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post #1 of 25 Old 01-20-2016, 09:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Top 10 Video Stories at CES 2016

It's difficult for me to believe that 2016 marks my 25th consecutive CES. Like the previous 24 shows I've attended, there was way too much for any one person to cover, even limiting that coverage to home audio and video news. So Mark Henninger and I split up—he concentrated on audio while I focused on video, though each of us managed to experience at least a bit of what the other's coverage area offered this year in Las Vegas.

Now that the show is over, it's time to summarize our favorite items. So here are my top 10 video-related stories from CES 2016, along with links to the relevant coverage:

1. Ultra HD Premium Certification

For the last couple of years, I've been advising most video-display shoppers to delay buying a 4K/UHD TV until the dust settled around the issues of high dynamic range (HDR) and wide color gamut (WCG). Well, that wait now seems to be over—the UHD Alliance announced its Ultra HD Premium certification program, which specifies HDR and WCG performance parameters for content, distribution, and displays. If a product passes all the tests administered by an independent facility and thus earns the right to sport the Ultra HD Premium logo, consumers are assured of the best possible viewing experience available for the home.

The first displays to be certified as Ultra HD Premium are all of LG's 2016 OLED TVs, all of Samsung's 2016 SUHD TVs, and the Panasonic DX900 LED-LCD TV, and others are sure to follow. By definition, all Ultra HD Blu-ray players conform to the Ultra HD Premium specs, and most Ultra HD Blu-ray discs will as well. Warner Bros. has the logo on its Ultra HD Blu-ray titles, and other studios are likely to include it. In my view, this is the real tipping point of the transition to UHD, and I couldn't be happier that it's finally here.

2. HDR/WCG Displays

Flat-panel TVs capable of reproducing content encoded with HDR and WCG were all over CES. In addition to the aforementioned LG OLEDs, Samsung SUHD TVs, and Panasonic DX900, there were many others, including the Sony X930D and X940D, LG Super UHD TVs, Hisense H10C, Sharp N9000, TCL X1, Philips 8600, and Panasonic CZ950 OLED. The era of HDR and WCG has finally begun!

3. Quantum-Dot Backlighting

One of the driving forces behind the widespread appearance of HDR and WCG at the show is the use of quantum-dot technology in the backlights of many LED-LCD TVs. Nanosys is one of the primary suppliers of this technology, specializing in large films—called QDEF (Quantum Dot Enhancement Film)—embedded with billions of red and green quantum dots for use in FALD (full-array local dimming) sets with blue LEDs. Vizio was the first to use QDEF in its R65 last year, and new FALD panels at CES included the Hisense H10C, Sharp N9000, TCL X1, and Philips 8600. In addition, Samsung has licensed the Nanosys QD technology since 2010 and used it in both FALD and edgelit TVs, including the 2016 SUHD sets. If anything can breathe new life into LCD TVs, it's quantum dots—well, and something like Sony's Backlight Master Drive, which I highlight later in this article.

4. LG OLED TVs

My favorite flat-panel displays at the show were definitely the LG UHD OLED TVs. The company announced four new lines with a total of eight new models, but only the top two lines—E6 and the flagship G6—were on display in LG's booth. As you might imagine, the blacks were to die for, and the colors really popped. Even better, the E6 and G6 lines are both flat, as is the entry-level B6; only the C6 is curved. It seems LG got the message that savvy consumers prefer flat TVs—hallelujah!

According to the company, the picture performance is the same across all four lines; design is the primary delineating factor as you step from one line to the next. The B6 does not have 3D capabilities, while the others do. The E6 and G6 sport a new "picture on glass" design and an integrated soundbar, while the G6 includes all the electronics in the base so the panel is more uniformly flat and wafer-thin.

Of course, they ain't cheap—the 65" E6 can be pre-ordered at Amazon and other online retailers for $7000, though no other prices have been announced yet. You can bet the 77" G6 will be way up there, but if you aren't set on the admittedly cool picture-on-glass design, integrated soundbar, and 3D capabilities of the G6 and E6, the 55" or 65" B6 should be fabulous for a lot less. We finally have a worthy successor to plasma!

5. LG Temple of OLED



The main entrance of LG's booth is always jaw-dropping, but this year, it was even more amazing than ever. A large blacked-out area was filled with a total of 112 OLED TVs in a semicylindrical array and a dome above the audience, and all the panels were operating as one huge, immersive, tiled display. The content was mostly footage of outer space, which was highly effective in demonstrating OLED's superior blacks. In fact, the entire presentation was quite mesmerizing, making it difficult to pull myself away to cover the rest of the show. Well done, LG!

