Projector Snake Oils? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 38 Old 09-30-2013, 02:18 AM - Thread Starter
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This past year I had my basement refinished and made a small home theater in it. I have an Epson 5020UB projector. Mustang 106" screen. Denon X4000 receiver plus a small amp. 9.2 surround (JBL L Series; 2 Infinity 163's front heights; 2 Klipsch RW10D subwoofers). Samsung and Panny Bluray players. I must say I am wowed that I did this. Movies are absolutely outstanding. I've had people tell me 3D is better than Regal Cinemas. I really think it is too.

So after reading this forum and others, you learn a lot. So I heard a lot of positive things about the Darbee Darblet. So many said it was a plus for your home theater. A must if you have a projector. Why not make my setup even better? So I ordered the Darblet 5000 off of Big River. I hooked it up and played several different blurays. OTA broadcasts. Hulu and Netflix steams. And to me I saw some sharpening. But nothing, not even close to what people are raving about. I like to photograph. I'm somewhat experienced with unsharp mask in Photoshop. And very experienced with the sharpening tool in Lightroom. This is what this Darblet thing reminded of. But if the picture doesn't need sharpening, you don't use the tool. So I returned it.

So after reading about my Epson 5020UB projector, many are saying it is not good to have it inverted. A lot of problems can happen. I see people are talking about mounting the projector on a Chief LCDA230C. It lets you mount it upright. Therefore you will not have problems. And your picture will most certainly look better. Well my projector is about 11.5 feet from my 106" screen. It is centered. And like I said, it IS inverted. Yet my picture is fine. I see no problems. But reading these posts I'm wondering if I will down the road. Or then I won't.

The same goes with some people that you HAVE to have your theater calibrated by a professional. If you want the best picture. Still wondering about that one too.

I guess the point of this post is that I wonder if you can read to deep into these products and services people are talking about. I'm not saying the Darblet doesn't work. Or the Chief upright mount. But I'm wondering if there is a little bias going on. And if maybe SOME of these reviewers are connected to the companies who make these products.
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post #2 of 38 Old 09-30-2013, 04:22 AM
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They can't write anything that isn't true on the internet, can they?

Like anything thing else, you have to research and understand how things work to know if what is being touted would really make good sense.
I am a hobby calibrator, (own my own gear and have a good grasp on the how and why) This is not snake oil but is also not required unless the best color accuracy (same as what was seen in post production) is of interest to you. If so then altering the signal with a Darblet does not make sense for that type of person as it sharpens the image and will add artifacts. This can be helpful with a low price projector with poor image sharpness or a poor signal (think comcast cable) Some people think it improves the image on there high end units. I have yet to see one in action so I do not really know.
Mounting a projector up or down.. should not matter if it was designed correctly..
So are there snakes under the theater chair.. you bet, but most things you read about here work in the way they are designed as there are far to many people here to all be sucked in to any scam. Just post that you are going to by Monster Brand HDMI cables and see the response.. or do a search for Monster Cable and see what has been written.. Thing about the forum.. data stays around form many many many years..
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post #3 of 38 Old 09-30-2013, 07:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seawater View Post

So after reading this forum and others, you learn a lot. So I heard a lot of positive things about the Darbee Darblet. So many said it was a plus for your home theater. A must if you have a projector. Why not make my setup even better? So I ordered the Darblet 5000 off of Big River. I hooked it up and played several different blurays. OTA broadcasts. Hulu and Netflix steams. And to me I saw some sharpening. But nothing, not even close to what people are raving about. I like to photograph. I'm somewhat experienced with unsharp mask in Photoshop. And very experienced with the sharpening tool in Lightroom. This is what this Darblet thing reminded of. But if the picture doesn't need sharpening, you don't use the tool. So I returned it.

I guess the point of this post is that I wonder if you can read to deep into these products and services people are talking about. I'm not saying the Darblet doesn't work. Or the Chief upright mount. But I'm wondering if there is a little bias going on. And if maybe SOME of these reviewers are connected to the companies who make these products.

Seriously? Snake oil? Do you know there is a dedicated thread for the Darbee Darblet?

