How effective is Sim2's bulb modulation tech? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 11-06-2012, 09:12 PM - Thread Starter
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I've been looking for a high brightness projector to light up a large screen. I'm tempted by some of the DCI units, but the CR is bad compared to most of the consumer offerings. Sim2 has some high brightness projectors with decent CR, but my understanding is they do it by dimming the bulb to lower black levels. I assumed it was like DI except modulating the light by continuously varying the power to the lamp. But TI's chipset support for light modulation is Dynamic Black which most of Sim2's highend lineup lacks. Are they manipulating the video levels in coordination with lamp modulation to essentially roll their own version of Dynamic Black? Or do they just back the lamp down to the low power setting when the screen is black? Both techniques could provide similar "full on / full off" CR numbers.

I realize the importance of ANSI CR, and that sequential CR is just one parameter to measure projector performance. I also plan to get demos before I buy anything , which could be a while. But this being AV Science, I am curious how Sim2's contrast enhancing tech works.

 

 

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post #2 of 22 Old 11-07-2012, 11:34 AM
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SIM2 achieves their dynamic contrast by way of a mechanical armature that moves in and out of the light path very rapidly. There is a pear-shaped aperture in the armature which, in dark frames, is positioned such that the narrow end of the pear is in the light path, and in brighter frames, the bulbous (more open) end of the pear is in the light path. This acts to accentuate dark and bright, thus boosting perceived contrast.
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post #3 of 22 Old 11-07-2012, 07:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Isn't that for the Lumis and below which use Dynamic Black? I'm wondering how they do it on the higher end models without Dynamic Black.

 

 

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post #4 of 22 Old 11-08-2012, 12:36 PM
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I think what he's referring to is called Unishape lamp technology. Higher end DLPs use it to help shut off the lamp faster to get better contrast. Osram developed the technology a few years ago. Sim2's D80E was the first unit they sold with the technology. I own a Planar PD8150 which also utilizes the technology as well.

Here's an AVSforum thread about the tech:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/919411/unishape-technology-info

Osram's official page for the technology;

http://www.osram.com/osram_com/tools-and-services/tools/unishape/index.jsp?search_result=%2fosram_com%2fsearch%2fadvanced_search.jsp%3faction%3ddosearch%26inp_searchterm_1%3dUnishape%26website_name%3dosram_com

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post #5 of 22 Old 11-10-2012, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabident View Post

Isn't that for the Lumis and below which use Dynamic Black? I'm wondering how they do it on the higher end models without Dynamic Black.

This was first introduced on the Lumis and is now used in the SOLO. I'm not sure which other projectors also use it, but it has nothing to do with Unishape. It is proprietary to SIM2.
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post #6 of 22 Old 11-10-2012, 08:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete View Post

This was first introduced on the Lumis and is now used in the SOLO. I'm not sure which other projectors also use it, but it has nothing to do with Unishape. It is proprietary to SIM2.

Is the effect less obvious (perceived) compared to TI's Dynamic Black? Also, I've read, if implemented correctly Dynamic Black can boost contrast to 3x that of native measurements. Does this technology work less or more efficiently?

I realize this question is only answerable in a subjective way when looking at Sim2's projectors. I would imagine they fine to the algorithms to make it virtually undetectable. I only ask this because so many manufacturers (minus Sony and Runco off the top of my head) seem not to care if their iris implementation is noticeable or not. I would imagine the reason behind this is because of R&D money which they don't have to put into fine tuning the algorithms. If Sim2's technology is easier and less costly to fine tune it would be great if they sold it to other companies so they could implement it with better results in contrast and perceived artifacts without having to put as much money to develop the technology as much to achieve results as close to Sony and Runco/Planar.

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post #7 of 22 Old 11-10-2012, 10:14 PM
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It is the best implementation of dynamic iris I have seen. It is very fast and I have yet to catch it in the act whereas I usually can with other sets.

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post #8 of 22 Old 11-12-2012, 03:06 PM
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It is the best implementation of dynamic iris I have seen. It is very fast and I have yet to catch it in the act whereas I usually can with other sets.

I pretty much can only notice it sometimes during white end credits on a black screen.

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post #9 of 22 Old 11-12-2012, 06:26 PM - Thread Starter
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I thought Dynamic Black was TI's trademark name for Dynamic Iris on DLP... and bulb modulation was something different, no?

How does Sim2 get 10k:1 CR on their highend projectors without DI / Dynamic Black?

 

 

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post #10 of 22 Old 11-13-2012, 11:46 AM
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Anyone interested in how the Lumis dynamic iris / bulb modulation wrks, might want to read through the existing Lumis thread. There is a lot of good information there -
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1117231/sim2-lumis-owners-thread/30

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It has, and after spending several hours tonight comparing the two, I would have to concurr with the previous observations. It is really uncanny how the dynamic black works. Because it is a frame by frame analysis, and source dependent, the better the source, the deeper the blacks get. This is something I don't see on the RS20, as the source improves, the RS20 does not, so the blacks start looking muddy in comparison. The Sim2, can look comparable with middle of the road material, but look at a something like Underworld Evolutions, or Wanted (which I watched tonight) and the blacks get so deep it is really stunning.

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post #11 of 22 Old 11-13-2012, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabident View Post

I thought Dynamic Black was TI's trademark name for Dynamic Iris on DLP... and bulb modulation was something different, no?
How does Sim2 get 10k:1 CR on their highend projectors without DI / Dynamic Black?

