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post #1 of 41 Old 02-22-2020, 03:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Question Projector Upgrade Opinions

Hello,

I am looking into updating my current setup and wanted to solicit this forum for assistance. Here is my current setup:

Equipment
  • Panasonic AX-100U (yes - still rocking 720p)
  • Panamorph UH380 with M380 motorized sled
  • Denon 4520CI (all source material input here and output to DVDO)
  • DVDO Edge

Sources
  • Xfinity for TV
  • Popcorn Hour A-500 for .ISO files of BD and UHD from my collection. This is my primary source as 70% of time is for movies and 30% for TV (Football or "big" shows like GOT or Homeland)
  • Sony BD Player (older model maybe an S350 or S550)
  • Roku Streaming Stick for Disney+

Screen
DIY screen and DIY automatic masking system. The AT screen material was purchased from Sandman well before he started up the now defunct SMX Cinema Solutions so it was from his early run of material.

Measurements
  • Screen height is roughly 51 or 52" and full width is 120"
  • Screen to 1st row of seating (eyes) is roughly 12'6"
  • Screen to projector lens (AX100) is 20' 7"
  • Screen to second row eyes is likely 19' to 20' as the projector is basically above the second row of seats
  • Room is a dedicated theater in the basement with complete light control, flat black ceiling, and black velvet or GOM on the entire screen wall

So, I have started up looking at projector options and it has been a lot of information to catch-up on. Here is what I have to date:
  • It is clear that the UH380 lens will not work with a 4K projector. I'd prefer not to buy a new lens so I think I am required to stick with 1080p and the UH380 or use the projectors zoom to keep a CIH setup
  • I most likely plan to update the Denon 4520CI to the X8500 to go Atmos
  • I will also update with a UHD BD player so that I have a source for the native discs in my library

The projectors that I have been looking at are the Epson 6050UB and the JVC NX5/NX7. I don't have a real budget yet but all three of those are certainly within means. My goal in updating the projector was to move from 720p to 4K but I'd consider a move to 1080p if necessary. I've been very happy with the 720p and have really wondered if I needed to update but I keep thinking, 4K must be so much better. I also want to remove the DVDO Edge from the video sources as I only use this for the vertical stretch and to remove the HDCP issue I have with the Denon AVR and AX100U projector.

I realize the Epson is a faux 4k but I am not sure if that will work with the UH380 or the faux 4k matters with my seating distance from the screen. Is there anything else I should consider when making a decision. Which approach would you recommend for a projector any of above or others (Sony?) and +/- lens?

Thanks!

T.Wells

Last edited by T.Wells; 02-23-2020 at 08:05 AM.
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post #2 of 41 Old 02-22-2020, 05:15 PM
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JVC NX7 would be the one I would choose. I have a Sony 695es and it’s good as well, but the NX7 has better tone mapping.
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post #3 of 41 Old 02-23-2020, 07:17 AM
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Many people would want to view your screen size now with a front row distance of around 8’ not 12’ that seating distance is more inline with 4k trends and of course seating distance is purely subjective to individual tastes. Most people would even more so find your second row very under-immersive by 4k standards/norms.

If you are doing this major of a redesign and jumping from 720p over 1080p to 4k HDR and do the amount of streaming of non movie content (you mentioned football and GOT etc.) I would take my time and investigate what is going on now with IMAX movies like Dunkirk, Aquaman, The Aeronauts etc. Those are movies but things like the NFL and GOT IMHO can be tossed into the super immersive IMAX like category also.

IMO if you maintain your screen size seating distance 4k resolution wont be much of an improvement over 1080p. HDR is another thing and is accomplished to a large degree in projection with tone mapping rather than brightness. This plays a big roll in projector selection as if you don’t use your lens you will be lower on lumens with zooming scope and if you opt for a larger screen you will also lower brightness. Most agree HDR needs some increased brightness over SDR even in perfect dark settings.

There are a very few of us that have held back from 4k HDR for some of these reasons. Me basically because I’m cheap and a late adopter in my old age. 4K HDR projection is maturing but IMO it is still a ways off from being mature. No one can tell you when to make the move just like they don’t know the level of immersion you will like. Take your time and plan carefully as it sounds like once you make a change you stick with it a few years.

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post #4 of 41 Old 02-24-2020, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by bud16415 View Post
If you are doing this major of a redesign and jumping from 720p over 1080p to 4k HDR and do the amount of streaming of non movie content (you mentioned football and GOT etc.) I would take my time and investigate what is going on now with IMAX movies like Dunkirk, Aquaman, The Aeronauts etc. Those are movies but things like the NFL and GOT IMHO can be tossed into the super immersive IMAX like category also.
The o/p is already doing CIH with his current projector and knows how it works, including what happens with these variable ratio movies. CIH works exactly the same in 720p as it does in 4k.

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post #5 of 41 Old 02-24-2020, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by T.Wells View Post
The projectors that I have been looking at are the Epson 6050UB and the JVC NX5/NX7. I don't have a real budget yet but all three of those are certainly within means. My goal in updating the projector was to move from 720p to 4K but I'd consider a move to 1080p if necessary. I've been very happy with the 720p and have really wondered if I needed to update but I keep thinking, 4K must be so much better. I also want to remove the DVDO Edge from the video sources as I only use this for the vertical stretch and to remove the HDCP issue I have with the Denon AVR and AX100U projector.
If they're within your means, the JVC NX5 or NX7 are much better projectors than the Epson. They have significantly better contrast and picture quality even in Standard Dynamic Range 1080p, and there's no comparison at all with 4k HDR.

