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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We're just about to pull the trigger on a Sony GTZ 380 to drive a 15' wide scope screen in the interim media room of our new house while we remodel to make room for a full-size Eclipse room. For the last 8 years have been living with a 25k lumens 3-chip xenon Christie + Lumagen driving a 12' wide Starglas 60 RP system, and have loved pretty much everything about this system other than the gray washout look of super low ADL scenes (< 5% of our viewing).

I would welcome any thoughts on whether I'm likely to be more satisfied with a 2.5k lumens Barco DLP firing onto a 12' foot scope screen or a 10k lumens SXRD driving a 15' wide scope screen. The Griffyn is not in budget for this room. For a bit of additional context, we recently added an 83" A90J OLED to our den, and while it is objectively great I have to say that I've been disappointed with it vs. the Christie + Starglas system: color density is just not there, especially in the deep reds and greens, and by the time I dial up gamma enough to eliminate black crush it is actually a bit more washed out than the Christie/Starglas. Also, even on 'easy' high ADL scenes with lower gamma it is lacking just a skosh of image depth compared to the Christie + Lumagen.

-Paul
 

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We're just about to pull the trigger on a Sony GTZ 380 to drive a 15' wide scope screen in the interim media room of our new house while we remodel to make room for a full-size Eclipse room. For the last 8 years have been living with a 25k lumens 3-chip xenon Christie + Lumagen driving a 12' wide Starglas 60 RP system, and have loved pretty much everything about this system other than the gray washout look of super low ADL scenes (< 5% of our viewing).

I would welcome any thoughts on whether I'm likely to be more satisfied with a 2.5k lumens Barco DLP firing onto a 12' foot scope screen or a 10k lumens SXRD driving a 15' wide scope screen. The Griffyn is not in budget for this room. For a bit of additional context, we recently added an 83" A90J OLED to our den, and while it is objectively great I have to say that I've been disappointed with it vs. the Christie + Starglas system: color density is just not there, especially in the deep reds and greens, and by the time I dial up gamma enough to eliminate black crush it is actually a bit more washed out than the Christie/Starglas. Also, even on 'easy' high ADL scenes with lower gamma it is lacking just a skosh of image depth compared to the Christie + Lumagen.

-Paul
How many foot lamberts and/or nits were you getting with your Christie + Lumagen on the 12' wide screen? Do you think there is such a thing as too bright, or are RP screens much lower gain? Reason I ask is I'm confused about the potential of going from a 25,000 lumen projector on a 12 foot wide screen to a 2,500 lumen projector on a 12 foot wide screen. The RP screen would have to be 0.1 gain, or the new 12 foot wide scope screen would have to be 10 gain, to give comparable brightness.

But as for your question, my opinion is not worth much on this question, but I can at least chime in on the easy part of it. At your viewing distance, which screen size do you prefer, 15 feet wide, or 12 feet wide? Depending how far the seating is and whether 15 wide is too big or just right, that could make up a big enough difference, in terms of how cinematic things feel, that it could be as important in the decision as anything else. You might end up deciding "whichever projector gives me the 15 foot wide screen instead of the 12 foot wide screen" rather than deciding based on the non-brightness-related pros and cons of the projector choices themselves. Or it could go the other direction, where maybe you feel at those sizes, there is no longer as big of a difference between 12 and 15 feet as there would be between say 7 and 10 feet. It's probably something worth asking yourself because it could be one of the biggest factors that informs both your decision and people's advice to you about it in this topic. Understanding how many ftl and or nits you were getting before, and what your target is, and whether there is a number that can be too bright for you or not, would definitely help with that also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
How many foot lamberts and/or nits were you getting with your Christie + Lumagen on the 12' wide screen? Do you think there is such a thing as too bright, or are RP screens much lower gain? Reason I ask is I'm confused about the potential of going from a 25,000 lumen projector on a 12 foot wide screen to a 2,500 lumen projector on a 12 foot wide screen. The RP screen would have to be 0.1 gain, or the new 12 foot wide scope screen would have to be 10 gain, to give comparable brightness.
After calibration we were getting about 150fl or 500 nits on the starglas 0.6 gain screen. It was nowhere near too bright for my taste-- subjective black levels were still stunningly good on mixed brightness content-- and I enjoyed being able to use it like a giant TV with blinds up and lights on. That said, this new space is very different: single purpose, full light control, 'cozy' 8' ceilings, and I'm going for a very different look and feel of "entire wall is screen" as opposed to "screen is one element of a larger space". Old room:
Table Property Furniture Chair Couch


