CHRISTIE ECLIPSE HIGH CONTRAST 4K HDR RGB LASER PROJECTOR | REVIEW
Not only is this without a shadow of a doubt the best video projector in the world, this is quite literally the best video image performance that I have ever seen in my life to date. Period. End of story. Goodbye. The End.
It significantly outperforms not only all other projectors, but also all other video display devices that I can think of with respect to overall video performance, across all formats, from televisions (whether OLED, LED LCD, MicroLED or otherwise) to modular emissive video walls.
In my opinion, this is the new video reference gold standard against which all other video displays should now be compared. It is quite literally the ultimate video display and with it Christie has set a benchmark of near insurmountable Everest proportions.
ON/OFF contrast and ANSI contrast by no means tell you the whole picture as far as contrast performance of video content is concerned. Why? Because neither ON/OFF nor ANSI are in fact directly applicable with respect to actual video content. ON/OFF contrast and ANSI contrast are the two extremes of the contrast range that relates to video content. The ON/OFF Contrast only gives you the black level on a completely black picture. Whilst this is useful with respect to obtaining and comparing what is best black level performance capability of the particular display device, this does not tell us what is the typical contrast and/or black level performance for the majority of actual video content. Similarly, the ANSI Contrast only gives you the black level at what is typically the extreme upper limit of video content brightness. Hence, typically over 99% of video content falls within these.
Consequently, in order to gain a proper understanding and to be able to properly assess and evaluate what is the comparative contrast and associated black levels performances regarding different display devices we really need to be taking measurements with respect to the contrast performance in-between the ON/OFF and ANSI contrast; namely the full range of ADL (Average Display Level) contrast.
Where ADL is defined as being the average on-screen brightness after gamma correction; and the ON/OFF contrast corresponds to an ADL of 0%, and the ANSI contrast corresponds to an ADL of 50%.
The following contrast measurements were taken at actual usage light output levels:
NATIVE ON/OFF CONTRAST = 21,150,500:1
1% ADL = 83,649:1
2% ADL = 44,545:1
3% ADL = 34,730:1
4% ADL = 19,461:1
5% ADL = 15,452:1
10% ADL = 8,228:1
20% ADL = 3,771:1
ANSI CONTRAST = 1,035:1
To put things in perspective as far as comparative contrast performance is concerned. I've had to make the CONTRAST axis logarithmic in order to be even able to fit the Christie Eclipse's crazy contrast performance onto the chart! And by the way, this is the DYNAMIC
Contrast performance of the best performing SONY and JVC home theater projectors versus the NATIVE
Contrast performance of the Christie Eclipse:
● PEAK LIGHT OUTPUT = 30,000 LUMENS
● 5.365m / 17’ 7” WIDE 0.9 - 1.0 GAIN SCREEN , WITH CIRCA 16,500 LUMENS LIGHT OUTPUT:
- WHITE LEVEL = 440 NITS
- BLACK LEVEL = 0.00002 NITS
● %AGE OF BT.2020 COLOR GAMUT = 92.2%
- Both the RED and BLUE are beyond BT.2020; with the GREEN falling slightly short:
● LATENCY = 16 ms
PHOTOGRAPHS / SCREENSHOTS:
All of the photos have been taken using a professional photography calibrated flagship Nikon camera, in HDR, as unprocessed and unedited raw images, accurately capturing the actual projected image black level, with the white balance precisely matched to the projection screen. Hence, with respect to these aspects, in addition to the image sharpness and detail delineation, the photos are accurately representative of what the projected images look like in person.
However, despite using HDR photography, the magnitude of the luminance dynamic range of this projector is so incredibly large that it was impossible to capture the full extent of this; and also similarly the chroma (color) gamut coverage of the projector is very considerably wider, deeper, and greater than the capabilities of the camera. Hence, with respect to these aspects the photos are by no means even close to what the projector looks like in person in these regards; where the only way to see what are their actual respective performances is to view the projector in person.
(N.B. in order to view the images with the best accuracy this is best done via a calibrated video display)
*** If viewing this using your a mobile device you can simply zoom in with respect to the photos to see them in their full high resolution; or alternatively to view and/or grab the full size photos simply right click on whichever image and select VIEW IMAGE from the menu window. You can also then left click to zoom in and view the image in 1:1 ratio ***
ANALYSIS & GENERAL PERFORMANCE SCORES (OUT OF 100):
● MASCIOLA HDR10 SINGLE PIXEL 4K RESOLUTION TEST PATTERN PERFORMANCE : 100
N.B. THE COUPLE OF SMALL SMEARS ARE DUE TO THIS BEING A PRE-PRODUCTION PROTOTYPE AND WILL NOT BE PRESENT WITH THE PRODUCTION UNITS
● QUICK BROWN FOX TEST PATTERN PERFORMANCE: 100
● NATIVE 4K SINGLE PIXEL GEOMETRY TEST PATTERN PERFORMANCE: 100
● BLACK PLUGE TEST PATTERN BLACK LEVEL PERFORMANCE: 100
● WHITE & BLACK GRID TEST PATTERN PERFORMANCE: 100
● INTERSTELLAR SDR HD-UPSCALED-TO-4K-UHD (00:53:30) PERFORMANCE: 100
● JOURNEY TO SPACE HDR 4K (00:35:50) PERFORMANCE: 100
● SHARPNESS & MTF: 100
You can quite literally see the native 4K pixel structure in absolute perfect razor sharpness throughout the entire image for all 8,847,360 pixels. The projected image quite literally cannot be any sharper!
