DLP vs. CRT projectors/RPTVs

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Brian Bustin, Dec 29, 2002.

  1. Brian Bustin

    Brian Bustin Auditioning

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    I have heard from sources who are easily influenced by marketing efforts that a DLP projector looks just as good as a CRT one if not better. They site brightness and clarity.

    I understand how the underlying technology in CRT, LCD, and DLP projectors work. I would be wary going for an LCD projector due to low contrast levels and the "screen look."

    I have not auditioned projectors, but I was wondering what the experts think about DLP.
     
  2. Jan Strnad

    Jan Strnad Screenwriter

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    I'm no expert, but I've seen some excellent DLP pictures.

    Personally, I'm staying away until a) I have some money, b) I have even more money, and c) I can get a DLP projector with three panels instead of a color wheel. I see rainbows. Oh, and I need a room to put one in.

    I haven't seen anything that beat a good CRT projector, though, in terms of color subtlety and black levels.

    Jan
     
  3. Brian Bustin

    Brian Bustin Auditioning

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    I hope that comes out soon. I've never demoed a DLP projector, but I think I will soon in order to try to see the rainbow effect and see if it's really annoying.

    Is any company that you know of currently working on a 3 DLP projector?
     
  4. Robert James Clark

    Robert James Clark Second Unit

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    Don't hold your breath for a 3 chip DLP. The cost wont come down for a long time.

    I have a DLP projector (older XGA) and a CRT projector and the DLP is wonderful. Great detail, smooth picture and very acceptable black levels. Sure beats my CRT in ease of use and maintenance.
    I only see rainbows if I really force myself to: darting my eyes violently from the left and right of the screen. Keep in mind that your eyes and brain adjust after a few days and you probably wont have any "eyestrain" etc. after a week...
     
  5. Doug_B

    Doug_B Screenwriter

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    I've demoed a couple of HD1-based DLPs as well as an HD2 DLP (same color wheel, and possibly more rainbow potential than HD1s due to greater contrast). I have yet to see a rainbow, and for the last demo I viewed material that would be ripe for them if one were sensitive. I now have the Screenplay 7200 but cannot make final judgments yet until I get my screen. However, I am very happy so far. I did briefly see a high end CRT, and it is clear to me that the CRT picture is smoother, but I have no regrets (and a lot more money left over).

    Doug
     
  6. Gordon Groff

    Gordon Groff Second Unit

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    I veiwed a DLP projector last night. An Infocus unit about the size of a phone book. The guy in the store at that moment did not know the model #, but said "it's a $5,000 projector".

    It was projected onto a 106" screen and had great image quality! (to my newbie eyes). I tried to see rainbows by moving my eyes around, but did not see any. No other artifacts either. No eye strain, even though were were a little closer than the optimum viewing distance.

    I was impressed! (easy, I know)

    I really want to see a good LCD projector. Anyone know of one set up in south-eastern PA?

    Gordon
    Lancaster, PA
     
  7. Brian Bustin

    Brian Bustin Auditioning

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    It's great to hear that DLP projectors are pretty good. In my particular case I believe that the TV room is too bright. It's even hard to see the pic on the Mitsu 50in RPTV (it's a 10 year old one). There are french doors and a patio that reflects light upwards.

    Thanks for all the input.
     
  8. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Brian,
    most of us saving up for projectors plan on pulling down the shades when we watch during the day...and since most movie watching happens at night windows don't pose a problem for me.
    Anyone interested in learning about projectors (digital) should do some reading here:
    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forum...?s=&forumid=24
    bottom line is that for between $5000 - $10000 you can get a pretty spectacular 100 inch diagonal 16x9 picture.
    don't go RP unless you REALLY have considered every front-projection alternative. There's nothing like the sensation of a "movie" as you turn out the lights and see that image fill a *real* screen.
    -dave
     
  9. Robert James Clark

    Robert James Clark Second Unit

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    Try if you can to see an LCD projector that's oriented for Home Theater rather than as a buisness projector.

    Quite a few LCD projectors have poor contrast, awful screendoor and uneven colors.

    Recommendations:
    Sony HS-10
    Panasonic PT-A300u
    Sanyo PLV-Z1
    Epson TW100

    They're new and may be hard to find. You might try asking local HT enthusiasts to show you theirs :b
     
  10. Sean M

    Sean M Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, I hate to burst everyone's bubble, but DLP is still not close to CRT front projection in terms of PQ. Some DLP's are close to some CRT's (A new HD2 compared to a 7" CRT), but the price differences are usually completely out of proportion with the digital being more expensive.

