Sony Exits Cinema Projector Market; Can the Home Theater Market Be Far Behind? - Page 3 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #61 of 92 Old 05-25-2020, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Archibald1 View Post
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.
The toll of the great heat on the panels is the culprit.

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post #62 of 92 Old 05-25-2020, 09:36 AM
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The toll of the great heat on the panels is the culprit.
I see.
What sort of lumens are these commercial units putting out again?
How does the heat in one of those commercial units compare to home units?
Is the 5000 in the 'low risk' category with its 5000 lumens?
So I guess your are saying that most prosumer units are low enough output to not need the recalibration/servicing during a typical lifespan?
And where can I get one of those kits if I want one?

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post #63 of 92 Old 05-25-2020, 09:44 AM
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I think from 18 to 22. The sr-608 was a prototype unit based on the 5000, because of a p3 color filter, and the 12-bit DCI pipe it produced an image that was a true reference grade.

Although it lacked brightness for cinemas, the 608 some employees told me privately the PQ was much better than the bigger brothers because of the lower power not stressing the panels which then would behave more linearly. Sad news to hear that the 2 demo sr-608 that were here in America were sent to Japan to be destroyed.

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post #64 of 92 Old 05-25-2020, 10:05 AM
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But yet the DCI studio that has the Onyx is 2k and also the cinema in Switzerland as well.
https://www.roundabout.com/

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post #65 of 92 Old 05-25-2020, 11:58 AM
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I think those tools are only for service engineers - you wouldn't do anything with them anyway because they are designed to work with Sony Cinema projectors, they plug into the machine and the process is automatic.

I believe the service manual of the R320 recommends to adjust WB and gamma every 5000 hours. A cinema projector usually runs those hours in a year or so.
Please also consider that those machines are using up to 4000W Xenon bulbs in them and that's probably why the adjustments need to be performed on a regular basis.

I guess Sony may have similar devices in their service centres. As probably all the other manufacturers.
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post #66 of 92 Old 05-26-2020, 04:52 AM
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Calibration Pro allows you to do gamma, white balance, panel alignment and more; it just isn't automated. My unit (885ES) drifts quite a bit over a month or more and black level has increased almost two times since install. Still, throws a great picture when LUT corrected (both BD and UHD/HDR); Star Wars Ep 1 - 3 and Solo looked absolutely terrific this last, long weekend.

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Originally Posted by Archibald1 View Post
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.
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post #67 of 92 Old 05-26-2020, 05:08 AM
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Calibration Pro allows you to do gamma, white balance, panel alignment and more; it just isn't automated. My unit (885ES) drifts quite a bit over a month or more and black level has increased almost two times since install. Still, throws a great picture when LUT corrected (both BD and UHD/HDR); Star Wars Ep 1 - 3 and Solo looked absolutely terrific this last, long weekend.
So using Cal Pro would necessitate the use of light meters etc I guess?

If so, what kit is recommended to get the most out of Sony Cal Pro in a home environment?

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post #68 of 92 Old 05-26-2020, 11:24 PM
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Originally Posted by CP850-CLED View Post
I think from 18 to 22. The sr-608 was a prototype unit based on the 5000, because of a p3 color filter, and the 12-bit DCI pipe it produced an image that was a true reference grade.

Although it lacked brightness for cinemas, the 608 some employees told me privately the PQ was much better than the bigger brothers because of the lower power not stressing the panels which then would behave more linearly. Sad news to hear that the 2 demo sr-608 that were here in America were sent to Japan to be destroyed.
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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.
The 608 didn’t look any different to me. And the light output was minuscule.

The Tcores and Optical blocks fail like clockwork based on hours and lamp power. A 515 running 440w maxed out will need a new Tcore every 12,000 or so hours which is roughly every two years. The 320s with a 4K lamp about the same.

You can run them longer but the blue light leaking through destroys your blacks. You don’t see the yellow burn in on white anymore, but it doesn’t matter when you’ve lost all contrast.

Cleaning does nothing to prevent or help it. The PCAB buys you a little time until it gets so bad that the unit throws an error during calibration. The wave plate adjustment also doesn’t buy you much time, and it needs to be done yearly on an 815 which is a major pain in the butt.
The 815 is the most amazing but unstable image, it is symbolic of the entire history of SXRD.
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post #69 of 92 Old 05-27-2020, 02:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Tony359 View Post
I think those tools are only for service engineers - you wouldn't do anything with them anyway because they are designed to work with Sony Cinema projectors, they plug into the machine and the process is automati

I believe the service manual of the R320 recommends to adjust WB and gamma every 5000 hours. A c.cinema projector usually runs those hours in a year or so.
Please also consider that those machines are using up to 4000W Xenon bulbs in them and that's probably why the adjustments need to be performed on a regular basis.