From what he is saying, Sim2 has created their own version of the technology. It is a dynamic iris that Sim2 themselves have put R&D money into and created something similar to what TI has done. Sim2 can achieve those numbers a bunch of different ways without using one. A few for example would be;

  • ND filter on the color wheel
  • Optical coatings on the lens
  • Coatings/light dampening inside the optical path to catch stray light
  • The Best of the Best DMD's from TI ( I have also read that TI uses different shades of black on the back plane of the chip itself. The darker it is the better the contrast is)
  • Light Modulation techniques used on the bulb
  • Multiple Manual or static Irises
  • Better lenses to stop light from scattering

You get what you pay for. There is a reason you pay a premium. The above mentioned are just a few of those reasons.

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post #12 of 22 Old 11-13-2012, 06:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Sim2 lists Dynamic Black for the Lumis, so no mystery there. Its DI implementation is widely regarded as the best out there. I would like to leave Lumis, dynamic black, and DI out of the discussion. I am asking about the highend Sim2 models: Teatro & the new Cinema line.

There is no color wheel. Lenses should be on par with a 6 figure Titan or Barco. They don't appear to be throwing away a lot of light to get sequential CR spec up. 2 x 400w UHP bulbs nets 7,000 lumens while DPI uses a 3.6Kw xenon bulb and only nets 8,000 lumens. Sim2 has twice the sequential CR. Everything I've read says it's the bulb modulation that's doing it. But what exactly is "bulb modulation". I'm interested in the theory behind it, as well as the real world benefit.

I remember Lon's thread on the HD6Km. The iris would only clamp down after 15 seconds of dark material. So it looked great on paper and the CR rating was true, but real world was far from what the numbers would indicate. I understand DI is never going to be as good as native, and I understand implementations vary. What I'm asking is in similar vein, how good is Sim2's version of "bulb modulation" ? Is it frame by frame? Does it work similar to DI? Or does it just drop the bulb to eco mode when full field black is displayed?

Comparing consumer units to DCI, I hear things like better lenses, better chips, better convergence. There are other PITA issues to deal with, but they're all surmountable. The only performance area where DCI comes up short is CR, so I'm interested how much real world CR difference there is between a high end Sim2 with 10k:1 CR, a Titan Reference which eeks out 5k:1, and the best Barco has to offer which only seems to manage 2100:1.

 

 

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post #13 of 22 Old 11-14-2012, 10:19 AM
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I've already posted a couple links about the bulb modulation above. It's called Unishape lamp technology. It's a technology proprietary to Osram bulbs.

As far as the DCI units are concerned, I think a lot of the CR measurements are decent considering how many lumens these machines are putting out. I also think companies like Barco are a lot more concerned with how bright these units are instead of how good the contrast is. I'm a firm believer that once you hit a certain black level other things become so much more important. I think that tipping point for me is around measured after calibration 8000:1 on/off.

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post #14 of 22 Old 11-14-2012, 06:21 PM - Thread Starter
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I read the links, but they are talking about modulating the light output for each segment of the color wheel which wouldn't apply for 3 chip DLP.

 

 

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post #15 of 22 Old 12-16-2012, 05:54 PM
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I thought Sim2 introduced Uni shape on the "E" versions of the HT3000 originally. Never remember seeign it applied to the 3-chip units, but I'm going on memory.
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post #16 of 22 Old 12-17-2012, 12:22 AM - Thread Starter
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They list >10k:1 on the highend units. That's without a DI and based on the same .95 DC4 chips. I assume that means bulb modulation. Some people have said they prefer the Lumis without the DI. I was wondering how bulb modulation compared with DI and native.

 

 

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post #17 of 22 Old 12-17-2012, 02:46 PM
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SIM2 now has their own proprietary dynamic black system that is unrelated to OSRAM UNISHAPE.
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post #18 of 22 Old 12-17-2012, 07:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete View Post

SIM2 now has their own proprietary dynamic black system that is unrelated to OSRAM UNISHAPE.
There can only be 2 things going on. Lamp modulation (questionable), and iris (or equivalent). Sim2 is proficient at tooting their horn when they have something no one else does. I haven't seen any mention in any dealer docs on a proprietary secret DB system. Do you have something to share?
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post #19 of 22 Old 12-17-2012, 08:34 PM
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That SIM has a unique ( and very effective ) dynamic iris in the Lumis Solo ( and the Lumis Host I have ) that works with lamp modulation ( if I understand it correctly ) has of course been known, and discussed, in the Lumis thread, for 3 or 4 years.

I myself much prefer the Lumis with the dynamic iris on.

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post #20 of 22 Old 12-18-2012, 08:18 AM
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It is not so much lamp modulation as it is light modulation. The lamp is in a steady state...not being pulsed...but an electromechanical device with a pear-shaped aperture moves in and out of the light path on a frame by frame basis allowing more light to pass in brighter scenes and less light to pass in darker scenes. It accomplishes a similar result as that of a dynamic iris but much faster and with greater precision...no pulsing...no lag.
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post #21 of 22 Old 12-18-2012, 11:26 AM
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As a current owner of a Nero 3D-2 and a M.150 and a previous owner of Lumis, I can tell you that Sim2's DB works very good until you have use subtitles. The only weakness of the technology is white text against dark material. It's clearly visible with the most distracting greenish/yellowish color shifting.

The best way to avoid this issue is by communicating with the projector using RS-232 and deselecting the DB if you need to use subtitles for a movie.
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post #22 of 22 Old 12-18-2012, 09:04 PM - Thread Starter
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DB has always been listed as a feature on the Lumis and Nero. The pear shaped thing was Sim2's implementation of DI. Not an actual iris because that takes time to close, but something solid that they could quickly snap in and out the beam with precision (using a hard disk drive motor, I think).

This promo video shows the pear shaped thing on the Lumis in action (skip to the 44sec mark).

The speed and precision was why their version of DB was better... but it was still DB. The higher end lines don't use DB, yet they're still able to do very high CR for the light output.
5x better CR than Barco.
2x as high as the best DPI has to offer.

 

 

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