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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
To start off I’d like to say that there were a total of 4 of us that participated. There was John the Depot Dude, Andy Lammer, one of his buddies & myself. I’m sure that the others will have something to add.


When we arrived at JVC Canada we were greeted by a wonderful gentleman named Cameron Morrison. In the front right as we got in through the main doors I noticed a 65†Rear Projection D-ILA TV! I said WOW! When is the street date for one of these? Cameron said that they were far away before any street date, maybe 2 years or longer. The model standing in front of us WAS a production model made in the USA but the demand is still not there for mass production yet. There were a handful of these units that were actually manufactured here & sold to good customers of JVC & that is it, now we wait.


We entered the board room/theatre room and took a seat in the middle section. The first thing I noticed entering the room was a poster of their QXGA model that I only wished I could demo. The other noticeable product that you couldn’t miss was a matt white 1.1 gain 197†diagonal MONSTER screen that I would love to call MINE! I sat right beside the SX21 & so did Andy.


The first half hour was spent learning the 3 technologies (LCD, DLP, D-ILA) from Cameron and how they differ from one another but I won’t go into that, I’m sure everyone pretty much knows about it by now. He sure knew his product! I sure hoped so, because he is the Senior Marketing Manager of JVC Canada & if he didn’t I think we’d all be disappointed..lol.


Now to the goodies…


We saw a total of 2 PJ’s, the 150CL & the SX21. He said that the 150CL has an MSRP of about $35,000 Canadian & the SX21 of about $17,000 Canadian. The first PJ we viewed was the 150CL, which has a CR of 600:1 & a lumens rating at 1000 with a Xenon bulb that costs $1300CDN for replacement. It was demonstrated in D-VHS running component out & component in directly to the unit without any external scaling. The first video we saw was a concert by YES & the first thing Cameron saw was my mouth DROP! This thing was absolutely stunning! It was 1080i compressed at 28Megabits per second with audio at more than 500 k/bits! The PJ was extremely clear & had no problem with brightness at that size, on the other hand, it lacked in the blacks from what I’m used to due to it’s low 600:1 CR of course. We then saw a recorded 1080i clip from a Canada Cup hockey game & was still amazed with this PJ/D-VHS combo. He then threw on a movie (still in D-VHS) called Galaxy Quest & the picture was VERY disappointing! I said to John who was sitting beside me WTF happened? It lost it’s depth, it lost MORE of the black that it was lacking in the first place & the answer to that was that it was a poor transfer. I gave him the benefit of the doubt but why even throw it on if you already know it’s a bad transfer? I didn’t get it..not at all. It is all we saw from that PJ.


Did I like it? Very much so! Is it worth it? Absolutely not! With $35,000 I can get myself a G90 (but I won’t) which I’ve seen with 1080i as well and has a better picture in almost every respect. Not knocking this little guy (150CL) but it is NOT in the same league as the G90. Just thought I’d bring it up because the price is in that same league so for someone that is contemplating spending this kind of money on this unit should re-consider & at least go out & see a G90 before making a decision. Hands down the G90 spits out the BEST 1080i picture that I’ve ever seen & many say it is the best PJ in the world under the $50k price point, who am I to argue!


Now for the PJ that we were there to see, the SX21 which has 800:1 CR & a lumens rating of 1500..


We never did get a chance to see this baby in HD but we did try several DVD’s, which is particularly what I care for since I don’t have HD at my place. Not to say that I never will, I would’ve loved to have seen it but the time was short, they needed to take the unit & ship it to JVC America for whatever reason. We used a plain DVD player, interlaced out with component of course with no external scaler here either. Now, when I say plain DVD player he didn’t even want to give us a model number, he says it was the bottom of the line player so that we could see it in the worst possible scenario, that way if we liked it, it would only get better with a different player. ARGH! We first demoed Shakespeare in Love for it’s wonderful colors. My first impression was NICE but not WOW, great colors! But for the life of me & I tried real hard and I just couldn’t see any depth? Maybe it was this particular movie but it lacked in depth, which really had me depressed. The other thing that bothered me was the blacks! Here we go again! I know, I know, I may be picky about blacks but THAT’S what gives me the depth & good detail in a movie, it MUST have nice blacks with good CR otherwise why bother? Get an el cheapo unit and be done with it!


