Originally Posted by Deja Vu
I'm interested in how good the on/off contrast is with the Sim2. What do fades to black look like -- a mediocre grey or a really dark grey?
There's no way to describe it in words. You'd have to see it in person. The projector has contrast on par with the Sony 4K units. They won't reach a black level that the JVC's will. No other digital projector out there can match what the current generation JVCs can do. Sony's current cream of the crop is the 1000/1100ES for contrast and light output. In it's best DI mode the "auto-limited" mode the Sony has a realistic 40,000:1 contrast available to it according to Cine4home and I've seen ANSI measurements around 650:1. This is very impressive for an LCoS unit. Cine4home explains that the iris only closes down far if a black background is on screen for decently long time which is a rarity. But this is good because anything more than a 3-4x contrast dynamic iris implementation usually leads to excessive artifacts from it's DI. Here's a snippet of the poorly translated cine4home 1000ES edition review:
Experienced home theater fans will now complain that a high-end projectors such "pushing" the marketing values does not need and we give them right [1,000,000:1 contrast]. Indeed, an excessively strong closing the aperture in the image scenes no such advantages as the readings suggest. The engineers have by no means made the mistake to give the iris an excessive dimming. Bright picture elements appear more bright enough even in predominantly rich black with a high proportion of black. The iris closes rather only at full aperture almost completely black, which also provides for appropriate film sections for the desired dark effect.
Accordingly, lower is the "realistic" dynamic contrast at normal movie playback. Him we have obtained with different measuring methods and come to the conclusion that the adaptive contrast to around 40,000: amount 1. But also an indication of the real dynamic contrast range is by itself not very meaningful, since the reference to the native contrast of the projector is missing. Interesting is, rather, the factor by which the dynamic aperture these native contrast actually spreads.
To investigate the series section as a basis for Cine4Home Edition we therefore consider specifically the native contrast ratio, for which there unfortunately are no official data on the part of the manufacturer. He is also the zoom and the current position of the optical iris dependent. Our first test devices showed a contrast margin of 8.000: 1 (Iris In / Zoom max) and 18,000: 1st
Also in the series section, these values largely confirm and only need to be adjusted slightly downwards. The native contrast of the VPL-VW1000 moves according to the zoom / iris between 7,000: 1 and 16,000: 1, which we apply logical as minimum requirements for the Cine4Home Edition. The adaptive iris increases this native contrast by a factor of three, which is a healthy conservative approach, in which the projector retains its superior brightness and no annoying picture pump with light / dark changes provoked.
By contrast (pun intended) the Sim2 Lumis has a native contrast of 7000:1 on/off and a little over a 1000:1 ANSI contrast at full brightness without any help from an iris. The Lumis can also be brighter than the 1000ES if you want it to by using a higher lamp wattage and opening the manual iris (yes there's also a manual iris). With the DI engaged I've seen measurements on the T2 lens between 32000-38000:1. For it being a dynamic number I'd say that both the 1000ES and Lumis should have roughly equal perceived contrast. But obviously neither will have the black level of a current generation JVC. With the JVC's DI engaged we're looking at a measured 350000:1 on/off. But numbers are one thing. Intra-scene contrast on all but the darkest of dark scenes will look better on the 1000ES and Lumis. In these mid/low APL level scenes the far higher ANSI contrast over the JVC's really helps. Plus the extra brightness that these units have can also give a sense of superiority when it comes to contrast. I've found that on both the Runco LS-10i and now the Lumis intra-scene contrast on at least 95% of scenes looks better on these units over the JVC. Hugely better? No, but definitely noticeable on a side-by-side viewing in a light controlled room. It's truthfully only on basically an all black background or image where the JVC's pull ahead, and I don't find many of these shots in movies. In brighter scenes the difference is more noticeable with these DLP units having a bit more pop and crispness/naturalness to the image and motion is still noticeably better.
This may sound like I'm hating on the JVC's. I'm not. For the price you get about 90% of the performance of these EXTREMELY expensive DLP/4K units. That's pretty amazing.
What do you get for an extra $20000+? A more natural looking/sharp image, with better motion, better ANSI and usually better intra-scene contrast. Over all this extra 10% of performance cost's a bundle, but that seems par for the course in the electronics industry. If you've got the money and can buy the expensive stuff there are performance gains to be had and seen. But to many, 90% of the way there is close enough and that's probably the smarter decision if you think you could be spending that extra money elsewhere on more important things.