Preliminary results of my mini RS1 VW60 shootout - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 112 Old 02-21-2008, 04:47 PM - Thread Starter
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I know people are always trying to decide between these two, so last night I did a shootout in my home and with familiar material.

My RS1 has 700 hours, but is by all reports notably brighter than some others. The VW60 has 40 hours on it. Both were projecting onto a 125" grey screen from 15 feet.

The most obvious difference between them at first was that the RS1 was brighter. The VW60 needed to be in High mode to match the RS1 in Normal mode. However, both gave quite acceptable (to me) brightness on a screen that size even with the VW60 in Low.

That aside, it was really hard to pick a 'winner'. Black levels were very close, with the VW60 just a a bit better. Neither were as good in this area as I'd like. The RS1s added brightness and native contrast therefore gave the image a little more punch. But the emphasis is on 'little'.

The RS1's colours were more vivid, but the VW60 can be adjusted to give similar saturation. By the same token the VW60 was a tad more natural, especially using the Normal colorspace. Black Level uniformity was a little better on the Sony, and it didn't have any signs of colour uniformity. The only time I noticed Brightness Compression was with white type on black bcakgrounds.

Noise wasn't an issue with either, either auditory or in the image.

Both are big, dark and shiny.

So, to me, they are very very close. I even used masking to have them sharing the screen and found it pretty hard to separate them.

In the end, I may go for the Sony simply because it has the extras of powered lens, anamorphic capability and for the very slightly better blacks.

Then again, I may not.

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post #2 of 112 Old 02-21-2008, 05:03 PM
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If you desire better black levels, you should compare to the RS2...that is noticeably better.
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post #3 of 112 Old 02-21-2008, 05:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Alas, I also desire not to spend too much. But the RS2 probably would be the right choice.

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post #4 of 112 Old 02-21-2008, 06:46 PM
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Tried a filter? Alan swears by them.
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post #5 of 112 Old 02-21-2008, 07:41 PM
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The RS1 at 700 hours is a lot less bright than it would be if it only had 40 hours on it's bulb.

Never become so involved with something that it blinds you.
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post #6 of 112 Old 02-21-2008, 07:53 PM
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I think it's funny that when it came out, everone was touting how the RS-1 has the best black level ever, near CRT, it's the holy grail, etc. Now I read more and more people "wishing the blacks were better."

This is why I find it so hard to decipher reviews that claim "this unit has excellent blacks" when there is no real standard by which we can base them.

I hope Jason takes more "black level" pics in the future, his screenshots depicting this were really helpful.
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post #7 of 112 Old 02-21-2008, 08:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Turk View Post

Tried a filter? Alan swears by them.

That's tonight's test, along with the CAVX anamorphic lens. I have an ND2 and an ND4 at home.
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post #8 of 112 Old 02-21-2008, 09:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mojo_LA View Post

I think it's funny that when it came out, everone was touting how the RS-1 has the best black level ever, near CRT, it's the holy grail, etc. Now I read more and more people "wishing the blacks were better."

THis is how the state of the art gets pushed to the next level There's nothing wrong with wanting a little more performance!

Quote:
This is why I find it so hard to decipher reviews that claim "this unit has excellent blacks" when there is no real standard by which we can base them.

There are standards, and defined standards at that.


Quote:
I hope Jason takes more "black level" pics in the future, his screenshots depicting this were really helpful.

There are so many variables here that it's tough to do much here.
1) Camera
2) JPG compression
3) Monitor (typically uncalibrated and low CR)
4) The room the PJ is in
5) The room the monitor is in

Cheers,

Contributing Editor & Surround Music Reviewer Widescreen Review
Opinions are mine, not the publication I write for.
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post #9 of 112 Old 02-21-2008, 10:53 PM
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Thanks for that Steve. This simply reinforces my belief and the reason that I went with the WV60 rather then the RS1. I've read too many reports of over saturated colors coming from the RS1, whereas you describe the VW60's colors as being a more natural.

I want the source to be a true representation of what's coming out of my projector. For me, color accuracy (VW60) trumps a smidgeon advantage in contrast (RS1). While I haven't read it here, but the general consensus seems to give the contrast advantage to the RS1.

Nice post.
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post #10 of 112 Old 02-22-2008, 05:27 AM - Thread Starter
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The RS1 definitely (or at least definitely in my test) has higher contrast due to similar black levels and better brightness. And the colours compared to the VW60 are more vivid. This combination of features may be inaccurate, but it is also very appealing.

There is a nagging sense that something fun has gone missing when I switch from the RS1 to the VW60.

