Is it worth the upgrade .... - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 07-29-2012, 11:35 AM - Thread Starter
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I think all of us have asked ourselves this question at one point or another. Especially with electronics and the rapid advancement that has been made in the last 10+ years. Well, I face this dilemma right now regarding my projector and I have debated with myself - back and forth ... yes, no, yes, no .... on and on. I have been researching online for a while now (ever since I started building my second theater in 2011) reading this board and professional reviews of all the latest, greatest projectors. Even with all the great advancements in technology such as 3D, CFI, increases in contrast, black color improvements, etc. I keep circling back to my initial question...

Is it worth the upgrade to a new projector from what I currently have?

I know, I know, "worth" is subjective and what is worth it to some is not for others. Not looking for a definitive answer, but looking for advice from those that have upgraded in the last year or so. I want to understand if it will be like "Yes, you will see improvement in video playback , yes you will be blown away with the picture quality, yes you will see details you've never seen before." or will it be more like "yeah video quality will improve a little, but these days its more about the extra features - 3d, etc, etc."

So I come to the board to help with your experiences, broad knowledge, and various opinions to set me straight and pull me out of the swirling abyss called "indecision."

In order to do so, I expect you will need background of where I am and what I'm looking for.

Current State:
Dedicated home theater that is completely light controlled. Used primarily (99%) for movies - all Blu-ray movies from my HTPC (I don't crud it with that low quality bull j/k wink.gif). My current projector in the Mitsubishi HC4900 1080P with 800 hours. I brought this with me from my previous theater several years ago, but low hours due to house sale/move/live in temp living/buy house/build new theater.... you know normal life stuff. I like the projector and always have (great reviews at the time) - I know the limitations (blacks) but I have always been impressed with the picture quality... but I can't get away from the feeling that I am missing something.

Rest of theater info: (pertaining to projector needs)
120" wide 2.35:1 Centerstage XD AT screen
Throw distance = 17 feet
Screen wall is black (false fabric wall), ceiling is black ... aw heck you can look at it through my link in my sig. below.

Family use/need of the theater:
99.99999999999999% hi def movies (no TV, cable, satellite, regular DVD's, laser disc, VHS, Beta ...etc)
Not big into 3D and really don't see going in that direction ... although you never know.

When I measure the luminance with Spyder 2/Calman4, I'm reading 6 fL normal lamp, and 4.4 fL low lamp. Yeah - these are low, but honestly seem ok to me? Alright, I think a little brighter would be nice. According to calibrated specs, the HC4900 puts out approx. 620 lumens in normal cinema mode. (I think most new projectors calibrated to rec709 are in the 600 - 800 lumens)

Ok my Budget: $3000 range
Are projectors in this budget range going to offer that much more for what I'm looking for - better sharpness, better detail, better contrast, better blacks, more pop, brighter picture (to get to that magical 12 - 14 fL). In other words - is it worth the upgrade? or would I be paying for the other options that I really don't want/need (3D, smooth motion, ultra bright modes for ambient light use, etc.).

Alright gang lets hear it.
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post #2 of 6 Old 07-29-2012, 03:01 PM
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That's a definite YES as far as I'm concerned! There is a night-and-day difference compared with modern HT-PJ in the 3k range, especially in terms of contrast and image dimensionality. You'll have to be completely uninterested in image quality not to appreciate it. IMHO smile.gif
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post #3 of 6 Old 07-29-2012, 06:46 PM
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I have owned a ton of projectors over the last 13 years, starting with a Panasonic CRT to a Sony G70 and Marquee 9500. My 1st digital was a Sharp 720P DLP. From there I went to a JVC RS1.

Recently I upgraded from a JVC RS15 to a JVC RS45; I picked up a B-stock so I came in under the 3K mark. Arguably, the RS45 was not a significant jump over the RS15 in brightness etc..

Tonight I watched Star Trek 2009 on the RS45. Stunning! Wow. This is a projector that does not disappoint in film-like quality. In fact, I kept saying to myself, how does it get any better than this? Deep blacks, sharp pic, great contrast, and a film-like image. I gotta' believe the RS45 will blow the Mits away. Spend the money. You will want to re-watch your entire Blu-ray collection on a JVC; it will be like watching them for the first time.

Really.


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post #4 of 6 Old 07-30-2012, 03:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses. So far sounds if you believe there would be a significant improvement in overall picture quality. I know the JVC's are well liked on this board - and rightfully so from the reviews. Don't want to get sidetracked and make this a JVC thread (there are others that are JVC specific), but my biggest concern with the JVC is the bulb issue. Yes granted there it runs at 800 lumens calibrated, great blacks, etc, etc. but that out of the box new - what good is that if it dims significantly after 200 or 400 hours.
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post #5 of 6 Old 07-30-2012, 06:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticalJet View Post

Thanks for the responses. So far sounds if you believe there would be a significant improvement in overall picture quality. I know the JVC's are well liked on this board - and rightfully so from the reviews. Don't want to get sidetracked and make this a JVC thread (there are others that are JVC specific), but my biggest concern with the JVC is the bulb issue. Yes granted there it runs at 800 lumens calibrated, great blacks, etc, etc. but that out of the box new - what good is that if it dims significantly after 200 or 400 hours.

While there are some people that have had lamp issues, more so by far, last year compared to this year, from what II see and read, it looks like JVC has been doing a good job of taking care of their customers. That should help to relieve some of the worry.

Mike Garrett, AV Science Sales
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post #6 of 6 Old 07-30-2012, 07:38 AM
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MysticalJet,

To reduce your financial exposure, the RS40-b is also an excellent alternative from AVS. You will find JVC very closed to crt-black.

As for myself, I decided to regress - moving down from a RS20 to a RS2 clone, preferring mechanical over electronic. The other caveat about JVC is the optical block, so I put my fan on high, hoping to reduce heat.

I'll get the Darbee once this new batch has been "tested" by some of our members as a possible improvement.

GL.
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