Sony G70 vs. Marantz VP-11S1 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 89 Old 10-29-2006, 09:28 AM - Thread Starter
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We had a little shootout In Olympia WA last night featuring the mighty G70 vs, the fresh off the truck Marantz VP-11S1.

Sources were identicle overlayed clips from HD-DVD.

Results.

Sharpness 11S1 easily
Shadow detail 11S1 easily
3d effect/dynamic range in darker scenes G70
3d effect/dynamic range in daylight scenes 11S1
3d effect/overall probably the G70
Color accuracy 11S1 easily
field and color uniformity 11s1 easily
quietness G70 wins

ease of use 11S1 hands down

These were two great projectors! The G70 was well kept and tweeked and I was amazed that this ten year old technology still holds its own against the latest and greatest.

Its clear that most consumers would choose the Marantz for ease of use and solid clean picture. In a blind test switching back and forth between scenes 10 out of 10 would probably also choose the Marantz. It's Sharpness, Color accuracy and uniformity is simply in a different league. BUT we would all be happy with the G70 without a comparison as it's simply a fantastic image too.

Value? you can pick up a beautiful G70 for under $5k but the Marantz costs $20k MSRP.

Now for the downsides. I kinda expected the Marantz to be better. This is a tough call as the owner probably got my expectations a bit too high. This new model was clearly better than their previous 720p units the S3/S4. Yes you could still see rainbows. And if this bothers you dont kid yourself they are still there. faster processing and 1080p resolution hasn't changed this at all. It still uses the best 1 chip DLP has to offer, a 7 segment 6x color wheel. Speaking of which is definately the largest downside of this projector. Its loud. This projector is much louder than others in the industry; Pearl at 22 decibles and the Mitsubishi at 18. Not just the fan was too loud but the color wheel simply has a high pitch squeel that would require a hush box if you're trying to build a top notch theater. This simply cant be overlooked.

They both threw beautiful images and I just wish I had the $5k Sony Pearl there to comare. I think the owners of both the other projectors would have been shocked!
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post #2 of 89 Old 10-29-2006, 09:51 AM
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As I said in the other thread, I can't believe you gave props to CRT. I can see Kal using these remarks against you on Curt's website.

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post #3 of 89 Old 10-29-2006, 10:42 AM
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Some things to keep in mind are that the G70 hadn't been calibrated for colors with a color meter and the 11S1 was pretty much out of the box (I did set the Brightness and choose the gamma I wanted), which may have given the 11S1 a color advantage (since they should come from the factory with pretty reasonable calibration). I think that tse's gamma circuit would have helped the G70 for shadow detail and the G70 owner will likely look into getting one of those. The screen was a 110" wide Carada that is probably about 1.1 gain (regardless of specs), so a pretty large screen for that kind of gain for either projector. For that setup and that size I would suggest the High Power for the Marantz, much like I am using in my theater. One of the guys there (Steve) should get to see it on my High Power in the next couple of weeks.

One thing we really saw was how much more detailed 1080i looked on the G70 than 720p. The difference was striking. There were scanlines with 1080i, but there are some things that could be done to reduce those.

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post #4 of 89 Old 10-29-2006, 10:53 AM
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wow, can't believe Trollyg actually came over with some interesting and usefull info 2 things that come to mind
1) 110' wide is WAY too big for a single G70
2) if the 11S1 is louder than a G70 it must be a real screamer
I don't doubt any of the other conclusions, like it's been pointed out a 10 year old G70 is still a top performer. I wouldn't call it "mighty" though, it is a nice 8" machine but only a 9 can really be considerd mighty. Nice G70's are actually still selling in the $3K neighborhood so a hell of a value.

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post #5 of 89 Old 10-29-2006, 11:09 AM - Thread Starter
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I've seen a half dozen G90s. I'd bet the same results would be seen.

the G90 may sway the 3D effect a bit more. Regardless of the CRT the softness of the technology reduces the 3D effect in certain scenes. On daylight scenes the added sharpness of the DLP cleary gives the 3D effect an advantage as there's no destraction from softness or color uniformity.
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post #6 of 89 Old 10-29-2006, 11:18 AM
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1272 stack coming soon!:)
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post #7 of 89 Old 10-29-2006, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tryg View Post

We had a little shootout In Olympia WA last night featuring the mighty G70 vs, the fresh off the truck Marantz VP-11S1.

