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Samsung SP-A900B still a decent projector?

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
I have an opportunity to get a new Samsung SP-A900B DLP projector locally for far, far less than the price it was released at (which was $3000+, hence why I'm posting here). However, since it has been out for nearly five years, I was wondering if this projector was still worth getting, especially if there were some other projectors in the under $3000 category that might outperform it given the advance of technology.

Anybody know how this projector stacks up to the current models?
post #2 of 31
What size screen and gain?
post #3 of 31
Thread Starter 
Thinking about 100 inches and 1.0 gain. I currently don't have a projector.

Edit: Or a screen for that matter. Going to be getting both.
post #4 of 31
At that size the Samsung will be great.

Tack sharp, great color, decent blacks, great motion.

If you don't care for 3D this is a very top of the line projector.
post #5 of 31
Yes.
post #6 of 31
The only caveat I will throw out is if Samsung still supports this model under warranty. If they never replaced it you may be SOL if they no longer carry parts or have spare units available to support the warranty.
post #7 of 31
Found this review

http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/article/samsung-sp-a900b?page=0,2
Quote:
the projector delivered a contrast ratio of 5,492:1, which is pretty good performance for a projector with its auto iris deactivated.

I'd say that's quite an outstanding number for a DLP. The tests in this magazine look reliable, they usually have about 2000:1 or less without iris in a regular DC3 DLP.
post #8 of 31
Excellent PJ with a stunning image but I would say a smart purchase would obviously have to depend upon the price and condition of the unit (hours used, smoke free environment).

Also be sure lamps are easy to obtain and cost effective if needed.

Jason
post #9 of 31
This is an excellent unit. I say go for it.
post #10 of 31
[quote name="DaGamePimp" url="/t/1454184/samsung-sp-a900b-still-a-decent-projector#post_22880002"
Also be sure lamps are easy to obtain and cost effective if needed.

Jason[/quote]

Bulbs are only 125$ online at one location and usually 160$ elsewhere.
post #11 of 31
Thread Starter 
Great, thanks for the replies.

I've got okay from my wife as long as I sell the TV we have and the camera I currently don't use. Selling those will be the real trick. smile.gif
post #12 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by MLindberg View Post

I have an opportunity to get a new Samsung SP-A900B DLP projector locally for far, far less than the price it was released at (which was $3000+, hence why I'm posting here). However, since it has been out for nearly five years, I was wondering if this projector was still worth getting, especially if there were some other projectors in the under $3000 category that might outperform it given the advance of technology.

Anybody know how this projector stacks up to the current models?

i'm a little bit confused,it's for $12,999.99

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Delectronics&field-keywords=Samsung+SP-A900B
post #13 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3dprojector View Post

i'm a little bit confused,it's for $12,999.99

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Delectronics&field-keywords=Samsung+SP-A900B

I said in my post I can find it new locally for a discounted price. I do not live in the US.
post #14 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by MLindberg View Post

I said in my post I can find it new locally for a discounted price. I do not live in the US.
sorry,I was only commenting on the $3000 quote,you misunderstand me.
a 12000 is not the same as 3000,so i was asking for an explanation for the big gap?,not necessarily from you,maybe other guys.
post #15 of 31
If you pay sticker price that's suckers price...

They average $4000+

So $3000 is a great deal.
post #16 of 31
I've been looking to get my hands on one for a decent price. I'm thinking it's about time I ditch the Marantz VP-11S1 I have and move up to this much brighter unit. Considering it has an equally nice lens (some would even argue a step nicer) than that of the custom Konica Minolta Lens on the Marantz, plus better control over color and gamma I think that this unit is probably the best single chip 1080p DLP unit made to date. It's bright enough to drive much larger screens than the Marantz and the iris can be used in either a manual mode or a dynamic mode. Considering I'm a sharpness and motion freak, this is the holy grail for me. At least until a single chip 4K unit comes out that trounces the specs of this one. But I have a feel that is a few years off. With that said; I'm on the lookout!
post #17 of 31
Best in terms of accuracy but I liked the Planar 8150 more.
post #18 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kris Deering View Post

Best in terms of accuracy but I liked the Planar 8150 more.

