JVC HD2K vs Sony Qualia vs Sanyo HD10

Discussion in 'Displays' started by BobbyD, Nov 26, 2004.

  1. BobbyD

    BobbyD Auditioning

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    (After-posting note - Big news! Wide Screen Review Magazine has now reviewed BOTH the JVC and the Qualia. It re-affirms what I have said. Although the Qualia claims to produce more light than the JVC, its contrast suffers. WSR found that when adjusted for the maximum contrast picture quality the Qualia produced 234 Lumens at a 1456 contrast ratio (at 6500 K color setting). The JVC, however, at 6500 K color, produced 587 Lumens, at a 2160 contrast ratio. They also found that color variation and light variation was better controlled with the JVC.

    (When they sacrificed accuracy, opened the iris and forced the Qualia, they were able to able to get 352 Lumens at 2190 contrast ratio, but the color temperature went astray from the standard to less than 6200 K. Yes, the Qualia could go into high lamp mode and produce more light, but they found that contrast fell as low as 919, not exactly ideal for home theatre - My first impressions were correct - and the article also mentioned some of the Qualia's deinterlacing problems that I noted.)

    Here is the original post -

    I've seen a fair bit of discussion about the HD2K and thought that I would drop a subjective opinion in for everyone to absorb. I'm technical, and chose the HD2K for a number of reasons my head worked out. (A) It's 3-chip DILA system offers some pretty obvious immediate benefits - superior color rendition, full Hidef, less space between pixels for a more realistic image, perfectly adequate light for my home (I estimate near 600 Lumens) (B) the Faroudja 1010 scaler that JVC includes is (as far as I'm concerned) simply the best on the consumer market (C) And at less than 14 pounds, I can mount the HD2K any old way I want, as I like.

    I compared it to the Sony Qualia (and also, incidentally to the brand new Sanyo HiDef projector (I think it is the HD10, something like 5,000 lumens). The Qualia and the Sanyo weigh close to 100 pounds each, but at least the Sanyo produces almost an order of magnitude more light. The Sanyo is more commercial and costs a lot more than the Sony and the JVC, but I felt it necessary to include in this discussion to make some key points.

    OK - that's pretty much all the objective considerations out of the way - here's where I get emotional.

    I am completely and utterly gobsmacked by this projector. There is just no other way to put it in so few words. I have had it almost 3 months now (unit #13, apparently :) and everyday, something else surprises me (pleasantly, of course).

    First of all THE SPEED! I never expected it to be so fast! I don't know what the rated latency is, but it absolutely makes the Qualia and the Sanyo look like old-fashioned toys. Forget about the fact they all three have the same 1080 resolution, when it comes to moving pans or action scenes, the other two are completely shown up by this unit.

    Only after you have seen the JVC do you realize the other two are struggling with fast movement. They end up with all kinds of flickering (particularly the Sanyo)and you can "see" the frame movement, if you know what I mean. I expected this from the Sanyo, as it is LCD based, but was surprised how much smoother the action was on the JVC, vs the Sony.

    Second, it's a lot brighter than I expected. I set up a 92" horizontal space, intending to order a positive gain screen. I held off on the order, as I got close to 35 footlamberts off the PLAIN WALL instead of the expected 27. I am now going to wait until I move into my new place in January and will go for closer to a 120" horizontal sceen.

    I can see why Phelps has a hard time moving back to CRT. Although the CRT moves a bit faster, those I've seen don't have anywhere near the clarity and sharpness at full 1920x1080 that the JVC does.

    OK - so all of the above probably is still too objective. How do I like it? It is the most fantastic piece of kit you could put in a home. It astonishes me everytime I use it. For DVD material, I mostly use PAL discs, except where something new is out on NTSC first. The upscaling is utterly phenomenal. On some material, it actually looks like the source was 720p. I've read one review of the Qualia where the reviewer commented he has never seen HiDef Satellite compression artifacts so clearly... WHAT?? Maybe Sony should have included the Faroudja scaler for the price, since I don't believe you should have to endure artifacting - and with the JVC (and Faroudja) ... I don't.

    For HiDef material, I am using JVC DVHS decks. Yes, I know HD DVD will be great when it arrives, but I've been enjoying hi-bitrate HD for two years on this, and probably another two before I'm able to add a blueray. "Man on Fire" on DVHS is just another of the recent releases that SOOO utterly suits this projector - incredible sight. I also use HD material from Satellite.

    You become totally absorbed in the picture - even to the point where you sometimes realize that you have watched a totally rubbish movie just because it was a really nice transfer ("Vertical Limit"comes to mind).

    Some points on use - feed it what comes off the disc or tape, native. ie. on DVD material, send the proper interlaced signal, as the Faroudja box does a FAR better job of deinterlacing and scaling than your own DVD player could.

    Second, the projector only accepts a 1080p signal in, either in 50 or 60 phase. The trick to watch is that the scaler will output whatever phase it is fed (regardless of the resolution of the source). You must manually set the projector for which phase to expect in from the scaler, or you will get an "out of range" error. This foxed me for an hour the first night...

