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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I will post this shootout in both the sub $3500 and the over $3500 since it contains projectors in both segments.


Ok, time for me to try to sum up my impressions from the shootout I was at during this friday. The shootout featured the following projectors set up in a good enviroment and all projectors showed the same material at the same time through a DVI switch, which really


helped to compare them to eachother:


Zanyo z3

Panasonic AE 700

InFocus 4805

LG RD-JT92

Hitachi TX100


Infocus 7205

ProjectionDesign Action! Model One mkII

optoma h77


Mitsubishi HC900

NEC HT-510

Toshiba MT-200


I was at the shootout for a good 2.5 hours and checked out all projectors several times running forwards and backwards between them to really get a good feel on how they perform against each other. I will write a full review of everything.


I have to start with saying that up until now I have never been a fan of the LCD technology, primary because of VB, FPN and very visible screendoor. These issues has been big irritations to me each time I see them and it has generally bothered me so much that i have not been able to enjoy the picture quality (PQ) in the projectors. Especially if you see them in a direct shootout with a good DLP projector, which up until now for me just have more punch and a "clearer" picture.


But dont worry, I wont make this into a technology war. I WANT the LCD technology to take a big leap forward since I'm a bit sensitive to the dreaded rainbows of the DLP. However I have to date not seen an LCD that has been good enough for me to not live with them, even though they can be irritating at times.


So it was with good hopes and excitement I went to this shootout, not only for the Sony but also to see the new AE700, the new Sanyo z3 and the much aclaimed hitachi TX-100.


I started by goin into the shootout room containing the Sanyo z3 and the Panasonic AE700. I have seen the AE700 before and to my dissapointment this one was not especially well calibrated, it tinted towards red. However I have it pretty much in memory from the last time I saw it and you could still see some of its strongpoints, with the smoothscreen technology etc.


I did not feel a great difference in contrast between the z3 and the AE700, they felt pretty equal in that regard, even though the AE700 has been mesured higher in independent tests. The Sanyo felt a little bit clearer in the PQ than the AE700 and had a little more "punch" to the image. However the Sanyo had some thing that I found pretty annoying, the worst screendoor of all the projectors in the whole shootout. It felt like the image had been sliced in small small squares, if your not acceptable to SDE it was an excellen piece. There were some VB, but very little and not to the point that it would disturb me whom really dont like it. The AE700 did not have any screendoor what so ever, which makes the image become a little softer in its feel, however as mentioned before it is suffering of VB and pretty much of it and so did the last one I saw as well.


On the whole they were both very good projectors with their pros and cons, very much better than their predecessors. They were in the same room as an Infocus 4805 and the LG-RD-JT92 (same chipset as IF 4805 with higher lumens and higher contrast spec) so I tried to do some comparasing against them as well. The contrast in the both LCD machines is clearly better than LCD:s used to be, so to the point that the different is not staggering any more against the both DLP:s who were specified to contrast ratios of 2000:1 and 2500:1. You still did notice a difference though, but not as much as you used to to with LCD vs DLP.


The PQ still was a little "clearer" in the DLP machines and as long as there only was DVD material on most people there seemed to prefer them infront of the LCD:s. However as soon as HDTV material was put on the extra resolution really became noticable and the result was the oposite, directly most people thought the PQ was better in the LCD:s.


I was positivly supprised by the LG-RD-JT92 which I thought was a stronger PJ than the Infocus 4805. It wasnt shown very much since it shared the same screen as the sanyo z3, however when it was shown I thought the PQ was a bit clearer than the IF4805 and the contrast also felt better. Interesting to note is that I, whom is a bit sencitive to rainbows, felt less of them on these two 4x spin colorwheels than I did when I stood in the room at the shootout with three HD2+ projectors (more about them further down). A plus for me regarding these two projectors since I have not even wanted to see a 4x spin before.


So now FINALY, I went in a took a really good look at the new Sony HS50(51), I walked from the HS50 room a lot of times to directly compare it against the other projectors around the shootout to really get a feeling on how it compares. I saw a good 45 minutes of material on it, from LOTR and Nemo to HDTV etc. All I can say is....WOW!!..It does not suffer from any of the problems that I relate to LCD: It has absolutly no VB or FPN, it also had less screendoor than all LCD:s except the AE700. I had to go pretty close to the screen to be bothered by it, and the SDE more felt like dots in the corners of the pixels instead of fully marked as a square all around the pixels. It had far less SDE than the Z3, and less than the hitachi TX-100.