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1399154/darbee-vision-darblet

I welcome you to post your negative comments there. Perhaps you don't see the value but there are hundreds if not thousands of AVS members who think the Darbee is a wonderful addition to their video streams, myself included.

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post #4 of 38 Old 09-30-2013, 08:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you airscapes for your response. It makes a lot of sense.

1st of all Mr. G. I didn't call it snake oil. I asked if it was. And the post was not just for the Darbee. It was for home theater equipment in general. And you can read my long 1 star review about the Darbee on Amazon while you're at it. And far as I'm concerned, I'll post anything that I want. The Darbee is junk. You don't like it. Take it to the moderator. I love how people are so brave behind their computer screen.
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post #5 of 38 Old 09-30-2013, 08:25 AM
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I love how people are so brave behind their computer screen.

I agree.

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post #6 of 38 Old 09-30-2013, 08:43 AM
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I have a love/hate feeling about AVS Forum. There are many people here who really want to get it. They will spend hours tweaking their projectors, then tell others to do the same thing, even though they don't realize that every single lamp is different from model to model. People will swear that what they see is the 'best' and that everyone else is wrong, but not have a bit of experience beyond what they own, or any formal training to compare it against. They swear by products, cables, and other enhancements which certainly are as much snake oil as anything else.

Creative Frame Interpolation (CFI) as used on many projectors and displays is one of these features that people often swear by, while others absolutely hate. Auto-iris mechanisms on projectors as well. I have not seen the Darbee so I won't comment on that at all, but it remains fact that video coming from a BD player is like audio coming from an MP3 player... There's only so much which can be done to it.

I recommend you take whatever you get from here, or any forums, with a grain of salt. Reading through LONG topics is nearly completely worthless as the number of ridiculous tweakers in those sections can be ridiculous, and the 1% often make a big noise about something that the other 99% never have any problems with at all. It helps to be aware that it could become an issue, but I would stick with places that have good return policies, and that you should trust your eyes over what others have to say in most cases.

People still miss that the best improvement to any front projection setup is a good room. $50 in paint and a few hundred bucks in carpet.
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post #7 of 38 Old 09-30-2013, 09:42 AM
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Only gonna speculate on the inverted comment of this topic. Lamp based projectors NEED air flow! The more the better! Home theater projector makers worry about fan noise so the airflow cooling the lamp and the projector is generally reduced,,,, A LOT. You heat up ALL the boards that join together to make the projector function and MANY times you get broken or intermittent connections! Most projectors are set up for upright use. Turn it upside down and ALL the heat that would have radiated off the top case is going to go right into the projectors innards. Some projectors are better than others at being inverted. The old in-focus- proxima 290 and 6150 series had power supplies that were SURE to cook if you put them into standby mode or upside down and didn't pull the plug or use the main rocker switch after shut down! If you leave your projector shut down but with power going to the plug you are just asking for trouble. I know that sounds a little harsh for some of you but its better to play safe than sorry.
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post #8 of 38 Old 09-30-2013, 10:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bohanna View Post

Most projectors are set up for upright use.
That's just plain stupid. (Not you, but this as an argument from manufacturers)

Home theater installations have an incredibly high proportion which are ceiling installed. They are heavier, and require better installation methods. While I can understand the sentiment of your argument, if any projector manufacturer uses this lame as all crud excuse, then nobody should buy their garbage. Seriously, their engineers are completely worthless morons.

I've seen (literally) hundreds of home theater installations, and probably 2% or so use projectors in an upright orientation. The rest are ceiling mounted, upside down.

I also have seen almost zero cases of projectors with overheating issues except those with lousy airflow due to clogged filters, or just pure age. Even filterless DLP designs get clogged up eventually if they aren't cleaned.

I would call this type of argument... well, not snake oil, but highly suspect. I've installed a dozen of Epsons, all ceiling mounted... Number of early lamp failures, or overheating issues? Zero.

So, what does that mean?

