DLP v's CRT - The Experts decide!

Boris Blank

Prominent Member
Aug 7, 2000
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One of the greatest CRT experts is having a shootout between a Sharp 11000, an HT1000 and an NEC XG in a thread over at AVS http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=363820

For folks that don't know, Guy Kuo is the brains that put together Avia disc and is a well-known, no, make that THE BEST crt guru in the known world! He has been a dyed in the wool true blue crt fan for donkey's years but recently has been won over to dlp (he now swears by the HT1000 which he now owns as well as an XG). Not to put too fine a point on it, he wrote the book on calibration of display devices and knows his stuff BIG-time.

He has agreed to do a shoot-out between crt and dlp - folks, this will be very interesting indeed! Not to pre-judge the results but from previous comments Guy has made, crt has pretty much had its day!
As this is a digital pj forum, just to let you know that the NEC XG135 LC being used is one of the best crt projectors you can buy - it is top end and bettered by only a very, very few vastly more expensive 9" crts. We're talking best of the best here.

A few months ago crt users would have laughed at this sort of comparison, sort of David versues Goliath except Goliath wins. Fast forward to the present day and things don't look so good for analogue projectors any more.
Here's my thoughts!

CRT to win hands down in the "Overall picture quality" award
DLP second, but gets the "Best newcomer award"

CRT get's the "Best black level" award
DLP get's the "Brightest picture" award

CRT get's "Best on-off contrast" award
DLP get's "Best Ansi contrast"award

CRT get's "Smoothest picture" award
DLP get's "Sharpest picture" award

I could go on and on, but the bottom line is high end CRT(Cine9-G90) is still way ahead.
Dlp has caught middle range CRT, and is about to surpass it.

If you are spending around £10k, then CRT and DLP are hard to seperate. It more comes down to your needs/wants etc.
If you are spending around £20k, i would still recommend CRT. The Cine9/G90 are sharp bright and give stunning images, and are very stable. I think the £20k DLP/SXRD only better them if larger screen sizes are needed.

I have gone DLP, but i still love CRT. Just a shame i couldn't afford a Cine9/G90!

Anyway, i'll pop over and have a look at this thread.
As i've been saying since getting my Marantz S3 DLP, some CRT people would be suprised by how good it is...
I hear ya but we're talking affordable levels here. The XG costs costs less the Sharp (I'm talking used, not new) and well less than the current AVforums favourite the S3. Guy will tell it as it is, if dlp's better he'll say it.

I suspect that black level may be the ONLY thing that crt wins on, we'll see.

Edit - I think I maybe sounded a bit harsh above, my apologies. What I'm trying to say is that at the affordable consumer level (i.e. us lot here), dlp is now more viable than crt on the vast majority of levels/criteria that us home-cinema fans expect/require.

Edit of the edit! I think I just said what you just said! Ok, ok, I'm off to bed and I'll read Guy's comments in the morning!
Black level isn't the biggest problem, I have a bigger problem with temporal dithering, motion artefacts and rainbows. Colours and contrast are also better on CRTs (good ones that is)
Ooh now this is going to be interesting, I have the smaller XG750 and have just been asking about new digitals versus crt.
at least I have the day off tomorrow, I was just about to go to bed but think I may be up for a little longer now :rolleyes:
Jeff, i agree with you from 1209s and above versus single chip DLP.
Today i saw my first three chip DLP "Sim HT500".
No dithering, rainbow and colours have the potential to exceed CRT.
Dlp does seem better with Ansi contrast. Ie part lit scenes etc.
As for on-off contrast, then yes the CRT is better.
The Eclipse from Immersive is reported to allow perfect blacks from digital Pjs.

I nearly went for a 1209s, but certain things with CRT(not PQ) made me go DLP.
I assure you i'm 100% happy with my decision. The S3 isn't perfect, as i have seen the odd rainbow flash. But i haven't seen any dithering or anything to make me cringe.

Want to know the BEST thing about my S3?

I trust it's giving it's best picture all the time.
With the CRT i was paranoid something needed adjustment.
A soft picture would warrant a quick foray into the menus to double check.
Any chroma shift would have me checking the convergence.
With the S3 i know they must be source related, so i have gotten back to just enjoying movies.
This alone would be worth losing some picture quality. But as it turned out i feel i have just traded some picture qualities for others.:)
Guy says this about his FLD filtered HT1000:

"The picture wlll put to shame most CRT's save but in the very dimmest scenes. I risk getting drummed out of the CRT forum in saying this, but in anything brighter than a dawn shot, the little HT1000 set up my way will beat a CRT in most people's eyes."

So DLP isn't as far behind CRT as it was. I think the majority of people would be more than happy with the picture a well set-up DLP can produce now days.

Apparently even the G90 pushes green/yellow, so no projector is perfect in every way. You just have to choose that which suits you best. :)

Biggest failing with regard to CRT is the colour . There are certain colours that just don't resolve correctly on CRT. My biggest disapointment at the Event 2 was the colour and stability on some of the CRTs.

I can see how dye based filters in dlps ( and lcds) allow better (bigger) colour than a phosphor.
It has to be said that Guys opinion was that a sharp 11K was the better performer out of the DLPs although thats not to say the HT100 didn't put up a good showing.

I saw a sharp 10K once and it nearly put me off digital for life!
In my view, the 3-chip Sim DLP job is a CRT-killer. No contest. It ought to be more than 'pretty good' given the asking price. However, it does seem plausible that, in time, 3-chip DLP will become more affordable (everything does).