6. Sony Backlight Master Drive

The most impressive future-tech demo I saw was Sony's Backlight Master Drive, which is basically a FALD backlight with over 1000 zones. (The Sony rep would not say how many more than 1000 zones, but I suspect it's much more.) Essentially, the backlight forms a black-and-white version of the video image—at a lower resolution than the final full-color image, to be sure, but much higher resolution than any current FALD backlight. And Sony is claiming this technology can achieve a peak light output of 4000 nits from a display that implements it.

This was a concept demo, but the Sony rep said that everything else about the display was conventional LCD technology, so it shouldn't be all that difficult to commercialize it. Perhaps we'll see a product next year, but for now, it's the best thing to happen to LCD TVs since FALD first appeared.

7. Ultra HD Blu-ray Players and Titles

UHDTVs with HDR and WCG are all well and good, but they need HDR/WCG content to look their best. Of course, that content is starting to become available from several streaming providers, but optical discs still provide the ultimate in quality. At CES, three companies announced Ultra HD Blu-ray players—Samsung, Panasonic, and Philips. No pricing was announced for the Panasonic DMP-UB900, but the Samsung UBD-K8500 can be pre-ordered for $400, and the Philips BDP7501 will sell for the same price. That's less than half of what the first Blu-ray player cost when it was first introduced, which I find remarkable.

In addition, several studios, including Warner Bros., Twentieth Century Fox, Sony Pictures, and Lionsgate, have announced Ultra HD Blu-ray titles that will be released this year. The initial slate will include around 20 titles from all four studios, with over 100 promised by the end of the year.

8. Dish Hopper 3 Satellite DVR

Satellite provider Dish Network caused quite a stir with the announcement of its Hopper 3 DVR, which offers 16 tuners (!) and UHD capabilities. In addition to being able to record up to 16 different programs at once, the Hopper 3 can support up to six Joey extender/clients to serve up to seven different programs to TVs around the house.

9. Wolf Cinema SDC-15 D-ILA Projector

Among all the audio demos at the Venetian hotel, there were a couple of video presentations. Wolf Cinema was showing its new SDC-15 Ultra 4K projection system, which is based on a flagship D-ILA core from JVC with HDR capabilities and e-Shift 4 to present UHD resolution. The Wolf system includes the projector and the company's latest ProScaler MK IV outboard video processor, co-designed by the Wolf team and noted video engineer Jim Peterson, for a whopping $22,000—but based on the image I saw on a 10-foot-wide Seymour-Screen Excellence Ambient-Visionaire Black screen (1.2 gain), it's well worth that kind of money.

In fact, it was the best projected image I saw at the show—and that was playing normal Blu-rays! When I was there, they were playing Tomorrowland, which looked almost like it was HDR content with super-deep blacks, razor-sharp detail, exceptional color, and no visible noise whatsoever. I can't wait to see what this bad boy can do with genuine UHD/HDR content!

10. Optoma Prototype 4K DLP Projector

At CEDIA last October, Texas Instruments demonstrated a new DLP chip with 4 million micromirrors that are quickly shifted back and forth to simulate 4K/UHD resolution—not unlike JVC's e-Shift but starting with twice as many native pixels. At CES, Optoma was showing a prototype of the first consumer projector to incorporate the new chip, and it also uses LED illumination instead of a lamp and color-filter wheel. It's not expected to ship until the second half of the year, but from what I saw, it should be a winner.
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post #2 of 25 Old 01-20-2016, 09:58 PM
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was there any news about directv launching their 4k sports channel in the spring?