Nothing - it means that in my experience I haven't seen it as a major issue, but I would want to rip an engineers head off if they ever used such a lame excuse in my presence... Seriously... Most projectors in home theater are NOT ceiling mounted? Please. Don't give me that option then if you (the manufacturer) doesn't know how to properly design a projector!

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post #9 of 38 Old 09-30-2013, 12:16 PM
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...you should trust your eyes over what others have to say in most cases.
Reminds me of the time I was in a Circuit City (remember them?) audio demo room and a customer was comparing two sets of speakers. The salesman would switch back and forth a few times, and the the customer looks at him and says, "Okay -- which one sounds better?"
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People still miss that the best improvement to any front projection setup is a good room. $50 in paint and a few hundred bucks in carpet.
I would add, maybe some (dark) acoustic tiles and covered fiberglass panels along walls, if possible. (Or, even carpet on the walls if no one objects.)
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post #10 of 38 Old 09-30-2013, 01:16 PM
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This thread feels a bit slippery. biggrin.gif

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post #11 of 38 Old 09-30-2013, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by PrimeTime View Post

Reminds me of the time I was in a Circuit City (remember them?) audio demo room and a customer was comparing two sets of speakers. The salesman would switch back and forth a few times, and the the customer looks at him and says, "Okay -- which one sounds better?"
I would regularly ask my clients to go into BB/CC and look at a EDTV vs a HDTV side-by-side. Back then, there was a $500+ price difference between those two at a 42" screen size. I would tell them to stand 10' or so from the TVs with the same source playing on both and then happily acknowledge the sales guy telling them that there was a difference, but to use their own eyes to see if there actually was. My argument was to save them that $500 so I could get them better (speakers/remote/etc.) instead of spending it on something they wouldn't utilize. Time after time, the clients would come back and tell me about how the sales guy insisted there was this huge difference, but from 10' away, they never could see any difference at all.

Forthcoming discussions: UHD vs. 1080p from a 12' viewing distance and a 50" display (not as applicable to front projection).
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I would add, maybe some (dark) acoustic tiles and covered fiberglass panels along walls, if possible. (Or, even carpet on the walls if no one objects.)
Not sure that will help the projected image at all! biggrin.gif

Really, one of the best sounding, and looking rooms, I ever was part of included a fully carpeted home theater. The berber patterned walls didn't completely deaden the room, but controlled reflections nicely and gave one of the best sound experiences in a upper mid-level theater setup that I had ever heard.

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post #12 of 38 Old 09-30-2013, 02:48 PM
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I had my 5020ube inverted ceiling mounted for a few months, kept on messing with the LCD alignment
I read on this site that some had their projectors mounted upright and getting better coverage
brought in the step ladder set the projector upright checked the LCD panel alignment
almost perfect so now its mounted upright on my home built ceiling mount.
I thought I had a focus problem one side was in focus the other side a bit hazy
picked up a laser distance measurer and realized how far my projector was off
not parallel with the screen, the distance measurer allows you to get within 1/16 of being parallel
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post #13 of 38 Old 09-30-2013, 04:05 PM
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From wikiPedia: Snake oil is an expression that originally referred to fraudulent health products or unproven medicine but has come to refer to any product with questionable or unverifiable quality or benefit.

IMHO:

Monster Cable: definitely snake oil
Quartz displays meant to be plugged into household sockets to improve audio quality of your hi-fi system: definitely snake oil
Darbee Darblet: NOT a snake oil. It does change the picture somewhat. Whether that is to your liking or not, that's different thing. If someone is happy with the result, then they are getting what they paid for. I don't use it and will never use it.
Right-side up mount: NOT a snake oil, rather a real solution for poorly designed projectors (not all of them, not even most of them, for some where design or internal components are flawed). I will always mount my projector upside down though.
Calibration: NOT snake oil. Projector/TV ships with default settings suited for a certain environment. If those change then you have to tweak things a little to get it right. Don't have to hire a professional though. You can do it yourself using some great but free resource available right on this site. I always do it using freely available resources.

etc
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post #14 of 38 Old 09-30-2013, 04:52 PM
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Proper calibration without a color meter is not really possible unless your projector comes close to 6500k out of the box and even then it will slip as the lamp ages ... but I basically agree with everything badshah wrote above.

