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aka jfinnie
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Cool beans, nice review :)

In order to hit those contrast ratios there is obviously some serious dimming that has to happen of the "bright" projector; is that achieved by lamp dimming or some other means? How does it fair with the typical dynamic torture tests, like the interrogation scene in Oblivion? And you did the Dynamic contrast tests I guess with your lower brightness charts - how does it deal with there being small bright highlights on part of the screen - does it reduce the brightness of the highlights, or do you end up with the additional bright "black" floor being added to the image?
 

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ABSOLUTE ULTIMATE AV
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Discussion Starter #22 (Edited)
@ARROW-AV

Great write-up! :)
Thanks for the review!

A few remarks/questions:

1) Would be good to mention where the ADL study and patterns come from ;)

2) You are mentionning 6000:1 native ON-OFF contrast:
- Is that for one projector considered alone?
- Did you measure native ADL contrast (Not dynamic) each projector and the pair? If you did, it would be good to addthe native contrast ADL measurements as well (curves and table)

3) Is there the possibility to buy only one of those 2 projectors (for example the dark one) with the contrast optimization you mentionned done in the light path?

4) The projector being 1080p, who did the downscaling job to display the 4K Brown Fox Test Pattern? The Lumagen?

5) We have 2 tri-dlp aligned on top of each other. I understand that the 2 projectors uses a smart mechanical alignement system.
But the 3 panels within one single projector are "normally" never perfectly aligned.
How was the native convergence alignement of each projector. And then of the 2 combined?
Could you add some close-up screenshot of typical RGB convergence alignement pattern?

6) You mention "Excellent 3D Performance". Are they using a passive system since 2 projectors are available? Or is it 144Hz triple flash technology?
What is the remains light output behind the glasses?

Thank you again! :)
Keep the good work. I enjoy reading your technical reviews!

Florian
Hello Flo! :)

Hopefully it was worth the wait? ;) :D :p

1) Would be good to mention where the ADL study and patterns come from ;)
Done and thank you again for your excellent work in this regard! :)

I have added this to the review:

For further details regarding the importance of full range contrast measurements and the absolutely superb ADL contrast study carried out by Florian & Anna of PROJECTION DREAMS see: Brightness of movies (ADL) and contrast measurements

Further to your excellent Native ADL Contrast test patterns, you will recollect we had a conversation regarding Dynamic Contrast wherein of course your Native ADL Contrast test patterns can't be used to measure Dynamic ADL Contrast for obvious reasons, so I went ahead and myself developed the necessary additional Dynamic ADL Contrast test patterns, comprising grayscale instead of white squares of the same stimulus levels as your native patterns (so the gray squares are corresponding larger than the white squares in the native patterns). These allow me to measure the effects of and quantify any Dynamic Contrast associated gamma modulation that might be being used as part of the Dynamic Contrast functionality.

Hence for the first time we can now scienticially measure and plot the full range of contrast measurements not only with respect to Native Contrast performance, but also Dynamic Contrast performance as well :cool:

And I would have never have got there without all of your work on ADL or your invaluable advice regarding creating the Dynamic ADL Contrast test patterns... So THANK YOU ! :)

And whilst I am at it I would like to also thank @Kris Deering for his input with respect to completing and testing my spreadsheet into which the measurements are inputted, the various calculations are made, and the plots are created. This also provides additional useful data such as what is the Dynamic Contrast multiplier both with and without gamma modulation for each of the ADL %age points so we can deep dive into seeing how a particular projector's Dynamic Contrast functionality actually operates, what it is doing, and what it is not doing.

Where you will be pleased to see that Kris, like me, is similarly going to be including the full range of contrast measurements, both with respect to Native and Dynamic contrast performance in his reviews too, wherein he has already started to do so with his excellent review of the JVC RS3000/NX9 in Sound & Vision Magazine: https://www.soundandvision.com/content/jvc-dla-nx9-d-ila-projector-review-test-bench

2) You are mentionning 6000:1 native ON-OFF contrast:
- Is that for one projector considered alone?
No. All contrast measurements are for the 'whole picture' so both projectors combined.

- Did you measure native ADL contrast (Not dynamic) each projector and the pair? If you did, it would be good to addthe native contrast ADL measurements as well (curves and table)
No, I didn't. I measured the native and dynamic ADL contrast for the 'whole picture' so both projectors combined.

