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My first digital projector, huge disappointment

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Sami Kallio, Mar 30, 2006.

  1. Sami Kallio

    Sami Kallio Screenwriter

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    After seeing these setup at friends I decided it was time to upgrade the old 480i CRT. Now that I have it setup, yes I do enjoy the added resolution (720p native) but I just can't get over the missing blacks. Everything is good until a dark scene comes out, then it is just agony watching the gray picture surrounded by black from the rest of the room.

    I guess LCD just isn't suited for a room with no ambient light. I might very well go back to the CRT which has less resolution, not progressive but projects much bigger picture from the distance. This will most likely end up in the bedroom and the CRT will stay in the HT until I can afford Sony's Ruby or similar, or find mint 9" CRT.
     
  2. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    What kind of projector do you have?
    Did you calibrate it?
     
  3. Sami Kallio

    Sami Kallio Screenwriter

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    CRT is old 480i Seleco SVP-350, the new digital is InFocus SP5000. Calibration is next on the line but the grays are so obvious it really kills the mood on dark, dramatic scenes. Imagine f.e. the opening scene on LOTR:FOTR, totally dark room with only sound. Now, there's a huge gray 16:9 area in the middle of the room.

    I will pop in AVIA to see much it helps but it won't take away the problem. I knew the problem before buying it but didn't expect to be this bad. None of my friends have dark viewing rooms, including those with dedicated HT's. It used to amaze me but now doesn't because I've seen the gray light. (pun intended)
     
  4. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Sounds like you're a candidated for a CRT. They are very very affordable right now.
     
  5. Evan M.

    Evan M. Supporting Actor

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    Why not give DLP a shot too? There are a lot of great FP's coming out from Infocus that will blow that 5000 out of the water........heck, I think a 4805 blows that thing away.... The new BP76 is 720p and can be had for a decent price.
     
  6. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    A DLP will have similar on/off CR limitations.
     
  7. Sami Kallio

    Sami Kallio Screenwriter

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    I would love to go for another CRT but I can't find any in my area. Something that can go 1080p and above.
     
  8. Robert James Clark

    Robert James Clark Second Unit

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    Keep in mind that the Infocus 5000 is the lowest end of 720p projectors and, while bright, has some of the worst black levels of all 720p models out now...
     
  9. Reginald Trent

    Reginald Trent Screenwriter

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    The Panasonic AE900 or Sanyo Z4 would probably be a better bet.
     
  10. Shane Harg

    Shane Harg Second Unit

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    No offense meant, here, but your problem seems more attributable to a lack of research than to the projector itself.

    Again, not trying to talk down here, but you need to familiarize yourself with contrast ratios and how to apply them in your research. The contrast ratio on the Infocus 5000, for instance, is 1200:1. That means that the blackest blacks are 1200 times darker than the whitest whites. Now, keep in mind that a 70mm film has a true contrast ratio of approximately 1000:1. Not very good, actually, but when you consider that most theaters have some ambient light going on ("EXIT" signs, etc.), it makes the dark scenes look pretty darn black. Again, the amount of light emitted from a single candle into a room will render little difference between a 5000:1 projector and a 500:1 projector. This is probably why you mistakenly thought, that since your friend's projector looked great in his slightly lit room, it would look just as good in your dark one. uh-uh...

    If your room is completely black, you will need a projector, which has a good contrast ratio - 2500:1 or better - to give you a satisfying experience.

    That being said, there are many projectors well under the 10 grand mark of the Sony Ruby, that fit the bill. The Sanyo Z4 and Panasonic AE900, which have already been mentioned, are two such projectors, with rated contrast ratios of 7000:1 and 5500:1 respectively, even though they are LCDs. It's interesting to note, however, that the contrast ratios stated in the specifications mean little in real world applications, which is why it's important to see them in action, and do some comparisons before actually buying.

    I've seen the Sony Ruby and the Panasonic AE900 side by side. I bought the Panasonic, because there was not an $8000 difference in picture quality nor contrast ratio. Okay...well, also because I couldn't afford the Ruby.

    I hope this helps. Disregard it if you already knew all this.
     
  11. Evan M.

    Evan M. Supporting Actor

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    True, but I think it is safe to say that LCD has a lot more obstacles to cross then a DLP in getting great CR.

    In order for LCD units to reach those inflated CR's like the AE900 and Z4 they have to use a a dynamic iris. Yes the black will be nice but shadow detail tends to suffer. This in turn effects the overall 3D image. After comparing a 900 with a CR of 5000:1 and a DLP Infocus PB IN76 which has a 3000:1 CR the differences are immediate. Blacks are similar......even though I thought the IF had more "ink" blacks, but the Infocus image looked like it was literaly jumping off the screen, while the 900 just did not have the same effect at all. Even though the Panny has supposeldy the better CR on paper....the way DLP is implemented still has the edge over LCD. This is not to say that the 900 is a bad unit. It is a FANTASTIC unit.....and one I would jum all over because of the great price. It is also better by LEAPS AND BOUNDS over the SP5000.
     
  12. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Yes, but if the original poster cares significantly about absolute black level, a DLP with claimed 5000:1 or whatever is significantly less than the on/off CR capabilities of a CRT display.

    I don't know the original poster's full viewing preference, but it seems this may be of some importance.
     
  13. Evan M.

    Evan M. Supporting Actor

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    Very true and agreed. Ultimately I too would love a CRT FP but the size and weight took it out of the running.....before I even would have checked with the wife......I shudder at the thought of the carnage at my house if I showed up with one of those LOL!!

    The only reason I mentioned DLP in the firat place is that the SP5000 IMO is certainly not the best digital option to try out for you first FP after living with CRT for so long.
     
  14. frankinG

    frankinG Stunt Coordinator

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    Just to comment on modern digital displays as being 'highly' inferior on producing black levels compared to crt devices.

    I currently own 3 different projectors. A panny 900-sony 'ruby' and a sharp 12000. LCD-LCOS-DLP are all represented and being a former sony G-70 owner I can say that the 'true' represented differences are minimal to the average viewer. My digital displays have excellent black reproduction which do not have me missing my old crt unit.

    Everyone who I have had in my theater has actually commented on how amazing 'everything' looks. My neighbors 3 chip DLP infocus 777 has blacks that look black and 'not' dark grey. Most DLP projectors have 'satisfying' black level reproduction.
     
  15. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    I don't know if you are interpreting my statements as saying this, I did not say this at all. I said that "a DLP with claimed 5000:1 or whatever is significantly less than the on/off CR capabilities of a CRT display" which is very true. The Ruby is much more than that, maybe 15K:1 on/off or greater depending on service menu settings for iris behavior etc, and still significantly less than the way some people set up CRTs. Note how I did not talk about black levels except "absolute black level" as characterized by on/off CR.

    Black is much more complicated, and varies with an essentially infinite number of instantaneous CR values in each particular scene, and is best characterized by a combination of two different CR extremes as quantified by on/off CR and ANSI CR.

    Indeed, as you may (and will if you critically view many of these displays side by side) that a CRT may have poorer blacks in a larger number of scenes, compared with other displays, depending on the APL and the particular weights of on/off CR-type performance and ANSI-CR type performance towards a particular scene's instantatneous CR.
     

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