How good are Sim2 projectors?

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by ethm, Jan 1, 2007.

  1. ethm

    ethm
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    My local dealer is pointing me in the direction of Sim2, possibly a C3X. The rationale seems to be that they are specialist projector makers, unlike say Sony (I am also looking at say the VW100), so their quality is better. The resolution is 720, not the highest, but should I go with Sim2 or are there better projectors out there for the same money? I would be watching action films and sport. Any help and advice as always much appreciated. Happy New Year to everyone!:lease:
     
  2. dav-t

    dav-t
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    Sim2 are very good pjs I've had 3 in total but they do tend to be pricey the best advice I can give you is try to demo as many pjs as you can .
     
  3. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    They are excellent projectors. However the dealer who says that Sony aren't a specialist manufacturer of projectors is perhaps using poetic licence. Sony make a large range of projectors including 2kx4k models designed for digital cinema applications. You don't get much more secialist than that.....

    SIM2 make projectors primarily for the domestic home theater market and the current range is the best they have ever had imho.

    Gordon
     
  4. Tacitus

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    I have had a Sim2 30h for two years which I paid circa £6k for, and I can't fault it. It has terrific quality, and having added the Arcam DV139 dvd player which upscales standard DVD's, I am getting even more pleasure from it. The styling is also very good - a number of ladies have actually commented on how nice it looks.

    The C3X as a 3 chip DLP is in another league again for a 720p projector.

    However the issue I have with them is how expensive they are. Spending
    £11k on a projector is alot of money, and you need to be sure that you are going to get your money's worth. Personally I would hesitate. Other projectors are coming out all the time which will better handle the new HD 1080p formats. The new JVC HD1 is supposed to be spectacular and will probably be half the price of the C3X. I also checked out the new Sim2 D80, and although it is a very nice projector, it is still £6k plus.

    Although I am a huge fan of Sim2 products and the C3X is state of the art in areas other than just resolution (e.g. colour rendition, etc.), I am beginning to think there is better value elsewhere.
     
  5. The Nightfly

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    I had the chance to see a C3X a couple of days ago with HD-DVD and was rather impressed to say the least. Compared to the H79 I currently run, it was like going from LCD to DLP all over again. It pretty much redifined my expectations of what can still be achieved with 720p.

    Unfortunately for me (or maybe fortunately!) most of the Sim2 range have rather a long throw and would not work in my room as I can't get sufficient distance between the screen and projector in order to fill the screen. However, I was still pretty much impressed by the demo I saw and it's certainly altered my perception of the brand.

    The D80 1080 projector seems to have a shorter throw than many of the Sim2s from the past and looks like it would just be a drop-in replacement for my H79. Now, I wouldn't mind seeing a D80 vs C3X comparison. Of course, it's not a three-chipper, so I'm suspecting that although it may have better resolution it won't have the colour accuracy, clarity, noise-free stability and just sheer naturalness I saw with the C3X. Of course, the ultimate is going to be 1080 3-chip DLP but I suspect it will be some while yet before we'll see that at affordable prices.

    Allan
     
  6. ethm

    ethm
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    I'm having a demo of the C3X next week, which I'm looking forward to from what you've said. Thanks.
     
  7. ethm

    ethm
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    I think I will have to challenge my dealer on the merits of the C3X against the JVC or Sony vw100. It would appear that by having 3 chips, the C3X delivers a better picture which makes a bigger difference than the resolution being 720or 1080. Thanks for your advice.
     
  8. ethm

    ethm
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    I'm reassured that you think so highly of Sim2. I'm beginning to think the issue is less about the resolution being 720 or 1080. Thanks.
     
  9. ukaudiophile

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    HI,

    If you are realistically considering spending this much on a projector, you really need to check out both the Sony VW100 and the VW50. Do not discount the VW50 just because it is so much cheaper, I have owned all the competing technologies at various times, CRT, LCD and DLP, and I have never had a picture as good as I have now with the VW50.

    I cannot even attempt to make an argument for purchasing anything other than a 1080p projector if you have over £3K to spend right now.

    I also looked at the C3X, but the impending release of 1080p projectors such as the Ruby stopped me from pulling the trigger, and frankly I'm very glad I did.