The contrast was really top-notch. You really could feel the contrast ratio when you looked at it, it did better in contrast than all the projectors in the shootout, including all the hd2+ projectors, which makes you feel that Sony can't lie to much about the contrast. I have to point out however that it was located in a better showroom than the HD2+ projectors which perhaps was not fully fair in terms of comparing the actual contrast.


The image was really calm, the colors was very very good, and since it totally lacked VB and FPN and only little screendoor the projected image felt as clean as the PQ in the DLP machines which is a revelation for me at least. The upgrade bug was biting me really hard when I saw it and I'm gonna be in hard negotiations with my wife the next couple of months I guess, its not directly WAF when she is perfectly happy with the projector we have allready (a BenQ pe7800, which mind you is a really good one).


If there is something to complain about (there allways have to be something) and could be seen as a weakness of it, it would be that it feels a bit dimmer than the high-end DLP machines in the shootout. It was pefectly fine in bright parts of movies where the contrast really shined, but it was a bit noticable when it projected really dark scenes, like the moria scenes of LOTR. The contrast was really superb and the black was excellent but it almost became too dark, which lost a little bit of detail compared to the HD2+ machines. You feel that it goes down in light output when that happens, its not a big thing and it kicked the crap out of the other LCD:s, just that its probably its only weakness. Perhaps it can be tweaked as well, time will tell.


Then, the poor Hitachi TX-100, which is an LCD I have liked before. Its a little weaker than the new Z3 and the AE700, but not in a big way. When I compared it to the AE700 earlier I thought it could hold its own pretty good. However in this shootout it had the hopless task of being shown together with the Sony, and when you switched between it and the sony on the same screen it almost got emberrasing for the poor unit, the FPN (fixed pattern noice, which is when you get vertical lines and not to be confused with VB which is more like bigger vertical squares) jumped out at you, even though you perhaps would'nt have thought about it if it would have stand alone. Then when it came to the dark scenes, in for example LOTR, the Hitachi went from have feeled pretty ok in the contrast to a greyish mess that felt like you where back in 2001. Thats how good the Sony was compared to it. Perhaps it was not perfectly calibrated and the iris was turned up too high, but it was VERY noticable.


Just some last words about the Sony HS50. Did it kick the ass of the other LCD:s? Yeah you bet. Did it kick the ass of the HD2+ chipped DLP:s? Hmm, no. It didnt. You could feel that it had great contrast, but in a better enviroment than the DLP:s. In a completly similar enviromen I think it would have been a close match and not a walk-over win.


Also it felt a little bit dimmer and did'nt have the full punch of the DLP:s. It felt as clear as them however and did'nt have that feeling of that someone had spilled some milk on the image which is common on LCD (at least for me). So would I, if I had no rainbow problems have choosed it over the Optoma H77 for instance? Thats a hard question, but probably not..


Anyway, I also took my time to check out the new Mitsubishi HC900. Which is a matterhorn 1024*576 DLP with a specified 4000:1 contrast ratio and 1500 ansi lumen. It was an excellent projector, with a super punch in the picture and great contrast. I could'nt compare it directly to the more expensive hd2+ ones but I think it beat them in terms of "punch" and in contrast. However you could feel the resolution when they played HDTV on it and there it got a beating by the HD2+ DLP:s.


Ok, last but not least. The shootout between the three HD2+ machines:

The ones represented were the Optoma H77, the Infocus 7205 and the ProjectionDesign Model one MKII (a long name on that one).


I was not really at the shootout to take a look at these machines, so I wont go into great detail about them. One problem that was at the shootout was that they were a bit diffent calibrated which was a bit unfortunet, you could most clearly see it when the showed pure white material where the Infocus felt most white of them and the other two was tinted a tad on different colors. Anyways the clear winner for me in this shootout was the Optoma H77, the colors felt more mature and the contrast felt better. It also produced quite a bit less of rainbows for me than the other two, which also is a possitive thing. It was also clearly much more silent than the other two, especially the Infocus. If I was to say something bad about the Optoma, it should be that its quite ugly ;)


Anyways, thats my sumary for today. Hope it helped someone :)
 

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Havocsi,


Thanks for the review. You mentioned that the NEC HT510 was at the shootout. Did you spend any time viewing this projector. How did it compare to the others?


