My thoughts on the CRT meet. I have read the posts from the last couple of days late at night, so I might be missing some things.
Let me start by saying that William was great for hosting everyone in his home for the day. I was the one that encouraged Dillon to bring over his pjs to do a comparison both between the CRTs and digital as well as DLP and LCOS. Because of my situation, I may be dumping my CRTs and going digital (like the great deal that AVS has on the JVC RS4910).
It has to be clearly stated up front that the CRT blend was no where near ready. He decided to change some boards out and that created a lot of issues that were trying to be addressed even up to the beginning of the meet. William did say that he is done changing boards out and once he gets this set up done then he will just watch and no longer tinker.
Anyway after converge/align, William tried calibrating with his new Hubble that he just bought. He had never used it before and there is a learning curve. The end result is that the image wasn't 100% maximized. They unfortunately needed more time. If Craig Rounds had came down, then it probably could have been perfected. Of course that would have depended on the new boards performing correctly.
So, this was the set up. The blend zone was minimized, but still visible. They were definitely crushing blacks and it wasn't as bright as it should have been. The image still looked good, but maybe I was high on Seaton sound or the local craft beer.
Next comes Dillon with his JVC and lens. I helped him with a makeshift stand out of Seaton speaker cartons and away we went. He didn't have time to calibrate it nor did he have his meter with him. Dillon showed a bunch of clips and it was easily evident that the JVC was sharper and much brighter than the blend. Of course, one should think it would be as digitals have a much higher MTF than CRTs along with more lumens. If sharpness is your main interest than DLP should still have an advantage over LCOS.
The black level was still a little less than the CRTs, but not by much and I doubt anyone would notice without a direct side by side comparison.
About the brightness, that is subjective as to what people like and are willing to accept. I thought the brightness was more than acceptable. It would have been nice to have a number, but no one that was there mentioned that it was to dark. If I were in the market for a scope screen of this size, then I wouldn't see the JVC with lens as lacking. IIRC JVC had one of the Cedia demos on a screen larger than 8 feet and it seemed good (Lucy?).
One final note on the CRT brightness. After everyone left, Kurt changed the neckboards and directly plugged in his Oppo on one pj. This bypassed the blender and the set up for the meet. The CRT was much brighter, which should translate over to the blend.
Hopefully once the blend is worked out and set up to its potential there will be another meet. Maybe Dillon can come down again and we can do a better comparison. As for CRTers, yes we are unique lot. There are still many who prefer the look of CRT. It is a preference and I don't know why some feel the need to go out of their way to tell them that what they see is wrong.