The Age-Old Good 1080p Vs. Marginal 4K Projector Debate - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 18 Old 11-27-2018, 02:48 PM - Thread Starter
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The Age-Old Good 1080p Vs. Marginal 4K Projector Debate

I've got the 4K bug but I'm still a cheapo at heart. The Benq HT2550 is calling but I'm wondering what I'll love more. The small amount of 4K content I watch, or, a better projector like an Epson 5030UB with 1080p but superior blacks.

For context I've been using a W1070 in a dark dedicated room and love the DLP crispness but after watching an OLED LG TV in another room, the lack of blacks is killing me.

Something tells me I'll feel the same way about the HT2550 as far as black goes, and would see major black improvements on an Epson 5030UB.

Where's everyone stand these days?
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post #2 of 18 Old 11-27-2018, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by BradP View Post
I've got the 4K bug but I'm still a cheapo at heart. The Benq HT2550 is calling but I'm wondering what I'll love more. The small amount of 4K content I watch, or, a better projector like an Epson 5030UB with 1080p but superior blacks.

For context I've been using a W1070 in a dark dedicated room and love the DLP crispness but after watching an OLED LG TV in another room, the lack of blacks is killing me.

Something tells me I'll feel the same way about the HT2550 as far as black goes, and would see major black improvements on an Epson 5030UB.

Where's everyone stand these days?
I have had a BenQ W1070 for almost 6 years now. I'm not dying to upgrade, but I plan to wait to see how the reviews on the BenQ W2700 turn out once it is released in a few months. Its the most direct 4K upgrade path for us W1070 owners. It has the exact same throw distance and vertical lens shift. It has the same 3D implementation as the W1070. It will have a dynamic iris, which if done well, may provide those dark blacks you're looking for.
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post #3 of 18 Old 11-27-2018, 03:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Greg, that gives me something to think about as in doing the math, the HT2550 needed to move back about 3 feet minimum in my room to work (wouldn't work in the same spot). Either way I need to run a new HDMI wire but if I can at least put a new projector in the same spot that may be the right path forward.
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post #4 of 18 Old 11-27-2018, 03:23 PM
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Be aware that the black levels, so far, are basically the same or inferior to what is out there already, like the W1070. DLP is just not making much of anything in the way of strides in terms of contrast. If you want that jump in quality, which will be the most significant upgrade you could hope for, then looking for a open box JVC would be the way I would be seriously considering.
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post #5 of 18 Old 11-27-2018, 03:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Be aware that the black levels, so far, are basically the same or inferior to what is out there already, like the W1070. DLP is just not making much of anything in the way of strides in terms of contrast. If you want that jump in quality, which will be the most significant upgrade you could hope for, then looking for a open box JVC would be the way I would be seriously considering.
Cool cool. I figured as much. So even jumping back to one of the Epson 3LCD UB models wouldn't get me better blacks? Honestly as much as I love the idea of 4K I think I am starting to think the idea of better contrast is more important to me. It just looks SO DARN WASHED OUT lately and it's starting to get to me. I love the price but I guess you get what you pay for with these DLPs. It's funny how tastes change. I remember my jaw dropping when I first fired up the W1070. But now I just stare at the washed out colors and grey blacks.
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post #6 of 18 Old 11-27-2018, 04:08 PM
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The Age-Old Good 1080p Vs. Marginal 4K Projector Debate

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Originally Posted by AV_Integrated View Post
Be aware that the black levels, so far, are basically the same or inferior to what is out there already, like the W1070. DLP is just not making much of anything in the way of strides in terms of contrast. If you want that jump in quality, which will be the most significant upgrade you could hope for, then looking for a open box JVC would be the way I would be seriously considering.


The TI .47 XPR DMD has been reportedly upgraded. The light border has supposedly been fixed or at least greatly mitigated. Hopefully this will lead to better contrast as well. A forum member mentioned that they will be attending the BenQ W2700 reveal in early December, hopefully we’ll have a good idea of how much improvement the new chip revisions make.

I do agree that the current .47 XPR DMD projectors aren’t really a worthy upgrade. Last year I had the HT1075 and purchased the HT2550 and was really disappointed. When watching an HDR source it was only slightly better, and Full HD was much worse.

