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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings,


I'm still strongly considering buying the Sharp 9000 DLP, but I was treated to a look at a (very nice) D-ILA home theater today, and I want to do proper due diligence.


The owner of this theater had built a very elaborate hush box for his M20, but mentioned that there was at least one new D-ILA available that was much quieter and perhaps more tweaked for home theater.


I did a search here, but the closest I could find was mention of the DLA-DS1U, which seems to have contrast issues.


However, those threads were from back in May, and at the time Tom from JVC was hinting at some new stuff that should be arriving around now.


What's the latest on the D-ILA front? My budget is <$10k street price, and a hush box is really not a viable option.


Thanks!


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Mike Kobb

(Formerly "ReplayMike", but no longer affiliated with the company; these opinions are mine alone.)
 

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Mike,


Your are probably looking for the DLA-G150HT. It's basically the G15 platform with a new (quieter) box and is supposed to come precalibrated for home theater use.


I personally have a G11 and a Whisperflow hushbox and am quite happy with the combo.


The one drawback is that the price was going to be pretty high as I remember.


Good luck!


Jay


P.S. I really like my ReplayTV too!


[This message has been edited by jsnable (edited 10-06-2001).] http://www.jvc.com/prof/Attributes/f...l_id=MDL101272


[This message has been edited by jsnable (edited 10-06-2001).]
 

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Hi Mike,


The DS1U (AKA "G3010Z" outside the US) is not going to produce the quality picture you saw from the M20 (a JVC G20 with a different throw lens). The DS-1 was JVC's attempt at a UHP bulb D-ILA (instead of Xenon bulb) designed to decrease bulb cost, projector heat and consequently, noise.


Although the DS-1 definitely is quiet, the picture quality fell short of the current D-ILA crop. Others (including RCA, Christie Digital, Hitachi and maybe TAW) are also attempting to replace the Xenon bulb with another illuminant and still retain the high quality of the current D-ILAs while dealing with the noise issue.


Jay is right that you might be thinking of the new G150HT ("HT" for "home theater", of course), which could be considered a "hushed, calibrated" G15 carrying a non-trivial price premium for the convenience. This projector may come in over your limit, but a G10/G11/G15 will come in under budget. Keep in mind that with these "G" business models, a hush box and calibration are highly recommended for the optimal experience. The total package is usually still significantly less than buying the unit pre-modified with the optimal setup, and will have the D-ILA image quality that you witnessed.


The Sharp 9000 is a great DLP, but it's still a single-chip DLP. It will have the known issues associated with any single-chip DLP. If you are not rainbow-sensitive and not a big HDTV watcher, you might want to keep the Sharp 9000 in the running. Three-chip DLP is a vast quality improvement, but price prohibitive at this time (you would need 3-5 TIMES your budget to go with a three-chip).


I hope this helps.


Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Mark and Jay, much appreciated.


Let me ask your perspectives on one last thing:


The thing that just grates on me about the G-series D-ILA projectors is the non-16:9 aspect ratio of the elements. As I understand it, I can either:


1) Use a huge 4:3 screen with the full element, and use part of the element to project a letterboxed 16:9 screen in the middle for widescreen content.


2) Use a 16:9 screen with only part of the D-ILA element (as above), and use even less of the element for 4:3 stuff projected into the center of the 16:9 screen. This discards a significant fraction of the projector's available light on 16:9, and even more on 4:3.


3) Get an anamorphic lens for the projector and use the full element for 16:9. Apply a horizontal "squeeze" to 4:3 material to make it come out right through the anamorphic lens. (This sounds like it may need an expensive scaler).


Am I missing something? None of these sounds very palatable, for the following reasons (number correspond to above):


1) 4:3 content is 99.995% SD, so projected on a huge screen it will look not-so-fresh.


2) This sacrifices some of the resolution of the D-ILA for 16:9, and even more for 4:3. I think, though, that one should still be able to do *true* 720p with this method, yes? If so, this seems like the best option, except for the light loss.


3) Expensive. Not sure how 4:3 would end up looking. It would be brightest for 16:9.


With the Sharp, you use the whole element for 16:9, and a sub-section for 4:3, which is fine since its resolution is worse.


Thanks for your thoughts!!


