Projector vs. large (80") LED TV - AVS Forum
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Digital Hi-End Projectors - $3,000+ USD MSRP > Projector vs. large (80") LED TV
nwilliams's Avatar nwilliams 07:14 PM 08-09-2012
I've been debating for some time over this choice. The main reason being my lack of knowledge in both types of equipment and the true pros and cons of each scenario.

I've seen that one can currently purchase an 80" 3D LED TV's from big box stores in the $5000 price point. Comparatively, you could get a great projector for $3500 and a quality fixed screen for around $1200 (sorry if my numbers are off) bringing the total to a similar price than the large LED TV.

I understand that a projector will enable me to go to larger sizes but if I want maximum contrast, deep blacks, and a crisp picture will a $3500 projector deliver that when projecting at +100" ?

Is the large TV a real consideration or not even comparable?

I'd like to specify that this will be going into a dedicated HT room in my basement that is 19' X 13' and blacked out used only for HD movies and some gaming (nothing hardcore).

Thanks for helping me clarify this!

TedO's Avatar TedO 09:29 PM 08-09-2012
I have a 70" TV in my livingroom. About a year ago the optical block went out on it and I replaced it with a 60" while the 70 was being repaired. Although the 60 had a great picture and all the bells and whistles, I was glad to get back to my 70 after the repair. The moral of the story is bigger IS better, I've never heard anyone complain that their screen size was too big, but you always hear of people wanting upgrade and go bigger. My advice is to go as big as your room will permit, you be happy you did.
Drexler's Avatar Drexler 03:45 AM 08-10-2012
A good projector will easily blow away a large screen LED-TV in image quality as long as the room is dark. Better contrast, more uniform image, less pixel visibility, bigger image, more cinematic experience, you name it. The TV wins in light rejection and brightness, that's it. In a dedicated HT-room I wouldn't hesitate a millisecond in choosing the projector route! There really is no comparison.
AV Science Sales 5's Avatar AV Science Sales 5 08:17 AM 08-10-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by nwilliams View Post

I've been debating for some time over this choice. The main reason being my lack of knowledge in both types of equipment and the true pros and cons of each scenario.
I've seen that one can currently purchase an 80" 3D LED TV's from big box stores in the $5000 price point. Comparatively, you could get a great projector for $3500 and a quality fixed screen for around $1200 (sorry if my numbers are off) bringing the total to a similar price than the large LED TV.
I understand that a projector will enable me to go to larger sizes but if I want maximum contrast, deep blacks, and a crisp picture will a $3500 projector deliver that when projecting at +100" ?
Is the large TV a real consideration or not even comparable?
I'd like to specify that this will be going into a dedicated HT room in my basement that is 19' X 13' and blacked out used only for HD movies and some gaming (nothing hardcore).
Thanks for helping me clarify this!

In a dedicated HT room the projector wins hands down.
GoCaboNow's Avatar GoCaboNow 11:44 AM 08-10-2012
Another advantage front projection gives you is the ability to go with a scope format screen. May not seem like a big deal but your 80" tv is going to give you a scope image of roughly 29.5x70 inches, or 14 square feet of viewable image. Conversely a scope, 10 foot wide by 50 inch image will TRIPLE that to 42 square feet of area. A movie on that is a cinematic event. The TV is, well, watching TV...
boblinds's Avatar boblinds 12:03 PM 08-10-2012
In the environment that you describe, there's really no question. A front projector is the way to go. It will mean the difference between watching a big TV and having a full-fledged screening room in your basement.
Dan P.'s Avatar Dan P. 12:11 PM 08-10-2012
Yet another advantage for front projection is the ability to do an acoustically transparent screen, if you should want to do that. As a screen becomes larger, the speakers begin to spread out further to the edges. On really big screens that causes the sound to move further away from the image. With an AT screen, you can position the speakers behind the screen, just like at a commercial theater. Even if you can't afford an AT screen at first, you may decide to upgrade to that later. Maybe one day you might want to upgrade to a scope screen, and maybe even an anamorphic lens. You can do all that with a pj. Can't do that with an LCD flatscreen.