I would go for one of those JVC projectors. You do not need your old UH380 lens or DVDO Edge, so go ahead and sell those. The Zoom Method for CIH will give you excellent results on these models. For the minuscule number of movies with variable aspect ratio issues, the projectors have a blanking feature that will mask off the extra picture and convert it to letterbox bars (which, contrary to what Bud will argue, is perfectly fine to do with those movies).

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post #6 of 41 Old 02-24-2020, 10:58 AM
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Another vote for the RS2000. " I most likely plan to update the Denon 4520CI to the X8500 to go Atmos " - the X8500H is a great receiver - I love mine. It will be a good upgrade from the 4520 ( had one of those too ).
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post #7 of 41 Old 02-24-2020, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post
The o/p is already doing CIH with his current projector and knows how it works, including what happens with these variable ratio movies. CIH works exactly the same in 720p as it does in 4k.
If it did he would be keeping his A-lens in place.

Well his PT-AX100U is circa 2006 and in terms of media quality and availability it is more like a century of changes. Yes he is doing CIH with an A-lens that he agrees won’t cut it with 4k.

So 1. and I think you will agree zooming isn’t a bad option in the 4k world of 2020. That will be a departure from the CIH he knows.

He may well be in love with his screen size/AR and seating distance and if he is that’s fine with me. I just pointed out with 4k he has the opportunity for greater immersion by moving his seating or going with a larger screen. If he opts for a larger screen then that opens up what he may want to do as presentation. He mentioned and I quote “Football or (BIG) shows like GOT or Homeland”. Again a lot has changed in what is football or TV between 2006 and now. It is up to him if he feels he is getting cheated a little on GOT right now.

If he strictly looks at movies 100% it is true there is only one or two IMAX type releases per year and that is his choice how he watches them. If he wants to include football, baseball, basketball, hockey, auto racing, golf or a hundred other sports into something that might be frame breaking of 2.35 that is for him to figure out. They are not motion pictures and IMO can be played more immersive with a good outcome.

To the OP @T.Wells I did not intend to push you in any direction and if you took it that way please accept my apology. I had only hoped to point out alternatives for your consideration as it is clear you are doing a total redo of your theater. Not many people jump over 1080p in one jump. I bought a truck in 2000 and at the time I realized I jumped over the 1990s. I still have the truck 300k miles on it and going strong so I understand sticking with what works for you.

Bud
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post #8 of 41 Old 02-24-2020, 12:35 PM
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Well his PT-AX100U is circa 2006 and in terms of media quality and availability it is more like a century of changes. Yes he is doing CIH with an A-lens that he agrees won’t cut it with 4k.
He already watches all of that media on his current CIH screen. Nowhere does he say that he's been in a coma for the last 14 years.

Quote:
He may well be in love with his screen size/AR and seating distance and if he is that’s fine with me. I just pointed out with 4k he has the opportunity for greater immersion by moving his seating or going with a larger screen. If he opts for a larger screen then that opens up what he may want to do as presentation. He mentioned and I quote “Football or (BIG) shows like GOT or Homeland”. Again a lot has changed in what is football or TV between 2006 and now. It is up to him if he feels he is getting cheated a little on GOT right now.

If he strictly looks at movies 100% it is true there is only one or two IMAX type releases per year and that is his choice how he watches them. If he wants to include football, baseball, basketball, hockey, auto racing, golf or a hundred other sports into something that might be frame breaking of 2.35 that is for him to figure out. They are not motion pictures and IMO can be played more immersive with a good outcome.
No one asked about any of this. Once again, you are using any excuse you can find to interject into a Constant Image Height thread to tell everybody not to do Constant Image Height. Because that's all you ever do in this forum.

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post #9 of 41 Old 02-24-2020, 01:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the input and advice. The responses have given me a lot to think about.

@bud16415 I like the idea of getting more immersed in the image and moving my seats forward some is a possibility. With my room consutruction, moving them more than a foot or two isn't really feasible on a regular basis. You then had me thinking about a larger CIH screen but then I realized that my room width won't allow for a much bigger screen without removal of the front columns which also happens to hide a metal support beam. I am primarily concerned with watching BD and UHD material and traditional TV (e.g. football) is more of a nice to have. So, sometimes, I like to be to watch the game (or show) in my theater on a screen which is larger than my 60" Samsung 4k screen in the family room or 50" in the bedroom. Thanks again for the for the input and feedback

@Josh Z - Thanks for the support and recognition that I am well aware of the impact of content with variable aspect ratios. I've managed to log a meager 1350 hours on the AX100U/UH380 so I do have some experience in managing these scenarios. I appreciate the comments regarding the zoom approach for CIH as this was a concern I had since I am moving away from the existing lens setup. Obviously back in 2006/2007, a zoom setup came with more limitations as projectors didn't have the overall output of the models listed today which is why I went with A-lens and keep as many AX100U lumens as possible when in scope.
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post #10 of 41 Old 02-24-2020, 01:07 PM - Thread Starter
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As an update - I am narrowing the selection to the NX5/RS1000 and the Epson 6050UB. I'll need to update the 4520 to the 8500h to carry HDR to the PJ (without splitting at the source) so I might as well update and go ATMOS. However, I do cringe at cutting holes in my double drywall, green glue, RSIC clip room/ceiling.