(PS: One last thing. The no-hushbox aspect of the Sharp is a big win. I don't have a dedicated HT room, and I won't be able to for some time. I think that the Sharp would integrate easily with my room -- the Marantz looks like the throw will be wrong -- and provide excellent results at a good price that I probably wouldn't be able to duplicate with the D-ILA systems without a lot more trouble and possibly money. Comments?)


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Mike Kobb

(Formerly "ReplayMike", but no longer affiliated with the company; these opinions are mine alone.)


[This message has been edited by JustMike (edited 10-06-2001).]
 

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Mike,


I don't have my G15 yet but one's on the way. I'm going to use an anamorphic lens (likely an ISCO II) to stretch the image for widescreen material.


For 4:3 material, I haven't decided what to do yet. One option is to simply remove the lens from in front of the projector. You didn't mention this option, but for many folks it will be a viable one. In fact, the Panamorph, if you can ever get one, has a bracket that allows you to slide the lens in place at will.


The other option is to simply use the center 1024x1024 pixels for 4:3 material. Frankly I think that resolution will be just fine for any SD material.


I'm not entirely sure what software and/or scaler issues are involved in these two methods, though. My guess would be that the first (placing the lens only when needed) will be easier to implement.
 

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Hi JustMike,


There are other options as well if you consider the electronic zoom...


Anyway, I use choice #2 today, and plan on using #3 someday.


One thing to realize is that if you use just the 16:9 area of the D-ILA 4:3 image, you still have more resolution and a higher fill factor than any other generally available digital projector currently available at any price from any manufacturer (well, under $100K... http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/biggrin.gif ).


I know what you mean, though, it does seem to be "wasting" otherwise usuable picture area to not project into those last 256 pixels (which is why you can use choice #3), but with a device that has three primaries and 1365x768 pixels and a 93% fill factor in the 16:9 area, you won't be missing any resolution.


Here's what you might want to do: Forget the anamorphic lens for the moment. Consider it as a possible future upgrade.


Now, do a direct apples-to-apples comparison using JUST the 16:9 area of the D-ILA 4:3 panels with any other projectors that are on your short list. In other words, consider the D-ILA a 16:9 projector and then do you head-to-head comparisons.


Compare price, resolution, color accuracy, image quality, known artifacts ("rainbow", etc.), fill factor (AKA "screen door"), non-image concerns (aesthetics [if you care], noise, inputs/outputs) ,etc., etc.


Just pretend that this is a 16:9 native projector and compare it to others that are "just like it". If you wish, you can get fancy later, and pick up the 30% resolution/brightness bump with an anamorphic attachment.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Heya Mark,


Thanks again. Could you elaborate a smidge on two things?


1) What's the the "electronic zoom" you mentioned?


2) You quoted 1365x768 (the full width of the D-ILA, but throwing out 256 pixels of the vertical, correct?). How is this usually done? I would guess you still get some dark gray "spill" from the unused portion of the element that would require the screen to be masked? Or is there a better solution? Is an external scaler required for this mode, or will the projector do this automatically for me when fed that kind of input?


3) Does the G11/15/20 have a good internal scaler, or should I be factoring a Faroudja NRS into the equation?


I appreciate the comparison suggestion. So far, some of the factors I've been considering:


1) I'm not very rainbow-sensitive. Although, of course, I'd rather not have 'em because I did notice them from time to time on some material on the Sharp. Of course, I used to be very sensitive to MPEG artifacting too, but now it's just "part of life"... http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif


2) The Sharp appears to be nearly plug and play. The one I saw had almost all of its image controls centered and it looked fabulous. No software-assisted calibration was performed so far as I know (although you can bet I'd be in line for Dilard if I were to get a D-ILA! http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif ). This is a cost factor.


3) The lamps are a serious cost factor, strongly in favor of the Sharp.


4) Brightness. Throwing away ~25% of the light is a bummer on the D-ILA, but a G15 should (I think) still deliver more light with a partial element than the Sharp. I come up with 900 lumens if I remember the 1500 lumen rating on the ILA correctly. Multiply by .9-ish for the Grayhawk (which I would not use on the Sharp) to get the D-ILA's contrast improved, and it seems like brigtness/contrast may come out fairly close.