BenQ and TI seem to be listening and I have high hopes for the W2700/HT2550. It would be smart to wait imo.

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post #7 of 18 Old 11-27-2018, 08:12 PM
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Cool cool. I figured as much. So even jumping back to one of the Epson 3LCD UB models wouldn't get me better blacks? Honestly as much as I love the idea of 4K I think I am starting to think the idea of better contrast is more important to me. It just looks SO DARN WASHED OUT lately and it's starting to get to me. I love the price but I guess you get what you pay for with these DLPs. It's funny how tastes change. I remember my jaw dropping when I first fired up the W1070. But now I just stare at the washed out colors and grey blacks.
A new lamp may put some life back into your BenQ if you haven't already replaced it. The Epson 5040 will have significantly better contrast, but not as good as JVC. The B stock JVC's are selling for less then the Epson and unless your a heavy user where lamp brightness is a big issue as JVC's lamps are expensive, its a much better deal.

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post #8 of 18 Old 11-27-2018, 08:23 PM - Thread Starter
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A JVC B-Stock may be what I need to hold me over. Is AVScience still the best resource or are there others? I need to look at some of the models in my price range at discount and see if they'll fit my room for throw range and mount location for my 150" screen.

Much thanks.
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post #9 of 18 Old 11-28-2018, 04:40 AM
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Of course 4K will give you a sharper image but some 4K projectors are better than others, by this I mean do other things well not just picture sharpness. I took this photo from the movie Prometheus I watched the other night, in my opinion it’s makes me question whether I’ll be making the switch to 4K any time soon and if I did it wouldn’t be at the expense of the other aspects that made me pick my projector in the first place.

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post #10 of 18 Old 11-28-2018, 08:45 AM
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Great thread idea, and I am in no way opposed to technology moving ahead, I’m all in favor of it. I also realize after a lifetime in industry we are spoon fed technology with the intent to always leave a carrot dangling just outside our reach to motivate the never ending stream of products we will desire once we know what they are. We have a small company in town that that deals in the latest technologies and their slogan is (We have everything you want and nothing that you need!) I think that’s a good honest assessment of what they do and sell.

For me personally I have a Viewsonic Pro7827hd I bought 6 months ago for a ridicules low price as it is closing out its life as a Viewsonic offering never gaining traction in the market place against the BenQ similar offerings. It is a great projector with the mature Dark Chip Three 1080p RGBRGB light source. I opt for a smaller screen doing CIH+IMAX type of presentation and the screen maxing out at 110” with the smaller screen the projector has an abundance of brightness my room is dark gray with a black ceiling and a DIY .5 gain neutral gray lambertain surface. I watch movies lights out with no light entering the room. The combination of the native CR with the DC3 and the dark screen and perception from a still bright image blacks look like ink in all but the darkest of movies keeping the projector in eco mode. For TV and sports I bump the projector to normal brightness and add a little light into the room and the blacks are still perceived as inky black because of the ANSI like CR in the image.

I sit fairly immersive at around 2X screen height and 1.5X screen height for IMAX and for my old eyes still 20/20 1080p resolution from BD is still good enough. Lately I have been buying a few new discs and getting the combo sets that have HD and UHD getting ready for the day UHD will be in my price range or if I want to watch them on a flat panel in another room. For me I would much rather watch the 1080p version in the theater though.

4k will be in my FP future I’m sure, but for me it is 3 or 4 years down the road, and I have little desire for it right now as I’m watching a much better presentation / PQ at home than I could go within 100 miles and see in any commercial theaters around here.

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post #11 of 18 Old 11-28-2018, 11:05 AM
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The Age-Old Good 1080p Vs. Marginal 4K Projector Debate

I think the moral of the story is: once you decide to buy whatever you decide to buy, don’t go looking for what you’re missing. For example: if you buy one of the 1080p x 2 Epsons, don’t go looking at a sharper projector like one of the 4K DLPs. By the same token, if you buy one of the 4K DLPs don’t go looking at a higher contrast 1080p or 1080p x 2 3LCD/LCoS.

I would be lying if I said that black level wasn’t the chief weakness of the current crop of 4K DLPs. We’re desperate for more models with a dynamic iris equipped. But the thing is: once you get used to that extra sharpness/clarity it is amazingly difficult to go back to a lower resolution model. Just like it would be hard for someone with a higher contrast projector to step into a lower contrast projector. All you do is ruin what you have! Lol!