Any time you are dealing with perception you will find snake oil salesmen and willing buyers.

I once tried a tweak posted here about improving the the sound quality from my speakers--might have been bi-wiring, I'm not sure. Anyway--I did the tweak and then sat back and listened to some material I knew very well. And I couldn't believe the TREMENDOUS DIFFERENCE I heard. It sounded so much better, there was so much more detail in the audio. I was thrilled. Tweaks that basically cost nothing and improve audio or visual quality are like the holy grail in home theater. So after listening for a few minutes, I went to move one of my speakers and realized I had failed to execute some final step in my tweaking experiment ... and thus the sound I was hearing was EXACTLY THE SAME as it had always been. Nothing had changed. It was just my mind that made it different.

After that I learned to be much more cognizant of the placebo effect. If something can't be tested in an objective way, and someone insists it is real nonetheless ... well, I'm going to be more than a little skeptical of their claims.

I haven't seen the darbee in action so I have no personal opinion on the matter but again I agree with badshah that it most likely does change the image in some way and whether that is for better or worse may be up for argument but that is not the same as "magical cables" or other such scams.

Calibration is absolutely NOT snake oil and is, in fact, objectively measurable with the proper tools. Whether you like a properly calibrated image more than an improperly calibrated one, well, that is up to you, and of course there is no accounting for taste.

You have to approach this stuff on an individual basis. You can't say "this thing is a scam" therefore all things like it are a scam, or vice versa.
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post #15 of 38 Old 09-30-2013, 07:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seawater View Post

So after reading this forum and others, you learn a lot. So I heard a lot of positive things about the Darbee Darblet. So many said it was a plus for your home theater. A must if you have a projector. Why not make my setup even better? So I ordered the Darblet 5000 off of Big River. I hooked it up and played several different blurays. OTA broadcasts. Hulu and Netflix steams. And to me I saw some sharpening. But nothing, not even close to what people are raving about. I like to photograph. I'm somewhat experienced with unsharp mask in Photoshop. And very experienced with the sharpening tool in Lightroom. This is what this Darblet thing reminded of. But if the picture doesn't need sharpening, you don't use the tool. So I returned it.

I'm with you on this one, Seawater. This kind of argument usually comes from people who have more photographic experiences. The Darblet is just a sharpening tool, plus some saturation. Any people who have worked in photo processing knows an overly sharpened image can cause artifacts, and sharpening does not create more details, just make the image more pop.

I think people who are raved about the Darblet probably don't do photography much, and are probably the same people who thinks an unprocessed photo straight from a digi cam looks better than from a high end DSLR. (I may have offended someone I'm sure, so apology in advance)

Unfortunately, in photography, you can post process the image whatever way you want. In video display, there are very little you can do on the fly. If you have HTPC you can probably find some players and add extra filters to do the sharpening and saturation. But any other video sources, you have to live with whatever image processing it gives you. So an external processor does have its place in video processing.

Is the Barblet a snake oil? No. It is a sharpening and saturation tool and it does make some visual improvements. Do I want it? I do. Do I want to pay the price for this sharpening tool? Hell no. It is not worth it. If it cost $30 or below, I'll buy it. That's my value proposition.
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post #16 of 38 Old 09-30-2013, 07:07 PM
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This is something else that people harp onto (which is fine)...

People talk about calibrating to specifications, getting everything exact, then anyone who disagrees with it looking better, must be incorrect.

Much like everything else, it is not an opinion of others which matters, it is the end user. The owner, the guy who has to live with it. Part of ISF training is the human factor which matters as much as the baseline which things are started from.

You calibrate to a specification, then you start talking to an end user about what they like. You accept what the customer says and you make adjustments based upon their preferences.

Some people get so hung up on 'perfection', they forget that every individual, including themselves, should bias what they are viewing and listening to in a manner which suits them personally.