I figure a jump from 720p to 4K (or faux4K) along with an upgraded sound from 11.2 to a 9.2.4 setup would be a very nice improvement in my theater overall.

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post #11 of 41 Old 02-24-2020, 01:35 PM
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Obviously back in 2006/2007, a zoom setup came with more limitations as projectors didn't have the overall output of the models listed today which is why I went with A-lens and keep as many AX100U lumens as possible when in scope.
My default advice is to start with the Zoom Method. If you feel that you need a little extra light on the screen, you can invest in a Panamorph Paladin lens later. But they are pricey.

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As an update - I am narrowing the selection to the NX5/RS1000 and the Epson 6050UB.
As mentioned, there's really no contest between these two in terms of performance. The only reason to consider the Epson is for budgetary concerns. The Epson is a perfectly good budget projector, but if you can afford the JVC, you'll be a lot happier with it in the long run.

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I'll need to update the 4520 to the 8500h to carry HDR to the PJ (without splitting at the source) so I might as well update and go ATMOS. However, I do cringe at cutting holes in my double drywall, green glue, RSIC clip room/ceiling.

I figure a jump from 720p to 4K (or faux4K) along with an upgraded sound from 11.2 to a 9.2.4 setup would be a very nice improvement in my theater overall.
I'll save you a couple thousand dollars right here and recommend you take a step down from the Denon X8500H to the X6500H. The only meaningful advantage the X8500H has is the ability to process 13 channels vs. 11. However, speaking as an X8500H owner with a ridiculous number of speakers in my room, I can tell you that almost no content takes advantage of all those channels. Nearly everything tops out at 7.1.4.

Save the price difference between these two receivers and apply it to the JVC projector.

Also, even though the X8500H is Denon's current flagship, it's almost three years old and is likely to be refreshed with a new model before the end of the year.

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post #12 of 41 Old 02-24-2020, 02:26 PM
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Just for the sake of argument if the OP was to keep his A-lens and buy a 1080p projector he would get a boast in brightness and still have a full 1080 vertical lines of resolution. If he goes to 4k and zooms he will lose brightness and also lose lines of resolution to the black bars.

At his screen size / seating distance will he be far enough into the benefits area of 4k resolution to see the difference? Considering his scope resolution won’t really be 4k. I suppose there is also something to factor in also if the projector is faux 4k as well.

Would any of the 1080p projectors that do HDR work for him?

I ask mainly because he is locked into a screen size and a seating distance that isn’t all that immersive.

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post #13 of 41 Old 02-25-2020, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by bud16415 View Post
Just for the sake of argument if the OP was to keep his A-lens and buy a 1080p projector he would get a boast in brightness and still have a full 1080 vertical lines of resolution. If he goes to 4k and zooms he will lose brightness and also lose lines of resolution to the black bars.
Almost any 4k projector available today is very likely to have more light output than the old 720p model he's currently using.

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post #14 of 41 Old 02-25-2020, 09:51 AM
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Almost any 4k projector available today is very likely to have more light output than the old 720p model he's currently using.
I agree but that wasn’t my question. He feels his A-lens would be ok with 1080p resolution so he has a lens bought and paid for. If he zooms scope 4k he gets one resolution with light loss to the black bar areas. If he were to do a 1080p HDR with the lens he will get the full 1080 resolution and likely increased brightness for the HDR.

With his screen size seating distance both locked in as it seems he wont likely notice any bump between the diminished 4k and the full 1080.

My question was what did others think about that and is there a viable 1080p HDR out there as he seems to think he is missing out by not having HDR and playing 4k media. The 4k part I doubt he will see much difference between it and 1080p seeing as how he has no issues now with 720p.

Just wondering if there is a chance for some savings for him for a couple years with that upgrade and maybe wait for 4k laser to mature and or drop in price.

Bud
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post #15 of 41 Old 02-25-2020, 10:26 AM
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He feels his A-lens would be ok with 1080p resolution so he has a lens bought and paid for.
If he sells the lens, he can put that money toward a better projector that doesn't need a lens.

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If he zooms scope 4k he gets one resolution with light loss to the black bar areas. If he were to do a 1080p HDR with the lens he will get the full 1080 resolution and likely increased brightness for the HDR.
Are there 1080p HDR projectors? Not good ones, certainly. The best projectors for HDR currently are the JVC 4k models. Their Dynamic Tone Mapping feature is leagues ahead of any other projector's HDR performance, unless you invest in an external processor such as Lumagen Radiance Pro or MadVR Envy, both of which cost as much as the projector does.

Whether he "needs" the 4k resolution or not, if he wants good HDR, he should get a 4k JVC.

He already has his eye on the JVC NX5. That's what he should aim for, IMO. Selling the lens will help offset the price difference between that and the Epson he's also looking at, which is nowhere near as good a projector.
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post #16 of 41 Old 02-25-2020, 04:19 PM - Thread Starter
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My question was what did others think about that and is there a viable 1080p HDR out there as he seems to think he is missing out by not having HDR and playing 4k media. The 4k part I doubt he will see much difference between it and 1080p seeing as how he has no issues now with 720p.

