Sony Exits Cinema Projector Market; Can the Home Theater Market Be Far Behind? - Page 2 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #31 of 77 Old 05-07-2020, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Archibald1 View Post
Ummm, yes they do. Need to get your facts straight. Have you heard of their VPL-GTZ range? They are just like their JVC equivalents in that they use the same chassis as the prosumer versions but with interchangeable lenses etc.
The 270 and 280 were launched at Infocomm prior to the VW 5000, early units of the 5000 still had software saying 270.
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post #32 of 77 Old 05-07-2020, 06:51 AM
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Originally Posted by dcinematech View Post
The commercial SXRD projectors pump out 15,000 - 20,000 lumens. Ten times the amount of light that goes through home SXRD panels. The amount of blue chip degradation directly correlates to the amount of light going through the panels. Commercial projectors have their blue chips replaced about once every two years. So you might expect a home SXRD projector to last at least 10 years before starting to deteriorate.

One caveat, the uniformity and gamma drifts a lot along the way. Commercial cinemas have their uniformity and gamma calibrated every 6 - 12 months. Ideally a home cinema would have its uniformity calibrated as well but I've not seen the gear for anything except commercial projectors.
Uhm no they don't Sony had to rely on dual projector set-up to get acceptable brightness. However the class action (talk) began at the Home market. Anyway this will provide the reverse Panasonic advertising as in 'not used by Hollywood'.
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post #33 of 77 Old 05-07-2020, 07:27 AM
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Thursday,

It's going to be interesting to see if there is going to be an Updated 5000 series Sony projector now ???


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post #34 of 77 Old 05-07-2020, 08:34 AM
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I concur.

If you tyhink about the second statement there, no manufacturer traditionally wants a product that will out last the customer, but with the world going the way it is going, I think that much longer lasting and better made (and probably more expensive as a result) products will come back into the fore.

I remember our first Sony Trinitron TV cost an absolute fortune, and was a real considered purchase, but I had persuaded my Dad to spend a bit more (which is funny as he never normally succumbed to my pleading) on the TV and it lasted two decades before it was sold on *and* it was still working.
Well then Toyota isn't doing it right, as I still drive a 2001 Tacoma 4 x 4. My Sim2 Lumis Host is probably still being used by it's new owner after I used it for 7 1/2 years. And I have guns that can easily last 3 lifetimes or 250 years ( at least ) of use !

I'm pretty sure the VW600 I had was losing contrast when I sold it.
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post #35 of 77 Old 05-07-2020, 09:12 AM
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Well then Toyota isn't doing it right, as I still drive a 2001 Tacoma 4 x 4. My Sim2 Lumis Host is probably still being used by it's new owner after I used it for 7 1/2 years. And I have guns that can easily last 3 lifetimes or 250 years ( at least ) of use ! [IMG class=inlineimg]/forum/images/smilies/wink.gif[/IMG]

I'm pretty sure the VW600 I had was losing contrast when I sold it. [IMG class=inlineimg]/forum/images/smilies/frown.gif[/IMG]
Toyota still have some crazy old cars on the road. I meant that yes, products can (and should in my opinion) last many many years, but cars and consumer electronics are two quite different things. Chances are you will be able to find, or have made, a part for a 30 year old car, but I doubt anyone will make a bespoke circuit or chip for a 30 year old projector just too keep it running. Anything is possible with enough will and money of course.
As for guns, wouldn't know about that. I have a rubber band gun if that counts....

