SIM2 Nero 3 LED-DLP Projector at CEDIA 2014 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 98 Old 09-13-2014, 06:26 PM - Thread Starter
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SIM2 Nero 3 LED-DLP Projector at CEDIA 2014



SIM2 came to CEDIA this year with an LED-illuminated, single-chip DLP projector, the Nero 3, which uses red, green, and blue LEDs instead of a traditional lamp. Because the LEDs can be cycled on and off very quickly, there is no need for a color wheel, and there is no rainbow effect.

It achieves the equivalent of 2000 ANSI lumens (1400 LED lumens) and a dynamic contrast ratio of 100,000:1 by modulating the LEDs—no mechanical iris. The LEDs also offer a wide color gamut—125% of NTSC—and it can also reproduce BT.709 and DCI/P3. In addition, it provides manual lens shift, which is unusual for SIM2, but no lens memories—you need to add an anamorphic lens for 2.35:1 screens or be willing and able to manually adjust the zoom, focus, and lens shift to switch aspect ratios. Rounding out the features is 3D capability with RF active-shutter glasses.

In the demo, two SIM2 projectors were compared—the Nero 3 and the Sirio, a single-chip DLP with dual UHP lamps, which achieve a peak brightness of 7000 lumens. Both projectors were set up with the basic picture controls but not fully calibrated. They were firing onto a Vutec XVH1 2.35:1, 160-inch-wide screen with a gain of 1.0. Also in the room was a Dolby Atmos sound system with a Denon receiver and Atlantic Technology Atmos-enabled speakers, and SIM2 had installed reflective panels on the ceiling of the sound room, which was otherwise very absorptive.

Like most Atmos demos, SIM2 played clips from Transformers: Age of Extinction. But what really caught my eye was Samsara, a beautiful non-narrative documentary by the same people who brought us Baraka. First, we looked at the image from the Sirio, then from the Nero 3, both of which were fed from the same player—a cardboard panel was placed in front of one or the other projector.

The difference in color was dramatic. Below are photos I took of the same paused still from both projectors, using the same settings in my camera:


In this composite shot of a sand mandala, the upper image is from the Sirio, and the lower one is from the Nero 3. Notice the striking difference in color.


In this shot, notice the difference in skin tone between the Sirio above and Nero 3 below.

As you would expect from SIM2, the Nero 3 ain't cheap—$14,000 is a lot for a single-chip 1080p DLP projector. But from what I saw, it produces a stunning picture, and you won't need to replace the lamp in the projector's lifetime, which is guaranteed for 20,000 hours, though it could be more. Color me impressed!

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post #2 of 98 Old 09-13-2014, 06:29 PM
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trickle, trickle, trickle...


hopefully this means good things for the rest of us in a few years time.
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post #3 of 98 Old 09-13-2014, 06:47 PM
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All these expensive 1080p stuff.......first pioneer then Sim2. I wonder what next in the incredible 1080p expensive lineup....2014/15 thought we were going 4k i guess i was wrong.
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post #4 of 98 Old 09-13-2014, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by fierce_gt View Post
trickle, trickle, trickle...


hopefully this means good things for the rest of us in a few years time.

I really hate to play the pessimist again as I normally do, but we've already seen what a budget LED projector is capable of. Optoma's try was awful. What makes these units special is the use of a DC4 DMD (or possibly in this projectors case a graded .65" DMD), high end luxury optics, higher end processing, and well implemented DI's. We just won't get any of those things at a low price point. The LED module actually only costs about $300 from Phatlight. The LEDs aren't the expensive part and it also isn't what makes these projectors nice. Unfortunately, it's the rest of the projector that makes the image quality nice.

A lot people look at projectors and think they share a similarity with flat panel televisions in that eventually we'll get this projector's technology and picture quality in a few short years a drastically reduced rate, like we normally see with flat panels. Because projectors are so niche most of the components don't benefit from economies of scale, especially lenses. If you want great picture quality in the front projection market the unit is almost always going to cost an arm and a leg. We've had 1080p DLP projectors for about 8 years now. When I look at one of the first DLP 1080p models, the Marantz VP-11S1 and then look at a 1080p model that costs $800-$1000, like the Optoma HD25 or BenQ W1070, one would think the PQ that we saw nearly a decade ago would have trickled down to the more budget friendly market by now and unfortunately that isn't the case. PQ on the Marantz (basically the first 1080p DLP model) is still head over heels better. Again, projectors aren't like TV's, we won't see top end PQ trickle down to a budget price like we see with flat panels. That's never been the case.