Just wondering if there is a chance for some savings for him for a couple years with that upgrade and maybe wait for 4k laser to mature and or drop in price.
Thanks Bud. I was thinking along these lines too. A 1080P HDR might be a good stop-gap to cover me for a few years while the next wave of PJs mature and drop in price. In looking around, I don't see many option in the new market and think I might be looking at a used PJ if I would head in this direction.

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If he sells the lens, he can put that money toward a better projector that doesn't need a lens.
A good thought but I don't think the M380 and UH380 will yield very much in a sale. I see a UH480 for sale now in the classified section that hasn't moved and the price is dropped to less than $700. Maybe I'd get $400 for the combo?

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Are there 1080p HDR projectors? Not good ones, certainly. The best projectors for HDR currently are the JVC 4k models. Their Dynamic Tone Mapping feature is leagues ahead of any other projector's HDR performance, unless you invest in an external processor such as Lumagen Radiance Pro or MadVR Envy, both of which cost as much as the projector does.

Whether he "needs" the 4k resolution or not, if he wants good HDR, he should get a 4k JVC.

He already has his eye on the JVC NX5. That's what he should aim for, IMO.
Thanks. I don't see many options in the 1080P HDR market but my knowledge of this landscape is very limited as I basically ignored the PJ market for several years.

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My default advice is to start with the Zoom Method. If you feel that you need a little extra light on the screen, you can invest in a Panamorph Paladin lens later. But they are pricey.
Pricey for sure. I'm sure the lens quality has increased which was required to address the additional resolution but man, the prices have really increased since I purchased the 380 with the initial discount for the pre-orders.


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As mentioned, there's really no contest between these two in terms of performance. The only reason to consider the Epson is for budgetary concerns. The Epson is a perfectly good budget projector, but if you can afford the JVC, you'll be a lot happier with it in the long run.
Thanks. I can certainly afford the JVC, just making sure I can justify the expense based on the overall increase in my own perceived performance benefit or using the Epson as a substitute for the 1080p HDR route and upgrading again in 3 or 4 years. I lean toward buying the JVC and trying to settle in for another 5-7 years (if possible).

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I'll save you a couple thousand dollars right here and recommend you take a step down from the Denon X8500H to the X6500H. The only meaningful advantage the X8500H has is the ability to process 13 channels vs. 11. However, speaking as an X8500H owner with a ridiculous number of speakers in my room, I can tell you that almost no content takes advantage of all those channels. Nearly everything tops out at 7.1.4.

Save the price difference between these two receivers and apply it to the JVC projector.

Also, even though the X8500H is Denon's current flagship, it's almost three years old and is likely to be refreshed with a new model before the end of the year.
Thanks. I am currently running 11.2 (plus Butt Kickers in all 8 chairs) and haven't really felt the impact of the front wides or front high speakers in the DTS:X setting. I thought this may be because not many titles use the format and hence the desire to add ATMOS. I was looking at the benefit of removing the Emotiva XPA-5 from my rack (used to power the 2 additonal channels with the 4520) with the 13 channel solution on the X8500 but I guess if I go 11-straight from the X6500H, I could still remove it (any chance to use the Emotiva to power the existing FW speakers to mirror FL and FR for a larger sound stage?)

My current timing and the pending release of a new flagship does make me pause. I wonder if I should wait on everything and upgrade later this year with a new AVR and PJ as there isn't anything that needs to be replaced right now (other than my internal motivation to upgrade).

Thanks again for all the great feedback, advise, and input. I really enjoy the creative, solution-oriented thinking!
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post #17 of 41 Old 02-26-2020, 07:46 AM
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Thanks. I can certainly afford the JVC, just making sure I can justify the expense based on the overall increase in my own perceived performance benefit or using the Epson as a substitute for the 1080p HDR route and upgrading again in 3 or 4 years. I lean toward buying the JVC and trying to settle in for another 5-7 years (if possible).
HDR is very complicated and difficult to implement in projectors. If not tone-mapped properly to the capabilities of the projector, the image can wind up looking worse than SDR. JVC is the only projector brand to feature dynamic tone mapping, which analyzes the video signal frame-by-frame and adjusts it for the best tone mapping (similar to what Dolby Vision does on a flat panel). No other projector does this. Unless you invest in a Lumagen Radiance Pro or MadVR Envy external video processor (which will cost more than the projector), JVC's HDR quality is way ahead of anyone else's.

Quote:
I am currently running 11.2 (plus Butt Kickers in all 8 chairs) and haven't really felt the impact of the front wides or front high speakers in the DTS:X setting. I thought this may be because not many titles use the format and hence the desire to add ATMOS.
Looking at the specs for it, the Denon 4520 does not have either Atmos or DTS:X. In order to process 11 channels with Front Wides and Front Heights, you must be using the DTS Neo:X upmixer.

Both Neo:X and its successor DTS Neural:X top out at 11 channels. You can do either 7.1.4 or 9.1.2, but not 9.1.4, even on the Denon X8500.

The same 11-channel limit applies to native DTS:X soundtracks, with the added complication that Front Wide channels won't work at all if Surround Backs are also used. This effectively limits DTS:X to either 7.1.4 (no Front Wides) or 5.1.4 +Wides (no Surround Backs). Strangely, the Neural:X upmixer doesn't have this problem, just native DTS:X.

The Dolby Surround Upmixer doesn't support Front Wides at all. On the X8500, you can go to 7.1.6 with DSU, but Front Wides will never get used. Additionally, you should note that DSU really only has two effective channels of height information. All the height speakers on the left side of the room carry the same mono info, and all the height speakers on the right do the same, no matter how many speakers you install.