I agree it would be interesting to dig deeper regarding evaluating what the two projectors are doing individually, but at 24 pages long I figured my review was long enough already! ;) :D :p

3) Is there the possibility to buy only one of those 2 projectors (for example the dark one) with the contrast optimization you mentionned done in the light path?
Good question. I will ask :)

4) The projector being 1080p, who did the downscaling job to display the 4K Brown Fox Test Pattern? The Lumagen?
Another excellent question. The projectors will not accept a 4K resolution image, so the image needs to be downscaled to HD 1080p in the video chain prior to the projector. In this instance this is done via an HD FURY VERTEX and outputted to the projector as 10Bit RGB.

5) We have 2 tri-dlp aligned on top of each other. I understand that the 2 projectors uses a smart mechanical alignement system.
But the 3 panels within one single projector are "normally" never perfectly aligned.
How was the native convergence alignement of each projector. And then of the 2 combined?
Could you add some close-up screenshot of typical RGB convergence alignement pattern?
Firstly, the 3 (RGB) panels are indeed absolutely 100.0000% perfectly aligned ;)

As part of my due dilligence I flew to Italy and visited the SIM2 factory and actually saw the procedure with my own eyes. It's actually amazing.

The engineers are able to make micro-adjustments to the RGB panels in-situ by hand manually; wherein, they have a wall of video screens connected to lenses that display live feeds of hugely magnified images of the optical array. And even when the projected image looks like the RGB has perfect convergence they showed me an example of where the hugely magnified imagery shows that it is still not perfect and so can correct this such that it is indeed perfect. Consequently, the SIM2 engineers are able to achieve 100% absolute perfection in this regard, and beyond the limits of HVP !!! :cool:

This is also how they are able to 100% eliminate any and all chromatic aberration as well :)

6) You mention "Excellent 3D Performance". Are they using a passive system since 2 projectors are available? Or is it 144Hz triple flash technology?
What is the remains light output behind the glasses?
It's Active 3D, 144Hz triple flash technology :)

:wink:
 

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Yes, contrast is amazing if compared to a N9. No, fine detail is not if compared to a N9. How much does it costs the whole? To have a 1080 setup? C'mon, i love SIM2 (italian brand, my country) but this is too complicated (setup and maintenance of 2 vprs, pro installation, Lumagen etc.) and i suspect pricey, sorry, not ahead of times but behind.
SIM2 should consider a winning solution on the more affordable side: to compete with an N9 you must meet the price and easy of use criteria. And native 4k, at least.
 

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Thanks for the review Arrow-AV. This definitely is a game changer in terms of all around performance. In my mind this is now a reference level display.
 

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Discussion Starter #25 (Edited)
Yes, contrast is amazing if compared to a N9. No, fine detail is not if compared to a N9. How much does it costs the whole? To have a 1080 setup? C'mon, i love SIM2 (italian brand, my country) but this is too complicated (setup and maintenance of 2 vprs, pro installation, Lumagen etc.) and i suspect pricey, sorry, not ahead of times but behind.
SIM2 should consider a winning solution on the more affordable side: to compete with an N9 you must meet the price and easy of use criteria. And native 4k, at least.
I hear you and I actually said precisely the same thing! :)

*HOWEVER* then I actually saw its performance ;)

In short, this projector really is 'incredible' by definition (as in 'unbelievable'), in that it's going to be very much a case of "I'll believe it when I see it" due to the fact it is only HD resolution. That said, it's probably the sharpest HD resolution image that you have ever seen.

For what it's worth, whilst I was evaluating the unit at @Alan Gouger's place, for interest we carried out a blind test on some unsuspecting AV enthusiasts. They did not know what the projector was when viewing demos of its performance, and the result of the answers to the questions put to them after the demos were completed was that quite literally every single person believed they had been viewing a new native 4K resolution laser projector. Seriously! :eek:

But like I already said, this is really going to have to be seen to be believed. Absolutely nothing wrong with being a Doubting Thomas. So was I until I saw it! :)

:wink:
 

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@Lasalle has just installed a SIM2 HDR DUO PLUS into his brand new extraordinarily impressive home theater, which I had the pleasure of checking out during a recent visit

His screen is larger...

@Lasalle what size is your screen exactly? :)

Also, any chance you can share some feedback regarding what you think of the performance of the SIM2 HDR DUO PLUS?

It would be good to hear some feedback from an actual owner ;)

:wink:
Thanks Nigel,
great write up. It's the first time I've seen real measurements that relate to what you actually see on the screen with real movie content, brilliant. I was getting a little fatigued from people who had never seen the Sim2 telling me not to believe my "lying eyes", your measurements have put that to rest.