Peter
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sorry, that was one of the few projectors together with the Toshiba MT-200 that I did not look in on closly. No one in Sweden has made a write-up about it either, but I will repost some info here if someone does.
 

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I was there too.

In my opinion ae700 was not even close to hs50
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Ohlson
I was there too.

In my opinion ae700 was not even close to hs50
If i do the math, the HS51 blew the AE700 out of the water, and the optoma h77 was a little better than the hs51.


Therefore, the h77 blew the ae700 out of the water even more than the hs51?


I'd appreciate anyones comments on this.


John
 

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First off, great review.



I found the NEW Sony lcd review very interesting, the more I hear about this little unit actually makes me wanna try it once again, as myself also felt and hated that "milk" like image over any LCD IMAGE, which was one of the main reasons I did move to DLP.


My question is, did anyone at the shootout have a HT1100/1000 or used one in the past? I'd be curious as to how this projector ranked up with everything
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Expletive
If i do the math, the HS51 blew the AE700 out of the water, and the optoma h77 was a little better than the hs51.


Therefore, the h77 blew the ae700 out of the water even more than the hs51?


I'd appreciate anyones comments on this.


John
My comment on this is that if the HS51 was just a little better then the h77 which is more then 2.5x the amount of money, the way better bargin here is the HS51!!


I'm just still shocked that anyone would consider a LCD near quality to that of a high contrast DLP HD2+ machine. I gota see this projector in person


Shocking!

:eek:
 

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It sounds as if all the tests were run using 480p DVD's. Is that correct? When I saw both the AE700 and HS51, I thought the AE700 looked softer than the HS51 on 480p, but I liked the AE700 as much as the HS51 or more on 720p. What was the source for this test?


Chris
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by stonepran
My comment on this is that if the HS51 was just a little better then the h77 which is more then 2.5x the amount of money, the way better bargin here is the HS51!!


I'm just still shocked that anyone would consider a LCD near quality to that of a high contrast DLP HD2+ machine. I gota see this projector in person


Shocking!

:eek:
I dont think he said it was a little better than the h77 or that he would choose it did he?


Id rather get an idea on how the h77 compared to the ae700 anyway since the hs51's throw doesnt work in my room. :(


John
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by RobZ
Havocsi,

How did the black level of the AE-700 compare with the HS-51?
It didnt...


The black level of the AE-700 is nice when you see it compared to only regular LCD, especially last generation. When you saw it in a shootout with two DLP:s that were specified to 2000:1 and 2500:1 it did'nt reach them. Not very far of, but you felt the differance.


However compared to the HS-50(51) it would probably look greyish since the black levels of the HS50 was just stunning. Read my thoughts about the switch between the HS50 and the TX-100. I have seen the TX-100 compared to the AE700 before and there is a differance between them but its not huge, and not even close the the differance between the HS50 and the TX-100.
 

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What was the source equipment feeding these units?


Any PAL 576 DVD's tested?


Not that im looking but this HS51 seems intriguing, must be LEAGUES ahead of any other LCD PJ current or previous..... which makes one wonder???? how??? hmmmmmmmm


Any testing done with a HTPC+FFDShow???

(i ask as tonight we did a shootout using HTPC + FFDShow of a Benq PB7220 vs my X1. An "un FFDShow" picture on the HIGHER res DLP Benq showed less detail than an FFDShowed X1 picture. Interestesting here FFDShow on both they where damn near i identical. Our source is PAL so the "native" 576 line for the benq in 16:9 mode)

I was really quite suprised how well the X1 did. (oh we had to use a ND4 on the Benq as its a light canon to get it close to the X1, at "native" brightness its not really watchable, but chuck on an ND4 and.... big improvement).
 

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The Sony is starting to look like a breakthrough and breakout projector since it seems to be comparing favourably to the HD2+ pjs at nearly 1/3 the cost. This pj is definitely going to change the projector world. It is on my must see list. This pj is going to heatup the competition which I am really looking forward to.


Cheers,


Grant
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by velvetpoet
Could you comment on brightness of hs51 compared to ae700?
No I can't. They were projected in different environment, screen size etc.
 
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