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post #1 of 12 Old 08-17-2013, 09:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello everyone.

I currently own a Sharp XV-Z3000 projector and am looking to upgrade. I've been reading the forum for a few days and to be honest, I've become lost in the model numbers.

It seems every model has it's own thread, which is great if you've narrowed your search to a few models, but intimidating for those of us that are just starting out. I've also been browsing the manufacturer's sites but there's a lot of data to sift through so I thought I'd ask for a little help.

What I want:

LED:
I've purchased four bulbs for my Sharp over it's life which has almost doubled it's price. I've seen 1080p projectors available now for about the same price as a bulb so I've decided it's time to upgrade, but I don't want to continue to limit my enjoyment of the projector based on the cost of replacing the bulb.

No color wheel:
The color wheel in the sharp is MUCH louder than the fans and can be distracting. I haven't viewed recent offerings as I've been...out of the country (I'm in the military), but I've yet to see an LCD that could compete with a DLP. So I guess I'm either looking for a 3-chip DLP, or as most LEDs I've looked at seem to go, 3 LED with one DLP chip. I haven't seen a laser yet.

1080p (or 4k)

Large color gamut:
Probably the most distracting short coming of my current projector is the color gamut. Gradients, especially visible in dark scenes, instead of smooth transitions seem to be a common and sever limitation of digital displays in general. I've seen manufacturer claims of 1 billion colors (instead of the 10,000ish colors my Sharp is capable of), but these projectors are all out of my price range...

Under $10,000
I've looked at offerings from Sim2 and Runco that seem to fit the bill, but they are simply too expensive. Is there an offering under $10k that fits the rest of my requirements?

Other info:
Using a 96" screen currently. I might upgrade as it sustained some damage during a recent move, but I won't go too much larger due to space limitations.

Ambient light is semi-controlled. There is some leakage but it is too dark to navigate until your eyes have fully adjusted.

I don't care about 3D. It's neat I guess, but it just looks like several 2D layers on top of each other instead of an actual 3D image to me. It's a distraction from the immersion of the film for me.

Thanks for your help.
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post #2 of 12 Old 08-18-2013, 05:05 PM
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There is a member who is selling their his Runco 750i clone on eBay, you can probably grab it for $3000 or a little more. I just bought a Digital Projection M-Vision Cine LED for $3000 brand new, which retails for $16K
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post #3 of 12 Old 08-18-2013, 05:13 PM
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post #4 of 12 Old 08-18-2013, 06:38 PM
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The low cost (under $1K MSRP) projectors using LED light sources are business projectors and poor for home theater (too dim with poor contrast ratios, etc.). There are some more expensive business projectors (e.g, $3K to $5K) that have been introduced over the past year that use a hybrid of LEDs and a laser for their light source that are brighter and overall better than the inexpensive models, but still not all that well suited for a home theater. Finally, there are a few expensive LED power home theater projectors that typically sell for $8K and up (street price). These offer reasonably good performance by home theater standards, but are not very bright. At this point the best bet for a home theater projector that has really good performance, at a reasonable price, are those still using lamps. I suggest you check out "The Best Home Theater Projector Report - 2013" at Projector Reviews.

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post #5 of 12 Old 08-19-2013, 12:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies.

I'll definitely keep an eye on that auction as it seems my best bet atm. If the reserve is indeed ~$3000 at least.

I guess I'm a bit early to the LED game still. I was following them a bit when they first came out in ...2006ish? I'm surprised they are still only in the "ultra" domain. I figured they'd be more mainstream by the time I was ready to replace my Sharp. If the auction doesn't work out for me, I guess I'll need to re-evaluate my "wants" versus the limits of my wallet.

Thanks for the link to the reviews as well, that was good reading.
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post #6 of 12 Old 08-19-2013, 01:47 PM
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There seem to be quite a few used/ex-demo LEDs that come up for sale most of which are well under $10k so I wouldn't worry if this doesn't pan out for you. If I used my projector in a dedicated theatre and not the living room, I would definitely pick up an used/ex-demo high-end LED

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post #7 of 12 Old 08-19-2013, 06:49 PM
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There's a couple new models, lower priced, the Panasonic PT-RZ470, which I think is out now, though what I've seen of reviews they are "mixed". It sounds like if you're mildly serious about color accuracy you'll need something like a Lumagen Radiance to calibrate it.

The other is the Optoma HD90/HD91, which are supposed to be out this fall, obviously no reviews of that one yet.

Both should be well less than the $10k+ (MSRP) high end models out now.
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Originally Posted by kirknelson View Post

Large color gamut:
Probably the most distracting short coming of my current projector is the color gamut. Gradients, especially visible in dark scenes, instead of smooth transitions seem to be a common and sever limitation of digital displays in general. I've seen manufacturer claims of 1 billion colors (instead of the 10,000ish colors my Sharp is capable of), but these projectors are all out of my price range...

I wanted to make mention of this, what you describe, gradients being visible, has nothing to do with gamut, it has to do with the bit depth the projector can reproduce. Gamut is the "range" of colors, essentially the size of the palette the display has to work with, where as the bit depth is the granularity with which colors can be differentiated. This (gradation) is something that I think was almost universally improved (if not fixed) with the 1080p DMDs and associated electronics.

Wide gamut is essentially useless today, all home video sources (save some cameras and a few of Sony's new BDs, with xvYCC/xvColor) use the BT.709 or SMPTE-C color gamuts. You really want to stick with that until (hopefully) 4k brings us wider gamuts.

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do, see movies the way they were meant to be seen
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post #8 of 12 Old 08-21-2013, 01:19 AM
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On gradients... Is your projector calibrated? I haven't heard of a complaint like that on a calibrated digital projector since before the days of bluray.

I have heard of such problems in the dark regions of the picture because the projector (or player) was brightening the blacks so posterization (as a side effect of video compression) that would normally go unnoticed becomes visible.

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post #9 of 12 Old 08-21-2013, 04:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryW View Post

On gradients... Is your projector calibrated? I haven't heard of a complaint like that on a calibrated digital projector since before the days of bluray.

The OP does have a pretty old 768p "hybrid" projector (one of the ones with the "business-class" 1280x768 DMDs), so I'm not terribly surprised.

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do, see movies the way they were meant to be seen
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post #10 of 12 Old 08-21-2013, 06:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryW View Post

I haven't heard of a complaint like that on a calibrated digital projector since before the days of bluray.

Indeed, my projector is from before the age of Blu-ray. I purchased it in either 2004 or 2005, so it's a good 8-9 years old. Heh, you could still buy a CRT display back then. I guess it's just been a long time since I've actively looked at this stuff so I'm behind the times on current capabilities.

Thanks for all the help guys.
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post #11 of 12 Old 08-21-2013, 11:26 PM
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Hah, I saw "Sharp XV-Z3000" and I thought you typoed and just left off a zero!

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post #12 of 12 Old 08-23-2013, 10:38 AM
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With CEDIA just a month away, you may want to hold off and see what's announced. IFA Berlin is right around the corner, and in another thread, a reviewer in France says he has exciting info, but under NDA until Sep 4.

The Optoma HD91 is promising (LED) - info should be out soonish about it, as there have been a couple reviews.

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