Josh while it is speculation on noise, the other areas are a lock.
I have to tell you the Nec 240 was reasonably quiet I would not say whisper, but compared to the 3 HT units I have seen/ had since it itself is loud to me now. The color wheel whines in the 2) 240s I had as well as a 260 by buddy had. The isolation efforts are not there in units made for biz presentations, you can barely tell my last projector was on unless you saw the bulb strike.
By no means would my opinion of the 240k be whisper, it was reasonable however, until the wheel got some hours on it, then she started to whine
Don't forget Josh I owned a Lt240k for 2 years and thought the same as you, I loved it until I saw a HT machine side by side, it was not even close, it looked like garbage side by side. By itself I "remembered" it looking comparable, but side by side:
White point was way too blue even after ISF cal. White segment off
Blacks were gray with a ton of dither, never noticed how bad until I saw good :)
Shades of individual colors RGB were artificial, yellows brown, greens neon etc
A general unsteady "noise" to the picture.
A very 2d flat digital look while the other looked smooth, rich, analog... like it was 3 feet deep
Now before you say I had a defective unit ( I immediately thought the same :) )
I went up the street to my friends, who had a 260k at the time, same findings...even worse, because his unit was 200 lumens brighter (spec) and the black level was even more grey than mine (white segment off)
We both dumped our units within a week...both of us had the anamorphic lens as well.
In addition the "whisper quiet " comes at a price in that PJ line, the bulb crazes, outgasses and deposits onto the color wheel, early failures, dimmer clouded picture. You basicly "choke" a biz unit into being quiet, the chassis are designed to be portable, not heat efficient and quiet at the expense of size.
The compact portable chassis they are built on was more than likely not designed to be on longer than a few hours max for each session. Installed conference style units will take extended intervals into design however.
I had done temp studies on the unit, and in high fan mode the temps dropped by 20c and none of the above was present after I replaced the bulb, just before I sold it. Again on both 240k and 260k
If you don't believe me grab the ladder and pull your lamp, take a look at your wheel with a flash light? look at a slight angle and you more than likely will find a milky coating on wheel, if you have run it in ECO for over 600hrs...there is a huge thread on this upstairs.
So while it can be quiet, this is not in it's best interest when doing a double feature on a Sunday with the family, again it happens to do it, but there are consequences.
There are no stereotypes in my post at all, they are facts,
a color wheel spinning at 2x delivers half the individual saturation than a 4xi wheel
a color wheel with a clear segment and a gamma ramp tuned for presentations will never deliver the black level of a 6/7/8 color wheel
There is no way a 300 watt bulb coupled with the above issues that can deliver the inter-scene contrast of a dedicated unit.
I am not saying it can't "look good" but it just can't compete with a dedicated unit, and it's price point takes it into a level of emerging PJs with options, features and performance you want, out of the box.
The only speculation is the scaler/deinterlacer I will admit, TI has some integrated chips that do well, so that might not be too much of a concern.
Once again in the HT you have options even within this point of interest not usualy found
Nevermind deeper color controls in the user menu for getting to 6500k
And the thing is you don't need to spend 5k to get it anymore, you can get it for less than the msrp of this unit. That is why I posted my thoughts.
Back to noise, since it was your quote:
There are exceptions to the rule, but with a 300 watt lamp there is no free lunch, and unless that thing is very large you have to exchange the air in it at a reasonable rate for long term reliability.
That is why you will notice most HT dedicated units of high quality are large, you can turn the air less and heat soak less with slower larger fans. In addition, the light engine is usually isolated better by virture of the space...
At this point/pricing of technology, there is no reason anymore to compromise with a biz unit, in my opinion.
I admit there was a time where the line was vauge and "high end" manufacturers simply rebadged units with a firmware change and price gouged us.
But by the same time frame of outdated thoughts the HT line has progressed at the same rate widening the gap, example:
HT line has had 4 dmd progressions in as many years roughly
While you will mostly find currently the biz units are still using the 12 degree DDR chip in yours
You may say it is marketing and for the most part I believe it as well, BUT...take a look in the changes from calibrated independent reviews on say:
H77 to a H79
7205 to a 7210
4800 to 4805
H30 to H31
There are 20% to 30% increases in brightness and contrast in both those units housed in the same PJ, with a chip change, nevermind refinements in mirror speeds, banding, false contour.
Back to point..
For me, biz units do not perform as well, as quiet, or have as refined a picture.
They can represent a value for getting close, but now that pricing is plummeting...I can't justify that anymore.
That is not my speculation, it is my fact... remember I had both for a few weeks side by side.
240k represented a great value in the old price scheme 2-3 years ago...but the game has changed and your money is better spent now at better price points
I am not attacking your statements, I expressing my opinion having had both and 6 others, again not conjecture
There are very, very few exceptions and they happen by accident not by design.
Sorry if this is so long, but we are here for one common reason to get the best picture quality for the money. i would want the help if I was here for the first time trying to make a good decision, not a costly mistake.