Also, as we see more DLP projector manufacturers leave the HT market (Sharp and Mitsubishi for example) I doubt we'll see many mid-range DLP projectors over the coming years. This is unfortunate because it would be nice to have something like the Sharp XV-Z30000 with an LED module inside. But I don't think that's going to happen. That was still a ~$4500 projector when it debuted and no one was willing to pay that much for it and I would imagine the same thing would happen if Sharp were still around and offered an LED model at that price point. People only seen to want dirt cheap and we just aren't going to get great PQ for dirt cheap prices.
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post #5 of 98 Old 09-13-2014, 07:28 PM
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so if a 10000+ sirio projector is unable to display color correctly ... how horrid are the 2000 $ projectors ???
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post #6 of 98 Old 09-13-2014, 07:41 PM
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post #7 of 98 Old 09-13-2014, 08:02 PM
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This could be a gem for 3D -- DLP, bright, good to great contrast, great optics = I want one and I'll bet Zombie does as well. Now he can sell his VW1100 to Seegs and buy the Sim2 Nero 3 and everyone will be happy.

If Sharp or Mits were still around in the HT market and put an LED or laser light source in the XV-Z30000 or the HC7900/8000 (and did it right) I'd sure be interested and I'd be more than willing to pay $5K for one. The HC7900/8000 and Sharp XV-Z30000 are fabulous 3D projectors. I own all three models and use them all on a constant basis.

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post #8 of 98 Old 09-13-2014, 08:16 PM
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I disagree with Seegs108 and his contention that we won't see this technology trickle down at a much lower price point. Granted, the optics tend to remain expensive over time, with limited diminution in cost from one generation to the next. However, the big story here is the light engine and the significantly improved color rendition which it enables.

While economies in scale are limited in the projector industry, the LED industry is much bigger with multiple applications outside of video reproduction. Thus the cost of LED light sources will continue to fall and the light output will likely continue to increase. The vast improvements in yellow, reds and skin tones between the two projectors is quite impressive. Hopefully these aren't just calibration artifacts, though I'm certain that with proper calibration the differences won't be quite so dramatic. Nonetheless, I'm hopeful that this light engine design will see broader use in the future with attendant improvements in the under $3000 category of front projectors.

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post #9 of 98 Old 09-13-2014, 08:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bulls View Post
so if a 10000+ sirio projector is unable to display color correctly ... how horrid are the 2000 $ projectors ???
As Scott said in his brief review -- neither projector was calibrated. Two different projectors that are professionally calibrated will often display subtle differences in colour.
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post #10 of 98 Old 09-13-2014, 09:20 PM
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I disagree with Seegs108 and his contention that we won't see this technology trickle down at a much lower price point. Granted, the optics tend to remain expensive over time, with limited diminution in cost from one generation to the next. However, the big story here is the light engine and the significantly improved color rendition which it enables.

While economies in scale are limited in the projector industry, the LED industry is much bigger with multiple applications outside of video reproduction. Thus the cost of LED light sources will continue to fall and the light output will likely continue to increase. The vast improvements in yellow, reds and skin tones between the two projectors is quite impressive. Hopefully these aren't just calibration artifacts, though I'm certain that with proper calibration the differences won't be quite so dramatic. Nonetheless, I'm hopeful that this light engine design will see broader use in the future with attendant improvements in the under $3000 category of front projectors.

Mike
I'm not saying LEDs won't trickle down to a much lower price point, as I already said, the LEDs are actually already very cheap (about $300). What I'm saying is that we aren't going to see this kind of picture quality at the price point the BenQ W1070 is at or even at the $3000 price point. As I said, the LEDs have almost nothing to do with picture quality. It's quite literally everything else that matters. With TI charging high amounts of money for graded DMDs and optical costs most likely not coming down in price any time soon, I just don't agree with you. We've had 8 years for bulb based projectors to come down in price and they have but like I mentioned they still come no where near the image quality the first generation 1080p DLP projectors had and the industry has had about a decade now to find ways to try and match that kind of PQ for less money. It hasn't happened.

LEDs can give us more saturated colors (larger native color gamut), as seen in the photo's Scott posted, but as far as contrast and light output goes they don't increase the amount of contrast in the image or match your typical bulb for brightness. They are, however, more reliable and longer lasting than bulbs and once we see an LED based 4K unit (or laser) I think there will be many jumping on that bandwagon for the obvious benefits with longevity and stability.
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post #11 of 98 Old 09-14-2014, 12:56 AM
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Impressive, the case is nice too, even up on ceiling where most people will never see it makes a statement.

