TW600 vs. TW700 or (800 vs. 810 depending on your location)
I witnessed the 1st TW700 available in Singapore. It has arrived 4 days ago in the one shop that is selling it at this point of time. This shop is also the last shop I found selling an old stock of TW600.
I managed to review both units one after the other in the shop. We played LOTR, Return of the King in plain old DVD. It was in a light controled room (black walls but light colored ceiling and quite a few HiFi devices to reflect some light). Projection was on a 16:9 100" white mat screen with a gain of 1. We were using a Denon 2930 connected through HDMI, upscaling in 1080i. I watch at around 12 feet and as close as 4 feet. I did not managed to know which level of calibration was done. The TW600 units had its keystone dialed on +3! I do not mean that they were trying to give a cleaner image to the TW700 but well I have some doubt anyway.
After removing the keystone adjustment I found that image quality were not words apart. Blacks on the 700 are slightly darker but I did not notice major differences in term of shadow details. I did not have the time to notice how the irises perform. The 700 is sharper, no doubt about it and it has more depth. 3D effects can be very impressive on selected scenes. The TW600 does achieve this level but is quite impressive in its all rights.
I have not noticed any video noise, VB
or SD. May be I am very tolerant to VB
. I was able to watch the picture at less than 10 feet without noticing it. I have not noticed any problem with shading. The TW600 had 54 hours on the bulb and the 700 could only have less than that.
I have not found any difference between the 2 projectors in term of brightness when using similar settings. The brightness is good enough in brighter modes to project a nice image despite some ambiant light. IMHO, "dynamic" and "living room" modes are not suitable at all for movie watching but should do fine for sports events.
To me, the main difference between the 2 units is the zoom capabilities on the TW700.
The price difference was close to US$600 between the 2 units. I decided to go for the TW600 has I could not justify the price difference for the TW700. This choice was based on the following point:
1- I do not have a dedicated dark room, only a light colored wall living room with limited light control even though I have BOC on all windows, therefore, I am not likely to benefit from the improve CR.
2- The zoom lens on the TW600 is good enough for my setup
3- I plan to use DIY anamorphic prisms for a CIH 2.35 screen. This should be the bottleneck for the total system sharpness. The better lens on the TW700 may be waisted.
4- There very few TW700 units available at this point of time and I suspect possible quality issue at production start. On the other end, the TW600 has been produced for a year ans should be stable.
5- If it breaks down, I may very well get a TW700 anyway (this has already been reported on another foreign forum).
6- showing some financial responsability to the significant other in order to ease the negotiation of the next upgrade in 3 to 4 years time when full HD will have become affordable, standardized and debugged. That won't be easy anyway... 10 years that we have been watching movies on the same 21" CRT! LOL
I bought the TW600 on the spot at a nice price and happily drove back home tonight with my Precious. This is our first home projector and my wife was quite impressed when I fired it up on our bare wall feeding composite video in PAL direct from the digital cable box. Can't wait to plug my PC through DVI and send some HD content! Have to go ;-)