    Dollar for dollar, if you spend equal amounts, or even half as much on the CRT side really, you'll get a better picture out of the CRT. You will have more brightness and no convergence issues with a DLP, but that's about it in the PQ race.

    This is not to say that DLP's are providing a bad or substandard picture, far from it, but CRT's are still in another league altogether. The questions you ask youself when getting into the two technologies are totally different. For CRT, you ask "Am I willing to accomadate this machine and put up with the hassle (such as it is) of ownership?" With a digital it's "What picture quality compromises am I willing to make in return for the convenience of owning a digital projector?"

    Here's a list of the pro's for each, as I see it in regards to PQ:

    CRT:

    Resolution (even a 7" CRT can do 1280x720 and they go up from there)
    Color
    Contrast
    Black Level
    Smoother Picture
    No Dithering (Temporal and in low IRE ranges)
    No Rainbow

    DLP:

    Brightness
    No Convergence Issues

    Again, I'm not saying the DLP's are bad by any stretch. They just don't match the level of PQ available in a properly set up CRT. But, if you must, or want to, go digital, then DLP definately deserves strong consideration.
     
  11. Brian Bustin

    Brian Bustin Auditioning

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    I guess my logic doesn't make sense. I thought that since future formats are going digital, it would make more sense to carry the signals as far as possible and still be digital. So for example an HDTV tuner with firewire/DVI/some-digital-connection out to the DLP projector. Now the projector could concievably have a line doubler built-in, or you could put one inline after the tuner.

    Does this have any basis in reality? I'm still learning a lot about Home Theaters, so I probably don't know what I'm talking about.
     
  12. Sean M

    Sean M Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, you are correct in your assumption that keeping the signal digital for as long as possible improves picture quality. Digital display devices look their best when fed a direct digital signal with no intervening A/D and D/A conversions. Even new high end CRT's are being made to handle digital signals in the digital domain for as long as possible inside the projector to improve quality. This is the same principal as keeping digital audio signals digital until the very last moment (the amplifier output stage).

    The problem here is that you run into the limits of what digital displays are currently capable of in terms of quality. They simply can't match a CRT for quality at this point, regardless of the quality of the signal.

    I honestly don't think that you'll see any of the current incarnations of digital display tech (including plasma) surpass CRT quality, though they will come very, very, very close over the next few years. Perhaps if Philips' single chip LCOS can approach the contrast ratio of single chip DLP without rainbow and dithering, we'll be getting somewhere. Otherwise, we may have to wait for GLV or OLED to come to market at affordable prices and in large enough screen sizes (in the case of OLED).
     
  13. Jim Ferguson

    Jim Ferguson Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, I never really planned it this way, but I now have "one of each". These are my experiences, FWIW>
    CRT - Barco CRT. Best image quality. Quietest. Most flexible in handling all input scan rates (i.e. native 720P, 1080I, any type of RGB source). Best blacks. Smoothest image. I use a Stewart Studiotek 130 white screen. This is my main system in a dedicated room.
    LCD - StudioExperience SE13HD. Just replaced. Lots of screen door. Great for PC (non-HT) use. Bad blacks. Very "digital" looking with what I've heard described as "fixed pattern noise." It's like there's always some kind of grit on the screen. Stewart Firehawk screen in a non-dedicated room with white walls, near-but-not-total light control.
    DLP - Infocus 7200. I've had this for two days now, and am quite happy. I also previously owned an NEC LT150.
    • Much better blacks than the SE13HD, but of course not as good as the CRT. I watched all of LOTR between last night and today, and really only felt the lack in the blacks a couple of times. For a "CRT Guy" I think that's saying quite a lot.
    • Very smooth image. Does not suffer as much as the LT150 from the "dithering" effect on pans.
    • Rainbows unfortunately. This PJ is much, much, much better than the LT150, but it's my only major disappointment with it. I see rainbows more frequently than I had been hoping.
    • Decently quiet. It's much quieter than the SE13HD, but it does have kind of a high whiny pitch to it that you can't hear while watching a movie.
    • Despite having slightly lower resolution than the SE13HD, it looks far, far better with HDTV. The SE suffered from a lot of scaling artifacts which made everything kind of shimmery and stair-stepped. The 7200 looks closer to my CRT on HD material.
     
  14. Tristan D

    Tristan D Auditioning

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    Jim,

    Would you know how much the replacement bulbs cost for your 7200?
     
  15. Jim Ferguson

    Jim Ferguson Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Tristan. I haven't checked on the replacement bulb price. Most of these go in the 500 range unfortunately.
     

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