Ok, As promised, I am posting my own X10 review I did in October. A forum member from UK was very kind to invite me at his place to see the X10.
Original Post in AVForums Ukhttp://www.avforums.com/forums/dlp-l...ml#post8001116
The review is from a 1 hr 30 mins session with the X10 and I couldn't play around a lot for more indepth review...
All X10 members here are free to comment if I have missed anything or my observations were wrong. Please keep in mind that I saw it for 1 hr 30 mins only.
First I would like to thank Lee who was very kind to invite for a demo at his place. Lee is a great chap and we spent a good hour and a half at his place. He was also kind enough to pick me up from the station and drop me on my way back.
Now, moving on the review, I am going to talk about different features followed by pros and cons of the PJ in my view and lastly; is it worth the price and the hype? As mentioned earlier, I went with a clear mind and all content here are based on my own experience with PJs so far some of which I owned - H27, IN72 and HD65 and some which I have seen elsewhere - IN76, IN83, AE900. I went with a tape measure as well. Please bear in mind I am not a professional reviewer and hence my observations are not supported by facts, figures and instruments. This review is very personal and most comparisons are based against the HD65, my last PJ and to some extent the IN83 i demoed earlierEnvironment:Room:
A nice room around 14-15 feet long. 3 walls painted in pink and the wall on which Lee is projecting right now is pained white. The wall has a course texture and perhaps not the right kind of surface for projection even though it is white. So in our observations, we took a note of that. Lee is going to fix a good screen soon which should give much better results.
One thing that was not so good was the adjacent walls and the ceiling were reflecting lot of light back to the image reducing the contrast and black depth.
The PJ was 12' 10 " from the screen and the image was 6' 10 inches wide.Sources
: Lee has got a nice setup with a PS3(US), Xbox360, A HTPC all connected through an AV receiver and to the PJ via HDMI. We used the following during the demo
BR Discs - Spiderman 3, Incredible Hulk
DVD - Indiana Jones (I have used this test all PJs I used till date and that's why I took it.
Others - Golden Compass - MKV file, and direct TV from the HTPC
The moment I entered the room, I heard some noise and realised it was not the PJ (it was off) but the PS3
. This is the first time (though I am not from Stone Age) I saw a PS3 running and have heard of ppl talking about its noise. Well it is noisy if I have to use it as a BR player. Glad I chose the Sony S350.:grin:Firing the PJ
Lee started the PJ. Lee had the PJ on Iris setting of 9 and in low power mode with brilliant colour on. We set all to default to start our test to try and go as close Out of box. I will talk about the PJ noise separately.Size and Build
This is a huge PJ
. It was a top of a table so I could see it all around. Looks like an inverted black bathroom sink :grin:. Why on earth infocus created such a monster I do not know. A little smaller size would have been great. Looks are not bad and quite spaceship type. The body is plastic. No lens cover but lens is inside the main frame so less chance of damage.Colours and Skin tone
Overall colour is excellent:smashin:. Typical infocus. I was hugely impressed at out of box even with limitations on the current environment (see earlier) . Much better than my Optoma HD65 (which I think is very good though being an Optoma). very natural and believable. People's faces looked really good. It is a great buy for ppl who just want it to set it up and run However, we felt it could be improved against a screen and with some calibration (if required)
We switched the colour temp to 7500k and I felt it was better. But it could be me liking that way.
We then tested one of the issues mentioned by Phil Hinton regarding - the weak green. The source we used for this was Indiana Jones (last crusade) DVD chapter 3 (where boy Indy escaped the lion and was on top of the train with lots of trees around) and Chapter 16 or 17 (Where Indy and his dad escaped the Germans and on their way to Berlin. The scenes here had lot of trees and blue sky). The reason I used this disc is mentioned earlier as my test disc for all PJs I bought till date. This may not be the best disc but for me it is a reference.
The gamma was set to film and BC off, to me the greens were better than the HD65 or H27 which looks highly saturated and the sky appears saturated as well. However I thought with the X10 it could be bit more saturated. Then we tried different gamma. The PC gamma adds strength to the green but at the expense of shadow detail and high contrast. We checked BC on and it was better. We didn't have the time to play with the advanced colour settings but I think you can calibrate to your own preference. But both Lee and I felt the greens were looking much natural. We changed the Iris from 9 to 45 and looked vibrant but we turned the IRIS down to 9 again.Resolution:
There is a lot of debate about whether you can see the difference between 720p and 1080p. Well, this was my 2nd test with 1080p (In83 being the first one). I used my memory of HD65.
