Fujitsu LPF-D711 LCD vs Sim2 CX3 3-chip DLP at Hammersmith What HiFi Show

edward

Active Member
Well, what a surprise! The display of the Sim2 DLP 3-chipper was certainly impressive, especially when the £4000 German lens was rolled in to place – filled the massive screen (300” I think) with an amazing image. The presenter gave a chat about the merits of DLP over other technologies for those that knew nothing. Three points were especially interesting: Hollywood has mandated 3-Chip DLP for theatres; DLP gives a better colour range; DLP gives better blacks.

After having seen the Fujitsu LCD projector, three points became very clear: Firstly, Hollywood came to that decision when the difference between technologies definitely gave DLP the lead but things have changed – its time for them to think again. Secondly, the range of colours becomes academic if the eye can’t make a distinction. It would have been very interesting to have seen them both showing the same program at the same time in the same room, but by running from room to room (about half a dozen doors apart on the same floor), I couldn’t see a colour difference. This brings up another point, the Sim2 was being shown in a much darker room – the Fujitsu room had a lot more ambient light – in fact it was subdued rather than dark and yet the image was still very bright, so the light coming back from the screen in the Hitachi room was probably greater, but then the size of the Sim2 screen was greater. Sim2 claim the CX3 puts out 2500 ANSI Lumens where the LPF-D711 is rated at only 1200. It might have been the screen size but I didn’t notice major differences in brightness. Thirdly, the blacks… the Fujitsu won hands down - I kid you not! Bruce Willis’ Tuxedo against the edge of the frame was completely black; the Black’s in the early scenes from Gladiator showed on the CX3 as distinctly charcoal by comparison. Its interesting too to see blacks against the shadow of people walking through the light path to the screen.

Both systems are outrageously expensive. The Sim2 starts at a lower price but I think it really does need that £4K lens to make it work at its best. I didn’t find out what Sim2 now offers as warranty but the web has a few grumbles about their willingness to fix projectors outside warranty with very low hours (e.g. 370 hours) on them. Against this, the 3-year warranty of the Fujitsu is rather reassuring. If the service attitude is anything like Toshiba’s in the UK, this is very comforting indeed.

Neither of these projectors is exactly quiet, both have 250 watts of heat to dispose of, and the Sim2 is rightly known for the more stylish housings but if I was spending that sort of money, I’d go for the LPF-D711 over the CX3, overcoming a long-held prejudice that favoured DLP over LCD - and that is a surprise.
 

UrbanT

Distinguished Member
Nicely written Edward. I went to show expecting the C3X to blow me away, and found it rather average and uninspiring. Disappointed :(
 

cyberheater

Well-known Member
I'm struggling here with your impressions.

On the one hand you said the lighting was subdued and on the other hand you said his tuxedo was completely black. Unless they are using some super special screen or the room was pitch black then it's against the laws of physics. The darkest black can not be darker then the lightest light hitting the screen which must be a lot lighter then the black surround. Please explain.
 

edward

Active Member
No cyberheater, its not my impressions, its just my lousy command of English and perhaps a misunderstanding about the concept of Black. Black to me is the complete absence of light. Charcoal is similar but with some light still present. When someone walks into the light path, part of the image is blacked (or blocked) out. I don't think it is possible to get blacker than that - which is why I used the reference these kind people provided.

Without a side-by-side comparison against exactly the same size and type of screen, some things would be hard to compare, hence that ambiguity in my comarison, but for black measured the way I did it, these aren't factors.

Incidentally, the message in your signature probably makes a lot of sense too - but when you move from the band below £1K to the one above £10K, its all very different - amazing but if you see if for yourself, you see exactly what I'm going on about. When UrbanT (whose authority and credentials in these matters is considerably greater than mine) is also reporting the CX3 is disappointing, its not just my imagination. I was a DLP man, through and through, until yesterday. With this prejudice, it would have been so easy for Sim2 to won my heart (I'd still gladly give one house space - its a great piece of kit) but to be so bowled over by Fujitsu, a company I've never even considered for projectors before...
 

cyberheater

Well-known Member
Thanks Edward. I think it's just a matter of time until LCD totally dominate. Once the tech is improved to the point where they don't need all of those dynamic iris's then it will rule the earth.

