I've got the JVC RS56 ceiling mounted now and all I'll say at this point is that I'm very impressed.
I'm at 17'9" throw from a 54x96" screen of 1.1-1.2 gain.
I've had to re-teach myself a few things here as digitals really are different due to fixed pixel nature, single lens (with iris), and how the signal is treated in a 100% digital manner.
- Don't use keystone at all as it destroys resolution. On a CRT projector the pixels are squished so you never lose any, on a digital it has to throw away pixels instead so you don't want to do any digital manipulation to the resolution at all. Instead you get the projector perfectly level with the screen and then use lens shift to shift down to keep all 1920x1080 pixels. The only exception where this may be ok is on a higher resolution 4K projector that is only used for 1080p content (since you have spare pixels you can throw away without decreasing the source resolution).
- Brightness at the default 0 setting is perfect. Any higher and the picture washes out because you're raising the black level. Any lower and you all you do is crush blacks such at above black (higher than 16) becomes black (16). Going lower cannot make the black level darker (the iris does that).
- Contrast at the default 0 setting is also perfect. Any higher and you start to clip whites such that anything lower than 235 (white) becomes the same as white. The light output does not go up as you increase contrast over 0. If you go lower then you do lower the light output. The combination of lamp mode (high or low) and iris should be used to set the amount of light output. Start with low lamp and lower the iris as much as possible while maintaining the amount of light you want on screen (typically 12-14 ft/L).
So how is the actual black level (16)? Better than my Zenith 1200 CRT projector. Yes, that's right. Better. Why? I can get darker with the RS56 without losing low level detail. On the Zenith 1200 (gamma set to around 2.2 or 2.3 if I remember correctly with an RTC2200 box) I have to turn brightness up slightly to avoid losing close to black detail. With a Radiance or something more advanced that provides 20-point gamma adjustment, I may have been able to keep black lower on the CRT without crushing close to black detail. I don't know. So while I say the RS56 has better blacks on my setup, both are fantastic. You don't notice elevated blacks on either. I was worried about black level on the RS56 but my fears are unfounded.
I'm running the lamp on low and the iris is closed down to -10 (goes from -15 [closed] to 0 [open] where 0 is brightest). The more you close the iris the lower the light output but the higher the contrast ratio. The more closed the iris is, the lower your black level is too. You really want to close down the iris as much as you can while trying to keep 12-14 ft/L on screen. At -10 it's already brighter than my Zenith 1200 that was set up to do 12-14 ft/L. At -15 I think the RS56 is still a bit brighter but I like the extra punch that -10 provides and the black level is already very low so for now I'll leave it at that until I do a full calibration.
On low lens power (light output) the fan cannot be heard at all unless you get up within a foot or two from the projector. It's extremely quiet. No hushbox needed at all (even for fussy listeners like me) if you stick with low lamp mode. It's quieter than my Zenith 1200 with the hushbox in place. On high lamp mode the R56 is (IMHO) too loud to be used as is. I would need a hushbox. The projector automatically kicks into high lamp mode when 3D is used. (I did not spend any time trying 3D at all ... yet).
I spent 4 hours looking at test patterns from AVS 709 to get it dialled in right (no black/white crush, it's resolving between 16-235 correctly) and then about another 4 at video content.
Seeing excellent inter-scene contrast ratio (where one bright spot doesn't wash out the rest of the screen if it's dark) is confusing to my mind to accept after so many years with CRT even though I have liquid coupled tubes on the CRT projector that help avoid light scatter.
Dark walls are of course a must. You'll destroy contrast ratio in a white room. I doubt there would be much use in buying a higher end digital (or CRT for that matter) in a room with light walls. I still need to make the immediate area around the screen completely black on the side walls and ceiling but for now it's dark. This will help too.
Here's the room (CRT projector shown temporarily in place):
Convergence is good with only subtle fringing that can only be seen with your nose up to the screen. Not perfect but not noticeable from the seating distance. Using full-pixel shifting just makes it worse. You can do 1/16 pixel shift across the whole screen but it's done electronically so it may hurt the resolution. I choose to not use it for now but may look into it later. Also available is zone convergence (similar to NEC's CRT projector point convergence) but I haven't tried it much yet as pixel shifting is really not required on my unit.
I have not done greyscale/colour/gamma calibration on the RS56 yet but it's pretty reasonable out of the box when set to 6500K and all silly enhancement features [other than e-shift] are turned off. Gamma is set to "Normal" which is the same as their 2.2 setting. That's about where I like gamma so I left it light that. I'll see how close it actually is to 2.2 once I measure with a meter as I go through the entire calibration.
If you want to mimic something like 48 fps from the Hobbit, you can turn on Clear Motion Drive (CMD). It makes 24 fps film content shockingly smooth, very unnatural looking to someone like me who's used to film content. The smooth motion tends to trick our brains into thinking that the action is moving faster. Almost like an old 1920's movie. I can see using it on sports but that's about it.
The THX mode is a joke. It disables a bunch of features and forces certain things on and introduces edge enhancement and other nasties. Instead I run custom with everything off except for e-shift2. E-shift2 does wonders for a CRT owner like me. Pixel structure is no longer seen. There are multiple versions of e-shift2 available, I picked film and then turned down all the settings to 0 as otherwise it does sharpening and other nasty things which introduce edge enhancement.
My unit had a rattle in it when I got it. Something was lose inside so I opened it up and removed a tiny plastic hinge that had snapped off. Having it missing does not cause any issues but I wanted to make sure it wasn't going to get into any of the motors/gears. Pictures below.
Unpacked (not your typical small digital):
Taking off the sides and top:
Top cover off:
The new DC bulb:
The tab that broke off:
Where the tab came from (top front center):
KalEdited by kal - 5/15/13 at 10:24am