Dolby Atmos soundtracks can theoretically use the full 9.1.4 or 7.1.6 speaker layouts. However, they must be authored and mixed to place sound objects in the Front Wide or Top Middle locations, and most Atmos soundtracks make minimal to no use of either. Disney (which covers all of Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, and Disney Animation) authors its Atmos soundtracks in fixed 7.1.4 or even just 7.1.2 layouts.

The whole situation is very frustrating.

DTS:X Pro is supposed to finally free the DTS formats from their 11-channel limit, but there's no guarantee that the X8500 will be upgraded to that.

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I was looking at the benefit of removing the Emotiva XPA-5 from my rack (used to power the 2 additonal channels with the 4520) with the 13 channel solution on the X8500 but I guess if I go 11-straight from the X6500H, I could still remove it (any chance to use the Emotiva to power the existing FW speakers to mirror FL and FR for a larger sound stage?)
You want to clone the FL and FR into extra speakers? You could do this, but I'm not sure that it would really be beneficial.

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Looking at the specs for it, the Denon 4520 does not have either Atmos or DTS:X. In order to process 11 channels with Front Wides and Front Heights, you must be using the DTS Neo:X upmixer.

Both Neo:X and its successor DTS Neural:X top out at 11 channels. You can do either 7.1.4 or 9.1.2, but not 9.1.4, even on the Denon X8500.
Sorry for the sloppy post and mixing up my audio formats.

Yes, to get the FW and/or FH active on the 4520, I am upmixing with DTS Neo:X or Audussey DSX. Unfortunately, my current FH speakers are located behind the screen and do not offer much in-terms of separation from the traditional FL, FR or C channels.

What you share is making a pretty compelling case to go with the x6500.

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What you share is making a pretty compelling case to go with the x6500.
If you want to dive down a pretty deep rabbit hole, it's possible to use additional A/V receivers in tandem with your main AVR to derive extra channels. I currently have a 9.1.8 speaker layout that requires four receivers working together to drive all those channels.

Here's a lengthy thread on the subject, or Google "Dolby Atmos Beyond 7.1.4".

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HDR is very complicated and difficult to implement in projectors. If not tone-mapped properly to the capabilities of the projector, the image can wind up looking worse than SDR. JVC is the only projector brand to feature dynamic tone mapping, which analyzes the video signal frame-by-frame and adjusts it for the best tone mapping (similar to what Dolby Vision does on a flat panel). No other projector does this. Unless you invest in a Lumagen Radiance Pro or MadVR Envy external video processor (which will cost more than the projector), JVC's HDR quality is way ahead of anyone else's.
So are we saying all the folks that are going crazy in the <3000 forum dumping their 1080p machines to get into 4k HDR craze are likely seeing worse PQ than if they would have stuck with what they had?

I actually agree with that assumption to some degree as I don’t see tone mapping HDR as the same as true HDR in lights out front projection HT or the importance of needing it. The last thing I want in a lights out HT is the look of a huge flat panel for my screen. If I wanted that I would buy an 85” TV and sit a little closer.

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So are we saying all the folks that are going crazy in the <3000 forum dumping their 1080p machines to get into 4k HDR craze are likely seeing worse PQ than if they would have stuck with what they had?
In the case of an XPR DLP vs. a good 2K DLP, it's probably not as much of an upgrade simply because of the very lackluster contrast on the XPR units. Once you get to something like the Epson 5050, 4K HDR is a clear step up from 2K.

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I actually agree with that assumption to some degree as I don’t see tone mapping HDR as the same as true HDR in lights out front projection HT or the importance of needing it. The last thing I want in a lights out HT is the look of a huge flat panel for my screen. If I wanted that I would buy an 85” TV and sit a little closer.
I have a decent 4K HDR set (Vizio P series) and the NX7 with dynamic tone mapping does a very good job while still looking film like.

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In the case of an XPR DLP vs. a good 2K DLP, it's probably not as much of an upgrade simply because of the very lackluster contrast on the XPR units. Once you get to something like the Epson 5050, 4K HDR is a clear step up from 2K.



I have a decent 4K HDR set (Vizio P series) and the NX7 with dynamic tone mapping does a very good job while still looking film like.
That may well be true, but if I read Josh correctly he was saying in the case of HDR and tone mapping without a JVC there wasn’t anything out there to do proper tone mapping on board a projector and that other brands likely need a secondary unit to process the tone mapping properly. Maybe I misunderstood what he was saying most of the time I do.

But if that was the case none of the 4k HDR projectors in the <3000 forum and quite a few in the >3000 forum would need a secondary tone mapping device. That wouldn’t be logical given the cost to match one with a cheap 4k HDR projector. I know at least some of the cheap DLP 4k HDR projectors use a color filter when doing HDR and that cuts the light output about in half. Sounds kind of counter productive cutting lumens to meet a spec that calls for greater lumens.

I was mainly trying to resolve for myself the statement Josh made, and you kind of confirmed it also that if I don’t need the 4k resolution I’m likely better off staying with 1080p than chasing HDR with a cheaper projector.

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It's not that other projectors don't do any tone-mapping. They have to, or the image on the screen would be unwatchable. It's that JVC does it much better.