However, if you're going to do a lot of gaming, in my opinion a LCD flatscreen is still best due to lag time. However, some pjs are very good about lag time. Just make sure to pick a pj that does gaming well if gaming is a big part of it. Personally, I use an LCD for gaming (not 80" though), and a pj for movies. Use the best tool for the job is the way I figure.
HiFiFun's Avatar HiFiFun 12:53 PM 08-10-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drexler View Post

A good projector will easily blow away a large screen LED-TV in image quality as long as the room is dark. Better contrast, more uniform image, less pixel visibility, bigger image, more cinematic experience, you name it. The TV wins in light rejection and brightness, that's it. In a dedicated HT-room I wouldn't hesitate a millisecond in choosing the projector route! There really is no comparison.
In a front projector forum I'd expect 90% of replies to be biased toward front projectors.
In an LCD forum I'd expect about 70% for LCD
For the general public I'd expect about 95% for flat panels.

My calibrated 70" Sharp has better contrast than my DC3 Mitsubishi 4000. All this years <$10K 3D 0.65 DLP projectors use the old DC2. Only the $30K 0.95" DC4 projectors (like the SIM2) win. The Sharps LCD do over 1000+ lines of motion resolution. They do good 3D even even with the shades drawn.

So far adding 3D has reduced the contrast ratio for all projector technologies.
Those in-the-know are holding-their-breaths to see how much the famous JVC NATIVE contrast will be degraded as they improve the 3D ghosting.
LCoS motion resolution is still only 700-800 lines, which maybe why Sony switched to a cheap lens in the 30 and 95 "elevated standard".

How much is it for a dedicated Home Theater room?
How much does it cost to mount an 80" panel on the wall?

Flat panels LCD will be way more reliable and energy efficient. With many newer projectors you are lucky to get 1000 hours from a $500 bulb.

The key challenge is Texas Instruments is off chasing the classroom 3D marketplace where black level or 1:1 pixel mapping don't matter. Or the commercial movies theaters.They neglect Home Theater!
My hope is this coming years 3D will be refined and matured enough so that new owners unwittingly don't become beta testers like this years models.
Many want the high contrast, sharpness, motion resolution and reliability for both 2D &3D at the $3-5K price point.
I'm especially open to an $6-8K 80+ Sharp screen with native 4k resolution. Note: Apple Displays will be from Sharp/Foxconn

Watch out when objectivity takes a back seat to brand loyalty. Just because a few pump-up doesn't mean everyone is in agreement.

http://www.displayalliance.com/news-categories/2012/7/20/is-a-stampede-of-big-lcd-displays-approaching.html
Glenn Baumann's Avatar Glenn Baumann 01:20 PM 08-10-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiFun View Post

In a front projector forum I'd expect 90% of replies to be biased toward front projectors.
In an LCD forum I'd expect about 70% for LCD
For the general public I'd expect about 95% for flat panels.
My calibrated 70" Sharp has better contrast than my DC3 Mitsubishi 4000. All this years <$10K 3D 0.65 DLP projectors use the old DC2. Only the $30K 0.95" DC4 projectors (like the SIM2) win. The Sharps LCD do over 1000+ lines of motion resolution. They do good 3D even even with the shades drawn.
So far adding 3D has reduced the contrast ratio for all projector technologies.
Those in-the-know are holding-their-breaths to see how much the famous JVC NATIVE contrast will be degraded as they improve the 3D ghosting.
LCoS motion resolution is still only 700-800 lines, which maybe why Sony switched to a cheap lens in the 30 and 95 "elevated standard".
How much is it for a dedicated Home Theater room?
How much does it cost to mount an 80" panel on the wall?
Flat panels LCD will be way more reliable and energy efficient. With many newer projectors you are lucky to get 1000 hours from a $500 bulb.
The key challenge is Texas Instruments is off chasing the classroom 3D marketplace where black level or 1:1 pixel mapping don't matter. Or the commercial movies theaters.They neglect Home Theater!
My hope is this coming years 3D will be refined and matured enough so that new owners unwittingly don't become beta testers like this years models.
Many want the high contrast, sharpness, motion resolution and reliability for both 2D &3D at the $3-5K price point.
I'm especially open to an $6-8K 80+ Sharp screen with native 4k resolution. Note: Apple Displays will be from Sharp/Foxconn
Watch out when objectivity takes a back seat to brand loyalty. Just because a few pump-up doesn't mean everyone is in agreement.
http://www.displayalliance.com/news-categories/2012/7/20/is-a-stampede-of-big-lcd-displays-approaching.html