Firstly, yes the resolution factor is there and I could notice it. The difference is not huge like between 480p and 720p but it is there and I think you will appreciate it the more content you see on a 1080p PJ.. We were sitting 12 feet from a 6' 10" wide image and I found the image very sharp and detailed against similar sources I used on HD65 sitting 9 feet from a 90 inch diagonal image. Also I noticed a very nice integrity in the image. Stable solid and distinct. For an analogy, I have seen this difference with the two laptops I own. The same image looks crispier on my Tosh USXGA laptop than that on my HP WXGA. The crispiness is great on the X10 image. Moreover, I could go so close to the screen without any screendoor. Wow. At one point we tried to focus the image and we had to really go close to inches to see the pixels. And no grids even on subtitles from a very close sitting distance. This could be used as an advantage I am going to talk later while discussing one issue - the throw of the PJ.Brightness:
Though rated at 1200 lumens, X10 with full IRIS open on eco mode to me was way brighter than my HD65 at 1600 lumens. I think nobody will ever need the High power mode. We turned it on. There was some difference but it was hurting our eyes anyway. The IRIS can be used to reduce or increase it to your own preference.Contrast, Black level and IRIS:
The contrast and black level on this unit is variable based on the IRIS setting. So I would cover all these in one section.
The IRIS is a manual one and hence has some advantages and disadvantagesAdvantages:
It is the best way to bring down the brightness. The PJ is very bright with the IRIS open full. You won't see changes that are apparent with average dynamic ones used in budget PJs at this price range so less distraction I guess. On closing down the IRIS from 100, the PJ started showing a fantastic image. Lee stopped at 9. I felt the image was great at 27 or so. The image looks very filmic and like one you see in very good cinema screens. I can see why the reviewers insisted in using the Iris. Great stuff.Disadvantages
: Some scenes do require more brightness and you may find your setting too low at some time to change manually. Each change in Iris produces a very strong sound like a Click and is quite loud. Not a big issue as you won't use it during a movie. At lower IRIS it does take away some shadow detail. Lee can see rainbows with the X10 and he can see it when the IRIS is above 18 and BC is off. His personal setting is 9 with BC on. To me, I think a value between 18 and 50 offers a great contrast and black depth and you can still have excellent shadow detail. Since the X10 allows good calibration you can achieve both good shadow detail and black depth with calibration even at Iris setting of 9.Contrast and Blacks
Contrast is very good in this unit. Again, better than HD65. I understand why someone may like the image of Optoma projectors since there is a initial punch to the image but at the cost of natural colours and shadow detail. I will pick shadow detail and colours against a punchy image. This is kind of a trade-off I guess for the X10. The X10s bigger brother IN83 with a DC4 chip can give the punch and keep colour accuracy and shadow detail at the same time. But at £2500 more. Please note that at £900 it easily beats the HD65 in contrast and black depth and the IRIS allows greater control which the HD65 don't have. The HD65 cannot produce such a filmic image as the X10.:smashin:
With the X10 scenes that have equal mix of dark and white it looks really contrasty. A scene from Spiderman - where KD comes down the stairs in the theatre with small star like lights at the background looks very impressive and has a wonderful pop. And again the fighting scene in the Hulk inside the bottling plant looks incredible with wonderful contrast , black depth and shadow detail (even at Iris 9). Very impressed.
Now the weak part. Scenes that are mostly dark in nature don't look as contrasty and black depth is reduced. Appears slightly gray and murky. This is where lie the difference between DC4 and DC1 and also an area where PJs like JVC HD1 reign. But considering only 5 % of most movies having such scenes I do not consider this as a drawback given the price of the X10. The HD65 being DC2 also suffers the same and I have seen the IN76 and the same goes for it as well. Owners need to understand that you have to pay a price to get performance in this area. Again considering the price I would put the X10 ahead of all the PJs I have mentioned earlier except the IN83. I do not know if DC3 chip based 720p can produce better results. Some members have reported that X10 looks better than In78 in this area. We need a side by side test to judge.Shadow Detail
Wonderful just awesome. Again beats the HD65 and In76. This is a great strength of this PJ. Keep in mind that if you use a very low IRIS (like 9) you will have to calibrate to get the best the shadow detail. But at anything beyond 27 to 100 with all default settings it is fantastic.
Overall I was very impressed in this department.Sharpness:
This is a really sharp PJ. But at the same time the sharpness is not stronger or exaggerated than it should be in standard settings. This adds to the 3D depth of the image and the cleanliness of the image. Very impressed. The HD65 was average but to me X10 is a revelation. Wow... Even DVDs appeared so sharp I can't believe. It is good that Infocus has not cut the costs in this area and have used the same lens as found in the IN83. I guess so as the sharpness looked similar to the IN83 I saw but IN83 adds more depth due to higher contrast and better black levels.Image Processing
Ace. This uses the same processor found in the most expensive IN83 and it really shines. HD sources look clean and smooth. Forgot to check 24fps and other frequencies but Lee may add his view on motion and judder.