In any event, we then tried the Fifth Element in Superbit & my opinion went 180 degrees the other way! I said WOW! Now THAT’S a GREAT picture! This movie did it, it at least put my doubts behind me & proved that the blacks ARE better & the detail WAS there. I could only imagine what it will do with HD!


Anyway, I then asked Cameron if we could see this unit with an HTPC that Andy had in the car & he said no problem. Andy had a hard time at first trying to get it to play but with a little luck we were rolling again. First I’d like to say that we couldn’t get the HTPC to sync with the SX21 at it’s native 1400x1050 format but had no problem in the 1280x768 wide screen ratio. I’m sure it would have looked even better in its 1400 format.


Now, the HTPC added a better-detailed picture with better depth & better blacks NO doubt whatsoever so, if HTPC is in question then DON’T let it be. It is DEFINITELY a better way to go in terms of EVERYTHING to better the quality of what you want to watch. Just about any movie we tried looked beautiful. Scenes from FE Superbit rocked the screen. The dark scenes were good and at times great but good most of the time. We also threw on Brotherhood of the Wolf, which is a pretty dark movie shot mainly at night, and the level of enjoyment watching this movie was not the same as watching it with a DLP unit that has good CR. That is if you’re not susceptible to rainbows of course & the unit doesn’t display any artifacts.


The fan on this unit was pretty good, rated at 35db according to Cameron, not as quiet as the DLP’s out there but I didn’t see a reason for a hush box. This PJ has no problem finding it’s way into my living room. The light spill was minimal, I could live with it, wasn’t an issue, kudos to JVC.


Now..


Is it the king of PJ’s? Does it beat the other DLP’s? Is it worth the money? Well, most people would answer yes to these questions had they seen this unit & they have every right. If a nice bright picture is what you’re after then this baby will do, AND it will provide good blacks. This is one gorgeous PJ that spits out one great picture but to me I still think that the NEC HT1000 KILLS this projector when it comes to the black level & the detail in the blacks. It may sound crazy but I would have NOT believed it hadn’t I seen the HT1000 set up at my place either. Not to say that the HT1000 doesn’t rival the SX21 in colors either, it may not have AS good colors as this SX21 but I’ll tell you first hand it’s pretty darn close.


Now, if I had to pick which one over the HD2 units out there, I’d first consider the price, then the black level & then the colors. At this given MSRP and with a street price of about $15,000 CDN and out here in North America if we’re lucky by end of Feb. 2003 I’d say I’d buy this one over the Seleco 300+ that streets here for about $24,000CDN NO question. It is worth the wait. Since it is the only unit that I’ve seen from the new HD2’s 16:9 out there I give the edge to the SX21 no question. Sure the 300+ has better blacks & that’s what I like in a PJ but it has a difference in price of $9,000CDN, which is more important than blacks. If money was no issue than I may have chosen the 300+ but it is an issue so I don’t want to even go there..hehe.


Bottom line is this, if you are not bothered by the latest DLP’s then the NEC HT1000 is going to be a HARD unit to beat & I don’t care what you want to throw at it, DILA’s, LCD’s or what have you because it is LESS than $4000US & the SX21 will street at close to $10,000US. Now, if you were to buy 2 HT1000’s & stack them? You’d still be a couple of grand cheaper than the SX21 & I can only imagine the image that it will produce. If the HT1000 ever comes out with a long throw it has me as a customer. The SX21 is not for me as it is overpriced & not what I expected although great for many. I am a BLACK & CR level kind of guy & the DLP’s spit out a better picture than this D-ILA in that department which means everything in a movie to me. I know the colors on the HT1000 are AWESOME as well so comparing that unit to this one was actually a good thing, it allows me to give the 2 biggest thumbs up & an overall winner thus far to the HT1000. I can’t buy it because of the throw distance but if I could I wouldn’t wait for the SX21.


