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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Which Projector Attribute relates Mostly to Detail in Dark Scenes ?

I have a BenQ W1070 which i really do love but it has it's limitations

The most obvious one to me is the detail in dark scenes

Dark sci fi/action movies are very hard to watch

I could see myself upgrading within 6 months

what Projector attribute relates mostly to having this detail in dark scenes ?

Is it more lumens ?

a better contrast ratio ?

or something else ?

do LED projectors handle dark scenes better than DLP ?

thanks :)
 

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I have a BenQ W1070 which i really do love but it has it's limitations

The most obvious one to me is the detail in dark scenes

Dark sci fi/action movies are very hard to watch

I could see myself upgrading within 6 months

what Projector attribute relates mostly to having this detail in dark scenes ?

Is it more lumens ?

a better contrast ratio ?

or something else ?

do LED projectors handle dark scenes better than DLP ?

thanks :)
Posters above gave you the answer to your question. If we can help you with selection, please contact us.
 

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I have a BenQ W1070 which i really do love but it has it's limitations

The most obvious one to me is the detail in dark scenes

Dark sci fi/action movies are very hard to watch

I could see myself upgrading within 6 months

what Projector attribute relates mostly to having this detail in dark scenes ?
To elaborate on the answers above, there are two parts to the equation:

1) Calibration (gamma). This controls how bright the displayed pixels is in relation to the value of the pixel stored in the movie, how "quickly" dark becomes light. Higher gamma settings result in the image staying dark longer, which results in a deeper, more contrasty image, but if not set right, it will obscure shadow detail. Lower gamma settings are the opposite. An idea gamma setting is one that balances retaining a deep rich image, but without obscuring shadow detail. There's also a standard, BT.1886, that defines a "gamma" curve that is based of the black level of your projector. It aims to retain the deep, rich image of a higher gamma setting but without obscuring shadow detail. Of course you need measurement equipment and multipoint gamma calibration capability to do that. This applies to any projector, a proper calibration should leave shadow detail visible.

2) Dynamic range/sequential contrast/on-off contrast. I hesitate to call this simply "contrast" because contrast is a complicated subject, especially in the days of dynamic "iris"s, but basically this is how dark the projector can display relative to it's white level. This basically determines how dark black can be, how convincing a blackout or black background can be. JVCs are really the kings of this, but many modern projectors do a good job. DLPs unfortunately are not as well off, especially the inexpensive ones. You need to get into the high end of DLPs before they are "good" but even then they're not as good in this specific area as JVCs or Sonys.
 

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As stanger89 mentioned, contrast ratio can be a complicated subject.

One of the issues is how much intra-image contrast ratio you can get off the screen during dark images. I'm guessing most know that turning the room lights off and reducing the amount of light coming into the room are important here. Basically, making the screen dark when the projector is off.

Unfortunately, there are still many people in the industry pushing that ANSI CR is what you should look at, but I think many or most here on AVS know that sequential (on/off) CR off the screen is important for dark images.

I attached an image in the second post at http://www.avsforum.com/forum/24-di...9-videos-pictures-related-contrast-ratio.html that shows some intra-image contrast ratios off the screen with measured values for 3 different configurations of one of my rooms. This is for an image that is a checkerboard of approximately 2% luminance rectangles and 0% luminance rectangles (black). System ANSI CR has limited use for images like that, despite what is pushed by some experts in this industry.

--Darin
 

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As stanger89 mentioned, contrast ratio can be a complicated subject.

One of the issues is how much intra-image contrast ratio you can get off the screen during dark images. I'm guessing most know that turning the room lights off and reducing the amount of light coming into the room are important here. Basically, making the screen dark when the projector is off.

Unfortunately, there are still many people in the industry pushing that ANSI CR is what you should look at, but I think many or most here on AVS know that sequential (on/off) CR off the screen is important for dark images.

I attached an image in the second post at http://www.avsforum.com/forum/24-di...9-videos-pictures-related-contrast-ratio.html that shows some intra-image contrast ratios off the screen with measured values for 3 different configurations of one of my rooms. This is for an image that is a checkerboard of approximately 2% luminance rectangles and 0% luminance rectangles (black). System ANSI CR has limited use for images like that, despite what is pushed by some experts in this industry.

--Darin
I suspect they push ANSI contrast numbers because they're mostly dealing with extremely high brightness DLP projectors. When the on/off contrast measures only 1500-3000:1 max yeah, I guess I could see why they think ANSI contrast is more important. But when we're talking 15000:1+ up to 50000:1 native contrast we can begin to see why ANSI contrast doesn't matter as much. As Darin points out intra-image contrast is also very important, and against what the "industry experts" will try and tell you, intra-image contrast is a better measurement to use if you want to know what the image will look like with mixed light and dark content on screen compared to ANSI contrast.
 

