Not quite sure where to put this post, so I figured Zombie's "general" projector thread is probably the best place. I've had a Sony 665ES here for the past week. For the past few days I've been watching only the Sony by itself to get myself familiar with the unit. Tonight was the first night I directly compared my RS500 to the 665ES. I made quite a few observations. Let's forget the price difference for a second and just talk about these two projectors as if they cost the same. The biggest obvious difference is 1080p vs native 4K. My specific 665ES sample actually looks remarkably good when it comes to pixel focus. This is the third 6xx projector I've had here and this unit is definitely a step above those two previous unit in this regard. The first two were quick 15 minute demo's at two different dealers so I never got a chance to do an in depth look at one of these units prior to this. It's strikingly similar to the 1100ES I had here last year in the center of the image. The 665ES does slightly lose that crispness towards the outer edges however, unlike the 1100ES. If we look at text with the 665ES versus the RS500 when both fed a UHD signal you can tell one is native 4K and the other is simulating it. That might make you think one is sharper than the other. This is somewhat true and I'll get to that in a second. One of the recurring issues I've seen on the Sony 4K models is that they have an issue with posterization. Essentially the image it puts out is lacking smooth gradations of color. This ties back in nicely with the point I wanted to make with sharpness between the two. With video content, which does not rely solely on well defined square pixels, I actually think the JVC takes a small step above the 665ES. You see, we lose a lot of fine detail in color gradations within the image because the Sony can't fully resolve those sublte changes in color between the pixels as well as the JVC can. Though, you can tell that the Sony looks sharper with things like subtitles. Subtitles sharpness relies heavily on making sure those square pixels are nicely defined. With eshift we get those pixels "smoothed" out if you will so it doesn't look quite a crisp as the Sony. But again, with actual video, I find the JVC to look a tad sharper in terms of color resolution. You simply are able to see more subtle detail in the transitions on peoples faces for example. You slightly lose that on the Sony because of it's issue with posterization. A good example of what the issue looks like on the 665ES can be found here
(photo creds go to Zombie).
Contrast is a toss up because I don't like to use the DI on the JVC. Sony has a very good DI solution (they've fixed the earlier issues on the 665ES with a firmware update) and I don't mind leaving theirs on. If I have the DI enabled on the Sony and leave the JVC in manual iris mode with it stepped down 3 or 4 clicks I get roughly the same on/off contrast performance with the JVC being a more "stable" as there's no gamma or brightness fluctuations happening. If I enable the DI on the JVC, it's a hands down no contest victory for the JVC but this is to be expected. I would say the image on the Sony "pops" just a tad more. I would imagine this is due to the ~30% higher ANSI contrast on the Sony. Motion is visibly better on the Sony too by a small but noticeable amount. I did find if I allow for a slight brightness boost on the JVC (normally I compare projectors brightness matched) I can get the JVC to give a similar level of "pop" that the Sony gives when brightness matched. So in a small unfair situation I can get the JVC to match the Sony. The last big thing I noticed about the Sony where it has an advantage over the JVC is that it can appear a tad more "natural" looking. Similar to how a good DLP projector looks. It's image just has a slightly more effortless look to it. This is probably the hardest thing to describe with words. The JVC by comparison can look just slightly more "digital". I just don't know how to quantify it or describe it in words. It's a subtle difference for sure, but it's there to my eyes.
There's a lot to like about the Sony, that's for sure and I would have definitely kept the Sony and sold the JVC if it weren't for that issue with posterization. I thought by now they'd have fixed that issue (it was there on the 1100ES too). There's also the chance it may lose contrast. I have no idea if they've put some type of countermeasures in place to stop it. I measured almost 17000:1 native contrast on my unit. This is near the telephoto end of the lens. So contrast is basically at the same level as the 1100ES. That's impressive if you look at the price difference between the two. It's good to see Sony making strides in giving more contrast at lower prices. But I've decided to keep the JVC due to the issue with posterization. I've made my mind up that the two or three areas where the Sony excels over the JVC don't make up for the issue with posterization. Honest to God, I would have kept the Sony and sold the JVC if it weren't for this one issue. Please please please Sony...fix this and I promise to give you more money.