Originally Posted by Dave in Green
So far no projector with a 0.47" XPR chip has been able to match the native black levels of the older, larger 1080p chip. It seems to be an inherent characteristic of TI's DLP DMD that can't be corrected at the projector manufacturer level.
Playing with the AAXA 4K1 now. Just a laundry list of initial thoughts, and unfortunately, most of them are negative so far:
1. Size is nice. Fairly compact.
2. Fan noise is awful. For this reason alone, this is immediately a no-go for my tiny HT room. It has 3 brightness settings (low/medium/high). Low (Eco) is tolerable for fan noise, but the brightness drops so much that the color literally, visibly changes on the screen. Oddly enough, the fan is not a nice purr, it sounds like an aging laptop fan, kinda janky. At Medium (Standard), it sounds like a hairdryer in the next room. At High (Bright/Boost), it sounds like a portable travel hairdryer. Ridiculous. I don't know if I've ever used a projector as noisy as this!
3. Brightness is somewhat pathetic. The 1350-lumen XGIMI H2 blows it away. My first decent LED projector as the 720p Viewsonic (500 lumens). It was adequate, but not great, and you really needed a blacked-out room for decent performance. Then the 720p Viewsonic 800-lumen came along, and I thought "ah okay, 800 lumens is what I consider to be the minimum requirement for an LED projector to look good". So for the past half-dozen years, that has pretty much held true. The AAXA, however, reminders me of those original Viewsonic models. I would say it feels like a 700-lumen model...like almost
at the 800-lumen "minimum" requirement, but man, I'd sure like the 4K1 to be a LOT brighter - even in a blacked-out room, at max brightness, I still wanted just a bit more brightness out of the AAXA. I've gotten the XGIMI H2 at a 25-foot diagonal with surprisingly decent results; I'm shooting the 4K1 at 120" & I'm not super thrilled with it.
4. Sharpness is awesome. Like when iPhones went to Retina screens...text looks great! Readability is the best I've ever seen on a projector (this is my first experience with a 4K model). The clarity is really excellent. Electronic focus is nice (I miss the H2's autofocus, tho!). However...
5. I see what you mean about black levels. The 1080p XGIMI is FAR better. That 2000:1 contrast ratio hurts it, as well. Clear, but not with that vivid punch you really want. I've setup a ton of 1080p XGIMI models (H1, H2, Aurora variations, etc.) over the last couple of years & have been really, really happy with them (for what they are...Asian TV show ads on boot-up, Chinese language menus, etc.). This AAXA model needs the the mojo that XGIMI has. The 0.47" 1080p DMD in the XGIMI is noticeably superior to the AAXA's 4K chip for everything but resolution. I watched some movie clips & some reference clips on the 4K1 just as a quick test & wasn't thrilled.
That's all I had time for today. Next week, I'll see if I can borrow it & get some more hands-on time with a 4K player, an XGIMI, and a BenQ, just to compare. Primarily due to the fan noise, but also the far-less-than-expected brightness level (at which max brightness = horridly loud, not like tiny fan annoying loud like most budget pico projectors, like LOUD-loud), I will not be going with the 4K1 for my home theater. The BenQ HT3550 is at the top of the list right now. I'd really like to test another 4K LED model, such as the JmGO X3 or the Optoma UHL55, just to see how the fan noise, brightness levels, black levels, and contrast ratios compare in-person, but given what I've seen with this model, I wouldn't expect to be overly impressed with the X3 or UHL55. If you were to offer me an H2 vs. a 4K1, I'd take the H2 in a heartbeat. I'd even take the H1 over it! Bummer.