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Just got out of a talk with a friend from TI, about their DLP products (1 Viewer)

DaveF

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(I think this is the best place for this...)
I just got out of a presentation by a rep from TI's DLP division. It turned out that I knew him briefly when I started grad school and he was finishing his MBA. He's been at TI the past several years, working with the business end of the DLP products.
Here's some random tidbits and thoughts from the talk:
- TI has 100% of the sub-4 lb digital projector market
- They've conducted lifetime studies on the DLP chips, and they operate for thousands of hours, with no problems
- "Dead" pixels are considered minimal, perhaps even non-existant, problem
- Color calibration can be done can be done in a nearly automated fashion for the DLP projectors. Conceivably, in some years, all projectors could be calibrated in the factory, before shipping.
- They hope to see sub-$3k DLP-based HDTVs hit the market the second half of this year
- I could not see the rainbow effect (from the 2lb projector)
- In the small, mildly lit room, the picture was readily viewable. Brightness was not a problem.
- DLP.com for info about DLPs
- DLPstore.com for products using them
- They are pushing hard the use of DLP theater projectors; there are 30-some theaters using them in the U.S.
- He gave away DLP sample chips (XGA resolution I think). Alas, no drivers or software, so I can't make a DIY HDTV ;)
- I've sent him my resume :)
It wasn't a highly-technical meeting, but if you've got any questions, perhaps I caught something about it.
 

Phil L

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__________________________________________________ ________

They hope to see sub-$3k DLP-based HDTVs hit the market the second half of this year

__________________________________________________ ________

What is the advantage of DLP based RPTVs over CRT RPTVs?
 

Steve Schaffer

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DLP based rptvs have no convergence issues, are not subsceptible to burn in.

No worrys about one gun wearing out or failing prematurely, illumination is provided by replaceable bulb.

Since there is no sweeping electron beam there is less potential for geometry errors, fewer if any focus issues.
 

Phil L

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I remember reading something about DLPs not producing black levels well. Any truth to that?

I've been looking at getting a HD RPTV in the near future but DLPs at less than $3k might make me wait.

Anyone have any info on these new DLPs?
 

DaveF

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Some benefits, as I understand it:
Better suitability to a variety of input sources. Because they are, fundamentally, a pixel-based display device, they can work well with digital (computer) inputs.
They are claimed to be one of the few 1080i-capable display devices.
Much brighter output than CRT-based FPTVs.
Very good black levels. I think it was said they have >2000:1 contrast ratios in some projectors.
And, as shown by the 2lb projectors, they can provide high-resolution in a very small package. (Compare to the 150lb CRT projectors).
He said, a partner (Samsung, I think), has demoed a 60" projection TV, that is 10" deep.
I don't want to sound like I'm saying this is a perfect technology. Like everything, it's got weakness and limitations. But, DLP continues to look very promising. :)
 
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I've had a 52DL10 for about a year and a half. Overall, I think it's a great TV, but it's not perfect. The main weakness (other than being very expensive) is black levels. It does a wonderful job with bright, colorful pictures, but it's pretty mediocre for dark, dim pictures. If you are space-constrained and will be putting it in a bright room, it might be a good option, but plasmas of similar size and resolution are now in the same price range and might fit those criteria as well or better (although they may have problems with burn-in, which the DLP does not).
 

Chris PC

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Problem with DLP's is "brain"-bows or rainbows. They are flashes of rainbow like images that you see when you move your head quickly and they cause people headaches.
 

DaveF

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Problem with DLP's is "brain"-bows or rainbow
That was commented on during the talk, and he show us how to see them: wave your hand, fingers spread, in front of you. That will disrupt the integration of the colors sufficiently to reveal the "rainbow." However, for my part, I could not see the rainbow during the presentation or doing a short snippet of the Fifth Element, and I was looking for it.
He also said that the rotation speed of the color wheels will continue to increase (180RPM is the next speed level, I think) and combined with the 6-segment wheels, should pretty well alleviate rainbowing. Here's hoping. :)
As for the black levels -- I think the claim was made that for cinema systems, the contrast level will meet or exceed that of film. I know it was stated that contrast levels and brightness have been increasing for several years, as the technology is further refined.
 
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I've heard a lot of talk about rainbows, but I've never noticed it with the 52DL10 and never had anyone else comment on it while watching. Maybe it's more of an issue with FP systems that project images over a wider area.
 

Phil L

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One problem I've heard about DLP RPTVs is geometric distortion at the sides of the picture. Is this very noticeable? Is TI doing anything to correct it?
 

Mark Hayenga

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Just a few quickies (I'm looking at getting a DLP FPTV so I've picked up a bit about the technology, but am still a newbie)

1) Black levels aren't as good as CRT - yet. Current DLP chips with 10 deg mirrors can get up to about 1000:1 contrast ratio, with newer 12 deg chips they are getting into the 1500-1800:1 range (as in HP's xb31 projector for instance). CRT is still better than that but not by a whole lot.

2) Rainbows are very visible on 2x speed color wheel FPTVs, but it's material dependent. White lettering on subtitles generates rainbows for me without fail as they pop up. I do NOT think rainbowing is very objectionable though, but some people do get headaches. These 2x color wheels spin at a nominal speed of 120Hz or 7200RPM with a RGBW segmented color wheel. 3x spins at 180Hz, 4X at 240Hz, etc. I am not able to detect any rainbowing on the 5x (2.5 speed RGBRGB segmented) color wheels I have seen in the new 16:9 projectors using the HD1 DLP chip (Sharp 9000 and Marantz).

3) Yes they are very bright when compared to CRT based devices. CRT FPTVs are fairly dim (less than 500 lumens), wheras DLP FPTVs run up to about 2000 lumens. Not sure how much a difference this makes in RPTV land though because brightness is a much bigger deal in FPTV land.

4) Bulbs typically last 1000-2000Hrs on DLP projectors with a replacement cost of ~$300, at least as used in FPTVs.

Honestly I think DLP will do a LOT for the home theater as the technology keeps improving. I've been very impressed with all the DLP projectors I've seen in my HT hunt.
 

DaveF

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Mark - thanks for the info. The contrast levels you gave sound familiar; I think that's what was stated in the presentation. Everything else you said agrees with what I remember from the talk.

The more I think about it, and learn about DLPs, the more I agree with your assessment that they could be the future of HT.
 

Frank

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The image produced by a single chip DLP with color wheel requires a lot of visual integration to be performed by the human eye and brain.

Numerous people have reported eye strain and headaches from watching single chip DLP images.

I wonder how seriously TI takes this?

Frank
 

DaveF

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I wonder how seriously TI takes this?
Nothing was said about that, and I didn't think to ask. But others have pointed out that three chip solutions avoid this problem. Perhaps, as the costs come down, three chip designs will become more common and more affordable.

I would also expect that viewing fatigue would diminish as the effective color wheel rotation speed increases beyond 60Hz (for all three colors).
 

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