Got my first real experiance with a LCD projector ......

Discussion in 'Displays' started by LaMarcus, Mar 15, 2004.

  1. LaMarcus

    LaMarcus Screenwriter

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    And man was it disappointing. The black level was terrible. So bad that it has me reconsidering going to front projection.

    The projector I saw was the Sony HS-10. It was calibrated, 106" screen (I think it was), I know it was 9' wide. I will say that it was being projected onto a white wall. I don't know how much of a difference a grey or silver wall would make, but I wouldn't think it would make THAT much of a difference.

    The dark scenes had little detail to them at all. The black bars at the top and bottom were greyed. Was a real distraction.

    But on the other hand the bright scenes were fantastic. The Warner Bros logo with the blue background was gorgeous. The Matrix Reloaded scene, when they open the gates to Zion and you see the gate keepers typing on those transparent screens, with the all white background. That was terrific also.


    So it makes me wonder what is the reputation of this projector? Do LCD projectors get much better than this one, or a hell of a lot better? (In terms of black level and black detail)
     
  2. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    The screen must have been a bit taxing at 9' wide. That would equate to 124" diagonal. If I were to use this PJ, I would limit the screen size to 100" and use a silver screen rather than a pure white screen.
     
  3. LaMarcus

    LaMarcus Screenwriter

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    I do remember someone saying something about 120". So your right Neil. I was wondering if the size of his screen was a factor. Seems it might be.
     
  4. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Do they demo HS20's in your Ohio? Also, you may want to check the other 2 popular entry level contenders as well, the Panny L500 and the Sanyo Z2. Colour of the screen and the walls in the room all make a difference too, not just for LCD but for DLP as well. I am just now starting to paint the front wall flat black, something which I had planned for over a year. Reflections off the walls only help to wash out the contrast ratio on the screen. It would be just like turning a light on in the room.
     
  5. LaMarcus

    LaMarcus Screenwriter

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    Actually the front wall and the ceiling was black, and the walls were a dark reddish color. So there was much wash out. Now like I said the bright scenes were awesome, it was just the dark ones that were bad.
     
  6. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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    LaMarcus, your going to sit here and tell me your considering not going FP because of one set-up you saw? Come on now. [​IMG]

    You know, the only true demo is an in-home demo. As I did with the X1 and 200u. I saw a 300u in action in a Panasonic store in decent conditions, it looked very disappointing, but that did not stop me.

    I know you've read many a threads here about how happy many LCD owners are. If you do not like LCD blacks, from my experience with the X1, you will not like dlp blacks either. Both were nearly identical in my testing. In fact, I gave the edge to the lcd for details within blacks over the dlp. I did my testing in a 100% blacked out room on white and gray screens.

    We are a picky bunch and can pick apart an image to no end. Let me say this, every friend and family member that has seen my lcd in action has said it looks identical to my old ISF'd Mits RPTV, just much bigger. Of course I can pick out the flaws. I specificlly asked them about the black levels and they had no complaints at all.

    I STRONGLY suggest you get a hold of a PJ and give it some in-home demo time. Do not pass up these little beauties because of one demo you saw.


    Peace Out~[​IMG]
     
  7. Matthew Todd

    Matthew Todd Second Unit

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    If after seeing another LCD or DLP set up and you're still bothered by the lack of black detail and gray blacks, you ought to consider a used CRT FP (Maybe even consider one anyway!)

    You can get a good 7 or 8 inch CRT front projector for about the same cost as an entry level digital, and the black level and detail in dark scenes will be much better.

    Matt (proud owner of an Ampro 3600 8" CRT)
     
  8. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Do we have any timetable for the Big Juice FP? (I know I keep bugging you about that but I promise I will stop once you get one)

    Was this the first PJ that you demo'd?
     
  9. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

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    Greetings

    Alas, the CRT based units are so much larger and have their own list of weaknesses as well. No technology is perfect ... each with its list of strengths and weaknesses.

    When was the last time you saw good blacks in a theater? Huh? You don't ... [​IMG]

    Regards
     
  10. LaMarcus

    LaMarcus Screenwriter

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    All good points gentlemen. I must say when I saw the Sony Hs-10 in action it was a let down. The guy's theater was top notch in sound. But that projector was terrible. I saw what Ron-P posted with his testing and it looked great. That was the biggest problem I was having. Because I know how many people here have said they've had excellent results, and it just didn't make any sense with what I was seeing.