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I suspect they push ANSI contrast numbers because they're mostly dealing with extremely high brightness DLP projectors.
I think they may push it for multiple reasons, possibly including (but not limited to):

- They don't have a good understanding of physics and math as relates to light.
- They make bad assumptions about how light works and don't test their own assumptions properly.
- They see something and then apply it to situations it doesn't apply to. Seeing is believing, but it isn't necessarily understanding.
- They work for a company that produces products that aren't very good at sequential CR, but are good at ANSI CR, or that benefits in some other way from having people believe they should just look at ANSI CR.
- They learned about CR during the previous century and learned rules about why they should look at ANSI CR more than sequential CR (which were largely valid when CRTs dominated) and didn't readjust their thinking when digitals came along and mostly replaced CRTs.
- They know some weaknesses of sequential CR (like every test, it has weaknesses) and extrapolate that into dismissing even the valid things it brings to the table.
- They reject sequential CR because there may be some room lights on, but then incorrectly apply that to dismissing sequential CR off the screen (system sequential CR).
- They mostly deal with flat panels (where the value trade-offs between ANSI CR and sequential CR are somewhat different) and then apply their understanding to front projection.
- They trusted someone else who was pushing ANSI CR.

I believe yours is kind of included in my list, since some of those pushing DLPs may want people to believe that sequential doesn't really matter.

One positive IMO is that there are industry groups who do care about sequential CR. The IDMS for SID (Society for Information Display), where I am one of the reviewers, includes sequential CR, and I think DCI, THX, CEDIA, and ISF all value sequential CR to some degree at this point, whether they always have or not.

--Darin
 

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awesome replies, thanks all :)

I like reading the technical explanations
if you want to cut right to the chase, consider swapping out the BQ 1070 for a used JVC that are commonly found on ebay and in the classified section here. You can pick up an RS40 or RS45 for a great price and you will see an immediate, dramatic difference with sci-fi content and overall PQ improvements.

I have several excellent projectors but the JVC is my go to model for sci-fi and stage concerts.
 

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I'm surprised that so far no one has really mentioned the room, or at least the colour of it. While it should be a given that the room is properly darkened with black out curtains or similar and no ambient light, having a light coloured room will impact on the quality of dark scenes too.

Even low level light will washout the image on dark scenes, making details hard to see. While you could further reduce the low end gamma to try to help, ultimately curing the problem at source is a better solution. You don't have to make the whole room black though as just treating the first few feet out from the screen (including the ceiling) will make a big difference.

The beauty of this solution is that you can try it now with your current projector and gain some benefit. Of course if you still choose to upgrade, then the new projector will still benefit from the room improvements too.

FWIW I recently bought a JVC X500 and found that I really noticed the LED lights of my equipment that was near the front left of my screen. I previously had a JVC X35 and this hadn't been as obvious. I've now moved all my equipment out of the room, so have no light pollution from LEDs/displays and dark scenes are all the better for it. Later this year I'm adding some black velvet side curtains that will pull out each side of the screen (hidden the rest of the time, since I'm not a Goth ;)). This will further improve dark scene performance due to reduced light reflection of my light side walls.
 

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I'm surprised that so far no one has really mentioned the room, or at least the colour of it. While it should be a given that the room is properly darkened with black out curtains or similar and no ambient light, having a light coloured room will impact on the quality of dark scenes too.

Even low level light will washout the image on dark scenes, making details hard to see. While you could further reduce the low end gamma to try to help, ultimately curing the problem at source is a better solution. You don't have to make the whole room black though as just treating the first few feet out from the screen (including the ceiling) will make a big difference.

The beauty of this solution is that you can try it now with your current projector and gain some benefit. Of course if you still choose to upgrade, then the new projector will still benefit from the room improvements too.

FWIW I recently bought a JVC X500 and found that I really noticed the LED lights of my equipment that was near the front left of my screen. I previously had a JVC X35 and this hadn't been as obvious. I've now moved all my equipment out of the room, so have no light pollution from LEDs/displays and dark scenes are all the better for it. Later this year I'm adding some black velvet side curtains that will pull out each side of the screen (hidden the rest of the time, since I'm not a Goth ;)). This will further improve dark scene performance due to reduced light reflection of my light side walls.

