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Discussion Starter #1
Hi!


I recently got my LT150 and a really like the picture except for the blacks. It´s far from as black as I was hoping for. Not much better than many LCD projectors. Isn´t DLP projectorns known especially for their good blacks?


I have calibrated the LT150 with Video Essentials. Is it possible that I have missed some setting or something?


What do you other LT150 owners think about the blacks? Is this as good as it gets?


/Magnus
 

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Magnus - what specifically bothers you about the blacks?


I have watched movies such as Blade, Dark City etc and find the picture excellent.


Are you using a progressive scan DVD player or HTPC?


A progressive scan DVD player should be the minimum one should use for critical viewing. HTPC is even better - though I have not seen it first hand myself.
 

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What are you using for a screen?


I found a nice improvment (albeit over a white bedsheet) using a Stewart Greyhawk.


Highly recommended if you don't need + gain out of your screen.


Regards,
 

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The LT150 has the best blacks of anything we have seen except maybe a tube unit or a IDLA that has been calibrated. the lt150 is over 800 to 1, most other machines have to really try at 400 to 1. I expect that something is wrong with your calibration. On a white screen with a totally black signal, I can see any light leakage in the picture area.

You may have the brigntness way too high.

BT
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Lou Sytsma: The blacks are to grey.


Perhaps a greyhawk would do the trick. I shall experiment with the settings and see if I can get it better.


Do you use Natural 1 och Natural 2? Perhaps the problem is there.


I know that there can be some diffirence from projector to projector so maybe I just got one of the bad ones.
 

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I'll give it another try. I had a very picky friend over today to see my new ISCO II lens. First I put SWPM (you know Star Wars The Phantom Menance) on for him using my 61 inch Toshiba RPTV (yes CRT) and we had a look at the space scenes etc. I specifically asked him to take note of the "blacks". I then put the same scenes on using the LT150 - his conclusion - just as good (and that's mine as well). We both laughed about the fact that the "blacks" we saw were really only "gray" according to some on this forum. Sure I am somewhat fanatical and if I can have better I want it. The fact is that what I am seeing is a very convincing black! Perfect? I suspect not, but this is going to be tough to beat - a challenge I am sure Thumper can handle.


Frustrated? Who me? I will say it one more time - if you haven't seen the LT150 with the Da-lite Hipower screen ( I have three screens) you haven't seen the LT150 - period! The image I now have is incredibly crisp, detailed and has a snap to it that I find somewhat distracting - I sometimes find myself mesmerized by the image and I forget to watch the movie.


I am using an AVS Radeon based HTPC, LT150, ISCO II anamorphic lens and Hipower screen that is properly masked with a " floating" masking system expunges DLP halo and properly frames the image for a very three dimensional look). There is a synergistic effect here - calibrated system, not just a calibrated projector! The room is fully light controlled and walls, ceiling and floor are deadened to prevent reflection from the screen! This room is set up for one thing and one thing only - image (and sound) - everything else is secondary.


I took some heat (heat = yeah right) eight months ago when I suggested the LT150 was as good as it is. I took some heat on this section of the forum for suggesting the HTPC was as good as it is. I have taken some heat for suggesting the Hipower is as good as it is. No doubt I 'll take some more. Those forum members who have visited me have agreed with what I am now saying. Taken separately all of these products are very good at what they do. Combine them and look out! There is magic here - the sum of the whole is greater than the sum of the individual parts.


I have to admit I am still somewhat frustrated because many who live within a two hour drive from me (Toronto, Ottawa and so on) can't be bothered to see for themselves! Interestingly I have had enthusiasts ftrom Ohio and Montreal make the trip (only three from Toronto).


When "told" to do "black" the LT150 does it exceptionally well. The question is - what have you done to help? I know some will think I'm crazy - my only response is - for those who can, come and see for yourself! All the chit chat in the world is just that - talk and nothing more. SEEING IS BELIEVING!!!


Cheers,


Grant
 

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I'm with you Grant!


Based on the great work you did fine tuning the setup and Tom LaStrange's pictures of different screen materials I am a happy camper with my LT150.