    I agree that SIM2 projectors are more expensive than Sony, but I know that SIM2 are also a little more generous with their margins than Sony, so some bias may be coming from that fact also, so please bear this in mind during your selection process. I should also mention that I now own a Pearl (VPL-VW50) and am utterly delighted with the purchase.

    If I can be of any further assistance then please do not hesitate to ask.

    Best wishes,

    Dave
     
  10. Cool-hand

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    Hi ETH M

    I think your very spoilt for choice at the moment. All the current crop of pj's are very good indeed. And agree very much with Gordon that Sony's a strong mover/shaker in the pj world. Indeed their recent products are the ones which are making all great pj's very affordable.

    I think, as much as I hate to say it, that the issue with resolution cannot be avoided. We are well and truely established now with HD material via whatever means and you will want to eek the very best out of it. Sim2 projectors are pricey but they are also in a class completely of their own. Yes, I also own a Sim2 for the record. But I have owned LCD's in the past and many other DLP's and I cant get my head around the black levels of LCD's. Although they are now very good they just do not compete with DLP projectors. And for me the deep rich colours and depth of field gained by deeper blacks just makes the whole cinematic experience that much more enjoyable.

    Had said all that. I think you will be blown away by the C3X pj and the D80!
    But do demo all the ones in your price range first even if your convienced by the first demo, because their all gonna be good!!

    If you decided to go the Sony route be sure to get a well aligned 3 panelled version as it would seem that its very hit and miss as to whether you get a good one or not. As one member had to return it 3 times to get a well aligned pj. All the pj's in this price look good enough to have on display, a matter of conjecture im sure but I like the looks.

    Rgds

    CH
     
  11. sjb

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    Hi ethm,

    What size of screen will you be projecting onto ?

    The difference, in terms of light output, between the C3X and the likes of the D80 or Sony is considerable.

    Regards,

    Stan.
     
  12. ethm

    ethm
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    Thanks for your reply. I will be projecting onto a tab tensioned 2m screen. Which projector do you think then?
     
  13. sjb

    sjb
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    Personally, I'd think the C3X would be a little over the top for a 2mtr wide screen, but only you can decide whether it's the projector for you once you've had the demo - ideally, on a similar sized screen to yours.

    I'd be looking at the Sim2 D80, Sony Ruby/Pearl, the Optoma H81, and the new JVC if it were on the market !

    As far as allround quality goes, Sim2 are probably the best, but you pay for it !

    Regards,

    Stan.
     
  14. Cool-hand

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    No I disagree. In mho it's ideal for a 2mtr screen. I use a 7' Owl Jago Tab screen and think its perfect. Also remember that the C3X comes in 3 flavours, well 2 really. The C3X with a 250w lamp and the C3X LITE with a 150w lamp, dimmerable to 130w or their abouts.

    Rgds

    CH
     
  15. Pecker

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    ethm, you might like to read the link below.

    35 members of the Greek A/V Forums got together to check out two projectors - one 720-lined, the other 1080-lined, in a blind test. Other than this they were pretty much identical.

    The vast majority couldn't tell the difference in resolution. That was on a 103 inch (262cm diagonal) screen at a viewing distance of 400cm; a viewing angle of 32 degrees. THX's recommended viewing angle is 36 degrees (ie. actually sitting further away than this).

    So, if this test is correct, you'd need to be sitting closer than 3 meters from your 2 meter screen to see any improvement at all with a 1080 lined projector over a 720 lined one. Unless you were sitting significantly nearer, the difference would be minimal.

    The link:

    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=767929&page=1

    Personally, having seen the SIM C3X in action, I'd snap one up if I had the chance. It didn't look like a video picture made up of lines, it looked like film.

    Steve W
     
  16. Timbo21

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    Definitely check out the offerings from Sony, and JVC.

    The prices of pj's are dropping all the time. I believe the JVC will be around £4K? Now, if that can give you a comparable picture to a C3X, then you may have saved yourself £6K :eek: .

    I was upset enough after buying an Infocus 7205, and a few months later the H79 came out. So if you get a £4K pj, and it is trumped 6 months down the line, then it will hurt a lot less.
     