Right now, you can either get awesome resolution with so-so contrast or awesome contrast with so-so resolution. And this isn’t limited to the sub $3k end of the market either. People who buy the new native 4K Sony 295 are still choosing resolution over contrast as JVC will sell them a projector with superior contrast/blacks for the same or less money but with half the resolution (1080p x 2). You just have to decide what is most important to you and then do something almost every AV enthusiast finds nearly impossible to do: be happy with what you have.
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post #12 of 18 Old 11-28-2018, 12:31 PM
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Yeah...my old pj that just went through its 2nd bulb isn't even native 1080p, it's WXGA 1280X800. So I'm going to give one of these mediocre 4K pj's a shot, hopefully it'll be superior to what I'm coming from.
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post #13 of 18 Old 11-28-2018, 01:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Well if nothing else I suppose it's reassuring to know I'm not the only one with the dilemma. It still amazes me with technology as far as it's come that in so many sectors there is always a compromise. Heck, I bought an LG OLED TV last year after all the hype, and while it does throw out a gorgeous picture, I see motion judder all over the place in fast panning scenes where I never saw it on my 65 inch Samsung plasma TV from 5 years ago! So it's really crazy how it seems we take one step forward, two steps back at times.

With proejctors, I always figured the next iteration would solve all my quibbles, yet here I am now moving towards my 3rd projector, and still not having that perfect solution with the extra sharpness and HDR support along with great deep blacks.

I guess for now with prices as cheap as they are I'll jump into the budget 4K foray, knowing at least I won't miss deep black (the W1070 certainly doesn't do that) and then hope that the next round finally finds a way to marry the two together.
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post #14 of 18 Old 11-29-2018, 05:27 AM
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Well if nothing else I suppose it's reassuring to know I'm not the only one with the dilemma. It still amazes me with technology as far as it's come that in so many sectors there is always a compromise. Heck, I bought an LG OLED TV last year after all the hype, and while it does throw out a gorgeous picture, I see motion judder all over the place in fast panning scenes where I never saw it on my 65 inch Samsung plasma TV from 5 years ago! So it's really crazy how it seems we take one step forward, two steps back at times.

With proejctors, I always figured the next iteration would solve all my quibbles, yet here I am now moving towards my 3rd projector, and still not having that perfect solution with the extra sharpness and HDR support along with great deep blacks.

I guess for now with prices as cheap as they are I'll jump into the budget 4K foray, knowing at least I won't miss deep black (the W1070 certainly doesn't do that) and then hope that the next round finally finds a way to marry the two together.
I don’t know a lot about HDR and I know it has been talked to death in other threads, but it seems to me it is the backbone of the poor black level problem. The need for more lumen output for added bright colors that mostly go for highlights in the images need to be blocked for everything else.

In my case with 1080p and normal dynamic range REC709 color space I can run a .5 gain gray screen and get a head start on deep blacks as I’m half way to black before I turn the projector on. Without HDR I have enough lumens to still get to whites that are more than bright enough.

I know a gray screen lowers blacks and whites equally and adding back in more brightness logically would suggest more light leakage, but for me it doesn’t seem to work like that way. In ether case HDR is adding in a lot more light and then trying to block it from coming out most of the time.

I have always felt a dark gray screen helps my blacks more than it hurts my whites when given the extra lumens to make up what is lost. With HDR I don’t know if I would have the extra firepower from any of the new projectors to overcome a dark screen and still have enough left over to not hurt the HDR gamut.

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post #15 of 18 Old 12-01-2018, 10:52 AM
 
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I was really hopeful that 1080p DLPs without shifting, using the older DC3 chip capable of over 2000:1 on/off, would provide a better HDR "pop" as a result of this. But it seems like the new Optoma HD27HDR is getting poor feedback in this area, with owners calling the image "flat". That could be simply due to the unfortunate choice of a non-RGB colour wheel, so I have to ask myself why Optoma would have picked a colour wheel that boosted "lumens" to 3400 over the normal 2200, but meanwhile make the projector perform poorly in the main area it differs from the HD27. The original HD27 didn't get great reviews for black level, either, but I couldn't find any published numbers.