I guess Sony may have similar devices in their service centres. As probably all the other manufacturers.
Something I plug into my PJ and it adjusts all that stuff automatically?? Yes please!!
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post #70 of 92 Old 05-27-2020, 03:14 AM
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Originally Posted by dcinematech View Post
The Tcores and Optical blocks fail like clockwork based on hours and lamp power. A 515 running 440w maxed out will need a new Tcore every 12,000 or so hours which is roughly every two years. The 320s with a 4K lamp about the same.

You can run them longer but the blue light leaking through destroys your blacks. You don’t see the yellow burn in on white anymore, but it doesn’t matter when you’ve lost all contrast.

Cleaning does nothing to prevent or help it. The PCAB buys you a little time until it gets so bad that the unit throws an error during calibration. The wave plate adjustment also doesn’t buy you much time, and it needs to be done yearly on an 815 which is a major pain in the butt.
I cannot answer too much on the timings as I've never taken exact data on those projectors. However, 12.000 hours in two years means 16 hours "lamp on" a day. I feel this is a bit unfair. Yes, there are cinemas open 24/7 but I can think of a couple in the UK and NONE in other EU countries. The average multiplex cinema would still open in the morning - and other countries would only do afternoon shows. So I feel we can assume 12 hours operations a day - that is, 12 hours opening, not 12 hours "lamp on". If you consider 10 hours "lamp on" a day, that makes 3600 hours-ish a year for a multiplex. A small cinema may show 3-5 shows a day, hence 6-10 hours a day.

With that in mind, 12.000 hours translate into 3.2 years. Let's say 4-5 years with proper maintenance, PCAB and 1/4 wave plate adjustment - and small cinemas would probably do 6-7 years. I still question that "max hours" number, but the main thing here is that it's quite different from saying "Sony projectors require a new T-Core annually".
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Yes. If you look at the instructions for the s/w you can adjust quite a few parameters by outputting built-in images/patterns to the projector (panel alignment, black level, contrast, etc.). Using a meter for others (grayscale, advanced color space) is essential. You could use HCFR, Lightspace, etc. and a variety of meters if they are profiled. Getting at least an accurate grayscale is essential.

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So using Cal Pro would necessitate the use of light meters etc I guess?

If so, what kit is recommended to get the most out of Sony Cal Pro in a home environment?
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post #72 of 92 Old 05-27-2020, 04:12 PM
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I cannot answer too much on the timings as I've never taken exact data on those projectors. However, 12.000 hours in two years means 16 hours "lamp on" a day. I feel this is a bit unfair. Yes, there are cinemas open 24/7 but I can think of a couple in the UK and NONE in other EU countries. The average multiplex cinema would still open in the morning - and other countries would only do afternoon shows. So I feel we can assume 12 hours operations a day - that is, 12 hours opening, not 12 hours "lamp on". If you consider 10 hours "lamp on" a day, that makes 3600 hours-ish a year for a multiplex. A small cinema may show 3-5 shows a day, hence 6-10 hours a day.

With that in mind, 12.000 hours translate into 3.2 years. Let's say 4-5 years with proper maintenance, PCAB and 1/4 wave plate adjustment - and small cinemas would probably do 6-7 years. I still question that "max hours" number, but the main thing here is that it's quite different from saying "Sony projectors require a new T-Core annually".
Cinemas I service start their lamps at 9-10AM and don't turn them off until 11PM-1AM. Easily 16 hours in a day. It's not worth the wear on a xenon to strike it without at least 30 minutes of cooldown which most don't have. This procedure usually gets translated to the mercury and laser modules just so they don't have to build separate playlists.

I've been replacing these things on average every 2-3 years per projector for the last 6 years. The only projectors that could possibly go 6-7 years between light engine replacement are the ones where the owners don't care and the picture looks like a rainbow. Or they're not replacing the mercury lamps when they explode. I avoid SXRD theaters that I don't service because most don't run PCAB or clean them except when a customer complains, which is well after the picture looks terrible. The failure mode isn't big yellow blob on white until 20-30k hours, but at 12-15k hours you lose contrast as the blacks start to turn blue.

Sony doesn't ask any questions if its over 2 years old. They know these things fail like clockwork. I've done well over 100 replacements over the years, they just couldn't deny the problem anymore which is again a big reason that they decided to end this.