For me. Contrast/black level is the most important aspect for home theater and I find that LCD is still not there yet. At least not affordable projectors. I wish that projector manufacturers would concentrate on that rather then higher pixel count. One day there will be an affordable LCD projector with CRT projector performance and I'll be first in the line to get one :)
 

RTFM

Active Member
With respect Edward, there is no way you can judge black level and shadow detail in a room with any ambient light.

Jeff
 

edward

Active Member
After yesterday, I'll be meet you in the queue.

Frankly, I now don't care whether its DLP or LCD that I use. I just want the best picture I can get for my money (and I resent being fleeced for new bulbs too frequently). They're both well out of my price range at present but with Fijitsu's entry the high-end 1080 space is getting a little more crowded. With luck, this'll help bring prices down into the "affordable to me" range in a year of two. Trouble is, I need to upgrade now.

I'm still scratching my head about why the LCD was blacker that the DLP. I would have thought it was easier for a 3-chip DLP to reflect no light at all. Maybe someone who knows about these things will join in and explain.
 

edward

Active Member
RTFM said:
With respect Edward, there is no way you can judge black level and shadow detail in a room with any ambient light.

Jeff
Thanks Jeff. Your expertise will be useful here. Perhaps you can explain the flaw in my reasoning that if someone standing in the light path puts no light on the screen and there was no perceptable difference between that and tuxedo black where the darkest black I saw from the DLP failed that test, then one is more effectively producing black than the other.

OK, forest black and tuxedo black might be different but the Sim2 man chose the scene to show of the ability of the DLP to handle subtle shades of darkness. This was the blackest black I saw from all the material displayed - and I was there a long time.

There is no need to pull punches, Jeff, I'm keen to learn.
 

Gordon @ Convergent AV

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Edward: I set up the Fujitsu at the Scottish Show. I can state that the LCD is not capable of going as dark as the C3X. There is more to a good image than absolute black level of course. I think that the room environments have had an affect on your perception of what is going on.

May I suggest you look to the new Sony VPL100(RUBY) as a possible contender for your new projector. Not LCD, not DLP...and the one I saw in USA was not bad!

Gordon
 

edward

Active Member
You could be right, Gordon. I'm the fierst to admit that without everything being the same, its hard to compare. If I'd been able to compare Bruce's black tuxedo in both, I might have reached a different conclusion but on the day, the shadows that acted as my reference for black were indistinguishable from the black in the image. Visitors to both stands were equally obliging in providing a shadow as reference for my assessment if black.

Given my prejudice in favour of DLP, I really wasn't sure that I was right until the friend I was with gave voice to the same observation. He has since sent me this:
http://www.projectorcentral.com/plv-z4_h79.htm

We went to the Sony stand and it was definitely an impressive display. They had the advantage of an image coming off a Blu Ray source, which really didn't make for like-with-like comparisons either.

Really, the only way to settle this properly is a side-by-side shoot-out with a set of knowledgeable but impartial (if there is such a thing) judges like you and Jeff evaluating and reporting back to us. Can't imagine Fujitsu, Sim2 and Sony obliging us though. In the absence of this, it would be interesting to hear your views and Jeff's and others who deal with stuff for a living but are either agents for neither or both.

So, please, if you're able to give us an impartial assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of these products, I'm sure a lot of us would be interested - even though I'm not in a position to buy any of them.
 

RTFM

Active Member
Here's a different take on the Fujitsu from the AVS Forum

J Fujitsu again showed LFP-D711 1080p (based on D4 1080p panel) using the same feed last year at FPD show in Japan and it looks bad, black is gray, and contrast or picture depth simply are not there. I couldn’t believe my eyes for the film demo (also 1080i based) compared to the beautiful HD video demo. Now, this tells me don’t just use the HD video demo (mostly are shot beautifully to avoid the weakness of display’s capability in black and contrast), we need to watch normal film based materials (be it DVD or HD) to see the black level, contrast and picture depth.
 

