I have been a hard core Barco fan since my 708 CRT 20 or so years ago (and my 800, 808, 808s, 1200, 1208, 1208s and finally 1209); those guys really knows their stuff. However, the LOKI and BALDER and all the 1-chipper DLPs simply have too weak of a black level performance to be able to compete in the league they are trying at in my opinion. Feature-wise they are great though, and the wobbling is really not a big issue, seems to be able to resolve 4K at the screen quite fine so no problem there in my opinion. Compared to the Sony VPL-VW5000, these Barcos simply would not cut it in my opinion. Sure; they have the light output, and as such they are very very good. Also, functionality is great - in the Alcons / Barco / ScreenAcoustics (DreamScreen) booth at CEDIA we used the warp feature quite a lot - digitally moving the image from the middle to the bottom of the screen using an iPad, and combined with a 1-way masking from 16:9->2.40:1 it did work very well.
One neat feature is also that they are able to almost provide full coverage of P3 (according to the Barco tech at least, I have only seen the charts on his computer, I have not measured the unit myself) without a filter. I guess the color wheel is their "filter" though, and also the reason why they can do P3 @ blue laser phosphor, but talking of color wheels - I have to say I did see some RBE, but I´m also overly sensitive to this... Others may not see this phenomena at all.
So, in short, I would say the LOKI / BALDER could have had a lot of potential had it not been for that way too low native contrast. There is simply no way around it! Even at medium dark scenes such as the top of Hollywood hills dancing scene at LaLaLand, the dynamics fell apart. A projector like this needs to be able to "eat" all types of content and although I would not expect "OLED" blacks, it has to be better than this to be able to provide images that are in the direction of what the movie director intended for the most - and I KNOW LaLaLand is not supposed to look that flat having seen that one at my JVC DLA-Z1 back home... Speaking of DLA-Z1, it has a native contrast of about 10-15.000:1 depending on zoom @ 3000 lumens, while the Sony has similar contrast levels @ 5000 lumens. I believe the Sony is on the verge of struggling with some very dark material @ full laser, while the Z1 is within what I would describe as "acceptable" for most content in terms of black level tracking - at least when and if laser modulation is activated. The 1000:1 or so from the XPR DLP chips simply do not cut it in such regards. Too bad, as Barco has build a very nice platform surrounding this chip - I do feel a bit sorry for them actually and do hope the DLP guys can come up with some improvements in such regards quite rapidly to save their partners the embarrassment...
Proudly Representing DreamScreen.no // ScreenAcoustics.com // AT screens & more!
Founder AVforum.no // Norway´s leading AV community since 2002
Last edited by Lygren; 09-22-2017 at 01:51 AM.