Most projectors use static tone-mapping "curves" that are based on: 1) the peak brightness of the image, and 2) the average brightness level. Some curves are better than others. The better ones might even look pretty decent most of the time. But because these curves are static, they can't take into account big frame-to-frame or scene-to-scene brightness changes in the content. As a result, you wind up with some scenes where highlights are clipped or shadows are crushed.

More problematic is that most of these curves rely on metadata in the content to tell them those peak and average brightness levels, and most content has either no metadata or incorrect metadata. Disney owns half of Hollywood today, and they don't put that metadata on anything they release. Without this info, the projector may choose the wrong curve entirely, and users wind up having to manually fiddle with the settings on each new piece of content they watch until they find one that looks somewhat acceptable.

JVC's "Frame Adapt HDR" feature is not a static curve and does not rely on metadata. It will analyze the brightness of the video signal and adjust the tone-mapping frame-by-frame. The results are far better than any static curve, and this is mostly a set-it-and-forget-it process that doesn't require much manual adjustment.
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It's not that other projectors don't do any tone-mapping. They have to, or the image on the screen would be unwatchable. It's that JVC does it much better.

Most projectors use static tone-mapping "curves" that are based on: 1) the peak brightness of the image, and 2) the average brightness level. Some curves are better than others. The better ones might even look pretty decent most of the time. But because these curves are static, they can't take into account big frame-to-frame or scene-to-scene brightness changes in the content. As a result, you wind up with some scenes where highlights are clipped or shadows are crushed.

More problematic is that most of these curves rely on metadata in the content to tell them those peak and average brightness levels, and most content has either no metadata or incorrect metadata. Disney owns half of Hollywood today, and they don't put that metadata on anything they release. Without this info, the projector may choose the wrong curve entirely, and users wind up having to manually fiddle with the settings on each new piece of content they watch until they find one that looks somewhat acceptable.

JVC's "Frame Adapt HDR" feature is not a static curve and does not rely on metadata. It will analyze the brightness of the video signal and adjust the tone-mapping frame-by-frame. The results are far better than any static curve, and this is mostly a set-it-and-forget-it process that doesn't require much manual adjustment.
Thanks for explaining, and in the world of SDR we have a dynamic range encoded that is well suited to projection as well as flat panels just not as deep of a gamut. Projectors can’t take advantage of the gamut spread in the direction of brightness/luminance so rather than clipping that imposable to produce brightness they are trying to convert it downward and possibly outward so as to improve what they can do as best they can do it.

HDR is trying to take a bigger chunk of what potential human vision has and is better suited IMO for brighter flat panel devices that are generally not used in pitch black theaters with our eyes dilated and a screen occupying almost all of our vision.

HDR media I assume is being made for these devices and not projectors or this tone mapping would be a non issue.

So what I thought at first is there is still some time for this JVC type processing to trickle down to the entry level HDR projectors. Is there a reason to believe this won’t happen over the next few years, and until then people buying them should know they may have a new level of messing around to do with new HDR content?

The one part I still don’t quite understand is most people doing HDR say it helps to have some extra brightness along with the tone mapping if 16 FL was good for SDR they say you want 32FL for HDR and true HDR might require 500FL that we can’t get to. Does the JVC system tailor the tone mapping to the max FL you can get on the screen? Do you input something in at calibration?

The funny part is until I heard of HDR and saw how much everyone needs it I felt SDR covered enough of my spectrum that I never felt the visuals were lacking realism.

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Thanks for explaining, and in the world of SDR we have a dynamic range encoded that is well suited to projection as well as flat panels just not as deep of a gamut. Projectors can’t take advantage of the gamut spread in the direction of brightness/luminance so rather than clipping that imposable to produce brightness they are trying to convert it downward and possibly outward so as to improve what they can do as best they can do it.

HDR is trying to take a bigger chunk of what potential human vision has and is better suited IMO for brighter flat panel devices that are generally not used in pitch black theaters with our eyes dilated and a screen occupying almost all of our vision.

HDR media I assume is being made for these devices and not projectors or this tone mapping would be a non issue.

So what I thought at first is there is still some time for this JVC type processing to trickle down to the entry level HDR projectors. Is there a reason to believe this won’t happen over the next few years, and until then people buying them should know they may have a new level of messing around to do with new HDR content?

The one part I still don’t quite understand is most people doing HDR say it helps to have some extra brightness along with the tone mapping if 16 FL was good for SDR they say you want 32FL for HDR and true HDR might require 500FL that we can’t get to. Does the JVC system tailor the tone mapping to the max FL you can get on the screen? Do you input something in at calibration?

The funny part is until I heard of HDR and saw how much everyone needs it I felt SDR covered enough of my spectrum that I never felt the visuals were lacking realism.
The DTM in the JVC does not take into account the light output from the screen. You can however modify settings to help it work in extreme situations. For the majority of the setups it does very, very well with no real tweaking needed.

You wouldn't want the light output on a 10' screen you can tolerate on an 85" flat panel. So I don't think there is a "true HDR" threshold for a projector. 30ft-L is a good start, but other factors can come into play. Also there are flat panels where tone mapping is beneficial based on their specs.