Hmmm, considering I own the PD8150 as well (I'm stock pilling awesome single chip DLPs tongue.gif) I may not waste my time? Basically what I'm looking for is the Planar PD8150 with the sharpness of the Marantz VP-11S1/S2 or the Samsung SP-A900B. Is there such a beast? I'm guessing my answer will sound something like this: "$25000 Sim2 Projector". mad.gif

The Planar is sharp, don't get me wrong, but the Marantz is noticeably sharper overall.
post #19 of 31
I think that the Planar is definitely an excellent unit. You actually may not see a large difference in viewing the Samsung. I think at the end of the day, it probably depends on what draws you into the picture. Is it sharpness, color accuracy, brightness or some combination of other attributes ? In my opinion, the Samsung unit is one of the very best single chip DLP projectors. It is right up there with the Marantz VP11S2 and the Planar/Runco unit. Where I think the Samsung shines is that the unit throws out a smooth yet extremely sharp image that is well balanced in color. Also it is a fairly bright unit. If this makes any sense, the unit is sharp with a picture that resembles a photo taken from a good camera. It doesn't seem like it has been digitally sharpened in any way.
Edited by 12GAGE - 1/27/13 at 9:30am
post #20 of 31
The Planar I had was quite sharp but it was also hand picked. I found that the Samsung was really sharp with text but no perceived increase in sharpness with films. Planar had noticeably better contrast and using the custom CMS tool I could get it just about as accurate as the Samsung. The Marantz was good too but gamma and color need adjustment through outboard scalar and contrast was lower than the others. We did a comparison in my room of the Samsung to my JVC RS35 and the JVC trounced it. The only time we could get the Samsung to look better was with PC text and we spent a few hours with lots of material. We even tried stuff that we figured would give the Samsung the over all edge (lots of ANSI). But it does throw a very sharp image.
post #21 of 31
Must be nice getting those hand picked units tongue.gif I may just skip the trouble of acquiring one and be happy with the units I currently have. In a couple years I'm going to snag a Sony 1000ES for a decent price.
post #22 of 31
Yeah. Runco is about two hours away so it was a nice perk.
post #23 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kris Deering View Post

I found that the Samsung was really sharp with text but no perceived increase in sharpness with films.
The problem is too often the source and the focal points of the camera. I got lucky on convergence and got an RS-45 that is as sharp as some RS-35's (seen an RS-35, and my convergence was just as good). Once you get to this level of sharpness, it's hard to benefit much from this supposed hugely greater "DLP sharpness" in many movies without adding more sharpening filters, but there are a few movies here and there where the camera work still favors that DLP. It is going to be more so documentaries and IMAX type stuff, but there are a few movies that always look better on a DLP.

The biggest issue with the JVC's are that they do not maintain POP as well as DLP's do in imperfect sources, even movies that have noise in them look better on a DLP usually (as far as sharpness, noise and/or compression tends to soften LCOS faster than DLP). Also, I've seen the Runco LS-5 and it didn't look any sharper than the Benq w7000, it might have been sharper, but it doesn't look like it even close up to the pixels they look about the same, although I didn't get to A/B it.

The one time where I definitely prefer the Benq over the JVC is streaming when the stream isn't perfect (and it usually isn't), though the Benq definitely struggles in darker scenes.
Edited by coderguy - 1/27/13 at 2:11pm
post #24 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by coderguy View Post

I've seen the Runco LS-5 and it didn't look any sharper than the Benq w7000, it might have been sharper, but it doesn't look like it even close up to the pixels they look about the same, although I didn't get to A/B it.

I spent about a month with a BenQ W5000. Considering the price of the unit I would expect the lens quality to be equal to if not a little nicer than what the W7000 uses. Also, it uses the larger DMD which has obvious benefits. With that said, over the course of a month, black levels notwithstanding, the unit was no match for the PD8150. While the BenQ was sharp there were several occasions when I was A/B'ing the units that the Planar looked perceivably sharper. The Planar has very little image noise, which is rather rare for a DLP, unlike the BenQ which had a lot. Black level and contrast was something to laugh over as it was no contest. Overall, the Planar puts out a cleaner and clearer image that has a little more sharpness. I would imagine this translates nicely over to the BenQ W7000. I've read a lot of peoples' impressions when making the move to W7000/W6000 from a W5000 and that seems to be the consensus, though I did read many that were disappointed. They claimed it wasn't as sharp looking and black levels weren't all that much better.

