Will DLP ever get decent black levels? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 16 Old Today, 07:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Will DLP ever get decent black levels?

As someone who isn't affected by the rainbow effect I have over difference occasions had demos with different DLP projectors and whilst in almost every other way they throw a really decent image their black levels have always stopped me short or buying one. So my question is with the technology being around for so long whether this failing will ever be addressed to the level that it could compete with Epson/Sony/JVC.

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post #2 of 16 Old Today, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Luminated67 View Post
As someone who isn't affected by the rainbow effect I have over difference occasions had demos with different DLP projectors and whilst in almost every other way they throw a really decent image their black levels have always stopped me short or buying one. So my question is with the technology being around for so long whether this failing will ever be addressed to the level that it could compete with Epson/Sony/JVC.
It’s ironic that you posted this, because I’ve actually been wondering that myself(now on my third DLP device in ~12 years). On paper, at least, it seems DLP should be able to do true black(no light) since the mirror/pixel could be/should be completely “off” sending light away instead of out. I’d actually be reasonably satisfied if just the letterbox bars were completely black/off.
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post #3 of 16 Old Today, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Luminated67 View Post
As someone who isn't affected by the rainbow effect I have over difference occasions had demos with different DLP projectors and whilst in almost every other way they throw a really decent image their black levels have always stopped me short or buying one. So my question is with the technology being around for so long whether this failing will ever be addressed to the level that it could compete with Epson/Sony/JVC.
I do believe it's the substrate (the material that houses the mirror array) that's the cause of this. I mentioned in a previous thread about that. TI should look into coating the substrate in Vantablack. There would be no need to use a iris in a lens to help with the black levels as the chips get smaller.

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I’ve actually been wondering that myself... I’d actually be reasonably satisfied if just the letterbox bars were completely black/off.
What's even weirder, I also was thinking about that last night. To be fair it comes across my mind quite often. Until TI starts coating the DLP substrate in Vantablack, the best solution in the meantime would be to use an adjustable aperture mask that would sit above the DLP chip.
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post #4 of 16 Old Today, 10:20 AM
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I do believe it's the substrate (the material that houses the mirror array) that's the cause of this. I mentioned in a previous thread about that. TI should look into coating the substrate in Vantablack. There would be no need to use a iris in a lens to help with the black levels as the chips get smaller.







What's even weirder, I also was thinking about that last night. To be fair it comes across my mind quite often. Until TI starts coating the DLP substrate in Vantablack, the best solution in the meantime would be to use an adjustable aperture mask that would sit above the DLP chip.


How many tens of thousands of dollars do you have to spend on a projector?

Also: isn’t vantablack toxic? Or at least extremely dangerous if inhaled?

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post #5 of 16 Old Today, 11:08 AM
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The micromirrors are never truly "off" but are merely tilted, so they continuously reflect light at a fairly shallow angle which contributes to overall light scatter. When tilted the edges of the micromirrors also contribute to light scatter. Simply coating the substrate with a better light absorbing material to reduce reflections produced when the tilted micromirrors allow more light to reach and reflect off the substrate wouldn't completely resolve the light scatter issue. It's a complex issue for which there are no simple solutions.
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post #6 of 16 Old Today, 11:20 AM
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I sort of disagree with the premise that DLP contrast/blacks are poor. I have an HT3550 and that projector is more than competitive with models in it’s price range (I’m counting the Epson 4010 and Optoma UHD60 in that group). Obviously, as you go up in price and Epson’s UB models become available as well as Sonys and JVCs enter the fray— DLP struggles to compete. But how many DLPs are there in those price ranges? The BenQ HT5550 and Optoma UHD65 are both the most expensive consumer lamp based projectors from their respective brands and both of those focus almost solely on the installer market (can’t buy either of those on amazon). Meanwhile, the most notable high end DLP is probably the 9K BenQ HT9060– and that projector isn’t even really competing with similar priced Sony/JVCs it’s really offering a more affordable alternative to 30K solid state Sony/JVCs.
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post #7 of 16 Old Today, 11:57 AM
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I find that even though the RGB LED DLP projectors I'm using are only hitting 10-15k dynamic on/off(and only with ~500 lumens), the low level detail is so intensely perfect that it's possible I would trade it for 100-200k dynamic on/off. Say for instance that last Game of Thrones battle with all the low apl fast motion, liquid crystal and oled just can't render it like these dlp projectors due to overshooting/pixel response. So even though a JVC will have a deeper black level, actual accuracy and detail aren't as good. please dont hit me.
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post #8 of 16 Old Today, 12:00 PM
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I find that even though the RGB LED DLP projectors I'm using are only hitting 10-15k dynamic on/off(and only with ~500 lumens), the low level detail is so intensely perfect that it's possible I would trade it for 100-200k dynamic on/off. Say for instance that last Game of Thrones battle with all the low apl fast motion, liquid crystal and oled just can't render it like these dlp projectors due to overshooting/pixel response. So even though a JVC will have a deeper black level, actual accuracy and detail aren't as good. please dont hit me.
You've got balls I'll give you that!


