Researching projectors, always had plasma, what kind of picture quality can I expect in comparison. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 03-25-2014, 09:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello all, I'm new to posting but a longtime reader. As mentioned in the title, I've always preferred and had plasma tvs in the 50-60" range, but I'm looking to go bigger, plus I don't think any of the other manufacturers compare well to Panny, and they aren't making them anymore. I watch alot of sci-fi and fantasy in the dark, and want to know from someone with experience what kind of picture quality to expect from a projector compared to say a panasonic vt60 or samsung pnf8500. I'm on a budget of 2-3k and have been leaning toward an Epson 5030, any help would be greatly appreciated
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post #2 of 21 Old 03-25-2014, 09:15 PM
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if you can go up to $3000 you can afford a JVC. This is a far better option than the Epson especially because you like to watch sci-fi which typically has a lot of contrast within the image. Coming from a plasma you'll appreciate how well the JVCs do contrast as I think the Epson would be a bit of a let down in comparison. The JVCs also have a better lens which will yield a sharper image over the Epson. Look into the JVC DLA-RS46. They street within your price range.
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I will be using 3d feom time to time, and this requires an additional kit. From what I can tell sony has a similar model that includes 3d and a coupon for an extra lamp. The lamp for this one is about 700 on amazon. Any feedback on the sony? Model is vplhw55.
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post #4 of 21 Old 03-26-2014, 07:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pjf951 View Post

I will be using 3d feom time to time, and this requires an additional kit. From what I can tell sony has a similar model that includes 3d and a coupon for an extra lamp. The lamp for this one is about 700 on amazon. Any feedback on the sony? Model is vplhw55.

Careful buying on Amazon. For warranty, you want to be sure and buy from an authorized dealer. Authorized dealers can't advertise the projector below $3,999. I sent you a PM. smile.gif

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post #5 of 21 Old 03-27-2014, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Pjf951 View Post

I will be using 3d feom time to time, and this requires an additional kit. From what I can tell sony has a similar model that includes 3d and a coupon for an extra lamp. The lamp for this one is about 700 on amazon. Any feedback on the sony? Model is vplhw55.

With what you want to spend, and the 3D requirement...
If you look a few posts back, Seegs has a Sharp Z30K for sale in your range.
We also have the Z30K and a Panasonic 65" Plasma. The Z30K on a HP screen (with Darbee) has a "Plasma like" 110" picture. Great 3D as well.
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post #6 of 21 Old 03-27-2014, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by humbland View Post

With what you want to spend, and the 3D requirement...
If you look a few posts back, Seegs has a Sharp Z30K for sale in your range.
We also have the Z30K and a Panasonic 65" Plasma. The Z30K on a HP screen (with Darbee) has a "Plasma like" 110" picture. Great 3D as well.

Not to toot my own horn, but yes, the Sharp has the best 3D performance around .It's 2D performance is also very good. If you're interested let me know. There is a link in my signature for more details.

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post #7 of 21 Old 03-27-2014, 09:56 AM - Thread Starter
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which panasonic and how much?

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post #8 of 21 Old 03-27-2014, 09:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by humbland View Post


With what you want to spend, and the 3D requirement...
If you look a few posts back, Seegs has a Sharp Z30K for sale in your range.
We also have the Z30K and a Panasonic 65" Plasma. The Z30K on a HP screen (with Darbee) has a "Plasma like" 110" picture. Great 3D as well.

which panasonic and how much?

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post #9 of 21 Old 03-27-2014, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Pjf951 View Post

which panasonic and how much?

Our Panasonic Plasma is a P65VT50. Superb picture. Best that I have seen.
As far as your how much question? If you mean how much does Seegs want? From his signature, it looks like $2500. You can PM him and see .
MSRP on the Z30K was about $5K. They were briefly available for about $2K. However, the ones I've seen recently have been closer to $3K...
There is a dedicated thread in the <3K PJ Forum, check it out.
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post #10 of 21 Old 03-30-2014, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Pjf951 View Post

Hello all, I'm new to posting but a longtime reader. As mentioned in the title, I've always preferred and had plasma tvs in the 50-60" range, but I'm looking to go bigger, plus I don't think any of the other manufacturers compare well to Panny, and they aren't making them anymore. I watch alot of sci-fi and fantasy in the dark, and want to know from someone with experience what kind of picture quality to expect from a projector compared to say a panasonic vt60 or samsung pnf8500. I'm on a budget of 2-3k and have been leaning toward an Epson 5030, any help would be greatly appreciated

