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A thanks to Kramer and some HS10 impressions

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by vexorg, May 18, 2003.

  1. vexorg

    vexorg
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    Having just sold my projector, an AE100 as the screen door was too distracting for me, I was going to head to the UK for a demo of the AE300 and HS10, but unfortunately I could not get a gtee of them having an AE300 available to demo at short notice.

    So with the weekend plans changed some quick phone calls and a home demo of a HS10 was arranged with Kramer. It has been treated to a cc40r filter, cant remember if it had been avia'd and was producing a very pleasing image for me. There was some light shining through the house onto the screen, which was washing out hte picture but the weather was terrible and in between the bright moments and with proper light control it produces a fantastic picture.

    Hi Def Material - we suffered some HTPC problems so hardware acceleration was not working for the HDTV recording clips, there was some stop/starting and jerkiness and interlacing - I think but the level of detail was very impressive.

    The real pleasure was WMP9 HD material. This showed HD is a quantum leap over DVD in my opinion, although it will be a great test to see T2 WMP9HD and DVD back to back to do some comparisons and to ensure its not some sort a placebo effect, I do genuinely believe that there is an enormous difference in image quality between these 2 formats on the HS10. What is most exciting about the WMP9 material is that an entire movie can be encoded in this format and will fit on a standard DVD (I think:)).

    Messiah is correct for the mainstream consumer, HD will not be an issue for some time, for those of us with a higher proportion of anorak gene in our DNa, sourcing HD material now means having a projector that can give it a bit more of the wow factor.

    Is the HS10 a bit step up from the AE100 I had. Yes ... would I be happy with one, I don’t know. I think it would be too noisy for me. If I could put it in another room shooting through a wall, I would be getting on to Nexnix on Monday morning and surfing the web to order my cc40r filter and probably smart111 as well. A hush box is a possibility, some research into this is on the cards, if it proves to be a runner and I can get the HS10 noise to an acceptable level for me I will definitely take the plunge.

    IF you read this messiah, I would be very interested to hear your critique of the VW12, especially regarding its blacks and noise level.

    A big thanks to Kramer for the demo, and for a tour of his highly impressive HTPC, it’s water-cooled and so so quiet. Got served some of the finest coffee I have tasted in the long term, a Kramer special blend and some nice cream sponge:) Thanks to Catherine for that and for putting up with the nerd like analysis of all things pc and home theatre related.

    If any Sony personnel are listening in, I would not be surprised if this man has helped sell more Sony projectors thank all the Sony stores in Ireland and probably the UK put together have.

    Thanks Kramer... you are a real gent



    Vex.
     
  2. Messiah

    Messiah
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    Well, what can I say? The VW12 was a big disappointment for me, not helped by having seen a HT1000 only an hour earlier. Despite it's high res panel it still exhibited too much digital 'noise' for me. I want a smoother picture with more solid colours.

    I have yet to see an LCD that when showing a constant colour such a sky or the like does not exhibit a graininess that I can only put down to the pixel structure or panel. This is what 'Wowed!' me with the HT1000. Absolutely no visible grain whatsoever, and I mean NONE. The sky and snow scenes in Vertical Limit and the solid bright colours in Toy Story could easily have just been painted from a single colour palette on the screen.

    I accept what Kramer says about resolution, resolution, resolution but I don't know what more I can say to have people believe me that the HT1000 image is way ahead of any (ANY) LCD I have seen. All I ask is that before anyone go out and buy a new pj, whichever make or model, do yourself a favour and get a viewing of the HT1000 (or MT8) before you make your final decision. When you've seen one you will realise, that for standard DVD and off-air viewing [have not seen Hi-Def on any pj (Yet :) )] resolution is not everything. DLP is.