But as for your question, my opinion is not worth much on this question, but I can at least chime in on the easy part of it. At your viewing distance, which screen size do you prefer, 15 feet wide, or 12 feet wide? Depending how far the seating is and whether 15 wide is too big or just right, that could make up a big enough difference, in terms of how cinematic things feel, that it could be as important in the decision as anything else. You might end up deciding "whichever projector gives me the 15 foot wide screen instead of the 12 foot wide screen" rather than deciding based on the non-brightness-related pros and cons of the projector choices themselves. Or it could go the other direction, where maybe you feel at those sizes, there is no longer as big of a difference between 12 and 15 feet as there would be between say 7 and 10 feet. It's probably something worth asking yourself because it could be one of the biggest factors that informs both your decision and people's advice to you about it in this topic. Understanding how many ftl and or nits you were getting before, and what your target is, and whether there is a number that can be too bright for you or not, would definitely help with that also.
Viewing distance is 14.5'. In our previous room we had seating at 11',17', and 21', and while I didn't find 11' back from a 12' screen to be too close, we did do probably 70% of our viewing from the second row sofa. That said it was our primary 'TV' room as well as cinema, whereas this new space will be primarily for movie viewing, On the previous system, when watching movies our seating usage was closer to 70% first row, 30% second row.

I'm most concerned about matching or improving upon image quality for movie viewing, which is where I start to get confused. While the elevated black levels were entirely livable on RP, I wouldn't want to go too much further in the wrong direction. I'm assuming for now that the Starglas was a huge mitigating factor for the black level and contrast limitations of high output DLP, which is why I'm looking at SXRD/DILA for use on an FP acoustically transparent screen. However, if I could get DLP color and sharpness on a 1.3 gain FP without the black level challenges becoming unworkable, it might be worth stepping down to a smaller screen.
 

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After calibration we were getting about 150fl or 500 nits on the starglas 0.6 gain screen. It was nowhere near too bright for my taste-- subjective black levels were still stunningly good on mixed brightness content-- and I enjoyed being able to use it like a giant TV with blinds up and lights on. That said, this new space is very different: single purpose, full light control, 'cozy' 8' ceilings, and I'm going for a very different look and feel of "entire wall is screen" as opposed to "screen is one element of a larger space". Old room:
Did you ever watch that brightness in a total black room with black velvet, or did you always have a little bit of ambient light or reflections?

View attachment 3175330



Viewing distance is 14.5'. In our previous room we had seating at 11',17', and 21', and while I didn't find 11' back from a 12' screen to be too close, we did do probably 70% of our viewing from the second row sofa. That said it was our primary 'TV' room as well as cinema, whereas this new space will be primarily for movie viewing, On the previous system, when watching movies our seating usage was closer to 70% first row, 30% second row.

I'm most concerned about matching or improving upon image quality for movie viewing, which is where I start to get confused. While the elevated black levels were entirely livable on RP, I wouldn't want to go too much further in the wrong direction. I'm assuming for now that the Starglas was a huge mitigating factor for the black level and contrast limitations of high output DLP, which is why I'm looking at SXRD/DILA for use on an FP acoustically transparent screen. However, if I could get DLP color and sharpness on a 1.3 gain FP without the black level challenges becoming unworkable, it might be worth stepping down to a smaller screen.
I dont see black levels getting worse going from a 25,000 lumens DLP projector, even on a 0.6 gain screen, unless you think there was something extra besides the gain that would make it look blacker. The Sony should have much better blacks, while the 2,500 lumens DLP should also have much better black levels even on a 1.3 gain screen, assuming its contrast is equal to the 25,000 lumen DLP more or less. I would be more worried about if you will be getting the image pop you are used to, and the color vibrancy, at 2,500 lumens, even times 1.3 gain (equals 3250 lumens) , compared to 25,000 lumens times 0.6 gain = 15,000 lumens). Even the Sony on a 1.0 gain screen will be 33% less lumens than you're used to, and possibly now on a much bigger screen. But most people don't recommend nearly as much brightness as you are used to, so it depends how much is enough for you.