4) The noise is a very serious factor, as I'm renting my house. I can get away with a couple of bolts into the ceiling to do the Sharp's ceiling mount, and in my room there's even the chance of using a pedestal. If I had to include a hush box in the installation, it'd be tough.


5) Neither one of these currently seems to have a 1394/5C or DVI/HDCP solution, so that's a wash.


6) The Sharp's internal scaler looked VERY good on its own, so while a NRS would be a nice luxury, I could do without it. I don't know enough about the JVC's scaler requirements to know whether this is a factor.


Anyway, thanks again so much to all for your input! http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/biggrin.gif


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Mike Kobb

(Formerly "ReplayMike", but no longer affiliated with the company; these opinions are mine alone.)
 

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Quote:
"Could you elaborate a smidge on two things?"
Yikes...either your counter went a little berzerk, or two things ain't what it used to be http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/biggrin.gif .


Just kidding.

Quote:
1) What's the the "electronic zoom" you mentioned?
It's the non-digital (optical) electronically controlled zoom control of the projector. Quite common, really. You can zoom the 4:3 image onto your 16:9 screen if the throw works out right. Personally not my cup-of-tea to zoom the image in and out all the time, but if you really don't want to "waste" any resolution, this is a way to make sure that you maximize it!

Quote:
2) You quoted 1365x768 (the full width of the D-ILA, but throwing out 256 pixels of the vertical, correct?). How is this usually done?
You can use the 16:9 mode of the projector, use a scaler that outputs a 16:9 image, or use an HTPC set up for a 16:9 Windows Desktop (possible with most current video cards).


You will still get a small amount of gray spill from the usused part of the panel, but if the projector's black level is where it should be, this spill is almost indetectable unless you are really looking for it. Masking can eliminate it completely.

Quote:
3) Does the G11/15/20 have a good internal scaler, or should I be factoring a Faroudja NRS into the equation?
Some say that the internal scaler (like the fan) have gotten a bad rap. I'd rather feed the projector "native" myself, but someone else might give you a different opinion. It's really the same answer with ANY digital projector: "They will always look best when fed with a native rate signal". If you feed it without scaling to native rate, the quality goes down...with any digital projector. The Sharp may do better than most if fed raw, but will still perform best with a native rate.


Good luck with your decision. If possible, you should see all projectors you are considering in person, and not listen to anyone's else's raves (including mine).


You will be happy with any of the projector's discussed on this board. What you really need to consider is 1 year down the road...what will you wish that you had done differently?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Mark, thanks again. I'm an engineer; I can't do simple math like counting and things... http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/biggrin.gif

Quote:
If possible, you should see all projectors you are considering in person, and not listen to anyone's else's raves (including mine).
Indeed! I've now seen the Sharp and the M20. I wish I could have seen them in the same environment, but that's a tall order.

Quote:
You will be happy with any of the projector's discussed on this board. What you really need to consider is 1 year down the road...what will you wish that you had done differently?
That's a very insightful comment indeed. I'm most worried about the lack of 5C support on all the current crop, so that's my first guess for what would be my regret down the road. I'll ponder that one some more, though.


Thanks again.


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Mike Kobb

(Formerly "ReplayMike", but no longer affiliated with the company; these opinions are mine alone.)
 

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I have had my G-15 for a few weeks and for the most part I am only using the 16X9 part of the D-ILA panel. The picture with HDTV sources is nothing short of spectular and I have been to CES in Chicago and seen the best (at the time). I will be happy if I never get my panamorph and just keep the D-ILA on the coffee table as it is now and never get the hushbox installed as I plan to do. I have seen the Sharp 16x9 Z9000 locally with the same sources and there is no comparison. The D-ILA is better than the Sharp hands down without using all of the resolution that the D-ILA is capable of. Of course I am ignoring the noise of the projector which I sort of put up with at the present.

Larry
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Larry,


Two quick questions:


1) Did you have the G15 tweaked or calibrated, or is it out of the box?


2) What in particular did you find better on the G15 compared to the Sharp. I didn't see that huge of a difference, to be honest -- both looked very good indeed.


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Mike Kobb

(Formerly "ReplayMike", but no longer affiliated with the company; these opinions are mine alone.)
 