You are correct to point out that there is plenty of content, most older content, that doesn't have enough resolution in the image that a single chip DLP would make look any sharper. Though, I would argue that there is a lot of content out there today that does show it off. I also think that as we move forward over the next couple years films are going to look cleaner and sharper than ever before (this trend is already happening) and this is the content that a good single chip DLP will clearly blow away the other technologies when perceived sharpness is concerned.
Edited by Seegs108 - 1/27/13 at 2:49pm
post #25 of 31
It's sample variation and placement issues causing people to think some Benq w6000/w7000 aren't as sharp, as the Benq's have a bad habit of lens assembly issues causing focus uniformity, but at least more than half of them are generally fine. Toe had the same problem, he bought a w7000 and the sharpness was not perfect, he exchanged it and then it was. It's sample defect variance. If you put the lens shift in the optimal zero position and have a good sample, there is NO CA on the Benq's text, it is pixel sharp getting close to an LCD monitor just like those 0.95" DLP's. The w6000's were full of this problem, as a matter of fact I just saw one at Fry's not long ago that had a uniformity issue, so I know the issue exists.

It is VERY close to those 0.95" DLP's after I moved the PJ position and lessened the lens shift and put the projector at farthest throw.

Though I will say the more expensive DLP's are less sensitive to unit variance and placement affecting sharpness, but If someone places the Benq w7000 correctly and has a good sample and complains about sharpness, I would laugh very hard... The w7000 also originally had the firmware glitch with pixel mapping, trust me the w7000 is sharper than the other 0.65" DLP's I've seen, the only one that might come close is the hd8300 or maybe the Benq w1070, but I haven't seen either of these. The focus uniformity is every bit as good as the JVC, but the pixels on the Benq are pretty much pixel-perfect.

The native on/off on the Benq is tough, but the IRIS is not too bad, the nice thing is since it has the MANUAL IRIS ability in the service menu, you can get the foot lamberts optimally configured, which helps slightly offset the poorer blacks (Since alwas watching the image at an optimal fL is better for black levels than having to wait on the lamp to fade in).
Edited by coderguy - 1/27/13 at 9:34pm
post #26 of 31
You make it sound like the BenQ is as sharp as you can get. By that logic the lens in my (originally) $20000 Marantz is actually worse than what's in the BenQ. For the .65" DMD you need an exceptionally good lens to resolve the same pixel structure that an equal lens on a .95" DMD would resolve and look sharper still. I think the term is back plane focus. It's just a lot easier when the DMD is larger to resolve more detail. The lens doesn't need to be as good to do so. Maybe this summer I will pick up a W6000 to compare. Hopefully that unit is great. Like I said though, the W5000 sample I had was fantastic in regards to CA and uniformity issues and I could still see a difference in how sharp the pixel structure between the Planar, Marantz, and the BenQ was. The BenQ was sharper compared to an InFocus IN83 though. By a decent amount. I have my doubts and I'm definitely going to snap some photos of the pixel structure on both to show people what I find.
post #27 of 31
as an owner of both the samsung (800 and 900) and the Benq (w5000), I can tell you the there is no comparison between the .95 models. Having never seen the w6000 nor 7000 benq's I can only guesstimate about the difference between the .65's and the samsungs. My eyes see artificial noise added to the w5000 and imperfect colors no matter how hard one tries. Not too mention there is sharp(W5000) and then there is sharp(samsung 800 and 900). Also the benqw5000 has reliability issues with their failing mainboards. The samsung took all of five minutes to calibrate and the 900 already has a calibration done at the factory if it is a Joe Kane branded 900. As Kris said the samsung is best in terms of accuracy. That is all I want. Does the jvc have deeper blacks yes. But as a Dlp fan I would never trade the samsung 900 unless I went 3 chip dlp.
post #28 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seegs108 View Post

Hopefully that unit is great. Like I said though, the W5000 sample I had was fantastic in regards to CA and uniformity issues and I could still see a difference in how sharp the pixel structure between the Planar, Marantz, and the BenQ was. The BenQ was sharper compared to an InFocus IN83 though. By a decent amount. I have my doubts and I'm definitely going to snap some photos of the pixel structure on both to show people what I find.

I respect your opinion and would be interested to here what you find in your comparison. I don't think it is as sharp as it gets, I said if anyone was complaining about sharpness on a w7000, I would laugh hard. I will admit I could be wrong if I had the Runco in my room, and you're correct to say when we get better source content the DLP sharpness will matter a bit more, but for the stuff I usually watch it matters rarely. As I said, the Runco is probably a tiny bit sharper at the pixel level, no doubt, but I cannot tell without A/B, let me it put that way. I know the Samsung is a good bit sharper than the Benq on resolving pixels, but I was comparing it against the Runco, but the Samsung is the sharpest projector ever made.