Were I to get artistic, I'd say the RS1 is an Impressionist projector.
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post #11 of 112 Old 02-22-2008, 05:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mojo_LA View Post

I think it's funny that when it came out, everone was touting how the RS-1 has the best black level ever, near CRT, it's the holy grail, etc. Now I read more and more people "wishing the blacks were better."

This is why I find it so hard to decipher reviews that claim "this unit has excellent blacks" when there is no real standard by which we can base them.

I hope Jason takes more "black level" pics in the future, his screenshots depicting this were really helpful.

There is no such thing as a projector's "black level."

What I mean by that is that the black level of a projector will depend on the size of the screen. As Tryg is fond of saying, if you like great blacks, get a 100 lumen projector and a 200" screen. Those blacks will be great!

That is why you really have to shop by contrast ratio, lumens and screen size.

Contrast ratio will tell you the difference between the brightest white and the darkest black. A high contrast ratio implies, but does not prove, a good black level. Take two projectors, both have a 5,000:1 contrast ratio. The first is a 1000 lumen projector. The second is a 2000 lumen projector. On the same size screen, the second projector's black level will be double that of the first but, on properly sized screens, the black levels will be identical. Use the first on a smaller screen. Use the second on a larger screen.

The RS1 and the VW-60 both have contrast ratios of 15,000:1. If the RS1 is brighter than the VW-60, that means that the RS1's blacks will be higher than those of the VW-60 if the same sized screen is used.

I use an ND4 filter with my RS1 to get the blacks where I like them. Although the ND4 cuts brightness by the same amount as the blacks, the RS1 is bright enough to pull it off.

I hope this helps.

Affable Nitwit
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post #12 of 112 Old 02-22-2008, 06:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Dodds View Post

That's tonight's test, along with the CAVX anamorphic lens. I have an ND2 and an ND4 at home.

This may sound strange, but maybe instead of a filter, has anyone tried wearing sunglasses? They both will reduce the light reaching your eyes (i.e. make the blacks darker), but the sunglasses won't degrade ANSI CR like a filter fitted to the projector lens will.

Of course, this assumes your sunglasses are color neutral.
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post #13 of 112 Old 02-22-2008, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by ilsiu View Post

This may sound strange, but maybe instead of a filter, has anyone tried wearing sunglasses? .

In addition to the sunglasses every guest could wear a KKK style black robe with hood to reduce reflections.

No laughing during funny scenes...the glare off white teeth kills contrast.

I want a Masquerade.
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post #14 of 112 Old 02-22-2008, 08:17 AM
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Since this is a shootout thread against the RS1 and the VW60... If they were the same price which one do you think would be better in my environment?

119" 1.0 gain screen (AT material)
16' throw
Living room environment (most viewing at night)

I have been trying to read thru all the reviews and it seems that the RS1 is Brighter than the VW60... brightness is my main concern.
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post #15 of 112 Old 02-22-2008, 08:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawguy View Post

There is no such thing as a projector's "black level."

What I mean by that is that the black level of a projector will depend on the size of the screen. As Tryg is fond of saying, if you like great blacks, get a 100 lumen projector and a 200" screen. Those blacks will be great!

That is why you really have to shop by contrast ratio, lumens and screen size.

Contrast ratio will tell you the difference between the brightest white and the darkest black. A high contrast ratio implies, but does not prove, a good black level. Take two projectors, both have a 5,000:1 contrast ratio. The first is a 1000 lumen projector. The second is a 2000 lumen projector. On the same size screen, the second projector's black level will be double that of the first but, on properly sized screens, the black levels will be identical. Use the first on a smaller screen. Use the second on a larger screen.

The RS1 and the VW-60 both have contrast ratios of 15,000:1. If the RS1 is brighter than the VW-60, that means that the RS1's blacks will be higher than those of the VW-60 if the same sized screen is used.

I use an ND4 filter with my RS1 to get the blacks where I like them. Although the ND4 cuts brightness by the same amount as the blacks, the RS1 is bright enough to pull it off.

I hope this helps.

I agree, although the VW60 has a stated 30K. Some sites have measured it at close to that, others not.

Tonight I was able to tweak some more, and try out ND filters. By goosing a few things I was able to get the VW60 in low mode to pretty much the same brightness as the RS1 without affecting blacks. Since they are still a tad lower than the RS1, one could say that CR (by eye) is about the same or just a tad better on the Sony.

On my size screen, adding ND filters lowered the blacks on the JVC to about the same as the Sony, but also cut the whites much more noticeably. The filter is cheap and could be crap though.