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post #36 of 77 Old 05-07-2020, 09:19 AM
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Toyota still have some crazy old cars on the road. I meant that yes, products can (and should in my opinion) last many many years, but cars and consumer electronics are two quite different things. Chances are you will be able to find, or have made, a part for a 30 year old car, but I doubt anyone will make a bespoke circuit or chip for a 30 year old projector just too keep it running. Anything is possible with enough will and money of course.
As for guns, wouldn't know about that. I have a rubber band gun if that counts....
Some projectors do seem to last a long time. I get folks looking for lamps for HW30's and RS1's quite often, that are still working fine. Maybe you want to get a projector that wasn't built on a Monday or a Friday............
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post #37 of 77 Old 05-07-2020, 09:45 AM
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Some projectors do seem to last a long time. I get folks looking for lamps for HW30's and RS1's quite often, that are still working fine. Maybe you want to get a projector that wasn't built on a Monday or a Friday............[IMG class=inlineimg]/forum/images/smilies/wink.gif[/IMG]
What you mean the French ones? They make their cars with spit and hope too.
I read somewhere that around 80-90%of all Volvos ever made are still on the road. Don't know if it is still true as it was a while back.
Trying to source a genuine LMP-H200 Lamp your my VW60 was a real effort too, but I found one!

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Going to be like the CRT forum pretty soon.

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post #39 of 77 Old 05-07-2020, 10:27 AM
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Going to be like the CRT forum pretty soon.

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When they said " and the meek shall inherit the Earth ", I didn't realize they were referring to BenQ and Optoma owners.

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post #40 of 77 Old 05-07-2020, 01:15 PM
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Uhm no they don't Sony had to rely on dual projector set-up to get acceptable brightness. However the class action (talk) began at the Home market. Anyway this will provide the reverse Panasonic advertising as in 'not used by Hollywood'.
Dual projector setups in commercial cinemas are very rare, mostly reserved for PLF. 15,000 to 20,000 lumens is plenty for small and medium sized screens which are the majority of screens, especially with high gain screens. Large screens would step up to a DLP with 30,000+ lumens rather than buy two Sony projectors, which is what AMC and Regal ended up doing.

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Interesting. Nevertheless, may I ask you where this info comes from ? How do you know that ?
I've been working on them the last 10 years.

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Do you happen to know why it is the blue chips go and the others don't? Is it UV that is the culprit? You would think they would devise a filter or polarizer or suchlike that would mitigate that.

Indeed it does, but I think that holds true with a lot of tech as well does it not?

I am intrigued as to how one could calibrate uniformity and how does one get hold of the stuff needed if it should be required? Any info on that anywhere?
DLP doesn't have uniformity drifting problem, unless dust or dirt gets into the light engine. There is a uniformity file for the large 1.2" 4K imagers, but no equipment to recalibrate it over time like Sony has.

It is indeed the UV light that damages the blue SXRD chip. It was thought the 515 and 815 being mercury and laser light source might prevent the problem, but it didn't. They increased the native contrast ratio which IMO caused the panels uniformity to drift even faster. The 220 and 320 had a removable blue pre-PBS block, but what it really needed was a field replaceable blue SXRD chip. Instead we had to remove the entire light engine every time and ship it back for repair at the factory. With a field replaceable blue chip, they could have mitigated the problem and these projectors wouldn't be paperweights after Sony ends support.
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post #41 of 77 Old 05-07-2020, 01:59 PM
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Dual projector setups in commercial cinemas are very rare, mostly reserved for PLF. 15,000 to 20,000 lumens is plenty for small and medium sized screens which are the majority of screens, especially with high gain screens. Large screens would step up to a DLP with 30,000+ lumens rather than buy two Sony projectors, which is what AMC and Regal ended up doing.



I've been working on them the last 10 years.



DLP doesn't have uniformity drifting problem, unless dust or dirt gets into the light engine. There is a uniformity file for the large 1.2" 4K imagers, but no equipment to recalibrate it over time like Sony has.

