Vivitek D803W-3D... Big Brother to the D538W-3D? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 12-04-2012, 12:31 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm trying to decide on a new projector to replace my aging Panasonic AX100u. Right now I'm planning on going 720p 3D and had been leaning towards the Vivitek D538W-3D for its built in 3D capabilities (no 3D XL or VP3D1 required). In my research I came across another Vivitek model that isn't as widely known, the Vivitek D803W-3D. It looks to have the same resolution and similar throw distance, but a notable increase in advertized brightness (3600 vs. 3200 lumens) and an extreme increase in advertized contrast ratio (15,000:1 vs. 3,000:1). It is heftier as well, at 8.0 lb vs. 4.2 lb. The throw distance is slightly longer for the D803W-3D, but only a 2-3 inches at 100" diagonal screen. It looks to built in the same chassis as the D860/861/862 which are 4:3 data projectors.

All told, this points to a more expensive projector, but the price at the one online retailer I've found (MicroCenter, who has 2 B&Ms in my area and I'm very experienced with) is selling it for the same $599 as the D538W-3D. Other than Microcenter and the Vivitek USA site, the only mention I can find of the D803W-3D is Vivitek Asia. Nothing on Amazon, any other online retailers, or even ProjectorCentral.

Anyone have any thoughts or experience with this projector? It's right on the edge of my requirements for throw distance, but if I work out that I can make it fit I may give it a try. The added brightness AND contrast ratio would be of particular interest to me since I'm converting my theater space into a more mixed-use family room that will see more use with some ambient light (lamps, not sunlight) present.

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post #2 of 23 Old 12-06-2012, 12:13 PM - Thread Starter
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I've sent an email to Vivitek Tech/Customer Support to verify that the 3D processing capabilities are the same as the D538W-3D but haven't heard back yet. I have about 1' more from screen to lens than I thought, so I should be right in the sweet spot on throw distance.

From the PDF spec sheet I did find that this projector uses a a larger 0.65” DLP (the D538W-3D has a 0.55” chip). It also uses a 240-watt lamp (180 watt on the D538W-3D). This seems to explain much of the difference in brightness, contrast ratio, and size/weight.

I think I'm going to bite the bullet and pick one up at MicroCenter next week. They have it in-stock at my local store for $599 and also have the XPand X102-XP glasses for $65 for a 2-pack (less than Amazon). If it doesn't work, I can always exchange it in-store for the D538W-3D for the same price and move on with my life. Only real downside is I'll be paying 6% sales tax, but seems worth it for the ability to return it easily if necessary, plus no one else seems to have this model in stock anyway. I should be $700 out-the-door for the projector and 2 pairs of glasses.

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post #3 of 23 Old 12-10-2012, 06:59 AM - Thread Starter
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I ordered the Vivitek D803W-3D from Microcenter this morning, along with two pairs of XPand X102 DLP glasses... all for $701 out the door. I'll pick everything up during lunch today, though I may not get to hook anything up tonight... apparently my shower drain has developed a leak so I'll be cutting out a piece of the Dining Room ceiling to try and diagnose!

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post #4 of 23 Old 12-12-2012, 08:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Got the projector yesterday, mounted last night. 2D picture quality is excellent. Picture quality is sharp, colors are rich, SDE is minimal, and blacks are pleasantly deep (DIY white spandex AT screen). Eco lamp mode is plenty bright. I was worried 2D PQ wouldn't be an upgrade from my AX100U, but it is a notable step up in multiple ways.

3D PQ is solid on the 1080p Half SBS MKVs I've played through XBMC... the 3D effect isn't quite as deep as I'd expected, but pleasant. I still have some tweaking to do in XBMC because i have a big of horizontal offset in its SBS OUTPUT. I haven't been able to test Blu-Ray 3D yet because the projector only accepts Frame Packed at 720p and my Sony S570 can only output 1080p frame packed. 2D to 3D conversion was also surprisingly good with notable depth and no inversion or other strange artifacts... I doubt I'll use it often but it was better than I expected.

Build quality is a bit on the toyish side with the glossy white finish. The plastic has a good bit of flex. I wouldn't expect this to hold up to much abuse as a portable unit. There is also a ton of light leak through the vents. Luckily in my install it is overhead and not seen while in use.

I think I will be quite happy with this unit, especially when I find a BD player that can output 720p frame packed 3D.

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post #5 of 23 Old 12-18-2012, 08:32 AM - Thread Starter
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It turns out that the Blu-Ray 3D problem wasn't with the player's output, but my HDMI cable. It's been nearly 7 years since I ran it in-wall and my flawed memory told me it was a 35' 24 AWG Monoprice cable. Looking back at my order history, it turns out it's a 50' 24 AWG and it just doesn't have the bandwidth for Frame Packed 3D. Testing my Sony player with a 6' HDMI cable directly to the projector resulted in the proper 3D playback. I can now confirm that the D803W-3D does have identical 3D processing capabilities as the D538W-3D and can accept all modern 3D formats, even 1080p Frame Packed.

