Modern equivalent to Sony Ruby PJ?

mijotu

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Michael Turner
Hi Folks,

My first (and only) projector is the venerable VPL-VW100, an SXRD 1080p projector released by Sony circa 2005. While the color panels aren’t perfectly aligned, it has been a fantastic introduction to a world many of you are familiar with.

As the time comes to seek a replacement, I do not want to risk taking a step back from that to which I have become accustomed. So, where would this 15 year old tech compare to today’s offerings?

We watch everything from Close Encounters (all three cuts) to Trolls on Tour. I have a 1080p Pioneer Elite Blu-ray player (also due for an upgrade!) and an entry level 120” grey screen for two rows of recliners in a dedicated 16’x30’ theater room.

While I understand that any such upgrade discussion is normally fraught with endless debate, that isn’t really my focus in bringing this to you. Instead, where on the totem pole might my Ruby compare to many models available today?

Thank you for your disciplined and educated replies on a topic that could too easily self-destruct. For the record, I’m happy with this machine, but the near $1K for a replacement bulb has me thinking ahead.
 

Adam Gregorich

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I no longer have a PJ (no good space in the current home) so I'm not going to be able to make a good comparison between models. I'm moving this post to the display area where you will probably get better answers. I would imagine that most current Sony models would be better in most if not all categories. Since you have a large screen I would pay attention to the light output of current models compared to your Ruby as that might be an area of concern (you want at least what you have now).
 
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DaveF

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Just scanning a 2006 review of the VPL-100

My impression is this was a good value, lower-mid range budget model for about $4000. In 2006 they were already talking about its improved successor, the 200 model.

Just compare to my Sony projector I bought in 2016, the 40ES. Basically a decade evolution an improvements of the -100, it appears. And for lower price.

So 15 years later, I’d guess that every Sony and JVC and Epson HD and UHD projector on the market for more than $2000 is better than the -100. You should be in for a very nice upgrade to your projector here in 2020.
 
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Parsimony

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Actually, I think the Ruby was only second from the top to the Qualia which was a $30,000 pj. The Ruby I believe was $10k and one of the best PJs on the market At that time. The replacement bulb was ridiculously priced at $1000
 
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mijotu

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This is correct. This is why I don’t want to buy a replacement for $1500 if that price level is a step down. For all I know, however, it may be trumped by an $800 projector.
 

Parsimony

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To answer the original question, PJ technology has come a long way since then. I would think most modern mid tier projectors would be at least as good if not better. However, I’m purely speculating. But here’s been my experience.

For me I went from a Cineza HS10 to the Ruby and then to a JVC RS2. I wanted to stick with the Ruby because the colors were very good with a good motion processor. When my Ruby bulb developed the chirps, instead of replacing the bulb I got a great deal on a JVC RS2 and went with that instead of dropping a grand on a bulb. While the colors on the Ruby were very good compared to the JVC, I preferred the JVC due to its wonderful black levels.

I think you would be happy with any of the offerings of the current lineup for Sony or JVC - DLA line. And If you want to drop the same amount as you did for the Ruby appx $10,000, you will see a vast improvement. I agree with Dave that you should be in for a nice upgrade here in 2020. Btw, I highly recommend the JVC DLA-NX7.
 
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Parsimony

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The thing that would worry me with dropping a grand on a bulb is only to see something else mechanically fail on the Ruby due to its age. Also, I understand that the color levels fade on those panels as well over time. I looked recently and those bulbs are hard to find and still have not dropped in price!
 
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mijotu

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This is great info! I actually bought the Ruby used two years ago for $200. I’ve found raw bulbs (without the housing) in the $600 range, but that’s still a lot of dough for a bulb, not to mention that the one that’s currently in there doesn’t seem to want to come out. Besides, I’d rather put that toward something that has higher lumen levels (I’m projecting a 1.2 gain, 120” screen from 15’) and HDR, that also doesn’t feel like I’m burning $1 each hour that it’s used. I hear the faux-K is good in many models—I’ve been eyeing the BenQ HT3550, for example—but I’m fine with a used 1080p if it has the minerals. Speaking of which, I saw yours come up for $500 on eBay, so that’s promising.
 

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