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post #3 of 25 Old 01-20-2016, 10:09 PM - Thread Starter
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was there any news about directv launching their 4k sports channel in the spring?
Not that I heard.
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post #4 of 25 Old 01-20-2016, 10:10 PM
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By the way, this a great summary of CES and a very good idea to put all the links to everything all on one page! Very helpful!
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post #5 of 25 Old 01-21-2016, 05:47 AM
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We finally have a worthy successor to plasma!
The current top end LCD offerings from Sony and Samsung have already surpassed the best plasma's.
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post #6 of 25 Old 01-21-2016, 11:17 AM
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Thanks for the over view Scott. It is amazing how far LCD has gone over the last decade. I do have a fuzzy sort of question though - we know what certain facets of LCD were improved, advanced and changed but I still wonder if they have the same "challenges" that often led to the LCD vs plasma discussion with respect to play back of 23.9x frame movies. I am a zero fan of the gimmicks used that gave the soap opera effect. How is this handled on these bright new shiny impressive screens being offered?
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post #7 of 25 Old 01-21-2016, 11:40 AM
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When are they going to stop shifting pixels and give us true 4K projectors? Thank you Sony for starting the race.
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post #8 of 25 Old 01-21-2016, 12:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the over view Scott. It is amazing how far LCD has gone over the last decade. I do have a fuzzy sort of question though - we know what certain facets of LCD were improved, advanced and changed but I still wonder if they have the same "challenges" that often led to the LCD vs plasma discussion with respect to play back of 23.9x frame movies. I am a zero fan of the gimmicks used that gave the soap opera effect. How is this handled on these bright new shiny impressive screens being offered?
You are exactly correct that LCD TVs have had to implement gimmicks or band-aids to help reduce some of their inherent problems, and this is still true today. They still use frame interpolation (which causes the soap-opera effect) and backlight scanning to reduce motion blur and FALD to improve contrast. (Edgelit sets have a harder time improving contrast in a reasonable way.) Plus, nothing can help off-axis performance; IPS panels do better in this respect than VA, but off-axis performance always suffers to one degree or another, especially compared with plasma and OLED. This is why I generally prefer plasma and OLED over LCD, even with today's advanced LCD technology.
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post #9 of 25 Old 01-21-2016, 12:26 PM
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When are they going to stop shifting pixels and give us true 4K projectors? Thank you Sony for starting the race.
As long as the result on screen is true UHD and supporting WCG and (hopefully) HDR, does it matter what resolution the imaging device is? As long as the pixels displayed on screen are UHD, with no overlap/blending and fully supporting the requisite bits, we should welcome fewer imaging pixels on DMDs to accomplish that end, as it increases the size of the micro mirrors and presumably (based on prior DMDs) reduces light scatter and increases native contrast. The proof is in the pudding of course, but I'm cautiously optimistic about this tech... wondering if TI will release a larger DMD with this tech for premium single-chip projectors (e.g. a follow-up to the (Planar) Runco single chip line), or if we are stuck with mass consumer 4K or 3-chip uber-expensive 4K. Would love to see the delta design with a 1" 4K DMD.
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post #10 of 25 Old 01-21-2016, 12:34 PM
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You are exactly correct that LCD TVs have had to implement gimmicks or band-aids to help reduce some of their inherent problems, and this is still true today. They still use frame interpolation (which causes the soap-opera effect) and backlight scanning to reduce motion blur and FALD to improve contrast. (Edgelit sets have a harder time improving contrast in a reasonable way.) Plus, nothing can help off-axis performance; IPS panels do better in this respect than VA, but off-axis performance always suffers to one degree or another, especially compared with plasma and OLED. This is why I generally prefer plasma and OLED over LCD, even with today's advanced LCD technology.
Is the current crop of FALD LCDs significantly better (w.r.t. LCD's inherent weaknesses) than high end sets of a few years ago (e.g. like my LG 55LHX)? I know they support new features (e.g. 4K, 3D), but for a high-quality, 1080p bluray movie, is there a significant difference compared to top of the line ~4 yrs ago?
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post #11 of 25 Old 01-21-2016, 12:59 PM
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e-shift

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As long as the result on screen is true UHD and supporting WCG and (hopefully) HDR, does it matter what resolution the imaging device is? As long as the pixels displayed on screen are UHD, with no overlap/blending and fully supporting the requisite bits, we should welcome fewer imaging pixels on DMDs to accomplish that end
Am I missing something here? Are you talking about JVC or TI e-shift? My understanding of the JVC e-shift techology is that an array of 1080p pixels is shifted diagonally half a pixel .. which infers to me that the result is no more than half of UHD resolution. So how can you say "As long as the result on screen is true UHD ... does it matter what resolution the imaging device is?" If the resolution is half the UHD resolution, then it's not UHD! Your later comment that "we should welcome fewer imaging pixels" seems to suggest that you're already aware that it's not "true UHD".

Now the TI DLP technology at least appears to start with half the UHD pixels so e-shifting to double them would at least get to full UHD resolution, if which case it should be more of a "who cares?" argument.