As you know, I've been working with Alan on this for over 2 years. His custom gamma curve work had brought dramatic improvement, anyone considering this projector needs to get them. During that time we compared it to a modified Barco (10K:1 on/off) and a 6P Laser with a Barco head unit, the Sim 2 significantly outperformed both ( as an aside, in my opinion both those units exceed the performance of any of the high-end HT blue laser projectors on the market today)

My Screen is a Dream Screen 16:9 just over 13 feet wide (160"). The picture is very bright, even with the backout curtains open and the shades up (see the LOGE thread for details). You write up is very thorough so I will only put some emphasis on a few points.

1) Brightness, I watch with both filters in and its very bright on a 13ft wide screen. I don't question your 3800-lumen measurement but will say that 3800 at this level of on screen contrast has a much higher perceived brightness than projectors I've seen with double that output. I can't remember if you were in the session where the brighter projector lost its sync, we watched a significant scene on the "darker" projector (with the filter in) and it lite up the 13' screen to the point that no one noticed the "bright " one was out. The 3D light output (even with both filters) is amazing.

2) Pixaliation, my front row is about 9' back from the 13' screen. There is no visible pixelation there, you need to get closer to 7' to see any. This may be due to 2 1080P images being projected, but as you mentioned the sharpness still looks 4K like, as verified by your testing.

3) Color, not only does it exceed 3P but its in near perfect balance yielding rich greens that often appear more "lime green" on laser projectors. I've been told this has to do with the narrow bandwidth of the lasers and the frequencies chosen, but I have not seen rich balanced colors on any (of the many) laser projectors that I evaluated.

4) Contrast, the numbers are impressive, but the observation is even more so. The picture is 3D from the screen back, your OLED comparison is spot on but its hard to fathom a 13' wide OLED. Even regular blurays look UHD like in the added depth from the contrast. 3D on this projector is surreal, images launch off the screen into your face.

I'll post more comments later.
 

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Excellent question! :)



Wherein, the question is really: "How does this compare to dual stacked projectors?" ;)



In short, it is completely different :)



That was simply stacking two SONY 995s together. Wherein, both projectors are displaying precisely the same image, meaning that you attaining double the light output, but the dynamic range remains precisely the same, because but you also double the black floor. So, on the plus-side you benefit from double the luminance, but on the down-side you have exactly the same dynamic range with two-times-worse-black-levels.



In developing this projector SIM2's target objective was to achieve superior and improved HDR performance in particular and recognized that in order to achieve this you need more than just more light output / 'brightness'; specifically, you need to increase the luminance dynamic range of the projector. Where, by increasing the dynamic range, this actually not only improves HDR performance but also achieves better contrast and black levels with respect to all video content (both SDR and HDR).



So, with the SIM2 HDR DUO PLUS, the two projectors actually project different images. One is optimized to display the dark parts optimally, the other is optimized to display the bright parts optimally; the combination of which yields a significantly increased dynamic range without doubling the black floor; as per explained in detail in my review :)



This is something which I am not aware of any projector manufacturer having done before. In which case it's pretty revolutionary.



The Christie achieves the same thing, namely increased luminance dynamic range, but does so via use of different technology.



:wink:


On the topic of stacking, I wonder how the SIM2 would compare to stacked Sony 5000s(which are 4K). Would be similar pricing and seems like most logical competitor. The Christie (if it ever comes out) will be in a totally different price point.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

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Another excellent question. Yes, it is the downscaled by the Lumagen. The projectors will not accept a 4K resolution image, so the image needs to be downscaled to HD 1080p in the video chain prior to the projector.
Hi Nigel, I can't speak to the test pattern referenced in this question but all the down scaling done in Alan's and my setups is performed by an HD-Fury Vertex.
The Lumagen feeds it a 4K UHD signal and the Vertex down scales it to 1080P with 12bit Color and all the HDR meta data.
 

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I don’t know why they don’t made it in 4k configuration this type of price point in this days which soon will go up more towards 8k and so from the pic it looks stunning and just saying in this price it should be up to date just imagine how this setup will look in native 4k


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Sim2 do have a Dual Nero 4s UHD HDR product offering using the XPR .67 DMD http://www.sim2.com/home/en/content/dual-nero-4s-uhd-hdr

But the DMDs have a lower native contrast and I'm not sure whether it is tuned to the same degree as this one, so doubtful you get the benefits you do from the 1080p solution.

Also the 1080p solution is a 3 x DMD while 4k is 1 x DMD plus colour wheel so could get rainbows.

All in all I expect the Lumis platform that 1080p solution is the best at this time to base this on.

They probably need a native 4K 3 x DMD platform to move beyond the 1080p solution and that would only be assuming the starting Native & ANSI contrasts are comparable. Though the ANSI contrast probably has much more to do with the base platform design that the DMDs sit in than the DMDs themselves.
 

