Originally Posted by teluan
I stumbled on this interesting text while searching for info on ANSI contrast:
" You can't project black so if the screen is lit by the room that's the lowest black level you can measure.
People hardly ever seem to consider reflected light. Look at the ceiling and furniture, unless they are black this lowers the maximum contrast ratio you can view."
I found it in this review:http://www.homecinemacentral.com.au/..._Z7_review.htm
Absolutely. If you have any ambient light in the room during the movie, then talking about black levels pretty much means nothing. Now if you have all the lights off and it's pitch black, then the screen will throw a lot of light, so you will need to make sure your walls, ceiling, and carpet are dark. As I am amazed at home much light gets reflected from a light colored room. This will also wreck your black levels.
With all that, while a projector can't project black. I haven't seen any projector in my price ranges that can block 100% of the light for it's blacks. The HD20 is still just a DarkChip 2 DLP light processor. So it already doesn't have the best black level that DLP by TI has to offer.
While I don't notice the black levels for bright movies. I do notice the greyish black levels on the HD20 when viewing movies with many dark scenes like Batman, V for Vendetta, Dark City, Blade Runner, Master and Commander, space scenes, etc. And video games that are often dark. Especially vs my old HD70 since the HD20 has a much brighter bulb. Both units I have been using in bulb low mode.
So if you have a dark colored theater and full light control and are focusing on black levels, you will notice what I am talking about. Now as for performance vs price. I find that still very debatable. If you are coming from a low cost non-HD or even possibly a low cost 720p projector, and were fully happy with the black levels; then you likely will be perfectly happy with the HD20.
I am still within my 90 day return period with Costco on my HD20. So I might still return mine. BUT, there is a high chance I won't. First, I can likely improve the perceived black levels by going with a grey screen. So I want to test that out first. While I am perfectly willing to spend 2x the HD20 for the AE4000U to get better blacks alone. The fact that the AE4000 is LCD really bothers me. I have watched the AE4000 thread since it started and many people have had dust blob issues from the start. In Phoenix, AZ our house has a lot of dust. Even with the best AC air filters we can buy. Our Oregon house hardly had any dust in comparison. So I would have to clean the filters of the AE4000 often and likely will have to deal with cleaning it often too. It would be high on the ceiling for my install and so I would have to drag a latter in there for each cleaning, etc. That alone really deters me from wanting an LCD projector.
If it wasn't for the dust issue, I would love to get the AE4000 for it's better blacks, vertical and horizontal optical lens shift, lens memory feature for a CIH setup if wanted, and I even like the centered lens on the unit and great remote.
So due to the dust issue, it's 98% likely I won't return my HD20 even though I really want the better black levels on my existing screen.
I also like the much smaller size of the HD20 vs the AE4000. Hopefully I can improve my screen for better blacks with the HD20 (was better with the lower brightness of the HD70), if not. I will likely just wait until I do my 3rd theater install 2-3 years from now and revisit the options then.