Timbo21

Well-known Member
I had a look at the C3X in both the Sim2 demo room & in the What Hifi.
Yes, it did look good. It had good blacks & gave a rock solid image. But I must say that the HD demo of Gladiator wasn't that much better than my 7205. Yes, more detail, slightly better depth & blacks, but it really wasn't vastly far off what I've got, & I'm only viewing SD.

Additionally, the C3X was showing more noise than I would have liked. And the demo of Tiger Woods really is not that great; yes, there is more detail of crowd, but I think they really could/should have found a better example. Worth spending the £20000 for pj & lens, not to mention the screen at an extra £4000? I don't think so.

Aside from that, I think it was the stability of the image of the C3X that most impressed me.

The Sony SXRD demo was mostly impressive for the sound. Their subwoofers gave a good kick in the chest on Spiderman 2, which really gave the demo a good lift. The pj is Huuge. I think I prefer the sim2 :)

T.

T.
 

edward

Active Member
Given that you appear to sell Sim2 PJs, including the CX3, exclusively, RTFM, your knowledge of that product is certainly not in question. However, I think you really should take a look at the Fujitsu for youself. After what we saw on Saturday, I would seriously question the motives/impartiality of the AVS Forum reviewer. I will tell you now, you're in for a surprise.
 

Jeff

Well-known Member
It helps if the projector is setup properly, it's no surprise to me if Gordon made a lesser projector look better to some.
 

edward

Active Member
Totally agree, Jeff.
Gordon, did you set up the Fujitsu for Hammersmith? If so, it would seem that you did a better job than the person who did the CX3 - well done.

I'm not sure it would be fair to say the Fujitsu is a lesser projector simply because it costs less and uses technology that isn't quite as mind-boggling. To me, what makes it a lesser or greater machine is how well it performs in an environment like mine. Maybe I'm being too simplistic.
 

Timbo21

Well-known Member
It's very difficult to make direct comparisons at these exhibitions because you've got so many variables:

1) Different lighting conditions
2) Different film material
3) Different source players
4) They are not necessarily set up correctly/similarly
5) Different size & type of screen

Some displays I saw obviously had their brightness too low, giving probably a better black level than when properly calibrated.

Additionally, in regard to LCD Tv's many were showing stunning HD material, which may show them in a much better light.

T.
 

AD Roser

Active Member
edward said:
Totally agree, Jeff.
Gordon, did you set up the Fujitsu for Hammersmith? If so, it would seem that you did a better job than the person who did the CX3 - well done.

I'm not sure it would be fair to say the Fujitsu is a lesser projector simply because it costs less and uses technology that isn't quite as mind-boggling. To me, what makes it a lesser or greater machine is how well it performs in an environment like mine. Maybe I'm being too simplistic.
With the greatest of respect Edward - I know you are entitled to your opinion but FYI I calibrated the C3X to D65 as I do for all of my exhibitions and set -up, people who know me will tell you how fussy I am in getting things right. Clearly you liked the Fujitsu over the C3X - thats fine -it's a nice projector for an LCD ;)
 

RTFM

Active Member
edward said:
Given that you appear to sell Sim2 PJs, including the CX3, exclusively, RTFM, your knowledge of that product is certainly not in question. However, I think you really should take a look at the Fujitsu for youself. After what we saw on Saturday, I would seriously question the motives/impartiality of the AVS Forum reviewer. I will tell you now, you're in for a surprise.
Edward

I saw the Fujitsu back at the Cedia Expo Show in Birmingham so I am familiar with the unit and I remember being very underwhelmed by what I saw.

Poor black level and contrast, screen door effect ( surprised me on a 1920x1080 unit ), motion lag (even with the improved response time of LCD technoligies, they are way slower than DLP )

Jeff
 

Bert Coules

Well-known Member
My resolutely non-technical reaction to both projectors was that they were both immensely impressive but I preferred the DLP model, which seemed to me to have truer blacks. Obviously these things are very subjective, and in any case neither machine would give the same results if they could be transported to my house and viewed under my normal watching conditions: just how does all that power and impact (and heat and cooling noise) translate to a six-foot screen in a domestic setting? Is it possible for a projector to be too highly specced for living-room use? I rather got the impression that you could kit out a small public cinema with the Sim2.