I think my jvc x35 has better blacks than my Samsung f8500

the plasma is brighter, and has more ansi contrast because of that, but I much prefer the deeper blacks of the x35 than the brighter whites of the f8500, the fade to black with the x35 is phenomenal and dark scenes are more enjoyable. motion is similar, color is similar(more control with f8500 though), input lag is better(but not good) on the x35. I'm not a fan of 3D, but imo the 3d on the x35 is good, it's terrible on the f8500. neither is better than watching the movie in 2D, but I think that's my preference

overall, they are fairly equal, but I do prefer the x35 as I'm a bit of a black should be black nut, and it's noticeably darker than the f8500 in my room.

it may not help you much unless you're from Canada, but I bought my x35 with 3d kit and spare bulb for 3k from eastporters last year. pretty sure they still include that free stuff. normally electronics are WAY cheaper in the states, so I'd be surprised if you couldn't find a better deal from a good distributor

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post #11 of 21 Old 03-30-2014, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by fierce_gt View Post

I think my jvc x35 has better blacks than my Samsung f8500

the plasma is brighter, and has more ansi contrast because of that, but I much prefer the deeper blacks of the x35 than the brighter whites of the f8500, the fade to black with the x35 is phenomenal and dark scenes are more enjoyable. motion is similar, color is similar(more control with f8500 though), input lag is better(but not good) on the x35. I'm not a fan of 3D, but imo the 3d on the x35 is good, it's terrible on the f8500. neither is better than watching the movie in 2D, but I think that's my preference

overall, they are fairly equal, but I do prefer the x35 as I'm a bit of a black should be black nut, and it's noticeably darker than the f8500 in my room.

it may not help you much unless you're from Canada, but I bought my x35 with 3d kit and spare bulb for 3k from eastporters last year. pretty sure they still include that free stuff. normally electronics are WAY cheaper in the states, so I'd be surprised if you couldn't find a better deal from a good distributor

When they make a 110" Plasma that I can fit in my room somehow, sign me up.
With all due respect to personal preference, the best plasmas have a beautiful 3D like picture that has yet to be duplicated with any FP that I have seen...Some are close, but so far, INMO, the Panasonic plasmas from 2012-13 are yet to be challenged.
Some day a roll up OLED display in 100+ inches may make FPs obsolete.
However, I'm not holing my breath...smile.gif
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post #12 of 21 Old 03-30-2014, 02:26 PM
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I've always been a huge plasma fan. But with this year's JVCs not only do I have a huge image, I no longer have any plasma-image-envy left over. The black levels of the JVC's actually measure lower than the Panny plasma's. Image detail, contrast and color richness are incredible. When you combine all those qualities with an immersive-sized image, In terms of a see-into the image dimensionality, I've never experienced anything like it from any flat panel. It's like you can walk into the image sometimes.

(Now, the only flat panel envy I might feel is for OLED. But I would never give up the combination of image quality and size I have with my new JVC for a much smaller OLED).

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Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post

I've always been a huge plasma fan. But with this year's JVCs not only do I have a huge image, I no longer have any plasma-image-envy left over. The black levels of the JVC's actually measure lower than the Panny plasma's. Image detail, contrast and color richness are incredible. When you combine all those qualities with an immersive-sized image, In terms of a see-into the image dimensionality, I've never experienced anything like it from any flat panel. It's like you can walk into the image sometimes.

(Now, the only flat panel envy I might feel is for OLED. But I would never give up the combination of image quality and size I have with my new JVC for a much smaller OLED).

Rich,
I have not seen the latest JVCs. However, I'm a sharpness guy. That's a big reason why we've had DLPs for the last 10 years.
All the other image qualities you mentioned have been matched by front projectors, but the image sharpness of a high end plasma is still out of reach in anything I have seen...For most 1080p movies on Bluray, the grain and softer picture make it largely irrelevant. However for HD sports and video, plasma is tough to beat.
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post #14 of 21 Old 03-30-2014, 02:56 PM
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It's interesting humbland...

I was a well known plasma fanatic for many years here. I've always felt I'd be the first to tout any advantages a plasma has over any other technology, including projection. And that plasma should be sharper makes some technical sense: the pixels are discrete and don't have to go through an additional optical system that risks adding distortion or blur. And I had been headed to upgrading to a 65" 1080p Panasonic plasma several years ago. I was also taken with the (then) newly introduced 103" Panasonic plasma, which I got to demo regularly with various test scenes in great viewing conditions. But a funny thing happened
when I encountered a truly excellent projector (of the time). I demoed the Sharp Z20000 projector as was astonished to see that images actually looked sharper, and more defined than on the big Panny plasma.
Up until then, I just figured plasma would be the most resolved looking image one could buy. But in going back and forth, the Sharp projector showed me that didn't seem to be the case. And that encounter was one thing that set me on the path to projection.

