This may be a dumb question, but why does a larger size dmd matter for contrast. For example why would a .4 look worse for native contast than .67. Also if that’s the case why don’t we have $5,000 projectors using some 2 or even 3 inch models. Surely if contrast depended at least partly on size the. Then using a much bigger area would allow a good company to get close to tv levels of contrast. I understand the larger 0.67 costs more due to the fact is only shifts twice with higher pixel count but otherwise wouldn’t a larger say 2 inch mode be cheaper and easier to produce if it had the same number of pixels as the benq ht3550? Just curios as my current 1080p projector has something around .67 for its size and I’m ready to buy a projector that crammed that 1080p amount of pixels on a smaller area for some reason.
This isn’t a hard and fast rule but in many cases the larger DMD can perform better simply owning to it being larger. A larger chip means larger micro mirrors means more light is reflected (more contrast). In theory, the larger mirrors could also have an increased tilt angle (better blacks) although I’m not so sure how true that is anymore. Lastly there’s the physics of the light source, case and optics. A larger chip uses a larger lamp which requires a larger lens which demands a larger chassis. All of these can contribute to higher contrast and better black level.
But it’s not so simple anymore. The DLP47 has 2 million mirrors— the same as a 1080p projector because it is, essentially, an Hd chip. The DLP66 has 4 million mirrors. Twice as many mirrors on an area roughly twice the size so no big advantage there. The real difference comes down to the fact that the dlp66 is only responsible for creating 2 pixels per mirror where the DLP47 is responsible for creating 4 pixels per mirror. That means the amount of time the chip can use to create each pixel is halved.
To put this simply: the smaller chip is what makes 4K affordable for more people. It’s doubtful a projector with the Ht3550’s feature set could be sold anywhere near it’s price with the larger dmd. Forget about the price of the DMD itself— there are all those other factors I mentioned above that will contribute to it’s cost (larger lamp, larger chassis and, the most costly item on any projector, larger optics). There is a reason we haven’t seen nearly as many new DLP66 projectors as DLP47 projectors. In fact, I think the UHD60/65 were effectively the first and last models released under $3000! BenQ has a couple of DLP66 models but they’re WAY up there in price. The new HT5550 will be sold under $3000 but it too uses the DLP47.
JVC is releasing native 4K projectors but early reports seem to suggest that these new models have taken a step back in terms of contrast from the previous 1080 x2 ‘E shift’ models. A big part of this is no doubt due to them squeezing four times the pixels into an imaging panel roughly the same size as the old 1080p panels (.7 inches). So this is really an industry wide trend. What I will say is last years 4K DLPs represented a step back in contrast/blacks from the best 1080p DLPs available at the time (including the popular HT2050/HT3050). That’s not the case anymore. Now, again, a large part of that performance is down to ‘features’ like the Dynamic Black with iris and the improvement in content jumping to UHD with the HDR Pro. I doubt that actual native contrast performance will top what the HT2050a is doing (one of the best 1080p projectors for native contrast). But overall dynamics, color, contrast and black levels are improved— never mind the remarkably sharper picture!