Bottom line, I don't think you need to worry about getting worse black levels. 15,000 lumens (after adjusted for the screen) with a DLP projector as a starting place is leaving a lot more room for improvement than room for worse black levels. I would decide what size screen you would prefer, and your budget, and what you want to prioritize. You have to factor in the typical pros/cons of lcos vs DLP, and also factor in how much brightness you need, etc. After correcting for screen gain, and without knowing the specifics of the DLP projectors in question, assume that a 15,000 lumen DLP image will have six times worse black levels than a 2,500 lumen DLP image, but also six times more brightness and everything that comes with it. Whereas a 10,000 lumens Sony should also have much better black levels, but retain more of the brightness, but may not have as high ANSI contrast as DLP, and people debate things like the motion, and 3D look of the image, etc. I would try to demo whatever you can before buying. If it's not an option, maybe ask opinions on specific model comparisons to figure out what you would prefer, and also try to get some idea of how much brightness you will and will not be happy with. 25,000 lumens on 0.6 gain vs 2,500 lumens on 1.0 or 1.3 gain is still a massive difference in overall brightness, apples and oranges, so it's very hard to answer without knowing how much brightness you personally will be happy with. But I think if you are used to 25,000 then the textbook answer would be that you will not be happy with 1/10th of that, or 1/5th of that after adjusting for screen gain. But maybe you would be because now you are watching with lights out, I have no idea. Do you have any experience watching 150 nits with the lights out, or only with the lights on? Did it become too bright in a black environment or did you like it? The only way to judge these things is apples to apples.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks so much for the quick response.

Did you ever watch that brightness in a total black room with black velvet, or did you always have a little bit of ambient light or reflections?
Great question, not sure how to answer. We did always have some ambient light in the viewing space, but for image purposes with a dedicated 100%-blacked-out projection room in the rear I think it might qualify as a "total black room". Either way, it was never too bright for my taste. And I do use a 3000-nit HDR mastering monitor on my PC, though I couldn't tell you what its ADL is for normal content.

I dont see black levels getting worse going from a 25,000 lumens DLP projector, even on a 0.6 gain screen, unless you think there was something extra besides the gain that would make it look blacker.
Just the total blackout of the projection space, and the resultant gains for intra-scene contrast that may have made perceived black levels better.

... I would be more worried about if you will be getting the image pop you are used to, and the color vibrancy

... but may not have as high ANSI contrast as DLP, and people debate things like the motion, and 3D look of the image, etc
Excellent points. The "3D look" is one of the subjective elements of image quality that I'm most interested in preserving, and one that even an arguably SotA OLED display like the A90J is disappointing me on. This may be mostly about ANSI contrast, or ANSI + nits, or perhaps the Lumagen processing that I don't have on the panel.
 

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Thanks so much for the quick response.


Great question, not sure how to answer. We did always have some ambient light in the viewing space, but for image purposes with a dedicated 100%-blacked-out projection room in the rear I think it might qualify as a "total black room". Either way, it was never too bright for my taste. And I do use a 3000-nit HDR mastering monitor on my PC, though I couldn't tell you what its ADL is for normal content.


Just the total blackout of the projection space, and the resultant gains for intra-scene contrast that may have made perceived black levels better.


Excellent points. The "3D look" is one of the subjective elements of image quality that I'm most interested in preserving, and one that even an arguably SotA OLED display like the A90J is disappointing me on. This may be mostly about ANSI contrast, or ANSI + nits, or perhaps the Lumagen processing that I don't have on the panel.
I think OLED actually has very high ANSI, but Im not sure. And this particular Sony model may actually have DLP-like ANSI as well, at least I just saw one comment that said that, I think. Besides that, I think you have a lot of options. I don't know anything more to add, but see what criteria you can narrow down as you go along in this process, as well as what others have to say in here, and then a clear choice might emerge. Even with criteria more narrowed down, knowledge of these high lumen PJs are not my forte because I have a small screen and HT room, and I haven't shopped in this price range either, but I did see that this is a new promising model coming out that might be a good option. Christie M 4K25 AUAV Solution RGB Laser Projector &amp.... I think you would want the HC lens. I would match rgb laser with a dreamscreen, which also happens to be one of the best acoustically transparent screens, so if you wanted to put your center speaker behind the screen, it would allow that also. Dreamscreen is not perforated, it is just naturally micro weave or something like that which works great for acoustic transparency. I believe it's gain is about 0.9 or 0.85 or something like that.

That Christie projector is not native 4K though, it's "precision 4-way pixel shifted," and I don't know anything about that. But native 4K DLP is hard to find. Pixel shifted 4K DLP might be sharper than native 4K lcos because DLP has a natural sharpness advantage. But I have no experience with pixel shifting DLP, or lcos, so I cant help much there. Just letting you know about this model. Maybe also look into Barco residential DLP projectors. If you can find a dealer to give you a big discount on the Griffin, especially one modded to improve contrast, that would probably make the decision for you, but I dont know how much more expensive that would be vs a Sony.