Sources were identicle overlayed clips from HD-DVD.

Results.

Sharpness 11S1 easily
Shadow detail 11S1 easily
3d effect/dynamic range in darker scenes G70
3d effect/dynamic range in daylight scenes 11S1
3d effect/overall probably the G70
Color accuracy 11S1 easily
field and color uniformity 11s1 easily
quietness G70 wins

ease of use 11S1 hands down

These were two great projectors! The G70 was well kept and tweeked and I was amazed that this ten year old technology still holds its own against the latest and greatest.

Its clear that most consumers would choose the Marantz for ease of use and solid clean picture. In a blind test switching back and forth between scenes 10 out of 10 would probably also choose the Marantz. It's Sharpness, Color accuracy and uniformity is simply in a different league. BUT we would all be happy with the G70 without a comparison as it's simply a fantastic image too.

Value? you can pick up a beautiful G70 for under $5k but the Marantz costs $20k MSRP.

Now for the downsides. I kinda expected the Marantz to be better. This is a tough call as the owner probably got my expectations a bit too high. This new model was clearly better than their previous 720p units the S3/S4. Yes you could still see rainbows. And if this bothers you dont kid yourself they are still there. faster processing and 1080p resolution hasn't changed this at all. It still uses the best 1 chip DLP has to offer, a 7 segment 6x color wheel. Speaking of which is definately the largest downside of this projector. Its loud. This projector is much louder than others in the industry; Pearl at 22 decibles and the Mitsubishi at 18. Not just the fan was too loud but the color wheel simply has a high pitch squeel that would require a hush box if you're trying to build a top notch theater. This simply cant be overlooked.

They both threw beautiful images and I just wish I had the $5k Sony Pearl there to comare. I think the owners of both the other projectors would have been shocked!

Nice review TRYG
Props to you.
Steve
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post #8 of 89 Old 10-29-2006, 01:40 PM
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Tryg, can the Marantz do black?

I've seen a Ruby and I thought it was really good. The only thing it couldn't do was black- it's black level was "twice" as high as a gamma tweaked CRT, even on a grey screen.

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post #9 of 89 Old 10-29-2006, 01:54 PM
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Tryg, I'll be the first to admit that I haven't worked with a lot of high end digitals, but I have seen the Qualia and the Ruby.

The question I have for the digital guys is: Don't you find some of the sharpness adding an artificial content to the image. The crude analogy I tell my customers is that if you look out a window at a mountain with snow on it, say 10 miles away, you see evergreens that are green, and snow on the top of the mountain which of course is white. You can't see the individual trees from 10 miles away, yet with a digitally projected image, it might show such detail.

This is what CRTers always critique as the artificial sharpness of digital sets. Darin, you know that Wayne here locally switched from a tweaked out 9500LC to a Qualia, as he was looking for that sharpness factor. Personally I like the slightly softer image of a CRT, as it's more natural looking to me.

When I saw your Ruby in April I think, you had it tweaked out really well, but again, there was that somewhat artificial sharpness that's really appealing to a newbie ("holy crap, that's sharp!") as compared to their aging ES focusing 27" TV. I just find that artificial sharpness to be tiring (to my eyes anyways).

It will be interesting to see if I can see rainbows at this year's CES. That's the one reason I could never buy a single chip DLP, I got headaches at the TI booth within 10 minutes of entering it. Twice.

Darin, let me know when you get a Pearl..

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post #10 of 89 Old 10-29-2006, 04:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark_A_W View Post

Tryg, can the Marantz do black?


I dont generally get into discussions of black because I prefer to watch light

The answer is yes...for a digital. No, for a CRT.
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post #11 of 89 Old 10-29-2006, 05:22 PM
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If the Marantz was dramitically sharper, something is wrong. It should be a bit sharper, but on good HD content, not much. Also, as was said, theat G70 needs to be on a screen about 1.5 foot less in width.

