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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ive seen the SharpVision XV-Z9000U DLP and was very impressed by it, and was about to make a purchase. But now Ive been reading up on the Hitachi CP-SX5500W LCOS projector on this forum, and the reviews are pretty impressive. Other than price (Hitachi is about $1K cheaper than the Sharp), what are the benefits of the Hitachi vs Sharp , or vice versa.

FYI, I have a room, 13'x25', and would like to project from the back of the room to the front (throw distance 24-'25'), on a screen of 133" , maybe even 150". The will have dark blinds, so light is not a problem. I plan on viewing primarily Dish TV, DVDs, and perhaps some HD via Dish TV.

Vas
 

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No review yet on Hitachi, everybody is still waiting for it to ship. Should be around middle of November. Then there will be real life review. Most of the comments on the Hitachi are based on speculation with reference to its spec.


Major differences according to specifications


Technology

Sharp: DLP

Hitachi: LCOS


Resolution

Sharp: 1280x720 (16x9 native)

Hitachi: 1365x1024 (4x3 native)


Brightness

Sharp: 800 lumens

Hitachi: 1500 Lumens


Contrast

Sharp: 1100:1

Hitachi: 600:1


DVI input

Sharp: no

Hitachi: yes


weight

Sharp: 20 lb

Hitachi: 12 lb


Price

Sharp $2000 more than Hitachi


So stay tune!
 

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I'm just guessing as we won't know until the reviews of the Hitachi are in...


* The Sharp will have higher contrast. 1100:1 is going to be really tough to beat (if true). This could be the turning factor.

* The Sharp may have better black level, as the DMDs do an impressive job of blocking light output when needed. If Thumper will work his magic on the Sharp, that would be a bonus, too!

* The Hitachi will have truer reds and greens, as reds typically tend slightly to orange and greens to yellow on color-wheel projectors. LCD and LCOS projectors usually produce better reds and greens than single-chip DLPs.

* There will be no screen door problems with either one, with a very slight edge going to the Hitachi's fuller field.

* The Hitachi will have less rainbow (none), if that sort of thing bothers you. Also, no moving parts except for a fan.

* The Hitachi will have slightly more resolution. However, the Sharp is native 16:9. Some folks feel that using the 16:9 area of a 4:3 projector is "wasting" some of projector. Even if the 16:9 area has more resolution and costs less money.

* I have no idea which will be quieter.

* The Sharp is about 800 lumens (quoted) and the Hitachi is 1500 lumens.

* DVI? If important to you, the Hitachi has it, the Sharp doesn't.


I have a hunch that this won't be a "landslide" either way, and you will have to choose which features you want, and which you are willing to live without.
 

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DVI for use with a HTPC (home theatre personal computer) with a DVI output. For example a HTPC with a DVD drive can send digital signal to the projector via DVI without converting to analog and then back, this suppose to be the most accurate form of transmission. This should minimize conversion loss and interference.

For more detail you can do a search on DVI in the forum.
 

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I think the DVI input on the Hitachi is a good thing in so far as it will allow a direct digital transmission from a source capable of outputting DVI. Still, I don't think the advantage of this should be overstated either - the thread ba refers to basically seems to say that from a pure image perspective if there is a gain over an analog input it's not something that hits you over the head.


People seem to be saying it's more important to have the projector able to handle future encryption standards and accept a full res image. This is where I drift into the la la land of ignorance. I would suspect that the DVI input on the Hitachi will not allow the reception and decryption of HDCP encrypted material. I may be wrong on this for (at least ;) )a couple of reasons. The first is that I am only making this assumption because I figure that if their interface was also coupled with making the unit HDCP compliant I suspect Hitachi would advertise this fact and they do not. The second reason is I've gotta say I have never really been able to get my head around all the techno babble on various copy protection schemes. The sad truth is I am so ignorant about this that I've got to be honest and say that I am actually not even sure if a DVI input connection requires some other steps to enable it to decrypt encrypted material - I think these schemes do require both the digital interface and some kind of 'encryption enabling' on both the source and receiver unit. But I might be wrong. Or right. I think.:rolleyes:
 

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By the way, I think Mark (milori) hits the nail on the head with his summation of the various advantages of either unit. The key thing for me is to hear some real first hand experiences with the Hitachi. I'm glad to see this and some of the other threads on the Hitachi just as it's coming out because it shows there is a rising awareness and interest developing in the Hitachi.


There's been so much talk about the Sharp on this forum that I was beginning to worry there would be an AVS Forum herd movement to the pastures of Sharp (green as they are) and potentially stunning projectors like the Hitachi completely overlooked. Don't get me wrong - the Sharp does sound like a good projector but the best price I can see for it today on MySimon is almost 9 grand. I'm sure it can be found more cheaply than this, but I doubt that one can find it at much below 8 grand. I think an important question is why someone would pay that much when they could buy the Hitachi for around 6 grand and get higher resolution, no rainbow, DVI input, and LCOS technology with all it's advantages.