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post #12 of 98 Old 09-14-2014, 05:47 AM
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I'd like to hear more about the Sim2 Neo 3. Does it have CFI that is active in 3D mode? 2000 lumens because it's LED and in reality 1200 lumens? What's the black level and contrast like comparatively speaking (vs. new Epson, JVC, Sony)?
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post #13 of 98 Old 09-14-2014, 08:22 AM
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Wow, where and when can I get one? I am a SIM2 fan as I have a SIM2 3000e with the long throw lens. I am fortunate as I don't see rainbows but the unit even though it has low hours for it's age (760) I believe it is a little long in the tooth. It still has a stunning image but I would like the capability to do 3D occasionally and the elimination of the color wheel means no bulb dimming over time that is a plus for me. Hopefully there will be more detailed reviews soon so we can find out about the fan noise lens options etc. Yes the price is normal for SIM2 that's nearly what I paid for my unit when it came out so no shock with me, what I look at is what I get for the money and SIM2 does not disappoint Imho.
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post #14 of 98 Old 09-14-2014, 08:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seegs108 View Post
... LEDs can give us more saturated colors (larger native color gamut), as seen in the photo's Scott posted, but as far as contrast and light output goes they don't increase the amount of contrast in the image or match your typical bulb for brightness. They are, however, more reliable and longer lasting than bulbs ...
It's certainly fair to point out that higher quality lenses and other components will maintain the image quality gap between premium and economy projectors. It's hard to imagine any but the most naive believing otherwise. But most realistic folks will be satisfied if even just those two qualities alone carry across LED projector lines from the highest quality to the lowest. Simply eliminating the color wheel from DLP projectors offers clear advantages in RBE, reliability and noise, and perhaps there are also some qualitative image improvements that have yet to be measured.

Having just converted my home to all LED lighting, there's a qualitative difference to LED lighting that I haven't been able to totally define. When I tried to switch from incandescent to CFL, they appeared darker and dingier even when rated with the same lumens. The 60-watt-equivalent LEDs I purchased are rated at the same 800 lumens as formerly used incandescents and even halogens. Yet for some reason these LEDs produce more perceived illumination. To me they produce a cleaner, purer light that's more pleasing and brings out more details in objects. Perhaps there is a yet-undefined reason for that which could carry over to projectors.

I think we may still be too early in the implementation of LED projector technology to fully understand all the potential improvements in perceived image, from the highest quality projectors all the way down through economy models.
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post #15 of 98 Old 09-14-2014, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Deja Vu View Post
I'd like to hear more about the Sim2 Neo 3. Does it have CFI that is active in 3D mode? 2000 lumens because it's LED and in reality 1200 lumens? What's the black level and contrast like comparatively speaking (vs. new Epson, JVC, Sony)?
All good questions. I don't know where we'll find out this info from. It seems to take forever for Sim2 models to get into reviewers hands and only a select few have access like trusted reviews.

I was hoping to see this closer to 10K street, that might be a more impulsive price point since we're still looking at a .65 1080P projector on the dawn of a 4K era likely to happen in the next year or so.

edit: it is a great looking projector with the piano black finish and the machined lens housing.
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post #16 of 98 Old 09-14-2014, 10:07 AM
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The colors are quite different and technically if both were set to the same and correct correct color space for the space the source material was coded for, and god forbid a gray scale calibration was performed using the great Sim2 software, the colors should have looked about the same. It looks to me the LED machine was set to a much wider space than rec 709 which I suspect the content was coded for coupled with might of had quite different gray scale calibrations between the two machines. colors are correct(OK close to correct because there most always be some minor errors) or incorrect. Over saturate by using a wider color space than rec 709 with rec 709 material and most people will like it better.

Scott. Why is an anamorphic lens required. One can always manually zoom just like you and I can drive a car with a shift and clutch. I know I do not need an automatic transmission to go from point A to point B. Though it is more convenient. I admit if you have the projector mounted above a reachable height, this would be a real pain. But for watching a 2 hour moving with a projector mounted where it would perform best optically or near that point, doing it manually is child's play.

BTW. My wife and I saw The Hundred Foot Journey last night at a commercial digital theater. I think most all would enjoy the movie very much both for the content and production. I kept thinking how this would look coded for Rec 709 instead of P3.
A high reference black level and a low contrast differential was of course present but for the movie these were only noticeable for a few shots.

