Originally Posted by Gary Gleave
I don't see this as a bad thing. If all projectors were demoed in this manor, you would, at the very least be able to compare black level and to some extent color saturation.
I totally agree that some are seeing the new models in an environment that is possibly much better than their own set up and seeing improved ANSI contrast and being wowed.
I usually demo projectors at the same place: It has a proper demo room with black side curtains, dark grey flooring and very dark walls and ceiling. At different times I've seen a HD1 (RS1), HD350(RS10) ,HD750(RS20) and the X7(RS50?) all in the same room. Even the HD1 looked to have plenty of ANSI contrast compared to another dealer I've gone to with very light walls and a glass side door
so the room isn't even properly dark let alone reflection free. Even an X90 would look poor in the second dealer's room I reckon...
I did some experiments a few years ago: My room as it stands has light walls and a white ceiling, plus a mid oak floor. I created a temporary set up of black cloth 'tent' and floor coverings, then measured the ANSI contrast (I had a JVC HD350/RS10 at the time). While absolute values can be misleading, the fact remains that I measured nearly three times as much ANSI contrast with all the temporary black cloth trimmings compared to the room 'as is'. FWIW it was 75:1 verses 220:1, so still some way short of what others had measured the RS10 at, but the important thing is the comparison of the room's effect. One of the reasons I got rid of my projector in the end was that I couldn't watch without putting up all the temporary cloths and it took so long that I got fed up of it. Without it my projector looked very average, with it up (and a Lumagen for calibration purposes) I found that the dealer demo of the X7(RS50) didn't make me think there was enough of an improvement (2D only) to justify the huge extra cost...I went home afterwards and didn't view mine as being drastically worse, until I took down all the temporary cloth trimmings...
Of course it's far more exciting to talk about the latest models and how much they've improved one thing or another. But having seen a HD350(RS10) in that dealer's very good room, I wonder if many owners of the newer models have ever really seen the true potential of their projectors? Don't even get me started on having a proper calibration: I've measured a major change in gamma on my HD350 after only 50 hours of a calibration: Comparing the recalibrated image to the drifted one literally looked like I'd replaced the projector. Therefore I'm not in the least surprised when an existing owner sees a newer model without all that drift and possibly in a much better room, thinks that the new models are 'hugely better'. I know it's not always possible (especially over in the USA) to take your existing projector along to a demo, or better yet have a home demo, but I think some of the differences might be smaller than some would like to think when compared on a level playing field.