I think the last point about the LCOS technology is something that absolutely needs to be stressed in any kind of a comparative thread with the Sharp. One thing Mark didn't point out is how LCOS projectors (a la D-ILA), have traditionally been viewed by most on these forums as the creme de la creme of projectors in a reasonable price range - simply a better technological approach than DLP that combined the strengths of both DLP and LCD. My reading of posts here and commentary elsewhere has been that the higher resolution coupled with a higher fill factor on the panel (less space between individual pixels), colour rendering and overall image quality has put the LCOS projectors at the top of the list for those whose overriding concern has been image quality.


High fan noise and bulb replacement for expensive Xenon bulbs and the high upfront cost of buying the unit were the main barriers keeping people away because a D-ILA would run anywhere from 10-20 grand. Well, now it's not just JVC making the panels and Hitachi (as well as Christie and others soon to follow) are providing LCOS implementations - the upfront cost of the Hitachi is less than the Sharp and running costs (going with the conservative 1300 hours for the Hitachi and the full 2000 hours for the Sharp) is 40 cents an hour on the Hitachi and 23.5 cents on the Sharp. That means watching a movie a day for a year costs 120 bucks more on the Hitachi than the Sharp. You could do that for over 16 years and still come out ahead on the Hitachi given the different upfront projector costs.


David Mendicino's post running in the One man's process...thread sums up alot of good issues in chosing between the various projector technologies at the moment. One point he makes that I think is spot on is why choosing a projector shouldn't become an ideological issue. It's just making an unemotional choice based on full knowledge about the technologies and implementations involved and the tradeoffs inherent for any personal context.


Contrast of the Hitachi is a question mark for me. I hope when we start to see some reviews people will do their best to match the projector with a good screen - perhaps a GreyHawk or something else to complement the high lumen and 600:1 contrast of the Hitachi. Be nice to see someone measure actual contrast as well........but the main thing for me is going to be hands on viewing reports from people on these forums.


By the way, I've written emails to SGHT , Home Theater Magazine , Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity , and Widescreen Review asking them to consider reviewing the Hitachi. Why don't others who are interested in this unit do the same :D ? I tried writing TPV (even though their last issue gave quite a bit of coverage to front projection systems), but the email for Robert Harley off their website got bounced back to me.
 

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Vas-

This isn't a bad time to wait a few weeks until Hitachi reviews are available. It should only be a couple of weeks. The Hitachi if held in high regard will be a much easier projector to use in a variety of formats and lighting conditions. In spite of its image quality the Sharp is very expensive for a 800 lumen, lights off only projector.

Lenny Eckian
 

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 http://www.christiedigital.com/Images/VivRed.jpg


(Christie VIVID RED D-ILA Lcos)


Hi guys


SHARP 9000


There was the Sharp 9000. Everybody was super enthusiastic, no rainbows, super contrast, etc etc. I never saw it but was as enthusiastic. Then, I saw no DVI, no RBGHV on BNC, so, speaking of connectivity, I was disappointed. The brightness was a bit low (I think we need now 1200+ ANSI machines, at least). Some say rainbows are still there and this is a big no no to me. Then appeard the lip synch issue which was confirmed to me by a Sharp rep yesterday at the Belgium ACF fair ( where I saw the HITACHI ! :) ). But they are working on it and it's delaying the European release (model E). As for the contrast, Don Stewart measured it several times in different situations (see the SCREEN forum) and could not go above 670:1 I think. There's even a buzz the SHARP contrast of 1100:1 is pure marketing :). Now, even 670:1 real ratio is very good and very close to cinema contrast ratio I think (800:1 ?)


HITACHI LCOS


Then the HITACHI hit the press, LCOS wow!!. Only concern seems JVC is not behind, that contrast would be average and no Xenon "true colors" lamp. I saw it yesterday. A dvd was played in Y/C (or rgb, can't be sure now ). Movie was DEEP BLUE SEA. Colors were great, contrast looked quite good, given the incredible amount of spot lights everywhere in the area (as in daylight ). Screen was small, maybe 1.3meter wide. I approach my big nose :D to the screen, as close as 5cm: NO PIXEL! NO SCREENDOOR! Evidently, it's a LCOS. I would have loved to see it with HTPC or SDI and a big 120-150" screen though. The image was alive, kinda CRT but noisy too (loooooong svhs cable ). Blacks seems "normal", kinda tv like.


CHRISTIE VIVID RED


Then, there is the Christie VIVID RED, which was developed based on JVC DILA ( the Hitachi was developed without JVC if i read correctly on the internet). The machine seems brighter than the Hitachi and I kinda trust more Christie :) , they're big in the digital cinema world. Prices are thought to be under $10K too.



FINAL THOUGHTS


We have to wait and hope those two machines will be soon tested with measuired contrast ratio.

