I have the 2 projectors (710 and MT700) set up and am am plugging an HDMI cable bacl and forth quckly into the monoprice unit so I can compare pics within 20 seconds or so (I have to block the lens of each after switching the cable)
I am actually comparing a few shots from an HD episode of this past week's Saturday night live I have stored on the DVR, becuase there are some strong reds in a dress (I thinks it's Amy Pohler) is wearing in this weeks opening sketch about the White House.
There is a unbelieveable amount of difference in the quality of these projectors. The blacks and mid tones of the 710 are so extended, they make the MT700 looked flashed ( a film term meaning light leaked was leaked into the film intenionally or unintentionally before processing)
The MT700 just doesn't have the dynamic range the 710 does. Colors have added subtlty as well, as some shades apear more generic on the MT700 than they do on the 710.
Now, with all that added dynamic range, the compression artifacts I mentioned above are way more noticable. They are there with the MT700, it's just that they are more hidden, because it can't resolve as much color and information in the mid tones. I tried making the Mt700 a bit contrastier to see if I could make the red dress show more artifacts, and in fact I could make them a bit more noticable, but not as much so as the 710)
Now that being said, any time in the past I altered the brightenss or contrast of the Mt700 to get a bit more punch, I would clearly loose shadow details and crush the blacks. And this was only a tiny bit of correction, so I always left the the unit with zero contrast or brightness.
The 710 doesn't need any contast boost to look rich.
I ended up looking at gamma setting and realized I was in Gamma mode 2,
so I repeated the test in Gamma mode 1 and while the red artifatcs were a bit less present
than in gamma mode 2, they were still there.
This projector is a real revelation, and as such seems to show details that other display devices gloss over. This should be a prime unit for HD DVD and other lower compression formats.
So far, DVD's upscalled through a V880 seem to look good, but I have to watch more material to be sure and to determine if I should let the DVD player do the upscale or let the 710 do it.
I do know with the MT700 it was better to have the cable box (8300) output 720P than 1080i, but with the 710 I am not seeing a benefit to having the cable box do the scaling.
Someone mentioned raising the gamma settings, but I wonder if they were done in the service menu? Can anyone elaborate.