Now all we need is an array of high intensity LEDs for the lamp (11 -year lifespan) and we're close to having the ideal machine.

Now, I have a question (see if you can follow the logic here).

One can buy THREE SIM2 single chip machines for (depending on the model) say GBP10,000.

Each has (fairly simple) optics, a DLP chip, scaling, processing a colour wheel and the necessary stuff to synchronise it with the chip, inputs, outputs, power supply, lamp, fan, lamp ballast ...... and so on.

So, one could dismantle these three, throw away two of much of each, and all three colour wheels and synchronisation systems. And add static filters plus more complicated optics to merge internally the three colour images (in a similar way to what is done in LCDs). And I'd have a 3-chip DLP. In theory.

What I can't get my head around, is that <the cost of the more complicated optics> minus <the cost of the redundant stuff thrown away> has to add up to (if we take the 3-chip SIM as case in point) GBP15,000.

I'm sure there are many areas in which the 3-chip SIM is better than its cheaper brothers - I guess it has to be to even try to justify its price - but, I suspect that <the cost of the redundant stuff thrown away> would probably cover all that good stuff.

Which leaves me with GBP15,000 for the internal glassware. Which doesn't seem all that plausible. The lack of a lesser, affordable 3-chip DLP in the marketplace does seem to suggest that there isn't (yet) the will to actually make one.

I see where you're going and would add the following: it seems to me that it is a much easier proposition to get realistic looking colours and intensities from a 3-chip device than it is from a shared 1-chip device working with light sliced-up by a colour wheel.

As for re-combining light from three colour sources, LCD projectors do this all the time and look how much they cost.

I'm sure if we'd had 3-chip DLP right from the start and some projector manufacturer looked at making a 1-chip unit the idea would be shelved pretty quickly as being not cost effective.

However, I'm not a projector manufacturer, so what do I know


Originally posted by fulabeer

Want to know the BEST thing about my S3?

I trust it's giving it's best picture all the time.
With the CRT i was paranoid something needed adjustment.
A soft picture would warrant a quick foray into the menus to double check.
Any chroma shift would have me checking the convergence.
With the S3 i know they must be source related, so i have gotten back to just enjoying movies.
This alone would be worth losing some picture quality. But as it turned out i feel i have just traded some picture qualities for others.:) [/B]

You have hit the nail on the head Paul, this is exactly how I feel about crt. There is a constant nagging doubt that something is, has, or will go wrong!
I feel totally secure with my CRT, it's built like a tank, 6 years old and still going strong. With a digital projector the lamp or the PSU could go at any minute. Re 3 chip DLP I'm not sure an affordable a 3 chip DLP will ever become available. Even if someone wanted to make one, I'm not sure TI would allow it.
The only problem I have with CRT is I don't let my daughter, aged 9, use it when I am not there, the colours stability, ease of use (once set up) is a non issue, well it has been on my NEC XG, not on prevoius projectors, however they are too big! and I have a dedicated room as well.
However I am off to New York next week so I may give the guys at AV science a call and see what price they can give me on a S3 or 12k. Anyone know what the price after discounts is in US$ ??
Only if you don't use them correctly, doesn't DLP cause headaches? ;)
Originally posted by The Beekeeper
Doesn't DLP cause headaches? ;)
SIM2's GBP25000 jobby won't. (3 chips, no colour wheel). The rest do. I still - even on Sunday with the latest "normal" DLP (single chip, colour wheel) offerings from SIM2 and Philips - see raibows on contrast material. Yuk.
Originally posted by Jeff
With a digital projector the lamp or the PSU could go at any minute

Originally posted by JohnWH
Don't CRT's have nasty burn in problems?

Originally posted by The Beekeeper
doesn't DLP cause headaches? ;)

.............don't LCDs have poor blacks (.....err, I mean greys....:D)

Here we go again, a LCD v DLP v CRT debate. All different technologies (well, maybe not fair classifying CRT as "technology" :p ). Some suitable for one, others entirely unsuitable.

I liked the HT1000 but IMO, it's farsical to suggest it's not bettered by anything but the very best CRT. Excellent CR, colour rendition & black level but relatively low resolution. The pixels were very noticeable to me at my usual seating distance (1.5x). Given their size, curves had a jagged appearance. It also had pretty noticeable rainbowing although I was getting used to it after a week or so.

If he's happy with his HT1000, more power to him but this is all subjective. I would prefer CRT myself but unfortunately the powers that be wouldn't accept such a huge unit bolted to our ceiling.

My (very personal) opinion.

I wasn't intending to start that debate again, it was a serious question. 90% of the movies I watch are 2.35:1 aspect ratio, is it not correct to be concerned about burn in, the same as you should be with any CRT or plasma display?

I think if you have the room for one, then you'd be right, but if you're after a much larger screen, the CRT probably wouldn't have the lumens. You'd have to stack two G90s together for that.

Hell, why not use three? It'd still be cheaper. ;)

If you want a tiny box on the ceiling or something that's portable, can be set-up in seconds, and can give an image that's almost as good in some respects, and better in others, then a DLP is the way to go. I'm sure it won't be long before DLP will be better in all respects though, and still in the price bands we're familiar with now.

I think I'll stick with my inferior 9" CRT ;) I know I'm missing out on all those lovely art effects but I guess I'm just an old so and so that can't live with the times. :)
What art effects Jeff? :)

Have you been reading the thread over at avs? Quite an interesting read wouldn't you say?


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