Upgrade experiences from Optoma H78/79 - AVS Forum
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Old 12-11-2010, 06:07 PM - Thread Starter
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So I find myself ready to upgrade my H78DC3. First, let me say that I am in a light controlled, dedicated theater with a 100" Stewart Firehawk screen. Seating is approx 12' from the screen and the current projector mount is about 14.5' back (this can change without issue). Also, I have had a great experience with the H78DC3 with the exception of poor bulb life. Lastly, I find myself a bit of a DLP fan due to the sharpness and "pop".

With all that said, I am seriously considering a move to an Epson 8700UB 3xLCD projector.

I am looking for feedback from others who have made a move away from the H78/79 (to anything) and how happy you are with your move. Money is always an object, but I am fine spending money for the right product.

Thanks!

Chris
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Old 12-11-2010, 06:12 PM - Thread Starter
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As a point of reference, I have been considering the Vivitek H5080 as well. I considered the BenQ W6000 too, but was concerned about the slow color wheel and potential for rainbows -- I never see them with the H78 which I think has a 6x wheel.

Also, I really don't like the screen door effect and have seen it with other LCDs in the past including the 8500, but could that just be poor setup of the demo I saw?

Sorry, lots of info and questions I know, but any/all help is greatly appreciated!

Chris
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Old 12-11-2010, 11:38 PM
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You need to see an LCD in action because it doesn't look like a DLP. LCDs have very specific problems including color uniformity, convergence and sharpness issues; not to mention dust blobs and cleaning requirements. Many people can't get used to the LCD look after enjoying DLP.

The W6000 does seem to have somewhat more rainbow effect than the H78 but that is the price you pay for a brighter projector I think. I almost never see rainbows on my H78 but now I see them occasionally and unexpectedly on my W6000. I don't find the different major, but it exists. The H78 has a 5x wheel with 8 segments compared to the W6000's 6x with 6 segments, which is 40 vs 36 segments per second - virtually the same.

Is there a reason you don't just buy a new bulb for the H78 and add an external fan as recommended in the H79 thread on this forum? The h78 throws a very nice image even compared to today's ultra-black projectors and an upgrade will be incremental and for most material not at all the amazing experience you might imagine.
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Old 12-12-2010, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by orion456 View Post
You need to see an LCD in action because it doesn't look like a DLP. LCDs have very specific problems including color uniformity, convergence and sharpness issues; not to mention dust blobs and cleaning requirements. Many people can't get used to the LCD look after enjoying DLP.

The W6000 does seem to have somewhat more rainbow effect than the H78 but that is the price you pay for a brighter projector I think. I almost never see rainbows on my H78 but now I see them occasionally and unexpectedly on my W6000. I don't find the different major, but it exists. The H78 has a 5x wheel with 8 segments compared to the W6000's 6x with 6 segments, which is 40 vs 36 segments per second - virtually the same.

Is there a reason you don't just buy a new bulb for the H78 and add an external fan as recommended in the H79 thread on this forum? The h78 throws a very nice image even compared to today's ultra-black projectors and an upgrade will be incremental and for most material not at all the amazing experience you might imagine.
I agree, I think it's very important that you check out an LCD before jumping onto the decision. Lots of people have switched from LCD to DLP and never gone back, and lots have also tried to switch from DLP to LCD (such as yourself), but find themselves going back to DLP. And yes LCD's suffer from a range of problems themselves and are synonymous with higher maintenance costs at times. I am curious, is there a reason why you are considering to switch to LCD? As you have mentioned: "Lastly, I find myself a bit of a DLP fan due to the sharpness and "pop"." Which slightly contradicts wanting to switch to the Epson 8700UB, because you will forgo the "Pop" and sharpness of a DLP by switching to an LCD.