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You are exactly correct that LCD TVs have had to implement gimmicks or band-aids to help reduce some of their inherent problems, and this is still true today. They still use frame interpolation (which causes the soap-opera effect) and backlight scanning to reduce motion blur and FALD to improve contrast. (Edgelit sets have a harder time improving contrast in a reasonable way.) Plus, nothing can help off-axis performance; IPS panels do better in this respect than VA, but off-axis performance always suffers to one degree or another, especially compared with plasma and OLED. This is why I generally prefer plasma and OLED over LCD, even with today's advanced LCD technology.

Any idea of where we stand in 2016 on OLED? In the meanwhile, I'll stick with my Panasonic VT50 65" until it is no longer working. While I can understand the financial reasons for the demise of plasma, one would hope that after all these years, the LCD would improve with respect to its inherent flaws instead of new wowie zowie frills. (Not discounting benefits of 4k) so that people can fully enjoy 1080p without compromise from the technology.
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post #13 of 25 Old 01-21-2016, 01:39 PM
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<snip>
Now the TI DLP technology at least appears to start with half the UHD pixels so e-shifting to double them would at least get to full UHD resolution, if which case it should be more of a "who cares?" argument.
Yes, was referring to the DLP tech... have seen many around here equating it to JVC e-shift and asserting it is not true 4K/UHD. As long as the image on screen is as I desire, I do not really care how they get there.
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I can't wait to see what this bad boy can do with genuine UHD/HDR content!
I laughed when I read that line. I haven't heard someone use bad boy in reference to something for a long long time.
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The current top end LCD offerings from Sony and Samsung have already surpassed the best plasma's.


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You are exactly correct that LCD TVs have had to implement gimmicks or band-aids to help reduce some of their inherent problems, and this is still true today. They still use frame interpolation (which causes the soap-opera effect) and backlight scanning to reduce motion blur and FALD to improve contrast. (Edgelit sets have a harder time improving contrast in a reasonable way.) Plus, nothing can help off-axis performance; IPS panels do better in this respect than VA, but off-axis performance always suffers to one degree or another, especially compared with plasma and OLED. This is why I generally prefer plasma and OLED over LCD, even with today's advanced LCD technology.
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Any idea of where we stand in 2016 on OLED? In the meanwhile, I'll stick with my Panasonic VT50 65" until it is no longer working. While I can understand the financial reasons for the demise of plasma, one would hope that after all these years, the LCD would improve with respect to its inherent flaws instead of new wowie zowie frills. (Not discounting benefits of 4k) so that people can fully enjoy 1080p without compromise from the technology.
I'd like an opinion on this as well.

AFIAK, some of the current limitations of OLED are:
1) Poor motion resolution. OLEDs need to become significantly brighter to move away from sample and hold.
2) Poor grayscale response at low luminance. While OLED can achieve perfect black, theres a noticeable gap between "off" and "dimmest on."
3) Current color gamuts don't come close to fulfilling the Rec.2020 color space (~75% maybe?).
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Originally Posted by Phrehdd View Post
Any idea of where we stand in 2016 on OLED? In the meanwhile, I'll stick with my Panasonic VT50 65" until it is no longer working. While I can understand the financial reasons for the demise of plasma, one would hope that after all these years, the LCD would improve with respect to its inherent flaws instead of new wowie zowie frills. (Not discounting benefits of 4k) so that people can fully enjoy 1080p without compromise from the technology.
Hence, a reference LCD TV is still an oxymoron for some videophiles.

This may be the year to make the jump from Plasma to OLED -
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Funny to give the Wolf Cinema SDC-15 D-ILA projector the "best projected image I saw at the show" award when all they're doing is re-branding JVC's projectors and charging huge markups. It's too bad that "award" didn't got to the actual company whose dedication to projectors brought us the current fabulous crop of contrast monsters that can be had for $4k to $7k, not $22k. I currently have an RS500 in my dedicated bat cave and it's stunning.

JVC deserves the props for innovation, hard work, quality and value, not the "hanger on" Wolf.
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post #19 of 25 Old 02-04-2016, 10:01 AM
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Funny to give the Wolf Cinema SDC-15 D-ILA projector the "best projected image I saw at the show" award when all they're doing is re-branding JVC's projectors and charging huge markups. It's too bad that "award" didn't got to the actual company whose dedication to projectors brought us the current fabulous crop of contrast monsters that can be had for $4k to $7k, not $22k. I currently have an RS500 in my dedicated bat cave and it's stunning.