    Quick note about the Qualia - which I don't think many people realize. The Qualia CANNOT accept a 1080p 60 signal! The only progressive input it can take is 1080p 24Fs. Now how many of us have gear that does that. None, unless you work in a studio with HDCAM gear. So the Qualia forces you to input 1080i and deinterlaces it itself - taking away your opportunity to use some good gear like Faroudja. No wonder the other reviewers noted interlace artifacting. Sheesh!

    In the end, my choice was clear. I like the picture and speed better than the other two. And even if the Sony Qualia was the identical output as the HD2K, I wouldn't buy it, because it won't accept 1080p 60 or 50, which limits what preprocessing you can do with the image. In addition, its 90 pounds of weight is just ridiculous, given that the JVC HD2K produces the same light at just 13 pounds and the Sanyo HD10 takes about the weight as the Sony but produces 8 times the light.

    If you can't control the room lighting properly, then you should consider setting the HD2K up as a rear projector. But if you can swing this price range for any unit at all, you should buy this projector! Stunning. Anyone who comments on it without seeing it is missing a great opportunity. Believe me. The JVC is totally unpretentious and does what it says on the box, better and in more ways, than the Qualia.

    What does the Qualia have? Huge amounts of style (after all 90 pounds is pretty big), masses of software and tricks (ie ethernet networking and configuration over the network, etc) which are mostly completely useless to me. Against? It puts out a huge amount of heat, compared to the JVC, dominates any room, takes away the option of proper preprocessing of the video by eliminating proper 1080p 50/60, more expensive to run and maintain.

    As far as the Sanyo HD10 is concerned, we now use this for big training events with a 20 foot horizontal rear-projected screen, in lighted rooms for over 100 people. It's perfect for this, and could probably go way larger
     
  2. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    Nice mini-review, but would you do me a favor? SHUT UP ABOUT THIS PROJECTOR! My IRA has taken enough hits this year and I don't want to become known as the guy with the best projector who lives under an overpass! [​IMG]

    I would love to at least see this projector to know what I'm missing but, given that it's always been impossible to demo any kind of JVC projector, that seems unlikely and even if I could find a place for a demo, I probably wouldn't go simply because I don't want to waste the salesmen time since I have no intention to purchase and I don't want to put the bug in my brain.
     
  3. BobbyD

    BobbyD Auditioning

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    :) Fair enough! [​IMG]
     
  4. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

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    Bobby,

    it is truly a fantastic unit; just far too many people are put off by the 500-700 lumen output... you really just need to see it to believe it.

    I just can't go justifying that sort of change for a toy... yet.

    But I want!!!

    Leo Kerr
     
  5. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    You do realize, of course, that this is completely backwards?

    I'm not familiar with the Sanyo, but The Qualia actually has a faster panel response time than the JVC. You seem to be misinterpreting what you see in motion smoothness as an aspect of faster response time in the JVC, when in fact it is not.

    The JVC will smooth motion out, and to a smaller degree also smooth out artifacts slightly because of the slower response, which is a judgement call as to whether it is preferred. The Qualia will be more resolving of details in the time domain because of this, which will also reveal more noise, which again is a tradeoff noted by myself, you, and other viewers. If you watch slow, but detailed pans, the detail will be blurred out on the JVC because of the slower response, while the Qualia will hold the detail better. But in fast-motion scenes where the fps limit of the film is coming into play, the JVC will help smooth out the motion. As always, there's no free lunch.

    It's a judgement call as to which you prefer, I haven't completely made up my mind, but I think I'd prefer the slightly less-resolved JVC at this point, until better sources come out with less compression and artifacts, and that's where the Qualia would have the lead.

    The other thing to note is that the JVC has noticably lower ANSI CR than the Qualia. And the Qualia has adjustable brightness modes, which can be very handy for having a bright screen sometimes when viewing sports and such.

    Just hoping to add some balanced info in here.

    But enjoy the HD2K, because without a doubt, it and the Qualia are the pinnacle of digital projection right now, IMO.
     
  6. BobbyD

    BobbyD Auditioning

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    HI Chris,

    I believe that the Qualia's problem with movement is due to "not so great" deinterlacing, which probably is spoiling any advantage it had in latency.

    But speaking of latency, I've not been able to dig up any specifics for both projectors to date. Can you help point me in the right direction, or let me know what you've found out?

    Thanks!
     
  7. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Like I said, it's not a "problem" of movement, but rather that the Qualia is revealing more of the source nasties than the JVC in the time domain, due to it's faster response time. This extra resolving ability can be positive or negative depending on the actual material being shown.

    The Qualia didn't seem to handle 480i very well, but it handles 1080i very nicely. I've not seen the JVC run through the scaler that can be bundled with it, but I've not heard the best things about it either.