I was also able to adjust the colours on the Sony to match the RS1, so much so that it was really hard to tell which one I was watching.

Given I can't adjust the JVC colours to match the Sony, I'm now more inclined to go with the more flexible Sony. It seems to have slightly better blacks, similar brightness and more tweakable colours and gamma.

But they are still awfully close.
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post #16 of 112 Old 02-22-2008, 08:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawguy View Post


What I mean by that is that the black level of a projector will depend on the size of the screen. As Tryg is fond of saying, if you like great blacks, get a 100 lumen projector and a 200" screen. Those blacks will be great!

That is why you really have to shop by contrast ratio, lumens and screen size.

Ha! What I really like to say when people go into endless mind numbing diatribes of black level is TURN THE PROJECTOR OFF! You'll love the black level! It will be exactly as dark as your room is capable of!

Seriously though many dont understand that black level is a function of Contrast capabilities of the projector and how bright it is. Then of course there are those numbskulls with white rooms and lights on complaing about black level too These are generally newbies that heard that black level is the most important criteria from their local Circuit City salesman
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post #17 of 112 Old 02-22-2008, 08:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tryg View Post

Ha! What I really like to say when people go into endless mind numbing diatribes of black level is TURN THE PROJECTOR OFF! You'll love the black level! It will be exactly as dark as your room is capable of!

You're right. I don't know why I was turning it on all these years.

Affable Nitwit
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post #18 of 112 Old 02-22-2008, 08:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mit07 View Post

In addition to the sunglasses every guest could wear a KKK style black robe with hood to reduce reflections.

No laughing during funny scenes...the glare off white teeth kills contrast.

That wasn't quite the point of the sunglasses idea. Basically, the ND lens has to be put somewhere in the light path. Normally it's placed right at the projector lens. But that has issues because the ND glass will reflect a portion of the light right back into the projector, creating uncontrolled scatter and degrading ANSI CR at the source. Since the lens is very close to the light source, the amount of reflected light could be significant.

My suggestion is to put the ND lens in front of your eyes instead. Now the ND lens is very far away from the screen, so reflections are greatly reduced and the impact on ANSI CR should be negligable.
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post #19 of 112 Old 02-22-2008, 09:26 AM
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I'm assuming that there is a tremendous amount of variation from unit to unit (CR) but my RS1 (with ND filter) reaches a black level that I could only achieve with the VW60 by setting the fixed iris to a very low setting. This made the VW60 too dim for my 119" screen. I could not achieve anywhere near this black level with Auto 1 or Auto 2. The RS1, from what I see, has a much more dynamic picture with mixed scenes. The VW60 seemed a bit sharper. Aside from that, the VW60 definitely has more tweakability (colors, etc), quieter, better uniformity, and obviously better lens control. If Sony can improve their native contrast to near that of JVC with no more use of a dynamic iris, I'd switch in a heartbeat.
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post #20 of 112 Old 02-22-2008, 09:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilsiu View Post

That wasn't quite the point of the sunglasses idea. Basically, the ND lens has to be put somewhere in the light path. Normally it's placed right at the projector lens. But that has issues because the ND glass will reflect a portion of the light right back into the projector, creating uncontrolled scatter and degrading ANSI CR at the source. Since the lens is very close to the light source, the amount of reflected light could be significant.

My suggestion is to put the ND lens in front of your eyes instead. Now the ND lens is very far away from the screen, so reflections are greatly reduced and the impact on ANSI CR should be negligable.

Make your own glasses with a ND filter for the lens!

-- Well I have really blown my budget now. --
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post #21 of 112 Old 02-22-2008, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobZ View Post

I'm assuming that there is a tremendous amount of variation from unit to unit (CR) but my RS1 (with ND filter) reaches a black level that I could only achieve with the VW60 by setting the fixed iris to a very low setting. This made the VW60 too dim for my 119" screen. I could not achieve anywhere near this black level with Auto 1 or Auto 2. The RS1, from what I see, has a much more dynamic picture with mixed scenes. The VW60 seemed a bit sharper. Aside from that, the VW60 definitely has more tweakability (colors, etc), quieter, better uniformity, and obviously better lens control. If Sony can improve their native contrast to near that of JVC with no more use of a dynamic iris, I'd switch in a heartbeat.

Exactly, if another PJ manufacturer came out with a PJ that has a native CR of the RS1/2 with a DI (that I can shut off if I want), I would also make the switch.
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post #22 of 112 Old 02-22-2008, 09:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobZ View Post

I'm assuming that there is a tremendous amount of variation from unit to unit (CR) but my RS1 (with ND filter) reaches a black level that I could only achieve with the VW60 by setting the fixed iris to a very low setting.