That’s all folks; I hope I didn’t let a lot of you D-ILA’ers down.
 

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Chris, first of all thanks for the detailed review :)


Just to put things in perspective, can you comment on the size type and gain of the screens you saw the HT1000 and the 300+ on?


Also, given a screen of at least 120" diagonal and no thought of cost, which of the three projectors would you pick?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Free, I must go now, the wife & kids are waiting to go out for dinner but look at my threads, I have reviews on both of those with the details..


Sorry, gotta run for now be back in 2 hours.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Dallas
He then threw on a movie (still in D-VHS) called Galaxy Quest & the picture was VERY disappointing! I said to John who was sitting beside me WTF happened? It lost it’s depth, it lost MORE of the black that it was lacking in the first place & the answer to that was that it was a poor transfer. I gave him the benefit of the doubt but why even throw it on if you already know it’s a bad transfer? I didn’t get it..not at all. It is all we saw from that PJ.
Chris,


Thanks for the great writeup. I don't have Galaxy Quest, but that was considered a pretty good transfer when it came out on D-VHS. Since you had just watched video based material I think the problem was probably just one of video based vs film based. The film based just won't be as clear. This is discussed a lot in the D-Theater threads and apples will never taste like oranges and vis versa. I've read that Speilberg is a fan of film based probably because it gives it more of a dream/story/not exactly real kind of look. I try to show film based before video based in my theater just because I don't want people to be disappointed with the film stuff.


It looks like the price range of the SX21 puts it in direct competition with the InFocus 7200.


--Darin
 

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Thanks Chris, I went back and re-read your other reviews and I will re-phrase my question:


Considering that the JVC was shown on a 1.1 gain 197" HUGE screen and you saw the NEC on a 1.5 gain 119" medium screen and the Seleco on a 1.3 gain 106" tiny screen, how do you think the Seleco and the NEC would look on the screen you saw the JVC on?


I do appreciate your thoughts and I know they are tempered by cost and all of us appreciate that but some of us are trying to get the best picture possible within a budget that includes the price of the JVC, or the Seleco and the NEC sounds like a great projector but if all three were the same price (and the proper throw distance) which would you get?


Post back when you get a chance :)


P.S. I have Galaxy Quest on DVHS and some scenes look OK but overall not a good choice for a demo :eek:
 

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Too bad about the computer not working at 1400x1050, were you trying it via DVI or VGA? I guess that is why the pres. of Maxx is dancing around that question in the special guest thread :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by Free
Thanks Chris, I went back and re-read your other reviews and I will re-phrase my question:


Considering that the JVC was shown on a 1.1 gain 197" HUGE screen and you saw the NEC on a 1.5 gain 119" medium screen and the Seleco on a 1.3 gain 106" tiny screen, how do you think the Seleco and the NEC would look on the screen you saw the JVC on?


I do appreciate your thoughts and I know they are tempered by cost and all of us appreciate that but some of us are trying to get the best picture possible within a budget that includes the price of the JVC, or the Seleco and the NEC sounds like a great projector but if all three were the same price (and the proper throw distance) which would you get?


Post back when you get a chance :)


P.S. I have Galaxy Quest on DVHS and some scenes look OK but overall not a good choice for a demo :eek:


How would the Seleco look on that 197" screen? I think pretty dark, I wouldn't want to project the 300+ on such a huge screen. I think the Seleco best performs on 120" screens & lower.


The NEC on the other hand had lumens to spare on my 119" screen so I do believe that it would put up a good fight on such a huge screen. Another reason I come to this conclusion is, today's viewing of the 150CL has 1000 lumens & so does the HT1000 which makes them equal in light output other than the fact that one having the Xenon bulb (150CL) which shouldn't make a difference in light, only in color accuracy.


If all being equal in price and with the throw distance I wanted I still think the HT1000 would be my choice.


The answer to your other question about the HTPC we were using a 6ft DVI cable in DVI to the projector.
 

