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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been a Home Theater enthusiast for several years now, and although my name may not seem too familiar here...I participated quite a bit here and on The Big Picture forums 18 months ago when I purchased my Sanyo PLV 60. My screen is a 100" (diagonal) GreyHawk 16:9. I have tweaked and re-tweaked my Sanyo...even purchasing the "Lens Filter Sandwich" from SMART products. In my opinion I have pretty much optimized the performance of my PLV-60, and I am quite happy with the result. The current picture I have with my PLV-60 is very good, but still not quite up there with a good 9" CRT projector.


A friend of mine recently took delivery of a new InFocus X1 and we decided to set it up in my HT room and do some comparisons versus my PLV 60 on my GreyHawk screen. Here are the results of our first comparison:


First of all let me start by saying I have viewed just about every type of projector imaginable from the reference Holosonic Theater at Widescreen, to displays at local trade shows. Although I feel I have a good frame of reference, I have never actually set up and calibrated a DLP.


After we set up and aligned the X1, we took out AVIA to get to work on the calibration. Contrast and brightness were quick and easy, but color and hue (tint) were a different story altogether. After setting up several CRTs and my PLV 60 I was surprised on how different the colors on the "Blue Bars" pattern were from what I was accustomed to. I had always heard about color accuracy being one of the pitfalls of DLP and this was my first introduction to this phenomenon. We dialed in the picture settings to where they should be and the colors still were a bit off. No matter how much we tweaked we couldn't get them to look right. We used both the Warm and Cool settings and settled on Warm in the end. We finally agreed that we weren't going to be able to get all the colors where we wanted them to be and got them as close as we could with AVIA and went on to view some video. On a side note...the biggest and most noticeable color problems were with Yellow, Green and Cyan.


We first viewed Lord of The Rings and then Monsters Inc. Using an A/B comparison and found that the picture on the X1 was indeed, very good. When we would switch over to my PLV-60, especially during the bright colorful scenes in the Shire, the difference in color fidelity and depth were very noticeable with the advantage going to the PLV-60. However, during the darker scenes the differences, while still noticeable, weren't nearly as dramatic. The contrast and the blacks were a little better on the PLV-60, but remember my PLV-60 has been tweaked for months and has 2 lens filters added on.


Screen door was not noticeable on either projector from our viewing distance of 13'. However, both projectors were NOT set up on perfect pixel focus. We went down a couple of notches from perfect pixel focus to focus on words and scenes. I don't call this defocusing, because we lost no resolution, we just slightly took the edge off of the pixels borders. If both projectors were at perfect pixel focus then screen door was slightly noticeable on both from 13'. Why you would focus in this manner is beyond me...since you can lose the screen door without losing ANY resolution with just a slight adjustment.


Projector noise was quieter on the X1 by about 5 db and the noise was not bothersome or distracting.


Light spill from the X1 was evident above and below the screen since the projector was a 4:3 and we were shoing 16:9 material on a 16:9 screen.


Neither of us noticed any rainbows during our testing.


The X1 also has a good amount of light leakage from the front fan vents. I would find a way to block or fix this (which wouldn't be to hard to do) if I was buying this projector.


In my opinion one of the true tests of a good disaplay or projector is how well it pulls you into the picture. Well, the X1 pulled us into the film quite well. Several times I found myself watching the movie and not reviewing the projector. The overall picture of the X1 was VERY VERY good, especially when you consider the price. Had we not had my PLV-60 projector to compare it to, we would have had a hard time faulting this baby.


The X1 is a good projector and it will give many people the ability to enjoy a 100 inch "good quality" picture who never thought they could afford such a luxury. Is it worth the extra money to get the PLV-60. Well, compared as they were, I would say yes, but there are probably going to be some tweaks for the X1 to make it even better and that could change the whole ballgame. If you have $3000 or less to spend on a projector, and you don't mind that it is a 4:3 projector, then there is no doubt that the X1 should be on your list. We were both impressed with the performance from this mighty mite.
 