+1

The VW60 I demo'd couldn't touch the black levels on RS1 I ended up with regardless of iris settings.

All that said... if you already have a 700 hours RS1 and are growing bored of it looking at a VW60... I'd suggest a new bulb first. A lot cheaper and you might just find a new love for it?
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post #23 of 112 Old 02-22-2008, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zamboniman View Post

+1

The VW60 I demo'd couldn't touch the black levels on RS1 I ended up with regardless of iris settings.

All that said... if you already have a 700 hours RS1 and are growing bored of it looking at a VW60... I'd suggest a new bulb first. A lot cheaper and you might just find a new love for it?

I would agree that the VW60 cannot match the black levels of the RS1--that coupled with the VW60's reliance on a dynamic iris make it incapable of matching the overall dynamics of the RS1.
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post #24 of 112 Old 02-22-2008, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tryg View Post

Ha! What I really like to say when people go into endless mind numbing diatribes of black level is TURN THE PROJECTOR OFF! You'll love the black level! It will be exactly as dark as your room is capable of!

Seriously though many dont understand that black level is a function of Contrast capabilities of the projector and how bright it is. Then of course there are those numbskulls with white rooms and lights on complaing about black level too These are generally newbies that heard that black level is the most important criteria from their local Circuit City salesman

Steve is referring to black level in low APL not ansi CR. That won't be affected by room/wall color.

It is all about quality...that is the picture

JVC & NEC 8" CRT with 106" wide Stewart screen. All NHT speakers driven by Pioneer Elite AVR and bluray

Custom dedicated 8 seat theater

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post #25 of 112 Old 02-22-2008, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaspianM View Post

Steve is referring to black level in low APL not ansi CR. That won't be affected by room/wall color.


Sure it would.

On/off Cr may not be affected because whatever light is reflected back on the screen will do so in high and low APL scenes, but any light reflected back in a low APL scene will raise that scene's black level.

Therefore, to have the best black level that a PJ is capable of, it is best to eliminate any light that might be reflected back on the screen.

Affable Nitwit
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post #26 of 112 Old 02-22-2008, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawguy View Post

Sure it would.

On/off Cr may not be affected because whatever light is reflected back on the screen will do so in high and low APL scenes, but any light reflected back in a low APL scene will raise that scene's black level.

Therefore, to have the best black level that a PJ is capable of, it is best to eliminate any light that might be reflected back on the screen.

Again low level black i.e., 0~7.5 ire (16) will not be affected by room.
It is too low to be reflected.

It is all about quality...that is the picture

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post #27 of 112 Old 02-22-2008, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cameron View Post

Make your own glasses with a ND filter for the lens!

Just watch - someone will start selling contrast enhancing home theater glasses (maybe the guys from Monster cable are listening)
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post #28 of 112 Old 02-22-2008, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaspianM View Post

Again low level black i.e., 0~7.5 ire (16) will not be affected by room.
It is too low to be reflected.

Why? Can't all light be reflected?

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post #29 of 112 Old 02-22-2008, 12:25 PM
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Actually, the REAL black level I'm talking about is absolute black - how much light is being transmitted through the physical elements of the projector and "leaking" onto the screen? You know, the "shadow puppet" test.

I am rarely bothered by black level in a high contrast scene, it's those dark, nearly pitch-black, low-contrast moments (i.e. Se7ven, Blade Runner, etc) where much of the screen goes "projector grey" that get my goat.

This has more to do with how much "light leak" there is than contrast per se.

If you run your projector with no signal and turn the brightness all the way down, the amount of light you now see on your screen is as dark as your blacks are ever going to get.

This is the "reading" I'd like to see more discussion and reviews of.

I know this is affected by screen size & gain, ambient light, etc, but if someone like Jason takes pictures of this under controlled, similar circumstances for every projector he reviews, you WILL get an objective idea of how units perform compared to each other in this regard.

When I think of black level, this is ultimately what I am referrring to.
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post #30 of 112 Old 02-22-2008, 12:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawguy View Post

Why? Can't all light be reflected?

In order to raise the black level (the lowest vidoe black level) you will need a reflection that is higher level than that of the black level. The reflection comes at a lower level and can't raise the level.

If you have a mixed scene containg both white and black, the white reflection will raise the black level floor within the scene. That is ofcourse the ansi consideration not on/off.

It is all about quality...that is the picture

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