With the JVC projector I have now, with a top notch Blu-Ray, the sense of crystal clarity, combined with a smooth, fine detail presentation, strikes me as more impressive than any 1080p flat panel I've seen, and I actually sometimes come home from seeing the Sony 4K flat panels and have the sensation it can look even sharper than THAT. (Subjectively, anyway...though the widest shots will reveal the limits of 1080p source resolution, many other closer shots look incredible on the projector). Of course sources are variable and one thing a smaller flat panel will do is make a greater number of source images look comparibly sharp, simply because the viewing distance allows less discerning of the differences.

Now, when I see OLED, I am seeing a level of black levels and overall contrast that clearly outdoes even my JVC projector. But in terms of image sharpness, I virtually always come home from viewing a flat panel at stores or in friends homes, or our own 1080p Samsung LCD, and marvel that the JVC seems to produce an even more impressive image resolution and clarity with good content. In fact, one of the most common comments I get from guests, all of whom own flat panels, is how ridiculously sharp and clear the image is from the projector.

(Just a minor anecdote about watching projection vs flat panels in general: My sister and her friend watched Gravity in 2D on the big screen at my place, and later she watched it with another friend on a flat panel. My sister told me...no surprise to anyone here...that the experience didn't come close to what she saw at my place. That it just seemed ridiculous to view it on "just a TV" and how much more clear, detailed and amazing everything was on my screen).

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It's interesting humbland...

I was a well known plasma fanatic for many years here. I've always felt I'd be the first to tout any advantages a plasma has over any other technology, including projection. And that plasma should be sharper makes some technical sense: the pixels are discrete and don't have to go through an additional optical system that risks adding distortion or blur. And I had been headed to upgrading to a 65" 1080p Panasonic plasma several years ago. I was also taken with the (then) newly introduced 103" Panasonic plasma, which I got to demo regularly with various test scenes in great viewing conditions. But a funny thing happened
when I encountered a truly excellent projector (of the time). I demoed the Sharp Z20000 projector as was astonished to see that images actually looked sharper, and more defined than on the big Panny plasma.
Up until then, I just figured plasma would be the most resolved looking image one could buy. But in going back and forth, the Sharp projector showed me that didn't seem to be the case. And that encounter was one thing that set me on the path to projection.

With the JVC projector I have now, with a top notch Blu-Ray, the sense of crystal clarity, combined with a smooth, fine detail presentation, strikes me as more impressive than any 1080p flat panel I've seen, and I actually sometimes come home from seeing the Sony 4K flat panels and have the sensation it can look even sharper than THAT. (Subjectively, anyway...though the widest shots will reveal the limits of 1080p source resolution, many other closer shots look incredible on the projector). Of course sources are variable and one thing a smaller flat panel will do is make a greater number of source images look comparibly sharp, simply because the viewing distance allows less discerning of the differences.

Now, when I see OLED, I am seeing a level of black levels and overall contrast that clearly outdoes even my JVC projector. But in terms of image sharpness, I virtually always come home from viewing a flat panel at stores or in friends homes, or our own 1080p Samsung LCD, and marvel that the JVC seems to produce an even more impressive image resolution and clarity with good content. In fact, one of the most common comments I get from guests, all of whom own flat panels, is how ridiculously sharp and clear the image is from the projector.

Rich,
Eloquently said, as always.
I have not seen a plasma larger than 65 inches. And I have not seen a "better" picture than our 65VT50. It does not mean they do not exist... I recall a cnet review that said the 65VT50 was the state of the are in flat panel displays. However, for movies, we still prefer the 110" HP 2.8 with the Sharp Z30K (and darbee). There is something about the size that makes it way more immersive. Having said that, for day time use, the plasma rules. smile.gif
I have been thinking of getting a late model JVC, perhaps the 4910. If 4K were not on the horizon, I would have probably bite the bullet. However, I'm hoping I can hold out until 4K Bluray or streaming is here.
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When they make a 110" Plasma that I can fit in my room somehow, sign me up.
With all due respect to personal preference, the best plasmas have a beautiful 3D like picture that has yet to be duplicated with any FP that I have seen...Some are close, but so far, INMO, the Panasonic plasmas from 2012-13 are yet to be challenged.
Some day a roll up OLED display in 100+ inches may make FPs obsolete.
However, I'm not holing my breath...smile.gif

you may be totally right. my experiences with 3D include a theatre(no idea what they used), the x35, and Samsung f8500. from memory, the x35 seemed almost as good as the theatre, and from comparison the x35 destroys the f8500. my only real basis is in terms of crosstalk. nothing else it's noticeably good/bad to me. in all cases I found 3d annoying and distracting compared to 2d(that's where my preference comes into play)

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Rich,
I have not seen the latest JVCs. However, I'm a sharpness guy. That's a big reason why we've had DLPs for the last 10 years.
All the other image qualities you mentioned have been matched by front projectors, but the image sharpness of a high end plasma is still out of reach in anything I have seen...For most 1080p movies on Bluray, the grain and softer picture make it largely irrelevant. However for HD sports and video, plasma is tough to beat.

my f8500 does appear sharper than my x35, however when I zoom out to a similar size, that difference is far less obvious, perhaps even gone.

