Since it's finally time to replace my CRT (Barco BG808s) due to the fact that it got ruined by serious burn-in, I decided to go back to digital.
My first ever PJ was a Panasonic XGA LCD (PT-LC75 if anyone remembers...) that cost me a fortune and, in comparison to the Barco that followed, sucked bigtime
But back then it was one of the best things to ever happen in HT.
I haven't been completely out of the loop as far as digital goes since I try to demo machines just for the hell of it when I can (which isn't a lot) but now I have no other choice since I've been HT-less for over half a year now and have been waiting with increasing impatience for this new batch of PJ's.
Recently I saw the HC9000, the HW30, the RS45 and RS40 in action (not all along side each other, sorry) so I'm able to compare somewhat. Even though I'm no expert by a long shot, I'll do my best to convey my findings with regards to ghosting in 3D since 3D is one of the other main reasons to go digital as far as I'm concerned. I love the concept of 3D and have been the owner of a 50" Samsung plasma that I returned due to noticeable ghosting.
The first one I saw was the HC9000 vs the HW30 in a direct heads-up. I can be short on the subject of the HC9000: while brilliant in 2D and showing no ghosting in 3D, the latter can only be attributed to an absolute lack of brightness. You might as well have sat in your local theater with very dark sunglasses on...
The HW30 in comparison was super bright in 3D and was very fluid. No flicker and no jerky motion here in fast scenes.
What it is lacking however, is native contrast. In 2D the DI does its best to keep blacks black (and succeeds quite nicely without making a sound in contrast to the Mitsu with it's audible iris), but in a lot of scenes this simply isn't enough. At times I felt that undefined black blobs were moving on a brighter background when men in black suits were walking about on the screen... I was missing a lot of shadow detail.
Next session was the RS45 against the HW30.
2D contrast was no contest afaik as the JVC wins it on native contrast. Watching Batman the dark knight, I was finally able to see the details in the batsuit that were missing on the HW30. But that's not what we were here to discuss, now was it. It's about ghosting in 3D and unfortunately in that particular demo I only had a blu-ray of Tangled and Drive Angry at my disposal. Both of them performed very nicely in terms of ghosting but the HW30 won out on fluidity in fast moving scenes. As far as brightness in 3D went, I could unfortunately not compare as the RS45 was not calibrated whereas the HW30 was (as far a both can be calibrated, CMS being absent on the RSS45). Hardly fair to make a comparison based on apples and oranges...
So Sunday past I went back one last time to watch the calibrated RS45 to convince myself that the JVC was the way to go and I brought a lot of SBS material that I downloaded from the great biohemmet site to play around with. From memory, I would say that brightness is pretty much even compared to the HW30, but I can't be sure as this demo took place 2 weeks later.
I have to say that with all that has been said so far in the RS45 thread concerning ghosting on the RS45, I was scared that it would be even worse than the plasma I returned, but, and I am in no way over stating this, there was absolutely NO (!!!) ghosting to be found with normal watching...
I was myself totally dumbfounded by this and so I began looking really hard at places in clips where I know my plasma ghosted like crazy but was unable to find any ghosts in the machine.
For instance, the looney toons clip where the coyote's flying helmet tries to get away from him: that was something where I would have been able to see a big outline of that blue helmet, so bad even that it would have been impossible to miss it if it had been there this time.
Another clip was the resident evil shower scene. With my plasma it would've been impossible to properly focus due to all the tiny drops of water and watching it would leave you feel a bit disoriented.
None of this with the RS45. The entire scene was cristal clear and did not cause any discomfort whatsoever.
We also watched the MJ Thriller clip, which admittedly wasn't as bad on my plasma, but on the JVC it took on another dimension. There are some very pronounced pop-out effect from swords and rifles that would have been a very noticeable area of ghosting had it been there, but again there was none whatsoever. And yes I know there are probably going to be some comments here on the fact that it's impossible not to have ghosting on the Thriller clip due to the nature of the clip
Is the 3D on the JVC perfect? Of course not, I think there is more than enough room left for improvement, especially in fast moving scenes (next year some faster panels JVC?) but it was definitely an enjoyable experience as far as I'm concerned and one where I could easily live with the 3D for the coming years as opposed to the plasma TV I returned. If there was ghosting present on the machine that I saw, it was very slight indeed and if you focused on the director's intent and were not freeze framing every 2 seconds, I doubt there would have been many people complaining with regard to this specific machine. And there you have it: I mentioned 'this specific machine' as I have no way of knowing if enough of the RS45's that will be built will live up to the specific one I just saw.
If product variance turns out to be low, this is right now IMHO one of the best options to be had for the big screen if you like contrast to go along with your 3D picture or are (like me) sensitive to RBE on DLP's.
Had it not been for the fact that the HW30 was poor on contrast without the DI (and not to forget: more expensive!), I could've given the nod to it instead. But on the whole, I believe the RS45 to be the better option right now, especially when you take 2D into consideration.
So finally I had one last stop to make since I knew a place where they had a RS40 still in demo and they weren't planning on replacing it with the RS45.
I'll start of by saying that comparisons are harder to make due to the fact that I think the screen had a higher gain, the RS40 was initially set on 'torch' mode to push colours beyond belief (just to convince unknowing potential buyers) and I don't know how many hours were on the bulb.
The demo started of with the Despicable me Bluray followed by the same SBS clips I had previously watched on the RS45. The difference was night and day. 3D was simply and utterly unwatchable on this device! Despicable me had ghosting in almost every scene and it could hardly be called slight. In a scene where the fat bank manager was blabbing his mouth, it was more like he was blabbing his mouths, plural!!! I quickly switched to my SBS clips only to find that things were even worse. At times I felt like I had both my contact lenses in and had my prescription glasses on at the same time...
So this evening I put down a deposit on the RS45 and am now hoping it doesn't have too much product variance compared to the demo model I saw. If it does, I'll ask the store for the demo model regardless of the hours that were built up
The only downside: I'll only be getting it 15th of January at the earliest instead of in time for the holidays as I had hoped... Ah well, I got a free PK-EM1 emitter to compensate
Anyway, that's it for me. I've made my bed and I hope to lie comfortably in it. I hope this little write-up can contribute in the discussion whether or not the RS45 suffers from ghosting, but from now on I know you'll understand that I hope not a lot of people will chime in anymore with ghosting issues as then I would spend several weeks in agony until the arrival of my new toy.
PS: All of this can be backed up by my wife who also knew our plasma TV and was sitting next to me during the demo (just so you know that I wasn't imagining things). I simply hope that everyone understands this to be my findings with regard to one specific machine and that this in no way guarantees another RS45 to be as perfect as the one I saw. So if you believe your RS45 to be ghosting, I'm not saying that it can't be true
PPS: Just to be complete: we were using the old JVC glasses during the RS45 demo and the PJ only had about 6 hours racked up.