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post #1 of 4 Old 01-24-2014, 03:27 AM - Thread Starter
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I realize there have been many similar threads to this but didn't want to hijack those threads, and wanted to get some advice for my particular circumstances.

I'm interested in picking up the JVC X500 or Sony 55 for my next pj and I'm looking for some assistance. My details:
-Current setup is an Epson 6020 projecting on on a 16:9, 147" diag., 1.0 gain screen, ~18ft throw
-Black velveted, dedicated theater.
-Previous pjs have been Mits HC5, Benq W7000, PTAE7000, and Optoma HD8600
-No interest in 3d, no interest in watching with the lights on
-Likely will not be doing anything beyond a basic calibration
-My 6020 is sold as of May/June
-Can't afford the Sony 500/600

Given that I do some gaming and have a large screen, the sony 55 is the obvious choice for me, but I can't help but be tempted by the superior contrast and black levels of the X500, and have been put off a little by all the talk of the sony lens and necessity for reality creation. For the X500 to be a contender against the Sony though, I need to confirm it will meet my minimum requirements:

1-Brightness >= 600 lumens in low lamp mode, 18' throw, best ootb preset picture mode.
-From what I gather from Cine4Home's measurement and the posts here, the X500 will meet this criteria.
-This 600 lumens may seem not bright enough to some (has me at about 10 ft-lamberts), but from Art's review it is about what the Epson 5020 will show in the natural preset which I am very satisfied with the brightness of. The other consideration here is the degree of bulb dimming as it ages of course, but this issue can be mitigated with the use of high lamp mode or more frequent replacement of bulbs if necessary.

2-Input lag <=70ms
-Not sure how the X500 does in this regard. I think I have seen 70ms estimated somewhere? What is the measurement with the iris engaged/e-shift off/fi off?
-This 70ms criteria comes from my satisfaction of gaming with the Epson 5020 with the 'fine' (not fast) processing mode enabled (~70ms from PC review). Optimum scenario would be if someone has measured both the Epson 5020 and the X500 in the same way and could provide the relative difference as opposed to focusing on a specific lag measurement.

3-Adequate Motion handling
-This is obviously difficult to quantify. Basically, I do not want to use FI, and have been satisfied with the motion handling of all of my previous pjs. I'd hate to have blurriness while watching hockey or gaming. Maybe someone who has had both the 5020 and the X500 who watches sports and games could give their opinion on this?

From what I understand, if the X500 meets the above requirements, upgrading from the 5020 will give me the following:
+a large upgrade in contrast
+better blacks (blacker blacks in mixed bright/dark scenes, blacker black in dark scenes, a blacker fade to black)
+no sde
+a likely improvement in native sharpness
+quiet and smooth iris operation.
+e-shift > super resolution

If I go with the sony 55, from what I understand, upgrading from the 5020 will give me the following:
+no sde
+quiet and smooth iris operation
+Input lag will be less, but as I said, I am satisfied with the 5020 for gaming so this drop in input lag is not a big factor for me.
+reality creation > super resolution
-a drop in native sharpness necessitating the use of potentially artifact producing sharpening tools
-no appreciable change in contrast or black levels
-the same brightness (in best ootb preset low lamp mode).

Can anyone confirm the x500 will meet my minimum requirements? Any other factors you suggest I should consider? Any other pjs you suggest I consider (JVC X35, Epson 6030 (not enough of a difference in 2d I would think to make this upgrade fun), others? What premium would you pay for the X500 over the 55?

Thanks for the assistance.
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post #2 of 4 Old 01-25-2014, 07:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Anyone have any thoughts on this buying decision?
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post #3 of 4 Old 01-25-2014, 02:53 PM
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The JVC X500/RS49/RS4910 have substantially higher native contrast ratio (realistically around 25K:1 for the JVC when the iris is fully open) vs. about 6K:1 for your Epson. However, with the dynamic iris engaged I would not say there is night and day difference in the apparent CR, but the new JVCs will be better than your Epson This is when comparing the two on very dark scene for when the images fades to black. For images containing both bright and darks elements/objects I would not expect the JVC to be any better than your Epson and perhaps even not quite as good. The JVC has an ANSI CR ratio (measured with a black and white checkboard pattern) of only about 300:1 while some ANSI CR tests on Epson projectors have produced somewhat higher values.

