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Old 05-24-2008   #7
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Cool Re: LCD VsDLP projectors

Originally Posted by Lotus View Post
For me the JVC is worth every penny over the less expensive models.
I could not agree more the JVC DLA-RS2 rocks especially on a Stewart Film Screen Firehawk G3

The Best 1080p Resolution Home Theater Projectors of 2008 - Comparison Report:
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Old 05-26-2008   #8
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Default Re: LCD VsDLP projectors

An update since some new projectors are out:

DLP: Still has the "Rainbow Effect," problem and you can't buy one without the problem for less than $15,000 to my knowledge. This problem MAY not effect you. The problem really comes from the fatigue that it can cause if you watch for certain time periods. Chances are it won't, but I suggest you view a full 2 hour movie at a store before purchasing a single chip DLP because of the problem. There are under $3000 1080p DLP solutions now, and the $5500 Infocus IN83 is pretty nice except for its 4X color wheel and the fact that it's priced out of it's performance output.

LCD: You can now get a 1080p LCD for around $1500 street (after rebate). These units are better than their 720p counterparts of just 2 years ago all around. Contrast ratios and color reproduction on the newer units is even better. The Mistubishi HC4900 is streeting for around $1500 right now (after rebate). This is a STEAL. The HC6000 is $3300 or so street. The 6000 is a big improvement over the 4900. Once you start talking about $3000 though... you're in the Epson Home Cinema 1080UB ballpark ($2,500) and in the LCOS ballpark.

SXRD: Sony's VW40 streets for around $2700. For $200 more you get the superior technologoy of LCOS (which is all SXRD really is, a slight improvement on LCOS). This little projector is also extremely easy to place, because it can lens shift two picture heights (meaning you can place it well below or above the screen). However if you aren't putting it in a dark room, I'd suggest the Epson Cinema 1080 UB. This projector has HORRIBLE light output. If it's not dark, don't bother with it. The older VW50 streets for barely more than the VW40 if you can find it. It does slightly better in light output. The VW60 streets for about $3900 and is vastly superior to the VW40. Still not very bright, but roughly 50% brighter than the VW40. Sony is HORRIBLE at advertising ANSI ratings. When you configure their units they are never even in the same ball park as the numbers they advertise. The VW60 is nice, but I think it is in a bad ball park. JVC HD-1s can be found for around $4600 and that $700 extra, is $700 well spent.

HD-ILA: Still the King. The Epson Cinema 1080 UB is nice. It pushes 3chip LCD but LCOS is superior and the HD-ILA version of LCOS is the superior of the two (SXRD and HD-ILA). The contrast ratios are real and not the byproduct of an Iris. They are the sharpest projectors under $10k too. The RS-1 is still available as the HD-1 and the HD-1 streets for around $4600. The RS1-X streets for around $5400. It is a slight all around improvement on the RS-1/HD-1. The RS1-X is HDMI 1.3 and deep color tech. Is that worth $800?

The top of the line projector imho (and many others) is the RS2. It is the RS1-X on roids. This projector has better contrast, sharpness, and color accuracy than the RS1-X and that says a lot. What it loses is brightness. Still throw this projector in a completely dark room and it will give you the best picture available on a 100 inch screen, and the most film like period. Due to the lack of light output, the RS2 can't go on as big a screen as the RS1-X or RS1/HD1. The RS1-X and RS1 can go on a 120 inch screen if you want. I wouldn't suggest anything over 110 inches personally. It streets for $7,500.

JVC has the most accurate ANSI ratings that I know of. They do an extremely good job of making sure the measurements are taken after the projector is configured for 6500 Kelvin. So there numbers may look low, but they aren't.

SCREENS: A lot has changed as the under $500 market is now filled with alternatives. You still have the $230 Goo Screen solution which is the best solution. Properly installed the Goo System can rival a $2000 screen (seriously). The $500 screen solutions that are available compete extremely well with many of the more expensive alternatives out there that seem to be insanely popular on the internet. Caradas, etc. make inexpensive screens that honestly suck. However there are under $500 solutions now that provide a good combo with the $1500 1080p solutions that are now available.

The above review shows exactly what you get for $1500 more or $300 less. A nice Da-Lite or Draper screen can be had for around $800 to $1100. Those screens provide the best bang for the buck still. You get much closer to reference quality like the Stewarts, but for half the price. If you can afford it the $300 to $500 more you spend on a Da-Lite is worth it.

Gray screens are no longer as big of a deal as they once were. However they are excellent choices for LCD projectors that are bright, but lack good contrast ratios. Otherwise I suggest you go white.

I generally suggest to people wanting to save a buck on an HT to invest in Goo Screens. Find someone who sells the paint and INSTALLS it, and has an EXPERIENCED Goo Screen installer. Ask to see examples if possible in other homes of their work. A GREAT Goo Screen installer can provide you a screen for $400 to $500 installed that rivals a $2000 screen. You don't have to worry about the install yourself, and it's a GOOD investment.

The $500 to $1500 you save can go towards a better projector and seriously improve your movie watching experience. That or it can go towards speakers, amplification, you name it. Even to your wallet.

I'm becoming more and more convinced that if you aren't projecting onto a HUGE screen (say over 130 inches) there is NO REASON what so ever to spend more than $7,500 on a projector. I personally have a much more expensive projector, but I also have a much, much larger screen than normal people. As much money as I spent on it all, I'm not convinced that it's a much better PQ than a 100 inch JVC/Stewart combo.