Perfection isn't about calibration, it's about individuals. Spending money isn't the goal, using nifty gadgets to improve things isn't either, and it isn't calibration. It's about the end user and that person enjoying their system completely. Many people will find that joy far more by keeping the price and/or time of any calibration out of the setup.

Which is fine.
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post #17 of 38 Old 09-30-2013, 07:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AV_Integrated View Post

Time after time, the clients would come back and tell me about how the sales guy insisted there was this huge difference, but from 10' away, they never could see any difference at all.
You could say the same thing about the whole 720p-versus-1080i thing that used to dominate the plasma forums. The Eagle Eyes wanted it both ways: the differences were "obvious," but at the same time they raved about how the new Kuro (Pioneer 5080 -- a 720 set) was as good as it gets.
Quote:
Forthcoming discussions: UHD vs. 1080p from a 12' viewing distance and a 50" display (not as applicable to front projection).
Yeah -- what I just said.

Personally I can't see how UHD will improve the experience for people who watch 55-inch displays from ten feet, which I'll bet is how most HD displays are deployed.

Now, ten feet away from a 100-inch display -- that might help. (But then, I thought Cinerama wasn't too big either.)
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post #18 of 38 Old 09-30-2013, 07:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotjt133 View Post

I'm with you on this one, Seawater. This kind of argument usually comes from people who have more photographic experiences. The Darblet is just a sharpening tool, plus some saturation. Any people who have worked in photo processing knows an overly sharpened image can cause artifacts, and sharpening does not create more details, just make the image more pop.

I think people who are raved about the Darblet probably don't do photography much, and are probably the same people who thinks an unprocessed photo straight from a digi cam looks better than from a high end DSLR. (I may have offended someone I'm sure, so apology in advance)

Unfortunately, in photography, you can post process the image whatever way you want. In video display, there are very little you can do on the fly. If you have HTPC you can probably find some players and add extra filters to do the sharpening and saturation. But any other video sources, you have to live with whatever image processing it gives you. So an external processor does have its place in video processing.

Is the Barblet a snake oil? No. It is a sharpening and saturation tool and it does make some visual improvements. Do I want it? I do. Do I want to pay the price for this sharpening tool? Hell no. It is not worth it. If it cost $30 or below, I'll buy it. That's my value proposition.
You summed it up perfect. I think being a photographer is what turned me off on the Darblet.
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post #19 of 38 Old 09-30-2013, 08:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotjt133 View Post

The Darblet is just a sharpening tool

This seems to be a common misconception about the Darblet. The Darblet is about adding 3D-ness to a 2D image. It takes what our brains would have seen in a stereoscopic 3D image and does what it can to replicate that in a 2D image. The result is improved clarity and dimensionality. A lot of people describe the result as sharper, but that's a rather clumsy description.

It's not an unsharp mask, although the process has some similarities. Rather than a blurred duplicate image, a hypothetical right or left is used. Ultimately it's luminance that is altered. There is no saturation adjustment as far as I understand it.
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post #20 of 38 Old 09-30-2013, 08:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AV_Integrated View Post

This is something else that people harp onto (which is fine)...

People talk about calibrating to specifications, getting everything exact, then anyone who disagrees with it looking better, must be incorrect.

Much like everything else, it is not an opinion of others which matters, it is the end user. The owner, the guy who has to live with it. Part of ISF training is the human factor which matters as much as the baseline which things are started from.

You calibrate to a specification, then you start talking to an end user about what they like. You accept what the customer says and you make adjustments based upon their preferences.

Some people get so hung up on 'perfection', they forget that every individual, including themselves, should bias what they are viewing and listening to in a manner which suits them personally.

Perfection isn't about calibration, it's about individuals. Spending money isn't the goal, using nifty gadgets to improve things isn't either, and it isn't calibration. It's about the end user and that person enjoying their system completely. Many people will find that joy far more by keeping the price and/or time of any calibration out of the setup.

Which is fine.

You have a particular perspective . From your perspective, as a businessman providing a service for which you charge a fee, the customer or end user is always right. Whatever it is that they want, that is what you will try to give them, within reason.