It is indeed the UV light that damages the blue SXRD chip. It was thought the 515 and 815 being mercury and laser light source might prevent the problem, but it didn't. They increased the native contrast ratio which IMO caused the panels uniformity to drift even faster. The 220 and 320 had a removable blue pre-PBS block, but what it really needed was a field replaceable blue SXRD chip. Instead we had to remove the entire light engine every time and ship it back for repair at the factory. With a field replaceable blue chip, they could have mitigated the problem and these projectors wouldn't be paperweights after Sony ends support.
Interesting.
Seems to me that fessing up and making the blue panel easy to replace (or developing better measures to filter UV) would have been the way to go.
Maybe they have just decided their market share in commercial settings is small enough that throwing in the towel now is prudent.
I really hope they stay in the home theatre arena as usage patterns (at least here) seems to have some effect in mitigation/prevention of said issue.
Is it just the sheer amount operating hours that massively accelerate it in commercial units?
Any idea why JVC (who use another type of LCoS chip) don't seem have the same issue with blue panels? Or do they and we just don't hear as much about it?
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post #42 of 77 Old 05-07-2020, 02:02 PM
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@dcinematech
Many thanks for this very interesting post of yours. I had assumed that the UV light of lamp based projecors to be likely the reason for contrast loss that often has been reported with Sony projectors. That's why I have speculated that laser projector that emitt no (or less) UV light are hopefully more stable than lamp based LCOS models. My VW760 has remained stable for 2 years and 2700 h in terms of native contrast (besides the usual gamma drift that I can correct myself). Because of a broken iris I got a new whole optical block (I guess I was pretty lucky) and so have now more or less a new projector again. I hope it will fine for another 2 or 3 years.
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post #43 of 77 Old 05-07-2020, 02:15 PM
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@dcinematech
Many thanks for this very interesting post of yours. I had assumed that the UV light of lamp based projecors to be likely the reason for contrast loss that often has been reported with Sony projectors. That's why I have speculated that laser projector that emitt no (or less) UV light are hopefully more stable than lamp based LCOS models. My VW760 has remained stable for 2 years and 2700 h in terms of native contrast (besides the usual gamma drift that I can correct myself). Because of a broken iris I got a new whole optical block (I guess I was pretty lucky) and so have now more or less a new projector again. I hope it will fine for another 2 or 3 years.
I would hope they would last longer than that too.
I am hoping for 10+ years from mine. I had my VW90 for over 5 years and around 2500 hours on the original bulb and its image was still fabulous. A new bulb brought it back to like new.

As to your fix, I can't see why they would replace a whole OB for a dodgy iris when all it needs is a new lens.
Did you have any other issues with it too?

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post #44 of 77 Old 05-07-2020, 02:19 PM
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Yes, a minor issue besides. Since that is more or less off topic I will send you a PM with more details.
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post #45 of 77 Old 05-07-2020, 03:24 PM
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Interesting.
Seems to me that fessing up and making the blue panel easy to replace (or developing better measures to filter UV) would have been the way to go.
Maybe they have just decided their market share in commercial settings is small enough that throwing in the towel now is prudent.
I really hope they stay in the home theatre arena as usage patterns (at least here) seems to have some effect in mitigation/prevention of said issue.
Is it just the sheer amount operating hours that massively accelerate it in commercial units?
Any idea why JVC (who use another type of LCoS chip) don't seem have the same issue with blue panels? Or do they and we just don't hear as much about it?
JVC never made a 20,000 lumen projector. It's all about the amount of light energy having to be absorbed by the LCOS panel. Even with UV filters, blue light alone is inherently more energetic and damaging to the blue panels than the other colors. It's basic physics. Since DMDs are just mirrors, they couldn't care less if it's red, green, or blue (although some projectors such as the small NECs have had their LVDS cables eaten away by stray UV light shining on the wires' insulation).

Sony and JVC haven't been sitting on their hands, they've managed to incrementally improve the contrast and longevity of the panels. But it was never enough to compete with the extreme reliability of DLP for large venue projectors unfortunately. I've only seen stuck pixels and bad formatter boards on DLP projectors, and those are relatively rare.