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you may be totally right. my experiences with 3D include a theatre(no idea what they used), the x35, and Samsung f8500. from memory, the x35 seemed almost as good as the theatre, and from comparison the x35 destroys the f8500. my only real basis is in terms of crosstalk. nothing else it's noticeably good/bad to me. in all cases I found 3d annoying and distracting compared to 2d(that's where my preference comes into play)

If you want awesome 3D, check out the Sharp Z30K on a HP screen. It is far better than our Panasonic plasma, which is not bad.. My take is that 3D on the small screen just is not compelling.
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post #19 of 21 Old 03-30-2014, 05:58 PM
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my f8500 does appear sharper than my x35, however when I zoom out to a similar size, that difference is far less obvious, perhaps even gone.

I think what you're seeing as "sharper" is simply the pixel density being far higher on the flat panel and also considering a person's visual acuity stays the same no matter the screen size the smaller screen will appear sharper from the same seating distance compared to a larger screen which also has less pixel density.

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post #20 of 21 Old 03-31-2014, 09:05 AM
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I think what you're seeing as "sharper" is simply the pixel density being far higher on the flat panel and also considering a person's visual acuity stays the same no matter the screen size the smaller screen will appear sharper from the same seating distance compared to a larger screen which also has less pixel density.

yeah, that was exactly what I was getting at.

the only reason a projector won't look as 'sharp' as a plasma is the fact it's 4x the area with the same number of pixels.

I mean, there's other reasons why cheap projectors might not look as sharp if they use poor optics, but to say 'plasmas are sharper than projectors' is really more about the size than it is anything else, imo

I use both hooked up to my HTPC to surf the web, and with text it's about the same imo. both look very clear from my viewing distances

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post #21 of 21 Old 03-31-2014, 09:57 AM
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anyway, to try and help the OP, I did the best I could to manage a side-by-side comparison.

obviously, it's important to note that based on camera settings I could make either the projector or the plasma look 'better' as there is a large discrepancy in brightness between the two. in some cases I tried to take a shot of each, one when the projector looked right, and one when the tv looked right. on a side note, doing this has really shown me how badly I need to calibrate the colors on my f8500. I have it set to warm1 right now because warm2 looks VERY green. clearly warm1 is too blue. so please keep that in mind as well. both have been calibrated today for brightness and contrast and represent the best I could do with test patterns.

in practice, my eyes do adjust to both displays, and I don't find the plasma is 'too bright' or the projector 'too dim' after a couple mins of being in the room. what you can see from the pics is how both provide similar shadow detail, similar contrast, and similar clarity/sharpness

the x35 is on top, and the f8500 is on the bottom. I switched from my grey screen to white screen for viewing actual content, the grey screen really only looks dim when compared to something brighter(it's quite obvious in the white clipping pic though)

black clipping test pattern. REALLY hard to get both to look the way I see them in real life. the projector is obviously blacker in real life. I had a real problem trying to get the 17-25 bars to show up on the projector screen without completely washing out the plasma:


white clipping pattern. Again it was hard to get both to look good. this shows how dim the grey screen looks when compared to something much brighter though. honestly, without anything 'whiter' to compare to, it still looks really bright and white to me. but I didn't want the screen to affect comparions, so I used my white screen for the remainder of the shots:


this is a shot from Jack the Giant Slayer. first shot where the projector looks right, second one the plasma looks right. obviously my colors are way off on one of these displays



couple shots from Oblivion. again first shot shows the projector, second one the plasma.





I actually don't remember the name of this movie, the clip was on my demo disc and I thought it presented a good challenge for ANSI contrast with the bright foreground and dark background. again two shots to try and compensate for differences in brightness:



so all in all, between MY projector and plasma, I think they offer similar picture quality(albeit at different brightness levels). though I should note, I do have my projector iris at -15 as with the larger screen a super bright image is a bit overwhelming to me. the f8500s cell light is set to 10. the things the plasma does better, like ansi contrast, aren't huge difference either. see the last demo pic for evidence of that. so in my opinion, if you can get your room dark enough, it's entirely possible for a projector to match the overall quality of a plasma, and it's possible to do that at similar prices too(my x35 was 150bux more, before tax, than the f8500. due to buying it online, the x35 was actually a couple hundred CHEAPER after taxes)

I know comparison shots like this are largely useless(unless you really trust the poster) since so much can be manipulated, but hopefully it helps, and if nothing else pictures are at least fun to look at

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