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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Half a dozen years ago I spent countless hours reading everything I could find about home theater projectors. After months of research I pulled the trigger and bought the InFocus SP 4805. I loved the way the incredible DLP picture practically jumped out at me. My home theater was the envy of the neighborhood.


Well, it's now 2010 and my once loved 4805 is old and tired. (Or maybe I should say noisy and dull.) As much as I enjoyed the picture, I was never really happy with all the fan noise. It's time to retire the 4805.


My question: should I go for a nice quiet LCD like the PT-AE4000? Or should I stick with DLP? Am I giving up anything - like great color - by foregoing DLP? While I'd like spend $1000 instead of $2000 if I'm not losing out on much, the truth is I don't mind spending $2k if the LCD option will give me years of great service.


Thanks for your opinions!!
 

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Funny you should say that because I am in the same boat. I plan to upgrade sometime over the next year and had just assumed that it would be to another DLP because I was happy so long with the one I have. But looking at the units with the best reviews in the areas that concern me the most, it seems right now that LCD's currently have some some of the best products out there. It is not that the DLP projectors are bad. There are models with good resolution, high brightness, and good color at a modest price. It just seems that if you want some other things like really high contrast ratio, the DLP's that deliver are a bit above what I want to spend.


The one thing that keeps me waiting is the size of the LCD projectors I have seen. They are huge compared to many DLP units. I have a multi use room and I do not want a huge box to replace the modest sized unit I have now. But if that is not an issue for you I can really see why you are considering the LCD units. I may become a convert also if something interesting does not show up this summer to change the game.


Am I totally off track in this assessment?
 

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My own feeling is that at the same price point, a DLP projector will have a far better picture than an LCD. That's in side by side viewing, not checking out their respective manufacturer's contrast ratings or other specs.


Of course there are other issues with DLPs: potential rainbow effects and far less placement flexibility. But if it's solely picture quality you're after, then I think a DLP is still the best choice.


Now having said that, if I was in the market for a new permanently mounted projector, I'd probably buy an LCD and my favorite is the Panny 4000. I like the placement flexibility and I love the ability to do automatic CIH.


Jim
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Ferry /forum/post/18157251


Well, it's now 2010 and my once loved 4805 is old and tired. (Or maybe I should say noisy and dull.) As much as I enjoyed the picture, I was never really happy with all the fan noise. It's time to retire the 4805.


My question: should I go for a nice quiet LCD like the PT-AE4000? Or should I stick with DLP? Am I giving up anything - like great color - by foregoing DLP? While I'd like spend $1000 instead of $2000 if I'm not losing out on much, the truth is I don't mind spending $2k if the LCD option will give me years of great service.


Thanks for your opinions!!

If its quiet you need, then LCD is definitely quieter. DLPs always have brighter lamps that have to be cooled and that means noise.


However LCDs have several annoying problems, even on expensive machines:


1. Non-uniform color which can easily be seen when watching B&W movies.


2. Panel misalignment because it is very hard to line up 3 panels perfectly.


3. Large size of projectors (also allows bigger fans for more quiet air movement).


4. Worse ANSI contrast (even for the newest LCDs)


5. Dust blobs that form inside the projector and are difficult to correct


These problems will be worse for cheaper machines.
 

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I went from an IN72 helicopter to an older higher end Mitsubishi 720p HC3000 (DLP) and can not hear it at all on low lamp mode. If you like DLP stick with it, I would bet you could not put up with even the slightest amount of panel misalignment after live with DLP all those years.
 

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This is the same dilemma that I am struggling with right now. In fact, I did just switch this week from my beloved Optoma H31 to the Viewsonic Pro8100- an LCD (see the thread on this projector on the $+3000 forum). Unfortunately, I'm having trouble with this projector. The lamp seems to be failing (or its too sensitive to my power strip). I'm actually going to buy the Optoma HD66- having it overnight shipped from Amazon. And I'm going to compare the pics- will post them for people to see. However, this will be comparing a 1080p LCD to a 720p native DLP. Nevertheless, with the LCD I'm getting serious eye strain and the picture is somewhat harsh? I guess I prefer the theator-type picture the Optoma shined with. I did use my Avia to calibrate the Pro8100, but still am getting a harsh picture especially with faces. As written in the other forum, my Shrek 2 standard DVD looks great with the blacks/white but the green doesn't have a good pop to it. The blues and reds are fine. Grant it, I have yet to finish all my calibrations and am only using standard DVD upconverted by my OPPO (which upconverts to 1080p).
 