The three-chip CX3 is the only DLP machine I've seen which didn't give me a headache after just a few minutes, but I presume it's going to be some time before that technology filters down to more domestic-type lower-priced models, if it happens at all.

I managed to miss the Sony Ruby altogether. I'm not quite sure how I managed that, though if there had been a guide to the show (or even a map with the exhibitors' names) I think I would have seen more than I did. An interesting experience all round, though.

Bert
www.bertcoules.co.uk
 

JimmytheSaint

Active Member
Well this is a turn up for the books! :) My first foray into the murky (as in grey :D ) world of the digital pj forums.
I too went to the Hammersmith show and viewed the Qualia, Fujitsu and Sim demos.
I have seen the Qualia before and again it looked beautiful and sharp with the Spiderman 2 demo. The ceiling was white which didn't help the PJ too much, but the image was as I remembered it, sharp, detailed, smooth, bright and with a lack of 'black depth' (which would have been evident had they played anything remotely dark). I really wanted to see the Ruby :(
The Fujitsu did indeed look good, but nowhere near as good as the Qualia. From what I saw, the blacks were equally unimpressive and it lacked the punch of the Qualia.
In a COMPLETE reverse of what I saw at the last Heathrow show, the Sim with the motorised lens won hands down. The image was vivid and had the most depth and punch of the pj's at the show. Granted, the res isn't as high as the other PJ's, but firing onto the 2:35:1 screen, I was impressed and somewhat immersed in the 'Return of the King'. It also appeared that much of the 'screendoor' I had noticed before had gone (possibly slight defocusing of the lens :confused: ) as I sat in the front row (2 x screen distance). The lens really was the winner here.
After the show, I ran the same material on my PJ and still don't think any of the technologies offer all of the levels of performance I get in my one package, but if I had to take one setup home from the show, it would be the Sim!!

Regards

Yas :)
 

Welwynnick

Well-known Member
I had a great time going backwards and forwards between those three dems, and I enjoyed watching all of them. I expected great things of the Qualia and the C3X, but the Fujitsu was the pleasant surprise. I'm sure the SIM has better contrast, but when you are in a real room with some back-reflection, the differences didn't seem to be so great.

The Fujitsu seemed to benefit from being well set-up and run from good sources, and everything looked smooth, sharp and natural. I was particularly impressed. Unlike in the SIM2 dem, they let me sit fairly close to the screen, which I thought was very telling. For all the impressive width of the SIM2 screen, I was sufficiently far back for the field of view to be about half that of my glasses, which flattered the resolution available.

No point criticising your competitors for showing clips that were sympathetic to the strengths and weaknesses of their projectors, when you contrive, not unreasonably, to cover the weaknesses of your own.

Nick
 

Bert Coules

Well-known Member
welwynnick said:
No point criticising your competitors for showing clips that were sympathetic to the strengths and weaknesses of their projectors, when you contrive, not unreasonably, to cover the weaknesses of your own.
I suppose it's not likely to happen in a show context, but it would have been interesting to see how the different models coped with rather less high quality material. I can't be the only home cinema fan who uses his projector not only for well-sourced movies but also to watch Sky and video tapes and similar.

Bert
www.bertcoules.co.uk
 

GrahamMG

Well-known Member
RTFM said:
Here's a different take on the Fujitsu from the AVS Forum

J Fujitsu again showed LFP-D711 1080p (based on D4 1080p panel) using the same feed last year at FPD show in Japan and it looks bad, black is gray, and contrast or picture depth simply are not there. I couldn’t believe my eyes for the film demo (also 1080i based) compared to the beautiful HD video demo. Now, this tells me don’t just use the HD video demo (mostly are shot beautifully to avoid the weakness of display’s capability in black and contrast), we need to watch normal film based materials (be it DVD or HD) to see the black level, contrast and picture depth.
Having just woken up, I find this thread most amusing, so I thought I had better put a few facts up for all to see....

Firstly Jeff is incorrect to quote that information I am afraid, the material shown on the LPF-D711 was not from the same feed as FPD Japan at all........ I do wish that someone would simply ask or listen to what I told people at the show.......No offence but please ask....

