Some questions about DLP RPTV's...

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by james e m, Oct 23, 2001.

  1. james e m

    james e m Second Unit

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    This time next year I hope to have a new HDTV. It seems to me that DLP technology seems to be the most promising. I have a couple questions though. If anybody could help me out I would appreciate it!
    1. Is burn in a significant problem with the DLP, like it is with plasma.
    2. Is a DLP RPTV like a CRT TV where one must be in a certain position to get the best view ? For instance will the screen be dim if I slouch on the couch?
    3. Are there any cons I might not be aware of or would anybody recommend not buying one?
    4. Any recommendations on a brand or type? The cheaper the better.
    Thanks...
    james
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    When in doubt...Rock it out.
     
  2. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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  3. Dan Driscoll

    Dan Driscoll Supporting Actor

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    There are still a number of problems with DLP, it is not yet a mature technology. The first and worst problem (IMO) is 'rainbow' effect. When the viewer moves his/her head the colors at the edges of the images separate. This has been minimized by the used of 6 element color wheels, but is still a problem for many people. FYI, 3 chip DLP systems don't have this problem, but they cost considerably more and I am not aware of any 3 chip RPTVs on the market as of yet. I believe there are several of 3 chip DLP front projectors, though.
    Another problem is relatively poor black levels. DLP works by having about 1 million of small mirrors turn one way or another to reflect the light from a high power lamp through a lens system, off a mirror and onto the screen. However, those mirrors only turn about 10 degrees, so a lot of light is still reflected around inside the cabinet and towards the screen. This can be partially alleviated by applying duvetyne to the inside of the cabinet, but black levels will still be relatively poor when compared to CRT systems.
    Viewing angle is a function of the frensel and lenticular screens, not the projection system. Whether the set is CRT, LCD or DLP by itself does not impact viewing angle.
    IMO, the biggest pro in DLPs favor is the perfect convergence and geometry. There is only one light source, so convergence is perfect. Since the reflective surface is actually a silicon chip, geometry will be as good as the chip itself, effectively perfect from a viewing standpoint. WRT 3 chip projectors, I don't know if they require convergence or not, but geometry will still be perfect.
    The biggest con to DLP system is their price. IIRC, the least expensive 1 chip DLP RPTV available is the 52" Panasonic, which I believe has a street price of about $8500. The Mitsubishi 65" 1 chip DLP set streets for around $10,000.
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  4. Jay Mitchosky

    Jay Mitchosky Producer

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    Dan nailed it, but I'll summarize in point form my opinions:
    quote: 1. Is burn in a significant problem with the DLP, like it is with plasma.[/quote]
    Depends on who you talk to. Some say no as you aren't vaporizing phosphors with an electron beam. Others experienced in the industry say yes as they've seen it happen. I would suggest you treat it with the same care as a CRT-based system. Properly calibrate the white level (you'll need Avia this time around as the standard blooming pattern on VE won't work) and avoid static images.
    quote: 2. Is a DLP RPTV like a CRT TV where one must be in a certain position to get the best view ? For instance will the screen be dim if I slouch on the couch?[/quote]
    Yes and no. It really depends on the screen, not the projection system. Most RPTVs utilize high gain screens to accommodate various ambient light conditions. The higher the gain the less uniformity you will see edge to edge. So a DLP based RPTV with a higher gain screen could actually have more viewing limitations than a CRT system with a low gain screen. All else being equal they should be the same.
    quote: 3. Are there any cons I might not be aware of or would anybody recommend not buying one?[/quote]
    At this time I could not in good conscience recommend a DLP based RPTV over a CRT system. The performance is simply not there, as evidenced by the reviews I have read so far.
    DLP offers the advantages of greater light output, almost perfect corner-to-corner focus, perfect convergence, and perfect geometry. There is also potential for higher resolution but that really depends on the comparison.
    CRTs still reign supreme for black levels and color fidelity. Unbeatable in this regard. And based on what I've read they also offer a smoother, cleaner image. And all else being equal they are less expensive. At any given price point you can achieve better performance with a CRT system.
    There is still a long way to go with DLP. If you're talking front projection than it has a much more compelling story.
    quote: 4. Any recommendations on a brand or type? The cheaper the better.[/quote]
    Steve mentioned this above - DLP is relatively very expensive. But ultimately you don't want to buy "cheaper" - buy better, buy value. If you base your decision strictly on the bottom line you are setting yourself up for a fall. But if cost is truly an issue for you don't even bother looking at DLP. They are much more expensive than similarly equipped CRTs and still do not perform as well.
    If you are going to continue in that direction, JVC's D'Ahlia is another option. For CRTs you can choose from many fine models offered by Toshiba, Pioneer, and Mitsubishi to name a few.
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    --Jay
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    [Edited last by Jay Mitchosky on October 24, 2001 at 01:02 PM]
     

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