Sony MPCL1 Pico Projector laser scanning - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 114 Old 08-12-2015, 10:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Sony MPCL1 Pico Projector laser scanning

http://www.playstationlifestyle.net/...rtable-screen/

http://www.sony.net/SonyInfo/News/Pr...24E/index.html


Looks like they are using the mems mirror from microvision.

http://www.microvision.com/
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post #2 of 114 Old 08-12-2015, 08:22 PM
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Is this projector available to buy yet?
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post #3 of 114 Old 08-12-2015, 11:42 PM
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I wonder if Sony has many any modifications to the PicoPro besides software and casing...
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post #4 of 114 Old 08-13-2015, 05:42 AM - Thread Starter
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who know but from the press release it looks like they are using only the mems mirror from microvision. Hopefully because its sony you will have more control over it. Crossing fingers but who knows. In nthe press release sony developed everything but the mems mirror. Even the video processing and angle correction.

Last edited by space2001; 08-13-2015 at 05:46 AM.
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post #5 of 114 Old 08-14-2015, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elix View Post
I wonder if Sony has many any modifications to the PicoPro besides software and casing...

Probably very unlikely. They just slapped a plastic don't case on it.
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post #6 of 114 Old 08-14-2015, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Verge2 View Post
Probably very unlikely. They just slapped a plastic don't case on it.
PicoPro doesn't do this: «it is equipped with an independently-developed distortion correction circuit which corrects screen shapes such as rectangles that can be distorted into trapeziums*4 when projected from certain angles to their original shape»

It's an important feature.
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post #7 of 114 Old 08-14-2015, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nostriluu View Post
PicoPro doesn't do this: «it is equipped with an independently-developed distortion correction circuit which corrects screen shapes such as rectangles that can be distorted into trapeziums*4 when projected from certain angles to their original shape»

It's an important feature.
Or maybe they paid microvision for the rights to say this? Don't believe everything you hear.
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post #8 of 114 Old 08-14-2015, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Verge2 View Post
Or maybe they paid microvision for the rights to say this? Don't believe everything you hear.
I don't understand what you're saying. PicoPro doesn't have any sort of keystone feature, which is a big drawback. The Sony statement seems to imply they have resolved it.
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post #9 of 114 Old 08-15-2015, 09:32 AM
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As soon as there's a true 1080p version of this with a bit higher lumens I'm all over this.

Trapezoid / keystone geometry correction is indeed an important feature, but IMO a much bigger problem is that the projected image is centered from the projector location rather than bottom-justified. Not sure how they could fix that without a lens (it's basically lens shift), but I'm pretty sure it's possible. A major design flaw.
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post #10 of 114 Old 09-02-2015, 06:24 AM - Thread Starter
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http://www.sony-asia.com/corporate/r...aHDTheatre.pdf

Sony having a press conference this morning at IFA. Wouldn't be surprised if it was part of it. They are announcing new mobile phones so this could be a part of it.
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post #11 of 114 Old 09-28-2015, 06:54 AM - Thread Starter
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post #12 of 114 Old 09-28-2015, 12:00 PM
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Same warm white-balance and somewhat off (but not unpleasantly so) colors, BUT the Sony adds Contrast, Tint, Saturation menu controls.
..also keeps the laser alignment abilities like the Celuon.

Same odd 720x1920 native resolution (quirk of scanning laser at the moment), BUT it has vertical AND horizontal keystone adjustment.
..no mention of default offset position.
..no mention of tripod hookups and it has a little flipdown leg.

Built-in audio is super weak, BUT it has a standard 1/8" audio-output.

It appears the large USB port is only for charging external devices and cannot play flashdrive files like most portables can, BUT it does have a miniHDMI (cable included) along with miracast for android and other streamers that can use it.

Same 32-ish surprisingly bright lumens and excellent native on/off contrast, BUT no mention of dark color anomaly (which if present, may hopefully be fixable using internal color controls.

Keystone, audio-out, color controls, and HDMI standard along with the similar $350 price-tag makes this look like a cool little box.
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Simple <$250 dedicated black-fabric theater room, build in a day, takedown in an hour.
Easy $25-40 DIY black/dark-grey ambient-light rejecting screen, grab two things from a local store..mix..roll..done.
"A store that sells blinds can help your picture more than a store that sells projectors many times." -bud16415

Last edited by Ftoast; 09-28-2015 at 01:23 PM.
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post #13 of 114 Old 09-28-2015, 12:32 PM - Thread Starter
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post #14 of 114 Old 10-08-2015, 02:57 AM
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Any updates on an actual release date? Most sites say released in October; I saw one mention of mid-October but nothing with a specific date.
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post #15 of 114 Old 10-08-2015, 07:58 AM
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Still have a bad taste from the Picopro. I'm interested to see if they worked around getting the image sharper without the class 3r laser rating. They probably didn't.