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post #17 of 98 Old 09-14-2014, 10:43 AM
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Putting aside all the opining about what the numbers must imply or technology trends portend, what I witnessed at their demonstration booth was nothing short of flabbergasting. The Samsara clip revealed beautifully saturated colors...as one would expect from LED...but beyond that, the processing was stellar...no jitter, no grain, no lag...and the brightness was amazing...representing a big leap forward that heretofore has been the Achilles heel of LED front projection. Until now, one would be pressing the screen size envelope beyond a 110 diagonal (96" wide). The demo screen in the SIM2 booth was 160" wide...with no gain!...and I could barely hear any fan noise standing right next to it.

When you consider all the other benefits that come with LED -- low energy usage, no warm up and cool down, lower cost of ownership (i.e. no lamp replacements), very small decline in output and color stability over the life of the light engine, no color wheel...what's not to love about this projector? Sure...we'd all like it to cost less, but it costs what it costs and the only question worth considering is how does the performance compare to alternatives costing the same or less. Until you have the opportunity to see a NERO 3 in action, all the naysaying and theorizing is pretty much meaningless.

I also took in the Sony 4k demo and they too had a Jumbo screen in their theater, but in order to light it up, they used double stacked 1100s. Do the math. And the picture lacked the detail and sharpness I saw in the SIM2 LED demo...despite the fact they were using a 4k source. I see no advantage to 4k other than being able to sit neck-strainingly close to the screen.
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post #18 of 98 Old 09-14-2014, 10:58 AM
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This sounds like the perfect projector to compliment a 4K JVC in the future. Here's hoping that 4k next year brings the price down in 2 years. I love my DLP LED currently, and I am satisfied with the light output but in the future a bigger low gain screen will be purchased. I'm not even going to get my hopes up for a 4k LED/Laser DLP projector with 1500 lumens calibrated. I would most definitley take a 2k version.
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Were they demoing 3D? This is the key information that DV and I asking about. What is the lumen output in 3D? can it handle the same size, low gain screen in 3D that it can handle in 2D.

I have a VW1100 and other high quality projectors including .95 DLP models, I know why they used Samara as a demo, it's an excellent 1080P source and looks amazing on just about any 1/2 decent projector.

some folks aren't going to blindly part with 14K without review information, it would be good of them to send one of these off for a deep dive. It does sound impressive from the Cedia impressions. This would be one of the highest output LED's we've heard of in this price range.
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post #20 of 98 Old 09-14-2014, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete View Post
Putting aside all the opining about what the numbers must imply or technology trends portend, what I witnessed at their demonstration booth was nothing short of flabbergasting. The Samsara clip revealed beautifully saturated colors...as one would expect from LED...but beyond that, the processing was stellar...no jitter, no grain, no lag...and the brightness was amazing...representing a big leap forward that heretofore has been the Achilles heel of LED front projection. Until now, one would be pressing the screen size envelope beyond a 110 diagonal (96" wide). The demo screen in the SIM2 booth was 160" wide...with no gain!...and I could barely hear any fan noise standing right next to it.

When you consider all the other benefits that come with LED -- low energy usage, no warm up and cool down, lower cost of ownership (i.e. no lamp replacements), very small decline in output and color stability over the life of the light engine, no color wheel...what's not to love about this projector? Sure...we'd all like it to cost less, but it costs what it costs and the only question worth considering is how does the performance compare to alternatives costing the same or less. Until you have the opportunity to see a NERO 3 in action, all the naysaying and theorizing is pretty much meaningless.

I also took in the Sony 4k demo and they too had a Jumbo screen in their theater, but in order to light it up, they used double stacked 1100s. Do the math. And the picture lacked the detail and sharpness I saw in the SIM2 LED demo...despite the fact they were using a 4k source. I see no advantage to 4k other than being able to sit neck-strainingly close to the screen.
So Sony showed Samsara in their demoroom also?? If they did not how can you compare??

I have seen the Sim2 M.150 side by side with the VW1000 and the Sim2 lacked alot in detail and sharpness compared to the Sony. And I dont think the Nero 3 has more detail and sharpness than the M.150...