    As to noise on the VW12, I think if you were mounting in a coffe table or similar with the front exhaust facing away from you then you could easily live with it but in an 'open' environment it was just way to 'droning'. It's no good someone saying "turn up the volume" (as the demo guy did yesterday) because no matter what film you are watching, action or otherwise, there are ALWAYS quiet scenes when the fan noise will be horribly distracting. I guess the easiest way for me to describe it is it was like me sitting 6 inches away from my fridge/freezer when it is running. Urgghh!!! No, sorry, just couldn't be doing with it.

    Vex, promise me one thing. If the HT1000 is within budget go and view before you make a decision. You've got absolutely nothing to lose.

    Oh yeah. And the HT1000 is quiet. I mean whisper quiet. In eco mode you will be hard pressed to know it is running even if you put your ear just a few inches away from it. Amazing.
     
  3. vexorg

    vexorg
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    HT1000 added to the list.... :)

    Thx

    Vex.
     
  4. theritz

    theritz
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    Vex,

    Good obs, looks like there's still some searching to do.... and lots of fun to be had !!!

    Neil,

    I've read with interest your comment on "digital noise" on the 12HT; Would you or Paul have any comment to make on the fact that all the PJs at the showcase were showing the same signal ? I wonder what these PJs would be like running from a dedicated (preferably hcpc) source pixel matched, in order to feed them the best possible signal - might that make a difference in making a comparison between the machines ?

    All the best,

    Sean G.
     
  5. Messiah

    Messiah
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    But the majority of people will not have or wish to have this type of set-up therefore I think it is more objective to base my opinions on a standard (DVD player) type arrangement.

    My comments were not based on the demo pjs at the event. I saw the VW12 at Krish AV all my it's lonesome. I have also owned several LCD pjs (latest the TW100) and it would appear to be an inherent factor of LCD. That is just my opinion though.

    I'm gonna stop going on about LCD, DLP and HT1000 now cos if people aren't convinced by now to at leats demo the HT1000/MT8 then I guess they never will be. I will stress again however that I have nothing whatsoever to gain by extolling the virtues of any one pj or display type and have only been giving my best and personal judged opinion.

    I'll now leave it to propspective purchasers to make their own mind up. (But don't say I didn't try telling you :) )
     
  6. theritz

    theritz
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    Neil,




    Fair comment - my reference to hcpc was not intended to make a reflection on the playing hardware, but rather if PJs were viewed from an identical source of a known high standard, then observations on the resultant image from a range of projectors would be only focussed (ahem..) on the inherent qualities of the projectors solely.

    I had forgotten that the 12HT was viewed separately from the others - Doh!


    This absolutely goes without saying.

    I'm happy to leave further discussion/questions on this issue tacit for now; hopefully over the next few weeks we'll be able to get together and yack these issue over some more !!!

    All the best,


    Sean G.
     
  7. Messiah

    Messiah
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    ..and I'll be the first to eat my words and offer apologies if I am proven wrong.
     
  8. theritz

    theritz
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    Neil,

    ...........while we watch Pinky, Porky and Perky flying across Cardiff !!! Dinner and a show ??;)

    Given your recent tour through available LCD projectors, I sincerely doubt that any eating of words will be required, but we should have some serious fun in a shootout/showcase.

    All the best,

    Sean G.
     
  9. dunkyboy

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    Not sure what this 'digital noise' you're referring to is... Maybe it's scaling artifacts? I believe all the LCDs at the shootout were "funny" resolutions - 1/4 HD, or WXGA, or something along those lines, right? And the HT1000 was XGA? Well, if the source was PAL DVD, then that means the HT1000 was getting 576 scan lines to fit into.... 576 lines of pixels! Handy that. :) Whereas the other "funny" resolutions had to do some form of scaling (I'm guessing they all used their own internal scalers and no funky expensive external scalers were used..?) - either scaling up for the high-res WXGA panels, or down for the 1/4HD panels. I can imagine this would cause artefacts that would not be present in a "pristine" image.