Personally I still find the picture from a well maintained SXRD projector the best out there, second only to direct display. The R815 for all its flaws puts out an absolutely amazing picture.
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post #46 of 77 Old 05-07-2020, 03:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Is it just the sheer amount operating hours that massively accelerate it in commercial units?
Any idea why JVC (who use another type of LCoS chip) don't seem have the same issue with blue panels? Or do they and we just don't hear as much about it?
What amazes me is this degradation in their cinema projectors appears to be the exact same issue they had in the optical block for their rear projection TVs, so it's not like Sony didn't know their technology was flawed.
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post #47 of 77 Old 05-07-2020, 05:33 PM
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What amazes me is this degradation in their cinema projectors appears to be the exact same issue they had in the optical block for their rear projection TVs, so it's not like Sony didn't know their technology was flawed.
To be fair, DLP hasn't changed much since Dark Chip 4 came out in 2007. The contrast ratio is pretty much stuck at 2000:1 without adding a lot of expensive complexity like Dolby Cinema has done. All they've really done is make the new .69" S2K and 1.2" 4K chips which both sacrifice image quality compared to the 2K .98" chips.

To Sony's credit they kept pushing contrast ratio up, and trying their best to make the panels last longer. 10,000:1 in cinemas looks fantastic, but I think it pays off best in the home cinema realm combined with dynamic iris. It will take a long time to rack up tens of thousands of hours at home, which is what it takes to damage the cinema projectors LCoS chips. If I owned a LCoS home projector I wouldn't be very worried about it, I'd just be enjoying the superb picture.
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post #48 of 77 Old 05-07-2020, 05:53 PM - Thread Starter
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It will take a long time to rack up tens of thousands of hours at home, which is what it takes to damage the cinema projectors LCoS chips. If I owned a LCoS home projector I wouldn't be very worried about it, I'd just be enjoying the superb picture.
I don't know, it depends on whether your projector is movie-only or is used for all TV watching.

My 4.5 year-old OLED has 7,366 hours of use on it at this point.
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post #49 of 77 Old 05-08-2020, 04:17 AM
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Is it just the sheer amount operating hours that massively accelerate it in commercial units?
Any idea why JVC (who use another type of LCoS chip) don't seem have the same issue with blue panels? Or do they and we just don't hear as much about it?
What amazes me is this degradation in their cinema projectors appears to be the exact same issue they had in the optical block for their rear projection TVs, so it's not like Sony didn't know their technology was flawed.
And indeed Sony went on to improve the technology to improve the situation. Also the design of the RPTVs was such that airflow was not the best (have you seen the light engine in one of those? ) and that would have exacerbated the issue. What amazes me is that people fixate on this issue, when in reality *all* display technology has flaws and it is how they are mitigated with improvements/countermeasures that counts.
As has been said, Sony did a lot to improve the situation with new tech and materials all whilst still improving the quality of the image.
The UV issue would have been and still is present and will show itself eventually in anything that has a lot UV light bouncing around inside it.
So I for one, am going to keep enjoying my SXRD display until it breaks or a really compelling proposition comes along that doesn't cost both of my kidneys to buy before I replace it and I will make a decision at that time.
The best bit about lasers is that they can be tuned to a frequency that minimises UV and as such are a better proposition than bulbs that emit light as a wide spectrum. Not to mention that if lasers do flicker, it is imperceptible.

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It will take a long time to rack up tens of thousands of hours at home, which is what it takes to damage the cinema projectors LCoS chips. If I owned a LCoS home projector I wouldn't be very worried about it, I'd just be enjoying the superb picture.
I don't know, it depends on whether your projector is movie-only or is used for all TV watching.

My 4.5 year-old OLED has 7,366 hours of use on it at this point.
Even then I am not unduly bothered. I will just use it as I want until it breaks. If it is within warranty great, if not then decisions will be made.
Life's too short frankly.

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The best bit about lasers is that they can be tuned to a frequency that minimises UV and as such are a better proposition than bulbs that emit light as a wide spectrum. Not to mention that if lasers do flicker, it is imperceptible.
That's just it; Sony found their laser illuminated projectors still suffered panel failure from the UV, so it's not as simple as it seems.

Still, for me it and the fact that Sony's blacks are nowhere near as good as JVC's would have me purchasing a D-ILA projector if I were in the market; somehow JVC has been able to get deep blacks without Sony's iris pumping issues.
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That's just it; Sony found their laser illuminated projectors still suffered panel failure from the UV, so it's not as simple as it seems.

