Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Newnan, Georgia
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The family and I went to the Best Buy in Peachtree City to see the Sony projector. I had been in every so often to see if they had it set up so this time I called first to make sure. I don't have much familiarity with other digital projectors, just my Sony G70 CRT and I was looking to see if I thought it might be worth switching. What I was looking for was full resolution (obviously has it), brighter, no really visible screen door (I can see it better than most), and acceptable black level. It is difficult for me to really evaluate the projector because BB uses what I believe to be the Steward FireHawk SST about 7 feet wide, which from my best esitmates of the specs is 0.6 gray with ~1.8 gain. It is well made for what it does but I think this is a terrible screen to use for evaluating a projector in the Magnolia room that can be made movie theater dark. The surface has a lot of texture to get that 1.8 gain and I think it blurs the image slightly. Also it visibly hot spots and the peak effective reflectance is about 1 only in the middle of the screen and less than 1 everywhere else.
Now with all that said, it was somewhat brighter than my G70 but I didn't come away thinking "Dang that's bright" and the black level didn't seem bad at all, but again the screen made evaluation difficult. I did a quick hand-puppet just to see the difference between the shadow and the screen so I could simulate it at home. It seems acceptable to me but without it set up in my bat cave, I cannot be absolutely sure. I was allowed to take full control over the remote and I played with all the different settings, trying not to really mess it up and make the poor guys have to reset everything. Motion flow was interesting in 2D. I mean any FI system is going to at least double the frame rate by definition so it was obvious it was on but it wasn't bad at all.
This was also my first real evaluation of 3D on a projector. I have always felt 3D had to be viewed really big and cover most of the FOV to really be worthwhile and this demo confirmed that yet again. If I want to watch 3D, I need it big. Hell, even 2D I want big but for 3D it is a must. The light output of the projector on that screen in the dark room through the 3D glasses was quite sufficient for me. We watched Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and the effect looked good. I played around with the depth setting and it had a pretty subtle effect. My wife could not see any changes when I played with the setting. I didn't notice any ghosting, flickering, or anything else that detracted from my viewing. However, those Sony glasses really really change the image to very red or very green if you tilt you head to the left or right respetively by more than about 15 degrees. I didn't have to concentrate on keeping my head up but you aren't going to watch 3D with your head resting on your hand. Motion flow worked well in 3D except when the scene moved really really fast like in the beginning when you have a satellite view of the island and then zoom in really fast to the ground. At that point the Motion flow couldn't make good in-between frames and the 3D effect went flat and garbled for a few frames.
As a whole I liked it and would consider it getting one except that I really like Constant Image Area and without the motorized zoom, it seems like it would be a pain to switch back and forth manually. Maybe it wouldn't be too bad if I set it up where I could reach it easily.