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post #21 of 98 Old 09-14-2014, 11:34 AM
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...
People only seen to want dirt cheap and we just aren't going to get great PQ for dirt cheap prices.
Totally agree.
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post #22 of 98 Old 09-14-2014, 01:01 PM
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I really hate to play the pessimist again as I normally do, but we've already seen what a budget LED projector is capable of. Optoma's try was awful. What makes these units special is the use of a DC4 DMD (or possibly in this projectors case a graded .65" DMD), high end luxury optics, higher end processing, and well implemented DI's. We just won't get any of those things at a low price point. The LED module actually only costs about $300 from Phatlight. The LEDs aren't the expensive part and it also isn't what makes these projectors nice. Unfortunately, it's the rest of the projector that makes the image quality nice.
well, the bulb in my jvc only costs about 300, and 10yrs ago it would have cost 30-40grand to get the kind of image quality I have now. so... why is it unlikely to see one 300dollar light source swapped for another 300dollar light source? it's not like bulbs are amazing, it's just that all the designs have been geared towards bulbs. all the processing is made to fixe the light coming from a bulb, etc. If they change that focus, there's no reason to think we couldn't have the same physical quality as my x35 right now(optics, chips, etc) but with processing designed for an led light source, and end up with a pretty good sub 3k led projector
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Originally Posted by Seegs108 View Post
A lot people look at projectors and think they share a similarity with flat panel televisions in that eventually we'll get this projector's technology and picture quality in a few short years a drastically reduced rate, like we normally see with flat panels. Because projectors are so niche most of the components don't benefit from economies of scale, especially lenses. If you want great picture quality in the front projection market the unit is almost always going to cost an arm and a leg. We've had 1080p DLP projectors for about 8 years now. When I look at one of the first DLP 1080p models, the Marantz VP-11S1 and then look at a 1080p model that costs $800-$1000, like the Optoma HD25 or BenQ W1070, one would think the PQ that we saw nearly a decade ago would have trickled down to the more budget friendly market by now and unfortunately that isn't the case. PQ on the Marantz (basically the first 1080p DLP model) is still head over heels better. Again, projectors aren't like TV's, we won't see top end PQ trickle down to a budget price like we see with flat panels. That's never been the case.
you're ignoring a lot of things to make this point. sure, the worst quality, cheapest made projectors don't have the best optics. just like the crappiest Chinese made flat panel today still has terrible blacks and viewing angles. but if you look at the 'meat and potatoes' of the market, what I can get today for 3-5grand would have been nearly impossible at ANY price a few years ago. my first projector was a Epson hc720 that cost me about 1500. the benq 1070 DESTROYS it in picture quality for about half the price. I remember my 'step up' option being the 1080ub, for about 3grand. comparing that to the 5030, or x35 that goes for that much today, again, huge advantage.
besides that, I'm not asking for an led projector that's BETTER than current bulb based ones. I'm just asking for one that's as good. you can't honestly think that an led light source requires better optics than a bulb does? there is no reason why manufacturers couldn't, in a few years time, release led/laser based projector of equitable picture quality and price as current bulb based ones.
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Also, as we see more DLP projector manufacturers leave the HT market (Sharp and Mitsubishi for example) I doubt we'll see many mid-range DLP projectors over the coming years. This is unfortunate because it would be nice to have something like the Sharp XV-Z30000 with an LED module inside. But I don't think that's going to happen. That was still a ~$4500 projector when it debuted and no one was willing to pay that much for it and I would imagine the same thing would happen if Sharp were still around and offered an LED model at that price point. People only seen to want dirt cheap and we just aren't going to get great PQ for dirt cheap prices.
in all honesty, I have no interest in a dlp based projector right now anyway. I just hope that the broader use of LED light sources puts pressure on other manufacturers to develop competitive solutions. at this point in time, I'd MUCH MUCH rather see manufacturers develop non-bulb based projectors with good image quality than go UHD.


having a UHD projector is about as useful as a hydrogen powered car right now(for me).


so yeah, I guess I'm just happy to see more development in the direction of LED/laser etc light sources. I'd love for that to become such a 'standard' thing that we see all the major players putting out projectors with instant on/off and 20k hrs plus life cycles.

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post #23 of 98 Old 09-14-2014, 01:18 PM
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I disagree with Seegs108 and his contention that we won't see this technology trickle down at a much lower price point. Granted, the optics tend to remain expensive over time, with limited diminution in cost from one generation to the next. However, the big story here is the light engine and the significantly improved color rendition which it enables.

While economies in scale are limited in the projector industry, the LED industry is much bigger with multiple applications outside of video reproduction. Thus the cost of LED light sources will continue to fall and the light output will likely continue to increase. The vast improvements in yellow, reds and skin tones between the two projectors is quite impressive. Hopefully these aren't just calibration artifacts, though I'm certain that with proper calibration the differences won't be quite so dramatic. Nonetheless, I'm hopeful that this light engine design will see broader use in the future with attendant improvements in the under $3000 category of front projectors.