If they somehow managed a shorter throw or an extreme offset though it might be worth a look a 1080p V2 down the road.
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post #16 of 114 Old 10-08-2015, 03:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaredtschetter View Post
Any updates on an actual release date? Most sites say released in October; I saw one mention of mid-October but nothing with a specific date.
Seen it at http://www.sony.com.hk/products/apps..._mpcl1_presale, delivery/pickup only Hong Kong area. Read earlier it's S-Asia release only, but who knows what the future may bring.
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post #17 of 114 Old 10-13-2015, 11:43 AM - Thread Starter
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post #18 of 114 Old 10-16-2015, 01:09 AM
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I'm a little worried about the rated life of this. Does anyone know what the claimed lifetime of the Celluon is?
Is this a common laser thing, or possibly (hopefully) a typo?



2,000 hours is not enough time..I want more.

EDIT: Okay, some digging into the Celluon manual shows they claim its product lifetime to be 10,000hours.
I'd like to believe a "product lifetime" would naturally be limited by the shortest lifespan non-user-serviceable component/s..but I'm also afraid they simply used it as a way to avoid mentioning the laser-diodes themselves will have a far shorter use period. Ugh, I hope Sony just forgot a zero.
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Simple <$250 dedicated black-fabric theater room, build in a day, takedown in an hour.
Easy $25-40 DIY black/dark-grey ambient-light rejecting screen, grab two things from a local store..mix..roll..done.
"A store that sells blinds can help your picture more than a store that sells projectors many times." -bud16415

Last edited by Ftoast; 10-16-2015 at 02:28 AM.
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post #19 of 114 Old 10-16-2015, 07:19 AM
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They are using the same diode, probably a misprint on sonys part.
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post #20 of 114 Old 10-16-2015, 04:57 PM
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Another Review

Some nice pics of it and comparison with PicoPro:

http://9to5mac.com/2015/10/15/review...ico-projector/
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post #21 of 114 Old 10-17-2015, 05:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Verge2 View Post
They are using the same diode, probably a misprint on sonys part.
There may also be a neat way that both are right..the 10,000hour product-life of the Celluon and the 2,000hour diode-life of the Sony.
The 2,000hour laser lifespan may be the hours it'll run at 100% output before death or noticeable dimming occurs, BUT the average movie is ~10%APL ..meaning a 2,000hr 100% lifespan diode will last about 20,000hours playing movies. Lots of full whitescreen internet browsing could spell trouble though.

Simple <$250 dedicated black-fabric theater room, build in a day, takedown in an hour.
Easy $25-40 DIY black/dark-grey ambient-light rejecting screen, grab two things from a local store..mix..roll..done.
"A store that sells blinds can help your picture more than a store that sells projectors many times." -bud16415
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post #22 of 114 Old 10-17-2015, 05:50 AM
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32 lumens is too dim for any practical use. It will ruin your eye sight. I wonder why Sony even bother to bring it to the market under their brandname.
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post #23 of 114 Old 10-17-2015, 06:41 AM
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Quote:
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32 lumens is too dim for any practical use. It will ruin your eye sight. I wonder why Sony even bother to bring it to the market under their brandname.
The reviewer at PJC said it was looking good up to 90"+ in a dark space.

A big part of why brightness is important is for colors to be visible..the bolder and narrower-spectrum colors from LED models can look surprisingly vibrant at lower ftL-levels and laser is said to increase that ?perception? even farther. Add to that the greatly improved contrast and (if need be) gamma boosting which will both increase perceived brightness..
Granted, I'm mostly all-in for the contrast because I know my brightness needs are lower than average.

Plus I really want a 1/96'th scale model of my Barco.
...totally making *engine/HotWheel noises right now.

Simple <$250 dedicated black-fabric theater room, build in a day, takedown in an hour.
Easy $25-40 DIY black/dark-grey ambient-light rejecting screen, grab two things from a local store..mix..roll..done.
"A store that sells blinds can help your picture more than a store that sells projectors many times." -bud16415
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post #24 of 114 Old 10-17-2015, 07:02 AM
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I have the PicoPro. One problem is that it gets a little softer after 1-2 hrs of use. If the Sony is better in regards to holding the focus, I will buy it. Anyone who has tested focus over time yet?

