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Upgrading the DaveF household to 4K UHD (1 Viewer)

DaveF

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Projectors are marvelous and terrible. :)

I think they’re a dead end technology long run. The future is micro LED panels or such. But who knows if that’s 5 years or 25 years for 120” fit under $10k?
 
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John Dirk

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And I no longer use PC as HTPC client due to Win10 quirks.
Please explain.

Epson 5050 has its own tone mapping, but is inferior to JVC and for fussy viewers, can involve per-movie and even in-movie adjusting.
Perhaps, but how fussy should we be? In most cases [as you pointed out in a previous post some time ago] our eyes are usually the weakest link, not our equipment.
i hunk they’re a dead end technology long run. The future is micro LED panels or such. But who knows if that’s 5 years or 25 years for 120” fit under $10k?

And there you have it. Technology will always have a "future" because it lives on indefinitely. Humans have a limited future [life span] and so our choices on any day should take that into consideration.
 

Josh Steinberg

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Could very well be that home projection has a shelf life. I can imagine jumbo lightweight panels replacing high end projection for fixed locations.

I think it’s interesting that there’s been a lower end projector market springing up with budget models and short throw machines being advertised for semi-portable, drag it out for movie/game night, usage. Not sure what if anything to take from that long term, but interesting to see them being mentioned outside of enthusiast circles.

For me, I like the quality of light from a projected image more than a direct view one, so that’s one reason for me to pick that particular technology in my quest for a large image at home. But I grant you that that’s not a factor for most people.
 

DaveF

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Please explain.
The short of it is, for me, Win10 as a HTPC client is running software on a computer. I want an appliance experience, the streaming-app on a streaming box experience. Running Emby Client on Nvidia Shield basically gives me that. I give up minor features and gain major stability and consistency of experience.

Client
  • I can't update Intel's video driver past a specific 2017 version, because every newer version breaks refresh rate sync
  • Win10 going to sleep screws up video resolution and thus screen size. So I can't leave Emby Theater running. Coming back and it's the wrong size and must be re-enlarged. An additional nuisance since I'm trying to have a remote-controlled system
  • Emby has a known problem that it can't play truly full screen in Windows -- there's a 2-pixel offset.
Server
  • Win10 auto update system force unexpected / unannounced restarts of the computer, which of course boot to the login screen. The server is of course offline until logged. This invariably happened when I was out of town and wanted to remote connect and stream my content. It's madness. And there's no simple feature to turn off updates, while leaving virus updates and other non-reboot updates on. I've had to "trick" the system into turn *all* updates being off by turning on "metered connection" mode.
  • That Intel video driver I mentioned: when I do a major Win10 update, it updates the Intel driver and breaks video playback. And I have to manually revert to the older version, that I keep a copy of for this reason.
  • For those reasons, I'm thinking of trying out Nvidia Shield as a server to see if I can get away from Win10 completely for my media server and client needs

Perhaps, but how fussy should we be? In most cases [as you pointed out in a previous post some time ago] our eyes are usually the weakest link, not our equipment.
We're on HTF. So...as fussy as we want to be. :)

I need to do demos to see for myself before I can make that buying judgment.

But if there is obviously black crushing so that details are lost in shadows, or oppositely lost in highlights, such that a setting has to be toggled for routine view, that would be a problem for me and also suffer SAF. So I'd like to avoid such things if possible.

As in the realm of fussiness: I've noticed and been mildly annoyed by color and gradient banding in HD content for about a decade due to its 8 bit color resolution. I've seen this on my Kuro, but it's even more noticeable on the projected big screen. I look forward to fixing that with 4K HDR / WCG.


And there you have it. Technology will always have a "future" because it lives on indefinitely. Humans have a limited future [life span] and so our choices on any day should take that into consideration.
Yep. And that's part of why a $9000 projector remains a consideration and not just rejected out of hand for being so expensive. :)
 

John Dirk

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Great post.

The short of it is, for me, Win10 as a HTPC client is running software on a computer. I want an appliance experience, the streaming-app on a streaming box experience.

Your needs are much more complex than mine. These days I don't use my HTPC for anything other than web browsing, [while listening to music via Kodi] or watching movies, which I'm finding is actually what I do most. I don't care about server or DVR issues. Basically, if I'm home I use my HTPC as my main control hub but, when I want to watch a feature film in the best quality my system can deliver, I fire up the Oppo 203.

We're on HTF. So...as fussy as we want to be. :)

Touch'e. I certainly can't argue with that.
 

Josh Steinberg

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With ultra short throw 4K laser projectors fresh in the market I think projector popularity is just getting started. I'm sure they will bridge the gap between die hard HT enthusiasts, and casual HT consumer.

I think this has a lot of merit. There are a lot of different ways things could go, but I know that there’s a certain mindset among younger generations against even having a TV. If you’re part of the gig economy, don’t have a permanent job and don’t plan on owning a home, it may be harder to justify spending on a TV that may fit in one place and not another. An ultra short throw projector that’s portable and has smart apps and can be run from a tablet or smartphone and be bright enough to run in a not completely light controlled environment could catch on, especially if it’s cheap.
 

Bryan^H

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An ultra short throw projector that’s portable and has smart apps and can be run from a tablet or smartphone and be bright enough to run in a not completely light controlled environment could catch on, especially if it’s cheap.

Not to mention most all of them have integrated sound bar speaker array. While it may not be good enough for you or I, it would certainly get the job done for most buyers, and a far cry from the speakers on most traditional projectors up until this point. Simplistic plug, and play with nearly all the work done for the consumer.
 

Josh Steinberg

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I probably watch more old movies that are in mono than new movies in surround - I’d probably be fine with that :D
 

DaveF

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An issue with ultrashort projectors, it seems, is they need a flat white wall. And you only get that in cheap apartments and cheap, new-build, builder-grade painted houses.