Dave
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post #12 of 89 Old 10-29-2006, 05:48 PM
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Interesting read Tryg, thx.

BTW Darin, I too prefer 1080i on my G70 as well. Unless of course i'm watching SD-DVD, then 720p is a clear winner.

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post #13 of 89 Old 10-29-2006, 07:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tryg View Post

I've seen a half dozen G90s. I'd bet the same results would be seen.

the G90 may sway the 3D effect a bit more. Regardless of the CRT the softness of the technology reduces the 3D effect in certain scenes. On daylight scenes the added sharpness of the DLP cleary gives the 3D effect an advantage as there's no destraction from softness or color uniformity.



I emphatically disagree with that statement.

I've never yet seen a digital that didn't throw a very flat image with little or no
sense of "3D-ness" to it.


As for being soft...it depends on the machine. How can you POSSIBLY state that a CRT projector that can resolve resolutions that are BEYOND the native resolution of your favorite digital projector could have a soft image?

It's just not ARTIFICALLY SHARP, that's all.

And yes, that's a real world scenario. The best 9" CRT projectors have NO
problem resolving 2048x1536 test patterns, pixel for pixel. You can't find a
digital projector that sells for less than 100,000 dollars that can do that.
And maybe not even then.

How can it be soft when it resolves higher resolutions than the digital can even display?


CJ
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post #14 of 89 Old 10-29-2006, 07:32 PM
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I'd guess the CRT can resolve the high resolution but still have relatively gradual ("soft") transitions between pixels. Which, if you ask me, is a much better representation of reality.

A digital has abrupt level changes from pixel to pixel. (Most of them have SEVERAL abrupt changes due to SDE at some level -- from pixel 1 to inter-pixel gray/whatever to pixel 2.) That's not an accurate representation of what your eye sees in reality. Someone who got used to that abrupt-change look might come to prefer it -- to prefer the artificially "sharp" look.

But I do think it's artificially sharp. If you prefer it, more power to ya, but don't claim it's a more accurate picture.
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post #15 of 89 Old 10-29-2006, 07:35 PM
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Guys!

My question is......was the G70 new also? If over 2000 hours prior use it may not have been a fair comparison. A new G70 against a digital anything with a 1000 hours on the lamp is not a fair comparo either.........?

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post #16 of 89 Old 10-29-2006, 07:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmjohnson View Post

How can it be soft when it resolves higher resolutions than the digital can even display?


CJ

Do the test yourself then report back.
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post #17 of 89 Old 10-29-2006, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tim View Post

Guys!

My question is......was the G70 new also? If over 2000 hours prior use it may not have been a fair comparison. A new G70 against a digital anything with a 1000 hours on the lamp is not a fair comparo either.........?

That was precicsly my question to Darin. Did that G70 have fresh tubes? Who tweaked it? What were the set up numbers and spot size?

I don't need to see a 1080P DLP to be able to judge the capability........

DLP does rock to an extent and I'm more than sure that the image the Marantz threw was very, very good.

Nuff said......

Cliff
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post #18 of 89 Old 10-29-2006, 07:54 PM
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This was held at my place and as far as focus and geometric setup the G70 was as good as I could get it. I had spent no less than 8 hours over the last couple of days doing a final setup. This is after owning the PJ for a couple of years and spending a great deal of time with it. The green tube has less than 1000 hours and is actually the hardest to set up. The Blue and Red have more but both focus well. Center focus was spot on with a bit of drop in focus at the corners. Particularly the bottom right. Again this was not a dramatic decrease. Frankly there was simply no competition in sharpness between the two. The Mits blew the G70 away in this regard. One interesting thing to note is that when the G70 is viewed by itself it is awesome. The picture is stunning. When placed in a A - B test against a 1080p digital the difference in sharpness is dramatic. Yes, as Curt described, I do believe the sharpness is sharper than life. Given a choice, I'll take it. I like it a lot. You could always defocus slightly if you so desired.