    Anyway, just a theory. Can you describe the effect in more detail..? Or maybe post a screenshot to demonstrate? Speaking of screenshots, do you have any screenshots comparing the HT1000 to comparably priced LCDs..? I know screenshots of projector images are far from ideal, but if they were taken in the same setting with the same camera, they can be useful for comparisons.

    Anyway, cheers,

    Dunc
     
  10. Paul D

    Paul D
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    If i may, i'll try to answer some of the above questions.
    Both the Z1 and AE300 are actually designed to fit the PAL resolution.

    ie
    AE300 = 960 x 540
    Z1 = 964 x 544

    Although PAL is refered to as 576i, thirty odd lines are not actually used for picture info(used for teletext etc)
    This leaves about 540 lines(or less), but even the best DVD players struggle to show this much, with 500 lines being nearer the mark.
    So any advantage the HT1000 had, should have helped these two PJs too etc.

    I'm not sure what Neil meant by digital noise, but the two things that effect me with LCD are screendoor and verticle banding.
    These issues are discussed at length elsewhere, so i won't go into them here. Also DLPs Rainbows and dithering bother me, but again i will not get into this here!

    I will try to explain a digital looking image vs a cinematic picture.
    LCD can look digital due to an effect of false sharpening of edges.
    The only way i can try to explain this is to try and give you other examples of false sharpening etc.
    On a CRT TV sharpness control doesn't actually sharpen the picture. It adds something called "edge enhancement" (EE). This is an electronic process where all edges are surrounded by a thin black border. (just like the readybrek kid!)
    Increasing the sharpness level just increases the thickness level.
    The way the humen eye works, it makes the image appear sharper because it thinks it can see edges better.
    This process actually reduces detail levels, but in a showroom demo the customer will buy what ever looks Brightest/colourful/sharpest.
    They will not be looking for detail levels.
    They add EE around newsreaders to make them standout from backgrounds, and make them look sharper.
    This is the reason most calibration test disc recommend setting sharpness level to zero.
    It will at first appear to give a softer image, but once your eyes adjust you will realise more detail is on offer. (try it!)
    Close up, increasing sharpness will actually make the image look worse, losing detail. Then try it sat at a normal viewing distance, the image will appear sharper

    Now why does this effect LCDs?
    Well a 1024x768 LCD will look sharper showing a PC image than a 1024x78 DLP. Yet they are both digital and the same resolution.
    This is down to the gap between pixels.
    The black border surrounding LCDs is larger than that surrounding DLPs.
    So going back to our readybrek lesson, LCDs have a "EE" effect already built in!
    On higher resolution LCDs this isn't a big issue, but on the lower resolution models it can be.
    DLPs for the same reason look more digital when compaired to LCOS projectors as their gaps are even smaller again!
    LCDs true future lies with this projector (LCOS) where the image is reflected off the LCD panel rather than through it. A small gap is then possible due to the drive circuits being behind the pixels rather then beside them.
    LCOS biggest drawbacks upto now have been contrast levels, but Sonys take on the technology (SXRD) may improve this.

    The above logic explains why CRT projectors give can give a truely cinematic image. Each pixel has zero border surrounding it, and if scaled properly little scan line. Thats why a lot of people think CRTs look softer with PCs!
     
  11. Messiah

    Messiah
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    Nice explanation Paul. Very useful.

    The noise I am referring to I guess may be better described as 'fizzing' or 'tingling' in the background colours. In fact I think you referred to it is 'mosquito noise' on Saturday. I also do recognise that some of this may be down to the 'grain' and 'quality' of the film. Look at Dog Soldiers for example, no projector on this esarth could make the film look smooth as I believe 'cheap' or even maybe second hand film was used.

    I know it's on both LCD and DLP it's just I notice it way more on LCD. i.e. the colours etc do not look consistent and smooth. Sorry, can't explain it any better. If people do a side by side viewing of an LCD against a DLP I think you'll see what I mean.
     