    My rptv is ISF'd and it looks fantastic. I know I will have to compromise when I go FP, but from what I saw the the Sony, it just didn't seem worth it.

    Ok, maybe I just freaked out because I was so looking forward to seeing a FP in a hometheater, and when it didnt live up to expectations I just freaked out.

    Sorry fellas I guess I just paniced. I'll have to calibrate one myself and then judge it.

    (let me also add that I did see a Sony VW-11?. It was in a HT shop and the blacks on it looked very well. But it was like 3 grand. Too steep for me to spend that much again)
     
  11. Dan M

    Dan M Second Unit

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    thank you Michael.

    I could not agree more. I've been reading many posts here and at other forums trashing so many digital projectors because of 'poor' black levels. Granted, good black level is paramount to a great looking picture but at the same time, I simply don't see inky black levels when watching real film at the theater. And isn't that what 'home theater' is all about? Replicating what we see and hear at the theater?

    I'm not suggesting that black levels shouldn't be better with these digital FP's, but with some decent tweaking and calibrating and a proper screen, I think a digital can come close to what we see in the theater. It's not perfect but a fair representation nonetheless.

    I've been demoing an X1 at home and sure enough, the black levels are nothing compared to my RPTV, but to me the image is actually much more fimlike and the sheer size is far more cinematic, thus more satisfying. To me, this overrides the poor black level problem.

    I'm sure in time they will improve the black levels with the digital pj's but for now I think I can live with it. I probably won't keep the X1 because I want DVI but for the most part I'm rather impressed with the image.

    my 2 cents[​IMG]
     
  12. George_W_K

    George_W_K Screenwriter

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    LaMarcus,


    What's up, buddy? I was disappointed at first with the black level when I bought my X1, however, I am pretty much used to it now. Like you said, bright scenes are awesome on these entry level units. Going in, I knew the black level wouldn't be nearly as good as a CRT RPTV, but I gladly sacrificed for the bigger screen. My Silver Star did make a difference for me, but the blacks are still dark greyish. Basically, it all comes down to personal preference. Maybe you aren't ready to go FP yet. Personally, I loved the way your set looked in your basement, especially with the rear wall painted black. When you showed the asteroid scene from AOTC, the stars looked great against that black background. I'd love to have those black levels one day. But, now that I've had it for awhile, I'd hate to have a smaller screen. Just watching normal television is more enjoyable for me. And the previous posts about the black levels at the theater are a good point too. I know I've paid attention to it since I went FP. And don't forget that DLP and LCD projectors have been progressing every year. Maybe if you wait just a little longer you'll have something that won't be as much of a compromise. Or do what I did, go cheap now, and plan to upgrade again in a couple of years. Also, as said earlier, check out the newer model projectors, maybe you'll find they are already a better choice than what you saw.

    I hope you can make some sense of my post, I am really tired and I'm having trouble putting my sentences together![​IMG] And splitting them into paragraphs.[​IMG]

    As said, everyone is different, I love my X1 even with the dark greys, but I upgraded from a 31" tv. That might make a difference considering you already have a 65" screen. Not as big a jump.
     
  13. Frank Zimkas

    Frank Zimkas Supporting Actor

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    LaMarcus,
    I'll second the suggestion to audition the HS20! But then again I'm just a little bit biased.[​IMG]

    I'm getting better black levels than I was expecting with mine. Set up and calibration are just as important on a FP has they are on any other type of display. you'll have to be a little patient and tweek it a bit.

    I'm looking forward to seeing an update to your HT site...SOON!!
     
  14. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    I have yet to see a regular CRT TV, RP CRT TV or anything else that has such great black level in comparison to my AE100 LCD PJ. I've seen RPTV's and I still prefer, by a huge margin, my AE100. I set my DVD players black level to lighter and adjust the brightness and contrast to compensate. You lose some detail in dark areas and blacks are more grey than black, but I'm picky, and if it looked bad, I'd dislike it. Nobody I show my AE100 to even has a clue, even in dark movies.

    Ok, my original sentence was a brain fart. I've fixed it now [​IMG]
     
  15. LaMarcus

    LaMarcus Screenwriter

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    Chris, that has to be the most confusing sentence I've ever read on the forum. I can't figure it out for the life of me [​IMG]

    But I take it your trying to say the black levels on your PJ look good I guess. [​IMG]

    Frank, I bet your right about the HS20, it was hasty for me to judge lcd by just the one projector alone.
     

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