The shadow detail of the Mits was far better. While the G70 was much better at blacks the Mits again walked away with the shadow detail. Even when I cranked the brightness up and sacrificed blacks the stock G70 could not compete with the Mits. Some of this may be due to the bias and gain settings however I doubt that this alone would have allowed the G70 to show detail to the same level. Regardless, I do prefer blacks blacker than what the Mits can deliver. I am willing to give up some shadow detail for this.

Darker scenes looked better on the G70 while brighter scenes looked better on the Mits. Interestingly the darker scenes were more 3d like on the G70 while the brighter scenes were more 3d like on the Mits. They both produced close to the same amount of brightness but I think I push the G70 a bit hard and this was a contributing factor to color accuracy and uniformity.

1080i did show a huge amount more detail on 1080 content than 720 on the G70. The difference was quite a suprise. Again, what I found interesting was how difficult this difference was to see without a control. I had setup both 720p and 1080i and watch HD content prior to this comparison. I did see a difference but did not know how big of a difference it was until I had a chance to see the G70 displaying 720p against the Mits and then getting to see it display 1080i against the Mits. 1080i was the clear winner.

The Mits did show rainbows on the rare occasion for me. Conversely on 1080i the G70 showed twitter or whatever you guys call it on brighter scenes. I may be able to resolve this by going to an oval astig setup. I think I'll give this a try.

I am not the kind of guy that is tied to any one technology. I just want what works best for me in the price range I can afford. I think I'll hold on the to G70 for a bit longer!

I really want to thank Darin for taking the time to do this. It's a long haul to my place. I really apprieciate having a chance to do this. Thank You Darin!

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post #19 of 89 Old 10-29-2006, 07:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tryg View Post

Do the test yourself then report back.


Been there, done that. Wasn't impressed by the artificial sharpness of digitals.

Life is not made of little squares. It looks artificial that way.


CJ
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post #20 of 89 Old 10-29-2006, 08:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prometheusbound View Post

This was held at my place and as far as focus and geometric setup the G70 was as good as I could get it. I had spent no less than 8 hours over the last couple of days doing a final setup. This is after owning the PJ for a couple of years and spending a great deal of time with it. The green tube has less than 1000 hours and is actually the hardest to set up. The Blue and Red have more but both focus well. Center focus was spot on with a bit of drop in focus at the corners. Particularly the bottom right. Again this was not a dramatic decrease. Frankly there was simply no competition in sharpness between the two. The Mits blew the G70 away in this regard. One interesting thing to note is that when the G70 is viewed by itself it is awesome. The picture is stunning. When placed in a A - B test against a 1080p digital the difference in sharpness is dramatic. Yes, as Curt described, I do believe the sharpness is sharper than life. Given a choice, I'll take it. I like it a lot. You could always defocus slightly if you so desired.

The shadow detail of the Mits was far better. While the G70 was much better at blacks the Mits again walked away with the shadow detail. Even when I cranked the brightness up and sacrificed blacks the stock G70 could not compete with the Mits. Some of this may be due to the bias and gain settings however I doubt that this alone would have allowed the G70 to show detail to the same level. Regardless, I do prefer blacks blacker than what the Mits can deliver. I am willing to give up some shadow detail for this.

Darker scenes looked better on the G70 while brighter scenes looked better on the Mits. Interestingly the darker scenes were more 3d like on the G70 while the brighter scenes were more 3d like on the Mits. They both produced close to the same amount of brightness but I think I push the G70 a bit hard and this was a contributing factor to color accuracy and uniformity.

1080i did show a huge amount more detail on 1080 content than 720 on the G70. The difference was quite a suprise.

The Mits did show rainbows on the rare occasion for me. Conversely on 1080i the G70 showed twitter or whatever you guys call it on brighter scenes. I may be able to resolve this by going to an oval astig setup. I think I'll give this a try.

I am not the kind of guy that is tied to any one technology. I just want what works best for me in the price range I can afford. I think I'll hold on the to G70 for a bit longer!

