Originally Posted by Mike Garrett
In my family room setup I had an RS45 and an RS57. Had them stacked. I ran split source to them. Both projectors had very good convergence. Brightness matched, I was surprised at just how much better the image on the 57 was compared to the 45 and the biggest difference that I noticed was the contrast and black levels. A/B comparison was pretty obvious. I have also had an RS640 stacked with RS45. The difference is huge. Contrast, black level and sharpness. Not to mention the obvious difference in brightness, the 640 could do. I also compared the RS640 stacked with RS57, difference was still pretty big, but less so on the contrast. With the 640, it was more the sharpness and clarity. I used 1080P sources when comparing, except for the 57 and 640. With the 57 and 640, I also looked at some 4K sources, using an HD Fury Integral on the 57. I used a piece of cardboard to block off the lens, so instant switching from one to the other. I no longer have the RS45, but still have the RS57 and I plan to get another RS640.
Sample variances distort our opinions, both mine and yours, so I'm not immune either.
I've measured contrast quite a bit higher on (1) RS-46 than another when I had 2 of them next to each other, and I know it was NOT my meter as I was using an almost $1000 sekonic, so it depends on the sample.
Since the RS-57 produces at max throw around 70,000:1 on/off before the DI, whereas the RS-45 at max throw produces around 25k:1 to 35k:1 depending on sample. That is only a doubling of the native contrast, that is certainly a difference and it can be seen in an A/B, but how huge that is --- a somewhat subjective opinion.
That is far less than the difference between most Sony's and even the low-end JVC.
The RS-57 definitely looks a bit darker than an RS-45, no doubt, but it also depends how bright you are watching the image to how easily you see it. When I opened up the aperture a bit, then yah, the RS-56 would easily beat the RS-46, no contest. When both apertures were closed and the PJ's were brightness matched (relatively), the difference wasn't huge, but was still there.
I agree in some budget cases, an RS-520/RS-540 is a good step up, but it's ALMOST hair splitting if someone is moving up from a DLP.
Because come on, we're still talking 2x to 3x increase vs. 20x to 30x...