"Watch out when objectivity takes a back seat to brand loyalty"

Please just go away and leave us in our blissful ignorance pumpin' it up on the front projector forum! wink.giftongue.gif
Seegs108's Avatar Seegs108 01:49 PM 08-10-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiFun View Post

In a front projector forum I'd expect 90% of replies to be biased toward front projectors.
In an LCD forum I'd expect about 70% for LCD
For the general public I'd expect about 95% for flat panels.
My calibrated 70" Sharp has better contrast than my DC3 Mitsubishi 4000. All this years <$10K 3D 0.65 DLP projectors use the old DC2. Only the $30K 0.95" DC4 projectors (like the SIM2) win. The Sharps LCD do over 1000+ lines of motion resolution. They do good 3D even even with the shades drawn.
So far adding 3D has reduced the contrast ratio for all projector technologies.
Those in-the-know are holding-their-breaths to see how much the famous JVC NATIVE contrast will be degraded as they improve the 3D ghosting.
LCoS motion resolution is still only 700-800 lines, which maybe why Sony switched to a cheap lens in the 30 and 95 "elevated standard".
How much is it for a dedicated Home Theater room?
How much does it cost to mount an 80" panel on the wall?
Flat panels LCD will be way more reliable and energy efficient. With many newer projectors you are lucky to get 1000 hours from a $500 bulb.
The key challenge is Texas Instruments is off chasing the classroom 3D marketplace where black level or 1:1 pixel mapping don't matter. Or the commercial movies theaters.They neglect Home Theater!
My hope is this coming years 3D will be refined and matured enough so that new owners unwittingly don't become beta testers like this years models.
Many want the high contrast, sharpness, motion resolution and reliability for both 2D &3D at the $3-5K price point.
I'm especially open to an $6-8K 80+ Sharp screen with native 4k resolution. Note: Apple Displays will be from Sharp/Foxconn
Watch out when objectivity takes a back seat to brand loyalty. Just because a few pump-up doesn't mean everyone is in agreement.
http://www.displayalliance.com/news-categories/2012/7/20/is-a-stampede-of-big-lcd-displays-approaching.html

Okay, first off please know what you're talking about before trying to steer someone away. Both the Mitsubishi HC7800D and the Sharp XV-Z30000 both use the .65" DC3 not DC2. The dynamic iris can be used during 3D. Also with the glasses on during 3D will dramatically help black levels. Any active 3D glasses technology will dim the picture no matter if its front projection or LCD/Plasma.

For the 3D debate, you want to go as big as possible to get the best effect. Unless you're sitting within a few feet of the 80" screen you probably won't be that impressed with how well 3D is implemented on most movies. So if 3D is something of great interest go with front projection.

On to the bulb debate. For the last two or three years most companies have been using more reliable bulbs. Pretty much anyone but JVC will get you to 3000+ on a bulb. Most companies offer replacement bulbs around half that price.

As far as energy goes most of them don't take more than 350 watts. That's comparable to running an Xbox 360 or PS3.