Hehe, funny you post RIGHT after me!

There is NO DOUBT that DLP will be sharper than CRT FO SHO.

No amount of tweaking could be done to even a G90 to out do the tight focus that DLP provides.

Some call it "false sharpness" like you guys say, but in my opinion, at 1080P that becomes mute.

When you can have a digital that can make the pixels go away at less than a screen width, then your rockin'.

I do however have a question for you in regards to your setup. Do you have gamma control and did you exploit the G70 ability to be able to take advantage of it? This will make a HUGE HUGE HUGE difference in the final output ability of the projector even in shadow detail.

I've come to learn with CRT that gamma control is ABSOLUTELY neccesary to be able to exploit what is possible for the absolute best image CRT can provide.

As far as you pushing the G70 too hard, it is SO EASY to see the blue fall off to expose a 100IRE field from "white" to "yellow". If you didn't see this, then you were not over driving that bad boy.

Congrats to you guys and it looks like Darin and the boys FINALLY got to see what a well setup G70 can do.

Now let's put it up against my G90's.

That would be more fair!

Cliffy
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post #21 of 89 Old 10-29-2006, 08:10 PM
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Guys!

I concur. If I want to see little squares I will tile my bathroom walls!!!!! Messed with a Christie M3000 a couple of month ago here. 1280 x 1024 single chip. It was really freakin' bright, even with only one of the two lamps running. Fair image, better blacks than I had seen on a lamp unit in some while, but the M3K is $25,000 list. My electric bill glitched noticeably higher for that month, and the noise and heat were surreal, drove me out of the room.......

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post #22 of 89 Old 10-29-2006, 08:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmjohnson View Post

Been there, done that. Wasn't impressed by the artificial sharpness of digitals.

Life is not made of little squares. It looks artificial that way.


CJ

That statement is WAY OFF BASE.

Have you ever seen a 1080P digital?

Hell, have you ever seen a 1024P digital on a respectable size screen?

My G10 looks damn good at a screen width back from 120" diagonal.

This is one of the BIGGEST reasons I considered getting a digital when I pulled the plug on my G90 stack. 1080P digital on a screen 10ft wide and smaller especially DLP which is the SHARPEST digital has to offer right now is stunning and "little squares" are a non issue.

Cliff
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post #23 of 89 Old 10-29-2006, 08:57 PM
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Cliffy

You have the audience confused here as someone who acquired Two G90s...... :-)

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post #24 of 89 Old 10-29-2006, 09:01 PM
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Not really.. Cliff has stated before that he decided to get a refrence display for now, but when his G90 tubes wear out, digital will be good enough(for him anyhow).

1272 stack coming soon!:)
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post #25 of 89 Old 10-29-2006, 09:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overclkr View Post

I do however have a question for you in regards to your setup. Do you have gamma control and did you exploit the G70 ability to be able to take advantage of it? This will make a HUGE HUGE HUGE difference in the final output ability of the projector even in shadow detail.

I think it would too, as I mentioned in post #3 that tse's circuit would likely help.
Quote:
Originally Posted by overclkr View Post

Congrats to you guys and it looks like Darin and the boys FINALLY got to see what a well setup G70 can do.

Sorry Cliff, but Steve Smith's G70 is one of the best setup CRTs I've seen for what it is, I've seen it many times, and it isn't like I haven't gone around looking at any CRTs.

I would love to do a comparison with a G90, but there is no way this Marantz would be bright enough to compete with 2 G90s in ft-lamberts. I prefer to use it on a High Power, also.

--Darin

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post #26 of 89 Old 10-29-2006, 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Curt Palme View Post

This is what CRTers always critique as the artificial sharpness of digital sets. Darin, you know that Wayne here locally switched from a tweaked out 9500LC to a Qualia, as he was looking for that sharpness factor. Personally I like the slightly softer image of a CRT, as it's more natural looking to me.

When I saw your Ruby in April I think, you had it tweaked out really well, but again, there was that somewhat artificial sharpness that's really appealing to a newbie ("holy crap, that's sharp!") as compared to their aging ES focusing 27" TV. I just find that artificial sharpness to be tiring (to my eyes anyways).