You just have to determine how much brightness you need, at least the "minimum" you would be happy with. A lot of these laser ones have the ability to dim the lasers in various increments so if you have too much brightness, you can dim it down, but if you don't have enough, then there is nothing you can do. And ND filters can accomplish the same goal. So you need to determine how much brightness you want, and what your budget is, and then determine the best projector in your budget that has that amount of brightness. Also make sure it's not too big or loud for your placement, which is another important detail. And make sure it has lens shift or whatever if you need it, etc.

I don't think there are like hundreds of choices in this price range and brightness range. I think once you nail down your full criteria, there will only be a few choices left standing, and it will be a lot easier to choose.
 

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Thanks so much for the quick response.


Great question, not sure how to answer. We did always have some ambient light in the viewing space, but for image purposes with a dedicated 100%-blacked-out projection room in the rear I think it might qualify as a "total black room". Either way, it was never too bright for my taste. And I do use a 3000-nit HDR mastering monitor on my PC, though I couldn't tell you what its ADL is for normal content.


Just the total blackout of the projection space, and the resultant gains for intra-scene contrast that may have made perceived black levels better.


Excellent points. The "3D look" is one of the subjective elements of image quality that I'm most interested in preserving, and one that even an arguably SotA OLED display like the A90J is disappointing me on. This may be mostly about ANSI contrast, or ANSI + nits, or perhaps the Lumagen processing that I don't have on the panel.
OLED's ANSI and ADL contrast is essentially infinite (>1M:1), the very best DLP projectors are only 1K:1 so that can't be it.

Sounds like the new Christie M4K25-RGB is what you should be considering, given your preference for the DLP look.

 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
. . . but I did see that this is a new promising model coming out that might be a good option. Christie M 4K25 AUAV Solution RGB Laser Projector &amp....

That Christie projector is not native 4K though, it's "precision 4-way pixel shifted," and I don't know anything about that.
Thanks for the thoughtful and detailed response, Technology3456. The Christie Mirage or Griffyn may indeed be the best solution for me. I was originally limiting my options to the Sony 380 or the Barco Bragi due to size and noise considerations, but now having realized that I can remove the ceiling drywall to access an additional 16" of height between the trusses for pj placement and hush box construction, we have many more options.
 

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Thanks for the thoughtful and detailed response, Technology3456. The Christie Mirage or Griffyn may indeed be the best solution for me. I was originally limiting my options to the Sony 380 or the Barco Bragi due to size and noise considerations, but now having realized that I can remove the ceiling drywall to access an additional 16" of height between the trusses for pj placement and hush box construction, we have many more options.
No problem at all! And hey I figured it's too expensive to mention, but just on the off chance you have 300 grand or whatever it costs to spend on a projector right now, the choice would become very easy: the Christie Eclipse. Short of that, probably the Griffin or the Mirage are the best options, although Im not familiar with the Bragi. In when comparing these high end DLP projectors to the Sony, the consensus seems to be that the DLP's are better projectors with a bit worse black level, and the Sony has a bit better black level but it's not as good otherwise. But probably all three should have better black level than you're used to with your last set up.

The reason I mention the Eclipse because it's the one model out there people talk about that has the best of everything with zero tradeoffs. It's DLP but with better black level than the Sony etc.
 

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I think the OP said this is a temporary room while he awaits an Eclipse for new room, unless I misread his first post/
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
No problem at all! And hey I figured it's too expensive to mention, but just on the off chance you have 300 grand or whatever it costs to spend on a projector right now, the choice would become very easy: the Christie Eclipse. Short of that, probably the Griffin or the Mirage are the best options, although Im not familiar with the Bragi. In when comparing these high end DLP projectors to the Sony, the consensus seems to be that the DLP's are better projectors with a bit worse black level, and the Sony has a bit better black level but it's not as good otherwise. But probably all three should have better black level than you're used to with your last set up.

The reason I mention the Eclipse because it's the one model out there people talk about that has the best of everything with zero tradeoffs. It's DLP but with better black level than the Sony etc.
Yes, the Eclipse is very much in the plan for the 'big room' build, but this interim room is too constrained to accommodate such a large PJ, or, perhaps more importantly, an audio system to match the Eclipse. The 380 or Mirage should be a good match for the Steinway-Lyngdorf Model M system we're relocating from our former second home in terms of being a good but not ultimate quality solution.
 