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JustMike:


Yes the bulb cost is an issue but keep in mind that is why the colors are as rich as they are.


We just ordered a replacement from AVS after a little over a years' use of our HT. So, while I wish it cost less, that is not all that unreasonable.


Chuck
 

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Don't forget to add a screen, a/v cables, projector mount to your budget. You will also need to consider replacement bulbs for all digital projectors. The exacting color possible with the current DILA projectors come with a cost of expensive bulbs that run hot. Hence you either live with the noise, or place them into a hushed box enclosure. Some people have lucked out and managed to put the projectors in the next room with just a lens poking out. Others have managed to build beautiful enclosures. I currently live with the noise and turn the volume up a tad. ):


I have a used G1000 and a Stewart electric Greyhawk screen. I also have a Panamorph lens, but I've not had time to install it yet. Our new 4 month old son is keeping us quite busy.


I was sold on the DILA projector after seeing Dean McManis's setup. He has a dedicated basement room with a G15, an ISCO lens and a large microperf Greyhawk all driven via a tweeked HTPC. Quite stunning.

-=-

Mark
 

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Mike,


If you'd like to see what a calibrated G15 looks like, I'm about to do a few, and I'm just "down the road" from you.


William
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by wm:
Mike,


If you'd like to see what a calibrated G15 looks like, I'm about to do a few, and I'm just "down the road" from you.


William
William, can you drop me a line? [email protected]


As another person considering the G15 (and living nearby), I'd love to join y'all for a look myself!


- Darren
 

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Mike,

I bought the G-15 from AVS and paid extra 500 to have them send the projector to Cliff Pavin in NJ for calibration before I received it. The calibration was highly recommended by knowledgable people. I am very glad I had the calibration done. I had never seen a D-ILA before I plugged mine in. I don't know what an uncalibrated D-ILA looks like. I had only seen a few DLP and LCD projectors and I did own an old data grade CRT projector prior to this.

The sharp is the first digital projector that I've seen other than the D-ILA that looks good to me. The Sharp had just been installed about a week earlier at my local high end retailer. The Sharp had not been calibrated, but I don't know if that's necessary since it is intended as a HT product. Of course I may be a little biased since I already own the D-ILA, but I could see quite a difference in brightness and contrast ratio (better on the D-ILA) and I am running the D-ILA on a much larger screen. To me the picture seemed to be more 3 dimensional on the D-ILA. I have a grey screen at home, and the Sharp was projected onto a white screen. The Sharp is definitely quieter. Of course I plan to install my hushbox in a few days. The HT is painted dark green (a Ralph Lauren color). I am painting the hushbox with the same paint, and with the 10' tall ceiling I think the hushbox will hardly be noticeable up there. The picture on the Sharp looked a little softer than the D-ILA. I'm presently running only HDTV on it.

I think the image with the D-ILA looks better than any CRT projector that I had seen previously. Of course I know that is very subjective and subject to debate. I have purchased a panamorph lens, and if I ever receive it I expect the picture to be significantly better than it is now. I will have spent 12,000 total at that time, and I think I would have spent 50,000 or more to get close to these results with CRT technology. No offense meant to owners of CRT technology. I spent 13,000 in 1984 for my CRT projector. It is amazing what you can get now for a lot less money.

Larry
 

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Hi Mike -


I just wanted to add my $.02. First of all, I wanted to point out that everyone on these boards have strong opinions on what's "best" - and luckily, because most are experts, these opinions are very valuable!!


Also, for at least the last year or two, the consensus on this forum has been that the (calibrated) DILA has the best picture (of a digital projector) (especially when used with an anamorphic lens).


Unfortunately, I'm concerned that you're getting a little bit of "my tool is a hammer, so every problem is a nail." So, at the risk of getting shot down, I'll state my opinion that in your case, you should get the Sharp. (Caveats: I've never seen a (calibrated) DILA, nor a Sharp, nor any of the recent high-end projectors. Plus, I'm not even an expert like these other guys!!!)


1. You don't want an external scaler. The new projectors have improved scalers - the G15 scaler is from ___ years ago. I'm sure the Sharp's scaler is better than that of the G15.


