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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings,


I paid LaserLand in San Jose a second visit today with several friends for an extended audition of the Sharp 9000. Overall, I retain my very favorable impression of the unit, although some detailed viewing found a few shortcomings. I'll detail positives and negatives below.

Positives

I used the THX Optimode test patterns on Toy Story 2 to check the geometry and color of the set. Both were excellent. The geometry (as you would expect) is perfect. To my great surprise, the color was also outstanding. The blue filter test on the SMPTE color bars showed perfectly balanced colors.


I continued the tests with screenings of some familiar DVD's: Toy Story 2, Crouching Tiger, Pleasantville, Fifth Element, The Matrix, and the IMAX film The Dream is Alive.


Far and away the best-looking disc was Toy Story 2, more or less as expected. Perfect rendition, no film grain, bright, vibrant colors, etc. Action scenes were well-conveyed.


Fifth Element was also very enoyable, with vivid colors and good contrast. The Matrix (by nature dark and a little greenish) looked.... dark and a little greenish. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif But, blacks were black and detail in dark scenes was good.


Crouching Tiger was my test for dark scenes, and I used the chase across the roof tops. Crouching Tiger isn't a super transfer -- it looks good on an NTSC set, but HD on a large screen reveals excessive film grain. Some of the darkest scenes on the roof were a little hard to see. However, flesh tones were excellent and the scene in the bamboo forest showed both great greens and nice flesh tones.


The Dream is Alive looked very good, although this IMAX transfer could be better. Film grain was very evident, but detail contrast and color looked very nice. This 4:3 title revealed the slightest bit of keystone.


Pleasantville was my test for black and white. Black and white was just that -- black and white. No tinting of the grayscale.


Finally, we also auditioned some true HDTV -- HDNet from DirecTV. There's really no way to say this except WOW!!. Detail was fantastic, color rendition was vivid and natural. Fleshtones were very good, although I might knock the reds down one click or so. The only thing that didn't look spectacular was moving water (waterfalls and waves). This is simply the fault of MPEG.

Negatives

I noticed the slightest bit of color wheel rainbow during the black and white scenes of Pleasantville, particularly bright white objects like street lights against a black background.


The THX screen geometry pattern (the bright white circle) was the worst by far. Rainbow effects were very visible with this test pattern. So much so as to be downright painful. I'm not overly concerned by this, as I noticed no such artifacts on any real picture sources. However, I think I will re-visit LaserLand when Episode 1 comes out to see how space sequences look.


No DVI/HDCP or 1394/5C story. This is a total showstopper for me. Until there's some resolution of this issue, I can't buy. If this issue is resolved, I'll purchase instantly.


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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 10-01-2001).]
 

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Justmike,


Thanks for the follow-up comments.


WRT the poor rendering of water and waterfalls on HDTV/HDNet: I am pretty sure that this is a problem with the MPEG coding in the source and not a problem with the projection. I have noticed this same issue on several displays, and it really looks like poor compression.

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yes, I agree completely. As I said above, this is just MPEG's fault -- nothing to do with the display. MPEG's two worst enemies appear to be fast-moving water and confetti. And lots of flash bulbs (like a news conference). The artifacting might be a little more evident on this set simply because the resolution and sharpness are so outstanding.


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

Mike Kobb

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