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Wow! Now I really wish they made a long throw lens for the HT1000 :(
 

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Would the SX21 have had better blacks on a firehawk or greyhawk screen? What do you have your NEC on? Just curious if you are more use to your screen and setup.
 

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I was also there this morning and the way it went it's almost impossible to draw many conclusions.


My current setup is a 9" crt using a HTPC running at 960P on an 8' wide 1.3

screen. I am very happy with the image I am getting and am not in the market for a PJ at this time. i have seen a number of DLP's set up properly but none of the flagship HD2's..


Now my observations..


On all viewing both projectors were left at the default "0" settings.


I too was quite impressed with the 150 using D-Vhs for good source material like the Yes concert and the Hockey broadcast, but Galaxy Quest was a huge disappointment and if I were JVC I'd drop that one.


I wish we hadn't bothered to spend that much time with D-VHS and the 150 because we didn't view any of the D-Vhs on the Sx-21..the only consolation is that if the SX-21 is any where as good as the 150, then this PJ on a big screen would be a good long term investment.


We did watch some of 5th Element on the 150 on the 129"[edited - meant 12'wide] screen and the overall quality did drop a fair bit. I was very impressed with the colour accuracy on the 150. It was excellant, matching that of my crt.


We put 5th Element on pause then switched over to the SX-21 - again great colours but you could see the effect of such a large screen using a 480 material.


We then switched to the HTPC using the DVI input..we also dropped the image size down to 119" diag as this is what Chris uses. We were not using the full width and I'd guess the actual image was no more than 8' wide.


The picture was far too dark and the colours oversaturated. We threw on Spiderman - chapters 18 for the movement and vivid colours and then chapter 22 which is the scene where Kirsten is attacked in the alley. The image was far too dark with almost no detail present.


We then switched to the 15 pin HD input and this was better although still too dark..colours were oversaturated but not as much as with the DVI. Fleshtones were too orangy.


We put on Brotherhood of the Wolf..this disc looks great on my CRT - the colours are rich and vibrant without being too strong - flesh tones very accurate -the disc really demonstrates wonderful depth and 3D images. I thought overall the blacks on both PJ's were quite good, but still quite a bit less than my crt for image depth.


Ignoring price difference, I'd advise anyone not to take the SX-21 off your list based on this thread..From what I saw today, you must see one properly calibrated with Avia and your source player. It has the potential to rival any DLP and I can't see any negatives..
 

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I have to agree with Chris that the NEC is one of THE best projectors Ive seen. Super bright and great colors with every feature you could dream of. For me Im in the same boat as free, I need a long throw. NEC are you listening?
 

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Thanks for the honesty Chris! Somehow I don't think you're going to be a JVC Posterboy.


What can you tell us about panning problems with the JVC - any? From reading some of your posts about your Sharp it seemed you became somewhat disillusioned about how it handled pans. Is the JVC better? Is the NEC HT1000 better?


Cheers,


Grant
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I did pay attention to the panning shots but didn't insert it in my review, was rushing a bit & missed a few things I guess, anyway, the panning shots were silky smooth, probably the best that I've seen so far from any projector thus far other than the G90 that I must say tops all PJ's in that department as well.


The NEC HT1000 also did well in this department, I was surprised because I thought it was a DLP defect. Although there were some panning artifacts in the HT1000 you must try real hard to see them where on the SX21 you can't even if you tried.


Don't get me wrong, the SX21 is a SUPER PJ & will make many people happy. I am just telling it like it is with MY EYES & what I LIKE to see. Many of us are different & may prefer this to what I think is better so please take my review as just that, a review. You MUST see one WITHOUT the Teranex and DVD material not just D-VHS to be able to do a proper comparison to other DLP's or LCD's.
 

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Chris. You are indeed a stud! Any comment on the blacks on the 150 vs the blacks on the SX21 (which looked bluish to me on the SX21 at Cedia).
 

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I was one of the guys at the demo today.

