 3 is just so-so. A disappointment for a modern big-budget film. Not really any better than the DVD.

    12 hours on the bulb already.........
     
  15. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    A couple of random comments from recent posts in this thread:

    Tim,

    Nice catch on that Panasonic AX100! While I've been focusing mostly on the
     
  16. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    Tom,

    Keep those comments coming. They are very much appreciated. I've always contended that nothing can substitute for reports from actual users of HT gear. They are real, to the point, and based on facts, not statistics. And now that you have a state of the art display you are finding out something that I also discovered about some of the new HD media (not limited to just HD-DVD or to Blu-ray since that's an argument for another time in another place and not here): There is some HD content on discs that really doesn't look any better than some DVDs. The problem is with the source material and how it was prepared for distribution. While the promise of HD media is greater than SD media, that promise is not always realized but this situation will improve over time (just as it did for SD). When I've stated to some people that I have a lot of SD DVDs that you might mistake for HD content, I mean what I say. Of course my display and my external video processor have something to do with all that.

    On a side note, something I mentioned earlier in this message got me to thinking to add a "sticky" message at the top of the CEDIA 2006 coverage section to indicate where we would like the threads from this area to end up. Some have become quite active and contain a lot of great contributions from people like yourself. Look for the announcement elsewhere.

    Carry on!
     
  17. Jack Hogoboom

    Jack Hogoboom Auditioning

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    Can you guys provide any recommendations for where to buy my gear? the 2708 I will get from the Internet, but I need recommendations for wehere to get the Def Tech speakers, the DVDO VP, the Stewart screen and, of course, the Pearl. Also, if you think someone might be willing to cut a deal on the whole package, that'd be great too. I'm not very anxious to go to the local audio retailers.

    Jack
     
  18. Tim Glover

    Tim Glover Lead Actor

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    [​IMG]
     
  19. Tom Pfarr

    Tom Pfarr Agent

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    Ok, It's been almost a week and my wife had not noticed that I had a new projector (the Pearl). Truth be told she does not normally use the projector herself so I was not expecting her to notice right away (but a week!).

    She did mention that she had missed House this week and wanted to see it. Her Tivo was otherwise occupied with another show at that time. My MCE box recorded it in HD. So I said "Sure lets watch it on the big screen". After the first commercial break she said "This really looks amazing!, you must have fiddled with your projector.' In a few moments that included a head smack she finally realized that the projector case was different and said "How did you get the new one? I thought they were not available yet?" So I confessed that I had it a week and yes it looked great didn't it?

    I showed her a clip from the HD-DVD of Sea Biscuit and she remarked at the beautiful texture of the costumes. Detail that was not visible in any previous system we had.

    She also mentioned that "Oh that's why the Lord of the Rings clips you were looking at last night looked so good!" I was watching the LOTR extended edition which is split on 2 DVD disks (Fellowship of the ring). The bit rate on these transfers approach 10Mbs and are probably the best transfers ever. They look stunning upconverted using my XA1. I can't imagine what an HD transfer of these titles would look like. Bring em on!

    Maybe the final eye candy was the recording of Saturday Night Live which is now in full HD video. The level of detail on this medium is in a complete different class than film transfers. It should not have more detail but probably because of color calibration or other such differences HD video (at least on NBC) just leaps off the screen into your lap. It's like being there.

    Still very impressed with the projector and I've not even tried a calibration run yet (seems like it has a bit of red in the greyscale). I'll let the bulb settle in and probably do a calibration at 100 hours or so.

    Back to viewing pleasure.
     
  20. JediFonger

    JediFonger Producer

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    smack in the head from the wife, lol. classic.
     

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