You can still purchase a .95" DMD DLP projector in the under $10K group of projectors. You can't beat Runco for the combination of an amazing dynamic iris and a .95" DC3 chip with great optics. You can get a Runco LS-3 and a Optoma HD33 for an amazing 2D and 3D combination for around $5000. That combination will blow anything LED LCD has to offer out of the water.

I also want to add that projectors (especially the ones recommended here on the forums) will give a much more natural looking image. To me, and I'm sure many others will agree with me, LCD (and some plasmas) look very digital. This is okay when playing games and some TV shows, but when I watch a movie it just looks awful on an LCD. This is an area where projectors really shine.
GoCaboNow's Avatar GoCaboNow 02:02 PM 08-10-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiFun View Post

In a front projector forum I'd expect 90% of replies to be biased toward front projectors.
In an LCD forum I'd expect about 70% for LCD
For the general public I'd expect about 95% for flat panels.

I would bet most front projection enthusiast also have flat panels in their homes and are better suited to compare than an lcd forum where the lcd is at the top of their food chain - and fewer members have both. But I do agree, most answers here, would favor front projection in a dedicated room like the OP has. smile.gif

I have a 65" LCD in the master bedroom and 70" tv in the family room, and they are both great for tv viewing.
mlang46's Avatar mlang46 02:59 PM 08-10-2012
I own a Sim2 Ht380 and it is a fine projector but I don't think the image it throws is as good as a well designed led flat panel and certainly does not have the contrast of a great plasma , so I have been thinking about going to a very large flat panel TV. Sharp has just come put with a 90 inch and even though it cost 9000 dollars it is a very robust system compared to a Projector. The problem of course is that 50 percent of the movies are shown at 2:35 to one and I just hate those black bars.
AV Science Sales 5's Avatar AV Science Sales 5 03:08 PM 08-10-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by mlang46 View Post

I own a Sim2 Ht380 and it is a fine projector but I don't think the image it throws is as good as a well designed led flat panel and certainly does not have the contrast of a great plasma , so I have been thinking about going to a very large flat panel TV. Sharp has just come put with a 90 inch and even though it cost 9000 dollars it is a very robust system compared to a Projector. The problem of course is that 50 percent of the movies are shown at 2:35 to one and I just hate those black bars.

I look at a 60" Kuro several times a week and I do not feel that I am giving up image quality when viewing my projector setup and I am just using a JVC RS45. I have a Lumagen, Darbee and an A-lens also. Projecting onto EN4K screen in an all black room.
m@rkus's Avatar m@rkus 03:22 PM 08-10-2012
I've seen that 90" Sharp in action and was impressed. I probably would choose that over a projector with 100" screen in my basement since it can be used with the room lights on, runs silent, doesn't need replacement bulbs, and I can have the kids play Kinect without anyone stepping in the way of the projection. All of that would be worth giving up 10" of screen space.

Of course, for those of you running much larger screens, I think the Sharp would be a non-starter.
Seegs108's Avatar Seegs108 05:14 PM 08-10-2012
The only problem is that the 90" has a street price close to $9000.
coderguy's Avatar coderguy 06:24 PM 08-10-2012
I haven't seen this specific sharp, but so far every TV I have seen when watching it kind of close has PIXEL FILL issues, and this includes some $100,000 Plasma I saw at a trade show.
I was like hmm, well yah the contrast owns, but the pixel digital effect NOT SO MUCH!

Eyes do adjust though after a while (yada yada), if I fired up one of my old 720p projectors I'd probably freak out at how much SDE there is and wondered how I ever watched it.
When TV's get to 4k res and they make the pixels smaller, that is when I may buy another TV. For now it's all projectors.

