Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Mill Valley, Calif.
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Hey, I just put an order/deposit in for the Q006 with the Performance Audio folks in SF. I really wanted a local dealer who I could go to in case of problems.
So... I just happen to know someone who is in the LCoS manufacturing business, and when I told him that I was going to be purchasing an 006 this is the msg he sent back. (Note in advance... his comment about LC material lifespan is worth noting, but the guy at PA in SF told me that the LC panels were rated for 60k/hours halflife, which at my rate of viewing would last 30 years. So I'm not too worried about that.)
Here goes, fwiw:
TVs. i gather you must be a very discerning videophile if you are seriously thinking about the Sony Qualia 006. at 1920x1080 it has got serious resolution. The liquid crystal mode is a vertically aligned nematic (VAN) which should give it very good contrast - on par with DLP or probably even higher. However, VAN LC hasn't yet been delivered in volume. One of the struggles with it has been that VAN generally means a slow switching response rate - so i'd carefully evaluate the picture with some fast moving video (film with serious action scenes or use a gaming console).
Also, sony's LCOS design has an analog drive scheme into it's pixels. this means very precise analog control & calibration is required. One way to check on the quality of this is to look at its image uniformity - load an all white or all black image onto the screen and see how "even" the image is corner to corner. if it's uneven then it's a safe bet that it will be uneven with a video or still image (although not as easy to discern).
A final concern with the qualia would be around life-time. currently sony's technology is only produced for very low volume, high price front projectors. these types of applications usually have few "on" hours to deliver. A RPTV on the other hand must be prepared to stay on day & night in many usage scenarios. The liquid crystal material can deteriorate under intense & sustained light and sony should specify what the guaranteed lifetime of it's chip will be (in hours, and at what permissable degradation i.e. loss of contrast over those hours). This is important because it is very likely that the lcos chips are not field or even service office replaceable (however, the illumination light source
(bulb) will likely be, so that is not as much an issue).
On the other hand, if they show good performance on the issues above, and you will use the TV as a theater
type unit (relatively few hours of operation) then I'd say you are making a very discerning choice.
As you already figured out, i'd definitely would stay away from the TI "1080" product as it doesn't have
real 1080 resolution but uses pixel wobbulation (think of it as multiplexed pixesls) to gain both smaller
chip size (reduced cost) and "higher" resolution. It's an ok method for video, but it will show artifacts on still images with fine resolution (such as text or even high resolution still images).
So, I don't think that the lifetime issue is real, and from what y'all have said about fast moving video, it doesn't have any problems with that either. It sounds like an almost perfect unit! (I met with the furniture builder today about the stand that we're building for it and it'll be done in March sometime.) Can't wait...