I'm particularly sensitive to sharpness (or the lack thereof, which I find fatiguing -- like trying to focus on something that can't be focused on), so I'd like to ask if anyone has had the opportunity to compare a VW60 to an RS1 in the way I'm about to describe (which I did for a 1080UB, a VW50, and an RS1):
I obtained 1080p images containing alternating R/G/B single-pixel-width line segments from http://www.pbase.com/jackcnd/1080p_tests
(I used the "original" versions to obtain 1080p images). Images were stored on a PS3 and fed to the projectors via HDMI.
Looking at a 1080UB near the center of the screen, there were two significant problems: (1) the red, green, and blue pixels couldn't be focused simultaneously (see attached black and white pic, paying particular attention to the blue pixels); and (2) even with the best obtainable focus, the pixels were smeared -- and sometimes the lines were even doubled (!) (see attached colored pic).
Problem #1, I assume, results from panel misalignment (but it's depth misalignment, rather than lateral misalignment); problem #2, I believe, results from inferior lens quality.
I saw the same problems (both the line doubling and the lack of simultaneous panel focus) on the VW50, at the center of the screen
[As an OT aside, I will mention that, on the 1080UB threads, there are frequent complaints of panel misalignment, as evidenced by significant color fringing seen on white lines. But the attached color pic suggests than some of those individuals complaining about panel misalignment many instead simply have bad lenses. The only way to tell is to put up patterns that have separate R/G/B line segments.]
By contrast, the RS1 at the center of the screen was remarkably sharp -- the line segments of all three colors looked as sharp, simultaneously, as they do on my computer's very high quality (Samsung SyncMaster 213T) 21" LCD screen; there was no visible blurring or fringing. Up to this point, I’d thought that LCoS pixels were “soft-looking.” Now I realize that the pixels themselves are sharply defined, but you need a PJ with good enough optics to see this (and, of course, very tight focus on the three panels to be able to have them be sharp simultaneously). There was a direct translation between the sharpness of the patterns on the RS1 and how it looked with movies, which appeared significantly sharper on the RS1 than on the VW50 or on the 1080UB (I used the Spider Man 3 Blu-Ray for this comparison).
Vertically and horizontally, lateral registration of the red and green panels on the RS1 was within 1/3 to 1/2 pixel. The only problem was blue, which was displaced horizontally by almost two pixels (vertically it was fine). But for image sharpness, this seems to matter less (at least for the blue; if the red and green were off by 2 pixels, that would likely be a different story) than having good optics and tight panel focus.
Not that one wouldn't also want to have the blue be where it's supposed to be. In fact, the RS1’s internal panel alignment compensation may fix this. The VW60’s, which shifts in fractions of a pixel, does so by dimming/brightening adjoining pixels -- it doesn't actually correct the alignment of the panels. So it can’t give you back the resolution you lose by misalignment (in fact, I understand that use of this feature actually reduces sharpness). But since the JVC’s panel alignment feature, by contrast, only allows for whole-pixel increments it could, at least in principle, electronically re-map the entire blue panel EXACTLY (by just shifting the blue panel pixel addresses by +2 vertically, for instance). Anyone know if this is true?
For me, the major benefit of this exercise was two-fold. First, it clarified just how important sharpness is to me -- the increased sharpness of this RS1 made watching movies less fatiguing (and yes, I still want a 3-chip for other reasons; I just want a 3-chip that's sharp!). Second, it changes the conversation -- instead of having to ask people, subjectively, how sharp a projector is, I now understand that this can be easily assessed: you just have to put up one of these single-pixel-width patterns, and look for the same crispness you see on a flat-panel LCD. If you've got this, you know that the video image will be sharp.
So I'm wondering whether anyone has done a test like this to compare the relative sharpness of the RS1 and the VW60.