You know how people have those little 19" TV's in their kitchen when they cook, well I have a DLP projecting onto a 24" pull-up screen next to the oven (ok I'm just kidding, I don't, but man that would be hardcore, wouldn't it?)...
HiFiFun's Avatar HiFiFun 08:09 PM 08-10-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seegs108 View Post

Okay, first off please know what you're talking about before trying to steer someone away. Both the Mitsubishi HC7800D and the Sharp XV-Z30000 both use the .65" DC3 not DC2. The dynamic iris can be used during 3D. Also with the glasses on during 3D will dramatically help black levels. Any active 3D glasses technology will dim the picture no matter if its front projection or LCD/Plasma.
For the 3D debate, you want to go as big as possible to get the best effect. Unless you're sitting within a few feet of the 80" screen you probably won't be that impressed with how well 3D is implemented on most movies. So if 3D is something of great interest go with front projection.
On to the bulb debate. For the last two or three years most companies have been using more reliable bulbs. Pretty much anyone but JVC will get you to 3000+ on a bulb. Most companies offer replacement bulbs around half that price.
As far as energy goes most of them don't take more than 350 watts. That's comparable to running an Xbox 360 or PS3.
You can still purchase a .95" DMD DLP projector in the under $10K group of projectors. You can't beat Runco for the combination of an amazing dynamic iris and a .95" DC3 chip with great optics. You can get a Runco LS-3 and a Optoma HD33 for an amazing 2D and 3D combination for around $5000. That combination will blow anything LED LCD has to offer out of the water.
I also want to add that projectors (especially the ones recommended here on the forums) will give a much more natural looking image. To me, and I'm sure many others will agree with me, LCD (and some plasmas) look very digital. This is okay when playing games and some TV shows, but when I watch a movie it just looks awful on an LCD. This is an area where projectors really shine.
The custom installers speak!
First Runco is not exactly known for value. Yet paradoxically, the Sharp 3000 is priced the same as the Runco LS-3, yet Home Theater mag reports the 3000 has chromatic fringing, the sign of a cheap lens. Last years Sharp 17000 is now reduced to $2K. Both replacement bulbs are over $500.
A Runco dealer told me a story of comparing their previous projector, to the newer one having two pieces. They saw and empty space where the circuitry used to be, but now moved into the second enclosure. So they dropped the brand. The brand is strictly limited, available from Magnolia Design Centers who have hungry commissioned sales people who i have no desire to deal with. When I did go there one time it took two people 15 minutes to turn on the $12K JVC projector through their custom designed and highly-automated system. The picture quality was outstanding except for the softness caused by the scaling/lens to 2.35 format.
So what is the point of using superb lens when the image ends up softened anyways?

Hopefully the Mitsubishi 7900 will improve upon the unacceptable and disappointing 7800 3D glasses. Perhaps the remotes will work when 3D is engaged. Hopefully the menu is better thought out and the glasses will be included. The darker 3D scenes where too dark. However the 2D was exceptional except for black level.
Hopefully we will see some new designs and DLP chips for 2013.

The Sharp LCD panels with black frame insertion look naturally sharp and smooth with full luminance and color resolution for both static and motion images. Maybe it has something to do with the LED light source. smile.gif
nwilliams's Avatar nwilliams 10:00 PM 08-10-2012
Wow!! That's a lot of very technical info to digest!

I'm feeling like a projector is the way to go. I'd love to get close to 150"...not sure if that's possible in a 19'x13' room and whether a $3000 projector would deliver a great picture when projecting on such a large screen?

I have two 60" Samsung LED 3D TV's already which I use for basic viewing and some gaming so the projector would probably be a better additional purchase.
Seegs108's Avatar Seegs108 07:20 AM 08-11-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiFun View Post

