Join Date: May 2008
Location: San Francisco - East Bay area
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Someone mentioned that this projector failed to reproduce some test patterns somewhere (in a foreign language review perhaps?) so I took a look at 1920x1080 test patterns with full-screen single pixel alternating black & white lines... horizontal and vertical. Neither one was reproduced right... you can see the single pixel lines, but instead of the test pattern appearing to be a 50% white screen (half the lined are 0%, the other half of the lines are 100%), there are a few pink/red tinted snakes and irregularly shaped areas of slight green or slight blue tint. None of the screen remains a uniform gray. However, full-screen grayscale patterns from 5% to 100% have excellent uniformity without any discolored areas. I also looked at the singe pixel black & white checkerboard pattern called Pixel Clock & Phase from Joe Kane's DVE HD Basics Blu-ray also in 1920x1080 and that pattern is not reproduced correctly either and moving most of the controls in the Picture menu causes the appearance of this pattern to change in strange ways.
The only displays I've ever seen reproduce those patterns correctly are DLP and plasma (have not looked at those patterns on OLED so can't say). I don't recall any LCD-based imager technology reproduce those kinds of patterns properly. But now that I have seen this happen on a UHD projector which is CLEARLY reproducing UHD levels of detail (UHD content is freaking incredibly detailed, so much more so than HD that it is impossible to not be impressed, that there is simply NO WAY those single pixel line and single pixel 1920x1080 test patterns not reproducing right has ANYTHING to do with the image quality performance of this projector. And now, I'll go as far as saying other LCD based displays that can't reproduce those patterns right are NOT resolution limited either. There is simply SOMETHING different about LCD imager technology that causes those patterns to fail in spite of the display really being able to reproduce the resolutions the manufacturers say they can reproduce. I think that it is simply wrong to say that a display that can't reproduce those patterns has a high-frequency problem that doesn't permit the display to reach the advertised resolution. I believe the 665 projector is reproducing the full UHD resolution... there is simply NO WAY native UHD content could look this good (so obviously better than Blu-ray it's silly to even compare them) if the projector couldn't reproduce every pixel in UHD video correctly. It may have something to do with how LCD imagers (mostly) work... the video display does all the imaging processing as it would for any other display, but just before the processed digtal data is sent to the LCD imagers (LCoS is an LCD imaging technology too), the digital data is converted to an analog signal. There are some LCDs display devices in development (not sure if they are in any products yet) that are trying to move to direct digital drive to eliminate the analog conversion, but I think that may only be a technicality as these new devices may simply do the digntal to analog conversion inside the the imager or support chip set instead of externally in circuiry before the imager(s). Bottom line, I don't believe any longer that the failure of this projector or other displays that use LCD technology to reproduce those single pixel line/checkerboard patterns means anything... it's just an anomaly that says nothing about the real-world performance of the display.
Think about it... if the projector's high frequency performance was really indicated by those patterns, you'd expect the problem to become visible maybe 2/3 or 3/4 of the way towards full UHD resolution... NOT at 1920x1080. The failure of 1920x1080 patterns to display correctly (if what is said about those types of test pattern is true) then this projector doesn't even have 1920x1080 resolution so it shouldn't look a lick better at UHD than it does with HD sources. But as I've said alreasy, it is VERY obvious that this projector is reproducing UHD resolution because the amount of detail present in UHD content... it far exceeds the detail present in 1080p images. I have a DLP projector here right now as well and it has nowhere near the amount of detail in HD images that the 665 has in UHD images. So the 665 has to have resolution much higher than 1920x1080 in spite of the failure to reproduice this specific type of test pattern.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it. I've asked Sony for an explanation about why those patterns fail on their prokectors (HD and UHD). They know about the issue and this time I may get an actual answer to the "Why?" question... fingers crossed.