My thanks to Chris for making this viewing possible and to Cameron @ JVC for being a great host. Chris & John already gave a good account, but here is my 2 cents.


First let me state my bias: I have been lusting after a D-ILA projector for 3 years now and have been on the purchasing fence on a few occasions for a G11/G15. Back in late September, I ordered an SX21 for myself sight-unseen, and I am also a dealer. Who knows what is happening with delivery & pricing so lets not go there in this thread.


Something I did not know about a D-ILA panel is that the space between pixels is not black. Cameron said it lets about 50% light through. This fact, combined with a 93% fill ratio, makes the the space between pixels really really negligible.


The screen was 12' wide ( I am a constant-width guy, not a diagonal guy ) with a gain of 1.1. I have a 12' wide Da-Lite Model C matte white 1.3 gain at home. The YES concert demo via D-VHS really knocked my socks off. As did the hockey game- > what depth for a sporting event ! The Galaxy Quest demo was quite poor, washed out, lack-lustre, and I wonder too why it was shown. This had to have been attributed to a poor transfer. There is something just very right & natural about the colours on a Xenon lamp projector. The feed via a cheap JVC non-interlaced DVD player clearly dictates that an outboard scaler is a must. You will not spend this kind of dough and accept the built-in scaler.


I agree we spent too much time on the 150CL and not the SX21.


The first thing I did when Cameron fired up the SX21 was put my mug up to the screen. Man-o-man did that extra resolution look awesome up close ! I mean miniscule pixels and even more miniscule spaces between them. Via the non-interlaced DVD feed, I thought the onboard scaler of the SX21 was superior to the 150CL. The SX21 also has an image shift, so you can move the image entirely to the bottom or top edge of the display area to assist in easy masking of 3 sides. I agree that the panning was excellent. Too bad we forget to bring a B&W DVD.


I pride myself on my flawless HTPC ( P4-2.4 GHz, ATI 7500 ) , but go figure, my cordless mouse batteries died, and the DVD drive had some early troubles, maybe attributed to temperature changes or moisture condensation. But things got straightened out. First, the HTPC via DVI was a huge improvement in my opinion -> much much better detail. Unfortunately, there was way too much black, but we did not bother to calibrate any of the settings as time was getting short. I was able to sync via 1024x768 and 1280x1024 via DVI. For some reason I could not display 1400x1050 via DVI. I would get a physical 1280x1024 display with a 1400x1050 virtual desktop. In the ATI Advanced display properties, only the FPD pane was active and it said "DLA-SX21" maximum resolution "1280x1024". I assume this is what was inducing the virtual desktop. I had previously over-riden the monitor setting to be a Sony 21" 520GS which can display about anything thrown at it. Is this a limitation of ATI's DVI hardware ? Via analog VGA, the projector had great troubles syncing to 1400x1050 though I did not fight with it too much due to time. Keep in mind that our SX21 is an early production unit so I am very sure this wil be ironed out. Even if the SX21 cannot accept native 1400x1050 via DVI, how can we really know what we are missing as the onboard upconversion from 1280x1024 -> 1400x1050 did not incur a visual penalty in my opinion. Also, I thought that the DVI & VGA connections ( though completely uncalibrated ) provided 2 different "feels" to the image. The DVI was crisp & sharp, while VGA was more relaxed & smooth. Only some lenghty playing and calibration will provide some truer answers and comparisons.


My Personal Thoughts & Purchasing Criteria ...

I am looking for a "keeper" projector for a 2-3 year timeframe, and it has to be a big step up from my current Proxima DX3 XGA DLP. I am also a Panamorph owner. I am not a big colour-accurate guy either. As long as flesh tones look real, the sky is nice blue, black & white movies are black & white, then I don't mind if Starsky & Hutchs' Grand Torino is off a shade of red ( as long is it is not an orange-red ). I like great detail, depth & punch, and a smooth grain-free image. I am completely hooked on D-ILA and its superior fill-factor. I have little purchasing interest in any DLP ( well maybe :) ). Regardless of the implementor, they will all ultimately use the same TI chip with the same fill-factors. I shoot onto a 12' wide screen today, and maybe a 14" screen in the future, so fill factor is very very important to me. For the same money more-or-less, I can't see the Infocus 7200 Wow'ing me out of an SX21, though I will try and seek out a 7200 to confirm my SX21 decision. Maybe on a smaller screen, or if I wasn't preprared to spend the money, I would opt for the likes of an HT1000. By all accounts, the HT1000 is probably the smartest move, but when one wants above what the likes of an HT1000 has to offer, ya gotta pay the man. Please take my comments with a grain of salt and go audition your own short-list if you can.


