Originally Posted by xenon2000
I watch a lot of sci-fi, which have way more than 1-5% dark scenes. But that isn't the point.
Maybe my HD20 isn't calibrated right and maybe you can help me. I have dark walls, 100% light control, 125" 1.0 white matte screen, HD20 with bulb on low. Brightness at 0, sharpness at 7. I will have to check the other settings. I just remember those ones. PS3 and HTPC for BluRays, DVD, recorded TV, internet, and gaming. I did a basic calibration with a 16 and 256 grey scale bar and also with 6 color gradient bars. Resolution graph for adjusting focus and sharpness settings.
Not saying I am not happy with the HD20. But the lower brightness of the HD70 with the bulb on low on a 100" screen had better blacks on the same kind of screen and room.
But I am plenty happy with the HD20 for the price point. I wanted to get the Panasonic AE4000U but the filter and LCD aspects stopped me. Hopefully my next projector will meet my desires for black levels. Or maybe I can sqeeze some better blacks from my HD20.
I agree with you about local digital projectors. Well, some of them. The 3D digital presentations I have seen looked great for blacks. But the pre-show on Crysti digital projectors appeared to be LCD as I saw a few dead pixels and some stuck on blue or other colors. And the blacks were just terrible. Not to mention, those cinemas don't even try to correct the geometry distortion caused by projecting a flat image onto a curved screen.
I am still tempted to try a grey screen with my HD20 due to the brighter bulb. If I had the room, I would just make a bigger screen to drop brightness. But I think 130" would be the largest I could go and 5" isn't worth me making a new screen. lol. I would love to see the HD20 at 200" with bulb on low.
Well maybe you just have a higher expectation of a black-level than I do, I trust your calibration was pretty good, especially based on your screenshots you posted awhile back. Could have passed for a huge plasma screen imo and yours actually inspired me to go and tweak my calibration more when you posted it.
I am surprised you had to pull the Brightness down to 0
Maybe my lamp is a lot dimmer than yours....I keep my sharpness at 7 same as you, on that note, I noticed the sharpness only works in 16:9 mode, it seems to have no effect while on "native". Weird.
For my first 1000 hours I kept it on econo-mode, then I read Art's post (projectorreviews.com) as to how much better contrast (actual and perceived) you get when running a projector in bright-mode and thats how Optoma rates it at 4000:1, also with Image AI on, which I despise and will never use.
Using this forum's calibration disc, for "Cinema" I tried bright-mode ON, Brightness at 36, Contrast at 46, and tweaked the gamma-curve for the "Film" to balance my gray-scale to a respectable level. For the user setting which is for my Xbox 360, almost the same setting except I use the "Graphics" curve. I noticed immediately that even though my lowest black level raised slightly, the extra lumens from bright-mode helped bring those dim details from dark scenes back into a range where my perception of these scenes look much better than my previous perception of the lower blacks levels of econo-mode. I will admit I lost a tiny bit of my color saturation it seems, but I tweaked it out the best that I could and I think it looks great.
Granted, many users will opt to run econo-mode for various reasons, mainly bulb-life, I was once one of them for a long time, but I can say that for me, I've decided to run her wide-open for my setup because I think it looks much better on my 150" 1.1 gain max-white screen. The additional noise still does not bother me with it mounted 8' above my couch, regardless of what the reviewers say. Of course, there are also benefits to my econo-mode calibration as well..
Now bright-mode with a gray screen has started to make me wonder if I should try it now. I know the gray screen will help my blacks out a lot, but in theory with bright-mode on you can still retain the pop and punch of those bright colors on it. I'll probably never try it though because of the hassle. Maybe I am just too content with the awesome picture I got from a $1k projector. My next upgrade will have a DarkChip 3 when the time comes, until then, I am stuck tweaking my actual perception of the blacks the best that I can like you said, at this price-point though, couldn't be more happier.