The custom installers speak!
First Runco is not exactly known for value. Yet paradoxically, the Sharp 3000 is priced the same as the Runco LS-3, yet Home Theater mag reports the 3000 has chromatic fringing, the sign of a cheap lens. Last years Sharp 17000 is now reduced to $2K. Both replacement bulbs are over $500.
A Runco dealer told me a story of comparing their previous projector, to the newer one having two pieces. They saw and empty space where the circuitry used to be, but now moved into the second enclosure. So they dropped the brand. The brand is strictly limited, available from Magnolia Design Centers who have hungry commissioned sales people who i have no desire to deal with. When I did go there one time it took two people 15 minutes to turn on the $12K JVC projector through their custom designed and highly-automated system. The picture quality was outstanding except for the softness caused by the scaling/lens to 2.35 format.
So what is the point of using superb lens when the image ends up softened anyways?
Hopefully the Mitsubishi 7900 will improve upon the unacceptable and disappointing 7800 3D glasses. Perhaps the remotes will work when 3D is engaged. Hopefully the menu is better thought out and the glasses will be included. The darker 3D scenes where too dark. However the 2D was exceptional except for black level.
Hopefully we will see some new designs and DLP chips for 2013.
The Sharp LCD panels with black frame insertion look naturally sharp and smooth with full luminance and color resolution for both static and motion images. Maybe it has something to do with the LED light source. smile.gif

I'm not a custom installer. I'm also aware most people don't associate Runco with value. But they do offer a few that are priced accordingly that offer fantastic value. Namely the LS-5 and the LS-3.

JVC using it's LCOS based display technology has been known to produce a softer image compared to DLP. So it's no wonder that sticking an additional lens in front of the primary lens would make the image look even softer. The only real strength of their DILA technology is the black levels. Everything else about the technology is just "blah". I own one of the Mitsubishi HC7800D projectors and have used it primarily for it's 3D capability. There is some ghosting but it's no where near as bad as JVC's projectors. It rarely shows up and isn't as distracting as some would make it seem. So far, reports say Sharp has nailed 3D down with the 30k. It may have some color fringing but it's not visible from any normal viewing distance which makes it acceptable.
mlang46's Avatar mlang46 11:34 AM 08-11-2012
I like the Jvc projectors and when I have seen them in a black room I think they project the best image of any projector I have observed. The Kuro is one of if not the best plasma out there so your personal observation is important. From a technical point of view it would seem that a ,7 format could not compete with a plasma or a dlp with a ,95 format for sharpness especially wen you take in scattering from the lens surface. Still your observation on the Kuro which is a gorgeous plasma force me to reconsider my assumptions because in the end it is how the observer experiences thae image that counts
mlang46's Avatar mlang46 11:41 AM 08-11-2012
that price will come down. I own a sin2 ht 380 and it put out a very sharp image but it is a pain in the ass. every year or two years I have to send it to sim to get something fixed a flat panel with no moving parts an 20,000 hour lifetimes just works no hassle
Seegs108's Avatar Seegs108 11:46 AM 08-11-2012
You're absolutely right. Some prefer lcos technology and others prefer dlp. In the end its totally subjective to what the individual's tastes are. That's why its important to go out and demo some different models and see for yourself.
BestInTheWorld's Avatar BestInTheWorld 04:34 PM 08-11-2012
Projectors win hands down like everyone else here is saying. Experience is spine chillingly good, cinematic and you will be amazed!

I have watched maybe close to 20 hours on the projector with average 2.1 PC speakers, and action movies like Mission Impossible 3 and 4 are all very immersive and fun.

TV is a TV. There is always that border/bezel no matter how thin and "invisible it is. With my projector, there are NO borders, just the black bars if a movie isn't in 16:9.
malichai's Avatar malichai 05:34 PM 08-11-2012
I have a 120" screen in my non-light-controlled living room and a 144" scope screen in my theater. For a dedicated theater, I'd never consider anything else but a front projector. For a living room with windows, cream walls, and the lights on, I'd happily swap out my projector for a flat screen. Unfortunately, there just isn't a reasonably priced 100"+ flat screen, and even moving down to 100" would be a huge loss in screen real estate. No way could I go down to that 90".
stanger89's Avatar stanger89 04:10 PM 08-13-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiFun View Post

In a front projector forum I'd expect 90% of replies to be biased toward front projectors.
In an LCD forum I'd expect about 70% for LCD
For the general public I'd expect about 95% for flat panels.