To each his own IMO.
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post #9 of 16 Old Today, 12:41 PM - Thread Starter
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I sort of disagree with the premise that DLP contrast/blacks are poor. I have an HT3550 and that projector is more than competitive with models in it’s price range (I’m counting the Epson 4010 and Optoma UHD60 in that group). Obviously, as you go up in price and Epson’s UB models become available as well as Sonys and JVCs enter the fray— DLP struggles to compete. But how many DLPs are there in those price ranges? The BenQ HT5550 and Optoma UHD65 are both the most expensive consumer lamp based projectors from their respective brands and both of those focus almost solely on the installer market (can’t buy either of those on amazon). Meanwhile, the most notable high end DLP is probably the 9K BenQ HT9060– and that projector isn’t even really competing with similar priced Sony/JVCs it’s really offering a more affordable alternative to 30K solid state Sony/JVCs.
I understand what you are saying, in their price bracket the and against the more cost effective Epson’s their black levels are more similar but there seems to be a limit to what’s achievable, you mentioned the HT9060 which hasn’t really any better blacks than a HT5550.

I bet if the HT9060 had similar blacks to the likes of the N5 a lot more people would be jumping for it over the others.
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post #10 of 16 Old Today, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Luminated67 View Post
As someone who isn't affected by the rainbow effect I have over difference occasions had demos with different DLP projectors and whilst in almost every other way they throw a really decent image their black levels have always stopped me short or buying one. So my question is with the technology being around for so long whether this failing will ever be addressed to the level that it could compete with Epson/Sony/JVC.
hi, this topic was discussed here and on the TI forums for many years, it's likely going to require a major change to a 2 chip design and a lot more lumens to compensate for this type of system.

http://e2e.ti.com/support/dlp/f/94/t/332242

details on how the $$$ Christie Eclipse does it:

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/86-ul...l#post56999250

I run a dual projector setup in a full velvet pit (JVC + several different DLP's) - The image from the DLP's is generally excellent but they stand out in lower APL scenes (not in a good way..) where the JVC is substantially better in this area. Even my .95 DC4 DLP doesn't have a chance against the JVC in create a convincing black floor in these types of scenes.

I keep hoping one of the manufacturers will figure this out at a reasonable price.
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post #11 of 16 Old Today, 01:34 PM
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Ignorant query. APL?
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post #12 of 16 Old Today, 01:52 PM
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Ignorant query. APL?
Average Picture/Display Level
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post #13 of 16 Old Today, 02:21 PM
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Even my .95 DC4 DLP doesn't have a chance against the JVC in create a convincing black floor in these types of scenes.
Agreed, the Morgan Freeman scene in Oblivion is a great example, large amounts of on screen black in a very low APL scene with limited motion. A JVC or OLED will render a much more impactful image.

Comparing uhp/wheel dlp to rgb dlp though, the differences in color depth and low level detail are staggering. I'm not aware of any other consumer dlp machines or any consumer video display for that matter that have the level of video rendering performance(black level and light output aside) of the Chi Lin models(sim2 mico, truvue vango, etc.). Maybe if the HT9060 used a 0.95 1600p chip instead of the XPR.

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I keep hoping one of the manufacturers will figure this out at a reasonable price.
With the light output of RGB laser it's certainly more feasible to offset the light loss.
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Any discussion on this topic needs to include how we perceive black and how perception affects our vision. Low APL is always going to be a problem with any projector unless ambient light pollution is totally controlled in the viewing room and it is compounded more by low level leakage when making black. Many people buying these projectors watch the vast majority of our content with high to moderate APL and with some brightness in the image we perceive very dark blacks in the majority of our content.

I have a Dark Chip 3 DLP and a bright projector and a moderate screen size such that I’m plenty bright still even though my screen is a .5 gain simple neutral gray. Other screens ALR dark gray/black also have similar positive effects on the perception of blacks. I might add my room is not a black pit but is very good in terms of light control.

For me DLP with these workaround measures both look inky black and will even photograph as inky black. I know if I go up to the screen with a light meter it will tell me otherwise and if I get a super low APL in a movie I will have to muddle thru it just like every movie I have ever seen low APL in at a commercial theater. I’m not ready nor is my room for CRT like brightness levels just to get the benefits of some absolute black levels. I would rather have the brightness and thus the perceived blacks.

I think this is the way most people enjoy DLPs and the reason there is not much of an outcry about the blacks. I view them as machines for people without perfect rooms watching bright stuff like sports and if they pair them with the right screen they get an image that looks like a big flat screen.
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post #15 of 16 Old Today, 02:59 PM
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I understand what you are saying, in their price bracket the and against the more cost effective Epson’s their black levels are more similar but there seems to be a limit to what’s achievable, you mentioned the HT9060 which hasn’t really any better blacks than a HT5550.



I bet if the HT9060 had similar blacks to the likes of the N5 a lot more people would be jumping for it over the others.


You’re right, DLP does sort of ‘max’ out at a certain point and short of commercial solutions (the IMAX custom 4K digital projectors used in their best theaters are based on DLP) there does seem to be a limit on what they can achieve.

The HT9060 has better contrast than the HT5550. I’m not sure how it measures but it has visibly better contrast. It doesn’t have LCOS contrast, not even close— but it can also display 100% of DCI-P3 with no cost to lumen output and has a solid state light engine that won’t dim (requiring recalibration) and won’t ever need to be replaced.

It’s all about priorities. I wish DLP was capable of higher contrast. I also wish 3LCD was capable of true 4K and LCOS was capable of being more affordable. The good news is we’re spoiled for choice. The bad news is you can’t have everything.
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post #16 of 16 Old Today, 03:50 PM
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solid state light engine that won’t dim (requiring recalibration) and won’t ever need to be replaced.
The different cycle times of the individual leds usually leads to green being operated more, and blue the least, so after a few thousand hours a one point white balance calibration is necessary ;]
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