My last hope for decent 1080p + HDR was the Optoma. There is the new Acer G550 that does 120hz but no HDR10, and I really want my next projector to have both. Shifting is a great technology, but the 0.47 inch and even 0.66 inch DMDs are downgrades from what I own currently, so I don't think it's worth trading contrast for extra resolution, real or fake. For me the greatest limitation to motion clarity on my w1070 is the lack of 120hz support.

One of the first things I plan on doing when I buy a new projector to replace this one, is rebuild my old w1070 with RGB lasers and try to do rec 2020 with it. Turning each laser on/off at 4X 60hz (240hz) should be trivial and getting it in sync with what the RGBRGB colour wheel would be doing using a phase delay knob, as well. I can't wait to muck around with it.

I might even try to buy an aftermarket HDMI 2.0 controller used on these newer projectors to get 120hz and HDR10 decoding, as in the HD27HDR. One cheap upgrade that I'm rather sad that nobody ever tried here on AVS, is using the @Cine4Home lenses to adjust the white point so that you can use Dynamic mode and boost contrast by 40% (1400:1 in other modes -> 2000:1). Right now Dynamic mode on my w1070 is unusable because it's so green, like many other lamp-based projectors, but it represents the "true" colour of the lamp, as seen through the CW filters, without any dynamic dimming per channel which is what kills the contrast and dynamic range. You definitely want to avoid, as much as possible, compensating for the gamut of the light surce digitally. Which is why I think with an RGB light source my old w1070 could maybe hit 2500:1 native contrast and rec 2020 or at least more than P3 (assuming I purchase the new green lasers from Nec).

The beauty of using your PC to drive your projector is you can tune the colours manually. I'm also passing full 10-bit RGB now to my w1070 since I upgraded my videocard. I just need to figure out how to make the framebuffer 30-bit RGB (10-bit per channel) instead of 32-bit RGBA. In full 10-bit and with Gamma 2.8 with 2500:1 and dynamic laser dimming (controlled via my PC instead of the projector itself, so it could go down to 0 IRE fully off), I think I could boost my trust old projector to deliver quite decent HDR10. And 120hz would allow some modest resolution increase via 2-way shifting, similar to JVC and Epson e-shift. I have a pair of Optotune XPR shifter samples capable of 240hz laying around, but no controllers for them. Sadly TI doesn't sell them but it's possible to DIY some. Or, just use a JVC e-shift or Epson e-shift device, which requires polarized light input to avoid dropping 50% of the lumens, but if I'm using RGB lasers that will be the case. e-shift 120hz is superior to XPR 120 in this case, because it's noiseless, with no mechanically / physically moving parts. XPR shifting method is basically really, really low-tech, but it works with randomly polarized light which makes it a requirement for DLP.
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post #16 of 18 Old 12-01-2018, 01:43 PM
 
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I have had a BenQ W1070 for almost 6 years now. I'm not dying to upgrade, but I plan to wait to see how the reviews on the BenQ W2700 turn out once it is released in a few months. Its the most direct 4K upgrade path for us W1070 owners. It has the exact same throw distance and vertical lens shift. It has the same 3D implementation as the W1070. It will have a dynamic iris, which if done well, may provide those dark blacks you're looking for.
I hope its input lag and native contrast (when iris is off) are at least decent, then I'll consider it.

The 94% P3 gamut via a lamp is also something I'm very skeptical of, but if it can manage that with decent lumens coming off the screen, it just might be the time to upgrade.

I don't mind lamps at all (except expensive ones like JVCs), what bothers me is noise, no P3 gamut, low contrast. So the dynamic iris could make the 0.47 DLPs interesting purchases, finally.
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post #17 of 18 Old 12-01-2018, 07:08 PM
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A JVC B-Stock may be what I need to hold me over. Is AVScience still the best resource or are there others? I need to look at some of the models in my price range at discount and see if they'll fit my room for throw range and mount location for my 150" screen.

Much thanks.
Is this the best place to find these B-stock JVCs?
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post #18 of 18 Old 12-01-2018, 11:23 PM
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Is this the best place to find these B-stock JVCs?
Can't answer that here, against forum rules. Post in best found deals section.

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