We need to do a blind A/B test on the Benq vs. the 0.95" DLP's, that's the only way we'll know for sure.
Quote:
Originally Posted by coug7669 View Post

as an owner of both the samsung (800 and 900) and the Benq (w5000), I can tell you the there is no comparison between the .95 models. Having never seen the w6000 nor 7000 benq's I can only guesstimate about the difference between the .65's and the samsungs. My eyes see artificial noise added to the w5000 and imperfect colors no matter how hard one tries. Not too mention there is sharp(W5000) and then there is sharp(samsung 800 and 900). Also the benqw5000 has reliability issues with their failing mainboards. The samsung took all of five minutes to calibrate and the 900 already has a calibration done at the factory if it is a Joe Kane branded 900. As Kris said the samsung is best in terms of accuracy. That is all I want. Does the jvc have deeper blacks yes. But as a Dlp fan I would never trade the samsung 900 unless I went 3 chip dlp.

I cannot speak for the w5000, it's an older unit, but I can speak how this Benq fairs against EVERY other 0.65" DLP I've ever seen (and that's around 25 total including in stores), and I've owned 4 different 0.65" DLP's recently. Of course the Samsung is sharper than the Benq, I was not saying that at all. I am just saying at this level of sharpness, are we really going to complain anyhow.

The Benq also calibrated the best out of the last 20 projectors I've calibrated. It didn't calibrate the best on my first attempt, but on my second attempt it did. After calibration, the colors are freaking very near-perfect across the entire gamut (at least on my BENQ) and in gray-scale...

The Benq is a good milestone ahead of the other 0.65" DLP's in focus uniformity and/or pixel resolution combined (though some semi-high end Optomas are probably close), and some have pixel resolution issues while others have focus uniformity issues, my Benq has neither. The only issue is CA is added in some positions when using lens shift, but if you can set it near farthest throw and just a tad under the top of the screen, the lens shift doesn't add too much. The w7000 does not have image noise in a clean source, and I sit 1x width from the screen.

The Benq does have more noise on a noisy source sometimes, but a noisy source only looks so good anyhow and that has more to due with its Noise Reduction capabilities. Yes I admit there are Blurays with noise in them and having a projector with less noise is an advantage, but in the overwhelming majority of content the Benq literally has no noise since movies are now mostly filmed digitally anyhow. That is one advantage of digital, less noise, though 35mm and 70mm still seem more film-like to me than digital movies.
Edited by coderguy - 1/28/13 at 2:09am
post #29 of 31
off topic now: how does the viewsonic 8200 rate against the benq w7000? these are all .65 dlp's correct?tongue.gif I will be watching the Super Bowl on this machine(8200) rather my machine solely due to the atmosphere at the viewing party. IE More people and better food and drinks.

wink.gif you rated the w7000 as 60.5 and the viewsonic as 61.5. the numbers dont matter but what does is the increment. you see the viewsonic as more or less equal to the benq. i would say that at the samsungs original price of 13k$ both the benq and viewsonic offer great buys at that price performance. But at under 3K for the Sammy i would not compromise if one is a true dlp fan. I have read your review and have found it very useful. It lead me to the viewsonic which was a replacement pj for my father after one of my secondary pj's failed. The viewsonic you state has cms yet like the benq w5000 no matter how much i try the colors are off. I had an earlier build before a bulb blew on the 8200. the replacement pj has the newer firmware and compared to the older firmware there is detail lacking in dark scenes. there are compromises with any machine esp dlp. Rainbows, colorwheel issues, proper cms, placement issues. the only compromise the samsung has is lack of on/off. if that is your must have then this machine is not for you. As kris stated this was the sharpest picture out there yet it didnt translate into film. I say that is correct unless your watching Samsara or the like. then its eye candy. Any way keep up the reviews cause later after their warranty is gone i will be looking for their replacement pj.
Edited by coug7669 - 1/28/13 at 1:05pm
post #30 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by coug7669 View Post

off topic now: how does the viesonic 8200 rate against the benq w7000? these are all .65 dlp's correct?tongue.gif I will be watching the Super Bowl on this machine(8200) rather my machine solely due to the atmosphere at the viewing party. IE More people and better food and drinks.

No, the only .65" DMD DLP machine talked about in this thread is the BenQ W6000/W7000. As far as how it would compare, I think they are in two separate leagues. The BenQ will have superior black levels and contrast thanks to it's iris. The Viewsonic doesn't have one. The BenQ will also look noticeably sharper. The BenQ supports 3D. The BenQ can be ISF calibrated. The BenQ supports anamorphic lenses by having the appropriate stretch modes. The list goes on.
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