DVD - I was so impressed with the DVD scaling that I can buy this just for this. It is way better than HD65. I felt like using my In72 but with better picture and depth. I never expected that DVD could look so good.
720p Mkv file : The same file that requires ffdshow with the HD65 was looking better on the X10. Impressed.Image Noise
Well this was reported by a member and both of us tried to look for it but we couldn't really see any problem. The image is clear and crisp. What we noticed is noise from the BR disc. Spiderman has lot of image grain and it shows that if you sit closer. But that may be due to certain discs. The normal DLP dot crawl is there. Reducing the brightness can reduce the amount of grain you can see. But to me it was more like film noise than noise from the PJ. Lee mentioned that if we can't see it then it doesn't exist to our eyes but some people could be prone to noise. Not sure. Overall I couldn't really see the noise issue. I mentioned in my IN83 review about the noise but that was because it was too bright. So if anyone is seeing noises then suggest lowering the IRIS and seeing the difference.PJ Noise:
In eco mode, the noise is not distracting to me as it is like a low freq hmmmm kind of sound and less distracting than the PS3. We were sitting just beside the PJ, less than a foot. I have always used DLPs so I am not the best judge for noise as I am kind of used to it. HD65 is noisier as the sound is high pitched. I think ppl who are planning to move from LCD or low noise PJs may find the noise disturbing. High mode is noisier but again not like distracting high pitch kind. New LCDs and SXRd based Pjs are virtually silent so the choice will be very personal. I would definitely like to see DLPs silent someday.Pros
- Excellent colour and skin tones
- Really sharp image.
- Very Bright
- Excellent clean and crispy image
- Resolution does matter at least from where I am coming from
- Excellent shadow detail - a great strength at this price point
- Superior processing - Even DVDs look great. Way better than HD65
- Good Contrast (not excellent like the IN83) better than HD65 and others I mentioned earlier
- Size - Why is it so big? With LEDs coming next year this may look ancient when seen side by side.
- Throw - This is a huge disappointment for me. I measured my setup again yesterday after the demo and with its huge size and long throw I won't be able to get more than 82-84 inch diagonal. Well as mentioned earlier, the resolution advantage will allow me to sit closer and still get the same angle of viewing and feel of size. But still kind of a deal breaker for many with smaller room size. This to me is the weakest feature of the X10
- Complete dark scenes look less constrasty and that is due to the DC1 chip used.
- It looses the sync when changing content on the same input sometimes. Like when using the PS3, as you change menu items the PJ starts looking for the input. Distracting. Sometimes it could be due to the change in the source with various contents in the disc encoded in diff output format.
- The PJ is budget not the lamp.
- Rainbows - Though I don't see them, it appears this PJ is rainbow prone.
Honestly, I liked the X10. To me, the colours, sharpness, brightness, resolution advantage, wonderful shadow detail , good blacks (using IRIS) and very good contrast are its key strengths and that's enough for me to justify it at £900. Add to that the control you can have on the image with various settings and some of the benefits it shares with its big brother the IN83. It is definitely better than the HD65 in all departments and by a very good margin. The IN83 is better but it is £2500 dearer.
Black levels - for me it is better than most PJs I have seen including the HD65 but not as good as the IN83. And there is room for improvement using the IRIS and other settings. Won't be able to comment against other PJs I have not seen. But I guess this is the holy grail of PJ and comes at a price.
Things I did not like are the throw, size and if it could have some more depth in very dark scenes and some more contrast. At £900 I think it is a great PJ unless there is something better around that range. The IN80 apparently got a slightly better picture. I am going to demo that soon to find the difference. The Sony HW10 is getting some good coverage and ppl who can afford another £500-600 can have a look.
Is it better than a 720p costing the same? I don't know. From few owners who used both IN78 and X10 it appears they prefer the X10 and IN78 is one of the best DC3 DLP under a grand. I am not sure how the X10 will hold against the Planar 7060. Reviews state IN78 has an edge over Planar. A high end 720p could be very close to the X10s price or could be more but at this point I won't be able to comment any further without seeing a few. To me, X10 is a fantastic choice for a 1080p under a grand. I have not seen the Optoma HD800x to comment.
That's the end of my review. If you have questions please ask.
Thanks to Lee again. Lee can add something I missed.