  12. dunkyboy

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    Thanks fulabeer, but I think you're mixing things up a bit with the PAL stuff. PAL is specced at 625 lines of resolution. 49 of those lines aren't used for the picture, but for Teletext and other things, and you end up with 576 lines of usable horizontal lines of resolution for the picture. The 540 thang is a spec derived from old-school television for vertical resolution (i.e. number of vertical lines), where quoting the resolution of a television was done by counting the number of individual lines that could be made out when displaying a test pattern. The reason you only get 540 lines at best is because the test pattern used for this test doesn't take up the whole 4:3 aspect ratio of the telly, but is actually a square (3:3 :)). 540 lines is the maximum resolution for DVD, as DVDs have native resolution of 720x576 (PAL), and if you take 3/4 of 720, to get that square pattern (i.e. to go from 4:3 to 3:3), you get 540. So when a DVD player is advertised as having 540 lines of resolution, it's referring to the number of vertical lines that can be resolved in a square test pattern - and 540 is the max for DVD.

    Hmm, looking back, that all looks pretty much intelligible... Sorry. :blush: Guess that's why I'm not a teacher.....

    BTW, I don't think the sharpness controls just add black borders around things. I believe they use some sort of funky Fourier Transform algorithm to change the frequency characteristics of the image. Or, actually, that's probably just digital images; not sure what analogue tellies do... Or maybe I'm just making things up. :p Probably shouldn't have missed all those Computer Graphics lectures! :blush:

    I dunno, in any case, the sharpness controls do indeed reduce detail in exchange for an initially more impressive image, and should nearly always be avoided.

    And I think you may be right about the LCD "sharpness" advantage over DLP. Hadn't thought about it, but what you say makes sense. I don't know why people say LCDs look sharper than DLP - on the contrary, my friend's Sharp (har!) PG-M20X via DVI looks a lot sharper than my Hitachi LCD via VGA (both XGA), and just about every other LCD I've seen!

    Cheers,

    Dunc

    P.S. - One day I'll get the chance to have a look at a well set up CRT PJ... Maybe by then I'll have a permanent place to live and can actually consider the not inconsiderable feat of installing one! For now, digital it is...
     
  13. Paul D

    Paul D
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    Dunky
    You may be right about the PAL standards etc, i shouldn't be writing at 5.am in the morning!
    But the point i was making that very few DVD can resolve or display much over 500 lines. This way PJs with 540 panels may be a closer match than the HT1000 576 lines when showing 16.9 etc.
    God the different ways of decribing PAL/NTSC is laughable, no wonder i get confused!:suicide:
     
  14. dunkyboy

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    Yeah, definitely confusing... Took me at least a year of HCing before I understood it (and I still get confused!)

    The thing is, all PAL signals carry 576 horizontal lines of visual information. Even composite out from a 30-year-old VHS! :) And certainly the latest DVD players. It's the vertical resolution that gets improved by DVD (as well, of course, as colour fidelity, and all sorts of other things). Even the best VHS can only manage about 200 vertical lines of resolution in that square test pattern. DVD's theoretical maximum is 540 lines, and most decent DVD players should manage that without a problem.

    Dunc
     
  15. John_N

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    ?????

    There seems to be some confusion here.

    Let us say that a 'line' runs horizontally.

    All PAL 625 signals have 576 active lines showing picture information.

    A DVD player will allow you to resolve 576 lines in the entire image which will fill the screen.

    The resolution of a PAL DVD is 720 * 576 meaning 720 pixels wide and 576 pixels down. This equates to every active PAL line in the display having 720 horizontal pixels on it.

    DVD improves the number of lines that can be clearly shown - the best VHS recorders manage about 200 lines interlaced which equates to vertical resolution of approx 400 lines as against 576 from DVD.

    DVD also improves the number of horizontal pixels per line which is set to 720 horizontally for a DVD.

    VHS resolution is about 352 * 288 interlaced. This works out to be the same as approx 640 * 576 but in practice the quality is always lower than this.

    John
     

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