Still, for me it and the fact that Sony's blacks are nowhere near as good as JVC's would have me purchasing a D-ILA projector if I were in the market; somehow JVC has been able to get deep blacks without Sony's iris pumping issues.
The wavelength of UV light is 10nm to 380/400nm. The lasers used in Sony's home projectors use a wavelength of 450-460nm (i.e. well away from UV in the blue portion of visible light). No UV there.
As anyone who has dug out old electrical kit with crumbling insulation on the wires that has been left exposed to sunlight in any way will know, UV can and does degrade *everything* it shines upon. Skin, eyes, plastic, vinyl, even metal.

With all due respect, I don't know where you have been holed up, but NO manufacturers blacks have ever beaten JVC's (even though they could be construed as crushed if you want to be picky) and Sony's blacks are superb also.
Also I have not seen iris pumping (used at full aggressiveness) since my VW50. My 760 is superb, no pumping *at all* noticed.

Your opinions seem to be based in 2003. Things have move4d on a LOT since then dude. [IMG class=inlineimg]/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif[/IMG]

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Personally I still find the picture from a well maintained SXRD projector the best out there, second only to direct display. The R815 for all its flaws puts out an absolutely amazing picture.
True words.
Indeed OLED with all its flaws also puts out an incredible picture. And arguably, an OLED screen will not last anything like as long as an SXRD display..... As always, these things very much depend on usage patterns and environment as to ultimate longevity.

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If I owned a LCoS home projector I wouldn't be very worried about it, I'd just be enjoying the superb picture.
Nor am I. Yes I am.

“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up."
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post #55 of 77 Old 05-08-2020, 04:48 PM - Thread Starter
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True words.
Indeed OLED with all its flaws also puts out an incredible picture. And arguably, an OLED screen will not last anything like as long as an SXRD display..... As always, these things very much depend on usage patterns and environment as to ultimate longevity.
I don't see where that's true. My OLED is five years old and shows no signs of degradation, and while many SXRD projectors have no issues at that age, some do. (Which of course is true for OLED displays as well.)

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With all due respect, I don't know where you have been holed up, but NO manufacturers blacks have ever beaten JVC's (even though they could be construed as crushed if you want to be picky) and Sony's blacks are superb also.
Also I have not seen iris pumping (used at full aggressiveness) since my VW50. My 760 is superb, no pumping *at all* noticed.
I watch end credits in a darkened room, and every Sony projector I have seen tends to have issues with raising black levels or slightly dimming white text where the JVCs I have seen have not had the same issues.

It could be just those specific projectors' setup, but as the dealer in question sells more Sony than JVC you'd think if it were setup they'd take more care setting up the Sonys.
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post #56 of 77 Old 05-08-2020, 10:58 PM
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True words.
Indeed OLED with all its flaws also puts out an incredible picture. And arguably, an OLED screen will not last anything like as long as an SXRD display..... As always, these things very much depend on usage patterns and environment as to ultimate longevity.
The last couple years Sony has been playing around with the Peltier cooler temperatures on the panels. A firmware update lowered the target temps, I haven't seen the effects long enough but it does seem to help stabilize uniformity drift. They've never stopped trying to figure out how to fix the panel issues. It's just sad that it's been 15 years and this really feels like they're throwing in the towel.

I got extremely excited for the projector they were working on a few years ago, a true RGB laser with dual light engines so the single projector could pump out 30,000 lumens and have one light engine for each eye on 3D. 30,000 lumens, single lens bright 3D, and 10,000:1 contrast would have been a beast of a machine. Such a shame it was cancelled!
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post #57 of 77 Old 05-09-2020, 02:51 AM
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The last couple years Sony has been playing around with the Peltier cooler temperatures on the panels. A firmware update lowered the target temps, I haven't seen the effects long enough but it does seem to help stabilize uniformity drift. They've never stopped trying to figure out how to fix the panel issues. It's just sad that it's been 15 years and this really feels like they're throwing in the towel.