2. You don't want a hush box. Well, the DILA is much louder! No one will argue this. And I don't think anyone would recommend a DILA without a hushbox.


3. You are limited in what you can mount to your ceiling. Maybe this is the same as (2), but I think a G15 is heavier as well.


4. You like plug-and-play. Without calibration (i.e. out of the box), the Sharp will have much better gamma curves. Furthermore, I believe the Sharp provides software to allow you to tweak your curve yourself. For JVC, you need to add 3rd party software (such as what is sold by Milori) or get a professional calibration (which can be done by wm (William Phelps) and Cliff Plavin).


5. You're concerned with the bulb cost. Aha, a rational person not overcome by his addiction (yet)!!! http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/biggrin.gif


As far as picture quality goes, without an anamorphic lens, the difference in pixel resolution is what 768/720 = 7%? Yes, the fill factor is better on the DILA (estimated a while ago to be 93% on DILAs vs. 91% on DLPs, if I remember correctly), and the color will be better too. But my experience with my projector (an XGA DLP) is that calibration is the single most important factor. If you're comparing well-adjusted projectors, the difference will be much smaller than you'd think (unless you're a videophile who lives and breathes the stuff). When I see one picture and say "Wow that's fantastic" and then see another from a different projector and say "Wow that's fantastic", I conclude that most people on this forum that can criticize *any* of these top, well-adjusted projectors are sitting so close to the screen that the photons have probably warped their brains. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif In fact, now that I think of it, it wouldn't surprise me if they sit with their backs to the screen and just look directly into the projector lens... http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


Come on, Mike, say it with me, I am not a nail!!! http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


Mike



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Discussion Starter #18
I am not a nail! http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/biggrin.gif


Thanks for your thoughts. They parallel my own closely. I do think that it sounds as if a properly set-up G15 (or G20) would be among the best projectors I could get. However, given the external constraints of my present situation, the Sharp is a better match *for me at this time* and delivers VERY good performance to boot.


All I have to do now is stare into the photons for long enough to convince myself that the 5C encryption stuff won't be an issue for long enough that I won't feel like a total idiot for buying a projector without a digital interface..... http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/eek.gif


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Mike Kobb

(Formerly "ReplayMike", but no longer affiliated with the company; these opinions are mine alone.)
 

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Mike,


From you original comments on I'd say that you were headed towards buying a Sharp Z9000.


And after seeing on in person I cannot fault your decision. So far, the Z9000 is the best out-of-the-box digital projector that I've seen.


I do think that the G15 can be made to look visibly better, and just as quiet, but not for the same cost and effort as the Z9000.


It just sounds like the Sharp is a better fit for your needs.


As far as "future proofing" by buying a FPTV with digital inputs I think that is a waste. The encrypted digital connection standards planned are totally incompatible with one another AND today's current standards, and it is just as likely that the upcoming HDCP capable FPTVs (although none have been announced) will not be adopted as the final digital connection standard in addition to not being compatible with today's video peripherals and computer systems.


Maybe I'm wrong and the next generation of FPTVs will have HDCP encryption and tons of low cost matching DTV peripherals available, and the HDCP standard will be accepted worldwide as the oneor be adapted to communicate with all of the other connection technologies.


But I really doubt it.


-Dean.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks Dean! I'll read your posting a couple of dozen more times, and maybe I'll be willing to push the button and buy the projector. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/biggrin.gif


Seriously, I think I'm at the point now where I have five options:


1) Say "screw it" and do nothing. Not likely. I've got the itch. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif


2) Wait until early next year to see what comes out of CES. Probably the most prudent course, but CES stuff is often not released until late in the year (there have been exceptions), so this may just be frustrating.


3) Buy a Mitsubishi 65869 rear projector with a 5C input and have at least a shot at being somewhat future proof. But, the screen is smaller than I think I want.


4) Buy an LT150 and use it for the next year or two. Then buy a true-HD projector when the standards are sorted out.


5) Say "screw it" and buy the 9000. Plan to replace it if need be.


I'm leaning towards 4 or 5. I will be taking a peek at the LT150 shortly, so that may make my decision.


------------------

Mike Kobb

(Formerly "ReplayMike", but no longer affiliated with the company; these opinions are mine alone.)
 
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