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post #25 of 114 Old 10-20-2015, 03:29 PM
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more info

A run-through of the settings menu
There are a few posts on this projector with pics and video on this gentleman's blog.
http://marcokao01.pixnet.net/blog/post/438229399
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post #26 of 114 Old 10-21-2015, 04:02 PM
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Now shipping from amazon.com.
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post #27 of 114 Old 10-26-2015, 05:33 AM - Thread Starter
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let us know.
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post #28 of 114 Old 10-26-2015, 06:23 AM
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I bought the Sony and it looks like (for me) it'll be a "keeper".

The brightness looks to be about 50lm-70lm not only to my eye's rough guess, but also when compares side-by-side the ~150lm p300. With the Sony close enough to fill an image about 1/3 as large as the p300 the Sony looks as bright or brighter with both scenes and test-patterns..so I'd vote the ~60lumen thing as legit.

The blacks are amazing and even the higher APL contrast is pretty solid. It was weird for me to want/need to turn PC gamma darker for once because it smoothes the transition to deep-space black with lower quality sources.
Even with the projector up close and making a 4inch-wide image the black-level stays basically invisible..even with some dark content in the scene!

The glitch with low APL color is still there to some degree. I don't see it much/at all with Netflix, but I definitely notice it during part of a scene in DarkKnightRises. It seems to be a product of the surrounding colors..in a dark scene with certain gradually skin-tones, when certain other tones are present within a close enough proximity the fine graduation in some of the tones becomes rougher because a few of them get altered.
It's selective enough for me right now in combination with the price and other factors to the point where I'm able to accept it, but I can certainly imagine others not being interested in such a gamble or compromise.
THIS and to a much smaller extent, the low brightness, is what I would call the only real thing standing in the way of this being a ridiculously excellent projector for a treated/dedicated room.

There is also the portable aspect and its various shortcomings. The lack of a tripod mount is likely to save size and can be easily overcome with a clip-on tripod or simply a couple rubberbands or hair-ties.
The keystone is sadly the standard digital correction and NOT a repositioning of how the mirror/lasers shape the image. On the plus side the amazing blacks and smooth pixel-structure hides two of the normal downfalls of digital keystone, though you're still left with a lower brightness and less overall resolution.
The main downfall to portability in my spoiled opinion is the inability to play video from a USBflashdrive or SDcard inserted into the Sony..they sadly opted to build a "portable" without any built-in media player.

There IS an air-port on the bottom which seems to not give me trouble despite my tripod blocking it (they are supposed to be left open, of course)..also, they are passive ports because there aren't any fans and the only noise from the device is a very quiet whine from the mirror..not piercing super-sonic, just a simple high-pitch that is apparently quiet enough for me to have the projector practically over my head while watching.

The wireless must only work with miracast as advertised because the built-in wifi-direct and dlna of my Samsung tablet (which plays flawlessly with my wireless LG projector) doesn't work with the Sony..they see each other, but time out. A limitation, but an advertised limit.
Its only other input is a single hdmi which doesn't play particularly well with my cable extender/s which I have to assume means it's less beefy than my other two portable PJs, though this makes it more the norm than the exception since many projectors aren't friendly with silly cable extenders or other adaptors..I've just been spoiled a bit by the p300 and pa75u.

The image is softer than my other ~720p models (both DLPs) to the point that a 1080p desktop isn't really readable anymore and the tiniest font on the 720p desktop is a little hazy.
I am very happy to report that there aren't pixel-gaps during larger images and I don't notice a sudden loss of readability with fairly tiny images.
I was initially worried that I was seeing horizontal pixel-spaces during a quick test, but later realized that focusing while the image is tiny and bright makes (at least in my case) the eyes more apt to see the scan-lines to some degree. However, this seems to become much harder with a larger image or while watching from a less crazy-close distance from the screen..especially once you're simply relaxing and watching.
Basically, if you walk up to the screen a bit and try to focus on seeing the lines there's a chance you'll actually see them for a while, but it's otherwise a non-issue during regular viewing (in my opinion)..then the image is nice and smooth.

I also don't see any sparkling on my matte-white screen, even with large areas of solid color.
However, it looks like all of my gain-boosted screens suffer varying degrees of laser speckle and I'm doubting a 1.3+gain screen would be a viable solution for the lack of lumens here.