That's fair. Different strokes for different folks. I don't think square pixels are like real life and neither are soft edges on everything or horizontal lines in images, but as far as natural vs artificial, there are other things that are this way too. If you read Charles Poynton's stuff you will probably see where making your gamma be like real life would mean tweaking your CRT's gamma to be close to 2.2 to offset how the sources are encoded. But people tend to prefer an overall gamma of a little higher than 1.0, so keeping your gamma at 2.4 or so gets you closer to 1.1. Unlike real life according to that, but more towards people's preferences.

In this case the Marantz was probably around 2.2 with the Standard setting from what I've heard (I haven't measured it) and I could see that the CRT had a higher gamma.
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It will be interesting to see if I can see rainbows at this year's CES. That's the one reason I could never buy a single chip DLP, I got headaches at the TI booth within 10 minutes of entering it. Twice.

I don't think things will change much for you in this area unless you start looking at 3 chippers.
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Darin, let me know when you get a Pearl..

I don't think I'll be getting one given that I've already had the Ruby and they are pretty similar.

--Darin

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post #27 of 89 Old 10-29-2006, 09:44 PM
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What was the input sources used on the G70? (or did I miss that).

"Sharpness 11S1 easily"

DLP will always be sharper than CRT. But is the sharpness natural, or as the original.

"Shadow detail 11S1 easily"

This Is the one I'm waiting to compare with. And I don't need a gamma circuit.

"3d effect/dynamic range in daylight scenes 11S1" please someone, bring that projector my way.

"Color accuracy 11S1 easily
field and color uniformity 11s1 easily"

Can we make this happen?

Lowly 8" CRT projector at 1920x1080p @ at a whopping 72hz. Do you have any idea what this little stinker looks like at lower rez. JBJR and I was checking it out last night at 1440x960p @ 72 and 1920x960p @ 72. I did not try 1080I and 720P. though. If it got any sharper, it would have looked DIGITAL. But talk about shadow detail...



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post #28 of 89 Old 10-29-2006, 10:06 PM
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A quick and dirty capture of a scene from gladiator. This Image is from the same HTPC that I run the HDTV files from. It is DVD @ 1920x960p/72hz. It's the same DVD that JBJR and I watch last night. I don't have Gladiator in HDTV.

I'll have to work with the camera for a better image, but for now, check out the sharpness, detail and background detail.



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post #29 of 89 Old 10-29-2006, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by mp20748 View Post

I'll have to work with the camera for a better image, but for now, check out the sharpness, detail and background detail.

Why would we check out 800x602 images that have been compressed down to about 100KB for sharpness and detail? What is the point of running at 1920 wide and then posting 800 pixel wide images?

And do you have this setup for watching or taking pictures, because normally a picture with a camera will crush the shadow details in a mixed scene if you have the projector setup properly for viewing.

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post #30 of 89 Old 10-29-2006, 11:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darinp2 View Post

Why would we check out 800x602 images that have been compressed down to about 100KB for sharpness and detail? What is the point of running at 1920 wide and then posting 800 pixel wide images?

Darin has a good point Mikey. I brought up that very issue when discussing your screen shots with some of the local boys. They are very nice pics though.

I don't know about you guys, but when my G70 is dialed in, I get very abrupt, sharp edges. I'm sure a digital PJ is sharper, but as Dave said, it couldn't be THAT much sharper, as there's just not that much room for improvement. Maybe it's because I have a small screen--85".

Charles if you have your G70 dialed in well, you should check your sources. You should be getting a sharper picture.

PS: I am also of the "there's no such thing as too sharp" school of thought. The one thing I like about digitals is the sharpness. I think the 1080p PJs pretty much eliminate the false sharpness effect.

PPS: Guy Kuo checked the color balance of Steve Smith's G70. It measured virtually perfect. Any LC, color corrected CRT PJ should perform similarly. You can't improve on perfection, so this is one area that digitals can only match CRTs, not beat them.

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