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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I finally got an "in home" demo of CP-SX 5500 at a friend's place. We projected on a DaLite Screen (gain unknown, but would guess 1.0-1.3)) from about 3,5 meters away. Zoom at max image size.


Source was Philips 962SA PAL/NTSC progressive via Y/Pb/Pr component outputs.


We used all sorts of settings available to tweak the picture except the service menu. We tried all gamma settings, black enhancement on/off, contrast/brightness settings, etc.


Good things first:


+ No visible pixel structure - very un-digital in this regard

+ Bright and dimensional image (with the screen we tried, maybe too so, even in whisper mode with normal gamma and brigthness turned down)


Then the disappointing things:


- A bit too loud. Yes, loud. This is very subjective, but to me this is still too loud. I'd require at least another 3dB away off the noise. Even AE-100 is more tolerable (even if the dB rating is quite similar)


- Black level (remember our screen, no service menu, no filters) isn't there. It was almost LCD bad - IMHO untolerable


- the darkest c. 5-10% is lost in the image (i.e. the dark end clogs up)


- definite colour cast - deep reds were way off and so were skin tones (this was to be expected and should be curable with filters/service menu for the most part)


- pixel noise (doesn't look like video source noise): single pixels changing their hue/ligthness quite rapidly. It's like ants moving very fast


- slight solarisation / banding problems with some gradients


All in all, this particular unit - without serious tweaks - was a disappointment.


If somebody can tweak a watchable projector out of this (as people here have demonstrated), then this thing would be *very nice*. Personally I think it needs a grey screen to improve the black levels.


However, for almost 10 000 euros (where I live) and requiring heavy tweaking I think the projector is merely a promising sign of hopefully things to come, but not enjoyable for me as a HT projector.


I'm really getting desperate now... I've tried them all now DLP (rainbows for me), LCD (too many problems to mention) and LCOS (as above). Looks like I'm heading to crt-land the way I'm going.


I wish you guys here wouldn't have taught me to be so critical :(


cheers,

Halcy
 

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@ Halcy


don´t worry, it looks, that you have seen the SX5500 which have been one of the firts units. Isaw this pj at CeBIt with the nearly the same problems in colour as you described.


On the other way, some customers of mine ordered this unit will be emphased. Okay, they are using it as an dato pj for showing simulations given by an pc - and they love zhis unit.


But I will get nextt week a new one, and this I will test. Therefore I need your help. Please give - if you like also by mail - the DVD, you have used. Because the palyer which has been used, is well done unit.


And the pricing in your area, wow, its really too expensive - will this be caused by tax?


hb
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The serial no of the unit I tested was G1L000148 and it was the Euro model.


We tested the unit with Le Pacte des Loups (French special edition version), Legend (R1) and Burosch Ultimate DVD test disc (this is a test disc not all too dissimilar to Avia, but in PAL format with more resolution).


The unit we compared it to was Seleco 500+ CRT and my experiences with PT-AE100 and LT-150.


Would the later manufactured batches of this model somehow magically improve the black levels and get rid of the pixel-level noise?


cheers,

Halcy
 

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Halcy,

I tend to agree with you. This projector has unresolved problems. However, it seems that's the name of the game. Choose your problem. I bought the Hitachi because I was seduced by the seamless film-like image, the relativley high brightness, the greater than average resolution and the DVI input which promises yet greater fidelity.


Reading this forum teaches one to be more critical and that's not a bad thing. I suspect there are many people out there who are waiting for the right projector to be developed, that meets all the basic criteria at an affordable price. I was one such person and quite frankly I'm not at all certain at this point that I made the right decision. I've just discovered, for example, that the SX5500W appears to down convert Australian HDTV to standard definition. Why didn't I discover this sooner? Well, the dealer who sold me the unit didn't have an STB. I didn't have an STB. At least one person from Australia who had demoed this model wrote on this forum that HD was very impressive. The Hitachi specs indicate that 1080i is an accepted resolution. BUT HITACHI DOES NOT TELL YOU WHAT THE PROJECTOR DOES TO THAT SIGNAL. In Australia, it downconverts it to a horizontal frequency of just 28.2 kHz (as opposed to the 31.4 kHz of progressive DVD) and a vertical frequency of 25.1 Hz (as opposed to the 50.25 Hz of progressive PAL DVD.


I suddenly feel as though I've been ripped off. If there's anyone out there who can shed any light on the Hitachi's handling of HDTV, I'd appreciate it. The FV & FH figures can be read from the INPUT section of the menu.
 

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Hi Barry,


Forget what the frequencies tell you, - how does the picture look on the Ten HD loop?


On mine, it looks fabulous!


Incidentally, the frequencies sound pretty right:


1. It's internally converting an interlaced image to progressive and displaying that progressive image at 25FPS (25Hz), - which is exactly right for PAL.


2. 31.4 kHz is correct for a progressive PAL DVD - 576 lines (progressive). HDTV is 1080i (interlaced) - 540 progressive. Do the maths on that and the frequency required to display the image on 1024 lines (the 5500's max vertical res) is... 28.2 kHz.


In my experience, if you display a std def (digital) image in the 5500 the difference between that and HDTV is chalk & cheese.


Is the picture quality on your 5500 with HDTV poor?


Regards,


Craig
 

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barryz,


another way of getting HDTV into your projector is to get an HDTV card for your PC (if you have one). The projector would receive 1024 progressive scanlines directly. I don't know if dScaler supports HDTV cards, that software would be a requirement I suppose.
 

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Craig,

Good to hear from you again. The maths tells the story. 28kHz at 25 frames per second is less than half the amount of picture information as 31kHz at 50 frames per second - which is progressive DVD. That's why I also see artifacts with both HD and SD in the form of fine lines over the moving parts of the picture and - horror of horrors - fine jaggies. That input information of 28kHz at 25 Hz is the same for both HD and SD. The fact that the Channel 10 HD loop looks better is due to the fact that down converting a true HD source to SD will give you the best quality picture that SD is capable of. We're so used to watching substandard material on substandard TV sets that we forget just how good standard definition can be at its very best. The fact is, I don't believe I've ever seen a true HDTV image in my life. Those who have, say it's awesome. I wouldn't describe Channel 10's HD loop as awesome on the SX5500W through the DGTEC DH2000A which is the only HD STB we have. I naively assumed the Hitachi would at the very least down convert what is a 1440x1080i broadcast to something like 1280x720P. What it appears to be doing is upconverting a 540p at 25Hz. Now maybe this is a limitation of the DGTEC STB or it may be the Hitachi can't accept a 1080i signal at 50Hz, only 60 Hz. I don't know.


To Viking2000,

An HDTV card for my PC might be the solution. Do you know of any that can accept the Australian HDTV standard? It seems we've got our own system over here. We don't seem to be exactly following either America or Europe.
 
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