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This is an interesting string and if I may, I'll offer a couple new thoughts.
1st my biases; I'm a DLP guy, sold Runco for over 20 years, then Christie, and now Barco. I'm a sales agent, and do tech training, system design and on site setups. I will be doing a special training at the CEDIA Tech Summits this Q4 on how to achieve a reference HDR experience using premium projection, on behalf of Barco and madVR Envy processing tools. To me, getting HDR right is the most exciting aspect of any reference grade home cinema today.

Your 12' screen option is perfect for the Bragi CS 5K cinemascope projector, which will hit Dolby Cinema light levels on a StudioTek 130 surface at that size. Profiles can be set up for all HDR mastering levels to render the full dynamic range of the HDR content, or you can add the Envy to do it automatically, tweaking the PQ value to match cinema's in theater APLs for mid tone brightness, and tracking to peak white at just under clip. That automatically, by virtue of the PQ curve, makes the bottom black level and detail match the in-cinema levels and therefore the director's intent.

When you hit that 30 to 35fL level, your bottom end goes to about .003fL with these projectors, the specified level for mastering review rooms. It's a killer experience to see color gamut, and DR that matches what you see in a Dolby Cinema. I just watched Shang-Chi at the Burbank DC theater and again at the IMAX across the hall. It's stunning and beyond anything you'll see on a TV, but you can match it in your theater. I was in Burbank to see Global Wave Integration to fine tune their Barco Njord and Envy which they happen to have in an RP setup with a 15' wide Stewart 0.7 diffusion screen, and it looks stunning. Their space is a bit lifestyle like, and supports the 50fL light levels it's set up for. If you're in SoCal, it's worth checking out.

I'm a big proponent of a cinematic viewing geometry where seating is from 1.5 to 3.0 screen heights back or so. That 15 or 16' wide scope screen would get you closer to that viewing geometry target. In that size, you'd want to go to the Loki CS, or for absolute reference, the Freya, which is RGB laser DCI 4K and hit's rec 2020 color. The former is another 5K scope format machine, the latter is 4K where'd you run a scope screen at 1600 x 3840 with electronic aspect ratio control. If you're looking for a 100 to 150fL light level, you might consider microLED. which can do that and several times more. A Planar at 0.9mm dot pitch yields a 2160 x 5120 panel at 7' x 16'. A perfect scope format. It will cost you though. If measured in Njords, or 380's, it's about 5X.

Finally, black level and contrast is often mis-characterized, by dwelling on sequential black. DLP's are now hitting 5,000:1 of more, and dynamic contrast by virtue of iris or light engine microsecond manipulation, gets the interframe black to zero if you want it. The contrast that impacts movie content most begins with the ANSI value, where DLPs beat LCoS by a factor of 3 or greater these days, and then moves on to what cinema engineers refer to as 'small area' and finally adjacent pixel contrast. DLP gets dramatically superior as you step closer to pixel level, which is why their sharpness is so superior when the optics are up to the task. DLP is also a permanent technology in that the imager, the DMD itself does not degrade over time. Other tech will yellow, at a rate directly related to the amount of light hitting the much smaller chips typically, vs DLP. Sony left cinema projection a year and a half ago in part due to the issues their tech has compared to DLP, which is now the exclusive technology of cinema exhibition. I'd take a very close look up and down the Barco line, before considering a technology where white field purity, luminance uniformity and other performance parameters are lagging DLP, and degrade from there over time.

I'm sure there are advocates for high end DLP on the AVSForum so I'm not saying anything new I expect. I haven't spent as much time here as I did in the Runco years, but I'm always impressed by the technical level many on the forum demonstrate in their comments. It's a good place to learn.
Cheers,

John Bishop - b/a/s/ bishop architectural-entertainment services
 

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This is an interesting string and if I may, I'll offer a couple new thoughts.
1st my biases; I'm a DLP guy, sold Runco for over 20 years, then Christie, and now Barco. I'm a sales agent, and do tech training, system design and on site setups. I will be doing a special training at the CEDIA Tech Summits this Q4 on how to achieve a reference HDR experience using premium projection, on behalf of Barco and madVR Envy processing tools. To me, getting HDR right is the most exciting aspect of any reference grade home cinema today.

Your 12' screen option is perfect for the Bragi CS 5K cinemascope projector, which will hit Dolby Cinema light levels on a StudioTek 130 surface at that size. Profiles can be set up for all HDR mastering levels to render the full dynamic range of the HDR content, or you can add the Envy to do it automatically, tweaking the PQ value to match cinema's in theater APLs for mid tone brightness, and tracking to peak white at just under clip. That automatically, by virtue of the PQ curve, makes the bottom black level and detail match the in-cinema levels and therefore the director's intent.