Secondly the projector was simply set up with no real time for getting D65 spot on, anyone that saw the stand would realise the work involved in making the room look like a living room (with some light and normal colour walls), this is honest if nothing else. The electricians never gave us a light switch for the wall wash spots so they stayed on..........

Third:- We showed some quite well filmed scenes from LOTR Return of the King which was sourced from a US satellite feed and outputted to the projector at 768 lines, letting people see what the projectors AVMII processing would do for the image, we didn't care how close people sat....

We then showed the usual Gladiator scene (battle the German with Tigers etc.), sometimes from a 1080i source, sometimes from the superbit DVD, personally I preferred the DVD as the 1080i clip has all the usual satellite feed issues of occasional picture noise/breakup and jitter just like SKY and on a 10ft screen you will see it, one thing was for sure stretching the image to fill the 120" diagonal screen in software cost a whole heap less than any additional anamorphic lens (again just me being honest).

We then showed the fifth element scene (diva chapter) as everyone has seen this a million times before, again I made it clear all all on the stand that this was a 720p clip and the projector was doing all the scaling up to the 1920 x 1080 panel resolution (no cheating at all....honest again!), I did not see a better black shown at the show, which certianly surprised many......

Finally apart from one terrible showing of a tennis match (I forgot to switch on the prog scan in the pj!!!), we showed a standard PAL res clip (no it wasn't high def as the bit rate was set at 4.5Mb/sec) of the US tennis final and it looked once again not too shabby. We also showed the football to anyone that asked and a DVD of Shark Tale for the kids.

The Haiwian Tropic beauty contest and the Lingerie bowl were never shown were they guys ;) (well OK it was Sunday and we were tired so it might have slipped in once or twice).

I am not in the habit of "slagging" one manufacturer over another and the SIM2 demo was nice as well, I would be open to showing the same material as each other but apart from a "happy accident" it probably won't happen. I like DLP's, always have, its just that I would want our 3LCD 1920x1080 projector on my ceiling currently and that suprises me far more than anyone reading this could possibly imagine.

Remember only two manuacturers had a projector capable of showing a native res 1080p image as far as I am aware, one was Fujitsu (who refused to show any material that you can't actually get in the UK on the projector), the other was Sony who naturally had their Blu-ray machine and access to D1 digital masters for content not to mention HD-CAM equipment. I would love to get my hands on that stuff to show what the Fujitsu pj can really do......

Finally, the plasma's in the Fujitsu room were fed some 1080i demo material via component video, some standard DVD's and any other footage we had available to us via the UVEM HTPC, many people were surprised that we would do this in an open and honest manner, I was surprised and shocked at some of things people were being told on other plasma stands as were many customers when we informed them of glaring errors in other manufacturers sales pitches. :nono: :nono: :nono:
Am I really so wrong to be honest here
 

PJTX100

Well-known Member
GrahamMG said:
I like DLP's, always have, its just that I would want our 3LCD 1920x1080 projector on my ceiling currently and that suprises me far more than anyone reading this could possibly imagine.
Wow.

From "the HS50 is the only alternative to DLP for anyone who sees rainbows" to this in a matter of months.

Picks oneself off floor! :D

The Fujitsu must be something special!
 

GrahamMG

Well-known Member
The public seem to think so. :clap: :clap: :clap: One chap even said it was the only "DLP" projector he had seen that had decent colour and brightness, when he was told that it was a LCD he simply didn't believe me until I showed him it......
Having watched the thing for 4 days solid, frankly any single chip DLP just ain't that good anymore, I can feel a wallet extraction coming on...bugger......

I was right about that HS50 though wasn't I, didn't take long before everyone else thought the same...... To honest for my own good maybe but I am not about to change now.....
 

PJTX100

Well-known Member
GrahamMG said:
I was right about that HS50 though wasn't I...
I wouldn't say that (in terms of it being the *only* alternative), but it is a very nice machine and gives the "new pretenders" a good run for their money! :)
 

GrahamMG

Well-known Member
I was taking the mickey mate...... :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:
 

GrahamMG

Well-known Member
PJTX100 said:
:oops: I like the HS50! :D
I would never have worked that one out :D
You would die for the LPF-D711 then...... :rotfl:
 

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