Acer M550 Owners Thread

jumguf

Standard Member
I don't think the 0.66 chip has more pixels than the 0.47", they're just bigger.
However, machines with the 0.47 have been lambasted by reviewers.
Oh, but it does, most definitely ... I think actually its the other way round. The micromirrors, that make the pixels are most likely the same size on both chips, but the amount differs.
All XPR shifting aside, the 0.66" has 2716 x 1528 micromirrors, so a bit less than double resolution compared with the 0.47", that has standard 1920 x 1080 mirrors (or in fact 2048 x 1200, but only 1920 x 1080 of those are active, hence the "light border" of inactive pixels/mirrors around the edge of the image, that people have been screaming about, and rightly so. I saw it, and it looks really poor .... )
I saw you have a Black Widow screen too? That'll help out a bit too with the black levels, I imagine? :-D
 

afzal

Active Member
Ok I've found Gregory's review so I can also measure at 50cm, but from what I can read, dB(A) is the contour filter most commonly used for measuring sound. I can also use dB(C) and dB(Z) but dB(A) seems to be the most common from the choices I have.
Gregory and Herve both list raw dB readings without contour filters, so it would be useful if you could use a meter app with a raw mode. I can use the Sound Meter app at 50cm with dbA to give you a reference from my setup, however.
 

afzal

Active Member
Oh, but it does, most definitely ... I think actually its the other way round. The micromirrors, that make the pixels are most likely the same size on both chips, but the amount differs.
All XPR shifting aside, the 0.66" has 2716 x 1528 micromirrors, so a bit less than double resolution compared with the 0.47", that has standard 1920 x 1080 mirrors (or in fact 2048 x 1200, but only 1920 x 1080 of those are active, hence the "light border" of inactive pixels/mirrors around the edge of the image, that people have been screaming about, and rightly so. I saw it, and it looks really poor .... )
I saw you have a Black Widow screen too? That'll help out a bit too with the black levels, I imagine? :-D
I stand corrected. You are absolutely right, the 0.47" is a full HD version, so mirror size is the same (I've not done the math, but I presume it's the case).
The black widow helps with black levels, indeed. I've only got one friend without one as a comparison point, so it's very subjective to judge, but I'm generally happy with the black levels I can achieve. I never use ECO mode or Dynamic Black, btw.
 

jumguf

Standard Member
I stand corrected. You are absolutely right, the 0.47" is a full HD version, so mirror size is the same (I've not done the math, but I presume it's the case).
The black widow helps with black levels, indeed. I've only got one friend without one as a comparison point, so it's very subjective to judge, but I'm generally happy with the black levels I can achieve. I never use ECO mode or Dynamic Black, btw.
Ok, you don't use ECO?? But how about the noise then?
And the Dynamic Black seems to make some artifacts, you mentioned? Dynamic Black was actually one of the consoling points of my viewing of the Optoma UHD40, as it actually seemed to improve both black levels and overall image immensely ....
 

afzal

Active Member
Ok, you don't use ECO?? But how about the noise then?
And the Dynamic Black seems to make some artifacts, you mentioned? Dynamic Black was actually one of the consoling points of my viewing of the Optoma UHD40, as it actually seemed to improve both black levels and overall image immensely ....

Noise level has never been an issue for me. I understand that people use Eco mode to prolong bulb life, but for me I don't see a reason. My philosophy is why deliberately main your projector? If I spend thousands on a projector I want to get the most from it. If it means changing bulbs more often, then so be it.

Also, in standard bulb mode the Dynamic Black doesn't appear to do anything. I get the feeling it works in Eco mode by temporarily bumping to standard mode in dark scenes. Once correctly calibrated ( :) ) you don't need DB, I think.
To answer your question, yes, DB seems to create terrible violet blooming in white areas and maybe even issues of banding and solarization. By staying in standard bulb mode I have a better chance of reducing those issues through calibration.

As a final note, I've arranged to have my projector sent back to Acer once I return from my Easter break. I sent a list of my issues to them (HDR not triggering, solarization, violet blooms, noise and speckle, ISF memory being lost, modes not being applied when they are supposed to be, HDR modes not working, saved memories periodically being reset to defaults...). I know that the H7850 and V7850 had a firmware upgrade for similar issues (to C10), so I'm hoping they've got a firware upgrade for the M550.
 

jumguf

Standard Member
Noise level has never been an issue for me. I understand that people use Eco mode to prolong bulb life, but for me I don't see a reason. My philosophy is why deliberately main your projector? If I spend thousands on a projector I want to get the most from it. If it means changing bulbs more often, then so be it.

Also, in standard bulb mode the Dynamic Black doesn't appear to do anything. I get the feeling it works in Eco mode by temporarily bumping to standard mode in dark scenes. Once correctly calibrated ( :) ) you don't need DB, I think.
To answer your question, yes, DB seems to create terrible violet blooming in white areas and maybe even issues of banding and solarization. By staying in standard bulb mode I have a better chance of reducing those issues through calibration.