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I did switch to an LCD. I had a Benq PE7700. I loved that PJ. But it was due for a bulb and I had the 1080 itch. I went with the Epson 8100. I am glad i jumped. The Epson is on par with my 7700 in regards to black levels. But there is no comparison in the rest of the image. The Epson blows it away on all levels. You wont believe the difference.
 

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I switched from an LCD to DLP. LCDs are great BUT there are a number of disadvantages that are still present:
  • Dust Blobs: I still read about dust blobs on even the newer LCDs. You don't know how annoying these are until they come up.
  • Noise: LCDs are not silent. They still have a fan running to keep the bulb from burning out the lcd. DLPs have gotten much quieter too by the way.I just picked up my HD66 3D and it is near silent.
  • Grays: While LCDs have improved leaps and bound, you will still get better blacks out of a DLP just because of the nature of the technology. Light deflected away by a tiny mirror is blacker than light being run through a heavily tinted LCD.


I was in the same boat this month. I went from an LCD to a DLP and wrestled with which to go with. In the end, I went with DLP because they are less maintenance in my opinion and I have gotten spoiled with how much better blacks are on a DLP.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsaksa /forum/post/18157441


It just seems that if you want some other things like really high contrast ratio, the DLP's that deliver are a bit above what I want to spend.


The one thing that keeps me waiting is the size of the LCD projectors

The Mitsubishi HC-3800. Its DLP, has excellent color, contrast, and brightness. Its also a compact size and affordable.


Have a look at the size compared to the Epson 8100:
Attachment 167626
 

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I believe there's also another slight advantage that DLPs have over LCDs is the pixel fill factor. What I did notice about 4-5 years ago, when I was shopping around was that, even when comparing 480p DLPs to 720p LCDs, that the lower resolution DLPs still have a much less noticeable screen door effect. When I made the jump from 720p LCD to 720p DLP, the reduction in SDE was very noticeable. Not sure how LCDs are doing now in this 1080p era, but I believe 1080p DLPs are still much better in this regard. SDE are very noticeable to me on nearly all scenes, where as the rainbow effect are nearly non-existent to me, so that could be another reason why you would want to stick with DLP. On the other hand, if you have a bigger budget(around $5k), I think the new JVCs are pretty much the best you're going to get under $10k, so saving up another year or so may be a even better choice.
 

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I've owned CRT, DLP and now a Panasonic AE4000. Each has its advantages and downsides. I love my Sharp XV-Z20000 DLP, and it has wonderful ANSI contrast, respectable on/off, pin point sharpness and accurate color. The 4000 matches the Sharp in color accuracy (right out of the box, with about 2 minutes worth of tweaking - unlike the Sharp, which required a full ISF calibration), but the ANSI contrast isn't even close. Even in terms of on/off, the Sharp is better, I think. So, why is the Panasonic in my main home theater, while the Sharp is waiting to go into a bedroom? The main thing is how much better the Panasonic is at handling motion. No comparison. I like the lowest level of frame interpolation for Blu-ray, although I turn it off for just about everything else. Also, even though I'm not overly sensitive to rainbows, there's something quite nice about never seeing one. And, the 4000 is about 3 1/2 times cheaper than my Sharp was. The Panasonic has really flexible horizontal and vertical lens shift, so setup is significantly easier.


Both these projectors will be retired one day, when a quality 3D projector hits the market. I didn't want to spend too much, and the 4000 really fit the bill. Neither is perfect, but overall, I like the Panasonic better.


The Panasonic's fill factor is not an issue. It's seamless.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Joe,


You're comparing your $7k+ projector to a newer $2k projector, and the newcomer is holding it's own? That really says something about how this technology is continuing to improve. Ultimately, the lens shift may make my decision for me, since it seems like few of the DLP models will work for me without changing my screen size or changing my mounting location.
 

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In 2003 I bought my first Infocus PJ, 4805 I reckon. (DLP)

2 years later, I bought another DLP, it was an Acer this time.

