Originally Posted by R Harkness
That's sort of what I'm afraid of. That the pace of advancement in projection is slowing while the pace of advancement in flat screen TVs is advancing. I want a big image but also
want picture quality to keep advancing for projection: I don't want to have to feel too bummed out by looking at the quality available in the average dude's flat screen TV.
Has it really slowed that much though? It seems to me that for most of the history digital home theater front projection development has been relatively slow. Just thinking back, for a long time projectors were really expensive, but also really low resolution and pretty low quality (except CRT). Improvements were (I assume) slow and small. For the past few years improvements have been slow and small. There are really three exceptions to that slow development I can think of.
The contrast breakthrough from JVC with the RS1, when they (IIRC) introduced wire grid polarizers. It seems to me this was an "invention" for lack of a better term, not a developmental/process/product improvement, it was something completely new and those sorts of things don't happen that often. I mean outside of the RS1 which had maybe a 10x advance in contrast, both before and after that what's the average improvement in contrast 20%?
The resolution race, but that was, IMO, almost entirely driven by the change from SD to HD media. This wasn't something hard to do (engineering wise) but is again, a rare occurance to change an entire industry infrastructure.
Then there was the price race, not really sure what caused that, but it could just come down to companies realizing they could make front projectors for "commodity" pricing and gain some market share.
So I guess I ask, is the pace really slowing, when looking back over the long term, or is it just settling back down to it's natural pace after a few years of an advancement "bubble" driven by some uncommon market changes and rare flashes of invention? What sort of advancement do we expect? RS1 like jumps of contrast every year?
I've sort of got the same question/thought about flat panels, in what way are they advancing faster? For a long time they weren't compelling to me, I couldn't find anything that produced decent quality. Then (much like JVC with the RS1) Pioneer created the Kuro, which was a market changer. Unfortunately for me, for a secondary display they were always priced too high. Oddly it's been many years for other manufacturers to even approach parity with that tech again since Pioneer EOL'd the Kuro. On the LCD side, there was the switch to LED which is what seems to have been the big jump in quality there (I finally got a flat panel when I saw one of the first Samsung LEDs produce an acceptable picture), but since then, what's really changed? Incremental improvements each year.
I guess what I'm saying is I think we got spoiled by the pace of development during the transition from SD to HD and the few true innovations (wire grid polarizers) and development of them, but I don't think it's realistic to expect that pace of development to continue indefinitely (as much as I'd love to see such improvements every year).