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Hi.


The one thing I've noticed after living with the Vutec SilverStar for 3 weeks now is the tremendous amount of contrast that the screen shows. Just the other night, I was watching a film and found myself lowering the contrast on my Sharp from -6 (what I used on the Firehawk) to somewhere between -17 and -20. At these levels the SilverStar is still 2:1 better than the Firehawk in perceived depth and overall contrast. As soon as I drop the contrast to what would be a ridiculously low setting using the Firehawk, the Vutec has begun to truly show a level of resolution I didn't think was possible out of my machine. Apparently it's always been there; the Firehawk just couldn't show it.
 

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With many projectors you can increase contrast by reducing light output. Especially with these current 1 chip DLPs.


How do you make up the light? Silverstar.


Details, contrast and punch. It's only gonna get better


This screen isn't about hiding the image, it's about SHOWING the image!
 

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jshd,


That sounds great, jshd, I'm glad the SilverStar is working so well for you. I do think that people are beginning to re-think this idea that home theaters need to shoot for standard movie-theater brightness---myself included. The SilverStar is a great way to get some extra brightness out of dim projector.


Please allow me to offer a bit of caution, however. The "contrast" setting on your projector isn't something that you should just arbitrarily adjust to change the brightness of your image. That's because it affects other aspects of the picture quality as well. Usually adjusting it just a couple of clicks is no problem, but jumping from -6 to -20 might compromise the greyscale resolution of your projector.


I would recommend that you use a calibration disk like Avia or Digital Video Essentials to set your projector's "brightness" and "contrast" settings. If the result is too bright for your tastes, then switch to a lower-power mode. (You may have to readjust the brightness and contrast at that point, again using Avia or DVE). Then, if the result is still too bright, consider getting an ND filter and putting it in front of the lens...


If you're already using Avia or DVE to set contrast, then please let me apologize in advance for assuming otherwise. It's just that I've found that if I adjust my projector's contrast too far away from zero, I inevitably crush my blacks or my whites. Of course, I don't have a Sharp, so your mileage will vary.


And since you're enjoying the detail your new bright combination is providing, I would hate for you to be inadvertantly compromising it.
 

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This is interesting.

Your projector, no matter what it is has only one correct setting for contrast. That correct setting is having the contrast control set just below the point of "crushing" the brightest whites and is the same on any screen.

If someone should go below that "correct" point the Black level stays the same but the "contrast ratio" drops.


I think what your saying (if your contrast was correctly set with the Firehawk) is the SilverStar is too bright..for you.. and your going to use it at half brightness.


I'm curious, what size is your SilverStar and about how many lumen's is your pj ?
 

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Reducing the contrast control on your projector is reducing the maximum light level it can produce. However all DLP are digital projectors - regardless of the source being an analog input. By reducing this control you have diminished the dynamic range from 8 bits to 6-7 bits. You should be able to see this clearly in the grey scale ramps from Avia (even more so with the bright screen). It should be a nice smooth ramp with no detectable transitions from one grey to the next shade of grey.


If you want to use a SilverStar with a bright projector - make sure it has a mode to reduce the lamp output or can attach a neutral density filter - rather than digitally reducing the signal input. Or enlarge your screen size to take advantage of the inverse square law of light dropoff and enjoy an even bigger screen!
 

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Well of course, brightness depends on the size of the screen and its gain, of course. I mean, the Sharp 12K in HC mode is going to be bright, probably too bright, on an 80" SilverStar, but it's going to be dim on a 120" StudioTek.


So I don't think there's a standard definition of "bright". But I think that generally, people choose their screen size first, and so at that point a "bright" projector is probably best defined as one which would adequately light up a matte white or 1.3 gain screen of that size. Pair that kind of projector with a SilverStar, and it's now going to be very bright!
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by jkirby
Krasmuzik. I 'm curiuos. what is your definition of a "bright" projector? the Sharp Z12k in HC mode seems to be about 400-500 lumens. Doesn't sound bright to me....