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exactly. I don't care about the high end optics or dlp chip specific to this model. I care about the application of the led light engine that I would like to see brought down to the 'best bang for the buck' optics and video chips. if I don't need a $20k bulb based projector now, I won't need a $20k led projector either. I just want to replace my $3k projector with 'perfect for me' image quality with a $3k led projector with the same quality optics and processing.

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Long ago, A McDonalds hamburger cost 15C. Where has hamburger technology taken us? The price has increased by over a factor of ten and it has not improved one damn bit. Depending where you are and what half priced burgers and beers are, a 4K worthy burger costs about $7 if you know what night to go. And the best won't be cooked or rewarmed by any latest hi tech micro wave. No sir. Charcoal. A fancy name for burnt wood.

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post #25 of 98 Old 09-14-2014, 02:43 PM
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well, the bulb in my jvc only costs about 300, and 10yrs ago it would have cost 30-40grand to get the kind of image quality I have now. so... why is it unlikely to see one 300dollar light source swapped for another 300dollar light source? it's not like bulbs are amazing, it's just that all the designs have been geared towards bulbs. all the processing is made to fixe the light coming from a bulb, etc. If they change that focus, there's no reason to think we couldn't have the same physical quality as my x35 right now(optics, chips, etc) but with processing designed for an led light source, and end up with a pretty good sub 3k led projector

you're ignoring a lot of things to make this point. sure, the worst quality, cheapest made projectors don't have the best optics. just like the crappiest Chinese made flat panel today still has terrible blacks and viewing angles. but if you look at the 'meat and potatoes' of the market, what I can get today for 3-5grand would have been nearly impossible at ANY price a few years ago. my first projector was a Epson hc720 that cost me about 1500. the benq 1070 DESTROYS it in picture quality for about half the price. I remember my 'step up' option being the 1080ub, for about 3grand. comparing that to the 5030, or x35 that goes for that much today, again, huge advantage.
besides that, I'm not asking for an led projector that's BETTER than current bulb based ones. I'm just asking for one that's as good. you can't honestly think that an led light source requires better optics than a bulb does? there is no reason why manufacturers couldn't, in a few years time, release led/laser based projector of equitable picture quality and price as current bulb based ones.


in all honesty, I have no interest in a dlp based projector right now anyway. I just hope that the broader use of LED light sources puts pressure on other manufacturers to develop competitive solutions. at this point in time, I'd MUCH MUCH rather see manufacturers develop non-bulb based projectors with good image quality than go UHD.


having a UHD projector is about as useful as a hydrogen powered car right now(for me).


so yeah, I guess I'm just happy to see more development in the direction of LED/laser etc light sources. I'd love for that to become such a 'standard' thing that we see all the major players putting out projectors with instant on/off and 20k hrs plus life cycles.
The problem with your argument is that you're putting DLP projectors up against those from JVC, Sony, and Epson and you're judging the price to performance on the same level. You're assuming DLP projectors are brought to market in the same way that LCoS/LCD projectors are. That couldn't be anything farther from the truth. The LEDs, as I've said before, are not expensive, but I think these companies want to keep them as a luxury item for a bit longer. So we may see them trickle down lower price points. I don't, however, think image quality is going to get better in the lower price bracket or even come close to match something that JVC or Sony can put out for the same price. I'll simply say this; even if there was a $3000 MSRP DLP projector that had an LED light engine, I still wouldn't buy it because that price point dictates everything else in the machine to be low quality compared to something that costs $7000 in the DLP market place. To get a quality image in the DLP market place it simply costs more to bring a projector with similar quality components found in a JVC for example to market at the same price. It simply costs more to manufacture a projector based around DLP technology.