When you hit that 30 to 35fL level, your bottom end goes to about .003fL with these projectors, the specified level for mastering review rooms. It's a killer experience to see color gamut, and DR that matches what you see in a Dolby Cinema. I just watched Shang-Chi at the Burbank DC theater and again at the IMAX across the hall. It's stunning and beyond anything you'll see on a TV, but you can match it in your theater. I was in Burbank to see Global Wave Integration to fine tune their Barco Njord and Envy which they happen to have in an RP setup with a 15' wide Stewart 0.7 diffusion screen, and it looks stunning. Their space is a bit lifestyle like, and supports the 50fL light levels it's set up for. If you're in SoCal, it's worth checking out.

I'm a big proponent of a cinematic viewing geometry where seating is from 1.5 to 3.0 screen heights back or so. That 15 or 16' wide scope screen would get you closer to that viewing geometry target. In that size, you'd want to go to the Loki CS, or for absolute reference, the Freya, which is RGB laser DCI 4K and hit's rec 2020 color. The former is another 5K scope format machine, the latter is 4K where'd you run a scope screen at 1600 x 3840 with electronic aspect ratio control. If you're looking for a 100 to 150fL light level, you might consider microLED. which can do that and several times more. A Planar at 0.9mm dot pitch yields a 2160 x 5120 panel at 7' x 16'. A perfect scope format. It will cost you though. If measured in Njords, or 380's, it's about 5X.

Finally, black level and contrast is often mis-characterized, by dwelling on sequential black. DLP's are now hitting 5,000:1 of more, and dynamic contrast by virtue of iris or light engine microsecond manipulation, gets the interframe black to zero if you want it. The contrast that impacts movie content most begins with the ANSI value, where DLPs beat LCoS by a factor of 3 or greater these days, and then moves on to what cinema engineers refer to as 'small area' and finally adjacent pixel contrast. DLP gets dramatically superior as you step closer to pixel level, which is why their sharpness is so superior when the optics are up to the task. DLP is also a permanent technology in that the imager, the DMD itself does not degrade over time. Other tech will yellow, at a rate directly related to the amount of light hitting the much smaller chips typically, vs DLP. Sony left cinema projection a year and a half ago in part due to the issues their tech has compared to DLP, which is now the exclusive technology of cinema exhibition. I'd take a very close look up and down the Barco line, before considering a technology where white field purity, luminance uniformity and other performance parameters are lagging DLP, and degrade from there over time.

I'm sure there are advocates for high end DLP on the AVSForum so I'm not saying anything new I expect. I haven't spent as much time here as I did in the Runco years, but I'm always impressed by the technical level many on the forum demonstrate in their comments. It's a good place to learn.
Cheers,

John Bishop - b/a/s/ bishop architectural-entertainment services
Hi John,
Nice write up. While you are here, could you point us where to find more real technical "science" info about the Barco Cinemascope units? I am interested in how for example the Bragi CS and Balder CS does the specified resolution of "5,120 x 2,160 (5K UHD)". I have had a ticket in the Barco eSupport for a few months, but they told me straight up that they don't know how the resolution spec is made up and the more technical guys did not answer the e-mail they sent and cc'd me. Been a silent couple months already, so don't think I get an answer from there. I am sure that the CS models use a pixel shifting, XPR, for sure, maybe even a 4-way and then the picture is cropped for the cinemascope. But is it really 4-way or 2-way? Some older spec sheets had a XPR written in it, the newer ones don't have even that anymore. Would just be nice to be able to read real specs instead of taking guesses. There should be nothing to be ashamed for.
 

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Finally, black level and contrast is often mis-characterized, by dwelling on sequential black.
That's a rather vague statement so may well be true depending on what exactly you mean by mischaracterized.

In any case, sequential black is extremely important for very low ADL scenes, which are hardly rare and abound in many genres.
 

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Finally, black level and contrast is often mis-characterized, by dwelling on sequential black. DLP's are now hitting 5,000:1 of more, and dynamic contrast by virtue of iris or light engine microsecond manipulation, gets the interframe black to zero if you want it. The contrast that impacts movie content most begins with the ANSI value, where DLPs beat LCoS by a factor of 3 or greater these days, and then moves on to what cinema engineers refer to as 'small area' and finally adjacent pixel contrast. DLP gets dramatically superior as you step closer to pixel level, which is why their sharpness is so superior when the optics are up to the task.
Does Barco make some units with that high sequential contrast? I checked the Bragi, Loki and Freya you recommended, and those are specced 1,800:1 and 2,400:1. That is pretty low. Do these have dynamic contrast to help or which models you are referring to? I didn't see any mention of such feature in the specs.