Based on all this (and still without having had the chance to see all three side by side in a fair test ), my heart falls for the Christie: full connectivity, DILA/LCOS, no screendoor, no pixel :D, bright (twice as much as the Sharp), super high native resolution, no rainbows.


As for the non-Xenon lamp, if they use some kind of sRGB system as the most recent big lcd use (Mitsubishi, NEC "Vortex", DreamVision...), it might be a non issue.

And finally, on the 4/3 native panels isue, using a 16/9 lens and a 2.35 lens ( ok, ain't cheap this one), it could be considered as a non issue. The pure 2.35 on a Sharp of course costs less ( zoom the anamorphic 2.35 inside the chip then place a 16/9 lens in front of it and voilÃ*: no black bars, all resolution used for the 2.35 movie). It's more expensive with the Hitachi/Christie in terms of lens but given all the other advantages and the lower projector price, there's no final photo needed :) ( if the contrast ratio is good to very good and if blacks are great :D )
 

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Just an academic comparison of Hitachi and Christie LCOS as to manufacturer CLAIMED specs.


LCOS panels

Hitachi: Manufactures own also supplies to others

0.9 x 3

1365 x 1024

4 x 3 native

Christie: Supplied by JVC

0.9 x 3

1365 x 1024

4 x 3 native


Lumens

Hitachi: 1500 / 1200 (whisper mode)

Christie: 1800 max, 1500 typical


Contrast

Hitachi: 600:1

Christie: 500:1


Brightness Uniformity

Hitachi: 90%

Christie: over 80%


lamp

Hitachi: 220W UHB 1300 or 1500 hrs ?

Christie: 270W SHP 1500 hrs


Inputs

Hitachi:

Analog RGB x2

DVI-D

Component video

Composite video

S-video

Christie:

Analog RGB

Analog RGB with 5 BNC

DVI-D

Composite video

S-video


Input Signals

Hitachi: Compatible with HDTV formats

(480i, 480p, 625i, 720p, 1030i, 1080i)

Christie: Compatible with DTV/HDTV formats


Scaling and De-interlacing

Hitachi: Motion adaptive progressive scan

Theatre mode 3 - 2 pull down

Christie: Digital scaling of VGA to UXGA

Digital de-interlacing of DTV and HDTV


Noise Level

Hitachi: 32dB(whisper mode) / 36dB(standard mode)

Christie: 38dB


Focus / Zoom

Hitachi: Manual 1 : 1.3

Christie: Manual 1 : 1.3


Screen Size

Hitachi: 40" - 200"

Christie: 30" - 300"


Throw Distance

Hitachi: 5'5" - 35'6"

Christie: 3'3" - 39'4"


Other Features

Hitachi: Pic-in-Pic, black enhancement,

digital image noise reduction.

Christie: ?


Power Consumption

Hitachi: 360 W

Christie: 380 W


Speaker

Hitachi: 1 x 1 W

Christie: 2 x 2 W


Classification

Hitachi: Class B

Christie: Class A


Weight

Hitachi: 12 lbs

Christie: 11.5 lbs


Warranty

Hitachi: 3 years

Christie: 2 years


Price

Hitachi: About $6,400

Christie: ? Rumour from under $10,000 to $12,000
 

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yes, the Hitachi looks great and cheaper ( also because they are not linked to JVC)

i saw it and it had RGB on DB15 AND on 5 BNCs!! (only for Euopean models?????,)


One reason they switch to non Xenon lamp is probably the heat and the higher fan noise as a consequence. again, if sRGB or Vortex type systems are use, super natural colors can be expected.


One question stiill "worries" me: will these two LCOS need that complex and costly tweaking by a DILA expert ? or will they provide great images "out of the box" ?


the DEEP BLUE SEA dvd i saw on it had great colors.
 

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JVC D-ILA G15 and G20 out of the box only have a contrast ratio of 350:1, that's why they needed tweaking. Hitachi SX5500W and Christie Vivid Red contrast ratio are 600:1 and 500:1 respectively out of the box. Tweaking is not necessary, unless one wants to improve upon those.

Sure like to see those two go head to head, see which one is better, and by how much, cause with the spec that close it won't be a landslide. Though Hitachi's price which is not cheap but more down to earth as to Christie Digital.
 

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The Hitachi is looking like a real contender! That dual keystone adjustment, and the extra brightness over the Sharp are very attractive features for my setup. I don't have a dedicated theater room. And if LCOS has other PQ advantages over DLP well then, "this could be the start of something big!"


I know folks are key on the 16x9 chips, but with SXGA+ resolution, it seems like you could fit the Sharp's resolution inside of this thing. Isn't it usually better to have a higher native resolution to scale your various signals too.


But, maybe it will always look better if the native resolution of your screen fits the resolution of the source content. I'd like to hear from those more knowledgeable, on how one might scale DVD and HDTV content to a display with such high resolution.


- John
 
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