Originally Posted by chexi1
Well, I wish I could have given it more time to really compare the pictures, but most of the evening was spent trying to get it to work. That said, here is my preliminary review.
Overall PQ. I would say the picture is about 10-15% better than the Mits. I use Phantom of the Opera as my reference HD-DVD and have watched it probably 25 times in the last 4 months. I noticed things in the picture that I had not noticed before. Some good, like details in costumes. Some bad, like more digital noise in certain low APL scenes.
Sharpness. Definitely sharper than the Mits. It's weird, the focus ring on the Marantz turns quite a bit, but I would say that throughout the entire range of focus on the Marantz, the focus is almost better than the Mits at its best, and of course when spot on, definitely sharper. I need to actually focus against a test pattern to judge focus uniformity. If the HDMI issues get worked out, I will do so. If not, I don't want to burn any more time on the bulb.
RBE. Rainbows were far less prevalent to me than on the Mits, although I did still see them occasionally (and I was trying hard to see them). I think I saw rainbows about 3 times in about a combined 30 minutes of watching Phantom of the Opera HD-DVD (which has a lot of high contrast scenes with dark backgrounds and candles... ideal for spotting rainbows). I can see them almost at will with the Mits on these scenes (and too often not at will).
Lumens. Brightness was very good. I had a hard time deciding on whether to run with the iris at middle or narrow. Colors seemed better at the middle on some sources, but blacks were a bit better in narrow. It's really close, and I would need more time to decide which I would rather run in. Note, I never took the lamp out of eco. At least with only little ambient light to no ambient light, there was no need. Remember of course, this was a new bulb.
Colors. I have no color spectrometer (or whatever it is called), so I cannot say for sure, but colors seemed accurate to me out of the box. Flesh tones looked convincing. Colors seemed realistic (not cartoonish), saturated but not over saturated. If I keep the pj, I will run Avia to test further.
Black levels. Only a slight improvement from the Mits, but the Mits has decent blacks. I was really hoping for more here. Black bars and my hand puppets were clearly visible. Black levels were not competitive with those of the RS-1.
Shadow detail. Better than the Mits, and more of an improvement than black levels. Still not quite where I had hoped, but better.
Screendoor. On my Mits, when I wear my glasses and sit in the front row, I can see screendoor on certain solid white items, bright lettering/subtitles, and sometimes flames. I cannot see it from my back row or when I do not wear my glasses. I have a harder time seeing screendoor on the Marantz, all other things being equal. I had to move up about a foot I think to see it, but I would like to do more testing on this.
Digital Noise. I believe that I saw more noise on the Marantz in low APL scenes than on the Mits. Again, I need to do more comparison testing. This may have just been in the source, because it was only in certain scenes (usually a vertical pan when very dark, or when someone was in front of the camera with a dark coat on). Depth/pop was lost when this happened. But noise was not present in all dark scenes, it was the rare exception not the rule, but when it happened, it was very noticeable.
Pop. Too early to tell comparison-wise, but my general impression regarding pop was favorable, except when noise would kill the effect. It is like looking out a window and then in an instant being painfully reminded that you are looking at a 2D painting. Again, this could be source related.
Fan noise/color wheel. I had the Marantz sitting immediately next to me. In normal fan mode it was quieter than my Mits, but my Mits has a louder color wheel, so it is hard to tell which actually has the quieter fan. However, I consider this irrelevant, as it is the overall noise that matters. I think that mounted on my 9' ceiling a foot or two in front of the front row will be fine/not noticeable while watching.
Other. On both the Mits and the Marantz I get what looks like misconvergence in a row of pixels on the top and bottom of the screen. I know that on single chip DLP's it is not misconvergence, but nevertheless it is there. I had assumed it was chromatic aberration in the Mits lens, but now that I see it also on the Marantz, I think it may be in the source. If anyone knows a way to get rid of this, other than masking, I'm all ears. I thought it might be an overscan issue, but I played with that a little without success.
Note. Marantz has been good with providing quick e-mail responses to my questions so far. They solved an AV receiver issue/question in about 12 hours from my initial e-mail (which was sent on Labor Day night). I just hope that they can solve my HDMI issues, but I am not optimistic that there is anything Marantz can do to fix the issue.