With your large screen the 3D mode on the JVC will be rather dim and certainly dimmer that the "dynamic 3D" mode on your current Epson. However the 2D mode light output from the JVC should satisfy (or at least come very close) your desired goal of 600 lumens in low lamp mode. Last year Projector Reviews tested the X55 and measured 703 lumens in calibrated best mode when the zoom was at mid-throw. Your throw distance will require the zoom set closer to max. zoom for your large screen size and this will result in perhaps 50 additional lumens of output. Also the 2014 models have higher lumens output than last years models. The bottom line is you should get near 900 lumens in best mode with the lamp set to high and approx. 600 lumens in low lamp mode with the projector's iris set to fully open. Of course this is with a new lamp and the light output will decrease with use.

As for screen door effect, I cannot see it with the Epson 5020 if have used with a 120" screen and my normal 12 ft. viewing distance. Given your very large screen the SDE would be visible at a greater viewing distance than for my 120" screen. I don't recall you saying what you normal viewing distance is. Note the rule of thumb "ideal" viewing distance for a 1080p 116 x 9 image is about 1.5 times the screen width or for your 147" diagonal screen that would be 128" width x 1.5 = 192" (16 ft.)..The JVC projectors produce NO SDE when eShift is engaged and when it is turned off the fill factor is still so high that you must get really close to the screen to start seeing SDE.

I think many members of the AVS Forum would feel your screen is too large, given it 1.0 gain, for use with most consumer class home theater projectors, (i.e., with 600 to 900 lumens output in high lamp mode once calibrated). The generally recommended value for the light level off of the screen is 16 foot lamberts and many like to go somewhat higher. The 16 ftL suggested level would require just over 1000 lumens for your 147 inch, 1.0 gain screen. Personally, for that large of a screen I would want a gain of at least 1.3 for 2D only use and something like a DaLite High Power (gain 2.4) for 3D viewing when using a JVC projector. By the way I have recently owned and used both Epson (5020) and a JVC projector.

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post #4 of 4 Old 01-25-2014, 07:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks a lot for your input Ron, much appreciated. You raised a lot of very good points that really got me thinking about the suitability of the jvc for me.

Interesting point with the ansi contrast ratio... when I previously compared my epson side by side with my Mits HC5, it showed that the epson had the advantage in certain scenes that were mixed bright/dark, and maybe the ansi cr had something to do with that. The epson just pops on some scenes. So my mits hc5 is probably a pretty decent representation of what I would get with the JVC given it uses the same tech (albeit of different vintage and slightly different slant - sony supply vs. jvc) and a native cr in the ballpark of the jvc. I found the mits to be very subtle and very natural looking, but maybe a touch dull at times (low ansi?). The JVC of course would offer a few more lumens, higher (slightly?) native contrast ratio, and a useable iris over the mits though, but like I say, maybe a ballpark representation of the jvc... and if that's the case, it has me reconsidering the jvc.

Any idea how the sony 50/55 would stack up to the epson/jvc in ansi? Is the lower ansi an intrinsic limitation of the lcos/sxrd tech?

Thanks for confirming the lumens. So I would only hit 600 lumens with the auto iris set to full range and not limited to -7/-8 as I have seen suggested. Leaving the iris in its full range would have some negative effects, correct? Alternatively, I could leave the iris off, but then I might as well just grab a jvc x55 from last year likely... Hmmmm, more reasons to reconsider the x500.

I can see the sde with the epson. My seating distance (which I didn't, but should've provided) is ~12'. With the epson, text for example looks very digital and jagged, but on actual filmed content, it's not a huge issue (I've been bothered by other pj issues a lot more - squeeling ptae7000 iris, crazy sounding benq w7000 iris, hd8600 iris pumping and poor dark scene performance to name a few). Coming from the mits hc5 though which throws that smooth as silk invisible pixel type image, it was a bit of a jarring change going to the epson. I have adapted now though!

I agree on the screen size, I think most members here would suggest a higher gain or a smaller screen. My thinking on the large screen is that I can always mask to make the image smaller if necessary, pjs are only getting brighter every year, 4k is right around the corner making viewing at closer distances crisper, and it really is neat to have that screen filling nearly all of your field of vision and being so immersed. I am fine with the 600 lumens the epson is throwing at the moment though, and find it to be quite bright. Throwing the epson into high lamp mode definitely did not leave me wanting to leave it set that way (and not just because of the fan noise, or color shift, but because I just did not find I needed that extra brightness). I may find my position changing as the bulb ages but I can always reduce my screen size and mask, use high lamp mode, or replace the bulb I guess. As well, with the coated higher gain screens, rightfully or not, I am paranoid about texture issues. I have gone through a few screens and any sort of texture variation immediately has jumped out at me and I can't stop myself from focusing on it, making something like hockey which I enjoy virtually unwatchable.

Given that you have seen these pjs, any thoughts on the motion performance without fi on the jvc vs the 5020?

Thanks again for your input.
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