Needs & Wants vs Price & Performance -> the endless debate ( or debacle ) !


- Andy
 

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The lack of DVI input info is a dissapointment (and your HTPC has that same die when others are watching it issue that they all have :) !!!) but not getting the 1:1 mapping may indicate and back up the statements of others who are saying that it will not handle this, tstites springs to mind... To me I dont truly agree with the it does not hurt the image impresssion (to the concept in general) as I have the same issues with my Hitachi... While I am running in full screen stretch and powering it at 1280x1024 when using any computer based image you can see the fuzzyness created by that rescaling of pixels... After a lot of playing with scaled DVD source and just sitting there up close to the screen (closer than I would sit) I would have to say that 1:1 attains a precision clarity (TT Player / Sonic decoder pack upgrade / Radeon / Catalyst 2.4) that becomes smoother or softer when set to full panel stretch.... My eyes are not the sharpest on the planet and from my seating its a fair compromise (plus theres a Pannie in the mix further perhaps softening the image) and it takes a really nice DVD transfer to get what I mean here but it is a point I would like to think about... Why do we all rave and love HTPC via DVI.... Only one set of scaling done in the digital domain... To allow a second set with minimal artifacts would bug me (visual impact or not... Thats how tightly wound I am :rolleyes: ) ....


Also I read the Maxx special guest thread and it did not appear that he danced around the question... He may have been brief in his answer and it may have been re asked and rephrased a few times to get absolute clarity but his direct statement is
Quote:
Yes, the MAXX 1400 internal scaler can be bypassed with an external scaler, and be mapped pixel for pixel by the panels.
further questioning checked that this happens on DVI as well as RGB and was also given a 100% YES answer... As these are clones I am thinking that either you were just unlucky with the DVI on the JVC or if the full impact of the DVI question on the Maxx may have not been correctly understood or answered in that thread (please note I am not attempting to knock or discredit Scott of Maxx in any way) but we are a picky bunch and he may not understand quite how picky... I know it took a long time to get through to Hitachi that claiming 1365x1024 computer input in thier literture is not the same as 1280x1024 in full mode....
 

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But my concern is that the ATI 7500 with Catalyst 2.4 cannot output greater than 1280x1024 via DVI. This is what I believe my scenario was. Can anyone verify this ?


- Andy
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Andy Lammer
But my concern is that the ATI 7500 with Catalyst 2.4 cannot output greater than 1280x1024 via DVI. This is what I believe my scenario was. Can anyone verify this ?


- Andy


Andy,


I don't think this is the case. I had the same trouble feeding the SX21 at 1400*1050 when we did a test at my studio shortly after CEDIA. But eventually it worked, so I can verify, it WORKS. I used an original Radeon VE then and I think you have to really trick around a little bit with Powerstrip to get it working (although I somehow cannot reconstruct what really did it).


Anyways, with 1280*1024 (the maximum via DVI anyways, 1400*1050 was via VGA) you don't lose that much and it looks every way as stunning.


The only thing that might be intersting to improve is black level, well .....


Cheers

Christoph
 

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Christoph...


I am talking DVI... If it did not map RGB also then there would be more issues.. I had always assumed that RGB was fine for the 1450x1050... DVI can take higher than 1400x1050 in 5m quality cable...


I have read of 1080x1920 via DVI using dual link cables up to 8m or so...


Make sure you set PNP off for the display driver and use a monitor .INF that has uber resolutions...
 
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