JVC deserves the props for innovation, hard work, quality and value, not the "hanger on" Wolf.
Wolf Cinema earns their value by hot-rodding the optics, scaling, cooling, sorting and tuning the analog panels. Their result is 2-3x the contrast ratio, -25% cooler running, and their scaling is fantastic. The result is that is the first eshift that I've seen that renders obvious true-4K resolution and arguably exhibits advantages over my Sony 4K. Whether or not their efforts are of value to you is a personal argument. Their market is the CEDIA channel, not the AVS Forum folks. Just as the AMG are arguably poor-value Mercedes, and the M-series are arguably poor-value BMWs, paying extra for another company to tune products may not appeal to your sensibilities. Base MB and BMWs are very fine cars.

Focusing solely on the panel and not the total integration package is missing the forest for the trees. The projected image we had on display was so good that the VP of JVC was bringing their technical folks to the demo. ISF and Technicolor each bought systems for their reference use.

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When are they going to stop shifting pixels and give us true 4K projectors? Thank you Sony for starting the race.
Pixel shifting can result in true-4K image projection. In the new eshift4, we were able to resolve single pixel information from 4K sources, obviously and without problems. The Wolf Cinema implementation of D-ILA arguably had advantages over my Sony 4K projector. As long as the resulting image is UHD resolution, it doesn't matter whether they use 8M, 4M, 2M, or one single pixel, as CRT projectors use. What resolution would CRT projectors qualify as? 1? No, what they are able to render on screen within your retinal retention.

While resolution is only the third most important contribution to image quality, you have two and will have three technologies this year that render UHD resolution. Getting hung up on the "how", such as the Sony haters complaining that because their 4K panels can't resolve out-of-frequency test patterns that they're not "true" 4K, is myopic and unproductive.

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Chris,

I can see where people are coming from if you take an example like Lexicon rebranding of the Oppo BDP-83. I'm not surprised people would come to the table with skepticism, it's often warranted. I'm happy you clarified what Wolf Cinema is bringing to the table, I wouldn't have know. I like your CRT analogy, I think is a great way at looking at things with eShift and the new TI chip.
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post #22 of 25 Old 02-06-2016, 12:39 PM
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Their result is 2-3x the contrast ratio,...
Hard to believe that JVC is leaving that much on the table; what is Wolf claiming (I didn't see a spec on their website)?

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Hard to believe that JVC is leaving that much on the table; what is Wolf claiming (I didn't see a spec on their website)?
ANSI (no iris) contrast 500,000

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post #24 of 25 Old 06-23-2016, 09:58 PM
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Pixel shifting can result in true-4K image projection. In the new eshift4, we were able to resolve single pixel information from 4K sources, obviously and without problems. The Wolf Cinema implementation of D-ILA arguably had advantages over my Sony 4K projector. As long as the resulting image is UHD resolution, it doesn't matter whether they use 8M, 4M, 2M, or one single pixel, as CRT projectors use. What resolution would CRT projectors qualify as? 1? No, what they are able to render on screen within your retinal retention.

While resolution is only the third most important contribution to image quality, you have two and will have three technologies this year that render UHD resolution. Getting hung up on the "how", such as the Sony haters complaining that because their 4K panels can't resolve out-of-frequency test patterns that they're not "true" 4K, is myopic and unproductive.

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I'm in the market for either a Sony VPL-VW365ES or a JVC DLA-X750R. I was contemplating an E-Shift 4 model but just scared to bite. I currently own a JVC projector and absolutely love it but just scared of the 4K e-shift (1080p Native) tech. What is your thoughts?
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post #25 of 25 Old 06-24-2016, 05:47 PM
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I'm in the market for either a Sony VPL-VW365ES or a JVC DLA-X750R. I was contemplating an E-Shift 4 model but just scared to bite. I currently own a JVC projector and absolutely love it but just scared of the 4K e-shift (1080p Native) tech. What is your thoughts?
I think the eshift4 and JVC's new light engine is fantastic. Where I thought Sony previously had the more amazing image quality, I'd now in most cases give the nod to JVC. If you can get some pristine 4K content via a server, then the Sony can amaze, but in studio content the JVC offers more. Maybe other things like lens memory, gaming lag, or price would tip the scale? You should call Mike or Craig at AVS, as they have tons of experience with them.

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