As a final note, I've arranged to have my projector sent back to Acer once I return from my Easter break. I sent a list of my issues to them (HDR not triggering, solarization, violet blooms, noise and speckle, ISF memory being lost, modes not being applied when they are supposed to be, HDR modes not working, saved memories periodically being reset to defaults...). I know that the H7850 and V7850 had a firmware upgrade for similar issues (to C10), so I'm hoping they've got a firware upgrade for the M550.
I understand what you mean :) Concerning noise, with my Epson TW6700 I can't go any higher than ECO before the fan starts to get really annoying, but luckily its so bright anyway, so its never a problem, not even for 3D viewing.

Ok, sounds like a drag to have to send it back for firmware upgrade, but also like there's hope that these issues can actually be solved? :-D That'd be awesome.
By the way, I'm not sure if I missed a bit in your prior posts, but did you find some way to actually access and use the ISF memory slots?
 

afzal

Active Member
Ok I've found Gregory's review so I can also measure at 50cm, but from what I can read, dB(A) is the contour filter most commonly used for measuring sound. I can also use dB(C) and dB(Z) but dB(A) seems to be the most common from the choices I have.
If we presume that manufacturers are following ISO 7779:2010 (which I've read they do) when measuring noise levels, then they are using dB(A) from a distance of 1m. I've asked Gregory if he follows this and am awaiting his answer, but he lists dB at 50cm, which isn't following the noise measuring standards. The technical sheet for the M550 says that noise levels are in dB(A).
It would make more sense for them to follow ISO 9296 which was developed for the IT industry, but the figures given by ISO 7779 are lower, which encourages even some IT manufacturers to use 7779 to fool the consumer.
The ISO documents cost a fortune to download, but luckily there is an ECMA standard (ECMA 74) for ISO 7779, that you can download here if you are interested. Only Data Projectors are listed, but if they are following a standard, then this is likely to be it.
 

afzal

Active Member
By the way, I'm not sure if I missed a bit in your prior posts, but did you find some way to actually access and use the ISF memory slots?
Take a look at post #10 (hint ISF code :) ). The codes are reserved for ISF certified calibrators.
The problem is, though, that they seem to randomly reset to default values.
 

jumguf

Standard Member
Take a look at post #10 (hint ISF code :) ). The codes are reserved for ISF certified calibrators.
The problem is, though, that they seem to randomly reset to default values.
Ok, I may be stupid, or maybe I just never correctly understood how this works :-/
Isn't it like there are 2 ISF factory presets, that can be utilized as writeable user presets, if you have some specific code to unlock them and make them accessible to store your own presets in (or those made by a calibrator) ?
 

steveprior

Active Member
If we presume that manufacturers are following ISO 7779:2010 (which I've read they do) when measuring noise levels, then they are using dB(A) from a distance of 1m. I've asked Gregory if he follows this and am awaiting his answer, but he lists dB at 50cm, which isn't following the noise measuring standards. The technical sheet for the M550 says that noise levels are in dB(A).
It would make more sense for them to follow ISO 9296 which was developed for the IT industry, but the figures given by ISO 7779 are lower, which encourages even some IT manufacturers to use 7779 to fool the consumer.
The ISO documents cost a fortune to download, but luckily there is an ECMA standard (ECMA 74) for ISO 7779, that you can download here if you are interested. Only Data Projectors are listed, but if they are following a standard, then this is likely to be it.

So, at 1m directly in-line with the centre of the projector, I get 31dBA in Silent and 37dBA in Standard mode.. the specs say 19 and 26 respectively.
I might need to read that link to see what I’m doing wrong.. or maybe it’s just a noisy projector..
 

mikemag

Distinguished Member
Projector noise levels remind me a bit of fuel consumption figures that car manufactures advertise in brochures, the real world experience tends to be less impressive.

My Sony is rated at 21db in Eco mode but I honestly don’t find it quieter in operation than any of my previous Epson models.
 

afzal

Active Member
So, at 1m directly in-line with the centre of the projector, I get 31dBA in Silent and 37dBA in Standard mode.. the specs say 19 and 26 respectively.
I might need to read that link to see what I’m doing wrong.. or maybe it’s just a noisy projector..
The figures given in the specs are far too low (and vary from Acer site, to Acer site). I've not had a chance to test mine, but should be able to later today.
31 dB(A) in silent, and 37 dB(A) in standard isn't really that loud. Ambient noise in a quiet room where someone is whispering very low is about 29-30 dB(A). Ambient noise in a library is about 40dB(A) (roughly twice your loudest reading).
 

steveprior

Active Member
The figures given in the specs are far too low (and vary from Acer site, to Acer site). I've not had a chance to test mine, but should be able to later today.
31 dB(A) in silent, and 37 dB(A) in standard isn't really that loud. Ambient noise in a quiet room where someone is whispering very low is about 29-30 dB(A). Ambient noise in a library is about 40dB(A) (roughly twice your loudest reading).