Further testing with a Panasonic BDT220 player capable of SBS output of 3D Blu-Ray found that my in-wall/ceiling cable can carry a 1080p SBS signal just fine (already confirmed with HTPC). The SBS output of the Panasonic looked good with the only clearly notable degredation of image quality being some jagged edges on text (the 3D trailer for "Planes" at the beginning of "Brave" was where I noticed it). Now I guess I need to decide if that is an acceptable solution (which also allows me to maintain lossless audio over HDMI to my HDMI 1.3 AVR), or if I want to try to run a Monoprice RedMere cable. Either will cost me around $60-$70, but going with the Panasonic player will be a lot less work and solve my lossless audio problem as well.

One quirk worth noting with the Panasonic BDT220 SBS solution is when connected directly to the projector, even when setting 3D output to SBS, the player would revert back to Frame Packed and showed a message saying it was doing to because the display was FullHD 3D capable. Only by routing the HDMI output through my HDMI 1.3 AVR (effectively hiding the fact that the display is FullHD 3D capable from the player) was I able to get SBS output to stick.

Now that I know the limitations of my HDMI cable and not the projector are the known cause of my problems, I think I can safely report that this projector is a winner in all regards. It can indeed playback all modern 3D formats and does so with solid 3D PQ, surprisingly good 2D PQ, solid lack levels and impressive brightness. For anyone considering the D538W-3D, I'd at least give the D803W-3D a look. MicroCenter appears to still be the only US supplier, but they are being stocked in-stores for anyone with a MicroCenter nearby in addition to online orders. MicroCenter has also recently discounted the D538W-3D to $479... had this been the case when I made my purchase a week ago, I probably would have went with the D538W-3D instead... I'm still within the return period, but I think I'll stick with the D803W-3D for the added brightness and contrast ratio, especially since the room will be used with lamps on a good bit of the time.

Also, it looks like Projector Central has added the D803W-3D to their database including throw distance calculator.

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post #6 of 23 Old 12-24-2012, 08:27 AM - Thread Starter
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After 2 weeks living with the D803W-3D I will say my biggest (nearly only) complaint is the multiple steps necessary to enable 3D. It's 2-menus deep and requires you first to enable DLP-Link and then select the source mode. It also doesn't remember your most recent source mode and always defaults to Frame Sequential. When you first enable DLP-Link, it exits the menu all together to perform an "Auto Image" adjustment from 2D to 3D brightness and contrast (compensating for the glasses), meaning you have re-enter the menu and drill back down to the 3D Settings. Also, each time you change the source mode, the cursor jumps back to the top of the menu, meaning you have to move down 3 lines to the source mode selection each time. It's A LOT of button presses to enable SBS 3D starting from regular 2D operation.

Secondly, and to a much smaller degree than the above complaint, the fan can be a bit on the loud side, especially during the 30-seconds or so it takes for the projector to start up and initially acquire the source. That said, the fan rarely spins up to full speed during regular operation.

Also, again very minor, the source-selection and power-off notifications are at the absolute bottom-left edge of the image... with any over-scan at all (highly likely with fixed/ceiling mounting with no lens shift for compensation) this leaves some of the box/text overlapping the screen border. To me, this makes the screen aiming/alignment look sloppy even with extremely minimum over-scan... moving the menu box in and up 10-20 pixels would eliminate this all together. Another very minor concern, but worth noting.

Lastly, for anyone programing a Harmony remote for the D803W-3D, it's not yet in the Harmony database. The D412 shares the same remote code set, but doesn't have discrete input codes for the HDMI 1 and 2 inputs. Discrete input codes obviously aren't on the stock remote either, but many times Harmony will have these codes if they exist. My D803W-3D lives on HDMI 1, so it's not a problem for me. I've also had problems getting the Harmony 900 to properly power off the D803W-3D. Assigning a discrete power off command and defining it as power-toggle x 2 strangely doesn't do the trick, with too much lag between the two power-toggle commands (regardless of IR delay settings). To get around this I added a single power-toggle command to the exit sequence for each activity. This has the side-effect of briefly displaying the red "power off" box on-screen when switching between activities, but it does get the power-off sequence working properly.