I’m seeing business conference rooms abandon projectors for 80” monitors.

With direct view at 75” to 85” affordably, projectors days seem numbered.
 

Josh Steinberg

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I really think it could go either way. Direct view screens are larger, cheaper and slimmer than ever.

I think we could, not necessarily will, but could possibly end up in a future where the high end users abandon projection for direct view (be it affordable LED or OLED panels or those micro-LED foldable/customizable screens that could be coming), and some low end users end up using their smartphones/tablets for everyday watching and have a small projector tucked away for special occasions.

All of this could be wide open as we transition away from the more traditional, linear modes of viewing to the new ways people are interacting with their media. Or inertia could drive us to continue forward with slightly tweaked versions of what we’ve always done.

Either way, it’s probably not a sea change happening within your upgrading planning window :)
 

DaveF

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Did some spreadsheetery and have high confidence the 65" 950H will fit on my existing wall mount, and in the current space over the electronics hutch with existing center speak placement.
Screen Shot 2020-02-23 at 10.07.33 AM.png


TV Wall Mount Bracket 37246.png

I thought it was, but it's good to do some measurements and calculations to check. So this is great. I've got a beefy, adjustable Monoprice wall mount I bought for my Kuro circa 2009. It's mounted on a painted wall with cabinet-mount panels between the studs beneath the drywall for the mount lag bolts. I *really* did not want to figure out a new mount for a new TV. :)
 

DaveF

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My 4K upgrade plans slowed down. The date on the last post I made indicates one of the reasons. :/

I did buy the Sony 950H I was contemplating.

I’m now back to considering 4K projector seriously again. I think 2022 is the year.

And now I’ve narrowed the field to three options:

Epson LS12000 for $5000
Sony 5000ES for $6000
JVC NP5 for $7000

(I’ve ruled out the JVC NZ series: way more than I want to spend.)

And so I’m resurrecting my thread, in case I want to engage in some group therapy as I sort this out in the coming months.

My first issue is whether I want to wait until this Fall to buy, so I can go to the Value Electronics Oct 25 projector shoot-out to see, presumably, all three projectors in action.
 

DaveF

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I’m starting to think that it’s really between Epson and JVC.

I’m liking the Epson at $5000. But I want better contrast (and hopefully HDR). So there’s the Sony for just another $1000.

So I’m liking the Sony. But it’s lacking motorized lens controls and HDMI 2.1. And it’s HDR is still outdated static tone mapping that I have to fuss with during movies. And there’s the JVC for just another $1000, that does everything right.

So I’m liking the JVC. It’s perfect. Lamp is a bit of a downer. And it’s $7000. Ah, but there’s the Epson that’s pretty great and $2000 less!

et cyk
 

Mark-P

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For me lens-memory is a must because I’m CIH, but since I believe you are planning a static 16X9 screen you really don’t need it as once it is set up you never need touch the zoom, focus or shift again.
 

DaveF

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yeah, I’m static 16:9. Motorized lens will make it easier to setup initially. And would make it easier to tweak, since I’ve found the mount drifts slightly over time.

But yeah, I’ve been ok with manual lens on my Sony.
 

DaveF

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I’m starting to think that it’s really between Epson and JVC.

I’m liking the Epson at $5000. But I want better contrast (and hopefully HDR). So there’s the Sony for just another $1000.

So I’m liking the Sony. But it’s lacking motorized lens controls and HDMI 2.1. And it’s HDR is still outdated static tone mapping that I have to fuss with during movies. And there’s the JVC for just another $1000, that does everything right.

So I’m liking the JVC. It’s perfect. Lamp is a bit of a downer. And it’s $7000. Ah, but there’s the Epson that’s pretty great and $2000 less!

et cyk
I’m going round and round with myself over what 4K projector to buy. I thought it was between the Epson LS12k and the JVC NP5. Stay on budget with good performance but some fussy HDR and middling contrast; or buy the “perfect” image but blow the budget and have noisy fans overhead.

But the early pre-review takes on the Sony 5000ES is surprisingly enticing. Great contrast. Great image. Brightness is improved to be acceptable over the previous lamp models. Low fan noise thanks to laser. Forums gave me the impression, for years now, that only JVC could show a decent HDR image…but it’s really emerging to me now that Sony is competent and the new projector might be further improved. It’s less over budget than the cheapest JVC.

Compromising and losing motorized lens is a bummer, but I don’t have that now and don’t “need” it. Losing 120Hz HDMI 2.1 is a little concerning from a “future proofing” view. But movies and TV are 24, 30, and maybe 60 Hz. I do some video gaming, but I haven’t upgraded past Switch or PS4, so 120Hz video isn’t pressing for me.

I’ve averaged 500 to 600 hrs a year on my projector on a 120” screen / 16’ throw. So I don’t require laser. But it would be nice to have basically no dimming over the presumed 5-7 years I’ll use my next projector.

I’m tempted to pre-order, to have it maybe this Summer even. Rather than wait for the in-person comparo’s that might be available this Fall for a holiday purchase.

My key hesitation is early pre-review observations that the lens suffers flaring and halos and really damages effective contrast in brighter scenes. I need to know more about that. And I’d of course like to see detailed, real reviews before spending nearly $7000 (with tax and accessories).
 

DaveF

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Back in 2016, I anticipated true 4K, minimal compromise “high end” projectors for $5000 to be available around 2019 to 2020. I was off by three years. But it hit me: they’re here. Give or take a pandemic and its supply chain hindrances and consequent global inflation: The projectors I wanted, I think they’re available to in 2022. I’ve been “I’m gonna upgrade“ since 2019. I‘m feeling more confident 2022 makes for a realistic plan to spend all the money. :)
 

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