Hmm I guess I was expecting something quieter than my old Sanyo PLV-Z700 which was listed as 21dB(A), and was very quiet..
 

afzal

Active Member
Hmm I guess I was expecting something quieter than my old Sanyo PLV-Z700 which was listed as 21dB(A), and was very quiet..
Let me report back to you later on with my measurements. That'll give you a comparison point. If my figures are much lower than yours, then I suggest we each record the same scene of Attack of The Clones, with sound only playing through the internal speaker at a defined, low, setting, with a microphone/camera at 1m.
 

afzal

Active Member
So, positioning my phone 1m below the projector, using the same app, the first phone gave
  • in silent mode I got 19 dB(A)
  • in Eco mode I got 26 dB(A)
  • in standard mode I got 31 dB(A).
The second phone gave
  • in silent mode I got 29 dB(A)
  • in Eco mode I got 34 dB(A)
  • in standard mode I got 37 dB(A).
Without calibrating the phone app against a true SPM you have to take both our readings with a grain of salt. In the worst case I've got figures similar to you, in the best I've got figures close to the manufacturer specs.
I should add that in silent mode I can't hear the projector at all. In Eco mode I can hear the XPR unit (but nothing compared to the first projector I had) and in Standard mode I can hear the fan.
 

steveprior

Active Member
So, positioning my phone 1m below the projector, using the same app, the first phone gave
  • in silent mode I got 19 dB(A)
  • in Eco mode I got 26 dB(A)
  • in standard mode I got 31 dB(A).
The second phone gave
  • in silent mode I got 29 dB(A)
  • in Eco mode I got 34 dB(A)
  • in standard mode I got 37 dB(A).
Without calibrating the phone app against a true SPM you have to take both our readings with a grain of salt. In the worst case I've got figures similar to you, in the best I've got figures close to the manufacturer specs.

Interesting. My phone was directly in front of the projector, not below. I’ll try below and I do have a real sound level meter (8928 Digital Sound Meter) against which I can broadly calibrate it. The 8928’s settings don’t display anything below 40 dB so I can’t use it for the actual reading.
 

afzal

Active Member
Easiest way to calibrate is place both your phone and the meter side by side in front of your sound source, and play some white noise. Use the calibration settings of your phone's application to register the same value as your SPM.
 

tvrulesme

Standard Member
Thanks for posting all this. This is top of my list of potential projectors to replace an ageing 1080p one. Could you tell me if this projector has a 12V trigger? Not a deal breaker but nice to know if I need an alternative to trigger my motorised screen.

Projector central suggest it doesn't but the manual says it does.
 

afzal

Active Member
Thanks for posting all this. This is top of my list of potential projectors to replace an ageing 1080p one. Could you tell me if this projector has a 12V trigger? Not a deal breaker but nice to know if I need an alternative to trigger my motorised screen.

Projector central suggest it doesn't but the manual says it does.
Yes, it does
 

danprice

Active Member
I purchased one of these projectors at the weekend and am so far really pleased with it. It is a pain to calibrate though, especially for HDR. Thanks to Afzal and Steve for your findings so far. I've found that using full range HDMI helps a lot compared to auto.

Afzal - did you get your firmware updated? If so, what version is it and did it make any difference?

Thanks.
 

afzal

Active Member
They replaced the motherboard, but the firmware is the same. I've got less artifacts and solarization, but still have a number of problems with switching to HDR.
 

danprice

Active Member
Thanks for the reply. Please can I ask what firmware version you have?

I also think I may have an issue with artifacts. When trying to watch Alias Grace in 4k on Netflix (PS4 Pro) the image is unstable and flickers with lots of noise/dithering. However, it only appears to happen on this one programme. Other 4k content is fine.
 

afzal

Active Member
Firmware is C09.
Most of the issues I have left are due to issues with magenta, blue and cyan.

For instance, white lights that are more magenta-blue than white, or cyan speckles in white clouds.

The solution is to adjust clipping for magenta, blue and cyan, by adjusting their gain values.
 

steveprior

Active Member
The projector is going back direct to Acer today. Last time it went to some third-party place and came back with what looked like no changes at all, and no report.

My 3 problems now are:
1. Noisy when not in Silent mode
2. Flickering when in Silent mode
3. Intermittent bright white mark in the middle-right of the screen.

The white mark doesn't go away when changing sources, but it isn't present on the Test Pattern screen. It is incredibly distracting, but does go away for no apparent reason. It's here now:
pjwhiteblob2.jpg


Let's see what comes back!!
(Note: this is after 1081 hours of use)
 
Last edited:

afzal

Active Member
The projector is going back direct to Acer today. Last time it went to some third-party place and came back with what looked like no changes at all, and no report.

My 3 problems now are:
1. Noisy when not in Silent mode
2. Flickering when in Silent mode
3. Intermittent bright white mark in the middle-right of the screen.

The white mark doesn't go away when changing sources, but it isn't present on the Test Pattern screen. It is incredibly distracting, but does go away for no apparent reason. It's here now:View attachment 1019625

Let's see what comes back!!
(Note: this is after 1081 hours of use)

We've discussed your first problem. As I mentioned, I sent my first projector back for that problem and they replaced it.
The third problem could well be a stuck mirror, and I wonder if the second problem is related. I know of one person who sent their projector back for stuck mirrors and they replaced the chip. I would guess that replacing the chip might also stop the first problem, which is noise generated by the XPR system.
 

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