Here is a review that fairly compares the W6000 to various competitor projectors:
http://www.projectorreviews.com/benq...ompetitors.php

The W6000 does have a faster color wheel speed in comparison with the W1000 or W1000+ which has been heard of having RBE effects to few individuals that are unfortunate; however, I almost rarely heard from W6000 owners regarding RBE complaints, subtle and faint if anything. BUT, as I recommend all users, it is important to be a smart consumer and be able to get your hands on a unit through a consumer-friendly retailer with a return policy that would allow you to purchase and return (without restocking fees) to try out the unit. Or if you don't want to "take advantage of the policies" try to find someone in your area to screen the W6000 and see how you feel about it. Overall the W6000 is a beast, it's most notorious for its lumen output (at 2500) that is considered one of its brightest in its range of projectors. Also the native 50000:1 contrast ratio enables it to project deep blacks and a pop effect that gives you that "awe" sense. It's unfortunate that orion456 sometimes sees RBE on his W6000; however, as RBE effects individuals differently, and it is very subjective to the environment and also the projector itself, I suggest you to try to get a view of the W6000, because most likely you will fall in love with it. Even those who complained about RBE effects on the W1000, W1000+ or W6000, they always admit the PQ and pop's are amazing. So the quest for you is to find out exactly how sensitive you are to RBE.

I Love Apple, BenQ, Samsung, and Acer Products = )
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Old 12-12-2010, 01:07 PM - Thread Starter
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I appreciate the feedback. Anybody move to a newer generation DLP like the BenQ W6000, Vivitek H5080 or Optoma 8600? I realize the last two are related. I would really like some lens shift so the Mitsubishi HC4000 isn't ideal.

I have also considered just doing the new bulb thing and waiting for the next generation LED systems to start shipping. There have just been some weird things happening with my current PJ and didn't really want to invest more in it.
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Old 12-12-2010, 05:52 PM
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I also have an H78DC3 and will need a bulb soon, so was thinking of an upgrade to get to 1080p and maybe some higher contrast. I have a similar theater as yours 100" screen and sit about 12' away.

I am seriously considering the JVC DLA-HD250 or the Sony VPL-HW20 DILA/LICOS projectors. I have seen the JVC and liked the image it projects. But even with the DILA/LICOS projectors I have been concerned about missing the "pop" of the DLP image....

I do like the idea of the darker blacks and less noise however....

I have not had any problems with the H78, but I do sometimes get some strange fan noises and am not sure it will last long enough to get another bulb...
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Old 12-12-2010, 08:05 PM
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Here is a quoted message from another thread by an upgrader to the Epson 8350. I have been looking to upgrade to 1080P from my H79 as well and a jump to LCD could be difficult since I have been watching a DLP for over 5 years.

"It cannot be overstressed how bright this thing is, even when using optimal cinema modes and settings. In Dynamic mode I found it to be perfectly possible to watch football with the lights on, as long as I didn't have any light sources directly pointing at the screen or directly overhead in the path of the beam (I have one ceiling light that will do this).

I found after some tweaking with my VE BD disk and playing with the PS3 settings shown above I could get black levels about as good as my Optoma HD78DC3, which is a DLP that uses the old but still great TI DarkChip 3 and was one of the better 720p projectors around under 5k back in the day.

Color wise I think I have to adjust a little (me, or the PJ). It's so much brighter - and this is factoring in that the bulb I had in my Optoma only had 110 hours on it, so it wasn't that - that it's hard to do a direct comparison. I think the DLP had a slightly "warmer" look to it (yes I adjusted the color temperature settings on the Epson to 7500k as recommended). And at the moment I can't seem to get the Epson to focus quite as sharply as my Optoma could, although the difference is slight and may just be a matter of getting a few more hours on the bulb.