Using the Dalite Hi-Power screen and a mere progressive scan DVD player - instead of a HTPC - I am getting a great picture.


Like you the black of space in SWPM, in Blade, in 2001, in any of the ST pictures, in etc - is black not grey!


Magnus - I leave the gamma on the projector at Natural1. I use the gamma on my Panasonic RP91 to fine tune the picture. Find it easier to do the fine tuning with the DVD player as opposed to the projector.
 

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I spent considerable time (> year) with a good DLP, a Sharp NV7 XGA unit. Used an AA transcoder to feed it component signals so color space would be correct (works like a charm), tweaked PJ gamma and HTPC Gamma settings to within an inch of perfection.


But the black always disappointed…


If I had nothing to compare it to, I would have been happy. However, a friend has a Dwin HD700 CRT PJ and his blacks were actually ‘no light’.


So I hopped on the CRT bandwagon (towards the end of the line for sure) with a Sony G70.


I have both projectors installed, and man, there is just no comparison. The 3D effect of perfect blacks and well-saturated colors of the CRT blows away the DLP.

Even the spousal unit, who complained about two projectors, is totally sold on the value of the CRT. I even got chided for spending the money on the DLP a year ago instead of getting the CRT in the first place.


I’ve seen DLP’s with better black than my Sharp at CES, but none has a true black.


A Greyhawk screen will make a big difference if you want to stay with DLP. I was about to spend another $2K on a new screen (mine have to be micro perf, big $$$ for less material ;) ). Instead I spent a little over $5K for the CRT and wound up way ahead.


I’m hoping DLP black levels continue to improve (they will) and that color depth and saturation also improve.
 

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I have a calibrated D-ILA, and also use my LT-150 (untweaked) on my perforated Grayhawk screen, and I think that the black level is very good with both displays.


If you want better that this you are a blackaholic and should get a CRT display right away to ease your pain.


You might try in the interim to turn off the white segment, but I like the picture best with it on.


-Dean.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hmm, the blacks you guys see is not the blacks that I see. Maybe i should look over my "external settings", and try to mask my screen, block halo etc, etc....


I´m only using a screen without any blackborders or anything and the wall behind is white. I was thinking of installing black curtains to make the wall black when I´m watching a movie but my girlfriend refused. I don´t have room for Home Theater only, but I guess I can make some black borders on the screen at least. I will also try to block the halo.

The screen I´m using is a 1.0 gain Euroscreen but shouldn´t that be better for the blacks than the high gain Da Lite screen? And doesn´t high gain screens make the rainbows worse, because I don´t want that. I rather have bad blacks than more rainbows. They are just about bareble now!


For the moment I´m not using HTPC or a progressive DVD-player but a HTPC is coming up soon. But will the blacks be any better with HTPC? I tought a HTPC only removed the scaling artefacts and made the signal progressive.


The blacks is not that bad but they are far away from what I espected. Otherwise the pic quality is super!! Even tough I´m not using HTPC yet!! The colours are really great and the relsulotion is outstanding.
 

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There is a lot of unnecessary fear surrounding the Hipower screen based on the bad press that other so-called hi gain screens have received. The Hipower has all the good qualities and none of the bad from what I have seen - no hot spotting and a reasonable viewing angle. Although it's retroreflective I haven't found a loss of brightness from either a floor mounted projector or ceiling mounted projector - this might have something to do with the high throw angles of my projectors.


From the description of your set up it can only get better!


In my household my wife basically controls the entire house with the exception of my HT - that's my domain, period! From what I have heard from others I have it pretty good. This should tell you something! ;)


Cheers,


Grant
 

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Magnus,


I guess we both suffer from blackaholism (thanks, Dean:). While the blacks looked excellent to me in mostly bright scenes on the LT150, Sharp 9000, and Dean's D-ILA, I also am bothered in dark scenes by what I experience as a foggy gray haze that draws my attention to the plane of the screen.
 

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In my point of view, the black level from LT150 is good. The DARK scenes are outstanding comparing other digital projectors (no matter 11HT, HT200/DM and Z9000). But it loses the detail in DARKER scenes comparing CRT projectors. That's the limitation for all digital projectors.
 