  17. ethm

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    Thanks, that was a really interesting link. I'm going to a demo of the C3X and D35 on Thursday to see what difference there is and whether the C3X is worth the extra money. Going from plasma to projector, I'm now thinking that a good projector like the D35 will produce a gob-stopping improvement in viewing pleasure and so spending less now, will mean I can shop for a more expensive, state of the art pj in 2-3 years time when the technology/ prices will have progressed. That sounds sensible but if I'm bowled over by the C3X.... - it could get very confusing and tempting. My heart says go for the C3X, but my ex-bank manager head says go for something cheaper to begin with! Help!
     
  18. tryingtimes

    tryingtimes
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    I would qualify this by saying.
    The Greeks concluded that they would rather spend the money on better quality over better resolution, but they did see a difference in res overall. but not at longish viewing angles.

    THXs recommended viewing angle of 36degrees is for the BACK ROW of the theatre. i.e. it's a minimum recommended angle.
    A lot of people (me included) run viewing distances of 1.5 which works out at 52 degrees.
     
  19. Timbo21

    Timbo21
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    Ultimately, you should go & see as many of these pj's as you can, set up properly. That may override the head vs. heart debate. Sony's & JVC's are a different technology, which you may, or may not prefer to DLP.
     
  20. Pecker

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    To qualify exactly, the Greeks said:

    "The majority of the people present felt that from a distance of 4 meters and beyond from the 130' screen, the resolution difference between the two projectors was from minimal to insignificant!"

    That's actually incorrect. THX recommend a BACK ROW of 26 degrees. This means that, at the very furthest away your viewing angle should be a maximum of 26 (not 36) degrees. Meanwhile they recommend a maximum vertical viewing angle of 35 degrees, but that's right at the very front of the cinema - a place where virtually nobody sits unless they have to.

    The 36 degrees I referred to is THX's recommended viewing angle - not maximum or minimum, but recommended. 36 degrees is a viewing distance of between 1.5 and 1.6 screen widths.

    Note that this is for 'scope screens. In a cinema the picture height is fixed and the width variable. At home it's the other way around. Many more films are shot in 1.85:1 than 'scope, so the seating distance should, if anything, be further away.

    But I agree, c.1.5 times screen widths should do it for most people, and the Greek test indicates that, at that distance, the difference between 720 & 1080 is "...minimal to insignificant..".

    Steve W
     
  21. mwomwell

    mwomwell
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    Have you considered the Projectiondesign model 2 - its small, quiet and produces an excellent image.
     
  22. tryingtimes

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    Hi Steve
    Re: viewing angles - you're right I was getting mixed up between 26/36 my apologies to you and the OP.
    I still stand that my own viewing distance of 1.5:1 is perfect for me. Once (if) I go to Constant Height 2.35:1, I'll be even closer at about 1.3:1.

    Re: the Greeks - I've read a lot of the post-event discussion on AVS and using babel and it seemed that most of them could pick out the 1080p projector, but were surprised how little difference it made. My advice is to do your own tests - It's worth the hassle when you're spending this much money.
    Again, from personal experience, I can tell the difference between 1080 and 720 in my own viewing conditions and also like the fact that it's a proper source format - here in the UK we have no 720 material. I am very interested in the new JVC, but will also be keeping an eye on 3-chip 1080 DLP prices.

    I have had a 768 projector for 5 years now and have decided not to upgrade to a 1080 projector yet simply because no current solution affordable to me offers an all-round improvement. However, my desire for CH 2.35:1 may push me over the edge sooner rather than later, budget permitting.
    I've been lucky enough to view the HT3000 and CX3 side-by-side and all it made me want is a 1080 version of the C3X :)
     
  23. mwomwell

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    Do you really want to spend so much money on a technology that is changing so rapidly - I have viewed the C3X and yes it does produce a good image but is it really worth 2 to 3 times more than a good 720p DLP - I wonder?
     