For me, I do a lot of PC gaming on my PJ, so it would have been worth it just to get 1080p, but so far I'm surprisingly pleased with the image quality compared to my old but good DLP. And it certainly is easier to live with - quieter, for one, and the lens shift both ways makes it a heck of a lot easier to place. Although it seems I need to re-register my Chief universal mount since I've got a little key-stoning going on - ugh. There goes 30 minutes on a ladder"
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Old 12-12-2010, 10:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kadeeu View Post

Here is a quoted message from another thread by an upgrader to the Epson 8350. ... I found after some tweaking with my VE BD disk and playing with the PS3 settings shown above I could get black levels about as good as my Optoma HD78DC3, which is a DLP that uses the old but still great TI DarkChip 3 and was one of the better 720p projectors around under 5k back in the day.

Interesting because the Epson is suppose to be 50,000 to 1 contrast compared to 4500:1 for the H79 - and he was only getting black levels about the same....

Quote:
... I can't seem to get the Epson to focus quite as sharply as my Optoma could, although the difference is slight and may just be a matter of getting a few more hours on the bulb.

DLP is always sharper and its not the bulb, its the technology.

Quote:
For me, I do a lot of PC gaming on my PJ, so it would have been worth it just to get 1080p, but so far I'm surprisingly pleased with the image quality compared to my old but good DLP. And it certainly is easier to live with - quieter, for one, and the lens shift both ways makes it a heck of a lot easier to place.

The H78 is one of the quietest DLPs around. If you find it too noisy then other DLPs will be worse. Low noise and lens shift is definitely a plus for LCD, but if you permanently mount it, in most cases shifting isn't really necessary.

-----------------

So here you have an upgrade to 1080p, but its observed to lack sharpness, and the black are about the same despite the supposed 50,000:1 contrast advantage (which is only really potentially achievable in a totally dark room with dark walls/ceiling/furniture) and yet the H78 matches it.

I can attest that my H78 is brighter, sharper, almost as back, more color saturated and noisier than a deep black 1080p Sanyo Z3000 in side by side comparisons (after calibration). Yes the 1080 is slightly more detailed but part of that is negated by less than perfect convergence. After all, 1080 adds only 50% more pixels vertically, compared to 720 but if you have just a 1/2 pixel non-convergence, a lot of your superior resolution is lost in the mud of over lapping pixels colors.

Note that unless you sit very close it will be hard to see the 1080 vs 720 advantage and a number of side by side comparison tests have shown that few people can actually pick the higher resolution machine from a reasonable sitting distance.

I conclude: the H78 is a darkchip3 machine which produces 90% of what a low end 1080p machine is capable of. Upgrading may produce a nicer output, but in my experience, it was not the amazing change I expected, but was incremental and somewhat disappointing (considering my expectations). Disappointing too, because I discovered the joys of non-convergence and non-uniform field color in a LCD (absolutely and eye opener when watching B/W movies, 1/2 the picture is reddish whites and the other half bluish).

What did improve my H78 and other projectors was calibration using a meter, where finally faces weren't unusually orange/red but flesh toned. If you invest in anything, a meter is more important than higher resolution. In fact, resolution is considered the least important compared to color, contrast, brightness and gray scale.

All that said, if you want to get rid of the washed up hulk of a working h78 after you upgrade - shoot me a pvt.
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Old 01-15-2011, 03:14 PM - Thread Starter
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So, I pulled the trigger and upgraded from my Optoma H78DC3 to a JVC DLA-HD250. Is it worth it? Ahhh, .... YEAH! Absolutely zero regrets. Can the wife tell a difference... absolutely!

So, you can see my background in the first and subsequent posts above, but I just wanted to let anyone know who is considering this that you will be blown away by the HD250. I haven't even done anything but some very minor tweaking and it's fantastic! So bright compared to the Optoma and, even though I never though the Optoma was loud in any way, this one is dead silent (stay out of bright mode though) and it brought my attention to how much other noise there was in my room (today's work has revolved around acoustic panels and extra insulation in my equipment room) to quiet the theater.

I'll try to post some pictures and some other thoughts once I get to play with it a little more, but right now I am going to sit my *** in my theater and watch some football!

PS. Jason and the crew at AVS rock and I really appreciate all the consultation! Thanks!
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