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As usually, the confusion arises regarding the difference between absolute black level and contrast ratio. I believe that Magnus is not talking about shadow detail, per se, as apposed to absolute black level, in which case, contrast ratios don't really count for much. If I give you a 10,000 lumen projector, the contrast ration is going to be ridiculously high, but the absoulate black level would surely be aweful.
 

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Ok Dave - I'll bite.


How does one go about seeing the absolute black level? Is this something you can see from watching a movie? Or is it just visible from a test pattern?


All I know is when I see something that's supposed to be black - it looks pretty darn black to me.


Which is more important - contrast or black level?


Sounds like contrast is - at least one can see the benefits while watching a movie.


Absolute black level seems to be elusive.
 

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Magnus,


After your post here I looked more critically at my LT150 picture with regard to black level, and really found it to be quite good.


I tried the shadow test of holding my hand in front of the screen and the deepest black in the DVD image was pretty darned close to the black of the shadow.


Of course "pretty darned close" is a subjective appraisal, but I was actually surprised.


As to the halo around the active image, it was indeed gray, and I cobbled together a mask which worked pretty well.


For me, out of about 760 DVDs I have maybe a dozen or so that are torture discs (Dark City, Heat) with shadowed dark figures in black rooms, and certainly a CRT display would do better with these discs, but I'm more than happy with the picture quality of the bulk of my DVD collection.


Similarly, while I've seen the rainbows on my LT150 while watching The Thing, but I haven't really noticed the problem in other movies (so far).


-Dean.
 

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Ok, here goes...in scenes that have black objects surrounded by bright objects, and the black objects don't occupy the whole screen, then yes, most projectors will let you perceive solid black.


However, if the black object takes up whole screen, like a dark scene in a movie, something that is supposed to look black, you will notice, especially in a light controlled room, looks somehwat "illuminated". HOwever, you can still have this and good shadow detail if the contrast ratio is high. However, what happens is the darnkess can never go below this point.


If you ahve a projector in a dark room, turn it on wiht no signal...notice something, you seee light...THAT is the blackest ANY image on your proejctor will get, unless, you projector is not putting out 0IRE for no signal.


Or, do the shadow test, if you put your hand in front of the projector on a black object, and you can see yoru shadow, then the absolute black level is indeed higher than the shadow blackness.


Dean:


And while the shadow test may work in such a small area...do the shadow test close to the lens...that is, block off half the screen, and then you will see the big differecne that is inherint in all digital projectors :(
 

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Well, I started noticing black level in movie theaters and found that there is no real black. If you have a local good AMC theater, look at the total black film they run before they start the movie( I think it is splice leader). your eyes quickly adjust to the darker screen and you see grey. I partically noticed it in our Imax theater with the Fantasia movie. They had several previews spliced in and you could definately see light. I think the black perception has a good bit to do with the way your individual eyes respond to darkness. if you have really good dark vision, you will allways see grey on a white screen. I have been in a sound proof rroom with no lights and that is black. you see nothing but that type of black does not happen in real life. something in the room usually emits some light(led on amp,etc). Just my opinion. Again, take in a movie at a good theater with dark frames and you will start thinking about the black level.

bt
 

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"if you have really good dark vision, you will allways see grey on a white screen."


Not be picky, but just to make sure I am not just confused, you meant to say dark scene, correct?
 

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David wrote:


"And while the shadow test may work in such a small area...do the shadow test close to the lens...that is, block off half the screen, and then you will see the big difference that is inherint in all digital projectors "


Actually, I did both close shadows and general image blocking, because I was creating a 2.35:1 lens mask to reduce the halo.


I am still impressed with the black level of the LT150.


The importance of absolute black level is one often expressed by CRT FPTV owners, and for them that is THE deciding factor in limiting the purchase of a digital projector.


But the huge shift in projector sales to digital projectors shows that the lighter black level of digital FPTVs is not the most critical element to all HT enthusiasts.


And many of us believe that the picture quality is excellent with many digital projectors, and that a black level comparable to a movie theater's film presentation is acceptable, if not as dark as CRT FPTVs are capable of displaying.


-Dean.
 
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