Originally Posted by dvectord
Although I FULLY realize that all variables were not properly controlled, I produced a ranking anyway. Again for my own purchasing decisions, I ranked them in levels of what I perceived to be a $500-$1000 increase in picture quality (maybe 10% increase in picture quality), not msrp.
Drum-roll please ....
From the bottom to the top.
Level 0: My current sony 720p hs-51 (on a dim bulb)
Level 1: (about $500 better) epson home 1080 home ensemble (not 1080 UB)
Level 2: (about $500 better) marantz 11s2, sony hw-70, mits 7000 (mits some ambient light)
Level 3: (about 500-1000 better) sony hw-10, planar 8150
Level 4: (about 500-1000 better) epson 7500ub (better colors, sharper), jvc rs2 (better blacks)
Level 5: about (500-1000 better) the champion --> jvc rs-20 (basically a fixed rs2 with better colors and sharper or an epson with maybe 10% better blacks)
So I just got in from CEDIA. And I would have to agree with a lot of your assesment, with a few exceptions. I thought the epson pro cinema 7500UB was one of the biggest disappointments of the show. Which is sad because their staff is outstanding, and Kevin was extremely helpful and knowledgeable. I think the RS20 was the projector of the show, although I didn't have a chance to see the Sammy or Marantz which I hear are stunners.
I took notes after every presentation and I had separate categories for Brightness, Sharpness, Contrast, and overall PQ already printed out and ready to go. Here are my impressions. I strongly encourage people to take this with the grain of salt, as many of these units surely were not final, and probably not even calibrated correctly. I'll attempt to list them in order of importance.
Sim 2 C3X 1080/Host: Man this thing is a torch! Bright, crisp, color saturation was the best I've seen for DLP (although I preferred the RS20 in this regard). The highlight of the demo was HD movies encoded at 45mb mbps, as opposed to blu-rays 19-20mbps. Extremely impressive.
Overall PQ: 8.5
JVC RS20: This was the highlight of the show. I spent a good 30 minutes in awe, I haven't been wowed by a projector like this in all my years of home AV. This isn't a lateral upgrade from and RS2, and the difference in brightness and sharpness is not subtle. This is a full step up from the RS2. The 25% increase in brightness and new optics are extremely noticeable. Colors have more pop, the picture is noticeably sharper, and black bars blend into the light controlled room.They had the RS2 and RS20 demo rooms side by side. So i kept going back and forth.. but I stayed put in the RS20 room for a good half hour if that says anything. This is the upgrade RS1/RS2 owners have been waiting for imho, and it's my next projector. It's amazing to see the colors in dark scenes pop off the screen over a pitch black backdrop! Just gorgeous. And here's the kicker, I got to play with the RS20 for a bit and JVC was using the PS3 with a cheapo nyko remote control as the source! And the PQ was stunning! LOL
Overall PQ: 9
JVC RS2: What can I say, this is still a favorite. And JVC had it well calibrated. Although the RS2 is too dim for my tastes, it still produces a great film like picture. Did I mention how much I love the RS20?
Overall PQ: 8
Sony HW70: A bit underwhelming, it was just OK. I saw this unit after the RS20 demo and well, it just couldn't measure up in any category.
Overall PQ: 7
Sony W10: This is a tricky one. Originally the Sony rep was using HD video material, and it looked ok. Fairly bright, and sharpness was just ok. Contrast was nothing to write home about. I asked the Sony rep to indulge me with some film material on blu-ray, and he did! He fired up Ghost Rider and well... it looked like crap. Muddy, with blue push. Didn't care for it at all. Sorry sony.
Overall PQ: 6
Not a very good demo, there was a bit of ambient light and I was certain the projector could do better. Blue push right off the bat. I would take this one with the grain of salt. Again, this only reflects a CEDIA demo and will probably be much better when it's finally released.
Overall PQ: 7
Epson Pro Cinema 7500UB: This was the biggest disappointment of the show for me. Ken and the rest of the Epson staff were so great and knowledgable, it was just a painful demo to sit through. The sad thing is, it was probably calibrated correctly because these guys know their stuff. They were running harry potter on blu-ray and the opening ceremony for the olympics in HD off DVR. This unit had more in common with cheaper Sony W10 than other projectors at the same price point. Contrast was just ok (despite 75,000:1 rating) and the picture had no punch in dark scenes.
Overall PQ: 6.5
That's all I have for now. I said it before and I'll say it again, take these impressions with the grain of salt. I have a very good eye, and I came prepared with plenty of notes! But after all, these are CEDIA demos and may not be calibrated, or even reflective of the final hardware for that matter.
But I can say this, the RS20 I saw is ready for prime time. I can't imagine the PQ getting any better. Seeing the blu-ray demo of Hellboy 2... with those bright golden structures superimposed over a pitch black backdrop... brought a tear to my eye. Talk about wow factor. It is difficult to contain my enthusiasm. Let me put it this way. While I was taking notes, a JVC dealer walked into the RS20 demo room, and with a stunned look on his face said, "Sh*t, I have an RS2 in my showroom and I better sell it...QUICK!"