Originally Posted by cmjohnson
I just purchased an RS45 from a good friend of mine who has upgraded to an RS500.
I'm a die-hard and dedicated CRT projector enthusiast and I'm not making any plans to abandon CRT projectors,
in fact I'm buying more of them if I find the right models at the right price. I can make enough money off this
to make it at least a self-sustaining hobby.
So, what do I think about the RS45? I've seen many movies on it, when it was at my friend's house. It does a very fine job but
the black level is not particularly amazing if you are a die-hard CRT enthusiast like myself. The way my CRT projector is set up,
if the image goes to black, it's BLACK. In a fully light controlled room, you can't even see the bright white screen. It's like you went blind.
Nonetheless, I plan to have some enjoyable viewing on this machine even though so far I haven't had any success in getting it to see
the signal over the HDMI cable. It's acting like the cable is flaky but this same cable works just fine plugged into the HDMI input of my CRT projector.
I realize the RS45 is a few years out of date but it'll make a fine intro to modern HD projectors and the price was right.
I went from CRT to the RS45 about four years ago or so. Like you, I was also addicted to CRT black levels, and was unsure if I was willing to lose those excellent black levels. The RS45 was the first projector I felt was good enough to warrant the cost to make the move.
Here's the thing... To get the "I can't see my hand in front of my face black", you have to crush the hell out of black. Seriously, if you set the projector up so black is absolute black, IRE 0-10 or so will also be essentially black. You're going to lose a lot of shadow detail.
What I found once I set up the RS45 and started watching it I really liked the more linear display of low-APL scenes. No, it wasn't pitch black, but things still looked really good.
One thing that will also improve black levels is bumping the size of the screen a little, and with the RS45, you have enough light to do it. Go to a 9-foot wide 1.0-gain screen (a size/material you'd never use with a CRT), and your black levels will improve.
Regarding the HDMI issue, have you ever seen it work? Was it working when you got it wherever you got it? I've seen a few of these machines with failed HDMI inputs.
The HDMI was a little finicky on mine, probably the combination of source(s), my Integra DHC-9.9 prepro, and the JVC. Handshake/display improved significantly once I started using on of the cheap Chinese splitters that defeated HDCP. I no longer had to power-cycle stuff and unplug/plug HDMI cables; it would just work. But, source-changes still took a LONG time to generate a picture - especially if the resolution changed. I think the scaler in the RS45 is pretty slow to sync to the signal and display a picture.
My suggestion would be to try one of the splitters to see if your HDMI input resolves. If that doesn't fix it, you might have a broken input.
EDIT - PS - I didn't really miss my CRT at all once I had the RS45. Black level was the one area it didn't do as well, but everything else about it was superior. Personally, I ended up happy to make the trade.