I didn't notice lagging while moving the PC curser around the screen, but didn't otherwise test it.
Outside of the above-mentioned specific dark-scenes color anomaly, colors are nicely subtle and all the omtrast/saturation/tint controls are fine out of the box. The white-balance appears a bit cold to me but not awful. The greyscale has a couple somewhat fast/long jumps in the dark end which are helped by slightly darkening the gamma from the player if possible, but at least there isn't any inherent clipping outside of the anomaly.
Because of the anomaly, I wouldn't recommend this for Black&White materials as they are likely to suffer some color fringing or tinting during enough scenes to likely put-off most viewers.

Okay, that was kinda all over the place. If you made it through, you're a trooper.
If you have questions, I can try to have answers.


I currently am enjoying the MPCL1 on a 92" ~1.0gain white screen in a dark, black-fabric-treated room, connected to a PC with a short hdmi and a simple 2.1sound-system connected from the Sony's 1/8" aux-out.
Besides the occasional color anomaly in certain lowAPL scenes, I'm VERY pleased.
space2001, Elix and ChaosCloud like this.

Simple <$250 dedicated black-fabric theater room, build in a day, takedown in an hour.
Easy $25-40 DIY black/dark-grey ambient-light rejecting screen, grab two things from a local store..mix..roll..done.
"A store that sells blinds can help your picture more than a store that sells projectors many times." -bud16415

Last edited by Ftoast; 10-26-2015 at 06:26 AM.
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post #29 of 114 Old 10-26-2015, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ftoast View Post
I bought the Sony and it looks like (for me) it'll be a "keeper".

The brightness looks to be about 50lm-70lm not only to my eye's rough guess, but also when compares side-by-side the ~150lm p300. With the Sony close enough to fill an image about 1/3 as large as the p300 the Sony looks as bright or brighter with both scenes and test-patterns..so I'd vote the ~60lumen thing as legit.

The blacks are amazing and even the higher APL contrast is pretty solid. It was weird for me to want/need to turn PC gamma darker for once because it smoothes the transition to deep-space black with lower quality sources.
Even with the projector up close and making a 4inch-wide image the black-level stays basically invisible..even with some dark content in the scene!

The glitch with low APL color is still there to some degree. I don't see it much/at all with Netflix, but I definitely notice it during part of a scene in DarkKnightRises. It seems to be a product of the surrounding colors..in a dark scene with certain gradually skin-tones, when certain other tones are present within a close enough proximity the fine graduation in some of the tones becomes rougher because a few of them get altered.
It's selective enough for me right now in combination with the price and other factors to the point where I'm able to accept it, but I can certainly imagine others not being interested in such a gamble or compromise.
THIS and to a much smaller extent, the low brightness, is what I would call the only real thing standing in the way of this being a ridiculously excellent projector for a treated/dedicated room.

There is also the portable aspect and its various shortcomings. The lack of a tripod mount is likely to save size and can be easily overcome with a clip-on tripod or simply a couple rubberbands or hair-ties.
The keystone is sadly the standard digital correction and NOT a repositioning of how the mirror/lasers shape the image. On the plus side the amazing blacks and smooth pixel-structure hides two of the normal downfalls of digital keystone, though you're still left with a lower brightness and less overall resolution.
The main downfall to portability in my spoiled opinion is the inability to play video from a USBflashdrive or SDcard inserted into the Sony..they sadly opted to build a "portable" without any built-in media player.

There IS an air-port on the bottom which seems to not give me trouble despite my tripod blocking it (they are supposed to be left open, of course)..also, they are passive ports because there aren't any fans and the only noise from the device is a very quiet whine from the mirror..not piercing super-sonic, just a simple high-pitch that is apparently quiet enough for me to have the projector practically over my head while watching.

The wireless must only work with miracast as advertised because the built-in wifi-direct and dlna of my Samsung tablet (which plays flawlessly with my wireless LG projector) doesn't work with the Sony..they see each other, but time out. A limitation, but an advertised limit.
Its only other input is a single hdmi which doesn't play particularly well with my cable extender/s which I have to assume means it's less beefy than my other two portable PJs, though this makes it more the norm than the exception since many projectors aren't friendly with silly cable extenders or other adaptors..I've just been spoiled a bit by the p300 and pa75u.