I recently compared the latest high end Marantz to the RS2 on the same screen. It was no contest. There just is no reason today to spend more money than $7500 unless you're projecting on a large screen. The PQ between an Epson Cinema 1080 UB and the RS2 is very noticable, but is it 3 times better?

The point of diminishing returns on projectors has hit the $2,500 price point where you can find an Epson Home Cinema 1080UB. It's 50,000:1 contrast ratio (yeah you read that right) and its 1600 ANSI LUMENS (which is what it will display in vivid mode) are a powerful combination that allow it to be used in many, many, circumstances. You don't have to drop it in a cave for viewing, it can handle some light. $2,500. Plus I think they got a $200 rebate going, so $2,300.

So basically right now the picture is if you want to spend less than $1,500 you have no 1080p solution, but at $1,500 you got the Mitsu HC4900 and get good contrast ratio, decent brightness, above average color accuracy, and a slightly sharp picture. For $1,000 more you can jump the Epson Home Cineme 1080UB. There you get amazing contrast, great brightness, great color accuracy (after messing with it) and decent sharpness. For $200 more you can get a Sony VW40 and put it in an extremely dark room and get good contrast, low brightness, good color accuracy, and great sharpness. For $2,000 more you can get a JVC HD-1 and get amazing contrast, good brightness, great color accuracy, and great sharpness, for $800 more you get the JVC RS1-X and get a boost in every category but also get HDMI 1.3/deep color ability. Then for $2,000 more you can get the most film like projector out there: the RS-2. Which is imho the best projector on the market for PQ on a 100 inch screen regardless of price under $35,000.

As you can see I don't even include DLP in the conversation. Because they aren't in it. They can provide you good pictures (like the $5,500 Infocus IN83) but they are priced out of their performance output. A similar performance from LCD would cost you THOUSANDS less, and they just can't compete right now. The new Darkchip 4 is nice, but $5,500 puts you up against the JVC RS-1X. Which blows away DLP.

It isn't like LCD vs Plasma where Plasma does some things better, right now DLP isn't doing much better, and it costs too much.
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Old 05-26-2008   #9
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Cool Re: LCD VsDLP projectors

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Old 05-27-2008   #10
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Default Re: LCD VsDLP projectors

My 2 cents: I'm sick of DLP being dismissed out-of-hand with one word, "rainbow effect." Okay, two words. But since I don't notice it, and many others don't either, it needs to be taken much more seriously as it looks, to me, ALOT better than LCD.
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Old 05-27-2008   #11
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Default Re: LCD VsDLP projectors

Originally Posted by Enoch View Post
My 2 cents: I'm sick of DLP being dismissed out-of-hand with one word, "rainbow effect." Okay, two words. But since I don't notice it, and many others don't either, it needs to be taken much more seriously as it looks, to me, ALOT better than LCD.
This is true. Not everyone suffers from fatigue caused by the Rainbow Effect. However it doesn't stop the fact that the least expensive 1080p DLP is $3,000 and it DOESN'T compete well with the SXRD and LCD units that are priced similarly.

I really dig some DLP projectors, but they cost an absurd amount in comparison to their competition. The new Infocus In83 is really nice. It just costs the same as a JVC RS-1X. Which it also can't compete with in PQ. There is a nice $8,000 unit, but then that unit is up against the JVC RS-2, which again they can't compete with.

I dismiss DLP with one word: PRICE.

The sad situation for Texas Instruments is that their Technology is losing the battle because the price of entry is too much.

I may love the new Marantz unit for its PQ, but for thousands and thousands less I can buy an RS-2 and be extremely happy.

I also absolutely LOVE 3 chip DLP. The PQ can be amazing. It's just not priced for the general public at all.
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Old 05-28-2008   #12
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Default Re: LCD VsDLP projectors

As a dealer of both LCD and DLP projectors, both offer excellent performance options and the pricing is now very competitive between technologies. While in the past I was personally very sensitive to the "rainbow effect", this hasn't been an issue for me with current generation DLP units, but I do encourage you to watch the unit before you buy - sensitivity to this issue varies widelly from person to person.

I would strongly advise against spending more than $2500 on a projector. I say this because over the last five years, we've seen such significant improvements in projector quality and technology that the best-reviewed models that sold for $7500 one year are typically inferior to the new models at half that price the following year.

At about $2500 street price you can get an exceptional 1080p HD model from a variety of manufacturers. And if in 3 years you want to upgrade, you can spend another $2500 and I'm confident it will be vastly superior to anything you can get for less than $10K today.

One key feature to keep in mind about projectors is ease of placement. Zoom range, throw ratio, lens shift ability, etc. can make a huge difference in how easy it is to fit a projector in your specific space, so do remember to take this into consideration when evaluating models.

For screens, I don't have personal experience with the Goo screens, but I do really like the price/performance ratio of the DA-LITE and Draper screens. I find some of the cheaper brands to offer inferior quality, and the more expensive brands to not offer sufficient value for the price.

I would also advise ensuring you have enough money in your budget for quality audio gear. Sometimes people have a tendency to spend most of their money on video, and leave the audio part as an afterthought. But when you're replicating the movie theater experience at home, audio plays a huge part in conveying the emotional impact of movies. Balance your budget across both audio and video and you'll end up with a far more enjoyable system in the end.
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