DLP's have great ANSI but we need good sequential too. Sequential is important number since it defines the lowest black level the projector can do. Of course the whole range of contrast between those two points is important, but the low range seens to matter the most.
 

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When you hit that 30 to 35fL level, your bottom end goes to about .003fL with these projectors, the specified level for mastering review rooms. It's a killer experience to see color gamut, and DR that matches what you see in a Dolby Cinema.
Sorry for nit picking the numbers, but this is a science forum after all. That black level would require a 10,000-12,000:1 sequential contrast to happen. None of the Barcos you recommended does that.

The Barcos also does not come even close to matching Dolby Cinema Dynamic Range(unless the DC lights are on), you need a Christie Eclipse for that.
 

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Sorry for nit picking the numbers, but this is a science forum after all. That black level would require a 10,000-12,000:1 sequential contrast to happen. None of the Barcos you recommended does that.
@jbishop I had the same question. Maybe too many zeros in the ".003" referenced??
 

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This is an interesting string and if I may, I'll offer a couple new thoughts.
1st my biases; I'm a DLP guy, sold Runco for over 20 years, then Christie, and now Barco. I'm a sales agent, and do tech training, system design and on site setups. I will be doing a special training at the CEDIA Tech Summits this Q4 on how to achieve a reference HDR experience using premium projection, on behalf of Barco and madVR Envy processing tools. To me, getting HDR right is the most exciting aspect of any reference grade home cinema today.

Your 12' screen option is perfect for the Bragi CS 5K cinemascope projector, which will hit Dolby Cinema light levels on a StudioTek 130 surface at that size. Profiles can be set up for all HDR mastering levels to render the full dynamic range of the HDR content, or you can add the Envy to do it automatically, tweaking the PQ value to match cinema's in theater APLs for mid tone brightness, and tracking to peak white at just under clip. That automatically, by virtue of the PQ curve, makes the bottom black level and detail match the in-cinema levels and therefore the director's intent.

When you hit that 30 to 35fL level, your bottom end goes to about .003fL with these projectors, the specified level for mastering review rooms. It's a killer experience to see color gamut, and DR that matches what you see in a Dolby Cinema. I just watched Shang-Chi at the Burbank DC theater and again at the IMAX across the hall. It's stunning and beyond anything you'll see on a TV, but you can match it in your theater. I was in Burbank to see Global Wave Integration to fine tune their Barco Njord and Envy which they happen to have in an RP setup with a 15' wide Stewart 0.7 diffusion screen, and it looks stunning. Their space is a bit lifestyle like, and supports the 50fL light levels it's set up for. If you're in SoCal, it's worth checking out.

I'm a big proponent of a cinematic viewing geometry where seating is from 1.5 to 3.0 screen heights back or so. That 15 or 16' wide scope screen would get you closer to that viewing geometry target. In that size, you'd want to go to the Loki CS, or for absolute reference, the Freya, which is RGB laser DCI 4K and hit's rec 2020 color. The former is another 5K scope format machine, the latter is 4K where'd you run a scope screen at 1600 x 3840 with electronic aspect ratio control. If you're looking for a 100 to 150fL light level, you might consider microLED. which can do that and several times more. A Planar at 0.9mm dot pitch yields a 2160 x 5120 panel at 7' x 16'. A perfect scope format. It will cost you though. If measured in Njords, or 380's, it's about 5X.

Finally, black level and contrast is often mis-characterized, by dwelling on sequential black. DLP's are now hitting 5,000:1 of more, and dynamic contrast by virtue of iris or light engine microsecond manipulation, gets the interframe black to zero if you want it. The contrast that impacts movie content most begins with the ANSI value, where DLPs beat LCoS by a factor of 3 or greater these days, and then moves on to what cinema engineers refer to as 'small area' and finally adjacent pixel contrast. DLP gets dramatically superior as you step closer to pixel level, which is why their sharpness is so superior when the optics are up to the task. DLP is also a permanent technology in that the imager, the DMD itself does not degrade over time. Other tech will yellow, at a rate directly related to the amount of light hitting the much smaller chips typically, vs DLP. Sony left cinema projection a year and a half ago in part due to the issues their tech has compared to DLP, which is now the exclusive technology of cinema exhibition. I'd take a very close look up and down the Barco line, before considering a technology where white field purity, luminance uniformity and other performance parameters are lagging DLP, and degrade from there over time.

