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"I demo'd an X55" or "Projector demos suck"

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
First things first, before I get anyone's hopes up, this isn't a review of an X55 in any way. And sorry about creating another thread but I didn't want to clutter a "real" thread with a semi-rant about demoing projectors. Anyway, on to the topic....

So reading about the new JVCs the last couple days I decided I should stop by and talk to my local dealer. I've bought a good bit of kit there, all of my speakers and some of my other electronics over the years. I like the place and the people there, and they've always treated me well (a long time ago we just sat down and watched a movie in the demo room, basically just to watch it). I really like AVS but you know I'd like to support the local dealer too.

So I asked them about projectors, knowing they've got JVCs, and they took me into one of the demo rooms. It had an X55, Panamorph FVX200 (it looked like, I didn't ask), shooting on a Black Diamond not sure of the size but I'd guess around 8 feet wide or so.

Problem 1) It's an X55, this isn't so much a problem that they had last years model, since the X55 does look substantially similar to the X500. What makes it a problem is they really didn't have much info about the new models and told me JVC told them they'd be fine showing the X55 and didn't need a new one. I mean the DI (sorry ILA) is sort of a big feature IMO, something that I would think you might want to show off, or at least that JVC would do a better job educating it's dealers on why someone would want it.

Problem 2) The room it was in was decent, it had a door and all, and dimmable lights (hooked up to a Crestron automation system), but they never turned the lights off or closed the door. They dimmed the lights, but that's not really enough.

Problem 3) I just wasn't impressed at all. Now colors did look a bit punchier than my Planar 8150, but at the same time the colors looked "overdone". They also had Frame Interpolation on which was somewhat distracting. Contrast seemed average to poor (how much was the projector/setup, how much due to the lights, impossible to tell). Seems to me like this wasn't well set up, I kind of doubt a calibration was done.

I think I'm going to give up on the story there. I just sort of felt like sharing, because this is sort what comes to my mind whenever I hear the "go see it for yourself" chant on the forum. Lots of us aren't blessed with good places to see projectors so we're stuck buying based off the thoughts/comparisons of folks like Zombie, Seegs, Kris and the rest here who get a chance to see a lot of projectors and see them well set up. So who knows. I don't know if I was really going to get an RS57, but I know, despite knowing it was 99% poor presentation, it sort of took the wind out of my sails for getting anything when I can go home and get a better presentation for no (additional wink.gif) outlay.

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post #2 of 21
I've had similar experiences in Austin TX. Only 1-2 shops and they don't display the new unit's until completely sold out of the old ones (sometimesm6 mo. After release). They really can't complain about ppl buying off the Internet when they do business this way. Itsmamreal problem for the industry...AV shop prices them 30% higher than web prices, ppl buy from the Internet leaving store with an excessive amount of units at the end of the year and it takes them forever to sell the old ones. They're trying to fetch MSRP for a 2 generation old pj...that's a self eliminating business practice.
post #3 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

First things first, before I get anyone's hopes up, this isn't a review of an X55 in any way. And sorry about creating another thread but I didn't want to clutter a "real" thread with a semi-rant about demoing projectors. Anyway, on to the topic....

So reading about the new JVCs the last couple days I decided I should stop by and talk to my local dealer. I've bought a good bit of kit there, all of my speakers and some of my other electronics over the years. I like the place and the people there, and they've always treated me well (a long time ago we just sat down and watched a movie in the demo room, basically just to watch it). I really like AVS but you know I'd like to support the local dealer too.

So I asked them about projectors, knowing they've got JVCs, and they took me into one of the demo rooms. It had an X55, Panamorph FVX200 (it looked like, I didn't ask), shooting on a Black Diamond not sure of the size but I'd guess around 8 feet wide or so.

Problem 1) It's an X55, this isn't so much a problem that they had last years model, since the X55 does look substantially similar to the X500. What makes it a problem is they really didn't have much info about the new models and told me JVC told them they'd be fine showing the X55 and didn't need a new one. I mean the DI (sorry ILA) is sort of a big feature IMO, something that I would think you might want to show off, or at least that JVC would do a better job educating it's dealers on why someone would want it.

Problem 2) The room it was in was decent, it had a door and all, and dimmable lights (hooked up to a Crestron automation system), but they never turned the lights off or closed the door. They dimmed the lights, but that's not really enough.

Problem 3) I just wasn't impressed at all. Now colors did look a bit punchier than my Planar 8150, but at the same time the colors looked "overdone". They also had Frame Interpolation on which was somewhat distracting. Contrast seemed average to poor (how much was the projector/setup, how much due to the lights, impossible to tell). Seems to me like this wasn't well set up, I kind of doubt a calibration was done.

I think I'm going to give up on the story there. I just sort of felt like sharing, because this is sort what comes to my mind whenever I hear the "go see it for yourself" chant on the forum. Lots of us aren't blessed with good places to see projectors so we're stuck buying based off the thoughts/comparisons of folks like Zombie, Seegs, Kris and the rest here who get a chance to see a lot of projectors and see them well set up. So who knows. I don't know if I was really going to get an RS57, but I know, despite knowing it was 99% poor presentation, it sort of took the wind out of my sails for getting anything when I can go home and get a better presentation for no (additional wink.gif) outlay.