Blacking out your room is important. Of course, once you've done that, a projector with a poor on / off contrast ratio will look even worse, and you'll have to upgrade !! :eek:
 

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Are you really saying that once the OP blacks out his room then his projector will look worse? :confused: Of course in a fully darkened room you'll be able to see the screen light up even when on a full black scene, but that's the case with any projector that doesn't completely switch off the light source on a full black scene...it just takes a little longer to 'see' the screen on something like an X500.

For all we know it might be a room with windows, thin curtains, ambient light and light walls/white ceiling. I don't think it hurts to check this first. It might be that once these issues are resolved that the OP is then happy with the image quality, or at least for a while anyway.

Viewing dark scenes in a room with light coloured walls will still be affected by washout. Depending on how bad the room is, the upgrade to some of the used models mentioned might be largely counteracted by the room, especially with dark scene detail which the OP wants to try to improve.

Buying a 'better' projector is only part of the story IMHO.
 

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Later this year I'm adding some black velvet side curtains that will pull out each side of the screen (hidden the rest of the time, since I'm not a Goth ;)). This will further improve dark scene performance due to reduced light reflection of my light side walls.
If this is just about reflections (not light coming through windows), then while this can have some impact on dark scenes, it isn't like the impact that can come from reducing constant light sources. Even in a white room the amount of light coming off the screen in order to bounce around the room during a dark scene can be pretty low because there just aren't enough photons coming out of the projector to even get to the white walls. It matters, but it is just different than light sources that don't go up and down with the images from the projector.

It may be scenes that are a little brighter, but still with a lot of black, where the room reflections change will help the most.

I'm sure I've mentioned before that one way to think about a front projector system is having 3 components. I'll start with something without a dynamic iris or similar dynamic system. One component is a projector and room with perfect ANSI CR and sequential CR. Another is a constant light source that is always lighting up the screen to the black pedestal. This is the light representing the contamination light best described by sequential CR. The third component is a light that gets brighter and dimmer in perfect unison with the image that is being projected. This is the component that represents the extra contamination from system ANSI CR that wasn't already included in sequential CR.

For this example, turning off your LEDs was like reducing the 2nd light source and darkening the walls is like reducing the amount of light from the 3rd light source by some percentage.

Not sure if that made sense to anybody else. :)

--Darin
 

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Are you really saying that once the OP blacks out his room then his projector will look worse? :confused: Of course in a fully darkened room you'll be able to see the screen light up even when on a full black scene, but that's the case with any projector that doesn't completely switch off the light source on a full black scene...it just takes a little longer to 'see' the screen on something like an X500.

For all we know it might be a room with windows, thin curtains, ambient light and light walls/white ceiling. I don't think it hurts to check this first. It might be that once these issues are resolved that the OP is then happy with the image quality, or at least for a while anyway.

Viewing dark scenes in a room with light coloured walls will still be affected by washout. Depending on how bad the room is, the upgrade to some of the used models mentioned might be largely counteracted by the room, especially with dark scene detail which the OP wants to try to improve.

Buying a 'better' projector is only part of the story IMHO.

I'm saying that those " black bars " that aren't black, but a glowing shade of grey, will be even more apparent in a perfect room. It's all important for the best picture - the two go hand in hand. Better room, projector with better contrast = better picture.
 

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Darin, I know what you mean, having seen an X35 in a completely black room, when I had mine I remember thinking that it looked like another (much more expensive) projector compared to the identical model I had at home at the time.

While I can't go as far as the dealer's demo room I went to, I hope that I can gain some of that effect. It certainly had a more obvious effect in brighter scenes as you say, but I felt that the dark scenes still had a benefit due to lack of light (however small) being reflected back to the screen to raise the black areas.

Of course we don't know much about the OP's room conditions, but I hope that he hasn't just blindly gone and bought a new projector expecting to resolve the issue...

PS Craig, I've never had an issue with 'glowing black bars' since I use a 2.35:1 screen myself and also side mask for 16:9. I feel that properly framing the image helps improve the perceived contrast too. Having seen a Sony VW1000ES on an unmasked screen didn't change my mind on this either and that projector is well out of my price range.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
thanks guys

I would classify my room as 'not bad'. I don't have any light coming in through windows (i do have some windows but have some really good block out curtains). i do have white walls and ceiling though
 

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Thats like my room and I have a Sony 300ES however I run into quite an issue with brighter scenes bouncing off the walls and washing out the image. I certainly have never seen my projectors true contrast performance because of this, I can see what the benefit would be if I darkened all the walls and reflection points.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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