Pecar Electronics in Troy, Michigan had 3 or 4 yesterday when I went to take a look (VERY nice). I believe they are probably asking retail ($10k). This a great store and I do whatever I can to give them my business. Ask for Randy Blanchard (the VP) or George Pecar (he may be on vacation this week).
That's interesting. Was it a very large and/or gray screen? When I did this with the one I saw on a 110" microperf (don't know the gain), there was quite a large difference between the shadow and the projected "black".
I saw them at Soundscape 410-889-1134 in Baltimore and Tuesday they said they had 3 in stock. However, they mentioned it was $9995 and it needs to get under $7 for what I saw. For anybody wondering how quiet it is - the best equivalent is a small personal office fan on low speed. Regarding contrast - when you shadow the picture the shadow blends right in with the black images on the screen. Regarding pixel structure - they appeared to be more like crosshairs than screendoors as I've seen on Sharp LCDs and when projected on a 100" diagonal Draper M1000 from 14 feet were only noticeable at 3 to 4 feet away. Another first impression - it's a large sized box compared to projectors like Infocus 340s and 350s, but certainly manageable.
Regarding the blackness. I've seen several RPTVs set up in a room with a typical Sharp LCD projector. The images were of a fly-over of the Grand Canyon and essentially everything in shadow became a "black hole" on the RPTVs, but the LCD projector allowed you to make out some detail of what was in shadow. Something that appears to be overcontrast is not what I'm looking for in black level. They were playing "Verical Limit" on the Sharp DLP. There are typical scenes where items on the screen appear to be dark or black. I covered 1/2 the screen with shadow and these black images which extended beyond typically became "part" of the shadow. In some respects they also appeared too dark, though more apparent when the projector was on its low setting. I'm looking for something similar to what you get in a movie theater. Anything more is for the videophiles. A Holy Grail they are more than welcome to search for. Having seen the DLP in action and reading numerous posts I'd be surprised if FPTV sales are not retarded by some of the videophile concerns. I think these things are great, but most people are very concerned about slapping down thousands of dollars reading some of these posts. I'd love to see the cost benefits of FPTV becoming a "commercial electronic" item. Regarding ambient light - I looked at it with all the room downlights and one quartz indirect pedestal lamp on. The picture appeared fine to me (although I've read some of Mr. Houck's comments regarding lumens and am persuaded more is probably better), except when a lamp directly hit the screen. At this point it definitely washed out. That was important to me since I have somewhat controllable light and can prevent direct light. However, I don't have a dedicated theater nor do I live in the basement so the projector must work with some ambient window light. I think the Sharp DLP would do a reasonable job, even at 800 lumens.
Certainly if one has some ambient light with FP there's no point in making too big a deal about black levels.
You're right about the black hole effect. It was a problem with my RPTV. I use an Elite BVP4 video processor, which changes the gamma curve, bringing out shadow detail with little affect on the blackest black.
I did think the shadow detail on the Sharp was better than my stock RPTV.
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