I do agree they shouldn't have said yearly. The only blocks which fail that early were installed improperly and missed the dichroic mirror adjustment.
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post #73 of 92 Old 05-28-2020, 12:37 AM - Thread Starter
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I do agree they shouldn't have said yearly. The only blocks which fail that early were installed improperly and missed the dichroic mirror adjustment.
Note that Sony did not say "annually," but rather that comment came from a "long time industry analyst."
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post #74 of 92 Old 05-28-2020, 02:23 AM
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I cannot answer too much on the timings as I've never taken exact data on those projectors. However, 12.000 hours in two years means 16 hours "lamp on" a day. I feel this is a bit unfair. Yes, there are cinemas open 24/7 but I can think of a couple in the UK and NONE in other EU countries. The average multiplex cinema would still open in the morning - and other countries would only do afternoon shows. So I feel we can assume 12 hours operations a day - that is, 12 hours opening, not 12 hours "lamp on". If you consider 10 hours "lamp on" a day, that makes 3600 hours-ish a year for a multiplex. A small cinema may show 3-5 shows a day, hence 6-10 hours a day.

With that in mind, 12.000 hours translate into 3.2 years. Let's say 4-5 years with proper maintenance, PCAB and 1/4 wave plate adjustment - and small cinemas would probably do 6-7 years. I still question that "max hours" number, but the main thing here is that it's quite different from saying "Sony projectors require a new T-Core annually".
Last time I went to our local VUE cinema, the projector was constantly on, projecting static adverts and suchlike in between every showing, so they may have been 'lamp on' easily 12 or more hours at a stretch.

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post #75 of 92 Old 05-28-2020, 02:28 AM
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Cinemas I service start their lamps at 9-10AM and don't turn them off until 11PM-1AM. Easily 16 hours in a day. It's not worth the wear on a xenon to strike it without at least 30 minutes of cooldown which most don't have. This procedure usually gets translated to the mercury and laser modules just so they don't have to build separate playlists.

I've been replacing these things on average every 2-3 years per projector for the last 6 years. The only projectors that could possibly go 6-7 years between light engine replacement are the ones where the owners don't care and the picture looks like a rainbow. Or they're not replacing the mercury lamps when they explode. I avoid SXRD theaters that I don't service because most don't run PCAB or clean them except when a customer complains, which is well after the picture looks terrible. The failure mode isn't big yellow blob on white until 20-30k hours, but at 12-15k hours you lose contrast as the blacks start to turn blue.

Sony doesn't ask any questions if its over 2 years old. They know these things fail like clockwork. I've done well over 100 replacements over the years, they just couldn't deny the problem anymore which is again a big reason that they decided to end this.


I do agree they shouldn't have said yearly. The only blocks which fail that early were installed improperly and missed the dichroic mirror adjustment.
Ooooo, I'm intrigued. What does that entail?

I say this as someone who recently replaced the blue panel on a very high hours VW60 and it brought it back to life. Lovely picture now.

Was there something else I needed to do other than tweak the physical alignment as best I could?

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Last time I went to our local VUE cinema, the projector was constantly on, projecting static adverts and suchlike in between every showing, so they may have been 'lamp on' easily 12 or more hours at a stretch.
Are you sure about that?

In every theater I've seen that runs ads, the ad content is provided by a second projector off to the side of the cinema projector, not projected through the cinema projector itself.
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post #77 of 92 Old 05-28-2020, 05:43 AM
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Are you sure about that?

In every theater I've seen that runs ads, the ad content is provided by a second projector off to the side of the cinema projector, not projected through the cinema projector itself.
That is a good point, but I have never seen the image being projected from two different spots.
I reckon I am the only one who ever looks backwards when at the cinema as well. Trying to get a crafty look at the pj which I of course can never make out.
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post #78 of 92 Old 06-30-2020, 01:36 PM
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Interesting read.

https://www.projectorcentral.com/Son...tor-Models.htm

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All the the new projectors, which are on display in Sony's virtual booth at Projection Expo 2020, are 3LCD models
Sony is all but admitting SXRD is dead.
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post #80 of 92 Old 07-02-2020, 05:42 AM
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Sony is all but admitting SXRD is dead.
In commercial cinemas, where the usage and wear is high, I can see why they have knocked it on the head, after all they were never going to de-throne DLP in that environment.

In the home environment SXRD still has a legitimate place in my opinion.

I have a 13 year old VW60 with 12,000+ hours on it, that i replaced the blue panel on, and it is still amazing.

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Ooooo, I'm intrigued. What does that entail?

I say this as someone who recently replaced the blue panel on a very high hours VW60 and it brought it back to life. Lovely picture now.

Was there something else I needed to do other than tweak the physical alignment as best I could?
You can't replace individual panels on the commercial SXRD units, you have to replace the entire prism unit. The relationship between the integrator optics and the prism shifts slightly after replacement so it sometimes requires adjustment of the integrator mirrors. Lazy techs don't check it and the mirror burns the foam seal on the edge of the SXRD panel, causing the panel to get damaged quickly.