  24. tryingtimes

    tryingtimes
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    Some people come at it from a "I want the best bang for buck", others at it from a "I've got X to spend and want the best image I can get".
    If X=£10k, then why not?
    (I'm a best bang for buck person hence the £1,800 CRT PJ)
     
  25. mwomwell

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    Don't disagree with the I want the best image I can get, however, I have Projectiondesign model 2 (£3.5k) single chip HD2+ DC3™ DLP™ unit and to be quite honest when I look at the image it produces when compared to the C3X I felt that it wasn't worth 3* the cost albiet it produced a very good image - the one plus factor in favour of the C3X though was the lack of rainbows due to the fact that it uses 3 DLP chips. I guess it's a bit like audio reproduction, if you were to demonstrate to a non av aware person they may wonder what you are raving on about, you can of course spend an awful lot on AV equipment and I guess you run the risk of the law of diminishing returns. Tomorrow some manufacturer will bring out another unit that is cheaper and better - you just can't keep up with it - what you really want is a 3 chip 1080p DLP unit but this is going to cost circ £25k - an awful lot of money.
     
  26. keep_it_legal

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    I was making a similar choice recently and ended up going for a C3X. The way I see it is, if there is little perceivable difference between HD played at 720p and 1080p then you may as well get the best 720p technology, which is 3 chip. People get terribly excited about D-ILA/SXRD/LCD pjs but I find they look soft and lacking depth, the RS1 whilst being an improvement on the Pearl, I very much doubt it is going to look as good as a C3X. The lens' alone in high end projectors tend to cost the same as a Pearl. But the differences are getting less noticeable, having seen HD DVD on the projectiondesign model 2 and the Infocus IN78, I was very impressed. If I was you, I would demo the same HD material on the D35, the pd model 2, IN78, D80, HT3000, Marantz 11S1 and the C3X and see if the difference is worth it. I saw the HT3000 in a 2.35:1 setup after the getting the C3X and wasn't sure if I had made the right choice, the extra resolution really helps with that aspect ratio.
     
  27. Cool-hand

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    God Yes! These Sims have a wonderful way of doing that :D


    :rotfl:


    True, but in a few short years they will be more readily affordable. And when they are its going to all but remove lcd from the domestic market! We've yet to see what the new JVC RS1 can do, and Im sure alot of it is hype. Heard it all before with every incarnation of the Sonys and always been disapointed!

    Now thats not to say they are bad, as they are not. And value is superb on these lcd's BUT for out and out picture quality im sure almost every AVForum member would agree (removing price barriers) that DLP is currently the better technology and gives the best image in its 3 chip guise and many single chip.

    Yes I like Sim projectors but Im more appreciative of dlp! Im sure some people still suffer from the not-so-dreaded rainbow effect on single chip dlp's however most manufactures have managed to remove most of the effects now. I've read some people have suffered servere headaches and described it as almost having a nervous breakdown :devil: This is quite frankly a total crock! Most of the people ive met in the av industry have said people that brought an lcd over a dlp did so on 2 very good reasons. 1, price and 2, pj positioning. Ie. Vert+Hor lens shift. If we could all afford a 3 chip dlp we would all have one! Perhaps we should run a pole :boring: But I feel it wouldn't be honestly entered through product pride, ownership and human ego!

    Rgds

    Cool-Hand
     
  28. Timmy C

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    I don't know if this has been mentioned but Sim2's customer service cannot be faulted. They are by a long way the best people I've ever dealt with and for that reason alone I would always have Sim2 at the top of my list when I next ugrade.

    I currently have a Domino 30H and I'm more than happy with it but when you're talking about this sort of money it's nice to know you can call up and get immedieate help if you are unfortunate to run into a problem.
     
  29. Pecker

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    The thing is, the two projectors were virtually identical, apart from one being 1080 and the other 720.

    The only other major difference being the price.

    The point is, if the difference is so small, why pay so many thousands more.

    More importantly, in relation to this debate (including the last few comments) the C3X is a 3-chip DLP. It'll cost about the same as the 1080 Marantz used in the test, but will not have rainbows, and will have better contrast and colour. Well worth the trade-off against a barely noticeable (at best) increase in resolution.

    Nonetheless, I completely agree, if you can do your own test on your own eyes, that's the best bet.

    Steve W

    ps. I'm sat at about 1.6x in my cinema room.

    SW
     
  30. keep_it_legal

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    After seeing the HT3000, I don't think 3 chip is as much of an advantage as it used to be. Honestly, I could not see a single rainbow, even when trying, on the HT3000. The C3X is brighter than the HT3000 and perhaps adds a little more depth, these would be the only reasons I would get a C3X over the HT3000 or 11S1 now. Colour was very good on the Ht3000
     

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