But that is just one perspective. There is also the perspective of someone who values fidelity to the original source material. Let's say that's me. So let's say someone else comes up to me and says: "You know what? Citizen Kane looks much better in color. Also, the original Star Wars is a much better movie since George Lucas digitally replaced Han Solo's laser with a water pistol and added all that other cool CGI stuff."

What would I say to that person? I would say: "You are wrong."

Because I want to see the original work as it was originally designed to be presented, with the same colors scheme, same soundtrack, etc etc. Because, again, I value fidelity to the original source material, as a work of art. Just like if I was going to see a Van Gogh painting at a museum, I would probably want to see his painting preserved in such a way that I could see it as he intended it to look, rather than having the museum "enhance" it with brighter colors or whatever.

It's a different set of values from someone who thinks everyone in every movie should have a glowing radioactive orange face because that means the image has more pop or whatever.

These are kind of silly examples that I'm throwing out there, but you get my point: the end user may be the final authority on what he or she "likes" but not on what is in fact, actually best.
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post #21 of 38 Old 09-30-2013, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Airion View Post

This seems to be a common misconception about the Darblet. The Darblet is about adding 3D-ness to a 2D image. It takes what our brains would have seen in a stereoscopic 3D image and does what it can to replicate that in a 2D image. .

Now that sounds like Snake Oil! Saying it sharpens the image sounds a little more scientific.
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post #22 of 38 Old 09-30-2013, 08:29 PM
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2D images have tons of 3D in them (just not, obviously, stereoscopic 3D). There are about 14 different types of monocular 3D: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depth_perception

I know you meant that as a joke, but seriously speaking, it's science, not snake oil.
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post #23 of 38 Old 09-30-2013, 08:48 PM
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This past year I had my basement refinished and made a small home theater in it. I have an Epson 5020UB projector. Mustang 106" screen. Denon X4000 receiver plus a small amp. 9.2 surround (JBL L Series; 2 Infinity 163's front heights; 2 Klipsch RW10D subwoofers). Samsung and Panny Bluray players. I must say I am wowed that I did this. Movies are absolutely outstanding. I've had people tell me 3D is better than Regal Cinemas. I really think it is too.

3d at home especially with a dlp projector kills anything in cinemas. Why? you can have a really bright 3d image at home, due to screen sizes at cinemas this isn't possible with the tech they use.

So after reading this forum and others, you learn a lot. So I heard a lot of positive things about the Darbee Darblet. So many said it was a plus for your home theater. A must if you have a projector. Why not make my setup even better? So I ordered the Darblet 5000 off of Big River. I hooked it up and played several different blurays. OTA broadcasts. Hulu and Netflix steams. And to me I saw some sharpening. But nothing, not even close to what people are raving about. I like to photograph. I'm somewhat experienced with unsharp mask in Photoshop. And very experienced with the sharpening tool in Lightroom. This is what this Darblet thing reminded of. But if the picture doesn't need sharpening, you don't use the tool. So I returned it.

I have not used the darblet and wouldn't want to, I don't want to add so called 'enhancements' I want to see it as close as possible to how it was intended to be seen. Most seem to say it adds maybe a 10% difference if that to there setup. Which given the price that is a large improvement for those who like it for the price paid. So it isn't snake oil, but it isn't something I am interested in.

So after reading about my Epson 5020UB projector, many are saying it is not good to have it inverted. A lot of problems can happen. I see people are talking about mounting the projector on a Chief LCDA230C. It lets you mount it upright. Therefore you will not have problems. And your picture will most certainly look better. Well my projector is about 11.5 feet from my 106" screen. It is centered. And like I said, it IS inverted. Yet my picture is fine. I see no problems. But reading these posts I'm wondering if I will down the road. Or then I won't.

The same goes with some people that you HAVE to have your theater calibrated by a professional. If you want the best picture. Still wondering about that one too.

It doesn't have to be calibrated by a professional, but if you want the picture to be accurate to what was intended a display does need calibration. Most people with some time and a colormeter (and related software) can do this for themselves and get good results. It can be easier to just have a professional do it for you. This is definitely not snake oil, films are made to a color standard the closer your display is to displaying the images as they where intended to be seen. Of course not everyone finds this important or even cares which is also fine. I must repeat though, this is not snake oil.