There's probably a reason for that. The question you must ask (yourself) is how many people with FPs would go back to an LCD for movies? Well I've seen one pondering it in this thread, but that's the only one I've heard of.
Quote:
My calibrated 70" Sharp has better contrast than my DC3 Mitsubishi 4000. All this years <$10K 3D 0.65 DLP projectors use the old DC2. Only the $30K 0.95" DC4 projectors (like the SIM2) win. The Sharps LCD do over 1000+ lines of motion resolution.

On the pure numbers, I probably agree, a good flat panel can probably "out benchmark" a similarly priced front projection setup.

But you know what? I couldn't care less. I've got a Samsung B6000 in my living room, and even though it has better (apparent) contrast than my Planar 8150 (Runco LS5), I would never pick the LCD over the Planar to watch a movie. Yeah, an 80" LCD is quite a bit bigger, but it's till well less than half the area of a 120" screen. You can argue specs and benchmarks all day long, but at the end of the day, there simply is no substitute for size, and I pick my Planar over my LCD every day.
Quote:
How much is it for a dedicated Home Theater room?
How much does it cost to mount an 80" panel on the wall?

What does that matter? The OP is talking a ~$4000 budget for display, room doesn't factor into that (or it factors into both), it's not a distinction between one and the other unless you change the question/argument to be "Should you get a TV or a home theater", which is an entirely different question.
Quote:
Watch out when objectivity takes a back seat to brand loyalty. Just because a few pump-up doesn't mean everyone is in agreement.

No brand loyalty here, just my observation that there's just no substitute for size. Current front projectors throw a fantastic image for relatively little money. If you've got a room/environment to drive them to their best, then there's simply no substitute for front projection when it comes to overall "enjoyment" and immersion for a home theater.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiFun View Post

First Runco is not exactly known for value. Yet paradoxically, the Sharp 3000 is priced the same as the Runco LS-3, yet Home Theater mag reports the 3000 has chromatic fringing, the sign of a cheap lens. Last years Sharp 17000 is now reduced to $2K. Both replacement bulbs are over $500.

I have no idea what Sharp is thinking with their pricing lately, and I find it unfortunate that Planar decided to roll their home theater line (LS3/LS5/etc) under the Runco brand because it basically removed a couple of the best projectors out there from the consideration of many just due to people thinking Runco is overpriced (even though the LSx prices have not changed since they were sold as Planars).
Quote:
A Runco dealer told me a story of comparing their previous projector, to the newer one having two pieces. They saw and empty space where the circuitry used to be, but now moved into the second enclosure.

They do that for installation flexibility, to put all the inputs close to your source devices so you only have to run one long cable from your equipment to the projector rather than many, and even form reasonable sellers like Monoprice and BJC, long HDMI cables are still somewhat expensive. Sim2 does the same thing, there's nothing wrong with it, though it's less necessary with the proliferation of AVRs and SSPs with HDMI switching.
Quote:
So they dropped the brand. The brand is strictly limited, available from Magnolia Design Centers who have hungry commissioned sales people who i have no desire to deal with. When I did go there one time it took two people 15 minutes to turn on the $12K JVC projector through their custom designed and highly-automated system.

I don't even waste my time going anywhere near anything associated with Best Buy. The local B&Ms match their prices (they have to) and have much better service to boot.
Quote:
The picture quality was outstanding except for the softness caused by the scaling/lens to 2.35 format.
So what is the point of using superb lens when the image ends up softened anyways?

If that's true, they had a crappy lens installed, or installed poorly.

Of course none of that has anything to do with the projector vs TV discussion.
mlang46's Avatar mlang46 04:54 PM 08-13-2012
I don't agree with you on the 90 inch for 16/9 format. Your experience of immersion is dependent on your field of view so just sit closer to the screen. Anyway I have another question which is completely off the subject. I am thinking about getting a LS5 or LS3 because these are the cheapest projectors on the market which have the .95 chip and they include the variable Iris to increase contrast. Does that variable Iris make that big a difference and what is your lumen output?
Seegs108's Avatar Seegs108 06:06 PM 08-13-2012
I, like stranger89, own a Planar PD8150 which is the same projector as the LS-5. Planar bought Runco while the PD8150 was in production and then ported the projector over to the Runco name a few years later.