For starters lets look at the DLP DMD. There is such variety in DMD choice and performance characteristics change dramatically as we go through the range. TI knows this and as such they grade their DMDs. As the performance characteristics go up so does the price. The difference in which it costs to use a .65" DC3 DMD versus a .95" DC4 DMD is probably a lot more than you think (many hundreds of dollars more). This jump right here is huge in performance. Even the jump to a "lowly" .95" DC3 is huge. Even within these two classifications (.65" DC3 and .95 DC3) there are graded options to choose from. There is more than one DMD that is classified DC2, DC3 and DC4. So if you want decent native contrast performance >2500:1, you're looking at spending (as the manufacturer) hundreds of dollars. Do you think it costs JVC, Epson, or Sony hundreds of dollars each for a single micro-display that they manufacture? Of course not. Then lets look at lens quality. I know we don't need "luxury" optics. At a certain point we get diminished returns. But, to get, lets say 80% of the way there, something close to the lens JVC has, it still costs a lot more than you think especially if you're a small company like Sim2. Sony, JVC, and Epson have some leeway when it comes to lenses. Both JVC and Epson have economies of scale in which they sell enough of one lens to bring the cost down and then Sony owns it's very own optical manufacturer (Zeiss). DLP manufacturers are left out to dry with the need to spend a lot of money for half way decent optics. If you want a decent amount of lens shift, I don't care what you say or think, but that drives up the cost of the optics dramatically because the size of the optics needs to be larger. I'm guessing your "dream" LED projector has a decent amount of zoom and lens shift? Guess what? That costs money.

Next, lets look at what most DLP projector manufacturers do. They buy a projector from an OEM manufacturer like Chi-Lin or Delta. These companies design, build and sell projectors for most of the companies you associate with being a DLP company. Most of the Sim2 and Runco projectors you see are actually an OEM design that either company then tweaks slightly. They have a few choices to make the projector "their own" so to speak. Things such as DMD and a custom chassis. But, like DMD's from TI, these have fixed costs and if you what Delta or ChiLin designate as higher performance, they'll charge more for these OEM desgns. Companies like Sim2, Runco, ect don't have the money to do their own R&D for light engine design and manufacturing for all of their products so they go the alternative route and end up using mostly OEM designed projectors. In the end, it costs less for them but a little more for the end user because of the middle man fee that ChiLin or Delta charges. Sony, JVC, and Epson can do in-house design and have manufacturing connections/capabilities unlike smaller DLP manufacturers. This is another reason why they're able to bring us $3-5k projectror with such high performance. It simply costs them, the manufacturer, less to bring such a product to us.

So unlike non DLP projectors from Sony, JVC, and Epson there's a reason why we have to pay so much for a higher performing (competitive to whats out there in the $3000 range from Sony and JVC) machine. The marketplace in which to create a DLP projector makes it so. If you want good performing DLP (not even great) you'll have to pay for it. It's just the way the system is set up right now for DLP. Don't be naive enough to think that a company hasn't thought "well...if we could just bring them this kind of performance at $1500 (or even $3000) we could make a boat load of money because everyone would buy our product." You don't think companies haven't thought of that? It's because it isn't econmically feasible to do this otherwise we'd see companies doing it. Some people make it sound as if they could and are just playing around with us to see how much they can charge until people will stop paying. Lower priced projectors sell SO much more than high priced ones. Why would a company not bring us something of competitive quality/performance at the same price point as the Sony/JVC machines if they could?

So yes, there IS a reason why we can't have what you want. If it were possible of course we would have seen what you're talking about a long time ago. The way DLP works in terms of pricing, facilitates a marketplace that simply can't give you want you want at the present time.
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post #26 of 98 Old 09-14-2014, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by fierce_gt View Post
exactly. I don't care about the high end optics or dlp chip specific to this model. I care about the application of the led light engine that I would like to see brought down to the 'best bang for the buck' optics and video chips. if I don't need a $20k bulb based projector now, I won't need a $20k led projector either. I just want to replace my $3k projector with 'perfect for me' image quality with a $3k led projector with the same quality optics and processing.
Please let me know what you're classifying as "perfect for me?" What kinds of things do you want. Where should light output, native contrast, lens shift/zoom, and other software based things be in your dream DLP projector? What's the street price for such a machine?

