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4K projectors - why so slow in coming?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Colin Dunn, Jul 10, 2017.

  1. Message #1 of 7 Jul 10, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2017
    Colin Dunn

    Colin Dunn Supporting Actor

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    It seems the movement from 1080p to 4K in projectors is much slower than the movement from 480p->720p->1080p was.

    While the thread about the Optomas for about $2,500 is encouraging, I'm wondering why it is taking so long to get true 4K in a projector. There are 4K flat-panel TVs out the wazoo now (I've even seen 42" 4K LCDs , but true 4K projectors still appear to start at about $8,000 (beyond the means of most enthusiasts).

    When 4K was first introduced, a lot of people argued that it was of no benefit for the typical 42-55" display with an across-the-room viewing distance. 4K would make a palpable difference for a 120" projected image, though, and projectors are far more practical than trying to manufacture, ship, and install an 80"+ flat-panel TV.
     
  2. DavidMiller

    DavidMiller Screenwriter

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    I love my 85" 4K TV... :)

    I believe the biggest issue is to do HDR/Dolby Vision with the same effect as a panel. Projectors are not meant to do 1000nits in fact most only do 100nits or less. I think this is the biggest factor on why we haven't seen a huge number of projectors. The one you mention isn't even a real 4K projector as I believe it uses Eshift Technology. If 4K was just about resolution I'm sure we would have seen a fleet of 4K projectors. The 4K package includes 4K resolution, 10 bit color and HDR so there are a lot of complexities. This is different then any other jump in the video side.
     
  3. Colin Dunn

    Colin Dunn Supporting Actor

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    I thought 10-bit color was more a matter of the processing in front of the display rather than the display chip/panel itself. I could see HDR requiring chips/panels with a wider dynamic range, but aren't there already 2K projectors with HDR?

    Typical HT projectors have never been as bright as TV displays, but in a darkened room can still be impactful. I think most projector users are used to living with the more limited brightness (though in theory, that would limit the dynamic range, perhaps rendering "HDR" moot).

    Are the projectors used in digital cinemas capable of 10-bit color depth and HDR? I know, those cost $250,000. But they have to achieve a lot more brightness to light up a 50' screen instead of a 120" screen.
     
  4. DavidMiller

    DavidMiller Screenwriter

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    Well I know that the first 4K panels where 8bit and caused a lot of banding issues. Most if not all 4K panels today are 10bit, of coarse I'm guessing we will see 12bit panels soon as they prepare for 8K over the next few years. There is already a proposed HDR12 which would include 12bit color. I'm not aware of any 1080p devices that actually do HDR, with the exception that Sony said they where go to release some TVs (not sure that happened). Now technically the projector you mentioned above is a 1080p projector that outputs a 4K picture using Eshift and does HDR.

    That is my point the projector maybe great at the contrast and blacks for HDR but the brights not so much. Does it make HDR moot I think it "limits" its effectiveness. I think you could still enjoy HDR content. I know some of the reviewers here are using Sony 4K Projectors but they have OLED TVs to help them validate.

    My guess is that they output a lot of light to start with and they are less worried about bulb life. So they would run them at full lumens. I know some of the higher level theaters are moving to laser projectors which may also help but I'm not an expert in that side. Maybe someone else could speak to that.
     
  5. danpalooza

    danpalooza Auditioning

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    That is my point the projector maybe great at the contrast and blacks for HDR but the brights not so much. Does it make HDR moot I think it "limits" its effectiveness. I think you could still enjoy HDR content. I know some of the reviewers here are using Sony 4K Projectors but they have OLED TVs to help them validate.

    Dont forget about the increased color space too for HDR. Dolby Vision minimum requirements are DCI-P3 but can go beyond that.




    My guess is that they output a lot of light to start with and they are less worried about bulb life. So they would run them at full lumens. I know some of the higher level theaters are moving to laser projectors which may also help but I'm not an expert in that side. Maybe someone else could speak to that.[/QUOTE]

    The only HDR theaters I've encountered are the branded Dolby Cinemas which use the laser projectors. Also I've noticed during the Dolby Cinema films there are two projectors going at the same time. So I think they use them in combination to reach those high peak nit values. But a downside is if the projectors are off alignment sharp lines look a little fuzzy.
     
  6. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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    Some of the early reviews for the Optoma UHD60 indicate that the image becomes much darker than normal when the HDR feature is engaged. I suppose that’s one way to increase the range between white and black.

    In any event, it appears that most UHD60 owners have decided not to use HDR on that projector. They still report that the 4K/UHD discs look better than Blu-ray when projecting between 100” to 120”, so it’s doing the job it was intended for.
     
  7. DavidMiller

    DavidMiller Screenwriter

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    I'll use the 3D argument then... You are only getting 50% of the picture. So, in the end you’re not getting what the 4K disc was intended to produce.
     

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