So I've had the RS50 for a few days now, and as I don't have much more to post in the thread I created regarding comparisons to the VPL-VW90 (which I purchased first and then returned because of optical convergence issues), I thought it best to start posting RS50-specific information in this thread.
For those who don't know my history, I own a Sony VPL-VW85, tried the 90es as noted above, and now own the RS50.
My viewing so far has been a good amount of DirecTV 1080i material, some 2D Blu Ray, and four 3D Blu Ray titles.
I was (and in many ways still am) very happy with the 85 - but I wanted to take the plunge into 3D. Going to the 90es was the obvious choice given my satisfaction with the 85. But the optical convergence, red/green fringing with Film Projection mode on (being debated here whether it was my unit only or something more intrinsic in the new HW/processing), and appreciable ghosting/eye fatigue with the 90, I took the chance to switch back to JVC (back, as in I owned an HD750 about two years ago, before moving to the 85)
My screen is a 133" 16x9 DaLite HP 2.8 gain screen.
My observations so far:
- 3D mode is markedly superior on the JVC than the 90es. There is minimal ghosting, no eye fatigue, and better brightness. It is actually enjoyable to watch 3D; while there is obvious room for improvement, it is performing much better than expected, and generally much better than the IMAX and RealD presentations of Avatar that I saw theatrically.
- 2D performance for 24p material is excellent, with the caveats for CMD noted below
- Overall sharpness is very good, but my 85 is a bit sharper. Both have excellent optical convergence.
- Motion handling is better on the RS50 than it was in the HD750, but the 85 I own still wins this category.
- Perceptually, black level, contrast and overall punch of the image is superb, and as good as the Sony Auto Iris is, you can see the differences in blacks and intra-scene contrast in my dark (but not bat-cave) room.
- I find the colors to be too saturated right now, even in THX mode - but I will wait till Jeff Meier comes out to calibrate in a few months to make any final comments. As it is, I've made a few manual tweaks and it's more than acceptable. When Jeff had calibrated the 750, it was incredible.
The 85/90 do render color very well without calibration however.
- It is very quiet in Normal lamp mode; after using both the 85 and 50 for a few days, it is a bit quieter in the Normal than the 85 is on low. Conversely, the 50 is a bit louder in High lamp mode vs the 85 high lamp setting.
In many ways, I feel similar to how I felt comparing the HD750 to the 85 some time back. For film viewing, the JVC is superior than the Sony in terms of black levels, calibrated color (presuming here the benefit of calibration will match or exceed the benefit I saw with the 750 calibration), contrast, and 24p motion.
For 1080i/60 (primarily sports) viewing, I find my 85 handles motion more clearly. I felt the 90 was actually a step backward, but I refer to the other thread for more spirited discourse on that assessment!
Regarding CMD, JVC still has some work to do. Modes 1 and 2, for DFI, render 24p motion well, with less flicker than the Sony Film projection modes. However, there are DLP-like blue flashes that you never see directly, but sense happening somewhere on the picture. The CMD modes one and two will introduce red/green fringing as well (though not nearly as bad as the HD750), and overall motion handling seems a bit soft (a bit of Sample and Hold)
FI modes do work better, and do not introduce those artifacts, but they are difference beasts. In the 85, one can enable both, so a combined DFI/FI mode can render sports action quite clearly. With the JVC, it is one mode or the other.
So at this point, I may stay with a two projector setup. The JVC is not horrible for sports, and if you saw nothing else, might not think much - but after living with the 85 for a while, I suspect I will keep that for sports, and use the JVC for 2D and 3D film viewing.
If the CMD artifacts can be cleaned up with firmware, that will help - but I think even discounting the blue flashes, CMD modes one or two do not equal the Film Projection modes of the 85 for motion clarity (or it is more panel related in terms of the baseline motion handling?...)
So it all depends on where your coming from, what you are sensitive to, what you watch, and what your purchase goals are. For me, having enjoyable 3d was the early adopter impetus. I am not thrilled that I have to likely keep the 85 given the large amount of hockey I watch (which is proably the most demand and revealing of the differences - if you watch a lot of football, you would be much harder pressed to tell)
But two projectors is doable in my setup, and the 2D/3D viewing benefits of the 50, even without calibration, make it compromise I may be wiling to live with.
Boy, that was a decisive review, wasn't it?