I guess the point of this post is that I wonder if you can read to deep into these products and services people are talking about. I'm not saying the Darblet doesn't work. Or the Chief upright mount. But I'm wondering if there is a little bias going on. And if maybe SOME of these reviewers are connected to the companies who make these products.

Of course there is bias and many reviewers don't know much about what they are reviewing (or don't have the time to review the product properly or have external pressures to give a good review). Just look at all the rave reviews the Benq W7000 got when it released and not one reviewer noticed that it was taking a 720p image and upscaling it to 1080p as apposed to displaying a 1080p image. Hell many so called professional reviewers even claimed it was razer sharp in its broken state (not realizing what it was doing). One should never simply trust a review, one should always question and more importantly then anything, one should endeavor to see for themselves before considering a purchase.

Answers/thoughts in bold. smile.gif

[edit: sorry if my English is poor at the moment, I have been having a particularly bad day and fell rather frazzled at the moment].
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post #24 of 38 Old 09-30-2013, 09:23 PM
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Assuming a modest standard of accuracy -- deltaE's of, say, 3-5 points -- I suspect that many of today's PJs will either meet or come close to that OTB. Can it (the accuracy) be improved? That's what calibration is for: fidelity to a standard. But will you see the difference? Within this modest standard, that's unlikely unless the true "standard" is side by side with your slightly imperfect specimen.

I think with many people it's as much a psychological point as anything -- "I want to know that I'm getting everything that I can (paid for)."

As far as this obsession with fidelity to the original artist's "vision," I don't think the impact of a lithograph of Van Gogh would suffer for enjoyment if the colors were off by a delta-E of 3.1.

Many at AVS bemoan the use of Frame Interpolation to "create" images that are/were not explicitly present in the "original." Yet, many of these same purists were pioneers in extolling the early Oppo upscaling DVD players that were "creating" scanning lines not present on the source material.

You can EQ a media room for audio until you're blue in the face and spend thousands on loudspeakers. But if you think that you are getting close to a totally accurate "reproduction" of some musical performance (most of which are synthetically generated and blended in an electronic studio), you are just fooling yourself. Not necessarily a bad thing, as long as you are getting off on it.

So, yeah -- in the end a LOT of it comes down to what feels and tastes good. And we all have different palates...
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post #25 of 38 Old 09-30-2013, 09:37 PM
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^ I haven't come across many projectors that are all that accurate without calibration. The best I have seen is the JVC's. The high end which I have seen not all that much of may be different though.
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post #26 of 38 Old 09-30-2013, 10:29 PM
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My view on sharpness is that, on a well encoded, 1080p video stream, it should be as sharp as what the director wants you to see. A 1080p video stream has only 1920x1080 pixels, so as long as the projector faithfully displays each and every pixel of the video stream, I'll be happy. Anymore sharpness processing is overdone and I consider this is a damage to what the image was intended to be viewed.

On my cheap W1070, I think it is already sharp enough, to the point that I can see clearly see each square pixel of the fonts on the 1080p windows desktop, including all 4 corners. There are some CA on the extreme edges, unfortunately, due to cheap and wider angle lens (the W1070 has a short throw than similar Optima or Epson so CA is more difficult to eliminate). So, when I play high quality 1080p contents, I don't want it to be processed at all. I'm confident that the W1070 is already showing each and every pixel of the video stream.

On some lower quality contents, such as HDTV, 720p or DVD, yes, sharpening and other processing would greatly help. That's where the Darblet has its place.

I have seen Coderguy's screenshot comparing a JVC and W7000, and the W7000 is significantly sharper at pixel levels. The JVC appears a bit blurred at pixel level, although it is a much better projector overall. This reminds me another reason that some people rave about the Darblet. It is their projector that is not sharp enough to start with, so they need extra tools to make the image appear sharper. This also means the Darblet does not enhance the image. It compensates a sub-par display device to be as close as original content. (sorry JVC owner for me calling it sub-par. This is only in the context of pixel level sharpness, not the black or contrast, which they performed great)
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post #27 of 38 Old 09-30-2013, 11:03 PM
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I am as much a video purist as anyone and I use a Darblet with excellent results, I have yet to test it on a display that did not see some level of enhancement (granted it varies by display).