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Are you absolutely sure horizontal stacking isn't an option?
You could indeed do a side by side if you invert one of the projectors to minimize the distance between both lenses. This would allow for optimal manual alignment of both projectors. When the system is locked down it is very stable and does not drift.
 

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aka jfinnie
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Hi Nigel, I can't speak to the test pattern referenced in this question but all the down scaling done in Alan's and my setups is performed by an HD-Fury Vertex.
The Lumagen feeds it a 4K UHD signal and the Vertex down scales it to 1080P with 12bit Color and all the HDR meta data.
Interesting - why not do it with the Lumagen Pro, since it can?
 

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Interesting - why not do it with the Lumagen Pro, since it can?
You could, your splitting hairs either way.
In this case, I want to feed the SIM2 RGB, I have to use the HDFury for this conversion to maintain 10 bit. If the Fury has to perform this conversion I decided to also use its scaling.
You might ask why not use the Lumagen for the color conversion? Currently, the Lumagen spits out 8bit in RGB.
 

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aka jfinnie
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You could, your splitting hairs either way.
In this case, I want to feed the SIM2 RGB, I have to use the HDFury for this conversion to maintain 10 bit. If the Fury has to perform this conversion I decided to also use its scaling.
You might ask why not use the Lumagen for the color conversion? Currently, the Lumagen spits out 8bit in RGB.
Makes sense, I wasn't aware you were feeding the PJs RGB. It is a shame they are still limited to 8bit RGB out on the Lumagen Pro, I'd like that flexibility to play with some things on mine as I have all the CMS notionally disabled in my own projector via the raw "profile off" mode. It would be nice to see if there is any advantage from (perhaps) missing out some conversion steps.

What role does the Lumagen play in the system? Is it "just" doing colour correction / HDR tonemapping etc, or is it somehow configured to generate differently processed signals for each of the projectors? Or is all the high / low processing happening for the respective projectors internal to the projector?
 

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ABSOLUTE ULTIMATE AV
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Discussion Starter #36 (Edited)
No 4K, no laser, no go.
Point me in the direction of a 4K Laser Projector that delivers at least the same performance for less than $100,000 please :)

Oh wait :D

In which case, it's "no go" as in 'NO PROJECTOR AT ALL' unless you buy the CHRISTIE, if you want anything like the same performance. Just sayin' ;) :D :p


Seriously though, joking aside ;), I fully appreciate that 'No 4K' and 'No Laser' are this projector's main criticisms. However, I would encourage folks not to dismiss this projector sight unseen.

So if or when you have the opportunity to see a demo of the SIM2 HDR DUO PLUS I would strongly encourage you to do so

Even if only to confirm whether you are right, that you can really actually notice that it is not 4K and not laser...

...OR perhaps NOT and you might be shocked at how incredible it looks? ;)


Like I already have said, we did some blind testing, and the results were that in 100% of instances folks actually believed that they were viewing a new 4K laser projector. Seriously! :)


I'd seriously love to do a blind shootout between this projector and SONY's flagship 5000ES 4K Laser projector sometime. That'd certainly put the cat amongst the pigeons :D

:wink:
 

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You could indeed do a side by side if you invert one of the projectors to minimize the distance between both lenses. This would allow for optimal manual alignment of both projectors. When the system is locked down it is very stable and does not drift.
Wow, this is great, and makes this setup a viable option for me. Especially nice that the projectors themselves are so compact (less than 20cm height I believe?) so I would be able to conceal both projectors seamlessly within the soffit.

I'm going to be completing my build over the next 2 years (by end 2020) and while this isn't an option in the first phase (2019), it's something I will seriously consider for the final solution.
 

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ABSOLUTE ULTIMATE AV
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Discussion Starter #38 (Edited)
Thanks Nigel,
great write up. It's the first time I've seen real measurements that relate to what you actually see on the screen with real movie content, brilliant. I was getting a little fatigued from people who had never seen the Sim2 telling me not to believe my "lying eyes", your measurements have put that to rest.
Yes indeed, nothing wrong with your eyes sir! And the measurements most certainly prove that! :)

1) Brightness, I watch with both filters in and its very bright on a 13ft wide screen. I don't question your 3800-lumen measurement but will say that 3800 at this level of on screen contrast has a much higher perceived brightness than projectors I've seen with double that output. I can't remember if you were in the session where the brighter projector lost its sync, we watched a significant scene on the "darker" projector (with the filter in) and it lite up the 13' screen to the point that no one noticed the "bright " one was out. The 3D light output (even with both filters) is amazing.
Well, by my calculations I would expect to be measuring circa 32 fL / 110 nits image luminance on your large 13ft wide screen. And with a big screen that size, given the perception of luminance versus screen size is not linear, a 32 fL / 110 nits image is plenty bright. Nice! :cool:

2) Pixaliation, my front row is about 9' back from the 13' screen. There is no visible pixelation there, you need to get closer to 7' to see any. This may be due to 2 1080P images being projected, but as you mentioned the sharpness still looks 4K like, as verified by your testing.