The image is softer than my other ~720p models (both DLPs) to the point that a 1080p desktop isn't really readable anymore and the tiniest font on the 720p desktop is a little hazy.
I am very happy to report that there aren't pixel-gaps during larger images and I don't notice a sudden loss of readability with fairly tiny images.
I was initially worried that I was seeing horizontal pixel-spaces during a quick test, but later realized that focusing while the image is tiny and bright makes (at least in my case) the eyes more apt to see the scan-lines to some degree. However, this seems to become much harder with a larger image or while watching from a less crazy-close distance from the screen..especially once you're simply relaxing and watching.
Basically, if you walk up to the screen a bit and try to focus on seeing the lines there's a chance you'll actually see them for a while, but it's otherwise a non-issue during regular viewing (in my opinion)..then the image is nice and smooth.

I also don't see any sparkling on my matte-white screen, even with large areas of solid color.
However, it looks like all of my gain-boosted screens suffer varying degrees of laser speckle and I'm doubting a 1.3+gain screen would be a viable solution for the lack of lumens here.

I didn't notice lagging while moving the PC curser around the screen, but didn't otherwise test it.
Outside of the above-mentioned specific dark-scenes color anomaly, colors are nicely subtle and all the omtrast/saturation/tint controls are fine out of the box. The white-balance appears a bit cold to me but not awful. The greyscale has a couple somewhat fast/long jumps in the dark end which are helped by slightly darkening the gamma from the player if possible, but at least there isn't any inherent clipping outside of the anomaly.
Because of the anomaly, I wouldn't recommend this for Black&White materials as they are likely to suffer some color fringing or tinting during enough scenes to likely put-off most viewers.

Okay, that was kinda all over the place. If you made it through, you're a trooper.
If you have questions, I can try to have answers.


I currently am enjoying the MPCL1 on a 92" ~1.0gain white screen in a dark, black-fabric-treated room, connected to a PC with a short hdmi and a simple 2.1sound-system connected from the Sony's 1/8" aux-out.
Besides the occasional color anomaly in certain lowAPL scenes, I'm VERY pleased.
I have had this unit for a week or so. This is my first experience with owning a projector (but I have decent experience with other AV components/methods). It's pretty impressive/neat, but I'm still debating whether or not to keep this one. I have a few observation in general:

1) the unit is slick, easy to set up, and works roughly how I expected. Manual is terrible, but not an issue to me because I have access to the internet.

2) I was hoping for slightly more brightness based on the early reviews that said it was surprisingly bright considering its lumens rating (and the size of the image that I'm projecting). It's not a dealbreaker, but it's not where I was hoping it would be out of a box. (I have questions later about screens/surfaces)

3) I am using this to project on the ceiling over my bed, and I find that I have to heavily rely on the keystoning feature to get the picture squared off (value of 17-20 on vertical keystone). I have the unit roughly 1 foot above the head of my bed, and in order to get it in the field of view that's comfortable, the unit must be angled significantly. I know that this "reduces resolution" but it doesn't seem to be a perceived massive difference from the non-keystoned tests I do).

4) This may be the deal breaker issue - I see a band of red on the left side of the image, green and violet on the top/right sides. It's not a huge band, but it's very noticeable when the image edges are bright/white. I do not remember seeing it at first, so is it possible the lasers got knocked out of alignment? I'm considering exchanging the unit to see if it's just a dud or if it's a wider spread issue.

Some random questions:

1) If I stick with this set up, I am debating buying a screen for this. Will it be a massive improvement over a matte white ceiling with very little texture? Would it be only brightness or are there other benefits? Any recommendations on brands, models, or key features? I would be looking probably at 60-70 inches max size.

2) I have not messed with the image adjustment (biphase, etc) options, do people generally need to tweak this to get the most out of the projector?

3) There are warnings all over this thing about not looking into the projector itself (which seems like a good idea given the 3r laser involved). Is there any research/knowledge about the long term safety of watching the bounced light from this projection method? Do standard projection screens that increase the bounced light cause anyone a concern?

It has much less perceived brightness than a standard LCD TV, so I'm assuming that it should be well under any danger levels, but I don't entirely know the science so I figure I'd ask for opinions/info.

I am worried that I'm trying too hard to justify keeping this thing, but it's a very fun unit.
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post #30 of 114 Old 10-26-2015, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by space2001 View Post
let us know.
Sorry, I meant that it has started shipping in general, not that I have ordered a unit. I'm in Canada, and it's not available here yet.
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