I'm sure there are advocates for high end DLP on the AVSForum so I'm not saying anything new I expect. I haven't spent as much time here as I did in the Runco years, but I'm always impressed by the technical level many on the forum demonstrate in their comments. It's a good place to learn.
Cheers,

John Bishop - b/a/s/ bishop architectural-entertainment services
I agree with you regarding DLP versus LCOS. However, I disagree with your proposed choices of projectors. Quite simply there are much better options than these, and much better choices given the circumstances and clear preferences of @pmrogers. Wherein, it needs to be considered that firstly he finds the color performance of the Sony A90 OLED TV to be unsatisfactory, which basically means that he wants and needs something with the highest possible Color Volume, namely full BT.2020 color gamut coverage with high image luminance. Secondly, he wants and needs decent contrast performance, and in particular a step up as compared with his current Christie DLP projector, which has circa 2,000:1 ON/OFF contrast.

Your numbers are off, and what you say regarding these Barco projectors is incorrect. The Christie Dolby Cinema projector measures circa 1,000,000:1 native ON/OFF contrast in an optimized environment. Dolby Cinemas of course have environmental light and are not fully optimized; wherein, ON/OFF contrast measures circa 25,000 - 30,000:1. Regarding which, you won't be achieving this level of ON/OFF contrast performance with high lumens with any DLP projector, except for the Christie Eclipse, which in fact measures over 20 MILLION:1 native ON/OFF contrast.

You have recommended the Barco Bragi CS, Barco Loki CS, and Barco Freya.

In order to achieve 35fL white level with a black level of only 0.003fL the projector needs to achieve 11,667:1 ON/OFF contrast. However, none of these Barco projectors comes even close to achieving this. The Barco Bragi and Barco Loki both have a paltry 1,800:1 ON/OFF contrast. The black floors are abysmal.

Your statement that "The contrast that impacts movie content most begins with the ANSI value" is wholly factually incorrect. Please kindly read my published article titled "Beyond ON/OFF and ANSI - The Importance Of Full Range Contrast Measurements" which is self-explanatory. In short, ALL of the range is important. Specifically, it is the range 0% ADL (= ON/OFF) - 20% ADL which is by far the most important range. ANSI itself is irrelevant to 99.5% of movie content. Where ANSI is relevant is in describing the performance of black pixels immediately adjacent to white pixels, however, it is the measured particular ADL contrast performance which describes the intraframe contrast and dynamic range. 0% - 1% ADL contrast performance is extremely important and will dictate the performance of very dark scenes. Nothing destroys immersion and takes you right out of the movie than being accosted by a sea of gray whenever very low ADL content comes on screen. Wherein, 1,800:1 - 5,000:1 ON/OFF contrast is woefully insufficent in this regard. The ANSI contrast performance of both the Barco Bragi CS and Barco Loki CS is comparatively poor as well, being only circa 450:1, which is pretty lousy for DLP. Seriously, I have measured Sony SXRD LCOS projectors with 450:1 ANSI contrast. Hence, both of these projectors have very low ON/OFF contrast and comparatively low ANSI. The full range contrast measurements are very poor indeed.

Furthermore, both the Barco Bragi CS and Barco Loki CS are Single-Chip DLP, meaning that they are afflicted with Rainbow Effect (RBE) artifacts. Both are singular blue laser through yellow phosphor light engines and achieve only DCI-P3 color gamut coverage, which both projectors need a color filter to achieve, which reduces light output accordingly. The Bragi CS has only 2,200 lumens peak light output. Calibration and color filter significantly reduce this. Therefore, it is far too low usable light output for this particular situation. The Loki CS has slightly better light output being 7,800 lumens, reduced to circa 5,000 lumens usable calibrated light output using the color filter for DCI-P3 color gamut coverage. Not really sufficient light output all things considered. Using a higher gain screen in conjunction with projectors with limited ON/OFF contrast is ill-advised because whilst this will boost the white level it will raise the black floor. In order to achieve decent perceived black levels it is recommended to use a negative gain screen, with a gain of 0.8 or 0.7, with decent amount of light output, wherein 5,000 lumens is insufficient.

Additionally, the client wants decent color performance; specifically color better than the Sony A90 OLED, hence needs full BT.2020 color gamut coverage, and DCI-P3 (= only 67% of BT.2020) isn't good enough. The Barco Freya has better color performance, being RGB laser, with 7500 lumens max light output, however this has bad laser speckle and is only 2,400:1 ON/OFF contrast.

In short, none of these Barco projectors will give the client the video performance he desires and deserves. And there are much better options which will.
 

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