3) Color, not only does it exceed 3P but its in near perfect balance yielding rich greens that often appear more "lime green" on laser projectors. I've been told this has to do with the narrow bandwidth of the lasers and the frequencies chosen, but I have not seen rich balanced colors on any (of the many) laser projectors that I evaluated.
No arguments there. And yes the color performance is absolutely amazing. :)

4) Contrast, the numbers are impressive, but the observation is even more so. The picture is 3D from the screen back, your OLED comparison is spot on but its hard to fathom a 13' wide OLED. Even regular blurays look UHD like in the added depth from the contrast. 3D on this projector is surreal, images launch off the screen into your face.
I definitely agree that with the majority of content the projected image has a very distinct OLED-like characteristics. Wherein, I think the insanely good contrast and color performance are a lot to do with this. And there's currently only TWO video projectors in the world right now wherein this is the case, namely the SIM2 HDR DUO PLUS and the CHRISTIE. And that's it. No other projector currently delivers performance like this. End of story. Hopefully in the future we will see more, but as of right now, that's it, only these two! :cool:

Coupled with razor sharp DLP, perfect uniformity, no video noise, a rock solid and stable image, and 3,800 or 5,000 lumens of actual calibrated usable light output, and I meant what I said that all things considered as far as overall video performance is concerned this really is the best performance of any home theater projector currently available in the world as of right now

Of course the whole 'not 4K' and 'not laser' aspect is going to be a problem for many people, but I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that many of these folks, after viewing a proper demo of this projector would in fact actually agree with this perspective. Wherein, remember that I myself was actually one such 'Doubting Thomas' until after I saw the performance of this projector with my own eyes :)

:wink:
 

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ABSOLUTE ULTIMATE AV
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Discussion Starter #39
Hi Nigel, I can't speak to the test pattern referenced in this question but all the down scaling done in Alan's and my setups is performed by an HD-Fury Vertex.
The Lumagen feeds it a 4K UHD signal and the Vertex down scales it to 1080P with 12bit Color and all the HDR meta data.
Interesting - why not do it with the Lumagen Pro, since it can?
You could, your splitting hairs either way.
In this case, I want to feed the SIM2 RGB, I have to use the HDFury for this conversion to maintain 10 bit. If the Fury has to perform this conversion I decided to also use its scaling.
You might ask why not use the Lumagen for the color conversion? Currently, the Lumagen spits out 8bit in RGB.
The Lumagen spits out 8bit in RGB? Yikes! Very interesting! I did not know this! :)

Wow, that's a serious limitation of the Lumagen PRO! Kinda crazy with the cost of the Lumagen PRO you have to piggy back an HD-Fury Vertex to fix such a limitation but there you go! :eek:

Mmmmm... Let's hope the MadVR ENVY handles 10Bit color properly in this regard unlike the Lumagen PRO, eh? I have a sneaking suspicion that it will ;) :D

Makes sense, I wasn't aware you were feeding the PJs RGB. It is a shame they are still limited to 8bit RGB out on the Lumagen Pro, I'd like that flexibility to play with some things on mine as I have all the CMS notionally disabled in my own projector via the raw "profile off" mode. It would be nice to see if there is any advantage from (perhaps) missing out some conversion steps.

What role does the Lumagen play in the system? Is it "just" doing colour correction / HDR tonemapping etc, or is it somehow configured to generate differently processed signals for each of the projectors? Or is all the high / low processing happening for the respective projectors internal to the projector?
The Lumagen is used to control the switching between and scaling of the dual projectors between different aspect ratios as well.

:wink:
 

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No 4K, no laser, no go.
That was my original position and I went to great lengths to find a 4K laser solution that matched the Duo, I completely failed at that.
I have found that the current crop of 4K chips and lasers are challenged in the areas of contrast and color balance.
We had quite a detailed discussion about this a while back in the original Duo thread : https://www.avsforum.com/forum/86-ultra-hi-end-ht-gear-20-000/2857186-sim2-duo.html
The new Christie sounds like it may be the exception, but cost, size and required support infrastructure make it impractical for most HT’s.
 
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