● FOCUS UNIFORMITY: 100
● CHROMATIC ABERRATION: 100
● IMAGE UNIFORMITY: 100
● RGB PIXEL/PANEL ALIGNMENT: 100
● POSTERIZATION (BANDING): 100
● BLOOMING: 100
● STREAKING: 100
● VIDEO NOISE: 100
● MOTION PERFORMANCE: 100
● GAMING PERFORMANCE: 100
TOTAL SCORE = 100
The Christie Eclipse’s patented light engine uses dual DMDs in a way that achieves pixel level luminance control, as per an OLED TV but with projection. Think of it being akin to FALD but with a projector instead of a TV, wherein whilst the primary DMDs which make up the video image are native 4K resolution, the secondary DMDs which govern the pixel level luminance control are HD1080p resolution meaning that there is the equivalent of 2,073,600 'Dimming Zones'.
The result is literally akin to OLED level contrast performance, but with super-high brightness, without OLED's brightness limitations, and none of the uniformity issues that afflict OLED, plus 12-bit color depth and approaching the full BT.2020 color gamut. Whilst also supporting up to 4K120 with 2D, Active 3D with 4K60 into each eye at high brightness with zero crosstalk (the best 3D performance), and 4K60 fullscreen two player gaming (Christie View), the Eclipse actually significantly outperforms OLED, and in fact literally everything else as well, in more ways than one.
But it's not just the ON/OFF contrast performance that's staggering, it's the full range of contrast performance from 0% ADL (ON/OFF) through 1% - 20% ADL and up to and including 50% ADL (= ANSI). The performance is totally off the scale and insane. For example, even at 5% ADL it's exceeding the PEAK ON/OFF contrast performance of the SONY 5000ES! And circa 84,000:1 at 1% ADL is totally nuts!
Also worth mentioning here is the fact that there is no shutting off of the light engine going on here in response to full field back as per the ‘full fade to black’ that is a feature of some laser projectors. This feature yields a black screen with full field black only. As soon as there is any imagery, typically everything from a single pixel, the light engine re-engages and the black level jumps to a shade of gray. There is no such jiggery-pokery going on here with respect to the Eclipse. This fact is easily demonstrated by transitioning from a full field black image to a test pattern comprising a small white square in the center of an otherwise black screen. The result is that the white square appears in the middle of the screen whilst the black level remains precisely the same absolute black as is experienced with the full field black. Exactly as per an emissive display, such as OLED TVs.
Furthermore, there is no Dynamic Contrast functionality with the Eclipse either, which can be used to improve upon the native contrast and black level performance of a projector but with the downside of introduction of numerous video artifacts and issues, which are often so severe that many folks opt to disable / turn off the Dynamic Contrast functionality altogether. With the Eclipse it produces this insane contrast performance NATIVELY.
The same high contrast technology features within Christie's infamous Dolby Cinema projector that it licenses to Dolby for exclusive use in commercial cinemas. However, this is by no means simply a rebadged Dolby Cinema projector. The Eclipse is a next generation significant evolution forwards in front of that projector, with entirely new electronics, and in fact significantly outperforms the Dolby Cinema projector for numerous reasons. Meaning you won't experience anything even close to the video performance of the Eclipse by visiting a Dolby Cinema.
If or when you are fortunate to experience a demo of the Christie Eclipse sometime, trust me when I say that you will never have experienced anything like it. It's literally the best video image that I have ever seen in my life, and it is my business to literally see (and hear) everything that's the top of the top of the pyramid with respect to A/V. The resultant video image is both beautiful and mesmerizing. It is truly an unrivalled sight to behold.
● Initially THREE versions will be available, being: 9,000 lumens; 17,500 lumens; and 26,000 lumens.
● Laser modules will be contained within a separate rack with dimensions W78cm x D80cm x H69cm.
● The laser module rack is liquid cooled, completely silent operation, and comes with 8m or 10m length fibre that connects to the projector head, which can be extended up to 50m long.
● There is an external chiller; this is not silent and can be situated up to 30m away.
● The projector head is big and noisy, so needs to be installed into a projection booth / room. It starts at about 64 dBA but rises from there at higher brightness and ambient temperature environments
● There is only a very small few percentage light loss post-calibration, because out-of-the-box the projector is already very close to D65 white point.
● No Laser Speckle. The Christie Eclipse deliberately uses laser diodes with a wide array of differing wavelengths for each of the Red, Green, and Blue components of the RGB color. This combined with patented the dual DMD light engine that produces the insane contrast performance, completely eliminates the phenomenon known as Laser Speckle, which afflicts literally ALL RGB laser projectors, and necessitates countermeasures such as screen vibrators and the like having to be used to reduce the issue. With the Eclipse there isn't any. Literally ZERO. As such the problem has been eradicated entirely. Hence, there is absolutely no need for any anti-speckle systems / solutions.
● Color depth: 12-bit
● Supports 4K60 with low latency.
● OPTIONAL UPGRADES (with associated one-off additional costs):
- CHRISTIE MIRAGE: adds both High Frame Rate (HFR) 4K120 support and either active or passive (your choice) 3D functionality, with 4K60 into each eye if active; with very high brightness and essentially zero cross-talk.
- CHRISTIE VIEW GAMING: In addition to supporting single player gaming at 4K120 (wherein it is worth noting that it has been confirmed that both the upcoming Sony Playstation 5 and Microsoft Xbox Series X gaming consoles will support 4K120 gaming), via use of active glasses you can have two players see the whole screen at 4K60, but a completely different screen to everyone else, in other words it will be akin to the two players each having their own full size Christie Eclipse gaming screen at 4K60.
● Multiple lens options covering a wide array of throw distances versus screen sizes
● 3-Year Warranty. Extended Warranty options available.
● It is Class 1 Risk Group 3.
● Shipping first quarter 2021