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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just went to a local store to see some projectors in action. They currently had only LCD projectors and a White "no gain" screen. The ambient light was not that bright, very acceptable.


Projectors were the hitachi cp-s225w and viewsonic pj500. I am targetting a panny ae100, ptlc55u or ptlc75u but the hitachi and viewsonic was all they had on hand in my price range. Nevertheless, this showed me what LCD could do.


I must say that i was really disappointed with the black level. Colors were OK, but i was hoping something brighter. There was a HDTV in the same room and the projectors were nothing like the HDTV in terms of blackness and colors.


Now, will a grey screen upgrade the LCD blackness to an accpetable level?


Or is is just the hitachi and viewsonic that are that bad? I k now they have low contrast(1:200 for hitachi and i think 1:300 for viewsonic) but will the panny ptlc75u with it's 1:400 contrast do that much of a difference?


Is DLP the only way to go...?
 

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I'd say all LCD projectors benefit from a neutral grey screen, btw the Hitachi 225 has actually 1:300 contrast rate at 1100 lumens, and it's slighly improved in 800 lumens at "whisper" mode, and can handle shadow detail good enough. The problem is that most manufactorers have their own definitions for lumens, contrast, etc. So, one can't really trust the specs alone.

The Hitachi (yes, I've got one) isn't really ready for DVD's outta box like, you really have to tweak all kinds of settings to optimise it for video playback. I don't know about US but here in Europe sales demos aren't that professional, i.e. komposite or S-video cables, no calibratios, the sales people seem to think that everyone will be impressed about a huge picture size alone.

SVGA is too low for HDTV I'd say.

About the black levels, the contrast rate doesn't really determine the black level, it refers more to the ability to show shadow detail. I think Sanyo PLV 30 has one of the best black levels on LCD PJ's, it's is 1 lumens, for reference some other PJ's black levels: old Panasonic pt501, 5.3 lumens, previous release of 225> Hitachi 220, 2.5 lumens, Sony HS1, 1.6 lumens.
 

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It is true that european dealers are crap at this. I would not trust any shops to demo a projector correctly. One thing that will make the blacklevel worse on the Hitachi is if the brightness is raised above "0". That will make the blacklevel brighter.



Tor Arne
 

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Many demo rooms at dealers that primarily deal with RPTVs have far too much ambient light. Even low levels can wash out the image on some projectors - the blacks look grey and the colors are faded. It is also likely that no 'tweaking' has been done to optimize the image. Try to find a way to preview the projectors under light-controlled conditions (very little or no ambient light).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I should be able to preview the AE-100 in a conference room this weekend...it won't have a neutral gray screen but hopefully i'll have good results with the white screen.
 

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I just received a Firehawk gray screen and I like most of the things it has improved on my DLP versus the Matte White screen I was using before. The area that may be a concern to LCD users is that it does increase the visibility of screen door.
 
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