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Don't wanna give you an ego trip or anything, but after a few weeks of research I just put in my order for an X1 after reading your review :) Can't wait to take this baby home.
 

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Quote:
However, both projectors were NOT set up on perfect pixel focus. We went down a couple of notches from perfect pixel focus to focus on words and scenes. I don't call this defocusing, because we lost no resolution, we just slightly took the edge off of the pixels borders. If both projectors were at perfect pixel focus then screen door was slightly noticeable on both from 13'. Why you would focus in this manner is beyond me...since you can lose the screen door without losing ANY resolution with just a slight adjustment.
EXACTLY. That is why it somewhat annoys me when people go on about defocussing being "bad" and how it makes the image lose detail. BS.


I too don't like to refer to it as defocussing but I do here becuase that is how everyone has come to know adjusting the focus.
 

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I'm surprised that the black level and CR of the 60 is better than the X1, is this due to the "Lens Filter Sandwich"?
 

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Jack,


Welcome back and thanks for the ineteresting comparison.


I'mquite surprised that the PLV60 beat the X1 in contrast. Have you measured on/off CR on your PLV60? I'd be surprised if you got 700:1 after tweaking, whereas I'd expect the X1 to give double that in video mode.


What was the room lighting situation? A small amount of reflected light could easily make either pj's absolute black level moot, and the PLV60's higher brightness would then give it a higher perceived CR.


Thanks
 

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Great job on the comparision.


I'd be very interested in knowing what settings you used on the X1. I'm new to the calibration game, so having a basic template to work from would be helpfull.


Thanks,

Kevin
 

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I'm surprised that the black level and CR of the 60 is better than the X1, is this due to the "Lens Filter Sandwich"?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
First of all, I would be the first to admit that my opinion could be wrong. It is only my opinion and other than the color differences and the noise level, I would say everything else is up for debate.


The environment was complete black (absolute darkness) other than the light from the projector(s). I did not measure the contrast mechanically, it was by my best guesstimation using my eyes only.


As for the black level and contrast I spoke of, let me say that we also did a comparison without my lens filters on where I re-calibrated my PLV-60 and the black level and contrast were both noticeably better on the X1. The lens sandwich adds a CRT like quality to the richness of colors and the black level on the PLV-60 that is amazing.


Contrast is a hard thing to measure with your eyes and it is not hard to be deceived if you are not using a mechanical means to aid in your measurements. The black level was better on the PLV-60 with the sandwich, which was fairly easy to see. However, the contrast could have been seen as in favor of the X1 in the eyes of another reviewer. I certainly agree that the stated (manufacturer published) contrast ratios seem to be night and day looking at pure numbers. However, with the lens and tweaking adjustments on the PLV-60...not to mention the inaccuracy of manufacturers claims, I feel that the difference in contrast ratio is far different than what is printed on paper. I wish I had the ability to measure it myself.


Again, the contrast and black levels were both very good on the X1...it is a very good projector. And, the price/performance ratio is off the charts.


We are going to do another comparison soon and check for overscan, resolution, scaling and other things...if you have any requests let me know and we will do our best to take care of you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Kevin, we used the "warm" temp setting and we started with the "film" preset and adjusted from there. Our contrast was at 58, brightness was at 61, color was at about 66, tint was at around 24. We basically left the red, blue, and green settings all at 50 after moving them around and not coming to a good conclusion. We couldn't decide on sharpness and flopped back and forth from softer to standard. I am sure your settings will be different as each projector usually comes out of the factory differently. Go buy a copy of AVIA if you don't already have one and have some fun with it...


Good luck!!!
 

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I am the buddy with the X1. I had purchased the X1 mainly to use at school as a teaching aid (I teach 3rd grade) and after talking to jack decided this would fit the bill and be a HT option. I have followed projector pricing and well, this one is cheap.