The extra lumens for HDR come into play with how it works. SDR looks very nice at 14 ft-L, but is to bright and washed out looking at 30ft-L. HDR is using that extra light output differently. The majority of what you see is mapped to look very close to how it does in SDR, but when something calls for that extra oomph it's there. For example we just watched Harry Potter: The Order of the Phoenix. The beginning scene at the Riddle mansion doesn't look a whole different than the Blu Ray. Some more shadow detail and a bit darker black floor. But when the caretaker turns on the flashlight, big difference. That spot in the frame that could only hit 14ft-L is now more than twice as bright and looks convincingly like what a flashlight actually looks like on a dark night. SDR can't do that.

Although 2K SDR Blu Ray is still a wonderful looking format, HDR and 4K are offering a superior experience. An Epson 5050UB with a Panasonic UB420 player would be a fantastic combo that would yield a picture better than a 2K setup would provide. Would it be as good as the JVC NX lineup and DTM? No. But still absolutely a worthwhile upgrade for someone looking to get into 4K HDR for less than $3k.

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The DTM in the JVC does not take into account the light output from the screen. You can however modify settings to help it work in extreme situations. For the majority of the setups it does very, very well with no real tweaking needed.

You wouldn't want the light output on a 10' screen you can tolerate on an 85" flat panel. So I don't think there is a "true HDR" threshold for a projector. 30ft-L is a good start, but other factors can come into play. Also there are flat panels where tone mapping is beneficial based on their specs.

The extra lumens for HDR come into play with how it works. SDR looks very nice at 14 ft-L, but is to bright and washed out looking at 30ft-L. HDR is using that extra light output differently. The majority of what you see is mapped to look very close to how it does in SDR, but when something calls for that extra oomph it's there. For example we just watched Harry Potter: The Order of the Phoenix. The beginning scene at the Riddle mansion doesn't look a whole different than the Blu Ray. Some more shadow detail and a bit darker black floor. But when the caretaker turns on the flashlight, big difference. That spot in the frame that could only hit 14ft-L is now more than twice as bright and looks convincingly like what a flashlight actually looks like on a dark night. SDR can't do that.

Although 2K SDR Blu Ray is still a wonderful looking format, HDR and 4K are offering a superior experience. An Epson 5050UB with a Panasonic UB420 player would be a fantastic combo that would yield a picture better than a 2K setup would provide. Would it be as good as the JVC NX lineup and DTM? No. But still absolutely a worthwhile upgrade for someone looking to get into 4K HDR for less than $3k.
Thanks for explaining.

I know all projection from the days of film to digital were highly inefficient in terms of light utilization and now it seems that HDR projection is roughly twice as inefficient as SDR. All that brightness ability has to stand behind each and every pixel waiting for that highlight to require it. Maybe even worse is the ability to produce black has got twice as hard as well as the best black is stopping 100% of white with twice the amount to deal with that makes me think why DLP has so much trouble with CR and HDR.

It seems HDR projectors must run hotter dealing with twice the discarded light? Are the light sources rated higher wattage?

Now a movie like Harry Potter does the director make the movie with the intent of HDR output of the flashlight that high and then cut it back for theaters that are not HDR yet? Or does he shoot it like he always did and someone in postproduction decide what highlights get what levels?

I have always run my home setup a little hot around 20-25 FL. Even after my gray screen. I never really noticed colors or flashlights not seeming real or bright enough. In fact stuff like that I could noticeably notice my eyes correcting to level the brightness. Makes me wonder in a dark room if anyone has tested how much of HDR brightness gets rejected at the eyes iris?

It is an interesting topic for sure. It is something that seems so logical applied to a screen that produces light like a flat panel to have more power when needed thus turning up the brightness whereas projectors start with full brightness and turn down the brightness. The flat panel has the advantage of being in a lit room the projector is disadvantaged by a lit room in terms of how our vision is receiving them as well.

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Thanks for explaining.

I know all projection from the days of film to digital were highly inefficient in terms of light utilization and now it seems that HDR projection is roughly twice as inefficient as SDR. All that brightness ability has to stand behind each and every pixel waiting for that highlight to require it. Maybe even worse is the ability to produce black has got twice as hard as well as the best black is stopping 100% of white with twice the amount to deal with that makes me think why DLP has so much trouble with CR and HDR.

It seems HDR projectors must run hotter dealing with twice the discarded light? Are the light sources rated higher wattage?

Now a movie like Harry Potter does the director make the movie with the intent of HDR output of the flashlight that high and then cut it back for theaters that are not HDR yet? Or does he shoot it like he always did and someone in postproduction decide what highlights get what levels?

I have always run my home setup a little hot around 20-25 FL. Even after my gray screen. I never really noticed colors or flashlights not seeming real or bright enough. In fact stuff like that I could noticeably notice my eyes correcting to level the brightness. Makes me wonder in a dark room if anyone has tested how much of HDR brightness gets rejected at the eyes iris?

It is an interesting topic for sure. It is something that seems so logical applied to a screen that produces light like a flat panel to have more power when needed thus turning up the brightness whereas projectors start with full brightness and turn down the brightness. The flat panel has the advantage of being in a lit room the projector is disadvantaged by a lit room in terms of how our vision is receiving them as well.
The bulb wattage determines heat output. Higher watt bulb is going to produce more light and as a byproduct heat. I haven't had high lamp (which I use for HDR) ever make the room uncomfortable on the NX7 or my previous 4K unit the JVC RS520.

SDR 20-25 ft-L isn't going to look the same, you are simply displaying a narrower range brighter. Yes the flashlight beam will still be the bright spot on the screen, but it won't have the pop and brightness of HDR. HDR is only raising the brightness of the picture elements that need more light while leaving the rest of image alone.