I got extremely excited for the projector they were working on a few years ago, a true RGB laser with dual light engines so the single projector could pump out 30,000 lumens and have one light engine for each eye on 3D. 30,000 lumens, single lens bright 3D, and 10,000:1 contrast would have been a beast of a machine. Such a shame it was cancelled!
Maybe they are just being pragmatic. If they stop subsidising panel replacement they can then use all that money for more R&D on continuing to improve the tech rather than just maintaining the status quo.
There is nothing to stop them coming back into the market at some point in the future if they get the issue licked of course, but when you have a rival tech (DLP) that is technically inferior but much more robust and reliable, it is hard to compete. Especially as most people are perfectly happy with the PQ at the average cinema anyway.

For example: Plasma screens are generally regarded as a superior screen tech PQ wise too, but they were heavy, hot and had burn in issues amongst other things. and the resolutions weren't the best either
It was all improved over time, but eventually something comes along that outperforms it in a more reliable way. I also remember when LCD was smeary, had image retention in a bad way and had horrid contrast, but it was all improved with time and development.

That RGB machine would have been something to see. Maybe they will put it at the top of the range over (or replacing) the 5000 instead. It would mean all the R&D is not wasted if nothing else.

I really appreciate your first hand input here. It is a breath of fresh air to hear the words of someone who has worked on this stuff personally for many years.

“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up."
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post #58 of 77 Old 05-09-2020, 11:49 AM
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I really appreciate your first hand input here. It is a breath of fresh air to hear the words of someone who has worked on this stuff personally for many years.
Thanks! I'm pretty bummed about them being discontinued. It was rewarding maintaining them so that audiences could enjoy a superior image to typical DLP cinema.

It will be interesting to see how the post Corona world shakes out. Christie's 6DLP technology is a game changer, I wouldn't have guessed a projector would give Samsung Onyx and Sony CLED a run for their money. I guess we'll see how long Dolby can block it from entering cinemas, maybe Barco or NEC will find a way around the patents. Cinemas badly need something like 6DLP to compete with the superior picture quality available for cheap at home.
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post #59 of 77 Old 05-24-2020, 02:43 AM
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I have installed and serviced many Sony DCinema projectors and while there was/is an issue with the blue path due to heat, Sony improved on this issue a lot over the years. The image would degrade, yes, but that's an SXRD peculiarity. There is a calibration kit to recalibrate the white balance, the gamma and the uniformity of those machines.

I have never heard of "annual engine replacement".

The projectors needed a yearly service - but that's pretty normal from my point of view. The difference between SXRD and DLP is that gamma and uniformity never drift on a DLP and white balance also stays pretty close; on an SXRD things get wild unless you service the projector. But, again, Sony (at some point) provided all the tools to do that and they were working fine.
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post #60 of 77 Old 05-25-2020, 06:49 AM
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I have installed and serviced many Sony DCinema projectors and while there was/is an issue with the blue path due to heat, Sony improved on this issue a lot over the years. The image would degrade, yes, but that's an SXRD peculiarity. There is a calibration kit to recalibrate the white balance, the gamma and the uniformity of those machines.

I have never heard of "annual engine replacement".

The projectors needed a yearly service - but that's pretty normal from my point of view. The difference between SXRD and DLP is that gamma and uniformity never drift on a DLP and white balance also stays pretty close; on an SXRD things get wild unless you service the projector. But, again, Sony (at some point) provided all the tools to do that and they were working fine.
Interesting information there.
Can Joe public get access to one of these gamma, uniformity and W/B kits?
How would I be able to get that done if I ever needed to?
I find it interesting that they would need annual servicing and home units don't. Is it the sheer usage hours that makes it necessary?
What kind of annual hours do these cinema projectors get on them?
Cheers.

“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up."
Stephen Hawking. ~~~ "Be water my friend." Bruce Lee.

Last edited by Archibald1; 05-25-2020 at 06:54 AM.
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