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post #7 of 23 Old 02-07-2013, 06:50 PM
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Hi I just recently bought one of this for myself and I was wondering what kind of HDMI did you use because I bought a Monster HDMI 3d capable 50ft and my projector is not getting any signal at all.. I have to buy a signal booster for it, it works on and off and it's getting frustrated. How about the 3D too I bought a okba 3d dlp link glasses and it seems to be flickering a lot too. Any help from you would be greatly appreciated.
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post #8 of 23 Old 02-08-2013, 07:02 AM - Thread Starter
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I used a Slim Series Redmere 50' cable from Monoprice... should be quite a bit less expensive than the Monster cable and has built-in active equalization allowing High Speed at long distances with a much slimmer and less stiff cable. I haven't installed it in-wall yet, so I'm using 1080p SBS output from my Panasonic BDT220, HTPC, and TiVo Premiere, all of which go fine over my old standard-speed 24awg Monoprice 50' cable that is currently in my wall/ceiling. I don't see a huge loss in detail on SBS content compared to Frame Packed, only occasional jagged edges on large text. I probably won't install the RedMere cable and stick with SBS for now and save the RedMere cable for my next dedicated theater room.

In regards to classes I've used both XPand X102 and SainSonic, both of which worked well with no noticeable flicker. The XPand X102 is a bit big and bulky, but the SainSonic glasses are much lighter, thinner, and generally more comfortable. The SainSonics are also rechargeable (micro-USB) and can invert sync on the glasses (nice since the Vivitek incorrectly reverses SBS, a bug I need to report on). With the XPand glasses you had to reverse the sync in the menu on the Vivitek. The SainSonic glasses are also quite cheap in the US, only $25/pair from eBay.

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post #9 of 23 Old 02-10-2013, 07:55 AM
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I know thread is kinda old, but was wonder, if you happen to know where to purchase replacement lamps for the 803? Looked all over and not seeing anything??
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post #10 of 23 Old 02-10-2013, 08:29 PM
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thank you. especially when I find a BD player that can output 720p frame packed 3D. good info. 10.gif
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post #11 of 23 Old 02-11-2013, 06:17 AM - Thread Starter
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I think I had reported earlier that the projector can indeed accept the standard 1080p Frame Packed and that the issues I was having were cable related. 720p Frame Packed output from the BD player is not a prerequisite for using the D803W-3D.

I can't comment on replacement bulbs... I only have around 100 hours on mine so far and you'd probably be hard pressed to find anyone who's run through a bulb unless it was faulty, at which point Vivitek should be issuing a replacement.

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post #12 of 23 Old 02-16-2013, 07:54 PM
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Do you have problem with the projector image. One side of the image seems to be bigger then the other on mine. Is the problem with the projector of how I setup my projector or the screen any help.
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post #13 of 23 Old 02-16-2013, 07:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Your projector isn't centered and pointed straight at the screen. Make sure the lens is centered with the screen and the projected directly forward.

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post #14 of 23 Old 03-24-2013, 11:43 AM
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How big of an image does this projector project?? Another big one for me is, How much brightness is lost when you switch it to 3D mode?? Do you have to use glasses that are 144hz compliant or can this projector use normal 120 hz dlp glasses like the optoma ones i have?? Another things i'm confused about the 3D. The main page at vivitek says that this projector is HDMI 1.3, so does that mean you have to buy an Opotma 3DXL converter for it to accept a normal 3D blueray?? Isn't normal 3D over HDMI 1.4?
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post #15 of 23 Old 03-24-2013, 02:26 PM - Thread Starter
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- The image size is dependent on your throw distance (distance from screen to projector) and the amount of zoom used.

- In 3D mode there is some brightness loss but no more than any other projector... this is really more of a function of what glasses you use. When in 3D mode the brightness is increased by the projector a certain amount to help compensate for the loss of the glasses.

- I have used both 120hz-only (XPand X102) and 144hz compatible (Sainsonic) with both working just as well.

- There are other aspects of the HDMI 1.4 spec required to have an HDMI 1.4 rating (Ethernet, audio-return, etc)... the Vivitek lacks those but handles 3D just as any other HDMI 1.4 display.

Hope this helps.

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post #16 of 23 Old 03-24-2013, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Hopkins View Post

- The image size is dependent on your throw distance (distance from screen to projector) and the amount of zoom used.

- In 3D mode there is some brightness loss but no more than any other projector... this is really more of a function of what glasses you use. When in 3D mode the brightness is increased by the projector a certain amount to help compensate for the loss of the glasses.

- I have used both 120hz-only (XPand X102) and 144hz compatible (Sainsonic) with both working just as well.

- There are other aspects of the HDMI 1.4 spec required to have an HDMI 1.4 rating (Ethernet, audio-return, etc)... the Vivitek lacks those but handles 3D just as any other HDMI 1.4 display.

Hope this helps.