Is there a standard definition of what is "bright"? (e.g. about 1000 lumens, etc.)
That would pretty dependent on screen size. Bright on a 6-foot screen qould not be 'bright' on a 12-foot screen. You should probably look at it as a function of foot-lamberts instead of lumens.


RG
 

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I've seen a 12K on an ~80" High Power. Very nice.


With the iris shut down I highly doubt you will find people describing either the Silver star or High Power as too bright. More like..."Holy $hit that looks sweet!" I even said it.


anything between 20-35 foot lamberts is producing a healthy picture
 

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Thanks for the data point---I was obviously just guessing. Hopefully everyone gets my point anyway---what constitutes "bright" really depends on three factors: screen size, screen gain (at the seating position), and projector brightness. And 20-35 ft-L sounds good to me.
 

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cancel that, 20-40 is healthy ;)


seriously though. I just calculated my ft lamberts and I'd say I'm somewhere between 35-40


I need to get the meter out and see what the projector is really doing but with ~600 lumens and 45 square feet x approximately 3 gain I bet I'm around 40.


I would not say anyone would say my setup is too bright. They likely would say very nice. Before the silverstar (matte white or firehawk) I was down below or around 15. Never again. This anemic look was always very annoying.


Higher gain is for me. Especially with any thing under 1000 lumens! Give me a 3000 lumen projector and I may change my mind
 

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Yep, the evangelism of JHouse, JimmyR, Brandon B, Dawn, et al has sold me, too. I saw JimmyR's setup and thought it was great. Yeah sure it lacked contrast, but I think that problem will be solved soon. And even if I decided it's a bit too bright with the lights out, I'll just turn the bulb power down and solve that---until I want the lights on again.


Still, do let me know what you measure.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Tryg
cancel that, 20-40 is healthy ;)
Ok, Tryg, please clarify: in another thread, you said under 20 for a cinematic experience. Is 20-40 with the lights on or do you just think the cinema is too dim?
 

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There is no such thing as "too bright" as long as there are cheap neutral-density (ND) filters you can use to fix the problem!


Go ahead and give your setup a shot. If you think it will benefit from a little dimming, then go grab an ND filter. There are a wide variety of filters with different strengths. (Stronger ND filters make things darker, of course.) If you ask on this forum, we can even help you figure out how strong a filter you need.
 

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Jkirby,


Please ignore Sharp's marketing specs, the 12K in its H.Contrast mode, lamp on High, will have only 270 Ansi (measured), and 250 Ansi with the low position.


I'm projecting on a 106" diagonal High Power screen (2.1 Gain with my set-up) lamp on low, D65 calibrated.


This equals:

250 (ansi) x 2.1 (gain) x 337/106/106= 15.7ft-L.


I would say that Brightness is adequate in my case, but I wouldn't call the picture bright.Once the lamp ages I'll switch to the lamp's high position.


My previous screen, the Fire-Hawk was not suitable, in my view, to handle such low lumens.


Ran
 

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slightly off topic. just read this and thought this would be of interest.... it talks about a 3 chipper clocking in at about 88 FL and the review says


"With a 1.3 gain screen it is equivalent to about 88 fL, which permits viewing sports events, broadcast TV, or casual movies using any reasonable room lighting. You can enjoy the Super Bowl or Final Four while socializing with friends without having to cloak the room in darkness."

http://www.widescreenreview.com/texasin.html


then it goes on to say they preferred using a ND filter to get down to 18 Ft-lamberts for "serious" movie watching.


so about 20 to 30 ft-lamberts seems a good target for a new bulb - knowing that it will diminish with age...
 

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Greg is maybe one of the knowledgable and authoritative of all of the reviewers out there. He hits it right on the head with his brightness comments. With much more than 18 ftL or so, movies start to show things that aren't meant to be seen (artifacting, film weave, etc...). For video though, brighter is better.
 

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Dan. your comment confuses me.. at first you say that you shouldn't have more tha 18 ftl for movies, but then end "for video though, brighter the better."


Are you distinguishing movies off of 35mm in the cinema vs DVD in the home? Or are you just saying that we should get to as close to 18ftl as possible in our HT?


Thank you.
 
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