Projectors: Do I really need 1080p?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Jack Hogoboom, Sep 19, 2006.

  1. Jack Hogoboom

    Jack Hogoboom Auditioning

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    I've been heavily researching front projectors. I've had a really hard time trying to decide if I really need a 1080p projector.

    I understand the benefits of the higher resolution, but the question is availability of content. From what I'm being told, it might be several years before cable companies and the networks are broadcasting in 1080p. Until then, only DVDs will be available at that resolution.

    As I've boiled it down, the projector/receiver combination will cost approximately $5,000 more for 1080p than 720p. I am not an "audiophile", but also don't want to buy something that will almost immediately be obsolete.

    My choices are Sony VW100/Denon 4608CI or Panasonic 900 [can't remember the precise model number] and Pioneer Elite.

    Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Jack
     
  2. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    The Sony Ruby kicks the s**t out of the AE900. The AE900 is a great little machine, but the Ruby is easily superior in all ways, not just resolution.

    The AE900 is a 720p LCD, which would have more SDE than a 720p DLP, but Panasonic employs a very excelltn blurring lens which obscures the SDE, and it looks very nice and if you want a bargain performer, it's still a great choice, and with the DI the 900 gets pretty good on/off CR performance.

    The Ruby though is way superior in on/off CR starting with higher native panel CR, and then further increased by the DI.

    The merits to using a higher resolution display are not always directly related to having content at that resolution. If you are viewing at close viewing ratios, you will eliminate/minimize the display structure for a more natural film-like image, even if you are coming from only SD sources like DVD.

    IF you are interested at all in HD-DVD or BRD, then there are some added merits to going with a 1080p display.

    The Sony Pearl is also about to hit, as well as a new JVC which apparently is boasting something very high native panel CR without a DI, which based on some of the stuff folks at CEDIA have said, could even be a Ruby killer.

    You might want to wait just a bit, and follow some of the news now because there's a bunch of new stuff hitting, including 1-chip 1080p DLPs which could be excellent choices in that Ruby pricerange or a bit higher. Not to mention the Pearl which will be significantly cheaper as well, which might be a good compromise between something like the AE900 which is quickly becoming an entry-level projector (but certainly a nice perfomer) and the Ruby which is a heavyweight in the 1080p category for CR lovers.
     
  3. TicoTVA

    TicoTVA Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes its always a tough call but I'd think that going with resolution that meets your needs now as technologies change rapidly and its impossible to future proof. Prices however always go down.
    My choice 720p

    ticotva
    tvauthority
     
  4. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    One other thing to consider:

    If you're planning to buy very soon then 1080p may not be the best idea. HDMI 1.3 is just on the horizon (should debut with the PS3). That will likely become the standard for 1080p transmission and the connector has a different shape than HDMI 1.2 so it won't be a simple firmware upgrade.
     
  5. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    This is not true at all. The connector is exactly the same, and HDMI 1.3 is not necessary at all for 1080p transmission. DVI and HDMI have been capable of 1080p transmission since the very beginning.
     
  6. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
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    hi
    in a list of things being important to a quality image, resolution is last.
    the ISF heirarchy of image quality is as follows:
    1. Contrast ratio - Dynamic range
    2. Color saturation
    3. colorimetry
    4. resolution

    That being said, I have a Marantz vps3 Long throw projector for sale. It retails for $16000. I am open to offers, and will include a free calibration with purchase. (My asking price is $5995).
     
  7. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    You can now purchase a 1 chip 720p DLP projector with HDMI input for under $1000 list (the Optoma HD-70) and a 3 chip 1080p LCoS (SXRD) projector with 1080p/24 HDMI input (The Sony VPL-VW50, nicknamed the "Pearl") for under $5000 list which completely rearranges the price/performance landscape of Front Projection. This makes FP eminently affordable for anyone who lusts after a Home Theater and who has the space and the light control in their home. While these two projectors are mentioned for their remarkable price points they are not, by any means, the only options. You can spend more than $1000 for a 720p unit (higher prices gives you even better performance and features.) The same goes for the 1080p units. But the days of spending over $10,000 for a 1 chip FP and over $20,000 for a 3 chip FP are over. And this is great news for the consumer. I saw the "Pearl" in action at CEDIA and came away quite impressed. I also saw JVC's entry into the LCoS (D-ILA) sweepstakes and it was also impressive. However, I'm reserving judgment at this time on the JVC since it was a prototype and not a final product and a lot of questions went unanswered because of this (like, "Does it accept 1080p/24?). Also, the price is up in the air (started at $7999 and moved to $6999 during the show - probably in response to the "Pearl") so it's a moving target.

    A lot of this is being discussed over in our CEDIA 2006 coverage area (the top section on the main forum page) so check it out. We'll probably eventually move the coverage over here once the CEDIA buzz dies down.

    Also, Chris is correct about a common misconception about HDMI. 1080p has been in the spec since the beginning and any form of HDMI (1.0, 1.1, 1.2, 1.2a, 1.3, etc.) is fully capable of transmitting a 1080p signal. The major differences lie in which audio codecs are supported and when. There is some increased video bandwidth in the 1.3 spec (TruColor, etc.) but this is something far in the future for most prosumer products. And even if the plug configuration changes (there's a new HDMI mini-plug for camcorders, etc.) you can be certain that adapters will be available for legacy wires. I had the pleasure of talking at length with Jano Banks of Radiient Technologies (he's the second name on the HDMI patent) and he cleared up a lot of things for me regarding the current state of HDMI compliance and what the industry is doing to improve on this. Once again, I prefer any further discussion on this to remain in the CEDIA 2006 area where I've set up a thread.
     
  8. Roger Mathus

    Roger Mathus Supporting Actor

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    Greg, what will you be replacing the Marantz with ???? I have a Marantz vps2 and I am considering whether to go 1080p.
     
  9. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    I got my info on the connector from an article that says the following:



    Apparently this is incorrect. And I did not mean to imply that HDMI 1.2 cannot transmit 1080p -- it obviously can. However, 1.3 WILL become the standard that will be used in future components and has the additional bandwidth for the increased bit depth.
     
  10. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Yes, but there is a HUGE amount of confusion on this topic. Many many people are mistakenly believing that HDMI 1.3 is necessary for various things which it is not at all. There is really not a need for pretty much all consumers to concern themselves with HDMI 1.3 for any reason.
     

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