If you had demoed the Planar 8150 in their room compared to the JVC in your room, you would be feeling the same way about the 8150 as you do the JVC.
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post #4 of 21
It has never ceased to amaze me how almost all AV store demos suck. Including the high-end AV stores. How they manage to get truly high level displays of every type, flat panel to projection,
to perform in such substandard ways, continues to blow my mind.
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AV Science Sales 5 View Post

If you had demoed the Planar 8150 in their room compared to the JVC in your room, you would be feeling the same way about the 8150 as you do the JVC.

Oh, I'm sure it would, like I said this wasn't a review/indictment of the X55 at all. If it weren't such a massive pain (I'd need help to get the Planar off the ceiling), I'd pack up my 8150 and Lumagen and take it over there to do a side by side (let the Lumagen "split" the video). But even if you know that the setup was bad, when you go see a poor setup, then come home and see your own look better, it does sort of take the wind out of ideas of upgrading, if only due to that niggling doubt "it can't be set up that bad can it?", and the "risk" that you won't like an $8000 MSRP projector (or like it enough to justify the upgrade).

FWIW, the other thing that stood out to me was the noise and banding. I'm probably being too loose with my terminology, but the whole time I watched it (we watched a few minutes of Star Trek (2009)), it seemed noisy. In reality it was just the grain in the film, I could see it on my Planar as well, but I'm guessing maybe MPC was just cranked up too high maybe.
Edited by stanger89 - 1/21/14 at 7:00am
post #6 of 21
Telling *us* won't change anything; why don't you perform a public service and increase their sales by telling them you know the pj could look a lot better?
post #7 of 21
I know Kris doesn't agree with me, but I always thought the image the PD8150 put out looked cleaner overall and has a more organic appearance compared to the more recent JVCs. They don't look over processed but don't appear quite as natural as my old PD8150.

As Mike pointed out, the PD8150 would have looked pretty bad too most likely. I've had the X55 and PD8150 in my room at the same time. The particular copy I had looked excellent compared to the PD8150. Each had their own distinct advantages but both looked VERY good. Pick your poison, but I think the (now) Runco LS-5 is honestly the only under $10000 MSRP DLP projector that can compete in image quality with the JVCs.
post #8 of 21
Also tell them even if they did it right you will still order by mail because its a lot cheaper.
post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by noah katz View Post

Telling *us* won't change anything; why don't you perform a public service and increase their sales by telling them you know the pj could look a lot better?

How do you tell a dealer they don't know what they're doing with setting up projectors....
post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

How do you tell a dealer they don't know what they're doing with setting up projectors....

You do what you probably did. Politely nod your head and leave when you are done, knowing that what you just saw was not correct. Not your job to educate them by possibly getting into an argument.
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post #11 of 21
Of course that's not what we do here. smile.gif We do the exact opposite.
Edited by mark haflich - 1/21/14 at 11:40am
post #12 of 21
If they kept some lights on and the door open then that is obviously going to kill the image quality of a JVC and primarily the reason why I no longer own one. Black Diamonds are nice and all but they don't make that much difference, at least the ones I have seen don't (lots more bad demos perhaps? wink.gif ). As I am interested in performance with a bit of ambient light I am normally in the opposite situation - trying to persuade a dealer to open the door during the demo.
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

How do you tell a dealer they don't know what they're doing with setting up projectors....

Put a positive twist on it, i.e. "it looks nice but I bet it can be even better..."
post #14 of 21
Hey don't feel bad... Every demo at CEDIA 2012 I saw pretty much sucked.... smile.gif

I even asked the guy at the Sony VPL-VW1000 booth if it was OK to turn off all the crap processing they had turned on... they politely said no.
post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by danieledmunds View Post

If they kept some lights on and the door open then that is obviously going to kill the image quality of a JVC and primarily the reason why I no longer own one. Black Diamonds are nice and all but they don't make that much difference, at least the ones I have seen don't (lots more bad demos perhaps? wink.gif ). As I am interested in performance with a bit of ambient light I am normally in the opposite situation - trying to persuade a dealer to open the door during the demo.

You know...there's a flat panel forum.... wink.gifbiggrin.gif
post #16 of 21
Until someone gives me enough money to buy a house with a dedicated theater room or a 77" OLED then I'm afraid your stuck with me on here.

Alternatively, I will gladly accept money not to post. tongue.gif
post #17 of 21
At least the dealer knew what kind of screen it was. I've demo'd projectors at dealers and they couldn't even tell me what the screen material was. eek.gif
post #18 of 21
Thread Starter 
Well I know it was a Black Diamond, it was, well "black" and had the SI logo, and I think they mentioned something about .8 gain, so I'm assuming it was the .8 BD.
post #19 of 21
If you want to see what the projector looks like don't be shy. Tell them to turn the lights off and close the door or do it yourself if you can. If they don't like it, just politely tell them you want to see what the pic looks like with the light off since this is the environment you'll be viewing it in.
post #20 of 21
Quote:
If you want to see what the projector looks like don't be shy. Tell them to turn the lights off and close the door or do it yourself if you can. If they don't like it, just politely tell them you want to see what the pic looks like with the light off since this is the environment you'll be viewing it in.

Why not? Your the customer. Ask to see what the menu settings are too. And ask to watch whatever Blu Rays you brought to test it.
post #21 of 21
If you are at a best Buy, the sales guys probably won't know how to project the settings.
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