Well I got the MT 700 running. Unfortunately my DVI to HDMI adapter doesn't come till tomorrow- so all impression are via component 720P from the V880. (the component output is softer looking (blurry) compared to the DVI out.
First off, I am coming from the Z2- which luckily I have on hand for one more night before it gets shipped to its new owner.
I was able to drive the Z2 via DVI and the 700 via component at the same time and project both next to each other. All impression were on a gray goo screen with variable masking.
The first thing I noticed when firing up the MT700 was rainbows and eye strain. I had a Dell 3200 for 5 months before getting the Z2 and learned not to see rainbows by keeping my eyes fairly still.
But having used an LCD for 15 months, going back to DLP was quite a shock. By the end of the night however I seem to be adjusting to it.
One of the things I had been doing to get better black levels from the Z2 was to pump the contrast of the V880- this had the desired effect, but at the expense of seriously crushing black levels and loosing detail. (BTW I am a video editor by profession- working on TV shows, commercials, etc, so I am used to looking at high end monitors and manipulating the look of footage all the time, and I often crush blacks or blow out whites for aesthetic effect)
Anyway with the MT700, the V880 contrast setting was no longer desirable- I adjusted the brightness and contrast to get the full detail from whites and blacks without blowing anything out or going too far and making it murky.
Incidentally I found the brightness and contrast on the MT700 to have more effect than on the Z2 (which I found to have a very subtle effect)
The 700 in default mode mode (but mid temp) didn't have as deep a blacks as I thought, even on my gray screen. The picture did look good though.
I then did a split screen with the z2 and MT 700 projecting at the same time. This was where I saw some real surprises. First the Z2 running on DVI had alot more detail than the COmponent driven 700. (a function of the V880 output) so I know the 700 via DVI will look outstanding.
On bright scenes with lots of contrast, the Z2 really held its own. (this is with the 700 now flipped into high lamp mode)
However- as expected it was the darker scenes where the 700 really showed the differences. Hopefully you'll see an attached shot demonstrating the black levels of both- I took many pics- but they didn't seem to show what it looked like in person even though I adjusted the still cameras LCD screen to match what my eye was seeing- so much for screen shots having much validity ( the one I attach will be a good example though)
The Z2 even with almost 1200 hours did seem just as bright though which is odd.
Things like the star field in Star Wars showed the clear dominance of the 700. Again I could have gotten the Z2 to have better blacks, but lots of detail would be thrown away to achieve the effect.
The Java the Hut scene also showed lots middle exposure shots where the black levels of the MT700 were really nice. This was all in standard mode with no bright or contrast added. Also the whites of the Z2 seemed to blown out in the very top highlights, while the 700 held them just fine. It really does have great dynamic range.
Then I shut off the Z2 and played with some of the contrast and theater modes. At first the dynamic mode looked like it was crushing blacks too much, but adding 3 points of bright and contrast to the Dynamic mode took care of this, and while it might not be technically accurate, the effect was outstanding without loosing detail.
This is often my technique for setting up each movie based on the transfer- try not to loose much (if any) detail in the whites and blacks, and get a rich looking image.
I'll report more tomorrow when run via HDMI.