    I would only say that these projectors are so very close in performance, that those espousing one's utter superiority, or even significant superiority is being misleading. I've said this to people who went nuts about the Qualia too. If you were watching both side by side, the average viewer would never be able to pick which is which. The advanced viewer *might* be able to pick out the differences in motion scenes, noisy scenes, and in terms of ANSI CR, but the benefits here go to no particular projector except the ANSI CR increase in the Qualia, which is de-facto positive.

    The inability to feed the Qualia 1080p except the 24fs version is a drawback, however I believe that this format will be pushed hard by sony with blu-ray, so it's not surprising that they are biasing themselves towards their own HD-sources.
     
  8. BobbyD

    BobbyD Auditioning

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    Hi Chris,

    Yes, I'm sorry if I've come across as a bit extreme and have full respect for yourself and the forum. But my opinion is that the JVC is a better projector, even if that is a marginal difference. The deinterlacing is significantly better than the Qualia, and the light output on the Qualia is very similar, once it has been adjusted to match the contrast of the JVC.

    In terms of the Qualia's inability to accept 1080p 50/60, I also believe this to be a major ommission. Whatever Sony's intention is regarding 1080 24, all software available now is in 50 or 60 hz, 25 or 30 fps.

    The Qualia is certainly a fantastic projector also, but I found these areas to be lacking. Sony may have the option of a firmware upgrade to rectify these two issues, but then again, it also may not, and my choice is made on the here and now.
     
  9. Kenneth Harden

    Kenneth Harden Screenwriter

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    Wow, I wish I had $30k to spend on a projector [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Sounds amazing.

    Where do you live? What is in the rest of your system?
     
  10. BobbyD

    BobbyD Auditioning

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    HI Kenneth - Ok, I'll lay out the system. Everyone, don't get mad [​IMG] ! I just think its good to lay out what can be achieved in terms of an all-digital dream system, with readily available off-the-shelf parts. The system is "odds and sods" as they say here in the UK.

    AVR/Amp is a Denon 3801 feeding (via copper/silver speaker wire) Magnaplanar MMGs (on placement poles) for the front, with a B&W PV1 sub (ceiling mounted). Surrounds/Center are Mordaunt Short GEnie speakers (also on poles), mostly because they match the look of the PV1 - but they sound decent too. If I had my dream home and the space for proper placement, I'd go for Maggies all around (fantastically cost effective) and an extra sub for the rear.

    Video is handled by Aquos 45" LCD and the JVC HD2K, fed from the JVC HD2K front end processor (which is basically a Faroudja 1010) via DVI though a Gefen 2x2 remote-controlled DVI Switcher.

    Various inputs are fed to the Faroudja by a Gefen 4x1 DVI Switcher and the odd SDI/DVI and HDMI/DVI converters. Inputs include a Pioneer DVD player (SDI modded) which also doubles as CD/DVD-A transport through SPDIF, so that the Denon does the decoding. Also, JVC 40000 DVHS Deck (HDMI) and a Sky Plus Satellite Receiver (SDI modded). I WISH that we had a HDTV Satellite service like VOOM over here, as I feel this would be final ultimate add-on.

    There is also a home-built HTPC with a PowerGrid KiloWatt game controller "exercise machine", to make me feel a little less guilty about the whole setup.

    Short term, I'm planning to upgrade the Pioneer to a new DVD Player (also SDI modded) which can serve as transport for DVD/CD/DVD-A/SACD audio through FireWire (for multichannel audio capability) to a new AVR/Amp which must include Firewire - probably will be Denon or JVC. I'm also still looking for a graphics card for the HTPC which will allow me to send Digital DVI progressive HDTV to the Faroudja. Also plan on looking at a Crystalio 2300 Video processor, which uses same chip as the Faoudja, but includes 3 SDI inputs (to cut down on all the conversion crap).

    All this is tied together quite nicely with a Logitech "Harmony" 688 remote.

    Whew! That's it :b I guess "work hard, play hard" is called for here. :b
     
  11. BobbyD

    BobbyD Auditioning

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    Hi Chris,

    The 480i scaling through the JVC is fantastic. Big difference between the Qualia's onboard scaler and the JVC's Faroudja. This is what Faroudja do for a living, and is why the JVC is better.

    The poor scaling you mentioned on the Qualia is exactly what I was drawing attention to. I consider the Qualia's scaling "less than ideal" and I believe this ruins its potential - and therefore I do not believe it is worth that kind of money.

    The JVC exels at this stuff, which in my mind compensates for it having less light than the Qualia.
     
  12. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Sorry to resurrect this old thread guys,

    but I'd love a quick and definitive answer to this question: can the supplied Faroudja processor bundled with the HD2K accept and "pass through" 1080p 60 (like what comes out of my PS3 player)? I'd like to be able to toggle between native 1080p60 from my blu-ray player and also use the processor to upconvert cable etc. to 1080p to feed the projector head... and I'd hate to have to try to teach the roomates how to swap HDMI cables when switching from cable to Blu-ray Disc.

    I just inherited an HD2K with the supplied Faroudja processor... hence my question (replacing my former single-chip BenQ 8700+ 720P DLP projector).

    thanks!

    dave [​IMG]
     

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