2007 I bought an LCD Pj, Sanyo Z5. And recently I upgraded to the Panny 4000, which too is an LCD.


I am just sharing my buying habit with you. When I was using DLP, I didnt wanna budge. But a friend pushed me towards LCD and now I love LCD.


From my limited experience using both the technologies, I can highlight the following differences for you. From a layman to another-


1) The movies are a lot smoother on DLP compared to the LCD, despite the Panny 4000 narrowing the gap by their FI's.


2) LCD's have lot more punch and vibrant pictures.


3)LCDs are a lot more flexible in placement owing to their lens shifts-vertical and horizontal. Plus they have more Zoom too...bigger images from shorter distances.


4) Ofcourse, LCDs dont have rainbows. With my previous DLP's I used to always moves my eyes during movies to spot rainbows!!


5) DLPs have very uniform images, unlike my Z5, which had a tint of pink later on the sides. But I always buy a new PJ every 2 years, so long term issues dont tend to bother me..neither am I too fussed with after sales.


6) I personally felt my DLPs ran a lot hotter than their LCD counterparts, dont know if thats LCD vs DLP or old technology vs new??


Thats about it...


Good luck on your buy.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Ferry /forum/post/18171215


Joe,


You're comparing your $7k+ projector to a newer $2k projector, and the newcomer is holding it's own? That really says something about how this technology is continuing to improve. Ultimately, the lens shift may make my decision for me, since it seems like few of the DLP models will work for me without changing my screen size or changing my mounting location.

The biggest downside with the 4000 is the ANSI contrast. The Sharp has much better contrast in dark scenes, which really, really pop. (I know the conventional wisdom says DLP excels in brighter scenes, but in my experience the bigger difference is the added depth that the ANSI contrast gives dark scenes.) LCDs are much flatter in dark scenes. So, there are trade-offs, but, yes, overall, I like the 4000 better. And the flexible lens shift is really attractive. And I really like how the Panasonic handles motion.
 

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I went from a Sanyo Z5 to the hc3800 dlp, and although the DLP beats the Z5's 720p image and is much brighter, I am returning my hc3800 in order to get a projector without RBE. I will probably go with the Epson 8500ub, but haven't decided 100%. If your not sensitive to RBE, than the hc3800 is a great bargain for $1,300 and it comes with a free lamp.


I would say the only downside to DLP is RBE and placement flexibility, the other stuff mentioned are usually not really primary reasons to choose one over the other. One additional reason to choose DLP would be sharpness, but this primarily only helps with PC games or text and is less noticeable in movies or TV. Sharpness is not as important as it sounds if the projector is at least relatively sharp (and most LCD's are fairly sharp unless you get a bum unit, convergence issues, or CA)...


As long as you sit about 1.3x screen width or farther, SDE should not be a factor with 1080p LCD projectors. Even at a slightly closer range, it still would not bother most. At 1.5x screen width it should be nearly invisible (if not invisible to most). Many people mistake SDE for screen texture, some screens tend to greatly enhance SDE because of their textures.


I do not agree that DLP is more vibrant than LCD or vice versa, this is really more of a projector vs. projector thing these days than a tech vs. tech. Do not compare one DLP to one LCD and make assumptions that one technology is stronger in one area than another. The PQ differences have become extremely narrow and are becoming more and more narrow on every release.


There is a lot to be said for a higher ANSI contrast, but some LCD's do better in this area than others. The only problem with ANSI contrast is you need a black hole to realize the differences with your eyes once you get above a certain point. ANSI contrast can be destroyed by the tiniest amounts of reflected light (white ceiling, bye bye ansi contrast).


Most people's setups should benefit a bit more from On/Off contrast as long as they have a decent ANSI contrast, even though ON/OFF primarily only helps with darker scenes. I am actually doing an ANSI test with a light meter to see how much perceivable and measured contrast is lost at varying light reflectivity condtions, I will post it here once done.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph Clark /forum/post/18171345


The biggest downside with the 4000 is the ANSI contrast. The Sharp has much better contrast in dark scenes, which really, really pop.

This could also be a shadow detail, a calibration issue, or an IRIS issue, not saying it is in your setup, just saying "it could be" in general. IRIS's can be a pain sometimes.
 
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