To answer your question, yes, it makes quite a visible difference. It essentially reads the incoming information and accommodates for dark scenes by closing down the iris and opens the iris to allow more (all) of the light to pass through for brighter scenes. Obviously there is a lot more involved but basically you aren't sacrificing any lumens because it will open up all the way for the bright scenes. The nice thing about the LS-5 is that its iris action is basically invisible which makes it worth while to use. Other companies still haven't nailed it down and I have no idea why. They've had a long time to fine tune them. The only other company that does an equally good job is Sony with its dynamic irises.

This projector also utilizes a few techniques to lower brightness compression. This excerpt from widescreenreview describes how it works best. "The projector must produce the intended image brightness even as the iris aperture size changes. Conceptually, the PD8150 identifies the peak signal level in each frame and then amplifies all the signal levels in that frame so that the peak level drives the DMD to produce maximum brightness. Simultaneously, the iris aperture is reduced so the image brightness is restored to the same brightness it would have been with the dynamic iris disabled. For example, if the peak level signals driving the DMD are 50 percent of the maximum signal levels, all of the signal levels in the frame are multiplied by a factor of 2. Then the iris aperture is reduced to produce only half of the full aperture brightness. Hence, the intended brightness of the image is produced even though the iris aperture is reduced. But most importantly, the smaller aperture also reduces the black level, so the contrast ratio increases between all of the illuminated pixels in the image and the lowered black level....the iris aperture can be reduced to improve the black level by a factor of about 3.5."
HiFiFun's Avatar HiFiFun 01:23 AM 08-14-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by mlang46 View Post

I don't agree with you on the 90 inch for 16/9 format. Your experience of immersion is dependent on your field of view so just sit closer to the screen.
I'd like to state that about once a week!
Its fascinating that these very expensive Hollywood theaters have seating incredibly far back as to defeat the big screen experience. Their field-of-view design ratio is worse than a 70" in a typical family room.
HiFiFun's Avatar HiFiFun 01:25 AM 08-14-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by mlang46 View Post

I am thinking about getting a LS5 or LS3 because these are the cheapest projectors on the market which have the .95 chip and they include the variable Iris to increase contrast. Does that variable Iris make that big a difference and what is your lumen output?
I find no published claim of Runco LS3-5 using a 0.95 DLP. All they state is an undefined term: SuperOnyx™ DMD.

Here is the WS LS5 review from 2010
http://www.runco.com/_literature_71732/Widescreen_Review_October_2010


Stagnating Technology
2010? Huh? What year is this?
Isn't technology supposed to move forward?

Even now, a member just posted they went through five W7000 DLP projectors. Whew!
Horror stories like these push the savvy consumer into the large, no-worry flat panel.

DLP technology has stagnated or even devolved. Runco did it by going back to two expensive boxes when every signal should be converted to HDMI. The real reason is HDMI compatibility issues have hurt the profitability of custom installers, so they apparently still use legacy analog component video. Either that or front projectors are stuck in time, with little or no new development occurring.

Another subtle point is the industry is moving away from the locked ISF modes to already calibrated Thx modes. In addition they offer an unlocked user mode with the same adjustments. The best of both worlds.

Look I luv front projectors, but I'm not going to get burnt. For 2013 hopefully there will be something decent offered. But right now we read of a scant few new models planned with superficial frivolous features like new RF glasses or the IR transmitter being incorporated into the projector.
Wup-tee-do!
Seegs108's Avatar Seegs108 09:22 AM 08-14-2012
Runco doesn't usually post which DMDs they use. The LS-3 uses a .95" DC2 DMD. Check out PD8130 reviews/threads as that is the same projector as the LS-3. You may be able to find out more information searching for that as opposed to the LS-3.
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