One of Panasonic's new features is "game mode", and as I was thinking that I'd like this kind of frame rate prioritization available in my next projector (I haven't decided which yet, but I'd like to purchase in 2008) and wondered how much input lag current projectors actually have.
It got me wondering about my own projector, and I figured out an easy to test it.:
- There's an input lag stopwatch at http://tft.vanity.dk/. Run that on a laptop/PC while outputting the same screen to your projector.
- Take photos of the two screens. (multiple photos, since a 60 Hz refresh rate means we want multiple images to see fractions of a frame difference. Maximum ISO and shutter speed, since we don't care about grain as long as we capture a clear frame from each display.)
In my case, I used my old Sanyo Z3
at 800x600 through VGA, displaying the image in "true" mode which means no scaling. It was just a quick and dirty test and doesn't mean much, but some of the images are below.
If you can, please run this test with the same PC using different projectors, and post results here
! Even if you only have one projector, the results would be helpful. If you have "game mode" or other settings, please try with different settings and see if lag changes.
Here are some results from my quick and dirty test with my Z3:
More photos, if anyone needs them, but I think those show a pretty minimal lag. (Those were the first five I took...two of the remaining four showed some level of difference between the two, but primarily the same numbers, so maybe
the frame delay difference is roughly 1/3rd of a frame, while the frames are (strangly) showing a 30ms pattern, so a 1/90th of a second difference for the laptop LCD screen and the projector LCD screen?)
To be clear, since a few people have touched on it below, this does not
show the image lag of the projector, only the image lag vs. the screen it's being tested on. Results with other people using different LCD/CRT/Plasma/etc. displays to test their projectors are not cross compatible.
Even two people using two similar laptops may show a different image lag due to different setups. That said, I still think this is a good idea to see more details with...and I'd really like to see people with multiple projectors or different settings on the same projector post their results, as those should be useful in direct comparison with each other.Edit
Visited Yodobashi Camera and tested a few other projectors:AE200 - Game modeAE200 - Normal ModeTH-AE2000TW-1000 (Epson 1080)
My thoughts: This is still apples and oranges in a sense. I'm interested in trying to do the same thing with the AE3000 and TW4000 (Epson 6500/7500) when they come out. What surprises me is that the Panasonics clearly seemed to have the worst image lag, which may be why they're the one marketing their new "game mode". The Sanyo and Epson both seem to have pretty similar performance to the AE200's game mode performance.
If it the Reon processor and/or other image processing options in the TW4000 can be turned off, it will be interesting to see whether or not the TW4000 has can reach the same minimal image lag as game mode on the AE3000. Nothing too super scientific, but interesting and fun, and I'm looking forward to hopefully doing the same with the new models as soon as possible.
(While unrelated to image lag, I was very unimpressed with how much dust the AE2000 had. When focusing to get the screen as close as possible, I was kind of shocked with the amount of dust in a 10 month old projector, and unlike the Sanyo, there's no way for a user to mitigate this...)