Another projector i was looking at is the BenQ MW519. It was noted that in order to watch 3D blue ray for that projector you need 144hz dlp glasses because 3D blue ray is 1080p. Is that true for this projector??
This will be my second projector purchase. i currently have a almost 4 year old viewsonic pjd6211 projector that does 3D over VGA using the 120 htz on my computer. Doesn't even have HDMI, lol . I've had this a while and will be looking for an upgrade at end of year. My viewsonic projector is 2500 lumans and 3000:1 contrast but when you switch it to 3d it cuts the lumans and contrast EASLY in half to probably 1200 lumans not to mention like you said the DLP glasses cut as well. I've been content with it but It's time for the the next upgrade to last me another 3- 5 years. If what you say is correct then switching to this projector will be a difference of night and day compared to my viewsonic. Also, my current projector only gives a solid 75 inch screen before it becomes to blah and that's at 10 1/2 feet.
How far is your projector from wall and how big is image??
You mention brightness loss and say " no more then others" does that mean this projector will jump from 3600 lumans to 1500 or even LESS like mine??
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post #17 of 23 Old 03-24-2013, 07:48 PM - Thread Starter
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I have a 100" 16:9 image projected from approximately 12'. Check the throw-distance calculator at Projector Central to see what size image you can get given a particular trow distance...

The D803W-3D increases brightness in 3D mode to help compensate for the brightness loss of the glasses.

As I said before, I have had no problems with 120hz glasses (Xpand X102-XP) as well as 144hz-capable glasses (Sainsonic).

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post #18 of 23 Old 03-30-2013, 10:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Hopkins View Post

I have a 100" 16:9 image projected from approximately 12'. Check the throw-distance calculator at Projector Central to see what size image you can get given a particular trow distance...

The D803W-3D increases brightness in 3D mode to help compensate for the brightness loss of the glasses.

As I said before, I have had no problems with 120hz glasses (Xpand X102-XP) as well as 144hz-capable glasses (Sainsonic).


when you put the projector in 3D mode, does the image become washed out like in some projectors killing the blacks?? When in 3D mode are you still able to change the settings in the color, contrast, gamma and others or are they disabled in 3D mode?? How is the image in 3D mode vs 2D mode??
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post #19 of 23 Old 03-31-2013, 12:21 PM - Thread Starter
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There is a small amount of washout in 3D, but you're going to see this in pretty much any sub-$1k projector. It is offset to a certain degree by the brightness ramp-up in 3D mode which it sounds like your previous projector did not do. The brightness/color/image settings are mostly not available in 3D mode, but you should likely be calibrating in 2D and letting the 3D mode compensation do its thing.

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post #20 of 23 Old 03-31-2013, 12:51 PM
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I love the fact that this projector comes with a 3 year warranty and a 1 year lamp replacement. I find myself shying away from this projector though cause it seems somewhere i read that vivitek has been know to have bulbs that dont last long and that has me kind of concern. I don't want to have this projector for a year then bulb goes out 2 months after warranty and i have to buy a new bulb then. The Lumans on this thing is a beast for the price. I'm tinkering back and forth between this one and the benQ MW519. The BenQ only has a 1 year warranty on everything and i would have to buy an 2 year extended warranty but i seems I read online everywhere that BenQ is dependable and bulbs arn't known to do that. What's your opinion on the Vivitek?? Have you had a vivitek before?? How long have you had this one?? Now, I plan on upgrading in about 3 or 4 months so, I Need to get settled in what i want.
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post #21 of 23 Old 04-01-2013, 04:15 PM - Thread Starter
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I went back and forth on the D803W-3D, the BenQ MW519, and waiting/saving a bit more for the BenQ W1070. The selling points at the end of the day ended up being the added brightness (using in a mixed-use room where the kids watch with lights on), the DC3 vs. DC2 on other 720p 3D models, and my general satisfaction with 720p on a 100" screen at 14' viewing distance. While Vivitek is a fringe brand, I wouldn't consider them un-established at this point in time.

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post #22 of 23 Old 04-01-2013, 05:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Hopkins View Post

I went back and forth on the D803W-3D, the BenQ MW519, and waiting/saving a bit more for the BenQ W1070. The selling points at the end of the day ended up being the added brightness (using in a mixed-use room where the kids watch with lights on), the DC3 vs. DC2 on other 720p 3D models, and my general satisfaction with 720p on a 100" screen at 14' viewing distance. While Vivitek is a fringe brand, I wouldn't consider them un-established at this point in time.

So, with the BenQ you had to be at least 14 feet back to get a 100 ft screen or with the vivitek?? I do like the 3 year warranty with the vivitek. Any rainbow effects??
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post #23 of 23 Old 04-01-2013, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Hopkins View Post

I went back and forth on the D803W-3D, the BenQ MW519, and waiting/saving a bit more for the BenQ W1070. The selling points at the end of the day ended up being the added brightness (using in a mixed-use room where the kids watch with lights on), the DC3 vs. DC2.

what is DC3 and DC2?? How long have you had the projector for and have you had any problems with it?? Have you had any problems getting your DLP glasses to work with it?? Have you tried it hooked to your computer via VGA for 3D?? If so, Is it the same results when in 3D mode over the VGA??
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