I would say the only competitive DLP projector at the $3000 price mark is the Runco LS-1. But it lacks 3D and the brightness needed for 3D. Personally speaking the difference between the "next best thing" in the DLP world is quite a drop in performance. The Optoma HD91 is close to your price mark and look how awful that turned out to be. Who else out there would/could bring us a budget DLP/LED projector? BenQ? That's about it. But for the price we're still going to have abysmal contrast performance because it will have to use a crappy .65" DMD. So were looking at 1500:1 native and possibly ~5000:1 dynamic if we see a healthy/safe 3x multiplier. This is still way off from what the LS-1 and slightly higher performing DLP projectors can do. I just have no faith in DLP when you're forced to use such crappy components. I actually don't know how Runco is able to bring us the LS-1 at the price it's at. There must be some super old agreement with TI and Delta where they can't change the price. Trust me when I say the LS-1/3/5 is head over heels better than anything DLP until you get to the $15000+ range.
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post #27 of 98 Old 09-14-2014, 03:02 PM
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trickle, trickle, trickle...
Thanks a bunch. I read your post and for some strange reason felt the urge to take a leak.
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post #28 of 98 Old 09-14-2014, 03:31 PM
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I'm not saying LEDs won't trickle down to a much lower price point, as I already said, the LEDs are actually already very cheap (about $300). What I'm saying is that we aren't going to see this kind of picture quality at the price point the BenQ W1070 is at or even at the $3000 price point. As I said, the LEDs have almost nothing to do with picture quality. It's quite literally everything else that matters. With TI charging high amounts of money for graded DMDs and optical costs most likely not coming down in price any time soon, I just don't agree with you. We've had 8 years for bulb based projectors to come down in price and they have but like I mentioned they still come no where near the image quality the first generation 1080p DLP projectors had and the industry has had about a decade now to find ways to try and match that kind of PQ for less money. It hasn't happened.

LEDs can give us more saturated colors (larger native color gamut), as seen in the photo's Scott posted, but as far as contrast and light output goes they don't increase the amount of contrast in the image or match your typical bulb for brightness. They are, however, more reliable and longer lasting than bulbs and once we see an LED based 4K unit (or laser) I think there will be many jumping on that bandwagon for the obvious benefits with longevity and stability.
You are correct.
But, we will see new cheaper projectors with LED tech that might just drop the colour wheel and with longer lamp life, the true caveat with projectors has so far always been the short life on the lamp source, making them for the truly interested parties.

As for optics and processing I agree completely, especially for optics that will cost money, but for us who would be perfectly happy with something a little bit better than the hd25 or w1070 (which in my opinion look better than most LEDS at twice the price) with 20 000 lifespan there would be a lot of people happily shouting "Take our money!".

I started myself with an optoma hd100x and upgraded to a sony hw50, wich I hope i hope will last maybe a 3-5 years replacing bulbs as needed and with these announcements lately there just might be a 'tv-killer' projector in my price range, UHD would be nice but if it is as good as what I got now, with much longer life span in my budget that would still be a serious contender.
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post #29 of 98 Old 09-14-2014, 04:03 PM
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You are correct.
But, we will see new cheaper projectors with LED tech that might just drop the colour wheel and with longer lamp life, the true caveat with projectors has so far always been the short life on the lamp source, making them for the truly interested parties.

As for optics and processing I agree completely, especially for optics that will cost money, but for us who would be perfectly happy with something a little bit better than the hd25 or w1070 (which in my opinion look better than most LEDS at twice the price) with 20 000 lifespan there would be a lot of people happily shouting "Take our money!".

I started myself with an optoma hd100x and upgraded to a sony hw50, wich I hope i hope will last maybe a 3-5 years replacing bulbs as needed and with these announcements lately there just might be a 'tv-killer' projector in my price range, UHD would be nice but if it is as good as what I got now, with much longer life span in my budget that would still be a serious contender.
Agreed. If they could bring us a $1500 LED DLP projector that's slightly higher performing than the 1070 or HD25 would be awesome. That would still be hugely behind the performance of a low end JVC (X35) or a low end Sony (HW40ES). I just feel that for serious home theater a product like this isn't worth it. For those who want something for a Rec room or an outdoor projector it could be awesome. I don't want to put words in peoples' mouths but they seem to want DLP performance akin to this projector at a massively lower price. As I pointed out in my previous post I detailed why that isn't going to happen for the foreseeable future. The difference in image quality between a projector like this and something like the HD25 is almost laughable. It's unfortunate but true and the LEDs have nothing to do with the reasons why.

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post #30 of 98 Old 09-14-2014, 04:45 PM - Thread Starter
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I'd like to hear more about the Sim2 Neo 3. Does it have CFI that is active in 3D mode? 2000 lumens because it's LED and in reality 1200 lumens? What's the black level and contrast like comparatively speaking (vs. new Epson, JVC, Sony)?
I don't know about CFI in 3D mode; I will ask. (Before I do, what does CFI stand for? I don't know that initialism.) I was told that the peak light output is equivalent to 2000 ANSI lumens, but it can also be expressed as 1400 LED lumens. The black level and contrast looked very good to my eye, but a direct comparison to other projectors will have to wait until someone can perform that comparison.

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