Since you only replaced the blue panel that relationship didn't shift and shouldn't need any adjustment. The way to tell is to run a full white test pattern and look for color fringing on the edges, and adjust the dichroic mirrors until you eliminate the color bleed on the edges.
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post #82 of 92 Old 07-03-2020, 01:35 AM
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Sony is all but admitting SXRD is dead.
Sony has never been SXRD-based in this segment of the market and type of applications, 3LCD since as long as I can remember.
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post #83 of 92 Old 07-03-2020, 08:16 AM
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You can't replace individual panels on the commercial SXRD units, you have to replace the entire prism unit. The relationship between the integrator optics and the prism shifts slightly after replacement so it sometimes requires adjustment of the integrator mirrors. Lazy techs don't check it and the mirror burns the foam seal on the edge of the SXRD panel, causing the panel to get damaged quickly.

Since you only replaced the blue panel that relationship didn't shift and shouldn't need any adjustment. The way to tell is to run a full white test pattern and look for color fringing on the edges, and adjust the dichroic mirrors until you eliminate the color bleed on the edges.
I would love to have a delve into one of their cinema class projectors.

Funnily enough, after I performed the panel swap I noticed what you describe and I went back in and noticed one of the mirrors/polarisers/filters had been jogged out of position a little, so I re-seated it and it solved the issue. There were three pieces of glass near each other at every panel.

Is each one a filter, polariser and mirror? I have no idea which one I was dealing with exactly, but re-seating it fixed the issue.

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post #84 of 92 Old 07-03-2020, 10:32 AM
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I would love to have a delve into one of their cinema class projectors.

Funnily enough, after I performed the panel swap I noticed what you describe and I went back in and noticed one of the mirrors/polarisers/filters had been jogged out of position a little, so I re-seated it and it solved the issue. There were three pieces of glass near each other at every panel.

Is each one a filter, polariser and mirror? I have no idea which one I was dealing with exactly, but re-seating it fixed the issue.
No, there are separate optical components for each of those. Basically lamp -> reflector -> cold mirror -> fly eye -> P/S polarizer converter -> dichroic mirrors -> trim filters -> SXRD panels.
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post #85 of 92 Old 07-03-2020, 03:53 PM
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No, there are separate optical components for each of those. Basically lamp -> reflector -> cold mirror -> fly eye -> P/S polarizer converter -> dichroic mirrors -> trim filters -> SXRD panels.
I see. Is the trim filter the piece of glass directly in front of the panel with a small 'lever' on it?

What is that for?

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post #86 of 92 Old 07-03-2020, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Archibald1 View Post
I see. Is the trim filter the piece of glass directly in front of the panel with a small 'lever' on it?

What is that for?
No, if you mean the lever that's on the SXRD chip, that's the quarter wave adjustment and it fine tunes the polarization so you get the best contrast/black levels. Or it might be something different, the smaller projectors may have levers on some of the optics that the larger ones don't have.

The lever is epoxied in place at the factory, after adjusting it in the field you need the uniformity and gamma camera to recreate the LUT calibrations, otherwise your image will be splotchy and the gamma will be off. I'm sure on the smaller ones it was never intended to be touched, I haven't heard of gamma/uniformity calibration outside of the DCinema projectors.
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post #87 of 92 Old 07-04-2020, 02:54 AM
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Originally Posted by dcinematech View Post
No, if you mean the lever that's on the SXRD chip, that's the quarter wave adjustment and it fine tunes the polarization so you get the best contrast/black levels. Or it might be something different, the smaller projectors may have levers on some of the optics that the larger ones don't have.

The lever is epoxied in place at the factory, after adjusting it in the field you need the uniformity and gamma camera to recreate the LUT calibrations, otherwise your image will be splotchy and the gamma will be off. I'm sure on the smaller ones it was never intended to be touched, I haven't heard of gamma/uniformity calibration outside of the DCinema projectors.
Damn I would like to have a chat with you over a pint!

Thanks for the info. Most informative.

“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.
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post #88 of 92 Old 07-04-2020, 02:37 PM
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Damn I would like to have a chat with you over a pint!

Thanks for the info. Most informative.
My pleasure! If you're ever in Austin I'd be happy to give you a tour of one of the big guys. Assuming theaters are still a thing after COVID!
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post #89 of 92 Old 07-04-2020, 03:34 PM
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My pleasure! If you're ever in Austin I'd be happy to give you a tour of one of the big guys. Assuming theaters are still a thing after COVID!
You're on!
If I am ever in Texas ( I assume that is the Austin you mean) then I will look you up.

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post #90 of 92 Old 07-09-2020, 03:35 AM
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Originally Posted by dcinematech View Post
No, if you mean the lever that's on the SXRD chip, that's the quarter wave adjustment and it fine tunes the polarization so you get the best contrast/black levels. Or it might be something different, the smaller projectors may have levers on some of the optics that the larger ones don't have.
Here is a picture of the panel I removed. The lever is visible on the side with the data cable.

Is it the same as the big brother versions?
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	SXRD Panel.jpg
Views:	74
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ID:	2755300  

“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.
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