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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just thought some might be interested to know my following observations (subjective of course)...


Background: I am a long time CRT front projection owner (I currently own a NEC XG1352), who added an InFocus X1 about 2 years ago as a RPTV replacement for my 4:3 TV viewing. Note that I have also side-by-side compared LCD and have ruled this out due to panel convergence, lack of black level, and most significantly FPN issues. I have recently upgraded my X1 to an NEC HT1100 DLP. So I now have NEC big brother CRT and little brother DLP hanging from my ceiling! :)


The night before last I watched "Vertical Limit" 1080i D-VHS on my new HT1100 DLP, and was extremely happy with the nice sharp image, black detail, and colours etc. (noticably sharper than my DVD version on the HT1100). I only watched this movie on the HT1100 as I was using the HTPC for DVD writing, so I thought I would watch a movie via JVC D-VHS 1080i component connection to the HT1100. I also watched "Nature in Motion" 1080i D-VHS to see how that looked on the HT1100 (that looked really good too!). NB: My zoomed up 16:9 HT1100 image is around 96" diag I believe.


This made me think that if I hadn't purchased my XG1352 CRT projector 18 months ago, I probably would have been more than happy with a good high CR 720p DLP these days for all of my viewing needs (eg: like the Sharp 12K, or the new Optoma H77), which would give me even more resolution for HD than the HT1100 does (ie: an even sharper and more detailed image that the HT1100). With the added bonus of perfect convergence ALL the time! ;)


Then, last night I watched "The Passion of the Christ" D-Theater on the XG1352 CRT, and thoroughly enjoyed the image on my 119" full 16:9 screen size (aside from wanting to tweak the convergence at the begining and midway through the movie - just cause I can on the CRT, and it had slipped half a pixel ;).


For a comparison, I then rewound the tape a bit and played some of the movie again, on the HT1100 DLP. Although on it's own merits, the DLP image was nice and sharp, and certainly very watchable, this little exercise did remind me of the benefits of CRT.


After viewing the movie on the CRT, then viewing on the HT1100, the DLP image was by comparison a little less detailed (as of course expected due to only 1024x576 16:9 resolution), but also significantly less pleasing on the eye.


It is hard to describe this, other than to say that the image appeared harsher on the eye than the CRT (although the colours were indeed very good), and there was also a *very* noticable difference in the sharpness of objects during motion (eg: when peoples faces moved).


On the DLP it appeared that when there was motion, the moving image was significantly softer than when viewing on the CRT. On the DLP, static (still) images are very sharp, but images in motion become visually very soft and blurry (relative to the CRT), and therefore are more distracting to watch.


On the CRT the HD sharpness is very good (better than the HT1100 due to it's resolution, but maybe? not quite as good perhaps as on a 720p DLP).

But, the sharpness on the CRT is combined with a CRT smoothness of image that takes away any harsh edges etc.


However, the real improvement on the CRT was the significantly improved sharpness and smoothness of images in motion. eg: Most noticable was the sharpness and smoothness of peoples faces as they moved on the CRT, compared to on the DLP going from nice and sharp while still, to soft and a little blurry as they moved. I think this was a big contributer to making the DLP a more harsher viewing experience.


The bottom line...


For anyone (even with a good CRT), the latest higher CR DLP's offer a nice, sharp, and detailed image, which really would please pretty much any viewer (as I noted from my Wednesday night viewing experience, and I'm a long time CRT guy!).


However, when directly compared with a good higher end CRT, digital DLP display technology is still lacking in it's ability to produce an image as smooth (particularly in it's rendition of motion), and therefore as visually pleasing as a good CRT.


Damn... looks like I'll still be converging and tweaking these CRT monsters for a little while yet!


PS: I'm still extremely happy with my HT1100 purchase for it's intended purpose of 4:3 aspect TV and DVD viewing, and occasional widescreen viewing (it's certainly produces a very nice image and is a good logical upgrade from the X1 for my purposes!), but the XG1352 CRT remains as my much prefered viewing experience for HD content and general widescreen movie viewing.


Greg
 

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Your review pretty much sums up how I and others 'see' it. Digital can be pretty darn good, is getting better each generation, and has a few modern creature comforts to boot. It's only when you start comparing it to a well set up CRT it's shortcomings bleed through. You have a lot of company.


I can't endorse CRT forever as some here do...but at least for another few years. For now, "Above every accomplished videophile is a well tweaked CRT". (Two in Art's case)
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by KoolKiwi



For a comparison, I then rewound the tape a bit and played some of the movie again..


Greg
Say it isn't so!


Imagine what will happen when Greg discovers DVD....:p


Curt
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by KoolKiwi



PS: I'm still extremely happy with my HT1100 purchase for it's intended purpose of 4:3 aspect TV and DVD viewing, and occasional widescreen viewing (it's certainly produces a very nice image and is a good logical upgrade from the X1 for my purposes!), but the XG1352 CRT remains as my much prefered viewing experience for HD content and general widescreen movie viewing.


Greg
You could also use that HT1100 as a space heater, then you'll really get your money's worth out of it.


:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by Curt Palme
Say it isn't so!


Imagine what will happen when Greg discovers DVD....:p
Hi Curt,


Note that "tape" was not a typo, just the unfortunate reality that D-VHS / D-Theater remains the only source for high quality pre-recorded HD content!


So I wish I could say it isn't so, but until BluRay arrives...


Greg
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by mp20748
You could also use that HT1100 as a space heater, then you'll really get your money's worth out of it.


:D
Now now Mike, settle down. ;)


Although I am a confirmed CRT worshipper, DLP does have it's important uses for CRT owners...


a. Allowing me to preserve my CRT phosphor for the real stuff (ie: not wasting the CRT for SD 4:3 TV viewing)!


b. Allowing me to web browse and do other PC Desktop stuff (and for Gaming use etc.), without the worry of CRT burn'in.

ie: Ain't no static PC desktop images or XBox going near my XG1352 CRT!


Greg
 

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Greg,


What's your viewing distance when shooting the HT1100 to your 96" diagonal screen? The lack of smoothness (when your eyes are detecting a pixelated image) and the visibility of the dithering during panning, starts to kick in when the picture you're making is larger than 1.8x (a closer viewing distance than 1.8 times the screen width). 96" diagonal is just shy of 80" wide. The 1024 DLP is not an option if you're going to sit closer than about 140" from your screen. It's just a fact of life. Not enough pixels to go larger.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by RobertWood
What's your viewing distance when shooting the HT1100 to your 96" diagonal screen? The lack of smoothness (when your eyes are detecting a pixelated image) and the visibility of the dithering during panning, starts to kick in when the picture you're making is larger than 1.8x (a closer viewing distance than 1.8 times the screen width). 96" diagonal is just shy of 80" wide. The 1024 DLP is not an option if you're going to sit closer than about 140" from your screen. It's just a fact of life. Not enough pixels to go larger.
Your observation is correct about viewing distance with a digital projector. Personally I believe no closer than 2x generally should apply for an XGA DLP projector.


My seating position with the HT1100 zoomed up for the 16:9 image was actually just under 2x screen widths (probably closer to 1.9x). From this distance the pixels were still not visible to me (otherwise I wouldn't have zoomed it up). I believe the difference I was seeing in motion sharpness (relative to the CRT), was not related to viewing distance.


Interestingly, with my previous X1 DLP I only used a ~67" diagonal image which I viewed from about 2.5x distance (approx.). The only reason my HT1100 image is larger is actually due to the restricted mounting position (out of the line of the CRT throw), otherwise I would have stuck to something smaller. Therefore my HT1100 4:3 image (not zoomed) is about 80" diagonal at a guess, so I am usually watching this at somewhere just over 2x distance.


NB: My CRT is viewed on a 119" 16:9 screen at about 1.3x distance.


Greg
 

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I think what you're describing as a lack of "motion sharpness" is the dithering effect. Yes, unfortunately, that can still be visible at an even greater viewing distance.

It all becomes less visible as pixel density increases. And because of what you're experiencing, 1024 DLP has undesireable limitations for many.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Woops, just corrected a typo, I meant to say... "was not related to viewing distance".


Robert, yes I agree that it may very well be the DLP dithering effect I am seeing. This would seem to be the most likely explanation. Unfortunately, I haven't had the opportunity to compare to a 7 or 8 segment HD2+ DLP, to see if the issue improves significantly. It would certainly be interesting to see if this was the case.


It is interesting though that these types of digital projection issues only seem to be noticed by those of us with CRT experience. Even I didn't really appreciate this issue fully until after I had first watched a movie on my CRT, then tried to immediately view on the DLP for comparison.


It is likely that for many non-CRT users, an issue like this motion DLP dithering, may not even be noticed.


Greg
 

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Somewhere on this AVS forum I was reading and a guy denotes the saying: "once you've seen the black, you can never go back" (caught a chuckle off it), but I find it to be very true to date.


My old faithful 1272 still does better than any of my friend's DLPs. I don't really have an LCD to compare to, but if they don't represent blacks well, then well, I don't know if I could live with that type either since I've seen how good it can be. DLPs are good for businessmen who give presentations I guess because of their portability, and their small size, and that also ads to their WAF rating (Wife Acceptance Factor) for the home theater buffs, so they do have their place in this world. The other cool thing about all these digital projectors floodin the market is that since the marketers have done an excellent job at moving product, it's caused the CRT prices to come way down to fit into my bracket of 'affordable luxuries'
 

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I think that the HD2 (e.g Marantz S2) does produce a really nice image.

The reason for going CRT was to have that kind of image (and in some instances even better image) without paying $13k.


I'll be going to a "digital" shoot out next weekend to see how things have progressed since the last time.

I hope I can keep an open mind but there are a couple of things I expect to see. E.g. blue :confused: blacks on the small Sony PJ's.
 

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How evident is motion dithering on 3-chip dlp vs single chip dlp.

It will be interesting to see what high contrast lcos can do in the future.

How small can artifacts be with pwm style of rendering pictures.
 
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