The key to the Darblet is to use it in moderation otherwise things get out of hand, obviously if you push the device to where the image looks processed then you have gone too far.

I can set up a Darblet, calibrate to D65/6500k and assure you that 99% could not tell me if the Darblet was active until shown the difference.

It also cracks me up how many comment on the Darblet and express opinion without actually seeing one properly set-up.

I was a huge skeptic until using it and seeing how it interacts with various displays.

Like I said before this thread is a bit slippery, watch your step. rolleyes.gif

Jason
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post #28 of 38 Old 09-30-2013, 11:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotjt133 View Post

My view on sharpness is that, on a well encoded, 1080p video stream, it should be as sharp as what the director wants you to see. A 1080p video stream has only 1920x1080 pixels, so as long as the projector faithfully displays each and every pixel of the video stream, I'll be happy. Anymore sharpness processing is overdone and I consider this is a damage to what the image was intended to be viewed.

I have seen Coderguy's screenshot comparing a JVC and W7000, and the W7000 is significantly sharper at pixel levels. The JVC appears a bit blurred at pixel level, although it is a much better projector overall. This reminds me another reason that some people rave about the Darblet. It is their projector that is not sharp enough to start with, so they need extra tools to make the image appear sharper. This also means the Darblet does not enhance the image. It compensates a sub-par display device to be as close as original content. (sorry JVC owner for me calling it sub-par. This is only in the context of pixel level sharpness, not the black or contrast, which they performed great)

The Darbee is great, you guys are all missing out. I burned mine up and need a new one (my own fault), and I miss it more than anything else I've had in my theater in a long time. I will get another one shortly.

When I first got it, I played with it by turning it on/off A LOT, and there was no doubt it was doing a lot more than edge sharpening. It is a luminance sharpener for lack of a better word, it changes the contrast of a larger area than what an edge sharpening algorithm would do. The way we see the edges is then also increased because of the overall change in luminance (and probably also a slightly tiny bit of saturation at times). This gives the image more punch without creating an overly processed look. I think most people prefer the Darbee at 30-40% (some might prefer it higher, but it can start making people look vampy and cause a sort of luminosity ring to it).

Because it operates on the difference of luminance rather than just on the edge, there are some scenes in images and movies it doesn't have much effect in, but when it does have an effect, the effect is great. You just have to be careful when you first get it not to judge it too quickly. Some content will be more enhanced than others by it.

And it comes with some neat features like showing you split-screen the difference of it being on or off (as well as transitionally).

Oh and BTW, yah I agree the Benq is sharper at the pixel level, but the JVC is so close that you'd be hard pressed to see a difference on my unit in real world viewing. That sharpness image I have is magnified to like 1000x closer than your actual seating distance would be.


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post #29 of 38 Old 09-30-2013, 11:38 PM
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Anymore sharpness processing is overdone and I consider this is a damage to what the image was intended to be viewed.

(I'll point out again that the Darblet enhances the image's 3D depth and clarity. It doesn't simply enhance sharpness.)

Yours is a valid choice, but I don't think it's clear what was intended to be viewed. Your Benq W1070 provides a good image for the money, but it's far from reference. Its contrast and black levels are of course weak compared to the better projectors out there. Did the director intend his film to be viewed on your (and my) budget projector?

If something like the Darblet can improve the image and compensate for some of the weaknesses in a budget projector, isn't that getting it closer to what was intended to be viewed?
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post #30 of 38 Old 10-01-2013, 12:14 AM
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Does the Darblet increase image contrast and reduce black level? From some Oblivion screen shots I've seen recently (when comparing Darblet and some other sharpening), I did not see it changes contrast. It only has a notable sharpening effect. Of course it is screen shot and real life image could be different.
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