Originally Posted by Deja Vu
Here's what PC said about the VW350 (and 4K projectors in general:
The VW350ES's primary benefit, in our estimation, is that it makes existing DVD and Blu-ray movies look better than they ever have before. That is true regardless of the availability (or lack thereof) of 4K content.
Is this due to 4K by itself, the projector's processing or a combination of the two? After reading the 4K projector reviews I was left with the impression that these projectors take 1080p material to another level. However, I'm not sure that the owners are saying that (at least with respect to resolution).
A lot of it has to do with scaling. There are some nice benefits to scaling which include reduction of aliasing artifacts and a general "smoothing" effect that can make the source content appear more analog and "solid" in nature. The key to getting it to look like this is quality scaling. While the Sony doesn't offer the best scaling solution out there it's definitely high quality. I suspect PC is making these claims while also having RC enabled and set at a higher value than "0". For me, when looking at the VW1100ES at Mark's house, I wasn't a fan of RC turned up past the lowest setting of 0. This artificial sharpness can appear at first glance to improve the picture, but to the trained eye it actually ruins the integrity of the image by giving it an overly "digital" appearance which is the opposite of what we're usually looking for. This is why so many people, including PC, who reviewed the LS10000 gave it so much praise in terms of "sharpness". Their Super Resolution smart sharpening filter gives the appearance of highly increased sharpness, but again, it comes at a great cost. The image takes on an incredibly "cooked" appearance. You heard many people who saw it at CEDIA go "WTF?" after the demo because the presenters had it turned up so high and acting like "this is how you should
be using it". Nothing looks natural anymore. This is one area where I'd like to praise JVC. They've realized that when giving a feature like this to consumers it needs to have fine controls. Used in moderation, it can give us just the right amount of sharpness and introduce minimal detrimental artifacts to the original source material. It seems RC and Super Resolution don't give us the fine control over the sharpening effect like other companies do. I use MPC on my X500 with only enhance enabled at set between 10 and 15. Past that, I'm not a huge fan of what it does to the image. I don't normally have Clear Black enabled.
Another aspect of scaling is something called "ringing" and is sometimes introduced on purpose as the image goes through it's scaling implementation. Ringing can give the appearance of a sharper looking image. It targets contrast gradients around hard lines and emphasizes them. To our eyes this can appear "sharper" though it can have the same detrimental effect the smart sharpeners have when done in excess. This is because both of these do similar things to the image to achieve a similar effect. Scalers like those found in the Lumagen and MadVR, and even Sony's scaler offer little to no ringing introduced which should keep the image looking as "analog" and natural in appearance as possible as it's scaled.
If you want better scaling you can always look into a Lumagen or an HTPC. These PQ enhancements from scaling scale with the quality in which the image is processed. So you can expect the image from these 4K projectors to look even better than PC is claiming with one of these other devices. Though, like I said, Sony's internal scaler is no slouch. Some people like what these smart sharpeners and purposefully introduced ringing do to the image and that's fine but I like that there are at least some alternatives for those of us who don't like to see this forced upon us or those who just want to add in a small amount.