How do you audition a projector? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 05-09-2008, 12:10 AM - Thread Starter
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I am interested to hear how you audition a projector. What films and scenes do you use, what do you look for, etc?
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post #2 of 12 Old 05-09-2008, 01:31 AM
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For ANSI performance and RBE susceptibility (if looking at a single chip DLP) the film "Renaissance" is the best I've found.

For moire artefacts then look at chapter 8 in MI3, the stair scene.

There are plenty more, but this gets the ball rolling.

hope this helps

--------------------------------------------
"Wow, do you think you are Adonis"...... "Baby, I'm not A-donis, I'm THE-donis"
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post #3 of 12 Old 05-09-2008, 07:46 PM
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By no means a comprehensive list, but for me personally:

An easy, but often revealing check is projecting solid colors. Black, white, yellow, cyan. Some PJ have color uniformity or brightness issues you can see on the screen. I also like to look at a one pixel width grid and see how far back you need to go before the lines look white (and how sharp they are). A PC desktop is pretty revealing too. Drag a white window around and see if you get trails, blurs, breakup, or rainbows.

Real source material will cover a lot of flaws, especially animation. Use stuff you think looks real. I see a ton of PJ's running demo loops of fish and undersea life. How can you tell if the colors even begin to look accurate while looking at a coral reef? If it's a pro shop, the displays should be calibrated, so look at grass and make sure it's not neon and that people don't all look sunburned. I'd also try to watch for a while and make sure I don't get a headache, watery eyes, or eyestrain.

Keep an open mind. Don't buy unless the image makes you giddy.

 

 

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post #4 of 12 Old 05-10-2008, 07:24 AM
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For absolute black level and shadow detail I use 'Dark City'. 'Unforgiven' and 'Blade Runner' are good too.

For contrast I use the original Star Wars (ep IV) opening sequence with the type and green logo and then the star destroyer flyover.

For color accuracy I use the opening of 'Fellowship of the Ring'. It shouldn't look too green.

I also use the Moria scenes for shadow detail and gamma setting.

For DLP dithering I use 'Elizabeth', notably the interior scenes about 3/4 through.

Whilst I disagree with his use of screen shots and many of his conclusions, you may wish to check the reviews at www.projectorreviews.com. Art has his favorite scenes which he uses consistently and which may provide a reference.

The other big fave for fleshtones and resolution here is the Leeloo on the ledge section of 'Fifth Element'.

Given the general flexibility of the color in the film, I guess it is because Milla is a hottie.

Generally I think it is very difficult to tell anything concrete about a projector unless it is in your home, in your room and showing an image you know well.

I wouldn't even bother to view one at a dealer, no matter how well setup (and most are anything but well setup).
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post #5 of 12 Old 05-10-2008, 08:25 AM
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I plug it in and watch it for a week. If it makes me happy, then it's good.
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post #6 of 12 Old 05-11-2008, 07:11 AM
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Don't you mean, then its the best?

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post #7 of 12 Old 05-11-2008, 07:22 AM
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No I like something when I see it. I guess I'm just practical like this. Of the good ones I usually have a favorite.

What I dont have (which may upset some anal retentives here) is the E Harmony method of a 27 step recipe that was devised by a 70 year old grey haired geek.

I know it when I see it
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post #8 of 12 Old 05-11-2008, 08:02 AM
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Gee. You are a lot closer to 70 tnan 0, You are a geek, but you don't have hair. You are an age bigot? Or a geek bigot? Shame on you.

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post #9 of 12 Old 05-11-2008, 08:14 AM
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An audition is sort of like a screen shot. Unless the projector is calibrated, and you can see the measurements as well as visually evaluate it with known material from a known source, on the screen you will use, in a similar environment, for an extended period of time, it can be very hard to make good judgements.

First narrow the selection to the units that fit the application and price range, then read lots of reviews from users, calibrators, and reviewers. Discuss the specific model with dealers and installers who have actual experience with it. If you can audition it, make sure you know who calibrated it, how and why they made the settings that they did, and what capacity it has for various settings.

Some things to look for are chromatic aberation and lens quality. Just make sure it is focused at its best and get close enough to see pixels. Look for convergence and/or chromatic aberation on a test pattern. Look for transition to blacks and note noise issues with fans, etc.

Yes, calibration is important...every user should be calibrated.

Need electronics repair? A great place to start looking for a shop in your area: http://www.tvrepairpros.com/
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post #10 of 12 Old 05-11-2008, 09:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark haflich View Post

Gee. You are a lot closer to 70 tnan 0, you are a geek, but you don't have hair. You are an age bigot? Or a geekg bigot? Shame on you.

You're a lens bigot
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post #11 of 12 Old 05-11-2008, 10:17 AM
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I do discriminate regarding lenses.

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post #12 of 12 Old 05-11-2008, 10:58 AM
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A few other things to take into account when auditioning a proj.:

-Try to make sure that there is total light control in the audition room. If you can't make the room pitch black, you are not going to see everything the projector has to offer.

-Take into account what type of screen they are using. Aso the size of the screen and where the projector is in relation to the screen. This can make a real difference compared to what you are going to see in your HT.

-Take into account what the demo room is like. If it has light reflective walls etc. that can be different. In a perfect world, the demo room will be just like your HT.

-If you can play around with the remote. See what the settings are. What is the lamp mode on? What viewing mode is playing (Cinema or Dynamic). Color temp. etc.

-Check to make sure that they have the projector focussed. I am always amazed when I get to a demo and the sucker isn't focussed.

-Check what the iris settings are.

-When the room is silent, pay attention to the noise that the projector produces.

Dodds above has some very good scenes to audition. If you go through all of those scenes, that is a real projector torture test.

I also like to play some stuff that makes a projector look good too. HD animated stuff, good quality cel animation. A good intense action scene or two etc.

If you have a dealer that can put up with all that, reward them with your purchase.

It is also helpful to find local forum members that would be willing to let you come over.

Most people around here are super cool and would be happy to show off their HT.

-- Well I have really blown my budget now. --
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