HDR grading is done at the studio. I'm not sure if that grading is ever utilized in the theater. Something like a Dolby laser cinema could likely use it. But I'm not certain if it does.

Projectors can produce very nice HDR images. Flat panels certainly have more light, but the surface area of the image and conditions that a projector is used in changes the needed output to where it isn't apples to apples. I'd definitely suggest your next projector should be something like the Epson 5050 or JVC NX5 (or perhaps a used JVC RS5xx). The large bump in contrast vs your DLP will make your existing collection look that much better. And the well done 4K material will be whole new level for you.

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The bulb wattage determines heat output. Higher watt bulb is going to produce more light and as a byproduct heat. I haven't had high lamp (which I use for HDR) ever make the room uncomfortable on the NX7 or my previous 4K unit the JVC RS520.

SDR 20-25 ft-L isn't going to look the same, you are simply displaying a narrower range brighter. Yes the flashlight beam will still be the bright spot on the screen, but it won't have the pop and brightness of HDR. HDR is only raising the brightness of the picture elements that need more light while leaving the rest of image alone.

HDR grading is done at the studio. I'm not sure if that grading is ever utilized in the theater. Something like a Dolby laser cinema could likely use it. But I'm not certain if it does.

Projectors can produce very nice HDR images. Flat panels certainly have more light, but the surface area of the image and conditions that a projector is used in changes the needed output to where it isn't apples to apples. I'd definitely suggest your next projector should be something like the Epson 5050 or JVC NX5 (or perhaps a used JVC RS5xx). The large bump in contrast vs your DLP will make your existing collection look that much better. And the well done 4K material will be whole new level for you.
Although those are some great projectors and the feature of zoom memory controls would be great, they wouldn’t fit my rooms needs for shorter throw and if anything with the improvements I would want greater immersion not less. They would be perfect for CIH+IMAX with full on IMAX immersion.

If I get a larger room otherwise I will have to wait around for more shorter throw options in 4k and figure out tone mapping in those projectors. Sadly that’s a few years off for me I think. The only shorter throw 4k projectors are DLP with filters for WDR that cut light output and lower CR.

Good to hear that almost all cinema is remaining SDR I like the idea of getting my bright highlights as a film-like presentation where they are bright because my eyes are sitting in the dark. Most directors I assume are still making movies for the theater and are ok with the SDRish nature of the end product.

You may have misunderstood or I didn’t quite explain it right when I raise my total image brightness 20-25 FL I’m not doing that to try and simulate HDR but rather do it for when the image isn’t trying to be cinema but more like TV with some ambient on in the room. I reduce the image with projector movement zoom and go from 110” down to 70-80” that concentrates the image and ups the brightness. 80” from 8’ is more than large enough for TV, and the added brightness makes it work with some light.

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Although those are some great projectors and the feature of zoom memory controls would be great, they wouldn’t fit my rooms needs for shorter throw and if anything with the improvements I would want greater immersion not less. They would be perfect for CIH+IMAX with full on IMAX immersion.

If I get a larger room otherwise I will have to wait around for more shorter throw options in 4k and figure out tone mapping in those projectors. Sadly that’s a few years off for me I think. The only shorter throw 4k projectors are DLP with filters for WDR that cut light output and lower CR.
I'd think you could get something to work with the mirror and slide configuration. Short throw is unfortunately a neglected niche. I agree that the current 4K DLP projectors would be a step backwards in many ways.


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Good to hear that almost all cinema is remaining SDR I like the idea of getting my bright highlights as a film-like presentation where they are bright because my eyes are sitting in the dark. Most directors I assume are still making movies for the theater and are ok with the SDRish nature of the end product.
That's certainly more to do with the limitations of most commercial theaters and not due to a preference for SDR type presentation.

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You may have misunderstood or I didn’t quite explain it right when I raise my total image brightness 20-25 FL I’m not doing that to try and simulate HDR but rather do it for when the image isn’t trying to be cinema but more like TV with some ambient on in the room. I reduce the image with projector movement zoom and go from 110” down to 70-80” that concentrates the image and ups the brightness. 80” from 8’ is more than large enough for TV, and the added brightness makes it work with some light.
You explained it fine. I was just pointing out that raising the overall brightness of an SDR image isn't approximating what HDR is doing.

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I'd think you could get something to work with the mirror and slide configuration. Short throw is unfortunately a neglected niche. I agree that the current 4K DLP projectors would be a step backwards in many ways.




That's certainly more to do with the limitations of most commercial theaters and not due to a preference for SDR type presentation.



You explained it fine. I was just pointing out that raising the overall brightness of an SDR image isn't approximating what HDR is doing.
Wouldn’t it be nice if an intermediate media were introduced for projectors with the tone mapping blended in? I don’t see that happening unless commercial theaters wanted a HDR standard and upped their brightness and then needed a special digital media made for them. You would think commercial theaters would be putting on a major effort to include HDR.

I really haven’t studied the issue in great depths, but I wonder if the great directors are speaking out on their feelings about HDR and front projection.

Yes I could go back to the mirror setup I had great success with that for 3 years with 720p resolution. Like an A-lens adding anything to the light path has to be up for the 4k challenge. I would really wonder how much more perfect a mirror setup would have to be given 4k. I haven’t heard of anyone doing it yet.

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