All set up and ready to compare to jack's sony, I thought there would be a big difference. There was a difference. But it was not as big as I thought it would be. With his lens on the sony the colors are incredibly rich. The X1 didn't have this richness, but the colors were good and the picture was great! This comparison was well done. We had both projectors playing the same dvd with component out and would cover one lens, then switch, back and forth , back and forth. In the Lord of the rings, Gandalph's white hair and blue eyes were almost identical. When Frodo is sitting next to the tree waiting for Gandalph, you could see the color richness that the sony had over the X1, but in other scenes the differences were harder to tell.


Keep in mind jack's sony is calibrated to a 'T'. The lens he put on is incredible. The picture warmth and color richness change was noticeable. And I have spent a lot of time watching movies at jack's!


Beyond all the technical stuff, which I am sure we will be trying with jack. The color was weird. The yellow and cyan were very different from what it seemed we wanted. It looks great, but when compared to Jack's sony you could tell it was off. We tried pushing the red up a bit... but it didn't really seem to help... but it is hard to start playing with those settings.


I think it would be very difficult to tell these projectors apart if jack didn't have the lens on his sony. That was the major difference I saw. The sony's picture was richer and warmer... colors were near CRT on Jack's.


Rainbow... nonexistent for both of us.


I am very happy with my purchase and look forward to figuring out some color tweaks just because it is fun to be a perfectionist... in the meantime I am enjoying an awesome picture with no complaints. In all honesty, that $1600 can give you a 100" picture like this is AMAZING!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
In the review above, Vince means Sanyo not Sony. Just in case anyone caught that in his review. As stated earlier, my projector is a Sanyo PLV-60. Easy to confuse the names as most of us are much more familiar with Sony than Sanyo as a household name.
 

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Jack,


Exactly what are the ingredients in the lens sandwich? CCR and ND filters?Would it be possible to hold them up in front of the X1's lens and readjust it? Both pj's use lamps that are deficient in red, so it might also work well on the X1.


Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
You are right on, Noah. The magical "filter sandwich" consists of a CC20R filter and a ND 0.3 filter. Next time we will try it with the X1, although I have a feeling the ND 0.3 will not be needed. The CC20R is the one that will make the most difference in this case and I probably won't go to the trouble of seperating them as it is kind of a pain. Still, I will put the entire filter sandwich on there next time Vince is over and report our findings. Vince is contacting Steve (Mr. SMART) right now to find out how SMART can be altered and used to optimize the picture of the X1.
 

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Jack, great report! I also have done a comparison with my Marquee 9500LC, and the one place where we seem to disagree is in the color accuracy department. I have noticed, though, that you used the component input, while I used the VGA input. I haven't yet had the chance to calibrate with Avia, but my off the cuff observations were that the colors were very accurate, vivid, and well saturated. As soon as I get a chance, I will calibrate and then settle down and try to make some more meaningful observations. If you get a chance, could you connect the X1 to a HTPC using Theater Tek or one of the other players based on Ravisent (oops, I mean Sonic) decoders? I would like to find out if the differences we perceived were due to the input used, or whether I just made bad observations. I thought that the color rendition as displayed via VGA using the Sonic decoders and Radeon 9000 card was nothing short of spectacular.


***Edit: Digital PJ newbie question - Why are you using a Grayhawk screen? I thought that gray screens were just for LCD projectors in order to improve their apparent contrast and black level. Do you really think that is the right screen for the X1? Could the screen color account for the color differences we have noticed, since I am using a bright white screen of 1.6 or 1.7 gain?


Thank for your help,


Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Bob,


The right screen for the X1 is probably a 1.0. I used a Greyhawk because it was what I already have up for my LCD, the PLV-60.


However, that being said, the X1 is bright enough that the Greyhawk shouldn't hurt it...and if it helps add better blacks and contrast without making it too dim, then maybe it will work fine with the X1???
 

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Apart from all the visual differences in PJ's, other features are also important. The PLV-60's lens shift allows high ceiling mounts - and this is what sold it for me.


Dan
 
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